Thursday, December 10, 2009

Matchbook Calendar Giveaway Winners!

Thanks to everyone who entered to receive a 2010 Matchbook Calendar. I appreciate all the kind comments, and am pleased to announce that the winners are:

#14 - Deb's Artful Journey
#6 - Marna
#17 - uglygirl

Please contact me with your name, mailing address, and which color you would like (red, blue or green), and I will mail them out in a jiffy!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

I'm Finished With Next Year.

(Next year's calendars, that is!)

One of my vivid holiday memories from childhood is our extended family gathering at my grandparents' print shop to help make hundreds of calendars for the following year to give to customers. We'd all squeeze in to the shop on a Saturday, and spend the entire day working together.

My grandpa would print the pages for each month the week before, and then we'd all work in a line, collating them. Once we had a big stack of collated calendars, we'd tidy it perfectly straight, weigh it down, and paint one side with red padding compound. After a bit, the compound would be dry, and I'd use a knife to cut apart the stack one calendar a time. Grandpa cleverly cut December just a tad longer than the other months, so I could pull apart each calendar by feel. Then we'd staple the year's pages to a piece of cardstock that the customer could hang from their wall during the coming year.

Anyway, collating these new matchbook-style calendars reminded me of those days gone by. These calendars aren't the wall kind, though, and I only made sixty, not hundreds. Instead, they're pocket-sized, with each month on a perforated page inside. They're available in three bright colors, and would make perfect stocking stuffers or gifts for co-workers or teachers. Help yourself, right here.

You know what? I think it's time for another giveaway. I'm offering three calendars to three people (one calendar each). To enter, please leave a comment below before 9:00 am CST on Thursday, December 10, 2009. I'll use the trusty random number generator to pick the winners that morning. Please be sure to check back then so I can get the necessary info from you if you're a winner. I'll allow one week for the winners to contact me before I choose any alternate winners. Thanks for entering!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

What I've Been Up To...

I've been working feverishly on a few new things for the holiday season, and one of the things I'm very excited about is this handmade paper that I've been making with my daughter this week. It was once a pile of cotton paper scraps I'd trimmed from other projects. Now it's a stack of light, soft, feathery paper we recycled ourselves. This afternoon, it's being transformed into something else, which I will share over the weekend. But before I do that, I had to try to capture its beauty in a photograph. Until the weekend...

Update: the result of the handmade paper is here.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Mum Recipe Cards Are Back

Another quick note this morning... the Personalized Mum Recipe Cards have been out-of-stock for a while, but this week I was able to print more. Now there are six more sets of each color available in the shop, just itching to have names printed on them. Just so you know.

Giveaway Winner

Thanks, everyone, for entering for the seed packet giveaway, and for all the kind comments. The winner is number 23, Lili. Congratulations! I'm so glad you all stopped by to visit this week, and hope you'll come back again soon.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Seed Packets (+ Giveaway!)

As I've said before, I often create something with a particular person in mind. These are for Glenn. Glenn was connected to me even before I was born, but it wasn't until after I became a mother myself that I really met him. His wife, Eleanor, was childhood friends with my grandmother. Then my parents happened to move to Wyoming, where Glenn and Eleanor lived, when I was a toddler. We didn't live there long, but Glenn and Eleanor stayed in touch with my parents and grandparents through the years.

My grandfather passed away shortly after my daughter arrived, and when family and friends gathered for the funeral, Glenn and I were reintroduced. He discovered my amateur interest in gardening, and I learned he was a Master Gardener. The following autumn, a package arrived on my doorstep from him. Inside were rolled-up paper bags, folded envelopes, and old prescription bottles full of seeds that he had gathered from his magnificent garden to share with me. Carrots, dill, larkspur, columbine and so many others – a wonderful gift from a terrific man.

Glenn passed away a couple of years ago, but I think he would have liked the idea of these little seed packets. I think he would have found them a handy way to pass along the bounty and knowledge from his garden to a burgeoning gardener like me.

I said awhile back that I'd do another giveaway, so here we go. I'm offering up a set of Personalized Seed Packets to a random winner – for yourself, or for you to give as a gift to someone special. I'll use a random number generator to pick the winner on Friday morning, September 25, 2009 at 9:00 am CST. Please leave a comment below to enter, and be sure to check back then so I can get the necessary info from you. Thanks for entering.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Come on in...

The new shop is now OPEN!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Moving Woes

I'd hoped to have the new site open for business this morning, but it looks like it will be later this evening. Oh, the joys of DNS addresses. Thanks for your patience, and please come back to visit tonight or tomorrow morning...

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

A New Twist on Old Maid

A while back, I joined a social network for industrious printer gals called Ladies of Letterpress. It's a diverse group of all sorts of girl printers who trade news, advice, and support. One of the other members, the talented Kathryn Hunter of Blackbird Letterpress in Baton Rouge, organized a letterpress swap over the summer. Participants each designed and printed a pair of cards for a deck of Old Maid. We came up with any character we wanted to, designed and printed 35 pairs, and sent them all to Kathryn to be collated and returned to us as a full deck. One of the requirements Kathryn set forth was that the pair of cards be slightly different from one another – they could be different illustrations, different colors, etc. – just different somehow.

Here is the first card of my pair:

And its mate:

Here they are together for comparison:

Friends will see the autobiographical nature of my character, I'm sure. I'm eagerly awaiting the arrival of the full deck...

Monday, September 14, 2009

The Petite Press Shop is moving.

Virtually, that is. The shop will be closed on Wednesday, September 16th and Thursday, September 17th as I work out the kinks to move everything over to a new system. I'll reopen the shop on Friday, September 18th with a fresh, new look, and a few new items. Please come back then to see the new digs!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Nathalie's Notecards

I've been working on a number of new custom pieces lately (part of the reason I've been so quiet!), and hope to share some of them with you over the coming weeks. I'll start by introducing you to Nathalie Márquez Courtney, a photographer in Dublin, Ireland, who asked me to make her some bookmarks, business cards and notecard sets using her logo and a luscious embossed swirl in the background. Above are the notecards, which were printed on Crane Lettra 100% cotton paper, and the accompanying peach and robin's egg blue envelopes, which added punch to the package. Check out Nathalie's gorgeous photography here.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Project Nerd Power!

Alright, I'll admit it. I'm a total nerd. Braces, glasses, and upper-level math classes meant I was one of those not-so-popular smart girls in high school. In college, I tried to shed some of my nerdiness as an art student, but to little avail. It has stuck with me all these years. Lucky for me, I met Anne, a fellow creative geek who embraces the smartness in herself and those around her. We've come up with a collaboration between her groovy vinyl gear and my letterpress work that celebrates the nerd in each of us.

This is an updated version of the classic pocket protector, complete with personalized index cards and a Fisher space pen (the kind astronauts use to write in zero gravity!). You can choose from 21 different color combinations for the pocket protector, and customize the index cards to your liking. A perfect gift for Father's Day, which is just around the corner. Available here.

And, coming up soon... another blog giveaway. Stay tuned!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Frosting + Sprinkles

Hot off the press this week! My new personalized letterpress recipe cards featuring a whimsical running cupcake (complete with lavender frosting, colored sprinkles and a wooden spoon) are now ready for prime time. They are available here.

Also, I wanted to say a big "thank you" to Jane at Simple + Pretty who mentioned my Map Booklets in one of her posts this week. What a beautiful blog. It's easy to get lost there for hours on end!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Seed Journal Winner!

Thank you all for the thoughtful and entertaining comments that you've left over the past week. Without further ado, the random number generator has chosen #15. So, 11studio, you are the winner. Congratulations! Please send an email to christy[at]thepetitepress[dot]com with your full name and mailing address, and I will send it out to you. Thanks, everyone, and be sure to check back in a month or so for another giveaway!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Gardening + Giveaway

Remember how I said that my items are often created for a particular person? I hardly ever do this, but this one is made for... well, me. Each year when I plant seeds in our garden, I keep the seed packets to refer to as the season progresses, but they usually become a jumbled mess in a dilapidated box. So this year, I made a seed journal to keep things neat and organized. I made room for a seed packet to be attached to each page, along with room for notes about where and when I planted the seeds:

Along about January, when the winter doldrums are at their worst, I like to start planning where things will go. Here is our plan for this year:

We planted our cold weather crops like peas, spinach, lettuce and arugula in March and early April according to plan, but the weather hasn't been cooperating much so far. They're finally popping up, though, and hopefully the rain and cool temperatures will ease up just a tad this week to give them a chance to catch up. I just discovered the first volunteer tomato seedling for this year, so our plan will likely go awry, but that seems to be my style of gardening:

Something new this year: I have given my seven year-old daughter her own plot. She can plant whatever she likes and she is responsible for tending it. I found this interactive kitchen garden planner on the Gardener's Supply website and she enjoyed moving the pieces about and deciding which vegetables she wants to grow. She's so excited and is checking every day to see how her veggies are coming along.

This is from a few years ago, but is one of my favorite past photos of our garden. I was especially lucky to catch that little nymph on camera:

Now, time for the best part of today's post. I promised another blog giveaway — so, how about a seed journal of your very own? To enter, please leave a comment below before Friday, May 8, 2009 at 9:00 am CST. I will use a random number generator to choose a winner and post the result at that time. Don't forget to check back then, and best of luck to you!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Giveaway Winners!

Thank you, everyone, for all the fun comments for the giveaway! It's so nice to have so many new visitors. According to the random number generator, the winners of the birdhouse booklets are number 13, Helene, and number 2, Kirstin. Congratulations! Please send me an email at christy[at]thepetitepress[dot]com with your full name and mailing address, and I will get them in the mail to you right away.

To everyone else, please come back and visit again soon. This has been so much fun that I'm already thinking about the next giveaway. I will do another one in a month or so. I should have some new things hot off the press by then. Hmm, what shall it be, what shall it be...

P.S. If I had to choose, I think my favorite thing about spring would be starting our vegetable garden each year. More on that later!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Birdhouse Booklet Giveaway!

It's about time I offered a blog giveaway, dontchya think? For my first blog giveaway, I'm offering two of my new little birdhouse booklets. You can see more about how I made them here, at the Handmade Artist blog on Poppytalk Handmade. If you would like to be entered for a chance to win one, please leave a comment below before 9:00 am CST next Friday morning, April 3, 2009. I'll pick a topic: your favorite thing about... spring! { Seeing as we're expecting something like 8 inches of snow here tonight, I'm going to have to use my imagination. :) }

I will use a random number generator to pick the two winners on Friday morning. I'll post the names of the winners at that time, so don't forget to check back then. Thanks for participating!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Something New From Something Old

I often make the things you see here for a particular person in my life. This one is tailor-made for my dad. If you've ever met him, you know he's crazy for anything map-related. Last Christmas, he creatively wrapped our gifts in outdated, discarded topographic maps. I couldn't bear the thought of them being thrown away afterward, so I decided to make little booklets out some of them. The booklets are pocket-sized, and some are available with a sparkly yellow cover, some with a sparkly blue one. (Again, I couldn't decide which color I liked best.) The pages are made from the maps and some found blank notebook paper and graph paper. My favorite part is how the baker's twine echoes the red and white striped highway symbol on some of the maps:

All the maps were different, so no two booklets are alike. They are available here — enjoy! (And Dad, yours is on its way...)


Update, August 2009 – these are all gone now. I won't be able to make any more of these, but will be making another map-type journal sometime soon.


Update, April 2010 – here is version 2.0 of the map booklets!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


{My Grandpa at his Linotype machine in the 1980s.}

I think I've always had ink in my blood. My grandparents owned a small, family-run letterpress shop on Champa Street in downtown Denver for over 30 years. I remember spending long summer days at the shop, helping Grandpa set type and learning how run the machinery. He could hand-set a line of type from a drawer in seconds flat, and he taught me how to properly lock up a chase. I loved watching him zip out lines of type on the Linotype machine, and hearing the tap-tap-tap of the wooden mallet as he nudged each slug into place. I was mesmerized by Grandma slipping pieces of paper into the C&P floor press over and over, and loved sitting in her big wooden desk chair, pretending I was running the place, taking orders and chatting with the customers who dropped in each day.

One day, my cousin convinced me that the Linotype machine was just like a typewriter, and it wouldn't hurt to pretend we were office workers and type just a bit on it. It was off, so what could it hurt? I'm sure I knew that this was against the rules, but I did it anyway. Turns out that, even when the Linotype was off, the letter molds that make the lines of type still come down the little chute, piling up and waiting for the lead to be poured in. Boy, was Grandpa mad when he found them. I learned to never do that again!

My favorite place in the shop was the little room in the back where the paper was kept. I could spend hours fingering the stacks of paper in all sorts of colors, weights and sizes. My favorite papers were the label stocks and the carbonless NCR paper. Every now and then, my Grandpa would clean out the paper shelves, and send us home with a giant box full of scraps. I made my own little receipt books with the NCR paper, and coerced my little brother into playing store and library with me for hours on end, just so I could write out receipts. And remember those little teddy bear stickers you could buy in the 80s? The ones that came with their own little clothes and accessories, so you could put them on your spiral notebooks and dress them up? I used the sticker paper scraps to make my own. But I had way more accessories than what you could get at the stationery store. :)

The shop closed in the early nineties when my grandparents retired. Grandpa passed away in 2002, but every now and then I feel him nearby, watching over me as I grow my business as a printer in my own right. When the shop closed, letterpress was almost a dying art. I think he would be very surprised and quite pleased to see the resurgence of letterpress in recent years...

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Spring Sneak Peek

Spring is just around the corner, I can feel it (even though we woke up to 17° weather here this morning). Next week is the start of a new market at Poppytalk Handmade, and I'm working feverishly on some new things that fit the "Green Pop!" theme this time around. This is a sneak peek of the red birds I printed yesterday... they'll appear in the shop over the weekend, along with several other "hot off the press" items, including some new recipe cards designs. I'd better get back to work...

{Update: the project with the birds is up now, here!}

Friday, February 13, 2009


I'm still here. Just unbelievably swamped. Thirty-two more sets of heart recipe cards have gone out over the last two weeks. I'll be working on more mum recipe cards soon, but my illustration workload continues to be extremely heavy for the next couple of weeks. After that, it's back to the press. Thanks for your patience.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Warning Labels

I've begun putting labels on my website and in the packages I send out that state that my items are not intended for use by children under 13 years of age. I realize this may sound silly, but it's in response to a serious issue. You may have heard about the Consumer Protection Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) that goes into effect on February 10, 2009 here in the United States. It requires testing for lead and phthalates in ANY product for children 12 or younger (not just toys), and the testing is cost-prohibitive for a small business owner like myself. Civil and criminal penalties are in store for anyone who doesn't comply with the law, hence the label saying that my products aren't for children under 13. I just felt like I needed to explain the reasoning behind the labels. Thanks for your understanding.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Gone in the Blink of an Eye

Thank you to Holly who posted a very kind mention of my personalized recipe cards yesterday on Decor8, and thank you to everyone who's placed orders for them. The 16 sets that I had pre-printed went so fast, I can't believe it. I'll be printing everyone's names over the next couple of days.

I've ordered more paper to print more of both the mum version, and the hearts version. I hope to have them ready over the weekend. I've started a list of names and email addresses for anyone who'd like to know when more are ready. If you'd like to be included, just send me an email at christy[at]thepetitepress[dot]com. Thanks, everyone!

– Christy

Friday, January 23, 2009

Send Some ♥ to Those in Need

Have you heard? Etsy, together with Citymeals-on-Wheels, is sponsoring a Valentine drive to "bring nutritious meals, handmade greeting cards and companionship to thousands of homebound elderly New Yorkers." Find out more, including where to send the Valentines, here. What a terrific idea.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Love-ly New Items

Ta-da! Hot off the press for Valentine's Day:

Hot off the Press

I'm excited to be a part of the new "Love Transforms" virtual market this month on Poppytalk Handmade. If you're looking for something special for someone special, you're sure to find oodles of choices among all the fantastic artists showing there this month. (My table is here.) Thanks for visiting!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Cooking Up Something New

I know that was corny, but it seemed to go with these new personalized recipe cards I've been working on. They'll be available on the website soon, in the blue you see here, and also in a soft lavender and a delicious avocado green. I'll update this post as soon as they are ready.

Update: they are ready now, here. Hope you like them!

Another Friend

In addition to the talented friends I mentioned yesterday, I have another one to add: Judy Dersch, who also happens to be my mother. She just opened her Etsy shop this morning for her nature photography, so I wanted to share it as well. She has been the one who's inspired and encouraged me the most over the years. Visit her shop, Willow Creek Design, here.

{Yea, Mom!}

Friday, January 2, 2009

Out With the Old, In With the New

It's that time again, to take stock of the past year, and set goals for the next. As usual, my list of ideas to complete this year is daunting and always growing, but also exciting. I hope to share some more items very soon, including some sweet new pieces for Valentine's day.

In the meantime, I wanted to share some work by friends of mine with you. Each is a woman I admire, who inspires me, and encourages me. I'm privileged to have found such talented, kindred spirits.

Aimee Dolich, an all-around charming artist, has recently opened an Etsy shop where she's selling prints of her wonderful, witty "doodles" that are way more than just doodles. Visit her blog here, and her shop here.

My letterpress chum, Anne Hollond, has also recently opened an Etsy shop where she's selling her fabulous vinyl and oilcloth creations. They're funky and functional, and oh-so-cool. Visit her shop here. I'll write more about our letterpress adventures soon.

I've mentioned Heather Smith Jones before on my other blog, but she's constantly amazing me with new work, so it's time to check out her shop again, which now also includes letterpress work in addition to her ethereal paintings and drawings. Also, she and Alicia have just started a new year of The Noticing Project. Visit her blog here, and her shop here. I also owe her a big thank you for her mention here before the holidays. Thanks again, Heather. :)

Happy New Year, everyone. May it be everything you hope for and more.