Tag Archives: Gwyneth Paltrow

A Year to Remember

2012 has gone by in a blink for our family as well as for brown ink. Although it felt brief, it was a memorable one. We thought we’d mention a few highlights which will stay with us throughout the coming year.

Food seems like a good place to start. As soon as we mention handwritten recipes on our blog, we receive loads of homemade treats.





Instagram made out-of-town Birthday Wishes that much easier!! (even written ones)


We cheered for the noticeable trends in favor of writing. Obviously when Gwyneth starts featuring journals (this one designed with help from iomoi) on her blog, handwriting has got to be up there on the “It  List”, right?

Even clothing designers began partnering with stationery lines such as the relationship between Club Monaco and Terrapin Stationery. Way to jump on the stationery train you trendy folks you.

Many images will stick in our minds as meaningful this year. One came from our friend Alecia, whose niece was battling cancer.

Phoebe sent this hand made card out to friends, thankful for the support. Truly an inspiration.

Speaking of Alecia, brown ink had the gift of featuring guest bloggers this past year including Alecia, Jenni and Lisa. Their outlooks on handwriting, stationery and to-do lists were brilliant. Thanks again ladies!

We also appreciated friends sharing their brown ink moments during the year. Our friend Jill came back from a visit to her parents home in Washington with these images…



The mailbox is perched up on a little hill, perfect for curious minds to check on mail delivery. How magical!

IMG_0910From sticky summer handwritten popsicle stand signs to…


letterpress wedding invitations,


and the first time Baby Beatrice’s name was seen on paper,

IMG_1467there were plenty of written highlights through out 2012!!

And much to look forward to in 2013. Here’s hoping the written word will continue to stay present in your daily lives. Now on to my first entry in the 5 Year Journal.

One last image to take away with you from this year, and it comes from outside the world of writing. Aside from the oft-played Portland Proposal in our home office, this video from Olafur Arnalds Haegt reminds us to continue to find the light in the darkest of times. There is so much more to discover in the coming year.

One of a Kind

The other weekend we dragged the kids into Wild Rumpus, our local independent bookstore, for their first book signing. However, this was not your regular old signing. This was Chris Monroe, the writer and illustrator of the Chico Bon Bon, Monkey with a Tool Belt children’s books. This Duluth native has been this family’s #1 author since receiving our first book from Grandpa Mac in Seattle. We’ve become so close to the little monkey, that “Chico” is now the most commonly used nickname for both boys (“Chicos, we’re running late!!” is often heard throughout our home).

With Ollie just getting over a five day flu and Emmett a bit stranger shy I knew it would be an interesting meeting. Surprisingly, the kids were pretty taken by Chris who was very thoughtful and engaged with the boys. One unique difference between the Chico Bon Bon books vs. other children’s books is Chris handwrites the stories herself which means her inscriptions are similar to the words and letters used throughout her books. Emmett thought this was way cool especially when he noticed his own name in the book!








To me it was a simple reminder of the importance of our signatures. Not only is our handwriting unique but our signature identifies the individual human. I’ll never forget the first time I signed a note to Emmett from Mom. Complete chills ran throughout my body. And, of course, for some of us writing our newly married name on a marriage certificate is the ulitmate breath stopper.  With the arrival of internet billing and online correspondence many of us of aren’t signing our names as often or as legibly as we used to (here’s looking at you dad).

Some signatures, like Mickey Mouse’s, never change. I’m completely serious. His writing has stayed exactly the same over the years. Last month Emmett, my mom and I spent a long weekend visiting the “big cheese” in Disney World. One morning we were entertained during a character breakfast by a bunch of kids (all with ears on their heads) patiently waiting for Mickey and friends to arrive at their table, pose for a picture and sign their autograph book!! It was all business and I could not have been more tickled. To not only observe the excitement of children meeting a magical friend but to hold such enthusiasm over a signature was a rare site to see. Luckily Em’s teacher handed him a travel journal before leaving which was perfect to capture signatures and more memories.

Lastly, you either love her or don’t (I’m the former, Nick the later) but when I noticed Gwyneth Paltrow’s recent cookbook, My Father’s Daughter, was being sold on One Kings Lane which included her autograph I had to have it. However, when the cookbook arrived I was little disappointed. Instead of her signature written directly inside the book it was written on a sticky note which the new owner assumed to insert him or herself. That’s what you get with superstars I guess.

So be it Chris Monroe, Mickey Mouse or Gwyneth, let’s keep up the beauty of our one-of-a-kind signatures. They’re here to stay.