IMG_4421Last week, I had the pleasure of reuniting with an old friend — printer, Bill Cook of  Waldwick Printing. He and his father Bill Cook Sr. own this little gem of a print shop in the heart of Waldwick, New Jersey. It has been in business for over 50 years! This family owned business boasts of much experience and first hand knowledge of centuries old printing techniques as well embracing new technology. Included with the many older presses, it also houses a new digital press with capability to lay down white type.


When I first started dreaming of my venture into letterpress, I was working as a professional in a corporate environment. I often went on press runs across the country.  In these travels to check color, accuracy and print quality – I met many wonderful pressman. Most often I was also given a tour of the premises and the different operational machines they had running at the moment. In one of my visits to Chicago, I was introduced to a Letterpress. I was fascinated with the tactile quality of the print and paper. I love all things vintage and was more intrigued that the presses producing this beautiful art were built in the mid-1950s. It seemed such a labor of love and craftmanship that you don’t see quite as often in this world of slick, coated digital offerings.

First and foremost, I pride myself on being and artist and designer. I am blessed to work in a profession where I turn meaningful events into memorable keepsakes. The art and design are import in conveying style, beauty and emotion. However, equally as important is the vessel in which it is transcribed. A true Pressman is an artist and craftsman in his/her own right. It requires much skill, patience and experience.

When starting to form Little Dove Design, (formerly Chauhie) I researched the talents of Letterpress printers in the Tri-State metro area. I live and work in New Jersey and was delighted to find Waldwick Printing in my home state.  It is here that I first met Bill Cook Jr. He is and always has been a warm and friendly soul eager to share his first hand knoweledge of all things print. He is honestly one of the most genuine people I know and I am extremely proud and happy to know him. I had some small savings set aside and asked Waldwick Printing to print off some sample sets for me. I chose Bill not only for his expertise, but because he just came across as a “really good guy”.  To this day, that very first invitation set he printed for me is still my most sought after piece.


Bill Cook (Junior at left) and (Senior at right at a very handsome 80 years young!!!) #WaldwickPrinting

Recently, Bill invited me to share a day at the shop. It was extremely informative as both Bill Jr. and Senior offered up tips and printing techniques. Bill Junior first discussed some of the background involving the Heidelberg Windmill Letterpress before showing me the operations. It is interesting because it certainly seemed an extension of his being. What to me seemed a bit daunting, Bill made seem like fluid interactions — explaining the process in a relaxed and thoughtful manner. He is a great mentor!


Bill operating his Heidelberg Windmill Press

Thank you again Bill Cook and Waldwick Printing Co. It was a great time!



NSSThe year, I decided to take my daughter to the NSS! The National Stationery Show features all things PAPER!   Artists and buyers from around the world come to the Javits Center in NYC to view greeting cards, calendars, invitations, books, art supplies, art prints and gift wrap all under one roof. There are also printers and paper merchants showcasing their many talents and vast array of paper stocks.

2017 marks the first year that children under the age of 14 were allowed to purchase a ticket. All my children are creative, but one of my girls in particular seems to not let a day go by without coloring, painting, drawing or crafting. I wanted to take this opportunity to show her the many wonderfully gifted professionals doing exactly what she LOVES. This community shares a passion for creativity and a willingness to share their stories of trial and error, success and determination.

First time at the National Stationery Show NYC

First time at the National Stationery Show NYC

Another well known tradition at the NSS, is the paper hunt. Varied exhibitors devote time and artwork in the form of beautifully crafted printed pieces to collect through your journey at the show. This years theme was a passport filled with varied artwork currency. It was one of the highlights of Kensington’s day.


The beautifully crafted passport holder and some samples of currency. #NSS

We saw some amazing booths. Here is just a small sampling of the over 800 participants.  #parrotpress #fishkiss #pleasedtomeet #papersource


Show Exhibitors #NSS

Papersource put out an amazing showcase of paper crafting. I remember creating something similar during a summer semester at the Fashion Institute of Technology. This hit a home run for me because (of course it is covered in flowers) and it showcases its super trendy new Luxe Grey paper.Take a look at the amazing details below. I wonder how many hours this took to create?

Papersource Luxe Grey Dress #papersource

Papersource Luxe Grey Dress #papersource

We also made some amazing new friends! I want to say a big thank you to Lindsey at Warren Tales. Lindsey was kind enough to track us down during the show to return my daughters dusty sketchpad. She had been drawing all the new faces we had met so far, but got distracted by all the amazing work. Warren Tales had some very hip, funny and cool greeting cards on display.



We also chatted with Good JuJu Ink. They were super sweet and shared a bit about the industry and how they got started with both myself and Kensington. Did you know that Juliana was once a star of a television show? Yes, but her interest and passion for illustration lead her to where Good JuJu is today. Kensington loved this story as she too has to draw every day. This was one of the few kindred spirits we met. Thank you Juliana, Ryan and Marina for sharing your story and giving my daughter inspiration and the knowledge that you can make a career out of what feeds your soul. Ryan- you are mazing with children!!!



Speaking of kindred spirits… Kensington is obsessed with piggies. Currently, this is the subject of much of her artwork. Low and behold, we met Adrienne Pratt of Porkchopstick Studios. What luck! Someone else who shares on obsession with piggies. Kensington was in her glory! This was turning into the best day ever.





We also made our way over to Bonnie Marcus for some stylish fun! Bonnie was signing copies of her new 2018 calendar. Kensington got to share the spotlight with her here! We had so much fun and cannot thank everyone enough for taking the time to share their stories. It was such an inspiration to my little girl!

Bonnie Marcus



Even with all the rain, we ended on a very good note. Every year, after I walk the National Stationery Show, I head over to one of my favorite little places to eat. It is especially beautiful when the weather is nice and you can enjoy the open air seating.

There burgers are pretty awesome as is the salmon burger.



My little artist back at work. I even got into the action with a quick 1 minute sketch of the two us walking in the rain. SEE YOU NEXT YEAR National Stationery Show NSS!!!

sketch time

sketch time after National Stationery Show


Anne and Sven's Invitation

Anne and Sven’s Custom Wedding Invitation Set

Anne and Sven’s wedding was set to the gorgeous backdrop of Italy’s Lake Como. Anne had come to me requesting a very simple, yet elegant invitation suite that would set the stage for their nuptials.

Classic Elegance

Classic Elegance

Each invitation would feature the individual guest’s name and be digitally printed in gold ink on soft, cotton paper. During my initial consultation with Anne, a simple and clean double border around the invite was discussed. However, the more I learned about the setting and elements of Anne and Sven’s wedding, more ideas came to mind. Still, I wanted to be very mindful of  Anne and Sven’s vision of their day. (Simple, classic and beautiful)

Anne had told me that they had been thinking of adding some pearls to the table decor. This inspired me to add a stylish flourish with printed beadwork and a small hand applied pearl drop to each invitation. I assured Anne that the invitation sets would still be very elegant and not too fussy. I added a shimmery pearlescent envelope liner in a soft cream color to reflect the luster of pearl. It served as a perfect textural compliment to the invitation set. I then went ahead and sent Anne and Sven a sample for approval.

I was so so happy they loved the idea and thought it the perfect fit for their big event!

It is honestly one of my biggest pleasures to collaborate with my clients and create a unique stationery suite that truly captures their spirit and the essence of the wedding.

Anne was gracious enough to share some photos of her gorgeous wedding this past May. Thank you and congratulations to the lovely couple!!!

Anne & Sven-0610-2b


Anne and Sven during their Lake Como – Italy wedding

Finding the perfect color and match to fit the wedding invitation suite. Flat backed Swarovski Pearl Elements were applied by hand to each invitation. It is often the smallest details that add the hand crafted and truly personal touch to each invitation.

The small details

The small details. Hand applied pearl accents to each invitation.

Detail of Anne and Sven's invitation.

Detail of Anne and Sven’s invitation.

From Anne —

Monika created the perfect wedding invitations for our special day. She was quick in responding to my emails and was very friendly and professional in making sure I had the perfect design. My fiancé and I are more than pleased with the service and products we received from Little Dove Design. We are so happy that we will also ask Monika to make our special Thank You cards. Thank You Monika!!!!


safari 2I made these Safari themed barrettes for a child’s birthday party. They are relatively easy to make and quite fun!

I started with Metal Single Prong clips. These are available at beauty supply stores.  I then found some nice velvet ribbons approximately 1/4 inch wide. I proceeded to wrap these around the clip and secured it with glue that bonds well to both fabric and metal. The reason I chose velvet ribbon is because it adds a “no slip” factor and will not tear or break hair.

The mini safari animals may be purchased at craft supply stores. After allowing time to dry, I glued the safari animals into place.

The final addition was a playful backer card. I found this very cute wrapping paper in a zoo print, which matched the theme perfectly. I glued this onto sturdier yellow card stock and then cut out using a large craft punch. And Ta Da!! This is our finished product. It is a cute and fun idea for children as party favors or just a playful hair accessory.

Elephant Safari Clips

Elephant Safari Clips


Giraffe Safari clips

Kids Safari Party ideas and crafts.

Envelope Addressing

Envelope Addressing

Addressing Envelopes – Part 1

The correct way to address your wedding invitation envelopes is a question that pops up every once in a while. I will let you know the proper etiquette for printing both return and guest addresses on your wedding envelopes.

Customarily, the return address consists only of the street address. This is typically positioned on the back flap of the envelope. Quite different from normal post, the return address for wedding invitations is never positioned in the top left, front/face of the envelopes.

In the past, the return address was often blind embossed, without ink onto the back flap. The idea behind keeping the return address so subtle, was to give the recipient a bigger impression of the gorgeous invitation waiting inside the envelope. ( a larger “wow” factor). Today, the look can also be achieved using the letterpress technique without ink or printed digitally using tone on tone inks.

However, during these more modern times, the envelope has itself stepped into the spotlight quite a bit. Offerings include colored variations, wooden veneers, custom made monograms as well as beautiful designed liners to slip inside the envelope itself. They are fast becoming a beautiful accessory to the main event — the invitation.

The worry is no longer of taking away from the importance of the invitation, but instead, adding to it. Each item in a wedding stationery suite is thoughtfully considered. The effect is a beautifully curated and well thought out design that punctuates the beauty of the wedding day. It will set the tone for the event and add a sense of excitement and anticipation for your guests.

Stay tuned for Part 2 of this article. I will cover the proper etiquette of printing guest names and addresses.