Perfectly Imperfect: Plantable Greeting Cards

Perfectly Imperfect: Plantable Greeting Cards

These seed cards were, well, a labor of love…and patience. Those that know me well, know that I’m a perfectionist. Now, that’s not a bad thing as long as I KNOW I’m a perfectionist and am able to navigate that quality (or weakness). I say weakness because it can be paralyzing if I can’t leave well enough alone.

Ok, enough psychology, back to the seed cards. I wanted to explore some new paper options and I thought what season is better to try out some handmade paper than spring! Especially some handmade paper with seeds embedded into them that GROW WHEN YOU PLANT THEM! For me that was a new concept, I know it’s not new to others. And my kids, they kept trying to steal my paper so they could try it out. (Don’t worry, I saved them the scraps and the mis-prints so we could start our garden this spring.)

The idea:

I wanted create a spring line of greeting cards. Not the Easter bunny, or eggs and chocolate, the kind that will work for the spring and summer season, and maybe even year round in some cases. So I decided to buy a box full of this beautiful handmade paper with Non-GMO seeds embedded into them. The paper is beautiful, the seeds will grow into wildflowers, herbs, or carrots. Yes, I said carrots (and the paper is even orange – cute!)

The design:

Simple messages, minimal design, let the paper be the star. And oh it was the “star”, and it was demanding, challenging, and a good stack is “in it’s trailer” right now taking a break (more on that soon.) The back of the card has the simple instructions on how to plant your paper, and of course, what will grow. Great, let’s order plates! I’m getting excited.

The challenge for the perfectionist:

There are a few challenges both mentally, and with the actual production. Most of the paper came with beautiful raw edges, but I had to cut them down to size. But to retain that raw edge I had to hand-tear each piece of paper. This is fun, and new for me! Cool, cool…. except, I hate how that piece tore….ugh, that piece isn’t perfect enough, and that piece has a funny corner, and … wait - STOP! These are beautifully organic handmade sheets of paper! See the beauty in the perfect imperfections of each card. Literally each piece is unique, and no two cards are alike. This also came into play as they were printing. A small seed would change how each piece printed, and that’s ok. In the end, I was able to celebrate each, or almost each piece that was printed. (Confession: I did throw some out that I just couldn’t handle. I’m not a PERFECT perfectionist. And they aren’t in the trash, they will be in my garden this spring.)

Production challenges:

On the flip side, the production challenges were a little more of a learning curve. Repeat after me, “seed paper will ruin your printing plates” (I’ll wait while you repeat that.) SO, you can do one of two things (I did both): Roll with it. I used an imperfect vintage font that is SUPPOSED to look rustic. So a little variance with the type was no biggie! I was able to print MOST of my cards using this method of coping. Yes coping – that’s what we as perfectionists do. The second option, which I also had to do, was to decide when the damage is too much and you need to order a new printing plate. (Oh yea, I used photopolymer printing plates by the way). So, I have a few more to print with the new plates that just arrived. In the end, I learned not to push the impression SO much and just give it a light impression. This did help, but wasn’t the fix to all the seed paper printing problems. OH! And for those who print using VINTAGE type, don’t use seed paper. Just don’t. Buy a replaceable printing plate and maybe order a backup, just in case.

What I learned:

Well, all of the above. But I also learned to celebrate the perfect imperfections of an organic design. They really are beautiful, each one. And I’ve even started to see some of the most imperfect ones as my favorites. Yes, I said it. It was definitely a lot more labor intensive that most of my work - but on the other hand, I don’t think I used my ruler once when printing. It was a visual alignment thing - if it looked good, that’s all that mattered.

Where to buy:

These cards are a limited edition, when they are gone, they are gone. I may reprint some of them, but not all. So, don’t miss out! You can purchase these plantable cards right here on my website!

Interested in wholesale? Visit my Faire Shop to grab these unique spring seed card.

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