Two Piglets Press Dog

I spoke with a close friend today, and she gave me inspiration for today’s post.  She’s a new mom – ok, to a puppy – and has been engaging in some very mommy-like activities…playdates, swim lessons, etc.  It reminded me not to forget how much people love their pets as much as their kids!  So, here are today’s letterpress favs, both from Two Piglets Letterpress…send one to the dog (or cat) lover you love!  And if you’re looking for a specific design or subject in letterpress, feel free to contact me!

        Two Piglets poop


Oh, Happy Day!

     Hello Lucky Bday

Happy Birthday to me!  Ok, I said it.  I used to tell everyone when my birthday is for days and days beforehand, but lately I haven’t felt the need to shout it out.  Instead, here’s a fun card I would send to myself if I could.  I found it at Fold Modern Paperie, designed by Hello! Lucky.

A bit of ‘this day in history’ for you – on June 26, 1498, the toothbrush was invented!  In 1945, the United Nations was officially chartered.  In 1977, Elvis gave the last performance of his career, and in 1993, “Late Night with David Letterman” aired for the last time on NBC.  I share my birthday with Derek Jeter (clearly, I am originally from New York), actress Helen Mirren, actor Pat Morita, and composer Johannes Schultz.  AND, this day will forever go down in history as…the day Paris Hilton is released from jail!  Yes, dear readers, it is an infamous day.  And if I could send Paris a card to help her celebrate her freedom, it would be this…

         Good on Paper Birdcage

Yes, Paris is flying the coop.  Free as a bird.  Busting out of her cage.  Card by Good On Paper

                  Piebird Creamsicle

                  piebird cherry pie

My Sunday stroll with Etsy has taken a summertime turn.  I may live in a hot climate all year, but to me, June means summer, and summer means eating ice pops and other drippy foods outside.  How can you resist these notecards?  Pie Bird Press‘s summer-saturated, letterpress notecards sing the season right.  A Bay-area artist and prolific piemaker, check out her design company website and personal blog.  I’m running to get a Fla*Vor*Ice right now…

                   Egg Press Woodgrain

                   Egg Press botanical

Nothing says summer like fruits, flowers, and picnics.  I love these notecards from Portland, Oregon- based Egg Press.  (There’s just something about Portland this week!)  Light and airy (and letterpressed, of course) these cards make me want to eat a fruit salad and go run outside in a dandelion field.  Or send a note to someone I miss!  Happy summer! 

As I’ve been writing about all things paper, I’ve neglecting THE thing, the ONE aspect of stationary that thrills me, awes me, and makes me want to buy everything in sight when I find it.  Letterpress.  Letterpress is like an old friend and a complete stranger to me.  As long as I’ve been buying stationary, I’ve been attracted to letterpress.  My wedding announcements were letterpress, and both of my daughter’s birth announcements were letterpress.  There’s something about it – it’s old school, antique, vintage, and retro all at the same time.  It’s been going through quite a revival, and the more I’ve been researching it, the more I want to get on the bandwagon.

For all that I love about letterpress, the process is somewhat of a mystery to me.  I vaguely remember making letterpress notepads in sixth grade shop class (the alternative to woodworking).  I remember learning about ‘the quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog’ – a panagram, a concise, short sentence using all the letters of the alphabet.  I made something for my mom – business cards, or a notepad – that smelled like ink and rubber cement (we made vinyl notebooks, too, and being that the class was in the basement with no ventilation, we created our first contact high as well).  I loved that class, and if it was the sixth grade as I recall, I also loved boys and tap dancing and NKOTB.  So, letterpress was shoved back in the type drawers, so to speak…

In college, I was given the option of writing a senior thesis.  As an English major, I should have been REQUIRED to write a senior thesis, but for whatever reason, the department didn’t make it mandatory.  My advisor suggested I write about the history of printing and publishing.  I was already well on my way to a low-paying, long-hour publishing job anyway; I may as well know how the books got there, right?  Right, ASK a senior you know to SEE if they WANT TO write a thesis.  I passed on the 60 page paper.  However, the idea of learning about printing never left me.

And, so, here I am again.  My girls are in school in the mornings, and do I really have some time on my hands?  Maybe a little, a smidgen, a tiny, tiny bit.  And I’ve been thinking and thinking about it, and, while I can’t learn how to letterpress hands on right now – I am GU (geographically undesirable, as they say), to a visual arts school – maybe I can learn in other ways.  Take a typography class on-line.  Learn some graphic design.  Read – hey, I like reading!  I do that enough, why not add more to the huge pile of books next to my bed?  Do research.  Do something!  Begin, as they say, at the beginning.

While doing some research today, I found a letterpress company whose name says it all – Letter Pressed.  Letter Pressed is a husband and wife team from Central California.  They press incredibly clean and precise cards, all in small batches, but all with large statements.  They also employ artists to print limited edition cards that seem to sell out FAST.  Here are two of my favorites –

                            Letter Pressed Did I

                            Letter Press airplane

I’ll be writing a lot about letterpress companies, but also about the process, the equipment, etc.  These won’t be my only postings, but expect to see a lot.  If you know of a good paper company, stationary shop, etc., that you think I might like, please let me know!

Architecture is always something I had admired sort of from afar, until my husband began to work with architects for his company.  Now, I can’t stop looking at the urban landscape around us.  I adore modern architecture the most, but of course marvel at what’s come before it.  And how fun would it be to be able to bring famous buildings into your own home, in 3-D!

I just found Paper Landmarks, a company that produces do-it-yourself kits of architectural landmarks from around the globe.  The kits come either pre-cut or printed so you can score the pieces yourself.  There are three levels of difficulty, and each building, monument, bridge, or ancient landmark is incredibly detailed.  They’re also not too expensive, so you can pick up a couple for yourself and your kids (one to mess up and one to try and not mess up, I say).

Easy level –  

PaperLandmark Empire

Medium diffuculty –  

PaperModel Moulin Rouge

Expert difficulty –  

PaperModel Parthenon

The website has a lot of links to where you can find the kits in the US, including the San Francisco MoMA and PaperModels.net.

I’ve been an Etsy fan for a long time…if you’ve never been on the site, beware, it’s a time sucker.  Etsy is an online community/store for artists, crafters, designers and generally incredibly creative people selling their visions.  I’ve bought jewelry on it, vintage fabric bags, hair clips for my daughters…it’s terribly addicting.  Anyway, lately I’ve set my sights on, you guessed it – paper.

This week I decided to look for notebooks and journals.  I have notebooks everywhere – by my bed, in my car, in my bag, the kitchen – anywhere I may need to jot something down.  I have journals as far back as junior high, pages and pages of copied music lyrics to express my feelings (I’m not much of a poet and hated my writing voice when I was a kid).  Now, I fill them with writing ideas, recipes, playdate info, my own spanish dictionary, love notes I stick in my girl’s backpacks…

Anyway, this week on my Sunday Etsy stroll, I found a lovely designer from Portland, Oregon called ‘Littleput Books’.  What first caught my eye were her recycled Scrabble board journals and tiles.  She can customize the front of the journal – eight letters across, five down, with one intersecting letter – I bought the “Love Life” one. 

Littleput Scrabble journal

Then, this beautiful journal caught my eye.  The koi fish has a vibrant cover, and this line of journals are for sketching as well.  The paper is a heavy linen stock, perfect for heavy pens or kohl.

 Littleput koi journal

And then I found these – Littleput’s custom accordion books, for weddings, party favors, birth announcements – she has a limitless array of papers to make these stunning little books. 

 Littleput wedding books

You can also check out Littleput’s blog.  And, she has jewelry, too!  Bonus!