Tag Archives: Queen Quills

40 More to Go

Before the summer season officially comes to an end this Sunday evening, (to be precise, the Fall Equinox begins at 10:29 P.M), I felt it might be a good time to file away my 40th Birthday cards which have been displayed on my desk for almost a month now (birthdays are a big deal in this household and we tend to hold on to cards for a long time, no surprise there).

Maybe it was because I was turning the big 4-0 this year, but I was dizzy with the awesomeness of the variety of birthday cards I received. I thought, why not share my favorites with the rest of you all? So, here goes my first (and potentially annual) “Best Birthday Card” on-line award ceremony. Drum roll please…

The Award for “Best Advice Card”, we had a three-way tie…


Kelly with Interesting over 40Bernard Baruch quote from Cynthia & Tim, and Alecia’s hinting it’s good to Make Mistakes in life. Way to make me feel young, friends!

The award for “Most Thinking-Outside-the-Box Card” goes to a few as well…

nellie Nellie for enjoying the youthful card, even including a ’73 Charlie’s Angels trading card,


Aunt Wendy with my favorite children’s illustrator, Lois Lenski Fireside Poems, and “Portland” Katie with her daughter Ruby’s, handmade card titled Animals. High on originality, folks.

For the “Most Beautifully Written Card” the award goes to….


..Michelle for her appreciation of the gorgeous Banquet art!! (she sells large prints at her store).

For the “Most Appropriate Card” drum roll for…


 …both Ron & Mekea, since we consumed a few tacos that evening! (both with fab print, btw)

For simply the “Most Beautiful Card” it’s yet another three-way tie…


between Alison’s Flowering Tree card, Mary’s artsy scene from screech owl design, and Cindy’s circus card from Beatrice Coron’s beautiful cut art. Difficult to select one as you can see.

And for the “Most Lovely Handmade Card”…


 …applause to Ms. Lervick, the James’s kiddos, Italian Amy, Nicole and Ollie. These are my favs!

Before finishing my award ceremony, I need to give a few bonus points for the following categories, starting with wrapping paper, a three-way tie…


Alecia for crafty re-use of our bedroom wallpaper sample, Jill who hand wrote the entire paper, and Mark & Jean for using their architectural scraps. Oh-so-wonderfully green, my friends!

Big smiles to my dear Jean who created beautifully, personalized letterpress stationery for me.(..which you can also find for yourself at her new Pomegranate Press Etsy store!)


Adored my illustrated 40…


from Ms. Jenni, commissioned from the artist Emily Synder, aka Queen Quills.

And lastly, to the most thoughtful, homemade gift…


…a hand sewn 40th book from Vicki, for friends to write wishes for the Birthday Girl. Just lovely.

So, I hope to have not come across as boastful! Truly, it’s all about the love and excitement around the presentation of one’s writing and my hope to inspire others in finding the enjoyment of not only giving but writing!! Here’s to 40 more years of my handwriting.

gift giving lends a hand

Between the birth of Baby Bea and my birthday in August, we Brown gals have been showered with thoughtful gifts from family & friends lately. Wonderfully, many have had a handwriting theme (thanks everyone for supporting the brown ink motto). And with the holiday season soon approaching, I thought I might as well share a bit of people’s generosity to get those creative minds brewing. Grab a coffee. It’s on the long side.

1. Our neighbors, who are raising three kids as well, recognize how difficult it is to remember all those hysterical things kids say on a daily basis.

My Quotable Kid

So they sent over the perfect gift, My Quotable Kid journal. I had seen this journal in an entry on my good friend Jane’s blog and thought this could come in handy. A simple way to keep a record of your childrens’ most humorous and insightful thoughts and another way to simplify (there’s that word again). Thanks Forslines.

russell + hazel 'Oh How Did You Know' Boxed Note Cards

2. My friend Carrie (she writes an hysterical blog) loves to shower me with writing material. I was psyched to receive the “oh How Did You Know” stationery from russell+hazel.




3. She also picked up these Yummy Yummy scented markers from The Walker Art Center Shop but you can find them here. These came in handy yesterday when Oliver needed a little extra excitement while writing his birthday Thank You notes.

Buy Rocket Pen Spaceship Blue at TinToyArcade.com

4. Of course, you need you a Rocket Pen with four different ink selections. Sally & Jim picked this up for me at The Walker. Perfect stocking stuffer.

5. Dear Jenni David, she always comes up with thoughtful and unique gifts. She showered Ms. Beatrice with beautiful prints of her name written by Emily Synder from Queen Quills.

6. She also found this vintage book signed by the first recipient in 1933 and then went on to sign herself. Touching. (“I” before “e” except after “c” Monica).

7. After traveling overseas this spring, Jenni returned home with this journal from the 798 Art District in Beijing which has become one of the new landmarks of Beijing Urban Culture. Love a little culture in my journals!

8. I was surprised by a group of friends on my 39th birthday with one of the most lovely gifts I could image, a beautiful box filled with 39 (mostly written) observations about me. Seriously, I was blown over. The box is now kept right on our office desk for those days I need a pick-me-up and I’d rather avoid the chocolate or bourbon. Ha.

9. One of the most unique gifts we received this summer is something I don’t expect the majority of people to manuever. My brother, Blake and his friend, Melanie, visited us in OR and brought with them necklaces she created. I asked her what went into making these pieces:

  • Cut disks out of sheet silver.
  • Use dapping block to make the disks slightly concave.
  • Fuse the disks together with a jump ring at the top… using an acetylene and atmospheric air torch.
  • Polish in a tumbler over night.
  • Have Blake write monograms over and over and over and over again until he is happy with them.
  • Use very small pliers to twist fine gauge silver wire into the shape of the monograms Blake created.
  • Stick the small bits of wire, now in the shape of monograms, inside the appropriate circle on the appropriate pendant and place on masking tape
  • Pigment resin with artist pigments
  • Pour resin into each pendant
  • Let resin cure over night
  • On the drive to Manzanita, use sandpaper to remove any stray resin and to do some finish work
  • While the transmission on the truck is being repaired, do the final wet dry sanding in the transmission shop and then protect the pendants with a coat of Renaissance wax
  • Add a bail, put on a chain and put in a box…..

I share these gifts to inspire you to find uniqueness in your gift giving this season – And maybe make it personal. These gifts are thoughtful yet not expensive. Think about stepping out of the box. The writing makes it one of a kind.