Krystal + Kevin: Wedding Invitations

Krystal and Kevin are a couple from New Jersey having a vintage French garden inspired wedding this May. For their invites, they wanted to incorporate their wedding colors, the flowers they’ll be using (peonies, sweet peas, garden roses, lilies of the valley, and tulips), their initials in some type of monogram, and their two dogs. Here is what we came up with:

The floral background of the invites repeats as the envelope liner.

We had a custom wax sealer made using the couple’s initials

Beautiful calligraphy by Samantha Martin of Curlicue Designs.

Posts to follow with their day-of paper goods. Congrats Krystal and Kevin!

The New Studio

It was only seven months ago that Alex and I started wondering… What if we don’t go on this round the world, year long trip we had been planning? What if we kept our jobs, kept working toward what we’ve been working toward, saved all of the money we were planning on spending on travel, built a studio and started thinking about a family?

While our dreams of traveling will never go away, the idea of removing ourselves from our home, budding business, and dog for an entire year began to feel less appealing. We still want to go all of the places we had planned to go – but now spreading those places out over our lifetime seems to sound better to us than cramming them all into a year.

So seven months ago we started planning, building and growing. Now, here we are, six months pregnant with a gorgeous studio in the backyard.  Things can happen quickly when you decide what you really want, I suppose.

Alex designed the studio and then built it with the help of his dad, a contractor, and lots of helpful friends and family members. Have I mentioned he’s the best husband in the world? He gets off work everyday and works on painting, sawing, hammering, calling inspectors and permitters, talking with locksmiths and electricians – whatever he needs to do to make it a reality. Not only that – he actually seems happy to do it. Of course it’s a huge project that comes with frustrations, but he’s excited to see it all come together. His level of commitment to this project astounds me. How many people get to spend their work week in a structure that was built just for them, with love in every nail and board? I’m a pretty lucky lady, that’s for sure.

So here it is. Eventually, the outside will be painted grey to match our house. Other than that, it’s pretty much done.

Before. It’s hard to remember our yard looking like that!

Digging the foundation. Our yard was once the neighborhood dump – you wouldn’t believe the things that we pulled out of there. Everything from car parts, to tricycles, to mattresses to a 1964 World’s Fair snow globe.

The completed concrete slab.

Alex and his dad, Bob, in the early building stages.

And we’re vertical!

I’m just putting this picture in to prove I was there (even though I was 8 weeks pregnant and napping and puking every moment aside from this one.) Also pictured is Bob’s lady, Marty a.k.a Handywoman Extraordinaire

By the end of that first building weekend, framing was complete, all windows and doors (found at the Habitat for Humanity Home Store and Craigslist) were installed, and the whole thing was wrapped in Tyvek. We had many helping hands that weekend, and are still trying to figure out a way to pay back that debt.

Over the course of the next few months, we were ready to go with insulation, drywall, power, internet, lighting, trim and siding. We moved in my press – which was far easier this time but still gave us flashbacks of our first move. We moved the paper cutter, paper drill and cabinets. We painted the walls and furniture and hung some posters.

All moved in:

the press and storage

The paper cutter and consultation/lounge area

office/design area

Now, I’m working here all the time and could not be happier with the way it all came together. Feel free to pay me a visit!

2nd Edition – 2012 Calendars

Due to an overwhelming demand to reprint, our 2012 Vintage Handkerchief Calendars are now available again in the etsy shop. Being that it’s mid-February and there are only a couple weeks left to have all 6 prints be relevant, we’ve reduced the price. If you missed them the first time around, you can now pick one up. They also make for great framed prints, should you not have a need for a calendar at this point. Thanks for checking them out and for all the love that contributed to the need to reprint!


Valentine’s Day

A tip from someone who is married to a man with a major sweet tooth: give this card with ACTUAL chocolate truffles. If you give it alone, the mere sight of inedible truffles will likely enrage your Valentine and send them into a chocolate-seeking state of hysteria.

The card can be purchased here.



I’ve always put a lot of stock in the Mayan prediction that the world will end in 2012. I mean, I know it won’t and we’ll be fine, but in the back of my mind I am preparing for the apocalypse. It’ll be a busy year, trying to squeeze in everything I want to accomplish and experience before the world ends – all the while trying to convince Alex that he doesn’t actually need a crossbow or blow dart gun to defend us. But, I suppose this is how we should live each year – as if it is our last. So, I’ll start the year thankful and reflective of the year that just passed, while looking forward to the year to come.

UPDATE of last year’s post:

Eleven things that I look forward to in 2011:

1. Quitting my day job (???… ok, maybe 2012)

– last day at the law firm: 10/20/2011.

2. Finding a perfect paper cutter.

– found a 1889 Challenge guillotine paper cutter on ebay, that had survived a town fire in 1920. It worked for the local newspaper. It’s exactly what I had been looking for, and, like my press, comes with it’s own history and stories. Alex and I often look at our dog and wonder about the life she had before she knew us – all of her stories that led her to the Buncombe County pound. She, like my press and paper cutter, have a history that they can never share with us. I imagine all of the words documenting events on all of the newspapers around the turn of the century – all of the history that skimmed across its surface. Alex and I made a 14 hour round trip to pick it up, along with its sibling, an industrial paper drill.

3. Seeing the work of Erik Minkin on TV.

My crazy talented big brother worked on the backgrounds of this past season of Comedy Central’s Ugly Americans.

He’s been busy working on music videos, shorts and other projects as well, and is finishing up his Masters of Animation at SCAD Atlanta. He’s pretty much every animation studio’s dream employee, and I think they’ll be knocking his door down to come work for them come graduation. I’m so proud of him and inspired to watch him make his dream a reality.

4. Seeing Alex Minkin’s Thesis Photography show.

My crazy talented little brother finished his Senior thesis at Guilford this May. He was inspired by a barn built in 1945 by Germans POWs in Greensboro, and took the most amazing pictures in it. Some of the pictures are printed on waterslide decals and mounted on glass, which allows for shadows and interesting cracks to show through – essentially turning the photograph into a sculpture.

We have this bad boy hanging in our living room.

I’m jealous and excited that he’ll be going to Cuba and India this year, and can’t wait to see the photography that emerges out of his travels.

5. Lizzie and Ben’s wedding (posts with their save the dates and invitations to follow in the coming months!) 

Are they not the most gorgeous bride and groom you’ve ever seen??

Their invitations and save the dates.

6. Celebrating Melanie and Scott’s engagement all year.

– Our BFF Andrea and I threw a little engagement party for this wonderful couple. I can’t wait for this spring when all of the festivities begin!

7. Working on the wedding invitations and other projects I have been entrusted with designing and printing.

8. Martha Stewart knowing my name (I’m ok with this one carrying over a year or two).

– carrying over a year or two. Though I will find out in a week or two if Mink Letterpress will be featured in Country Living Magazine for the Pitch Your Product special. I wouldn’t be surprised if Martha reads Country Living…

9. Learning more about printing.

– ongoing.

10. Drawing more.

-sorta kinda.

11. 11/11/11

– anticlimatic. I’ve been looking forward to this date since I was little, only to miss both 11:11 am and 11:11 pm on 11/11/11. Plus I wasn’t even invited to any awesome 11/11/11 theme parties. Bummer.

And number 12. Something that I didn’t know I was looking forward to at the beginning of 2011, but by the time it happened I realized I had been looking forward to it my whole life. Alex and I found out in early October that we are having a baby, due in late May, 2012. I’m just starting to feel the baby’s little kicks, and am  fascinated and amazed everyday that there is a human life growing inside of me. I’m so glad that my studio will be fully set up at home, and that I’ll be able to work and be at home with the baby. This baby definitely tops the list of things I look forward to in 2012.

2. having a busy spring filled with letterpress and design. Weddings, weddings, more weddings!

3. Melanie and Scott’s wedding. Will be posting their save the dates and invitations!

4. a year full of firsts – first baby experiencing everything for the first time, watching my parents become grandparents for the first time, first full year being self-employed…

5. Moving into my new studio – photos and updates to come!

6. Finding a second press?? I’ve been lusting over some Golding Jobbers that I’ve seen listed lately….

7. Finding out if we’re having a boy or girl – we’ll know in a week and a half!

8. Babymooning, and vacations with family and the new baby.

9. Spending another year with my wonderful husband. I can’t wait to see him step into his new role as a father – I know he’ll rock it.

10. Launching my new website, which is in the process of being designed by Brendan English.

11. Surviving the apocalypse.

12. Thriving in post-apocalyptic Asheville.

East Fork Pottery

Here are some little thank you notes for East Fork Pottery. They feature the kind of slip trailing that Alex draws on his pots.

Alex and Connie have been wonderful to Mink Letterpress – we’ve worked together on thank you notes, kiln announcements, posters, advertisements and business card designs. I’m really happy to be able to do work for such a great and growing art business.

Alex and Connie will be hosting a soiree with food (incredible, amazing food as Connie is behind it), drinks and beautiful pottery. They say this is their most successful firing yet, and while I can’t imagine better pots than the last round, I’m gearing myself up for my mind to be blown. Below is the information for the event. You won’t be disappointed!

Misty Oaks Farm: Business Cards

Steve and Jeanie Adams are family friends, the sweetest people ever, and the owners of Misty Oaks Farm. This is a beautiful property in Mills River, NC with horse pastures, rolling hills and an amazing lodge. In addition to being a beautiful farm, complete with horses and camping spots, they are a wedding venue and vacation destination. Check them out!

Before beginning the design process, I met Steve out at the farm to take it all in. I even got to meet some of the horses! We talked about what they wanted to include in their logo, and thought bringing the horses, mountains, rivers and fish into a simple landscape would fit the bill. After finalizing the design, we decided on a thick paper and started the printing process. Here’s what we came up with:

Sneak Peek: 2012 Vintage Handkerchief Calendars

In November of 2010 I started thinking about my 2011 calendars, only to realize that I was months behind the curve. Other printers and designers already finished and were selling theirs, so I flipped forward to September 2011 in my planner and wrote “Print 2012 Calendars.” I’m still feeling a bit behind as this is a big project, but have finished printing 1/3 of the 6 print calendar, and am working on designing the other 4 prints.

I’m not printing many of these, so please email me ( if you’d like to pre-order one for $42. They’ll be finished and packaged in time for you to give as a gift this holiday season. Have I mentioned that they’re gorgeous and your wife/girlfriend/friend/daughter/sister/mother really wants one? Because she does. It’ll make her happy all 2012 long, and when 2013 rolls around, she can cut off the bottom and frame her handkerchief prints.

New Card: Bruce the Bear

A few years ago, bears started to become a pervasive part of Asheville culture. My dad, Bruce, always entertained out of town guests with “bear stories” that he collected from his friends, patients, and coworkers. The formula for these stories usually went something like this: Mama bear + baby bear(s) + food + your car, porch or front door = dangerous, shocking or adorable. Photo documentation always warrants extra credit points.

Now, everyone in Asheville has bear stories of their own, as these big boys love to come down into the valley for Asheville’s gastronomic delights. Alex and I spotted these two bears in my parents yard. This picture was printed in the Asheville Citizen Times (double extra credit points).

So, this card goes out to my fellow Ashevillians. This bear, Bruce, is often seen around town, snapping photos and collecting human stories. Extra credit points (in my book) if you buy a card! Free shipping this week with the coupon code BEARFREESHIPPING.