photo shoot prepping

hello tenfold studio

Happy New Year! I hit the ground running this year with a photo shoot scheduled this week for my new collection. I’ve been having a blast looking through my closets and drawers for props, pulling together invitation samples, sketches, and magazine cut-outs from the past couple years, and playing with the way all of those things work together. Today I pulled together some real-life inspiration boards and feel excited for fresh images and new designs (eleven of them!).


my 2015 collection for Bella Figura

hello tenfold for bella figura

This week I sent the bulk of the 100+ pieces from my Hello Tenfold 2015 invitation collection to print. It started with one late night this Fall where I was on a pattern-making roll, loved it all for about two weeks, and then decided it was possibly all crap. I’ve spent months working, re-working, completely scrapping, starting over, and then going back to those original patterns and re-working again. At this point, I can’t even tell what’s good any more. But I finally pulled the trigger, just in time for the photo shoot in January (I’m a little embarrassed to say that although Hello Tenfold is 5 years old, this will be my first photo shoot). Thank goodness the holidays are around the corner because I need a break; I’ve officially driven myself up the wall.

Sooo, it was an unexpected treat to find out that my 2015 collection for Bella Figura is live! I feel proud of this one, and it feels like a happy way to end 2014.

hello tenfold for bella figura

This year, Bella Figura added flat printing to their repertoire. It completely changed the way I was able to think about the 2015 collection. It encouraged me to work with more colors (I tend to stick to 3 max, to keep letterpress prices reasonable) and then combine all that color with some shiny foil.

hello tenfold for bella figura

hello tenfold for bella figura

For this collection, I wanted to branch out a little and do something modern and non-traditional, something a little artsy. And so Briolette came. I also wanted to play around with some vintage floral illustrations and collage, which led to romantic Josephine. And lastly, I have never had the chance to play with blind debossing, so I resurrected an old favorite pattern for simple and sophisticated Odelet. It’s hard to tell in the photo, but that’s tawny matte foil for the text. I can’t wait to see this one in person.

hello tenfold for bella figura

If you’re a local, you can check out my Bella Figura pieces in person over at Love Ply in Chapel Hill.

For links to all of my work for Bella Figura, check this page.

Happy holidays & see you back here in January!


gift guide, local style


A few weeks ago I grabbed a cup of coffee with the duo behind Lo and Behold, a luxurious and all natural body care line made right here in Durham, NC. It reminded me how much time I’ve spent online in the last few years, and how a lot of the connections I’ve made are so far away. In keeping with the theme that is running through my life these days (SIMPLIFY), one of my resolutions for 2015 is to feel more connected to the creative community right here where I live.

I’m also hoping to buy as many of my holiday gifts locally, and this weekend there are a ton of opportunities to do just that. On Friday night, The Carrack will host its Annual Red Dot Community Art Exhibit, with art priced at $25, $50, and $75. Also on Friday, Spectre Arts will host their second annual 20 Buck Chuck, with art for just $20. And then there’s the Retail Happy Hour at The Makery with White Whale mixers. On Saturday, the Patchwork Market at Motroro & Fullsteam (thanks Corinna!) AND the 6th annual Guglhupf market, and on Sunday there’s Yelp’s Holiday Bazaar at The Cotton Room. If you’re not local, most of these items are available online, too.


Where to buy (many of these can also be found in local shops or at the bazaar on Sunday):

Top image: Martha Clippinger (studio at Golden Belt; participating in the Spectre Arts event tomorrow night) / Lo and Behold at Parker and Otis (or on Etsy) / White Whale / The Apothecary’s Kitchen peppermint bark at Gather / Bird + Beau earrings / Jordan Grace Owens kitty cats

Second image: Flytrap / Big Spoon Roasters / Geoflora earrings / Truly Aesthetic bath salts / food gifts from NC Made / leather tote from Hawks and Doves

Bottom image: Wit and Whistle / eqv / Mia & Louise / This Paper Ship / Elijah Leed / Harriet Bellows



meet “Harbor”


Transitioning into parenthood is difficult for almost everyone. It’s not that hard to anticipate the challenges themselves, but it is hard to understand how they’ll affect you, and how hard it will be to navigate all those new changes with your partner. This summer, soon after our daughter turned one, I placed a teary phone call to Brendan. I was feeling frustrated with how hard it was to be the parent with the “flexible schedule,” which basically meant that it was my job to do all the parenting that needed to happen between 8:30 and 6:30 while still running my own business. I love being a mom, but I also really love my job. A lot. And I did not anticipate how hard it would be to be the main caretaker. I also knew I should feel lucky to have a flexible schedule, to be the one spending so much time with our daughter, and to have a husband so dedicated to doing his best at work while being a bang-up parent when he was off work.

About 30 seconds after that teary phone call, Brendan called back and excitedly told me he’d come up with The Solution to all of our problems. He’d quit his job, and we’d start a company together. And then in the movie version of my life I cried tears of joy.

Brendan and I talked about his job transition a lot throughout August. We wrote down dreams of what our life could be like, down to a daily schedule, and brainstormed the logistics of working abroad with a toddler in tow (that side-dream is for 2015 or beyond). We made lists of all the things that could be great about it, and all the things that could be really bad. We did some budgeting that involves cash envelopes and prayers. In September Brendan gave notice and he had his last day in November. We invited some friends over for a brainstorming session and decided to name our new venture “Harbor.” My studio-mate and I moved around some furniture to make room for an extra desk, and as I type this, I can see Brendan just over my shoulder. It’s a dream come true. We are scared but we are happy.

Now, we take turns with the morning routine. One day a week I’ll head into the studio early to get working, and Brendan will stay home with our daughter until it’s time for daycare. The next day we switch. We both leave work in the late afternoon to pick her up and spend a few hours together before her bedtime. To make up for the afternoons, we often work from home at night, or one of us will head back out to the studio. On Monday mornings, we sit down over coffee to talk about our schedules and needs for the upcoming week, and to pick each others’ brains on our projects.

I am still busy with my stationery company Hello Tenfold, but I am helping with Harbor part time and Brendan is helping with Hello Tenfold part time, too. For Harbor, I do some project management, and occasionally design, and Brendan helps me with business decisions and some design input for Hello Tenfold. 

Through Harbor, we are taking on projects including branding, logo design, web design, advertising campaigns, copywriting, and social media communiciations/management/advertising, and have a team of other freelancers we’re working with as needed. We have launched a temporary website, as well as a facebook page, twitter account, and instagram. Please give us a like and a follow! We’ll need your help making this dream stick!


now at the makery!

letterpress zodiac calendars by hello tenfold

If you’re a Durham, NC local, you can now buy the Hello Tenfold zodiac birthday calendars at The Makery on Geer Street! They’re beautifully letterpressed on thick cotton paper. While you’re at it, stop in next door at my studio and say hello.

These are also available online of course, and are now on sale.

Get a jump start on your holiday shopping!

Thanks to The Makery for this great photo.