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Musings

3 Reasons Why Personalized Stationery is the PERFECT gift for Him

We're getting closer to that day, when we're supposed to find thoughtful gifts for those we love. Are you ready yet?

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PERSONALIZED BOAR STATIONERY

It can be nerve-racking to search for meaningful gifts that don't break the bank and are still great gifts. That's even more true when it comes to men.

I find it's much easier to shop for women as compared to men. This is especially evident on holidays like Valentine's Day and Father's Day.

What do you give the men in your life?

Things like ties and cologne are such common choices. They're impersonal and so cliche that you run the risk of looking like you didn't put in enough effort.

Well, I've got you covered!

One of the best gifts to give the men in your life is Personalized Stationery and I'll give you my top 3 reasons why.

3 Reasons why Personalized Stationery is PERFECT for Him

1. Personalized Stationery is useful.

Men are very different from women. They're practical and giving them a gift that does double duty, is actually great.

Personalized Stationery is useful for writing thank you notes and general messages. It not only works well for personal notes but comes in handy for business correspondence such as a note after an interview or a thank you note for a good recommendation.

Personalized Stationery will not only come in useful, it will make your guy look pretty professional too and that's something he'll appreciate.

2. Personalized Stationery is, well, personalized.

Stationery aside, personalized gifts are always a hit. There's nothing nicer than being able to gift someone something that was made specifically for them.

Personalized gifts are always a popular choice because it's a very easy way to show someone you not only put effort into your gift but thought about them as well.

With the choices you have to make to get personalized stationery, this kind of thought comes across loud and clear.

You can't give someone personalized stationery and not have them feel special when they receive it. 

A conscious effort was clearly made to get something that not everyone has (but everyone secretly wants). You also had to make choices that you thought this person would like so you definitely show that you thought about them a great deal.

3. Personalized Stationery is what they want.

This comes straight for the horse's mouth!

The collection I set up specifically for men about 2 years ago has been very successful. I'm not talking about women buying stationery for their men either. Men are actually turning up and buying stationery for themselves.

It's been great to have conversations about the choices they need to make, like ink color, fonts, sizing and layout. Most have a very clear idea of what they want and so I've tailored these designs specifically to the ordering patterns I've seen among them.

These are the most popular sets:

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LANDSCAPE CORNER CARDS

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LANDSCAPE CORNER INITIALS

These have been so popular, that they were written about in CoolMaterial.com in an article about stationery shops that every guy should know about. How's that for telling you exactly what men want?

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So, as you prepare for that arduous but rewarding task of finding the perfect gift for your men, consider personalized stationery as not only a viable option but as perhaps, one of the most thoughtful of all!

If you do decide that it's perfect for your guy, take an extra 25% off with coupon code PS4MEN through February 5th.

You can even cross your entire Valentine task off the list by grabbing one of these Valentine's cards too!

National Notebook Day + A Giveaway

Today is National Notebook Day!

So naturally, a giveaway is in order, but first, a couple of interesting facts about notebooks and how they have shaped our world.

When you stop to think about it, everything around us, computers, cars, refrigerators, airplanes, bridges they all started as a concept in someone’s notebook. Geniuses fill pages with ideas that eventually change our world and oftentimes make our life better.

The notebook is a powerful tool for a creative mind. It is a place where the only limit is our imagination and we can explore anything we want without fear of being judged.

So here are a few interesting facts about notebooks and the people that love them, sprinkled with a few images of my own notebooks and the doodles in them.

1. Notebooks are more than good enough

Who would have thought that writers, the likes of Quentin Tarantino, Neil Gaiman and Stephen King, prefer pen and paper over writing on a computer? But they do! Tarantino has been known to say: “It’s a ceremony. I go to a stationery store and buy a notebook — and I don’t buy like ten. I just buy one and then fill it up.”

2. Notebooks can help spawn one of the best book series of our time

Although Rowling has mentioned countless times that her first ideas of Harry Potter were scribbled on napkins in a cafe, she later on planned the novels using regular pen and paper. She plotted out key events and developed important themes all in the pages of notebooks.

3. Notebooks can help you survive parenthood

It is well known that there are notebooks for every phase of your baby’s life nowadays. First words, steps, foods, etc. are all recorded in special notebooks to keep forever. Less well known is the growth in parent journals that help moms and dads record all the crazy moments, challenges and beautiful memories that come along with raising children. They become a prized record of years that fly by all too quickly.

4. Notebooks can help you look into the future, even from the past

When you think of the time when Leonardo da Vinci roamed the earth you don’t ever think of robots, parachutes, tanks or helicopters but they were there, in his notebooks! He had ideas on how to build these amazing, futuristic gadgets all the way back in the 1500s.

 

5. Notebooks can make you immortal

No one thinks of a diary as a notebook that anyone will ever read. It is a private memoir of a life that one might reflect on later on. This was not the case for Anne Frank. When she began writing her diary in 1942, she had no idea that the events that led them into hiding to escape Nazi persecution would make her journal a timeless record of the positive spirit of a young girl in the midst of adversity.

So next time you have a look at a little notebook you have laying around, think of it as possibility! Notebooks are a window into our mind and filling them with everything in it can be very interesting to look back on, if nothing else.

On to the GIVEAWAY! I’m particularly fond of small jotters and I designed a few abstract designs that turned into beautiful little notebooks. It is one of these that I’m giving away today.

All you have to do is join my list. If you’re already on my list, you will be automatically entered but you’re welcome to follow me on Instagram or like my Facebook Page as extra entries.

If you’re not on my list, you can sign up here:

You’ll not only be entered into the giveaway, but you’ll get a FREE downloadable print and a 10% off coupon to boot!

Remember, if you follow me on Instagram and Facebook, come back and comment below to let me know so your extra entries count. I'll announce a winner by the end of tomorrow.

Have a happy National Notebook day!

Behind a Mother's Day Card

There isn't a person on earth that doesn't flock to buy the perfect Mother's Day card this time of year and it is precisely for that reason that I've been printing diligently this week.

Mother's Day cards tend to fly off shelves and staying ahead of the orders can get quite tricky. As I was printing the cards I decided to shoot a little video and snap some shots of the printing in action so you can see how much care and attention goes into each and every one of these cards.

Letterpressing Mother's Day Cards 

The card I decided to follow is an old favorite. No matter how many years go by, this is always a popular design and for good reason. When I designed it, I wasn't that far along into learning letterpress and I wasn't aware how incredibly ridiculous I was for designing a four color card.

This card takes a LONG TIME TO PRINT!

Four colors on the press means each time I switch a color I have to clean up the entire press. Clean plates, the base, rollers and the inking plate. 

Still, letterpress on its own is beautiful and a four color card is even more amazing because they are rare. So, even though it is ridiculous, I love printing cards with a lot of colors, specially for Mother's Day, because let's face it, our moms totally deserve it!

Here's a short video of me printing the third color on a few of these cards. I hope you find it interesting.

So that's a small glimpse at what this process is like and below is a close up of the third color on the card where you get a good look at the impression on the paper!

Third color on a letterpress Mother's Day card

I will be printing the fourth color today and finishing the cards up along with a few other reprints that are waiting to go out to beautiful mother's all over.

If you'd like to get your mom one of these special Mother's Day Cards or any other greeting card just follow this link and use this coupon code when you check out to get 15% OFF: MOMCARD16

This code is good on all greeting cards until this Friday, April 29th.

Don't forget to follow along on Instagram if you want to see the final color on this card and of course, don't forget to have a look at some of the other colorful cards in the shop like the ones below.

A Peek + A Download

I’ve finally come out of my hole!

It’s been a long couple of months of sketching and designing and I finally sent everything off to print! What am I even talking about? The 2016 Calendar, of course!

This past year has been a rather turbulent one for me. Lots of things in my personal life have been out of my control and I’ve found it rather hard to cope with at times. Couple that with the decision to move back home after not even being in this house for a year and you’ve got a pretty decent recipe for a large batch of stress.

So without really thinking about it, I started sketching flowers a lot. I do this often but these were rather quirky and for some reason, brought me lots of peace. Then I thought to make these into patterns that I could use around the house. And then, I finally thought that a calendar, full of beautiful blooms coupled with short, inspirational quotes about growth and overall positivity, was something that I wanted very much for 2016 and I had a hunch a few others might appreciate it as well.

Here’s a sneak peak at one of the months, this one is inspired by my mother who used to draw flowers for me when I was a little girl.

Her birthday and Mother’s Day are both in May and this being one of my favorite patterns, fit perfectly.

The idea behind this calendar is that once you’re done with the month, you can cut the left side and have the quote to frame or keep or to send as a postcard to a friend. It will be digitally printed to enjoy all the beautiful colors and letterpress printed for that extra special touch.

In the meantime, I couldn’t help myself and I made a couple of wallpapers because I actually love the December pattern as well and wanted it on my phone. So here are May and December for you to download and I've included the iPad versions as well. So you get 4 FREE Wallpapers!


Hope you enjoy those downloads and stay tuned as I will be converting the rest of the patterns into lots of different things. If you'd like to see them as something in particular, let me know in the comments or comment on my instagram feed as I've been posting a lot of my behind the scenes work there too like the video below.

A video posted by Kimberly Costa (@honizukle) on

 

For now, have a happy Wednesday, a particularly happy one too because it happens to be my eighth wedding anniversary today! :)

Cultivated Mind: A Wonderful Font Gem!

These past few weeks have been a blur of lots of work, new projects and just plain INSPIRATION!

I've been working on new projects and with new projects come new tools.

I recently discovered Creative Market and if you don't know about it (I'm sure you do, I'm always behind with these things) you should definitely check them out. I bought a font family there a while back and have been IN LOVE with it. I've been using it on a lot of my marketing materials lately and some of my new projects, like these Owl Greeting Cards and Owl Notebooks.

 

These Owl Notebooks happened to be featured on Paper Crave last week and Cindy Kinash of Cultivated Mind happened to see them. Cindy is the AMAZING lady behind Cultivated Minda Type & Design Foundry that focuses on creating beautiful handwritten & calligraphy fonts and handmade artwork. She designed the font I used for these two designs and reached out and thanked me on twitter for using her fonts in my projects.

She was genuinely excited about the way I had been using her Local Market font and decided to tweet and share my notebooks on her social media as well. As a result I got some great exposure and a couple of people had to have my Owl Notebooks too. Isn't social media amazing that way?

As if that wasn't enough, Cindy then reached out to me via email and sent me a FONT CARE PACKAGE!

Now, if you didn't know it, I'm a serious font nerd and this was RIGHT up my alley, specially since I had been trying to decide which one of her fonts I wanted to purchase next just the night before. I mean, take a look at some of the screen shots for these...



 

They are chock full of EXTRAS! That's right, you don't only get a font, you get illustrations and banners and labels and all sorts of stuff!

This is the stuff font heaven is made of.

I will be going out of town for my brother's wedding on Friday and since my grandparents are coming up from Costa Rica, I'll have plenty of people who want to watch my boys so I'll get some ME time to play around with new things! I've already been planning the things I'd like to work on: a top secret project, new card designs and now, definitely playing around with some of these fantastic fonts. 

Stop by Cindy's page on Creative Market and take a look at all the other font packs she's got in her shop. I'd be surprised if you don't find something you just HAVE to have.

Have a wonderful week!

Making An Illustrated Mother's Day Card

So a lot of stuff is going on around here. I've been fully immersed in B-School (and loving it!) so there's a lot of changes and plans going on behind the scenes. If that's not enough, there are a lot of weddings going on in my family too and many people that want two cute little boys to be part of their wedding party. This year, my brother's wedding fell right on top of one my busiest times of year. 

Instead of trying to design a couple of new Mother's Day cards, I decided to concentrate on one extra special design. I knew I wanted an illustrated design and I wanted it to be 4 colors, which takes a lot longer to print. I'm very happy with the result and I'm happy that I didn't put a lot of pressure on myself to do more than I have time for right now.

Here's a look at the sketch I started working from.

I originally wanted DAY to be in a dark circle and have the text knocked out, but I quickly realized it wasn't balanced. So I scrapped that idea, only to then realize I also didn't like the way I had sketched out HAPPY and DAY. So I redid that text as well, but this time, in the computer, hence, no HAPPY DAY in this cleaned up version.

I also knew I wanted the card to have a sketched feel, so I didn't clean it up too carefully.

I wanted my line to show a little more than I usually allow, I found it charming.

Here's the final version which I colored dark green after much back and forth about my palette.

I wanted it to have sort of a watercolory (yes I just made up a word) feel so I colored the rest of the card with a much thicker brush so that the color spilled out in places but would be framed by the final dark green color printed at the end.

 

Here's a couple of photos I took as I worked from my Instagram feed.

Mixing a peach for the second set of flowers. Notice the mess that is my desk when I work.

It's so exciting to see the card on press, unfinished. I get really excited about how it's all going to come together and so happy when things work out the way I planned, because as you can see, there's A LOT of planning that goes into one card.

Of course, there are many, many mess ups, but that's all part of the process... right?

This is the final photo I took for my shop. Aren't those little flowers JUST perfect for the photo? Little victories I say. :)

Have a wonderful week!

 

Ladies of Letterpress Book

Today's post is short and sweet as there's much catching up to do behind the scenes and a lot of excitement about the book I just received in the mail! 

It's the new Ladies of Letterpress Book and guess what?! I'm featured in it. Yes, I am giddy like a little school girl but who wouldn't be right? It's so exciting to see my work alongside so many talented and amazing women. Even my husband, who's a rather quiet man, was so excited for me and I found him looking through the book on his own. :) 

So what's Ladies of Letterpress? It's a wonderful group of women who are involved in letterpress and I can't tell you how inspiring it is to be in a group of so many women with the same passion, where you can share all the joys of printing and all the disasters too.

The books is mainly a showcase of work from studios run by women around the world but nestled in there are a couple of more in depth interviews with a couple of studios, like this one with Judith Berliner of Full Circle Press.

The entire book is also perforated so you can tear away the pages that have a full sized poster to hang on your wall. One of my favorites is by Lilco Design + Letterpress Studio. Don't you love this design? I might have to tear this one out, or maybe buy a second book so I can tear it out, I'm too OCD to just tear it out of this one copy. :)

Then of course there's a tear away of my Letterpress Love Poem!

And finally, here's a photo of my section in the book, where they talk a bit about my studio and the work that was chosen for the book.

The book is much larger than I thought at 11x14 so the tear away posters will make great wall art. All in all, the book is a fantastic collection of truly wonderful work by dedicated women around the world. All giddiness aside, it really is such an honor to be included in it.

The book is available for pre-order on Amazon if you'd like to check it out, it's a great addition to any letterpress library, specially with 86 removable posters!

Hope you enjoyed the quick look into this fantastic book and if you have it or do purchase it, let me know what you think here in the comments.