Tag Archives: Alora Ambiance

A Good Trio

Rain, flowers, and Mother’s Day season. A pretty ideal trio in my world (well, ideally no rain on the actual holiday but not minding the soothing, non-stop pitter-patter today!). And when it comes to Mother’s Day, cards and flowers are all I honestly want…and maybe an hour of alone time with the Sunday Times and a Dogwood latte…with an Egg & Cheese Biscuit Sandwich from Sun Street Breads por favor (a bit of a subtle hint, sorry family!). Did I mention a mimosa?

_KAT9630

_KAT9600

With my love of celebrating the Mother figures in all our lives, we’ve added Mum’s Day cards at Brown Ink Paper Goods. One from our favorite Portland, Oregon stationery lines, Quill & Fox, and the others from Rifle Paper Co. Yes Yes!! Brown Ink recently launched this line out of Winter Park, Florida. Being a fan for years, I couldn’t wait until the National Stationery Show to place my order. The products we selected are recently new to Rifle Paper. With such amazing illustrations, their products hold an exquisite balance of hand-painted illustrations and timeless lettering, while creating each piece as environmentally friendly as possible. I once read an article in Sous Style about Anna Bond, one of the co-owners, where the designer mentioned part of her creative process is to write down her thoughts in journals before starting to paint anything. “It’s funny because most of my sketchbooks are just filled with words.” It all comes around.

_KAT9577

_KAT9677

 Returning to Mother’s Day cards, another heartfelt option is to purchase a card which gives back to an organization such as the Greater Minneapolis Crisis Nursery.

MotherDay

 This card honors the recipient with a donation made to the Crisis Nursery, a gift that will continue to give. There might be no better and easier way to spread thankfulness on this day.

If you are looking for additional gift ideas….

Web

…you will find us here along with other local friends at the elegant yet always comfortable Room No. 3 on May 7th to enjoy bubbly, juices, tunes and some pretty awesome give-aways.

hammsherlife

And don’t forget to purchase tickets to our Hamms Event a week from Saturday!! #HAMMS2014

 So start some seeds, buy a card, and write. In the end, the words become our most valuable gift.

A Letterpress High

(Poor timing but iPhoto decided not to be my friend today. Thus, no planned pics are included of my personal experience with a certain letterpress. iPhone gladly stepped in.)

I’ve been a fan of letterpress ever since I can remember.  Maybe since I’ve always been a bit old fashioned but there’s something so refreshing yet tactile about the lettering embossed into the thick paper. To be straight, there is such a thing as a letterpress high. I’ve felt it!

So it was no surprise when I came in contact with Jean from Pomegranate Press that I fell head-0ver-heels for her work (she is also one of the most pleasant and creative people I know). Her situation is a unique one.

Jean is naturally talented in the arts for starters. When Jean landed here in Minneapolis in 2002 she found herself a Chandler & Price Platen Press in St.Paul. She had seen a letterpress once before but had never used or printed with the machine and wasn’t sure if she would even enjoy the process. But she soon taught herself to print and, as she states, “my work is my education.” As time went on, her basement was transformed into the current Pomegranate Press. Here you’ll find stacks of paper with letterpress samples of her work over the years, cans of colored ink and many wooden boxes filled with metal fonts in a variety of sizes and fonts along with icons, borders and more.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’ve had the pleasure of working with Jean on personal stationery, baby announcements, business cards, and the annual holiday card which is most likely my favorite. Every November we meet to decide the design including color, the type style and selecting from the fantastic holiday icons she has on hand. Then she’s on her own working her magic.

 

I caught her last week in the midst of a holiday card for my good friend, Therese.  I was amazed at the patience and accuracy needed with each card. This is far from the electric letterpress machines you hear about these days. This is the real McQueen.

 

 

 

 

Jean first establishes the placement of the type so it lands where she wants it to be on the paper. She also needs to set pins in the tympan paper which will hold the cards to be printed. Next, without ink, she prints samples to make sure the design is nice and placed correctly. If she’s not satisfied with the design, she will re-typeset. She’ll then play with spacing to typeset letters, words, and lines until just right. And will also make sure the printing is not crooked. Next, Jean will ink up the press and print samples to establish a strong ink consistency. Finally, printing time! And lastly, she cleans the press & type and re-sorts the type back into their cases.

 

Honestly, after watching the process of creating Therese’s families card from beginning to end I held a clearer understanding and appreciation for the art of letterpress. Not only does it take an incredible amount of patience but it’s Jean’s keen eye which catches any flaws in the printing, not an employee who oversees the electric machine in action. The art of letterpress is still true to its original form and you can’t say that about much these days.

 

On a different note, this is a perfect chance for me to mention another gift idea!! My friend Therese happens to co-own with her big sis the uber yummy Alora Ambiance line of diffusers, soaps, sprays and candles. The Brown family is gaga over the products especially the festa line during the holiday season. Treat a loved one to an Alora product for the holidays!  Locally you can find them at Ampersand, Victory, Brian Graham Salon, Lusseria lini, La Petite Parfumerie and Grand Frames on Excelsior. But you are forewarned, they are addictive.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lastly, the word on the street is the Walker Art Center Shop is selling their holiday paper and cards at 50% off this week. Run not walk!