Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Artist Story > White River Co.

Sending (pretty) mail is a quick way to bring delight to someone you love. Bonus: It gives you a small bit of screen-free/slow-down time for yourself! White River Co.’s beautiful stationery is a sure bet to do some day-brightening. (Lily of the valley or zodiac card anyone?) 

P.S. I thought it was high time that I broke out my tiny watercolour set. Why not paint a little “HI” or “OK” on some envelopes? 

Sophie of White River Co. let me in on her background >

Where do you live? 

The small town of Haliburton in Ontario. North of Toronto in the heart of cottage country.

How did you start White River Co.? 

I guess I always knew in the back of my mind I wanted to have my own business and work for myself so I finally just went for it. I spent a couple of months researching, learning how to print, building a website and experimenting with designs. Thankfully I had previously worked at a print company so I knew what was expected and had a bit of knowledge. With the help of my very supportive family encouraging me to put myself out there, I finally launched White River Co. at the end of October 2016. I've already grown so much in these few months and my style has become much more clear and focused. I'm teaching myself new things every day and figuring out where I want to go with the company. 

What are you reading? 

I'm awful at making time to read actual books. However right now I'm listening to Lauren Graham's book Talking as Fast as I Can. I constantly have audiobooks playing when I'm working and in the car.

What's your favourite podcast?

Lately I've been loving Cathy Heller's Don't Keep Your Day Job. It's great for people who want to learn some tips on turning your passion into profit and listen to fellow creators.

Where did you last travel? 

Most likely it was to Calgary to visit my siblings although it’s been a while. I'll be doing a road trip of Western Canada and the States in the summer for some much needed inspiration.

What are your influences/inspiration? 

I’m lucky to be surrounded by beautiful lakes and nature, which obviously has a huge influence on my work. But I definitely feel most inspired when I go to galleries and art shows. I love seeing what others create and talking to fellow artists. Seeing so many different styles not only gives me inspiration but it reminds me of my own talent and I usually want to just go home and create.

What is your creative process? 

I get ideas anytime, anywhere. I keep a note on my phone so when I see something that triggers an idea I just jot it down for later. I tend to do most of my painting or drawing in the evening, which is when I do my best work. Often the idea on the list doesn't quite work out how I imagined but results in a couple of other nice designs. In the morning I photograph and work in Adobe to edit and finish cards. My process is constantly tweaking and shaping fragments into complete designs.

What do you like to do in your spare time? 

I'm most likely working on acrylic paintings, cuddling/playing with my dog Escher, and watching far too much Netflix.

Find White River Co. > website instagram twitter facebook

Monday, April 24, 2017

Good Things

1. Chasing cherry blossoms in the city. (Also: blossoms on stamps!)
2. Rhubarb pie at the Drake.
3. This podcast on a quiet morning run.
4. My Italian Bulldozer read in tiny pockets of free time.
5. Pasta with rapini/garlic/olives.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

The Papery

Hello west coast stamp lovers!  I have a new stockist in Victoria, BC.  Stop by The Papery if you want some vintage postage to spruce up your letters!

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

What I'm Reading

"Each day's walk to the mailbox brings a new batch of seed catalogs, and my imagination runs wild with all the possibilities for the coming year. Graph paper, gardening books, catalogs, and colored pencils litter my dining room table, and every waking hour is devoted to plotting out the season to come."

Floret Farm's Cut Flower Garden
Erin Benzakein

Monday, April 17, 2017

Good Things

1. Stamps that celebrate botanical gardens.
2. Everything spring related: iced tea, running outside, bright yellow forsythia.
3. The #meaningfulcorrespondence project.
4. Reading Skin Cleanse.
5. Plain croissants + really good jam.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Good Things

1. Palm tree stamps.
2. Eight letters written for the #write_on challenge!
3. Baked my all-time favourite muffins from the Butter Baked Goods cookbook.
4. Picnic + Scrabble at the beach.
5. Reading One Part Plant.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Artist Story > Cabin Journal

I don’t know about you but I sure want a hot pink watermelon postcard landing in my mailbox! Emily of Cabin Journal has totally put her sweet spin on everyday objects. Whether it be pinecones, cookies or even manicured hands, her postcards immediately bring on cheer.        

Here's a little background on Cabin Journal >

Where do you live?

Downtown Toronto, wedged between (what was) the Fashion District and China Town.

How did you start Cabin Journal?

Cabin has been evolving since it’s inception in 2014. What began as a prospective small-press, independently published magazine focusing on young makers in Canada has transformed instead into a fledgling stationery (and soon textile home goods) company with a nostalgic feel and twin passions for nature and pattern. Both projects still share a love of paper goods and the unique and personal tactile experience they lend the user. The magazine contents are still simmering in the background, waiting for Cabin to - eventually - circle around to it’s publication origins. One day.

What are you reading?
Witches of America by Alex Mar. This impulse buy from the book store (I really liked the dust jacket design, though was mildly interested in the topic as well) has so far been inspiring and entertaining.

What's your favourite podcast?

I’ll admit I’m terrible with podcasts. I usually listen to audio books when I’m working. It’s like story time, something I never really grew out of I suppose! I tend to listen to the same books over and over. There is something comforting in them, like old friends. I know all chapters intimately, as well as the nuances of the reader; I find having them playing in the background chattering away doesn’t distract - I can stop listening or can pick it up again and know exactly what’s happening. Currently playing in the background, The Hobbit, for the 600th time, I’m sure. 

Where did you last travel?

I’ve just got home from Naples, Florida (goodbye flowers!) - it made a nice break from Toronto’s signature grey tones.

What are your influences/inspiration?

Broadly, I’d list my top inspiration sources as nature (chiefly flowers, plants, birds, fruit), vintage textiles (floral motifs, feedsack patterns, Scandinavian designs) and old books (on nature, world textiles, and illustrated children’s stories). Objects and memories from childhood also play a large influence - nostalgic memories many share like mixed-cookie tins and corner store dime candies. Escaping the city environs lights up the brightest inspirations though. Getting out into the country or down to the Maritimes every summer completely refreshes me and leaves me bubbling with a veritable stew of new ideas.

What is your creative process?

It varies depending on what I am working on. Sometimes I need a trip out of the city or a good foraging session at an antique-fair for inspiration to get started in on a project. Sometimes a colour or a fragment of some pattern will inform the direction of the designs to come. Whatever inspiration sparks the idea, sketching out plans and then colour blocking them in with markers follows. Everything on paper is pretty loose - I prefer tightening up designs digitally. The finals are all digital too, drawn or painted in Photoshop or Illustrator and colour separated (if printing screen or risograph).

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I love exploring markets in my spare time; I’m lucky China Town and Kensington are so close by, there are so many fruit vendors and small shops near to look through. There’s always something new and interesting to discover. I can spend hours happily trawling a shoreline for rocks/shells/glass pieces/shards of old crockery; habits from childhood that never faded, the thrill of the hunt. I delight in antique markets and fairs, the more the better. There is no better place to see so many different things displayed all at once, so much eye candy and inspiration at every turn, it’s divine!

Find Cabin Journal > website instagram facebook

Monday, April 3, 2017

Good Things

1. Crocuses are blooming around town.
2. The prettiest flower book ever.
3. Baked blueberry cornmeal muffins.
4. Parka-free days.
5. Fish-shaped waffles in Koreatown.

Friday, March 31, 2017


"Write_On is a mission driven campaign to promote joy, creativity, expression, and connection through hand-written correspondence."

The aim is to write 30 letters in 30 days. But, hey, don't feel too much pressure.  Just settle in with your favourite stationery supplies and write a few more notes than usual.  I always get caught up in the slowing-down-and-writing-a-real-letter that I end up with a little pile of them!  

For letter-writing inspo > Write_On website + resources

P.S. Until May 1st use code WRITEON in my shop for 15% off stamps!

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Artist Story > Hello Paper Co.

When I stumble upon letterpress cards that are ultra gorgeous and environmentally friendly I feel as though I’ve hit the jackpot. Jill of Hello Paper Co. makes stationery that’s just that. Super rad designs plus tree-free cotton paper makes writing letters a dream! 

Side note > I totally cut, folded + glued the killer hearts and stripe-y wrapping paper into envelopes! Just the thing for when you want a really simple, at-home craft project.

Here’s some insight into Hello Paper Co.’s story >

Where do you live?

I live in Logan Square, a northwest neighborhood of Chicago.

How did you start Hello Paper Co.?

My love of letterpress and paper started while studying art at Washington University in St. Louis. I've had several 9-5 design jobs since then, from working at magazines to small start ups, but I began to take on more and more freelance letterpress projects on the side. I decided I wanted to focus on paper goods and printmaking as my full-time career, so I launched Hello Paper Co. about a year ago.

What are you reading?

I just finished The Brief and Frightening Reign of Phil by George Saunders. He writes some of my favorite satires and short stories.

Where did you last travel?

Recently most of my traveling has been as a wedding guest. Last year alone I went to Seattle, Portland, LA, Brooklyn, Boston, and Charleston for wedding-related trips.

What are your influences/inspiration?

I love drawing plants, but since I live in a city I'm usually inspired by indoor gardens or potted house plants. I also have a weakness for beautifully design ephemera like postcards, coasters, and matchbooks (my apartment is filled with stuff like that).

What is your creative process?

I usually start off by making lists. I have lists all over for ideas of what to make or draw next. Once something has been on a list for awhile and I'm convinced it's a good idea, I start sketching it. Then I draw a more polished version, clean it up on my laptop, and finally turn it into a letterpress plate and hand print it.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

Go to movies, ride my bike, spend time with family and friends, and play music. I play the piano and I've been attempting to learn the ukelele.

Find Hello Paper Co. > website instagram facebook

Monday, March 27, 2017

Good Things

1. A warm afternoon spent at Sunnyside Beach.
2. Potting soil is at the shops. (Sure sign of spring!)
3. Baked bread. So worth the overnight rise.
5. Daytrip to the country. Apple pie included.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

What I'm Reading

“Take the time to write a handwritten letter.  Think of someone who you are grateful to have in your life and write to them to tell them why.”

The Little Book of Hygge
Meik Wiking

Monday, March 20, 2017

Good Things

1. North Carolina + Virginia.  Same state flowers + bird.  Two different stamps.
3. Tart cherry juice.
5. The First Mess (cooking inspo!) + Ladies Drawing Night (sketchbook heaven!).

Friday, March 17, 2017

Almost Spring

We're onto our last days of winter.  Which means flowers.  Leaves.  Iced tea.  Picnics.  Longer walks.

So to celebrate that it's almost spring I'm having a sale on stamps.  Everything in my shop is 10% off until Sunday night.  


Thursday, March 16, 2017

Artist Story > Tiny Bones Press

“Writing notes, cards and letters is all about connecting.  Whether it be a relationship with a friend, time or place one should do it often.”  Megan’s cards are minimal and beautiful.  They are so very right to have in your desk drawer.  When it’s time for a little note-sending these are just the ones.  (Hello, Tuesday’s snowstorm!  My cozy set-up included a mug of green tea, jazz on the radio, my favourite blanket and the crossed arrows cards for a bit of letter writing.) 

Here's a bit of a look into Tiny Bones Press >

Where do you live?

After a decade in Brooklyn, my husband and I headed even more east...  Now, I live in a small village on the north shore of Long Island, New York and split my time between there and New York City.

How did you start Tiny Bones Press?

I always loved making things and am specifically drawn to print.  Once I went for a letterpress class, I knew it was the end of most of my free time.  I press everything one by one by hand, so there's something really special and satisfying in that process for me.  Eventually I just started producing stationery that I wanted to use, and hoping that other people might want to use it too.

What are you reading?

A couple books at once usually, right now: The Poetics of Space by Gaston Bachelard, Fingerprints of the Gods by Graham Hancock and just started South and West by Joan Didion.

What's your favorite podcast?
On Being with Krista Tippett is my latest favorite.

Where did you last travel?

Last summer around my birthday, we did a road trip traveling through Arizona, going up to Utah, then over to Joshua Tree and ending in LA.  There's something about these areas that I can't really put into words.  This trip was truly one of the most beautiful road trips I've been on - I already can't wait to get back out that way.

What are your influences/inspiration?

Trying to find them everyday in many places - I'm a very visual person, so anything that catches my eyes and interests from art to film to design to symbols to colors to shapes to landscape to friends.

What is your creative process?

In general, reading and looking at as many things possible and then sketching or writing out ideas that come to mind.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

Read, write notes, look at pictures, spend time outdoors (when it's warm) and cuddle my dog Grizzly.

Find Tiny Bones Press > website instagram facebook