Monthly Archives: July 2012

Baby on the Brain

So…it’s my due date today and I here I sit with Baby Brown on the brain. Luckily I’m feeling just fine, free of anxiety and have plenty of things left to cross out on my things-to-do-before-baby-arrives list. While I’m waiting for our little ‘cupcake’ to make his or her grand entrance to this side of the life I started thumbing through the new Baby Book. I noticed this beautiful Binth Baby Book forever ago at Pacifier in NE Mpls and thought it was the bees knees. So during one of their sales I couldn’t hold back and picked one up.

It’s the most lovely Baby Book I have ever seen, I have to say. Held in a keepsake box, it uses beautiful woodland illustrations to hold the memories from birth through the first three years. I can’t wait to get writing!!

If you or someone you know are expecting a bambino any time soon, there are many baby journals to select from.

Rag & Bone Bindery created this ribbon bound, Zinnia covered Baby’s First Book which includes pages to share how you select the baby’s name and expectations of the baby’s arrival.


Ruby Love Modern has created a modern twist on the Baby Book with over 150 different fabric covered albums and a handful of color schemes. A personalized treasure for your child to keep for years.


My mother always loved the Baby’s Journal she purchased from The Metropolitan Museum of Art for my younger brother. A classic style.



And leave it to Martha Stewart to make a simple suggestion (or not so simple) by creating DIY Book of Firsts to include Baby’s First and Memory Binder to hold the written materials from the first few months. Perfect for the crafty mommy-to-be.

All this baby journal talk pushed me to dig up my own baby book which my mother so wonderfully used over the years.

The yellow, silk cover has faded a bit over time and inherited a few stains here and there but what’s inside feels magical. It’s a time in my life which has been saved through my mother’s thoughtful writing.

And aside from the details of the birth day, hospital visitors, and the many “firsts,” the journal was a place to store all the other written material she held over the years.

Now as mother and co-parent, these are pages I hold tight. This is one of the possessions I hope to grab if ever I find myself racing out of the house holding a few irreplaceable material objects. Such is my appreciation I have for the importance my mother gave to documenting my early years. Thanks Mom!! Now, back to that baby arrival…


Stationery Nirvana Part II

Soon after I posted Stationery Nirvana Part I last month I realized there were still remnants floating out there, from my stationery fog. So, naturally, I had to make the post a two part series. If it wasn’t for that darn National Stationery Show to showcase loads and loads of fantastic vendors, I would have just let it go until next year (when I hope to be drooling over the cards in person!!). Enjoy…

One of my favorite vendors is Wild Ink Press out of Chico, CA. It’s a husband and wife team (which is maybe another reason why I’m drawn to these two) who create their cards with three antique letter press machines and a letter cutter. Oh, and they also farm rice on the side. No joke.

Buttercream on my Cupcake

Antique Pakistan Tile

 Tractor Birthday Invitations

I love a good card that keeps you on your toes, especially when it comes to having a child. Look no further than west coast based FareWell Paperie.

You Had a Baby

Fawnsberg is a sister team who began their love of writing mailing letters to and from summer camp (sistas from my own heart). This bloomed into a lovely illustration and calligraphy stationery line.

Lake George

Bridgette – Wildflower

The guys from oddball press out of Cleveland, OH have a bizarre sense of humor meant for that right mate. A bit of tongue in cheek never hurts.

How Long 


The clever cards from Sapling Press caught my eye immediately when featured on a bunch of blogs chatting about the stationery show.

Sunglasses and Stevie Wonder

 Cake & Presents (isn’t that what it’s all about? ha.)

Sapling happens to sell their products in a stationery boutique in Chicago called Greer, which I’d been hoping to visit my last few trips to the windy city. Last month I happened to be in town for a quick overnight (last hurrah with Nick) and with one hour to kill I made a dash in the pouring rain to check out this beautiful store located in Old Town. It was well worth the manic taxi ride. This place is a gold mine with one of the best collection of stationery goods I’ve ever seen. A few goodies I picked up…

Dear Fork (my inspiration from Sapling Press)

Carrot and Stick Press

Telephone Pad from Rifle Paper Co (for those of us, including myself. who still like to leave handwritten messages if a family member misses a call!)

Crazy about these Indigo Blossom, letterpress square note cards from Brookfield 2


Sending Thanks from Anemone Letterpress

After returning from Chicago I was on a hunt for more local stores with unique cards. My luck, I happened upon Motto, a new boutique in Uptown which, aside from lovely home decor and clothing, happens to sell a line of cards new to me. I spoke with one of the owners, Maria Walker, who loved the idea of starting off by supporting one independent stationery company and was intrigued by Blue Barn House. Couldn’t help but leave with these beauties.

Elephant Forget

Mimosa me!

Cactus & Lizard Note Card 

As a bonus to all you readers who have made it this far into the post (big thanks!), there is a Summer Sale going on through July 13th at R. Nichols. Just enter the discount code SUMMER and receive 30% off everything on their website. Good time to stock up on holiday greeting cards, gift notes and more.

So off you go my card loving writers. Imagine how pleasant it would be if you had a few of these featured cards on hand the next time you notice the postman just parked down the block and you have 2.5 mins to write out a meaningful note!!

Walker’s Open Field Hearts Post Office

For all you local Twin Citians, this just in from The Walker Art Center news desk regarding a kick-ass Open Field event next Thursday the 12th from 4-8 (you know where I’ll be if Baby Brown has not shown its face by then!!!).

Come rekindle your love for the post office and the physical act of letter writing with Jenni Undis from local letterpress studio Lunalux. We will explore the history of the post office, refresh our sense of mail etiquette, and utilize some nostalgic tools to create one-of-a-kind correspondence.  Special letter making and decorating supplies will be on hand for postal personalization.

Our History in Letters

Last Spring I surprised myself by suggesting to my book club we read First Family, Abigail & John Adams by Joseph J. Ellis. This was unusual for me. I tend to lean more towards fiction or more current nonfiction.  However, after my love of the HBO miniseries about this family, their story intrigued me. Mostly, I was taken by the remarkably preserved portrait of their shared lives in their personal correspondence, an exchange of more than 1,200 letters. Not only have these letters opened a window to their personal lives but it became a written record, revealing insights into America’s early years. I adored the book.

So as we celebrate the 4th of July, I give a big cheers to Abigail and John Adams. Thankfully these prolific writers were thoughtful enough to hold onto the letters which have provided an understanding and appreciation of our country’s past. And as one of the signers of The Declaration of Independence, John Adams’s handwriting left an indelible mark on this day in 1776.

Unless one of my children becomes the President or is the first person on Jupiter, I don’t see our saved family letters becoming part of our country’s history. That said, my hope is to hold tight to those correspondences by parents and grandparents, by Nick and me, and by and to our children. These letters will help us understand the highs and lows in different eras and will ensure the story of our family’s history will endure for years to come.

Here’s to our heritage and what makes us who we are. It all began with 56 signatures.