Tag Archives: Journaling


Lately, reminders of my strong belief in the importance and value of journaling have appeared everywhere. It began a few weeks ago when I received an email from an online journaling service called OhLife stating they were shutting down their business. Unfortunately, they were unable to grow their user base or make OhLife financially stable. By way of background, OhLife was created to help people remember the day-to-day ‘goings on’ in one’s life by emailing you old entries you’d made, which you would reply to with a new entry from the current day.

Although I never relied on OhLife for a permanent format of journaling, I often looked forward to the short statements (or high bit of emotion with exclamations attached!) of where I was in my life be it 6 weeks or 636 days ago. Even so, I was always aware of the simple fact: these online entries would never be read by my children, grandchildren or anyone else in later years. Who was I fooling? This was an online service. OhLife wasn’t offering a bond book with bits from the past 5 years of my life. Which is why I continued to keep a journal on a daily basis. I like to be reminded that a year ago I was in Paris with Nick on this very day (ahh, deep breath) and two years ago I was contemplating an online boutique (so pleased it came to fruition!).


Again I was reminded of the importance of keeping a journal after spending a few days with my Uncle Will-Bill who has dementia. He recalls bits and pieces of his younger years but, sadly, it’s slowly fading. Thankfully he kept a journal from his 20’s and 30’s which we promised to read together the next time I visit him in Ely. This is his history seen through his writing, found in the books he carried through Europe, Russia, Moab, and the Boundary Waters. These are the years which made him the strong and sweet man he is today. I want to remember these years, his history.

In the end, OhLife had the right intentions by providing an easy service for us online geeks to type out our daily activities. But why not grab a pen, say right before falling asleep, and jot down a few thoughts or activities from the day..highs or lows, dreams, expectations, goals you crossed off your forever long list, frustrations, joys, surprises, disappointments, the pleasure of your morning coffee or you child crawling into bed with you in the middle of the night. Bits of what makes your life yours. And ones you’d like to look back later in life, whatever it may bring.

School Styling

Although we all tried to shut our eyes from the Back to School ads and catalogues which began to appear in mid-July, the time has come. And, although some kids can’t wait to try out their finely sharpened No. 2’s or open a crisp, clean notebook (mini iPads have not taken over all forms of note taking, right?), there are those young scholars who may need and appreciate a surprise hidden in their dusted off backpacks.

Yes, of course, there are the required paper goods assigned to each grade but why stop there? Instead, throw in a few other school supplies…just because you are a cool parent and your child worked their tush off practicing their writing skills over the Summer by journaling or writing letters from camp (or not). And, oh, you want to encourage handwriting as often as possible.


Any student will feel cool having their very own Petite Pink Notebook for personal needs…a place to scribble down a locker code, a reminder of an after-school sports equipment, Homecoming Dance Committee meeting time, and the new teacher’s favorite baked good.



I believe texting is a big No-No during class these days. Instead, why not encourage a little note writing with these letterpress Mini Note Pads? If my child was caught passing a handwritten note, I have to say I’d probably smile to know they were writing vs. texting! Sorry teachers.

For those high schooler or college bound kids…


This Eagle Letter and Pencil Pouch actually makes you look hip. Proven fact.

yellowpencil_1024x1024The Mechanical Pens and Ballpoint Wood Pencils from Delfonics bring young, serious writers to another level…Might also grab the professor’s attention as well.


Step aside Mead notebooks, make way for the show stopping Gold Polka Dot Notebook.

Before you zip up the lunch box, include a handwritten note to brighten up their day!


These Library Cards would catch any kid’s attention inside an echoey cafeteria. My dear friend, a 4th grade teacher, is using the cards as name tags on school lockers.


For the jokesters in the family, these printable Lunch Note Jokes from All for the Boys will keep the cafeteria scene light. The blank notes are perfect for your own jokes or sentiments.


Pssst…my last suggestion; Be the only parent with a little Summer left in them and throw in a few Tattoo Sets in their backpack. Even children need reminders of the moments of freedom and playfulness you’d all like to hold onto for just a bit longer.

Sun Reading

The Brown Family is finally back from the Oregon Coast where we took a good two weeks to read, sleep, run, eat, drink, dig in the sand, play soccer on the beach, collect sand dollars, mail postcards, eat and drink some more and write, write, write. While packing for the trip I might have caught Nick rolling his eyes ever so slightly when noticing the stack of journals (seven to be exact) which were headed to the West Coast with our troop. But, god love him, he also understands this was the ideal time for me to catch up on personal writing, travel writing and documenting the everyday details of our kids’ lives in their own journals.

photo 1

I actually had all intentions to write a few blog posts but, ironically, every time I attempted to log onto the internet I received little to no connection. I took it as a sign and went back to reading in the sun. I’m guessing you all would have done the same. Now back and fully recharged, I’m excited to feature our latest Designer from Quill & Fox, Yas Imamura, coming from the insanely gorgeous Northwest. Enjoy her story, the warm days left in Summer and we’ll be back soon.

Cherry Red Cheeks

This Summer has become one of exploration. I’ve allowed myself to take some time away from my blog, Pinterest and the digital world by placing energy in new areas. From a painting series, pottery 101, piano lessons (a first since 9th grade), long bike rides around the city, and finding a new overseas Pen Pal, my mind and body are embracing the change in the current pace.

However, my enthusiasm for all the gorgeous, new products which hit our store last week is impossible to contain! Make sure to check out the main Shop page for a glimpse of fresh paper goods as well a handful of new Designers. A few of my new favorites for now…


Seaweed Hello Set from Ferme a Papier


Dahlia Gift Tags from Modern Lore


Kraft Market List from Sugar Paper


Thank You Mix Set from Read Between the Lines


Eagle Letter Pouch from Izola


Mushrooms Set from Gilah Press


Kitchen Wall Calendar from Ilee Papergoods


Polka Dot Notebook from Sugar Paper


Neon Tags & Twine Box from Knot & Bow


Here’s to celebrating the season…lemonade stands, evening bike rides, dips in the lake, journal writing on the porch in your PJs, sand in toes, cherry red cheeks and dirty knees. Throw in a postcard from the Grand Canyon and you got yourself a good, old memorable Summer.

It’s Time to Celebrate

I returned home Tuesday night after attending the National Stationery Show and I am completely enthused from all I encountered. Thrilled for the new designers who will soon join the Brown Ink Paper Goods boutique as well as fresh work from our current lines. It’s all so good, especially to see the world of handwriting and paper goods alive and well. Before I share my favorites from the show, let’s move on to a few pressing matters at hand; gifts for the graduate or teacher in your life. A few ideas, starting with the graduate…


The Personalized Handwriting Necklace is a lovely gift for the young adult who may need a bit of family (mother, father, grandmother) close to her heart as she heads off to college.


For the craftsman in the family, send a student off with this do-it-yourself wooden base desk lamp, thanks to the minds behind Poppy Talk. It’s handsome, functional and handmade with love. Also ideal size for the dorm room desk (Make sure to include of few of these below!).

Of course, no Graduate should leave for college without a collection of fine pens or pencils….


 The Delfonic pen and pencil selection is perfect for both College Freshmen and Freshwomen who’d like to appear both smart and hip even if they are writing vs. typing.


A writing journal is a beautiful gift for a Graduate. They might be even more likely to download the numerous changes in their new lives’ with this proper and stylish journal by their side.



Leather Journals made by Twigg’s Bindery are simply stunning, a keeper for lifetime. Or a larger, Fabric Journal can hold concert stubs, airline tickets and other memorabilia (as a side note, Jonna Twigg just won Best New Product Award for this Fabric Journal at the Stationery Show!).


There may be a greater chance you’ll hear a few snippets of your child’s life if you send them off with stationery they will actually enjoy using like this Road Trip set from Scouts Honor Co.


And include a dozen stamps while you’re at it (what 18 year-old doesn’t love a little Jimi Hendrix?).

For the glorious Teachers….


Handwritten Teacher Name Stamp created by St.Paulite letter girl will be well loved and used.


For the teacher who appreciates a handwritten letter, the recently released Letters of Note would be a beautiful summer read, filled with extraordinary letters which will fill their soul.


 For Teachers with more freedom in the Summer, a Journal can be a needed creative outlet.


Gabrielle from Design Mom came up with these beautiful DIY painted pencil boxes. A great project with a child over the weekend. Add in a few pencils and note from their student, and you’ll find yourself a happy, full-hearted Teacher.

You could even include a lovely stationery set which fits the personality of the Teacher…


For the Bird Watcher from Small Adventure…



…to the traveler from Ferme A Papier and Dear Hancock.


Gifts are always lovely but, from what I’ve been told, a written letter from a student is the best gift a Teacher could ask for on any day.


Of course, a few handfuls of these sparkles from The Great Lakes Goods never hurts! Let’s CELEBRATE these accomplished individuals, the Graduates and Teachers who have made us proud.