Friday, February 29, 2008

Love Jenna

Some seriously beautiful calligraphy by Jenna Hein - via Brooklyn Bride. I'm crazy for the handwritten look these days. Her work would be gorgeous as an invitation!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Okay, who's it gonna be?

No spoiler alert here! I haven't even peeked at any of the designers collections on the web and refuse to hunt down the winner - although finding these photos made it quite tempting - because I'm dying to see the Project Runway finale with all the drama of a race's end. So, who's it going to be? I'd love a vote from my fashion experts at Dakota Martin. Ladies?

Blind Letterpress

I have a petting reflex when it comes to letterpress. It's hard for me not to pet any letterpress piece I touch. And recently, I've been using the impression part of letterpress to create patterns on the paper without any ink - a blind letterpress printing process that makes for some really intricate detail that becomes a backdrop on the page. The images above are from a christening invitation I just did. I wanted it to be mostly white without being spare, so I drew this subtle cross pattern I found on a christening gown and translated it on paper to have the appearance of lace. And because the drawing itself is not a perfectly clean and straight graphic, it doesn't become stale or look mechanic, but appears more playful while still being quite elegant. Can you tell I'm pretty pleased with myself over this one? :) I think it just might be my favorite thing I've done to date.

(Full image to come soon - don't want to give too much away before they reach guests overseas!)

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Coming Soon

Little preview here of our latest addition to our 'greeting' card line. Hmm, I wonder who was the inspiration behind this one?

Calendar on Sale

I cannot believe March is almost here! We've put our 2008 letterpress calendar on sale. $15 right here.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Inspirational E-Zines from Design for Mankind

How did I NOT know about this?? Design for Mankind puts out monthly inspirational e-zines - capturing peoples' inspiration boards/space and their thoughts on them or on their life. I am really feeling the need to do more of this - for my work and for myself. I think it's so important to have images surround you that you connect with. And then to keep that moving and changing and morphing. So I'm loving that I can now see how others do this - in one neat little package - thanks to Design for Mankind. Take a look at the second issue (and first too) here. They are free and you can have them emailed to you monthly. Pretty great.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Diane von Furstenberg for Amex

Did anyone see the American Express ad featuring Diane von Furstenberg during the Oscars last night? I was immediately drawn in. I think Ogilvy & Mather has done American Express very well in nearly everything they've done for them - Jerry Seinfeld, Martin Scorseze, Ellen, Tina Fey... the list goes on. Sure, they've got star power to them - but they are done perfectly.

See more Amex ads by Ogilvy here.

Falling Slowly

I was beyond excited last night when Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova took home an Oscar for their song Falling Slowly in the movie Once. Hansard told RIT radio that he felt like "a plumber at a flower show." So cute.

I love the movie. I love their music. I love that they fell in love in real life. And I'm thrilled that they were recognized last night. Listen to more of them here.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Fridays with John: Weather report 2

Why'd I bother going outside. My computer sums up the conditions pretty nicely.

Have a great weekend.

Fridays with John: When weather matters.

Weather reports don't catch my attention too often, except in maybe extremes. Until Liz said it was supposed to snow last night, I had no idea it was going to happen. I was more concerned with the burgers I was eating and a debate in Texas.

Now that the snow has fallen, it's pretty distracting. I watched the closed school reports on the news this morning with Snow Day envy. I keep checking how much has fallen. And, a new first, I've taken to measuring the accumulation in our backyard. I also checked with my boss, it doesn't look like we'll be closing early.

The Burger Joint

This may look like your college burger joint, except that it's nestled in the lobby of a ritzy New York City hotel. (Not seen here are the veneer walls opposite - which really take me back to our beloved days at the Bates College Den.) Our friends Julia & John took us to the Burger Joint in the Parker Meridian Hotel of all places. I thought Corner Bistro had locked in the no-frills burger & beer served on paper plates type of place. Not so fast. The burger here was juicier and came neatly wrapped in butcher paper so it didn't fall apart upon delivery. The fries came in a brown paper bag - that J&J turned into a nice little cornucopia on their side by tearing into the bag while on its side. We'll be showing off that maneuver next time. Get the "everything" version and you get lettuce, tomato and pickles on top. Veggies for the day? Check.

Hooray, Snow!

Finally! A real honest to goodness snowfall today - a beautiful silver lining to the frigid temperature.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Bloom Fever

We're crazy for our Blooms over here. Our Bloom Oversized Flat card was such a hit, I decided to do it in this green apple color too. I love it with our Navy & Chocolate envelopes. The weather is calling for a "winter mix" tomorrow, but I'm feeling spring looking at this fresh color combo.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Summer Dress in New Colors

I'm thrilled to finally have two new colors for our popular Summer Dress note card. I love them both together so I may have to offer them as a combo pack. I also oddly (or not) love the soft blue Summer Dress with our Cows Waiting in Line. I don't know if it's the country girl in me or what. Combining colors and patterns is what got me here in the first place, so you may just see more of this. For now, our new Summer Dress note cards can be found here.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Art Journal Inspiration

Linda & Harriett fan Jamaica recently emailed me to see about using our calendar cover for her art journals. I was happy to help - and then blown away when she sent over some images of these little books. I'm always saving little snippets here and there that either end up tacked to my wall or piled on my desk only to be sadly whisked away to the curb when it morphs into clutter. This, however, is a fantastic way to collect all of these treasures in a most interesting and neat way. I was immediately inspired and had to share with all of you. See more images of Jamaica's journals here and here.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Fridays with John: Good Girl

By now some of you are probably familiar with the animal above from pictures we've posted or through previous posts. Last time, I wrote about Kingsley's importance in our lives and the experience of finally owning a real pet--thanks Mom and Dad. I also spoke about our love for her, but more importantly her biggest flaw--the jumping--and how it led us to talk to a trainer. Fast forward a few months. We started working with an excellent trainer last week and have now had the first 3 of 6 scheduled sessions. She's responded amazingly well to all of this. It seems that most of the training, commands, and respect are in place. The root of many of our trainings "issues" has been boundaries, and her ability to push them and our letting her do so. In short, we've loved too much. Drawing these new lines in the sand initially came as a bit of a shock to her (and us at times), but after a few days of repetition she responds as if this is how things have always been. There's still a lot of work to be done, but it's amazing to see what these slight transformations in our actions and her behavior have already accomplished. And when she's a good dog, we're finding reasons to love her more.
Have a great weekend.

Happy Feet

John knows how to make me happy -- keep me warm. For Christmas, it was some serious winter mittens from Patagonia. (My hands were so warm, they were sweating during our x-country ski race last weekend.) For Valentine's Day, it was all about the feet. Since our commute to work is an easy walk out the door and up the stairs (don't hate me!), I have to wear proper shoes when I'd rather be in fuzzy socks. No longer! These slippers have a sturdy bottom. John said I could run to the store in them if I had to. Not sure about that, but it sure won't be easy taking these puppies off.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Oysters in the Mail

You may remember my post on these cool Oyster Save the Dates I did for Dee & Doug. I also put together this simple return address rubber stamp for them, which I think is such a great, non-expensive option that in my opinion will always be far superior to labels or laser printing.

Dee was nice enough to send over a few pictures of the stuffed, stamped and addressed version:

I LOVE the kraft paper/letterpress combo. And the nautical stamps they used are perfect for this seaside wedding. Well done, Dee & Doug. And thanks for sharing!

Loving Hearts

Here's a little heart collection from us over at Linda & Harriett: Mulitcolored Hearts paper from Paper Source. A Julie Goldstein Heart. Little peek for something to come from L&H. And a cookie favor from our wedding by The Cake Studio that reads "Jag Alskar Dig" - I love you in Swedish.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

The Lamp Post

Another What's on My Desk shot here. I'm currently working on a city wedding invitation. So now when I'm walking around Manhattan, I can't help but notice things in a totally different way. Take, for example, the lamp post - a seemingly unnoticed piece of urban furniture. But if you see them on beautiful tree-lined streets like Morton Street in Manhattan, you know why neighborhood block associations raise thousands of dollars for them. They really bring out a very charming element to a city street. And perhaps to a couple's wedding invitation.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Fun with Liners

The past several months (and the next couple) will be dedicated to putting together our Linda & Harriett wedding album. And part of that involves choosing paper for envelope liners - which I prefer to compliment, not match the invitation. Like an accessory - a handbag, a pair of shoes, a great necklace. Here I was looking at a Waste Not Paper sample pack, who has fun yet simple designs that aren't too graphic-y and certainly don't lack personality. Because even though they are wedding invitations, I really don't care for the kind of invitations that take themselves so seriously that they become stale. We will not stand for stale. Stay tuned for more on this front in the coming weeks.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Lake Placid Loppet

I put on cross-country skis for the fourth time in my life on Saturday and did a 25K race. There was something inside me that wondered how hard this could really be? It's like flat skiing. Right? My frozen body shuffled up to the start line looking around - right? right guys? how hard can this really be? It's like flat skiing! Then the gun fired and I literally thought something was wrong with my skis because I couldn't move. (Here I go with another vast misconception - I'm not going fast enough, and it couldn't possibly be me!)

So the start was rough. And the first 5-10K were slow. Really slow. Turns out, there were hills. Big ones. But like my niece Eloise told me, the downhills would be fun - and they were. As long as I didn't look like Bambi at the bottom, I could catch my breath! And I started watching people all around me and mimicked their movements. Eventually I started passing people and picked up my pace. I ended up finishing in 2 hours and 43 minutes - about a half hour faster than I had expected. AND, I finished 2nd in my age group - crazy. So there were five others in my age group - who cares - I was still a silver medalist! And don't think I didn't wear that medal all night. John finished a half hour before me and placed first in his age group of one:) Out of the five of us who raced, three took home medals. Not too shabby.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Fridays with John: Linda & Harriett & Facebook

In the eyes of some of our friends, Liz and I made it to the 21st century a bit behind the pack. Why, you ask? Because it's taken us until now to join...Facebook. Not really a big deal, but as people who run a partly internet-based business and who consider ourselves relatively "with the program," it seems like one of those things we couldn't let ourselves pass by--or be oblivious to. Not doing it, in some way, seemed similar to being resistant to having an e-mail account in, say, 1998.
So, now that we've joined we're starting to embrace it bit by bit. More importantly, we've given business a presence on there as well. At the encouragement of our friends Lizzy and Shannon from Dakota Martin, we've created a Linda & Harriett group on Facebook. For us, it's a new way to connect with our customers, fans, and friends. We'll be able to share news and updates with all of you, and in turn, you can share your thoughts, opinions, and comments with us--and everyone else.
I'm hoping to better streamline the blog with this group in the future. In the meantime, if you're a Facebook member (or thinking about becoming one), we'd like to welcome you all as members.
Have a great weekend. We'll be skiing.

Pig Love, Take Two

I swear I'm not obsessed with pigs. Just these two little love pigs. Looking great in plum, I might add. This is the first of many more "greeting" cards to come. Along with a better name than "greeting" too.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Artist Mara Sprafkin

Brooklyn-based artist Mara Sprafkin (and fellow NESCAC alum) has her first solo exhibit Valley of the Vapors at MARCH gallery in NYC, opening this Saturday February 9 and on view through March 8. I have not yet seen Mara's work in person and am dying to see this exhibit! Too bad I'll be huffing and puffing my way through a race in a sport I've only done three times. Yeah, well.

If you're here in New York, I'd highly recommend a visit. I'll be headed there next week. See more of Mara's work here.

[photos courtesy of Mara Sprafkin]

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Star Gazing

How cute is this screen print? It's a limited edition print called Star Gazing ($40) from Christopher Bettig over at the Mountain Label. Perfect non-red/pink/too-cutesy gift for your Valentine - at least this Valentine. And don't even get me started on how badly I'd love to be star gazing. sigh.

[picture courtesy of the Mountain Label]

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

The Designer Zoo

I was reminded yesterday of how tired my feet got at last year's stationery show when we were walking around the New York International Gift Fair. Up & down the aisles we went - and went, and went. If I had worn a pedometer, I bet I would have clocked a solid couple of miles.

But that's not the point. Like any gift/trade show, there are things that you pass by without giving a second thought, and then there are those booths you could just sit and play all day (sitting would have been nice). That's how I felt at the Designer Zoo booth. I'm a big sucker for all things Scandinavian - toys, linens, decorations. (People too - John is Swedish.) Love em all. This company was started in 2003 by two Danes and an American looking to bring their favorite Scandinavian things to the US. Voila!

And - you can visit their store right here in NYC or see their things online here.

[pictures courtesy of The Designer Zoo]

Monday, February 4, 2008

New York Intl Gift Fair

People have asked if we're exhibiting at the New York International Gift Fair - taking place right now at the Jacob Javitz Center in NYC. We're not - but we're thinking about it for next year, so today, we're going to check it out and see if it would be a good fit. With the National Stationery Show coming up in May, I'll also be looking for interesting ways to set up our booth. I had a very clear vision for our booth layout last year, but I don't have any big ideas so far for this year. Maybe after today.

Stay tuned...

Giant Upset

I have to comment on last night's unbelievable Giant Upset. I mean - who knew that would happen?? Not I. I was ready for a snoozer - which it pretty much was minus the last 5 minutes - and I certainly did not expect the stupid Giants to pull it off. I'm an Eagles fan through and through. I wear my jersey every Sunday and last night sported a more subdued glory green Eagles t-shirt in protest of our Conference rivals. But they did it. And it was quite a show til the end. I grit my teeth as I tip my hat - just a whiff of sportsmanship from this one this morning. I'll be wearing black all week.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Fridays with John: Big Animals

I just came across these great pictures from a Smithsonian nature photography contest. They're all beautifully shot and clearly capture moments that some of the photographers waited days for. A lot of them have a "shoot the picture, and run for your life" feel, but I'm guessing nice telephoto lenses afforded these photographers the relative safety of distance.

More of this exhibit and the award winners can be seen here. I think you'll agree, they're pretty amazing shots--often with imposingly big subjects.