Musings

National Notebook Day + A Giveaway

Today is National Notebook Day!

So naturally, a giveaway is in order, but first, a couple of interesting facts about notebooks and how they have shaped our world.

When you stop to think about it, everything around us, computers, cars, refrigerators, airplanes, bridges they all started as a concept in someone’s notebook. Geniuses fill pages with ideas that eventually change our world and oftentimes make our life better.

The notebook is a powerful tool for a creative mind. It is a place where the only limit is our imagination and we can explore anything we want without fear of being judged.

So here are a few interesting facts about notebooks and the people that love them, sprinkled with a few images of my own notebooks and the doodles in them.

1. Notebooks are more than good enough

Who would have thought that writers, the likes of Quentin Tarantino, Neil Gaiman and Stephen King, prefer pen and paper over writing on a computer? But they do! Tarantino has been known to say: “It’s a ceremony. I go to a stationery store and buy a notebook — and I don’t buy like ten. I just buy one and then fill it up.”

2. Notebooks can help spawn one of the best book series of our time

Although Rowling has mentioned countless times that her first ideas of Harry Potter were scribbled on napkins in a cafe, she later on planned the novels using regular pen and paper. She plotted out key events and developed important themes all in the pages of notebooks.

3. Notebooks can help you survive parenthood

It is well known that there are notebooks for every phase of your baby’s life nowadays. First words, steps, foods, etc. are all recorded in special notebooks to keep forever. Less well known is the growth in parent journals that help moms and dads record all the crazy moments, challenges and beautiful memories that come along with raising children. They become a prized record of years that fly by all too quickly.

4. Notebooks can help you look into the future, even from the past

When you think of the time when Leonardo da Vinci roamed the earth you don’t ever think of robots, parachutes, tanks or helicopters but they were there, in his notebooks! He had ideas on how to build these amazing, futuristic gadgets all the way back in the 1500s.

 

5. Notebooks can make you immortal

No one thinks of a diary as a notebook that anyone will ever read. It is a private memoir of a life that one might reflect on later on. This was not the case for Anne Frank. When she began writing her diary in 1942, she had no idea that the events that led them into hiding to escape Nazi persecution would make her journal a timeless record of the positive spirit of a young girl in the midst of adversity.

So next time you have a look at a little notebook you have laying around, think of it as possibility! Notebooks are a window into our mind and filling them with everything in it can be very interesting to look back on, if nothing else.

On to the GIVEAWAY! I’m particularly fond of small jotters and I designed a few abstract designs that turned into beautiful little notebooks. It is one of these that I’m giving away today.

All you have to do is join my list. If you’re already on my list, you will be automatically entered but you’re welcome to follow me on Instagram or like my Facebook Page as extra entries.

If you’re not on my list, you can sign up here:

You’ll not only be entered into the giveaway, but you’ll get a FREE downloadable print and a 10% off coupon to boot!

Remember, if you follow me on Instagram and Facebook, come back and comment below to let me know so your extra entries count. I'll announce a winner by the end of tomorrow.

Have a happy National Notebook day!

Behind a Mother's Day Card

There isn't a person on earth that doesn't flock to buy the perfect Mother's Day card this time of year and it is precisely for that reason that I've been printing diligently this week.

Mother's Day cards tend to fly off shelves and staying ahead of the orders can get quite tricky. As I was printing the cards I decided to shoot a little video and snap some shots of the printing in action so you can see how much care and attention goes into each and every one of these cards.

Letterpressing Mother's Day Cards 

The card I decided to follow is an old favorite. No matter how many years go by, this is always a popular design and for good reason. When I designed it, I wasn't that far along into learning letterpress and I wasn't aware how incredibly ridiculous I was for designing a four color card.

This card takes a LONG TIME TO PRINT!

Four colors on the press means each time I switch a color I have to clean up the entire press. Clean plates, the base, rollers and the inking plate. 

Still, letterpress on its own is beautiful and a four color card is even more amazing because they are rare. So, even though it is ridiculous, I love printing cards with a lot of colors, specially for Mother's Day, because let's face it, our moms totally deserve it!

Here's a short video of me printing the third color on a few of these cards. I hope you find it interesting.

So that's a small glimpse at what this process is like and below is a close up of the third color on the card where you get a good look at the impression on the paper!

Third color on a letterpress Mother's Day card

I will be printing the fourth color today and finishing the cards up along with a few other reprints that are waiting to go out to beautiful mother's all over.

If you'd like to get your mom one of these special Mother's Day Cards or any other greeting card just follow this link and use this coupon code when you check out to get 15% OFF: MOMCARD16

This code is good on all greeting cards until this Friday, April 29th.

Don't forget to follow along on Instagram if you want to see the final color on this card and of course, don't forget to have a look at some of the other colorful cards in the shop like the ones below.

How to write a heartfelt Valentine

It's that time of year and if you're anything like my husband, you'll find it difficult to write a Valentine for your sweetheart. He always tells me how much pressure he feels when he's writing any card but especially Valentine cards. Truthfully, it's probably because I love stationery and everything from picking out a card to writing in it just makes him nervous. Will I like it? Is it a good enough card?

Still, every year he worries and every year he writes the most heartfelt messages in those wonderful cards he so lovingly picks out.

The key to writing a good Valentine, is to write from your heart.

Sounds pretty simple right? It's absolutely true. But how DO you write from the heart? It's not always easy to do, but it can be done and here are my 3 tips for writing a heartfelt Valentine:

1. Make sure you have of plenty of time.

One of the biggest problems with writing out a card is that most of us usually rush it. You're wrapping a gift in a hurry, you quickly grab a card and then of course, you can't figure out what to say. You're rushed, you're stressed and you need to get it done. That's a perfect recipe for drawing a blank. Instead, set some time aside for this very special task. Try sitting down with a cup of tea and a little bit of patience. Grab that beautiful card you spent weeks picking out and, of course, your favorite pen and start thinking about your loved one.

What comes to mind when you think of him?

What feelings does she evoke when you're sitting there contemplating how lucky you are to have her? When you start to think about your loved one, all your memories, the things you've been through together, the plans you have for the future, you'll be overcome with lots of beautiful things to put into your message.

2. Write a quick draft.

I don't know about you, but I rarely know exactly how I want to say something even when I know what I want to say. That's where jotting your thoughts down really helps. On the rare occasion that the words flow, I might write directly on the card, but often, I write down a few of the things I want to say on a separate sheet of paper and piece them together. It doesn't ever take more than simply writing these thoughts out and then stringing them together in my head. Then, once I sit down to write the card, I know exactly what I want to write and I'm not anxious about it.

3. Allow yourself to feel what you're writing.

Once you've conjured up all the emotions and memories that will help you with that draft, allow yourself to feel them. Remember that time you ditched class with your sweetheart and spent the day together. Allow yourself to feel that excitement you felt when you got the keys to your first home. Think about the wonder you both felt when you held your firstborn in your arms.

It is when you think about these moments that your words become heartfelt and genuine, because you're reliving those beautiful memories and reminding, not only your sweetheart but yourself how much you really love each other.

Don't just do this for a partner either, it's just as effective with a good friend and specially your children. The key is to really think about this amazing person that you're taking the time to send your love to. Think about all the wonderful ways this person enriches your life. Let your relationship with them fill your mind and heart and it will most certainly come out on paper. 

So those are some of the things I do when I write out the few Valentines I send out each year. Do you do something special to get you in the mood for writing out a Valentine? Let us know in the comments below.

In the meantime, good luck with those Valentines, have fun with them!