Category spilled ink press

Flacco Wedding Invitations, for the win!!!

Congratulations to Joe Flacco and Dana!
…because let’s face it, behind every Super Bowl winning quarterback is an amazing bride.
We were honored to design and create their invitations for them.  And I will say, the eggplant ribbon paired with the eggplant paper (we know it was kind of a Ravens Purple) created a tone-on-tone trend with my brides that entire season after… wedding season…. er, you know what I mean.

Way to be a trend-setter, Joe Flacco, in the field of wedding invitations!  Ok, maybe you have bigger things to celebrate right now…

Small Business Saturday: Logan Square style

Small Business Saturday“… we’re big fans.  Right now, Spilled Ink Press is a 2 person + a cat operation, so it couldn’t get much smaller- and the little guys like us need the loving support of our adoring public (that’s the way we like to think of you- let us have our fantasy).

So here’s how it works- I’ll give you the Logan Square version for reference…
On Small Business Saturday- this year November 24th, you wake up at a leisurely hour.  No need to set an alarm for 4AM or some god-forsaken hour like that.  Take your time getting ready, you deserve this day.  Feel good about it.
Then mosey over to your local (non-Starbucks, sorry) coffee shop and enjoy a cup of amazing fresh brewed coffee… or tea… or hot chocolate.
That could be my new favorite place Gaslight Coffee Roasters, or New Wave, or Cafe Mustache.
Alrighty, feeling good and caffeinated.

Then comes the fun part- SHOP SMALL, SHOP LOCAL!  Plan your route.  Take your time.  Smile at your neighbors on the street and say hello to the shop owner when you walk in.  They love you. They need you. Feel the love.

Your first stop in Logan Square? Well, Shop 1021, of course. There is literally a corner of the store for every type of person you know.  There’s the cooking section with amazing gadgets and cookbooks.  There’s the travel section with awesome maps and books about far away places and local dive bars.  There’s the bar section with whiskey stones, the perfect glasses, cocktail cookbooks, and unique wine bottle openers.  There’s the kids section with organic toys and bibs and blankets (even the Go the F*ck to Sleep book… which makes many a customer giggle). There’s the office section with interesting books on fonts (my favorite) and cool sketch books and notecards.  There’s the pet’s section, the Chicago section, the lotion and soaps section… seriously, it kind of rocks.

And THEN.  Then there’s the cards.  The 2 doors by the register are our favorite, but we’re biased, those are ours.  You’ll know by the amount of hysterics happening when people read them.  There’s also a section of cards written by comedians, so ok, those are pretty funny too.  And then there is a plethora of cards from local letterpress designers alike.

After you’ve purchased some gifts for the adults in your life, then you head on over to *Play, which has almost any gift you could want for the kiddo’s.

After *Play, you can pop into Fleur, which smells divine when you walk in because it’s a boutique flower shop.  Pick up some amazing flowers, and an eclectic gift or two for the botanic lover in your life.

And by now, surely you’re hungry… so treat yourself to lunch at Dunlays on the Square.  Save room for dessert though and then head over to Bang Bang Pie Shop on California.  Seriously, you won’t regret it.

Whew. That’s a day right there.
If when you get home, you realize you forgot something out at the brick and mortar shops– do NOT hesitate to check out Etsy.
And for those of you NOT in Chicago, not in Logan Square… please check out our Etsy shop here, and use the discount code SIPSMALLBIZSAT for free shipping! Yay for perks!

Trading Squares… Leaving Lincoln for Logan!

2650 N. Milwaukee = Shop 1021 = Spilled Ink Press’s new home

Well, if you’re following us on Facebook or see our excitement that occasionally bubbles through the twitter feed, you kind of have an inkling what’s happening at Spilled Ink Press headquarters these days.

But if not, we’ve got some ‘splainin’ to do…
The short answer is, we’re moving to Logan Square!
The long answer involves twitter chatter about the Bears last fall catching the attention of a pretty awesome Toy-store owner and subsequent Packer’s fan in Logan Square.  We started following each other because of our mutual involvement with the 2011 Crave Book.  You know, we got that female-owned-business thing going for us, we’re just cool like that.

Well, turns out Ann, before-mentioned owner of *Play, was cooking up a plan to open a rad home and gift store just up the street from *Play at 2650 N Milwaukee in the hottest neighborhood in Chicago, Logan Square, and asked us if we’d like to sell our cards there.
We get so caught up with the wedding side of what we do, we jumped at this opportunity and were flattered actually.
The conversation grew from there and as of one week from yesterday (June 2nd!), we’ll be operating our little stationery gig out of Shop 1021 itself- the whole shebang: wedding invitations, greeting cards, thank you cards, shower invitations, baby announcements, etc.
Tony will still be slaving away at the invitation sweatshop, but because I’ll be camped out at Shop 1021 quite a bit, we decided to move the sweatshop to Logan Square as well.  So in the next few weeks, we will bid a very fond farewell to Lincoln Square and trade the Davis Theater on Lincoln for the newly reopened Logan Theater (who is going to be our neighbor- literally right next door to the shop!) on Milwaukee.

We are absolutely thrilled to be working with Ann under the Shop 1021 umbrella, she’s done an amazing job with the entire concept and vibe of the store.  Even the facebook banner is cool:

Seriously, we’re pinching ourselves.

So that’s the story folks.
After June 2nd, if you are a blushing bride and would like to set up a consultation to meet with me to discuss invitations… we’ll be sharing a cup of coffee or tea over the official Spilled Ink Press consultation desk at 2650 N. Milwaukee (it’s a pretty cool vintage desk, if I do say so).  If you’d like to just pop into the store and see what we’ve got to offer and peruse before setting up an appointment, hallelujah, you can do that now!
When that call comes to us (which does probably about once a week) asking what our “hours” are… guess what?  We’ll officially have an answer for you!!
When you see our cards on Facebook and they make you smile and you want to know where to buy them…  guess what?  We have an answer for that too!
And after Tony’s made your invitations with care, they’ll be waiting for your anxious arrival at Shop 1021.

Thank you to everyone who’s been supporting us over the last 6 years as we move through the growing pains and joys of a growing small company (particularly The Perfect Cup- seriously, if you’re in Lincoln Square, that’s the coffee shop you want to be at).  Being in a retail setting will have it’s own adjustments that we’ll learn and grow from too, no doubt about it, but everything about this feels right.

NOW… back to work.  This is beginning to sound like an acceptance speech…

Wedding favors that may outlive you!

I have a secret.
I’m kind of in love with trees.  There.  I said it.  Well, that was maybe a little too dramatic… I don’t mean Mary Katherine Gallagher in-love… more like an intense affinity toward big old trees.

Maybe “love” is a strong word, but if you appreciate tree’s… take this survey.

So every year when the Arbor Day Foundation “survey” comes in the mail (make no bones… I know it’s just a way to get you to be interactive and then give $10), I very happily fill out the silly survey and give my annual meager donation.  Yes, I climbed tree’s when I was a kid.  Yes, I played in a tree house *did you pay a marketing research team to formulate these questions?*.
At the end of the survey you get to swoon over the “free” stuff you get.  This is the part I revel in.  10 free tree’s!  2 flowering shrubs?!  Seriously?  Awesome.  Sign me up.

This year- just this morning actually, I filled out the survey online (sorry USPS). When I was tooling around their website, I found THIS!  Tree’s as wedding favors!  I did this at our wedding many moons ago.  The tree’s survived with moderate success rates, but that was because I tried to go all rogue with it and ordered them too early.  If you order through the Arbor Day Foundation, they come in a neato tube and a personalized message!

Eco-brides… take heed!  Embrace your inner green-goddess (or green-geek, in my case).  Give the gift of trees, support the Arbor Day Foundation, and breath a little easier (hehe, get it…).

And of course as much as I love trees for real, I also love doing tree-inspired invitations!  This one was for a fall wedding in Pennsylvania. Laura and I clicked immediately discussing ideas of how to really showcase leaves, and the tree, and the natural setting of her wedding.  This is how they turned out:

For additional tips on how to green your wedding, see the Chicago Green Wedding Alliance website:

AND… we hope to see you at our “green” wedding show, Committed, that the CGWA is hosting on February 26th at the new Greenhouse Loft.  Meet the members of the Chicago Green Wedding Alliance, sample sustainable catered foods, learn about local beer and spirits, enjoy the sunny new Greenhouse Loft for an afternoon!
See here for details and tickets:

CRAVE Chicago, The Urban Girl’s Manifesto

Two years ago I was working a wedding show and a stack of books on a vendor’s table with a snappy hot pink logo on the cover caught my eye. I’ve been following Crave Chicago ever since.  Basically, Crave is a network of female business owners, a book with featured entrepreneurs, and they conduct workshops and networking events throughout the year.  The book contains a short bio of the lady-superstars, sharp and bright photographs, and interview-style question and answers that give you a tiny bit of insight into what drives them, what inspires them, advise for others, etc.  Also at the end of the book are deals and discounts for many of the businesses featured.
The second edition just came out and Spilled Ink Press is a proud member of the group, along with friends from FIG, Urban Worm Girl, Village Paperie & Gifts, and I’ve already started to connect with so many others from this 2nd edition through twitter and events.
To be honest, I was a little nervous about joining the group (perhaps “intimidated” is a better word? “humbled”… “shy”… I know, these are counter-productive emotions for a business owner to have), but spoke to one of the example business owners from the Crave website.  She said, “Crave will be for you what you make of it- if you put yourself out there, you’ll meet a lot of great people”, and so far it’s been amazing.  This is so true for almost all things in life, isn’t it?  Hesitation melted…
The official launch of the book was last week.  I sat down a few days later to dive into the contents on a quiet Saturday morning when Tony was out running errands.  Just me and my coffee… and wow.  Suddenly, it wasn’t just me and my coffee… it was me, my coffee and over 100 examples of just awesome.

…I think I may send a book to Craig Ferguson and Terry Gross.  Meh, why not?

I’ve got lot’s of books of my very own now… and only 1 Mother and 1 Mother-in-law, so there’s many more for the offering.  Let me know if you’d like one!

PS- Amy Boyle did the photography, she did a great job and she’s one of the featured business owners.  I learned from that day that I’m MUCH more comfortable when my invitations are being photographed instead of me, but she made me feel at ease despite that.

The Knot Chicago Magazine

It’s always fun when a wedding that we’ve been a part of gets published!  The day-of stationery stuff is of course less glamorous than the actual invitations, so we owe Edyta Szyszlo Photography a huge thank you for snapping some pics of the invitations for Gene and Kristen’s wedding.  Their beautiful fall 2010 wedding was featured in this season’s issue of The Knot Chicago, including Edyta’s lovely photographs.  Here are the original photographs from their big day.
Happy Anniversary Kristen and Gene, and thank you as well to The Knot for keeping their glam wedding in the spotlight!

In the home stretch/ go green all the way!

884 escort cards.

735 ceremony programs.
116 table number cards.
446 menu cards.
590 thank you cards.
This is what my to-do list looks like for this week.  Ok, so it’s not all one wedding, it’s a combination of 5 weddings… but its kind of fun to see the numbers.  And it’s also interesting to take a step back and appreciate the amount of paper your wedding uses.  You of course think, oh yeah- we thought of that, our wedding invitations were totally recycled paper.  Awesome!  But don’t forget about the homestretch!  Your day-of accessories are made of smaller pieces, but collectively just as much, if not more paper.
So as a guest of a wedding, or as the lucky couple hosting… remember the importance of coordinating clean-up/ recycling/ compost, and ask the same questions:  
1-  Is my paper post-consumer recycled
2-  Does it come from responsible mills/ forests?
3-  Can it be recycled when all the fun has ended (some coated/sparkly paper can’t be)?
4-  And different from your invitations- YOU have control over how these babies are disposed.  Will the venue space you hired to host your reception recycle or compost your paper waste?  If not, make it happen!
And a few tips for the couple…
1-  You don’t need as many programs as you may think.  I like to estimate that you could conservatively order 50% to 75% of your expected guest count.  Not everyone will take one and not everyone will be at the ceremony.
2-  Assign someone to be in charge of gathering up paper waste (younger members of family love to be helpers!)  
3-  Double up escort cards and include couples instead of individuals (don’t stress about having to say “Joe Smith and Guest”– Joe should have known better to tell you his date’s name.  It’s not a big deal).
4-  You can always double up table numbers with the menu in lieu of an individual menu per setting.
The music stops, the kisses have been given, the tears of joy have been wiped clean.  Now… who’s making sure 884 escort cards are being recycled?
Own your big day from day one until AFTER the clock chimes midnight.  

"Birthday Funny"

…why thank you Target Store stationery department, we kinda think so too!
We are happy to see our 8-card line featured at Target Stores nationwide.  All “Birthday Funny”, all the time. Get them while they’re hot, or early October when they replace them with Halloween cards.
Who sends Halloween cards?…

This one inspired by my lame birthday texts to my siblings.  Yes, that’s you Mary.

Inspired by my dear friend Iwona… she’s the nicest person alive, but godblessher, she can’t remember my birthday to save her life.  It’s June 5th, in case anyone wants to send me a gift.

Tony says you’ll get this is if you’re into music “trust me”.  

I bought this bra just for this photo… so don’t worry, it’s not like one of mine or anything (double ew.).

We get alot of bills.  We DO kind of pee a little when we get something that isn’t.

We aren’t big fans of wearing pants.  I think that’s why we have to work from home…  too much information?…

Sadly, oh so true…  I even broke the piggy bank right after this photo was taken (there wasn’t anything in it, boo).

It’s kind of funny to buy a baby bottle when you don’t have a baby.  I keep salad dressing in it now and Tony refuses to use it.  He said it creeps him out.  


Wed Shower invitation poking fun at being a bridesmaid

We are very happily jumping on the “you really need to see this movie” wagon.  We work with brides every day and many a movie has been made about the trials of a woman’s path to the alter.  It’s just plain refreshing and interesting to see the whole process through the eyes of a bridesmaid.  I’ve been reading a lot of reviews that are quick to point out the empowering and albeit hysterical female-centric voice of this movie.  The groom literally doesn’t have one line, and the only “love interest” (enter tired old “chick-flick” formula) is a character that has the interest in the main bridesmaid character Annie (Kristin Wiig) and not the other way around.  Girl meets boy, boy likes girl, girl leaves boy’s house in a commitment freak-out.  Aaaah.  Now, that’s nice- add a heavy helping of raunchy hilarity and you’re in for a good time.

And let me tell ya, playing the role of the bridesmaid is a rite of passage that many women have to… um, I mean, are blessed to go through.  And to prove it, for old times sake… here are my badges (and dresses) of honor:

My sister Tina’s wedding, circa 1995.  Notice I was not allowed to have a dip in the front of my dress like the rest of the bridesmaids.  There was nothing to “dip” to anyway.  I still gag when I smell a Star-gazing lily.

My highschool friend’s wedding… and one of the first wedding invitations we did!  This dress I bought at a Good Will in San Francisco and added some detailing to– thanks for giving us the freedom to pick out our own dress Andrea!  I was seriously BROKE.  I also had my hair and makeup done with the rest of the wedding party but came home and washed my face and hair and had my sister Tina redo it.  I looked like a clown!
My oldest friend’s wedding.  This is us doing a dance we’ve done together since we were probably 8.  I loved the candy-red apple dress.  Also my first time wearing one of those voodoo clear strap bra’s. 
And my college roommate and dear friend’s wedding at Disney World… Disney Land?  Whatever, the one in Florida.  That’s the Disney Chapel we’re in!  Yes, this time I had something holding up my dress and just noticed I was the only one who went strap-less.  Guess I was workin’ it.  It’s a shame you can’t see the pretty embroidery at the top of the dress.