paper goods

Valentines: Love the Cards. Hate the Day.

Hi there. How are you?

Valentine’s Day as a whole has never been my thing.  Back when I was a single lass, Valentine’s Day made me feel sad and left out. Even when I was attached, when February 14th rolled around I was never interested in celebrating.

Matt and I even used to host “anti'-Valentines” Day parties and in our 10 years together, I’m not sure we’ve ever really celebrated Valentines Day or exchanged gifts.

Valentines Day feels forced and commercial, and puts unnecessary pressure on people.

Now that doesn’t mean I don’t like to celebrate the people I love, I just don’t think it has to happen on February 14th with grand gestures. But….

I’ve always loved making, giving, and receiving Valentines.

(This probably makes no sense, but it’s the truth.)

I looked forward to decorating my shoe box for exchanging valentines at school and in my early adult years, I used to send out valentines in lieu of holiday cards.

Over the years, I’ve made and sold a lot of valentines.

This “Smooch” card was one of the first things I made and listed on Etsy back in 2008.

This “Smooch” card was one of the first things I made and listed on Etsy back in 2008.

My out of print “Just a Little Love Song” Beatles themed valentine collection.

My out of print “Just a Little Love Song” Beatles themed valentine collection.

“Valentiny” is also no longer in print.

“Valentiny” is also no longer in print.

The Collage Phase

These collaged valentines were some of the first things I listed in my Etsy shop when I launched it back in 2008. The “All You Need is Love” card was the first item in my shop to go viral on Etsy. Unfortunately, none of these cards are for sale any more. (If you’d really like one, get in touch! I could print them especially for you.)

The Pattern Phase

A few years later, during my pattern phase, I made “Sending my Love to You” and “Love You Mean it.” I still really love these cards and continue to sell them online and locally.

The “Better Together” card has a been a top seller for years. Click through to purchase.

The “Better Together” card has a been a top seller for years. Click through to purchase.

The Bird Phase

You all remember this phase, right? For a couple of years, I drew birds almost exclusively. (You can read about how that all started HERE.) I knew this adorable pair of fairy wrens was destined for a card and it quickly became a best seller in my card collection. You can order this cutie right HERE.

The “You are Loved” card is good for any day you want to send some love out into the world.

The “You are Loved” card is good for any day you want to send some love out into the world.

The ballpoint Phase

Now, we enter my most current collection. Featuring a black ballpoint background, I made this "You are Loved” Card last year. It’s good for Valentines Day, or any day you want to send some love out into the world. (Read about how I create these ballpoint cards HERE.)

My newest valentine is just for the gals.

My newest valentine is just for the gals.

Do you Celebrate Galentine’s Day?

I just whipped up this card this past weekend. As my work mainly appeals to females, I thought it would be fun to create a “Galentine’s Day”card.

Celebrated on February 13, Galentine’s Day was created by Amy Poehler's Parks and Rec character Leslie Knope. (One of my favorite shows of all time!) Basically, it's the day to celebrate your love for your best girlfriends.

All of my cards are blank on the inside and are available in my web shop.

One last thing before you go…

Is there a sentiment you’d love to see me put on a card? Or a card for a certain occasion/event you’d like to see me add?

Do Get in Touch!

I’d love to add some more cards to my collection and I’m always open to new ideas. Just shoot me an email or leave a comment.

Ciao, Jen

Every Vote Matters: Postcards to Voters

Hi there. How are you?

I’m always looking for new and creative ways to utilize my abstract drawings. When a friend of mine asked me to to design a voter postcards to send out in "get out the vote" campaigns, I was happy to oblige. 

My "Every Vote Matters" postcards are ideal for "get out the vote" campaigns. Click to purchase. 

My "Every Vote Matters" postcards are ideal for "get out the vote" campaigns. Click to purchase. 

Every Vote Matters

Now that it's 2018, we can start to focus our attention on the midterm elections. If you're unhappy with the way things went in 2017, now is OUR time to make a difference. Enter the "Postcards to Voters" campaign. 

Postcards to Voters are friendly, handwritten reminders from volunteers to targeted voters in close, key races coast to coast. This grassroots movement started in March 2017 with just 5 volunteers writing postcards to voters in one special election in Georgia. There are now over 10,000 volunteers writing postcards in all 50 states that have written some 500,000 postcards to voters. 

It's an easy way to make a positive, political impact. 

Interested in volunteering to write Postcards to Voters? Click through to learn how. 

Interested in volunteering to write Postcards to Voters? Click through to learn how. 

So, I decided to volunteer!

I just finished up my first batch of voter postcards on my very own postcards. In just one evening, I was able to crank out 20 handwritten postcards to Pennsylvania voters. Postcards to Voters provides the "talking points" and the address, so all I had to do was write, stamp and send. 

Postcards by Karen Fiorino of Clay Lick Creek Pottery. Click through to purchase. 

Postcards by Karen Fiorino of Clay Lick Creek Pottery. Click through to purchase. 

My friend made some too!

My good friend Karen of Clay Lick Creek Pottery has also made some voter postcards. It's cool that she was able translate her signature pottery motifs onto 2-d postcards. I'm particularly fond of the top design, and the play of the organic shapes against the bold blue stripes. It's sure to grab the voter's attention, don't you think?

Postcards by Mary Hawkins on Etsy. Click through to purchase. 

Postcards by Mary Hawkins on Etsy. Click through to purchase. 

Other Voter Postcards on Etsy

I found these voter postcards by Mary Hawkins on Etsy. I'm totally smitten with the US map design. It's a good reminder that every vote, every where is important. She's got a whole shop full of postcards and other voter themed goodies, even washi tape! 

Every Vote Matters postcards feature my abstract ballpoint drawing. Click through to purchase. 

Every Vote Matters postcards feature my abstract ballpoint drawing. Click through to purchase. 

I'm so pleased with how my postcards turned out. This design really pops. The blue ballpoint drawing provides a great backdrop for the very simple, but important message. I can't wait to send more of these out! 

If you'd like to purchase these and start writing postcards to voters yourself, click HERE.

One last thing!

I can't end this post without giving a shout-out to my friend Emily, who encouraged me to design these postcards and to volunteer for Postcards to Voters. She's the mastermind behind Ekra, a fab handmade shop featuring customized map art. She's also an awesome, political animal! I admire her willingness to step up and get involved. 

That's all for now. Ciao! 

Just one more thing....Don't forget to Vote! 

 

Sketchbook Drawings Become Greeting Cards

Hi there. How are you?

Most of my studio time lately has been spent on the computer, turning my very popular multi-color ballpoint pen drawings into saleable objects. I'm in the process of designing a set of greeting cards that utilize these drawings as backdrops.

Here's how I do it:

This ballpoint sketchbook drawing became the backdrop for a greeting card.

This ballpoint sketchbook drawing became the backdrop for a greeting card.

Step One: Scanning

I scanned this drawing into the computer. In Photoshop, I took out a couple of stray lines and adjusted the color so that it would print as close to the original drawing as possible.

I made a few different versions of this card before I got something I liked.

I made a few different versions of this card before I got something I liked.

Step Two: Adding Text

After cropping the background image to proper card size, I imported the file into Illustrator, where I added in the text. As you can see, I went through a few iterations before I got something I liked.

Step 3: Printing

This is the first time that I've printed cards "full bleed" (image goes right to the edge). I'm printing on an upgraded 92# cotton paper, which gives the card a more luxurious look and feel.  There's been a learning curve to get the colors to print as I'd like, but after much trial and error, I'm getting prints I'm pleased with on this new paper.

I've made 7 cards so far.

I've still got more cards in the works, but I wanted to share with you what I've made so far.

There are cards for happy occasions......

This modern, abstract Congratulations and Thank You are a stylish addition to your stationery stash.

This modern, abstract Congratulations and Thank You are a stylish addition to your stationery stash.

And cards for more somber ones....

Send your sympathy or well wishes with elegance and grace. The abstract ballpoint pen drawings are sure to bring a little comfort to someone going through a rough time.

Send your sympathy or well wishes with elegance and grace. The abstract ballpoint pen drawings are sure to bring a little comfort to someone going through a rough time.

And cards for Mom and Dad!

I'm particularly pleased with my Father's Day and Mother's Day cards.

I'm particularly pleased with my Father's Day and Mother's Day cards.

I'm excited about this collection and where it's heading. 

I'm planning on adding cards for graduation, for the holidays, a valentine, and a simple "hello."

For what occasions do you purchase and send cards?

What type of card would you like to see me add to my collection? Do tell!

I am looking forward to adding this card line to my wholesale collection, so I can pitch these to shops around the country! Until then, you can find them in my online shop, at 6Pence in downtown Carbondale, and at the Homestead Collective (inside Packrats) in Downtown Cobden, and also in my Etsy shop.

That's all folks. Until next week. Ciao!