Category Archives: Inspirational

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!!

    there is love

    After a three month writing hiatus, it might seem cliche to focus on ways I’ve witnessed love through writing, but this is where I’ve been finding my heart, my jam, during the Winter days of wonder. These expressions or signs often jump in my face, knock me over with an inked blow, and I’m unable to ignore all the forms of heartfelt emotions seen thru writing.

    I find it in the note I leave my child on his desk complimenting him for some action or completed task, then receiving a written note in return on the other side of the paper sitting on my bedroom pillow. There is love.

    It’s in the postcards mailed to Senators voicing a passion or concern, a handwritten protest sign, or the words in Gloria Steinem’s handwritten speech. There is love.

    I see it in the written directions on a Post-it attached to a homemade lemon, ginger elixir made with care from a busy cousin. There is love.

    I’ve found it when my daughter asks to write down details of each day in her miniature wall calendar, then asking last night for a 5-Year-Journal like mine so there is space for more writing. There is love.

    It’s in a friend’s Orange Cake recipe I’ve been searching for while planning a celebration and then when I write down the ingredients on my grocery list, there is a whole lotta love…and a few oranges as well.

    In these written words I find not only love but wisdom, guidance, hope, individuality, freedom of expression and the value of each day we are given. Don’t overlook these bits of handwritten love scattered throughout your day. And while it’s on your mind, write someone an unexpected Valentine – It might be a Hallmark holiday but this one’s not to be missed. Happy Writing! xoxoxo, w

    P.S. If you live in the Twin Cities, be sure to check out the Brown Ink Paper Goods love notes now being sold at The Foundry and Room No. 3 while supplies last!

    P.P.S. If you are needing any advice on writing the perfect love letter, Sugar Paper has you covered!

    XOXOXOXOXOXOXO

      Head First Jump

      I can feel it. Spring is here. I suddenly want to tackle the clutter only I can see and jump head first into the multiple projects on my mind. Change in one’s life can do that, you know. Shake things up! And I’m all about trusting my intuition and embracing the unknown in the seasons ahead.

      In the near future, the Brown clan will revel in a stay-cation. Little do my peeps realize, I have big BIG plans for our 11 days in town…

      • Writing out our Family Tree will hopefully answer all our children’s questions such as ‘who was my great-great-grandfather?’ and ‘Am I more Scottish then English?’
      • Surprising the kids with these gorgeous watercolor pens and postcards
      • Create, divide and conquer this printable To-Do-List from All for the Boys (such fun, don’t you wish you were here vs. Mexico?)
      • Nudge my three little ones to slow down, pick up a pencil and write a new pen-pal (see video below!!) Perhaps an International pen-pal is in the making!

      As for me, I’ll be checking out Alexandra Franzen’s One Letter Today free workbook all about the art of letter writing, trying this DIY face-mask, and diving into the pile of books on my side table.

      Easter Egg Magic with glitters and tattoos!

      But before break begins, this past weekend Beatrice and I got our crafty on with the Bunny Die-Cut Shape Easter cards from Paper Source (so simple with stamps and stickers!). And we joined a friend to create these DIY glitter eggs from Rip&Tan with tattoos as embellishments. I’ll be peeling off super glue from my fingers over the next few weeks but completely worth it!

      Image-1And just a reminder, the Brown Ink Paper Goods store is closing its door this Friday! Bittersweet, but as I mentioned, I’m embracing my intuition which is clearly screaming there is more for me. So I will jump, head first.

        Just Send It

        Last summer, while away on a family vacation, I received a difficult phone call from my dear friend, Ron. He had recently been diagnosed with leukemia. My first reaction, aside from “OH SHIT, you can’t leave this world!”, was how soon can I mail a card to him back home. Unfortunately, I had some practice writing  get well cards over the past few years to friends and family. But as I saw through my mother’s partner, David, who received letters while battling melanoma, handwritten letters make a difference. They really do.

        Since our small beach town in Oregon only carried a small selection of encouragement cards and were not totally my style, I decided to roll with the situation and buy the most sappy, Deep Thoughts by Jack Handeyesque cards I could find. It became our theme to send Ron extremely  syrupy, footprints-in-the-sand kind of greeting cards (he’s still talking to me so something must have worked!).

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        Thankfully, more greeting card designers are creating cards which simply state how we feel, the Queen Bee these days being Emily McDowell. Her booth at the National Stationery Show is always packed with buyers and it’s easy to see why. Emily’s empathy cards speak the truth in a humorous yet thoughtful way!

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        After her experience (and triumph!) with cancer as well as connecting with people who have lost loved ones, Emily understands first-hand what it’s like to be on the other side.  The emotional impact of the experience was her inspiration to create cards she would have liked to receive while she was ill.

        Indeed, it’s a fine balance, how direct are you with those you feel empathy towards? This quote from Dr.Brene Brown sums it up well, “Empathy is a choice and it’s a venerable choice because in order to connect with you I have to connect with something in myself that knows that feeling. Rarely, if ever, does an empathic response begin with at least...we are trying to put the silver lining around it.” And what are these words to use if not found in the perfect card?

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        TOO SEXY from Patterson Paper

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        Throat Punch Cancer from Black Lab Studio

        Years ago an article in the NY Times made it a bit more clear as far as the Do’s and Don’ts of communication to those ill. Words which are direct and have feeling appear the most powerful. “I’m sorry you have to go through this.” “I hate to see you suffer.” “You meant a lot to me.” These statement plus keeping it light with a little juicy gossip, (a Hollywood star scandal, the school Principal’s dating life, etc.), can be the key in getting through the next round of chemo.

        This is what I believe to be true. Show up, be real, be encouraging. Look for online support if the what’s and how’s don’t come naturally to you (my good friend recently kicked off Cancer Doula blog after losing her best friend to breast cancer and was unable to find support which spoke to her!). Do not hold back mailing a card if you don’t have the perfect words or perfect card. Your loved one will be overjoyed knowing you are with them in mind and spirit – And they are not alone.

          Hello From the Other Side

          Hello. It’s me. I’m in Minnesota grooving to Adele as often as possible, attempting to stay healthy this Winter, and feeling my way into 2016. For better or worse, my functional internet took a vacation over the holidays which meant more time for family, reading, writing, watching, and baking. Most importantly, it allowed for an unintentional, fresh outlook of the new year to fall gracefully on my lap…well, actually it arrived via journal writing but more on that later!

          Before I get back to my writing, some highlights from 2015 and new ideas to share with you all…

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          Nicole Franzen from La Buena Vida captures the details of her travels beautifully, especially the written words from her recent time in Miami.

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          Inspired by this Brooklyn letterer, looking to travel through her words: 26 Letters 26,000 miles.

          I’ve watched this piece of history multiple times. Joe is my hero.

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          For all you Pacific Northwesters, this A New Beginning in Script Writing workshop looks divine at the creative, community space Field Trip in Portland.

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          Are you entering into 2016 with one word or a thought in mind? I’m inspired by the suggestions from The Chalkboard on ways to express this theme during the new year (maybe you’ll find your words at Goldpress where words are highly valued!).

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          If you did not get around to reflecting on 2015, there’s still time. Mother Mag created a thoughtful list of questions to ask yourself as the new calendar year begins. A simple gift to yourself.

          Finally, If you need an excuse to get off the screens, phones and all social media, I’ve got it: another Mercury Retrograde has taken over the next three weeks. Just be sure to check out the Brown Ink Holiday Sale before you’re completely off the grid! Off to create my word for 2016.