Correspondence


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I believe in the art of the handwritten note. I believe in the feeling you get when you open the mailbox and see familiar handwriting.  I believe in Thank You notes. I believe in mail & written letters in general because it’s such a lovely, tactile way to express yourself and love others.  And if it’s pretty,  it makes meaningful art, especially if no one else knows there’s a message inside as it hangs on the wall.

I don’t really abide by New Year’s Resolutions, but by the fall of last year, I realized how far I’ve drifted from doing something I really love doing. How does that happen? 2013 was an awful year for letter-writing for me, and I’d like 2014 to be different.

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So, that being said, I also fully believe in investing in pretty stationery and planners.  If you find stationery that represents you, and you’re excited to send it, it’ll happen. Too often I make myself feel guilty if I don’t make my cards–I have everything I’d need to do this, but because life happens, they don’t get made, & then they don’t get sent. I’ve decided to get over that this year, and do both: make some when the mood strikes, and splurge a little on my favorite stationers now and then. (Hellooo, Rifle Paper Co.!) It feels good to give myself a break!

My first step in being more mindful a la snail mail:

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An Address Book. I bought this one from Target today–$4.95. I was a bit bummed they didn’t have something larger (it’s 3×4″), especially for the price, but I have been so ready to weed through my old book, which I’ve had for 10+ years, so it’ll do.

My favorite thing to do: Clip handwritten return addresses from envelopes. I’ve been doing this forever, and I think I always will. It’s quick, easy, and I love seeing others’ handwriting. Or cool address stamps. (Hey, if you’re going to invest in one, I respect dat–and if you’ve sent me one, it’s most likely in my book. So money well spent. :) I went through our Christmas card envelopes this year and compared addresses for any new ones.

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Another step to me being more mindful…. Remembering birthdays. I actually always remember…but late. My nieces will tell you this… I’ve been an Aunt for almost 18 years now, and I’m still typically late with their cards and gifts. Urgh. So today, I also picked up a new planner for the year, and I did this on each month’s NOTES tab:

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If it’s on paper, I’ll remember it. I’ve tried using my phone, but as smart as it is, it just doesn’t help me as much as physically writing it does. Weird? Anyway, I’m hoping now that I’ve gone through each month, birthdays will be more at the forefront of my mind.

Did anyone else grumble about the rising price of stamps recently? I did when I heard it on the news the other night… but then I thought, you know… the digital world is convenient and awesome and tidy and neat, but the scribbled, creased, new-paper scent of the tangible world is worth continuing for all time. So I’ll be buying those stamps until they are crazy expensive and I literally can’t anymore. Along with forever stamps, of course. :)

A great read for your little ones, to encourage them to send notes…

I’m sure there are more books out there on the subject for kids; if you know of any, please let me know.  A lil saying I tell Livvy: “If you want mail, you have to send it…” So here’s to Happy Writing, Sending, and Receiving this year!

Knitting Needle Card

Inventory1Don’t know what knitting needles you have while you’re out and about, and see a good sale? Fear not–just make a little inventory card for your wallet. (This is something I’ve been meaning to do for a looong.time… so happy I finally sat down and printed one up!)

While the girls were watching Daniel Tiger this morning, and I was admiring his accurately-knit sweater, I decided to finally go through my knitting needles–a small, but easy organization project that will hopefully spur on more this week.  I now have one jar for double pointed needles, one jar for straight needles, and a small container for all circulars. Dunzo.

After jotting down all sizes on a notecard, I just typed it up, printed it out, and fit it onto a piece of cardstock the size of a business card. (I used Eras Light ITC, size 12 and 8.)

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The great thing is that I mostly finished before the show was over. I just had to build a fort to keep the kidlets entertained while I laminated it with packing tape (look at that lovely line!)   I’ve tried using Ravelry’s inventory sheet, and even though it’s online and easy to update, I’m a tactile person to the core… so this should work a bit better for me, even if I have to reprint it with updates now and then.

I made one for my wallet, and one for my notions bag–so the next time I’m standing in front of a clearance bin at a cute little knitting shop….

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Booyah.

Create Here:

CA3In my newly organized craft room! There is still a bit to be done, but this is a vast improvement… and I am loving it.  What a difference purging, re-grouping, and some new shelves make.  Remember all this stuff?

20130728_215632ARC came and picked it up, and I haven’t even thought about it since.  Haven’t had to think about moving it, or cleaning it, or going through it anymore… Proof that purging is always a good idea. Buh-bye!

ARCStuffSo back to the fun stuff. This corner is now my corner o’ happiness. I love the windows and all the light we get for it being a basement… and I’m loving the colors popping against the white walls and shelves.

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CA3Yarn is stored in the Mr. Cart next to the table, as you can see; I also have some yarn way above in the green topped totes. (One of those is for current projects, the other is for Knitting 101–a tote I can just grab and go when anyone wants to learn how to knit!) Below that, on the next shelf, I have a basket with cardstock, 12×12 paper, and a few boxes for embellishments, punches, and small papers. The third shelf has fabric pieces, a box of clear stamps, ink pads, and some odds n’ ends. The bottom shelf, with the green boxes, holds sewing supplies, and extra materials (tape, glue, paper bags, etc.).

My sewing machine mostly stays on the table (under that cute cover Leez made), but I’ll take it over to the ping pong table (next to me in this shot), to use it. I’ll just grab one of the green totes with whatever I need, sew, then put it all away (eventually :). Okay, so I’ve really only sewn maybe twice since setting this all up; but when I did, this setup worked out great. Gotta get down here and do more crafting!

I’m still toying with how I’d like everything displayed–I have a few frames I’d like to put up above the table.  And eventually I’d like to label my boxes and baskets, but this is working for now.  Jars for knitting needles and ribbon; old owl book ends for my crafty books; Audrey for a lil style.

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My friend Allyson painted this picture for me shortly after my mom passed… I love it, and was so touched when she gave it to me. Such a thoughtful gift–I’m glad I have just the place for it, now. (If you like Allyson’s style, please check out more of her art here!)

Project simplify… slowly but surely…