Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Meet the Artist and Giveaway: Sarah from Cardamom Press

Warning! Sit down before you read this:
That's right, we're giving away letterpress stationery!
I've teamed up with Sarah over at Cardamom Press
who was kind enough to offer this fantastic set of cards:

Buy it here
Seeing as I'm obsessed with letterpress, I couldn't resist asking Sarah a billion questions, and I hung on every answer:


Q: Tell us a little about yourself.
A: Hi there! I’m Sarah – printer, planner, organizer, and lover of books, ice cream, soft paper and fragrant spices.  I was born and raised in Pittsburgh, PA, moved to San Francisco for 7 years, and missed the 'burgh so much that I ended up moving back.  I went to theatre school and worked as a stage manager for five years, but as much as I loved the work, I didn't love the hours, so I left the theatre to look for a new, less all-consuming love.  I got into letterpress after moving back to Pittsburgh 3 years ago, and in June 2010, Cardamom Press was born.  When I'm not working, I'm almost always reading, eating ice cream, spending time with my family, or hanging out with the dinosaurs at the museum.


Q: Where did you learn your craft?
A:  I actually knew nothing about letterpress until about a year and a half ago.  Every year, Lisa at Sapling Press does a Valentine's Day studio tour where she shows people around her studio, and then everyone gets to try out the press and print a few valentines of their own to take home.  I had taken a lot of printmaking classes throughout high school, but I had never even seen a letterpress before, so I thought it'd be fun to go to the tour and check it out; little did I know that it was going to change my life.  By the time I finished printing those four valentines, I was in love.  I went home and showed them to everyone I knew, and I couldn't stop thinking about going back and learning more.  So, I contacted Lisa to see if she would be willing to teach me, in exchange for helping her out around the studio.  That was February 2010, and in the last year and a half, Lisa has taught me more than I ever imagined possible - I've still got tons more to learn, but everything I know about letterpress I owe to her.  She's a fabulous teacher!

Q: What do you love about doing letterpress?
A:  The thing that I really love is the craft and skill involved in letterpress work.  I've always loved doing creative work, but I'm definitely a craftsman, not an artist - I'm much happier when there's a skill I can learn and work on and spend time perfecting.  I love that with letterpress, I can take a design done by one of the amazing artists I work with, and then use my craft to turn that design into a beautiful print.


Q: What do you find most challenging about letterpress?
A:  This might sound strange, but I think the most challenging thing about letterpress is that every project presents a whole new challenge.  One of my card designs might require a very tight registration - that's how well the two colors of ink line up with each other, since they're each printed separately - while I might want the next design to be printed in a very specific color that's tricky to mix.  That's one of the things I love about letterpress - every design is a new challenge, and I feel like with every piece I print, I learn something new about the craft.



Q: What do you think makes your work unique?
A: I hope that what makes my work the most unique is the artists I choose to work with - I'm always keeping my eyes open for artists and designers who have a unique style, something that's different from a lot of the letterpress work that already exists, but that will translate well into a letterpress print.


Q: Which artist's work do you most enjoy working with?
A:  I really love all of the artists that I've worked with, but I have to say that Erin Auses' Cityhopper architecture drawings hold a special place in my heart.  Erin is one of my closest friends, and without her gorgeous drawings, I might never have been inspired to start my business in the first place.  As soon as I came home from that first studio tour, I talked to her about designing a full line of Pittsburgh architecture cards (Erin grew up in Pittsburgh too), and the whole company sort of grew up around that line.  I love the Pittsburgh cards because they inspire a sort of warm, fuzzy, nostalgic feeling in people - everyone I show them to has a story about one of the buildings, and I love hearing people share their memories about our city.  That's what we tried to do with the Seattle cards as well, and we're planning to expand the line into several more cities over the next few years.

Kaufmann's Clock - Pittsburgh Letterpress Notecard
Buy it here


Q: Who/what inspires you?
A: Oh, there are so many things, I don't even know where to start!  As far as inspiration for the letterpress work I do, I'm more inspired by color than anything else - I'm constantly ripping pages out of magazines and taking photos of colors around me to remind me of color palettes I want to use in my work.  Pinterest has been a lifesaver for that - I started a pinboard to keep all of my color inspiration on, and I'm slowly adding things to it as I find them.  When I go to print a new line of cards, I always look there first for inspiration.

Card-uino Circuit Board - Letterpress Flat Card
Buy it here
In running my business and living my life, I'm actually more inspired by words and quotes than by visual things, so I've got an ongoing list of my favorite quotes from people who inspire me.  Walt Disney, Jim Henson and Fred Rogers are my personal heroes, but this is my very favorite inspirational quote:  "If you want to build a boat, do not instruct the men to saw wood, stitch the sails, prepare the tools and organize the work, but make them long for setting sail and travel to distant lands." ~ Antoine de Saint Exupery

Q: How did you get started on Etsy?
A:  I actually set up a shop on Etsy several years ago to help my mom sell her knitted baby hats, so when I got Cardamom up and running, it was an easy step to set up a shop of my own to sell my cards.  Most of my focus is on my wholesale business, but I love that Etsy gives me the chance to talk to the people who are actually buying my cards, not just the stores that are selling them!

Q: What is the most popular item in your shop?
A:  The Pittsburgh and Seattle cards are all really popular in their respective cities, but I think Natalie's birds have the most universal appeal.  The Sparrow is by far the most popular of the birds, and surprisingly, people are gobbling up (no pun intended!) the Turkey cards too.

Natalie's Turkey - Letterpress Bird Notecard - Butter Yellow
Buy it here
Q: Has your work received any special attention?
A:  The Pittsburgh cards were included in Pittsburgh Magazine's gift guide this past Christmas, which was very exciting.  I've had the honor of being featured on several stationery blogs too - mostly in holiday card and gift roundups - and the fabulous Molly at Pushing Papers has been kind enough to feature my cards several times as well.  She's got a great eye for stationery, so it's always flattering when she shows off my work!

Q: What is your favorite treasury you've been featured in?
A: There are so many great treasuries, it's hard to remember them all.  I think my most recent favorite is this Hello treasury - I especially love that little goldfish!
Hello Letterpress Note Cards - Box of 8
Buy it here
Q: Where do you promote your shop?
A:  I have a blog where I try to post updates on what I'm doing and new cards I'm working on - plus some other interesting tidbits, like features of the artists I'm working with and recipes for my favorite cardamom-spiced foods.  I also have a facebook page, and I tweet a good bit as well.  

Q: What are your future plans for your business/shop?
Sunbonnet Babies - Letterpress Notecards Box of 5
Buy it here
A:  I'm working on expanding the lines I have right now - Erin is hard at work on drawings for a set of Chicago architecture cards, and I've got a few more of Natalie's bird illustrations that I'm printing on a new set of cards this week.  I'm also talking to a few other artists about designing new lines of cards - one with vintage quilt block designs, and another with anime/comic-book-style drawings, possibly of dragons or dinosaurs (I love dinosaurs!).

Q: What is the best advice you've received regarding Etsy?
A:  The absolute best advice is that just being on Etsy isn't enough.  Anytime I list new things in my shop, I make sure to post about them on twitter and facebook, and I try to use my blog to send people towards the shop as well.  You have to find ways outside of Etsy to promote your shop, or you'll get lost among the crowd - there's just too much great stuff!

Q: Just for fun, what is the last thing you bought yourself on Etsy?
A:  I just bought this set of four prints from StrawberryLuna, a local Pittsburgh screen printer.  She does amazing work, and I've been coveting these prints since I saw them at a craft show last spring - I'm so excited to finally have them hanging in my sunroom!

Sarah sent me a sample pack of her cards, isn't that sweet?! They came wrapped in my favorite...red and white twine! But the best part? The array of colors, the amazing textures of the fine papers, the rich character of the images...okay ALL of it is spectacular. I'm going to have a hard time using this stationery, I just want to frame it! I'd tell you which one is my favorite, if I could pick just one! I can honestly tell you, as a buyer you are going to be VERY happy with whichever items you choose.  


On that note, Sarah has graciously offered to provide an exclusive coupon code to my readers during the giveaway! Run on over to Cardamom Press and fill up your cart and you'll get 10% off your entire purchase using the code MODERN

To top it all off, you could win the set of 5 letterpress cards listed above! Here's the nitty gritty:


How to Enter the Giveaway:
1. Follow this blog
and leave a comment here saying you did.


2. "Heart" Cardamom Press on Etsy or an item in the shop
and leave a separate comment here saying you did.

3. Follow Cardamom Press on Twitter about the giveaway 
and leave a separate comment here saying you did.


4. "Like" Cardamom Press on Facebook
and leave a separate comment here saying you did.


Fine Print:
Only 4 entries per household please
1 winner will be chosen August 26th at midnight PST
Winner will be chosen by random.org
Entries will be validated
Winner will be announced here
Winner will have 3 days to contact me, 

after which a new winner will be chosen

Must be 18 years of age or older to enter 

61 comments:

  1. killingbirdsisnotartAugust 17, 2011 at 1:07 AM

    i follow your blog

    cornelia

    porcelina(at)live(dot)nl

    ReplyDelete
  2. killingbirdsisnotartAugust 17, 2011 at 1:08 AM

    i liked cardamom press on etsy

    username killingbirdsisnotart

    porcelina(at)live(dot)nl

    ReplyDelete
  3. Awesome work! I am reminded of the movie "Seven Pounds"


    I follow your blog


    <><
    http://christiecottage.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  4. I follow your blog with gfc
    halochanel at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  5. I hearted Cardamom Press on Etsy. Etsy name: halochanel.
    Everything is so beautiful!!
    halochanel at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  6. following Cardamom Press on twitter @WrightWin
    halochanel at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  7. "Like" Cardamom Press on Facebook (Kimberly Fine Wright)
    halochanel at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  8. I follow you as Debbie (CrippleHorse)

    DESPINA
    deb_oro@yahoo.gr

    ReplyDelete
  9. I hearted Cardamompress on Etsy, as deboro

    DESPINA
    deb_oro@yahoo.gr

    ReplyDelete
  10. I like Cardamom Press on Fcaebook, as Despina Vnt

    DESPINA
    deb_oro@yahoo.gr

    ReplyDelete
  11. following you via GFC

    marija.majerle at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  12. hearted Cardamom Press on etsy- username bokononist

    marija.majerle at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  13. I'm following your blog via gfc! (briana)
    brianaduda at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  14. i "hearted" cardamom press on etsy (SimplyBriana)
    brianaduda at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  15. i'm following @CardamomPress on twitter (@brianabjerke)
    brianaduda at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  16. i'm following Cardamom Press on facebook! (briana bjerke)
    brianaduda at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  17. I follow this blog.

    kiddomsg at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  18. I heart Cardamom Press on Etsy (houseofplush).

    kiddomsg at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  19. I follow Cardamom Press on Twitter @kiddo47.

    kiddomsg at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  20. I like Cardamom Press on FB (Suzanne Gregg).

    kiddomsg at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  21. i hearted cardamom press on etsy!

    ReplyDelete
  22. I follow the blog!

    melinda.ann.greene at gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  23. I follow this blog with google friend connect as Amber
    Thank you for the giveaway :)
    hurdler4eva(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  24. I heart Cardamom Press on Etsy - my Etsy name is Hurdler4eva
    Thank you for the giveaway :)
    hurdler4eva(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  25. following on gfc as jhb. Yay, you are almost to 100 followers.
    jhbalvin at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  26. Hearted the Space Needle letterpress cards as jhbalvin
    jhbalvin at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  27. I heart Cardamom Press on Etsy. Love the Millenium Bean card and can't wait for the full Chicago set.

    ReplyDelete
  28. I'm a gfc follower! farrah r
    farrah dot ritter at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  29. I like Cardamom Press on fb (farrah r)

    ReplyDelete
  30. I hearted her on etsy (fritter) thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  31. I follow her on twitter (momofthreeunder)

    ReplyDelete
  32. I'm now following Modern Typography

    aikychien at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  33. I hearted the shop - bloomingblossom

    aikychien at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  34. Twitter follower @aikchien

    aikychien at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  35. Facebook fan - Aik Chien

    aikychien at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  36. I follow your blog!

    darlingcupcakez@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  37. I like Cardamom Press on Facebook!
    [Sierra T.]

    darlingcupcakez@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  38. I hearted Cardamom Press on Etsy!
    [femmefatale25]

    darlingcupcakez@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  39. hi!
    i already follow this blog:)

    elen.rabkina(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  40. i've hearted the shop on etsy
    username: rabkina

    elen.rabkina(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  41. I hearted this item on etsy:
    Complete Set - 5 Limited Edition Seattle Letterpress Prints
    (katfries)

    fastkat at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  42. Following this blog through GFC..

    ReplyDelete
  43. Hearted Cardamom Press on Etsy...

    Mubin aka myloveletters

    mubinster@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  44. Natalie's Toucan is a favourite of mine

    ReplyDelete
  45. I follow your blog via GFC

    larkspurpurple (at) gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  46. I follow @CardamomPress on Twitter. I am @purplelarkspur

    larkspurpurple (at) gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  47. Favorited on Etsy, I am peacefrogdesigns

    ReplyDelete
  48. I follow the blog

    terbearco.etsy.com
    teri@terbear.com

    ReplyDelete
  49. I hearted on etsy;
    terbearco.etsy.com
    teri@terbear.com

    ReplyDelete
  50. I follow on twitter
    terbearco.etsy.com
    teri@terbear.com

    ReplyDelete
  51. I tweeted about the contest:
    http://twitter.com/#!/terbearco

    terbearco.etsy.com
    teri@terbear.com

    ReplyDelete
  52. I like on FB
    terbearco.etsy.com
    teri@terbear.com

    ReplyDelete
  53. Blog Follower!

    Taylormadeblog@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  54. I am twitter follower!


    taylormadeblog@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  55. I liked on FB!

    Taylormadeblog@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  56. This giveaway is officially closed! Stay tuned for more fun by clicking the giveaway link above :)

    ReplyDelete