Tag Archives: NY Times

Just Send It

Last summer, while away on a family vacation, I received a difficult phone call from my dear friend, Ron. He had recently been diagnosed with leukemia. My first reaction, aside from “OH SHIT, you can’t leave this world!”, was how soon can I mail a card to him back home. Unfortunately, I had some practice writing  get well cards over the past few years to friends and family. But as I saw through my mother’s partner, David, who received letters while battling melanoma, handwritten letters make a difference. They really do.

Since our small beach town in Oregon only carried a small selection of encouragement cards and were not totally my style, I decided to roll with the situation and buy the most sappy, Deep Thoughts by Jack Handeyesque cards I could find. It became our theme to send Ron extremely  syrupy, footprints-in-the-sand kind of greeting cards (he’s still talking to me so something must have worked!).

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Thankfully, more greeting card designers are creating cards which simply state how we feel, the Queen Bee these days being Emily McDowell. Her booth at the National Stationery Show is always packed with buyers and it’s easy to see why. Emily’s empathy cards speak the truth in a humorous yet thoughtful way!

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After her experience (and triumph!) with cancer as well as connecting with people who have lost loved ones, Emily understands first-hand what it’s like to be on the other side.  The emotional impact of the experience was her inspiration to create cards she would have liked to receive while she was ill.

Indeed, it’s a fine balance, how direct are you with those you feel empathy towards? This quote from Dr.Brene Brown sums it up well, “Empathy is a choice and it’s a venerable choice because in order to connect with you I have to connect with something in myself that knows that feeling. Rarely, if ever, does an empathic response begin with at least...we are trying to put the silver lining around it.” And what are these words to use if not found in the perfect card?

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TOO SEXY from Patterson Paper

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Throat Punch Cancer from Black Lab Studio

Years ago an article in the NY Times made it a bit more clear as far as the Do’s and Don’ts of communication to those ill. Words which are direct and have feeling appear the most powerful. “I’m sorry you have to go through this.” “I hate to see you suffer.” “You meant a lot to me.” These statement plus keeping it light with a little juicy gossip, (a Hollywood star scandal, the school Principal’s dating life, etc.), can be the key in getting through the next round of chemo.

This is what I believe to be true. Show up, be real, be encouraging. Look for online support if the what’s and how’s don’t come naturally to you (my good friend recently kicked off Cancer Doula blog after losing her best friend to breast cancer and was unable to find support which spoke to her!). Do not hold back mailing a card if you don’t have the perfect words or perfect card. Your loved one will be overjoyed knowing you are with them in mind and spirit – And they are not alone.

Summertime Bounty

Last night while the Brown family ate dinner on the porch (roughly 7.5 minutes before the kids jetted off to play in the yard!), we began counting the weeks left in Summer. Yes, I’m aware this conversation was taking place way too early! But here’s the simple truth…Minnesotans have both the beauty and frustration of living with clear beginnings and endings to the four seasons. Summer is fast, fun, messy, full, exhausting and tremendously entertaining.

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Which is why I’ve decided to take a temporary pause from blogging over the next two months and spend more time with my three young children, handwriting as much as possible, sharing the bounty of our garden and participating in the family circus. You’ll still hear from Brown Ink Paper Goods regarding a sale or two over the Summer (check out the latest discounts here!) and posting new products on Instagram, TwitterPinterest, and Facebook. Otherwise, I’ll rejoin you all in late August. Until then, put the phone down and let your closet, inner-youth take over whenever possible! Before I leave you, here are a few highlights from the past month worth checking out…

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Cocorrina’s current obsession with brass office supplies from Kohezi!

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The always creative USPS Stamps blog recently spotlighted two experts to help us style our cards as well as find the right words while corresponding!

Enjoying the Lettres Grandes from Nowness, a film series of French actors reading letters such as correspondence by Van Gogh to his brother.

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No one highlights the National Stationery Show quite like Nole from Oh So Beautiful Paper (I finally met the gal in person at the show this year and expressed my appreciation for her inspiring site!). Check out her favorites, 13 post series, from this year’s show!

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The new NYC boutique, C.W. Pencil Enterprise, is a must-visit for all pencil enthusiasts headed to The Big Apple. Speaking of traveling…

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Did you hear the latest? Boutique hotels are now offering letter-writing amenities in hotel rooms, one even has personalized stationery awaiting their guests!

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Recently released More than Words: The Illustrated Love Letters, Thank-You Notes and Travelogues of Great Artists is one to add to your coffee table collection this Summer.

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Make it a memorable Summer. Be daring, share what you love, and write when you can. xo

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!