Friday, June 28, 2013

Tuesday Tease

Come by on Tuesday for the next installment of Tuesday Talk with Puddleduck Paper Co!

My Dad's Father's Day Card

As promised! A little post about the Father's Day card I made for my Dad. I followed the awesome example on Ginger & George that I talked about in this post & made my dad a duplicate of himself for Father's Day. This was SO much fun. I highly recommend doing this!!

I printed the pieces provided by Kirsty on Ginger & George & made sure to have plenty of extra paper. I also used my Prismacolor color pencils for color. I traced certain pieces on the plain paper (using a pencil & my Pilot pen), colored & cut those out (being very careful with my Xacto knife), mixing & matching until I got what I thought most closely resembled my dad given the pieces provided.

I changed the shirt slightly as my dad's every day attire has been a short sleeve polo shirt most of my life instead of a dress shirt or t-shirt. Also, after I took the pictures I decided to add CEC to the right breast of the shirt. That stands for Carolina Equine Clinic which is my dad's veterinary practice. He is basically retired at this point but I thought it would help in conveying the message "hey Dad, this is you!" when he opens the card. I'm particularly proud of the hair! It's hard to tell in the photos but it's a nice mix of the brown & gray on my dad's actual head. Yay!

This is my Dad & me from LA in May. How'd I do??

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Paper Porn :: Stationery Journal

Greenwich Letterpress is a charming letterpress printer/stationer as well as a great shop in the West Village. They make this amazing journal of sorts - The Stationery Pocket Journal. It's basically your pocket resource for sending cards, complete with pages to help you keep track of birthdays/anniversaries, frequently used addresses & places you discover to purchase awesome cards.


** Love stationery & paper products? Submit something for Paper Porn: Kbatty {at} or twitter @kmbatty **

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Tuesday Talk :: A new series + an interview with me

Welcome to Tuesday Talk! A new series...yes another one!...where I interview someone (usually) in the paper/stationery/wedding industry.

I used to do something similar to this when I first started my blog. But, I was still looking for my voice & discovering the purpose of this blog, so it fizzled out. I think I've got that figured out...but more on that in a second.

On Fridays, I used to post a weekly round up of stationery - Cards of the Week, remember? I loved that series. After telling a friend of mine that I was doing that - posting a round up of other stationers cards each week - she said,

What? Why would you promote your competition?

My blind went blank. What was she talking about? I didn't see it that way at all. By promoting other comrades in paper...I'm promoting my industry. I'm networking. By doing that, I'm helping my business, not hurting it.

There is a saying: there's a lid for every pot. Well...there's a style & greeting card for every occasion. Maybe I create it. Maybe someone else does. The point is to entice & encourage you, dear reader, to send cards. To send proper invitations. To make life fun & beautiful for you & others through paper & accessories. Snail mail rules! That was the point of Cards of the Week. And that is the purpose of Tuesday Talk.

Let's get started...with me.

Where does your business name come from?

It’s my name! Well, my first initial & my married name. I played around with a lot of different business names. K. McBatty was a strong contender – it’s a combo of my maiden & married names. But, getting married & having my husband in my life is a HUGE reason I’m able to do what I do, so I felt it was important to honor that in my business name.

We are heavy into wedding season! What kinds of choices are you seeing brides make this season? Any similar themes or colors this year?

I have had a million (ok…a little less…) requests for quotes for my wedding menu doilies this year. So, the handmade & vintage looks from the last few years are still going strong. Brides seem to be choosing darker ink colors this year though.

Also, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that kraft envelopes for invites are going strong. I’m very happy about this trend!!

Did you design your wedding invitations? Can we see???

Yes! I did & you have! You can see them again on this earlier blog post. I still love them. Which is saying something because I felt a lot of pressure to have an awesome wedding invitation. You can’t tell people you’re an invitation designer & then not blow their socks off with your invitation. Fortunately I've been told: mission accomplished.

Your style is very clean & uses lots of white space. Elaborate:

In design school, I started thinking of design in terms of layers. You put them on, you take them off…you adjust until you are communicating your message the way you intend. I suppose I’m a minimalist! I like small touches in the design – like a bright color or interesting font. I don’t like to add design elements just to fill the page…I seriously have a little claustrophobia & it bleeds into my work. Apparently. I also like balance & organization so I tend to chose fonts that all line up nicely.

How’s it going with your calligraphy practice?

Slow…now that A: I have a puppy & B: it’s warmer outside, I am forced away from my winter habit of sitting inside all day. It’s harder to make time to practice, but I’m still doodling here & there. Don’t worry. It’s not going way!

Tell me your favorite/most memorable/funniest greeting care you’ve received.

Oh man. That’s tough. I have a collection of my favorites from over the years. I love to pull them out & re-read them. Each one brings back memories.  A few come to mind – when we first started dating, Chris (my husband who I always refer to as Mr. B on the blog) gave me a card with old cheerleaders on the front. The inside made a remark about “shaking my pom poms” for my birthday. It still makes me laugh. 

Also, a fellow art director at an agency I used to freelance in drew a card for me based on an office inside joke. I was SO touched! Everyone signed it! I could go on! I've saved post cards my parents sent when I was in Europe, birthday cards from girlfriends. All special memories!

Your shop really expanded in 2013. Notepads! Gift bags! How do you decide what kind of product to launch next?

So much of what I do & design is driven by 2 things – what I want to use in my own life & questions I get from clients. I love fun notepads…so I started designing them. I LOVE fun wrapping paper. So, I’m working on that. Last fall I overheard 2 people talking on the sidewalk about taking a bottle of liquor to a party. I noticed they were carrying a bottle of something, but it was in the brown paper bag from the liquor store! All crumpled & generic. What?! A product idea was born.

I also look at the reasons that people give gifts, send cards & have parties each year. I ask myself if I’m providing a product my clients need for that time of year or occasion? Do I offer enough options? And I go from there…

Do you have personalized stationery & what do you use it for?

Yes! I use it for everything! I recently letterpressed my first set of monogrammed stationery. I also use the Dottie & Framed Monogram sets from my shop. I use them for thank yous, hellos, miss yous…gift enclosures…sending articles to my mom…paying bills…whatever I need. I include a handThat is the beauty of classic monogrammed stationery. You can use it for anything.

{postcards I ordered from One Fine Dae}

Where do you go when you need a greeting card?

First, I usually go to my own stash. Both those that I make & those I’ve picked up here & there. When I see a greeting card I like, I buy it regardless of if I have an occasion coming up to use it for. Many of the cards I sell in my shop were created because I needed a card & couldn’t find what I wanted. Voila – an idea is born!

A few of my favorite shops: Papel on Court Street in Brooklyn, Kate’s Paperie all over NYC, Greenwich Letterpress in the West Village.

Online: Etsy is full of great cards! The Cheeky Kumquat is one of my new favorites. She is hilarious!!

Who are a few of your favorite Etsy shops?

Oh man, the list is loooooong. Here’s a random assortment:

Ilara Designs – great baby gifts & I have one of her pillows.
Frits and Fraulein – swoon worthy bags & accessories. Love.
BowSprite – great illustrations.
The Sitting Tree – I’ve been learning how to knit. Love her buttons!

And 2 stationers we’ll be hearing from in this column soon: Farewell Paperie & Puddleduck Paper Co.

What are you up to this summer?

Finishing my e-commerce site. Get ready for a big holiday push! Taking some trips to North Carolina to see family. Boat rides on Long Island with Chris. Post something else other than pictures of Sophia on Instagram!

It's not often that I talk to myself (as far as you guys know. Ha!) & I hope you've enjoyed it. In a few weeks I'll be talking to Mattie Tiegreen of Puddleduck Paper Co! Come on back!

Friday, June 14, 2013

High 5 for Friday

A return this week to High 5 for Friday! Want to join the TGIF party? Head to The Lauren Elizabeth (formerly From My Grey Desk) to check out what others are thankful for this week.

Our sweet puppy looks more like a dog & less like a puppy every day. Still, she is a super snuggler...or trying to be. She's crammed in my lap, trying to take a nap as I type this. She's getting too big for it :( Makes me so sad!!

Yay for wedding season!! My dining room table is full of doilies for a special bride on Long Island. I just finished another set for another lovely bride here in Brooklyn which are also still on the table. Best. Mess. Ever.

The boat is going in this weekend. I am so excited. It means that summer is really here!

I am so thankfully for my other selling friends. Ilka Werner, Melissa Kelly, Zsuzsanna Barbu pictured above. There are many more :)

I sent my letterpress rollers off for maintenance this week. Seems like a month already. Can't wait to get them back already!

Happy weekend to everyone!!!

 photo H54Fbutton-1_zpsa7aaa665.png

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Paper Porn :: Day Planner

Whitney English is awesome. This is her Day Designer for creatives. Usually it comes in black & white stripes, but this is the special edition. It's gold...{warm fuzzies & the feeling of success wash over me...} Mmmmmmm...

** Love stationery & paper products? Submit something for Paper Porn via email: Kbatty {at} or twitter @kmbatty **

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Father's Day Printables :: Free Card!

I want to share this free card I've been working on! Like it? It's all woodsy - makes me think of riding horses in the woods with my dad when I was a kid.

Download it here, from my Public Dropbox folder. It's a pdf - you print it, cut out around the card border, fold in half & voila! A card is made! Envelope options include buying one at your local paper store (I love Paper-Source. They have a great orange that will match) or print THIS ONE & make your own.

Good luck! Let me know how it works for you!

Friday, June 7, 2013

Cards for Dad

So, you've picked out/made/secured a present to show Dad that he's tops in your book. Now for the cherry on top - the card that goes with the gift. For some people, that's all they do for Dad...just the card. Simple & meaningful. That's cool too.

Whatever your liking this year, here are some cool/funny/masculine/dad-worthy cards:

I posted this one last week in Paper Porn, but I have to share it again because I am STILL laughing...From Rain at the Cheeky Kumquat.

For the dad with an excellent sense of humor...and perhaps a motorcycle or stories about being backstage with the Rolling Stones...Or just the coolest dad on the block in your opinion. Great sentiment & awesome design on this card from Carlee J of Little Sloth.

Maybe it's all the Game of Thrones talk lately, but this one is speaking to me. I like that it's a printable - quick & easy to give to Dad. My kind of card! From ByNeri.

Lydia and Pugs has great illustrations! They are so sweet...and yet something about this one is masculine at the same time.

What would a round of up cards be on this blog if it didn't include letterpress??? Here are 2 great & totally different examples - Why don't we see more LGBT stuff these days?? This is great!! I love the use of the universal men with the child. Bravo to Caroline F of Etsy shop Streudel. So smart!

And of course this one from Missive is amazing. Hand drawn type is very in right now, let alone lovely calligraphy like this. It's all over the place. This is a lovely example of it. Good "dad" colors, as is the choice of the kraft envelope, another of my favorites.

Last but certainly not least, I have 2 on my Etsy shop for your consideration - Dad Rocks (which is making the jump to letterpress next year!) and This is a Father's Day Card. Both are characteristic of my style - clean, type driven & include one of my favorite accessories of 2013, the kraft envelope.


What are you sending to Dad this year?? Since my dad is awesome & reads my blog, I can't say what he should be looking for in the mail, but I'll share it after the fact. ALSO!! I have a printable Father's Day card coming your way next week.

Don't. Go. Anywhere!!

Best Father's Day DIYs

Father's Day is coming! A week from Sunday as a matter of fact. Did you get anything yet for Dear Ol' Dad?

If my previous post about manly stationery didn't inspire anyone, how about making him something? Here's a small round up of ideas I think are worthy of anyone's old man.

This is quite possibly the coolest Father's Day gift I've seen. Shrinky Dinks Tie Pin or Keychain on Oh Happy Day. Full tutorial here. You could really do this for any holiday or gift-giving opportunity & expand the craft to loads of things. For instance, I think I'll make some wine charms for my mom with pictures of her dogs for her birthday in July (Mom, pretend you didn't just read that).

Also amazing? How about Make Your Own Dad? Like a paper doll, but with manly pieces. Welcome to Man Making from Kirsty Neale. She has a great blog called Ginger & George. Lots of fun paper crafts!

I both of those ideas if it wasn't for the blog Henry Happened. There is a great round up there of 100 Handmade Gifts for Dad.

This one is all me. Custom cuff links for Dad. You could put anything in these, but pictures would be great. How about cut-outs from a story book that Dad used to read to you? Or pieces of baseball tickets from a game you guys have seen. Pieces of your score card from your last round of golf. OH! Or I have programs from shows that my dad & I have seen! I could go on, so if anyone is stuck for an idea, let me know. There are some cool kits on Etsy. The picture above is from Annie Howes. There's another great shop on Etsy with personalized pieces - White Truffle.

So?! Any ideas sparked here?? I know there isn't any stationery in here, but I like to make things other than cards. Especially gifts! My dad & my brother...and my husband...are hard to buy for. They don't wait for a holiday to get what they need. They just go buy it. So, it's a challenge to get them something meaningful & fun. Sometimes, you just have to take matters into your own hands. Literally!

Want more? Take to Pinterest. There are some super cool ideas!!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

The Daddy of all Stationery

{Design I'm working on. Folded note or postcard? thoughts??}

I would not be a very good stationery blogger if I did not show some options of awesome stationery for Dad, would I? Nope, I wouldn't. This IS a stationery blog after all, but do I sound reluctant to write this post? Um, yes, I am.

You see I am TIRED of seeing stationery for Dad that has trout or golf clubs on it for Dad. It's not that those aren't in the right wheel-house. It's just...Come on people! We can do better than that!

And we have...

Crane & Co will never let me...err, you...down. Is it another monogram? Yes, but this is cool. I love the layout of the initials. For Mr. B's birthday I got him a LL Bean boat tote with the Block Stack monogram on it. Feels cool. Very Steve McQueen...if he was into boat totes.

Bug stationery!! How cool & manly are these cards from Bug Under Glass on Etsy? Weevil Knievil!!  There is also a print of a beetle riding a skateboard if that's more your dad's speed.

What do you get when you combine a dandy, a pipe & a compass rose? Kick-A&& note cards for Dad! Page Stationery is the maker of this fine set, as well as other manly-card sets featuring vintage drawings similar to above. They cool cheeky Christmas cards as well. 

Father's Day cards to give Dad with his gift of manly stationery to come...

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Who feels awesome...

...And has 2 thumbs? This girl!!

I'm a Daily Pick today on PaperNStitch! It's always exciting :)

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Paper Porn :: Father's Day


Funny Father's Day Card, Dad Bday, Fathers Day - Dad, You've Always Been My Favorite by Cheeky Kumquat on Etsy. Naturally.

**  Paper Porn is a column about paper products & accessories that elevate your everyday life. Love stationery & paper products? Submit something for Paper Porn via email: Kbatty {at} or twitter @kmbatty **
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