Tag Archives: russell+hazel

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!!

    Trend Breaker

    To the general eye, it would appear all 20-somethings are hooked to their digital devices, rarely bringing a pen to paper. Well, I just happen to know one of these 20-somethings who consistently challenges this belief in her work and play and is a huge believer in handwriting. When I first met Perris she handed me a gorgeous, heavy card stock, letterpressed business card with a custom edge poppy color and gold details (created by Studio on Fire, no surprise), and I knew this gal was serious not only about her business but also her appreciation of paper.

    brasstacks_7

    Perris Deppa, the multi-talented force behind Brass Tacks, can’t image a life without pen and paper close at hand. Even before she opened her own business as a Lifestyle Manager she was writing daily To-Do lists in her russell+hazel mini binder and mailing cards to friends as a way to keep in touch rather via Facebook or email. Inheriting the appreciation of writing and receiving a letter from her mother, a natural love of the pen was uniquely grounded in this traditional yet modernly chic gal.

    Screen-Shot-2014-06-25-at-12.05.20-PM-600x399

     These days as she plans vacations for clients or takes care of others’ daily To-Do’s, she often grabs for the pen not the keyboard. The act of crossing off To-Do list items is not only mentally fulfilling but it simplifies and organizes her clients’ needs. She also feels a Thank You note to a vendor builds strong relationships and has enduring value. Perris often writes Birthday or Anniversary cards to clients, believing in the importance of details and personal touch with customer service.
    brasstacks_3

    “I put more thought into what I’m doing when writing out my days, lists, business plans, etc. than if I simply type them. I’m a bit more focused when writing, resulting in more thoughtful work.” Hello, can I please get a boisterous, choral praise for Perris, a gal from my own heart and a true trend breaker for her generation. Keep on writing you young people!

      Peace & Snow

      Over the years, my Yearly Planners have become something of a journal, holding not only appointments but also lists of Things-To-Do, goals for a season, recipes to try, etc., with never enough room to keep what’s juggling in my head. So when I noticed the Emily Ley’s Simplified Planner on The Paper Chronicles my interest perked up.

      ELSimplifiedPlanner_04-640x420.jpeg

      Although I’m usually more of a black or blue covered russell&hazel Calendar gal, there is such thought and organization in this book I embraced the spirited, rainbow cover.  Last night as I began entering my 2014 appointments and unloading the Things-To-Do lists from my noggin’ into the well-designed, hard covered book, a peace rushed through me. This planner not only offers a calendar but opportunities to balance the rest of my life. Finally, a gal who understands the needs of life yet keeping true to the paper and pen.  And since the excitement over the planner has been so great, Emily is offering a discount on orders being shipped in 2014. Thanks fellow paper enthusiast!!

      For those of you who enjoy more of a wall calendar or other forms of looking at the year ahead, check out other styles of 2014 on paper…

      2014 Botanical Desk Calendar

      Rifle Paper Co.’s elegant Botanical Desk Calendar will look beautiful on any desk.

      2014 Letterpress Wall Calendar - Inspirational Quotes.

      The 2014 Letterpress Wall Calendar from Steel Petal Press features inspirational quotes.

      For the Pie Enthusiast, the watercolor and letterpress 2014 Pie Calendar from Printerette Press brings the feel of each season right back to baking in the kitchen.

      Smart Deck Pad 2014

      To see 2014 in one big picture, go for the oversized russell+hazel SmartDeck pad.

      Image of Desert Poppies Wall Calendar

      Or enjoy Leah Duncan’s Desert Poppies Wall Calendar and frame the top half after the year has ended! (bonus: Save 25% on your order using BOXINGDAY now thru midnight Friday)

      The classic Vamos Bicycle 2014 Calendar from Hammerpress can easily be posted on a bulletin board or placed between photos and kids’ art on the kitchen fridge.

      Moglea has created a colorful watercolor calendar for the year 2014.

      FRAMED 2014 Moon Calendar - LETTERPRESS PRINT in blue pine frame

      I’ve always loved the Margins Moon Calendar sold by Mille for those who live by solar forces!

      And as the snow continues to fall on another gorgeous Minnesota day, I think to myself, why would I want to head out to the crazy sales when I can simply shop online…?

      December 25th Gift Tags Set

      So before your put away the ornaments and other seasonal decor, make sure to check out the Sale on Brown Ink Paper Goods with 25% off our Holiday Collection with checkout code: 25SNOW.  Come next November, you’ll smile at your fabulous holiday paper goods stored over the warmer months!

      And off I head to “Frozen” with my Disney-loving boys, a bit relaxed knowing my 2014 is looking more organized than before. Scribbles and rearranged dates will come, no doubt. But at least they will live in one spot. Bring it on New Year.

        An Off-the-Grid Grin

        Twin Citians have slowly been crawling out of the dark over the past 6 days. After two nights of epic (sorry, a word often used by our boys) wind and rain storms, the power was knocked out in hundreds of communities, a record setter.  Most people were not too pleased about their warm homes, lack of hot water, pitching every item in their freezers, iMacs out. I could go on. But honestly, I didn’t mind a bit.

        After four days of no power, I was secretly hoping for a few more dark and calm moments in the house. While Nick was grinning ear to ear soon after electricity was rocking our homestead, I was wanting to go back in time.  There was a calmness in our home I had not felt for awhile. The boys stopped asking if they could watch a “show”; I was unable to work on Brown Ink Paper Goods or watch Mad Men episodes in the evening; there were no distractions like the laundry or emails piling up; no Instagram to follow. Instead, I sat beside my battery-powered lantern, (I was pushing for candles but Nick refused additional heat on our 1st floor), and wrote the letters I’d been wanting to write for the past month. With all the darkness and quiet surrounding me, without any electricity I was more focused than ever. I was present and I loved it.

        Although I was not out in the public that often during the post-storm days, a friend of mine noticed a change. People were conversing more than usual, versus looking at their phones. There was a simple yet noticeable change in this face-to-face communication.

        Did communities take anything away from this pause in their lives? It’s unclear. But maybe this summer we can all put our gadgets to the side, at least a few nights a week, grab a pen and write…whatever, to whomever. Connecting with yourself and others, a break in the action and a needed respite for many I’d imagine. I admit I enjoy and appreciate, even more lately, the coolness to my once toasty bed but I’d get off-the-grid for a quiet moment on most nights these days.

        On a paper note, if you are in need of gorgeous writing and office supplies and live close to Minneapolis, head over to russell and hazel. It’s their annual Sidewalk Sale now through Sunday where they’ve unloaded lovely goods for fantabulous prices. Go run, not walk…especially since most of us will return to cool, electrical powered homes. Lucky us? That’s the head scratcher.

          voila party

          My co-pilot and I are opposite when it comes to blogging. He has the wit, and at times bizarre, inside-baseball kind of humor. Me, I’m more practical and sing-songy. Nick handwrites all his posts before logging in and I, on the other hand, need to type when organizing my thoughts (I realize, a bit anti-Brown Ink). Nick stores all his ideas in his head. For me, I collect ideas and store them under a specific category using my awesome filing system (with the help from russell&hazel file folders).

          Funny enough, even with well-intended folders spilling over with post ideas, for me it always comes down to what feels fresh at the time. I often wait for the right topic to knock me over. So this past week, buried under stationery catalogues while narrowing down the goods to premiere on Brown Ink this fall (so excited!!), I had no time or room to let an idea surface. But leave it to a morning run to solve or at least sort out my present problems. Summer humidity finally arrived and out came my need for a summer party…voila. Who doesn’t love a little social gathering in the heat of the season!?!

          invite1 Take the time to handwrite an invite! I used these invitations from MARA-MI for a Bon Voyage party for my neighbors this spring. I adore the origami and gold foil print inside the envelope.

          invite2

           And for more of the garden party…

          Garden Party Invitations

          Rifle Paper features a beautiful party invitation which can be used for many occasions.

           

          wine1

          Use this nautical, summer themed gift tag from MARA-MI with a bottle of bubbly for the host.

          wine3

          0040 Make your drinks labels stand out and feel festive with a celebratory stamp!

          0067

           

          Letterpressed Neon Coasters - "Bottoms up"

          These chic, neon coasters from Haute Papier use an added touch with the letterpress handwriting.

          Find a way to make a statement as your guests arrive. A good friend of mine welcomed her friends by using chalkboard paint in her front entrance. An easy feel good.

           Find chalkboard paint around town or make it temporary with peel & stick boards

           

          Of course, if your party has many people chatting it up with one another, they will love the napkin notes for the last minute thought, much easier than digging for you iphone to message yourself.

          With these food writing pens, your handwriting is actually edible!

          iPad Step example

          If you’re not a big Thank You note writer, make it simple by shooting a photo with the host and send a card using inkFelt, RedStamp, or Postagram, all phone or tablet apps which send an old-fashioned written card, on real paper, delivered by a mail carrier. All before you exit the party.

          0045

          Let the festivities begin….