batch no. 19

produced in jacksonville, florida

creation date – april 2018

artist – johanna lawson

technique – hand stamped with coffee and watercolor


“but first, coffee”

IMG_0969To read about the more recent origin and use of this common phrase, check out this article – “What’s In A Meme? The Uncanny Journey Of “But First, Coffee”.

small batch cards would not exist without the assistance of coffee. For real. Being a mom and working full time is hard work. Sometimes, okay most of the time, coffee gets me motivated and focused. So, it is about time I give credit where credit is due. Coffee, this batch is for you!

Erm… uh… well, actually it also had a little bit to do with the fact that I was invited to set up shop – a pop up – for the grand opening of a new local coffee shop; Brass Tacks Coffee Co. has some delicious coffee, with a really fun and laid back atmosphere. Everyone was super welcoming. I order the iced coffee with Mexican mocha = yummmmm… 

The grand opening event was a blast, and the coffee stained and scented cards were a hit with the coffee crowd. Spending a night talking about coffee and art is a dream come true. Connecting with community members and making new friends, all while sharing my love and passion. It was my favorite (although I did really miss Juno too!).



When I started thinking about this batch, a friend suggested that I incorporate coffee rings – stamping the bottom of a coffee mug on paper. We then went on to talk about the idea of coffee rings on a newspaper/crossword puzzle. We had a little extra coffee in the pot, so I put it to good use. The key was to find the right mug. It needed to have a thick base that would leave a thick ring. Then I started stamping away on various pieces of white scrap paper – copy paper, cardstock, watercolor paper. I left it to dry.

When I returned the next morning, the results were obvious. I was going to have to use the watercolor paper to get the crisp coffee ring I was looking for. The copy paper rippled and the cardstock left blurry rings. 

(tip: I put a tiny bit of cream in the coffee. That seem to make for a more opaque ring)

watercolor experimentation
(top) cardstock v. (bottom) watercolor paper – see the difference?

After cutting 4 x 4 squares of watercolor paper, I laid them out like a grid and began stamping coffee rings all over trying to hit three sides of each square. Then, I picked each one up and moved it around to spread the color evenly, or sometimes unevenly, around the ring. I also used a heat tool to move the stain and dry the paper.


Once the paper was completely dry, I started stamping in the other watercolors. Working with one color at a time, I filled a plastic lid with water and put a few sprinkles of Colorburst watercolor powder. Use the lid to mix the paint with the water.

I laid the squares out like a grid again, however it was important to be focused on each square as you stamp, you don’t want to overpower the coffee ring. It should be the star.


Using the heat tool and same technique as above, I dried the rings in between each color. However, sometimes I did not dry the rings completely and they mixed with other colors and it looked great. Some beautiful colors really developed.

When the paper was dry, I started stamping with a circular stamp using gold (Delicata), green (Cracked Pistachio – Tim Holtz), and blue (Broken China – Tim Holtz) ink.


these cards aren’t quite scratch and sniff, but they are send and sniff 

❤ #sendlove



IMG_1020Like I stated above, these cards were a hit at the coffee shop opening, as well as the market! Surprising (though, not that surprising), many people purchased these as Mother’s Day cards, stating that their mother was the biggest coffee drinker they knew. Well, yeah. That sounds about right!

Five of the batch went to Brass Tacks Coffee Co. to use as prizes that they raffled off throughout the opening event. These special edition cards had “stay sharp,” the company’s tag line, on the front of each card, along with their grand opening date on the back.


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