Etsy Favs | Gouttedeterre Porcelain Jewelry

Just cruising around etsy last weekend, I came across this amazing shop: Gouttedeterre from Paris who makes amazing porcelain jewelry.  Holy gorgeousness. I love the white with specs of gold, the one of a kind shapes and patterns.  So unique and beautiful.  He makes all types of jewelry, but his rings really caught my attention.

Here are a few of my favorites from Gouttedeterre Porcelain Jewelry.

Gouttedeterre rings Gouttedeterre rings Gouttedeterre rings Gouttedeterre rings Gouttedeterre rings


We're Hiring

Steel Petal Press is hiring! We are a small boutique stationery company specializing in handmade greeting cards and wedding invitations.  I am looking for a permanent part-time administrative assistant with potential for growth.
** This is an office job, not a creative position.

commitment: 1-2 days a week, no weekends.
compensation: DOE
location: Pilsen, Chicago

Tasks include:
- inventory tracking
- data entry
- fulfillment
- packing and shipping orders
- managing wholesale accounts, etsy orders and online shops (shopify, etsy)
- possibly some research and marketing assistance
- some general studio maintenance 

- hard working
- ability to work independently
- keen attention to detail
- highly organized
- OK with performing repetitive tasks
- great communication skills
- previous office experience

Ideally I’m looking for someone who is interested in staying for a while and growing with the company. My studio is in Pilsen, so you have to be close or willing to travel.

Please contact me with cover letter, resume or any questions – shayna (at) steelpetalpress (dot) com

New Products: Custom Address Stamps

Custom Address Stamp

Several months ago, I started offering custom address stamps to some of my wedding clients as DIY alternative for envelope printing.  The response from my customers has been great an I’m excited to now offer personalized custom address stamps for sale directly through my online shop!

Below are a few of the first designs currently available, and I plan on adding to the collection over the next few months.

Custom Address Stamp Custom Address Stamp Custom Address Stamp Custom Address Stamp

NSS 2014 | National Stationery Show Budget

National Stationery Show Budget

So I wanted to spend some talking about my National Stationery Show Budget.  (Read my first two NSS recaps HERE and HERE – read all my NSS related posts HERE) Now, the budget here is based on my own experiences, I’m sure there are people who spend less (let’s say, small NYC based companies) and there’s much bigger budget booths with elaborate set ups and lots of helpers, like Crane and American Greetings.

In 2012 (my first year exhibiting) my only budget plan was to make everything as awesome as I could and spend as little money as possible. I only very roughly kept track of my expenses and at the end of it, I estimated I spent between 5-6k.

This year, I was much more organized about tracking my spending. First off, I knew I would spend somewhere between $6-$10k. Of course I wanted to keep it closer to the low end, but I was willing to spend more if it seemed worth it.

Based on last year’s experience I made a list of all the things I needed and approximated the cost of each item.  I included everything from pre show mailers, booth give aways to booth furniture, meals and travel expenses.  The purpose of the list was to get a sense of where my money was going so I could assess moving forward what was worth the cost, and how I would best spend my money on future shows.

I categorized my spending into 4 major categories – Booth Expenses, Travel Expenses, Marketing Materials, Misc –  and itemized each cost. Each time I actually purchased an item, I would input the true cost into my spread sheet. This made it easy for me total and organize everything and have an accurate number at the end of the show. There may have been a few expenses that slipped through the cracks, but I really tried to account for everything.

Here’s how and where I spent my money:

1) Booth expenses
booth fee (the cost javits charges to rent the space, I had one of the smaller booths at 6×10″) – $1782
walls(materials) – $325
walls(labor) – $300
wall(paint) – $120 one time expense
floors – $300 (this price is higher than it should have been, since I first ordered the wrong color, then had to spend an extra $60 to ship them back for replacements) one time expense
lighting – clip lamps + bulbs – $185 one time expense
Electric @ Javiz (what they charge for an electrical plug) – $150
furniture – $265 one time expense
vinyl – $130
storage for walls – $25
TOTAL $3,582

Travel expenses
freight for walls – $450
flights lisa – $95
flight chad – $133
gas for car – $150
pay lisa – $400
parking in NYC – $120
NYC – Hotel $1246**
RoadTrip – hotel (both ways) $150
meals in NYC $500
food and booth snacks (target) $80
packed lunch $40
TOTAL $2,193

Marketing Materials:
catalog $467
mailer – $200
press kit – printed blurb $40
press kit – envelopes – $57
CDs + labels $40
order form $50
business cards $100 (I print my own)
stickers $116 (this was a big waste as I first ordered them to small, then ordered replacements that didn’t arrive until after the show)
booth give away (Pens) $125 one time expense!
booth give away (cards) $50
TOTAL $1245

Misc Expenses
tools, extension chords + power strips $120 one time expense
misc errands, tools, pencils, clip boards etc $50 one time expense
new outfits $200
nails done for show $75
TOTAL: $445

Show total = $7,390
**This show total does not include the hotel, since I used my credit card points to book the room. It would have otherwise added an extra $1250 for the room for the week to total = $8,636

Next year my booth costs will definitely go down, as I’ve already paid for many of the items (floors, lights, some furniture.)  I also plan on cutting down on my travel expenses. Packing a lunch helped cut down meal costs, I’m also not sure that paying a booth helper was entirely worth the extra money either.

I was hoping that I would be able to re-use my walls for future shows, but unfortunately I was not happy with their quality and am looking into building new walls again for next year. Even with paying someone to build my walls, it still ended up cheaper than the alternative (hiring Manny Stone to build temporary walls)

Overall I felt pretty good about how the whole thing went. I would definitely make some changes for next year, and I plan to continue to learn, grown and change based on my experiences.

New Releases: Wedding and Bridesmaid Cards

This year at the National Stationery Show I also released new letterpress Wedding and Bridesmaid Cards.   Including some new congratulations cards and a series of new “Will You Be My Bridesmaid” and “Will You Be My Maid of Honor” cards.

You can find them at your local retailer HERE or for sale on my website HERE. Will You be My Bridesmaid Card Will You be My Maid of Honor Card Congratulations Wedding Card Congratulations Wedding Card Will You Be My Bridesmaid Card Will You be My Maid of Honor Card Will You Be My Bridesmaid Card Will You Be My Maid of Honor Card

Wedding and Bridesmaid Cards printed by hand in Chicago by Steel Petal Press. Photos by Steel Petal Press.

Introducing Our Newest Letterpress Intern

Letterpress Intern

Please meet our newest intern Abigail Ham.  She is a third year student at the School of the Art Institute Chicago studying print making.  She is a summer intern getting school credit for her time here at the studio. I’ve had a chance to teach her some of the basics of letterpress printing from measuring roller height (below) and helping print a few production runs on the Vandercook and the C&P.  She’s also been super helpful with studio production and order fulfillment; helping package cards and ship out orders. If you’ve ordered a card from me in the last few weeks, chances are Abigail had a hand in getting it to you.

She will continue helping in the studio for another 6 weeks, until her summer semester is over and she returns to regular classes at SAIC for her last year. Letterpress Intern

Gold Foil Wedding Invitations


I’m excited to introduce my newest service foil stamping! Gold is totally in right now (remember my gold crush blog post from last year) and Gold Foil Wedding Invitations fit right in with the trend.

This specific sample is of the Aubergine Wedding Suite, which is part of my collaboration with calligrapher, Jenna Blazavich (more on that later.) The sample is printed in gold foil, but it is also available in letterpress or digital printing.

Gold Foil is now available as a printing method for all designs in my wedding invitation collection.  I just love how it shines.

View more details and find the price list on the custom orders page of my site, or contact me for details.

Aubergine3 Aubergine4 Gold Foil Wedding Invitations

Gold Foil Wedding Invitations


Our New Home

New Home

I’ve been quiet on the blog lately because I’ve been spending my free time working on our new home and enjoying summer in Chicago.  After getting back from the National Stationery Show my husband and I packed up the apartment where we lived the last 6 years and moved into our new home.  The whole ordeal was super exhausting and since then I’ve been making an effort to get more balance in my life to avoid burn out (ie – more life stuff, less work stuff.)

We’ve been in our new place for a little over a month now and it’s been great.  Our living room is almost fully decorated (see photo above) and most of our stuff is unpacked. Now hubby and I are just working on getting the house in working order. The previous owners bought the house in 2005 and did extensive remodeling.  Great for us, because it was pretty move-in ready.  However, they only lived in the house for the first 2-3 years and had been renting the property for the last 6. During that time they really didn’t do much to keep it maintained so we keep finding issues that need to be addressed. We’ve already had to replace the garbage disposal, clean and rooter all the plumbing, clean the air vents and the furnace, service the refrigerator, paint the walls and sand the floors.  The yard work is on going. I’ve spent many hours trimming over grown rose bushes (those thorns are sharp!) and pulling weeds.  We will need to reseed major bald spots in our lawn, the deck needs to be stained and sealed.  Our basement flooded in the crazy rain storms a few days ago, but luckily there is a sump pump that works!  And I could go on and on and on. So when I’m not working on client work and wholesale orders, I’m busy working on my home. I will post more photos once we have things more together, everything out of boxes and art on the walls. For now, I will leave you with these two photos.

ABOVE: A corner of my living room.  I went for a kilim rug I found on etsy and we invested in a York Sectional from Room and Board.  The accent chair is vintage found on craigslist, and a coffee table from West Elm.

BELOW: A corner of the kitchen the night I finished unpacking (the first thing we unpacked)

You can also following me on instagram for more updates. Until then – happy 4th of July! I hope you have a great weekend planned.  We are staying in town and celebrating with some BBQs with friends and, of course, more house work. xo, shayna New Kitchen

New Releases: Letterpress Thank You Cards

Today I am sharing the newest Letterpress Thank You Cards I recently designed and released at the National Stationery Show.  All are currently available for sale in my shop or you can check at your local retailer.

I have a few cute new fold-over, single card designs.

I’ve been really into black and white and polka dots recently, so my personal favorite is the the “Thank You Dots” (four images down.)   Also the THANK YOU!! in the last image was a surprise best seller at the show.

letterpress Thank you Card Letterpress Thank You Card Letterpress Thank You Card Thanks Dots - Letterpress Thank You Card Letterpress Thank You Card

I also designed several new flat boxed Thank You sets. They come as flat cards in a boxed set of 10.

Below is my personal favorite, in black ink on white paper, and utilizing the gorgeous font, Asterism, by Molly Jacques. If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you’ll remember I took the calligraphy workshop with her last fall (Still practicing, never enough time…)  But, really I love them all.

Letterpress Thank You Note Set    Letterpress Thank You Note Set Letterpress Thank You Note Set

I hope you enjoy! xo, shayna

New Releases: Letterpress Birthday Cards

My new product release for the National Stationery Show this year included over 50 new product designs which I plan on sharing with you over the upcoming weeks. Below are images of the newest Letterpress Birthday Cards I designed and printed for the show.

You can find some of these selections in person at my retailers across the country and all are available for purchase in my online shop. Or click each image to purchase the card.

Freakin Birthday” has already become a new favorite.

Happy Freakin Birthday Letterpress Birthday Card


Yellow Stars Birthday” also sold well at the show.

Letterpress Birthday Card

I also revamped and redesigned my “Best Year Ever” line – These are great for milestone birthdays, or for the ageless friend who is perpetually turning 29 again.

29 again birthday card

The 30th birthday card – Best Year Ever.

30th Birthday Card

The 40th Birthday Card:

40th birthday card

or the 50th Birthday card:

50th Birthday Card

I also added a series of milestone birthday cards to my “Holy Shit” line.. Maybe each year will be the best ever, but HOLY SHIT can you believe we’re that old?  (Or 29 again?)

Holy Shit 29 Again Card Holy Shit 30th Birthday Card Holy Shit 40th Birthday Card Holy Shit 50th Birthday Card