December, 2012

a small business christmas

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way back when, i told you guys that i was going to support only small businesses for my christmas gifts this year.  for the most part, save for a desperate last minute trip to target and one other exception that i know you’ll understand, i stuck to it.  it was fun, challenging and so much more rewarding than just clicking through or land of nod (although i DO love to do that – don’t get me wrong).  it’s just cool to hand someone a check and know exactly to whom it’s going.

i warmed up with some holiday decor…  fell hard for these foil-stamped prints by lindsey letters.  super gorge and so fun to have a seasonal addition to the shelves!  although i did have to sneak into ikea to get a couple of their ribba frames to complete the look (oops).

lindsey letters 1


while i was working behind the booth most of the time at the northside methodist preschool gift show, i did manage to shop a little bit too.  i picked up this pretty driftwood angel that benefits abby’s angels, a non-profit started in honor of a sweet young girl with cancer who “outran us to the Father’s house.”  (that’s a dr. gil-ism – i think it’s a lovely way of saying it.)


if you’ve been around a while, you might remember these stockings from when i first started blogging.  i scooped them up in a post-christmas clearance sale on garnet hill’s website – they’re hable construction (love everything they do!).  i just now got them monogrammed…  yeah.  sadly i think that’s pretty good.  anyway, my favorite embroiderer, shelley at sss creations, did the monograms and i LOVE THEM.  i always drop stuff off and think hmm….wonder how that’s going to turn out.  i think i’m scarred from a story my friend betsey tells about some towels she got monogrammed as a wedding gift and the monogram took up nearly the entire front of the towel.  shelley always does a fantastic job and whatever she does turns out ten times better than i could have even pictured in my head!  plus, she’s a stay-at-home-working-mama too.  i guess i just love the casual nature of that.  storefronts are so overrated!

oh right, the stockings.  red for the boys, cream for the girls.  i thought i wanted a gold thread, but then shelley suggested taupe and it looks wonderful!  circle monograms on the front…


and full names on the back for two reasons: 1) i can use this side if i get bored with the monograms, and 2) we have two RBBs so we needed a way to distinguish the stockings.  i absolutely adore how they turned out.  the font we used for the back was “rosebud.”


i even managed to go small and local for our wreath!  the mood moss wreath and ribbon is from cut flower wholesale (open to the trade only), and the garland is from our church, which supplies it from a small farm in north carolina.  it’s a little charlie brown looking, but that’s ok.


i also commissioned kate at just kate ( to make me a custom tree skirt.  i have never been able to find a tree skirt that i really liked – all too theme-y, too metallic, too red/green, too usual.  and i just hate usual.  i had some turquoise fabric i had picked up at the 2011 ADAC sample sale gathering dust ($10 for the whole bolt!), paired it with a fantastic cream/moss green/turquoise abstract chevron fabric from lewis and sheron, and added a small pleated cream trim between the two – which by the way was scored on the $1/yard rack!  can you believe that?!  i felt like i won the lottery.  it’s typically $20/yard.  i have never laid down $4 faster!

custom tree skirt by just kate

now, the gifts…

rhyne becton designs is a business run by a fellow NMP mom, becton wallace.  she and i have a good mutual friend (hi perry!) so we had heard about the other for awhile, but so glad i got to finally meet her at the gift show!  her jewelry is in a word, awesome.  simple, chic and stylish.  i just loved these cross necklaces that she makes and had to buy them in all different colors for a bunch of my gals.  they lay a little off to the side too – i love little details that make something a bit different (see above re: usual).


if you’re in atlanta, i’m sure you have heard mention of richard’s variety store.  i can’t tell you how many conversations i’ve had or overheard where one person says, “oh – try richard’s, they might have it.”  i don’t know how they do it, but these people stock everything.  including aisles and aisles of toys, as exhibited here…

richards variety store

rush got a garbage truck and a fire truck from those shelves – both were big hits, as was the elmo cell phone purchased for rinne.

a funny thing happened when we went to see santa…  we go to the local baby and children’s boutique, baby braithwaite, to visit the man in red. at one point while we were waiting for our flash drive with the photos to be prepared, rinne and i wandered over to this big display they had, swathed in pale pink, featuring the sweetest and most delicately crafted rendition of the princess and the pea.  i think rbb can smell my desire to spend money, because he and rush appeared right behind me just as i was flipping over the price tag to see how much it would set me back and unfortunately, we both saw it at the same time and i could pretty much hear his head shaking.  so i had to walk away but told the princess we would meet again later, just in a dark alley and without this tall male companion i had with me.  cut to late night cruising on garnet hill, looking for bins for the office…click on the sale section, eh.  might as well see what they got.  HOLY SMOKES MY PRINCESS AND THE PEA IS HERE!!  and it was at nearly 1/3rd of the price tag of the local boutique.  i was BLINDED by those little mattresses – do you SEE them?!?!  they are different in every little bed!  and that little pea!  and i actually have a little girl to buy it for!  before i knew it, it was on my doorstep and instantaneously wrapped to put under the tree.  here it is resting quietly after a frenetic christmas morning.

princess and the pea

i am telling you, these chevron notepads really do make a good gift!  i whipped some up for my mom and mother-in-law (these were not for them, but for other clients – i’m loving the yellow and navy blue!).

chevron notepads

etsy is the most fun place to poke around, and i swear you can find anything on there.  enter: hand crocheted lightning mcqueen slippers.  like i said, anything. :)

lightning mcqueen slippers

also, i want you to know that if you ordered your holiday cards from calliespondence, you not only supported this small business – but all of the printers i use are also small businesses, local to atlanta.  they are people that i know, love and trust to do a good job for you – so thank you for supporting them via supporting me!

and now it’s time to tuck away all of these holiday wares – always sad to see them go!


’tis the season…

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….to be MERRY!

burnette xmas card 2012

photographs were by the wonderful abbey of dylan blue photography.


burnette card 2012 v.2

letterpressed card mounted on chocolate brown cardstock backer, envelopes lined in “santa’s sleigh” print and calligraphed by the ultra talented emmy from calligremmy!!  might i say y’all, it is worth every penny to get your cards calligraphed.  makes life so so easy when you simply slip those suckers in, slap a stamp on and be done!  plus, it’s always a good time when you receive something with calligraphy.  just so beautiful.  i think i’m on to something here…

calligremmy christmas card

calligremmy calligraphy

p.s. she does awesome return address stamps too.  a great gift!

sending warm wishes to you from atlanta.  happy christmas to all, and to all a good night!



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that was crazy.

my very last holiday card order got picked up yesterday.  it’s amazing, this holiday rush.  through november and most of december, all it takes is a glance at the list of my in-progress jobs to have big, capital OMGs going through my head, how in the world am i going to deliver all of those card orders…and then december 20th, calm is restored.  regular number of emails in my inbox.   no texts coordinating a pick-up time.  no thinking about how many packages i have to load up and carry to the post office, fedex or ups store the next day.  i have been busy, real busy.  there are over 6,000 holiday cards going through the postal service right now with a calliespondence logo on the back.  y’all, i can’t even grasp that!  i would say i don’t know how it all got done, but i do know.  i am blessed with generous friends that had an inkling of how busy i was, and simply asked what time they could arrive to help.  friends like betsey, who cut out hundreds, that’s right, hundreds of envelope liners; jen, who was our houseguest last weekend and ended up affixed pictures and packaged up orders (after she organized my whole office…talk about earning your keep);  amy and brooke, who learned how to line envelopes (and i’m pretty sure both advised me to eliminate them from my offerings); shannon, whose days are very full caring for her newborn son, came over and helped wrap twine around cards for hours – quite possibly the most tedious job in the entire world.  and of course rbb.  the poor man has been subsisting on freezer meals for weeks and is reaching into the druthers of his closet for the lack of clean clothes…but still happily affixed a couple thousand pictures.  i never could have pulled this off without a little help from my friends, as they say.  and how very lucky i am to have friends like these!

and my clients…thank you just isn’t enough.  as my ups man wisely said – without you, there’s no me.   thank you for taking the time to tell me how much you love your cards and how much you appreciate what i do.  every little one of those notes, no matter how short, absolutely makes my day.  after working in the corporate world for years where you hardly ever hear more than an “oh yeah, thanks”  for an effort you worked your tail off on…  to get to stay home with my children and at the same time, work with fabulous and fun people who actually appreciate my time and effort – it’s a dream.  and i will never be able to show enough gratitude for all of you who made this a reality.  what’s truly amazing to me is how fiercely loyal some of my clients are.  there are families that i have worked with on their holiday cards for three years running – yet have never met them!  but i feel like i know them.  i feel like i know all of my clients, which is how i always want it to be, and why i love doing this little thing called calliespondence.

and now it’s time to go and do something about this:


we’ve had it for two and 1/2 weeks, only because we pre-ordered it from our church and had to pick it up the 1st weekend in december.  it’s quite nice and understated, no?

i’ll be back with lots of fun small business shopping tidbits and holiday card reveals!!

until then – my sincerest thanks, y’all.  for reading, caring and sending yuletide greetings by way of calliespondence.  mwah!


glory, glory

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soooo…in case you are not a member of the human race and somehow did not hear or see the outcome of the Georgia vs. Alabama SEC championship game on saturday night, we lost.  in a stunning, most gut-wrenching, get-your-hopes-way-up-and-then-dash-them kind of way.  in the last minute and eight seconds of the game trailing by 4, we took the ball 80 yards down the field but needed 85 to win.  as i was marveling out loud at aaron murray’s prowess in making that many good, fair and long passes in that short amount of time, jumping up and down and giving rush high fives, telling him his mama’s team might be playing in the NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP!!  just imagine!!  …i heard rbb say softly, “that was the game.”  i think, what in the heck is that crazy man talking about.  and then alabama started celebrating and it was, in a word…


and then my heart broke into a million pieces all over my living room floor.

i know that’s dramatic. but that is truly what it felt like.  i think brin said it best when she said that she had long-term breakups that hurt less than that game.  i know it’s just a game.  i know it’s not a big deal in the grand scheme of life.  but man, it would have been such a good story.  and i LOVE a good story.  i was totally unprepared for how emotional i was going to be following the game.  i mean y’all, i felt like that sad blob in the paxil (or lexapro?) commercial for days.  kind of like all of the people in this picture (real, live georgia fans following the game.)

i think this photo actually captures the cycle of emotions pretty well…you start out being angry (man on left).  ticked off.  wronged.  it might consist of inner thoughts in all caps, “IT WAS OUR TURN, DAMNIT!”  then, extreme sadness (head in hands) over how things transpired.  you had ’em.  you really did.  the what ifs creep in…  the two pointer, the missed penalty on murray’s hit, the tipped last pass. why, oh why, couldn’t one of those things be different.  then a state of childlike innocence and optimism (young boy): “well, there’s always next year.  maybe lightning will strike twice. murray will be back, after all.”  and then you check your phone to see who just texted you – because life, it goes on.

but it is so hard on my heart to see big, burly, tough guys who left so much sweat and toil on that field reduced to…this.  can someone pass me a tissue?!

i love this quote:

Why do sports hold so much power? Not because they’re life and death — they’re not. But they make us feel life and death, in all its messy glory, in all its numbing agony. I felt all those things Saturday night, and so did those 75,000 people in the Georgia Dome, and so did all those millions watching and listening, even those who didn’t care who won and lost, but were screaming at the end because the game made them feel.

it’s from this article shared by one of my facebook friends.  that game, if nothing else, made you feel something.  but i still can’t help but wish that for me and the rest of the bulldogs, it was elation.

maybe that kid is right.  there is always next year.