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Give Thanks and Send Smiles

by abby on August 30, 2011 | Comment

abbydora custom cards
A smile goes a long way and so does a thank you note. With all our many ways of communicating sending a note of thanks is easier than ever before. Texting, emailing, facebook posts, instant messaging, e-cards and even the classic note card are all ways you can express your gratitude with your own style and let the sender know you’ve received their gift. It may seem like such a small gesture, but that one little note goes a long way to return the smile. Keep those positive vibes going and the next time you receive a present return the favor by sending your own little gift of thanks.

handmade custom cards
Remember AbbyDora Design offers several thank you notes cards and other blanks cards that can be used as notes of thanks. Take a moment to shop and see what design fits your style.

Children’s Books Celebrate Milestones

by abby on August 25, 2011 | Comment

modern classics abbydora
Hip Hip Hooray! A few of my favorite friends are celebrating their milestone anniversaries this year. I bet you know my friends too: Babar, James and the Giant Peach, Snowy Day, Wrinkle in Time, and Jumanji. These are wonderful modern classic children’s books that are still making both kids and adults smile even 30 to 80! years later.

Thanks to a mom who is passionate about children’s literature, I learned to love books, especially books for children, right from the start. I remember reading each one of these books as a child or having it read aloud to me. James and the Giant Peach was a month long event in first grade. Mrs. Anderson would read sections at a time at the end of the school day. I always looked forward to those 15 minutes. I would sit cross legged on the carpet amongst my friends imagining what it would feel like to live inside an actual peach. Sticky, gluey, and very orange were my thoughts!

With these big markers each book is getting a new look. Often publishers repackage a classic book to give it fresh life and introduce it to a new audience. These books certainly deserve a good scrub and a new set of clothes. PW’s children’s bookshelf gives us all the details about the new designs for the milestone books.

Back to School Cookie

by abby on August 23, 2011 | Comment

back to school snack
Summer is winding down here in upstate New York. Already these last couple of days, I’ve had to wear a sweatshirt while I’m sipping my morning cup of tea. The cooler morning reminds me that Fall is just around the corner and that also means the first day of school too! Sharpen those pencils, collect the notebooks, and clean out that lunchbox. To make the start of the school year a little sweet, I was inspired to bake a homemade dessert that could be easily added to child’s lunch.

lunchbox recipe
I created Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies. Yum! These cookies are quick to pull together and using dark chocolate chips adds a great twist and reduces the overall sugar consumption too. I also purposely make my cookies on the smaller size. My philosophy is you get to enjoy the indulgence without the regret. One other tip for these cookies: avoid all those nasty hydrogenated oils by using Organic Crunchy peanut butter (I used the Wegmans kind). Grab your bowls and mixer let’s bake some cookies!

Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup crunchy-style peanut butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2-1 cup dark chocolate chips
(60% dark chocolate Ghirardelli chips recommended)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a large bowl combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and the salt. Set aside.
3. In a mixing bowl, beat the butter and peanut butter together until fluffy. This can take several minutes, about 3-5minutes. Add the sugars and beat smooth. Add the egg and mix well. Add the milk and vanilla and mix. Add the flour mixture and beat thoroughly.
4. Stir in the dark chocolate chips.
5. Drop by half-full rounded teaspoons onto ungreased cookie sheets, leaving several inches between each one for expansion.
6. If chips allow for it: use a fork, lightly indent with a crisscross pattern, but don’t overly flatten cookies.
7. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Do not over bake! The cookies may appear underdone, but they are not. (My time was 10 on the mark.)
8. Cool cookies on sheet for 1 minute, then remove to cool completely.

These cookies are not too sweet. The crunchy peanut butter add a touch of crunch and roasted peanut flavor. Always the big kid at heart, D’s preferred method of eating a peanut butter chocolate chip cookie is to dunk it in milk first, then take a bite. Enjoy the tasty treat and happy back to school!

Font Finds: Scrumpcious Script

by abby on August 18, 2011 | Comment

I’ll admit it. I’m a type junkie. Who liked the movie Helvetica? Me. Who finds metal type cases incredibly exciting. Me. Who gives directions by supplying commentary on the lack of kerning on store fronts? Me. But you could say that in my line of work being so exhilarated and discerning about letter forms is useful! I’m going to start a series of posts about my find finds. It’s like a treasure hunt—expect that you get to skip the crocodiles and the endless hours of bad type. I’ll do the heavy lifter for this assignment.

Today I would like to share with you a couple of my script finds. Plainly said: To find a beautiful script font is difficult. Yes, I know there are soooooo many available, but I meant to clarify by saying the script needs to be beautiful and legible. Just yesterday, I came across 2 very different scripts, but I’d say they are beautiful in their own right.

The first was gifted to me by Fonthaus. It’s the new Laura Worthington font: Samantha. It’s just delicious! Look at all those elegant swashes. It’s got the script “bang” effect for the large decorative capital letters, but it’s also very simple and straightforward for the lowercase letters.
abby font finds

Want some more incentive to get this font? Well, it comes with catch words and buckets of extra swashes and, AND, numbers in standard and old style form. Gasp! So much for your money.
modern script font

But if your budget only reads FREE for fonts I can still offer you an option. Myfonts offers a great script called Magesta.
abbydora book design
letterpress type
Call it grunge with some elegance, perhaps? I love the simple rhythm created in the gentle swashes and the lean of the type that delights the eye. Bring the old world into the modern one as this is also a webfont. Start designing that letterpress inspired wedding website you’ve been wanting!

More font finds are on there way. And as you know I’m always interested in any suggestions or tips as to where to find great type.

Prints, Stationery, Garlands, Oh My

by abby on August 16, 2011 | Comment

abbydora party decorations

There are lots of new items in the AbbyDora Design Etsy shop this week! Finally, I’m happy to say that all the items displayed during the Park Ave Festival are available in my shop. Among the new products are high quality digital prints of my gouache and watercolor children’s illustrations. These prints look like real watercolor painting—all thanks to my amazing Epson printer and the find of the Summer, Hahnemuhle Digital German Etching paper. The paper looks and feels like fine art paper, but it’s able to hold the vivid colors of digital printing. Fabulous! Here are just a few examples of the prints you will see.
abbydora illustration
abby children's art
rochester children's art

I’ve also created a vintage inspired bridal stationery set. I call this set the Savannah Stationery collection. For me it blends both the classic southern feel with a touch of modern design.
abbydora custom notecards

Then there are the playful paper garlands that would cheer up a children’s rooms, an office, classroom, or even a display window. All the garlands are hand cut and assembled here in my studio in Rochester, NY. A couple of the designs even feature original illustrations. Be sure to see all the designs in the Garland section of my Etsy shop.
handmade paper garland
rochester paper party decorations

With my shop updated I’ll be now focusing on the fast approaching Fall season the holidays that come with it. New artwork and card designs will be coming, so please stay tuned to AbbyDora Design!

Variety is the Spice of Handemade Cards

by abby on August 12, 2011 | Comment

As I promised, the items you saw in my Park Ave Fest booth are being uploaded to my Etsy shop. This week, I’ve added several of the mixed card sets and prints of my children’s illustrations. Looking for something a little different from the same old cards you find in Target or Hallmark? Stop by my shop for a variety of card sets and individual cards for every occasion. All of my cards and prints are handmade and packaged in my studio in Rochester, NY.

New this season are the mixed cards sets.These sets give you several card design options with one purchase! Here are a sampling of a few of the collections.

The Summer Bug Collection
handmade stationery
abbydora handmade
abby stationery rochester

This mixed card set features 2 cards of the Ladybugs, Bumble Bees, and Dragonfiles. The interior is blank and they are paired with wonderful earthy Kraft brown envelopes with European pointed flaps.

The Red Birds Collection
handmade holiday card
abby dora illustration
handmade christmas art

Get a jump on your holiday shopping with this collection! (I used them for my own holiday cards last year with great success). The Red Bird card set features 2 designs of the Red Birds in Blue Hats, the single Red Bird in a green hat, and the large group of Red Birds. The cards are blank on the inside to let you personalize your own greeting and they are paired with a delicious red envelopes with European pointed flaps.

Doodles Thank You Note Collection
abbydora handmade stationery
thank you note rochester ny

Say it with style! Whether you want to say it in English or French these thank you notes cards will surely send a smile as well as send gratitude. The Doodles collection features 3 cards of the English Thank You and the Merci Beaucoup. With a blank interior you can create your own message of thanks and they are paired with Kraft brown envelopes.

After popular request I’ve also created two birthday card collections—one for smaller A2 cards (4.25″ x 5.5″) and one for bigger A6 cards (4.4″ x 6.25″).

Happy Birthday Collection One (smaller)
abbydora birthday card set

This birthday group features 2 designs of The Cake Slice, The Doodles Happy Birthday, and the Hip Hip Hooray Birds. These cards are A2 in size and they each are paired with a different colored envelope with European pointed flaps. Only the Hip Hip Hooray Bird card has “happy birthday” printed on the interior.

Happy Birthday Collection Two (bigger)
Once again with this mix of cards you received 2 designs of: The Cake Baker, The Mountain Climber, and the Party Hats card. These cards are A6 in size and they are paired with their own colored envelope. The Cake Baker card has “Happy Birthday” printed in pink script on the inside. The other two cards are blank.
rochester new york stationery

Every Occasion Collection
And for those who can’t make a decision for what set to buy? I have an Every Occasion Collection of 6 cards with envelopes. Included is: Anniversary Hearts, Party Hats B-day, Ladybug Just Because Card, Hi Birds, Doodles Thank You, and 2 Birds Happy Graduation.
abbydora original artwork

If you have a set in mind that you didn’t see here, please send me an email and I’ll create one for you. I’m always open to hear new ideas. Next week you’ll see a sampling of my children’s illustration digital prints for sale!

Park Ave Festival Fun

by abby on August 8, 2011 | Comment

art festival Rochester

Phew—what a weekend!
The AbbyDora Design booth at Rochester’s Park Ave Festival was a great success. The reaction from those who came into my tent was completely positive. “So cute!” And “How adorable!” are the words I love to hear. I was all smiles this weekend. It was one of those moments when I had to pinch myself to be sure it was all real. Special thanks to the AbbyDora Design crew for all the extra hours they put in over the weekend too. I couldn’t have bagged all those cookies without you!
AbbyDora Design
classroom decoration
Thank you also to all who came to say hello and to those of you who purchased any playful paper goods! After this week, I’ll be turning my attention to putting all the prints and party garlands shown in the booth on my Etsy store. If you saw something in the booth that you don’t see in my store, please send me an email and I’ll set up a custom listing for you.
custom stationery
abbydora paper goods

I’m also working on a few new children’s illustrations and holiday oriented card box sets for this Fall. Stay tuned for additional AbbyDora Design artwork! And I’ll also be participating in one more Fall holiday fair. As soon as I know which one, you’ll know it too.

Featured Artist

by abby on August 4, 2011 | Comment

DIY wedding stationery

I have some wonderful news to share with you. AbbyDora Design has been selected to be a featured artist on the fabulous wedding website and blog called Emmaline Bride! It’s a website dedicated to the DIY bride with inspiration ideas and a marketplace to find artists.

Yesterday, Emma spoke about a few of my DIY postcard Save the Date designs. See what she said and which designs were showcased on her blog.

Favorite Wedding Favor

by abby on August 2, 2011 | Comment

It’s been a hectic week! D and I have had back to back wedding weekends filled with lots of friends and dancing (and my feet are still recovering from all the fun). For the wedding last weekend, the bride and groom asked me to help them with their party favor. They wanted a beautiful quote to wrap around a clear pint glass. The glasses turned out great and people used them during the wedding to hold their beer or in my case, a “pint of red wine”. Thus, this became my favorite wedding favor EVER.
abbydora design wedding
abbydora wedding

The quote says: “What is most important is to find peace and share it with others” —Thich Nhat Hanh Beautiful isn’t is?!

In the middle of the week of wedding fun my computer decided to crash—BUT thankfully, I was fully backed up, so it wasn’t too bad of a disaster. I highly, recommend using Time Machine for all your backing up needs! This week is starting off much smoother: I’m rocking a new hard drive and I’m making headway on finalizing all my prints and stationery for the Park Ave Festival which happens THIS Saturday and Sunday. Here are the details again:

Park Ave Festival Aug 6 & 7 2011
Saturday 10-6pm
Sunday 10-5pm

If you are in the Rochester area, please stop by and say hello. The AbbyDora Design booth will in front of the Wilson Farms and near Jines Restaurant.