valentine shopping fun (round up)

late to the party, my head is swimming with all the vday goodies i’ve seen floating around here. some of these items might not make it to your mailbox before the big day but you can still enjoy looking at some of my favorite categories…

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romance in photography from jennifer squires, art of whimsy, kayleen michelle and alyson jones

valentine_jewelry

 inspired jewelry from laurie chapman, margaux lange, victoria buckley and stephanie simek

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ceramic and glass bliss from lily pottery and jeri goodman

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soft-sided accessory love from las lopezlas, fringe, stewart and brown, and linda lye

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poetic paper from l2 design collective, porterness, amy blackwell (via) and able and game (via)

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love spray from reed seifer

 valentine_chocolates

chocolate creations from jean philippe maury, christopher elbow and knipschildt

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sweet and funny illustrations from laura george, seaspray blue and le papier

valentine_pillows

pillows: pooh, humble and veronique


blue ribbon design letterpress

Look at these oh-so-elegant letterpress greetings and stationery from Brooklyn designer Kimberly Dreissen for her company, Blue Ribbon Design. I love the crisp color combinations and pretty patterns she includes on her cards, journals and custom wedding invitations.

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See more and find a shop near you on their website, and say hi to Kimberly on her blog.


alpha coffee table

hey letterpress fans – check out this fun mod alpha coffee table offered at crate and barrel. it was created by a graphic designer in london after an inspiring trip to a paris flea market by the cb buyers. the glass-protected top is carved from a single piece of shesham wood, has raised letters and sits atop a steel base.

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it’s 36″ square x 17″ high, it’s $899 and it’s available right here.


chewing the cud letterpress

very fun, tongue-in-cheek letterpress action from san francisco stationery designer viola sutanto ting for her company chewing the cud.

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purchase these pieces at elsewares, see more at viola’s website and etsy shop, and say hi on her blog.


seraph stationery and gifts

need to see something happy today? i sure do, and these fun and elegant letterpress and gifty items from utah-based seraph stationery are just perfect right now. i love the loose drawing style and funky graphics they’ve got here.

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intriguing bonuses: 1) proceeds from the sock it to me line go toward the purchase of socks for their local homeless shelters; and 2) seraph does custom invitation work too, for that fabulous party or shower or wedding you might be planning.

find these items and more at soolip in north hollywood, lunalux in minneapolis, emeralds in austin and of course online at the seaph website.


asg letterpress art – new pieces

amy rowan’s asg letterpress series is continuing along, chock full of humorous, affordable and colorful artwork. check out the most recent pieces that have been made available to us:

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the decision by ann moffett

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john vogl’s a family portrait

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mr. rx by nako okubo

purchase these signed and numbered, limited edition pieces at the art school girl website.


orange beautiful’s type line (letterpress)

i love this modern and funky type line series of handmade letterpress cards recently released from chicago-based paper wizard emily martin of orange beautiful. the assorted fonts make an elegant statement, the pieces are printed on substantial textured card stock. they can be purchased separately or in sets of ten.

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purchase these cards at orange beautiful’s etsy shop, see many other gorgeous things on their website and say hi to emily (and bff/blog collaborator laura) on their blog too (which is chock full of excellent goodness)!


gilah press and design: let’s chat!

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in the world of handmade stationery, choices abound that reflect many facets of our personalities. i for one have a bag full of cards in my closet that range from elegant letterpress to hipster sarcasm to simple pretty greetings. my stock reflects my ever changing moods, which is one of the many reasons why i love the clever, bright and pretty stylings of kat feuerstein and her company, gilah press. when i look at the collection of witty and just sacastic enough humor wrapped up in a classy letterpress card, it makes me howl with laughter. gilah (which is hebrew for joy) is a design company that not only creates clever cards and accessories, but also does custom work for corporate identities and invitations for special occasions. i enjoy this collection because it makes quick written correspondence so much more personal (and humorous) than a generic greeting card, and leaves the receiver not just with a gorgeous physical souvenir of a moment in time but also a fond memory to keep. let’s have a chat with kat and find out more!

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q: where do you live, and where do you create your collection?
a: i live in a little eclectic neighborhood (hampden), which is located in baltimore, md with my husband (adam) and two cats (reo & mel). i create my collection in the very same neighborhood, a few blocks away in a big pink warehouse that i share with two assistants (whitney & nathalie), two interns (justin & maggie), a colleague (emily) and a cat (pica).

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q: what is your background, and did you study art formally?
a: i went to maryland institute college of art (mica) where I earned a degree in graphic design. from there i worked for a couple of design firms, knowing that one day i would start my own company. i started doing some freelance design and happened upon letterpress through a friend of mine and the rest is history.

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q: how did you come to work in paper as a medium?
a: i’ve always had an obsession with the printing process, so it was a pretty natural progression. there’s something so rewarding when you see a project come to life as the ink hits the paper and your vision becomes a real, tactile object. i love working with a variety of different paper types because every paper will react in its own way to the design.

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q: are there any distinct challenges and rewards in working with a letterpress?
a: YES and YES. rewards wouldn’t be so rewarding without the challenges. with letterpress there are a lot of variables and almost every project we print comes with its own special set of challenges. the 100 year old presses we use can be finicky buggers, there are lots of rigs to help the process along. it literally depends on the weather some days, if it’s humid out the rollers will swell and we have to compensate for that. if the project we’re printing has a large solid area of ink coverage, we will print that differently than we would print a block of text. if we’re printing white ink on brown paper a whole new set of rules applies. if the ink is pushing out too much (looking sloppy) we can add masking tape to the rails that the rollers ride on to help correct that problem by bringing the rollers back to “type high”. so, to make an already long explanation longer, there are certainly lots of challenges every day, but that’s what we love about it and that’s what makes it so rewarding every time we print a beautiful looking piece.

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q: are there any differences in your creative process between custom work and production work?
a: the custom work certainly takes more time in the beginning phases. there’s a lot more thinking involved, you know, in the shower, at the bar, on the couch to come up with the design and the specifications of what will work best for the design in terms of paper and printing. with the production work we really just have to make the time to bang it out, we already know what we’re getting into.

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q: what inspires you to make the line?
a: inspiration comes from the things i surround myself with. my friends, my neighborhood, wine, the studio, etc. i also enjoy traveling to become inspired by new sites. a few months back we took a studio road trip to tennessee to visit yeehaw industries and hatch show print, talk about inspirational. the more sarcastic lines come naturally out of my acerbic sense of humor that i’ve had since i can remember. i’m a smartass at heart.

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q: what is the price range of your collection?
a: our single greeting cards generally retail for between $4 and $6. we have some boxed notes and postcards that go for $10-25.

you can find gilah press cards around the country, at places like kate’s paperie (ny and ct), and powell’s books (or) and anthropologie (everywhere). if you’re a retail buyer you can see kat and the crew at the national stationery show in new york from 5/18-5/21/08, and if you’re looking for a perfect design for your special event in charm city, the studio is open by appointment. those of us who aren’t lucky enough to live in the are can stop by the gilah press website to see their full collection and say hi.

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thank you kat!


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