kids stationery from teeth and claws

i received product to facilitate this review, but all opinions are 100% mine. 

i'm all about getting kids on the snail mail bandwagon as soon as possible, so i've already got my 4-year-old helping to write and send thank you notes for his birthday, christmas and other occasions. i think it helps entice them to send mail if they can have fun or unique stationery. when i came across teeth and claws, a UK-based shop of cards & prints by illustrator nicola robinson, i KNEW it was a great find.

as soon as jack laid eyes on these dinosaur note cards, he was thrilled. we both oohed and ahhed over the beautiful illustrations and he asked to play with the cards before we wrote anything on them. ha!

[images courtesy nicola robinson]

we both loved the vivid colors and clever design -- the cards are printed on high quality paper so it feels like you're sending a gift when you mail the card! i'd totally frame one of these if i got it in the mail.

you can get the dinosaur cards individually or in a set of 6 -- these awesome dinos are also available as 6 signed, 5x7" prints in the shop, too. if dinosaurs aren't your thing, be sure to check out the rest of nicola's shop for illustrations like dragons, bugs, birds and lots more. (the nautical prints will match my boys' room perfectly!) pretty paper with clever drawings are perfect for any kid -- or kid at heart. :)


back to work | seattle blogger meetups

wow, i was not anticipating taking almost the whole summer off from blogging! we've had a busy and fun few months but i'm looking forward to settling into a school routine soon enough. which will include more time for blogging!

i've been busy with seattle bloggers unite this summer -- we had a letterpress workshop at the farewell paperie letterpress studio (more on that soon!) AND got to attend a lunch meeting at allrecipes, which is based here in seattle. now we're busy getting ready for our next meetup, a candle- and terrarium-making party at glasswing in capitol hill. click here for more details, if you're in the area i hope you will come!

and now that you know i'm still alive ;) ...stay tuned for some awesome paper goodness coming your way. 


PR 101: salt lake city

in june, i traveled to salt lake city to teach a PR 101 workshop. aimee from the elephant of surprise and sara from confetti sunshine hosted the evening and, true to form (they're both party bloggers, what do you expect), planned a fabulous night.

we did the workshop in the bake it pretty warehouse -- so i got to get up close and personal with the amaaazing party supplies in there. literally, walls and walls full of cupcake liners, treat bags, patterned straws and sprinkles in every color of the rainbow. these are all straws!:

we had a fab little dessert table with donuts and DIY italian sodas, yum! i loved getting to know some of utah's best up-and-coming bloggers -- i think salt lake city & provo have always been ahead of the social media curve. it was fun to hear what everyone was working on and to teach some PR tips. 

we had AWESOME sponsors for this event too -- the gift bags were amazing. thanks to stampin up (i totally used their father's day card kit this year!), bake it pretty, the confetti bar, avery, garnish, 2 just b you, whisker graphics, sweet works, latter day home, richey and roo, star and arrow designs, kensie kate and sweetopia! whew. (pic below by kendra at key lime graphic design.)

such a fun night! now i'm busy planning the next few kismet workshops -- i'm heading to orange county CA and las vegas NV in september, so stay tuned if you're near those cities because i'll be announcing dates soon. 


my writing process / blog tour

i'm so excited for today's bonus post -- welcome, this is my stop on the my writing process blog tour! it's a way for you to get to know other bloggers (and to introduce you to some of my favorites), and i get to tell you a little more about what my life is like behind the scenes at the stationery place.

my friend rose from our lady of second helpings (is that not the best blog title ever?) invited me to participate -- i met rose through our seattle bloggers unite meetup group, and we bonded over various in-person events around the city and the fact that we both have two boys about the same ages. rose's blog is a delightful collection of gorgeous photos and text, simple healthy recipes and inspiration for living a balanced lifestyle. rose knows what she's talking about too -- she has lost 145+ pounds since 2008 and kept it off, even through having two babies! she's super nice in real life and i'm so glad i know her -- and, i'm glad i read her blog, because meals like her creamy chicken basil pasta have made it onto my meal planning chart. ;) here's rose's beautifully penned writing process post -- she's such a great writer.

anyway, here's a peek inside my writing process:

1. what am i working on?
right now i've got a million ideas and no time to write them up! i've been blogging here at the stationery place since 2009, back when i worked full time in PR and used this space as a creative outlet to document my stationery obsession in my free time. five years later, i'm a stay-at-home mom with two anti-napping active little boys, and i find my "free time" to be incredibly sparse. between my work with seattle bloggers unite, my PR consulting business, volunteer work with my church, and finding time to do things like spend time with my husband or go for a run -- this poor little blog gets neglected much more than i'd like. however, i do still try to get over here as much as i can to highlight some of the amazing designers and small business owners in the stationery world, and i really love doing my small part to keep the love of snail mail alive.

2. how does my work differ from others of its genre?
i like to think my blog showcases stationery for real life. i focus on affordable, high quality products that add a little extra pizzazz to your life (why send a boring white note card when you can send a neon pink chevron one?) -- and i try to only include the best of the best, instead of an overwhelming overload of products. i also like to share kid-friendly paper crafts and fun bits of our life here in seattle in hopes that other moms can get new ideas.

3. why do i write what i do?
as mentioned, when i started this blog it was really just a fun outlet for me to share pretty paper. over the years, this motive has transitioned a bit as i've become more passionate about the paper industry overall. from meeting with designers at the national stationery show to creating card drives to mobilizing hundreds of people worldwide to send snail mail, i am so in love with the impact a handwritten note can make on another person. in our ever-digitized world, i'm proud to be able to have this tiny little platform to remind people how good it feels to send (or receive!) a pretty piece of mail.

4. how does my writing process work?
i pull ideas for posts from browsing etsy or pinterest, receiving emails from designers, reading magazines, visiting stationery shops -- just about anywhere. i star emails in my inbox or write short notes in my planner or phone, and when i grab a few minutes to blog (usually at the end of the day after my kids are in bed and my house is cleaned up) i pick an idea that jumps at me from the list and write it up.


i invited three of my favorite people to share their writing process.

first up is caryn payzant, writer at the mid-life guru -- where she documents ways to make the most of life after 50 through travel, continued education, spending time with family and advice from inspirational peers. caryn lives in southern california and when she's not blogging, she's a high school substitute teacher, a member of the local school board and a social media consultant. she also happens to be my mom and my best friend. :)

aimee error is the creative master behind the elephant of surprise, a blog full of seriously adorable (but not overly intimidating) DIY projects -- i copy just about every single things she makes, usually while asking myself "why didn't i think of that?!" aimee lives in utah and is a mama to two sweet little boys (and a baby girl on the way!) with a husband in dental school. i met her in college and we've been tight ever since -- she's one of my most talented and creative friends.

and finally, paige evans is a blogger, scrapbooker, book maker and crafter extraordinaire currently living in germany -- she and her cute little family tour all over europe, be sure to check out her travel posts because they're more educational (and better photographed!) than any guidebook. her blog is a fabulous collection of her various creative endeavors, beautiful photos, adorable kids and life as an ex-pat. i met paige when we both worked at american crafts, and since then she and i have lived in the same neighborhood in three different states, but never at the same time. random, i know.

check in on those three blogs next monday for the next stop on the writing process blog tour!

invitations by sandra picco design

sandra picco is a crazy-talented graphic designer. she specializes in event stationery -- designing pretty paper for everything from weddings and baby showers to corporate events and fundraisers. her etsy shop is full of ready-made invitations and she also has an exclusive collection on minted -- plus, she'll hire out for custom work! (she was also my special correspondent for this year's national stationery show coverage.) i'm tired just looking at all of her beautiful designs, this woman knows how to get it done. :)

here are a few of my favorite pieces, but you've got to check out her stationery pages for a bigger look at sandra's work. how darling is this nautical suite?:

[all photos courtesy sandra picco]

check out sandra's website and etsy shop for all your printing needs, and be sure to follow her on instagram and twitter for sneak peeks and more!


introducing: greeting cards by harry diaz

i received product to facilitate this post, but all opinions are 100% mine. 

sometimes this whole stationery-land can get a bit...girly. haha. you know what i mean though, right? stationery these days features a lot of ombre, floral patterns, bright colors -- it can be kind of tough to pick a notecard that's appropriate for, say, your boyfriend or dad, OR to send a non-girly note if you're the guy sending it. i'm always interested in finding stationery that blurs those boundaries and can appeal to both sexes -- and i think i've made a major discovery in that area: the work of harry diaz.

harry is a guatemalan-born artist living in LA, with a background in printmaking. he earned an MFA in illustration but focused mostly on screen printing, going on to dabble in designing apparel, jewelry and wood sculptures while continually being drawn back to his first love of print on paper.

he just debuted his first line of greeting cards last month, and they are stellar -- harry has such a distinct style, and i think these notecards are the perfect mix of masculine and cool. i got to check out a few cards in person, and they're rad -- i really love the latin american vibe of these designs. you can see the full lookbook here, but these are a few of my favorites:

you can also get a set of free postcards from harry, just by signing up for his newsletter. awesome! i love these:

[all photos courtesy of harry diaz]

for more info on harry's work and freelance projects, check out his website -- or browse his etsy shop for even more cool products like these awesome t-shirts. keep up the great work, harry -- we need more hip + masculine stationery in this world!


digital vs. paper invitations

editor's note: i'm so thrilled to have a special guest contributing today's post! meet leslie from creations by leslie, a former radio city rockette (!) who runs an online custom invitation shop. today, she's reminding us why paper-and-ink invitations are still so important even in our digital age -- something she knows a thing or two about, since she spends her days designing the most darling invitations for weddings, birthdays, baby showers and more. take it away, leslie: 

In today's society, we live in a world of daily tweets, texts, social media updates and endless e-mails. It has become a generation of digital communication. These digital channels have become our primary methods of sharing information among family, friends and business associates.

However, if you are a stationery junkie like me, then you will be happy to hear that the demand to purchase physical cards is higher now than ever before! And why is that? No tweet, text, or e-mail can replace the sense of importance as a hand written note or a custom printed invitation received in the mail.

invitation credits: bonnie marcus collection / bella ink designs

When you send out invitations through e-mail or through social media, you will find that guests tend to not obligate to an RSVP. After all, digital communication brings forth a casual, nonchalant nature. Recipients of digital cards may feel that they are just another 'friend' on Facebook or another e-mail address uploaded into Evite.

But, when guests receive paper and ink invitations in the mail, the recipient knows that he or she has been thought of and valued. The invitation can be posted on the refrigerator, where it can be admired, and act as a constant reminder of something to look forward to.

So despite this day and age of digital technology, e-mails and social media channels have not become worthy substitutes of paper and ink cards. On the contrary, receiving a hand written note or a custom printed invitation in the mail has become more significant now than ever before!

About the author:

Leslie is the owner and founder of Creations by Leslie. A former Radio City Rockette, Leslie traded in her tap shoes for motherhood. While raising two beautiful boys, her passion for paper and her knowledge of retail has brought forth an online store that sells custom printed invitations since 1999!


introducing: juelbox

wow! this long blogging break was NOT anticipated but i'm back with some great stationery you need to see. juelbox is an etsy shop full of darling hand-lettered cards by artist bridget sweeney. each piece is a little handmade work of art -- the care and effort that goes into each design jumps right off the paper.

juelbox offers plenty of notecards, but also handmade coasters, cake toppers and illustrations. you can also place a custom order if you need something that's not currently in the shop!

here are a few of my favorite cards from the collection:

aren't they lovely? keep an eye on bridget's blog as well for a behind-the-scenes peek into her life as a designer in new haven, connecticut. homemade stationery is the best and i love the hand-lettered touch on these!

i received cards from juelbox to facilitate this post, but all opinions are 100% mine. 


NSS 2014: trend report

the national stationery show is over for this year, but i had a special on-the-scene reporter there to let me know everything that was going on. designer sandra picco was my eyes and ears for this year's show, and i'd love to share her insights with you. here's a peek at the best and brightest from NSS 2014:

sandra told me: Gold foil anything continues to be a hot trend in the stationery world. From cards to prints to wrapping paper, it shone everywhere. Watercolor! Both bold and subtle, this trend is NOT slowing down any time soon. Hand-lettering also continues to be incredibly popular. Ladyfingers Letterpress did a daily hand-lettering demo and some lucky attendees got their name drawn as a souvenir. Lots of vendors did interactive booths this year as well, which seemed to be a great way to get folks interested in their merchandise.

i love this one: the social type featured fresh and fun matchboxes with bold typography, bright colors and gold foil -- i'd be obsessed if someone gave me one of these. the matches inside even come in different colors to match the box!

photo credit: sandra picco

katharine watson had a beautiful booth full of her block printed cards -- something you don't see a lot of these days in a sea of letterpress and foil. inspired by folk art and textiles, katharine cuts each and every linoleum block by hand and THEN gets to work printing cards, calendars and other stationery. depending on the design, the complexity and the size, carving each block takes a minimum of 5 hours. wow!

photo credit: yolanda chendak

little low studio was an NSS first-timer, with a delightful booth full of fun decor in addition to cards and illustrations that are so whimsical and fun, you can't help but smile while looking around. sandra wrote, "My favorite item in her booth was a birch wood box filled with a few of her favorite things: a Le Pen, a mechanical pencil, a roll of washi tape and a calligraphy pen and nib. Did I mention the box has one of her illustrations carved in it?? So fun!" caitlin's work is also available via Etsy Wholesale, which also made it's debut at the show this year.

photo credit: yolanda chendak

wild ink press showed off some pretty wrapping paper patterns and lots of new cards. they won a LOUIE award this year for their tie card, too cute.

photo credit: wild ink press / sandra picco

meg from moglea was there again (remember when i saw her very first booth?) with a booth that seemed to double in size from years previous -- and handed out these fabulous business cards which, much like her collection, incorporate some of this year's hot trends: each card was dip dyed in pastel color, foil stamped (in gold!) with her logo on a super thick cotton stock. in sandra's words: "Drool. Swoon. Repeat. Nicely done, Meg!" i love it.

photo credit: yolanda chendak

and last but not least, my friends at farewell paperie were there with their turquoise booth to showcase their new wrapping paper, foil-stamped napkins, baby milestone markers and more.

photo credit: sandra picco

HUGE thank you to sandra picco (and additional photographer yolanda chendak) for this recap of NSS. so much paper goodness, i'm loving it!

more on NSS 2014. 


good idea: pen heaven

i received product to facilitate this review but all opinions are 100% mine. 

confession: i may have two kids, own a car and have graduated from college almost 10 years ago, but i only feel like a real grown-up when i hold a good, solid pen. i know, it's weird. but the weight of a good pen in my hands is such an official feeling.

photo courtesy pen heaven

pen heaven -- a UK-based online retailer of specialty pens, including classics like cross pens, parker pens and italian calligraphy sets -- sent me a bright pink parker rollerball pen to try out and i was in love as soon as i opened the gift-wrapped box. i could tell this wasn't your typical pen when i had to assemble it myself (the ink shaft is packaged separately, so you unwrap and put the pen together before use), and i was obsessed with the steady flow of thick ink right away.

ha, we watched one of my favorite movies last night (this is a quote from the secret life of walter mitty) -- even movie quotes look more professional with the parker pen!

pen heaven has a giant range of pens, from ballpoint to rollerball to pen sets and fountain pens. their staff is highly trained (you can call customer service monday through friday to get help with your order) AND they offer engraving services for most pens, so you can give one of these fancy pens a personal touch as a gift for graduation, birthdays or anniversaries. (as i discovered -- any time you think someone should be treated like a grown up, obviously.)

photo courtesy pen heaven

check out the full pen heaven line, or follow them on social media (twitter / facebook / pinterest) for more pen goodness.