Mailin Jewelry Celebrate

During my recent trip to Toronto I was taken back by not only the beauty of the city, but the creativity that surrounds it. Not to mention, all the amazing paper stores! While visiting Fringe Festival, I was introduced to the lovely and extremely talented Marlissa of Mai Lin Jewelry. I instantly connected with her as she was so passionate about her work and couldn’t have been sweeter. Her jewelry stood apart from others with style that was distinct and very much like her: delicate, strong and beautiful. Her collection of bracelets can be worn alone or, as I like, stacked together. The bracelets are made of delicate silk with gold or silver plated beads and semi-precious stones. It’s not only the beautiful bracelets that caught eye, but the attention to detail and thoughtful words on each package that makes this the perfect gift for your loved ones or even a treat for yourself.

Mailin Jewelry Follow Your BlissMailin Jewelry Fall 2014Mailin Jewelry GoethMailin Jewelry Red GarnetMailin Jewelry Mineral Collection Light Pink

Continue to follow Marlissa here:

Mai Lin Jewelry


Typically when you think of a greeting card, you think it’s for the holidays-birthdays, christmas, and congratulations. But they are so much more than that. They can be just because, which brings a smile to someone’s face, and even better, for an important milestone and message to a loved one. There are so many more milestones that are just as important as the holidays. Asking someone to be in your wedding, telling your loved ones you’re expecting, just telling someone you like them, these are moments to remember.

Will you be my bridesmaid cardInklings PaperieWill you be in my wedding partySeahorse Bend Press
I'm Keeping You LetterpressDahlia Presspregnant announcement cardJulie Ann Arteggpresseggpress most thoughtful cardegg presshello luckyhelloluckyHello!Luckyyou are home mogleamoglea

I’m not sure when I was first introduced to Ink Meets Paper but I do know once I was, I was mesmerized by their modern and clean designs, not to mention the beautiful handlettering and calligraphy used. Ink Meets Paper’s dedication to the details and qualities of each design can be seen with the quality of paper and envelops in which they use. Daniel & Allison Nadeau are the brains behind Ink Meets Paper that was started in 2010 in lovely South Carolina with the premise of creating timeless letterpress papergoods to foster the art of handwritten correspondence in today’s modern world. I had the opportunity to chat with Allison below!

happy day letterpress

It’s clear that you have a strong passion for all-things-letterpress, what led you both to create Ink Meets Paper?

Our interest in letterpress began in 2008. A lot of our previous work was digital– interaction design and editing. We wanted a way to connect with the physical, hands-on creative and craft process. Letterpress printing provided that connection. We feel that handwritten communication is one of the most authentic interactions you can share with someone. As we considered the different products that can be made on a printing press, so much surrounded inviting and gifting: wedding invitations, cocktail party invitations, personal stationery, greeting cards. Even as technology changes every single industry around us, there’s still something special about receiving something unique in the mail. Each Ink Meets Paper card supports this belief in the handwritten and the handcrafted. The 100% cotton paper is thick, and the ink is mixed by hand. Each piece is printed one color at a time on an antique printing press.

When developing each card, what is your approach to the creative process? Do you begin with the actual art or conceptualization first?

Our card line keeps us pretty well aligned with the retail industry in terms of product releases ( i.e. Christmas cards in May, Valentine’s cards in September, and so forth). Daniel and I usually run through sketches, concepts, and ideas to narrow down a direction and refine from there. Most of our card designs are hand drawn first, and then scanned and vectorized to be made into photopolymer plates.

seasons greetings lettepress

Where do you get your inspiration from? Is it from people, experiences, or just things you see out in the world?

I’d say all of the above. We try to find beauty and inspiration in unexpected places. A lot of our sentiments are inspired by our relationship as a married couple (“I am so glad I found you, ” “I like you just the way you are,” “It just keeps getting better”).

Can you tell me a little about the printing press you use? Why did you choose this particular press?

We print on an 8×12 Chandler and Price platen press (it’s motorized, but each piece of paper is hand fed into the press). A fourth-generation printer was closing out the letterpress portion of his shop, and we purchased the press (and a bit of type) from him in 2008. We drove from South Carolina to Florida with a friend and a U-Haul trailer. Our friends were kind enough to allow us to keep a 1,000-pound printing press in their garage while we found a place for it (eventually converting a room in our house to a studio). Even though we were very inexperienced when we bought the press, we opted to go with a larger, floor model press, as opposed to a tabletop press. We knew the larger press would mean we could handle a larger volume, and we were willing to take the time to learn the press. Now, even six years later, we’re still able to handle all of our printing on this press.scribble a note letterpress

With the plethora of art mediums out there today, why did you choose paper?

Paper is such a tactile experience, and for our paper goods, we love that it’s an experience that can be shared. When someone takes the time to craft his or her thoughts and ideas and, at the same time, embraces the physical process of actually handwriting and connecting the pen to the paper, it doesn’t matter if his handwriting is terrible because that person is part of the process.

Do you ever feel “artists block?” How do you get over it?

I think it’s important to find time for other projects and hobbies. It’s nice to be able to create just for the sake of creating, and oftentimes, that shift is all I need to get out of creative rut. Being around creative friends and other business owners is also infinitely helpful, as they can bring a fresh perspective to a situation.gratitude letterpress card

What is your favorite card that you have received? Do you keep all the ones you receive?

Both Daniel and I have a huge collection of cards– from notes our grandparents wrote us when we were little to love letters written during the early years of our relationship. Every now and then we’ll read through some of them, and they’re always able to bring back such incredible memories, and in many ways it’s as if the writer is still with us.

I discuss artists’ “creative spaces” a lot on the blog. Can you describe yours and how you like to keep it?

We currently work out of our home, and have three rooms dedicated to Ink Meets Paper: studio (where all of the printing and production happens), office (design work and collaboration), and inventory/shipping room. Neatness and organization are key to keeping everything running smoothly. Everything has a place. We also try to keep our live-work spaces separate (which I think is really important, even though it seems like we work all of the time). We have Homasote panels on the walls of our office, making it easy to pin ideas and projects to the wall to discuss. Lots of natural light is also really important. Not only does it help with color checks, but it helps with our moods. text less write more letterpressI love that on the first page of your site it says “Text Less. Write More.” Do you use paper more so than online communication?

We definitely send lots of mail– it’s such a wonderful and personal way to connect with someone (and getting an actual letter in the mail is such a day brightener). Yet, there’s obviously great value and ease in online communication, and we’ve particularly loved how easy it is to connect with other likeminded, paper and mail loving people through social media (and we love being able to share glimpses into our day-to-day studio life this way too). I think it’s more about finding balance.

What was the last thing that made you laugh?

Daniel really likes bad puns ;)
This feed always brings lots of laughs:

Favorite colors to use?

Right now, I’m really loving metallic gold ink. Since we print on uncoated, cotton paper, it’s not very shiny, and the subtlety is really nice.

The Ink Meets Paper line is now available nationally and internationally in over 150 stores and includes national retailers ( Their products are also available online at Etsy.

You can keep up with them here:





True story: I’ve never met a letterpress card I haven’t liked. Last year, I was extremely fond of ombre and gold foils but this year I’m swooning over watercolored letterpress. My eye has always gravitated to soft whimsical watercolor designs and what better way to showcase them than with letterpress. They truly do become little works of art that you can touch and hold in your hands.

chips and salsa UKChips and Salsa Designspaisley treepressPaisley Tree Pressferdinandhome LetterpressferdinandhomeFerdinandMadrona PressMadrona PressmogleaMogleapapillon presspapillon press
sweet peony pressSweet Peony Press


Unlike my Italian family who can professionally cook to the nines, I myself am an amateur in the kitchen, but hopefully one day will master the skill! I do, however, find it fun to attempt fun filled recipes including holiday-themed baked goods. The more creative the better! Since I’m not Martha Stewart (yet) in the kitchen, I like to look to others for inspiration and recipes. I tend to focus on the taste and look. I found these relatively easy treats to bake for Halloween at an annual pumpkin carving party with my friends.

candy corn cupcakesThe Sugar Turntable
strawberry ghostsSkinny Momgingerbread skeletonstotal bristol
spooky eye cookies
Lil Luna


Yes, like many others in the blogosphere, I’ll admit I’ve fallen for the occasional foodie photos, but I try very hard to stay clear of that since there are many others who display enough of that. Rather, I prefer to share foodie favorites through letterpress designs. Instagram maybe inundated with food photos but you won’t find these awesome creations on Instagram! Personalize a card for the foodie in your life with these. I’m sure my friend Hetal over at Pretty Polymath would agree!

foodtruck letterpressPrinterette Presspaperlovely pressPaper Lovely LetterpressplumeandblotsPlume and Blotspink orchid pressPink Orchid Press
fishcake designfish+cakebenchpressedBenchpressed
carolyn drawscarolyndrawssparkvites burgerSparkvitestwo tone press 2Two Tone Pressnourishing notesNourishing Notes

When I think of design perfection, I think of my gal Holly, social media and brand ambassador for From her clothing picks to her impeccable music selection, she is a tastemaker in the truest sense of the word. And let’s not forget…no one sets a table better than this gal! (see Instagram). In short, Holly’s entertainment skills are always on point. Holly loves fall and when I say fall, I mostly mean anything pumpkin. So who better to ask to share fall favorites this week! Holly’s picks never disappoint and even though we see pumpkin everything around this time of year, once again Holly effortlessly shows her style through her picks that I have yet to see.As you’ll see below, Holly’s selections may “fall” into a different light, but still manage to evoke the mood of this festive season.

Williams Sonoma Spiced Pumpkin See Brittle BitesWilliams-Sonoma

Thank goodness these now come in small portions…. so truly delectable that you can’t stop.

Pumpkin Chai LatteDesign Love Fest

Ummm, yessss.Southern Tier PumkingSouthern Tier

I’m a sucker for pumpkin beer, definitely my favorite. The fridge stays stocked from August – Dec.  ;)West Elmwest elm

Stripes of pumpkin make for the perfect throw/shawl/wrap by the campfire.Shop Terrain Fresh Pumpkin Crateterrain

Heel kicks abound if this were to show up at my doorstep.curious hey booCurious & Co.

Because ‘hey, boo’, why wouldn’t you want this cuteness on your desktop?!?surya

Fall colors to perch upon, indoors or out.HozierHozier Vinyl

Continue to Follow Holly here:



Halloween only comes around once a year so it only makes sense to share more Halloween letterpress cards since there were too many favorites to feature last week. It was only right to share them while you could still get them for yourselves and enjoy!

pikestreetpress letterpress pumpkin cardPike Street Press

keva inkKeva Inkcreativelabshop halloween letterpressCreative Lab Press Stationary
vintageletterpress FrankensteinVintage LetterpressBlack Lamb BKBlack Lamb

The art of paper flowers – be they crepe, tissue or origami – continues to amaze me and I’m so glad it does for so many of the artists I admire. Every artist has a different take on them and that’s why I’ll never stop being a fan. Just like real flowers, the colors change for every season and these beautiful designs for fall are no different!

ToHaveandToHolderTo Have and To HolderA Little MerrimentA Little MerrimentScrappuchinoScrappuchinoBrackish Water ArtsBrackish Water Artsbrackish water artsOrigaMeFlowersOrigaMe FlowersFlowerBazaarFlower BazaarRogersPaperFancyRogers Paper Fancy

One of the main reasons 8Balloons was created, is to due my talented cousin Odessa Begay. For those unfamiliar with Odessa, allow me to introduce her: she’s an illustrator, surface designer and graphic designer. In fact, Odessa is the designer behind the original 8Balloons site (four years ago!)before she got too big for lil’ ol’ me! Odessa is the only cousin I have my age and some of my fondest memories growing up have been with her. Papyrus_Odessa Begay

Don’t get me wrong, we had our “quarrels” growing up. Even though we grew up worlds apart, as adults we are as close as could be and have the same passions. I’m her biggest fan, not just because she’s family but because she’s done amazing work for some of the sites and companies I’ve been an admirer of for numerous years. To see her achieve the level of success she has is such a proud moment for me personally. So you could imagine when this paper-loving blogger found out Odessa created a “Thank You” card for Papyrus, it was so exciting! It’s so fitting to give “thanks” to people you love during this season.

Follow Odessa here:

Odessa Begay