Instagram Contest: Win a $25 Gift Certificate!

Today, we’re kicking off a really fun contest on Instagram. Get those phones ready, people! Just visit either Ecru location (Pearl District: 1215 NW 11th Ave., or Downtown: 518 SW Yamhill St.), take some creative snappies of the shops, products or your purchases, and post them to your Instagram feed. Of course, you’ll also need to tag us (@ecrumodernstationer) and/or use our hashtag (#ecrupaper) so we can see your entries.

The contest runs through October 15 and you can enter as many times as you like (one pic = one entry). For every entry, you’ll be added to the drawing for a $25 gift certificate.

Ready. Set. Snap!

Instagram contest Ecru Modern Stationer

Happy Birthday, Virgo!

Those born under the sign of Virgo (August 23 to Sept. 23 ) are said to be wise, witty and well spoken. They also have a tendency to be a wee bit of a perfectionist—just one of many reasons we love them, right? That’s why these greeting cards from Sapling Press are the perfect way to say happy birthday to the Virgos in your life: The cards are letterpressed perfection with messages designed for the quick-witted set. Yup, your Virgo friends will totally get it.

Sapling Press birthday cards at Ecru Modern StationerSapling Press birthday cards at Ecru Modern StationerSapling Press birthday cards at Ecru Modern StationerSapling Press birthday cards at Ecru Modern Stationer

Current Crush: Idlewild Co.

Idlewild Co. has been on our radar for a while now so it’s no surprise that this little brand is the object of our current crush. This delightfully darling paper goods company was born in Brooklyn but recently relocated to Vero Beach, Florida. Its artful prints, quirky cards and adorable stationery all begin with hand-painted designs by Kate Gastley, Idlewild’s Jane of all trades. We’re swooning over these cards—we think you’ll love them, too!

Cards by Idlewild Co. are available now at both our Pearl District (1215 NW 11th Ave.) and Downtown (518 SW Yamhill St.) locations.

Cards by Idlewild Co. at Ecru Modern Stationer

Cards by Idlewild Co. at Ecru Modern Stationer Cards by Idlewild Co. at Ecru Modern Stationer

Calories Don’t Count on Your Birthday


Cake-inspired birthday cards are a trend we endorse 100 percent. Who doesn’t love cake? These sugary paper confections by Emily McDowell, 1 Canoe 2, Yoshinig Creative and Little Low are sure to hit the spot of any sweet lover in your life.

1. let us celebrate (top left) by Emily McDowell 
2. another birthday (top right) by 1 Canoe 2
3. cake calories (bottom left) by Yoshinig Creative
4. cake wasted (bottom right) by Little Low


Artist of the Month: Creative Lab Press

Creative Lab Press at Ecru Modern Stationer

With a line of simply illustrated cards that are astute and sassy, Bri Davey’s NE Portland letterpress operation, dubbed Creative Lab Press, is 100 percent hands-on. Her hand-drawn designs often feature straightforward but playfully composed imagery accented by her impeccable calligraphy, which offers messages that range from touchingly thoughtful to cleverly cheeky (with a pinch of saucy irreverence where appropriate). After she’s devised a concept and it’s been written and illustrated, Bri makes the proper plates for Clara—her 1,700-pound, octogenarian Chandler & Price letterpress. She then cuts, prints and scores every card at her home studio under the watchful eye of her namesake. You see, her studio is not a laboratory—it’s no sterile environment or research facility: It’s an inky, and sometimes fuzzy, workplace. Just check the dogdanna-sporting logo—the studio is named for Bri’s “furry love,” Jackson, her giant chocolate lab.

Say Hello to Bri Davey (and Jackson!)

Creative Lab Press' Bri Davey and her chocolate lab, Jackson

Where are you from?

I was raised in small-town southwest Montana and have lived in Portland for seven years.

What’s your experience and education?

My education is in business (Montana State University) and nonprofit management (Portland State University); however, ever since I was a little girl, I’ve been drawing, creating and working with my hands. I started doing web and marketing design work about eight years ago for a company in Montana, and when I moved to Portland, I got turned on to letterpress. I quickly realized it was something I had to learn more about and found myself taking classes at local art schools. I’ve always wanted to have my own business and thus, Creative Lab Press was born. When I started the company in 2011, I was very lucky to have several friends getting married or having babies at the time. My first clients were friends or friends of friends that let me experiment with the craft and create something unique for them. I still do custom design work for weddings, holiday cards and birth announcements. This past spring, I launched a greeting card line at the National Stationery Show in New York City—debuting over 70 cards, gift tags, coasters and a calendar—all with my hand-drawn aesthetic.

How did you start Creative Lab Press?

I knew I would love letterpress since you are literally working with your hands through every step of the process. I took a few classes locally and then shortly after I found my press online in Portland and purchased it before I even had a place to put it. (It weighs nearly 2,000 pounds!) I rented a studio space shortly after and ran my first print in the summer of 2011.

Where do you create your cards? Do you have a dedicated studio or do you work from home?

All of my cards are created in my home studio in NE Portland. I have a great space where my letterpress is set up and I can get my hands dirty. For most of my cards, I initially illustrate the artwork by hand, then scan the art and have plates made for printing. I cut all the paper, print and score every card, and package each at my home office.

Creative Lab Press' studio


Creative Lab Press' tools of the trade


Creative Lab Press' tools of the trade

How does living in Portland and the Northwest inspire your designs?

I love taking advantage of all that the Pacific Northwest has to offer. I spend a lot of my downtime exploring the beautiful scenery of the beach, Gorge and mountains by hiking and skiing. I also enjoy tending to my garden and, in recent years, have spent windy days sailing out on the Columbia River.

I’ve enjoyed printing on wood veneer and have some die-cut cards that are in the shape of Oregon and Washington. Our lovely beaches, forests, mountains and iconic city images are often depicted on these cards with a hand-drawn style.

Where else do you get your ideas from?

A lot of my ideas come from just sitting with a sketchbook and drawing! Some of my best ideas have come from just a random doodle! Other ideas come from conversations with friends at a barbecue or over coffee with my husband. I like to keep my designs fun and a bit quirky—not something you see every day.

What artistic techniques and processes do you use?

The majority of my work starts first with hand-lettered calligraphy. I’ll draw out an entire card in my sketchbook and then scan it to create digital artwork on the computer. The digital files are then used to create polymer plates ready for letterpress printing. All of my cards are printed on my letterpress from 1931. They are individually fed into the press by hand and each color is a new press run. I also die-cut on my press with my most popular shapes being those from my new state-shaped collection.

Can you tell us the story behind your bingo card?

My husband and I have enjoyed playing bingo at fundraisers for the local nonprofit My Voice Music. My bingo greeting card was created to be able to be used as a “love” card or even for a close friend saying, “When I first met you, I yelled… BINGO!”

Creative Lab Press' bingo card

What’s your favorite part of your day?

Getting the press inked up and running that first print. Such immediate satisfaction!

How does Jackson figure into your process and the workday?

Jackson is so spoiled! He gets to hang out in the yard when it’s nice outside and rolls around in the grass and gnaws on a bone while I am printing. Tough life. It’s so great having him around during my work day—he definitely provides some stress relief and a good excuse to take a break and walk to the park.

How do you avoid creative ruts?

I generally like to get outside when I am fried and feel like I am in a rut. It’s a great way to get re-inspired and have some fun.

Tell us three things you love, need and can’t live without.

  1. My husband
  2. My dog
  3. Chocolate

Anyone else you’d like to give a shout out to?

Just a big THANK YOU to all my friends here in Portland and my family and friends back home for their amazing support. And especially to a handful of gals in PDX that have helped me endless times packaging cards and letting me bounce my crazy card ideas off of them. You know who you are!

Creative Lab Press greeting cards

Let’s Go Camping!

Let's go camping! Rachel Austin at Ecru Modern Stationer

Have you been camping this summer? If not, what are you waiting for?!?! Get out and enjoy Oregon. Heck, get out and enjoy these United States!

There’s really no better place to get your camp on than Oregon State Parks. Activities like biking, boating, fishing, hiking, horseback riding and birding are just a short jaunt away, and parks are packed with spots for picnics, history lessons and, of course, camping. There are special campsites for bikers and hikers, as well as folks equipped with tents and RVs. Not a card carrying member of REI? No worries. There are cabins and yurts available for rent. And yes, some are even okay for your pets.

If you’re a fan of outdoor adventure, it’s likely you’ll also dig these and other cards by Portland artist Rachel Austin. Her acrylic and oil paintings over old maps have been captured in colorful prints on natural linen paper printed with archival inks. The boxed set contains six unique notecards featuring sweet little campers and evoking a sense of travel. The cards are blank on the inside, making them the perfect medium to share your own adventures with friends near and far—or, the perfect gift for the camping enthusiast(s) in your life.

Let's go camping! Rachel Austin at Ecru Modern Stationer Let's go camping! Rachel Austin at Ecru Modern Stationer

Bridge Pedal

Bridge Pedal: Portland bridges and bike cards by Lark Press at Ecru Modern Stationer

We Portlanders can’t get enough of our bridges and bikes—we even have a wonderful event called Bridge Pedal that marries the two together. But, as everyone knows, Bridge Pedal is really a daily celebration. Whether we’re biking over the Steel, St. Johns or other local bridges, we’ve got a smile plastered across our face because the views of our city makes our heart skip a beat. Not a ride goes by that we don’t think that we’re lucky to live here, and that’s why these letterpressed cards by Lark Press have a special place in our heart.

Bike card by Lark Press at Ecru Modern Stationer

Happy Birthday, Leo!

happy birthday leo from ecru modern stationer
Those born under the sign of Leo (July 23 to August 22 ) are said to be confident, ambitious and generous. Although she or he is independent, Leo likes to be admired and appreciated by her or his audience. Audience? Yep, Leo likes attention. You’ll know Leo by his or her dramatic hijinks and look-at-me style. That’s why these greeting cards from Little Low, E Frances Paper, Idlewild Co. and The Social Type are the perfect means to flatter your way into Leo’s heart. After all, who doesn’t like being reminded just how awesome they truly are? Leo just likes it a little more than the rest of us.

happy birthday leo from ecru modern stationer

Card by The Social Type

happy birthday leo from ecru modern stationer

Card by E Frances Paper

happy birthday leo from ecru modern stationer

Card by Idlewild Co.

Happy birthday Leo from ecru modern stationer

Card by Little Low

It’s National Indie Retailers Week(end)


We love a good observance holiday (hot dog month, ice cream day, etc.), but none makes our heart beat faster than National Indie Retailers Week.

Shopping local is important year round, but this special week gives us the opportunity to reflect on why it’s so meaningful. First of all, shopping local isn’t about what it does for the retailer; it’s about what it does for YOU.

From our friends at Neighborhood Notes: “When you spend money at an independent, locally owned business in Portland, you’re making an investment in your community and building your own personal wealth due to something called the multiplier effect. In a nutshell: When you spend a dollar at a local business, .58 cents stays local whereas that same dollar spent at a non-local business sends .67 cents out of Portland.* Money that stays (and circulates) in Portland helps create a stronger tax base and that, in turn, helps improve our city and its neighborhoods—your neighborhood, your home.”

It’s really powerful to know that the ability to make a difference in Portland’s economy and livability is in our wallets. That’s within reach!

We’d like to encourage you to get out this weekend and shop locally at your fave Pearl District retailers and to expand that list by exploring independent businesses that are new to you.

Visit Ecru’s Indie Retail Neighbors

If we overlooked an indie retailer in the Pearl, please let us know (in the comments below) and we’ll add them to the list.

Happy shopping!

*From the 2011 report Going Local: Quantifying the Economic Impacts of Buying from Locally Owned Businesses in Portland, Maine

Sasquatch Sighting!

Sasquatch cards by Michele Maule and Egg Press

Cards: Michele Maule (left) and Egg Press (right)

Attention, Bigfoot trackers: The big fella has been spotted in Portland’s Pearl District! The urban setting is a departure from his usual forest environs, but rest assured, this is no hoax. After rocking out at The Gorge and brewing up a little trouble in Eugene, Stumptown is the perfect spot to chill out with a beer and burger.

Sasquatch has made appearances in everything from advertising to games to sports, and now his hairy mug is trending on greeting cards from makers like Orange Twist Cards, Little Low, Michele Maule and Egg Press. We’re a bit smitten with the guy, we must admit.

If you want to catch a glimpse of Sasquatch, you should hurry on over. This guy has a habit of disappearing quickly.

Sasquatch cards by Orange Twist Cards and Little Low

Cards: Orange Twist (left) and Little Low (right)