Monthly Archives: February 2013

Cupid on the Prowl

So little time, so much love. A bit of cupid is in all of us even on the bleakest of winter days. The time to move is now my heart-shaped friends.

Looking for crafty ideas? Babble takes the cake (especially when coming from Design Mom, Gabrielle Blair) on creative ways to express your love on Valentine’s Day.  valentine-ideasSuch lovely things come from Yellow Owl Workshop especially for this holiday…

This You and Me card might not be the typical Hallmark Valentine’s card but it really, really like it.

"Love You" Stamp Set - product images  of

Make your own homemade radical card with the Love You stamp set.

If you’d like your Valentines to take a different form, the Correspondence Kit from Artware Editions allows you to thread your expressions first by pencil then needle and thread.

Say your sweetheart lives in another town. Why not mail them a Moleskin Message Pocket Postal Notebook filled with nothing but kisses from yours truly.

If you would like to try your hand in calligraphy, the Love Letter Kit from terrain is a beautiful alternative from the expected Valentine’s day card.


Paper Source always comes up with delightful, fresh ideas each Valentine’s season.

This year our boys will be scribbling out thoughtful words (that’s the plan anyway) on these Owl Valentine Cards.

RAD BAG // 2013 Valentine Edition

Rad and Hungry is kind of like an international office supply store with loads of cool supplies not found at the local OfficeMax. Surprise your office mate with this limited-edition Valentine’s Day Rad Bag filled with office supplies in red, pink, white and gold from countries around the globe.

Cupid Card

And pick up one of their kitchy cupid cards while you’re at it! (Psss…they’re free if you spend $40)

Once your card is written why not place it in an Everyday Leather Envelope Wallet from Mark and Graham. Not only will your card be sealed in a lovely presentation but your sweetheart’s future correspondence will be always protected. Personalize it with a scripted letter to make her all the more unique.

If all you have time for this year is a construction paper heart, (fold in half, cut one half of a heart, ta da), so be it. Writing this card will require a few moments of slowing down and expressing a crafted thought or two. This will be a gift in itself.

Keeping It Local

A few weeks ago in the midst of errand running one of our boys, after noticing the car’s exterior temp reader, cheered “Look mom, it’s 14 degrees. It’s really warm today.”  Scary but true. Here in the Twin Cities our mental states have been hanging by a thread with a good stretch of weather barely reaching the single digits. Finally the forecast is hinting at a bit of  warmth heading to town tomorrow. So for all you locals, why not celebrate by getting out of our overly-heated homes and heading over to the men’s Pop-Up-Market NorthernGRADE.

One Winner - enter your name at The James J. Hill Library

This one has a new twist with the location in the downtown St.Paul James J. Hill Library. For a little background, NorthernGRADE is a gathering of quality retailers who all stand strongly behind their heritage, made-in-the-USA product. I’m hoping MartinPatrick3 will be selling their knock-out Terrapin stationery.

But if you can’t make it tomorrow, head to to Lunalux’s monthly Stationery Saturday next weekend where you can personalize beautiful cards on bright white felt-finish paper. Great idea for a Valentine gift! And speaking of the Hallmark holiday…


My friend Beth at fish&bee, located in Linden Hills, is hosting a kids’ card studio over the next few weeks. These studio sessions are built around a child’s imagination by using paper, fabric, glitter, painting and more to create their own artful Valentine’s Day card. Beth even suggests bringing the list of classmates! Contact Beth at to learn more about the sessions being held now through February 11th.

Groundhog Day 2013

But good news local Twin Citians. Punxsutawney Phil DID NOT see his shadow so looks like spring will be arriving sooner than later. Go Phil!!

A Wonderful Life

Birthday cards, no problem. New baby, easy peasy. But when it comes to writing a condolence card the words can have a difficult time flowing from my mind to the page. I’m guessing I’m not alone on this one. Writing a card for a friend on the passing of a loved one can be a challenge whether you’ve known the deceased or never met in person. This being the case, I strongly feel out of all the card writing occasions in the world, this one is the most important and most appreciated.

I recently read an article by Laura Fraser in October’s Whole Living magazine, regarding her process of grieving the old fashioned way. Laura had unexpectedly lost her mother to cancer and what she observed as she mourned was interesting. It was her father and her sister, 7 years older, who received well over a hundred handwritten cards while Laura only a handful of letters. In her generation the way of communication had changed. Most of the condolences she received were sent on Facebook or an email. She stated “Much as I appreciated them, those quick one-liners via e-mail had nowhere near the impact of the words of friends who took the time to find a card, sit down, and recollect my mother’s laugh, or how she never let us take ourselves seriously as kids, or how much she loved to sit on a rock with a wide view of the mountains. Those cards, I’ve kept and will cherish.” She has a point. How often do we print out a Facebook or email which has meaning? For some, never.

Laura also mentioned how much she appreciated people asking “What kind of person was your mom? Are you like your mom? Did she have a sense of humor?.” Why not ask these kind of questions in a letter knowing you can discuss the answers at a later time. Laura felt the phrase “she lived a good long life” dismissed her pain. I’m guilty of glorifying a full life in a condolence card but I understand the writer’s view. It’s personal but it also can be a fine line.

Margaret Shepherd, writer of The Art of the Handwritten Note, suggests which basic phrases to use to anchor a condolence note:

Do Say: I’m so sorry. We’re going to miss him. I have so many wonderful memories of her. I hope you’re doing ok; I will write again after the memorial service. I’m thinking of the nice time we had together last summer. He had a wonderful life. I remember… I knew her through (connection). The (detail) of the service was so comforting. He would have loved..

Don’t Say: I didn’t know him well. You must be devastated. It’s better this way. Life must go on. What can I do to help? I know how you feel. I’m so sad, I’m so upset.

Whatever guideline you follow, it’s the act of writing which holds a level of respect. It gives meaning to this persons’s life. And it’s never too late to write a note. After the beginning stages of grief have passed and acceptance settles in, a written sentiment could help a friend through a tough day. As hard as they are to write, its value is immeasurable.