Our February Image & Valentine's Day Cards

Our February Image & Valentine's Day Cards

Sofia, my sister, and partner in The Dolphin Studio (and crime) designed our February image.  If you are new around here, we are second generation ffrench family members running The Dolphin Studio.  (That is me on the left and Sofia on the right in the image above)

Sofia followed in our parents’ public school teaching footsteps.  She is a kindergarten teacher with 27 years of experience under her belt.  She is creative and funny and we have been the closest of sisters since the beginning of time.

Sofia’s happy place is at the beach, specifically in Eastham on Cape Cod..  that long arm shaped peninsula on the Massachusetts coast.   Our family has shared a cottage there since we were small so we get to spend time at the beach each year, wallowing around in

the salty sunshine.
The anchor and hearts image Sofia created for February 2024 was inspired by the Cape Cod vibe with a whimsical nod to sailors, pirates, tattoos, love and longing.  Her fun aesthetic and color choice speaks to countless hours soaking up sunshine on warm sandy beaches paired with evening strolls taking in the sights of Provincetown and all its colorful, over-the-top, creative expression.  

Now, if you know the two of us, Sofia and me, you will agree that Sofie is the more scheduled, organized and logical one, while my entrepreneurial spirit is full of dreamy ideas and limitless possibilities…. 

We balance each other well.

I’m sharing all of that with you because, as our childhood friend, Jonathan Trumbull, noticed, we made a mistake on our first print run of February this year!  

See Jonathon’s birthday is on February 18th and well, that first run did not have an 18!! 


Over here at The Dolphin Studio we have a process that we thought was pretty bulletproof.  See, each design is handled by several people before it gets to the point of pushing ink through the screen, making prints on paper.

February 2024 no 18
  • Of course the designer (in this case Sofia) comes up with a general idea that is shared with the rest of the family and print team.  
  • Creating artwork is next.  In this instance that was done in pencil and markers on paper.  
  • Original artwork is then scanned to create a digital file where color separations are made which is a pretty manual process where someone traces the edges of each design element in the image.
  • Traced design elements are organized in layers by color and separate transparencies are printed for each color.
  • Screens coated with photo-sensitive emulsion are ‘shot’ by layering a coated screen over a transparency and exposing the stack on a light table in our darkroom.
  • Color tests are printed so the artist has an opportunity to choose their best suited print colors
  • A print run is scheduled for each of the colors in the image….  
  • Printing commences with a stack of paper, wet ink on a screen, a squeegee and two people who swap between pulling and racking.

At The Dolphin Studio each person who handles a print/image looks at what they are making, checking for quality and errors….


Somehow, with all of our checks and balances the errant February print slipped through and out the door in several hundred calendars before we knew of our mistake.


We had printed 1500 February calendar pages before we became aware of the missing 18.  

Stop the PRESSES!  


We did just that, we stopped.

We stopped collating.

We stopped shipping.

We stopped packing, boxing and prepping.

We pulled the big beautiful stack of fresh February prints from our collating line and we recreated the image.

Sofia re-drew the artwork,

Johnny re-created color separations and re-printed transparencies.

Kerry re-shot screens.

Lily, removed Februarys from collated 2024 calendars and prepped shipments. 

I stayed calm and thought about how handmade mistakes add a level of human connection, vulnerability, and beauty to our daily lives 

Sofia had a heart attack (not really) but if you know her, you know that she is sensitive and feels terribly when something she has done creates havoc for anyone around her.  

We were super pleasantly surprised when we shared these February shenanigans with a few friends and loyal customers.  They WANTED one of the first run Februarys.  They saw, what we thought of as an error, as a sought after collector’s item.  

Ha!  We certainly do LOVE our customers!!

This is what we did.
We made lemonade! 

Sofia had the brilliant idea to use the February misprints to make what has turned into, our annual calendar-customer Valentine’s Day card.  

We overprinted the errant Februarys with sparkly gold lace.  (The lace image was created with an actual piece of handmade lace from my husband’s grandmother.)  The richly layered and GORGEOUS overprints were cut to fit a standard envelope and a fun and heartfelt message of appreciation was added.

Not only are gorgeous cards heading out to each person who purchased calendars this year, we have kept what we thought might be garbage from the landfill, possibly created a new product collection, and had a whole bunch of jijinx making something from trash that far surpassed our expectations. 
Kinda like that refreshing, thirst quenching delight on a hot summer day made from lemons, sugar and cold water….

So, if you are a calendar customer and reading this in late January 2024, keep your eyes on your mailbox.

Let us know in the comments if you love our overprint cards as much as I do.  We might just be making a whole collection of them with our strike prints and studio proofs….

If February 18th is a super special day for you, and you got a collector’s version of the 2024 Dolphin Studio calendar, let us know by sending us an email. We might just have an extra February 2024 with an 18 kicking around that we can send your way.

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We literally didn’t notice until today, Feb 18th! Thanks for the info & we treasure our Collector’s Edition. Granted, we use a different calendar for appointments, so no harm, no foul here. Love these calendars/ works of art! Lakin

Lakin Khan

We are all human. I have your calendar for joy – my phone calendar is my organiser. Will check with my daughter who has kept every back calendar for nearly 15yrs but think we might just like the humanity. Onwards and upwards. Tricia

patricia curtis

I am not interested in a collector’s item. I want the the calendar that is correct. May I please have one. This calendar is our kitchen and refer to it often. We almost missed appts and made scheduling errors. Please assist. Thank you.

geri hason

Hi – I was just trying to plan a trip and lo and behold I noticed the calendar was wrong! So I have a misprint but did not receive any card…please let me know if you are still sending cards.


Ha Ha! Just read your blog and guess what, I have a collector’s calendar missing February 18th. I probably would have noticed eventually since that is my sister and brother – in laws anniversary.
Love your calendars!

Eleanor Joos

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