Category Archives: Paper


On Valentine’s Day when I was little, we had a valentines exchange at school.  Do kids still do that?  I was one of the few kids who’s mother would not let them buy their valentines.  So Megan and I would sit at the dining room table with doilies, red paper, scissors, and whatever else to create a valentine for every last member of our class.  Sometimes when I was little I wished we could be normal.  But not anymore.

I realize that my mother instilled in me a need to be creative and I absolutely love that she also provided outlets to use that creativity.  One of those outlets is through valentines.

For some strange reason, that little ritual stuck.  Even in college, I would sit in the floor of my dorm and create valentines for my friends to receive in their ACU mailboxes and for my parents.  Now I send them to a collection of folks.  It is interesting how something like this can become an easy way to love on folks without a traditional valentine.  And it makes me realize how fun valentine’s day is–regardless of whether one is single, dating, married, widowed, or whatever–the day is a sweet one to celebrate love of all kinds.  We are all loved by someone, if only Christ Himself.  And that is worth celebrating.

Some years are more lavish than others, but at the very least, our family would make valentines for each other.  And when Jane was born, we roped her in.  This year was the first year that Meg, Mom, Jane and I all had the opportunity to make some together. Here’s what my mom’s dining room table looked like in the process.

I think Jane was honored to be included in the “adult valentine-making” experience.  We let her use the fancy paper and she got control of the glue.  And she does really great work, if I do say so myself.

To translate, this says, “To Dad.  I (heart) u.  Jane.”  And that message represents a lot of hard work.  I think she would have said, “Daddy” if it didn’t require two more letters out of her.

I have a big box of valentine supplies.  The box contains glitter, scraps of paper, scissors, card stock, and left over envelopes from various other projects.  Each year we pick up a few additions.  This year’s includes the below supplies from Paper Source.  Oh, how I love me some Paper Source.

Christmas cards.

I really admire those who don’t take their Christmas cards too seriously.  Those that walk into Sam’s and just order whatever.  Or those that simply order a card from any commercial place.  All they have to do is address, stuff and mail.  I wish I could just print labels, and buy the stamp available at the grocery store.

Why do I decide to start hand making stuff during the busiest time of year?  I wish I wasn’t so ridiculous.  And I don’t even think that the result is any better.  In fact sometimes it is worse.  For instance, last year, my stupid handmade card was illegible because the paper I bought wouldn’t go through most printers.  After being rejected by Kinkos and all of the local step-sisters, I ended up doing it on a tiny laser printer; much of the ink rubbed off simply by stuffing the envelope.  Lovely.  Someone who received it told me, “I loved your Christmas card but I couldn’t read the newsletter.”  That’s why I spent way too many hours of my life on the thing.

Disclaimer: I am not wanting to be critical of those who send cards made by someone other than themselves.  I love the cards I get in the mail as a way to catch up with people I wish we saw more often.  I also am not looking for compliments on my card.

But for some reason, I find great pleasure in making a card.  I like coming up with an idea and seeing it through the process.  It is an opportunity to feed my creative side.

This year I stayed simple.  I printed a color picture on textured paper.  Letter on the back.  Simple embellishment.  Bright envelope.  Hand addressed.  Return address stamp.  Postage stamp that matches.  But I still end up spending hours on all the elements.  And they are hours I actually enjoy.  I just wish I started them each year around June.

I find great pleasure in the hand addressed, specially-chosen stamp, pretty color envelope, etc.  The details are fun.  And I got them all in the mail yesterday!  Praise.  The.  Lord.  Now will I do with my time?  Maybe start on valentines….

A pretty package.

I received a pretty package in the mail.  I appreciate pretty mail more than the average person.  I just love it when someone attends to the details of a pretty piece of mail.

This was in my mailbox this week.

Doesn’t it just scream: OPEN ME!  MY CONTENTS ARE BEAUTIFUL!?

Well.  The contents were beautiful.  Every layer was a wonderful discovery.

Even her business card was detailed.  She stitched it!

I knew what was in the package.  It was my birthday present from Laura.  It was on my birthday list and Laura told me to expect it.  But still.  The anticipation was very exciting.

Isn’t she cute?  Here’s a better look of her.

Tastes Orangey.  I hope to have quite a collection of her work over time.  Clare seems like a really fun girl.  I will enjoy having a little piece of her in my home.

In other news: one week from today, we close on the house!

Half birthday presents.

My sister and I have a funny tradition.  We exchange presents on each other’s birthday.  Roughly speaking, our birthdays are six months apart so that when I celebrate my birthday, she is “celebrating” her half birthday.  Our husbands think we are crazy but sort of want in on the gift giving.  My birthday was awhile back, so I gathered a few things to give her and made her a card.

The shirt is from PB & Jellie, which I discovered at Austin’s Junior League Christmas Affair.  I bought one for myself as well.  You can see the difference after it is washed.  Meg’s is on the left, mine is on the right.  I love the fact that it looks kind of cute unironed.  I need more shirts like that.  I have put mine with skinny jeans and a thick belt.  And Tom’s wedges, which I love.  The shirt is a great price point.  I think I paid $25 for it.  I like low maintenance and cheap.  My kind of clothes.

The lotion is awesome.  A true treat.  I discovered it from Erika.  Meg tried it first.  Then I got on the band wagon.  I would use it all over, everyday day of the year if I had the cash to keep it on hand.  Instead, I rub it on my feet at night so that it makes the room smell good as I am going to bed.  Is that too much information?

I made the card with Paper Source paper.  I LOVE Paper Source.  It came to Austin just last month and I am delighted to now save on shipping costs and have the ability to go to the store to touch and feel all the pretty paper.  I actually went on opening day.  I also went in recently and bought this wrapping paper.  I question whether I can actually use it for wrapping paper and ruin it with tape.

{Paper Source Goodness}

This one I used in Meg’s card.

{Paper Source Goodness}

My mom encouraged Meg and I to make cards when we were little.  Now that we are grown, we still do it.  And now Meg encourages Jane (who is 4) to do the same.  Fletcher is only one, so he will get there in time.  I wish they lived closer than North Carolina.  That is way too far for card making together.