Monday, July 18, 2011

Break in the action :: SALE!!

{Get Well Soon (really really soon) - a new item in my Etsy shop!}

Hey guys! Don't forget there's a HUGE sale going on over at Etsy - the Christmas in July sale!!

Right now with coupon code: CIJ11, you get 20% off everything in my shop. There are lots of great gift ideas - personalized cards for instance - or a multi card set that I JUST uploaded, totally new to the shop.

To find participating shops search: ChristmasInJuly, XmasinJuly and/or newnewteam (if you want to see more things on sale from my Etsy team peeps).

Friday, July 15, 2011

Letterpress & Weddings - the perfect marriage

{My letterpress wedding invites. Designed by me, printed in Charlotte, NC. See more pictures here}

Right now, letterpress is mostly known for those AMAZING wedding invitation suites that show up in your mailbox in the Spring time. And while this so popular right now, I've waited to post about letterpressed wedding invites. It seemed...obvious. There are so many other beautiful uses for it!

However, there is no denying the truth that, on a wedding invitation, is where letterpress shines. There was not a question in my mind for me when I got engaged - everything would be letterpressed. Period. End.

So, brace yourselves...let's take a look at a few...

Been waiting to share this suite for at least a year. The blind letterpress with the taupe is unbelievable simple & elegant at the same time. I met Czar Press last year at the National Stationery Show. They have both printing and design services. Due to the fact that this post would be a mile long if I included all the photos of this suite, I'm only showing the RSVP card here, which shows the quality of the impression on the heavy cotton paper. See the rest of this suite, along with other amazing projects of theirs on their website and blog. Prepare for amazement.

{Era Letterpress from Paper + Cup - Edwardian Suite}

Minhee Park at Paper + Cup has a great eye & incredible talent as a designer. Her letterpress line is called Era Letterpress. Designs for all kinds of brides, they are all well done & quite frankly it's hard to choose a favorite. This one spoke to me because of the intricate design on the invitation card paired with the whimsical design (also letterpressed) on the envelope. Great combo!

I think I've talked about Goosefish Press before. Rob is the nicest guy in the world & has a great studio. He won the 2010 Best of Boston Award for Best Stationery - that's street cred if I ever heard it. Honestly, when I want to show his work, I have a hard time deciding what the representative piece should be. He is capable of such a range of amazing creations. Check out his work on his website.

The Happy Envelope is a great site that offers letterpress or flat printing. Let's be honest...letterpress is amazing, but it is not cheap. It will not fit into all brides' budgets and if the invitations are an after thought for you, it would not be money well spent anyway. But we're here to drool, so on with it! Letterpress is elegant no matter the simplicity or complexity if the design. This suite happens to show off the complex side. Check out all those fine lines. I just want to run my fingers over it & feel them. (wait, was that weird??)

Last but not least are Jake & Rachael from Pistachio Press that I have been featuring lately here on the blog. This year at the National Stationery show, they took home 1st prize Best New Product for their Marriage Telegram suite that I mentioned in an earlier post. See it here on their blog. And check out more of this color suite, Wistful, pictured above, on their blog as well. Keep up the awesome work, you guys!

I could keep going. Like with anything over at Bella Figura. Or any of these featured suites at Oh So Beautiful Paper. Oh, and pretty much anything at Mr. Boddington's.

Seriously, what you see here literally a tiny smattering of all the great things out there. Seriously, the tip of the iceberg. Crane's is a classic, and like all things, checks the letterpress box nicely with these very simple invites. So if you are looking for wedding invites, thinking about letterpress & the choices seem overwhelming, start there. You will catch the bug soon enough :)

Anyone reading have letterpress invites at their wedding? Share them & I will post about them here!

Cards of the Week :: Pistachio Press Follow-up

{Congrats to Pistachio Press for winning Best New Product 1st prize at the stationery show this year!}

A few weeks ago, I talked with Rachael & Jake at Pistachio Press. Love their work. There were a few questions I left out of the post, specifically as a tease to my next planned letterpress post - a barrage of amazing letterpress wedding invites.

Here's what I left out:

True or False: Letterpress printing is booming & clients are clamoring for it!

True! Super true! For the last 10 years or so, letterpress has been steadily growing. I don’t know if or when the market will top out, but there seems to be plenty of room left to expand as more and more people become aware of it. With the trend towards all things vintage, I think letterpress is uniquely suited to appeal to a broad range of people. Anyone who gets a little misty at an antique bicycle or the clack of a typewriter or someone who just appreciates fine craftsmanship can find something to love in letterpress. As people get sick of a mass-produced culture, they turn to craftsmen and small business people who can help them get exactly what they want. That’s us! We love our work and we love when other people do, too!

What trends have you seen through your work & sales in letterpress?

Like I mentioned before, people seem drawn to the vintage nature of letterpress. A lot of our design complements this trend and it fits our aesthetic perfectly.

I think people are starting to be aware of and understand letterpress more frequently, too. We find ourselves having to explain it less often these days as customers and clients become more knowledgeable.

Color trends are always interesting to watch. For example, gray and yellow are super hot this year. Rachael is really good at watching these patterns develop and being ahead of the curve on what’s popular year-to-year.

{Pistachio Press - Bloom invitation from their Signature Collection}

Speaking of patterns, Rachael has always worked with pattern both in her fine art and her commercial work. She’s always searching out interesting patterns whether we’re trolling an antiques barn or strolling through the mall. This is and always has been a big influence in her work. It’s not so much a new trend as a continuing trend, but she’s always updating and modifying to suit her latest curiosities and obsessions.

And finally, I covered this a bit in the previous question, but the biggest trend I have seen is growth. I’m sure some of it is our perception of growth as Pistachio Press has become more well-known, but there are always new letterpress artists emerging and the community keeps thriving. Ten years ago, there was no one but traditionalists who had been printing for sixty years and hobbyists in their basements. Now, with the flood of interest, old presses are being unearthed, young entrepreneurs are making a name for themselves, and the world of letterpress is being reborn! And if we have any say in it, it’s here to stay.

Agreed! Agreed!! The growth in the handmade market might say it all. Shoppers want to buy something from the person who made it & often someone who lives/works where they live & work. They love that personal connection they make when they shop hand made. And letterpress is a labor of handmade love, to be sure.

The product is well worth it, though. Don't you agree??

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Annual Christmas in July Sale with Etsy & the NewNew

TheNewNew (the Etsy sellers group I belong to here in the NY Metro area) is participating in the Etsy Christmas in July sale, starting today, July 14 through July 24. 10 days of sales, promotions and free shipping! Most of the NewNew shops are using the same coupon code: CIJ11. That baby will get you anywhere from 10 to 25% off. In my shop, CIJ11 will get you 20% off shop wide. (Each shop is setting their own terms to read their shop announcement before purchasing.)

Click here to head straight over to my shop! I'll post a list of participating NewNew shops later, but in the meantime you find sales by searching "ChristmasInJuly," "CIJ" or "newnewteam."

Many other shops across the Etsy network will be participating. Maybe you can get a deal on some letterpress... :)

Thanks for your support!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Oh So Beautiful Letterpress Business Cards

I saw these this am on Oh So Beautiful Paper. They must have been feeling my love from yesterday! Please tell me you are now loving letterpress at least as much as I do??

Business cards on Ice Cream Social via Oh So Beautiful Paper.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Ode de Letterpress - week 2

Hi all! How was your 4th of July weekend? Mine was fabulous! And busy. I needed a vacation from my vacation.

But! That's not why we're here! I'm back with a round up of fun letterpress things I've seen this week, around the web.

Fun vintage illustrations with quirky messages from Kerrie Kirtland of Kirtland House. She's a Chicago-based graphic designer with a great selection of cards on Etsy. You can see more of her work on her website, here.

These art prints are from Sycamore Street Press. They show off the deep printing impression that draws so many people to letterpress, even when printing delicate lines. {FYI, as a guide, stroke lines less than .25pt are not recommended. They don't print well.} Cotton paper, such as the kind these are printed on, is so popular for letterpress printing because it helps show off that deep impression & really takes the ink well for a vibrant print.

Letterpress of the month! Great idea! This 3 month or 6 month subscription comes from Sunlit Press, through their Etsy shop. Also, for some of their great wedding invites & other projects, go to their blog, Adventures in Letterpress.

SOOOOOO much fabulous letterpress! So little time...

Link Love :: Getting your letterpress fix online

This month is about all things letterpress, but frequent readers of this blog know that I talk about it regularly. It creeps into my Cards of the Week posts all the time. July is just an excuse to go overboard talking about it. Hee, hee!!

So! Since my apartment does not have room for the proper equipment & I must rent press time, what's a letterpress-loving girl to do? I turn to the web. Here are some of the sites I've bookmarked for when I am jonesin' to trade my couch for a Vandercook:

Adventures in Letterpress
- by SunLit Press
Briarpress - great resource for all things letterpress
BoxCar Press - more a resource for plate making, but I stop in to see what they're up to.
Goosefish Press - a friend of mine runs this letterpress studio in Boston
Crane Stationery - I just like to browse their cards
PaperCrave &/or Invitation Crush - (le sigh)
Oh So Beautiful Paper - also check out their sponsors. Usually some great letterpress printers there.
Ladies of Letterpress
I Love Letterpress - good resources for finding printers and BEAUTIFUL pieces.
Czar Press - their site and their blog.

There are others - such as Snippet & Ink - who feature letterpress on a regular basis. Check out my side column here (love it? link to it) for more, particularly Sideshow Press. I don't visit all of these every day {unless someone wants to pay me to read blogs all day...please} but these are my regular check-ins.

I'm adding new ones all the time so if you have a letterpress, printing, stationery, paper, etc. blog you like, send it on over. I want to see!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Cards of the Week - Pistachio Press

Happy Friday! Per my public display of admiration for letterpress printing on this blog last night, I'd like to dedicate July to all things letterpress. We'll kick that off with a little chat with Jake & Rachael of Pistachio Press. I first talked about them in my Memorial Day weekend post - Red White & Blue, in the blue section. Torn between which cards of theirs to post about I realized - I want to know more about these amazing people. They deserve a whole post. So! Here it is!

KB: Hi lady & gentleman! Please introduce yourself to the audience.

Hi! My name is Jake Massey. I’m the evil half of Pistachio Press. My wife, Rachael Hetzel, started the press in the summer of 2007 and has been going strong ever since. I’ve been working with her for a little over a year now and it’s been the most fulfilling and challenging work I’ve ever done. She’s standing nearby at our Vandercook No. 4 as I type this, so she’ll be speaking through my typing fingers as well. I used to be a reluctant engineer and I still work on-and-off part time in the aerospace industry. I also write horror and dark fantasy fiction and I’m attempting to publish my first novel. Rachael teaches printmaking, bookmaking, and drawing at the University of Rochester in the studio art department. We have three studio dogs: Cassie the sweetest yellow lab, Pancake Sue the 27 lb. uber-mutt, and Dolly the very bad pit bull. Rachael survives on Mountain Dew and Cheetos. I primarily eat peanut butter.

Tell us something NOT in your Etsy profile.

(Jake) Well, I’m not mentioned in the Etsy profile at all. Maybe we should update that.

My conspicuous absence aside, Rachael and I are the epitome of “opposites attract.” She likes the heat, I like the cold. She is very serious and hardworking, I don’t know the meaning of stress. I eat fruit, she eats salt and processed cheese.
There’s a lot more, but suffice it to say that we manage to find balance in our difference. We level each other out and are both better for it. Plus, we both love dogs and what more do you really need in a marriage?

{Letterpress greeting card - smoking kangaroo }

How/when did you start your handmade craft?

Rachael says, “I started incorporating letterpress into my work in grad school and, when I got out, I wanted to continue to pursue something related to printmaking, but still functional. I started making invitations for friends and a few greeting cards, then it developed into a line of over 100 cards, plus prints, dozens of weddings per year, and everything else we have today.”

Tell us what you like to do offline.

Jake: I write fiction. I’m writing my third novel while I work on getting my first published. I’m into biking. Ever seen the Portlandia bike messenger? I don’t look like that, but let’s just say his personality hits close to home. I also play Euro board games, race my Miata, consume a lot of zombie culture, and love dogs.

Rachael: I love to cook, spend time with friends and dogs, work in the garden, and travel when I can pry myself away for more than a few hours at a time.

Who do you heart on Etsy?

Rachael: Leah Duncan, EXTRASEED, Cynthia Vardhan, Amanda Blank and Anenome Letterpress

Jake: Vaya Bags, International Robot, and I just checked the shops of my three favorite sellers and found they have nothing up right now, so no plugs for them! …Okay, fine. Brad Woods from Maginating, Jim Delucia and Peter Lazarski.

{Chevron letterpress cross stitch card set - part of a new collection of cross stitch-esque cards and calendars}

Plans for 2011 and beyond?

Rachael: I want to go to Paris. And Iceland. One or the other. Okay, both.

Jake: I want Rachael to go to Paris. And Iceland. Maybe I’ll tag along.

Oh, you mean with Pistachio Press? We’ve recently begun to hit our stride attending trade shows, releasing new products, working with a ton of great wedding clients, and networking with other letterpress people. I guess our plans are more of the same. Lots more.

A few more tid bits to share from them later. In the meantime, if you haven't been to their shop, go! Or their website. Also, Rachael's blog, Which Ones Are Weeds, where she shows off their work, pics of their pooches & her dreamy vacation ideas. {Great blog name, by the way.}

Rachael & Jake! You guys make a great team & I am THRILLED to feature you guys and your work here in my tiny (but growing!) blog. It's beautiful. Thanks a ton!

Happy 4th of July everyone!
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