It's a great time to think about ordering custom Christmas gifts! Enjoy our Merry Mail Sale of 20% off with the coupon code MERRYMAIL2016 at the checkout.
Had the privilege of partnering with Galison Mudpuppy to create these happy greetings! I love the movement you can see in this "still life". My sister continues to amaze me! I'm so glad they came out just in time to order for sending out my Christmas cards. Happy fall everyone. I hope you are enjoying the crisp air!
To order these cards from Galison Mudpuppy, click here.
Above: A photo I took before getting on the metro in Paris.
For a Person
For a person to taste
For a person to ride on
For a person to see
For a person to write with
For a person to live in, play on, watch
For a person to sit on
For a person to buy
For a person to give
for a person to sell
For a person to eat
For a person to read
For a person to build
For a person to enjoy
For a person to appreciate
For a person to praise
For a person to sing
For a person to ski
For a person to sail
For a person to fly
For a person to park
For a person to grow
For a person to learn
For a person to stay safe
For a person to stay warm
For a person to stay dry
For a person to communicate by
For a person to remember
For a person to get well
For a person.
All these things we hurry around to create have one thing in common- they are for life, they are for living. In what we do, we often forget that a person is why we make these things, buy these things, sell these things. Don't let the "things" become your master- after all, they are servants. The things do not care if they are not nourished, cherished, loved. But who these things are for, that is why they are here. So a person should be held above them all.
My thoughts as I rode a train along the Hudson River to NYC May 2, 2016.
I’m not normally one to want to sketch (I usually leave that to my sister Patricia,) but the everyday scenes in France are just asking for it. Everything seems to come from a storybook, even the police cars, which look and sound to me like Playmobile toys. The colorful trains and the lighthearted form of the train station itself suggests happiness and play. Many places in France seem to have the perfect mix of aged and modern, just like the classy cheeses and wine they produce.
All of this in comparison with the typically intelligent, pessimistic and passionate French makes me tilt my head like a confused puppy. But maybe it is the contrast that makes the marriage. I have much more to learn about the life and culture!
I have never seen more beautiful roses than in France. My grandmother would be in her glory to garden there! (Living near Buffalo, you pretty much have to cut down the bush to its roots each winter.) In France, I learned you can also grow things like apricots and lemons in your backyard.
(Below: Just an everyday scene from a walk in a small town in the region of Val-d'Oise.)
Carrying a baguette home under your arm with this kind of scenery certainly makes the list of life's simple pleasures!
Half of the Fawnsberg team is spending some time in France. Which half? C'est moi, Rachel! It has been on my bucket list for years to "learn French" and now the opportunity has come.
France. France. I can go into almost any store in the U.S. and find something that says Paris. Does Paris do a great job at marketing itself? No, it just is.
Aesthetic. For centuries the French have paid attention. The French never forgot to ask the question, "but what does it look like?" How can one make something beautiful, cozy, natural, classic, modern understated, and grand all at the same time?
To me, each place looks like a page in a storybook. I want to see each building painted in watercolor. Each person I see is a character. Each child has an adventure. Each animal has a name. And if only the trees could talk!
À la prochaine!
You are invited to join these little country mice in Rochester! Patricia and I will be participating as one of the 70 artists appearing at the MayDay Underground Crafts + Art Fair. It will be the perfect time to shop for Mother’s Day gifts and graduation presents. We’re taking our water-fairing vessel east on the Erie Canal with barrels of Fawnsberg illustrated cards, new address stamps, and never before seen art prints.
We’ll be there along with our fellow artisan and friend, Kira Sinclair of KiraArts. Many of your will recognize her well-known sweater monsters and nubbins.
When: Saturday April 30th, 10am to 4pm
Where: Village Gate Atrium, 274 Goodman Street North, Rochester, NY 14607
Free parking and free admission.
The first 50 guests will receive a free swag bag. Crafts and art, music and hourly raffles. This spring, the MayDay crew is also debuting a DIY section. Come join in on the crafting fun!
P.S. Note, this fair is on April 30th, even though it is called MayDay ;)
Mother's Day is on it's way! I know many of you are searching for the perfect Mother's Day card for your mom. Patricia created this customizable Fawnsberg design in partnership with Paperless Post. You can upload your own picture of you and your mom as well as have your custom message printed.
Also available in ballerina pink! You can purchase it as an e-card or printed card. Below is the sweet envelope and liner:
The signature "stamped" Paperless Post envelope back. If you've never received a Paperless Post card in your email inbox, it is so fun to open!
Wishing you all a very happy Mother's Day!
Personally, I'm pretty impressed with what this little white ink pad can do. I know browsing online, it's hard to tell what your stamping job will actually look like. I'll show you two examples of this white pigment ink: white ink stamped on kraft paper and white ink stamped on navy paper.
This is also a step-by-step guide for successful stamping! Follow along as I use a kraft gift bag, our Succulent To-From art stamp, and a ColorBox Pigment Archival Ink Pad in Frost White. This is an easy idea to apply when making shower favors or wedding favors.
1.) Turn your stamp on it's back. Take your pigment ink pad and dab it repeatedly, gently to apply the ink onto the entire raised surface of the rubber stamp. Do you notice how gravity will pull the ink down onto the stamp? With this method, any size stamp pad can be used on any size stamp. Be careful not to press too hard as you don't want to get ink on the rubber which is not raised. Your finished application should look something like this:
2.) Now we are going to press the image in white ink onto the kraft paper. Pick up the stamp pad and with both hands carefully hover the stamp pad over the paper until you have the desired position. Now firmly press the stamp pad down onto the paper. This does not need to be quick, only firm. You can even press around the top of the stamp pad so that it evenly applies in all places. The key is not to wiggle the stamp at all.
3.) Ahh... the finished product, below. I used a white JellyRoll pen to write the names in. Place your gift inside the bag and secure with some colorful washi tape!
Happy stamping! Please comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your other stamping questions.
Your book-marking anxieties can take their leave. Unless your name is Patricia Mumau of Primele Calligraphy, you may be like me... an everyday person with less-than-satisfying handwriting. When I get a new book I am so excited about the clean pages and crisp edges. The last thing I want to do is mar it's beautiful interior with my inferior hand.
But now, I can simply get out my personalized ex libris stamp and, voilà, a beautiful mark every time. (I think Tricia will be excited too because it will be one less thing I ask her to write for me!)
This stamp also makes a thoughtful, personalized gift for your favorite bookworm. Presentation-conscious guys will also love the minimalist, mid-century modern look of this bold, definitive mark. Customize the stamp with a child's name for a baby shower gift. Personalize it for Christmas for your pre-teen niece who always has her nose in a book. But first, you might want to snag one for yourself!
Above: My cat Chirp who was helping me prune fruit trees last night.
Yesterday morning I read an article on “The Power of Creative Cross Training” by Srinivas Rao. The main idea of the article was to do something creative outside of your normal line of creative work. Similar to the idea of a swimmer lifting weights to get better at his primary skill. Makes sense to me. It’s important to work different creative muscles so that you can actually do what you already do better. Rao suggested for example, that a writer can really benefit from learning how to draw.
Following that, I read an email from Grace Kang, founder of Pink Olive School, about the importance of always being a sponge as an entrepreneur. Her business tip #1 is as follows:
“Tip #1 is at the heart of the #neverstoplearning mindset: be a sponge. Every new experience, exacting test, or tricky business decision offers something to be learned. Always keep an eye out for the hidden lessons, and soak in every little one..."
Both of these things together reminded me of the importance of always being a student. When I had graduated from my educational career, one of the first things I did was turn my brain off! It wasn’t until years later when I consciously realized the learning can never be over. If I wanted to grow as a person and in my career, I needed to become a full-time student, preparing my mind to be ready to learn new things. A person has no excuse in today’s information age: the information is out there, you just have to take the time to get it in your head! More than ever, our generation has to learn the art of teaching ourselves.
So yesterday evening, inspired by those morning thoughts, I decided to do some creative cross training. I decided to work on my artistic skills as a fruit tree pruner. Last year, I had read some books and taught myself the basics of pruning. I fell in love with the craft. On our small hobby farm we have planted about forty fruit trees in the past seven years, and pruning in the early life of a fruit tree is so important. By snipping off the correct branches, you can mold and sculpt the future shape of the mature tree. It takes creativity, artistry, knowledge, and the ability to make a decision! I found myself last night saying over and over again “That branch is useless.” (snip!) “That branch is useless.” (snip!) “That branch is useless.” (snip!) You want to take off any branches that are unlikely to produce fruit. The hardest part (for me) is continually making decisions about who stays and who goes.
So what did I learn from my cross training activity? That if you have a tree that is supposed to produce fruit, it’s going to need some working on. Trees that do not produce fruit, for example, maple and birch trees, don’t need worked on because you aren’t expecting much from them but shade! It made me think of a business. If you want your employees to produce fruit, they are going to require working on: manicuring, training, shaping. If you want an employee who is not very profitable, sure, don’t do any honing of skills! It takes extra time and effort, especially in the beginning, but the effort that is taken when the tree or person is young, can make all of the difference later on.
My cat Chirp, pictured above, also taught me a lesson. As I was clipping branches Chirp was climbing the tree to capture my pruners! Without words, Chirp reminded me: #neverstopplaying.
Above: Our front pond grasses in winter. A scene I often see when I am on walk and pondering.
I know we think the world has changed so much with technology- we think social media has ruined us all and relationships will never be the same again. But what I think is interesting is that our “poverty of personal relationships” these days is driving us towards them. Now, instead of calling our mothers for recipes, our generation is calling our moms asking them how we can make friends.
I think back to the way that things used to be, you know, the main street with the baker shop, the butcher shop, the small family-owned grocery. Everybody knew everybody and the person you bought from was your neighbor. We were used to buying from people we knew.
Then we when through a phase where “personal” didn’t matter. Just give me convenient, inexpensive, and efficient. With our personal relationships, we went for what would fill my void today, not really planning on being there for anybody tomorrow… we took relationships that were convenient and didn’t cost anything.
But now we’ve seen where that attitude has taken us. Now we are yearning for employers that care, cashiers that care, and friends that care. Maybe I am just speaking for my millennial myself, but I’m beginning to realize that relationships are actually what make a day worth it. How much did you laugh today? How much did you cry today? Does it matter as long as you did it with someone?
Now we are beginning to realize that relationships are worth making sacrifices for. So, all of you that are worn out from our "getting things done" social media age, take heart. I think we are on the relational up-curve.
A photo taken on my walk yesterday in our "back forty"
Yesterday, I went for a walk down through the back forty, (redneck lingo for the acres of grassland/wooded behind your house, a Western New York normity.) As I was walking I saw some rose hips. When I went to Alaska this summer, I tasted rose hip jelly in a tea room in Juneau. Ever since that day I have been inspired to make my own! Did you know wild rose hips can be used raw, cooked, dried, candied, jelly, for jam, sauces, juice, cakes, and tea? I just think that is so cool! Rose hips are very high in vitamin C.
Above: some rose hips that the deer haven't found yet
Here's the recipe from the "Wild Roses" pdf by Julie Cascio and Marci Johnson of Alaska if you want to try your own hand at it:
Rose Hip Jelly
4 cups rose hip juice (instructions for juice in PDF)
1 package powdered pectin (1¾ ounces)
6 cups sugar
Sterilize pint or half-pint canning jars and prepare lids. Measure sugar and set aside. Measure the juice into a large saucepan. Add pectin and stir until dissolved. Bring to a full rolling boil that cannot be stirred down. Stir in the sugar. Boil hard for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Skim off foam, immediately pour hot jelly into hot canning jars, leaving ¼ inch headspace. Wipe jar rims and add prepared two-piece lids. Process the filled jars for 5 minutes in a boiling water bath. Rose hip jelly may take up to one week to set.
Yield: 10 cups
If I get around to making my jelly, I will let you know how it turns out and we can compare notes!
...so secret fact: I, Rachel, am not that great at Instagram. Being that my job description is business side of things, what I tend to get excited about is inventory management software and the latest new productivity widget.
That's why about a year ago, I handed over the @fawnsberg @instagram to Patricia. Our feed is now worth following! (hehe, and if you scroll back way to the beginning, you can see my poor attempt to serve the fawnsberg fans!)
Here's one recent post. Patricia was out for a walk at lunchtime and so were the ducks:
I had to get out my college year book the other night and stumbled across my old shoe box full of camp letters! About half of them were from my sister Patricia, haha! This was way before she even considered doing anything professionally with lettering and had just started to play around with a nib and ink. But do you want to know something crazy?!!! This was only 10 years ago. The one in the center with the "P" stamp was sent from Italy while she was in Rome!
Even as a forgiving, uncritical little sister, I can say that the lettering on these guys above is a little rough! But here's the encouraging new year's message for you all... this was JUST 10 years ago. Want to see how far she's come? Here's a recent example on our new calligraphy website, primele.com.
So, are you thinking of training yourself in some new skill or talent? Here's the secret... stick to it! Even when the start seems so primitive, that's how beginnings go. The people who master something are not necessarily the most naturally gifted, they are those who keep doing it.
FYI: We are accepting new calligraphy bookings, so email me at email@example.com to schedule your hand-lettered envelope addressing!
Many times, I will think that I want to give someone a present, but then when I go and do the shopping, anxiety starts to hit. Whatever item I pick up seems to feel too little, or not personal enough. Will I get the wrong present and reveal that I do not know them well at all? Is if the gift is too extravagant or uncalled for will make them feel awkward when they have not done the same? Or “How in the world am I going to show my successful, baby-boomer parents that I love them and am thankful for everything they have done for me since before I was born in one not-breaking-the-bank gift?” I guess I have a lot of fears when it comes to gift giving! Can anyone relate?
When I feel the fears mounting and I am tempted to throw the towel in and just start crossing names off my list, ( “ah, they aren’t expecting a gift anyway…”), I am reminded that a little kindness goes a long way.
A little kindness goes a long way. I am reminded that what I really want is for people to feel loved and cherished. And thought of. I am reminded that my goal is not actually to make sure I have all of the boxes checked on my holiday to-do list. I am really trying to show people that they matter. I am not actually trying to “do everything right” so that people are impressed with me or accept me. The main idea behind “the gift” is to celebrate life and to show the recipient that they are remembered and loved.
If I remember these things, I am more likely to be generous and to give gifts without apologizing. If I remember that a little kindness goes along way, I will give even when the gift feels too small. Because when I am giving gifts, it is not about me, it is about showing others that they are loved.
It's time to create some merry mail and get those Christmas cards ready to send out! Why not treat yourself to a new address stamp this year? We are offering 20% off all address stamp orders beginning November 1st and ending November 30th. Remember, custom address stamps make a thoughtful gift too, even for that hard-to-buy-for person. So join in on the merry making and get your custom order in before it's too late!
Use the coupon code MERRYMAIL2015 at the checkout to receive 20% off all address stamps.
Here are my two personal favorites for Christmas card addressing:
Wreath Address Stamp, with handwritten calligraphy
Bay Leaf Address Stamp, type-set
...read to bottom for coupon code!
In our family, my grandmother always hosts Thanksgiving dinner for all of my aunts, uncles and cousins. She is 79 years old and can still run circles around me! Her house will soon be filled with the aromas of polish sausage, pumpkin pie, and fresh baked rolls. After the meal, come the desserts: multiple pies, cheesecakes, cookies, and puffed pastries. Just in case any of us did not get our fill, she will put bowls all around the house filled with various nuts, candy, and chocolate. It’s needless to say, we always have a lot to be thankful for!
Well, for this Thanksgiving, I want to offer you a way to tell YOUR Thanksgiving host “thank you”. For a limited time, I am offering a coupon code for $10 off our ‘Bless This Home’ art print. Inscribed with a beautiful thanksgiving prayer and adorned with beautiful harvest vegetables and fruits, this print will bring joy to many a Thanksgiving host or hostess (even if it is yourself!)
The code is THANKSGIVING2015. The code is good for any size ‘Bless This Home’ art print. You can purchase more than one print and get $10 off for each print while supplies last.
A special "shout out" goes to my puppy Chase and kitty Prince for helping me with this photography session.
I went for a walk today and passed by our bee boxes. I remember the first time I noticed some in a grassy field, and I said to my dad, "What are those dad? Why did someone put a dresser out in the field." And he told me that someone was collecting honey. "Really?!" The funny multi-colored wooden drawers have so much character and personality, but then to know that there are busy bees happily working inside to make wonderfully golden delectable clover honey is so happy!
Here's one interesting fact for those of you who don't know: honey's flavor is determined by whatever the bees nectar source is. If the bees have access to a large area with flowers from clover or basswood or goldenrod or buckwheat, the honey's taste and color different because of it.
I cannot wait for the day when we get to try the honey produced in our very own bee boxes!
Such a joy to be a part of this vibrant couple's wedding day. Arianne and Adam's vitality, warmth, and kindness is captured timelessly in these photographs taken by Alicia Ann Photographers. Thank you for letting us be a small part of your big day.
Photographer: Alicia Ann Photographers
Makeup: Jennie Fresa
Hair: Beaucage Salon
Dress boutique: Nicole Miller from Everthine Bridal Boutique
Cake Designer: Ana Parzych Custom Cakes
Florist: Blush Floral Design
Lighting: Shindig Lighting
Wedding stationery: Smock Paper via Gus and Ruby Letterpress
Calligraphy: Primele Studio
We are excited to share with you that Fawnsberg has teamed up with Paperless Post to bring you a completely fresh collection of illustrated, customizable stationery. At paperlesspost.com you can now shop Fawnsberg designs to send customized invites, announcements, and greetings to those you love by email or post.
One of the new avenues we got to explore was designing stationery for children, like baby shower invites and birthday announcements. Which meant we got to play with some really fun elements like hopping rabbits, kittens, and bugs.
We created a series of greetings for holiday as well, including photo cards. Be sure to check them out when you are wishing friends and family a Merry Christmas this season!
A big thanks goes out to the folks at Paperless Post for working with us on vision and direction for what has turned out to be a great collection.
I'm always so amazed to see a project we've been working on "hit the paper" and come to life. We are so thankful for our friends at Galison and the opportunity to work with such visionary, diligent, and encouraging people.
The collection includes a set of desktop quotes that has a cheerful wooden stand and multiple quote cards to change in and out, an encouraging weekly calendar desk pad, a luxurious clothbound journal, a delightfully happy sticky note set, and two playful pen and highlighter sets.
I’m so glad that we have a holiday set aside to celebrate our fathers! In the daily grind, they don’t get much thanks, but if you stop and think about all that they do and why they do it, you’ll find that YOU are probably the reason.
From the time we were kids, my dad would always be singing little jingles to us. Whether we were working outside, playing, eating, or falling asleep, he’d be singing a little tune. He’d exchange names in the songs for ours, and we were always so surprised to hear a song about us!
Occasionally, he’d sing the song, “My Daddy is President” a hit song from the summer of 1962 when he was just a boy. “Little Jo Ann” Morse, age 7, pretended to be the voice of Caroline Kennedy singing about her daddy, JFK. It’s a cute song and if you haven’t heard it, you’ve got to give it a listen.
Just like little Caroline was so proud of her big important daddy, I’m proud of mine too. I know the best dads bring a feeling of safety and peace and control. They accept their role of responsibility and provision. They do everything along the way with love and gentleness. You can see these traits portrayed in the sweet pictures captured of Caroline and her dad. And these are the things that my dad portrayed to all of us kids while we were growing up. And all the while singing a merry tune!
So now I get to turn the favor around and put my dad’s name in: “My daddy is president, what does your daddy do?” Enjoy celebrating your dad this Sunday! Show him he is loved!
Twenty days until summer. A common question that people ask us is, "where do you get your inspiration?" A quick glance out the studio windows answers the question. This picture I snapped out of our studio window last week after photographing our enclosures. My mom was watching some neighbor kids, and two brothers were adventuring in the pond. Is there a happier scene than kids playing outside in nature? Of course, that being from afar, because if you get too close, surely you would find something to correct!
I just finished up the product shots for our enclosure cards on this beautiful May day! I was so please with how they came out, I wanted to share the collection with you. Click here to see them all. (fyi- an enclosure card is 2.5 x 3 inches and is the perfect accompaniment to a small gift or bouquet!)
No other place is quite more exciting during spring than a farm. And this spring has been particularly enjoyable. Above is a photo I took of our new baby goats, triplets a week and a half old, born to our LaMancha milking goat. I had the privilege of helping them into the world- my first experience doing that. Thankfully the mother knew what she was doing, so I don't have a lot of detail to add there and I will spare you! Isn't the little guy in the middle especially beautiful?! Completely white, no spots.
Here are some happy little seedlings popping up. My mom and my grandmother are both very good gardeners and I am hoping this season that some of that skill will rub off on me! The idea of a hardened little seed from previous years- all dried out and lifeless, when put in soil and given some water, has the information and know-how to pop up from the earth and not only create a huge plant, but also produce fruit or veggies that are just gorgeous and unique, is really amazing. There is so much to learn and enjoy there.
And here are our cows lazily snacking in the pasture. They came to visit me while I was pruning the raspberry and blackberry row next to their fence. I have actually really been into pruning this year.- my new favorite thing! The concept is easy to understand but hard to apply. "Remove from the tree/bush what will not bear fruit- it will only stifle the plant in its production." But then from there... each plant produces its flowers and fruit differently. Do you trim it to the ground? Do you prune it each year? What time of year? How do you know what branches won't bear fruit? Am I going to kill the plant? What will the tree look like in 10 years if I cut this branch? So many variables. I found the best way to go about it is to get a reference book on the subject and refer to it for each individual plant. In the books they have pictures and diagrams of just how to prune each cultivar. It's really amazing the depth of knowledge that goes into it!
I guess this is where I will put my plug... I have begun my own project- a weekly newsletter and blog where I write about what I am learning about homesteading, farming, living off the land. It is my little motivator to keep myself studying and learning and to make sure I am taking advantage of the opportunity I have here to learn on the farm. It's really a privilege that not many these days get to experience first hand.
I'll be talking about what interests me... following processes from the end to the beginning. For example: how do you turn milk into cheese? where does the milk come from? how do you care for the milk goat practically, day-to-day? Or another example: how do you prepare parsnips? how do you grow parsnips? when do you grow parsnips? can you store them? And with everything: is there a lot of waste? is it profitable?
So you can see where it is going. I hope that it will be interesting to read even if you don't have the opportunity to take on ideas like these in your own personal life. I believe knowing how and where our sustenance comes from will help us to appreciate it and care for the systems that produce what we eat and live off of. And besides that, it is completely fascinating! So if you have made it to the end of the blog post here, you might want to check out my latest at www.herbswithlove.com.-Rachel
Enjoying the happiness and hopefulness of this art print today as I sit in the studio with the spring rain coming down outside my window. So thankful for spring and the hope that it inevitably brings! Use our code: MOMMY15 to get 15% off this print through April!
...and because of that we are offering a special discount code! Stop by the shop and pick up your Mom's Day card and a little something for your mummy. Use code MOMMY15 for 15% off when you check out. The code will only work in the month of April.
Congratulations to A Lily and A Sparrow! L&S is one of our favorite local shops here in Medina, NY and they have recently moved to a new location on Main Street for room to expand. We here at Fawnsberg were delighted to work with them to create their announcement mailer.
The lovely Lindsey from Printaholic.com took the time to interview Patricia and I and write up a beautiful article about Fawnsberg. Hop over to learn a bit more about us or check out other awesome reviews related to our beloved print industry!
In today’s digital world of e-mail and social networking, communication can be fast and easy. So why the snail mail?
We believe that all communication is not equal. Sure, there’s a time for the fast text off the cuff; digital exchange is great for that taking-care-of-business talk. But there are other times when communication should be gourmet. When it comes things like gratitude, connecting with a friend who is far away, sympathy, birthday wishes, holiday greetings, or a heart felt congratulations--paper just fits.
Because it’s personal. And it’s thoughtful. It took time. It took effort. It took a postage stamp to carry it across country or town--truck, plane, truck. Paper was thoughtfully chosen to match the mood and tone of your handwritten words. And all of this speaks volumes in visual expression; it says the words you are saying and the person you are sending them to are valuable.
Sometimes things in life are about quality. Sometimes things are best said with paper.
all things bright and beautiful--
Patricia Mumau + Rachel Mumau
Photo by Apricity Photography
Patricia and Rachel Mumau are the sister-founding duo of Fawnsberg. They live together with their family in New York’s orchard country, on the ridge of Lake Ontario. The farm is shared with a couple cows, too many ducks, thirty chickens all named Helen (yes, all of them), a pair of milking goats, a dog because every farm needs a dog, and cats to play in the hay.
Phone: (585) 813-6088
Fax: (888) 716-8509
Write or Ship: Primele Studio, Inc., 1916 Murdock Road, Lyndonville, NY 14098
Etsy shop: primele.etsy.com