Letterpress Sample Sale!

Have I ever mentioned how many designs I've created since the beginning of a. favorite design in 2005? To be honest, I'm not even sure I know. I do know we have over 400 active styles. FOUR HUNDRED. That's a lot of cards. And printing. Through the years we've discontinued dozens, if not hundreds of styles. When this happens, the stock just sits. Occassionally I'll make mystery bags but mostly, the stock just sits. Which is a shame. They are perfectly good cards and still capable of delivering a long distace warm fuzzy to the recipient. So this year I've decided to gather all those vintage a. favorite design cards and sell them at our first ever Letterpress Sample Sale.


For one day only, four hours only you can get a supercute, maybe even a cheeky, letterpress printed card for $1. ONE DOLLAR! They originally sold for $4.50-$5 each. It's a HUGE discount! We'll also have some sheets of gift wrap for $1. each, originally $3.50 each. Plus we'll have "scraps" which are letterpress printed cards that are slightly imperfect for only $1. an ounce (two-three cards). Most people wouldn't even know they weren't perfect. They can be mailed, used for scrapbooking, collage, making gift tags, garland, the possibilitites are endless! 

Come see us! Stock up on some letterpress goodies, gift wrap, pencils and scraps.

Saturday, Jully 22nd
11 am to 3 pm

a. favorite design
4222 N Ravenswood
Chicago, IL 60613 

Cash encouraged but cards accepted.
Hope to see you there!

a. favorite design in Country Living!

Country Living

I'm very excited to tell you our letterpress Vintage Berry Seed Packet card was featured in Country Living Magazine! I adore Country Living. I've been a fan since childhood when I would peruse my mom's subscription. The publication has been encouraging my love for treasure hunting at flea markets and tag sales since I was a kid. It's the perfect eye candy for a Midwestern, Vintage-loving girl like me.

If you haven't ever thumbed through the pages, do yourself a favor & pick it up the March issue, you can find us on page 16. I have a subscription but got my extra copies at City Newsstand here in Chicago.

Thanks to Alison for reaching out and Country Living for including us.

The Paper Chronicles Feature

holiday helper

Thanks so much to Sarah at The Paper Chronicles for the feature! If you aren't familiar with Sarah's blog, check it out. She features all things paper. It's amazing.

You can see our feature here.

Getting it Printed

I'm a collector. I mean I really collect. I have a lot of collections and honestly, could have my own A Collection a Day blog (please note: that isn't my blog, but I do collect many of the same items). My adoration for vintage items has inspired many of my designs. One of my favorite vintage ephemera collections is my red border labels. There are so many shapes and sizes! It's amazing. I love each and every one and have been saving them for years.

A small sampling of my collection of red border labels.
A small sampling of my collection of red border labels.

I treasure these labels so much I rarely use them, even though they are perfect for letters and decorating packages. Being vintage I'm concerned if I use them all I won't find anymore. Which got me wondering how can I recreate labels like these? What can I do to make them better? I made a wish list for my own red-bordered label recreation. It included: variety of sizes, different shapes, sticky without the gummed back (yuck), no waste from leftover sheets like stickers, no box like the originals, on a roll for ease of use. I realized decorative tape could be my answer!

Last October, I started researching washi paper tape. After many months, I came to the realization no one in the USA manufactures washi paper tape. This was disheartening as I pride myself on American made goods. At first, I considered abandoning the project. But I kept coming back to it.

My washi tape design mixed in with my collection.
My washi tape designs with my vintage collection.

On the first of this year, I started over with my research and headed to Alibaba to find a source for washi. There are hundreds, maybe even thousands. I wasn't sure where to start and no one was offering advice. I asked two different small business groups I'm a part of and no one had worked with Alibaba for sourcing. I was on my own. This frightened me a little. But I jumped in, I ordered samples, asked lots of questions, lots…seriously, we went back and forth for over a month. I wanted to be sure I was clear on every single thing. I narrowed it down from thousands of manufacturers to five manufacturers to eventually one. I made sure I had an exclusivity agreement, the Alibaba trade assurance and a contract. Like I mentioned this process started in January. I just received the final product in mid-June. Production time was pretty short, about 12 working days. And shipping was through FedEx so that was quick too. The most time consuming part of the project wasn't even design. Instead it was all the budgeting, negotiating, researching companies and checking over all the details. Crunching numbers took time, probably more than necessary but I wanted to be certain I could get the figures to work with a manageable quantity. There's a huge price break for 5,000 but who wants to sit on that for years? Not this girl.

A small sampling of my collection of red border labels.
Voila! The final product!

The finished product came in and I love them! They are absolutely perfect and fulfill all the wishes from my list. You can use a gel pen or permanent marker to write on them. I've also used a typewriter, which is adorable. Below is a study of different writing utensils used on them. See what you think & let me know your thoughts!

Group shot of labels with different writing utensils.
Group shot of labels with different writing utensils.

Top Row: Gelly Roll, LePen Bottom Row: Sharpie, DecoColor
Top: Gelly Roll, Le Pen
Bottom: Sharpie, DecoColor

Finally, here is one typed on my vintage typewriter.
Finally, here is one typed on my vintage typewriter.