Category Archives: Inspirational

Behind-the-Scenes with Brown Ink Paper Goods

A few months ago I was asked to be a guest blogger for the Better Homes and Gardens Style Spotters blog, a little behind-the-scenes of what goes into creating my personal line. Of course, I jumped at the chance to share my world with its followers.

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Collaborating on card design with Jean Glenn from Pomegranate Press is truly my most favorite aspect of selling the Brown Ink Paper Goods line (aside from others enjoying the cards as well!). Through the lens of the talented Louisa Podlich, our making-of this years Father’s Day card was beautifully caught in Jean’s home.

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Between finalizing the card details such as color, typeset and layout in her dining room, to creating the final piece of work on her Chandler and Price Platen Press in the basement, we work together like a well-oiled machine…vintage, of course!

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To have the chance to work so closely with a talented and professional letterpress printer such as Jean is simply a dream. I believe our commitment to the authentic beauty and nature of letterpress, creating hand-touched products using an antique letterpress printer and vintage print blocks, can be seen in each card in the the Brown Ink Paper Goods line. Thank you for the support, friends! And be sure to check out the full blog post here on Better Homes and Gardens!

Blossoms in Every Direction

As I prep for the National Stationery Show next weekend (follow me on Instagram to shadow my trip!) a few topics have been blossoming. Here’s a little highlight of my favorites these days…

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Already a huge fan of the gorgeous illustrations from Rifle Paper Co., this interview with Anna Bond, aka The Queen of Cards, found on the USPS Life in Letters blog is not to be missed.

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Fountain Greetings, the company that does the writing for you, now sells beautiful gifts with each card they write. Although it might be a bit of a cheat, at least someone is writing a card!

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As I have mentioned in past posts, written recipe cards and cookbooks hold a special place in my heart. This beautifully written article in the NY Times exemplifies the importance we may find with each card, doodle or smudge, connecting us with a moment in time.

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Now that National Handwriting month and the Write_On campaign has come to an end, don’t stop writing. Local letter girl, Gina Sekelsky, has found a way to inspire us to keep up the writing with this Love Your Letters Challenge!

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A little sneak peak of this week’s photo shoot for a collaboration with Lizzie Garrett Mettler from Tomboy Style which has recently become the unique The Reed boutique, blog and travel guide site. See more later in the month! Congrats Lizzie!

Lastly, for those of you still in need for a few ideas for Mom’s Day…

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…you can find lots of them at All for the Boys such as these crown printables, making all Moms feel like a Queens for the day! For you local folks, if you are still looking for Mother’s Day gifts…

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…come visit me and other local makers at this Saturday’s Makers Market at my favorite local boutique, Mille. And be sure to drop those letters in the mailbox today! No mom should be without a Mother’s Day card this Sunday. Enjoy the new blossoms!

 

February Favorites

Before I take off for a long and needed ladies’ weekend of x-country skiing, yoga, massage, sauna, polar plunge (oh, yes!), reading, journaling, and bourbon sipping in the beautifully frigid Boundary Waters woods, wanted to highlight a few bits on my mind these days..

20WELL-tmagArticle First, did you catch the article in last month’s NY Times titled Writing Your Way to Happiness? Researchers believe that by writing down our own personal stories we can “change our perceptions of ourselves and identify obstacles that stand in the way of better health.” As a believer in the strength and beauty found in personal journal writing, I’m glad I’m not alone!

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Just because Valentine’s has passed there’s no need to stop writing love notes to your favorite people especially when it’s unexpected! Clementine Daily reminds us of the value of expressing this form of love as well as the many faces of love in our lives.

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The paper one collects on the road or travels can provide a personal story in and of itself, as seen here with my friend Chelsea Fuss from frolic.

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Continuing on with my new love for Greece-based Cocorrina, this Spring-inspired do what matters design reminds me of the coming season as well as the importance of handwriting each day…this is what truly matters to me!

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Speaking of writing and perhaps sharpening your writing skills, Brown Ink is teaming up again with Christine Hoffmann from Foxglove Market & Studio and letter girl, Gina Sekelsky, to host our Handwritten workshop next month! Last year’s workshops sold out so act fast if you are interested. Now is the time for inspiration and grabbing a pen instead of a shovel for a change!

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With all the red and lace in your face these days (no complaints!) it’s pretty impossible to avoid the coming holiday of love. So let’s see what else is out there starting with DIY downloads!

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 This printable Calligraphy Valentine seen on Lovely Indeed from Coco & Mingo is a stunner and caught my eye from a mile away.

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Another beautiful Valentine’s printable created by Jessica from Coco and Mingo!

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Cocorrina has designed a beautiful card to enjoy even after Valentine’s has passed (and for you coffee lovers, find another beauty here as well!)

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Another Letter Girl, Gina Sekelsky, created these printable mini-Valentine’s in a sweet size, perfect for tucking into a lunchbox or under a windshield wiper. Where will you leave a little surprise? (check out her store for beautiful letter writing finds as well!)

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These vibrant, modern cards from artist (and peace and love promoter) Christopher David Ryan are definitely more artsy than the usual download these days!

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Disguise yourself as an Uber Parent by creating these simple Origami Hearts from a fav of mine, All for the Boys, with your small friends!

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This printable Scientific Valentine from Babble Dabble Do provides a spinning disc illusion combining the heart and the arrow while spinning around – Your little scientist will go crazy!

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Of course, if you tucked a few love notes in this red-hot Envelope Clutch (as well as a stash of stationery, stamps and pens) I think many dedicated writers would be happy.

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Or for him, the handmade Best Made Co. Strongbox in Famous Red will hold past and present notes and all other keepsakes and moments.

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Be sure to get to your local post office soon to pick up the Forever Love Stamp, illustrated by the talented Jessica Hische who recently shared her musing on love and stamp design. Stamp or no stamp, push yourself a bit this week with the expression of love to others in the form of written words… send off a few postcards, a card found under the pillow, a note written on scrap paper hidden in your partner’s current novel.  Surprise yourself. It’s going to feel right. XOXOXO

Boogie Nights

It snowed last night in my hometown and the world has become a quieter place. Perfect timing I’d say. After all the energy we put into the holidays, a bit of slowing down is much needed, at least in our house. I’m not suggesting we don’t give end-of-the-year celebrations their due, but perhaps we’ll end 2014 with a reflective, thoughtful spirit.

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If you’re gathering folks on the 31st, these DIY written hearts from Oh So Beautiful Paper may inspire a few New Year’s intentions or at least ignite conversation among guests.

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I love a good house cleanse and these smudge sticks will do the trick. Write a note to your guests, welcoming 2015 as they may clear out any negative energy from the past year. Thanks for the idea, Of-a-Kind ladies.

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These inspirational New Year’s Eve Confetti Fortune Pockets from Design Sponge are gorgeous and a completely playful DIY idea, a perfect party favor to kick off the new year.

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If you’re looking to pick up party decor for New Year’s, head to Red Stamp for all your paper needs (And fabulous digital invites since it’s a bit late for paper. Shhh, I didn’t they say that!).

Although I love a good party, I welcome a clean slate even more – (Wow, you’d think I was a bit of a bore, although my husband will remind me I’ve gone out dancing twice into the wee hours just in the past week! I know, every so often I’m crazy like that.).

The new year brings a clean calendar, it provides one a moment to breathe, take note, and forces a certain reflection of how we are walking through life. Now having two kids in grade school, bringing family into a conversation about resolutions is appealing. The always inspiring Gabrielle Blair from Design Mom created an idea on how to involve your children during this time of reflection.

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Her family keeps a journal which they open around the New Year, where they include their daydreams and goals, providing a simple format to see where they have grown over the past year. I may give it a try myself…at the moment our children are floating somewhere between the sledding hills, Christmas gifts and multiple holiday-break-movie-nights. Although they may not fully understand the idea of “becoming better people” through New Year’s resolutions, as Gabrielle suggests, perhaps the process of handwriting their intentions will reinforce the idea they actually have a bit of a say over their own direction in life.

Here’s to a beautiful 2015 – A year of more writing, reflection, and knowledge of oneself. As for me, I plan to include a few more boogie nights to keep me young! Cheers.