School Styling

Although we all tried to shut our eyes from the Back to School ads and catalogues which began to appear in mid-July, the time has come. And, although some kids can’t wait to try out their finely sharpened No. 2′s or open a crisp, clean notebook (mini iPads have not taken over all forms of note taking, right?), there are those young scholars who may need and appreciate a surprise hidden in their dusted off backpacks.

Yes, of course, there are the required paper goods assigned to each grade but why stop there? Instead, throw in a few other school supplies…just because you are a cool parent and your child worked their tush off practicing their writing skills over the Summer by journaling or writing letters from camp (or not). And, oh, you want to encourage handwriting as often as possible.


Any student will feel cool having their very own Petite Pink Notebook for personal needs…a place to scribble down a locker code, a reminder of an after-school sports equipment, Homecoming Dance Committee meeting time, and the new teacher’s favorite baked good.



I believe texting is a big No-No during class these days. Instead, why not encourage a little note writing with these letterpress Mini Note Pads? If my child was caught passing a handwritten note, I have to say I’d probably smile to know they were writing vs. texting! Sorry teachers.

For those high schooler or college bound kids…


This Eagle Letter and Pencil Pouch actually makes you look hip. Proven fact.

yellowpencil_1024x1024The Mechanical Pens and Ballpoint Wood Pencils from Delfonics bring young, serious writers to another level…Might also grab the professor’s attention as well.


Step aside Mead notebooks, make way for the show stopping Gold Polka Dot Notebook.

Before you zip up the lunch box, include a handwritten note to brighten up their day!


These Library Cards would catch any kid’s attention inside an echoey cafeteria. My dear friend, a 4th grade teacher, is using the cards as name tags on school lockers.


For the jokesters in the family, these printable Lunch Note Jokes from All for the Boys will keep the cafeteria scene light. The blank notes are perfect for your own jokes or sentiments.


Pssst…my last suggestion; Be the only parent with a little Summer left in them and throw in a few Tattoo Sets in their backpack. Even children need reminders of the moments of freedom and playfulness you’d all like to hold onto for just a bit longer.

    Sun Reading

    The Brown Family is finally back from the Oregon Coast where we took a good two weeks to read, sleep, run, eat, drink, dig in the sand, play soccer on the beach, collect sand dollars, mail postcards, eat and drink some more and write, write, write. While packing for the trip I might have caught Nick rolling his eyes ever so slightly when noticing the stack of journals (seven to be exact) which were headed to the West Coast with our troop. But, god love him, he also understands this was the ideal time for me to catch up on personal writing, travel writing and documenting the everyday details of our kids’ lives in their own journals.

    photo 1

    I actually had all intentions to write a few blog posts but, ironically, every time I attempted to log onto the internet I received little to no connection. I took it as a sign and went back to reading in the sun. I’m guessing you all would have done the same. Now back and fully recharged, I’m excited to feature our latest Designer from Quill & Fox, Yas Imamura, coming from the insanely gorgeous Northwest. Enjoy her story, the warm days left in Summer and we’ll be back soon.

      The Darien Gaps

      We go to college to learn of course, to read, to write, to think, to interact, and to learn how to learn. But we also go to grow up and see things for the first time and be exposed, usually, to an entirely new set of surroundings and circumstances. For me anyway, one of these new awarenesses was the fact that there were 18 year-olds in the world who had, or at least had access to, lots and lots of stuff. Lots of things. And many of those 18 year-olds were from in and around Darien, CT. I’ll call this Darien Gap #1.

      Darien Gap #2 involves the movie “Wall Street” and the link between Bud Fox (Charlie Sheen) and Darien Taylor (Daryl Hannah). Bud comes from an honest family with dirt under its fingernails, catches a break from a Wall Street titan, gets set up with up-and-coming artist Darien, only to see his personal and professional ambitions melt, forcefully, after flying too close to the sun. Bud and Darien’s personal needs never align with their economic pursuits and  they are never able to achieve emotional unity. Their relationship reminds me of the words of The Gap Band, “You were the first explosion, turned out to be corrosion, you were the first for me, but you turned me out, baby”.


      Speaking of unity, the Pan American Highway, stretching from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego, has a 60 mile stretch of rainforest between Panama and Colombia where the road is interrupted. This stretch is called the Darien Gap and I’ll call it #3 although if this were the Dating Game this would be the real Darien Gap. I bring up Darien Gap #3 because during a recent World Cup soccer game, my 8 year-old son Emmett asked if a person could walk to Natal, Brazil. I answered that it sounded like a whiz-bang idea but for the problematic (real) Darien Gap which made such a hike impossible. He was not impressed.

      photo1Thankfully, we weren’t too put out by this geographic impassibility since not only did we not have to walk 8,500 miles to monitor the World Cup goings-on, all we had to do was simply walk to our back porch and review our own, handmade and hand drawn World Cup scoreboard/bracket thingy. It was a great month of soccer, (although due to near constant entertaining it caused slight, but manageable (I think), gaps in my otherwise harmonious marriage), and now we have a written memory of the event which we ail keep forever. Can’t wait for 2018.

        Cherry Red Cheeks

        This Summer has become one of exploration. I’ve allowed myself to take some time away from my blog, Pinterest and the digital world by placing energy in new areas. From a painting series, pottery 101, piano lessons (a first since 9th grade), long bike rides around the city, and finding a new overseas Pen Pal, my mind and body are embracing the change in the current pace.

        However, my enthusiasm for all the gorgeous, new products which hit our store last week is impossible to contain! Make sure to check out the main Shop page for a glimpse of fresh paper goods as well a handful of new Designers. A few of my new favorites for now…


        Seaweed Hello Set from Ferme a Papier


        Dahlia Gift Tags from Modern Lore


        Kraft Market List from Sugar Paper


        Thank You Mix Set from Read Between the Lines


        Eagle Letter Pouch from Izola


        Mushrooms Set from Gilah Press


        Kitchen Wall Calendar from Ilee Papergoods


        Polka Dot Notebook from Sugar Paper


        Neon Tags & Twine Box from Knot & Bow


        Here’s to celebrating the season…lemonade stands, evening bike rides, dips in the lake, journal writing on the porch in your PJs, sand in toes, cherry red cheeks and dirty knees. Throw in a postcard from the Grand Canyon and you got yourself a good, old memorable Summer.

          Trend Breaker

          To the general eye, it would appear all 20-somethings are hooked to their digital devices, rarely bringing a pen to paper. Well, I just happen to know one of these 20-somethings who consistently challenges this belief in her work and play and is a huge believer in handwriting. When I first met Perris she handed me a gorgeous, heavy card stock, letterpressed business card with a custom edge poppy color and gold details (created by Studio on Fire, no surprise), and I knew this gal was serious not only about her business but also her appreciation of paper.


          Perris Deppa, the multi-talented force behind Brass Tacks, can’t image a life without pen and paper close at hand. Even before she opened her own business as a Lifestyle Manager she was writing daily To-Do lists in her russell+hazel mini binder and mailing cards to friends as a way to keep in touch rather via Facebook or email. Inheriting the appreciation of writing and receiving a letter from her mother, a natural love of the pen was uniquely grounded in this traditional yet modernly chic gal.


           These days as she plans vacations for clients or takes care of others’ daily To-Do’s, she often grabs for the pen not the keyboard. The act of crossing off To-Do list items is not only mentally fulfilling but it simplifies and organizes her clients’ needs. She also feels a Thank You note to a vendor builds strong relationships and has enduring value. Perris often writes Birthday or Anniversary cards to clients, believing in the importance of details and personal touch with customer service.

          “I put more thought into what I’m doing when writing out my days, lists, business plans, etc. than if I simply type them. I’m a bit more focused when writing, resulting in more thoughtful work.” Hello, can I please get a boisterous, choral praise for Perris, a gal from my own heart and a true trend breaker for her generation. Keep on writing you young people!