Tag Archives: Rifle Paper Co

fade to sunlight

Most Minnesotans are questioning the validity of today’s Spring Equinox what with all our snow and temps in the single digits. It doesn’t help when we’re reminded that last year at this time we were spoiled with an unusually early spring with green grass and flip-flops weather for most of March (cut to deep breath HERE). However, our typical weather is not breaking me down, especially after my California spring pick-me-up last weekend.

My recommendation to all you numb-toed souls is this; purchase some Watch ’em Grow forced bulb garden, pull out your Easter chicks and Passover decor, and let your inner warmth shine while writing or making cards!!

Start by heading to Paper Source to find your Easter supplies. Yesterday I stopped in to find a sea of pastels, bunnies and eggs in every direction.

Even if you are short on time with the kids, stamping a few easter eggs with silver bunnies and handwriting a message is fresh and unique. Also pretty adorable.  And while you’re at it, pick up some cards to send to a family member who’s away for the spring holiday. Some of my favs….

Decorated Easter Eggs Card

Decorated Easter Eggs from Rifle Paper Co.

Funny Easter Card. Peep Easter Card. Blank Easter Card.

For the Peeps fanatic from, handmade from Julie Ann Art

Happy Easter Lily from Banquet

And the cards from Sugar Paper are lovely…

Sweet Easter wishes

Easter Nest 

Easter Galore

Hop Hop

PRINTABLE Bunny Ears Easter Card

To make things really simple, a printable Easter Ears card from Zest and Lime

 Tree of Life - Happy Passover card (684762)

Tree of Life – Happy Passover

Seder Table Greeting Cards (Pk of 20)Seder Table greeting 

oy Greeting Card

simple expression says it all

If you are looking to surprise the table guests at this year’s spring holiday gathering, check out these ideas…

Cheryl Cooper’s passover setting for her grandchildren

Easter surprises for Emmett and Oliver thanks to Grandma Sally

Find a way to bring some brightness to your day. It might feel like winter for some of us but spring has, really, truly, arrived and thankfully our sunlight is lasting longer (dissolve to final deep breath before we fade to black). Hippity Hop!

scraps, lace & red ink

Valentine’s Day is soon approaching, so you know what that means? That’s right, time to get creative. If you recall, last year I got my creative groove on while taking a crafting class at Paper Source. This year they are offering another inspiring class called My Sweet Valentine Crafters Night Out where they’ll give you the materials and inspiration to make creations you’ve dreamed only Martha Stewart could create. Jump to it you Twin Citians!


But if crafting isn’t your thing and you’d rather be in the kitchen check out this next idea.



The Things I Love About You Box seen on frolic combines both talents in the kitchen and a personal handwritten list of the favorite things you adore about your sweetheart. So simple yet so sweet.

Of course if you are the traditionalist it’s never too early to load up on Valentine’s Cards.

I adore the whimsical feel to Banquet’s doily Valentines Day Cards.

Pucker up with neon pink lips from one of my favorite lines, Gold Teeth Brooklyn.

Valentine's Day Postcards

This postcard set from Rifle Paper Co. is perfect for a few heartfelt lines for friends.

Wild Ink Press creates beautiful Valentine’s Cards with their in-house letterpress machines.

If this year you’d like to add a surprise element but need a bit of support, allow me lead you to the Poetry Salon.


Poem + Message in a CorkPoem + Handmade Paper

Here professional poetry writers will use your thoughts, feelings and personal details to form a one-of-a-kind poem for your sweetheart. The salon offers a dozen options on how they display the poems, my favorite being hand embroidered on a vintage bag.

Poem + Handmade Bag

As much as I appreciate the “Hallmark Holiday” with its boxes of chocolates, bouquets of red roses and shiny love notes, you can most likely find what you need to create a card right in your home.

photo222One year after cutting out paper hearts with Emmett for his school Valentine’s Card I gathered the scraps, grabbed my red marker and created Nick’s valentine on a white board. Best card ever I thought (still sits in our tool closet to be seen by the lucky few). Hearts filled with handwritten letters. Maybe next time I’ll add a little lace or a few lines that rhyme.

Stationery Nirvana Part II

Soon after I posted Stationery Nirvana Part I last month I realized there were still remnants floating out there, from my stationery fog. So, naturally, I had to make the post a two part series. If it wasn’t for that darn National Stationery Show to showcase loads and loads of fantastic vendors, I would have just let it go until next year (when I hope to be drooling over the cards in person!!). Enjoy…

One of my favorite vendors is Wild Ink Press out of Chico, CA. It’s a husband and wife team (which is maybe another reason why I’m drawn to these two) who create their cards with three antique letter press machines and a letter cutter. Oh, and they also farm rice on the side. No joke.

Buttercream on my Cupcake

Antique Pakistan Tile

 Tractor Birthday Invitations

I love a good card that keeps you on your toes, especially when it comes to having a child. Look no further than west coast based FareWell Paperie.

You Had a Baby

Fawnsberg is a sister team who began their love of writing mailing letters to and from summer camp (sistas from my own heart). This bloomed into a lovely illustration and calligraphy stationery line.

Lake George

Bridgette – Wildflower

The guys from oddball press out of Cleveland, OH have a bizarre sense of humor meant for that right mate. A bit of tongue in cheek never hurts.

How Long 


The clever cards from Sapling Press caught my eye immediately when featured on a bunch of blogs chatting about the stationery show.

Sunglasses and Stevie Wonder

 Cake & Presents (isn’t that what it’s all about? ha.)

Sapling happens to sell their products in a stationery boutique in Chicago called Greer, which I’d been hoping to visit my last few trips to the windy city. Last month I happened to be in town for a quick overnight (last hurrah with Nick) and with one hour to kill I made a dash in the pouring rain to check out this beautiful store located in Old Town. It was well worth the manic taxi ride. This place is a gold mine with one of the best collection of stationery goods I’ve ever seen. A few goodies I picked up…

Dear Fork (my inspiration from Sapling Press)

Carrot and Stick Press

Telephone Pad from Rifle Paper Co (for those of us, including myself. who still like to leave handwritten messages if a family member misses a call!)

Crazy about these Indigo Blossom, letterpress square note cards from Brookfield 2


Sending Thanks from Anemone Letterpress

After returning from Chicago I was on a hunt for more local stores with unique cards. My luck, I happened upon Motto, a new boutique in Uptown which, aside from lovely home decor and clothing, happens to sell a line of cards new to me. I spoke with one of the owners, Maria Walker, who loved the idea of starting off by supporting one independent stationery company and was intrigued by Blue Barn House. Couldn’t help but leave with these beauties.

Elephant Forget

Mimosa me!

Cactus & Lizard Note Card 

As a bonus to all you readers who have made it this far into the post (big thanks!), there is a Summer Sale going on through July 13th at R. Nichols. Just enter the discount code SUMMER and receive 30% off everything on their website. Good time to stock up on holiday greeting cards, gift notes and more.

So off you go my card loving writers. Imagine how pleasant it would be if you had a few of these featured cards on hand the next time you notice the postman just parked down the block and you have 2.5 mins to write out a meaningful note!!

Edible Keepsakes

Last August we sadly said ‘Ciao Ciao’ to our dear friend and babysitter, Amy, as she headed to Florence for her freshman year abroad. (Of course we had to send her off with a journal and international air mail in hand!)

Over the past seven months we’ve written letters, received postcards from her travels, emailed and skyped with Amy. She’s even blogged about her adventures overseas. But when we really miss her, we make her family’s hummus.

It was a sticky July afternoon when Amy stopped by with not only some rockin’ homemade hummus but a handwritten recipe attached.  A girl after my own heart. So last week when Ollie and I were wishing she was close by we decided to break out the chickpeas and feel a little more connected with our far-off friend.

In the midst of the lemon juice and garlic scraps lay Amy’s handwriting. It was almost as if a little part of her spirit was right there with us. And it made me think of all the other recipes I’ve held on to from friends and family which I’ve saved over the years, written with their own writing.

Often after I enjoy a meal at my mother-in-law’s, Sally will mail the recipe of the dish she made especially if one of the boys ate it up as well. Her Smoked Salmon Frittata has become one of my faves. Her writing is always simple yet lovely, a teacher’s touch.

Speaking of homemade hummus, my childhood friend Theresa, who now lives in Des Moines, makes everything she can from scratch. So, of course, after she brought this appetizer for a girl’s weekend up north I asked her to send me the recipe…If not for future making, it’s a memory of our time. I have flashbacks of grade school notes whenever I see her writing which has not changed one bit.

And there is always the annual Holiday Baking with my mom. The sugar cookie recipe has been used for years now and although we probably know it by heart, every December I  thumb through my recipe folder to find mom’s handwritten recipe. It wouldn’t be a baking marathon without it somewhere in the middle of the mess on the kitchen island.

All of this talk about handwritten recipe cards got me thinking. Why not send your Aunt  who makes an unforgettable flourless chocolate cake a recipe card in the mail so she can share her baking secrets? Or your friend from college who made the wacky spice mix to sprinkle on popcorn? Not only will you accumulate some tasty recipes but you will also hold a keepsake to treasure for years to come. Every time you make that dish you will be reminded of the person behind the words however far they may be from your kitchen island. Although I print off many email recipes sent from friends, the handwritten ones bring an emotional level to each dish we create in our home.

P.S. Miss you Amy. Love your hummus (we added olives this go around, Oliver’s fav).

See You Next Year


Vacation just kicked off yesterday afternoon for our children and we could not be more thrilled. Not much on the agenda for the next 16 days which is exactly what we need. That said, we are taking a brown ink vacation until a little bit into January with the intention to…

– Stay in our pajamas until the middle of the day

– Write letters to long lost friends

– Finally pull out the sleds and cross country skis (assuming the needed snow arrives!!!)

– Dust off the kids’ journals and reflect on the season

– Sit by the fire with cocoa, wine and lots of unfinished novels

– And basically tune out the world for a bit. Sounds like heaven to me right about now.



But how could we leave without mentioning a few things to help you all kick off your 2012 in a rockin’ and reflective way?

I took a leap this year. Instead of purchasing the ever sturdy Barnes & Noble Day Planner I decided to treat myself with the Mini 2012 SmartDate Set from Russel + Hazel. Does it mean a bit more writing initially? Oh yes, but isn’t that the point? And it’s a great excuse to become even more organized for the year ahead (I’m a closet Type A wanna be). Speaking of organization from R+H…

This elegant leather pencil case will not only keep you from going frantically crazy when searching for a pen and pencil but it will remind you of the importance of writing in the year ahead. Ha.


And while you’re at it, treat yourself to the most beautiful European pencils out there on the streets. This Pencil Set of 12 is topped with a Swarovksi crystal in a rainbow of colors and can also be found at Russell + Hazel.  The ultimate luxury.


And when you are sitting next to that cozy fire, give a shout out to your loved ones by wishing them a Happy New Year with these beautiful cards from Rifle Paper Co. (You can also find them at Paperista in Minneapolis).


When it comes down to it, our true hope for you is to find the small surprises and gifts awaiting for you which don’t cost a cent. Last week the boys and I headed to downtown Minneapolis to find Santa at Macy’s 8th Floor Santaland, an annual trip since I was their age. What a wonderful surprise it was to see Emmett, our almost 6 year old, not only sit on Santa’s lap for the first time but actually read from his wish list. I’m not sure if it was his new found courage or reading from his own writing which made my heart stop. Either way, these moments are what it’s all about.

Merry, merry and the best for 2012 from the Brown clan.