With the swirl of multiple magazine deadlines clomping around in my head this time of year, I barely have time to make a dent in my shopping list, but I had to pause and share my favorite kids' gift of the year before it got too close to the holidays for you to order them.
Earlier this year, our 8-year-old-son Alessandro received what is quite possibly the perfect gift for a paperfile parent like me who loves stationery and the art of letter writing: custom-made, personalized letterpress note cards from Portland-based jigsawgraphics.com.
The cards were a gift from our dear friend Erica (and her husband Scott), who met Jigsaw owner and mompreneur Suzanne Hallerman at her son's school. Hallerman, a graphic designer, was looking for a way to diversify her business in an increasingly electronic-message dependent society and had the brilliant idea to take grown-up luxe letterpress stationery into the kids realm. But these cards color delightfully way outside the personalized stationery box: they include the child's name in his or her handwriting--and a signature piece of art that he or she draws.
These cards beautifully capture your child forever on paper--or at least their penmanship and what they loved to doodle at the time (for Alessandro, it was Captain Underpants). I immediately squirreled away two cards for his scrapbook.
To order, you must email Hallerman a scan of the gift recipient's signature and a simple sketch/doodle (see examples above; for best results, have the child draw them on a blank white sheet of paper with a black Sharpie marker). Hallerman makes the plates, does some sizing and layout magic, and uses an 1897 Chandler & Price Letterpress to create the “deep impression” cards.
A set of 15 cards costs $49.95 for one-color cards with choice of colored envelopes, but the price includes conversion of custom artwork, custom plate, shipping of plate and 100% cotton Crane Lettra paper designed specifically for letterpress. Twenty additional cards are $29.95, if placed with original order. As an added bonus, she'll include a custom stamp of the illustration for your child’s use, which normally sells for $9.95.
Jigsaw Graphic's drop-dead deadline to receive artwork for an order is Saturday, December 18, to give her time to ship to Seattle by Christmas. You can start the ordering process online here at http://jigsawgraphics.com/kids.html.
Every kid loves seeing their names on stuff--I remember getting Lillian Vernon personalized pencils at Christmas and once, on my birthday, a book in which I was the main character--but this is one ultra-personalized gift that you can use to knock two people off your list. It was as much a gift to me as it was to Alessandro. Thanks, Erica and Scott!