Monthly Archives: November 2012


Last week as Nick looked through our mail he questioned “Why are we receiving all of these postcards from strangers?” Ah ha, the postcard swap had begun. Had he forgotten a few weeks back finding me in the basement with a certain artist glow, as I watercolored and stamped postcards? It’s not that often I pick up a paint brush other than touching up nicks in the kitchen. So when I made a point of purchasing a paint set at Target (I admit, in the children’s section, but it’s still a paint set) I was nervous to see what might become of the piece. Being a perfectionist in certain areas in my life, I don’t usually gravitate toward challenges especially when it comes to the arts.

This time I surprised myself and was actually was pleased with it all. Honestly, the best part of the project was the unexpected enjoyment I felt creating art with my own hands and in a field where I do not ooze talent.

In the end, my attempt to create a Minnesota Fall sunrise turned out pretty well. Of course, the part of the assignment where we were asked to include a quote somehow escaped my mind which I find hysterical and so me. I can get a little caught up in the moment and forget the rules.

Hopefully the recipients in Ohio, Colorado, Texas, New Mexico, and New Zealand won’t notice the difference. From what I can tell from their postcards, these gals are laid back artists.

My favorite card was from Deborah who created her piece on an Artist Dates (watch for the term Artist Date later this month when I drool over The Artist’s Way). Watercolor paper with airbrush ink, stitched by a sewing machine was all she used. So simple yet lovely.

The idea for the swap came from Kara, who writes the blog I wanna be me when I grow up. She loves quotes and artful postcard swaps so decided to combine the two. I have a feeling there will be more to come. I know I’ll be joining her, this time with a quote and maybe, if I’m daring, a snowy Minnesota landscape.

for the love handiemail

I accept there are some of you out there who simply prefer emailing a friend vs. using the old fashioned pen. Fine. But maybe you could put a little spin on your next correspondence and turn that electro-type into a written letter?  That’s what the people at Handiemail would like you to attempt.

All you need to do is email a letter to the folks at Handiemail and they will turn it into a handwritten version in just 3-5 days and also mail it to the recipient. Hey, it might not be your own handwriting but at least it’s handwritten. And it just might push that receiver to reply back with a handwritten letter. Oh my, can you even imagine!?

Oddly enough, Handiemail also provides the same service in reverse for those who aren’t so skilled with the computer yet still handwrite letters (must be a small market, no?). You can actually mail – no “e” there – Handiemail a letter which they will turn into an email. For the love of handwriting, we hope there are few of those people out there who would fit the bill on this one.

ps – brown ink will be sending one of you lovely subscribers a letter via Handiemail so make sure to tell us now it goes (thanks Ms. Heather).












pps – Lunalux is all about the monogram notecards at tomorrow’s Stationery Saturday. Get a jump on your holiday gifts!

weight of a word

Although many friends do their best to convince us, I give it small odds this family will ever cross that digital road to reading books on a screen. We get it. One can purchase novels quicker, travel lighter and save paper with the help of the nook, iPad and other devices, but hey, us Browns like the weight. And since we still loan books out fairly often, these come in handy….

Stamp activity kit from Yellow Owl Workshop makes it easy to customize a favorite novel

Bookplates from Jonathan Wright are striking and lovely

Rainbow Book Plates This Book Belongs To Labels Set of 15

And for your tweener who is craving books, how about this rainbow book plate?

However it’s presented, there is something about a book whose owner claims it’s theirs with a signature. It places a value which grows in time. This is how I feel when looking back at a Mother Goose book I cherished as a child. The backward E was part of my childhood along with this book.

So when Emmett’s school librarian gave him a bookplate attached to a Thank You Note, I smiled inside. His relationship with books has taken a turn and it’s time he claims his favorites…just in case his little sister decided to use it as a teething tool.


saddle shoes

Nick and I spent this past weekend engaging in a bit of hiking, biking and yoga while in Palm Springs for our dear friend’s wedding (you have to pack it all in when you’re traveling without the munchkins!).  As we headed up the Museum Trail mountainside we reminisced about runs we’d done on past wedding weekends and while we remembered most of them (steamy Central Park, rainstorm in Canadian countryside, edge of Lake Tahoe, vineyards in Napa, along the Potomac River in DC) we could not recall every run. And this concerns me. Not being over the age of 40 quiet yet, I take pride in recalling the important events in our lives by memory and, if that fails, I turn to my journal. But herein lies the problem…one actually needs to WRITE in a journal to set these moments in mold.

In our 20’s and early 30’s we traveled to some fantastic spots out of the country – Bangkok and Ko Phi Phi, London, Paris & Provence, Costa Rica, Mexico… We (mostly me) were diligent about keeping detailed journals. Every morning over coffee we took time to look back on the prior day and recall the highlights…markets, food, people and, most importantly, the unique experiences which came with each turn in the day. I often had purchased a new journal specifically for each trip. By the end of the trip the journal was  stuffed with metro stubs, receipts, pamphlets, maps, and were all well-worn from the messiness of traveling in varied conditions.

But as our family has grown to 5, these trips although fewer, seem to never get written down. And if they do the thoughts go something like “oh, and Emmett and I took a train to Chicago to meet Nick for a few days.” Not a lot of detail. Since we’re usually juggling strollers and the like, whenever we do take a moment to relax journaling does not come to mind.

This winter I decided a change was needed. After receiving a small journal from the Victoria & Albert Museum (cheers Carrie) for Christmas, this soon became my new and dedicated Travel Journal. I brought it along with me to Palm Springs on a girlfriends’ trip in February and loved including all the details which keep our memories alive.

Here’s the deal. Not only do I want to look back on these adventures in my life and be reminded of the smells, the tastes, and the sights, but I also want my kids to know how their parents spent their years together both before and after they arrived on the scene. I recently found a journal my mother had kept while traveling in Europe with my Nana in the summer of 1960. Between seeing a burlesque show in Paris to meeting the Pope in Rome, mom experienced more than I had ever imagined and much more than she has every mentioned. When I read the words I stepped right into her saddle shoes, a young American girl trying to make sense of Europe.   

Of course, what moved me most was the last page.  Thankfully, even as a teenager, Mom had enough insight to understand one day she would look back and use these scribbles to recall another time in her life. She just had no idea her own daughter would be reading every page and appreciate it just as much.