Thursday, December 24, 2009

How candy canes came to be

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Perideau Designs interview

Bridgett from Perideau Designs was kind enough to interview us for her wonderful stationery/design blog. You can check out the Q and A here.

The Perideau Designs blog is a big source of creative inspiration for us, so we're honored that she chose to feature us. Thanks, Bridgett!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Bazaar Bizarre SF, more bodacious than bizarre

Last weekend we attended the Bazaar Bizarre craft fair in Golden Gate Park, which we've been wanting to check out for several years now. Even though this show is located less than a mile from OTF headquarters, it's always been held around Thanksgiving, conflicting with our annual pilgrimage to Toledo. But the show was a bit later this year, so we stopped by and were not disappointed. It gave us a chance to connect with our friends at The Frantic Meerkat and The Mincing Mockingbird, as well as Claudia Reyes of b Green design, whose awesome wood-panel trees are shown below. If you're in the SF area around Thanksgiving-time next year, we definitely recommend checking it out.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Mistletoe Madness

When you think of mistletoe, you probably think of sweet, heartwarming images like Mommy kissing Santa Claus. If only you knew where that mistletoe came from.

Our undercover cameras caught this mistletoe delivery van dropping off a shipment of the green stuff at our local hardware store. Apparently the mistletoe trade is run by an underground network of sketchy, modern-day pirates.

Smooching under the mistletoe will never be the same again.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

It’s the little things that count.

We here at Old Tom Foolery are suckers for the details. We love it when a person or company puts in that little extra effort to make something surprising out of something ordinary. It doesn’t have to be over-the-top or crazy. Sometimes a subtle piece of creativity is all it takes to break through the blah. We’re always trying to think of simple ways to do unexpectedly cool things for our customers, and we want to make an effort to notice when other people do it, too.

A few weeks ago, I ordered a CD online from an independent music distributor called CD Baby. After I made my payment, I got a confirmation email from the company. This easily could have been another boring piece of communication, but as you can see here, it wasn’t:

Somebody put some thought into this thing, and it shows. Not only did it make me chuckle when I least expected it, but it also made me want to write this post to tell people about CD Baby and how cool it is.

See, a little extra effort goes a long way. Kudos to the gang at CD Baby.

P.S. If you want to be instantly transported to a middle-of-nowhere dive bar with pedal-steel music twanging from a dusty old jukebox, buy this CD from Zoe Muth and The Lost High Rollers right now. Think Emmylou Harris, but with less creepy gray hair. Really, really good stuff.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

May we all live to be 100

OTF is taking a short break for the next week because we're headed to Toledo for our Grandma Clara's 100th birthday party. Grandma is still very much full of life and loves the following things more than anything else:

1) Her family
2) Playing solitaire on her computer
3) Playing bingo at her nursing home

Grandma pretty much cleans house every time she plays bingo. She treasures her bingo prizes, which she calls "gadgets." They line almost every shelf in her room. And since she knows we have a greeting card business, she's always giving us her latest gadgets and encouraging us to sell them along with our cards. So, in honor of her 100th birthday, we've set up a shop specifically for her winnings. It's called Grandma Clara's Bingo Bonanza!, and you can check it out here. Be sure to check back often, as every time we come back from Toledo, we'll probably have more gadgets to add to the shop.

We'd like to sign off this post with some pictures of Grandma Clara, and her signature sign-off, "Have fun!"

Grandma and Grandpa at their wedding

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Holiday cards! Get yer holiday cards!

It's that time of the year again. Get ready for envelope licking, hand cramps, and flipping through the trusty old address book. Old Tom Foolery is your source for both sarcastic and non-sarcastic holiday greetings this year. You can find our holiday Footnotes Collection cards here, available as individual cards or bargain boxed sets. And this year we're also offering some limited-edition, non-offensive cards on our Etsy shop. That's where we sell short-run goodies like seasonal items and custom letterpress cards. But we only have a few of these items in stock, so if you snooze, you just might looze!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

We're big in Europe

It's always exciting when we come across blog posts about our cards. Especially when they come from other parts of the world. Although we have no idea what these posts are saying, we can only hope they're not hating on us.

Can any of you cunning linguists out there help us decipher these?
(click images to enlarge)

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Log roller

Check out this unique interpretation of woodblock printing from artist Bryan Nash Gill. Such a simple, cool idea, and the results are amazing.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

A Q&A with OTF

Old Tom Foolery was recently featured on Letter Paper Flower, the fantastic new blog of floral designer Megan Dempsey. If you’re in the Bay Area, give Megan a ring the next time you need a fresh floral arrangement. And while you’re on her blog, check out her weekly feature “Flowers Inspired By…” where she creates arrangements based on readers’ submissions. A very cool idea.

Thanks, Megan, for taking the time to interview us.

Friday, October 30, 2009

And the winner is…

First of all, thanks again to everyone who entered our “Finish the Footnote” contest. So many of these lines would make great cards, but in the end, there could only be one winner. And so, without further ado, the lucky winner of $100 and greeting-card immortality is (drum roll, please)…

Dan Eveland with his spot-on, pop-culture-tastic entry:

Congratulations, Dan! While it was a difficult decision, this line just had all the right stuff. It’s funny, it’s quick, it’s timely, it’s original, and it’s giveable for all sorts of “Cheer up” occasions—from being laid off, to breaking up with your girlfriend or boyfriend, to not getting a job offer, to battling Swine Flu, you name it. Whether you’re a Republican, a Democrat, an Independent, or an Indifferent, this card still works. The bottom line is that a good “Cheer up” card needs to make the recipient chuckle and forget their woes—if only for a split-second—and Dan’s line does just that.

We couldn’t close this contest without giving props to some of our favorite honorable mentions. Some of these lines were oh-so-close to winning, and some were just so awesomely random that they deserved a wider audience. I wish we could afford to give Benjamins to everyone, but instead, you’ll have to settle for a free card from our online store. If your name is on the list below, just email us at with your mailing address and free card selection. It’s the least we can do.

Honorable Mention “Cheer up” entries:

Cheer up*
* Put your big girl panties on and deal with it.
  - Fiona Jeffries

Cheer up.*
*Newborns are supposed to look like that.
  - Robert Mahar, Mahar Dry Goods

Cheer up.*
*Go to the Chinese buffet and order Pepsi.
  - Ali McCormack

Cheer Up*
*McDonald's is always hiring.
  - Jessica Morrison

Cheer up*
*Or shut up.
  - Katy Jamison

Cheer up*
*Or I’ll punch you in the nuts.
  - Nikki Lott, Badder Homes & Gardens

Cheer Up*
*There will be other, once-in-a-lifetime opportunities.
  - Jasmine So

Cheer up.*

*You could be a quadriplegic midget under house arrest for molesting adolescent helper monkeys.
  - Michael Grozik

Cheer up*
  - Robert Kastigar


Honorable Mention “Cheers” entries:

*To what again?
  - Rich Garbarino

*Creating a Harmless Environment to Enjoy Responsible Snorkeling.
  - Estelle VanderHeide

*Why can’t those goddamn British just say goodbye?
  - Erin Rosenberg, Paper & Grace

*Let’s raise our glasses…and lower our standards.
  - Kristyn Davidson & Becky Oliver, Olivers Twist

*And thank you for this excuse to get plastered.
  - Kristen Gough

*I’ll drink to anything but I’m sure you did something marvelous.
  - Liz Macpherson & Ami Murphy, Mac & Murphy

Thanks for playing, everyone! We had a blast!

Old Tom Foolery's Sale of the Century

Purchase any three cards or three boxed sets from our online store and we’ll give you a fourth style for free. Just let us know which additional style or boxed set you’d like by writing it in the "message to buyer" section on the PayPal checkout page. Sale ends December 15th, 2009. Go nuts!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Actual hate mail, Volume 1

We realize our cards aren’t for everybody (in fact, that’s kinda the point). Some people aren’t familiar with the concept of sarcasm, and from time to time these Debbie Downers feel the need to let us know about it. So, in this ongoing series called “Actual hate mail,” we’d like to share some of our favorite angry emails with you.

This one’s from a person who thinks we hate babies. Enjoy.

"Too bad kids are such a pain in the ass"? This particular card is insulting and self-centered. I assume the person who thought this up was the "perfect child"? Children are gifts from God. If you feel children are a "pain in the ass," then I hope you don't have any children. 

Thanks for the email, Anonymous Fun Person! And a good day to you, too!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Sunday, October 18, 2009

1,000 thank yous

Wow. We’re overwhelmed (in a good way) by all the great entries we received for our “Finish the Footnote” contest. You all are some funny people. We ended up with hundreds of submissions, and aside from a couple of lines that made us go “WTF?!”, almost all of them are serious contenders. We’ve definitely got our work cut out for us in the next week or so as we try to choose a winner.

Thanks to everyone who participated. Stay tuned as we announce the winner (and likely some runners-up) on October 30.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Contest reminder

Only one more day to submit your footnote entry for a chance to win $100. Entries will be accepted through October 15, 2009. More info on the contest here.

Here are the two writing prompts:

The winner will be announced right here on October 30th.
May the funniest person win.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

One funny effer: The bald guy from Bald Guy Greetings

If you’ve seen his cards, you know he’s funny. But the crazy thing about Ian Kalman of Bald Guy Greetings is that he’s that funny all the time. Everything he says. Everything he texts. Every status update he posts. Every minute of every day, he’s cracking jokes. Imagine a bald Rodney Dangerfield, but alive. (His business partner/illustrator extraordinaire Sean Farrell is no slouch either. The two of them together are a regular Abbott & Costello.)

Aside from being funny, though, they’re also genuinely nice guys. When we were starting up Old Tom Foolery, Ian was like a big brother to us, giving us helpful business advice that saved us a lot of frustrating trial and error.

He recently gave us an MTV Cribs-style tour of Bald Guy Greetings’ impressive new headquarters in San Francisco, and it was encouraging for a couple fellow cardmakers like us to see how well BGG is doing. They deserve all their success. Their shit is fun-ny.

But enough gushing (they’re our competitors, for chrissakes). Check ‘em out for yourself.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Holy shit, we’re in the Library of Congress.

Yep, you read that right. Old Tom Foolery greeting cards can now be found at the largest, most famous library in the world—the Library of Congress. Thanks to Meryl Hooker, our rockstar sales rep in Washington, D.C., our cards now sit in their rightful place among such legendary historical artifacts as the Gutenberg Bible and original manuscripts from George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Abraham Lincoln. (Well, technically, our cards are in the Library of Congress Gift Shop, but hell, that’s close enough for us.)

How cool is that?

Sunday, October 4, 2009

A truly remarkable mashup: Handerpants

Now this is a product that doesn’t disappoint. We recently picked up a pair of these puppies to give to our irony-loving artist friend Matt Cella for his birthday.

First of all, we love the fact that someone had the idea to make underpants for your hands. But even more impressive is the fact that they actually went ahead and made them. How many times do hilarious ideas die because either a) we talk ourselves out of them, or b) we lack the discipline to bring them to life? Kudos to the crazy geniuses at Archie McPhee who made Handerpants happen. So stupid, yet so awesome. Well done.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Studio on Fire

It’s no secret that we’re suckers for letterpress. In fact, it wasn’t even a question in our minds that our first line of cards would be letterpress printed. The rich, tactile experience of opening a letterpress card just can’t be beat.

And if the art of letterpress printing was an Olympic sport, Studio on Fire in Minneapolis would be the Michael Phelps. Nearly every time we see a photo of something so well-crafted and well-printed it makes us sick, we find out it was printed by Studio on Fire. While many designers look to SOF to print their work, they also are fantastic designers themselves, as is clearly evident on their website and blog.

We’d love to work with these guys one day.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Screech Owl Design

George and Jacqueline of Screech Owl Design are a renaissance couple if there ever was one. This talented duo exhibited next to us at the National Stationery Show in 2008, and we couldn’t have asked for better booth-neighbors. While we both had several opportunities to hear all about the greatest paper cutter in the world, we were also able to get to know these guys over the weeklong craziness that is the NSS. Both painters, George is also a fantastic furniture maker and Jacqueline is a whiz with the knitting needles. You can see examples of their handiwork in addition to their beautiful line of cards on their website.

Jacqueline is now also the Creative Director at Moomah, a family-oriented creative arts café in NYC. How do they have time to do it all? We’re not quite sure, but we think it might have something to do with the fact that they don’t own a TV.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Web gem: Can’t we all just get along?

The nuclear crisis in Iran. Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Homegrown terrorists plotting attacks. A bitter health care debate. The whole Jon and Kate fiasco.

We here at Old Tom Foolery say enough is enough. Let’s stop all this fighting. And who better to help us spread our message of peace than the late, great "Tattoo" from Fantasy Island? His uncanny ability to sing-speak the truth—combined with some killer special effects—makes this video dee shit, dee shit.

Thanks to Forrest Healy for pointing it out.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Other People's Pooches

We have a confession. One of us has been cheating on Old Tom Foolery. *Gasp!*

It’s true. Lauren has started a dog photography blog, Other People’s Pooches. Frustrated about not being able to own a dog (yet), she’s filling the void by taking pictures of other people’s dogs. If you’d like your dog to be featured on OPP, shoot us an email and we’ll do our best to set up a photo shoot.

Let's all go on a field trip.

Thanks to Smithsonian magazine, we can all get cultured this Saturday, September 26th. Museum Day 2009 lets you enjoy free admission to all kinds of top-notch museums across the U.S. of A. For a list of participating museums near you, click here.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Web gem: "Who's the best cat in the United States?"

This lady's not crazy or anything.

Via Everything is Terrible.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


Retailer Spotlight: Greenwich Letterpress

We’ve found that cool stores tend to be run by cool people. And that definitely holds true for sisters Beth and Amy Salvini, and their NYC shop, Greenwich Letterpress. This beautifully designed store is solidly stocked with fantastic letterpress cards, notebooks and gifts. They also print their own line of cards and luxurious invitations. Tucked away on picturesque Christopher Street in Greenwich Village, this store is a must see for anyone visiting or living in New York.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Contest reminder

Only three weeks left to submit your footnote entry for a chance to win $100 and have your words immortalized as part of The Footnotes Collection by Old Tom Foolery. On top of that, we’ll even send you a free half-dozen of the cards you authored. Entries will be accepted through October 15, 2009.

More info on the contest here.

Monday, September 21, 2009

A shoutout

If you’re a certified Card Dork™ like we are, then you probably already know about The Mincing Mockingbird and The Frantic Meerkat. We’ve posted about them before, but they deserve a little more electronic ink. Owned by Chicagoans-turned-Los Angelinos Matt Adrian (The Mincing Mockingbird) and Kim Bagwill (The Frantic Meerkat), these two companies are blowing up and gaining legions of fans on the Renegade Craft Fair circuit. And for good reason. Their work is funny and quirky and smart and beautiful, all at the same time.

We invited Matt and Kim over for a cheap dinner at OTF headquarters when they were in town for the SFCB Roadworks event last weekend. It’s always fun to talk to people who are in the same boat as we are, trying to make a living doing something they love. Can’t say enough good things about this talented duo. Now go buy stuff from them.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

SFCB Roadworks 2009

The San Francisco Center for the Book is a great place to learn about letterpress and take classes. This weekend was their annual Roadworks event, where huge prints are made by a steamroller driving over hand-carved linoleum blocks. It was a feast for the eyes.

If you're interested in purchasing one of the prints, they're going to be auctioned off at an event on October 3. More details here.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Retailer Spotlight: Perch

One of our favorite shops in San Francisco is tucked away in the cozy neighborhood of Glen Park, and it’s called Perch. The shop is owned by Zoel Fages, who has been a huge supporter of Old Tom Foolery, and we’re thrilled to have our cards in his store. Not only does Perch have a fantastic selection of high-quality of cards, but it’s also a great place to pick up candles, home goods, baby gifts and affordable original art.

And Perch isn’t the only reason to make the trip to Glen Park. The quaint little neighborhood has some fantastic restaurants and other cute shops, like the vintage furniture store across from Perch, Modern Past.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

In the news: SF Chronicle

We were pretty excited to have had an article written about us in the San Francisco Chronicle, even if they did call our cards “salty.” (I guess we’ll take that as a compliment.)

Sunday, September 6, 2009

We’re renegades

Last month, we participated in the Renegade Craft Fair at Fort Mason in San Francisco. We had a blast, and want to thank everyone who came by our booth to buy our cards or just to say hi. It was great to meet some of the crazies who think our cards are as funny as we do.

We also enjoyed meeting the people behind other lines that we admire, like Eva and Kirk of Sycamore Street Press, Mara and Anna of Dutch Door Press, Marina of Honeylux, and Hannah of Pie Bird Press.

We were especially psyched to hang out with our friends Matt and Kim, creators of The Mincing Mockingbird and The Frantic Meerkat, respectively. These guys were our booth-neighbors at the National Stationery Show this year, and we had a great time getting to know another pair of California cardmakers. They’re some of the nicest, coolest people you’ll ever meet.

Renegade was also a great place to indulge at bit and pick up some great stuff for ourselves. Joel walked away with this shirt from the fantastic Ohioans at Campfire. I snagged some cute silver jewelry from Anna at Handmade Whimsy. And we picked up a great print of a deer with ginormous antlers from illustrator Nate Duval.

Renegade Chicago is coming up, September 12-13, so if you can get to that, we definitely recommend checking it out. There will also be holiday Renegades coming up in Chicago and San Francisco. More information is up on the Renegade site.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...