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hello there.

Well, whaddya wanna know?  Here's the plain and simple truth:  My name is Rebekah Tennis and I love design.  I love paper, the way it feels, its weight and texture.  I love extra special touches on little things: homemade tags on gift-wrap, old stamps on an envelope, and twine on nearly everything.

My husband, business partner and all-around solid rock Matt would probably tell you that he likes tools - lots of 'em, finding the perfect way to do something, taking things apart, and precision in everything. 

So you might as well have guessed by now... we are the perfect match for an old letterpress studio. Together we farm rice and have three adorable and active boys ages 5 and under.  This keeps us fairly busy, but whenever we have a spare moment, we crank up our 102 year old Chandler and Price platen press and pull some prints, or whip out a card line on the Heidelberg. 

There's more, oh yes, there IS more - but that's what this blog is for.  Take a look around, get to know us, our great town of Chico, California and our beautiful presses.


daytrippin’: table mountain & the wildlife sanctuary

It’s Spring! Hip Hip Hooray! I hope you all had a fantastic weekend. We managed to pull off a weekend full of some of the best-of-the-best things that Chico has to offer for the season, and it was dee-lightful.

So delightful I thought I’d share it with you. Remember this day-trippin’ post from a couple years ago? And this one for fall weather? Well, here’s another low-key excursion to be had locally, which I’m sure you could replicate on some level in your own town.

It’s a wildflower chase. Driving somewhere just to see the flowers (just like chasing fall foliage, but for Spring)!

Chico’s best spot? Table Mountain.

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We don’t always catch it at the right time every year, but we try to drive out there and run around in the sunshine and see the pretty blooms. This year I packed a picnic lunch, which I highly recommend.

Table mountain is on the way to Oroville, out past Butte College, and you get to drive through the quaint town of Cherokee on your way up. If you like a slight little detour, you can also visit the ghost town of Oregon City and it’s historic schoolhouse and the nation’s “newest” covered bridge crossing the creek.

Once you reach the top of the hill, it looks like this:

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One lone oak tree. And plenty of daytrippers, if you judge by this parking lot:

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Strangely, it doesn’t feel crowded – everyone disperses well and there are kite flying/birders/picnickers spread out across the meadow.

I won’t overwhelm you with flowers, but they’re just charming:

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And in a little soccer and one exploratory hike…

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Plus a picnic lunch in the sun:

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With all these guys:

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And you have what shapes up to be a pretty good day. I just have to say this: aren’t my boys cute??

And, a selfie – to prove I was there, too. Apparently, I have focus issues.

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A little Klean Kanteen action (we are a klean family – one for each of us!):

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And enough time for a little sun nap:

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After our little lunch, we packed back up and headed home for kid naps. On the drive back, we stopped off at the Barry Kirshner Wildlife Foundation.

It’s a little wildlife sanctuary here in Butte County that cares for non-releasable, endangered and exotic live animals. Think: big cats with bone disease, alligators rescued from illegal handlers, blind and nutrionally-challenged animals, creatures that cannot be released back into the wild but need to be cared for and rehabilitated.

You can see these magnificent animals very up close and personal:

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Like most cats do in the afternoon, these big kitties were intent on napping. ;)

There are clipboards on each enclosure so you can read about that animal’s story:

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The tigers preferred the shade, but the lions seemed to like the sunny spots:

wildlife_sanctuary_3This Siberian tiger is blind, but amazingly large and beautiful.

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It’s very very low key – not an “exciting” zoo, but rather an inspiring little place where you can learn about these animals and their needs. Perfect for a short afternoon in the Spring.

I would not recommend visiting in the summer – it would be meltingly hot under the blazing sun!!

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And with that, we walked back to our car and headed home for nap-time…

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All in all an excellent little Saturday jaunt from Chico. If you haven’t checked it out, you should.

So, your turn to spill: favorite Spring traditions? Easy trips that are off the beaten path?

 

wild ink press in enjoy magazine.

Hello friends! Just wanted to share with you a little article/feature about Wild Ink Press in a local/regional circulation, Enjoy Magazine. We were honored to be interviewed for their March issue (See the spread: page 63-64).

Do you want me to be completely honest? I almost didn’t share it here because I was a leeetle embarrassed with how the layout ended up photoshopping some super-large crowns on Matt’s and my head (I know, I know, now you have to look). And the prints/printsess thing was a little “punny” for my taste. Vanity, vanity, vanity.

But then… I decided to get over myself. It’s a very sweet article, with fun photography and captures our story very well. We can just laugh at how silly Matt and I look and the fact that my arm is leaning on an invisible Heidelberg, and enjoy the tale of a little letterpress studio in a small town. Update: And as it turns out, in the online version of the article, the crowns have disappeared. :)

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Many thanks to Enjoy and Melissa Mendonca for deciding to share our story!

new work: easter cards.

Popping in with a little letterpress action here! We’ve been working on tons of new designs for roll-out this May, and reprinting lots and lots of cards that were out of stock, and oh… we hired another printer here at Wild Ink Press! So exciting. Yes, we are now a staff of six – Matt, me, and four awesome employees. But, that’s another post for another. And while we’re at it, I’m due to give you another studio tour too, so you can see the crazy mess place that is our card operation.

But, for today, just wanted to post these pretty little Easter cards. Not everyone wants to send a bunny or egg card… but if you want to send a Christian/religious Easter card, you are stuck with the over-the-top/uglies, mostly. Well, with that in mind, I drew this trio of happy sentiments…

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I bet you can recognize their lyrical origins (name those tunes!). Although the top one is my favorite congregational response, and not a hymn.

Anyways, here they are. Happy spring palette, whimsical calligraphy, simple sentiments:

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I shot them in the (very low) light of my dining room as all the winter storms coming through recently have made it dark, dark, dark. Finally I quit waiting around for sunshine and just decided to let photoshop be my lightener/friend. :)

And in case you want to see behind the scenes of a Wild Ink photoshoot…

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Kinda haphazard, huh? In a sort of spring/easter/sunshine way. Thanks to my parents for the lovely farm fresh eggs!

You can find the cards on our website, on etsy or here in Chico.

instagr.am { the month of february }

Welp. February is toast.

Although we’ve been getting happy rain lately, February was a mild, mild month overall (sorry to all you blizzard sufferers). In fact, this is what our downtown looked like on February 1st(!):

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{ Downtown trees in bloom. Earliest spring ever. }

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{ Remember last month? With the beer? I lied, apparently. We got our hands on a bottle of the maple stout we printed! }

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{ And we drank it! It was very good. A little too intense for me, but Matt loved it. }

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{ Valentine’s day oatmeal = raspberry hearts for the kiddos. }

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{ forsythia from the market. }

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{ Bocce ball on our back court. }

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{ Three boys on a bridge… }

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{ …and three star-wars fanatics. the littles mostly by association. }

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{ What “going red” looks like. Before, plus two lifts and some dye… }

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{ = this. It may not be forever, but I’m having fun with it now! Hey, if I have to cover greys anyway (I have a shocking number of them), I may as well have a good time! }

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{ Paella!! I made that. :) }

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{ and… picking colors for a new card series. }

That’s a wrap, folks! I hope to share some of the stationery work we’ve been doing… hopefully tomorrow!

a little cottage ranch: all the rest.

Wrapping up the last of my parent’s remodel here – I thought I would give you a brief peek at the rest of the house.

The living room was a small, low ceiling room with original wood floors, dingy white walls and some nice mid-century modern furniture (which wasn’t staying, as it belonged to previous owners). Oh, and no overhead lighting whatsoever.

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My parents painted it a pale yellow (are you sensing a theme here yet?) and bought some built-ins and a couch from ikea to keep it fresh and simple:

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The couch was originally white, but they ended up having to get a denim slipcover because they just couldn’t handle the dirt/dust any longer (living by orchards can be quite dusty). So we decided to roll with it, and assembled a ship/ocean gallery wall behind the sofa. The huge oil in the middle? They picked it up down the street at a yard sale for 20 bucks. That frame alone is worth the price of admission…

They plan to refinish the coffee table (also a garage sale find), and I am still trying to convince my dad to let me paint that ceiling fan white…

The paintings were collected over time – a watercolor from the Paris flea (we brought that back from our trip in 2009 – they watched Cam the whole trip), an oil from the Philippines, paintings by friends, etc.cottage_livingroom_after_4

The dresser my mom also picked up for a steal: I love the marble top (surprise surprise) and wood patina:

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The wing chairs are from Pier 1 (like this but in blue), their scale is small, which is good for a small room:

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Next up, the dining room! Here is the before, it was acting as a sort of den:

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And here is the after:

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Including a shot of it set up for thanksgiving dinner (20 people!):

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The fireplace is in the dining room:

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They simple painted the built-ins and removed the upper shelving:

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A little arranging by color:

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And mantle prettying:

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And, done!

Finally, I have some shots of the hall bathroom.

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Too small a room to easily capture in one shot.

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Old linoleum, old glass shower door, cultured marble.

To keep the costs down on this, they simply replaced the old vinyl with hexagon floor tile, replaced the mirror and fixtures and painted the vanity and walls.

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And in my opinion, a new toilet (or at least toilet seat!) is always very, very important.

That’s the last of my parent’s little cottage ranch makeover! Thanks for playing along! If you want to catch up, you can read more on the original inspiration, the front of the house, the amazing backyard, and the kitchen remodel.

Hope you’re having a great week!

 

valentine’s night in.

Happy Valentine’s day, friends! More importantly, happy Friday! Do you have big plans for the night/weekend?

Matt and I love to eschew traditional Valentine responsibilities (no big dinner out, no expectations of a romantic gift, simple fresh grower’s bunch of grocery store flowers, etc). We skip the pressure, the baby sitter $$$ (if your sitter is even available on a night like this), and the general fever. Instead, we put our kids to bed a bit early (after a fun kid dinner and movie) and cooks ourselves a royally awesome meal right at home. It’s crazy fun, and you can splurge on excellent ingredients, light some candles, put on jazz or mood music, and sink into a romantic night at home.

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Here is last year’s dinner that we made…

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Filet Mignon with herbed butter, roasted truffle potatoes, roasted broccoli, balsamic glaze.

Just to be geeky about it, I made a little movie from a video clip that Matt took last year. I’m embarrassed by my chubby (but clean) hands all through the video, but I’m showing you anyway!! It’s a fun way to show that special restaurant-style plating (stack that food up high! Include an herbed butter and a plating glaze!) can elevate a meal to the next level and make it super special.

Plus, I’m feeling sentimental and I love this song (sung by my favorite Maude Maggart):

Tonight’s menu? We picked up two small lobster tails from Trader Joes, and I’m planning to make a filet/lobster surf and turf with bearnaise sauce and creamed spinach.

Hope you have a delightful evening!

If you’re spending it alone, I hope you will enjoy a fun movie, good book and the most delicious take-out you can possibly imagine. Hugs and love all around!