Add a Touch of Handmade to Your Holiday

Throughout the winter holidays from Thanksgiving to New Years we gather together to share meals and exchange gifts. Picking up a gift card or buying all your decorations is certainly convenient, but may leave you feeling a bit out of synch with the holiday spirit.

Most of us don’t have the time or the skills to make every decoration or an appropriate gift for everyone. But most of us have a little time and a bit of creativity. Still not quite feeling like you can pull something beyond paper snowflakes together from scratch? Try starting with the craft equivalent of a box of cake mix. Kits provide a great boost to creating something of your own for the holidays while also relieving the pressure to create every aspect on your own.

Handmade Gift Wrap

Looking to add handmade frills without using your own hands? Check out my hand stamped wrapping paper! In December you can also download and print as much hand stamp designed gift wrap as you need from Hard-Pressed Studio on Etsy.

Handmade certainly makes things feel a bit cozier and personal. Indulge in a craft day with friends or family if you have the time and resources. If crafts just isn’t an activity you can enjoy, then consider taking advantage of handmade by other hands.


The Studio is Moving!

Over the summer I found myself day dreaming about moving the studio production back to my house. Realizing the day dream was actually a desire surprised me. Why did I want to give up such a great space? How would I continue offering classes? Where would I dry prints, towels, tote bags, etc? How could that move possibly work?

I began to address each question and found a solution to every one.  And as I thought through them, I became excited about the move. The negatives disappeared and my list of worrisome questions turned into a list of positive reasons to move.

Ultimately, by moving production home I’m going to better serve you with more colorful, fun, block printed goodness and classes. Production will be easier since everything will be in one place. I can offer classes by partnering with other local businesses to use their space. Without the burden of rent, I can explore more product ideas and craft shows. Like the hedgehog, I’ll be able to expand by shrinking first.

You can still find some of my work at Good Citizen in Olde Towne Clinton, so if you’ve enjoyed picking up birthday cards or pins from there don’t fret! You’ll be able to continue finding those items at Good Citizen.



September’s Second Wind

Who else is excited about Fall? A few weeks ago the low temperatures began dropping despite the brutal high temperatures remaining during the day. The breeze shifted and carried a different smell, and now, leaves are beginning to fall along with the daily high temperatures. Fall has begun its work on Mississippi.

Fall has also begun its work on me. Suddenly walking outside is a treat and my calendar continues to fill with markets, events, and outings. Gretchin Rubin’s podcast  recently touched on the second wind that September can grant us, calling it “a second January.” I’m certainly feeling that rejuvenated rush to tackle projects and gather dropped habits.

A few things you, dear readers and customers, can expect to enjoy from Hard-Pressed Studio this Fall:

More market opportunities to pick up an original print in person!
I’ll set up at The Market 39211 October – December.
I’m waiting to hear confirmation about Handworks Market in November.
I’ll have tote bags and project bags available at the Oxford Fiber Festival in January.

New Prints and Products:
As always, new prints are in the works. For the latest on those follow me on Instagram (@hardpressedstudio).

What would you like to see Hard-Pressed Studio offer this holiday season?

Are you feeling a second wind? Let me know if you’re looking forward to Fall and what projects you’re working on now!

Stickers and Banners, oh my!

The party animals print series has been made into die cut style vinyl stickers! You can pick your favorite to adorn your laptop, pelican case, or journal in person at Good Citizen in Clinton, MS or by following this link: Stickers. 

Similar to enamel pins, I enjoy using stickers to show a bit of personality. I find myself using it similarly to washi tape in my planner and journals. Personal books I can make even more personal by including a custom sticker or a promotional sticker from an organization I support. In cafes I’ve noticed that laptops seem to have replaced car bumpers to display opinions, brand associations, and fandoms. Stickers are definitely not just for kids anymore.


Enjoy personalizing your home decor or want a fun way to entertain children and decorate for the party? Check out these banner kits: Cactus and Birthday.

Each kit comes with enough pieces and colorful twine to create a handsome 12 foot banner. All the pieces are based off of hand carved linoleum block prints, which lends the finished product a folk art feel.
Use colored pencils, markers, pastels, or perhaps even paint to add your own color scheme to the cupcakes, balloons, and cacti. Perhaps add some sprinkles or spines too!

Want More?

All of the stickers and banner kits are made in the studio, so if you want stickers of a different print or something completely custom, please contact me directly at to discuss details.


April Market and Class

Market Day

Spring has sprung and with it the activity of those who know that soon temperature and humidity shall rise to the point of making so much activity a chore. Such is how we take advantage of Spring in Mississippi. Things kick off with the Spring into Green Market in Clinton and its accompanying Caterpillar Parade Saturday April 14th.

Along with the wonderful prints and cards available at Good Citizen, I’ll be set up with a booth along with my fellow artist Kathryn White (@bluecanarykit) in the market. Come by and visit us!

Book Binding CLass April 21st.

Spend the afternoon learning to bind papers into books! We’ll cover two methods that bind and decorate. Imagine being able to make your own unique journal or sketch book. You’ll leave with two of your own handmade notebooks!
Follow this link to reserve your spot:

Location: Hard-Pressed Studio at Good Citizen
310 Jefferson St. Clinton, MS

Time: April 21st
1 PM – 4 PM

All materials provided along with water and coffee for refreshment. Age is limited to 12 years and older.



Saturday marks a full year since Good Citizen and Hard-Pressed Studio first opened shop on Jefferson Street in Clinton, MS. To celebrate, I’m throwing a craft party all day in the studio complete with stamps, markers, paper, and cup cakes.

Hope to see you Saturday!

Saturday March 10th
Craft Party! 
310 Jefferson Street Clinton, MS
10 AM – 4 PM

February and March Classes

February Class: Stamp Making

Classes begin February 24th with a Stamp Carving Class. Create your own custom stamp to use on paper for personalized note cards or use it on fabric to add a touch of whimsy to your home. Hand carved stamps are easy and fun to make and use for kids craft projects as well. What will you put your stamp on?

In the class we’ll go over some carving basics and you’ll get to create your design using a linoleum cutter with interchangeable blades and an easy cutting stamp material. You’ll have butcher paper to test it on and a couple of blank cards with matching envelopes to get a start on your own custom stationery.

For Ages 12 years and older due to the sharp carving tools.

Location: Hard-Pressed Studio in Good Citizen
310 Jefferson St. Clinton, MS
Time: 2 PM – 4 PM

Price: $40

Buy tickets for Stamp Carving Class


March Class: Woodblock Carving

Learn the basics of carving a design into wood for printing on paper or fabric. Woodblock carving produces not only a block for printing designs but also a piece of artwork in itself. You can use it to create artwork and designs on other materials or paint it and enjoy the block for its own qualities.

In the class we’ll cover basic techniques before you begin to carve your design . Birch plywood and basic carving tools will be provided, but if you have a set of wood carving tools feel free to bring them along. Once you carve your block we can do a test print or two on butcher paper.

For Ages 12 years and older due to the sharp carving tools.

Location: Hard-Pressed Studio in Good Citizen
310 Jefferson St. Clinton, MS

Time: 2 PM – 4 PM

Price: $100

Buy tickets for Wood Block Carving Workshop

Show Your Love

February quickly approaches and despite winter’s fierce cold, everyone’s feeling a little warmer on the inside thanks to love. Most of us no longer restrict Valentine’s Day to a celebration of romantic love, but instead make it a celebration of LOVE. Thanks to society’s embracing of the “Parks and Recreation” holiday for women’s friendships, Galentine’s Day, a portion of LOVE can be specifically celebrated along side the romantic love of Valentine’s Day. In a way it hearkens back to grade school days of giving ALL your classmates those little themed valentine cards. We got to show all of our friends and acquaintances our appreciation for them.

Ladies, celebrate your friendships. Male friends and partners are great, but they’ll never be able to commiserate about first day period cramps, bottomless stomach days, or the seemingly endless quest for great bras. Your women friends appreciate your small daily wins of getting to work looking professional, pretty, and being confident enough to take back the work conversation from the office interrupt-a-saurus. Friend-girl, you rock!

Happy Galentine’s Day!

Personality Through Style

You don’t need to be an archaeologist to appreciate how the things that we wear, use to decorate our house, and generally associate with help us convey our personality to others. Isn’t it funny how something designed and made by others can resonate so well with you? Then there are the items we accumulate to communicate to others like that book that always seems to be out on the coffee table when guests visit. Then there are items that truly make us feel connected to other people like a family heirloom.

Two items come to mind for myself: a unique side table that belonged to my maternal grandmother and a silver Celtic hound bracelet made by Michael Hayman a Louisiana craftsman. The table, part of my grandmother’s belongings as long as I can remember, helps me feel connected to her legacy and helps me remember a loving household in my past. The bracelet connects me to a skilled person and an old tradition of jewelry making that utilizes lost wax casting and Celtic motifs. It taps into my love of the long durée.

The way we craft our surroundings keeps us connected to others and our own history while also communicating parts of that history with those we meet. What items keep you feeling connected?

Happy New Year!

For most of us the beginning of the new year brings reflection on the outgoing year and hope for the new one. Hopefully you reflections contain happy memories of adventures and loved ones. Perhaps wonderful hosts and gift-givers filled your holiday season as well. Why not start the year with gratitude? Whether thanking someone for a thoughtful gift or a wonderful meal a handwritten thank-you note always delivers your gratitude right to their heart.

Particularly now that most of us read as much or more on our digital tablets as on paper a handwritten letter truly stands out as something special for the recipient. Don’t be daunted by writer’s block. A simple sentence stating your thankfulness for their kindness should get the ballpoint rolling.

Helping your kids create this generous habit? Make it a craft party! Help them make their own thank you cards as well as write the notes. Decorate blank card stock or take advantage of a DIY card kit like the cat themed kits in the shop.

What are you grateful for this January?