Monday, March 30, 2015

Giving Hope

For the past few years, we have had the opportunity to help support a small orphanage in Haiti, Ebenezer Glenn Orphanage (EGO). We have come to know many of these little ones by name.

Belle Ange and Elisemene are two orphans who have grown up at EGO, and under new laws they are required to leave the orphanage at the age of 18. Where human trafficking is prevalent, the statistics are not good for orphans in Haiti. An education can change the trajectory of a young person's life, yet less than 2% of children in Haiti receive a secondary education.

Would you join us this Saturday as we help to kick off the fundraiser for their education? We are pledging an entire day's sales in our shop to Belle Ange and Elisemenne. Every dollar spent will be donated to their education. 

What this means is that you can get pretty paper in the mail, and send two orphans to college! It's like a double rainbow.

"Love in the little things" is a motto we've been using for Inklings over the past year. Not only is this all about pouring ourselves out into what we create, but it's also about empowering people to show and share love with others. It's about celebrating life and finding joy in every day, and it's about treating every person with dignity as someone who was made in the image of God. I pray that our business will be about more than just pretty little paper things. Because little things can change the world.

In the words of Mother Theresa,

"I alone cannot change the world,
but I can cast a stone across the waters
to make many ripples."



Tuesday, February 17, 2015

DIY succulent terrarium

So I went to HomeGoods this week to get a birthday present for a friend, and of course came out with more than I planned to get. But seriously, this little glass terrarium was speaking to me. I decided to get a little crafty and create this for the studio! I don't have much of a green thumb, so I totally resorted to artificials. Hey, this mama ain't too proud for fake greenery.

Here's what I used:
Terrarium... $30
Succulents... $14
Floral Foam... $3
Natural Moss... $4

It took me all of five minutes to assemble. Can't wait to find a sunny little spot in the studio. To help the fake succulents grow, of course.

Have you gotten crafty lately?

Thursday, February 12, 2015

DIY scratch-off valentines!

Happy Valentine's Day!

Ah, I had so much fun making these little modified scratch-off Valentines with our little guy this past weekend, and wanted to share! As you know, Valentine's Day is quite the occasion when you're in Kindergarten. We made a special trip to Target to choose out goodies for the bags (which I had on hand for a rainy day), and designed the cards together on my computer. Here's my confession, to all you mommas: I had him hand-write his message on a single sheet of paper, and then snapped a shot with my iPhone so we could print it on the cards. Honestly, we've lived and learned. Little hands get tired. Next year may be different, but in this case I was able to take his handwriting, drop it in the file, and print out 25 copies of his little note. This freed us up to sticker them, stuff each of the bags, and tape them shut with some cute washi tape.

All of our paper goods in the Inklings shop are professionally printed, but it was fun to whip these up and get the instant gratification of printing them in the studio. Of course, we ran out of ink and I had to remind myself that 6-year-olds are more concerned with the candy than the banding. 

Wishing you all a sweet Valentine's Day this week with the ones you love!

Monday, February 9, 2015

hip hip hooray!

Our customers mean the world to us! We are so grateful to each and every one of you. Thank-you for allowing us to do what we do, and for sharing your experiences with us so we can only get better for you. We read each and post every review that is left in our shop (the good, and the bad) and your words truly mean the world to us!

*UPDATE: Unfortunately this specific coupon code has expired, but worry not! Our Facebook friends receive a 10% coupon code... just visit our Facebook page here, "like" us, and send us a message before placing your order to receive your code! xo

Monday, January 19, 2015

Valentine's Day for the uninspired 


Looking for something different this Valentine's Day?
Spice things up with Scratch-off Love Notes!


If you're familiar with our Lunchbox Notes, these work the same way. Simply write your own message in the box, and cover it with a sticker. This cute little bag includes 20 fun-sized notes (2" x 3.5") for you to enjoy together.

Here are five fun ideas to try this Valentine's Day:

LOVE COUPONS  |  Write "IOU's" or coupons on each one, filled with "gifts" or acts of service that can be redeemed in the coming year.

HIDDEN SURPRISES  |  Write a secret note and hide it in a work bag, coat pocket, the car, a laptop, or somewhere else where it will be discovered.

SPICE IT UP  |  While you're out to dinner together, split the deck of blank cards in half. Each of you will have TEN cards. On each card, write a fun or spicy thing you'd like to try (and yes, writing "Extra Hot Thai Peanut Curry" is completely acceptable), and cover your writing with a sticker. Shuffle the cards, and place them back in the bag. Pull cards from the bag when you'd like to spice things up!

DATES FOR A YEAR  |  Take turns writing down 20 different date ideas that you'd like to do in the year to come. Every few weeks, pull a card out of the bag and scratch it together to see what your next date will be!

POP THE QUESTION  |  Surprise your loved one with a proposal. Maybe you've been married for twenty-two years. So surprise her with a different type of proposal... a weekend getaway someplace you've never been. A honeymoon you never had. A thumbs up to start trying for that baby. Whatever you'd like to propose, a scratch-off is such a fun way to do it!

What are your ideas on how these could be used? I'd love to hear them!

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Marsala: Pantone's 2015 Color of the Year

Pantone has announced Marsala as the 2015 Color of the Year! Pantone has been inspiring the world as the standard for color communication and inspiration since 1963. Every year, their Color of the Year is highly anticipated, with Radiant Orchid reigning supreme in 2014! 

We've created this fun infographic to show the chosen colors since Pantone began this tradition in 2000. Many of these shades helped to inspire our color palette, and we've listed some of these colors at the bottom of the chart. Which Color of the Year is your favorite?

Pantone describes Marsala as a "naturally robust and earthy wine red."  Marsala has been met with a wide range of responses (both adoration, and criticism) as it comes across as earthy and muted compared to the vibrant, more optimistic shades in years past. We think that the shift to a more muted tone was bold and refreshing.

Inspired by Marsala, we're so pleased to share that our newest color offering is "Cranberry Marsala". Our Cranberry Marsala is a little bit less chalky than Pantone's Marsala, with raspberry undertones. We think it's so lovely with Champagne PinkTangerine, or Platinum Grey! 

Above, we've created a mood board with csme of our favorite color pairings for Marsala (above). 


Sunday, November 16, 2014

Behind the camera

Spoiler alert: the flowers aren't fresh-cut. 

But really, who doesn't love an idyllic little scene like this? A bright corner, flowers, and color-coordinated and thoughtfully-arranged desk accessories that are symbols of productivity. But as I was looking at these shots the other day, I felt compelled to share some of the things that too often we choose to edit out or omit altogether before we post or share with the world.

As a creative person, it's natural to want to share the beauty. But I also want to share the chaos in the beauty, and the stories behind what we do that make them more rich, more meaningful, and more human. I don't want to edit out the crazy, and often imperfect details of my everyday.

So yes, I will share shots that look like this:


...and this:


But I'll also share shots like this:

That's my one-year-old in his footie PJs. In the afternoon. He is determined to get to the boxes that mom worked on while watching Shark Tank re-runs the night before. Note the exercise ball in the background, which has not been used for anything exercise-related for quite some time (unless, of course, you count playing "catch" with a toddler exercise). 

Lest you think that I'm supermom and am able to run a successful business while caring for two active boys, I should disclose that we're blessed to have the most fabulous caregivers watch our littlest guy three days a week while his big bro is at school. He gets loved on and played with, and we get work done. I am also grateful for Mark, my fabulous husband and business partner, who helps me in countless ways and keeps our house (and our business) humming along. 

While the boys are at school and the house is empty, I'm not busy making batches of home-made yogurt or laundry detergent. I am not tending to live chickens, or planning the upcoming week's meals, or stirring the pot of home-made soup on the stove, or exercising (as I probably should). I'm sending e-mails, setting up photo shoots in our dining room, scheduling calls with our distributor, replying to Etsy convos, sketching in my notepad, meeting with our shipping manager, editing photos, listing products, posting on our social media channels, and basically squeezing in as much "heart and hustle" as I can for the business between 9 and 5 so that when my boys get home, I can be present for them. It doesn't always work out that way, and more often than not that means speed-dialing take-out, or a family dinner at IKEA down the road. And I'm usually picking up where I left off after the last story has been read and the final good-night kiss has been given.

 Above: Here is the same busy toddler next to the lines of boxes that stretch from our front entry and into our kitchen. To me, these boxes are a reminder of the shortage of space in our home-based studio. To this little guy, they're just a slam dunk waiting to happen. When each box of shipping supplies arrives, I open and inspect it in our kitchen before the items are stored. You wouldn't believe the things I find he's squirreled away in these boxes. A particular pair of Spiderman underpants comes to mind.

Too often these days, I find myself looking around and pining for more space. Wishing that my desktop always looked neat and orderly and photogenic. Longing for a warehouse to store all of the boxes coming in and out of our space. Heck, I'd just appreciate a buffer of space between work and home life from time to time. But I'm reminded to look at these sweet days and just savor them. To try not to compare my beginning to someone else's middle. And to thank God for the daily blessings that He gives rather than to wish for more (or less) than I have right now, in this moment.

Even on good days, our life is chaotic. But there's a beauty in that chaos, and I wouldn't trade this life we have for anything else.

Thank-you so much for joining us on this journey!


P.S. Click here to follow the beautiful chaos on Instagram (@inklingspaperie).