Meet Kat: TAY HAM's Digital Collage Print-cess

Did you know Tay Ham cards started out as collages? YAH! In its infancy, Tay Ham was a bouncing bundle of curated images that were lovingly hand-snipped, glued, punned and delivered to family and friends on all sorts of occasions. It’s an art form that runs deep in our brand's bloodline and that can still be found smack dab on the Flipside of every one of our greetings. Today, we're happy to announce that our own sweet graphic design maven, Kathryn Cloniger-Kirk (aka KAT!), can add the title of Bonafide Collager Professionale to her growing list of artistic accoutrements.

Last week Kat debuted a series of digital collages on Society6 - an online gallery where artists can showcase and sell their work. Her creations are both sharp in design and whimsical in content, and explore an array of surrealist landscapes: a humpback whale breaching a sea of poppies, a runaway Ferris Wheel colliding with breaking surf, a sandy path on a fellow terrestrial planet. Each piece playfully examines color, shape and dimension, and emotes her wild, curious, nurturing, sensual, adventurous sense of spirit.

 

Wild Whale Wood Flower, print, Fred & Mina

 

Wave Wheel, print, Fred & Mina

 

Holiday, print, Fred & Mina 

 

Now, thanks to the magic of Society6, any of Kat's designs - under brand moniker Fred & Mina - can be transfigured into a plethora of objects including phone cases, coffee mugs, shower curtains, and classic prints. Possessing any of these items is like owning the very best parts of Kat's soul - like a Horcrux, but used for good. Further proof of this is presented below in a face-to-face interview with the artist herself. Enjoy!

 

JAY: What are you listening to right now?

 

KAT: Mandolin Orange. It’s like American Folk, it’s really politically driven. They’re out of Chapel Hill. It’s a guy/girl duo with a mandolin and guitar and a fiddle - they switch off instruments and it’s awesome.

 

J: What are you watching?

 

K: I just finished The Fall, Oh and I watched American Gothic - the first season of that. I like murder mysteries. And The Office! Every night before bed.

 

J: What’s the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?

 

K: I roll over and kiss Carson. (blush.) Something to do with Carson, I don’t know. (More blushing.)

 

J: Coffee or tea?

 

K: ULEWK! Neither. Diet Coke!

 

J: HA! for the record, I was just testing you. Now, cake or pie?

 

K: Mmm . . . pie.

 

J: What kind?

 

K: Apple. Or cheesecake, mmm. No, apple.

 

J: What’s your dream getaway?

 

K: Right now I’m really focused on Utah and the Four Corners, but I think if I had to live somewhere, it would be the Philippines - just like really jungle-y, but beach-y, simple, fruit everywhere, and hopefully they have some Wi-Fi so I can work.

 

J: M.A.S.H.?

 

K: House.

 

J: How did you get into graphic design?

 

K: I was an Art History major in college and I always wanted to do something creative - I thought I’d work in a gallery or curate or something like that. But then I ended up getting a couple of jobs on some film sets and I thought about getting into the art department somehow. Then I realized a lot of the things held in a frame, or on set - paper or posters - somebody had to design specific. That sounded like something I would like to do. If you’re not the art director, you don’t get to make decisions on what’s there, you just kind of plug-and-play, but if you’re the graphic designer, at least you’re getting to do something creative. So I decided to go to school for graphic design and start my own freelance business and see where it went. It hasn’t gone really far yet, but hopefully it will.

 

J: Well, you’re on Society6 now, so you’re getting there! Tell me about this new adventure.

 

K: The prints I create are extensions of what I’m learning to do in graphic design. Like, if I’ve learned something new that’s pertinent to email design here at Tay Ham, I’m like, “Oh, I can do something that I’d like to print out for me.” So that’s how they kind of got started.

 

J: Why Society6?

 

K: Because it’s the easiest. You upload your work. They do everything from printing to shipping. They print on mugs, t-shirts, whatever you want.

 

J: What’s the story behind your graphic design brand name, Fred & Mina?

 

K: Fred and Mina were my grandparents. I feel like they’re a big part of why I am who I am. My granddad died when I was around five. My grandmother and I were really close, and I love her and I think her name’s cool, and I think the name Fred’s cool. My grandmother’s name was Louise, and she wanted to be called "memaw" or something, and I couldn’t say it, so it was "Mina." My name is also very hard to say, so it’s not translatable if somebody saw it and they were trying to repeat back who I am or what I do. So I knew that I needed to come up with something that was easy to say, easy to remember.

 

J: What made you start collaging?

 

K: It’s like when I said I needed a creative outlet when I was working in film. I now have a creative outlet for my clients - they tell me what they want and I get to envision what will look best, but a lot of times I’m at their mercy, so this is completely my own.

 

J: What’s your favorite thing about graphic design/collaging?

 

K: I’m a really messy person. Fine lines are not something I’m very good at, which has always been a real struggle for me - to make things look perfect. So, I respond very well to graphic design because it’s not perfect, it’s whatever I really want it to be. My hair’s never going to be perfect, my nails will never be perfect, my eyebrows will always be crazy - and those are just aesthetic things. So I think why I like collaging because it doesn’t have to be perfect. It has its flaws, but they’re looked at as something nice instead of a flaw.

 

J: What’s your favorite piece? Why?

 

K: “Rapeseed Jump” is probably my favorite. I really like the look of those old photos - those old National Geographic images. "Rapeseed Jump" has just turned out so perfect to me. It’s just looks so wild - like if flowers were water. I also like taking baths with tons of flowers in there. If an ocean or a river could be any better, it would be covered in flowers. I love those spring days when it rains. I have this crape myrtle tree and I’ll park underneath the tree, because when I come out in the morning, my whole windshield will be covered in the white and pink crape myrtle flowers and it’s like - AHHH! - driving in flowers. It’s so neat, so I like that this piece makes me feel those things.

 

 

Rapeseed Jump, print, Fred & Mina

 

J: Any new projects in the works?

 

K: I have an idea I’m working on now for something after the election, like a “Death to the United States,” but after listening to Hillary’s concession speech and reflecting on all the negativity that’s out there right now, I want to focus on a more positive piece. You can’t fight darkness with darkness.  

 

Preach, print, Fred & Mina

 

J: Any advice for the up-and-coming collagers out there?

 

K: Oh my gosh, it’s so easy! You just have to think of things that make you happy. They don’t need to be sellable. I decided to do [Society6] because I wanted to see what would happen. Start cutting shit out of magazines. Just take images and play around with them. Start playing around with Photoshop. I don’t think I’m super qualified to give advice, but if you want to make collages, make collages! If you want to sing songs, sing songs!

 

J: Is there a Tay Ham Flipside digital collage you’d like to see happen?

 

K: A big chunky baby’s butt. That’s what I want.

 

 

View and BUY all of Kat's designs HERE

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44 Presidential Facts - CHECKED

Checked its records let's begin . . . 

WHOMP! HERE WE ARE less than a week away from electing the 45th president of these United States. From crotch throttles to emails (Emails, EMAILS!!), this has been the barfiest political year ever, and TBH, we've had about enough of it. That's why we decided to take a little break from the politics of new and hit up the old fogies that helped form our grand democracy, while doing a little fact checking of our own. Enjoy!

 

  

Tay Ham Composite. Image from Wikipedia

1. 

George Washington's teeth were made from walrus and elephant tusks - not wood.

 

Wikipedia

2.

John Adams was the first president to reside in the White House.

 

Wikipedia

3.

Thomas Jefferson tried to reconstruct the skeleton of a mastodon inside the White House.

 

Wikipedia

4.

James Madison was Princeton University's first grad student.

 

5.

James Monroe was a great supporter of the colonization of Liberia, so they named their capital city after him.

 

 

Mashable composite. Images via Wikipedia; Flickr, Robert Couse-Baker; Flickr, Thomas & Dianne Jones

6.

John Quincy Adams began every day with a dip in the Potomac - in the nude.

 

Tay Ham composite. Painting: "General Andrew Jackson" by James-Bailey

7.

Andrew Jackson was the first president to ride a train.

 

Tay Ham composite. Image from Wikipedia

8.

Martin Van Buren made “OK” a thing. Van Buren's nickname was "Old Kinderhook" because he was raised in Kinderhook, N.Y. One theory suggests that "OK Clubs" were created in support of his campaign. 

Source: NPR

 

9.

William Henry Harrison was the first president to die in office. He caugh pneumonia after disregarding his coat at his inauguration. He lasted 32 days in office.

 

Wikipedia

10.

John Tyler had 15 younguns - the most of any president. 

  

Wikipedia

11.

James K. Polk was America's first "Dark Horse" candidate after his surprise victory in 1845 victory. He also promised to only serve one term and did just that.

 

Mashable composite. Images via Flickr, dbking; Flickr, garlandcannon; Flickr, Bev Sykes

12.

Zachary Taylor died from "debilitating diarrhea" after enjoying a delicious glass of milk and cherries that was contaminated with bacteria.

 

Wikipedia

13.

Millard Fillmore didn't have a vice president (neither did Tyler, Johnson and Arthur).

 

Wikipedia

14.

Franklin Pierce didn't swear his oath on a bible - he affirmed it using a law book instead.

 

Tay Ham composite. Image from Wikipedia; clipart 

15.

James Buchanan never married, making him (to date) the only presidential bachelor.

 

Tay Ham composite. Image from White House Historic Association

16.

Abraham Lincoln allowed the family cat to eat meals at the White House dinner table.

 

Wikipedia

17.

Andrew Johnson made his own suits.

 

Tay Ham composite. Image from Wikipedia; clipart

18.

Ulysses S. Grant smoked at least 20 cigars a day. He died of throat cancer in 1885.

 

LikeSuccess.com

19.

Rutherford B. Hayes was the first president to use the telephone - it was installed by in the White House by Alexander Graham Bell himself. The telephone number was 1.

 

Wikipedia

20.

James Garfield was ambidextrous with an added bonus: he could write using both hands - one writing in Latin and the other writing in Greek - AT THE SAME TIME.

 

Wikipedia

21.

Chester A. Arthur owned 80 pairs of pants.

 

Wikipedia

22.

Grover Cleveland served two non-consecutive terms. He was both the 22nd and 24th president of the United States.

 

Tay Ham composite. Images from Wikipedia; iemoji.com

23.

Benjamin Harrison was the first president to have electricity in the White House, but was scared he would be electrocuted when he turned on the light switch.

 

Wikipedia

24. 

Grover the Muppet was not named after Grover Cleveland, whose real name was actually Stephen.

 

Mashable composite. Images via Wikipedia; Flickr, lisajewell

25.

William McKinley always wore a carnation on his lapel for good luck.

 

Wikipedia

26.

Theodore Roosevelt gave a 90 minute speech in Milwaukee after being SHOT IN THE CHEST.

 

Mashable composite. Images via Wikipedia; Flickr, quaziefoto

27.

William H. Taft's big taffy body really did get stuck in a bathtub once.

 

Wikipedia

28.

Woodrow Wilson's face is on the $100,000 bill.

 

Wikipedia

29.

Warren G. Harding once gambled away the White House china.  

 

Tay Ham composite. Images from Wikipedia; vaseline.co.za 

30.

Calvin Coolidge liked to have Vaseline slathered on his face every morning while he had breakfast in bed.

 

Tay Ham composite. Images from Wikipedia; WineSpectator.com

31.

Herbert Hoover had a dam AND a comet named after him. 

 

Wikipedia

32.

Theodore Roosevelt married his fifth cousin, Eleanor.

 

Wikipedia

33.

Harry S. Truman's middle name is actually just "S". His parent's couldn't make up their minds, so the S stands for his grandfathers' names - both began with the letter S.

 

NBC.com

34.

Dwight D. Eisenhower was the first president on color T.V.

 

dailymail.co.uk

35.

John F. Kennedy bought a shit ton of cuban cigars right before he signed the embargo against Cuba. 

 

Wikipedia

36.

Lyndon B. Johnson was known to regularly whip out his, uh, Johnson.

 

discoverhuman.com

37.

Richard Nixon established the EPA in 1970.

 

Will Rabbe

38.

Gerald Ford was a male model in his youth and once graced the cover of Cosmopolitan magazine. 

 

Mashable composite. Images via Flickr, Georgia Democrats; Flickr, Gerhard Uhlhorn

39. 

Jimmy Carter filed a report for a UFO sighting in 1973. He called it “the darndest thing I’ve ever seen.” 

Source: Mashable.com; History.com

 

reaganlibrary.archives.gov

40.

Ronald Reagan weened his cigarette addiction with jelly beans. His favorite flavor was licorice.

  

buzzfeed.com

41.

George H. W. Bush loves wearing silly socks.

 

FreakingNews.com

42.

Bill Clinton is a two-time Grammy winner (and they weren't for his saxy sax playing). 

 

Mashable composite. Images via Wikipedia; Flickr, Parker Knight

43.

George W. Bush was the captain of his high school cheerleading team.

 

Tay Ham composite. Images from Wikipedia; Warner Bros.; clipart

44.

Barack Obama has read all 7 Harry Potter novels.

 

 

Election day is November 8th! Don't forget to VOTE!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Creeps All Week (And Year-Long!!)

Judging from all the empty, wadded up candy corn bags lying around the office, Halloween is only a few days away. With our favorite confectionery celebration on final approach, we couldn't help but discuss the significant amount of creep-tastic cards we have in our collection. Each one recalls a special moment in our lives - a basement slumber party, a super intense book report, a failed love spell - and possesses the power to tap into the darker parts of our psyches.
These greetings also share the common theme of being unshackled from any particular holiday. Their alternative nature make them the perfect greetings for any event or unoccasion. So in the spirit of Halloween, and all of the wondrous days that follow, we present a handful of goodies that you can treat your sweets to any time of the year.
 

 HEY WEIRDO 

We had the young, rebellious, free-spirited youth in mind when we conjured up this card earlier in the year. It's a greeting for the outsiders, the weirdos, and the unconventional practitioners of life. Sure, there's a witchy overtone, but we don't see any sense in binding this hand-Crafted card to just one season. Ya feel?

 

TOGETHER FOREVER

Not only is this greeting the definition of creep-nasty, it's also a scary good wedding card substitute. Who would know better than a nice fucking model couple like the Maitlands?!

 

CLOCKWORK

 You can't deny that A Clockwork Orange's antihero, Alex DeLarge, is one freaky dude. Know what else is freaky? Birthdays. Besides, the classic Orange You Glad pun knows no bounds.

 

CALL ME

One of our favorite and most iconic ghostbusting scenes inspired this Valentine's Day card (*note the updated name patch) a handful of collections ago and he's still warming hearts today. It just ghosts to show you that even though love has its spectres, getting slimed is all part of the job.  

 

EXTRA EXTRA

This card has an extra special place in our conspiratorial hearts. It's a card for true partners, lovers and friends 'til the end. It's remained a current favorite among customers, and may soon see a resurgence with Bill and Hill's particular interest in UFOs and promise to finally put the truth out there when they abduct the White House again next month. 

 

'Til next time, creepies!

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On The Flipside

We put our thing down, flip it, and reverse it.

 

 

The TAY HAM design hasn't changed a lot since it's inception. The front, with it's crisp and colorful illustrations, creative one of a kind fonts, and dutifully crafted puns is obvi our headliner. The middle parts we leave blank so it can be filled with feels, doodles - or if you're a total baller - cold hard cash. And the back is free of clutter save for our signature ham logo and one final gag at the bottom to seal the deal. Those little sillies aren't just an afterthought, though. They're what we call the "Flipside", and each one has a story all its own.  

Featuring photos of friends and family, the Flipside is our special thing. It sets us apart from all other cards because we literally put ourselves into every greeting. Creepy right?! Shut up, you love it. 

In celebration of our most special thing, we would like to share our Flipside stories with you! Just make sure you savor this moment, k? It's not every day a whole hottie posse asks you to check out their cute butts ;)

 

SUZY

📍 UNI-WOW

This photo was one of many from a "photo shoot" with my dad when I was little! He got a disposable camera and told me to go dress up, so I raided my mom's closet and big brother's closet and mixed it all together to make some pretty stellar outfits for my modeling debut in the front yard. My favorite part of this outfit was the zebra print slap bracelet! 

 

JAY

📍 NO PROB!

If my pre-school memory serves me right, this photo was snapped after I had spent an entire afternoon chasing boys around the playground threatening to pinch them with my tiny claw paw. There may or may not have been a booger involved.

 

 

KAT

📍 BIG DAY

I guess I was around five or six and I was on a T-ball team called the Hornets that my neighbor's dad coached. I'm not sure if is what I looked like every time I hit a home run* or if I actually got stung by a hornet right as this photo was taken.

*Pretty sure I never hit a home run, I just made that part up.

 

TAYLOR

📍 EXTRA EXTRA

I had just fallen off of a stool.

 

JESS

📍 WAY TO GO, CHAMP

Oh my goodness, this was so long ago! I know it was little league and I was probably six or seven. They didn't have a separate girls league and I was one of the only girls playing. I was not great, but I was fast! I was also super jealous of the kids on the Scoops team. It was an ice cream parlor and they always got ice cream after the games.

 

MICHAEL

📍 OUT OF THIS WORLD

Above the clouds, through the deepest nebulas of space, lies a distant planet light years away. This bouncy, colorful planet is known as Spandexia. In the land of stretch fabric and neon colors, I am the Prince. But really, this is a costume I wore to a birthday once.

 

 

WANT TO BE FOREVER IMMORTALIZED AS A TAY HAM FLIPSIDE?!

Send us your silly, weird, old, embarrassing photos 👉  info@tayham.com

 

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It's Another TAY HAM Halloween Quiz!

WHAT UP, BOOS?!

 

 

Sooo, Halloween is a mere 18 days away and we're busy tying up loose ends: How many gallon jugs of fog machine juice are too many? Should we stick with Granny Smith or go full balls with Honeycrisp in the bobbing tank this year? WHO'S BRINGING THE ECTO COOLER?!

With such important minor details left to flesh out, it's a good thing we checked the most important item off our list first. You see, we take costumes pretty seriously around the TAY HAM HQ, and this year it was super tough to choose the right fit considering our growing collection of notable figures. We ended up with a mixed bag of oldies and goodies. From BOB to DOLLY, to BJORK and the most BLESSED, we look like a bunch of fun-sized goobers! But what about you? What's the Halloween 411, huh? Are you in betwixt costumes right now, or just plain haven't given it a ghost of a thought? Well, we can help! Take this fun quiz now and you're good to GOO!

 

 

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What's Making Us Happy - Deep Cuts Edition

The first cut is the deepest.

 I wish I could say that this thug crab gif is what's making us happy this week, but it's just a scratch on the surface. No, this week we're talking deep cuts. A deep cut is an artist's creation, most times little-known, that's admired by their truest fans. In music, a deep cut is a gem of a song, like a secret track, or a b-side, that's found later in an album. At Tay Ham, our rare gems take the form of cards. They might not be best sellers, and their subject matter might be a little off-the-wall, but their quirky nature has earned them a prized place in our greetings omnibus, and of course, deep down in our paper hearts.

Today we chose our favorites  - let us know what you think!

 

Suzy

I pick PRETTY PLEASE! It's sweet and simple, and I feel like you could customize the message to work lots of different ways! Pretty please come visit me! Pretty please love me forever! Pretty please stay wonderful!

 

 

Jess

I love the HOLY CRAP card because, first of all, poop is always funny. This card is good to send for any occasion that you're so excited for. I think it is one of the most clever drawings and it cracks me up every time.

 

 Taylor

I like FIND A PENNEThe original was made special for Ross' mom's birthday. She's 100% Italian and pasta is a staple in her life. I put a piece of uncooked penne in her envelope too. It dropped when she opened it and she had to pick it up. Birthday luck! Plus it's a funny pun.

 

Jay

To me, the best deep cut is I WILL ALWAYS BE THERE FOR YOU! Number one, the sentiment is one of the most supportive and nurturing in the whole collection. And number my favorite, the whole feeling is buttressed by a big ol grody cold sore! (It's funny because it's true!) Folks who give this greeting laugh hard and show love through sarcasm. More importantly, the folks that receive this card laugh harder, and usually at themselves. It's an important life skill.

 

 

Kat

I pick YOU ROCK because our sweetest coworker Suzy who loves stamps and Disney and all things sweet was concerned with who the scary man was on the front. We quickly explained to her that the man is THE MAN himself, Robert Plant best known as the lead singer and lyricist on Led Zeppelin. (AKA my husband in a past life.)
 
I would send this card to ANYONE THAT ROCKS . . . duh. Anyone that loves real music will appreciate this card - your dad, your mom, your grandparents if they're extra cool, and your friends. And if your friends don't know Robert Plant is (besides Suzy) . . . drop them.

 

 

Michael

Not only does everyone think I'm a PEST because I'm a loving and caring and attentive friend (who likes to poke you in the sides, and stick my fingers in your ears) - I see this card as a sweet little friendly "love you anyway" card.  Also the Flipside on the back + the illustration on the front might be one of the best combinations!
 
Maybe you're a great debater, or instigator of conversations, or you took the joke too far - this card has just the perfect amount of playfulness and love, to patch up any little tiff that went too far.  Err, not saying that happens when I play around, it's strictly just an example ;)


 

 

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