Tag Archives: Instagram

cool mom.

Although not so common these days, I love finding little nuggets of wisdom on the radio that ring true. So while I was driving back from my father’s farm after an early holiday gathering last month, I caught my favorite radio show, A Prairie Home Companion, and found Mr.Garrison Keillor speaking in his always wise yet kind voice, channeling right to my heart…

“Things are changing around us, you older people. Instagram is now the thing. It’s more popular now than Twitter. It surpassed Twitter here this past week. Facebook? No, I don’t think so. Old people have now taken over Facebook. And young people are running as fast as they can to get away from this because you don’t want your mother to see pictures of you and your friends that night you got hammered, you just don’t. So where are you gonna go when Instagram is over taken by geezer as you know it will be? Well, I have an idea for you. If you take a pen and write down on paper. And you put this in an envelope and you mail it to somebody its security is pretty darn, well guaranteed. And your parents and your grandparents are not going to look at this. But this will be around for decades and decades. So that your children will be able to see how cool you were. This may be useful for you someday.”

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Now this bit of insight might be something I’m well aware of. Even so, it was a reminder and a reinforcement of the value of handwriting, be it a letter, journal, document, or whatever. Just a hunch, but I’m guessing my children won’t be looking at my Instagram account in 30, 40 years. By that time I’m sure they’ll have moved forward to a more modern device 10 steps from where we are today. But they will have my journals, letters to their father, and also to them. My hope is for my written words to provide them with a glimpse into how I spent my days in single, married and mothering years, the many highs and lows that come with each season, the scribbles, the smudges and hopefully the close-to-legible writing as my life slows down. Maybe I’ll even look like a cool lady, a cool mom. I’m pretty sure they’ll simply be happy to carry these written words for decades and decades.

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!

Wedding Cheers!

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I love late Summer weddings. After just returning from a knock-out family wedding in Durango, Colorado this past weekend, (i.e. tailgating pre-wedding service, the most unforgettable flower girls and pooch ring bearer, fireworks, roasted s’mores for dessert!), I’ve had weddings on my mind and all the surrounding details, from beginning to end. So grab a pen and paper, you bride and groom to-be, and get ready to take some most likely needed notes!

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We all know the weeks and months leading up to the Big Day are often filled with many ‘things-to-do’ lists, including mailing off the save-the-date, wedding invitations and RSVPs…

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Alice & Max Save the Date

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Tyler and Eddie Wedding Invitation by Workhorse Printmakers

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Botanical Vintage Roses Wedding Invitation and RSVP from Citrus Press

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The international master of calligraphy and fine stationery, Bernard Maisner (the Editorial Director of Martha Stewart Weddings, Darcy Miller, used Maisner for her wedding invitations).

…The rush of the event keeps the bride and groom rolling full steam, but often the arrival of the dreaded Thank You note can kill the fire. However, this doesn’t have to be the case. Keep it simple with the following suggestions, with help from our friend Peggy Post, great granddaughter to the Queen Bee of etiquette.

1. Every gift or act of kindness deserves a handwritten card, no exceptions. This list should include people who give money, your attendants, friends and family who entertain for you or house your guests, vendors who go out of their way to make your wedding memorable, and even Uncle Tom who will supervise the parking at your reception. These individuals matter.

2. Respond in a timely fashion. Ms. Post feels ideally you write the note on the day you receive the gift. Possibly set a goal to write three or four notes a day. Do remember, the accepted standard is to write and send a card within three months of receiving a gift. But don’t make yourself crazy with the thought of writing each day especially leading up to the wedding!

3. Share the responsibility. We live in a modern society so why not work as a team to write these notes together. Open a bottle of good wine, light candles, play music, laugh about moments from the wedding. And be sure to include a signature from both individuals.

4. No shortcuts. Signing a store bought card or writing the same message to everyone does not cut it. The notes people remember are the one which express your heartfelt feelings. Be thoughtful and considerate. Tip: look at the gift when you are writing the letter for inspiration.

5. Be sure to pick up some kind of return address stamp to move the addressing along.

6. And a little additional suggestion from Mrs. Brown here, keep your Thank You list and notes in one location, maybe even a basket or bag with pockets for pens, stamps and cards. This way you can write on the fly. Stop at a coffee shop with your spouse before work, sit at picnic table at a favorite park or plant yourselves at a location meaningful to you both.

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Wedding Paper Divas

Bottom line, especially in this day and age, a handwritten Thank You remains the gold standard of courtesy. Express your words and emotion on paper. There is simply no other way. Now briefly on to the cards themselves…

When were married, we simply ordered plain Thank You notecards (with a touch of the wedgewood blue from our wedding theme, wowza were we into details) through the old Dayton’s (cue to weep!). But nowadays there are many options.

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Polaroid Photo Wedding Thank You postcard from Marty McColgan.

Although Peggy Post believes one should not include a wedding photo or photo card, if this will delay sending notes, I tend to disagree. I feel people enjoy a reminder of the day through an image. I’m especially fond of the greeting cards from Prinstagram. With the ease of using your Instagram account and the high quality card stock and envelopes, it’s a done deal.

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My friends Beth and James are considering the above photo to use for their Thank You notes thru Prinstagram. It captures a blip of a moment which most guests didn’t catch yet holds the energy of the evening and the sweetness of the couple. Be authentic. Be you.

Spring Pause

Spring has sprung…I think. At least the melting process has begun up here in the north country.  This seems like the perfect time to stretch out that writing hand of yours and write a simple card.  Reach out to a friend you haven’t connected with for ages, invite a loved one over for tea, remind someone how much you appreciated their advice taken decades ago, or celebrate the beginning of Spring with a neighbor, all through your very own handwriting!  As much as the general public has been sucked in by the digital world, the simple fact is this…People still very much enjoy and appreciate receiving written correspondence.

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(photo my Emilie at L & E Photography)

Last month I was a part of the Morningside After Dark Storytelling and Live Music Series where I kicked off the Postcard Project, handing free and stamped postcards to each attendee. The idea was for guests to connect with others through a simple and short handwritten message, whether a relationship currently in their lives or from the past. I was amazed at the reaction I received by these strangers. Not only did they thank me for beginning the process of a correspondence, but also how such a small project can be a reminder of the value of this kind of communication. The meaning behind the words become intimate rather than the predictable and impersonal email or text. Give it shot, just one letter, one note. The action will force you to pause as well as the recipient.

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By the way, in celebration of Spring, Brown Ink Paper Goods will be posting its first Giveaway on Instagram starting tomorrow morning. Perfect time to starting following us at browninkcom!

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.

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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…

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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…

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letterpress wedding invitations,

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

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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.