Flip happy business card

Every few years I design a new business card for myself. See my social media callingrams here and my masking tape covered Shastablasta Wraps Presents Well blog cards here.

Personal business cards have always been a fun exercise for me to hand off a little of my personality alongside my contact info. A primary goal when I create a business card is always to make the receiver feel like they’re getting a little gift. Now that it's easy to put contact info in phones it feels especialIy important to make business cards more about the experience of meeting someone.

If this wasn't my own card I'd probably call it overkill. I know someday these cards are destined for the recycling bin but in the meantime I hope they bring some purposeful amusement to the recipient. 

Merry Christmas!

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas and a lot like my Christmas cards will be arriving late in the mail. While my cards were one of the first holiday projects I made this season they're the last to make it out the door. I'm checking my list (and addresses) twice. Soon my holiday greeting and paper tree will belatedly arrive at doorsteps.

When designing this years card I kept in mind the limitations of my small table top letterpress. I also wanted to incorporate my calligraphy to illustrate the card. I knew I wanted to send out a folding Christmas tree so the design of the card evolved from that concept. Of course it should be presents for under the tree. I'm very pleased with how it all printed.

  It was not possible to keep a heavy inking consistent for the green of the packages so I knew I'd be letting the ink naturally fall off as I printed my cards.

It was not possible to keep a heavy inking consistent for the green of the packages so I knew I'd be letting the ink naturally fall off as I printed my cards.

  Put the presents under the tree! To keep things less complicated I drew a pattern   that could be printed back to back without worry of registration. And I cut all these trees out by hand (with x-acto) so I needed the pattern to be forgiving for that as well.

Put the presents under the tree! To keep things less complicated I drew a pattern that could be printed back to back without worry of registration. And I cut all these trees out by hand (with x-acto) so I needed the pattern to be forgiving for that as well.

  I added gold elastic to turn some of my pop-up trees into gift toppers.

I added gold elastic to turn some of my pop-up trees into gift toppers.

Have a wonderful Christmas! I'm hoping to have one more post before taking a little break to enjoy the festivities.

Callingrams

Today I'm headed to Craftcation and taking some newly letterpressed business cards with me. Or should I say callingrams? Each one has an image from my Instagram feed.

I came across this fun sticker product from Social Print Studio and was inspired to design something with them. My other cards don't have my social media contacts on them so it was the perfect project to incorporate these little stickers with my photos. Plus I do love to make labor intensive cards.

  I tend to hoard end cuts of paper from printing projects thinking I'll find a clever use for them some day. Well I finally did when I cut them even smaller to make these miniature polaroids. 

I tend to hoard end cuts of paper from printing projects thinking I'll find a clever use for them some day. Well I finally did when I cut them even smaller to make these miniature polaroids. 

These stickers are so fun and I'm already finding other things to use them for. Each order has two booklets for $10 but I would recommend getting two orders because the shipping is $7. They're printed in Taiwan but that shipping rate does make them arrive speedily. Mine arrived just 3 days after I ordered. I was super impressed. I do with they had other slightly larger sticker sizes. I'm sure I'd find many more projects to create with them. 

Kitty ConfetTea

Kitty ConfetTea is catnip tea for party animals who like a nap. Yup, that's right I said catnip. It's for humans to sip on. There's more to the tea than just catnip but it has a high enough catnip content that if you put some of the loose tea in a cat toy your kitty will go wild. I designed this to be a fun gift for cat lovers with both novelty and utility in mind.

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On it's own catnip really is kitty confetti. I'd had that thought about a year ago and wanted to find a way to package catnip to go along with some of my other party themed catnip items (here and here). While the idea was percolating (inaccurate pun intended) I encountered tea sommelier Christopher Coccagna a few times selling his T-We Tea at local craft fairs. When I received an email from Workshop SF that he was teaching tea blending classes everything clicked. Kitty confetti should be ConfetTea. 

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I showed up to class armed with my own extra ingredient for blending… catnip. Before class I drank some catnip tea on it's own and was surprised to find it had a very mellow taste in comparison to it's scent. It reminded me of chamomile which is one of my favorite herbal teas. In class I started pairing the catnip with chamomile and Christopher made some suggestions for other colorful herbs. I wanted this tea to be colorful just like the best celebrations.

  Each tin of tea comes with a confetti printed bag. Filled it's a perfect cat toy.

Each tin of tea comes with a confetti printed bag. Filled it's a perfect cat toy.

After the class I felt more confident in making Kitty ConfetTea happen but as many things do it got put on the back burner until this holiday season came knocking. Together T-We and I refined the blend and I'm proud to have their logo on the box blessing it with many years of tea knowledge. It's important to note that chamomile did not make the final ingredient cut. In doing research I discovered that cats are allergic to it. And while this tea is designed for the human taste palate it still needed to be suitable for kitty play.

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Designing the tea label gave me the perfect opportunity to play with my calligraphy skills that I've been learning this year. Tea and calligraphy are a perfect pair. The cat illustrations are somewhat obvious. A hyper whacked-out kitty on catnip and the crash afterwards. Interestingly catnip has a mellowing affect on humans so the clock represents the different time zones that humans and cats live in. While they may snuggle up to us at night lets not forget they are nocturnal by nature. 

In order to have this tea in time for the holidays I passed off the printing to my friends at The Weekend Press. My letterpress is a little lo-tech for this project. 

  I did take on the printing for the cat toy bags. I pulled out my Print Gocco and discovered I've been hoarding supplies. This was the perfect gocco worthy project. 

I did take on the printing for the cat toy bags. I pulled out my Print Gocco and discovered I've been hoarding supplies. This was the perfect gocco worthy project. 

  Instead of Gocco inks I used oil based florescent Pantone printers inks. This was very successful and the flow of the oil based ink meant I didn't need to re-ink my screen much.

Instead of Gocco inks I used oil based florescent Pantone printers inks. This was very successful and the flow of the oil based ink meant I didn't need to re-ink my screen much.

One last thought. When I met Christopher he described the We in the T-We name as representing you, me, we. I love that. Tea is often about sharing and in creating this tea I shared the experience with many. With we.

Thank you Christopher, Keir, Peter, Jenny, and the creative ladies in my life who sipped and listened. You know who you are.

Get Kitty ConfetTea exclusively from me on Etsy!

Art in the mail

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These days a handwritten note in the mail can really stand out amongst the circulars and automated mailers. The thank you note above from Alyson Kuhn was a bright spot in my day when it arrived with its multiple cancelation stamps on top of years of collected postage. I've always liked postage stamps, little pieces of art sent through the mail, but I've never been good at collecting them. Her piece of mail was the inspiration for my mail art project. I wanted to have the same collage look the stamps provide but without needing to become a stamp hound. 

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I first printed these awhile back and I've been working my way through the first printing creating miniature pieces of mail art. Many friends have already received one of these from me or you may have seen some of them on my Instagram where I'm sure I'll share more. I recently printed more including a larger sized envelope with more stamp frames so I could make them available on Etsy.

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On a more personal level these envelopes brought a message to myself. When Alyson's note arrived in the mail I'd been having a down period in my life and wasn't feeling very creative. Seeing her note immediately sparked inspiration and reminded me that my creativity was still alive and kicking. 

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Create your own mail art with my envelope packs available for purchase on Etsy.