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Margaretta K. Mitchell


Dear Friends,

Greetings for 2011 and (since it is February already) Happy Valentine’s day!

What a special time this is for me and my family ! A new generation has arrived in the person of grandchild Frederick Mitchell Dowling. Born to Julia Mitchell and Christopher Dowling on September 11, 2010, this charming baby is now a vigorous five month old who embraces life with an energy and curiosity that makes us all look at life with new eyes: a great way to start the New Year and certainly, a perfect Valentine!

For the birth announcement Julia was inspired to use the image of a ship after seeing a linoleum cut I made for a Columbus Day Party in 1962. (We celebrated everything in those days!) The miniature Spanish Galleon sails in waters drawn from the corner of a poster, “The Land of Make-Believe”, that hung in our upstairs hall when Julia was a child. The invitation was designed by her friend Thea Sizemore and printed at the Kavamore Press, which she and her husband, Patrick, own in Oakland.

Our family has always loved the quality of letterpress printing. We had an Albion Press that resided in our front hall: this machine is a “small” 19th Century platen press made of several tons of iron. Many keepsakes, invitations and wood engravings were printed for and with friends during those early years. (The Albion was the first purchase of our young married life and now resides as the exhibition press for Special Collections in the San Francisco Public Library as a tribute to my husband, Frederick, who died in 1996).

We greet his namesake with the poignant wish for a life that is full of love and laughter.

The photograph of Julia, Chris and Frederick is a digital image taken on December 11, 2010 on the occasion of his third month birthday. For the fans of FMD you can chart his progress at