A special feature - Melanie Mathieu Photography

This past weekend I had the immense pleasure of having Melanie Mathieu, a very talented documentary style photographer from Ottawa/Gatineau, visit my letterpress studio and capture my creative process through her camera lens.

Besides being busy with maternity, newborn, family photo sessions, and weddings, Melanie also visits spaces of small business owners, documents their creative processes and asks them a series of questions about their businesses. I'm honoured to say that I'm featured on Melanie's blog as part of her "Do what you love" project! Please head over to Melanie's website to see more images from our session and to check out all of her amazing work.

Melanie's photography style is simple, honest, authentic, and so very unique. I'm so grateful for her attention to detail and talent and I will cherish these photos forever. 

In the best company!

I have been immersed in this book for weeks now! I'm talking about "In the Company of Women" by Grace Bonney. I'm nearing the end of it and just the thought of finishing this book makes me sad. When that happens I may have to start from the beginning again!

This book is a wonderful gathering of conversations with creative women and entrepreneurs from all walks of life. From writers to graphic designers to painters, ceramic artists, musicians, textile designers, interior designers, you name it! 

The book is filled with advice and inspiration for aspiring small business owners. I can see a lot of myself in some of the women featured in the book. Reading through their answers to Grace's questions, I see similarities in the way of thinking about life and creative career. I also spot the same fears or concerns. But what I love the most about these women's stories, are the words of inspiration that they share - their favourite quotes, sayings, words of wisdom that were passed down from family members. Here is my favourite by my already all time favourite Ralph Waldo Emerson:

And as I'm reading through this book, I'm thinking back to how I got started doing what I love - letterpress printing! I'm thinking back to how my husband and I transported my 700 lb antique printing press on the back of our pickup truck from Toronto to Ottawa on a beautiful sunny day three years ago now. It's good to remember those moments and reflect back on them so that we don't forget why we started.

Just recently I printed the print pictured below featuring another beautiful quote by Emerson. "In the Company of Women" showcases women who did what they were afraid to do (most of the time) and the amazing paths those decisions led them onto. 

Bye bye 2016, hello 2017

As we are saying goodbye to 2016, here are my Instagram's "2016 best nine", photos that received the most likes on my Instagram page. This is a pretty perfect gathering of images, if you ask me: my beloved printing press, blind impression which I'm so fond of in letterpress printing, my print of Leonard Cohen's lyrics (Leonard, I'm your fan forever), and my very first print on the Pearl, right there in the middle! I'm so grateful to have my beautiful Golding Pearl in my printshop and to be able to create letterpress magic and share it with the world. So yes, I would (still) rather be printing!

Thanks so much for following along. Happy New Year!

Karolina xoxo 

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Attraversiamo

I loved "Eat Pray Love" (the book) by Elizabeth Gilbert just like any other girl. I also loved "Eat Pray Love" (the movie adaptation of this book). I thought the movie was an honest depiction of the story which is not always the case with movies based on great books.

Few months ago I happened to watch this movie again and I loved it as much as when I watched it for the very first time.

Re-watching the movie inspired this little print that I created shortly after. The way this beautiful Italian saying "attraversiamo", which in English means "let's cross over",  is intertwined into the story of this movie really moved me. I thought to myself, what a great idea for a print!

This print would make a lovely wedding gift (from one partner to another) or a perfect heartfelt message one could send to that special someone in their life.

Stillness

"Go outside. Don’t tell anyone and don’t bring your phone. Start walking and keep walking until you no longer know the road like the palm of your hand, because we walk the same roads day in and day out, to the bus and back home and we cease to see. We walk in our sleep and teach our muscles to work without thinking and I dare you to walk where you have not yet walked and I dare you to notice. Don’t try to get anything out of it, because you won’t. Don’t try to make use of it, because you can’t. And that’s the point. Just walk, see, sit down if you like. And be. Just be, whatever you are with whatever you have, and realise that that is enough to be happy. There’s a whole world out there, right outside your window. You’d be a fool to miss it."

- Charlotte Eriksson (author, songwriter, producer and wanderer from Sweden)

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♡♥♡

I posted this collage on Valentine's Day to my Instagram account, and even though it is after the fact, I wanted to share it here as well. 

Here is a compilation of love inspired paper goods (cards, prints, bookmarks) that I designed and printed over the last few months. Some were printed with wood type, some with metal type, but all were printed by me by feeding one sheet of paper at a time into the press.

The beauty is in the details and love is at the core of this slow printing process.

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You can find all the items pictured in this collage in my Etsy shop

 

A lovely mention in Little Blue Canoe's blog post

Kelly of Little Blue Canoe wrote a super fun blog post entitled "A Valentine's Card for 25 Different Types of Lovers" in anticipation of this year's Valentine's Day. It is so great, that even though it is now a week past Valentine's, I still wanted to share it.

Image source : Little Blue Canoe {https://www.littlebluecanoe.com/blogs/news}

Image source : Little Blue Canoe {https://www.littlebluecanoe.com/blogs/news}

I haven't yet had a chance to mention it, but you can now find some of my letterpress cards in Kelly's online shop! One of them is my "love is all you need" card (metal type printed in red ink on 100% cotton paper paired with a rustic kraft envelope). 

Image source : Little Blue Canoe {https://www.littlebluecanoe.com/blogs/news}

Image source : Little Blue Canoe {https://www.littlebluecanoe.com/blogs/news}

And this card, along with a very fitting caption, got mentioned as # 16 in Kelly's blog post :) Go have a read! And while you are at it, be sure to check out Kelly's fantastic online shop and support Canadian makers.

The Papery

Today was a big day for me and my little business. I got to see my cards and prints displayed at The Papery, a local, well recognized and respected stationery shop in Ottawa. What a thrill!

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The Papery was established in 1986 and is situated in the heart of The Glebe, one of the most beautiful and trendy neighbourhoods in Ottawa. They offer a large selection of social stationery as well as other paper products such as gift wrap, notebooks, address books and party supplies, just to name a few. Their store is a true paper haven!

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I reached out to The Papery back in April and met with the owner, Cathy, soon afterwards. She liked my paper goods and expressed interest in ordering a quantity of few different designs. She particularly liked the wood veneer prints and thought they were quite unique. We decided that all prints would be in black ink and packaged with kraft envelopes. And so off I went with a smile on my face and my heart filled with gratitude. 

I  happily delivered the order yesterday and saw my cards and prints on display at the store today. Words can't describe the feeling of accomplishment that I felt when I spotted them at the front of the store with a tag "Canadian designer" tucked away in the corner of the display shelf.

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I must say that my letterpress paper goods feel right at home at The Papery and that makes me immensely happy.

A Weekend Meander

My blind debossed "thank you" note cards got featured in this charming Etsy treasury called "A Weekend Meander". This list was curated by a fellow Canadian Collective Shops member Lily of SoapBliss. Thank you Lily!

Image source: https://www.etsy.com/treasury/ODEwNDc2N3wyNzI1MDQ0NDUx/a-weekend-meander

Image source: https://www.etsy.com/treasury/ODEwNDc2N3wyNzI1MDQ0NDUx/a-weekend-meander


Q&A Letterbox

Last month I was lucky enough to have my letterpress printed products featured in the June Q&A Letterbox and it was such a fun experience!

Q&A Letterbox is a Toronto-based monthly greeting card subscription service that features independent Canadian designers and companies. Their motto is: "Spreading the love, one mailbox at a time!" Q&A Letterbox is curated by greeting card designer, Queenie Best of quennie's cards, and avid letter writer and stationery blogger at 8ballons,  Andrea Raymond-Wong

Image source: http://www.qandaletterbox.com/ 

Image source: http://www.qandaletterbox.com/ 

Below is a glimpse at the June Q&A Letterbox which featured my letterpress printed blind debossed "hello" note card and "listen to your heart" wood veneer note.

Image source: http://www.qandaletterbox.com/reveals/june-reveal/ 

Image source: http://www.qandaletterbox.com/reveals/june-reveal/ 

The June Letterbox also featured lovely products from Double Dare Print StudioJonesy, Omiyage and the fantastic “Snail Mail Forever” postcards with lettering by Love Lettering. I was certainly in great company!

I was also asked to participate in their fun "Q&A with the Artists" series which are featured on their blog. You can check it out here.

It was such a pleasure to work with Queenie and Andrea on the June Letterbox and to contribute my work to their amazing project. I wish them all the best!

And if you are a stationery lover, be sure to check out Q&A Letterbox's website for more information on how to subscribe and for a glimpse at their July Letterbox which was just revealed. You won't be disappointed!