A trip to the Pumpkin Patch!

Last weekend my husband and I took a trip to the pumpkin patch; Honey Hill Orchard, about 60 miles west of Chicago, to enjoy some fall activities before the winter is here.  We got to see some spectacularly bright foliage and fall colors:

Fall Colors

At the farm we road a hay ride to the pumpkin patch and picked some HUGE pumpkins to bring home with us.

Pumpkin Picking

We also picked some crazy shaped gourds to use as fall decor around the house.  Nature is insane! I’ve never seen such variety of shapes and colors in gourds before. It was pretty amazing.

Picking Gourds

pumpkin patch


We took advantage of some cheesy photo ops.

Farm Visit

Chad and Shayna

And spent some time petting goats and a donkey at the petting zoo. Could this Kid be any cuter?

Goat Petting Zoo Farm

Goats at the Petting Zoo

Behind The Scenes – Feels Like Spring

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We’ve had so many custom wedding orders around the studio this week, it almost feels like spring.


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The gloomy weather isn’t helping, but we’ll just keep printing bright and cheerful cards and dreaming of sunny days!

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Behind The Scenes

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Our new intern Cheryl is a quick study! Shayna has been showing her the ropes on our C & P press this week.


Cheryl comes to us from Columbia College here in Chicago. We’re excited to have her as part of the team!

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Newest Letterpress Holiday Cards

My new releases of letterpress Christmas Cards and Letterpress Holiday Cards are now up and available in my online shop and on etsy! This year I also included a Hanukkah card in the mix (finally!) I hope you enjoy :)

Letterpress Christmas Card Letterpress Hanukkah Card Letterpress Holiday Card Letterpress Holiday Card Letterpress Holiday Card Letterpress Christmas Card

Behind The Scenes

It’s October!!


We’re still enjoying lots of sunny days in the studio, but prepping for the upcoming holiday season.

letterpress gift tags

New letterpress gift tags have been added to the shop along with a bunch of great holiday cards!

New Team Members

I am so happy to introduce the two newest members of Steel Petal Press.


Maranda Powers is my new administrative assistant and studio manager.  She has been managing all the outgoing orders, keeping the online shop and etsy shop in order, managing wholesale accounts and general studio organization.


Cheryl Hinman is my Fall Intern. She is in her final semester at Columbia College where she is studying art and design with an emphasis on book and print arts.  She is interested in learning more about running a business and letterpress printing and will be helping with all aspects at Steel Petal Press.

You can read both of their mini bios on the about page.


Goodbye Summer

Goodbye Summer Chicago

Yesterday, my birthday – marked the first day of fall.  Before I start getting all excited about fall activities like apple picking, pumpkin carving, Halloween and haunted houses, I wanted to take a moment to commemorate summer.

Summer in Chicago is THE BEST. It’s the only time the weather is awesome, everyone is outside, and the city explodes with activities, festivals, sights, smells and sounds. This summer I spent a lot of time in town, working on my house and enjoying all that summer in Chicago has to offer.

Here are some of my highlights

– BEACH – I usually try to make it to the beach at least once a summer. This summer I was able to spend two wonderful afternoons enjoying the view of downtown Chicago.  I do have to say the beaches here are better than where I lived in California. (SF is just too cold and foggy to really enjoy the beach)

– GRILLING – I bought a mini charcoal grill, learned how to start it, and have been taking full advantage of grilling out on our back deck.

– BIKING – I have been biking! So much more than I did last year.  Because I have been lest tired – as I mentioned in my Bday Post – I have more energy to bike and exercise in general!  I bike to work and back (6.5 miles each way) at least once a week, often times more. I save money on gas, get to spend time outdoors, soak up some vitamin D, and get a workout at the same time. Pretty much win-win-win all around.

– FARMER’S MARKET – Almost every Sunday I visited the Logan Square Farmers Market to do my shopping for the week. Every week I have more fresh fruits, veggies, bread, eggs, and sustainably raised meat than I know what to do with.  The fruit is especially amazing in the mid-summer months when I come home with the most delicious blueberries, raspberries, cherries, tomatoes, greens and peaches.  So goood.

All these activities made it a particularly awesome summer, and although I’m sad to see summer come to a close, I always love the changing seasons and am very much looking forward to fall activities


35 Years

Birthday Cupcake

Yesterday, September 23rd was my 35th birthday!  I took the afternoon off, got a mani-pedi, met a friend for lunch and did a little shopping. It was a really nice, relaxing way to spend my afternoon.   If you don’t remember last year, I really struggled with turning 34.   Mostly, I struggled with my body not being about to bounce back and keep up with my ideas.  I felt tired too much of the time, making it really difficult for me to feel balanced in my 30-something-year-old body.

Well, I am happy to say that this past year has been so much better for my physically!  I don’t feel as run down all the time, and I’ve been going to the gym regularly, staying social and keeping up with my work.  You know what the trick is?  It’s so simple, but took a white for me to adjust – I just started really Taking time to myself to REST.

In my 20s I could do it all. I could be social, see friends, work hard.. and it never felt like I was burning the candle at both ends.  These days I need to schedule a few nights off, or a full weekend day off to rest and regroup. This involves binge watching movies or TV shows, sleeping in, reading books, just RESTING.  So simple, I don’t know why it took me so long to adjust.  Now that I know I have to take this time to myself in order to function well, I do it almost weekly and it has made a world of difference.  I actually have more energy on the other days to do all the things I want to get done.

So, in short – happy birthday to me! Here’s to getting older and wiser (ish).

Sitting this one out

Renegade Craft Fair Chicago

(above photo credit)

After four years of participating in the Summer Renegade Craft Fair Chicago, the biggest and BEST of them all, I am sad to say I will be sitting this year out.   The truth is, I totally forgot to apply!  What with the National Stationery Show , buying my first home with my husband, plus our two week trip to Argentina in the Spring, by the time I realized applications were due, I was already too late.  And, to be honest, I’m kind of relieved.  I had a crazy busy August, I’m low on all my inventory, totally out of business cards, feeling run down, fighting off a head cold and in serious need of some R and R.

The fair has always been a really big money maker for me, and such a big part of the growth of my business over the last few years, so I definitely feel like something is missing from my September. I still plan on heading over for some walking / shopping / socializing so it won’t be totally missing from my life.

Below are a few shots of my booth set up over the years. The craziest thing to see is how much my card line has evolved and changed.  2010 was the very beginning of it all, and almost a little embarrassing to share.  You can also blog read my recaps of 2011, 2012, 2013.

Booth Renegade Craft Fair

2013 Chicago RCF Booth



2012 Booth


RCF 2011

2011 Booth



2010 Booth

Metal Type Class with Starshaped Press

Metal Type Class with Starshaped Press

A few weekends ago I took a metal type class with Starshaped Press. I really appreciated the time to get my hands a little dirty and practice my typesetting skills and learn a little bit more about the history of type.

Although I do have some metal type in my own letterpress collection, and I occasionally use it in my work, my personal resources are incredibly limited which greatly inhibits my capacity to do much of anything with my collection.

It was a small class of 4 students.  We spent our time setting a simple calling card with our name, phone number and email address.  You can see my work in the photo at the top, before printed.

Below are a few more photos of the day, taken with my crappy camera on my phone.  Overall a relaxing way to spend a Saturday afternoon.

Metal Type Class with Starshaped Press

Metal Type Class with Starshaped Press

Metal Type Class with Starshaped Press

Metal Type Class with Starshaped Press