wrap it up

December 01, 2014


Chelsea and I are so excited about todays post! It’s been a while since we’ve invited someone to be apart of our Traveling Stamp series so we decided to take it back into our own hands and create something new. As the holiday season is upon is, it seemed fitting to explore wrapping paper.

Growing up, my mother always took gift-giving very seriously — the presentation and un-wrapping experience was just as important as the gift! She put a lot of time and effort into it, making Christmas morning such a visual and enjoyable time. One year, every present was wrapped in this perfect glitter paper. By the end of the morning, we were all covered head to toe in sparkles! ( mom, does this roll of black paper look familiar? ) I still have a lot of shopping to do before I can start wrapping and shipping out treats, but I’m definitely excited to get the process started.

Next Up: We’ll be designing a new stamp for 2015 and handing it off to Amanda Jane Jones!

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I also wanted to show off my new Artifact Uprising cards! I’m so impressed with this 3-in-1 design. It’s a greeting card, a photo print and a gift tag all in one. With perforated seams, these cards can be repurposed by the friends and loved-ones you send them to! I decided to pair one of our new black & white wedding photos with this bold design. Check out their other design options here.

→ Artifact Uprising has kindly offered up 25 cards to one lucky winner!!

To enter: Fill out this form
Giveaway ends on: December 8th — Goodluck!

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Check out Chelsea’s wrapping paper right here!


Go Stamp + Go!

March 13, 2014

Cheers to the 5th traveling stamp participant — Adrienne Antonson of STATE. Do y’all remember her Lovely Lady feature? It’s one of my favs, to this day. SO…. Can you even believe how hard she knocked this project out of the park? I literally screamed when I got the images!!

Her thoughts:
“As a life long pen-pal, I love anything that comes in the mail! And mail that you can make things out of — even better! Emma’s traveling stamp project had me at hello and I could not wait for it to arrive in my mailbox. Being the first East coast recipient of the traveling stamp, I knew we had to do something big. So making an entire stamped outfit seemed like a no-brainer. The whole STATE team got involved and shared in the messy fun. We made stamped linen pants, a smock, and a silk head scarf. And honestly, we could have kept stamping for days.”

“As a professional maker, it’s easy to get in a creative rut. So to have a project that was purely for fun was such a welcome change. It was inspiring to think of all the ladies before us who used the stamp, and we were thrilled to be continuing the chain. I’m excited to see where the little stamp goes next and what it makes!”

Don’t forget to follow along on Instagram & Twitter with the hashtag #travelingstamp. We are documenting the mailing, making, and finished products for your Enjoyment, wink*

PLUS >> !!! We loved the stamped smock so much, we’ve added it to the STATE online shop. There is only the ONE available ( update: SOLD OUT ) so make sure to snag it quick if you’re interested. I have a red STATE smock & am obsessed. It’s the perfect layering piece that goes with just about anything.

Go Stamp Go +

November 04, 2013

Cheers to the 4th Traveling Stamp participant — Jessica Comingore!! She has completed her choice of medium: A 100% Cotton Scarf. I was so excited to see some color brought into the project – and what a color!! It adds such a nice pop to such a bold pattern. With Fall in full swing, a scarf was the perfect idea for the Traveling Stamp. Bravo Jessica!!

Her thoughts:
“When Emma asked if I’d like to be a part of the Traveling Stamp project earlier this summer, I replied with a resounding yes. It’s not often that I DIY (read: never) but thought it would be a fun opportunity to get my hands dirty and create something away from the computer for a change. Turns out it was a load of fun and made me ask myself why I don’t DIY more often!”

“In brainstorming for the project, I tossed around a few ideas but landed on a scarf as its recently been my go-to for adding a little punch to a neutral outfit. And while I tend to be a black and white kind of gal, I’ve got an affinity for tomato red and thought it would be fun to see the pattern in color. After several hours of dirty hands and paint splatters on wood floors, the scarf was complete. I love the abstract pattern and imperfections you get when hand stamping… a true labor of love. Can’t wait to see where it travels to next (and a big thanks to Victoria for being my scarf model).”

Next up, we plan to send it to the East Coast!! Don’t forget to follow along on Instagram & Twitter with the hashtag #travelingstamp. You can see all of the projects involving the stamp here.


July 29, 2013

Cheers to the third Traveling Stamp participant — Kate Arrends of *Wit & Delight has completed her choice of medium: Linen Napkins. I love how she took the triangle shape and added a solid version for some variety. These look great mixed with her gray placemats & colorful meal. I might have to make myself a brightly colored set for my summer tabletops. Bravo Kate!! Enjoy.

Her thoughts:
“I have a soft spot for black and white patterns, and this little pink stamp was blast to play with. For my contribution, I chose to stamp black paint on natural linen napkins. The hand-cut quality of Emma’s stamp adds a bit of warmth to the graphic pattern, and the natural linen looks great against my stark white table. Also, it couldn’t be easier! I played around with a number of different patterns; for the most part I started in one corner and worked my way out.The imbalance of the random patterns gave me the best results.”

Next up, Jessica Comingore – Don’t forget to follow along on Instagram & Twitter with the hashtag #travelingstamp. We are documenting the mailing, making, and finished products for your Enjoyment.

Go Go Stamp!

June 18, 2013

Remember that little striped stamp that I hand-carved and made a poster from!? Well, it has officially become a traveling stamp!! Chelsea Fullerton and I will be mailing this bad boy to different creatives and give them the freedom to make and document anything they like with it.

It was only fitting that Chelsea received it in Austin, Texas next – as she is my traveling-stamp partner in crime!! I am thrilled that she decided to apply it to fabric – she now has a pretty new set of pillow cases! Didn’t they turn out wonderful? You can see more photos of her process on her blog. If I didn’t already have my poster hanging up in my bedroom, I would totally make these cases. Adorable!

Kate Arends of *Wit & Delight will be receiveing it in Minnesota next – Can’t wait! You can follow along on Instagram & Twitter via the hashtag #travelingstamp!

Last week, Chelsea kicked off our PAPER topic by showing us how beautiful embossing can be. This week, I personally wanted to explore creating a custom design on a massive piece of yummy paper! When it was my turn to decide what to make, my mind instantly went to a few pieces of watercolor paper I have been saving since college. They are thick, textured, heavy, & screaming to be turned into something special. This seemed to be the perfect occasion.

I used to be really into carving my own rubber stamps so I decided to resurrect my tools & dive back in. I was inspired by Yellow Owl Workshop, a wonderful San Francisco based co. that is all about hand-carving! They actually have a great how-to video right here if you plan to try this and need more visual help.

So where to start? Well since our current topic is about paper, lets start there! I used a paper called Arches – you can easily find this at stores like Blicks or Michaels. It is deemed watercolor paper but is also known to be used for drawing, calligraphy, gouache, printmaking, acrylics, and even digital printing! You have a few choices if you plan to work with this specific paper – you can go with hot press, cold press, or rough! Hot is smooth, Cold is moderately textured, and rough is extra well, rough. I went with cold press, pictured below.

The next step was to draw out my pattern and start carving. This is super simple. All you have to do is draw your design on a piece of paper with a pencil. Then transfer it over to the carving block by rubbing it with your hand. I used the Speedball Linoleum Cutters & Carve Block. Or you can just buy it all in one kit. Once you’re done carving, its time to start stamping. I’m telling you – this project couldn’t be more fun and easy.

The obvious choice would be to use an ink pad for your impressions – mine was running low so the marks were extra faint. I had invisioned this piece being very black so I decided to experiment with using acrylic paint. I just brushed a light layer of paint and voila, it looked great. I obviously did a ton of tests before I started the real deal. Note – always do a test run, always.

The rest was smooth sailing – paint, stamp, repeat! It takes a while but hey, it was totally worth it. I experimented with leaving areas blank and turning the triangle different directions – this allowed the lines to play off each other and create interesting effects. Once I was done, I framed it in a simple silver ikea frame. I was going to hang it up in my new office but it ended up coming home with me. I hope you guys give this a go – there is nothing like a new piece of artwork to freshen things up. If you do make one, Chelsea & I would love to see & hear from you! Happy stamping + paper loving! Also, thank you Loren Crosier for taking some of the photographs.

Design Guide | Paper #01

April 16, 2013



Good morning friends!! Chelsea here, happy to announce Emma & I are BACK ( please forgive our hiatus ) with our second topic of the series, Design Guide — PAPER! There’ll be four posts dedicated to tools, resources & tips on how to use paper thoughtfully in your design projects. I’m kicking things off with a fun project anyone can create—a paper embosser. Enjoy & feel free to ask me anything about embossing in the comments section.

An embosser is a tool that creates a raised design on paper, often seen as a seal on official documents. ( ss opposed to debossing which sinks into the paper ) Luckily, you can easily and cheaply order an embosser online for your own use! What I love most about this tool is that it immediately creates a luxe and unique feeling. You don’t see raised type and graphics on paper that often so when you do, it’s no doubt going to get attention. For my embosser, I went with my return address. I embossed gold labels but it would work just as well on the back of an envelope.

» My Handheld Embosser ( good if you’re using from time to time )
» Desk Embosser ( if you’ll be using it often… easier to punch )
» Pre-Designed Embossers ( if you’re not designing your own )

Other Materials Pictured
» Gold Labels
» Grid Envelopes
» Vintage Stamps

Stay tuned for the second post on paper from Emma in two weeks!!

Design Guide | Color #04

October 22, 2012

CMYK, PMS, RGB… Oh, brother. Today I’m going over all the tricky color terms a designer uses day in & day out. These definitions are crucial for a practicing designer to know & helpful for clients working with a designer to learn. And since so many of us are visual people, why not add images to help us all easily remember the terms? Now, keep in mind, I’m not going into the nitty gritty details of these topics. Just a simple guide to reference when you or your client needs a color lesson. And don’t miss Emma & I’s top online color resources at the bottom of this post! Thanks for your support & enjoy the tips. –Chelsea


CMYK / An acronym for Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black (AKA process color and four color). When printing a project with many colors, like a photographic based project, CMYK is a common color model printers use. These four colors combined in print, make any color combination under the sun. Fun fact! Mixing just CMY is theoretically supposed to create black but instead, it only creates a dark muddy color. So, they added black to the three color combo.

Spot Color / A single ink color used in print. If you’re printing a job with say 1 to 3 colors, you would choose the Pantone (see below) spot colors and specify them to your printer. Emma and I both used spot colors to print our brand materials, seen here.

PMS / An acronym for Pantone Matching System (AKA Pantone). Pantone is a company that created the most popular spot color system in the world. You can buy Pantone books right here. In addition to basic color books, they also have metallic, fluorescent and pastel color books, which are colors that can only be created using a spot color.

If you’re not ready to invest in Pantone color books (they’re pricey), you can pick up paint swatches from Home Depot and have your printer match a color based off those samples. When working on a print based project, it’s good for you and client to both have a record of the spot PMS colors chosen for each color used for the project. Fun Fact! In 2000, Pantone started picking a Color of the Year. Check out those colors here.


RGB / An acronym for Red, Green and Blue. Together, these three colors make up every color you see on a display device, like a computer, tv or phone. Each of the colors has a number between 0 and 255. Example: R=255 / G=0 / B=0 is pure red. R=0 / G=0 / B=0 is black. R=255 / G=255 / B=255 is black.

HEX Number / (Stands for Hexidecimal Color) This six digit number represents a color used for anything on the web. Example: #FF0000 is pure red. #000000 is black. #FFFFFF is white. You’ll often see an option to type in your own HEX number while customizing a blog or twitter.

And just as you want to record Pworking on a web based project, it’s good for you and client to both have a record of the RGB mixes and HEX numbers for each color used on the site. Also, if you have an RGB mix and want to find out the HEX Number of that color, click here to use a ‘color calculator’ we found.


Some of our Favorites /
Cubicle Refugee
Colour Lovers
Palettes by Creature Comforts
Color Collective
Pugly Pixel


Do you have a favorite color resource or tip?
Be sure to tell us about it in the comments section below. Emma and I would love to hear about it!
And be sure to check back in two weeks for our next Design Guide topic… PAPER!!

Design Guide | Color #03

October 04, 2012

…and the Design Guide continues!! If you guys follow Chelsea & I on Instagram, then you saw that we went to Palm Springs for a Design Retreat last weekend. We spent 3 days with a handful of really talented female designers – poolside! ( we had a tiny bit of structure in there but for the most part we just enjoyed each others company and chatted about our businesses ) I definitely left feeling charged and challenged. Chelsea & I decided to let the trip inspire this next COLOR post. Check it out – as soon as we got home, we selected all of our favorite Instagram images from the weekend and pulled color palettes from them! ( hence the type up top screaming PALM SPRING PALETTES ) We felt like this would be a really interesting way to show you guys how easy it can be to pull inspiration from daily life – and then apply it to design!

…and now – I invited Eva to pick her favorite palette and apply it to this weeks Top Notch Type Design!! She went with #03! “The various natural sceneries, bright sun and the shimmer from the pool, bring these colors to life. And this week’s typeface is another great one from designer, James T. Edmonson, for Lost Type Co-Op, Edmonsans. This sans-serif comes in three weights and has a few special features that gives this font it’s Top-Notch quality. You can’t go wrong using this one!” –Eva Black



This week’s font : Edmonsans
Number of styles : 3
Classification : Sans Serif
Designer : James T. Edmonson
Get it here —> : Lost Type Co-Op

Design Guide | Color #02

September 18, 2012

Three cheers for Chelsea & I’s second installation of Design Guide. I love how enthusiastic everyone was when we kicked the column off with a non-traditional color wheel. We are still focusing on color as it’s one of our favorite aspects of the design process. I’m going to walk you through our brands palette’s & share tips on how we consistently and successfully use them. It’s amazing how much color choices control the outcome of the design – so pick carefully!! Cheers & Enjoy –Emma


In visual experiences ( in this case – graphic design ), harmony is something that is pleasing to the eye! It engages you and creates an inner sense of order & a balance in the visual experience. When something is not harmonious, it’s either boring or chaotic. One extreme is that a visual experience is so bland that you’re not engaged – the brain will reject something that is so under-stimulating!! The other extreme is a visual experience that is so overdone, so chaotic that the viewer can’t stand to look at it!! The brain rejects what it can’t organize, what it can’t understand… Color harmony delivers visual interest and a sense of order so in the end – it’s crucial!! To get really technical : Extreme unity leads to under-stimulation, extreme complexity leads to over-stimulation. Harmony is a dynamic equilibrium!!

Some people have a natural eye for this harmony – some do not!! If you find yourself struggling with this – the color wheel is an incredible tool to understanding what goes well together – trust me!! There are also lots of other great resources out there to help put together a successful palette. Chelsea and I will be sharing some of our favorite resources in our last color post so stay tuned for those!!


EMMADIME : I gave my brand an update a little less than a year ago and am still adding to it and changing it everyday ( I designed a few new pieces specifically for this post, yay! ) One of the largest challenges for me, as I expand my brand is designing for myself – I’m sure lots of other designers would agree. Since it’s MY brand, I feel like it needs to be perfect – I feel like the materials that I pass out are a walking example of my potential as a designer! That’s a lot of pressure huh! WELL – with lots of hard work, some personal insight, and a tiny bit of money – I am at a place where I am proud to show off EMMADIME in all it’s colorful & printed glory. My colors are a good example of a complementary palette that is a mixture of cool & warm colors.  I wish I had a more insightful answer as to why I chose these specific ones but the truth is – yellow is my fav!! So I took the time to pair yellow with different complementary colors and decided on which one grabbed at me more! Voila, there you have it – the Emmadime palette!!

From here, it’s all about consistency. As you design more and more pieces for your brand, strictly stay within your palette – and when I say strict I mean be psycho about it. Here are some examples from my experience : 01. My tape & my ink pad color are almost exactly the same color- this took multiple trips to different craft stores to hunt it down. 02. I worked with my letter-presser to make sure the yellows were as close to each other as possible! She hand mixed the inks so this took some extra time and energy. 03. I don’t stray outside of using white or gray paper! You get the point!!


…and now for Chelsea’s brand!! When she first launched Go Forth, I saw some Instagram pictures of everything that’s pictured below & LOVED it. I emailed her requesting that she snail-mail some of it to me so that I could appreciate it even more in person. I love how bright and vibrant her colors are and how bold all the type is. It screams life & energy!!

“I launched Go Forth Creative in March of this year and what a fun ride it has been! As it is for every business owner, it took some time for me to come up with a name for my studio. After doing so, I chose bold and upbeat colors that encourage folks to GO FORTH and take the next step in making their business great. Anytime you’re creating a palette, try your best to choose them with purpose by keeping your story or concept in mind.”


Design Guide | Color

September 04, 2012

Hello E/D readers! I’m thrilled & honored to be sharing some design knowledge & tricks alongside Emma with our new column – Design Guide. We’re starting the series off with one of our favorite & most important design elements: COLOR! And the first post on color is dedicated to the basics. Whether you’re a new to design or a seasoned professional, check out the definitions & diagrams below to help refresh your memory on the fundamentals of color. Cheers & enjoy! –Chelsea Fullerton

The color wheel is a basic yet super handy tool to remind us how colors relate to each other. It all starts with red, yellow & blue, or the primary colors. Secondary colors are created by mixing two primary colors together. ( yellow + blue = green ). Tertiary colors are the combination of one primary & one secondary ( red + orange = red/orange ). As easy as it is to create color combinations on the computer, I encourage you to go old school with your colored pencils or paints on occasion.

When it comes to creating palettes, there are no rules. But using the below three palette tricks is always a good place to start when picking a set of colors that will compliment each other nicely.

Monochrome / A monochrome palette uses just one color (hue) in a range of light and dark shades. In the example above, I used the lovely red/orange as my base color.

Analogous / This set of colors describes the use of hues that are close to one another on the color wheel. Analogous palettes are great for clients who need to deliver a calming message, like a yoga studio or spa.

Complimentary / This palette is the mix of two colors opposite one another on the color wheel, such as purple and yellow or red and green. The effect is dramatic and eye catching.

Hue / Another word for color.
Warm / The red, yellow and orange colors found on the color wheel.
Cool / The blue, green and purple colors found on the color wheel.
Tint / A color made lighter by adding white.
Shade / A color made darker by adding black.