tiny cats, tiny owls, big excitement

New tiny stationery sets –with stickers!!!— are finally finished and available in my shop. It took many months, but so many great things came of it. First of all: stickers!!!

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Nine 1-inch round cats on vinyl: tiny but mighty!
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Nine 1-inch round owl stickers on vinyl–hoot! hoot!

Secondly: two more sticker designs to seal each stationery set in a little square package, 4.5-inch square to be exact. They take some time to cut and fold, but they look quite cute all lined up on my desk right now.

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Lastly, and most exciting for me–I met new people who helped me make the entire stationery set better–sharp images, clean folds, smooth envelopes. And, of course: stickers!!! Meeting Alison and Erik at impress creative print + design services was a turning point for me and my Carrot Condo business.

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I’d walked past “impress” inside the Bindery building on NE Sandy in Portland a few times, and admired the look of their shop each time. I assumed they only did “big projects” for “big businesses.” When I realized this was just my self-doubt sneaking up on me, I made an appointment.

The happy result? Alison and Erik have lots of printing experience and wisdom, they’re both artists in addition to their print careers, they understand what I am trying to do and have great ideas, and…best of all…they’re both super nice. Working with them has given me a sense of freedom–I draw what I love without worrying about how I’ll print it. Instead, I think, “Alison and Erik will know how to do this!” and I just keep drawing.

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There’s a lot of cutting, folding, and gluing required to complete each stationery set. It takes me about two hours to package six sets. But it’s fun! I’m so happy with the feel of the papers and the clean folds, that I hum along to some tunes and think through the details of my next project.

Happily folding, packaging, and appreciating your support,

–TRISTA

tweet-size stationery: hoot hoot!

IMG_9539A collection of empty Altoid tins inspired the most painstaking and rewarding project I’ve made yet: tweet-sized stationery. These tins are too sturdy and useful to send straight to recycling, so how could I re-purpose them?

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I attended a meeting of the PDX Correspondence Coop, a group of people who gather every month to revere vintage typewriters, postage stamps, and old-fashioned letter writing. A co-op member demonstrated how to make tiny envelopes. —-Bing! The idea came together in my head but took weeks to figure out.

I did the whole thing analog, meaning: all by hand with a wooden ruler, measuring and testing and folding until it fit perfectly. Then, I took my drawings to the printer, then I hand cut every single page of stationery and envelope, THEN folded and glued.

I also painted the tins, cut out tiny pieces of felt, and patiently glued them to the top of each tin. One fun fact: visiting the “googly eye” section of a craft store is great fun. I turned the corner, saw the dozens of different sized and colored eyeballs staring back at me and started laughing so hard I could not stop. Definite pick-me-up.

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These tiny owls leave you just enough room for messages that get straight to the heart of the matter, like: “I hope you have a good day. I love you. –Mom” or a haiku!

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I’ve got these in my Etsy shop: www.etsy.com/shop/CarrotCondo: 12 sheets of stationery all with different owls, and 6 self-sealing envelopes also with different owls, that fit inside the re-purposed Altoid tin. They cost $18.50 plus shipping.

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If you like these, I’d love to hear your thoughts. I have at least one more design in mind (monsters, of course), but I’m not yet ready to commit the time and energy. So in the meantime, I’m taking notes on anything I’d do differently. Ironically, I may not make the tins again. Still deciding.

Thank you, as always, for your interest in my creative endeavors! I’ll be in some craft shows soon and would love to see some of you PDX folks in person. More about that next month.

–TRISTA