Thursday, December 10, 2009

Inspired: Snowflakes

I have always been enamored by snowflakes - they are a marvel to me - a lovely symmetry, complex yet simple. As is fitting for the season, I've been seeing them everywhere the recently, but not just literal snowflakes. These snowflake-like images bring back memories, not only of many delightful winter days, but of a favorite childhood toy - the Spirograph!

It all started with my daily peek at a favorite blog, Cafe Cartolina, where I saw this lovely jewelry from JenJewelry. Little pieces of wearable art, so much like the pieces created with a Spirograph - maybe even better... (just this jewelry addict's opinion). I wonder if Jen was inspired by the Spirograph when creating her amazing collection?

Then, a few days ago I was in Restoration Hardware, browsing through their novelties and toys, when I found the Hypotrochoid Art Set, in a little tin, so reminiscent of the original Spirograph! What a sweet creative outlet these would make.
And again, yesterday, as I browsed through the holiday issue of Martha Stewart Living, I found these beautiful lacy yarn pieces, created with a tool called the Knitwit. (Apparently it's been around since the '70's, and I believe it's the only craft I've never attempted - or even seen!). Martha shows examples made with some of the most beautiful yarns, and uses them to make pillow covers, embellish sweaters and more. So charming. (Add this to my list of crafts to try.) And it's all quite fitting, given that winter is arriving and snowflakes are flying, and very inspiring.

Hmmm, I am envisioning some spirograph inspired snowflakes in next year's collection.....

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!

I've always loved Halloween - the fabulous costumes, kitschy decorations, wonderful festive celebrations, the chocolate - what's not to love!

I especially adore the extra-creative handmade costumes (and, all modesty aside) I must admit I've won a few costume contests with my own hand made creations!

When I was a kid, I loved trick-or-treating, and in my town, so many people went over the top to welcome the trick-or-treaters - with costumed hosts, cider and donuts, spooky tunes and wild mazes to work your way through and earn your treats!

I don't get many trick-or-treaters, but I have pulled out my witches hat and cape, and have a bag of sweets and some little pumpkin badges ready for the little ones! Can't wait!

Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Lovely Days

Every year I love the process of creating my calendar... each month different, including new designs and old favorites. I design some months with great ease, and others challenge me each year, which is all part of what I enjoy about creating the calendar. I think about all the joys that each month brings - the grand New England snowstorms, the first juicy strawberries of the season, wonderful seaside adventures - and translate those into my calendar.

In addition to a desk calendar, this year I designed a two wall calendars as well. These are hand block printed, and at 11x14" fit perfectly in a standard frame. I had great fun carving the much larger blocks needed to print these calendars, and I'm so happy with them that they'll surely be showing up on new products in the coming year (but you'll have to wait to hear more about that!).

Calendars will be available in my etsy shop and on my site in the coming weeks.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Hazy, Hot and Humid!

Despite being a beach lover, I am definitely not a lover of the hazy, hot and humid days that seem to fill the summer. The past few weeks have been sticky, so I've been hunkered down in the air conditioning, printing, and thinking cool thoughts. Here's a little peek at some of the "cool" designs I've been printing recently.

I'm loving the simplicity of these little snowy woodland creatures which are new to my collection this year.

Now, I don't want you to think I'm wishing summer away, but these do make me fondly remember the joys of a fresh (light!) snowfall.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Happy Birthday to.... me!

{oh, and honestly, I'm not the least bit crabby about it!}

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Happy 4th of July!

Flags are being flown, familes and friends gathering, barbecues being prepared, and patriotic marches are booming along parade routes and in back yards (hmm, wonder where my CD of Arthur Fiedler and the Boston Pops playing patriotic tunes is?), and fireworks will fill the night. So many wonderful traditions!

It's a lovely day here in New England (ok, not the best, but after so many filled with clouds and rain, it's pretty darn good!) - the perfect day to celebrate our independence!

Happy 4th of July, friends!

Friday, June 05, 2009

From my sketchbook...

I love the whole process of creating the designs for my cards - forming the idea in my head, sketching, refining the sketch, carving the block, then finally printing. I love seeing what I have imagined come to life on paper. I thought I'd give you a little peek into my sketchbook (which is always with me!) where the designs begin.

These are initial sketches for some greetings that I am planning for my next product release. They are really rough, but they show the ideas as they first get from my head onto the page. I'll take these sketches and refine them before I transfer them to blocks, carve, and then finally print.

Before the National Stationery Show I created a few holiday greetings similar in style - simple greetings with charming images, in the same color palette as my Assorted Affections collection -a bit non-traditional for the holidays, but I love non-traditional.
I am looking forward to adding to this collection, completing the process with the new sketches - carving and and printing... but first, I have lots of printing to do to fill my current orders, so these will have to wait a bit!

Monday, May 25, 2009


Memorial Day, a day for remembering those who serve and have served our county. I think of my dad, uncles, friends and family, as well as those I've never known, who proudly protect our country.
My family always celebrated Memorial Day with a short walk up the street to view the town parade which featured our police, volunteer fire fighters, boy and girl scouts, some town officials, the high school marching band, and the drum corps (blink and you'll miss it!). There were always friends and family marching, and we were thrilled to get a wave out of them, as if they were celebrities.
After the parade, we had a little breakfast in the back yard for family and friends, and later in the day, a traditional barbecue, complete with lots of flags, red white and blue tablecloths, and hot dogs. It was the start of the summer season, the first of many summer back yard celebrations, and always a glorious day!

Hope you take some time today to remember, and enjoy your family traditions (or make new ones!) and celebrate the day.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Preparing for the National Stationery Show!

I'm very excited that the National Stationery Show is almost here (taking place May 17-20, in NYC), and that I'll be exhibiting in booth #2547 with five other talented stationers, and members of A Fresh Bunch. I'll be attending on Sunday and Monday, and I'm really looking forward to meeting many of the fabulous retailers that attend, as well as so many amazing designers, and of course, seeing old friends from past shows.

It's been a busy time preparing for the show, but now that my displays have shipped and catalog updates complete, I can enjoy the anticipation as I finish my preparations!

Speaking of catalogs, my updated catalog is available to view or download on issuu, and I've embedded it here so you can take a peek. I just love that you can flip the pages, just as if it was a paper catalog, but without printing all those paper catalogs!

If you're attending the show, I hope you'll stop by! I won't be in the booth full time, but would love to meet you if I can... drop me an email ( and perhaps we can arrange a time!

Monday, May 04, 2009

Thank You Stationery Trends!

Thanks so much to Stationery Trends for featuring my strawbery vine card in their spring issue!
Stationery Trends is such a fabulous industry publication, very fresh and full of gorgeous stationery and wonderful articles. I'm honored to be included among their fresh picks.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Artful news...

Sorry for my blogging absence (not to mention my neglect of tweeting and facebooking)... things have been busy around the studio. I've been printing, assembling, packing and shipping loads of product for all my Boston Gift Show orders, and working on a sales presentation and samples for my new New England rep group... and then, last week I was presented with the most fabulous opportunity - to exhibit at the National Stationery Show in a booth with several of my colleagues from A Fresh Bunch, staffed by a wonderful sales rep. Although that wasn't in my plan for this year, I couldn't pass this up, so add to my neverending to-do list: completing new holiday designs, catalog updates and displays for the show! Whew!

Here's a peek at one of the new collections I'll be exhibiting. These cards combine hand printed patterned backgrounds and little messages that can be mixed and matched with the backgrounds. Perfect little thank you notes, hellos, and wishes for any occasion.

If you are a retailer attending the show, please stop by booth 2547. You'll find new goodies and old favorites from Artful Sentiments as well as lovely stationery from my colleagues at A Fresh Bunch.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter!

Every year my family celebrates Easter at my Aunt Snooker's house in Connecticut - it's always a wonderful gathering of family and friends, filled with lovely Easter traditions and treats.

My contribution to the day is always dessert, and this year I made these luscious lemon cheesecake squares that I found in a Martha Stewart Everyday Food newsletter a few weeks ago. I'm a serious lemon dessert lover, and cheesecake - well it doesn't get any better for me! Of course, since it was a first time with this recipe, I had to have a little taste test last night, just to make sure they're good enough for the family...oh, and I think they are!

I hope you have a wonderful Easter, or just a very happy Sunday, for those of you who aren't celebrating Easter!

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

A big thank you...

... to everyone who stopped by my booth at the Boston Gift Show! I thoroughly enjoyed talking to so many of my favorite retailers, showing my goods to fabulous new ones, networking with industry pros, and sharing stories with the talented exhibitors who surrounded me at the show.

Now that it's over, I'm back to printing. I have a few orders to get out the door very quickly, and then I plan to get back to my normal schedule, where I can fit in a little blogging, tweeting and facebooking around the printing and production!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy Saint Patrick's Day!

An Old Irish Blessing

May your day be touched by a bit of Irish luck,
brightened by a song in your heart,
and warmed by the smiles of the people you love.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Spring Fever!

I am really feeling it now. Even with the snowy setbacks we've had here in New England, the few 50-60 degree days really have me ready for spring. I love the warmth of the sun, and the signs of the new season that are starting to appear - little sprouts starting to peek up in the gardens, the grass (I mean, mud) revealed at last after too many months of being buried under piles of snow. Today the only remaining bits of winter are the snowbanks left by the plows, and the drawer full of sweaters that I can't wait to hide away until next fall.

I know it's still March, and we can get more dismal weather, but at least today I have some hope that it will all be over soon.

To celebrate spring, there are new Artful Sentiments designs in Goods for Goodness Sake shop...what a sweet way to observe the change of seasons!

Monday, March 02, 2009

Goods for Goodness' Sake!

Artful Sentiments is proud to be partnering with Goods for Goodness' Sake in their new venture, an online store where profits are donated to one of several charities the shopper chooses when they make a purchase.

The very talented Cathe (owner of Feterie) and Lara (owner of Tiny Tales) have joined forces to create this new store which will feature products from many of the small businesses they have come to know over the years, some (including Artful Sentiments) providing exclusive designs for GFGS.
I hope you'll take a few minutes to visit this beautiful new store, shop a little, and do something good, for goodness' sake!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

In need of a beach day

Boy, this has felt like the longest winter! I've been craving warm weather and sunshine, and dreaming of a lovely day at the beach, even if it is too cold to play in the waves.

Many of my wholesale customers are in coastal New England, and each winter I look forward to seeing them at the Boston Gift Show - to me, those four days in late March are the start of the summer season, even though it's barely spring at that point! Each winter I design new coastal inspired goodies that I hope they'll love - this year's designs include the Waves cards, and Waves and Fish pencil tins.
I've been playing with a lot of pattern in my collection this year... which has meant lots of larger, detailed blocks to carve - at least, larger than I'm used to. It's been a great challenge, and has led me in directions that I'm really pleased with.

I'll have more for you to take a peek at over the coming weeks, and look forward to hearing what you think about the new goodies.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

A lovely little diversion

I've always had a fascination with terrariums, they are such delightful little self-contained gardens. I've been seeing them more frequently lately, and decided to try my hand at putting one together as a gift for a friend.

I did a little reading online, made my list of things to buy, and headed out to a local nursery, and a few other shops to buy my supplies. Of course, while I was shopping for the goodies I needed for this project, I decided I needed a little terrarium for myself.

Shopping list
1. Lidded glass container
2. Small pebbles for drainage bottom of container
3. Sphagnum moss (to layer on top of pebbles to keep the soil from compacting into the pebbles)
4. Potting soil
5. Plants... all of which like the same living conditions (moisture, light), including sheet moss.

I found great little apothecary jars at Target (on sale - yay!) and everything else I needed at the nursery. There was a beautiful selection of tiny ferns, and other little plants which I just loved... it was difficult for me to limit myself to just enough for the two terrariums (that is, until I reminded myself that I'm really not that good with houseplants, and I should start slowly). I knew I was on the right track with my choices when I went to pay for my plants (etc) and the woman knew I was making a terrarium. Assembling the terrariums was really quite simple - I just layered everything, arranged the plants, added some water, and that was it! Now, we'll see if I can keep mine alive, and if so, I'll treat myself to a bigger container, and more lovely little plants.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Friday, February 13, 2009

More new goodies!

For quite some time I've been considering offering initial note cards, but hadn't come up with a design that inspired me enough to carve 26 intital blocks... until recently. After getting such positive feedback on my new valentines, I decided to do something inspired by those designs. So I now introduce Twig, Blossoms and Vine Initials.

I'm still working on carving all the letters, but here are the first few that I started out with!

(Will be available in the coming week in my etsy shop.)

Sunday, February 08, 2009

January thaw... in February

We're getting a little warm up here in New England... it is supposed to be close to 50 today, but a bit cloudy, and quite breezy. Earlier today it looked like it was pouring rain outside my window, but it was just the massive icicles melting. I'm desperately needing the warmth and some sunshine, and waiting anxiously for when we start consistently getting warm days. Ok, that still may be many weeks away, but a girl can hope.

I've been keeping the dream alive with lots of new spring and summer prints! Can't wait to get them all finished, but here's a little peek to show you what I've been up to. I'm loving curly vines, and have more like the strawberry vine above in the works. I also have lots of new coastal goodies and am looking forward to unveiling all of those at the Boston Gift Show in March. (Of course, I won't be able to resist giving a little peek here in the coming weeks.)

As for right now, well, I'm seeing blue sky and sunshine right now, so I think I'll head out for a little walk and soak up some inspiration!

Monday, January 26, 2009


seal with a kiss, that is.

This little guy is available in my etsy shop, for your Valentine sweetie, or just because.

Sunday, January 11, 2009


It seems like we've had a lot this winter already, so I wasn't really looking forward to another 6-12" overnight last night. As a child there was delightful anticipation - only good things came from having a snow storm. Sledding or skiing on the hill by our house, snow angels, and snowmen were the order of the day. We dug tunnels in the snow banks, made igloo-like forts and fashioned jumps on the hill to ride our sleds over. School cancellations were a bonus, as was the occasional trip to the tiny little local ski area to get in a few hours on a hill with a lift.
As an adult, there is shoveling, treacherous roads and crazy snow-impeded traffic to take away from the joy. There's cleaning the snow off the car and there's cleaning up the mess from the wet, salty, sandy boots. There's more dread than anticipation. That's how I felt going to sleep last night... dreading all things about the snow that would face me in the morning.

But this morning, as I have my cup of coffee, look through old photos and enjoy the winter wonderland outside my window, I feel a little different. It's so beautiful, pure, soft. I feel peaceful, happy. There is no more of the dread I felt last night. Perhaps I'll go out, take a walk through the yet untouched snow, and make a snow angel.

I wonder, though, will I be able to recapture this feeling when we get the inevitable March snowstorm?

Thursday, January 08, 2009

New Goodies...

...for Valentine day, or any time you want to send a little love! These three lovelies coordinate with my tins, so you could put a little gift in the tin and add a matching card! These new designs are currently available in my etsy shop... and there are loads more sweet valentines on my site as well.

Blog Widget by LinkWithin