New shop launched!

I've been working on something fun--a small collection of items to share with you this Christmas season, and they are finally for sale in the new Nightingale Handmade shop! AHH!

I'm excited to launch this little shop, but also nervous. I hope you see something you like, but if you don't, know that my goal in the upcoming new year is to bring in the work of numerous other artists/makers/craftspeople to fulfill all of your heart's handmade desires! In the future there will be more than just paper, metal and leather in there (although there will be lots more of that, too).

I truly love all things handmade and I'm really looking forward to this quest to seek out lovely offerings for the shop. Thank you so much for taking a moment to look! Feedback welcomed, of course. xo

PS - Don't forget that I offer custom printing and design services! Let me know if you have a custom request like holiday card printing, or if you'd like me to email you a price sheet. 

inspired words | heaven filled me

I really love these lyrics from one of my favorite songwriters, Josh Garrels. He is a wonderful poet, incredibly talented musician, and admirable in so many ways. He recently ran a campaign where all of his albums were offered for free download, with just a request that listeners leave "tips"--100% of which he donated to World Relief in their efforts to bring peace and restoration in the DR Congo where the conflict and  terror is unimaginable.

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An Injured Leg & National Parks

Today started out like any other day...until I took out a large chunk of my thigh trying to kill an ant. I swear, my injuries are so LAME. Last time I drew copious amounts of blood was when I sliced off my fingertip cutting cardstock with my guillotine paper cutter. I mean, that's not even cool. This morning I climbed on top of our old-dresser-turned-tv-stand to reach an ant on the wall and, when jumping down, didn't realize there was a drawer slightly open. I hopped down without looking and my upper thigh made contact with the solid wood corner, which dug in deep as all my weight came down on it. Ouch. I'd show you a photo and try to convince you it's a bullet wound, but it's really gross and you wouldn't believe me anyway since I just gave away the real story. And the worst part of it? I didn't even kill the ant.

In other news, I feel like a failure as a blogger. It's really hard to get back into blogging once you've been away from it for awhile, but I miss it, and maybe one or two of you out there miss it too. Part of the problem is that my crummy point-and-shoot camera is broken. Can't have a blog without fun pictures, right? A small part of me actually believes that I'll be a better blogger if I get a nice camera...but I don't think that's in the cards anytime soon, so I'll have to take a field trip to Best Buy and see if I can figure out what's wrong with my ol' Canon Powershot.

Once that's done, I'll get around to posting some photos of our humble apartment. Today I wanted to share some awesome vintage posters I dug up while searching for something to fill these empty frames that have been taunting me in the living room: 

We got them on sale at Ikea for $10 apiece and there they have rested on the couch frame with nary a nail in the wall since we're indecisive about what to put in them. Luke wanted to frame up some maps, but I wasn't feeling that 100%, so I scoured the interwebs for a cool variation of framed map art and came across this vintage California state map...

...and thought "Oooh. This could be perfect if I could hunt down Pennsylvania and North Carolina." (What is it with me and my obsession with home-states? I do not know.) Two problems: one, I couldn't find cool vintagey PA or NC posters anywhere. Two, although Cali is a nice tall state that works well as a portrait-oriented image, PA and NC are both short and wide. I want to hang the frames vertically side-by-side--probably not going to find any prints of our short, stubby states oriented the way I'd like. So I kept searching, and my hunt yielded these amazing vintage National Parks posters from the 1930s:

  

 Love at first sight. The colors, the images, the vintage lettering and quotes--they all called out to me. Not to mention the very cool story behind these posters designed by Dorothy Waugh, an artist of the New Deal era. President Franklin D. Roosevelt implemented the New Deal to help boost the economy (and morale!) as America was at the height of the worst depression in history, and developed cultural programs in which artists were employed by the federal government! Now those are tax dollars I can be proud of. Waugh became the art production supervisor of the National Park Service. She designed these two particular posters and later went on to teach typography and design at the New York School of Fine and Applied Art. That's my kind of woman! All this and much more gives me a whole lotta love for National Parks. I want to visit many of them with Luke in my lifetime. You never know, maybe having these hung on the wall will spur us on to future travels. So far he's been to Yellowstone, I've been to Acadia...what's your favorite National Park?

Seen: State Bird Prints from Dutch Door Press

Aren't these letterpress prints of state birds and flowers from Dutch Door Press stunning? I don't think I can resist buying up the Pennsylvania and North Carolina prints for our new apartment...a little spin on the state plates idea we displayed at our wedding.

Maybe, for fun, I'll get our current state too...so pretty!

Did you grow up knowing your state bird and state flower? My mom made sure this information was covered in our homeschool repertoire. I've never seen the Ruffled Grouse look so good as in the PA print, but I must say I'm not exactly partial to Mountain Laurel and I'm a little jealous that New Hampshire gets to claim Lilac as their state flower...it's my absolute fave.

seen | Lovely Letterpress Prints (& giveaway winner!)

It's still early on Saturday and I'm entertaining the notion to go for a jog. I have a lot I want to accomplish around the house before work today, so I'm enjoying this quiet time before the bustling begins.

I spotted these wonderful letterpress prints by Tag Team Thompkins over on Paper Crave the other day. I love everything about them from the gorgeous hand-lettering and papercut images to the monochromatic palette and the lovely quotes. I could see a small set of these hanging in a bedroom or lining a hallway.

Aren't they sweet? And so reasonably priced. I have a couple people in mind I want to get one of these for. And yes, these do increase my desire to learn calligraphy.

Oh, and thank you to all who entered my giveaway! I had so much fun reading about your favorite products and scents, your creations and memories. I used Random.org to choose a winner for the handmade soap and Sylvia, it was you! I will be contacting you soon so I can send your prize.

Photo credits: Paper Crave via Tag Team Thompkins(1, 2, 3)