Seattle Wedding Show is almost here!

With the new year comes one of our favorite events, The Seattle Wedding Show. The creative energy has been flowing in our studio and we have designed some beautiful new invitation suites and hand dyed silk ribbon colors for the upcoming wedding season. Stop by our booth to take a sneak peak or visit our updated website. Now mobile friendly!
http://www.custompaper.com

Handmade seeded paper wrap with belly band and poppy

6 x 9 handmade seeded paper wrap with belly band and poppy

5 x 7 recycled panel with handmade paper print

5 x 7 recycled panel with handmade paper print

5 x7 handmade seeded paper panel with queen ann's lace

5 x7 handmade seeded paper panel with queen anne’s lace

2.5" hand dyed cream and gold silk ribbon

2.5″ hand dyed, cream and gold, bias cut silk ribbon

Seattle Wedding Show
Washington State Convention & Trade Center
705 Pike Street, 4th Floor
Seattle, WA 98101
Of The Earth booth #1124

Saturday January 14th, 2017
10:00am to 5:30pm (ticket sales open at 9:30am)

Sunday January 15th, 2017
10:30am to 5:00pm (ticket sales open at 10:00am)

Tickets are $17.00 per person and can be purchased at the door.
Children twelve and under are admitted free.

Come to the show Saturday, get your hand stamped on the way out, and come back Sunday for FREE.

http://www.weddingshow.com

Planting seeds. Life, death, love and loss; a reminder.

Seed paper in bloom

I just received a very touching thank you call from a customer in Florida who ordered from us in November of last year. She called simply to say thank you but conveyed much more than just gratitude. Last year she lost her mom and had struggled with how to create a meaningful remembrance of her. She ended up using some of our seed paper and while I do remember speaking with her, I don’t remember what she ordered. What she left me with today was an indelible moment that makes what we do so rewarding and rich.

I often tell people how fortunate I am to be working in the wedding industry as we are helping people who are in one of the happiest times of their lives. Most of our customers are super excited, super happy and very fun to work with. The seed paper that we make is celebrated by our brides as a way to spread an earth friendly message with each wedding invitation. They are also used as wedding favors and fun ways to engage the guests at our customer’s events. As more people learn about seed paper we are more and more commonly printing memorial cards and sending heart shapes for celebration of life events. The pain of loss is often evident in the tired and aching voices of these customers. Just as I get charged up from the excitement that a newly engaged couple brings to us; I am also touched by the grief of our customers who experienced a recent loss.

The woman today gave me chills with her sharing of the happiness and gratitude she felt. She spoke of the rains in Florida that had to be kept off of the tender shoots and how most but not all of the paper was successful. She told me of the family members around the country who watched the flowers grow and thought of her mom and who shared those thoughts with her. One orange flower in particular struck her as a message that brought emotion to her voice that made it difficult to speak. I was touched at how meaningful this was for her and how she was moved to give us a call.

I do have a wonderful job. The bittersweet truth of it is that without the pain and grief of loss; the joy of love, family and friendship cannot feel as rich. They are two sides of the same coin and I am grateful to this customer for reminding me of it.

Kevin

WA state artists: ARTIST TRUST WANTS TO HEAR FROM YOU!

 

This great organization helped us out with a cash gift when our papermaking studio was damaged in the 2001 Nisqually Earthquake.  They are putting a call out to Washington State artists and we are helping them get the message out.artist trust
Artist Trust is conducting a statewide survey to better understand and respond to the needs of individual artists of all disciplines and diversities. Every entry will be entered into a drawing to win a $200 prize for one lucky artist to apply towards things they need for making their art. The survey closes midnight April 20, 2015. https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/PX2BB5N

Family Photography – Photobomb, or how to take a bad family photo – tips from a product photographer

As a dad I love to look back at photos I took of my children. I enjoy seeing both my children and skills as a photographer grow with time. One thing I have been very grateful for is how my kids have tolerated my sometimes intrusive camera. I am not a fan of the staged photograph preferring to catch my kids ignoring the camera. I spent so many years snapping away gently asking them not to hide their faces, not to react to me at all that eventually they listened. They no longer mug for the camera, they just continue about their business, letting me get the shots that they enjoy flipping through on the annual family calender.

One down side to having a camera in your hands so often is that I am commonly the one asked to snap the family portrait. That is too much responsibility for me. I am always disappointed with the result, not happy with the light or angle or staging, never pleased. I always feel rushed, inadequate and unprepared. I don’t like the spotlight and holding the camera with everyone looking into the lens makes me uncomfortable.

I just received an email from family we visited in December. They sent a pair of the shots I took the last time they handed me the camera. We had just spent the last several days visiting their wonderful new home and were getting everyone into the car to head back to Seattle. They handed me their camera and asked for a quick shot of the cousins together and then one of their family.

Not happy with the camera glare, I should have stepped a little closer to get out of the direct sunlight. I don’t have the skills or knowledge to make that kind of automatic adjustment. I could have been better positioned, I could have taken a few more just to be safe but I wanted out of the spotlight quickly.

I guess not everything is passed down from father to son.

Kevin
farris2farris

 

Walking the New York Now Wholesale Gift Show 2015

Feb 3 2014

As I left the hotel this morning the brisk morning air quickly bit through my open buttons and found its way under my scarf, undoing the work of the hot shower in seconds. I saw a line of bundled up hotel guests entering the shuttle bus headed to the convention center, eight blocks away. I was momentarily drawn into line with them, eying the dirty slushy snow piled against the curb. But the sidewalk was clear, freshly salted and dry and I could not resist another walk to the Javits Center for day three of the gift show. I find walking to be very rewarding and cannot understand how more people do not celebrate their health in this simple way.

By the time I reached the convention center my body and mind were both ready to face another day of telling people about my work. I am a very private person by nature and have found this part of my job to be the most difficult. I do not value the work I do as highly as I am commonly told I should. I am very self deprecating, knowing that there are folks far more talented than me. Spending day after day, telling people why they should have our goods in their store is not my favorite. However, traveling to New York, walking the streets of this city, is a reward very worth the cost of being here.

Kevin Graham

The gift that keeps on giving

I love giving a beautifully packaged gift but struggle with the potential waste produced by feeding my pleasure in that.  Being a paper maker and ribbon artists I am surrounded by beautiful products and ever expanding combinations of colors, flowers and materials.  This year I have some new items to add to my packaging arsenal.  Plantable gift tags printed with beautiful water color designs.  Not only are they functional but they will biodegrade and produce an array of wildflowers.

flower gift tagFlower gift tag back

These tiny seed paper tags are printed with a watercolor reproduction of four of the flowers that will sprout from this paper. Three each of the four prints are included in each package for a total of 12 cards priced at $3.50 a set.  They measure 2.25″ tall by 1.25″ wide, and look lovely attached to a wrapped gift, bundle of bake goods or tucked into a bouquet of flowers being delivered to a friend.

 

 

Love blooms!

The staff at Of The Earth have been having a great time creating new products with our recently purchased dye cut machine.  One of our new favorite items are these plantable hearts.

hearts

printed forever heart

They come in plain or printed seeded white cotton paper (shown above) as well as seeded pink or purple larkspur paper .  Packaged in sets of 50 they retail for $11.00 a pack ($15.00 if printed).

pink larkspur heart

purple larkspur heart

All of our paper is tree free and produced in our studio in Seattle, Washington.  You can buy them here: heart_shapes and on Etsy www.etsy.com/shop/flowerseedpaper

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hand dyed earth silk flower pin – Seattle Bridal magazine feature

Featured in a Seattle Bridal magazine our Earth Silk ribbon adorns the model's dress.

Earth Silk flower pin by Sashaco

Earlier this year we mentioned our involvement with Sachaco, a Kirkland, Washington small business that uses our hand dyed Earth Silk line of ribbon to create stunning silk flowers used as pins and hair decorations. This great shot was from the Seattle Bride magazine where you can see our silk on the model’s hip.

Soon we will have images from Sashaco’s newest design – a Seattle Seahawks inspired flower so you can show your team spirit at work without a bulky sweatshirt.

New York Stationery Show 2014

We just returned from a whirlwind adventure to attend the New York Stationery Show where we launched many new items (including show favorite – our hand dipped cards which are remnant pieces that soak up the remaining dye bath from our silk work). It was a long awaited trip, as this is the largest wholesale trade show in the United States.

Of The Earth booth display at national stationery show 2014

NSS booth display

“Now in its 68th year, the National Stationery Show® is the world’s most comprehensive marketplace for greeting cards, stationery and related lifestyle products. No other trade fair in the U.S. matches the depth and caliber of stationery selection at the NSS—or serves as the launching pad for so many young, creative businesses each year.”

Silk ribbon and handmade paper booth display

Booth display – silk and paper

It is always a pleasure to connect and draw inspiration from other creatives in our market. In the past we have been intimidated by the quality of art and artist on display at this show which prevented our exhibiting, there are just stunning levels of creativity and craftsmanship on display. We have since realized that while we may not be at the top of the pack or offering the latest trends, we have unique and creative art to contribute and in turn have our place among industry leaders.

Of The Earth paper and silk display

Silk ribbon and handmade papers at NSS 2014

A fun highlight was seeing our Seattle neighbor and sometimes silk collaborator Real Card Company at the show, and finally meeting the principals in our other longtime Seattle stationer Silberman/Brown.  It was a fantastic (albeit exhausting) trip and we are already looking forward to attending next year!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Seed Paper – how does it grow?

I just wanted to drop a quick note to those folks considering using seed paper for their wedding or promotional items. When was the last time you bought a seed packet and started a garden? For some of us the answer was just last season we pushed our seeds into the soil for our garden veggies. For many of us, we have not held a seed for years. When we wanted to add flowers to our window box we bought starts from the grocery store, when we wanted that indoor plant we bought a mature plant from the big box home store. Many of us have had sunflower seeds at a baseball game or pumpkin seeds from our Jack-o-Lantern but have not touched a live seed nor potting soil since elementary school.
As papermakers who embed our paper with seeds, we often are asked about how our paper grows. The easy answer is “that depends on the gardener”. We test our seed paper extensively as we understand that people need to know that when they tell their family there invitation will bloom – it has to bloom! The problem with this situation is not the viability of the seeds but rather the inexperience of the gardener. We would love to offer a guarantee that you will have a beautiful garden of flowers when you plant our paper goods however there are just too many factors out of our control to offer such a guarantee. We can guarantee that our papers contain viable seeds that have the potential to grow but as you supply the conditions under which those plants are starting their tender lives, we cannot guarantee your success.
Our seed papers do have live seeds that can sprout if you properly care for them. If you cut the paper into escort cards or business cards; you will find enough viable seeds in the trimmed pieces that have the potential to sprout. That being said we have heard from people over the years who stopped watering their seeds in frustration after just three weeks when nothing pushed through the soil. With our paper there are seeds that can take six weeks to germinate. These people who expect immediate results and tire of caring for the seeds, letting them dry out; effectively killing them before they have the opportunity to sprout are more often then not disappointed with the paper (rather than their gardening). For this reason we do not offer a guarantee. We would be happy to mail you a free sample that you can carefully test under your own gardening conditions before you decide to use seed paper for your wedding or business event. Most people these days are very removed from soil and seeds. Most of us buy our plants (and vegetables) that have been started (or fully grown) by professionals under optimal conditions. If you are considering offering your guest or client the opportunity to start a flower from the seeds you send them keep in mind the challenges they will face.

The bulk of our seed paper contains the following seeds:

Perennial
English Daisy

Perennial
Tussock Bellflower

Annual
Lilac Godetia

Annual
Monkeyflower

Biennial/Perennial
Foxglove

Annual
Dwarf Spurred Snapdragon

Perennial
Showy Evening Primrose

Annual
Red Corn Poppy

Biennial/Annual
Catchfly

Perennial
Creeping Thyme