Friday Favorites: Staff Picks to Beat the Winter Blues

IMG_0914Tarah: I chose a new card on our shelves from Thimblepress, the gold foil, YOU ARE MY FAVORITE set on whimsical strokes of color. This card is A. Cheery and B. Who doesn’t want to be told that they are the best, or prized by someone they love? This could be left as is to convey “you are simply my favorite”, or written more specifically to a favorite server at your local standby, nurse friend, teacher or a boss. But probably don’t give it to your child if you have more than one.

IMG_0909Kerianne: Without using any words, this card seems to send the reassurance that spring is on the way. Simple, beautiful, and versatile, this card from Rifle Paper Co. could be used for Easter, Mother’s Day, or just to say “hello” to a friend.

IMG_0904Susan: This is my fav card for Spring — a bunch of brightly colored hearts that just lifts my spirits after our dreary weather these past few days. I love this new line of cards by Good Paper. They are so beautifully designed and assembled by young adults in Rwanda to provide jobs and support their families. We have many designs in all the card categories so you must come in to pick your favorite.

IMG_0907Abbey: My personal way to beat the winter blues is always to share some laughs with a friend. Remind your girlfriend of good times and friendship with this card from Offensive & Delightful — sure to cheer her up!

DIY – Greeting Card Mini Notebook

As a little throwback to our January DIY post, we’re doing another journal, but instead of using felt, we’re using a material that you all already have on hand – a lovely greeting card. Think, a pretty blank card, a birthday card for a little birthday gift, a wedding or congratulations card for a bridal shower, Mother’s day gift, etc… Jaimé chose some lovelies from Rifle Paper Co. here.
Small Card Notebook
exampleMaterials
Materials: Card, paper, waxed thread, awl, needle
Step 1: Cut and fold paper to size of card (The card we used measured 4.25×5.5in, so we cut in half four – 8.5×11 sheets of paper for the inside)
Step 2: Add paper to the inside of card. (optional: use binder clips to hold in place)
Step 3Step 3: Use the awl to make a hole in the center of the fold, and another about 1in from the top and from the bottom
step4Step 4: Follow steps for needle and thread
Step 4eStep 5: Tie off!
FinalOptional: Start sewing from the inside to have the knot inside. Place under some heavy books to flatten. Trim sides with a paper cutter. Use staples to bind instead of thread.
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Friday Finds: Easter Basket Lovelies

Sure, you could fill a basket with waxy chocolate, cheap toys and handfuls of plastic fluorescent grass and be done with it, I mean that’s what our generation found hiding on Easter morning OR you could shop sustainably by finding fun, thoughtful items at a local shop to wow your little bunny this Easter.

With the second option closer to our hearts, we’ve come up with a few ideas to get you excited about bringing a little spring surprise to your sweet ones.

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For our Children’s Basket we’ve chosen items that promote learning, creativity and thoughtfulness. The pop-up art history book about Alexander Calder explores what inspired the artist to explore the colors and shapes he did. This is particularly intriguing to us since his work, La Grande Vitesse, was the first publicly commissioned sculpture in the US and happens to be the heart of our home city, Grand Rapids! There is also a whimsical bag by K Studio, a DIY Felt Animal Craft, A set of bookplates, an organic chapstick and the softest I LOVE Michigan Tee from Michigan Awesome. Since April is National Letter Writing Month we included a pack of 6.25 Paper blank stationery with cheery envelopes to encourage children to write more. Lastly, from local GR business, SO AWESOME — unique and beautifully illustrated non-toxic wallet cards that teach ABC’s, Numbers, Colors and Shapes, and Emotions.

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I don’t know about you, but Easter baskets didn’t stop as I grew up since I had younger siblings, so here is a little inspiration for putting together a Teen Basket that is sure to excite! This gift is inspired by Rifle’s spring florals, showcased in the journal, stationery set, and pencils paired with a K Studio pencil case to protect these beauties from being lost! You can never have too many headbands and no-crease hair-ties as we enter warmer months, and the “Do Your Best” Keychain adds some inspiration to the everyday! Lastly, a little keepsake like funky, sleek metal and leather ring will ensure this Easter surprise is not soon forgotten!

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Letter Writing Evening with 6.25 Paper

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Guess what?! April is National Letter Writing Month and as a stationery store this may be better than Christmas so we’re throwing a special party to celebrate! Encouraging the art of writing and sending snail mail is why we went into business in the first place. Because of this, we are boldly joining thousands of people across the nation and writing 30 letters in 30 days during the month of April. We have been inspired by the great teams at Egg Press and Hello!Lucky who – every year – encourage their followers to do just this in their Write_On Campaign.

We are thrilled to be a part of such an awesome campaign and hope you will join in on the hand-cramping, postage stamping, cheer-spreading fun! You can join the movement by tagging your beautiful envelopes and stationery photos on instagram with #write_on and #writemorewith625paper Need some inspiration to get your thoughtfulness flowing? Check out Write_On’s list of Reasons to Write.

On March 31st, from 6-9pm, you are invited to join us for our Kick-Off Party filled with note-writing, snacking, drinking, some chill music, raffles, plus a very special store discount so you can stock up to prepare for all of your April writing. Our staff will be there to help you with letter suggestions and to make sure your wine/beer glass is full.

You are encouraged to bring your own cards, letters, writing materials, etc… but depending on which option you choose (see below), you may not need to bring anything but your address book!

The Letter Writer Enthusiast:
Includes a kit with 6 greeting cards and envelopes, a sheet of writing paper with envelope, a Gelly Roll pen, a monogram set, and 6 postage stamps to get your challenge started. (total value over $50)

The Letter Writer Fanatic:
Includes a kit with 10 greeting cards and envelopes, a set of 10 writing paper sheets with envelopes, a monogram set, a Gelly Roll & a Precision pen, and 10 postage stamps to get you going. (total value over $80)

The Bat-Shit-Crazy Letter Writer:
This is a letter-writer’s ultimate fantasy package.
Includes 20 greeting cards and envelopes, a set of 25 writing paper sheets with envelopes, a monogram set, a set of GR postcards, a Gelly Roll & a Precision pen, plus 30 postage stamps so you have no excuse to meet the 30-day challenge! (Total monetary value over $165, but really, who can put a price on this experience!?)

Greeting cards will vary per attendee and include options for every occasion — and you’ll be able to switch cards with those around you. We expect this evening to fill up fast, so be sure to register early.

Hope to see you there!!!

Modern Thrive for Creative Growth

I believe we can all learn from each other and in this business of being a creative and being a business owner, I am always happy to share and receive advice. I read books about business and honing creativity as often as I can (post coming about some great books I recently read), but I want to share with you my new favorite site and tool for learning – it’s called Modern Thrive.

modernthrive_6In their own words: “We provide practical education for today’s professionals through career coaching, workshops and free resources. Our goal is not to give you all of the answers, but to connect you with the people who might have them. Each of our instructors are hand-picked and our workshops are developed with you in mind. We understand that you want to do something big with your career, but that something has to be fulfilling as well. We want to help you find the career path that is going to give you the best life.”

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The classes on Modern Thrive are all about follow through. You don’t just learn a basic skill and finish class. These classes are more comprehensive for the serious creative who desires to grow their business. These are not basic “how-to” classes like “how to use instagram” instead (for example) there’s a class on presenting your work in a way that stands out from the crowd and translating your Instagram fame to actual sales. Plus they have SO many classes – adding more each week!

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Classes are comprised of three 1-hour sessions, suggested to be taken over the course of three days to thoroughly engage in the lessons, course work and discussions.

Did I mention the instructors are hand-picked? Last May, Cassie Boorn organized Maker Mentors, a totally online conference for creative entrepreneurs. They had more than 200 attendees, and received nothing but positive feedback on the program. Cassie and her creative crew decided to expand and offer live online workshops, hence Modern Thrive. The instructors are carefully selected professionals – real instruction.

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Focused on the big picture, targeted toward intelligent, creative business owners and artists, integrated easily into a schedule and quite affordable — these classes are great! I highly recommend checking out the site, the free stuff and trying out a class.

I’d love to know what you think too. I’m helping to spread the word about this site because I believe in continued learning – and this site does a superb, professional job at giving us this opportunity to learn. I also know a couple of the people behind the project and trust their opinion and experience. I hope you find it useful!!

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ps. Next week, they are hosting a live workshop with artist agent, Jennifer Nelson, who will talk about when it’s time to look for an agent, how to find quality agents and how to present your work.