More Rain for the Reservoirs

Been three days and it has NOT stopped raining! So much for a lovely Autumnal getaway!!!

But lovely in it's own right- the rain in Chautauqua County where I was this past weekend, averages 47 inches a years versus the national average of 37. And while that may not seem like a huge spread, that's in addition to the 107 average snowfall compared with the average city's 25 inches. 300 inches of snowfall is not only usual, it is a way of life.

So precipitation is the name of the game- and while not great news for tourists- it's great news for reservoirs! Tempting as it may seem- an ironic and great reminder to continue to look for water saving tips and slow the flow at home...even though outside it feels as if you may be about to board Noah's Arc!

Map photo: rainfall.com, drawing via nyc.gov


125 Years of Letterpress Y'all

Guess we have printing on the brain after visiting Hamilton Wood Type last weekend, so it's only natural that we post about one of our favorite (and oldest) broadside print shops, Hatch Show Print in Nashville. Since 1879 Hatch Show Print has been printing posters for the Grand Olde Opry and every country music and soul superstar that you can imagine.

Today, Hatch is still a lively and busy working shop - even with a few resident cats who have become known as the 'Hatch Cats', and enjoy quite a cult following...you can even get their poster.

Click here or on the image below for a great video on the daily workings of the presses and people of Hatch Show Print.

Images via Carbonmade, Country Music Hall of Fame



Now that the intense Top Chef Masters hype has died down (not by much) we decided to make the trek over to Rick Bayless' new 'street food' restaurant, Xoco, which appropriately means 'little sister'. For Bayless, the timing of Xoco couldn't have been better - coming off of his Top Chef win, and with diners spending less in restaurants but still caring about the quality (food and star), as well as service, this place has done it right - and it's LEED certified to top it off!

We did have to wait in about a 45-minute line, but watching the organization and care with which the staff was handling everything and everyone was really a joy to watch - plus we got to ponder all the options on the menu. Just because Xoco is the lower priced sibling of Frontera Grill or the haute Topolobampo, the quality of ingredients does not suffer a bit. From the organically raised meats to the gorgeous handmade tortas, elegant caldos (soups), churros and exotic drinking chocolates - simply, we were very impressed from start to finish.

Open for breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner - brave the crowds and go to Xoco. The food, atmosphere, price and staff will not disappoint. Xoco; 449 North Clark Street, Chicago; M-Sat 8am-10pm, Closed Sunday.
Images via Chicago Tribune, Leisure Blogs


Blended Oils

My guess is that if you're anything like us, words like herbology, apothecary and tincture really capture your fancy! I recently spent more time than I dared in a exotically captivating shop that specializes in just that- Rebecca's Herbal Apothecary in Boulder. I was irresistably drawn to the textures, colors and fragrances with a mysterious desire to concoct potions, remedies and treatments- much in a way that I am drawn to making paper. A little of this, a dash of that all mixed together and voila - immediate gratification - a therapeutic blended oil, a healing salve, a muddy scrub.

So after leaving the shop empty handed I returned the next day to buy dozens of little (and I mean CUTE little) amber bottles, 5 essential oil blends, droppers, books and all the bits and pieces to create aromatherapy blended oils to sell in my own shop. My PAPER shop!

BUT- if my hunch is correct- the same people who LOVE paper- also love oils and herb-y scents with aromatic healing properties. I'll keep you posted and let you know how it goes!!
In the interim- herbs are SERIOUS business and truthfully, best left to the experts. Check out this site for some great info and a listing of individual herbs and their medicinal properties. And of course, Rebecca's... her apothecary is a wonderland and be sure to read her online newsletters, most of which include some really easy to make herbal recipes.

Photos via: rebeccasherbs.com, aromaworkshop.com, amazon.com, Green Paper Company


Two Rivers Type

In what's become an early fall tradition, we took a long weekend road trip up to the scenic Door County peninsula this past weekend for a little lakeside fun. Of course, about half way up in Two Rivers, Wisconsin we couldn't resist the urge to stop by the always wonderful Hamilton Wood Type Museum for a little type-fix and to pick up a few prints.

Dedicated to the preservation, study, production and printing of wood type, Hamilton is the only place of it's kind and we know how lucky we are to have it within a few hours driving distance. With 1.5 million pieces of wood type and more than 1,000 styles and sizes of patterns, Hamilton's collection is one of the premier wood type collections in the world.

The museum is arranged as a fully functional workshop producing new typefaces, printing varied broadsides and recently organizing upcoming events including workshops from Matthew Carter and Jim Sherraden of Hatch Show Print....truly exciting!

An incredible new 'Halloween' print we came across on the drying racks...perfect for our early fall visit.

In true Two Rivers fashion, they say, 'If you're planning to visit the museum from more than an hour's drive away, please call to let us know your arrival time...we'll put a pot of coffee on for you!' Visit www.woodtype.org for more information, to contact or to visit the Hamilton Wood Type Museum. 1619 Jefferson Street Two Rivers, Wisconsin 54241


First day of Fall!

It's official - the first day of fall has arrived today! We might not all have sharpened our pencils or have a shiny new backpack quite yet but the weather is crisp and the leaves are turning, and that means it's time to get down to the busy season upon us. Apples are bountiful (honeycrisp are our faves right now) and it's time to harvest all the fruits and veggies and get jam-ming! Shown: Green Paper Company Fall favorite 4Bar greenotes; Apple Bushel Thank You (left), Jam Thanks (right).


Bountiful Boulder

Just visited Boulder and it really is an amazing place! In one snap shot you have granola crunch and granola luxe as far as the eye can see. The city is THE benchmark for putting it's money where it's heart is- Shop Local campaign signs adorn every store window and on a Monday afternoon every shop is bustling, not only with tourists, but with locals as well.

From head shops to home shops eco influence is everywhere. An herbal apothecary, fair trade boutiques, an amazing paper shop, sustainable coffee and tea cafes and every food venue you can think of. And the public works say it all- parking meters are solar powered, bicycles are the preferred mode of transport, recycle bins everywhere and eco-gardening dominates the landscape. The city boasts 30 CSAs and numerous biofuel filling stations throughout the city and burbs.

Sound too good to be true? Not really - but it comes at a price with real estate holding its value at some of the highest in the country and water continuing to be a major concern. Yet street gardens were at the peak and bountiful indeed- from wall gardens to planters, public space and arbors- all were ablaze in color and flowers- a real testament to the urban gardener.

The abundance of sustainable businesses go out of their way to make sustainable living an everyday lifestyle. The ReDirect Guide is a complete guide to green living made simple and has a listings that are a great resource no matter where you live. That said- if you do find your way out west- Boulder is a must do!



One may have to admit that one was particularly swayed by one majestic cottonwood tree grove when out in Colorado last week. Felt a bit misty as I recalled seeing cottonwood trees for the first time and was so inspired by their amazing color that they became the namesake of one of our very favorite GPC Fall colors -- Cottonwood

Cottonwood invitations from On Paper - Columbus, Ohio

While the trees haven't quite fully turned yet- it's just a matter of weeks (maybe days) and just the perfect time to stock up on Fall colors for Autumn invitations. Cottonwood paired with Goldenseal, Ash, Jack Pine or Balsam Fir make the perfect combination for a harvest gathering.

If you are working with any of our fall colors - we want to see them! Send along images of your Autumnal invites, announcements or cards that use (you guessed it) Cottonwood and we'll post 'em here. Email photos to: info@greenpapercompany.com and be sure to include your store name for photo credit. First entry will receive 100 free sheets of Cottonwood 8.5 x 11 cover with their next order!

Happy Fall...the (true) first day, the Autumnal Equinox is next Tuesday, September 22nd! Visit the trusty Old Farmers Almanac to see what's in store.


Early Fall Color

After some unseasonably warm weather last week - we are feeling a bit of the crisp fall air on it's way. Some of the best color is right now - the bright deep greens giving way to golden hues. Mirroring the season, we are loving our 100% pcw A2 Bloom Greenote featuring Jackpine, Cottonwood, Goldenseal and Ash. Modern, warm, crisp and lovely.


SO Solar

Just arrived home from a few days in Colorado and will post about the amazing city of Boulder later this week. Was also SO impressed with the striking entrance at the Denver airport- since my last trip there they have added solar panels that supply half the power that generates the airport underground train system.

There are 9,800 solar panels on 7.5 acres near the entrance to the main terminal proudly visible and to cars along the road. The panels swivel and follow the sun during the day enabling them to generate more energy than if they were stationary. Panels are also equipped with sensors to detect high winds and heavy snow in order to stop the panel movement and prevent damage.

As if the tented terminal at the airport wasn't cool enough!

Photos: flydenver.com


Figs & Ginger

We like to think that we know a lot about what is going on in the indie design world - and have a good handle on the handmades found at the New York Gift Fair (when we can get away from the booth), renegade, etsy and so on. But we were totally taken aback when stopping in one of our favorite local Chicago shops, Glam to Go, and finding the lovely work of Figs & Ginger.

From the outset, we loved the designs - not even knowing how adorable and thoughtful the folks behind the even more adorable name were! The husband and wife team describe Figs & Ginger as 'making Eco-Friendly sterling jewelry designed to complement that sexy black dress or simply spice up your favorite ripped jeans. Each piece made by hand and is inspired by the simple beauty found in forests, both imaginary & real.' And we agree - tried and tested...for sure!

We chose the bunny necklace. You wouldn't believe all the compliments...

What's more is that they are eco-friendly. Click on vimeo image below to check out an Earth Day giveaway video they did earlier this year (contest is closed), and you can visit their website for a whole section on their 'green values'!

If you have a shop, or are just looking to shop for yourself - be sure to check out Figs & Ginger.

Images via Figs & Ginger, Flickr


Renegade Wrap Up & Animals Too!

Had so much fun at this past weekend's Renegade Craft Fair in Chicago. A ridiculously beautiful weekend and elbow to elbow traffic made for some happy vendors - and a few sunburns. We found some great stuff - WAY too many to mention, so check out the entire list of exhibitors and links to their sites and/or etsy stores here. Below are a few (but not nearly limited to) of our faves from the weekend!

Sofia Masri Jewlery

In addition to showcasing all this incredible talent - we have to take a second to appreciate the fact that Renegade also had booths featuring fabulous animal rescue and shelter organizations. Local shelters Tree House (primarily feline rescue), and One Tail at A Time were rocking out the adoptions. And...we were SO taken with Greyhounds Only, a Greyhound breed rescue! Way to go Renegade!
photos via Apartment Therapy, Paper Parasol, Ork Posters, Sofia Masri


If you are reading this we need your help TODAY (Sunday!)

Late yesterday afternoon I learned about a great contest that will award a prize to one small businesses. However- (always a however!) the deadline is TODAY. In order to secure our entry we need 50 endorsements TODAY and we need YOUR HELP!!! The prize is a steep $100,000 so while a long shot it is a must try!

If it's not to much to ask- we so would appreciate it if you could register following the directions below and cast your vote.

Thanks you so much for your support and for trying to help us with our green paper initiative!

1. Click HERE to link to our contest story page.

2. In the upper right corner is says Register. Click there.

3. Follow the steps to register. (I know, I know- you don't want to but please do it)

4. Be sure to scroll down to the bottom of all the rules and check the box at the end.

5. Click submit.

6. Now you can vote and endorse a site.

7. Go back to my story page using the link above in step 1.

8. When you get to the page- click the ENDORSE THIS STORY in the top upper left top corner and cast your vote.

9. Awesome- thanks again!


Renegade is (finally) here!

We can't contain our excitment that the Renegade Craft Fair is this weekend! Among MANY favorites, Indie Wed will have a booth with info and selling tickets for the event to take place early next year. So much crafty goodness here in the windy city!

If you happen to be in (or around) Chicago this weekend be sure to check out The Renegade Craft Fair, Saturday 9/12 and Sunday 9/13 from 11am to 7pm between Damen Ave. and Paulina Street in Wicker Park. Directions can be found here. And we hope to see you there!


Learn Something Everyday

Just found a few fun sites from abroad... great reads... graphic fabs

Dirty Mouse - a daily design inspiration blog:

Learn Something Everyday - worthy of a daily visit to make you smile, think or consider the absurd. Brought to you daily from Young, a brand development/design studio in the U.K.:

If Aqua - a French paperless, online design magazine:

CMYKern - One more from the UK, Birmingham to be specific. Interesting links, feature artists and a clear favouring of BOLD, strong type:

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