Tag Archives: Handwriting

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.

The Short List No.1

By now the multitude of suggested Holiday Gift Lists seen in your Inbox numbers in the thousands, and we’d rather not be more junk email. That being the case, we’re keeping it simple with a few short lists of unexpected gifts for the true handwriting enthusiast with the hope to add an extra “HO” rather than “HUM(bug)” into your week.

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For that Type A sister of yours who handwrites cards for any occasion, we’re guessing she’ll flip over this newly released Card Organizer from Nicely Noted.  For a bonus, include the Over Stocked option with a bundle of letterpress cards, stamps and a six-month gift subscription of the Nicely Noted monthly care package of cards!

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For the “green” family member, grab a packet of these miniature graphite pencils made from eco-friendly recycled paper for a stucking stuffer from terrain (one of my favorite sites). Done and done.

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Created by a well trained and unique bookbinder, Paul Vogel, these gorgeous desk accessories require around 40 steps to produce and often include 24-karat gold detailing and hand-tooled rosettes. The stationery case and card case will run you a pretty penny but were created by staying true to the traditional bookbinding trade. Can be found at Vogel Bindery.

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And if that’s a bit on the fancy side, the Woodsman Journal filled with blank, kraft paper and letterpress covered, will work nicely when in need of jotting down a recipe or random thought the old fashioned way (thanks to Sesame Letterpress via Provisions by FOOD52, another fav of mine).

Product-Greetingcard3Being an Instagram user and fan, I love the idea of creating greeting cards with your own personal images for a family member who appreciates your eye. Not only is the process simple, the cards and envelopes from Prinstagram are top quality as well.

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I’ve been dreaming of Croatia as a destination trip for awhile now. But for the time being, my fellow travelers and I can enjoy these gorgeous, Croatian made paper goods and writing kit from Rad and Hungry, my favorite international office supplies store (free holiday gift wrap ’til Dec. 17).

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For the highly fashionable friend, gift her these hand-drawn Clare V. (St.Paul native, leather bag goddess) postcard notepads from Paper Chase. Crazy for the double thick, eggshell paper with red colored edges. Make it special with personalizing the postcards!

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One of my favorite new finds, this All-Brass Pen Case from Kaufmann Merchantile is handsomely simple. With its sophisticated design, the Japanese stationer who creates the case has been producing quality office tools since 1950. Fill it with a Kaweco pen or Delfonics pencil from Brown Ink to make the gift complete.

Happy shopping…and we’ll be back with another short list soon!

Stop and Smell the Rosemary

Thanksgiving is one week away. And although this is a close runner-up to my favorite holiday (Halloween counts, right?) I cherish this particular gathering for multiple reasons…the food, the people, the smells, the decor – but also the personal touches found through writing.

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This being our 6th year of hosting Thanksgiving, I’ve found myself searching for fresh ideas to bring handwriting into our family tradition. One new find I picked up at Paper Source the other day is the Grateful Wreath Kit, a family writing activity that welcomes the theme of gratitude way before the holiday begins. It’s also a piece that can be displayed for years to come.

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Each year we ask our guests to write down thoughts of gratitude on a small, festive card which I hold on to for reflection the following year. As I will continue with this tradition, I love the idea of placing the written cards in this beautiful, Giving Thanks book (at least this keeps track of the children’s thanks!). There is room to write your seasonal reflections and the book provides questions to ponder, making this a valued treasure in your family’s history…through written words!

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Of course there are many ways to bring a thoughtful touch to the gathering with handwritten place cards. Rip + Tan uses a simple Kraft gift tag with elegant writing for their festive table.

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I love the idea of using a rosemary sprig in place cards as Spoon Fork Bacon shared – simple.

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Direct your guests to their seats with name cards topped by the leftover leaves of Fall, needing only brown card stock and a white uni-ball pen. So simple yet beautiful.

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Get creative (and cheap and easy) with your Thanksgiving placemats by using these lovely, hand lettered templates from Oh My Deer Handmades (this girl has talent!).

And when you can’t be with the people you love, remind them they’re on your mind with one of these cards from Brown Ink Paper Goods (still plenty of time for you to receive by early next week)…

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People are adoring this ‘old school Thanksgiving Cranberry card this year.

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Harvest Set would be a lovely and perfect hostess gift for the season (images taken at Union Market in NYC by the uber popular A Guy Named Patrick).

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Over the river and through the woods…with the Turkey on Car we go!

Time to stop and smell the rosemary, the herb which stands for memories. I’ll be back with more ideas to make this holiday even more memorable.

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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.

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Practice makes perfect, right? At least that’s what we tell our children. But when it comes to handwriting, I’d prefer not to aim for perfection but rather along the lines of consistency and fluidity. After a marathon Holiday-card-writing session or sending out Thank You’s post-celebration, I invariably find my handwriting feels and looks better. And why shouldn’t it? It’s just the same as practicing the piano, playing tennis, or even reading a book. The more we engage, the more time we give towards an activity, the stronger we become. So why not find more enjoyment in your handwriting plus learn a few new tips in expressing your personality through letter writing? I have found your perfect solution…

Brown Ink Paper Goods has collaborated with Foxglove Market & Studio and Gina Sekelsky Studio to create Handwritten, a workshop series stemming from a joint passion for the handwritten word and artisan paper goods. The class will provide an opportunity to renew one’s self confidence in your personal writing, teach new tricks for disguising imperfections, and help bring out a bit of charm and charisma to handwritten cards and letters.

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 Your fingers will be ecstatic to take a needed break from the keyboard or smartphone, learn something new, and return to what they were intended to be used for…handwriting.  Be sure to sign up here soon before the spots are filled by other eager fingers!