Posts tagged cards
Showcasing Letterpress Art

The texture. The depth. Taking the letterforms I adore and transforming them into a treasured object.

Hello letterpress.

I fell in love as an undergraduate with a worn, creaky letterpress machine and the beauty it created. I made some extra projects that semester so I could be alone in the studio, setting my own type by hand and adding in each piece of leading.

I'm always on the hunt for wonderful works on letterpress. The works that are affordable - and very easy for me to talk myself into - are greeting cards. And, I know I'm biased, but I feel like letterpress cards are always a little snarkier or punny-ier than your average card, and that is right up my alley.

You'll find these greeting cards all over my home and office. I never put my letterpress behind glass because I want to be able to gawk at the embossing even while it hangs on the wall or sits on a desk.

I've been holding on to two designs with some wonderful blue ink to frame together. To showcase the cards, I grabbed my very old pack of Color-aid papers from art school to find a shade to use for mounting.

Erika from Foxtrot Press gave me this whimsical greeting that makes me smile every time I look at it. It's totally my personality to get really excited with someone before I even know what it is that we're celebrating! I'm easily convinced for the sake of a party.

This card I purhcased many years ago and fits my sense of humor (you know me and my lunchbox note punnies, right?). The layers of embossing won me over - the beautiful, delicate pattern with crisp, line image on top.

I let the cards breathe a bit by putting a small amount of sticky putty in the top open corner.

Do you have any letterpress art hanging around your spaces?

Wishing you all a beautiful Easter. We have some wonderful Church services ahead with family and friends as well as a child and adult Easter egg hunt in our backyard.

xoxo, MJ


Fresh Holiday Traditions: Turn Your Children's Writing into a Thank You Stamp

Happy, happy Wednesday, friends!! It's time for another wonderful Fresh Holiday Tradition. This time we hear from the extraordinaire, Alexandra, with a clever way to incorporate your children and their handwriting into thank you notes for the season!

As a mom, I'm always looking for ways to teach and to practice gratitude with my three children. After birthdays and holidays, we write out thank you cards, but as we all know this can quickly become a tiresome chore.

Ta da. Try this! Alexandra asked her son to write the words Thank You, and she converted his handwriting into a stamp (via a handy dandy eraser),

Click on over to get the details! I could see this method being an amazing way to use children's greetings for Christmas on envelopes or gift wrap. Or how about an I love you stamp put on every correspondence to Grandma and Grandpa?!

Too cute! Don't forget to check out our other projects in the series:

Make It: Vinyl Letter Cards

Hiya, friends!! How are you? I'm still in a bit of a fog from an active weekend of sports, spring cleaning, and one of my very favorite places... Lake Michigan. The Lake is a fabulous source of renewal for me amidst this land-locked farmland (which I also love).

Friday night left me a few moments to craft and create, and today I'm sharing a super easy DIY with you! I picked up some vinyl letters from Michael's during a great sale - and in one of my fave fonts, Helvetica - and I thought they'd be perfect for the packages headed out to the great ladies of the For the Love of Blogging series.


I kept the text simple to accentuate the fun of thick, vinyl letters.


Super easy, full of wit. Just my style.

I can't wait to send these on their way! .

Join me back tomorrow for a very special Tuesday post, inspired by the awesome Ann and her fabulous new series.

Let's get our game faces on for a week of big, big joy.

xoxo, MJ

P.S. A little later this week, I'll be showing you what else is in the mail for these wise women!!

Chat It Up: Is the post the most?

The post, the mail, however you name it, this bundle of correspondence comes to our residences six times a week. Or it did. For those of us in the United States, we recently heard the announcement that, due to budget constraints, mail will only be distributed five days a week. That's right, no more Saturday service.

My initial reaction was one of disappointment. "Oh man, I won't be able to check the mail for friend's cards and letters, in a leisurely way on the weekends."

And then I realized... Wait. That doesn't happen now. The leisure or the letters. :)

I have fabulous friends from all over the planet, but how often do I receive a letter or a card? Even more of a stretch when was the last time I sent one? Like not for a birthday or Christmas?

My poor brain cells got quite the workout trying to remember when was the last time I wrote a letter (outside of a card). College! Before email, Facebook, or Twitter were mainstays of long distance correspondence.

So after my dip into melancholy, I pondered - do I really enjoy letters and cards as much as I once did? This query is coming from someone who has dreamed of working for Hallmark, the big time card mecca. I adore all sorts of stationery and cards, but perhaps as much for the art and poetry of them. On minor holidays like Halloween or St. Patrick's Day, I find myself wondering what to do with all the paper greetings left on the mantle once the celebration ends.

I've also discovered (or maybe re-discovered) the excitement and joy that simple texts can elicit. They are so real-time, and I feel more a part of faraway friend's life through the immediate messaging. A heartfelt email, you know the multiple-paragraph kind, gets saved in a significant folder on my laptop. Even silly Facebook messages get a few readings to remember the shared words and shared friendship.

And yet, the beauty of handwritten messages and the return of the craft of hand lettering has brought back an artform almost lost. The act of composing lines on a page for emphasis and clarity is an exercise of care so rarely taken.

Perhaps it depends on the message and the time available to communicate? Or is that just something we offer as a reason in all too busy lives?

Can't wait to hear your thoughts.

xoxo, MJ



A tri- to try


It's Friday, friends, and that means it's time to gear up or downshift for the weekend. I've got a tri- for you to try in your home, on your blog, and in your office.

Today, will you be dressing like friend to pretend your twins for the Twins Day Festival? No? Well, then make sure you grab a hot dog, pretzel, or whatever else suits your fancy to ring in the party for National Mustard Day on Saturday. Call your sister or spend the whole Sunday with her on the 5th because it's officially Sisters Day. We'll be celebrating sisters in a big way at our house on August 18th during our annual Sisters Day (more on that later).



Nicole over at Making It Lovely posted an awesome how-to guide on pattern layering. I love her mix of whimsy and classical design. It makes me want to try some new pillows or a new tray in my living room to create some more interesting vignettes.


Victoria over at VMac and Cheese has a bundle of fabulous ideas. Did you catch her ideas to drive more traffic to your blog? Number 2 and number 3 have me thinking that maybe I should change some things up!

On a bloggy note, don't forget to join me and many, many other amazing bloggers tomorrow (Saturday, August 4) for Blog Brunch. It's an amazing hour over on Twitter, and we're talking about Growing a Readership.


Lexy of The Proper Pinwheel crafted some mighty cute pinhole cards that you and I could totally create this weekend and send to each other. All you need is some great colored cardstock, a scissors, tape, safety pin, (I've got all those!) and a mirrored image of the text or image you want to create.

We're hanging out at home and soaking up one of the last weekends of summer with birthday parties, back-to-school shopping, and good old-fashioned rest.

Have a bright weekend, friends!




DIY - Chalk It Up

Happy Friday, friends! I have a fun little something to share with you today. It's easy, silly, and the kind of project everyone can handle (isn't that the best!).

I kind of have a thing for chalkboards. The chalkboard wall in our kitchen is one of my favorite spots in the world (I'll have to show it to you some time).

Here's a charming way to add whimsy to your notes...and you can make as many chalk mistakes as you want. Just erase! And if you have kiddos around, let them join in the fun, too.

 See how to make it happen!

The thicker the paper weight, the better. If you're hoping for a permanent fix to your images, spray gently with aerosol hairspray. And if freehand painting stresses you out, grab some stencils for your chalkboard shapes!

Thanks for stopping over. Hope your weekend is a bright one!


PS. I made some extras that I'd love to give to you. Leave a happy comment below or follow me on Twitter (@parscaeli) if you'd like your own set of chalk notes.

MJ KocovskiDIY, cards, chalk, easy