Saturday, June 30, 2012

National Stationery Show 2012 Pt 2 - The Matchbook Notebooks

In a previous post, I talked about my first ever trip to the National Stationery Show (NSS), which is like Mecca to stationery designers and paper people.

Well, as if going wasn't amazing enough, Amber of Flywheel Press, and sponsored by Legion Paper, put together an amazing scavenger hunt for luxurious Matchbook Notebooks. Amber collaborated with 15 letterpress printers with booths at the NSS to create and entire set of mini letterpress matchbooks that, once all collected, go together in a beautiful box.

Tanya and I were like two women on a mission - we had our checklist and booth numbers, and we loved going around and meeting all of the amazing designers and collecting our notebooks. We got all but one book, but Hailey of Hello Hailey saved the day! She was at the show the following day and managed to pick up the last book for us. You rock Hailey!

Designers that participated: Albertine Press, Anemone Letterpress, Bison Letterpress, Blackbird Letterpress, Flywheel Press, Kelp Design, L2 Design, Lady Pilot Letterpress, Maginating, May Day Studio, The Nic Studio, Paisley Tree Press, Paper Boat Studios, Pistachio Press, Sapling Press, Two Paper Dolls

Might I also add that, in general, I LOVE scavenger hunts! If you are ever in New York City, I highly recommend Watson Adventures, which has scavenger hunts that double as city tours. They are SO MUCH FUN! I have done the Grand Central and Little Italy hunts.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Get to know Miss Juliet

I post tons of pictures of her, tweet about her, and take her just about everywhere with me. But I don't think I have ever formally introduced her. She's our dog, a two-year-old love-mutt that we rescued as a little pup from the North Shore Animal League.

When my husband and I bought our condo, we made sure it was pet-friendly. My husband wanted a big dog - a German Shepherd or Husky; while I love big dogs, with a 1,000 square foot apartment, I wanted something medium sized. When we went to the shelter to pick out a dog, most of the animals were barking, crying, bouncing, chewing, jumping - and then there was one, that was curled up in the back of the cage and only uncurled herself to lick your finger when you stuck it between the bars. I took her out of the cage, and she could barely walk - she had been found in a shoebox somewhere in the South, and never had room to move/walk, so her little legs were weak. She was the sweetest little animal ever, perfectly happy to just curl up in your arms. My husband and I were smitten, she looked like the shepherd he wanted, but would thankfully end up being much smaller. We took her home then and there, and it was the best decision we've ever made.

We named her Juliet - after Juliet Burke from the TV show Lost. Some day if we have a male dog, he'll be named Sawyer. Yes, we are huge fans of Lost.

Juliet turned out to be perfect - she is, we think, part Shepherd, Border Collie and Chow (she has a black tongue, the tell-tale sign of a Chow-Chow). She stopped growing and weighs in at about 42lbs, which is the perfect size for our apartment. She is the most gentle animal ever, she is a super fast learner (must be the collie in her), obedient, loyal, and not at all mischievous.

Turns out, she is a major chicken. She's afraid of just about everything - from the garbage truck, to the vacuum, to her own water bowl - she runs and hides behind the toilet if anything spooks her. She is also a super athlete - maybe it's the collie in her, but she has be active all the time, and she is one fast dog. Luckily we live next to a park (and have parents with big yards) so she gets lots of running in, but when we don't exercise her enough she ends up with doggy-anxiety that manifests as light chasing or not eating. I've never met a dog that doesn't want to eat, but she would 100% rather be playing with her toys than eat, and she only eats when she is actually hungry. I should take a lesson from her!

She follows my husband and I around everywhere. She's not at all a morning dog, which is comical because she sleeps in our bathroom (don't know why!) and I have to literally drag her out at 6am when I need to get ready for work - when left to her own devices she'll sleep until noon-ish. But, once she is awake, she runs, runs, runs and runs some more.

Aside from the occasional anxiety, she is the easiest dog in the world to take care of. You tell her to sit, and she sits; tell her to stay, she stays; tell her to back up, she backs up; and you get the picture. She genuinely wants to do whatever you tell her, so she was super easy to train, and she even trained herself to do a few things (like ring bells when she needs to be walked).

So, world, I formally introduce you to Miss Juliet, aka Julie, who brings constant love, joy and companionship to my husband and I. If you're ever in New York City and need a really, really good fur-hug, just give me a call and Julie will be happy to oblige.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

National Stationery Show 2012

May 19th-23rd was the National Stationery Show, which is like Christmas for those of us in the stationery world. I couldn't go last year (it was the weekend before my wedding) but this year there was just no excuse not to be there! Besides, it's right here at the Javits center in NYC, just a few subway stops away!

The show was amazing, with tons of booths for different designers, wholesalers, printers, retailers and so on. However, the best part of the show was, for me, meeting all of the Minted designers who traveled from near and far. A bunch of the Minted ladies got together to walk the show, but we got split up and I ended up spending the day with Tanya of Frooted Design - who is awesome! So glad I got to meet and spend time with her!

The Sunday before NSS, Kimberly FitzSimons of Daily Sip Studios organized a little "Minted-Meetup" over cocktails at a hotel in Times Square. I had SO much fun meeting all of the Minted ladies, as well as a bunch of other talented designers. We had a pretty good sized group, and it was so nice to talk about stationery with people who actually cared! It's so funny to put real people to the profile pictures, and apparently all of us are shorter in person, and I have a bit of a New Yawk accent - what can ya say,  I was bawn and raised on Lawng Island!

A few of the Minted designers during cocktail hour. From top left: Meg of Moglea, Kristie Kern, Kimberly of Daily Sip Studios, Lauren of Palm Papers, FRONT ROW: Laura Hankins of Duncan Park Papers, Lesa from Paper Nest by Lesa, Me, and Alston of B. Wise Paper

Once of the really fun things about the NSS is how much fun loot is given away. I ended up with bags and bags of stuff. I also apparently dropped by business card in lots of fish bowls, because I'm still having loot sent to my house. Just a few days ago an incredibly large and heavy box arrived from Neenah Paper - it was an entire set of samples for EVERYTHING they have. Holy crap, I tell you it was like Christmas came early! Now I just need to find some storage space for all the stuff!

Strolling through the booths was so inspirational. There were actually a few Minties that had booths, and man, they blew me away. I've always admired the work of fellow Minted designer Meg Gleason, of Moglea, but after meeting her and seeing her letterpress in person, I am just down right in awe of her. Her booth was amazing, and she's been getting tons of awesome press, it's so well deserved! You go Meg!

After the show closed on Monday, Minted hosted a little party for current designers, interested designers, and a few members of the press. Mariam Naficy, the CEO and owner of Minted (and awesome, awesome person all around) spoke to us for a little to share some Minted insights and future plans. Here's a group shot with most of us:

I cannot wait to go back to NSS in 2013! I've already decided that one day was just too short, and so next year I plan to give myself at least two days to walk to the show!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Vote for the Minted Joy To the World Holiday Challenge!

The Holiday Challenge at Minted is by far their biggest challenge of the year. Last year was the first one I participated in, and I only submitted two designs - neither of which made it to the second round of voting. I've grown so much since then as a designer, and I was determined to enter some really strong designs for the Joy To The World challenge this year - which I did! And I am super, super proud to announce that five of my designs made it through to the second round of voting!

The first prize is $7,000 - which would be AMAZING to win! I know I won't be a winner (um, hello, Minted has some of the most talented designers in the world participating in this challenge!) but I would still love for you to head on over and vote for my designs! While you're there, vote for the other designs too - your vote matters, so help Minted decide what to sell by voting. 

Here are my designs that have made it through to the second round of voting:

So go grab yourself a cup of coffee (or glass of wine) and vote for your favorite designs - including mine

Custom Address Stamps by Believe Notes

If you've been following me on twitter you might have already read my tweets about my computer having a "corrupt" operating system - which I am convinced is equivalent of a Mac virus. Either way, it caused mayhem for me, and has kept me away from this blog for what feels like forever. Over the last two months all sorts of internet-related things stopped working, until finally I had no Facebook, no Etsy, no blogger, no email, no google, no paypal, no banking, and so on. I basically had no internet. It's really hard to run a business without any internet access.

Correction - it's really hard to stay sane without internet access. Thank goodness for the iPad, and it's limited, but enough-to-keep-me-sane internet access.

Anyway, my husband fixed my computer, and now I am back in business & back to blogging. Although, it is really overwhelming to come back and blog after such a long time. So much has happened and I want to share it all, but I'm behind over a month, so I need to organize my thoughts and share one thing at a time.

And so here we go!

One thing I am super excited to announce, is that I am now selling custom Return Address Stamps in the Etsy shop.

I am super excited to be selling these - as I've been making them for a while, and I love, love, love them. In fact, last year for Christmas practically everybody in my family got one! I've given them to friends and family as gifts for house warming, engagements, weddings, birthdays and so on. I think they are just perfect - and starting at $25, they are a practical gift too!

So head on over and check out all of the font options to find the stamp that works best for your occasion!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Coming Soon to Minted

My husband and I just got back from our one-year anniversary trip to Vegas and I am thrilled to come back to a Minted Editor's Pick for my "Bowtied" Books to Bottles Baby Shower invitation design.

The design features a pale lavender, linen textured background and a sweet, hand drawn bow. It'll be offered in several additional colors themes, and will also have coordinating thank you cards. Once the designs are up for sale, I'll certainly let you all know!

For all of you that have contacted me while I was away on vacation last week, I'm looking to spend some time today catching up on emails and Etsy inquiries - so you'll be hearing from me soon! Next week I will be traveling as well, but I'll have my computer and will keep my Etsy shop open and will be fulfilling orders as well as working on custom designs - so if you need anything, just shoot me an email at
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