Tag Archives: All for the Boys

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.

    Summertime and the Writin’ is Easy

    If you’re a parent like me, goals for Summertime are big in vision yet small in nature. Right about this time of year our kids look forward to writing a Summer List on our pantry white-board with wishes for the season such as bike around all three, Minneapolis city-lakes, canoe to visit Minne the Lake Creature, sell popsicles at the local South Beach, pick berries, and lots more…most involving ice cream. We check off the items as Summer moves ahead, providing the kids some say on how they’re spending their Summer Break.

    In addition to the kids’ list, I have my own Summer Wish List stirring with this theme: How to subtly slide handwriting into our family’s day-day life. No surprise here, right? Here are some ideas and resources I’ve found which will support this vision, starting with…

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    My Nature Book from All for the Boys. This book is perfect for kids to have control over their experience by taking photos, researching plants and animals, and writing in their own book!

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    Be a thoughtful pen-pal and write multiple letters to friends at camp. As I have mentioned before, nothing beats a letter from a friend or family member while being away from home!

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    Kraft Journal = Perfect set up for Summer Journal Writing!

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    Travel Journals aren’t just for out of state trips. Create a Summer Journal for all the explorations in your Stay-Vacation with space for movie ticket stubs, dried flowers, thread from friendship bracelet making…anything that fills your Summer with joy.

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    For rainy Summer days, grab this DIY Mini Card-Making Kit to have on hand. Get your creative on and create memorable cards to mail to friends this Summer! (or simply use cereal boxes!)

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    Create a Summer short story or fairytale journal shared within the family, each taking turns as the story progresses over the days and weeks. By the time Autumn arrives you might have your own family novel! (Check out the new Journals in the Brown Ink store to store your tale.)

    To my pleasant surprise, on the first day of Summer Break I found my boys writing their own newspaper, The Brown Times, on the kitchen island the other day…no prompting whatsoever. Did they continue to write the last few days, well…not so much. But at least it’s a start!

    Bottom line, it’s a tricky balance this time of year, allowing for lazy, youthful moments which free our minds and bring creativity to our days, yet finding structure with activities and creating or documenting memories. So good luck with all of this folks. I’m write there with you!

      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!

       

        March Madness

        As I was recovering from pneumonia, working on new Mother’s Day cards from Brown Ink, and cleaning the yard – only to have it dump inches of snow once again – this past month, exciting happenings were hitting the web this month of March…

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        One of my favorite boutique stationer designers, Suann Song, is making headway with her recent Kickstarter Appointed, a gorgeous collection of tools to inspire the writer within you. Suann has raised well beyond her initial pledge yet the incentives for becoming a backer are too difficult to pass up, so much so that I recently became a backer (only a few more days before it closes!)  Look for this handsome collection to be a part of the Brown Ink Paper Goods boutique this coming Fall!

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        Talk about handsome, Autopoint, a 1918 company known for their All-American, fail-proof construction, has just come out with these timeless, mechanical pencils found on Best Made.

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        Being “old school” has its beauty, literally, in this lovely story used in the Hermes SS15 catalogue seen on Keep it Chic, where keeping a diary has become chic once again. Thanks for keeping it old-school with your hardcover agenda, Preston Davis.

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        One of the greatest artists of the 20th Century, the work of artist Martin Ramirez has been honored by the U.S.Postal Service by the new Forever Stamps. His work is stellar as he combines his personal take on the landscapes of life in Mexico with American culture.

        Back again, the inspiring folks from Egg Press and Hello!Lucky are challenging us all to write one letter, each day in the month of April with their Write_On campaign. Seem daunting? It may help to hear this group is kindly mailing out free Writing Kits to anyone up for the challenge. This year, I am fully onboard. As they mention in the video, both the act of writing and receiving a letter can bring a welcome change in your own life as well as others’. There are more reasons to write than you might imagine. Right on, #write_on — A worthy challenge.

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         Happy Spring. Happy April. Happy Writing.

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          Life is full…and messy, scary, exhausting, exhilarating, rewarding, challenging and beautiful. All of it, fluctuating day to day,  moment to moment. Why not introduce more “high points” into our days with one gesture – the delivery of an unexpected note.

          A simple act, really. The note doesn’t need to be long, witty, or even written on fancy paper. How about giving thanks to the couple next door who often welcome the neighborhood children into their home with open arms. Or before the day begins, drop a love note in your partner’s briefcase, just because. Try tucking a written message under your high-schooler’s pillow, praising his or her dedication to an activity. Next time you pick up your daily latte, drop a humorous one-liner in the form of a note for the Portlandia-extra barista behind the counter. Or slip a note in your grade schooler’s folder for the teacher to find, a little praise for the energy they put into each day.

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          If you need help in the idea category with notes or messages, take a look at these clever lunch notes from provisions. If not, cut out a good clip from the newspaper’s funny section. Or handwrite a note on the back of a vacation photo, reminding a loved one of a “high point” from Summer Break.

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          Of course, it’s always easy to get the kiddos smiling in the middle of the day with an unexpected joke! Print off the Halloween Joke Notes from All for the Boys for a guaranteed lunch-table laugh.

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          This act will literally take you 5 minutes, if that, to a make someone’s day. And also your own.