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January, 2013

thursday tidbits

what’s up party people!  did you guys have severe weather where you lived yesterday?  it was crazy here.  i didn’t hear any tornado sirens, but my iphone kept telling me to take cover (what??).  it rained pretty much all day, and we were forced to get creative with our in-home doings.  lots of reading, car rolling, (toy) kitchen cooking, dress-up happening (it’s amazing how a few odd hats can eat up time) and their new favorite activity…  stroller and grocery cart races.  actually, i don’t think it’s fair to call it a race, since rinne doesn’t even walk yet!  did i tell you that?  girlfriend is 16.5 months old and will only walk behind this grocery cart.  i would be alarmed but her own mother didn’t walk until she was 17.5 months old.  um, yeah.  i’ve never really liked hard core physical activity.

stroller derby
 the etsy shop has been bumpin’ lately.  thank goodness it was sleeping through most of holiday card rush, but now i guess people have woken back up and want some paper products!  so every time i log into etsy to fiddle with my listings, new items from my favorite shops come up and i ooo and ahh, then go waste a good 10 minutes checking out said items and thinking about where i could put them…  but i keep going back to this chanel nail polish print that pops up.  wouldn’t this be so fab in a dressing room?  seeing as how i don’t have a dressing room, and i share my bathroom and closet with a wooly man – maybe rinne needs it for her room.

chanel print

we are doing extreme home window treatment makeover here.  drapes for the living room, calliespondence worldwide HQ and rush’s room are all underway with just kate, and i couldn’t be more excited!  we’re also doing roman shades in the kitchen, and my friend/neighbor margaret and i found the most perfect trim.  it is from lee jofa (which – if you want to give your eyes a feast, duck into their showroom at ADAC, which is now open to the public!  it’s soooo good.), and will go on the white canvas roman shades.  it matches my trina turk “arches” print SO wonderfully!  the cushion on the seating bench in the kitchen will be made from that fabric, which i’ve been hoarding forever waiting for the right project.  rbb thinks this is ridiculous, i say: genius.

photo-180

speaking of hoarding, woah nelly – i am organizing my samples right now in the office.  PILES upon PILES of samples.  here is how it typically goes: i pick up a job from my printer.  i count out how many the client has ordered, and separate the overage for my sample bins.  there they sit in piles, accumulating over time, until it looks like they might topple over.  then i move them to a bin, and start fresh piles.  you can see how this is an issue.  i disposed of what felt like a million cards the other day, yet still, a few clients will get surprise gifts in the mail soon!  i found some personalized cards that i just can’t bring myself to throw away because i know someone (well, one person) out there can use it.  the OTHER good news is that i am going to conduct a tag sale pretty soon here.  YAY!!!  i am so excited.  i have lots of cards that could use good homes, and at a discounted price.  so check back for that!!  i can’t wait.

this was days ago…piles are much higher now.

organizing the office

aren’t fresh flowers the best?  i put a teeny vase with a few blooms right next to my sink, and it makes me so happy to look at.  gah, and they look so much better with a light blue background than deep, crimson red!!!

sink flowers

the most shocking news of all to report is that i GOT DRESSED today.  i mean, really dressed, down to a swipe of red lip gloss (this one).  man, it feels so good to have a “real” outfit on.  i haven’t donned the blazer since my office days and why not?  it’s just there, in my closet, all the time…along with my other “real” clothes.  they need to get more air time fo sho.

dressed FOR REAL

 

now, i’ve got some very important business to conduct at the grocery store.

xoxo

chevron stripe

i was so thrilled when my friend amanda (who also happened to be my sorority big sis back in college days) asked me to design her recent birth announcement.  we love their family, and they have THE sweetest daughter, reed.  we had all of them over for dinner last summer, and when reed was done eating and politely asked her parents, “may i please be excused from the table?,” you had to pick up both rbb’s and my jaws off the ground.  we had never witnessed such!  and this gal did not forget her pleases and thank yous either.  i sort of want reed to conduct a manners summer camp and for rush to attend every day.  maybe even a couple two-a-days.

they welcomed a precious little boy into their family this past summer (this post is waaaay past due, surprise surprise) and i just love the simple and modern way he was introduced.  her husband matt is quite accomplished in the arts world and i think simple and modern encapsulate their style perfectly.  we decided on a stripe of chevrons and a fun chocolate and turquoise palette.

chevron birth announcement

chevron birth announcement 2

 

several envelope colors would look darling!  (in the etsy shop here)

chevron envelope choices

amanda is UBER organized and contacted me well before her due date to start designing these babies.  so when the stork arrived, i slid in the baby’s stats, sent a final version for approval and the printed announcements nearly beat the baby home from the hospital.  worked perfectly for me, since i could bring a meal along with the announcements and visit with my friend!  isn’t he so cute?

photo-180

big congrats to the moulthrops – can’t wait to watch that baby grow!

xoxo

 

thursday tidbit

i don’t have multiple tidbits for you, just the one!  it’s been tough for me to rally this january.  lots of meals cooked, babies snuggled, piles of paper sorted, laundry folded, friends seen and hours slept.  things i didn’t have much time to do during october, november and december.  it has been so very nice to just catch up on life!

we have been cooking A LOT.  it’s great to be back in the kitchen.  i go through phases where i really love cooking, do it all the time, and then two weeks later we’re living off of tubs of chicken salad from zoe’s kitchen and having breakfast for dinner again.  rush really really really loves helping me in the kitchen, so i’ve been trying to throw him a bone and bake things so that he can participate. i mean, cooking and kids don’t really mix…hot pans, open flames, spattering oil…no.  so we bake, which is much more tame.  the trouble with baking things is that oftentimes, they involve lots of refined sugar and/or refined white flour.  i’ll delve more into this soon with a post on our paleo-ISH (big emphasis on ISH) diet, but i try to avoid both, and if i can’t avoid both, i definitely try to avoid one.  i found a recipe for cookies sweetened with honey (and some other additives), split the flour measurement with whole wheat flour, and i think all parties were happy.  i wouldn’t call them healthy, but i would call them healthier.

kitchen sink honey oatmeal cookies

honey-oatmeal kitchen sink cookies

ingredients:

3 and 1/2 cups old fashioned oats

1 cup raisins

1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes or shredded coconut (i used organic unsweetened shredded coconut – it’s in a green bag)

1/2 cup walnuts, roughly chopped (you could use pecans too, or hey – no nuts at all!)

1 cup dark chocolate chunks (i used around a 1/2 cup of these, but ran out so had to supplement with m&ms, of which we had a plethora)

1 cup all-purpose flour

3/4 cup whole wheat flour (tip: store it in the fridge and it will last longer)

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. sea salt

1 cup honey (i use glacier county honey  – it’s raw and excellent and the owner is a friend/client!)

1 cup unsalted butter, melted

2 tsp. vanilla (good vanilla, as ina would say)

- combine all dry ingredients in a big bowl.  combine wet ingredients (butter, honey, vanilla) in a separate bowl and then add to the dry ingredients.  stir until just fully incorporated. cover and refrigerate for about 30 minutes.  meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a couple of sheet pans with parchment paper.  roll the cookies into balls and stagger on baking sheets.  bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown around the edges.

**this recipe makes a BUNCH so we are making trips to a couple of neighbor’s houses today :)

treats to go

 

also, if your little one likes to cook, rush and i did a mommy & me cooking class (it’s called “kindercooks,” for 3-5 year olds) at the young chefs academy this week.  we did it with several of his little friends and it was a big hit!

xoxo

just popping in…

…to let you know a few things.

1) if you loved my big, huge, pink heart that i CANNOT WAIT to hang on my door again…they are for sale again this year through stewart & james!  info here – atlanta delivery on 1/26.

big heart from s&j

damn those planters were looking rough.

2) new favorite little girl notepad text: from the hula hoop of…

from the hula hoop of

3) run, don’t walk, to get the lobster cobb salad from the optimist.  i chased this salad for months (been several times for dinner but oh no – they only serve it at lunch) and it was well worth the wait.

lobster cobb salad

4) reading to preschoolers is good for your soul.  this morning, i read “if you give a mouse a cookie” to 12 or so three-year-olds in rush’s class.  there is one page where the mouse gets a milk mustache, and needs a napkin.  i asked the children if they ever got a milk mustache, and one little girl stood up and said “no we don’t have milk mustaches!  because my brother can’t have dairy.”

if you give a mouse

5) the people who wrote my condo docs are insane.  see 2nd paragraph.

condo crazies

6) we no longer have a red kitchen!!!!!!  it is MOST enjoyable.  it feels so fresh in there, and i have never been so motivated to keep it clean, because it looks so good  (file under: “unexpected results from painting”).

new kitchen

more to come on all fronts.  especially that pot bellied pig thing.

xoxo

winter ONEderland

when your little one has a winter birthday, there are all sorts of fun themes you can do.   hot chocolate parties, ice skating, gingerbread house making, cookie decorating…hmm, those would all make fun parties, perhaps i should jockey for a winter baby next instead of these blazing hot summer ones!  at the top of my list for a first birthday falling in the cold months is a little winter ONEderland.  how sweet and perfect!  lots of cute snowflakes and you’re good.  i have a new invitation design for this, actually, it just so happens…

winter onederland invitation

winter onederland invitation 2

winter onederland 1st birthday

available in the etsy shop here.

we also fashioned a happy birthday sign – did you know that we did those?  i love them.  so festive and a great way to tie it all together!

p.s. check out that drop dead wallpaper.

happy birthday sign

the party was fun, festive and appropriately wintry-themed…

Screen Shot 2013-01-06 at 1.29.40 PM

 

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favors were (scrumptious) cookies in the shape of snowflakes.

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during the party, rush found more than a few pretty girls to hang out with…including these two beauties.

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the birthday girl was precious (but she always is!).

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Screen Shot 2013-01-06 at 1.31.46 PM cute, cute family.  happy 1st birthday anna lovett!!

xoxo

new year, new practices

greetings!  2013 is here.  isn’t that kind of crazy to think about?  i still remember ringing in 2000…i used my fake id to get into moondogs with a bunch of girlfriends who also used their fake ids (or maybe pass backs) to get in.  that was the bar in buckhead we would frequent when we were home from college, in no small part to them going pretty easy on ids.  it was always some kind of urban lore that there was this one fraternity at georgia tech that moondogs owed so much of their revenue to, they hung a composite on the ceiling of one of the bars.  WHO KNEW i would later be married to one of the faces on that composite.

life is funny.

life is also funny in the way that when i started calliespondence, i never really imagined how it would go.  i truly thought it would be a success if i could end up in the black on every order.  first it was just my loyal friends placing orders, then friends of friends (most of whom then became friends) and maybe one more degree, sometimes.  every so often, i would get a random inquiry and think it was SO CRAZY.  i mean, i could not believe that anyone i didn’t know would want to order from me.  with the opening of the etsy shop in 2012 and now printing my logo and website on the back of every card, i correspond with people that i’ve never met for most of the time i’m working now.  it is amazing to me, and not one bit lost how incredibly blessed i have been to stay busy doing what i love.  when i envisioned calliespondence, i just wanted it to be a little something i could do while kids were napping or at preschool or off to bed at night.  i never imagined i would even be close to working at capacity for those hours, and to need more time.  but you see, more time doing calliespondence would mean less family time.  and there is no amount of coin that is worth that, especially while these little people are little for just a fleeting moment.  so friends, i am going to have to introduce some new initiatives for 2013!  some of you might not like them, because it does involve saying “no” a little.  i know i’ve talked here before about how saying no is crazy hard for me.  i’m getting better at it though…

here goes.  don’t hate me. :)

ORDER MINIMUM:  the minimum for any single order is $50, with no exceptions.  that means if you need to order calling cards let’s say, they are $1/per.  you will need to order 50 qty. of one kind to meet the minimum – you cannot order 25 of two designs, or add 20 calling cards to a notecard order that is $100.

THERMOGRAPHY: due to the waning availability and slow turn-around time, i am having to discontinue thermography from my offerings.  flitting between a flat and letterpress printer does put enough miles on my car already though :)  i love thermography and will always hold it close to my heart, as it was the very first printing method that calliespondence offered.  this might change at some point, but for now, only flat and letterpress printing will be offered.  economy or luxe.  it won’t be so bad, i promise!

FLAT PRINTED PERSONAL STATIONERY (for grown-ups*): instead of customizing each individual order, i will now be offering three designs of flat-printed personal stationery for adults.  yahoo!  i have hand-picked my favorite three, and will offer them in any colors and liner pattern you so choose.  those elements are always customizable on any calliespondence order, you know.  and from time to time, i may do a limited edition item, which will be all sorts of exciting.  i will still offer custom design for letterpress stationery orders.

* please note that BABY and CHILDREN stationery process will not change.

here are the options for flat printed personal stationery for adults:

1) modern monogram.  one of the first designs i did, and i feel like it still has the same crispness as it did then.

modern monogram 2

modern monogram 1

2) corner script.  fun and fresh.

stationery 2

corner script mockup

3) scallop backer.  i just LOVE the sweetness of this card!  especially paired with the more masculine all caps, sans serif font. (this is a design that was new for holiday 2012, so i only have a generic example – more to come though!)

scalloped notecard

 

INVITATION PRICING:  i absolutely adore designing invitations.  it stems from a deep love of parties in general, and it’s so fun to dive in with a client to brand their party invitation appropriately!  due to the increasing demand, i am having to alter the base invitation price, but the breakdowns will remain the same, as well as the prices of the add-ons.  you can still order any number of invitations that you need (even if it’s…32!).

pricing for flat printed invitations with envelopes in color of your choice:

15-25: $3.50/per

26-50: $3.00/per

51-100: $2.75/per

101 and up: $2.50/per

add-ons:

+ pre-printed envelope liners: +$1.00/per

+ custom designed envelope liners: +$1.50/per

+ invitation back printed: +$0.50/per

+ cardstock backer: + $0.50/per

+ return address label: +$0.50/per

+ wrap-around ribbon: +$0.50/per

…and i think that covers it!  man – these aren’t even resolutions and i’m worn out.  enough change for one day.  i’ll be back next week with some regular blog programming (remember that?!) and definitely some tidbits!   i have lots backed up from crazed holiday months…

happy new year!!!!

xoxo