Wednesday, November 13, 2013

dream big. start small.

Friends! My illustration above is semifinalist in a design challenge, and I would greatly appreciate your support. Please take a moment and vote for "Feathered Dreamer" at Uncommon Goods by clicking here. If chosen, we will have the opportunity to work with the Children's buyer at Uncommon Goods to produce the outfit below! Below is an excerpt from my submission, and a sneak peek at the design!

Thanks so much!

"I'm the creator of Inklings Paperie and mother of two little dreamers! For as long as I can remember, I've had a passion for creating things. I love beautiful typography with a dash of whimsy, and finding beauty in simple things. I was inspired by the line "Dream Big. Start Small." I love the idea that every new life represents a fresh start with unlimited possibilities. Perhaps someday, these words will be worn by little dreamers who will change the world for the better."

Saturday, October 5, 2013

caleb's pirate party!

Dear Caleb,

I blinked, and you turned five. Yesterday, you were just a 9lb 3oz warm, cooing weight in my arms. Today, my arms were full and you held the door open for me without me asking. Twice. My heart grew when you were born five years ago, and it hasn't stopped growing. God is so good.

Today, we celebrated your 5th birthday. Every day, you see us package and ship dozens of paper products for other people. You look on my computer screen and ask me what kind of scratch card I'm making. So I set out to create a collection especially for you!

Last December when we took you to Magic Kingdom for your first time, you absolutely loved the Pirates of the Caribbean ride. I thought that it would give you nightmares, but you came bounding out of the ride begging to go on it again. (But not before purchasing a plastic sword first, of course.) A pirate party seemed like just the thing!

I may have gotten a little carried away perusing Pinterest for inspiration. I may have put my paper engineering skills (and patience) to the test by making dozens of little pirate ship cupcake wrappers this week. But as much as I love all of these little details, I never want them to come at the expense of missing those little moments that go by so fast. 

Like the expression on your face today when you saw the room decorated for the first time. 

And the fact that you conceded to putting on a striped shirt this morning… even though you've made it clear to us that "stripes and plaid aren't fun". 

And the sound of your voice cracking when you got really excited over each and every gift you opened. 

And overhearing you tell your pal how cool his hand-drawn card was in the middle of gift opening. 

Or seeing you run around with your pack of buddies with the biggest smile on your face, getting sweaty as you burned off the sugar buzz. 

And seeing you leave with the last balloon (a white one) with gratitude, even though you wanted red. The four-year-old Caleb might have shed some tears over this one. But not the five-year-old.

Because at the end of the day, a Pinterest-perfect party doesn't hold a birthday candle you. 

Love you, bud!




P.S. You can see the printable Classic Pirate Collection here!

Party held at Tiny Town Play Lounge (Visit their website here
Pirate Party Favor Hats (Find them here at Target)
Pirate Party Favor Swords (Find them here at Target)
Pirate Eye Patches (Find them here at Target)
Pirate Plates (Find them here at Target)
Pirate Napkins (Find them here at Target)
IBC Root Beer (Find it here at Target)
Red Striped Plastic Table Cloths (Find them here on Amazon)
Plastic Gemstones (Find them here on Amazon)
Gold Plastic Coins (Find them here on Amazon) 

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

first day of school

I had a moment last night, as I was getting things ready for our son's first day of Jr. Kindergarten. A moment where I wondered how on earth my little guy was old enough to be going to school. A real, full-fledged elementary school, with hallways and drinking fountains and an office. Wasn't I just carrying him in my arms? 

About a month ago, I shipped several sets of lunchbox notes out into the world. So last night as was in the kitchen making a little scratch-off love note to stow away in my son's pocket (he is in Jr. Kindergarten, so they don't stay for lunch) and I wondered how many other kiddos out there would be scratching off a little love note from mom or dad on their first day of school as well, and would feel a warm smile creep from their heart up to their face. I couldn't help but feel connected with so many other parents out there who might be packing a lunch or laying out an outfit (or in our case, new Spider Man underpants... yeah!) for the next morning. Parents who shared the same worries and concerns and hopes for their little one(s). 

I love to think that each little item that we create in some way connects us to others, and brings a little more joy to their day. A first day of school. A baby shower. A special announcement. So whether this is your first day of school, or just an ordinary day, warm wishes from my heart and home to yours!

Monday, August 26, 2013

20 + 20 (Mark's 40th Birthday Bash!)

My husband Mark turns 40 this year, and when I asked him how he'd like to celebrate it, he responded, "A day at the cottage with friends." So this weekend, we did just that.

Naturally, there was some paper prettiness that went down. He is married to me, after all. I joke with friends that my creativity ends when I get in the kitchen, so I tried to line up as much catering as I could so that I was able to focus on my forté: cute decorations, and good wine. Hehe.

For the theme, I started with a black & white chalkboard motif... but then I worried that it might seem too depressing (mostly black), so I threw some mint green in there. Where does the "20+20" come from? Well, he's as fun as two twenty year olds (I wish I knew where I read that...) so I thought I'd spin off of that for fun. I cut long runners (12" wide) out of chalk cloth that I found here, and then at the last minute I drew some fun swirls and numbers on the runners. It was an easy way to dress up our simple white tablecloths!

Our food was catered by the phenomenal chef Dino Grossi, a client and friend of mine from Volare Ristorante in Wixom. And together with the help of some friends and family, we pulled off a perfect evening and the funnest weekend filled with laughter, conversation, and good food to celebrate my hubby.

Looking forward to many more birthday celebrations to come!

Happy Birthday Mark!

Friday, August 2, 2013

Lunchbox Notes

School's coming (shudder), and I've got a four-year-old who goes to Jr. Kindergarten this fall. That's right folks... five mornings a week at a brand new school. I love my little skoober, and am always looking for ways to tell him... but as a mom with a toddler and a newborn, sometimes it takes a miracle just to get out the door. And while I'm blessed to be able to work from my home studio most days, on the days when I go in to clients' offices, I found myself whipping out a piece of construction paper and some markers from the craft drawer and making one of these:

While these are all well and good, this beautiful artistry (note sarcasm) takes time. And I found myself being tempted to re-use the signs. Because let's be honest... there are only so many ways to draw kissing hands.

But it won't be long before my little guy (who still adores finding these notes) will be embarrassed if one of these shows up in his lunch box.

That's when I decided that something had to be done. There had to be a cute, easy way for parents to create little love notes for their special little people, even while on the run. Something that was small enough to slip in a lunch box, without being a Post-it note (not that there's anything wrong with Post-its...). And best of all, something that was easy to give, and fun for a toddler to receive.

I knew that I had the fun factor down pat. My little man can't HELP but scratch off a card. Every time he finds a stray scratch-off card in our house, he comes to me and asks if he can scratch it. I call him our quality control manager. So imagine his surprise when he scratches a card and finds a funny cartoon, or a short little love note in mommy's handwriting, written especially for him! And thus, Lunchbox Notes were born.

The shot at the very top of this post is my little guy with the very first card.
Here it is again:

Disclaimer: I paid him $0.26 for the shot. I offered him a quarter if he would pose for the camera after scratching, and then I let him keep his scratching penny. Before you judge me for paying my son to pose for the camera, consider the shots below which represent our last attempts at a family photo during cottage week this summer. My son hates. having. his. picture. taken.

It's my own fault, I realize. After all, I did do THIS to him as an infant (see below). I'm not sure what finally broke him. It could have been the antique bonnet (which he clearly was embarrassed of, even at just 5 mos), the bear rug experience, the leg warmers, or the Anne Geddes-style "Baby-in-Distress" photo shoot attempt (lower left) which yielded shots that never made the birth announcement. Either way, getting a picture of my son is always a challenge. Thankfully, it didn't take much coaxing to get my son to smile with the lunchbox notes... and if you were there with me this morning during the shoot, you'd know that behind the card, that little stinker was sticking out his tongue.

But I digress. Back to the Lunchbox Notes. Here's a step-by-step look at how they work:

Each set comes with 20 cards printed on our premium, ultra-thick card stock, 20 scratch-off stickers, and a cute hand-stamped muslin bag that's perfect for stashing in your junk drawer until that moment when you need them most. 

Inklings Lunchbox Notes are available for purchase here. To my awesome blog readers, please feel free to use the coupon code "BACKTOSCHOOL201310" for 10% off your set!

So what will you write on yours?