Mother’s Day in Chicago

Mother’s Day is around the corner. Prepare to make Mom’s day with some of Chicago’s best Mother’s Day activities this year.

Brunch it up.

A great brunch is a must for Mother’s Day. Luckily, we’re spoiled for delish brunch options. Here are just a few of our faves:

Lula’s – Logan Square

A forerunner of the farm-to-table movement, Lula’s serves simple yet sophisticated fare with ingredients like fresh farm eggs and porridges made from cornmeal ground at a local mill. Your mom will want to get in on the lemon brioche French toast and The Royale breakfast sandwich.

Lula Cafe

Revolution Brewing BrewPub  – Logan Square

This local craft brewery—the largest in Illinois—also happens to throw down a serious brunch. Egg in a hole, country-fried chicken pizza (pizza for breakfast? heck yeah!), and brisket omelet are just a few of their offerings.

¡Bang Bang!  – Logan Square

If you’re Mom’s super low-key, she might prefer the casual style at this sweet eatery where you can nosh together on scratch biscuits, breakfast sandwiches, biscuits and gravy, and, of course, totally scrumptious PIE!

 

Balena – Lincoln Park

Enjoy a rustic, Italian-inspired Mothers’ Day brunch featuring smoked salmon bruschetta, caponata hash, porchetta panini and more. ($35 per person)

bellyQ  – Near West Side

Served family style, this Asian-barbecue brunch includes mouth-watering morsels like duck & pho dumplings, kimchi pancakes, phozole and Vietnamese cinnamon donuts plus options to make your brunch boozy. ($18 per person)

 

Must. See. Art.

Once Mom has had as many mimosas as she wants, why not work off those pancakes while taking in some art? You can catch the last day of Kathryn Andrews: Run for President at the Museum of Contemporary Art [https://mcachicago.org/Home]. Or check out Van Gogh’s Bedrooms at the Art Institute.

Get moving.

Before you brunch, take Mom on a walk for a great cause in the Susan G. Komen Chicagoland Area Race for the Cure , which kicks off at 8am from Grant Park. Or you could start or join a local CycloFemme  ride.

Allyu

Spa Day? Done.

Mother’s Day calls for some serious pampering. Make it happen at one of these must-visit independent spas.

Allyu

Help Mom Zen out with a little time in the infrared sauna, rain shower, and gorgeous relaxation tent. You can also choose from Eastern-inspired services like shiatsu, reflexology, and chakra balancing.

Dana Hotel & Spa

Treat Mom to a Be My Honey Facial featuring a fruit-infused honey mask plus face, neck, and shoulder massage ($135 for 50 minutes) or the Berry Bubbly Mani & Pedi, a berry aroma spa experience topped off with champagne ($125).

The Spa@theWit [http://spaatthewit.com/]

Contemporary and serene, this petite day spa is the perfect place to pamper Mom to a massage that merges aromatherapy and hot-stone techniques with light bodywork ($125 for 50 minutes) complete with a rain shower, plush robe, and chill time in the Whisper Lounge.

Make Mom laugh.

Nothing says quality bonding like some good laughs. Take your mom to Second City’s new show 104th Revue: Fool Me Twice, Déjà Vu . Don’t forget to get advance tickets.

Honor Mother Nature.

Take your mom to the Lincoln Park Conservatory  to check out their gorgeous collection of tropical palms and ancient ferns. You could also head to the Garfield Park Conservatory  for their spring show colorise. Or just wander in your post-brunch haze in any Chicago park if the weather’s right.

Find the perfect card.

Top off your Mother’s Day plans with one of our unique letterpress greeting cards. We’ve got a bunch of cool Mother’s Day cards to choose from, whether you need one for your Mom or your wonderful partner. And if you’re in the neighborhood, be sure to keep an eye out for by our brand-new brick-and-mortar store opening in June.

letterpress mothers day card

Mother's Day Card

mother's day

40% off MOVING SALE

 

moving sale chicago

We are FINALLY moving into our Studio-Production-Retail location in Logan Square Chicago in the upcoming weeks. Our tiny 500 square foot studio is moving on up into 1700 square feet with a new Store Front and Retail Location. We’ll be open to the public and selling Steel Petal Press products, along with a variety of other stationery and gift items.

The new location is located at 2321 North Milwaukee Avenue, Chicago. We plan on taking a few weeks to set up shop, and then opening our doors to the public in the next month. Please stay tuned for more updates on the move and the Grand Opening of the new Shop!!

To help with the move we’re offering a CRAZY HUGE 40% off Moving SALE on all ready-made items!

WHAT: 40% OFF
WHERE: my online shop HERE.
WHEN: Tuesday, March 29 – Thursday, March 31
HOW: Use the code “MOVINGSALE” when you check out

1- Visit my Online Shop
2 – Add all ready-made items to your card
From your cart
3 – Click “Check Out”
4 – In the right column: enter the code: “MovingSale” where it says “apply discount”

Subject to Availability
(sorry this sale does not apply to any custom-made stationery or wedding orders)

Working with Steel Petal Press on Wedding Invitations

Anchor Wedding Invitations

To give you a sense of what it will be like to work with Steel Petal Press as your wedding stationer, we’ve put together a step-by-step breakdown that explains the specific process of working with Steel Petal Press so you’ll know what to expect every step of the way.

 

  1. We’ll meet in person or over the phone to discuss your style and your vision for your wedding stationery. You don’t need to know all the specifics such as exact colors and design. All of these things can be worked out during the design process. You can just come in with a few ideas. That said, if you know exactly what you want from the get-go, that’s great, too.
  1. You can place your initial deposit directly through our website. Please choose your printing option (if using a combination of both, choose letterpress) and fill out all the appropriate information and details of your order.
    Also please send the wording. You can find sample invitation wording HERE;  and response card wording HERE.
  1. Once I receive your wording and initial deposit, I’ll send you the initial proof within a few days. For custom orders, you’ll get the initial proof within a week. If you didn’t have a specific design or colors in mind, I’ll include a few different options in different colors for you to choose from.
  1. For custom designs, you send in the changes you like to see. If needed, we can go through up to three rounds of design edits. Anything beyond three rounds costs extra.
  1. You sign off on the approved proofs and send in your final payment.
  1. Once I have the final proof approval I will require payment in full before I go into production.  At that point the turn around time is 2-3 weeks for production.
  1. You get your invitations. Happy dance!

There you have it. Easy-peasy. The timeline for this process depends on whether or not you choose a custom design, how long it takes for you to review proofs, how many design edits you need, and how long it takes for me to receive your payments. In general, non-custom orders takes three to five weeks from start to finish. For custom orders, it’s around 4­­–6 weeks.

Still have questions about the process? We’re here to answer any additional questions you may have. Please feel free to reach out anytime through our CONTACT page.

Steel Petal Press is coming to Logan Square

Our move-in dates are finally set for our big move into our new location!! I can’t believe it’s ACTUALLY HAPPENING. After 3+ years in my Lacuna Studio, I’m so so SO ready to be in a larger space. We are literally busting out at the seems.  I can’t even make new product because I don’t have anywhere to put it in my current space.

Below is a photo of my space about 1 month ago.  All the electrical, HVac and plumbing was completed, and you can see the structure of my office and the bathroom in the back left corner of the room.  But obviously it was still in really raw condition. The lights aren’t in, the floors are unfinished and there’s still lots of work that needed to be completed.

Steel Petal Press Logan Square Buildout

And below is a photo of it closer to being done.  The hardwood floors are in, the shop lights are in, the office and bathroom are completed. You can also see our little “kitchen” area in the back right corner.

Steel Petal Press Logan Square

Most of the space will be for our studio expansion: production and fulfillment.  The front 1/4 of the space will be a dedicated retail area open to the public.

Our move is scheduled for the last week of April.  We plan on taking a month to set up shop, and then opening to the public in May.  Before we move we’ll be hosting a huge moving sale to help clear out some inventory before we move.  Here’s a little teaser for details on the sale

Moving Sale Steel Petal Press .

So mark your calendars for the last week of March you’ll save big on lots of letterpress goodies from Steel Petal Press!!

Also follow us on social media for more behind the scenes updates:
Instagram  ////  SnapChat //// Facebook

 

 

Steel Petal Press is on SnapChat!

steel petal press snapchat

I’ve been playing around with  snapchat recently.  It’s a less curated, more spontaneous form of instagram.  I’ve been posting lots of studio behind the scenes and also the obligatory studio selfie. And sometimes at home selfie.

The app is only available for your phone, there is no web version, so you’ll have to download it first.  Then you can add me as your friend using this link HERE or search via username “steelpetalpress.”

It’s been fun! I’d love to connect.

St. Patrick’s Day in Chitown!

Top o’ the morning to ya! It’s that time of year again. Time to prep for your Paddy’s Day revelries. We’ve put together a handy Chicago St. Patrick’s Day guide to help you make your plan of action.

Dyeing the Chicago River

Before you head over to the parade, make sure you check out the annual dyeing of the river. You can see at best at 9am from the east side of the bridge at Columbus Drive or upper and lower Wacker Drive between Columbus and Lake Shore Drive.

Green River St Patrick's Day Chicago

(image source)

Chicago’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade

Kick off your Paddy’s Day with the parade, one of the largest in the U.S. It starts at 12 noon on Saturday, March 12 this year. Check out www.chicagostpatsparade.com to get the parade route and other info.

Paddy’s Day Brunch

Get a classic Irish breakfast and listen to live music at Fado Irish Pub, 100 W Grand Avenue. Doors open at 9am, and brunch in served until 11 am.

Get Lucky Half Marathon, 14K & 7K

Get your green on and get ready to run in the Get Lucky race, which kicks off from Soldier Field South parking lot. Racers also get fun hoodies to celebrate.

Get Lucky Half Marathon

(image source)

Pub Crawl

A pub crawl for St. Patricks’ Day? What a novel idea. Thankfully, there’re loads to choose from. For starters, check out the Chicago Irish Crawl, Unofficial in Chicago and the St. Pat’s Trolley Bar Tour & Crawl.

St. Patrick’s Day Festival

Celebrate all things Irish at the Irish American Heritage Center’s St. Patrick’s Day Festival. Perfect for the kiddies, the festival includes live music, Irish step dance performances, food, children’s activities, and an Irish arts-and-crafts fair. It goes from 1pm to midnight on Saturday, March 12 and again noon to 10pm on St. Patrick’s Day.

South Side Irish St. Patrick’s Day Parade

Two parades? Yes, St. Patrick’s Day in Chicago is that awesome. The South Side Irish Parade takes place on Sunday, March 13. This family-friendly event kicks off at noon from 103rd and proceeds down Western Avenue to 115th Street.

Your St. Patrick’s Day Party

Yep, that’s right. You can do it up at home with your best buds. Be sure to outfit your place with the right accoutrements:

Shot Glasses from Steel Petal Press

PAR-TAY Shot Glass

Whiskey Coasters

Letterpress Whiskey Coaster

Coffee and Whiskey Mug

Coffee And Whiskey Mug

 

WhiskyFest

Round out your St. Patrick’s Day festivities with a visit to the 17th Annual WhiskyFest Chicago on Friday, March 18. It takes place at the Hyatt Regency hotel with a grand tasting from 6:30–9:30pm.

There you have it, folks—plenty of ideas for a kick-arse Paddy’s Day. Now put on something green and get ready to par-tay.

How to Pick Your Wedding Invitation Vendor

How to pick your wedding stationery vendor

Wedding invitations give your guests their first taste of your big day, hinting at the formality (or not) of the occasion. And they’re often the first item on the to-do list that kicks off wedding planning. You want them to be a reflection of you as a couple, and of your wedding day. For these reasons, picking a stationer for your wedding is a big deal. Find out what you need to know to find the right wedding stationer.

 

Budget

The price per invite can vary a lot depending on the design, paper, ink, printing method, quantity and decorative extras. Know your budget and know your priorities, whether they’re letterpress printing and a custom design or multiple extras and day-of stationery. If you’re planning to hire a calligrapher, include that in your stationery budget.

If you have a few stationers in mind, check out their pricing to see if it jives with your budget. Many independent stationers will be happy to work with people of different budgets, but you’ll want to find out if that’s the case beforehand.

Style

To get a sense of stationers’ aesthetics, the best thing to do is see sample of their work. You can visit their website or oftentimes you can purchase sample invitations to see their design style and quality of work. Make sure their style—classic and elegant, modern and minimalist—hits the same note as the style you want for your invitations. For customized design, it’s essential to have a conversation with the stationer in order to find someone who gets your vision. You also want to get a good understanding of how they work and the process of customization so you can be sure it fits into your timeline.

 

Local vs. National

Do you want to support local business? Check out wedding stationers in your area. If you want to work with a small independent business, but there aren’t any in your area, you can still support these folks elsewhere. Etsy is a great resource for finding indie wedding stationers all over the United States. Then again, if you’re not tied to working with a small business, it’s good to know that as you start your search.

 

Independent vs. Big Box

What kind of experience is important to you in working with a stationer? Do you want the personalized experience of working with an independent operation or a less personalized experience with a big-box outfit? There are advantages of each option.

If you don’t care as much about the personalized aspect of things, you might think about choosing a big-box stationer. One of the main advantages of choosing a bigger company is that you’ll get more variety in the styles and designs available. However, there might be fewer options to customize your design, such as changing the colors and switching out fonts. For example, with companies like Minted, you can pick from a ton of design options, and it’s cheaper, but you may have to format the invitation yourself. The other potential downside is the lack of one-on-one personal contact.

With an independent stationer, you’re going to get more of a personalized experience. You’ll have consistent contact with one person throughout the whole process, and, most likely, that same person will meet with you in person, take your order, design your wedding stationery, work with you on design edits and even do the printing, too. This kind of individualized experience creates a personal connection with how your wedding suite is going to be made. Also, with a small company, you’ll have more options for customization, but—and here’s the potential downside—you’ll have a narrower range of styles to choose from. That said, you might want an independent stationer even if you’re not creating a custom design just because you really want that personal experience in which you interface with a person, not with a company.

Letterpress Studio Chicago - Steel Petal Press

What to Know Before You Meet with Your Wedding Stationer

If you’re meeting with your wedding stationer soon, and you want to make the most of that time, here are the things you want to have worked out or have given some thought before you go.

1) Your Budget
Before you meet with your stationer, you’ll want to have a clear picture of the budget you have to work with for your wedding invitations. Many independent stationers like Steel Petal Press are willing to work with you to help you create invitations you’ll love and that also fit in your budget. Knowing what your budget is will help guide other decisions, such as which printing method you’ll choose and which invitation items you’ll include in your suite.
At Steel Petal Press, the production cost is based on three things: 1) which invitation items you order, 2) how many of each item you order, and 3) the printing method you choose.

 

2) Number of Invitations
In order to get an accurate price quote, you’ll need to know approximately how many invitations you need, and in order to get an accurate number of the invitations you need, you’ll want to remember that you don’t need an invitation for every guest. Rather, you need an invitation for every household.

Gold Foil Wedding Invitation

A good rule of thumb is to get invitations for 50% of your guest list + 15%. For example, if your guest list is 200, you’ll need approximately 130 invitations. That said, this approximation may go up or down if you know your guest list contains a lot of single people versus families or vice versa.

 

3) Timeline
It will be helpful to know how much time you have from start to finish to create your wedding stationery. Once you know the time you have available to you, you’ll know the best time to meet with your stationer so you have plenty of time to create and address your invitations without having to pay extra rush fees.

Design & Production Times from Start to Finish

NON-CUSTOM & SEMI-CUSTOM:
1 week proofing
2-3 weeks production
CUSTOM:
3-8 weeks design
2-3 week production

Save-the-date cards generally need to be sent out 5-8 months in advance. Invitations need to be sent out 2-3 months in advance.  You need to consider the design and proofing time PLUS the production time

Calligraphy Letterpress Save the Date

If you’re planning to send out save the dates six months before your wedding, you’ll need to meet with your stationer seven to seven-and-a-half months before your wedding date. Similarly, a typical deadline for sending out wedding invitations is 2-3 months before your wedding date, so it’s a good idea to meet with your wedding stationer 4.5 months before your wedding date to allow enough time for proofing, printing and production.

Custom design times can vary. If you choose to work with a stationery to custom-create a design from scratch it’s a good idea to allow up to 2 months for this process.

Of course, there’s always the option for a rush order, in case you need your invitations within a short time frame.

 

4) The Wedding Invitation Items You Need
Before you meet with your stationer, it’s good to have a general sense of which invitation items you want and how that fits in to your budget. Do you want a save the date? Do you love the look of envelope liners? Do you need day-of stationery?

If you’re on a budget, you might parse out the items in two groups: the ones you need and the ones you want. If your ceremony and reception are in different places, you’ll need a reception card. If it’s important to you to have a traditional wedding suite, you’ll want an invitation, RSVP card and reception card. If you’re planning a destination wedding or you have a lot of out-of-town guests, you might need to include an information card with directions and places to stay or visit. Consider any other information you need that may require add-ons.

Letterpress wedding invitation suite

Knowing which items are must-haves and which are nice-to-haves will help when you’re trying to get a sense of the pricing. Here’s a brief list of items to consider:

save-the-date cards
invitations
RSVP card
reception card
information card
envelope printing
website card
menu
escort card
program
thank-you card
belly bands
envelope printing
envelope liners
inner envelopes

5) How Your Stationer Works
Different stationers work in different ways in regards to their pricing, customization and production. At Steel Petal Press, everything is priced out a la carte, so you can pick and choose what you want to include in your suite based on your needs.
Does your stationer do customizable designs? If that’s something you want, you’ll definitely want to know that beforehand. At Steel Petal Press, everything is customizable, even set designs. You can pick and choose design elements from different pieces to combine them into a semi-custom wedding suite. You can also change the colors and fonts to make them more custom. If you see a design on the site that you like, you’re not tied to that. You can incorporate elements from two or more different designs.

 

6) Custom or Not
For custom wedding invitations, it’s a smart idea to bring a few different ideas of things you want to incorporate into the design. Pinterest is a helpful tool for getting ideas. You can also collect samples of wedding invitations you like, selecting elements from each and making them specific to your vision.

In working with an independent operation like Steel Petal Press, you have the option to work one-on-one with an artist to incorporate very specific design elements. For example, if you have lace on your dress, you might want to incorporate that into the design. If the location of the wedding has a feature you want to highlight, you can have that incorporated into your invitations. For example, past clients have asked to have things like the stained glass from the wedding hall or the depth chart of the lake where their wedding was taking place incorporated into the design of their wedding invitations.

Maine Wedding Invitation

Lace Wedding Invitation

 

Whatever you choose, it’s a good idea to bring in a few different design elements to have incorporated in your invitations. You can also brainstorm a few loose descriptors to describe the style you’re looking for, such as whimsical and romantic or modern and minimal.

Last but not least: colors. You can get as specific or as general as you want here. If you have an idea of very specific colors, you can bring a color swatch to be sure the colors on your wedding stationery will match your flower arrangements, linens or bridesmaids’ dresses.

And there you have it. If you think through these six items before you meet with your wedding stationer, you’ll be in a great jumping-off place for a productive meeting toward creating a wedding invitation suite that you’ll absolutely love.

 

International Women’s Day – Women Who Rock

International Women’s Day is coming up (March 8th!) and there’s no better time to give a shout-out to the women who inspire us big time.

Malala Yousafzai

Malala Yousafzai

The younger-ever recipient of a Nobel Peace Prize, Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai shows a courage and dedication to her cause—access to education for all children—rarely seen. From age 11 to 12, she wrote a blog under a pseudonym for the BBC about living under the Taliban. Then, at the age of 15, she was shot point-blank a member of the Taliban while she was on the bus to school. Despite this attempt on her life, she continues to campaign for worldwide access to education, speaking around the world and donating her Nobel Prize money to build schools. If that doesn’t earn your mad respect, we don’t know what will. If you want to know more, check out her memoir I Am Malala: The Story of the Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban.

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Lena Dunham

Lena Dunham

Long before Girls fame, Lena Dunham was creating short and feature-length films like the web series Delusional Downtown Divas and Tiny Furniture, which scored two Independent Spirit Award nominations. Always unapologetically herself, the actress, writer, producer and director also gave us Not That Kind of Girl, in which she writes, “I am a girl with a keen interest in self-actualization, sending hopeful dispatches from the frontlines of that struggle.” Best of all, Lena Dunham is smart, funny and honest—just the kind of things we love in a woman.

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Sheryl Sandberg

MENLO PARK, CA - APRIL 23: Chief operating officer of Facebook, Sheryl Sandberg is photographed for Paris Match on April 23, 2013 in Menlo Park, California. (Photo by Sebastien Micke/Paris Match/Contour by Getty Images) *** Local Caption ***

 

Currently the Chief Operating Officer of Facebook, Sheryl Sandberg is the woman who told us all to lean in, encouraging us to pursue our ambitions and change the conversation. She is possibly best known for her book Lean In, in which she wrote, “A truly equal world would be one where women ran half our countries and companies and men ran half our homes.” The book also spawned Lean In circles from New Delhi to Brasília to most cities in the U.S. The circles are meant to provide peer support for women as they practice leaning in and as a place for both men and women to talk openly about gender issues. Sandberg continues to campaign for more leadership opportunities for women.

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Sophia Amoruso

Sofia Amoruso

In a matter of eight years, Sophia Amoruso turned her eBay store for vintage clothing, Nasty Gal Vintage, into a global brand and a multimillion-dollar online fashion business with a 65,000-square-foot office space in Los Angeles, 350 employees, and over a million fans on Facebook and Instagram. In her spare time, she wrote a book about it called #GirlBoss. Part self-help book, part memoir, Amoruso shares the secrets of her success. One of our favorites for its simplicity is her practice of using her Internet passwords as sigils or mantras in which she embeds promises to herself or goals for the company. “Every time I go to log in anywhere, I’m subtly reminding myself of what I’m working for,” she wrote. “This ensures that when I’m bogged down with day-to-day bureaucracy and details, I don’t lose sight of what I really want.”

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Of course, famous women aren’t the only inspiring ladies in our lives. Our mothers, sisters and woman-identified co-workers, teachers, neighbors and friends are also super inspiring. What better way to celebrate them than with a sweet letterpress greeting card with a handwritten note? From Steel Petal Press’s You Are Amazing card to the Hugs card to the Besties Forever card, you’re sure to find the perfect way to let the awesome women in your life know how much they inspire you.

Letterpress Friendship Card You're Amazing

Letterpress Valentine Day Card

Who are the women who most inspire you? Please leave a comment and tell us all about them. We want to read your stories!

Meet Jane our Spring Intern!

Jane2

Jane Katte is the newest intern at Steel Petal Press.  She’s been learning how to process orders, helping with huge paper source orders that go out, had a stab at envelope liners and has already spent some time on the press.

Here’s a short bio from the “about” page.

A lover of all things handmade and old fashioned, Jane has always been drawn to the distinct visual aesthetic of letterpress. She’s thrilled to have found an outlet to explore the printing process in depth!   Her educational experience is varied–after earning a BA in English from Florida State University, she switched tracks and moved to Chicago to complete a certificate in Baking and Pastry from the French Pastry School. Nowadays, when she’s not learning the presses here at Steel Petal Press, she’s a pastry cook in a Michelin-starred restaurant.

Jane1