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À La Carde is a gorgeous line of cards (and totes) designed by dynamic duo Hea-Mi Kim and Nova Megantara. Featuring fun foodie puns, each card is hand-painted and lettered, held in a kraft sleeve precisely cut so that a tiny portion of the watercolored design peeks out. Hold one of these cards in your hands and you’ll feel how much love and care has gone into each one.

We love your food puns! What made you decide to make food your focus?

Hea-Mi: This was  an intuitive decision for us. Both of us have always loved cooking, baking, eating (a given), and trying new places. Our friendship was built on food; so naturally we figured that this was the right path to take.

Nova: It’s safe to say that food has played a vital role throughout our friendship and we’ve always enjoyed a good pun, so why not combine the two! Plus, Hea-Mi is without a doubt one of my top three DFFs (Designated Foodie Friends).

What is your favorite food? Can you describe a memorable meal or a go to comfort food?

Hea-Mi: This is trickiest question of them all. I have to say nothing beats someone delivering sesame chicken at your door when you’re having a rough day. All hail Seamless.

Nova : Oh man, putting me on the spot here. My boyfriend makes these Coca Cola chicken wings (weird, right?) but they’re amazing and taste very homey to me.

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Your envelopes are the most unique I have seen, with wonderful cut outs how did you think to compliment the cards with that?

Nova:  It was actually by chance that this idea came to be. We had a paper with a circle cut out placed over one of the watercolor sketches of the fig and saw the potential aesthetic appeal. I tested a few different shapes and cutouts with the proper sized sleeves to see how it’d look as a finished product.

Your cards are hand painted and lettered, made to order. What made you decide against mass production?

Hea-Mi: I don’t think we are necessarily against it, but for now, we want to focus on each customer receiving a one-of-a-kind item that feels unique and taken care of.

Nova: For the time being, we’d love to be as hands on as possible in the creation of each card from start to finish to ensure the best quality for our customers. Additionally, it is good practice for us to maintain our craftsmanship – Hea-Mi with her watercolor and me with my excessively OCD tendencies for finely cut lines.

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How did you meet and decide to embark on A La Carde together? What does your collaborative creative process look like?

Hea-Mi: We met at school our freshmen year and bonded instantly over our shared love for cupcakes. Each holiday, we always gave one another handcrafted greeting cards and admired each other’s skill sets. We attended an Etsy craft fair two years back and were immediately inspired by other sellers and makers turning their hobbies into full time careers.

Our creative process is synchronized yet separated. We’re still  students so our schedule is not very consistent, but we make it work. I sketch and then make a digital mock up with the measurements and placements of all the components. I then measure it out on watercolor paper and paint the illustrations alongside the lettering done in ink. After they’re dry, I hand them to Nova to cut and coordinate the envelopes. We then do some finishing touches, et voilà!

Nova: We bonded over Sprinkles Cupcakes because she hadn’t tried them at the time, and being from California, I’m a fan of them so I bought her some to try. Fast forward to 2013, we talked about having an Etsy shop and finally acted upon it May of 2015.

Over the summer, we had the luxury of meeting and working consistently alongside each other daily. However, with fall semester starting, we have to put in extra effort to juggle school and À La Carde.

Continuing from Hea-Mi’s process, my main objective is to find the right style to highlight the artwork. My previous method, tedious as it may be, was to align and measure each card and envelope to get the cutouts right. However, as we eased into the groove and measurements became more precise and consistent, the same mockup process is done digitally. The result? Our sleeves are ready for as many prints needed with cutting guides provided. Tada, an À La Carde is done.

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Your watercolors are so lovely – do you have an art school background? Tell me why a greeting card line appealed to you.

Hea-Mi: Thank you so much! I am currently majoring in Fine Arts at Parsons The New School for Design. During this day and age (especially in our age group), I think it’s rare to receive a handwritten note. Typing is conveniently at our fingertips, and handwritten cards aren’t as vital anymore. I cherish every card I receive and hope through ours, others celebrate personal handwritten notes that feel intimate and special.

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What does your creative space look like? 

Nova : For the past few months, we’ve mostly been working at my studio apartment or at our school since it’s within walking distance. I have a big chalkboard table that fits both of us comfortably and occasionally makes a feature in our posts. In case anyone’s wondering, that’s our “office dog”, Sausage the Pug.

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Your totes are totes awesome! Do you have any other products in mind?

Hea-Mi: Ideally we will have prints, mugs, tea towels, and other small knick knacks. We are currently working on our prints to be launched in the fall!

Nova: We have received helpful suggestions from our family and peers on ways to expand in terms of our product range. Some of our followers are quite persistent and supportive about us expanding to shirts – it’s so exciting what’s ahead of us!

When you are in need of a little creative inspiration, what do you do?

Hea-Mi: Not the most compelling answer, but usually the thesaurus or Rhyme Zone.

Nova: Looking at other people’s Behance portfolios gives me a surge of inspiration and drive to just make, make, make!


While at NSS this year, I had the pleasure of meeting the sweet and lovely, Jenipher Lyn. She was not only gracious but funny and whimsical , like her illustrations. She explained to me her background and how her card line began. She started a doodle project called “Nightly Doodles”, where she would draw one doodle a night and post it on social channels to inspire others and keep her accountable with her work. Those doodles ended up growing into hangable art, tote bags, and even baby onesies! She truly believes in inspiring others with her beautiful messages and they definitely have done that for me.

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If you ask any snail mailer or paper lover, there is a card for every occasion under the sun, including cards for no occasion – just because. So what card hasn’t a snail mail lover received? It’s possible that they have indeed received every type of card imaginable, but even so, they’ll appreciate you sharing some love with them with these snail mail themed cards.

Queenie's Cards Snail MailQueenie’s CardsInk Meets PaperInk Meets PaperHolly and OliveHolly and OlivePatterson PaperPatterson PaperMerrily DesignsMerrily Designs


il_570xN.754366151_36kcHello Marine


Interestingly, I do not have a green thumb. In fact, the only plants I own are crocheted cacti made by an artist named Shannon Gerard. They are super cute and sold under the moniker Plants You Can’t Kill. Despite my inability to grow any plants, I am obsessed with stationery covered in cacti. Go figure…  Here is a round up of some of my current faves.

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Wild Hart Paper Co.

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Leah Duncan

Paper Parasol Press

Paper Parasol Press

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queenies cards

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Nightly Doodles

Hartland Brooklyn


I’m a newbie Maid of Honor (gulp…and yay!). There are loads of great cards for brides-to-be to pop the question: Will you be my Maid of Honor/bridesmaid? And if you want to throw in a box with butterflies, that’s cool too!

Inklings PaperieInklings Paperiedifferent designs 10Different DesignsJoanne HawkerJoanne HawkerPatterson PaperPatterson PaperJulie Ann Art Shit Got RealJulie Ann Art BridezillaJulie Ann Art


Eunice Roe - planner
Eunice Roe’s Instagram account is a thing of absolute beauty. Each week, Eunice shares the pages of her planner – a customized Midori Traveler’s Notebook – and it is a sight to behold. Her calligraphy, hand lettering, color palettes, use of washi, stamps and vintage embellishments are simply gorgeous. If you are a planner lover (read: addict), you’ll be beyond inspired by the pages that Eunice shares. She applies the same care and aesthetic to her snail mail. Read more about Eunice, and I think you’ll agree that she is an artist dedicated to the craft of documenting her days and sending love via snail mail.

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What appeals to you about chronicling each of your days in a journal/planner?

I initially started documenting in my journal/planner as a mere means to just stay organized.  When I went back at the end of the year and read it, there were simple yet beautiful moments that I would have most likely forgotten. The memories were now permanently etched into pages and I could relive them at any time. Can you imagine an 80-year-old Eunice reading back and reminiscing about the 20 or 30-year-old Eunice? My journal is a really special original memoir of my life and that is what is most appealing to me.

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Your printing is so lovely that it could be a font – how have you developed your printing style?

Handwriting has been important to me from a very young age. One of my early memories is me sitting at a desk – from the age of 5 – where I would practice writing my ABCs and my name everyday. As I grew older, if a certain font appealed to me, I would keep practicing or write in that style until it became second nature. I also took a modern calligraphy class about 2 1/2 years ago, which helped me develop a unique style.

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You often include inspirational quotes in the pages of your journal. Please share one of your favorite quotes and why it has special meaning to you.

It would be far too difficult to pick just one quote. I always select a quote that reflects or outlines my thoughts or feelings about that particular week’s events so they are all special in their own way. They are inspirations that remind me of my life journey.

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What do you like about writing with a fountain pen?

I love writing with fountain pens because there is something really charming and old school about them. I enjoy the way the nib feels on the paper and how the ink flows out of them. There is an effect called “shading” that results when using a fountain pen, which is tangibly different than a regular pen; it is quite lovely.

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When did you start sending snail mail, and what led you to do so?

I have always been interested in letter writing and I have many early childhood memories of writing notes to my classmates and sending letters to my friends in the USA when I lived in Korea. However, I never had international pen pals nor did I write to strangers until about 3 years ago. Since it was becoming a lost pastime I wanted to take part in the re-birth of the snail mail revival while also taking it as an opportunity to learn about different cultures and people from around the world.

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What do you enjoy about letter writing?

I enjoy letter writing because in this super technical fast paced world, writing a letter requires you to actually sit down and take the time to send something special from the heart. I truly enjoy the moments that I spend creating letters because it allows me to express my creativity while making something truly unique for someone.

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What are some of your favorite stationery items?

*In no particular order
No. 1 Washi tape
No. 2 Rubber Stamps
No. 3 Vintage gummed labels
No. 4 Vintage inspired stickers
No. 5 Unique paper textures/memo pads
No. 6 Pens (All variety of pens including calligraphy nibs)
No. 7 All types/colors of onion skin paper
No. 8 Unique paper clips/clamps
No. 9 Leather pen/pencil cases

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You’ve recently started sharing more about your journalling process on your blog – how are you enjoying blogging? Any thoughts to share about the intersection of our digital society and snail mail?

Yes, blogging has been fun, interesting and quite the learning experience. It is still very new to me and I am continuing to explore how I can present content in a way that is enjoyable. Every time someone stops by my blog I hope they can take away something inspiring or learn something new. Although I always stress about how I am very much an analogue type of person, I feel our digital society is equally as important. Our digital society allows us to connect in ways that we could not have ever imagined. I am able to share my love of snail mail and analogue with thousands of people from all over the world instantaneously via social media and inspire others to pick up a pen, write, or create! I
think it’s a beautiful thing when two completely different worlds can exist for the same purpose.

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Please finish this sentence: Snail mail is…

Snail mail is the most romantic form of analogue from the heart.

 


Lately, I am all about good vibes and mood, and it seems as though everyone else is too. We all need some positivity sent our way every now and again. These cards are all about vibe and mood. Send one, make someone’s day.

Steel Petal PressSteel Petal PressMonkey Mind DesignMonkey Mind DesignBenchpressed VibesBench PressedWorthwhile Paper MoodWorthwhile PaperWorthwhile PaperDiamond Donatello MoodNylon ShopCardrella and Daville UniverseCardrella And Daville


mash jadore

Masha D’yans is a creative force to be reckoned with. Her vibrant watercolor designs are saturated with color, inspired by nature and botanicals, and tinged with whimsy and playfulness. Masha’s card line is visually compelling – each card is a work of art, worthy of being framed. Love Masha’s work as much as we do? You’re in luck; this stylish artist has designed a 2016 wall calendar, illustrates children’s books and creates art prints. Her personality is as charming as her artwork. Check out her answers to our questions about her art, style and owning a small biz.

I love the term ‘watercolor mischief’ as a way of describing your artwork. Please tell me about affinity for watercolors and about the ways in which you make mischief with them. 

Watercolor is the first type of paint I used at age 2. My work was pretty mischievous then and I strive to keep it that way! Lately, it involves playing with textures and collaging a bit.

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Florals and nature feature heavily in your cards – where do you draw your inspiration from when creating your cards?

Can I say nature? Lot’s of things filter though my brain from just looking around. There’s such a visual bombardment on social platforms now, it can be pretty overwhelming. My tried and true inspiration-sparkers are walks outside and exhibits. Just the other day I got a nice idea from a chance visit to an exhibition at the Met of a nineteenth century Missourian river painter… and I don’t even like that kind of painting typically.

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 Your mom is a fashion designer, and collaborates with you on your stationery designs. How does your creative collaborative process work?

 We go way back (to my beginning). This woman has always kept my style on-fleek thanks to her killer taste and skills. Nowadays I pretty much have to run everything by her before releasing it to the world – she gives me notes and sometimes actually contributes artwork to the cards! She’s the second pair of eyes I trust the most.

 Does fashion influence your art or vice versa?

 I try not to separate them… though I tend to procrastinate from the work of making art by doing something fashion-related. I cheat on one with the other.

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A glimpse of Masha’s closet

Please describe your personal style. 

Experimental.

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A self-portrait by the then 4-year-old exceptionally stylish Masha

Once you completed your formal art training, how did you get your business started? Any advice to share with others who are starting their own creative enterprises?

Though my fine art education provided me with a negative amount of business skills, it did teach me to problem-solve and to be restless and resourceful. I had a chance to piggyback some of my illustrated cards (which I’ve always done for fun) on a print job I was art directing at a design firm. I sent those samples out, got orders and never looked back. Of course, then I had to figure out all the logistics on the go. Turns out there’s a lot of 24/7 minutia that doesn’t occur to you when you dream up striking out on your own. What keeps me going is that the cards I do are a direct progression of what I did as a child, before criticism, audience-awareness and other anxieties were a factor. My advice is to focus on what gives you a sense of play, take it seriously and build on it. Also use the Internet for info (but don’t get too distracted) and delegate, dammit!

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In addition to your card line, you’ve got a 2016 calendar available, and you’ve collaborated on various textile and fashion projects. What are you currently working on?

I’m excited about a new set of cards I’m in the process of illustrating. They are meant to be collected or sent as a series over time (some customers say they keep my cards to frame which is the ultimate compliment). I’m also always kicking a few picture book ideas around.

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Please complete this sentence: Snail mail is…

A) ..the fast way to the heart.

B) ..for the coolest, most romantic of humans.

C) ..a luxury you can afford.

D) ..fast becoming mostly junk, let’s claim it back for written keepsakes of endearment!

E) ..forever.


Lately, there is no such thing as a weekend, as I have committed myself to my passion project, The Blog Bar and am working tirelessly with collaborators to bring it to fruition. These last four months have gone by so quickly and I have gotten further with this project than ever before. It’s been a project that I have been dedicated to for some time.  I attribute my progress to how I’ve changed my thoughts and actions. I started saying no more often to things I did not want to do, even if I felt bad saying I couldn’t go. I closed off my circle to only a few friends – I chose quality over quantity and surrounded myself with positive people hustling just like me. I also chose to be open to the universe and whatever positive opportunities came my way. It’s pretty amazing what happens when you do that. Life becomes less hassle and more enjoyable when you listen to yourself and to your heart. These words and shops are dear to me and have helped guide me immensely.

Pixel Paper HeartsPixel Paper HeartsBlessed TypeBlessed TypeSeti PostersSeti PostersLive Love StudioLive Love Studioone50printsone 50 prints


We all have our “pin” addictions, whether it’s fun and fab recipes, interior design, fashion, or anything and everything else. I’ll fill you in on a little secret –  mine is creative spaces. I’ve always been inspired by my environment and specifically by my workspace. I have to enjoy the space I am in to feel motivated and ready to create. I prefer clean, white spaces and lately as large as they can be with all the projects I have my hands on! Check out these eye candy worthy spaces. 

The Ultra LinxUltraLinxDecoistDecoistCamille Styles Office SpacesCamille StylesC amille Styles