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November 14th, 2013

Thanksgiving weekend is the perfect time to write your holiday cards

If you are like us, you are feeling the crush of the holiday season barreling down on you right about now. Looking at the calendar for the remainder of the year (and the lack of blank spaces on it) brings with it a slight sense of panic. How do we make time for all the things that we WANT to do during the holidays?

One thing many people end up not making enough time for (and thus, don’t enjoy) is sitting down to write and address holiday cards. Each day you mean to do it, but then it just gets passed over for more pressing items on your list.

We’re going to share a secret with you. There is a way to find some extra time for yourself: Thanksgiving weekend. Yes, you read that right. If you think about it, there is a lot of down time during the Thanksgiving celebrations. What about when the pies are in the oven, or when the rest of the family is watching football? Maybe while you are sitting on a plane you can plan to write your cards instead of scrolling through the TV screen?  Like anything, you have to plan time for it and make it important enough that you commit to doing it. Writing cards shouldn’t be a chore! What this activity really is about is making quiet time in your life to connect with friends and family. If you think of it as a chore, it will be.

Together, let’s revive the holiday tradition of sending cards out of love, not obligation!

Here’s what you need to do….

1) Plan some time, even just 30 minutes is fine. Mark it on your calendar!

2) Buy your cards in advance. You don’t want to have to shop for these on Black Friday! Don’t be over ambitious with tons of cards. Maybe just pick 10 people you would really like to send a greeting to this year. Check out our Holiday Shoppe for some inspiration!

3) Pick out some nice stamps. You can do this online in advance from the post office or maybe buy a selection of vintage stamps (from somewhere like etsy) to use if you really want to get creative. Stamps are like jewelry for the envelope, so pick something you like!

4) Clear off a table or your desk to write your cards. Make yourself comfortable. You can’t do this properly from the coffee table!

5) Use a nice pen. Nothing is better than that feeling of the ink rolling out smoothly on paper. Your handwriting will improve automatically!

6) Make yourself a nice cup of tea, coffee or hot cocoa to enjoy while you are writing. A toasty beverage will not only put you in the holiday spirit but will make you feel a little bit pampered too.

7) Write something from your heart in the card. All it needs is just a sentence or two, but something more than your name and a generic holiday greeting. Think about the people in your life. Has it been a difficult year for anyone on your list? A thoughtful message will mean the world to them (and to you!)

8) Remember to sign your cards! This is especially true of those of you who have your family’s names preprinted below a photo. Your holiday cards need to have your mark, your DNA on them!

9) When you are done and your cards are addressed and stamped, we highly recommend you put on a coat and take a little walk down to the corner to drop these in a mailbox. It will be the perfect end to the time you’ve set aside for yourself!

Just one more thing. Cherish the cards YOU receive. Make sure to verbally thank people for sending you a card when you speak to them during the holidays. Let them know that YOU appreciate the time and effort it takes to send cards and that you loved receiving it! So many people we talk to think that no one cares about the cards they send anymore. They are wrong!

We hope that you will join us in writing your holiday cards Thanksgiving Weekend!

-Susie & Heidi

November 13th, 2013

vintage library: thank you for so many things

The month of November always brings with it talk of being thankful. All the chatter just ends up being perfunctory and stereotypical. When an original voice crosses your path, it really makes an impact on you. This little book did just that for me. Thank You For So Many Things by Rosalind Welcher is a pure gem. I was not familiar with Ms. Welcher’s work before this, but now we’re definitely fans! An illustrator, influential greeting card designer, book author and artist. If you are interested, you can read a bit more about her HERE.

Thank You For So Many Things, with it’s bright pink paper pages, is meant to be a gift book. It has certainly been a gift to me and it is now a cherished addition to our vintage library here at the studio.

Now back to being thankful. What this little book conveys in 25 pages is powerful. The book jacket explains, “…Rosalind Welcher takes the more difficult course of expressing complex thoughts and feelings in simple terms, and it is this quality of sophistication disguised as naivete which undoubtedly accounts for the success of her books.” This book makes you feel like it was just scribbled and sketched in a moment, with a personal and loving spirit.

The format is so intimate and engaging. The words and illustrations so very dear, that it is hard for me to convey it to you here! “Thank you for being kind and loyal and warm and understanding.” This little book contains everything you want to say to your dearest friend. In truth, it is all the unsaid things!

If in your travels, you come across a copy of this book: BUY IT! You will THANK yourself!

Thank You For So Many Things by Rosalind Welcher - Published by Panda Prints, Inc. New York 1968


August 12th, 2013

new york travel posters

This week we’re leaving for our bi-annual trip to New York to exhibit at the NY Gift Fair. As always we are super excited to visit one of our favorite cities and to exhibit at the gift show.  Just looking at these vintage travel posters of New York gets our heart beating! Hooray! New York here we come!!!!

We just need to point out how amazing the hand-letting is on the poster (above right). Love how Saks (department store) is included in with all of the famous streets & neighborhoods!

Safe Travels!

-Susie & Heidi

August 8th, 2013

thrift shop find: tote ‘n’ go bag

I found this bag (for $0.69!) the other night on a quick stop at a thrift shop that’s on my route home. I guess it’s further proof that I’m just a sentimental sap. Our Mom had many of these printed vinyl bags when we were growing up. I’m pretty sure this exact one as well. We used these bags to carry groceries and later for school books, until the vinyl became so hard that it cracked and broke at the handles.

I love that this thrifted tote is brand-spanking new, hang tag intact and all. From a design standpoint, the hang tag design does not match the groovy era of the printed vinyl. Maybe a case of an older company striking out with a forward design, but not redesigning their printed identity to go along?

With cities are adopting rules banning plastic bags at grocery stores, I realize that I’ve always been ready with a cute tote. Maybe because our Mother didn’t drive and we walked or took public transportation everywhere as children, having a stylish tote with you was a neccessity! I’m not sure yet if I will actually use this bag or just leave it tacked up on my office wall. Either way, it reminds me of our Mom and that’s good.


July 22nd, 2013

our shopping picks for renegade craft fair SF

We are so excited to be participating in Renegade San Francisco next weekend (July 27 & 28). We love seeing our loyal Bay area customers in person, meeting new friends and shopping the fair ourselves! Here is a little list of a few of OUR first stops this weekend!

16 Sparrows: We’ve been obsessed with their Pigeon Post kits for a while. Can’t wait to see these in person!

Blooms in the Air: Yes, these are made from paper! As beautiful as they look in photos, they are even more gorgeous up close!

Mimi Kirchner: Doll maker extraordinaire! How can you not fall in love with her creations? Check out her site and prepare to be amazed!!!

Diamond Dazed: Their geometric beaded necklaces caught our eye: a little sparkle without too much bling!

Imagine Nations: These hand-painted globes by Wendy Gold are nothing short of awe inspiring!

Little Friends of Printmaking: We already have a half a dozen of their prints in our homes and in our studio but we are always wooed into buying more!

Mahar Craft: Robert Mahar is a one man crafting genius. Of late, he has been making these gorgeous mobiles that we have spied on instagram & pinterest. We can’t wait to see them up close!

Seriously, this list could go on and on! Here’s a LINK to view all 250 makers that will be at Renegade SF!

Have fun!

Susie & Heidi

p.s. Don’t forget to download your free California Love iphone wallpapers HERE!

July 22nd, 2013

free iphone wallpaper download - california love!

Here’s a fun freebie for you! To celebrate our home state and our road trip up to Northern California next weekend, we created some colorful iphone wallpapers. You can download it for free for your own personal use in 3 sizes: for iphone 5: HERE, iphone 4: HERE and for all other iphone models HERE.

Enjoy & spread the Cali love!

Susie & Heidi

July 21st, 2013

renegade craft fair - san francisco

We excited to announce that we are packing up the van and heading up north to San Francisco to set up shop at the Renegade Craft Fair next weekend! We haven’t been to SF in several years and we are super excited to visit one of our favorite cities and see all of our awesome bay area customers!

Renegade is being held next weekend: July 27th & 28th at the Fort Mason Center Festival Center. Both days you can shop from 11am - 7 pm. You can find out more about the event HERE. Including a list of all the makers that will also be there.

We’ll have a big selection of our most popular designs, plus we will be debuting our new prints and California Love mugs & cards!

This year we are celebrating a big anniversary, our 20th year in business, so we will have a very special gift with purchase! If you spend $20+ you’ll get an awesome goodie bag filled with $20 worth of product! We will only have 30 of these goodie bags available each day….so make us your first stop each day!

If you are planning on coming to Renegade SF and there is something specific you are interested in purchasing from us, shoot us an email before Thursday (7/25) that way we can be sure to pack one up for you.

Hope to see you there!

Susie & Heidi

p.s. Here is a little something free for you in celebration of our trip!

June 14th, 2013

Dads are difficult!

Father’s Day is this weekend and I recently struggled to find a card for my father-in-law. You’re probably wondering why I don’t just give him one of Rock Scissor Paper’s cards and the answer is that it just seems like the easy way out. I looked and looked for a card that wasn’t overly wordy and that didn’t have stereotypical Dad imagery.  My father-in-law doesn’t fish or watch football and isn’t much for mushy sentiment, so that ruled out a lot of the cards out there. After looking at hundreds of cards online, I came to the conclusion that Dads are difficult! I know as designers we often struggle with what imagery to use when designing a Dad card. Moms are easy, but what do Dad’s like?!  If you go by the vintage image above, the answer is socks, slippers, golf, ties, vests and pipes!

I looked at a lot of vintage cards, thinking maybe something from a past era would suit him, but what I soon realized was that unless smoking was one of his proudest accomplishments, I would have a hard time finding something.

Can you imagine buying this card for your Dad?

I came across so many cards where smoking was the main motif, like this one with it’s fancy ashtray:

Or this one for the outdoorsman Dad:

Or these if he favors pipe smoking:

I wonder, decades from now, what current Father’s Day cards we will look back at and laugh about.  No matter how funny or dated, I think we will also smile at the memory of picking out a card for our Dad, a gesture purely meant to say “Dad, I love you!”.

A very happy Father’s Day to all the great Dads out there who truly make a difference in the lives of their children.

I’ll leave you with a favorite photo of Susie and I with our Dad.  (He was a smoker.  I sure hope we never gave him a smoking card!)

- Heidi

March 27th, 2013

desktop wallpaper free download: smitten for kittens

Here’s a little something special for you! A free desktop wallpaper featuring all six of our Smitten Kittens. You can download the file right HERE.

Make sure to check out our newest collection of designs: Smitten for Kittens!


-Susie & Heidi

March 27th, 2013

smitten for kittens!

We are so excited to share with you our new collection for spring called Smitten for Kittens! Last fall, when we were working on new ideas for our line, Heidi came to me with a sketch of an adorable orange kitten with a heart shaped nose. At the time, she thought that it would be a one-off design that would adorn just a mug and that’s it. Well, I fell in love, and by the next afternoon I had made a half a dozen variations on her original kitten and this colorful group was born!

In January, we debuted these designs at the New York International Gift Fair to our wholesale buyers. Our booth featured a display of our kitten products right on the aisle to lure buyers in. Who can resist an adorable kitten, right?

We made a bunch of faux yarn balls to use in the display with the kittens. The yarn became the accent material to our entire booth display!

Heidi came up with the idea of making some cookie packs to give out to buyers to promote the Smitten for Kittens collection. Trader Joe’s market carries these yummy graham cracker cookies calls “Cats Cookies” and we bagged those up with our custom packaging. The only problem is that some people thought the cookies were FOR cats NOT people! It definitely made for some laughs!

Please be sure to check out the entire collection of kitten designs on our site. Which one is your favorite?

In celebration of the release of our Smitten for Kittens collection we designed a little freebie for you. Take a look HERE!