Category Archives: Paper & Pen

Make Life Happen

It should be of no shock for my friends and readers to hear I am a proud, card-carrying, handwriting, weekly planner enthusiast, refusing to go to the dark side of digital scheduling (this year I’m using the gorgeous Appointed Weekly Binder Calendar). This is the only way I know how to live. Once a week, Nick (who also owns a hardcover weekly planner) and I walk through our calendars, coordinating the family’s schedule. For the most part, this process has worked beautifully.

Little did I know, our family was in need of an entirely separate calendar to involve everyone and work out any conflicts which always arise!  It all began with a class I took last Spring given by my friend Suzie Stegic, the professional organizer of Profound Change. The theme was setting up for a new season with many helpful ideas, one of which was creating a SUMMER CALENDAR for the family. I liked the sound of it instantly, my gut saying we needed it! Suzie suggested positioning it where everyone can see then adding birthdays, festivals, art fairs, hikes…anything your family wanted out of Summer. What a perfect way to honor their ideas as well as providing the power of a pen, something we continue anyway we can.

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By June the calendar was up in the pantry with lots of opportunities for kids to express their wishes in their own handwriting.  And just as importantly, the giant calendar provided a common space to combine Nick’s and my calendar and also to include soccer games, swim practices, adult commitments, etc., as well as flagging conflicts weeks ahead of time. I color-coded sports commitments, overly decorated holidays and birthdays, highlighted vacations with large caps…anything to help the family navigate each month.

When September approached, I was hooked on this process and have continued to use the large hall calendar this Fall. The kids can see which days they have sports or school commitments, when they’re scheduled to help cook a family dinner or find an open night for games or a movie. As Suzie says “That giant paper calendar makes intentions become reality. You can make a 5 year plan version! What do you want out of life??!! Put it out together in PAPER. Brain to hand, idea to physical, beautiful paper. Make life happen.”

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Regarding our paper choice, the russel+hazel Desktop Calendar Pad is the perfect size for our needs but others might like to personalize it by using family photos with a Social Print Studio’s Wall Calendar or use the Chalkboard Wall Calendar by SimpleShapes for a larger space and more writing.

This might sound burdensome or overwhelming but, I promise, this process can provide you with clarity of mind and an awareness of how to spend time with yourself or family all through written words.

 For you locals, Suzie’s classes are full right now but she’ll soon update her site with future options!!

    Shop Closing Up to 60% OFF Sale!!

    With mixed emotions, I have decided to close-up shop after three exciting and productive years of running Brown Ink Paper Goods. I will always be an unabashed, full-fledged paper addict, but my energy is better directed to other places at this time.

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    Before I do, ’tis the time to take full advantage of our MEGA SALE going on right now with prices ranging from 40-60% OFF! No code necessary, prices are as marked.

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    But stay with me folks…the Brown Ink blog will continue to move ahead sharing stories and ideas for making room for handwriting in all of our lives!

      Back to Business

      After dropping my youngest child off at her new school yesterday morning, (the last of the three start dates for our children), Summer had officially come to an end in my book. Even though the season flashed by in a blink, did it feel right? Oh yes. Were there tears? Plenty. But I’m a gal who craves routines, clear intervals, and all kinds of new beginnings.

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      (photo credit: Chip Longacre, my father, at the Canyonlands National Park in Utah taking a journal writing break with the smoke from CA and WA wild fires creating a heavy haze.)

      After an enjoyable and most needed pause from blogging over the past few months, I’m ready to connect with you all once again!  So let’s begin with a few of my recent favorites…

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      Kick off the season with one of Rad and Hungry’s top Picks for the Fall. The USA Booster Pack even includes vintage US postage stamps; three-color engraving from a single plate on a Giori Press makes these stamps beautifully textured and unique!

      There are currently twelve Master Penmen in the entire world and Jake Weidmann is the youngest. This guy not only has talent but also a passion for writing by hand. (My favorite quote: “If you don’t teach your child handwriting, the thoughts that they develop when they wish to communicate through a computer will vanish as soon as they touch the keyboard.”)

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      Was that just a pencil being Instagrammed from the hot, Manhattan CW Pencil Enterprise? The Guardian‘s Fashion Editor, Jess Cartner-Morley, believes fashion’s fetish for paper goods has surprisingly survived the rise of technology. (Cheers Tyler!)

      Why not be earth-conscious when sending your child off to school or adding to your office supplies with these Nature Made Eco Erasers created out of old scallop shells in Hokkaido, Japan from eco-friendly Grey Ray.

      QUOTE-joy-by-gina-sekelsky-studioMy lettergirl gal, Gina Sekelsky, is offering a free, printable quotes each day during the month of September!

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      Swooning over the Rifle Paper Co. Folk 2016 calendar, soon to be seen on Brown Ink Paper Goods!

      So here’s to fresh starts, sharpened No.2 Pencils, and slowing down. Yes, you heard me. Summer is a season for constant motion, road trips, too much sun, and late night gatherings. Let’s embrace these shorter days, quieter moments and getting back to business!

        Favorite Fatherly Finds

        With all the Father’s Day Gift Lists roaming around, someone has to narrow down the good stuff, right? Thankfully, Brown Ink has compiled the most creative ideas for the Dad in your life!

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        No one makes a more classier Gift Guide than our friends at InsideHook and this year their Father’s Day Guide exceeds all expectations. I’m especially found of the handsome, leather Moleskin notebook covers from Inkleaf to protect a Father’s written word! Speaking of leather…

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        Local J.W. Hulme created a handsome, leather, savvy Dad’s Day List for all kinds of needs. My favorite is the new, gently distressed Brown Leather Envelope for letters, a pen, important receipts or tickets to the ball game!

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        Thanks to the ever tasteful Tomboy Style, I found this Father’s Day Gift Guide filled with multiple ideas from Huckberry for the “outdoorsman, sportsman or dashing dude” in your life!

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        Terrain created a Dad’s List for the Nature Lover/Entertainer kind-of-a Father — But also included this thoughtful I Love You Dad Journal with room to share memorable moments.

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        For the foodie, head to Food52 for their highly crafted list of ideas for Dad. This Abner Universal Tool Box would be perfect for storing stationery, pens and written letters to treasure.

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        The Walker Art Center lists some awesome pieces of Dad Gear! I’m especially keen of the Scottish made Alwych all-weather notebook, unchanged since the 1930’s. To this day it’s recommended in the UK by police, delivery drivers, gardeners, mountaineers, golfers and explorers!

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        Of course, no gift is complete without a Father’s Day Card. Make sure to check out the variety of Dad cards at Brown Ink Paper Goods before June 21st arrives. If I’ve learned anything over the years, a Father needs to be reminded (in written words) of his importance to you. Cheers!

          May Movement

          Before I begin sharing the best of the best I found at last week’s National Stationery Show, here were a few highlights from the month I would not want to overlook!….

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          First off, I’m thrilled about the release this week of the National Parks stationery set found on The Reed; a new site created by Lizzie Garrett Mettler (the woman behind Tomboy Style) to explore movement, travel, and adventure. The set is a collaboration between Brown Ink and The Reed (with great support from Pomegranate Press!) inspired by generations of Americans hitting the road to explore our glorious National Parks.

          Next up, the people behind Bond (robots that write notes…more on this later) has teamed up with KINDSnacks for Military Appreciation Month by turning tweets of gratitude into handwritten notes which will be delivered to US soldiers around the world. Tweet thank-you’s to America’s bravest! #thankskindly

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          On to my favorite international paper goods shop, Rad and Hungry. They are celebrating their 50th STMT Kit with a custom Scottish goods kit and their first ever T-shirt (free with orders over $100) thru May 31st. Each kit is locally sourced in each city and filled with limited-edition lo-fi office supplies from a company that is crazy about paper goods! Speaking of office supplies…

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          Who says we all have to rely on technology for our Summer road trips with the kids?  All for the Boys reminds us we simply need to look into our office supply drawer to find loads of ideas to bring out our imagination and get you to your destination in peace and without a screen!

          Finally, the Letters Live events are picking up speed, a unique lineup of outstanding artists reading remarkable letters to a captive audience. Last Sunday’s performances at the Hay Festival must have been mind blowing as others listened to actors celebrate the pain, joy, humor and wisdom found in each letter they read. Check out the Letters Live in CA next month!

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          And you still have until the end of tomorrow to pick up Summer paper goods with 30% OFF the entire order at Brown Ink Paper Goods using code: SUMMER30 — so move, travel & write!