Tag Archives: paper and pen

Make Life Happen

It should be of no shock for my friends and readers to hear I am a proud, card-carrying, handwriting, weekly planner enthusiast, refusing to go to the dark side of digital scheduling (this year I’m using the gorgeous Appointed Weekly Binder Calendar). This is the only way I know how to live. Once a week, Nick (who also owns a hardcover weekly planner) and I walk through our calendars, coordinating the family’s schedule. For the most part, this process has worked beautifully.

Little did I know, our family was in need of an entirely separate calendar to involve everyone and work out any conflicts which always arise!  It all began with a class I took last Spring given by my friend Suzie Stegic, the professional organizer of Profound Change. The theme was setting up for a new season with many helpful ideas, one of which was creating a SUMMER CALENDAR for the family. I liked the sound of it instantly, my gut saying we needed it! Suzie suggested positioning it where everyone can see then adding birthdays, festivals, art fairs, hikes…anything your family wanted out of Summer. What a perfect way to honor their ideas as well as providing the power of a pen, something we continue anyway we can.

img_4931

By June the calendar was up in the pantry with lots of opportunities for kids to express their wishes in their own handwriting.  And just as importantly, the giant calendar provided a common space to combine Nick’s and my calendar and also to include soccer games, swim practices, adult commitments, etc., as well as flagging conflicts weeks ahead of time. I color-coded sports commitments, overly decorated holidays and birthdays, highlighted vacations with large caps…anything to help the family navigate each month.

When September approached, I was hooked on this process and have continued to use the large hall calendar this Fall. The kids can see which days they have sports or school commitments, when they’re scheduled to help cook a family dinner or find an open night for games or a movie. As Suzie says “That giant paper calendar makes intentions become reality. You can make a 5 year plan version! What do you want out of life??!! Put it out together in PAPER. Brain to hand, idea to physical, beautiful paper. Make life happen.”

il_570xn-890825980_prvl

8ed41b63-b4c6-43ba-81e4-abbeb32476f2

Regarding our paper choice, the russel+hazel Desktop Calendar Pad is the perfect size for our needs but others might like to personalize it by using family photos with a Social Print Studio’s Wall Calendar or use the Chalkboard Wall Calendar by SimpleShapes for a larger space and more writing.

This might sound burdensome or overwhelming but, I promise, this process can provide you with clarity of mind and an awareness of how to spend time with yourself or family all through written words.

 For you locals, Suzie’s classes are full right now but she’ll soon update her site with future options!!

    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.

    IMG_4015

    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!

    34061697_000_a

    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.

    07holiday-qual-giftgude-slide-HVHQ-blog480

    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.

    unnamed

    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.

    SONY DSC

    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).

    Clare_V_3

    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!

    open-uri20130816-17199-1drjh3i.

    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!

      The Moment

      Last week I received a package from a dear friend, Tracy, who lives in California. She was my old boss but, more importantly, a trusted and loving confidante whom I wish I connected with more often. Tracy is old-school in the sense she never texts, rarely emails, but occasionally rings while sipping wine in a vineyard she thinks we ought to visit. The moment I noticed Tracy’s easily identifiable handwriting on a brown paper package on my doorstep, I smiled really, really big.

      photo 2

      I had seen her writing for years on production shoot notes or editing scripts, each letter always leaning way to the left as if there was a fan on the right side of the page. This was Tracy alright. Although her writing made me miss my close friend, there was a comfort in knowing she had created this package and card only days ago, pen and paper in hand. Nothing better.

      photo 1

      I thought of this feeling again today when I received a correspondence in the mail. Just a few days ago I met up with a woman named Michelle, a fellow believer in the importance of handwriting . While we both took notes during our conversation I noticed her unique penmanship. All of her letters were printed lowercase yet still held a nice finesse and sophistication. When I found her letter sticking out of the junk mail one day, I knew in a second this was Michelle (I soon enjoyed a thoughtful note on lovely cotton paper, personalized with letterpress. My kind of girl!). Even after one meeting, her writing became one of the pieces of my new friend.

      As we consume piles of catalogues, bills and excess paper advertisements each day, it’s a simple joy to receive anything personal in the mail these days. It’s in this moment when holding a simple, handwritten letter naturally forces me to pause, feel the life within the correspondence, and appreciate and give thanks for the effort behind the letter.

        Free Shipping & Sneak Peek!

        Before I launch my series of highlights from the National Stationery Show tomorrow, I wanted to share a few new Summer paper goods on the site and also mention…

        Image

        Especially for those folks behind on card and gift finding for Dad, now thru tomorrow use Code: POPS at check out to receive Free Shipping on orders in the U.S. only.

        Here’s a little sneak peek of new goods on the site, some of which I found while in New York.

        fireworks1_1024x1024

         Fireworks from Gold Teeth Brooklyn

        fruit4_1024x1024

        tats1_1024x1024

         Summer lovin’ with Pineapples & Bananas and Fruit & Treat Tats from Hartland Brooklyn

        postcard2_1024x1024

        Just in time, the postcard set for the Summer camper or traveler, also from Hartland Brooklyn

        fawn_greenpark_1024x1024

        Fawn and Fauna Terrarium and Hidden Villa from Quill & Fox are fabulously green!

        amaAnd soon to hit the site, the recently released Read Between The Lines! Stay put, more to come.

          Boda Boda Beats Bunga Bunga All Day Long

          Bobby Baby (BB), an old friend of mine whose nickname was bestowed by my cousin I believe, is a forty-something father of two who grew up a few blocks from me (on the same street where I live today) and he may be the smartest person I know, or at the very least, the person to whom I am currently most thankful to have in my life, save for immediate family and Theo Walcott.

          photo#

          A couple weeks back a neighborhood farmers market was raffling off a Yuba Boda Boda (donated by Calhoun Cycle), a crazy cool cargo bike/taxi of African origin, and Wendy, wanting to support a good cause and recalling that I’d recently been talking about the bike of dubious provenance I’d had since college and thinking it may be time for a new one, bought three tickets, one for each of our kids.

          You should know that Wendy and I are not “winners”, that is, we don’t “win” stuff. Actually, I won a super-schlocky sculpture thingy playing charity bingo with Ms. Richfield in a church basement 10 years ago, but if you had seen the item you’d agree it wasn’t a “win” of distinction in any positive sense and I’ve largely forgotten about the whole matter. Beyond that, nothing.

          But back to the market. BB had, at another raffle-type event some time ago, suggested to Wendy that after filling out the pertinent information, she crumple up the raffle tickets before depositing them into the jar with all the other entries. Now I’ve always thought advice is kind of a funny thing and reminds me of snowflakes; people say they look forward to it, but when certain advice is actually received it can be a little cold, and at times, unwelcome. BB doesn’t offer unwelcome advice. Wendy crumpled the 3rd ticket and only the 3rd ticket, (it remains unclear why only the singular crumple), Bea’s, and guess which ticket was pulled.

          I wasn’t at the market when Wendy bought the tickets and had no idea about the whole raffle itself, so you can imagine my surprise when a couple weeks later I received a text and photo from my buddy Sugar saying, “Um, dude, I think your [quite young] daughter just won a really cool bike”. That bike has seen heavy use ever since. You can’t get me off it.

          Thank you Bea, thank you BB, thank you Boda Boda. The pen is mighty, yes, but sometimes an extra crumple helps, too.