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13 Fun Gifts for Creatives & Designers

Is there a special designer, crafter, artist, maker, DIY-er, or just general creative person in your life? Probably, because those people are awesome! As two creative queens ourselves, we wanted to put together a gift guide of general things we’d love to receive as presents. We actually already own a lot of these, but a creative person will never say no to another awesome set of pens or beautiful sketchbook. (Hint: buy us anything on this list and we’ll be ecstatic!)

1. Leuchtturm1917 Hardcover Notebook – $20

These are our absolute favorite notebooks/sketchbooks. You might consider them the Cadillac of notebooks. We love the dot grid version linked here, which is great for both sketching or jotting down notes. The cover is silky smooth leather and the pages are high quality. It would make an A+ bullet journal, but really any creative could find a use for this notebook!

2. Steal Like An Artist – $10

Austin Kleon has written a super fun book which goes into what nobody tells you about being creative. It’s a quick and fun read, packaged in a cute little square book, but it’s one of those that gets you thinking deeply and inspires you to be the best artist you can be.

3. Kuretake Metallic Brush Pens – $9

Favorite brush pen alert! These are our top choice for fun modern calligraphy projects. We love the juicy brush tips and rich metallic pigment. But these pens aren’t just for brush lettering, and are great for drawing on colored or dark paper.

4. Can’t Stop Won’t Stop Print – $6-20

What’s better than an inspirational print? This modern lettering print will add excitement and encouragement to any creative’s desk, office, or bedroom wall. Pop it in a frame for an extra special touch!

5. Holiday Pantone Sleigh Tee – $30

Designers all know and love Pantone Colors. So why not make them smile with one of these fun holiday-themed Pantone tees?

6. David’s Tea Customizable Mug – $23

I received this mug for Christmas a few years ago, and I loved that I could flex my creative muscles and decorate the mug how I wanted. There are tons of fun mugs out in the world, but sometimes you just want something you can’t buy on the shelves. And David’s Tea makes the best tea mugs – a nice large size with metal strainer and lid! Pair it with some loose leaf tea (this is one of our absolute faves) for a truly special treat.

7. Introduction to Brush Lettering Kit – $55

Kickstart a loved one’s obsession with writing beautifully! Our Intro to Brush Lettering kit includes an in-depth workbook and three brush lettering pens, all packaged nicely in a gift box. The comprehensive workbook includes full instruction on how to begin brush lettering as well as tips and tricks inspired by our experiences lettering and teaching workshops.

8. Micron Colored Pens – $25

These felt tip pens are great for everyday writing and doodling. We love the smooth ink and fine tips, and all of the colors will ensure notes are taken to the next level.

9. 2019 Calligraphy Calendar – $10

A cute desk calendar is always one of those things I love receiving as a gift because I forget to buy it for myself. We created this simple, modern hand lettered calendar to be functional yet pretty, without being over the top. This would make a great stocking stuffer!

10. In Progress – $23

The two of us have been captivated by Jessica Hische since our graphic design school days, when her work opened our eyes to the world of lettering and being a badass design lady who does soul-feeding work. We appreciate that she is honest and tells it like it is, truly sharing details that help lift other designers up. This book details her art and process, and is a great resource for any digital artist, graphic designer, or letterer.

11. Be Bold Zipper Pouch – $10

Natasha got me this pouch, with a cute little inspirational typography quote, and I love it to store pens in. Because there are truly never enough bags/pouches/tins/containers/etc. to hold all of our pens.

12. Embossing Starter Kit – $40

We don’t know any creative who doesn’t love embossing. The process results in adding raised elements to paper craft projects, which look so cool (especially when done in the silver and gold included in this kit). There are a few tools involved, which is why we love this starter kit that includes everything needed to get started: a heat tool, embossing pens, and silver and gold embossing powders.

13. Easy Knitting Kit – $36

Natasha and her mom are both avid knitters, and have taught me how and guided me through projects multiple times. Although I love the cathartic nature and having the ability to make cool knitwear, I just don’t have the resolve to research knitting projects on my own. A knitting kit like this is great for someone like me who would like to knit things, but needs all the materials and guidance to get started.

Welcome! We’re Amelia & Natasha and we’re into it

We love hand lettering and graphic design and we’re here to share some of our favorite things!

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10 Fun Gifts for Foodies under $30

If you’re anything like us, you have a bunch of food lovers in your life. We both love eating and cooking, and that love can be seen in a lot of our work. Our foodie greeting cards and prints were actually some of the first items we were inspired to make and sell, and have remained top sellers over the past few years! But aside from cards and prints, there are so many items that as foodies ourselves we own and love, or are planning to buy for the food lovers on our list this year.

1. Foodie Love Greeting Cards – $5 each

These cards are perfect to pair with a gift, to tuck a gift card into, or simply to spread some foodie love. Does your loved one like cheese, pizza, or veggies the most!?

2. Microplane – $15

When I asked Natasha what her favorite kitchen tool is, she excitedly told me: microplane! It’s great for garlic, ginger, and topping food with cheese (which is obviously where her microplane gets the most use).

3. Flour, Too Cookbook – $25

Everyone in the Boston area knows that Flour Bakery has some of the best food around. Joanne Chang, Flour’s owner, brings some of her most delicious recipes for baked goods and savory treats into this cookbook for the home cook. And we can attest – everything we’ve made has been so good! I love getting this cookbook for both people who have been to or have yet to go to Flour in person.

4. Dipped Wooden Kitchen Utensil Set – $18

Everyone can use beautiful utensils in their home kitchen! After just hosting Thanksgiving, I realized that I have a lot of utilitarian kitchen utensils, and not enough beautiful serving utensils. And I’m obsessed with the color options and paint dip on these handcrafted goods. (Everything in the shop is so fun and modern!) I’ll be buying these as gifts for some people on my list – anyone want to buy me a set? 😉

5. Beginner Cheese Making Kit – $30

Did you know that making cheese at home isn’t actually that complicated!? I received this cheese making kit as a gift a few years ago and was so excited to learn how to make my favorite food at home!

6. Cheese Slate – $22

Ok, so I’m on a cheese gift kick here. But who doesn’t love cheese? We love that slate is chalk friendly and you can label items right on the surface they sit on. A great gift for a true host with the most to show off their lettering skills while serving up a delicious platter of cheese!

7. Food Lover Prints – $6-$20 each

These prints would be great in any food lovers’ kitchen (or really any room for that matter). We love the hand lettered quote along with colorful, fun iconography to truly make a statement!

8. Citrus Juicer – $19

My favorite unnecessary kitchen tool is hands down the citrus juicer. This is one of those items that you don’t need (you can just squeeze your lemons or limes with your hands after all), but now that I have one I can’t live without it! Not only does it save me from squeezing citrus juice all over myself, but it also much more effectively gets all the juice from the lemon or lime. And as a bonus: it catches the seeds so they don’t fall into your sauce or cocktail or vinaigrette or whatever else your adding citrus to.

9. Punny Dish Towels – $17 each

We love when something makes us lol, and look how cute these are! Because who couldn’t use a dish towel with a good joke or pun, and also a cute illustration for good measure?

10. Pizza Floatie – $20

For the foodie who loves to hang at the pool, lake, or beach, a pizza floatie is definitely in the cards! Help your loved one become the talk of this year’s floatilla 😉

Welcome! We’re Amelia & Natasha and we’re into it

We love hand lettering and graphic design and we’re here to share some of our favorite things!

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Maryellen & Christopher’s Wedding

Maryellen and Chris got married on a beautifully misty New England day. Despite Mother Nature’s attempt to rain on their parade, these two couldn’t have looked more radiant. We loved working with them to create an elegant and sophisticated look for their stationery, which complemented their classic style and beautiful venue.

Invitation Suite

Maryellen knew she wanted to showcase our hand lettered script to create a simple yet unique invitation suite. While she wasn’t sure at first if she’d like any additional design details, she ended up falling for the greenery option we proposed. We love that the watercolor greenery adds a pop of color and intrigue to our beautiful taupe calligraphy! It also tied in perfectly with the couples’ wedding day florals: classic white flowers with pops of green.

The taupe calligraphy and greenery carried throughout the invitation, RSVP card, and details card. All of the pieces were brought together with a matching belly band and inserted into a dark green envelope.

For the envelopes, we used gold ink to allow the hand lettered addresses to really pop. And one of our favorite design details on this envelope is the greenery patterned custom liner. We love when we get to design elements of an envelope that carry through the look and feel of the items inside – it is the first thing guests see after all!

Day of Details

Maryellen and Chris’s wedding day details kept all of the same design elements as their invitation suite for a perfectly cohesive look. We love when couples have this attention to detail! The reception space was open, elegant, and light-filled, allowing guests to focus on the florals and designed pieces on display. We tied the greenery design into all of their pieces, including hand lettered escort cards, table numbers, a ceremony program, and signage. But the showstopper was this glass welcome sign surrounded by beautiful florals. So lovely!

Maryellen & Chris’s wedding was carefully planned and elegant beyond belief. We just love how everything tied together! Scroll on to see photos of Maryellen & Chris on their wedding day!

Vendors

Photography – Camille Catherine Photography
Videography – Veiled in Motion
Florals – Flowers by Emily
Venue – Indian Pond Country Club
Stationery – We’re Into It

Welcome! We’re Amelia & Natasha and we’re into it

We love hand lettering and graphic design and we’re here to share some of our favorite things!

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Allison & Justin’s Wedding

Allison and Justin got married on beautiful summer day on Elihu Island, just off the coast of their hometown in Stonington, Connecticut. It was a dreamy day full of picture perfect details and sunshine, and the love between these two radiates in all of their photos.

Allison was involved with her stationery design from the moment we got in touch. We loved all of her ideas and had so much fun working with her to bring her vision to life!

Photography by Ali + Julie

Save the Dates

Allison & Justin’s save the dates were the first item guests received to set the tone of their wedding. We usually suggest clients use their save the dates as a place to be playful and have fun, since these pieces don’t need to be as formal or convey as much information as invitations. Allison was excited to showcase their beautiful engagement photos (taken by Krush Graphics), so we created a photo “collage” to include a few. Justin works for Amtrak, so their photos at the railroad crossing by Elihu Island were not only beautiful, but also touchingly sweet and meaningful.

Invitation Suite

Allison had a vision of the colorful peonies she was including in her floral arrangements, and was excited to feature them in her invitation suite design. Along with the florals, we incorporated a gold geometric element woven throughout each of the pieces. Paired with the same playful yet elegant typeface we used on her save the date, the invitation design came together.

As a special touch, the invitation suite incorporated an insert with the history and map of Elihu Island, along with a personal note on why the couple chose that location for their wedding. Everything was pulled together with a custom belly band for the pieces to stay together in their envelope. The florals were even carried through to custom postage stamps affixed to the outside. See, we told you the details for this wedding were on point!

Day of Details

The beautifully set tables covered in peony-filled flower arrangements brought the entire reception tent to life. We carried through the design elements from the invitation suite to create the menu, which was tied together with our hand lettered place card tags and set on each plate. Allison also DIY embossed tags with their wedding hashtag to complete the look.

There were geometric pieces throughout, including the gorgeous hanging lanterns that the bride’s grandfather (Voo) helped make. We love that aspects of the invitation design were mimicked in so many elements of the reception. The large format seating chart we designed sat within an ornate gold framed and was adorned with greenery. Can you think of a more beautiful way to help guests find their tables?

Using the map of Elihu Island we drew for the invitation suite, we created an image for Allison to have printed on tote bags. We love how the white on navy pops on these beauties screen printed by Poor Morgan.

We loved being part of this creative, love-filled celebration. Scroll on to see photos of Allison & Justin at their wedding!

Vendors

Photography – Ali + Julie
Planning & Coordination – Ruffles & Tweed
Florals – Stems Flower Design
Venue – Island Farm at Elihu Island
Beauty – Jennie Fresa Beauty and Posh Salon
Catering – Gourmet Galley Catering and Vesta Bakery
Stationery – We’re Into It

Welcome! We’re Amelia & Natasha and we’re into it

We love hand lettering and graphic design and we’re here to share some of our favorite things!

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Pen Review: Tombow Dual Brush Pens

Tombow Dual Brush Pens may be the most well known brush pens on the market. They can be found in nearly any arts and crafts store, and even sometimes in specialty shops that don’t carry other products related to brush lettering or calligraphy. As such, they’re obviously very popular for their availability. We recommend them as a great beginner pen, and always give one to our students at our lettering workshops. But we also still love them as long-time brush letterers! Here’s a little bit about the pens themselves, what we use them for, and why we love them!

Size & Stroke

The brushes on the Tombow Dual Brush pens are a medium size, with a fairly flexible tip. The ink flows smoothly, dries quickly (no smudges on our beautiful lettering pieces please and thank you!), and doesn’t bleed. They also have a regular fine marker tip on the opposite end, which comes in handy for touch ups and swashes. The shaft is fairly long, which gives your hand a lot of room to pull back and create more expressive and gestural strokes.

Thick downstrokes using these pens can get up to about 1/4″ thick. The brush tip really has a good capacity for a thick stroke when you’re pressing in through the side of the tip! Yet thin upstrokes are still easy to achieve by applying less pressure. We like to use these pens for medium scale brush lettering, like short word combinations and quotes. It’s much more difficult to use these pens on a smaller scale, like envelope addressing, so we don’t recommend them for that.

Colors & Blending

These pens come in SO MANY COLORS! 96 to be exact! There’s not another brush pen out there with so many color options. And some of them are straight up drool-worthy. (Yes, pens make us drool).

The water-based ink is also ideal for blending. Aka creating varying shades and that ever beautiful ombré effect. In fact, most basic sets of these pens even come with a clear pen, called the blender. But blending can be done in a few different ways.

One of our favorites is by using one pen to apply color directly to the tip of a different color brush tip. Applying a color ink to the tip of the clear pen (like pink below), creates an ombré effect where the color slowly gets more translucent. Similarly, you can apply a colored ink to a different color pen to create a transition stroke through different color combinations (the blue ink on the yellow pen below created the varying green to yellow effect). To restore your pens to their original color, simply use the pen until the applied ink color is colored out.

The pens will also blend quite easily on top of paper. Start drawing with one color, and then layer over another. The lighter colored brush tips will pick up the darker colors and carry the color through as you continue to write. Another tactic is to write with two different colors touching, but not layered, and use the clear blender pen to combine the two. The blending possibilities are really quite varied. Just be careful – too many layers of ink can start to break apart the paper fibers!

Durability

We haven’t had an issue with the Dual Brush Pens running out of ink quickly, they have been very long lasting for us. However, we have noticed that the nylon tip can have a tendency to fray. You’ll start to notice on your thins that the stroke may begin to appear less smooth or have a wispy texture. Typically this will happen from writing on rough or toothy paper, but even regular computer paper can be tough on the brush tips. We’d recommend using smooth, coated paper to help keep your pen tips at their best quality (for these as well as all brush pens)!

In Action

And here are some examples of these bad boy Tombow Dual Brush pens in action. We often carry a few of these pens in our bags for lettering on the go. If you’re looking to do medium sized lettering in a variety of colors, then these are the pens for you! Do you love these pens as much as we do!?

All designs shown here were created by We’re Into It. All photography is our own except where credit is given.

Welcome! We’re Amelia & Natasha and we’re into it

We love hand lettering and graphic design and we’re here to share some of our favorite things!

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