Thursday, November 20, 2014

Finally an update!

For weeks now I have been wanting to give you an update on the store. Thank you to everyone who has been following along on Facebook and Instagram - your enthusiasm has been so inspiring for us! 
It has been an amazing experience. When we came up with this crazy idea to buy a heritage building, move Cartolina into it, and open a retail store all at the same time - we had no idea how much work and how much fun we would have doing it. The support from locals and tourists has been overwhelming to say the least. Here are a few pictures - and I promise, now that we have the daily routine and the work schedule figured out, I'll add updates here on a regular basis.
More soon!
Fiona xo

This is a glimpse of our shiny new wholesale department.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Cartolina Retail - salvage day!

Years ago I posted here about an abandoned store in Greenwood - a town near here. I have been coveting the vintage store counters in that shop for so long! I contacted the lovely owner and, over the course of a few weeks, managed to convince her to part with them. So, off we went to Greenwood yesterday afternoon to pick up them up. It was so exciting to load the front counter on to the trailer and bring it back to the building. It took some wrestling to push it, on the dolly, down the sidewalk to the store, but we eventually got it there It's about 10ft long and has lots of cubbies on the reverse side. It's, well . . . . perfect for the store! 

Friday, May 2, 2014

Cartolina Retail - Demolition Day no.1 - a surprise!

Update: So today was day no.1 at the new building. We bought the building 2 months ago and have been waiting patiently(not) for the tenants to move out.  

There is a lot of work to do before we can move in - but it's mostly what Doug refers to as a 'dumpster gut'. We have to remove 100 years of bad renovations and take it back to the original floors and brick walls. 

Yesterday Doug and the contractor went through the building to assess the situation. They peeked behind the dropped ceiling and low and behold - there's the original pressed tin ceiling. In all it's glory - stretching from the front of the building to the back, complete with cornices and rosettes. It's in perfect condition. We had absolutely no idea it was there and we were literally lost for words when we saw it. I'm looking forward to posting lots of pictures here over the next few weeks. Stay tuned! Also follow us on Facebook for more frequent updates :-)

This is the tin ceiling as it looked in the Tremont Hotel back in 1897 (our building is the only remaining part of the old hotel)
Nice goat!

Friday, April 4, 2014

Photo shoot props.

Vintage paint by number painting are so fun for photo shoots. They're getting harder and harder to find in junk stores these days - we have a few but I'm always looking for them!

All of these Cartolina iPhone cases are available at

Friday, March 21, 2014

Spring Fling at Cartolina!

Let's celebrate the first weekend of spring with a Spring Fling at Cartolina! This weekend, if you order any iPhone case from we'll include a lovely selection of floral cards from our newest Curious Collection. That's a great deal for you, and a very pretty way to say hello to spring :)

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Cartolina - Movin' on up!

A new year and a new location for Cartolina!
We are so excited to announce that we are moving Cartolina wholesale operations into a new location - AND opening our very first retail store this spring in Nelson BC!

Cartolina wholesale has outgrown its current location and so, last year, we set to work trying to find the perfect space to move the entire operation into. A couple of months ago we noticed a great old heritage building for sale on Nelson's main street and after a lot of thought we decided to bite the bullet, buy the building and start planning for our new downtown Nelson HQ! The building was built in 1880, it used to be part of the Tremont Hotel. It's a lovely old brick building with lots of character - high ceilings, brick interior walls and wood floors. The front of the building has a fabulous vintage storefront - so, along with a great big, new wholesale department, we are delighted to be planning our first ever foray into the world of brick and mortar retail!

I can't wait to start documenting the transformation - the building has been home to a restaurant for many years and it will be fun to reveal and restore the old character. I will try to post regular updates on the progress. But, in the mean time, I need to start planning the store, oh yay! So, if you are familiar with the Cartolina style, and you think you might have a product that would compliment our vintage inspired designs, send me your wholesale information. Can't wait to hear from you! (email at

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

New from Cartolina!

We have absolutely loads of new product debuting this month at the shows in Atlanta, London and New York. And we are really excited to start selling all our pretty things in South America starting in March. So all those Brazilian fans we have will be able to buy Cartolina in their local stores - I'm so excited about that  :-)   Let me know if you'd like more info, wholesale catalogs etc.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

End grain block floor at the studio!

You may have seen this at Poppytalk yesterday. This is the new 'end grain block'  floor that we have in the workshop at the studio. Doug completed it this past weekend and I've been dying to share it with you. More details after the pictures!

As part of our ongoing project to update the Cartolina studio we decided that we needed a workshop. 
Doug built an addition onto the studio and decided to finish the floor using 'end grain block flooring'. It's actually a really old style of flooring that was commonly used on factory floors in the 19th century.

We had some leftover beam ends in the shed from a previous project - kiln dried fir- and he set to work, slicing them up into 3" x 7" blocks, about 3/4 inches thick. It took him quite a long time to slice up all the blocks and sand the edges. 
Once he had prepared 850 blocks he glued them to the plywood floor using a non water based, flexible flooring adhesive. 
It was back breaking work(so he tells me!) As soon as it was dry he applied a coat of Watco oil stain and 2 coats of oil based clear finish. The results are spectacular. It has the look of cobble stones but with a rustic and warm feel. And best of all, it only cost the price of the glue and the finish!

Monday, December 9, 2013


We have a few pretty gifts for the foodies in your life including this VINO! iPhone case and our cute Eatables/Drinkables notepads. Both available on our website at

Friday, December 6, 2013

New updated Cartolina app!

Did you update your Cartolina app this week? You may have noticed that we added 12 new Cartograms to the app which gives you a total of 57 ways to send something brief, but beautiful, to your friends and family! We also updated the icon and the splash page - since it's been 3 years since we first launched the Cartolina app!
If you haven't a clue what I'm talking about you can learn more about the Cartolina iPhone apps right here or you can simply go to iTunes and download it. 
Search 'Cartolina' on your app store app, on your phone, for the fastest and most direct download. And the best thing is, you can use the Cartograms over and over and all for one price of $1.99!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Cyber Monday at

Last chance for free shipping at today.
This includes all wholesale orders written before midnight tonight (now that's a good deal!)

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Free shipping all weekend long!

This weekend we want to do something special for our buyers. We're offering free shipping at AND we're also offering free shipping on ALL OUR WHOLESALE orders - because sales are not just for shoppers - they're for all the busy wholesale buyers who work hard all year round to bring you all the retail loveliness that you (and I) enjoy so much. We appreciate your business, and we want you to know it! 

So, if you're shopping on our website just enter the code BLACKFRIDAY at checkout - and if you are a wholesale buyer, please contact us or your rep - and take advantage of free shipping through Monday the 2nd. Thanks!

Friday, November 15, 2013

The buzz!

Things are buzzing around the studio at the moment. We've never been so busy - it's exciting - and we're extremely grateful. We have a nice surprise coming up for our wholesale buyers at the end of the month so if you're a Cartolina retailer stay tuned - we appreciate your business and we want you to know it :-)

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Stepping sideways

Tis the season for holiday gift guides and I'm excited that our iPhone cases have been chosen to appear in a few high profile ones coming up in the next few weeks.
I was asked by a couple of writers why we took the sideways leap into iPhone cases. It's a good question, here's what I said:

"Doug and I have had iPhones since the first week they launched - before they were even available in Canada. We hopped across the border and bought them in the US. A few years after that we became members of the Apple Developers Program and developed 3 pretty Cartolina iPhone apps which have been tremendously successful and we are very proud of them.

After launching the very first app, The Cartolina App, we were asked many times by users to consider designing iPhone cases. I thought it was an interesting idea but since I was sporting a very practical pink rubber case on my phone I wasn't exactly a fashionista in the iPhone case realm! But our users persisted and I started to take a serious look at what was available in good quality, stylish cases. 

I was really surprised that there were very few cases available on the market for the sophisticated buyer - unless they wanted fake diamond encrusted, plastic quilted, 'gold' plated, smiling skulls on their phones. There were some nice arty cases featuring illustrations from talented artists but they were very very specific.

Cartolina's cases fill a niche. Beautiful vintage imagery applied to a hard glossy surface is classic - it's like porcelain or enamel - every detail is enhanced by the mirror like shine. Our cases make your phone feel brand new with the tight fit and cool touch. The gorgeous images wrap right around the sides of your phone and smooth finish makes it super easy to slide the case in and out of your pocket or your purse.

We love paper products at Cartolina and are busy designing a whole new card collection right now, but iPhone cases are here to stay and, judging by the response, to our first collection of 31 cases we're here to stay too."

All our cases can be found at

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Ship ahoy!

We partnered with the New Bedford Whaling Museum in MA to produce this case. It actually feels like a cool piece of scrimshaw in your hand. Great gift for your ocean going friends this holiday season. Available right here on our website  :-)

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Shipping room table - revisited!

Update: We've been asked over and over again to post these plans for our shipping room table again. So here they are . . . don't forget to send us picture if you build one, we'd love to see yours!

The Table (and the DIY plans!):
When I started looking for the perfect shipping room table I was really surprised that the options I was looking for were just not available. So, Doug to the rescue - he designed and built this GREAT table for me using plumbers, cast iron pipes and fittings. It's 8ft long and has a heavy wood work surface. When Doug started to design the table we were surprised that there were no plans available online for a table like this.  I knew that, as soon as I revealed the table here, loads of you would have questions for him about the construction. 

So, Doug has put together the plans for the table and you can download them, for free, from here - 'Table Plans"

Our table is 35.5 inches high - which is great for a kitchen island or a work table. You can definitely shorten it for a dining room table. The pipes are all cut at the plumbers supply shop (you just need to take the plans into the shop with you and they cut and thread the pieces). The top is 8ft long and 32 inches wide - made from rough lumber from the lumber yard - sanded and varnished. You could also use reclaimed lumber for a wonderful vintage look! 

Friday, October 25, 2013

Gorgeous new cases ready for shipping!

Hello everyone! Well, we have uploaded all the new iPhone case designs to and we are so excited by all the orders that are streaming in. There are 16 new ones to choose from making a total of 32! This stunning bird design seems to be leading the pack - and second is the Factory design. Both great vintage choices. You can see them all here. Thanks!

Monday, October 21, 2013

New designs!

Another sneak peek of what's to come this week. This reminds me of Dangerous Liaisons!
For more new designs keep your eye's peeled here, on our iPhone case page.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

New product arriving this week!

Heads up! We have some very pretty new products arriving this week at Cartolina. Just in time for holiday gift giving! I'm sporting this iPhone case from our newest collection at the moment and I get SO MANY comments on it - very eye catching, I love it :-)

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Happy Birthday To Us - and a little something for you!

It's Cartolina's birthday today! To celebrate we're offering 20% off all online iPhone case orders - just for today. All you do is enter the code 'TAKE20OFF' at checkout and we'll take care of the rest. What are you waiting for?

Sunday, September 29, 2013

New at Cartolina - iPhone 5s cases are here.

Have you taken a look at Cartolina lately? We have so much new product and it's all for sale on our website. These pretty iPhone cases fit both iPhone 4/4s and 5/5s and sell for $34.95 We have lots of new designs debuting over the next 2 or 3 weeks including some great new designs for the men in your life! if you'd like any more information - including wholesale information - we sell to hundreds of shops around the world - just give me a shout at

Friday, September 6, 2013

Happy weekend everyone!

It's been 3 weeks since we launched the Cartolina iPhone case collection and it's been so much fun. For the first time in Cartolina history we completely sold out our entire inventory in less than 10 days. Fortunately everything is back in stock and available on our website again - phew (that was stressful!). Thank you to everyone who has ordered cases for their stores and to everyone who has purchased a case on our website - we are extremely grateful and touched by the overwhelmingly positive response. have a lovely weekend everyone!

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