Friday, August 31, 2007

Learning from a Master

Yesterday, John and I had the privilege of visiting Alan in his letterpress shop in Frenchtown, NJ. What a day! Alan works in an old chicken barn - a very cool space which, in my opinion, adds to the charm and nature of this traditional printing process. Alan has been printing since he was a boy - and has collected a minagerie of presses & tools - some of which I had never seen before. Like this small press made for young boys just after the turn of the century:

I felt like little elves were going to pop out and start pressing. It's so teeny.

For most of the day, we learned a great deal about Alan and his background in letterpress as well as how many of the presses work. Alan has a wealth of information on this stuff. I highly recommend a visit if you're in the NYC/NJ/PA area and want to learn from a guy with 50-some years of experience - or if you have a machine that needs some tlc or want a book printed, he's your guy. He is clearly very passionate about what he does and loves introducing his passion to people - and is very patient with people like me, who ask all sorts of seemingly obvious questions. I was overwhelmed by all the information running around upstairs, so when 7pm rolled around, I was beat. We ended up leaving our press there until we make it back there again in about a week and a half.

Looking forward to it already!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Off to See a Letterpress Shop

John and I are off to Frenchtown, NJ today to visit a letterpress shop. Alan has been kind enough to take us newbies under his wing and show us a thing or two about our little press and all of his. I'm so excited to see his shop and get printing on my press!

For anyone interested in letterpress, I highly recommend checking out if you haven't already. It's where Alan found me after I had posted lots of questions and invited me to his shop. I also met Elisabeth on there who gave me lots of letterpress advice, too. Everyone is very friendly and just wants to help everyone else out - even if, ahem, they are clueless. Everyone's gotta start somewhere.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Welcome John

Today is a very big, very important and very special day. Today is the day that my husband John officially joins me as my partner at Linda & Harriett. For so long, I've been doing everything myself - which has been both wonderful (getting to make all the decisions) and very tough (having to make all the decisions). John has not only been my sounding board all this time, but he has also contributed a lot of time & energy to L&H already. In May, he took off work for three days to help me during the National Stationery Show (my official debut) and before & during which he baked over 800 cookies for me to give out to buyers. (He makes a mean chocolate chip cookie, by the way.) Ever since the show, he's been helping me in ways I couldn't imagine being without. So after giving it some serious thought, we decided to give this a try and see how it goes being a husband & wife team. I'm a little nervous but a lot excited.

For the last four and half years, John has been working as a copywriter at an ad agency in New York. While he is a very talented writer, I also know him to be quite the little businessman. Like the time he bought a whole bunch of 60 cent ponchos before a Phish concert (oh how we loved Phish!) and sold them for $5. ps - who knew phans were so concerned with drenched cords and tank tops?

So while you won't see John writing on here (that's where I draw the line) or developing any new designs (okay, maybe that's where I draw the line) - it is my hope that you will start to see a bit more of L&H. Perhaps in your next craft or holiday fair - or at your favorite stationery store.

Today is a big big day and I could not be more excited (albeit a teensy bit nervous) about what this means for L&H and having John & I working together. Let the fights, I mean fun, begin!

Monday, August 27, 2007

A New Face at Linda & Harriett

Kinglsey will always be a member of the Linda & Harriett team, so she's not our new face. Starting Wednesday though I will welcome someone very near and dear to me to join Linda & Harriett. I'd like to wait until it's officially official (ie, this person leaves her/his current job) to announce it. So stay tuned...

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Lobster with a Checkered Back

Doing this Lobster Save the Date (back and front shown here) makes me want summer to last all year. That or move to Maine tomorrow - which John and I are still considering - just not tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

A Wedding Proposal Story

Okay, so this kind of sort of has nothing to do with me or what I usually post about - other than the fact that I design wedding invitations AND that I was proposed to a year and a half ago, myself AND that I love a good proposal story - but this video clip sent over to me from Eric via Bride-O-Rama (a website created to give newly engaged couples the lowdown on getting married) was too good not to post. It's 4 minutes long - and if you've got the time, I highly recommend you give it a look:

Name Crazy

I'm personalizing these Oversized Flats like crazy these days. People seem to really gravitate towards customized things. And I love the way they are turning out. Can you believe I haven't made any for myself yet? Need to get on that! But which one? I don't have this one on my site yet - but I love the color combo of pale pink and this bold green "Frank". Bad pic, but you get the idea:

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Old School Notepad

It's the first day of school, and you've got a backback full of new spiral and preferably perforated notebooks, mechanical pencils, and ballpoint pens. You think you are super organized, super smart, and absolutely capable of doing all your homework, turning it in on time and getting straight A's. All because of that (blank) notebook that sits on your desk. It's so clean, so undented, and just the perfect place for all the knowledge in the world to spew all over its pages. How could it not?

That's how I always felt, at least.

So, I decided to make a notepad from the index card/notebook lines that I love so much. A very simple, very handy, and very cool (I think) notepad. I think this one will become by new staple to have lying around. For all my wildly creative, amazingly talented, and highly lucrative ideas.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Linda & Harriett (and Frank) in Domino!

I love Domino Magazine. It's like Christmas when it arrives, and I read it cover to cover. I imagine myself living in those stunning clutter-free rooms, and I'm immediately at ease. The September issue brought an even bigger and better Christmas this month because they chose to feature our Oversized "Frank" Flats in their "new school" stationery piece:

I could not be more flattered or more highly complimented. I knew it was coming, but didn't think it would be out until today or tomorrow - so when I found it in the airport on Thursday, I was like a giddy little kid with her new Christmas toy. I actually almost missed my plane, too!

Thank you, Domino. I'm so very grateful.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Tri-Colored Roosters

If you read my blog often (all three of you out there) then you may have noticed me mention my Surf walls. I love the Martha Stewart color I chose for my studio walls. And lately, I want to tack everything up there because it's such a great backdrop. Case and point - my three roosters cards - love this combo of colors:

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

For Bride's and brides

I'm submitting some wedding invitation samples to Bride's Magazine today. Very exciting. Even more so that my older sister Kim used to work there. I remember when I was younger, I visited her at her office with my mom. It was so cool. There were clothes everywhere, head shots of models thumb-tacked on the walls, and everyone there was impeccably dressed. (Kim still wins my Best Dressed award. If I gave them out, that is.) I must have been 12, but I knew this place was hip - and New York, too, was hip. And I wanted to live there when I grew up. Fast forward 15 years, and here I am submitting my work there. Very cool for little me.

Here's another one I'm pretty proud of:

It's all hand-stamped with archival ink. The branch is a deep chocolate brown that I just don't think I'll grow old of any time soon - especially when stamped on this super-soft, white, deckled edge Italian paper. The reverse side is shown for both - a tea-stain color in a diamond pattern. The variation of color in this subtle color is beautiful - and something that really cannot be replicated in other printing processes. If I could do it all over again, I would go with something like this.

What do you think about a stamped invitation? I'm contemplating a complete transition to letterpress, but I love the immediacy and playfulness of the stamp.


Yellow Marry Me

Yellow has to be the cheeriest of all colors - as demonstrated by Mr. Happy, smiley face, sunflowers - even things like lemons and the Cheerios box have a high happy factor.

So when I started thinking about new invitation designs, I decided to get some seriously happy yellow ink. And as I posted yesterday, I'm having lots of fun experimenting with it. But I've also come up with this new invitation that I'm loving right now:

Simple and clean on the front with a bold diamond graphic on the back - and in yellow is more fun that stiff. I also think it would be great to have two different response cards. Encourage your guests to write a poem or draw you a picture, and you've got a great looking keepsake.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Yay Yellow!

I have been asked by Bride's Magazine to provide some samples for their Feb/March issue. While coming up with some new designs, I started stamping like crazy and made this trio of yellow patterns, which I love. I want to see it as a framed triptych on my Surf walls. Or as a soft flannel baby quilt. Or a set of kitchen towels. Or one pattern on the outside of a small zip purse and another pattern on the inside. Or a little girl's smocked dress using the third design and little half-moon pockets using the first. Oh the possibilities are endless!

Better get back to those samples now...

Monday, August 13, 2007

The Power of Silly

There are times when kids just make everything better - more fun, funnier, and simply playful. Christmas being the most obvious of times. I spent this weekend with my family - and my four nieces and nephews. Here we have Colby & Luke. Taking a picture these days is one or two shots with big smiles and the promise of a third with silly faces. I love it. I can smile just thinking about this snapshot.

I'm designing new stuff for fall/winter/holiday and I'm feeling the need to push the silly factor. (Updates on new designs to come this week.)

Thursday, August 9, 2007

My Swedish Roots

Side note: I probably shouldn't say my Swedish roots - but my husband's at least. John's mother was born in Sweden. Her 3 sisters and their families still live there. And John and his 4 siblings and all of their children (12 total) speak Swedish.

While visiting John's parents last weekend in Lake Placid, NY, we visited this cute shop, Village Comforts, that carries all of these beautiful Swedish woven pieces by Ekeland - which claims to be the oldest family-run textile business in the world.

I picked up a table-runner for a mere $31. And since my camera is MIA, I will have to post images from their site instead. I love the way the Swedes (in these photos and my mother-in-law) decorate - so simple and elegant:

I also happen to love all Swedish holiday decorations. And their holiday selection does not disappoint. Here's just one example:

To see more, visit Ekelund. And order in the US from Village Comforts, who can order directly if they don't carry what you're looking for.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Yay {frolic!}

Thanks to Chelsea at frolic! for posting about us today!

Paper People Heart Paper Source

I love Paper Source. I love their storefronts (shown above). I love their website. I love their envelope colors. I love how every part of my interaction with them has not only been positive, but so very friendly - from their web order confirmation emails ending in "love, paper source" to their answering machine messages telling me to have a nice day. They have been nothing but wonderful to me as a customer.

I think they really show their passion for all things paper too - which makes me especially proud and excited that Frank, Summer Strawberries and Cows Waiting in Line now have a new (and very good) home in the Paper Source stores!

Check out their list of locations and go find yourself some Linda & Harriett goodies! ...among all of their other yummy stuff.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Fall is Here! At Dakota Martin.

The Coulson Blazer makes me want fall to arrive even earlier this year. I love the fall, and I love fall clothes. So I am flattered to have this blazer by my dear friends at Dakota Martin name their newest blazer after my family's name (my maiden name), Coulson. I think I'll be ordering it in Navy. I love the plaid it's paired with too:

Well done girls!

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Andie Elwell

John and I picked up this great rooftop painting by Andie Elwell at an arts & crafts fair in Long Beach Island, NJ a few weekends ago. We paired it with another one of her rooftop pieces and are now enjoying them in our kitchen in Brooklyn. See some more works of Andie's here.