Posts in Seattle
Letter Carrier #152, Seattle, Washington
constellation2.27-21.jpg

My great-grandfather, Harold Steinke, was a collector of postcards. He swapped with fellow postcard enthusiasts across the US and around the world. For the past several months, I’ve been reading, scanning, and sharing one of his postcards daily for “postcard happy hour” on my Snail Mail Superstar Instagram and Twitter accounts. The series of postcards featuring my home city of Seattle are my favorite in the whole collection. I don’t know for sure if my great-grandfather ever visited Seattle (it’s quite unlikely), but his love for postcards and snail mail gave him a connection to the place I call home.

As you can see in the images above, my great-grandfather corresponded in the 1920’s with a letter carrier in Seattle named Ralph W. Ives. The postcards give us only basic information about him: his age, occupation, location, and the fact that he enjoyed postcards featuring images of church buildings and beautiful scenery, but preferred not to receive cards featuring other types of buildings.

We don’t learn too much about life in Seattle from reading Ralph’s messages. We do learn that, of course, it rains in Seattle. The message on the left below does seem to reveal that Mr. Ives has chosen to love Seattle despite the rain, as I have. “We have had some fine rains, the weather cool, and life is worth the living.”

Each time I prepare to share a postcard from the collection, I do a cursory Google search for the person who sent it. I rarely find much, but I keep doing it, just in case. This time, I was surprised. I typed “Ralph W. Ives” letter carrier Seattle into the search box, and the first result answered questions I didn’t know I had. The result in question was a small article in the pages of The Daily Missoulian, a newspaper in Missoula, Montana, from September 11, 1914.

article.jpg

I read the article with an ache in my stomach and tears in my eyes. It may seem a little silly to be so affected by this. Both the sender and receiver of these postcards are long gone from this world. I’ve never met either man face to face. But grief and loss are real and palpable, even after 105 years.

In the 1920’s, my great-grandfather was a young man, exploring the world through postcards. In 2018, I dove deep into the familiar comfort of snail mail after the loss of a dear friend. I wonder if Mr. Ives was doing the same? His days would have been filled with delivering mail to the city of Seattle. Did he spend his evenings reaching out into the world for some small sense of connection and comfort to ease the pain of the loss of his son, if only for a moment?

These are just the imaginings of a sentimental soul, 100 years removed from this interaction between a mail carrier in Seattle, WA and my great-grandfather in Woodstock, IL. Few of us make ripples in history large enough to be remembered (or Googled) 100 years later. It’s heartbreaking that the worst day of Ralph Ives’ life is what history remembers. So today, I share these beautiful postcards with you, to add one more ripple. I hope you received all the peaceful churches your heart desired, Ralph. Thank you for reaching out into the world and leaving behind this beautiful legacy of the place I call home.

With just a bit more internet sleuthing, I’ve discovered that Ralph’s son, Almon, was laid to rest just a mile and a half away from my shop. I wonder how long it’s been since someone remembered him or laid flowers on his grave? I can do that for you, Ralph. You and your son aren’t forgotten.

A5423457-EB0B-427E-B3C4-1A8E2D3C2D24.JPG

I drove to Mount Pleasant Cemetery on a cold Seattle weekday morning. I brought flowers, one of Ralph’s postcards, and one of my own postcards. I parked my car and started to walk toward the cemetery entrance. I heard footsteps down the street and turned to watch a mail carrier going about his route. I couldn’t help but think of Ralph.

I entered the cemetery and wandered the rows for awhile reading names on headstones. Blaine, Mercer, Bell…many of the people laid to rest at Mount Pleasant were pioneers who settled in the area and founded the city. As I wandered, I realized how incredibly difficult it would be to read every stone and find the one single marker I was looking for. I needed help.

After a few wrong turns and incorrect buildings, I found the Mount Pleasant office. Upon opening the door, I was greeting by the familiar sound of zebra finches, flitting about inside their cage, singing to each other. I asked the woman at the desk for help finding a specific grave. I half expected to be turned away, but she was very kind and helpful. I told her the name I was looking for (Ralph Almon Ives) and the year of his death (1914). She said something along the lines of, “Oh, that’s an old one.” Regardless of the age, she was able to pull out a large three ring binder and find the name I was looking for. The information beside the name gave her a location, which she marked for me on a map of the cemetery.

The woman explained to me that most graves from 100 years past were marked with a simple concrete headstone. Families with wealth could afford marble, granite or bronze headstones and markers, but most families could not. As time and nature march on, the concrete markers become covered in dirt and moss and grass. The cemetery staff let them be covered, because when nestled under a blanket of earth, the markers are safe from corrosion.

E8136D08-2D7C-498E-84AD-88CC483542FF.JPG

Once I had the map in my hand and a location to head to, I was ready to go find Almon, or at least get close. I expected, once again, to be sent off alone. Instead, the woman at the desk sent a message to another woman who works at the cemetery to meet me out at the spot and help me find the specific grave I was looking for. I went back for my car and drove slowly through the length of the cemetery to its farthest boundary.

The area of the cemetery marked on the map for Almon’s grave was quiet and beautiful. Huge trees grew up between scattered, moss-covered grave stones. I imagined the rows of unseen grave markers, safe and warm beneath the earth. I walked slowly, trying to decipher words from the corners of smooth, worn stones peeking out from under grass. A soft rain began to fall.

“We have had some fine rains, the weather cool, and life is worth the living.”

After taking a few slow laps around the area, I assumed Almon’s stone was buried, and this would be the end of the road. I sat for several minutes in quiet contemplation on a large tree stump. I thought of Ralph and Almon and Steinke. I thought of all my grandparents, laid to rest far away. I thought of my friend Chelsa, her life cut too short, like Almon’s life was.

I heard footsteps, and shook myself from the fog of my thoughts. A woman walked toward me, and asked if I was looking for the Ives grave. I’d stopped a few hundred feet short. She’d found the grave for me, and uncovered it. I followed her with careful steps, weaving between stones and markers, until I saw the little mound of dirt and freshly uncovered stone.

E419AEDB-909F-4F46-B4A7-CD0FA57BCD7E.JPG
C9657450-9A4E-4CA4-876F-C41BDCCDB20C.JPG

Ralph A. Ives
Sept. 6, 1914
Age 15 Years

Ralph Almon Ives was laid to rest in Mount Pleasant Cemetery by his father, Ralph Waldo Ives and his mother, Louella Sumwalt Ives. 105 years later, I knelt by his grave and softly outlined the A of his middle name with my finger. I left flowers of remembrance. When I left the cemetery to return to my life in the present, the young woman who helped me find the stone, covered it up with earth again. It will rest there, safe for another 100 years.

I added images to Almon’s Find A Grave listing in the hopes that someone in his family will find them if they’re looking.
More info about Mount Pleasant Cemetery can be found
here, here, and here.
You can find more info about my great-grandfather Steinke’s postcard collection
here.

While doing additional research about the Ives family, I discovered the obituary for Ralph W. Ives’ wife, Louella. The story of her difficult and beautiful life was an encouragement to me today, and so I will share it with you.

“Louella Sumwalt was born on April 17, 1864. While she was only a little girl her mother died, and not long afterwards her father also died, and she and her four brothers were left orphans to battle with the world. She early came to a realization of her responsibility, and at the beginning of her useful life, while still a young girl, she was baptized into Christ, and followed him closely until the end. At the age of thirty-two she became the wife of Ralph W. Ives, whose life for thirty-one years she constantly encouraged and strengthened, and it was through her encouragement and influence that Brother Ives, under trying circumstances and difficulties, shunned not to preach the gospel of Christ. To this union there were born two boys, only one of which, Jesse, remains to mourn wither husband and her four brothers. She was an exceptionally good wife and loving mother. She took great interest in the development and the training of her home. She was quiet, retiring, and exclusively modest, a disposition which caused her to gain friends slowly, but which made for her the best friends, whose love and respect she forever retained. She was not demonstrative in her affection, but loved intensely, and considered no sacrifice too great for those she loved. She went to sleep in Jesus, March 19, 1928. In the last months of her life her suffering was intense, but her faith in Christ did not waver, and she passed over death'’s river in the triumph of a Christian faith.”
J. W. Maddox. - Gospel Advocate, May 17, 1928, page 479.

MORE Empathy, Kindness, and Respect!
static1.squarespace-1.jpg

In January I designed a poster to carry in the Seattle Women's March. I'd been thinking for days about what to say on the poster. I had so many swirling thoughts and ideas. I wanted to show others that I care about them. I wanted to say that injustice isn't fine with me. I wanted words to aspire to. These are the three words I chose. They felt right at the time, and they've settled into my heart and life as goals for this year, and goals for myself.

EMPATHY: The ability to understand and share the feelings of another. 

KINDNESS: The quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate. 

RESPECT: A feeling of deep admiration for someone or something elicited by their abilities, qualities, or achievements. 

I don't do these things perfectly, but they're who I want to be. They're what I want for my family. They're what I want to show to others.

I felt good about this sentiment on a poster, but it's even better on shirts. We've partnered with Cotton Bureau to offer Empathy, Kindness, Respect shirts! After the first printing, 256 people are walking around the world with this message of love in action. Even better, we raised over $2k to donate to the International Rescue Committee and Refugee Women's Alliance, refugee aid organizations.

AND NOW THEY'RE BACK!

Preorders opened today, and will run until March 27, 2017 at 8:00pm (EDT). I personally invite you to partner with us to spread this positive message and show practical care for people who truly need it.

These shirts are super soft and the design is a really high quality screenprint. (The gray one is my personal favorite! Make sure to check out their sizing guide before you order - the blue shirt runs especially small.) This time around we've added infant and kid sizes! Here are the links:

ORDER ADULT SHIRTS!

 

ORDER BABY OR KID SHIRTS!

 

500 Words About: Daffodils

There are two tiny daffodil plants on either side of my house's front steps. I didn't plant them there, but I know they're just for me. Daffodils are my favorite flowers. I love their cheerful sunny color, their unique shape, and the perfect timing of their appearance. 

I didn't grow up with daffodils. Or Springtime, for that matter. My birthplace in Florida has approximately two seasons: Summer and slightly cooler Summer. The first Spring I spent in Seattle took me by surprise. After months of rain, cold, and gray, I felt like Summer would never return. Summer in Seattle is not like Summer in Florida. In Florida, you bake and burn in the sun. You sweat and stink and lose all energy in the oppressive heat. Summer in Seattle is heaven. You reach out for the sun and soak it in. You unapologetically use every excuse to be outside. You linger on the front steps. You find new ways to experience and celebrate the beautiful weather.

Winter in Seattle drags on a bit. Towards the end of February I forget warmth and brightness and get a little glum. And then... daffodils. They spring out of the earth as bright green stalks that look alien in their somber surroundings. The cold, dead earth produces a cheeky surprise. My first year in Seattle I didn't know what was coming next, so the explosion of yellow blooms felt like a true miracle. After seven Spring seasons in Seattle, I eagerly await the coming of the daffodils as a sign of hope. Every year, the daffodils bloom exactly when I need them most. When life feels most difficult and when hope seems most impossible, that's when they show up. My beautiful daffodils split their stalks, shake open their yellow petals and point their happy faces at the sun. 

Unlike more pretentious flowers, daffodils pop up all over the place so that I can enjoy them wherever I go. They're also quite inexpensive, allowing my sweet husband to surprise me with them many times throughout the season. There's nothing happier around the house than a vase full of daffodils. If you're willing to make the drive out to La Conner, you can even see fields of daffodils. The vast quantity astounds and delights me.

When I was a child in Florida, I felt like something was always missing. I was taught about the change of seasons, but I never experienced them for myself. After moving to Seattle as an adult, the arrival of fall leaves, daffodils and snowflakes in my life felt like truly coming home. I assumed that my childlike wonder about every detail would wear off - but it hasn't yet. In an adult world with very little wonder, the seasons give us true magic. Everything dies. And then, when you most need it to, everything springs to life again.

The daffodils in my yard haven't bloomed yet, but they're about to. I can see their sweet yellow petals beginning to poke out of their stalks from my window as I write this. Welcome, friends. I've missed you.

Two famous poems perfectly encapsulate my love of daffodils. I'll share them here:

I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud
by William Wordsworth

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills, 
When all at once I saw a crowd, 
A host, of golden daffodils; 
Beside the lake, beneath the trees, 
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze. 

Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way, 
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay: 
Ten thousand saw I at a glance, 
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance. 

The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee: 
A poet could not but be gay, 
In such a jocund company: 
I gazed—and gazed—but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought: 

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood, 
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude; 
And then my heart with pleasure fills, 
And dances with the daffodils. 

Daffadowndilly
by A.A. Milne

She wore her yellow sun-bonnet,
She wore her greenest gown;
She turned to the south wind
And curtsied up and down.
She turned to the sunlight
And shook her yellow head,
And whispered to her neighbour:
"Winter is dead."

Paramount Theatre Collaboration
paramountengraving2.jpg

We've recently had the honor of collaborating on a line of exclusive new products with the historic Paramount Theatre. When STG Presents approached us to collaborate, the answer was a resounding "Yes!" How could we resist such a fun local collaboration?

Seattle Theatre Group is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit arts organization that owns and operates the historic Paramount Theatre, and operates the historic Moore and Neptune theaters in Seattle. Their mission is to make diverse performing arts and education an integral part of our region’s rich cultural identity while keeping these three landmark venues alive and vibrant. Since 1928, Washington residents and visitors have been entertained at Seattle’s magnificent Paramount Theatre. Millions have delighted in The Theatre’s architectural majesty, viewed countless films, and enjoyed thousands of performers from all corners of the globe. We are indeed honored!

paramountengraving5.jpg

This beautiful art card features a wood engraving by Carl Montford and hand-set vintage lead type. We are so thankful that Carl was willing to work with us on this project! I've been learning wood engraving for some time now, but I'm still a student. Carl is the master! This card was (carefully!) printed on our platen press in the C&Co. studio. It is perfect for sending, gifting and framing. Its A7 size is easy to frame in any standard 5" x 7" frame.

marquee_thankyou2.jpg

I'm obsessed with vintage marquee signs, so I proposed this series of marquee-themed cards to STG. There are four marquee cards with messages (Thank You, Happy Birthday, Congrats and Greetings From Seattle), and a boxed set of blank cards that include a red gel pen for filling in your own marquee message! Some special messages are too big for a card, they need a whole marquee sign! (My favorite suggestions: "Congrats on starring in your first broadway show!" or "Will you marry me?" or "You are the best mom in the world for taking me to see a show at the Paramount, seriously.")

marquee_bday1.jpg

The series was designed by me (Sara) and printed with photopolymer plates in our C&Co. studio. Both the engraving card and the marquee series will be available exclusively at the Paramount starting this broadway season with The Book of Mormon (this week). Go get tickets and take home a letterpress souvenir soon!

marquee_congrats2.jpg

We've been so blown away by our first few local collaborations: Seattle Seed Company, Treehouse Point, and now The Paramount - that we're now actively pursuing more collaborations of a similar nature! Do you own or work for a local company that wants to produce exciting letterpress stationery products? Shoot us an e-mail: hello@constellationco.com.

marquee_greetings1.jpg
Lookbook: Colin & Lauren's Home

This sweet mid-century modern home in the Beacon Hill neighborhood of Seattle is home to the Day family: Colin, Lauren, and their sons, Jonah and Simon.

Colin is a creative director and was one of the first people we met when we arrived in Seattle. We were bright eyed and bushy tailed recent grads looking for design jobs, and Colin kindly took Brad out to coffee and introduced him to other members of the design community. 

Colin and Lauren have been really good friends to us these past five years. We’ve spent many evenings on their couch and around their fire pit in the backyard. They’ve walked with us through marriage scuffles, big decisions, and life in general.

I think their home is the perfect representation of their entire family, both parents and kids. Everything in their home reflects their personal style: classically modern and put together—but colorful, welcoming, and inspiring.

It was a joy to spend the afternoon taking photos in their beautiful home, just as it’s been a joy to get to know them. People say Seattle has a “freeze,” keeping folks apart—but friends like the Day family prove it’s a myth!

colinlauren2.jpg
colinlauren4.jpg

This post is part of an on-going series of features from our C&Co. lookbook. To view the lookbook in its printed form, you can order your own copy on Blurb or view the digital version on Issuu.

Photos by Dorothy Huynh

Pacific Northwest Adventures
adventures.jpg

We love adventures. We love exploring new places, wandering off the beaten path, and learning more about the world we live in.

Equipped with our DSLR, we created the adventure blog to document the places and people we encounter and the memories we create. We've lived in Washington State for 5 years and we've only scratched the surface exploring its many unique and amazing places. On the blog you'll find our travels in Washington, across the USA and Canada. From California to New York to Florida.

Check out the blog at http://adventures.constellationco.com/ or follow us on Tumblr.

Here are a few of our favorites.

West Point Lighthouse in Discovery Park
West Point Lighthouse in Discovery Park
Roche Harbor
Roche Harbor
Friday Harbor around Christmas time
Friday Harbor around Christmas time
The view from Sara's parents' house.
The view from Sara's parents' house.
Carls Engraving Desk
Carls Engraving Desk
Mount Rainier
Mount Rainier
Lookbook: Jenny & Mike's Lakeside Place

I’ll never forget the night Jenny sat down next to me, introduced herself, and said, “I want to be your intern.” I love her candidness—she knows what she wants and asks for it in such a winning manner that you can’t help but say yes.

I went on to design the invitations for her wedding to Mike, and they were the perfect clients—encouraging, excited, and eager to try out my ideas. I knew that we just had to be friends!

Jenny is an incredibly talented photographer and was an amazing intern. Camera always in hand, she snapped photos of our studio and our processes and was an awesome sounding board for all my crazy ideas. She has been an absolute joy and encouragement since the day I met her.

When I had the idea to do photo shoots throughout the city, I thought of Mike and Jenny right away. They live a badass Northwest life. They ride motorcycles, go camping, shoot weddings in gorgeous locations, and live in a nautical lakeside apartment that is so them. The evening we spent capturing these photos and sipping whiskey on the dock will not soon be forgotten.

jennymike2.jpg
jennymike3.jpg
jennymike5.jpg

This post is part of an on-going series of features from our C&Co. lookbook. To view the lookbook in its printed form, you can order your own copy on Blurb or view the digital version on Issuu.

Photos by Dorothy Huynh

Our First SideTour: Reveal the Art of Antique Letterpress Printing
IMG_6996.jpg

Last weekend we hosted our first official tour/workshop through SideTour! SideTour is an online marketplace for experiences that help you explore your city.

Although SideTour has been active in other cities for some time, they just launched in Seattle last month. We are excited and honored to be one of the first tours offered in our fine city! Our tour/workshop is titled: Reveal the Art of Antique Letterpress Printing. Our very first (and sold out!) tour started with a brief history of printing, from the invention of movable type through the manufacture of our early 1900's iron handpress. After the history lesson, our impressionable students (how punny of me!) rolled up their sleeves and jumped into the world of letterpress to design their own poster with vintage wood type and printer's blocks.

IMG_6982.jpg
IMG_7000.jpg
IMG_7008.jpg

It was super fun to see what they came up with! The photo above shows one of my favorites: "If it's not awesome, we're not doing it!' Once they'd put the finishing touches on their idea, each participant got the chance to print their design on the iron handpress. I really enjoyed seeing the look of joy on each person's face as they saw their image printed for the first time. That feeling never gets old!

IMG_7015.jpg
IMG_7011.jpg

If you're here in Seattle, we'd love to print with you at a future tour! You can find more details and sign up on our SideTour page.

Etsy/West Elm Pop-Up Shop Recap
IMG_5830.jpg

Last weekend was the Etsy and West Elm pop-up shop! We (and 12 other Seattle area Etsy sellers) packed up our products and set up shop at the Seattle West Elm store for the day.

Local decorating blog The Inspired Room curated the event, and were honored to be chosen. Thanks to everyone involved! It was a great day.

IMG_5828.jpg

I'd been sick in bed with a cold all week before the event, but I rallied my energy just enough to park myself in a comfy West Elm dining chair with an unending supply of London Fog from Wheelhouse Coffee. So if you met me at the event, that's why I was half dead. (I hate being sick!!)

IMG_5826.jpg

It was really fun to see our cards and prints in the beautiful store. We set up at a dining table, under this amazing chandelier. I "window" shopped from my chair all day, and Brad added about a dozen new things to his Christmas list. West Elm is definitely one of our favorites.

IMG_5824.jpg

We're not doing a ton of events this year (focusing our energy on preparing for NSS), but we have one more pre-Christmas event coming up! We'll have the studio open on December 5th & 7th for our annual 57 Biscayne holiday open house. Put it on your calendar and come see us!

More info about the West Elm event: West Elm’s Blog The Inspired Room’s Post

Etsy Pop Up Shop at West Elm!
Seattle_EtsyPopUp_Promo.jpg

Etsy and West Elm are teaming up to showcase Etsy sellers in Seattle, and we'll be there!

Working with decorating blog, The Inspired Room, the folks at both companies chose 12 Seattle-based Etsy artists for a one day pop-up shop. We are absolutely thrilled to have been chosen, and can't wait for the event!

The pop-up shop will take place on Saturday, November 9th at the Seattle West Elm store. Each of the featured Etsy sellers will set up within the store to share and sell their homegoods, accessories, stationery and more. There will also be a Smilebooth, DJs and snacks, a.k.a. FUN!

Join us! Date: Saturday, November 9th Time: 1:00 - 6:00 p.m. Location: West Elm, 2201 Westlake Avenue, Seattle, Washington

More info: Facebook EventWest Elm's Blog The Inspired Room's Post

These are the featured Seattle area Etsy Shops you'll get to shop!

Constellation Co.
Love, Daniella
Wallingford Co.
Herbivore Botanicals
Lily Emme Jewelry
Dahlia Press Shop
Fremont Candle Co
Garden BonBons
On Your Case Store
Tutta Lou Press
Three Bad Seeds
Rouge and Whimsy

Visit Seattle Constellation Style
seattlepc.jpg

We LOVE Seattle, and have spent the last 4 years getting to know our amazing city.

I stumbled upon our friend Luz's See/Eat/Do Seattle blog post recently, and I loved it. Luz and her husband Cole also sent us an amazing list for San Francisco last summer, which we followed closely. While planning our upcoming New York trip, I've been pretty obsessively looking for guides to NYC as well. Since everyone has such different tastes and desires for sight seeing, I think there's room for a Shop/Eat/Drink list from our point of view! I'll focus in on neighborhoods I have "expertise" on, only include my MOST favorite places, and include the stores that carry our products. Cool? Cool.

PIONEER SQUARE
Seattle's oldest neighborhood, and where our studio is located. I spend most of my time here. It's quirky and has a bit of a reputation, but it's very lovable and growing cooler by the minute.

Shop:

E. Smith Mercantile
On the lovely treelined street 1st Ave South. Super cool western themed mercantile. Vintage boots, curated clothing, craft cooking & cocktail ingredients, and stationery from yours truly.

Cuttysark Nautical Antiques & Flags
Also on 1st Ave. South. Nautical gifts, supplies, etc. Pleasantly un-hipster. Think old guys in boats.

Magic Mouse Toys
Closest thing to Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium that i've found. Fun to just look around.

Rivet & Sway
Super gorgeous eye glasses for women. Open by appointment only.

Linda Hodges Gallery
My favorite art gallery in Pioneer Square. I walk by it several times a week to go to the post office, and I always linger in the window.

Eat/Drink:

Delicatus
THE best sandwiches. I dream about the Mudd Honey. You guys. Sliced roast beef, turkey, Zoë’s slab bacon, white cheddar, horseradish aioli, house BBQ on a toasted Italian roll.

Cocoa Banana
Good gosh darn smoothies. Right next door to our building. The William is my favorite.

INTERNATIONAL DISTRICT
Walkable from Pioneer Square, lots and lots of cultures coming together.

Shop:

Kinokuniya Bookstore (Located in Uwajimaya)
I love this place. Washi tape, sketchbooks, rubber stamps, unique pens, and everything Japanese and cute that exists.

Eat/Drink:

Thai Curry Simple
Inexpensive, large portions, and deeeeelicious. I didn't know I liked curry until we started eating here.

WEST SEATTLE

Shop: I'm not going to lie, the only place I go frequently to shop in West Seattle is Target.

Eat/Drink:

Beer Junction
Best selection of local & imported hard ciders in the city. (I love hard cider.)

Bakery Nouveau
Twice baked almond croissants. They're huge and perfect.

Husky Deli
They carry Canadian candy bars. For me, that's enough of a draw.

DOWNTOWN
When you're alone and life is making you lonely, You can always go downtown When you've got worries, all the noise and the hurry, Seems to help, I know, downtown

Shop:

Paper Hammer
Great stationery store, founded by the owner of publisher Marquand Books. I find something I can't live without everytime I walk in there. They also carry our cards.

Watson Kennedy
Beautifully curated, full of fun gifts. Their window displays are always impressive and engaging.

BELLTOWN

Shop:

Peter Miller Books
Every design book you could ever want to flip through. Almost too many for my brain to handle.

Endless Knot
Great independent clothing boutique. Love browsing this place.

Eat/Drink:

Top Pot Doughnuts
Best doughnuts anywhere. I eat the chocolate glazed old fashioned almost exclusively. There are lots of other locations as well, but this one is the coolest building.

Lucky Diner
Greasy spoon kind of place - good food, but the main draw for me is that you can order a bowl of Lucky Charms as a side. So cool.

Yellow Leaf Cupcakes
My favorite cupcakes ever. They're all good, I can't pick a favorite.

LaVita E'Bella
Had one of the best meals of my life here. (It was Osso Buco.)

Spur
Western themed decor but fancy-shmancy craft cocktails and desserts.

QUEEN ANNE

Shop:

Stuhlberg’s
Great high end gift & stationery store. Carries our cards from time to time.

Blue Highway Games
Nerdy board game store. Has an area to try out games, which is fun.

Eat/Drink:

Macrina
My favorite Seattle bakery to spend time in. I love their buttermilk biscuit with preserves.

Homegrown
Awesome sandwich place with several locations. But this is one I went to last.

FREMONT

Shop: There are a ton of cute boutiques in Fremont, but I haven't spent a ton of time shopping there.

Eat/Drink:

Paseos
Messy Caribbean sandwiches. Long line, but worth it. Grab your food and take it to Gasworks Park.

Brouwer’s Cafe
More beer on tap than anyone could ever try. But also a lot of unique cider choices!

Uneeda Burger
There is some argument about burgers in our family (Brad's favorite is Red Mill), but this is my favorite burger in the city. Must have the over easy fried egg on top. Perfection.

CAPITOL HILL

Shop:

Elliott Bay Book Co.
The first time I visited Seattle, Elliott Bay Books was in Pioneer Square. While i'm sad not to be able to browse their crazy selection in our own neighborhood, i'm happy that they carry our cards! They have an amazing kids section as well.

Marigold & Mint
Super cute boutique in Melrose Market (close to a Homegrown location as well!) with a unique selection of plants, gifts, and books. I like it lots. They have a selection of our Constellation Sketchbooks right now.

Nube Green
Very hip gift store, featuring U.S. made and sustainably sourced items. They have a broad selection of our cards, and several of our limited edition prints.

Eat/Drink: We lived on Capitol Hill for 6 months, but we were super broke at the time. We kind of only ate burgers and black beans and rice.

Lil Woody's
Yummy burger joint. Plus, you can order french fries with a side of milk shake to dip them in.

BALLARD
We spend a lot of time here.

Shop:

Card Kingdom
Nerdy to the core, with designer board games that would take you a month of Sundays to figure out how to play. (Just how we like 'em.)

Eat/Drink:

The Sexton
Three words: fried brussels sprouts.

Bitterroot
My favorite barbecue in the city.  They also have an amazing happy hour.

Moshi Moshi Sushi
Fun place to go and sit at the sushi bar. Everything is delicious. Love the giant sparkly cherry tree inside.

Hot Cakes
Dessert at its finest. Molten chocolate cakes in mason jars. My favorite? The sundae: homemade nutella, brown butter caramel, candied hazelnuts and vanilla caramel. (You can also add bacon.)

MAGNOLIA
Highly underrated by our fellow Seattleites. Small town feel in a "big" city.

Shop:

Magnolia's Bookstore
I really like this place. Great selection of cookbooks and magazines. The perfect small town bookstore experience.

Magnolia Ace Hardware
The only hardware store in the world that doesn't stress me out. Plus, they have a ton of random non-hardware items that are fun to browse. And free popcorn!

Eat/Drink:

Nook
Cute little bar with a great atmosphere. I had 2 consecutive birthday gatherings here.

Finn's Bakery
Great spot for a pastry and an Americano.

Glasses, Now 100% More Awesome.
rivet2.jpg

I want to sit down and have a talk about glasses. (I'm feeling silly today, so this may be more dramatic than usual - but seriously, read the whole thing. There's a COUPON at the end!)

I went to the eye doctor for the first time in third grade. I'd been getting a lot of headaches, and it turned out that I had astigmatism in one eye. Not a huge deal in the grand scheme of things, but it meant that I needed to wear glasses. I was really excited about getting glasses. But I quickly realized that being a bossy, know-it-all kid with huge glasses (and later braces) gave me the distinct pleasure of being a NERD.

I wore some pretty horrible glasses for five years, and then in 8th grade I got contacts. Oh, contacts! The quick solution in every bad makeover movie for turning a nerdy girl into a hot chick. My contacts were uncomfortable at times and not always great for my vision. But it was clear in popular culture (and in my own personal experience) that pretty girls don't wear glasses. I'd rush home at the end of the day and take them out, replacing them with some ugly glasses that I only wore at home. In my glasses' defense, they were the best ones the eye doctor's office had in my price range. (Getting glasses from the eye doctor is EXPENSIVE!)

I went through high school, college, and a few years of my career wearing only contacts. I just didn't feel like I had any options. But then, the internet! (Huzzah!) I did my first online try-on, bought a new pair of glasses, and get this... I WORE them. All the time! And I got compliments! It didn't break the bank, I could actually see well, I was comfortable, and I felt good about myself. This first positive glasses experience really got me thinking. Why do I only have one pair of glasses?

rivet1.jpg

I'd seen Rivet & Sway's name floating around the blogosphere and their frames were very cute, so I ordered a few pairs to try on. Later that day, I heard a knock at my studio door. It was two of Rivet & Sway's team members, dropping off my order! I had NO idea that not only is Rivet & Sway located in Seattle, their office is less than 3 blocks away. We're neighbors! My jaw hit the floor. It meant so much to me that they saw my address and took the time to walk over and introduce themselves.

AND THEN I opened the package. I have never seen a company put this much thought an energy into every part of their packaging and customer experience. It felt really special to open the box, see the kick-arse artwork, and try on 3 super gorgeous frames. (I ended up buying two of them!) Rivet & Sway has created a line of glasses that are beautifully designed and function like accessories. They're way more like jewelry than corrective eyewear! I get up every morning and pick out my outfit, jewelry and which pair of glasses I want to wear. I work a really messy job, so I don't get to dress up very often. But with my sassy new glasses, I feel 100% more put together when leaving the house. Why shouldn't my glasses be as colorful as my personality? There's really no reason.

I have had a wonderful experience with Rivet & Sway, and i've blabbed about them so darn much to my friends & clients that they've asked me to be an official brand ambassador! It's not something I ever considered before, but I am more than happy to continue to support and talk about this amazing company - especially since they are our neighbors here in Pioneer Square!

Do yourself a favor and head over to Rivet & Sway's site, and order your own try-on package. It's easy, it's FREE, and it will feel like Christmas. Their frames (with lens included) are really reasonably priced, and they're all SO fun. I want a pair for every day of the week! And when you go to purchase your gorgeous new glasses, use the coupon code SARA-RIVETS for $25 off your order! (The coupon will expire, so don't wait too long!)

Trunk Show at E. Smith Mercantile!
esmith8.jpg

Last night the lovely ladies behind E. Smith Mercantile hosted our sneak preview trunk show!

We packed up what we have of the new card & gift line and carried it on our backs (not really) the three blocks to our favorite Pioneer Square shop. We set up in the (soon to be) E. Smith Back Bar and welcomed the neighborhood to come see what we've been working on. (It was a low light scenario that was lovely for shopping but tough for photos, so please pardon these instagram-esque photos that I actually snapped on our real camera.)

esmith9.jpg

It was a lovely summer evening, with lots going on in the neighborhood! Our friend Meggie came to help me carry things and set up.

esmith5.jpg

We were lousy with cards for sale!

esmith6.jpg

Lots of friends came to shop and hang out!

esmith7.jpg

Our baby presses were in attendance to remind folks that everything is letterpress.

esmith3.jpg

Wine was served, conversations were had.

esmith10.jpg

There was a special guest performance from Eric Freeman, who played everything from Jimmy Buffet to Johnny Cash, and had us dancing in the aisles.

esmith1.jpg

Can we talk about how cool E. Smith is? Really cool.

esmith4.jpg

Bad mirror selfie with my baby sis - the wall & display look great! ;)

esmith2.jpg

Hello friends!

Thanks to E. Smith for being very gracious hosts, and thanks to everyone who stopped by! We had a great night, and we hope you did too.

Constellation Goes Old School at Klondike Penny's
klondikepennys1.jpg

I have two things for you guys today: 1) an awesome date idea, and 2) some big news!

Klondike Penny's is an awesome old time photo studio a few blocks away from us in Pioneer Square. I've been asking Brad to get old timey photos with me for years, so for my birthday last month he gave me a super sweet "coupon" for a photo adventure! I redeemed my coupon this weekend, and we had so much fun playing dress up in their gold rush era costumes! It was like stepping right into Pioneer Square's past. Can you imagine me operating a printing press in this dress? Too funny.

I would seriously suggest taking your sweetheart over there for some old timey Valentine's Day photos! The folks at Klondike Penny's are super friendly and their costumes are so beautiful. I wanted to wear everything! (Especially the hats!)

Now here's the extra exciting part: the great folks at Klondike Penny's are looking to expand the mercantile section of the shop and have given us the opportunity to join them! Their shop is a such a great fit with the era of our presses and the feel of our products that we've agreed take them up on the offer! A large selection of our products will be available for retail purchase at Klondike Penny's just in time for art walk this coming Thursday. If you're here in Seattle, make sure to come out and buy something for your sweetie!

Urban Craft Uprising - Winter Show 2011
cco_winterUCU-8.jpg

We made it back from our Florida trip just in time to set up for the Urban Craft Uprising winter show! We did the summer show this year, so we assumed that we knew what to expect. But instead... holy 10,000 people, Batman!

Our expectations were far exceeded - the amount of people in attendance was astounding, and we were busy all day, both days. We really had a great weekend. Thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone who came out to see us! For those of you who couldn't make it, here are some photos of our booth (taken by our stellar intern, Jenny).

cco_winterUCU_diptych-2.jpg

Our tiny tree was laden with Holiday Coaster Ornaments

Our new apple crate shelving...

Our new apple crate shelving...

...was strung with  tiny lights!

...was strung with tiny lights!

We debuted an assortment of new holiday cards

We debuted an assortment of new holiday cards

And the typewriter came along for fun

And the typewriter came along for fun

The everyday crew made a card pyramid

The everyday crew made a card pyramid

And it was all in all a great weekend!

And it was all in all a great weekend!

We really enjoyed browsing the other booths, too! Here is linkage to a few of our favorite fellow vendors:

Gorgeous handmade hats by Humperdinck Hats Nerdy baby clothes by Katy and Zucchini Amazing colorful yarn by Spincycle Yarns Delicious and soul warming lunch by Got Soup?, And (to quote Brad): "Tiny dessert burgers" (Macarons) from Lilli-Pilli Patisserie.