Monthly Archives: October 2011

Never Too Early

We understand Halloween has yet to pass but why not start stocking up on fantastic deals for the holiday season before Jack Frost makes an appearance?

Last weekend we stopped into the men’s clothing store martinpatrick3 in downtown Minneapolis where I found a unique greeting card display.  One collection of cards which caught my eye was Jonathan Wright and Company. I checked them out online and adored their About Us statement. “Some say stationery has gone out of style, I beg to differ. In this world of increasingly rapid-fire and impersonal communications, receiving a tangible hand-writen note or inspired invitation has become even more meaningful. If fine social stationery has become a luxury, I say indulge.” Right on Jonathan.












I’m gaga over letterpress so the brown, fountain pen letterpress card punched me right in the gut.  I also adored the Christmas 1962 letterpress card which includes a vintage US Postage Stamp with the name and year of the stamp, along with a brief history on the back of the card. Perfect for any stamp junkies in the family.

But I digress. It’s your lucky day because this weekend the martinpatrick3 Stock Up for Winter Sale is going on with 20% off storewide. Run along now and make sure not to miss the beautiful, leather journal collection while you’re at it.

Speaking of sales, through Halloween night you can pick up your holiday photo cards at Paper Source for 25% off. Why not get a jump on the holidays and find the perfect card to send to your friends and family this season. That way come December you can actually watch It’s a Wonderful Life by the roaring fire and not be thinking about addressing all those holiday cards you need to mail. Ahhhh.

#2 Making a Come Back

Over the past few years the American Made trend is showing its face in many different arenas and one item that symbolizes this movement is the American made pencil.  Just when the last teenager has received his or her laptop or iphone, the longstanding #2 pencil is finding its way back into the old jean back pocket. Or so we hope.

One Saturday afternoon this past month Nick and I scooped up Oliver and headed to Northern Grade, a Pop Up Men’s Market held every September in NE, Mpls, where everything sold is American Made. The three of us had a blast sampling coffee from Intelligentsia, pancakes from Buckshot Sonny’s, and peeking at beautifully made shirts from Taylor Stitch. (Lucky for me, the local St.Paul store, BlackBlue, had one women’s item for sale,  a 1979 REI pumpkin colored windbreaker which fit perfectly. Score! )

Tellason, a jean vendor from San Francisco, was handing out #2 pencils made in San Francisco. Not only is it a free advertising  handout but it completely grooves with an all American product.  This is not the first time I was handed a #2 pencil while shopping. Last May in Los Angeles I stopped into Alternative Apparel and, once again, a #2 pencil was waiting for me at the check out. In this case the clothes are not American made but the general idea is  back-to-basics.


So the question is, are we actually using these pencils or do they sit in our glove compartment or junk drawer waiting for the biannual cleanup? Personally, it’s difficult to throw out pencils. For one, our kids become giddy when we take out the electric pencil sharpener. And two, we actually use pencils in our house quite a bit especially since there are now three writers at home. I feel content knowing there is a future for these leaded friends at our house.

I should mention, the one exception in tossing out a #2 is when Ollie decides to chew off the end eraser. Sorry, but that kind of kills it!

Anyone else out there notice the pencil trend or feel pangs of guilt when tossing out the unused #2?


Sweet Tooth


I adore this picture. Halloween has always been top on my list as far as holidays go. As well as the love of  candy. This is no surprise to my dentist, unfortunately. (Who doesn’t need candied orange slices and Twizzlers to motivate one’s self when headed to the library to study for finals? Dre?)

My memories of being crafty as a child are few and far between which is why I’m thrilled there’s a picture to capture such a moment. I love the orange and black spelling of Halloween. Who knew you can get creative in the spelling of a holiday? My children are already nutty about sweets so there is no big desire for me to place any urgency on the collection of candy. However, this season I’m committed to getting my crafty spirit on and see what comes out of the Brown Boys creative minds and hands. Having just begun Kindergarten, Emmett is looking for any excuse these days to pick up a pen or pencil and start writing…especially if he knows this Halloween treasure chest of a box will filled to the rim with sugar, sugar. Ha! Or rather, Boo!



I could tell you from across the room what the handwriting of my best friends looks like. I could identify my mom’s printing from the next town over. One friend writes in all caps, one uses no caps, and another looks like he’s still in 4th grade. It’s funny, but how these friends write is, more often than not, a good reflection of who they are as people. Go figure. Furthermore, I’d guess my friends would all recognize my writing from a mile away, too. When learning how to print I tended to treat the lines on the page more as suggestions and less as firm boundaries. To this day my writing seems to float around the imaginary lines pretty freely.


But fortunately or unfortunately, that free form doesn’t really matter. Who cares? I don’t write anything that people see and nobody holds me task to stay inside the lane. Too bad I say.

Our writing styles usually represent, at least directionally, who we are and it’s a loss that our kids, perhaps, won’t know what their friends’ writing looks like. I intend to make sure that my kids’ friends will have my kids’ writing nailed, floaty or not, from a mile away.