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Amy Graham Stigler’s Monograham Paper Boutique Celebrates 2 Year Anniversary!

We’re sending lots of happy birthday wishes to Monograham Paper & Gifts as the shop turns two today! Monograham is a carefully curated paper and gift boutique owned by Smock’s Creative Director, Amy Graham Stigler, and located in the heart of historic downtown Delafield, Wisconsin. The shop offers a lovely selection of stationery and letterpress cards, soaps, perfume, jewelry, books, frames, and more from many small independent businesses. Amy sources both local and national artisans to offer an inspired, eclectic mix of handcrafted goods. Here’s a peek inside Amy’s beautiful stationery boutique!

Letterpress card designer Amy Graham Stigler, creative director of Smock and owner of Monograham Paper, poses in her Delafield, WI paper boutique

Amy Graham Stigler, Creative Director of Smock, owns Monograham Paper & Gifts, a curated stationery & gift boutique in Delafield, WI

Check out the design studio of Smock's Creative Director, Amy Graham Stigler

Monograham Paper & Gifts is a stationery & gift shop in Delafield Wisconsin

Today we’re celebrating from afar, but we hear there’s a party going on in Delafield! Here are a few photos from last year’s celebration — doesn’t the festive decor make you wish you were there!? If you’re in the area, be sure to stop by today for Monograham’s two year anniversary celebration!

Monograham Paper celebrates their 2 year anniversary today!

The 2011 Holiday Gift Guide from Smock

An assortment of indie gift ideas for the holidays, compiled by Smock's owner, Debbie, and Creative Director, Amy
Smock’s owner (Debbie Urbanski) and Creative Director (Amy Graham Stigler) put their heads together and came up with some really unique gifts for this year’s holiday gift guide. While some of the products are local to upstate New York (we love buying local!) everything is available online! Happy shopping!
  1. Fancy oils and flavorful vinegars: you’ll never need to buy bottled salad dressing again. Pick an oil + a vinegar and it’s the perfect gift. The vinegars are wild — a favorite combination is walnut oil + ginger spiked blackberry.
  2. Uncommon iphone cases: support indie artists. Choose your favorite artwork by a cool indie designer, then create your own unique iPhone case.
  3. Snack Taxi snack sacks: great for parents or kids. Get rid of your plastic bags for snacks! Wild and crazy patterns, made in the USA. Stella is partial to the gnomes.
  4. Toothbrushes: a years worth of toothbrushes. Made of bamboo, practical & witty – and perfect for the person who has everything.
  5. Walnut end grain cutting boards – made with local New York State wood – these cutting boards are simply beautiful. Makes cutting pretty and fun!
  6. Canning for a New Generation: get your beloveds hooked on canning with this cookbook (lower sugar, wild flavors!) and a big old case of mason jars.
  7. Lunastix Juggling Sticks: these are the perfect gift for active kids as they keep their hands and minds busy.  There are sticks for all sizes, ages and levels.  Made in Salt Lake City.
  8. Clementine Art Supplies: natural, non toxic, well designed. The natural gift set includes everything needed for your favorite young artist and comes in a tidy box.
  9. Mint owl coasters: Etsy has some of the coolest owl coasters (like the minty ones above)
  10. Hindu Holiday tea: lovely tea made right in brooklyn.  This is the perfect gift for anyone with exquisite taste, and because of their beautiful packaging no wrapping is required.  Amy’s favorite for the holidays is Bellocq’s Hindu Holiday herbal tea – a delicious fragrant caffeine-free Fairtrade chai.
  11. Dead Feminists Broadside: A beautiful, hand-pulled letterpress print, created with hand-lettered original typography and hand-drawn illustrations and patterns (in fact, everything was done by hand, the hard way!). This particular broadside features Jane Mecom and her brother, Benjamin Franklin, but there are more available in the Dead Feminists Etsy shop.
  12. Felt kindle sleeve: make someone’s Kindle reading experience more pleasurable with this cozy sleeve!
  13. Liberty water bottles – made in the USA from recycled aluminum. They are works of art!


Mother’s Day Gift Guide

Looking for great ideas for mom this year? Our Creative Director, Amy Graham Stigler, is sharing her ideas for memorable Mother’s Day gifts that shine. What are you getting Mom this year? Check out our Mother’s Day cards and gifts to get inspired.

Deliver a basket of “breakfast in bed” – think scones, fresh coffee, fruit, the NY Times or a favorite magazine all on a cute tray.
{Photos by Honey & Jam.}

You can’t go wrong with fresh flowers that keep! Design and fill Mom’s own containers (or buy her one) with beautiful spring flowers and herbs – have a pro help out or (better yet) do it yourself!
{Photo from HGTV.}

Think luxury. A spa pedicure, massage or facial is always a well-loved treat.
{Photo from Marriott.}

For dads, offer to babysit. Take the kids out to the park or to see a movie so mom can have a few hours at home alone. Bonus: give mom a bottle of pretty-smelling bubble bath and a great novel or chick flick so she can fill her time at home relaxing.
{Photo via IMDB.}

Pay to get her car detailed, because a mom’s car is always filled with crumbs!
{Photo from Oh Happy Day.}

Buy her a private session with a yoga or pilates instructor.
{Photo from Conde Nast Traveller.}

Using a service like Blurb, create a photo book featuring fond memories from throughout the years.
{Photo by Lia Ballentine.}

Smock for I Back Jack

Every once in a while you hear a story that just sticks with you. Jack’s story is one of those. Smock’s Creative Director, Amy Graham Stigler, recently helped out an event for I Back Jack, an organization dedicated to the relentless pursuit of a cure for neuroblastoma, a high-risk from of cancer that occurs in infants and children. Jack, a good friend of Amy’s son Graham, is an eight year-old 2nd grader living in Hartland, Wisconsin. Jack and his twin sister Annie were happy, healthy children until Jack was diagnosed with Stage IV, high-risk neuroblastoma in September 2005. He successfully battled through treatments that included high-dose chemotherapy, surgery, radiation, and immunotherapy, and by the following summer was effectively on the road back to a “normal” life.

Unfortunately, as most high-risk neuroblastoma patients do, Jack relapsed in May 2007. Chemotherapy and radiation once again returned Jack to stable health but despite a variety of treatment protocols aimed at keeping his disease in remission, routine scans confirmed a second relapse in December 2008 forcing Jack to continue his battle. Jack suffered subsequent relapses in October 2009 and January 2010 and remains in treatment today. The relentless pursuit for a cure leads Jack and the I Back Jack Foundation to back research, build hope and beat cancer.

At the latest I Back  Jack event, Amy helped with the handcrafted decor, including cute paper flags and strings of bunting made using our eco gift wrap in our Julep pattern. She also donated a big box of Smock paper goods and we sent along a bunch of our new jotter notebooks, which were used as a fundraiser. To learn more about supporting I Back Jack, visit the I Back Jack website.

Smock Mom – Father’s Day Celebrations

In honor of Father’s Day I asked the dad of my children (aka my husband Zach) to share a quick list of his favorite things. Here it is…

The kids.


Running in the woods.

Hanging out with friends.

Belgian beer.
The view at dusk over the lake.

This basically reads as an itinerary of our Father’s Day weekend traditions. Friday night campfire with me and the kids and a Belgian beer (or two). Saturday morning trail run and hop in the kayak (with kids or solo — Dad’s choice). Saturday night boat ride with family and friends and a breathtaking view of the sun setting over the lake. Sunday morning includes breakfast in bed — juice, coffee, a piece of toast with jam, a flower from the garden, hand drawn cards and lots of hugs and ‘I love yous’ and ‘you’re the best dad EVERs’. The rest of the day is step and repeat: kids, run, kayak, beer…..dusk. We always bring some of the chaos into my dad’s life. And family being his favorite thing he can’t resist. And this year Zach’s dad is joining us so we will pull up an extra chair at the campfire and the kids will make some extra cards and toast.

Smock Mom – Spring

In celebration of spring and the upcoming Easter weekend, Smock’s creative director Amy Graham Stigler shares a few of her favorite things about spring with us today. We’re feeling completely inspired to start our spring cleaning and planting now. How about you?

Spring is my favorite season (when it cooperates) so its hard to narrow the field of things I love best. So here are a few things: I LOVE the light and early blooms and freshness of the air. I LOVE that I can run outside without worrying about ice and snow and frigid temps. I LOVE that the markets resume (flea and farmers). I LOVE that my kids are either on a bike or in a tree. I LOVE our magnolia and apple trees that absolutely explode with flowers and fragrance.

For Easter, we always start with an Easter egg hunt. The kids each get a basket with a few goodies and then go searching for sweets and eggs, which we dyed the night before. If weather permits the hunt continues outside. And we always do brunch with the Easter bunnies that the kids still adore – even though they are ‘on to them’.

We start to reclaim our yard and prepare our vegetable and herb garden. We start frequenting the farmer’s markets for herbs and flowers to plant and early edibles. We start our weekend family hikes on the many trails in our area. And my husband and I try to fit in a ‘date trail run’ at least once a week.

Casual dinner parties with friends and their kids is our favorite way to entertain so in the spring we just tweak the menu and decor to fit the season. The vases are filled with tulips and daffodils and other happy spring blooms, the menu gets a bit lighter, such as a seasonal soup and a salad, and we always hope that some portion of the evening can be spent outdoors. Of course, decorating cupcakes or sugar cookies with pastel candies is always a sweet way to end the evening.

Open Studio with Amy Graham Stigler

After giving you a sneak peek into the studio space of our designer, Amy Graham Stigler, we wanted to share some photos of the open studio party she recently hosted for lucky Smock fans in Wisconsin. First up, no party is complete without gorgeous letterpress invitations. Amy shares, “The color of my studio logo (Monograham) determined the mango and seamist color combination. I needed to incorporate a fair amount of information so I wanted to keep things simple and sweet.  The striped liner really pulled everything together and gave it a bit of a French patisserie feel, which I love and matched the evening’s menu of small pastries, cookies and candies.”

Custom Letterpress Invitations for Monograham Open Studio Event

Custom Letterpress Invitations for Monograham Open Studio Event

Custom Letterpress Invitations for Monograham Open Studio Event

Next, you’ve got to set the stage, in this case by lining the shelves with pretty examples of custom Smock letterpress wedding invitations and stationery and showing off our collection of letterpress holiday cards. And don’t forget the sweets and treats for all your guests! Amy says, “I love a good party and I actually really (really) enjoy all the fussing beforehand.  But the highlight is sharing an evening with friends…new and old.”

Smock Studio Party with Amy Graham Stigler

Smock Studio Party with Amy Graham Stigler

Smock Studio Party with Amy Graham Stigler

Then, invite your friends and have a ball. Amy’s favorite tip for entertaining a crowd – “Keep things simple. I always edit the menu as I would rather do a few things and do them well than fill a table with odds and ends. I also like to choose a ‘house’ (or in this case ‘studio’) cocktail and then offer a non-alcoholic alternative. Less is often more.”

Smock Studio Party with Amy Graham Stigler

Smock Studio Party with Amy Graham Stigler

Smock Studio Party with Amy Graham Stigler

Ok, so we’re officially dreaming up any excuse we can think of to throw a party. How about you?

Studio Tour with Amy Graham Stigler

Smock’s creative director, Amy Graham Stigler, recently hosted a really fun open studio event at her studio, Monograham, in Wisconsin. We’ll be sharing the beautiful custom Smock letterpress invitations Amy designed for her event and some photos from the event itself later in the week, but first a little studio tour seems in order. This is the space where the magic happens as Amy creates designs for Smock and on occasion has the opportunity to entertain guests at one of her fabulous parties. Amy’s space is so lovely it seemed fitting to give it a blog post all its own.

Smock Studio Party with Amy Graham Stigler

Smock Studio Party with Amy Graham Stigler

Smock Studio Party with Amy Graham Stigler

Amy shares, “My studio is the second story of a 19th century home with perfectly-scaled detailing. I wanted to keep things light and clean and simple since I knew it would be filled with lots of product. The walls are my favorite color, a watery blue-green, and the furniture is a mix of IKEA and flea-market finds. Most my accessories are vintage and functional (holding samples, office supplies, etc.)”

gift-wrapSmock Studio Party with Amy Graham Stigler

Smock Studio Party with Amy Graham Stigler

Smock Studio Party with Amy Graham Stigler

Check back for more to come from Amy’s open studio later in the week…

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