Category Archives: Historical

Bullet Journaling…it’s all that

I’m a list maker by nature so when my friend recently mentioned the hot trend of Bullet Journaling I was intrigued. Life for me consists of multiple lists and jotted ideas which aren’t necessarily located in the same location. Instead, they’re found beside my bed, on our office desk, in the bottom of my purse (where I could fit a small child) or in my head. I haven’t completely goofed on a major commitment, at least not yet, but the need for one common depot to house the lists in my life is apparent. Thankfully, from what I’ve begun to learn, the Bullet Journal is so much more than a simple notebook.

This modern day version of a Day-Timer, the Bullet Journal became all the rage a few years ago after thousands watched a YouTube video with interest and devotees have been gaining ever since. Call it a backlash to our digital age (where Moleskin has seen double the revenue in the past five years), this old-school organizational system is completely personal while being used for one’s to-do list, sketchbook, notebook, diary, or all of the above. Without going into the full details of the journal’s capabilities (the video is worth a watch!), Bullet Journaling works because of its unique flexibility and adaptability, holding thoughts, ideas, day dreams, goals and your schedule in one place.

When searching for #bulletjournal or cruising their Instagram account, you’ll find a plethora of ideas and examples of how people use a Bullet Journal. From artsy calendars and uber-gorgeous list making to exercise tracker or Rapid Logging. For me, I’m taking baby-steps broken down into three areas; the Future Log for an overall glance at the month ahead, the Daily Log for my week ahead (basically, my Things To Do Lists with task bullets I get to complete with a nice, solid X!) and Collections for larger projects in the making. If I decide to expand my needs in the journal, there is always room for more writing.

Honestly, there is no need to buy expensive supples if you are already content with your current notebook. The system created is truly the heart of the Bullet Journal. However, I do have to say I’m a fan of both the dot grid lines and the strength and beauty of the hardcover journals…the cheat sheet in the opening pages is also a nice reminder of how to organize each list.

Is this for everyone? Not necessarily. It does not fit in the back of trousers, it takes effort and, perhaps, a new organizational skill. But for me, it meets all my requirements by both writing items down, which forces my mind to process the information, as well as  creating order in my life. Whether you’re a list maker or not, give this a shot!  w

P.S. For you locals, Brown Ink Paper Goods cards is joining forces with other makers in Spring Market this Sunday (invite only, please email me for info) as well as a Mother’s Day Market next weekend! Come out and support your local makers!!

    The Short List No.2

    We got ’em. A few more ideas to help cross off those last minute holiday gift needs this week….

    il_570xN.657697621_ag5v

     I love a good pencil set. This eco-friendly Pencil Pouch & Recycled Newspaper Pencil Set from Social Goods Co includes 5 pencils which, once sharpened, reveal a beautiful marble-like pattern.

    a67a0607-018e-4f56-bc4e-363d0bb70b22Did you hear? Pocket journals are the new, hip alternative to jot down notes these days, be it ideas to share later or to keep a secret. Your sidekick will rock the trend with this three journal set from imogene + willie. Throw in one of their pencil cases while you are at it!

    Although the masses love to rely on their Smart Phone calendars to get them through the day, the old-school paper calendars were a hot item at this year’s National Stationery Show – and I think they make the perfect gift for teachers, mothers-in-law, or those who appreciate the written way!

    calendar_1024x1024My favorite new calendar of the year, from the talented Emily Johnson at Hartland Brooklyn, is the House Plant Calendar which doubles as a beautiful postcard set.

    productimage-picture-ellis-avenue-monogram-1594

     In my mind, there is no sweeter gift than a monogrammed stationery set. Head to Sugar Paper for a few gorgeous options to gift the writer in your life.

    f9b216ef_e437

    A bit more masculine, these elegant Everlane Shorthand Notecard Set from Paper Chase Press are double thick, uncoated charcoal grey with gold foil stamping. You can personalize your gift or choose from the quotation marks, parentheses, or asterisks sets.

    wood_boxes_life_web

    So long shoe boxes! To the friend who hangs on to all their written mementos, this keepsake Letters and Notes Desktop Box from Three Potato Four gives the place of honor each letter deserves. Features an antique patina stain, hand screen painted lettering, and hinged lid with antiqued brass hardware. A stunner to hold your treasures.

    107252_A2_Postbox

    Inspired by an original design from the Stockholm Postal Museum, Santa might be dropping off one of these blue beauties to our kids this year. A perfect destination for all those notes they write back and forth to one another (free Shipping from the MoMA store through today)!

     LettersOfNote-104

    For the historical enthusiast, the Letters of Note book is a thoughtful compilation of letters with human emotion and history on each page. Encountering more moments that are stark than soft, readers can swoop in and out of these fascinating correspondences in this lovely collection.

    7056A-1

    With the need for Thank You’s soon after the holidays, I’d be tickled to find this Lake Card Set from Egg Press Social Preparedness Kit collection under the tree tagged for me!

    Lastly, maybe this year add a few natural greens to top off your gifts and you’re set…

    Fa_La_La_tag_set_1024x1024

    Falalal Letterpress Gift Tag Set 

    0299bd1daba0171e6faf72924caa3a31

    Festive Packagingil_570xN.613311909_8g1m

    Brown Bear Gift Tag Set

    So off you go to pick up some goodies, write a little something and please, keep it simple. Goodness can be found in the smallest packages.

      So what? So let’s dance!

      Last year, late in the summer, I went to the caddyshack at a local country club – a club I caddied at for eight years and is a place that helped shape and inform certain world views which I still hold – and asked for a loop, caddy jargon for work. At the time I’d been out of work for six months and thought that if I got out on the course for a couple loops at my old stomping grounds, perhaps enough material would emerge such that I could string together a few essays about life, golf, the haves and have lesses, the then and the now…and who knows what else. It wasn’t clear what I’d do with those essays but the play sounded good in the huddle so I went with it. I had high hopes, none of which were fulfilled.

      For the first part of the application process to be a caddy, I had to take a test about the finer points of caddying and the history of the club. It was an open book test (true story) and I still managed to get one wrong (also true). Thankfully it was a question about the meaning of the club’s name, a conflation of two Native American words, and wasn’t in the study guide.

      Following the written test, I had an interview of sorts with the caddie master. When I started caddying over 30 years ago there was no interview, which was a fortunate circumstance as the collection of misfit toys who were the caddy corps back then – with names like Monster, Running Man, and 555RonLee – wouldn’t make it to the first tee today. This is probably a good thing for all parties.

      Anyway, as it turns out, the current caddie master is a guy whom I caddied with back then. He also happened to sell fireworks out of his Camaro. When the interview began – really just an informal conversation outside the shack – I got the sense he didn’t remember me, but I remembered him, because, well, when you’re 14 you remember a guy who sells fireworks out of the trunk of his Camaro in the parking lot of a swish country club.

      photo 2

      The interview did not go well. I’d just run six miles, hadn’t shaved for a few days, and looking back, didn’t give the job the respect it deserved, or at least the respect Camaro-guy expected. Fair enough. Being dressed down by him in the parking lot was a memorable if not humbling experience, and put me on my back foot so much that my caddying rebirth ended right then and there. No collection of essays. Maybe a t-shirt saying “My dad wanted to caddy and all I got was this lousy blog post”, but no collection of essays. So it goes.

      I’ve been around that golf course hundreds of times. My friend’s dad used to drop us off on the street at a distant part of the course – with the admonishment “if you’re in jail, don’t call me” – and we’d climb over the fence with our clubs and play as many holes as we could before being chased off. Good times. But if I never step foot on that course again I can still relive the experience by looking over drawings I made of every hole in the backseat of a VW Rabbit while on a family road trip to Yellowstone or some such place. Every tee, every green, every bunker, every yardage.

      photo 1

      Not only that, I’d catalog every golf course we drove by in the middle of the prairie or which I was able to play along the way. Those drawings are an enduring childhood memory and if we take a road trip this summer, instead of, (or at least in addition to), watching a movie or playing a video game, our kids, hopefully, will read or draw or just look out the window. And if my boys ever want to caddy I’ll make sure they’re cleanly shaven.

      P.S. Rodney’s bag would’ve been a great loop.

        all in the family

        The other day while searching for future brown ink stationery needs, I landed on The Beauty of Letterpress website created by Neenah Paper out of Neenah, WI. This is an awesome site which not only supports letterpress throughout the country but praises the value of this work. However, what grabbed my attention right away was their support of the Hamilton Wood Type and Printing Museum located in Two Rivers, WI.Plural trip to HamiltonJust to give you a little background, before I was Wendy Longacre Brown I was Wendy Hamilton Brown. J. Edward Hamilton was my great, great, great Grandfather. I knew only a little history of my family’s connection to the museum but was intrigued instantly. In 1880 Hamilton founded the factory and within 20 years it became the largest manufacturer of wood type in the states.

        What many people don’t realize is the role Wood Type played in our nation’s history. Aside from handwriting it was the main source of communication in every way from land sales to packaging to politics.

        The Hamilton Museum is one-of-a-kind, the only museum dedicated to preserving, studying, and producing wood type (and they continue to print today). The collection is said to be one of the world’s premier wood collections with over a million pieces of wood type and over a thousand styles and sizes of patterns.

        Like many businesses built years ago, the headquarters are extremely expensive to manage and the Hamilton Museum is in the process of moving to a new location. The good news is they have almost finished moving in with 20 of the 22 semi’s packed up. But of course, to keep this space running they need support.

        At The Beauty of Letterpress one can purchase beautiful letterpress pieces of art, support the museum directly or become a member. Looking forward to keeping the history alive with a Hamilton letterpress paper printed by authentic Hamilton wood type. Only feels fitting for me to help save printing history, family or not!!

          NHD

          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.