Category Archives: Greetings Cards

A Touch of Whimsy & Wonder ~ Beautifully Illustrated Cards & Paper Goods by Dot & Jot

Today, I’m delighted to introduce you to lovely Marta of Dot & Jot, whose brand tagline is Whimsy on Paper, which is such a fitting description for Marta’s fun and cheery illustration style. You’re certain to love it! Without further ado –

Tell us a little about you and your business: Hi, I’m Marta, designer and owner of Dot&Jot, a handmade stationery, paper goods, and accessories brand with designs that are whimsical, quirky, and clever. I love creating designs that are pretty and are also great conversation starters.

Our paper products are printed eco-friendly on recycled paper in USA, the packaging is recycled and even the business cards are made from recycled t-shirts. Also, percentage of proceeds benefit the OneTreePlanted.org nonprofit, with $1 donation plants 1 tree in USA.

Everything is designed and packed by me in my tiny Brooklyn studio that I share with my bf and our rescue dog Koozy.

What inspires you to do what you do?: Anything and everything inspires my work, but mostly it’s clever sayings and quirky puns. I’m a total nerd for a good pun. Most of my cards feature a clever take on a saying or a double meaning. Also, my friends and family inspired some of my work; their quirks or funny pet peeves make for funny designs.

Hogs and Kisses blank greeting card by Dot & Jot

I graduated with BA in Graphic Design and spend over 10 years working in the field of publishing and Advertising agencies. But working under rigid guidelines and sometimes boring brands starved my creative spirit and I would doodle constantly and obsess over pretty prints and paper goods. I started off licensing my art and patterns to varies companies and slowly moved towards building my own brand of paper goods.

What’s Next For You?: Currently I’m building a collection of notepads and expanding my line of wrapping paper. Next up will be different format of cards, pencils and pens, and lapel pins. Also, I’m hoping to build my wholesale channel and secure some of my favorite shops by end of the year.

Thanks Marta! It’s so lovely to get you know you and I can’t wait to see what you do next, especially looking forward to seeing your lapel pins, which we’re a great fan of here at the Sparkfold!

ps. Find Dot & Jot on Etsy & also on Instagram!

how to get featured on the Sparkfold blog

 

Meet Jessie from the newly launched Root and Branch Paper Co

Root and Branch is a wonderful new stationery & paper goods shop. Owned by Jessie Tyree Jenness, who designs and illustrates all of her products, I’ve been completely drawn in by her gorgeous, dense and dreamy illustrative style, and fresh use of colour. I know you will be too!

This is the latest in our meet the maker series, I hope you enjoy getting to know Jessie and discovering the amazing world of Root and Branch Paper Co.

Greetings Cards by Root & Branch Paper Co

Sparkfold: Tell us a little about you & how you got started in this wonderful world of design

Jessie: I studied graphic design at university. I spent my entire freshman year as an undeclared major because I was so torn… should I study art or study something “practical” ?! After a year of waffling I realized that art-making is what I absolutely love to do, and to balance, majoring in graphic design felt like a strategic career move. I’ve never once regretted that decision! During school and in the years since, I’ve done quite a bit of freelance design and illustration in various forms. This past year I decided to focus my portfolio and produce some ready-made pieces. Lo and behold, Root & Branch Paper Co. was born!

What’s the background to Root & Branch, you had a business previously – what’s inspired the slight change in direction?

For the past few years I have been taking commissions and creating one-off custom projects for wonderful clients… it’s awesome when people come to me with thoughtful and meaningful ideas. I love that collaboration! The first product I sent to print without a commission was my ABC Coloring book, which was a personal piece that I made purely for fun. To my surprise, that book received an awesome response, and I sold way more copies than anticipated. That’s the project that got my wheels turning. I started dreaming up so many products, enough to fill several collections. Eventually I realized hey, I can do this!

Botanical Greetings Cards by Root & Branch

Your illustration and pattern designs are really distinct and totally beautiful – obviously nature is a huge part of your work. What else inspires your style and your work?

Thank you so much! You’re right, the natural world is absolutely where I draw my inspiration. I grew up near the mountains and much of my childhood was spent outside- climbing trees, collecting leaves, pressing flowers. And honestly I still do all these things, haha! I can’t resist a good leaf! I have a huge collection.

Jessie Tyree Jenness of Root and Branch Paper Co

I travel a lot and am lucky to have lived on three different continents. One of my greatest joys in traveling is discovering new and exotic plants and flowers. I am always inspired by what I see, even just while running errands… my phone is constantly filled with snaps of interesting flowers and leaves. Each of my illustrations is inspired by a specific plant, and they represent places all over the globe. There are water lilies from China, hibiscus from Thailand, and foxgloves from Norway. Each represents a different season of my life, where I’ve been and where I’m dreaming to go.

Friednship Greetings Card by Root & Branch Paper Co

Additionally I am very inspired by Art Nouveau, traditional woodcuts, botanical prints, and folk art from all over the world. My floral drawing style and emphasis on heavy lines evolved over the years as an homage to these styles of work.

You must have a million product ideas! How have you managed to decide on your ranges & collections for your launch?

It’s true, I have more ideas than time, haha! I tend to just create and create until I have a huge stack of illustrations. My process is very casual, I carry a notebook with me wherever I go, and if I’m sitting in a cafe or if I’m stuck in a meeting, I draw flowers. I tend to be a kinesthetic learner, so I listen better when I’m drawing. Granted, getting some professors and speakers to understand this can be a challenge! I guess it’s a right-brain thing. Quite a few of the illustrations that made it onto my products were designed while I was “taking notes” in a lecture.

Root and Branch Paper Co - A Work In Progress

Once I have an overwhelming stack of drawings, I organize them in a three-ring binder. It becomes apparent which ones are the most intriguing designs. From there, the process turns entirely digital… scanning, touch-ups, and adding text and color. This is where my graphic designer side takes over, and it is one of the most fun parts of the process.

The last step in narrowing down my collection is sending screenshots to my mom and sisters… they have good taste and aren’t afraid to give real feedback!

Fun fact – tell us something that not many people know about you!

I live in China! When I’m not running Root & Branch, I’m studying Mandarin Chinese, and my husband Ben is currently studying architecture here. This shakes things up a bit, as Root & Branch is an online business but located primarily in the US, where all our products are manufactured and stored. My mom Ellen is my inventory manager, and she fills and ships all orders that we receive. I manage our web shop and take custom projects via email, and I have a network of printers and manufacturers in the US that I work with to make things come to life.

Pretty Botanical Greetings Cards by Root & Branch Paper Co

Apart from your new website, where else do you hang out online?

Pinterest is my favorite place on the internet. I have had an account since it was in beta (find me here!) and I often search there for reference photos, color palettes, and inspiring images.

I’m also a huge Instagram fan! I love the community of creatives there. You can find my feed here.

In addition to running my own web shop, I have an Etsy shop. Etsy is an awesome platform and have been selling my illustrations here even before launching Root & Branch. It’s a great place to meet and support other creative entrepreneurs, and one of my favorite places to look for gifts.

What’s the plan for the first year of Root & Branch? Any exciting new products we can look forward to?

I hope to get notepads and desk calendars in the shop soon. I’m very inspired by tropical plants lately, so expect to see some of those popping up this summer. I’m already thinking ahead about this year’s holiday season… botanical Christmas cards! And I hope to have a yearly calendar out for 2019!

Finally,I asked Jessie to talk about her personal favourite products. Here are Jessie’s picks! :

Personally I LOVE our notebooks. I am already using two of them myself: the Monja Blanca Orchid notebook is for my business, and the Water Lily & Lotus style is for my Chinese class notes. I am a huge notebook lover, and I designed these to suit my own taste for a perfect notebook.

Root-and-Branch-Paper-notebook2

Botanical Illustrated Notebooks by Root & Branch

Another favorite is our brand-new Garden botanical coloring book. It’s my second coloring book, made with gardeners, nature lovers and flower enthusiasts in mind. I had so much fun designing it and it’s a great gift for anyone who loves to color.

Botanical Coloring Book by Root & Branch

As far as greeting cards go, I designed our line with versatility in mind. Many of our styles can be used for a variety of occasions. Some of my favorites are the Hip Hip Hooray! card, which is suitable for any celebratory moment, along with the To My Dear Friend card, a sweet and simple friendship card for any occasion.

hip hip hooray card by Root & Branch

Card for a Friend by Root & Branch Paper Co

I had a super fun time creating the It’s Time to Party! card. I feel like Dahlias are the perfect party flower so they were a natural choice for this card.

Time to Party Card by Root & Branch Paper Co

And finally, one of my favorites from our gift wrap and wallpaper collection is the Coral Charm Peony design. It’s a pretty botanical design with a dash of funky.

Peony Gift Wrap by Root & Branch Paper Co

Jessie, thank you so much for being on the blog, I really enjoyed learning more about your business and hoping Root and Branch has an amazing fledgling year!

Valentine’s Day Cards – lovely cards for Love Day!

Confession time – me and my husband don’t exchange Valentine’s Day cards! We used to, but then several years ago there was a bit of a situation where an attempt at on-card humour was made, and it did not go so well (naming no names!), and we just kind of stopped after that. But I’ve seen such a lot of lovely Love Day cards over the past couple of weeks, I consider it my duty and honour to show them to you!

In other news – I’m trying to get a library of free printables up and running, I blog here, but I also create…. a lot! And at the moment things I design are just sat doing nothing, which is a shame, so I thought I’d just share them out. Choosing the best way to distribute freebies from a library is proving hard as I want to make it really easy for you to access, but I want to build it up to quite a lot of pieces. If you’d like to be kept in the loop about my free printables library, please sign up here, where you can download a pretty marbled paper design 2018 calendar should you wish and also get notified when I add new stuff!

Anyway, without further ado, here are the pretties!

“Be my Valentine” illustrated by Meghann Rader for Bespoke Press.

“Love” Valentine’s Day card by CWC Stationery.

“Everyone Sucks” card by Paper Pony Co.

“Heart Arms” card by Amelia Flower.

“I’ll Always Pick You” card by Copper Paper Co.

Blush Letter Press Valentine’s Day card by Bespoke Press.

“Love Citation” Valentine’s Day Card by Slightly Stationery.

Love-Valentines-Card-Natalie-Lea-Owen-1

“Love” card by Natalie Lea Owen.

original_perfect-together-lovebirds-greeting-card by Jade Fisher

‘Perfect Together’ Lovebirds Greeting Card by Jade Fisher.

Please Be Mime Valentines Day Card By Violet Press and Paper

“Please Be Mime”  Valentine’s Card by Violet Press & Paper.

“Swan Love” Valentine’s Day Card by Good Juju Ink.

You are Ace card by Oh Hello Studio

“You are Ace” card by Oh Hello Studio.

WHITE PEONY VALENTINES DAY CARD BY PAPER RAVEN CO

White Peony card by Paper Raven Co.

You Mean the World to Me Valentines Card by Pen and Paint

“You Mean the World to Me” card by Pen & Paint.

PERFECT MATCH VALENTINES DAY CARD BY BADGER AND BURKE

“Perfect Match” card by Badger & Burke.

I Love You Valentines Day Notecard by Blattpapier Studio

“I Love You” Valentine’s Day Notecard by Blattpapier Studio.

Your Love is My Drug Valentines Card by Fox and Fallow

“Your Love is My Drug” Valentine’s Card by Fox and Fallow.

I WANNA TAKE YOU OUT VALENTINES DAY CARD BY SNOW AND GRAHAM

“I Wanna Take You Out” card by Snow & Graham.

Christmas and Holiday Cards for 2017

One of my favourite things in life is choosing greetings cards and I’m so pleased to be able to bring this lovely curated selection to you. It delights me thought of introducing someone new to a business or designer they had perhaps never come across before. Greetings cards are so personal and I know I’m not alone in putting a lot of thought to choosing just the right thing.

I’ll be bringing you more greetings cards collections over the coming months, as a regular feature. Hope that’s okay 😀 in the meantime, enjoy! xo

NOEL Christmas Holiday Card by CWC Stationery

NOEL card by CWC Stationery.

Give Education Unicef Card by Marabou Design for Minted

Unicef Personalisable Joy to the Earth Card by Marabou Designs for Minted.

Joy Holiday Card by Our Heiday

Joy painted card by Our Heiday.

Hipster Santa Christmas Holiday greetings card by Paper Pony Co

Hipster Santa card by Paper Pony Co.

 

Christmas Cottage holiday Card by Paper Raven Co

Christmas Cottage card by Paper Raven Co.

Holiday Skier Christmas Card holiday Card by Idlewild Co

Holiday Skiers card by Idlewild Co.

 

BONJOUR-PAPER-CHRISTMAS-CARDS

Christmas Card set by Bonjour Paper.

 

JOY Holiday Christmas Greetings Card BY CWC Stationery

Joy card by CWC Stationery.

Peace on Earth Holiday Christmas Greetings Card by Idlewild Co

Peace on Earth card by Idlewild Co.

Merry-Christmas-Trolley-Christmas card by Amy Heitman

Christmas Trolley card by Amy Heitman.

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