Category Archives: Featured Artists

SSK_8balloons_perfectpair_white bg

Shifting Status Kuo is a playful, super sweet line of stationery and lifestyle goods designed by artist Tiffany Kuo. Trained as a printmaker, Tiffany uses this art form to make greeting cards, prints and textiles – all of which are lovingly hand-crafted in her studio. Her innovative designs include a line of tea-themed cards that incorporate individually wrapped teabags. And, Tiffany’s pillowcases are the perfect gift for Valentine’s Day (and weddings, and just because).

You studied at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and fell in love with printmaking. What about that particular medium resonated with you?

During my time at School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC), I really got to experiment with woodblock printing, etching, and of course screen printing. I fell in love with how versatile screen printing can be. It gives me the freedom to print on fabric, paper, cork, wood etc. Regardless of the printmaking technique, I was always drawn to the hands on process of mixing ink, pulling a series of prints, and embracing the perfect imperfections. Printmaking lends itself to creating multiples or an edition of something, and it just made sense for me to incorporate printmaking with how I create my greeting cards.

SSK_8balloons_printing square

Please tell me a bit about what your creative process is like. How does a design move from an idea to a finished piece?

  1. Most of my designs start out as a short phrase that gets added to a bullet point list on my phone. It can be a pun I want to play with or a concept I want to incorporate.
  2. Then I go through the list and pick a few to sketch out with pencil. These rough sketches often include notes to myself in the margin and arrows pointing here and there to assign ink colors for printing.
  3. I use a light table and my favorite black pens to ink my sketches and manually do color separation of screen printing layers. My process is quite low tech in comparison to other designers’ but I really enjoy the process drawing directly on paper.
  4. During my design process I have to be mindful of how the ink and paper color will inform the final piece. Sometimes I’ll mix a small batch of ink and test the color out on swatches of paper before finalizing my design.
  5. Lastly, the designs are exposed onto a silk screen and each layer of ink is pushed through the stencil to create a print!

SSK_8balloons_cup of love_square

Your Cup Of… cards are so very sweet. I love the idea of reading a handwritten note while pouring yourself a cup of tea. What was the inspiration for these cards?

Yes, that would definitely enhance the experience of receiving and reading a handwritten note! I wanted to create a card that was also like a tiny gift in itself. When I think about thanking someone, I thought it’d be a sweet gesture if the card had a little something extra. Once I had “Cup of Thank You” designed and the tea bag assembly figured out, the rest of the series followed.

SSK_8balloons_mylar

What appeals to you about snail mail?

I’m a very sentimental person and have kept almost every card or letter written to me in a giant tin box. I love that snail mail is a tactile keepsake of a handwritten note from someone. When I get a particularly funny or sweet card, I tape it up around my desk area so I’m reminded of the sentiment. Email is fast and convenient but let me ask you… regardless of how meaningful the message, how often do you display a printed email? Probably less often than a thoughtfully written card or letter, right? Snail mail takes more thought and there’s always that moment of delight when you get it in your mailbox!

SSK_8balloons_next to you red_kiss

Your pillowcases are simply genius! Any new projects on the go, or dream projects that you’d like to create?

Thank you! The “Next to You” pillowcases have a special place in my heart because they are directly inspired by my long distance relationship. Sometimes love is about appreciating the comfort of each other’s company and it’s such an honor when sweet couples young and old choose my pillowcases to share the love.

Aside from dreaming up more card and pillowcase designs, I’d like to add more gift items to my line. My dream project would be to publish an illustrated children’s book! I have a couple of books that I worked on several ago but put on hold while I focused on my card and gift designs. I grew up loving all of Dr. Seuss’ and Shel Silverstein’s books and it would be amazing if I could create a book that little kids love. I welcome all and any advice to make this happen!

SSK_8balloons_above beyond_white bg

Valentine’s Day is around the corner – how do you feel knowing people are spreading love by sending your cards?

Let me start by saying that I’m a hopeless romantic and love all kinds of romantic gestures (even the cheesy ones). Knowing that other people chose MY cards to spread love all across the world gets me all sappy! Just think…. my cards could be in someone’s snail mail keepsake box!

What was the most memorable Valentine card you’ve received?

As with most long distance couples, my boyfriend and I often send each other snail mail and care packages. My favorite ones are always with his funny doodles and captions. We have an inside joke involving a mischievous koala character and my favorite Valentine includes his drawings of the koala saying some pretty funny things!

Because we love you 8balloons readers, and Tiffany is awesome, she is offering 20% off of her website shop with the code 8BALLOONS20. It  expires 2/14/16 and is not valid for the Shifting Status Kuo Etsy shop. 


couch
With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, I found myself thinking about spreading love and kindness (through stationery, of course). Atiliay is a gorgeously hand-crafted stationery line that incorporates hand-lettering, stamping and stitching. These cards are created to bring happiness to their recipients and beyond. Atiliay is committed to supporting charitable causes through the sale of each card. Olivia Lin, the designer behind this line of paper goods that give, understands and embodies the spirit of giving.

I always say that everything sounds better in French. Tell me about the origin of Atiliay’s name. 

Atiliay’s name is based on the French word “atelier” which means a workshop or studio, especially for an artist or designer. I have always loved the sound of the word and spelled it the way I pronounce it. The meaning was perfect, too, as Atiliay is my space for making and creating.

moonandbackIn addition to creating unique and pretty greeting cards, you are committed to supporting charitable causes. What inspired you to making giving a part of your everyday life?

I think it actually started back when I was a little — I remember being 5 or 6 and seeing those commercials that were asking people to donate to help feed hungry children. I might not have fully understood it back then, but I feel like those images stuck with me. As I got older, I started to learn more about world hunger, human trafficking, women’s rights, and animal rights. The more I learned about the horrible things that were happening, the more I felt a sense of urgency and need to do something about it. I also realized that I didn’t need a lot of money, power, or fame to help — I could use what money I had, what time I had, my voice, or change my own lifestyle to contribute.

In 2007, I had the opportunity to go to South Africa with TOMS shoes on a shoe drop. We met a non-profit called Food4Africa (F4A) who acted as our guides. We went to the same towns and schools they provided meals for to give out shoes. F4A is a small organization but they help so many children and are incredibly passionate about it. It was really touching to see what they were doing as well as meeting the little ones they were providing meals for. I left knowing I wanted to support their efforts and somehow incorporate that with my creative work. Even though we are miles apart, I am really happy to say that we have kept in touch and I continue to support their work through Atiliay to this day.

Food4Africa is not only a huge source of inspiration for me, but they are also the reason why Atiliay exists! Four Valentine’s Days ago I decided that for a donation of $5, I would make a hand stamped card and send it to your loved one for you with the proceeds going towards providing meals for a preschool I started sponsoring through F4A. I was able to secure over a year’s worth of meals, which was so awesome! The fundraiser made me realize that my first love has always been art and crafting and that making cards for a cause was a way I could fulfill my own passion while enabling others to join me in making a positive impact.

yourethesweetest

How do you select the organizations that you donate to?

I want to make sure that each customer’s purchase is going towards a good cause and making as much of an impact as possible. I try to select organizations that I have personally volunteered with or know someone who has. I have also researched and found great non-profits to support on my own. I look for organizations that are 4-star rated on Charity Navigator and I also try to choose non-profits where the funds go directly to the programs. As cards aren’t very expensive items, my goal is to pair each one with programs where a small amount can make a large difference — for example with Food4Africa, one meal costs only 5 cents, so donating a portion of a $5 card can make a substantial impact. It’s also very important to me to donate towards programs that are vegan-friendly — when I am making Kiva loans I make sure to choose ones that do not bring harm to animals.

longdistance

Your stationery items are hand-crafted with great care and some incorporate multiple art forms. Please tell me a bit about your creative process. 

Each card starts with an idea — sometimes it’s a sentiment or phrase I like, a picture I have in my head, or imagining up something I wish existed. I try to write down/make rough drawings of everything, otherwise I forget! I take whichever idea is really resonating with me and sit down to figure out how I can incorporate stamps and stitching, or whether it should be hand-lettered and all text. Sometimes I know immediately what I want to do and sometimes there’s a lot of playing around with different ideas and tweaking. For example, with the long-distance love card, I had everything finalized except I wasn’t sure what to connect the states and heart with — stamps were too hard as each path would be different and I didn’t think drawing matched the look of the stamps. Out of the corner of my eye I saw some embroidery thread on my desk and that is where the stitching on cards began! It can sometimes take a bit of experimenting, sketching, and trying out concepts to see what will work. Once the sketch is finalized, I move on to creating the stamps or lettering. I make a sample card, make any last adjustments, and the card is complete!

pitter patter

How have you developed your hand-lettering? Any sources of inspiration? Any advice for someone starting out?

I’ve made a conscious effort to invest time into practicing lettering — I will write letters and words over and over again until I like how it looks and experiment with different looks. Sometimes my hand is so used to writing a word a certain way but I’ll do something different and go super loopy or really long and narrow etc. to experiment. Practicing and trying new things has really helped me improve and develop my style.

I was really inspired by Sharisse of @PiecesCalligraphy to really focus and to begin exploring lettering. I came across her feed because she was donating to a fundraising IG auction I had heard about. Her feed is beautiful and she gives a lot of useful tips and advice. She is one of the founders of @HandletteredABCs which is a wonderful community of folks who letter! They provide different prompts and challenges (the first one was writing a letter of the alphabet each day, hence the name) and everyone is so encouraging and inspiring — I have made some awesome friends there and am currently participating in this year’s round of ABCs. I also find a lot of inspiration from Nina at @anintran (the other founder of HandletteredABCs), Lindsay of @thepostmansknock, and Amanda at @AmandaArneill. They all have different lettering styles and I love seeing what they are creating!

galentines

For someone starting out, I’d say to dive right in! Start small with the different strokes then start putting them together to create letters (a lot of the IG accounts I mentioned post lettering lessons and tips which are so helpful). I’d also recommend looking at examples of work that you like and try to imitate the lines and shapes to get started. Most importantly, don’t get discouraged — there are some days when I don’t like anything I have written! But if you keep writing and working at it, you will get to a place where you see yourself improve and are happy with your work.

phone

You use lino cuts, hand lettering and embroidery in your work – are there any other art/craft mediums that you’d like to experiment with?

I LOVE the look of letterpress and would love to dabble in that!  I have also always wanted to take pottery classes and work with a wheel — it’s a goal of mine to someday live in a house where I make all the dishes, plates, and mugs (it might be sometime in the very, very distant future!). Another thing I’d really like to try my hand at is macrame — I feel like there are so many possibilities with this craft, from the designs to the type of fiber you use.

 


Felicette_holiday_stamp_collection

I love the versatility of stamps – they are great for card-making, creating pretty envelopes and for loads of DIY projects (think holiday wrap and table settings!). Lauren Quinn Ward is the talented designer behind Felicette. She designs super cute stamps for all occasions and has recently launched her holiday collection. Lauren designs custom stamps perfect for handmade stationery, weddings and other occasions. Also, everyone needs one of Felicette’s adorable cat stamps, just because.

You were in school doing your BFA when you took up stamp carving as a side project. How did Felicette evolve from that time?

I taught myself how to carve linoleum stamps while in a book binding class at school. Our professor had a signature stamp of an old fan that he puts in very book he makes. I wanted something for myself, and then the rest of my friends in class jumped on that idea and had me make one for them. I can’t remember if I was able to make one for myself, or if it was everyone else who got one.

I stayed part time stamp maker on Etsy for the next six years, through graduating, a part time job, and then graduate school; when I was almost done with graduate school I took an internship and then a job with the Smithsonian, which was my lifetime dream. Since I was actually working I had to scale my stamps way back, and I missed them terribly. I missed talking to customers about designs for their wedding, or another Etsy business looking to stamp their logo on everything. I missed creating. That was my aha moment, that I knew what I wanted to do and started on a plan to get there. I still wanted the stamps to be handmade, but wanted them to me more durable and a higher quality, so I switched to laser engraving them. Felicette came about because I needed a brand and name that I could grow with and worked with the company Aeolidia. From the start my business has grown organically, but it is always changing and evolving. Being a stamp maker is fun and keeps me on my toes!

Felicette_christmastree_stamp

Please share more about your creative process with us. What does the process entail?

When I start on a new stamp it’s usually out of need. Like the holidays are coming up or I could use a new design for a personal library stamp. Sometimes inspiration strikes and the next thing I know I have a taco address stamp. But no matter how the idea comes to me all the stamps start the same, with my sketchbook and a pencil. I don’t normally scan them in until I am pretty set on the design. Then I turn the sketches into vectors and prep the files for lasering. Once the stamp has been lasered I cut a maple block to size, engrave the top of the wood with the stamp design and assemble the whole stamp with a piece of thick foam in the middle for more even impressions.

Felicette_mittens_stamp

Why is it important to you to be part of the creative process from start to finish?

Aside from being a control freak, it’s important for me to be involved every step from a quality and cost stand point. Since I go to the lumberyard down the street and pick out every maple plank myself I know that I won’t have a wonky one I can’t use. By engraving the stamps myself I am able to quickly test out new ideas or make a stamp in one day for someone in a hurry. I have a flexibility that a lot of other companies are lacking.

Felicette_IceSkate_Stamp

What are some of your favorite ways to use stamps?

I love using stamps on fabric! One of my favorite craft projects was a paper airplane tote bag. I take that thing everywhere with me. Stamps are an easy and inexpensive way to personalize everything, from clothes, to birthday presents, to tea towels. I want to try them on walls!

felicette_stamps_24_1024x1024I’m an awful stamper. I seem to have problems applying pressure evenly. Any advice to share?

My biggest stamping tip is don’t press down too hard on the stamp; I have watched people put the stamp down on paper and then lean on it with both hands using their entire body weight. While the stamp can take it, your impression is going to be a smashed mess. When you apply the stamp to paper (or other surface) you want to be firm but even, keeping the stamp in your hand. You might be able to rock it a bit if it’s a larger stamp, but don’t lean on it! The foam between the rubber and the wood will do a lot of the work for evening out the pressure but if you press down too hard on one side it will still be an uneven impression.

Having an inkpad with lots of ink is also helpful; if it’s too dry you won’t get an even coating on the rubber. On the flip side if there is too much ink on your stamp it could come out looking like a bit of a mess.

Always practice on a scratch sheet before you move on to your actual project. That way you will know how much ink to put and how much pressure to apply for a consistent clean impression.

Felicette_Candy_Cane_StampYour holiday stamp collection is perfect for handmade cards, gift tags and wrap. What crafty projects do you have up your sleeve for the holidays?

I am very excited about crafts for the holidays! So far I am planning a stamped apron, and possibly ornaments. Everyone in the family is also receiving their presents in stamped gift-wrap.


semisweetpress_holidaycardsThe holiday season is quickly approaching, which means you’ve gotta make sure your card game is strong. Semi Sweet Press has you covered, with hand-illustrated cards featuring items like half-eaten cookies (one of my faves) and inappropriate holiday desserts. California-based designer Kristin deNeeve is all sweet, with a predilection for drawing desserts and baked items. Her greeting cards are mostly sweet, with a dash of irreverence and a pinch of humor – sure to please everyone on your list!

I love that many of your cards feature baked goods (baked items are near and dear to my heart). Tell me why you decided on the name Semi Sweet Press.

Deciding on a name for my company took months. I wanted a name that gave me license to include designs with sweet illustrations and sentiments, as well as snarkier ones that had a little more bite. Bittersweet Press was my first idea, but I think Semi Sweet Press sums it up better. And it just happens to be the name of a kind of chocolate, which is a bonus!

christmas_tags_styled_105

While we’re on the topic, what is your favorite baked good?

Hmm. It’s a toss up between scones and donuts. Wait, do donuts count as baked goods since they’re fried? Then I’ll have to go with scones (especially if there’s chocolate in them).

Tell me about your design process (do you start out sketching and move to digital?).

I usually jot down my ideas in words, then develop them into ugly little doodles. Once I have an idea of what exactly I’m drawing, I’ll do a more detailed sketch. I draw best at smaller sizes, so once the sketch is finished, I’ll scan it into the computer, enlarge it, then print it out and trace it. Then I’ll scan the tracing in and color it in Photoshop. It sounds like an arduous process but it works for me. I’ve switched over to coloring the illustrations digitally, rather than painting in watercolor because it allows me the flexibility to change the color easily. It also allows me to be indecisive which isn’t always a good thing, lol. You can tell which designs are my earlier designs because they are done with watercolor.

Anatomy of Christmas was the first card you designed. Where did the inspiration for this awesome card come from? (I really hope you have an Uncle Bob!)

In the fall of 2012, I started freelancing, and I decided to do a promotional piece to send to prospective clients. I wanted to highlight my random sense of humor as well as illustration skills, so I made the Anatomy of Christmas card. I decided to print a bunch extra to send to friends and family, and it was a hit. Unfortunately Uncle Bob wasn’t really based on an actual uncle of mine, but he represents that odd family member that everyone has. The person that you only see a couple times a year and wouldn’t otherwise know if you weren’t related to him.
holiday_whiskey_styled_semisweet_136

Your holiday cards are super fun. I love the series of wrapped items – a friend once gave me a tennis racket wrapped exactly this way. What is it like dreaming up a holiday collection during the summer months? How do you get yourself into the festive spirit?

I wish I had thought to include a tennis racket in that design, lol! It can be difficult and bizarre to put yourself in that space, especially when it’s sunny and warm outside. I usually put on a Christmas movie (The Nightmare Before Christmas is a good one) to get myself in the spirit. I don’t actively watch it, it’s more in the background while I brainstorm ideas. But having Christmas on the brain in the spring/summer makes actual Christmas feel late. Like, didn’t we already do this? breakfast_pouch_styled_IMG_3653_square

You’ve recently added zipped pouches to your line – any other new products or projects we should look out for?

Ah, yes the zipper pouches! The idea to make them has been rattling around in my head for so long, that I’m glad they’re finally here. They were so much work though, it made me realize how much time, money and effort goes into developing a brand new product. So for my next release I’m not designing any new categories, but new designs for existing categories: cards, tote bags, notepads, etc. I’ve had many people ask me for Mother’s and Father’s Day cards, so there will be some of those, as well as new birthday, thank you, and congratulations cards.

black_friday_2015_8balloons

Happy Thanksgiving y’all! We’re thankful for you, dear readers. The lovely Kristin has a fab Black Friday sale  running from today through Sunday, with 25% off everything in the shop (except zippered pouches)! Time to stock up on your holiday (and other) stationery.

Photos courtesy Semi Sweet Press and Madeloni Photography.



I kind of want Allison Black to be my new BFF because she’s a super talented designer, an animal lover, and uses her artwork to support good causes. Also, she once built a 5′ unicorn named Herman. Allison is awesomeness all-around, and so is her new line of greeting cards, Hip-Hip! You may recognize Allison’s illustrations from her previous stationery line Hooray Today, a collaboration with designer Alyssa Nassner. Allison’s designs are vibrant, fun and cheerful, oft featuring animals in party hats. Hip-Hip features rich, bright color palettes, hand lettering and sweet, celebratory illustrations.Your designs are happiness on paper. Please tell me a bit about your creative process.

I’ve tried so many processes over the years, but no matter how I approach a project my best work happens when I’m not over-thinking it!  I always start with loose sketches, usually on scrap paper, so I don’t feel anxious about just going for it.  Once I have a concept that I’m excited about, I look up images of the animal and take note about their shapes, details and colors so I can keep that in mind while I work.  After that, I go straight into final art!  If I do tight sketches, it loses something when I transfer it into the computer.  The art evolves a lot as I work in Photoshop – I have a million layers in my files!I like that animals and celebration (and often a combo of the two) are oft featured in your designs – your cards are smile-inducing. Tell me a little a bit about your love of animals and any pets you have or hope to have. 

My dad and sister are veterinarians and I grew up in a house with 18 pets.  Needless to say, we’re an animal-loving family!  We make up voices and personalities for our animals, so transferring that into art comes naturally.  Right now my husband and I have two dogs, two guinea pigs and a cat.  I hope to one day live on a big piece of property where we can have chickens, goats and a pig or two!What would be a dream creative project or collaboration for you?

My dream collaboration would be with the Land Of Nod.  I’d love it if they asked me to create a cast of characters and products for them to produce.  I’ve been in product design for over seven years, but I’m always asked to develop items for someone elses brand.  I’d love the chance to explore Hip-Hip characters in different product categories outside of stationery.  Right now the Land of Nod is selling some of our art prints from Hooray Today, so who knows – maybe it’ll happen!What appeals to you about stationery? 

Stationery is a great medium in which to share art.  When I was younger, I made hand-drawn thank you and birthday cards for my friends and family.  I always enjoyed the process of making art and giving it to somebody, so it’s amazing to be able to do that on a much larger scale now!  I also love that the items people buy from my shop not only travel to that person, but then they send it someone else.  My cards have traveled farther than I have!

What stationery item or related item couldn’t you live without?

Probably my Dahle sliding cutter! It may seem like an odd choice but I’ve had it for 5 years now and I use it to trim cards, journal packaging…you name it!  The second thing would be this insanely huge list pad I got as a development sample.  There was an error with the size, but it’s amazing because I have SO many lists and it’s actually big enough for me!  I might develop something similar for Hip-Hip next year!

FarmSanctuaryBanner_HolidayDonation

You’re donating $5 from every order placed through December 25th to the farm Sanctuary. Please tell me a bit more about this. 

My parents taught me that it’s important to give back to those that are less fortunate and also to give a voice for those that don’t have one.  I’ve done a lot of charitable work, but I’ve always wanted to make a bigger impact – including educating others about the efforts of amazing groups like Farm Sanctuary.  When I started making initial plans to build Hip-Hip, utilizing the brand to give back was a top priority and Farm Sanctuary is an incredible organization, recognized for utilizing their resources and making a big impact with every dollar they receive.  We’re hoping by the end of our campaign, we’ll be able to sponsor a Hip-Hip chicken for a year!  Plus, have you seen photos on their site of their rescued pigs?  Adorable!Please complete this sentence: Snail mail is….

Snail mail is…a way to send a smile to friends and family!

Anything that you want to share that I’ve not asked about?

Here are a few fun facts about me:
1. I’ve drawn more cats than any other animal throughout my career – and I still love drawing them!
2. I built a 5′ tall cardboard unicorn (named Herman) for a show in Minneapolis a few years ago and he barely fit in my car.
3. I’ve owned guinea pigs since I was five and I’ve had 18 of them over the years!  My two current piggies are named Bean and Earl.

Want to win a sweet holiday giveaway? Check Instagram for more details about the Hip-Hip giveaway!

 


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.

467

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.

469

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.

468

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.

436

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.

388

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.

445

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.

460

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

326

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.

450

Please finish this sentence: Snail mail is…

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

 


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

Instagram


I’ve been fortunate enough to have had such supportive friends during the beginning stages of 8Balloons. One of those friends was Cristy Flores, who eventually became one of my favorite guest bloggers. Cristy always had an eye for fashion and could make anything ordinary look unique. It wasn’t shocking when she told me about her new design venture, California Ave. with her friend Carly. California Ave. pairs their love of colorful designs with jewelry and other fun accessories. Everything from the simple, yet distinct packaging to the eclectic mixture of pieces makes me oh so happy.

{all images via California Ave.}

California Ave. packaging

California Ave Purple

Key NecklaceWish BraceletsHair TiesPink Quartz

 

 

 


A few weeks ago, after feeling a bit defeated in “start-up land,” I saw Eric of Spofford Press post one of his new letterpress prints from their summer collection and immediately felt inspired. There are many reasons Spofford Press stood out to me, among them being from the Northeast (just like me!). They continually create unique and fun letterpress cards and prints, all hand-drawn and printed on thick cotton paper with hand-mixed ink. Being in the start-up community myself, I can always appreciate a company that matches their creativity to how passionate they are with their work.

You can check out more of their note card sets, prints and new releases throughout the months on their site here!

Spofford Press You Got This

Quit Slackin

Ship In A Bottle

Jimmy Smithimages via Spofford Press


SpoffordPress

Nothing stirs my holiday cheer each year more than picking my favorite letterpress holiday cards to share with the most important people in my life. At this point, it’s almost expected that they’ll receive a beautiful card which, of course, puts no pressure whatsoever on me (wink). Although finding that perfect holiday gift can sometimes be painstaking and difficult on budgets, personalizing something special to share with those you love is important.

That’s why I love sending a unique, beautiful card that serves as a gift in itself! Here are some of my picks from my favorite shops that I have personally bought from for my family and friends. Ssshhh don’t tell. Just like Santa, I know whether you’ve been naughty or nice.

Spofford Press

I first found Eric Hoffman and his shop via Instagram—and I’m so glad I did because his talent is only surpassed by his passion for letterpress. For those of you now in the know, my favorite pick is the Christmas Lights Card above.

SpoffordPress2

via Spofford Press

Cherry Laurel Studio

My mom’s favorite holiday movie is A Christmas Story, so I had to buy this card by  Cherry Laurel Studio.

jdeluce

I adore this card by DeLuce Design and can’t wait to give it to my friend’s little ones.

FatBunnyPress

A very cute card for my little cousins by Fat Bunny Press.

echoletterpress

For the foodies in your life by Echo Letterpress

McBittersonsShop

Looking forward to giving this card by McBittersons Shop to all my guy friends. They all loved it last year.

Hartland Brooklyn

My girlfriends loved this dainty card I gave out last year by  Hartland Brooklyn.