A Poppy by Any Name…

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A few weeks ago, my sister asked me to teach her how to make a few paper flowers. I gladly obliged and have been on a flower kick ever since! I’ve improved quite a lot since I first started making paper flowers, so I’ve been slowly working on updating my templates and photos in my etsy shop, as well as adding new blooms.

As my flowers become truer to life, I find I want to be more specific about which variety the paper bloom is modeled after, especially for poppies. The Icelandic and Oriental versions are so different, so now they’re available as separate options in my shop!

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Oriental poppies are similar to my original design, with their black centers and stamen, but I’ve updated the petal texture and added another piece to their centers to create that signature starburst look. The biggest change to these beauties is that I now offer hand-colored petals, which really makes them come alive!

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My new obsession is definitely the Icelandic variety! Their ruffled centers are crazy putzy, but the results are irresistibly beautiful. I made myself an entire bouquet to replace some older poppies I wasn’t a fan of any more, plus some extras… because I’m obsessed! Want to order a single bloom or a big bouquet? Check out the flower section of my etsy shop!

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Modern Romance: Purple Floral Wedding Invitations

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Well you guys, I’ve been talking about it for months, but offset printed wedding invitations have finally hit my etsy shop! And since I’m traveling most of this month for weddings across the country, I thought this was the perfect time to launch them!

Since every couple has different stationery needs, I’ve structured the wedding section of my shop in such a way that you start with the invitation and then add on whatever enclosures and extras you’d like. The other great thing about that is that the invitations alone are really affordable—so you can have them customized for other events! Just get in touch.

purple_floral_5974I fell in love with these hand painted purple graphics from Create the Cut as soon as I saw them. Since they were part of a giveaway and quite a few designers have them, I wanted to make sure to create something unique than just placing them on the page, and these chic invites are the result!

purple_floral_STD_6105And remember how I mentioned choosing which elements you need to make your wedding stationery suite complete? In addition to the RSVP and other enclosures, you can also add a coordinating save the date or menu for a cohesive look from start to finish. purple_floral_menu_6354

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2016: All Pink Everything

Officially, Pantone named two colors of the year for 2016: Rose Quartz and Serenity (which is a sort of pastel blue), but so far from where I stand it’s been all about lovely shades of blush pink.

First, bride-to-be Krista got in touch. I had designed and printed her save the date coasters last year and they were some of my favorites, so I was thrilled to hear from her! I’ll do a bigger reveal after their wedding day, but here’s a sneak peek of their dusty rose wrap that holds all the invitation elements together.

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Another bride from last year got in touch just after Krista. The future Mrs. O’Brien went for a more formal design for her wedding stationery, which features the same pink filigree pattern, gold family crest and formal script as her save the dates. Her invitations are hot off the press (and drying all over my house) as I type, so I don’t even have a sneak peek for you yet, but stay tuned!

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I’ve also been working on non-letterpress wedding invitations lately. I’ve been thinking about offering less expensive options for a while now, since not every bride can or wants to spend several hundred (or more) dollars on their invitations. And, as smaller celebrations become more popular, the price-per-invite goes up, since the initial supply costs for letterpress work are so high. Although personally I still think it’s totally worth it!

I recently connected with a photographer via The Rising Tide Society that offered to shoot some of my new invites! Nicole over at Simply Charming Pictures did a great job, I can’t wait to share the rest of her work! Watercolor invitations aren’t yet available online, but get in touch if you’re interested!

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As I was finishing up those big wedding projects, a new mom got in touch via Etsy about invitations for her baby girl’s first birthday party. She loved my Watercolor Ombre Fill-in Invitations, but wondered if I could make them in pink and gold instead… to which I said of course! I knew I would love the results, so I made an extra set to list in the shop—find them here!

pink_ombre_watercolor_1169And finally, I’ve finally started ordering a few new printing plates for my own projects. You may have noticed I didn’t launch as many new cards last year. When I first moved, I was so excited to have so much time for letterpress work that I may have gone a little crazy and printed all the cards I’d had bouncing around my head for years but never had the time to print, and my stock got a little out of hand. Not only do I have limited space to store everything, but it’s difficult to keep track of nearly 200 different designs!

Someday when I have my own shop, I’ll be able to maintain that kind of inventory, but for the time being, I needed to pare things down. I’m finally at a place now where enough designs have sold out so I’m ready to create some new work!

Mr_and_Mrs_1193Far and away my favorite of the new fonts I bought a few months back is this beautiful modern calligraphy typeface. It’s perfect for wedding season! My “Mr & Mrs” cards have always been popular, but I’ve been feeling like the design needed an upgrade, so I designed these! Pick up a set here. I also wanted to created a new design that would not only work for weddings (and not even same-sex unions at that), but any joyous occasion—birthdays, adoption, engagement, graduation… you name it, this card works. Available in blush here, but I’m thinking of printing them in lots of colors… feel free to comment with what you’d like to see next!ohhappyday_1199

Watercolor Commissions

Each year, a dear friend does a fair amount of her Christmas shopping from my shop. This year was no different, but instead of cards and stationery, she took advantage of one of my new offerings and commissioned several watercolor paintings. Now that the paintings are in the hands of their happy recipients, I can finally share them with you!

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It all started with the radish watercolor I sold last year. Brittney asked if I was planning on more vegetables, and when I said yes, she made a special request for beets! I especially love how the leaves turned out on this one—I made sure to keep the painting very wet and loose so the varying colors I added could flow into each other and dry with the natural variations that make watercolor so great!

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Next up: something new! That’s Deirdre up there, and she loves flamingos, so Brittney asked if I’d be up for doing a little something different, and of course I was! The texture of the feathers was a bit of a challenge, but I feel like I got it just right.

Don’t worry, I’ve saved the best for last (or maybe it’s just my favorite because it’s the one I finished most recently…). For this piece, Brittney sent a few inspiration images, and they were all sketches and drawings, so I decided to go with a different medium. I created an abstract background with blue, purple and green watercolor, then inked the drawing (which I had already sketched in pencil) over the top. I don’t draw much any more, and this reminded me how much I miss it!

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I’d love to do more commissioned work in the future, so if you’re interested in a very special gift, or artwork for yourself, get in touch!

Thank You Notes

thanks_9921As New Year’s approaches, I find myself reflecting on the year that’s passed. As I send out Christmas cards, I take the opportunity to tell friends and family what they mean to me, usually thanking them for various kindnesses throughout the year. This year I thought I’d do the same for my business. As I grow and put more of myself into 622 press/studio I find that the businesses and clients helping me realize this dream mean even more to me. Don’t worry, I’ll be sending cards, but I also thought I’d share here!

Iconi Interiors: About a million years ago, when I had absolutely no idea what I was doing business-wise, the owner of a gorgeous home interiors shop I truly admired took a chance on my work. I wrote about how absolutely floored I was at the time, but looking back, I realize her buy gave me the confidence to pursue all my other wholesale clients, which has become a huge portion of my business.

Driftless Studio: I’ve written about her a lot over the years, because the shop has been instrumental to the growth of 622 press. Not only does Driftless sell the most product of all my wholesalers, owner Anne is an amazing collaborator, never hesitant to share what she thinks will sell best, offering ideas and commissioning projects she truly believes in. And she’s always willing to let me peek behind the scenes of her business, which will quite possibly help me for years to come. As a creative running a successful retail shop, she has become a shining example of what I hope to someday grow up to be!

When Pigs Fly: This shop is owned by my friend’s mom, so it took me a long time to approach her about wholesale, but I’m so glad I did! Kim is always up for trying out new product and I love that! It’s been so important, especially in this year of growth. She’s currently the only retailer carrying my paper flowers!

Lark & Woods Grove: Both of these fabulous stores approached me out of the blue to carry 622 press goods. Just the fact that they were sold on the product alone has been a huge confidence booster this year!

Brain Mill Press: The projects Brain Mill Press sends my way make me feel so incredibly lucky to be able to spend my days doing what I love. With this second commission of art prints, I feel like a part of the BMP family: looking forward to our continued success and collaborations!

Card Club subscribers: Even though it’s a one-way relationship, I feel connected to the women I send cards to every month. I love thinking about what their stationery needs might be for the month, what pieces would round out their collection. Plus they help me keep my inventory in check, and for that I’m very grateful!

There are many more wedding and freelance clients that have really made a difference this year, and if you’re reading this you know who you are :) Thanks for an amazing 2015, here’s to another successful year!