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Keeping it Local

About a year ago we decided to expand our line to include some products with hand painted illustrations. It was a good move for us, because it has given us the opportunity to make so many different things that we would never be able to create through letterpress printing. Letterpress will always be a love of ours, and we will continue to do it, but it has its limitations – and that is part of it’s charm.

When we set out to find someone to produce our hand painted pieces we knew that we needed a local printer, because we wanted to support another local business, and also because we wanted to be close to where the production was taking place. We found just what we were looking for in a really great printing company just a 30 minute drive from where we live.

You should understand that most of what they print at this lovely family-owned shop are specialty magazines with titles like “Quarter Horse Monthly,” so some of the things that we have asked them to print are a little bit radical, and not what they are used to seeing. But they could not be doing a better job! We are so pleased, and they take great care of us. Maybe because they know they have to see our faces from time to time!

Probably the very best thing about using a local printer is the fact that we can go and visit. The folks are fantastic. Everyone there is so NICE! We are always greeted with a hello, and everyone thanks us for being their customer. We always feel welcome! Our go-to girl is Mary – she does SO much for us! She makes sure everything runs smoothly, and if there is a bump in the road anywhere along the way she is quick to smooth it over for us.

A few weeks before the stationery show we drove down to see a bunch of our new cards and calendars rolling off the press. It was so exciting for Beth and I, to see all of that hard work we put in become an actual physical, tangible item that we could hold in our hands. And it all looked so GOOD!

They are not messing around when it comes to the printing equipment. Here is the big off-set press that can spit out a fully printed piece before you can blink an eye.

It’s so much fun to see the entire process, and we are thankful that we can! We know that after we finish the design work and send the final files to the printer, that everyone from the pre-press people, to the press operators, and the guys and gals who do the finishing work are going to treat our treat our pieces with care. We are in good hands!

So, to everyone at our printer (we know some of you are reading!) THANK YOU!

We can’t wait to send you some more of our work!

The Evolution of a Print

A couple of weeks ago I finished up our new Take A Hike print, which is a little different from any other prints we have done so far. First of all, it has seven colors. That’s more than we’ve ever done on a single print before, and now that I’m done printing it I might tell you that seven is too many. That means each print went through the press seven different times. And I had to load the press with ink, and clean it up again seven different times. It was very time consuming. Also, the majority of the surface area of this print is covered with ink. Lots of solid areas of color, and not much white. I won’t go into the details, because it is hard to explain, but that makes for some difficult printing on the press that we have. Believe me.

In the end though, it turned out great! We’re really happy with it. It’s really fun for me to print new designs like this for the first time. Especially when I’ve had a vision in my head for what I wanted it to look like. Each time I add a new color to the print the picture in my head literally comes to life on the paper. Here is where the idea for this print began…

I snapped this photo back in September when I was in Oregon. Look at those colors! What you don’t know is that directly behind me when I took this photo is probably the most beautiful waterfall I have ever seen. Really. But, something about this view spoke to me too, and I took one quick photo, which turned out to be the basis for a new piece of artwork.

So, after lots of sketches, some time with Beth digitizing the drawings and separating everything into seven different layers, we sent our work off to the platemaker. After the paper was cut, the press set up, and the ink mixed, it was time to really get to work. Here is how the print evolved throughout the process…

The first color to go on was light blue.

Then came the light brown layer.

Dark brown was next.

The dark gray layer, for the ground.

Light green.

Dark green.

And, finally (finally!) light gray.

You guys, it’s a labor of love!  And, you can find it in our shop, right here.

:: Carrie ::

2013 Calendar!

I know it’s only August.  We still have four wonderful months left in 2012. In fact, I’d say the best part of the year is just around the corner!

But wouldn’t you hate to get to the end of the year and realize that you never picked up the perfect desk calendar for 2013? Yes, that would certainly be a tragedy.

Introducing our 2013 desk calendar!

This year’s calendar illustrated by hand, and letterpress printed on bright white paper in five colors. The 12 individual months are printed on 6 pages and it comes with it’s own wood stump for display.


Here’s the description from our shop:

2013 will be a stellar year with this calendar gracing your desk! We drew out each design, month, and number by hand just for you!
:: 6 cards with a month printed on each side
:: Super heavy letterpress cardstock in bright white
:: 6 color printing process
:: Includes charming little wood stump that can be used next year for photos or a recipe!
:: Measurements: approx 6 inches high, 3.5 inches wide. The stump varies in size because that’s how Mother Nature likes it.

I’d say you might want to head over to the shop right now and pick one up for yourself, and maybe a couple more to give as gifts, because they are selling fast!

AND if you use the coupon code “EarlyBird13” you can get free shipping till September!


You should also know that we’ve been working hard on some other new products that we’ll be adding in the next few weeks.  We are really excited to unveil them to you. REALLY excited. So, check back soon!

Hot Off the Press

Hey look! We have new business cards. Considering that we work in the design and printing world it’s kind of absurd that we’d never even printed our own personalized cards. I guess it’s about time!

Also, we found out that it is kind of hard to give yourself a job title.  We all do so much, that it was difficult to narrow it down to something that encompasses everything, but I think we got it right. Product Developer and Head of Accounts sound super professional, don’t they? With titles like that I’m pretty sure Beth and Karen should be wearing business suits every day.

I’m going to suggest it.

:: Carrie ::

A Helping Hand

We may have been the operators of a small sweatshop today.

Next week we are scheduled to ship out a huge order to one of our favorite retailers, and we needed some help.  The work wasn’t very exciting, but we asked some of our family members if they’d want to lend us a hand in getting everything packed up and ready to go.  And of course, they said “Yes!” “Sure, no problem!” “You betcha!”  So, today, eleven of us spent about seven hours tying up bundles of recipe cards, and placing barcode stickers on the backs of lots and lots of notepads.  Yeah, I told you it was a huge order.

A big THANK YOU goes out to everyone who pitched in today!  We appreciate your help SO MUCH!  We couldn’t have done it without you. Well, I guess we could have, but we might have had to pull a couple of all nighters, and that wouldn’t have been pretty.  Or nearly as much fun.

I know we’ve said before that we have some great families.  But really, our families are just the best.

Go Outside & Play: Second Edition

Our “Go Outside and Play” print has been a hit!  We completely sold out of our first edition, so it was time for a re-print.  This print is in four colors, which means that we load up the press with ink and clean it up four separate times.  And, each print goes through the press four times, once for each color.  Ever wonder what that looks like?  Here’s how this print looked throughout the process…

It’s a time consuming process, but we love it!

:: Carrie ::


New State Prints!

Hot off the press!  Four more states to add to our State Prints collection.  We are getting SO CLOSE to having all fifty completed.  If you live in Nevada, West Virgina, Maine, or Nebraska, first of all, thanks for being patient!  Second of all, thanks for consistently asking “Hey, where’s my state?!”  Sometimes it helps to have a little fire lit underneath us to keep us going!

You’ll be able to find these in our shop REAL soon.

Happily Ever After

Look!  It’s our newest addition to the 1canoe2 greeting card line…Happily Ever After!  This card is printed in 4 colors, and is perfect for congratulating your favorite newly married or soon-to-be-married couple.  I snapped some quick photos as I went along to show you the stages in the four color printing process.

First I printed the most detailed part in black.  Once this is printed I know exactly where the rest of the colors will be placed.

Blue came next, to fill the background.

Just a little bit of pink.And, finally, gold was the fourth color.

Seems pretty simple, right?  Well, there is a lot more work that goes into printing a card like this than this would lead you to believe.  Sometime soon I’ll show you the FULL process – how a design goes from a drawing in our sketchbook to a printed piece.

You will be amazed.  I promise.

:: Carrie ::