Tag Archives: Stationery

Head First Jump

I can feel it. Spring is here. I suddenly want to tackle the clutter only I can see and jump head first into the multiple projects on my mind. Change in one’s life can do that, you know. Shake things up! And I’m all about trusting my intuition and embracing the unknown in the seasons ahead.

In the near future, the Brown clan will revel in a stay-cation. Little do my peeps realize, I have big BIG plans for our 11 days in town…

  • Writing out our Family Tree will hopefully answer all our children’s questions such as ‘who was my great-great-grandfather?’ and ‘Am I more Scottish then English?’
  • Surprising the kids with these gorgeous watercolor pens and postcards
  • Create, divide and conquer this printable To-Do-List from All for the Boys (such fun, don’t you wish you were here vs. Mexico?)
  • Nudge my three little ones to slow down, pick up a pencil and write a new pen-pal (see video below!!) Perhaps an International pen-pal is in the making!

As for me, I’ll be checking out Alexandra Franzen’s One Letter Today free workbook all about the art of letter writing, trying this DIY face-mask, and diving into the pile of books on my side table.

Easter Egg Magic with glitters and tattoos!

But before break begins, this past weekend Beatrice and I got our crafty on with the Bunny Die-Cut Shape Easter cards from Paper Source (so simple with stamps and stickers!). And we joined a friend to create these DIY glitter eggs from Rip&Tan with tattoos as embellishments. I’ll be peeling off super glue from my fingers over the next few weeks but completely worth it!

Image-1And just a reminder, the Brown Ink Paper Goods store is closing its door this Friday! Bittersweet, but as I mentioned, I’m embracing my intuition which is clearly screaming there is more for me. So I will jump, head first.

    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.

      Behind-the-Scenes with Brown Ink Paper Goods

      A few months ago I was asked to be a guest blogger for the Better Homes and Gardens Style Spotters blog, a little behind-the-scenes of what goes into creating my personal line. Of course, I jumped at the chance to share my world with its followers.

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      Collaborating on card design with Jean Glenn from Pomegranate Press is truly my most favorite aspect of selling the Brown Ink Paper Goods line (aside from others enjoying the cards as well!). Through the lens of the talented Louisa Podlich, our making-of this years Father’s Day card was beautifully caught in Jean’s home.

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      Between finalizing the card details such as color, typeset and layout in her dining room, to creating the final piece of work on her Chandler and Price Platen Press in the basement, we work together like a well-oiled machine…vintage, of course!

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      To have the chance to work so closely with a talented and professional letterpress printer such as Jean is simply a dream. I believe our commitment to the authentic beauty and nature of letterpress, creating hand-touched products using an antique letterpress printer and vintage print blocks, can be seen in each card in the the Brown Ink Paper Goods line. Thank you for the support, friends! And be sure to check out the full blog post here on Better Homes and Gardens!

        A School Year’s Significant Moments

        As the school year winds down often our To-Do list extends well out into the garden, with one of the top priorities being, (aside from getting your fingers dirty IN the garden), Teacher Gifts.

        As I’ve mentioned before, from the mouth of my mother-in-law, a retired school teacher of 35+ years, there is no better gift than a handwritten note from a student. I can not stress this enough. A simple card from your child (in their best handwriting, of course) mentioning specifics about the year is heartfelt…a quote from the teacher, field trips, a funny story, a challenge the teacher supported, or something personal they shared together. This is a time to share what made the past year special or unique thanks to their teacher!

        You Rule is too cool! Especially for Teacher Gifts!

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        If you are creative and have a little more time before the end of the year, put together a memory book for your teacher. A few years ago Emmett and I created such a gift for his Kindergarten teacher (also featured in the St.Paul Pioneer Press) which not only was fairly simple but also brought another layer of significance to his first year of grade school.

        For many teachers, Summer is time for more personal writing, be it letters, postcards or their own journal. Give a gift of paper goods which speaks directly to that teacher….

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        For the fanatic gardener, the Evelina Journal and Fawn & Fauna Terrarium!

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        For the outdoor Summer enthusiast, pick up a Sailboat Set or Adventure Postcard Set.

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        Gift the Les Animaux Set to the animal lover!

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        For the Queen Bee Teacher, these Library Cards and Book Stamp will be well-loved!

        20140126__520747~s300~p3_500A hug. A card. Personal words from a student. These are last-day-of-school significant moments which remind our teachers of the value their presence brings each day to our children.

          On the Road with Power & Light Press

          A few years ago when I was first determining which artists would work well within the Brown Ink Paper Goods aesthetics, I came across the one-of-a-kind woman, Kyle Durrie, from Power & Light Press at the National Stationery Show.

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          Both her taste and her exploration as a young adult made her a shoe-in for the store. I recently connected with Kyle, our current Featured Designer, to hear a more about what makes her move. Check out the story here and continue to follow me via Instagram as I connect with both new and seasoned designers at the show this year!