Monthly Archives: January 2013

cheating heart

Bea, Nonni and I are taking off for a few days to soak in a little Vitamin D in temps which normally hover around 75 degrees. So as my ‘things to do’ list continues to grow and the evening shrinks, this post is a bit a of cheat as I’ve used sweet videos to help me convey my need for, once again, crafting Valentines. However, these are smart and doable projects and with a whopping three weeks until Valentine’s Day you have no excuses not to jump in the game.

Daily Candy is always coming up with sweet DIY projects. This one is great for the kids.

I recently discovered the brilliant Field Notes website (more on this later). They’ve created a special Red Blooded notebook especially for Valentine’s Day which has loads of possibilities as you can see…

Lastly, don’t forget. If you decided to pass on the annual Holiday Card this past year, Valentines’s is the perfect time to send an unexpected greeting out to your friends. jd

We always look forward to receiving the annual Valentine’s Day card from dear Jenni. A thoughtful reminder that we are loved. Now go spread a little love.


Don’t get me wrong, National History Day is pretty cool. Despite the fact that it’s a little misleading becuase National History Day isn’t a day at all but an ongoing program where students engage in extensive research around some hostorical topic or theme, it certainly seems like an important and worthy endeavor. But that NHD isn’t the NHD on my mind today, because today is National Handwriting Day, and that’s a big deal with us, and where would history be without handwriting anyway? The historians will say “Lascaux” but I say “let’s go” write something down so that today’s writing will be tomorrow’s history and that’s a win win for all NHDers.

scraps, lace & red ink

Valentine’s Day is soon approaching, so you know what that means? That’s right, time to get creative. If you recall, last year I got my creative groove on while taking a crafting class at Paper Source. This year they are offering another inspiring class called My Sweet Valentine Crafters Night Out where they’ll give you the materials and inspiration to make creations you’ve dreamed only Martha Stewart could create. Jump to it you Twin Citians!


But if crafting isn’t your thing and you’d rather be in the kitchen check out this next idea.



The Things I Love About You Box seen on frolic combines both talents in the kitchen and a personal handwritten list of the favorite things you adore about your sweetheart. So simple yet so sweet.

Of course if you are the traditionalist it’s never too early to load up on Valentine’s Cards.

I adore the whimsical feel to Banquet’s doily Valentines Day Cards.

Pucker up with neon pink lips from one of my favorite lines, Gold Teeth Brooklyn.

Valentine's Day Postcards

This postcard set from Rifle Paper Co. is perfect for a few heartfelt lines for friends.

Wild Ink Press creates beautiful Valentine’s Cards with their in-house letterpress machines.

If this year you’d like to add a surprise element but need a bit of support, allow me lead you to the Poetry Salon.


Poem + Message in a CorkPoem + Handmade Paper

Here professional poetry writers will use your thoughts, feelings and personal details to form a one-of-a-kind poem for your sweetheart. The salon offers a dozen options on how they display the poems, my favorite being hand embroidered on a vintage bag.

Poem + Handmade Bag

As much as I appreciate the “Hallmark Holiday” with its boxes of chocolates, bouquets of red roses and shiny love notes, you can most likely find what you need to create a card right in your home.

photo222One year after cutting out paper hearts with Emmett for his school Valentine’s Card I gathered the scraps, grabbed my red marker and created Nick’s valentine on a white board. Best card ever I thought (still sits in our tool closet to be seen by the lucky few). Hearts filled with handwritten letters. Maybe next time I’ll add a little lace or a few lines that rhyme.

little awe

I love a good surprise. Seriously, if you ever want to put an instant grin on my face send me something I would least expect. And I can’t imagine this desire is too unusual especially for us Minnesoooootans living in the of midst of short, bitter January days. I’d say this is the ideal time to send out an unexpected card.

Over the past year I’ve compiled a stack of handwritten notes which were completely unpredictable and made me pause.

From the sweet thoughts from our neighbors…




 To pre-pregnancy life, a luncheon and a cheers for hosting a party…




I value these cards. Our lives are so busy and for someone to take the time to pick up a pen, write down a thought or two and throw it in the mail…well, it’s not too common these days. The cards which surprise me the most are from friends juggling a bit more stress than usual.



Even if you have no reason to write, find one. Place a little cheer, a little awe in a person’s life who might need a pick-me-up. It’s five minutes but could change someone’s day. This all sounds a bit “Hallmark-y” I admit. But there’s good that comes from the writing.

Shortcut for the Cool Kids

First off, happy 2013 to you all. There seemed to be a slip in the system and subscribers did not receive the past two blog entries. Bugger. If you didn’t catch it, make sure to check out A Year to Remember and Cocoa Bellyache when you have a minute. Speaking of time…

Of course there is never enough time to write letters these days. Or at least it’s the most widely used excuse. Here’s one shortcut surmised by the highly influential fashion writer, author, and Editor at Haper’s Bazaar Derek Blasberg. He’s teamed up with Opening Ceremony to create a stationery line with a bit of a Mad Lib twist.

The stationery line is a simple template for anniversaries, new babies, thank you’s and love notes where the writer fills-in-the-blanks and circles multiple choice options making it quick and easy to send out a letter.

I also loved reading a recent interview with Derek on The Vivant where he shares his take on the importance of letter writing and thank you notes. One of my favorite Q&A questions:

Do you have any do’s or dont’s in terms of writing a letter? Is there anything totally taboo or off-limits?

I think there was a day and age when you had to address someone in the correct way, or you had to sign off in the correct way, but nowadays I think the only to-do is just to do it. Even if it’s on crappy hotel stationery or a napkin (please buy my stationery), people really remember and love to get them. I really like the idea that the handwritten letter is so singular and unique, unlike an e-mail that you can forward. It’s real and it’s private and it’s typically between two people.

Check out the full article for more insight to this hipsters influential thoughts.

To be honest, the line is a bit too-cool-for-school for my taste. I’d prefer an entire letter written by hand (sorry Derek) but, hey, if it excites the texting/twitter generation to pick up a pen, we’re game.