I’m going to be a step-aunt!

Last weekend we celebrated my stepbrother’s baby-to-be, Graham, at a shower on Friday evening in Denmark, SC. The best [and maybe only] route to the Denmark Country Club involves back roads lined with cotton fields and farms. It’s a gorgeous drive and I was lucky enough to spend the hour ride with my Dad…such a nice way to end the week.

I’m really excited about welcoming the first baby into Camp Slice!

cuz every baby-to-be needs personalized calligraphy!

cuz every baby needs personalized calligraphy!

This sophisticated card was very necessary to go with the very dapper sweater Jeremy and I found for him in England.

this itty bitty double breasted hand-knit sweater is quite possibly the cutest thing I've ever laid eyes on. I can hardly wait to see it on baby Graham!

this itty bitty double breasted hand-knit sweater is quite possibly the cutest thing I’ve ever laid eyes on. I can hardly wait to see it on baby Graham!

The haberdasheries (yarn shops) in England sell hand knit samples in their shops (and they’re not even outrageously priced!). It’s probably best that’s not a big thing here because I might spend¬†all my money there.

For good measure (and because my stepbrother, wife and baby Graham will be moving to Colorado in June Germany in July! Army life – lots of changes!), we also got him some mittens.

all mittens are cute, but these are particularly adorable, right?!

all mittens are cute, but these are particularly adorable, right?!

We picked up both of those from Ewephoria in South Shields.

We drew names for Christmas this year and I had my stepbrother whom I hadn’t seen since we got back from England so I whipped up this belated holiday card on my lunch break last Friday:

you really can't beat silver and black - it makes even a super late Christmas card look chic.

you really can’t beat silver and black – it makes even a super late Christmas card look chic.

I wasn’t sure what to get him so I consulted with one of my Mom friends. She suggested “a 6 pack of beer and a whole lot of patience”. As a gal who doesn’t drink, gifting alcohol always feels a bit strange and I couldn’t find a package of patience anywhere! ūüėČ So I went with her second suggestion and¬†got him a backpack (to use as a manly diaper bag) from Jack Threads.

I can’t wait to meet baby Graham and spoil him rotten!

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resliced Happy Mail #2

#reslicedHappyMail is officially in full swing (I guess sending the 2nd piece counts as “full swing”, right?!).

The second piece of #reslicedHappyMail was sent to a lady named Winter (is that not the coolest name ever?!).¬†Winter is a pre-kindergarten teacher (bless her) who loves Starbuck’s and hanging out with her gal pals.

Winter’s¬†sister nominated her, and you know I have a weak spot for sisters ūüôā

In the nomination form, Winter’s sister said “My sister is amazing! She’s so kind-hearted and cares about EVERYONE. She is the person that makes your issues her issues and truly cares about the happiness of others around her.” Sounds like a pretty stellar gal, right?

In my mind, I had started to create some kind of inspirational card for her because it sounded like she may be going through a spell all us ladies can relate to. One that reminded me of an all-too-familiar quote…

comparison

Painting by Rachel Tenny – click the image to see it on Instagram.

The painting above is by a gal who is quickly turning into one of my favorite people. I’ve already fangirled about her on here several times, but a few weeks ago I finally had the pleasure of meeting Rachel Tenny in person. She’s just as sweet as I’d imagined¬†and she generously donated a set of her Flower Cards¬†to the #reslicedHappyMail project. Oh, boy was I beside myself when I received those! #HappyDance

Rachel’s posts¬†always make me feel inspired, empowered and understood. Because of that, I¬†knew one of Rachel’s Flower Cards was exactly what I wanted to send to Winter.

happymail2

Do you love these cards or DO YOU LOVE THESE CARDS?!

And so…off goes the second piece of #reslicedHappyMail!

In other news, I received a little¬†happy mail of my own this weekend! My sister is a Reading Coach at an elementary school (where she taught 2nd grade for 5 years) and recently hosted a Donors Choose project to help raise money to buy books for her students. The best part about Donors Choose¬†is that they will offer a code to match your donation at some point during the project (I always give during this window of time because it doubles the distance my donation goes…even if it’s only a small amount). I absolutely love Donors Choose – it’s a great platform for teachers to raise funds to help their students (and it’s an easy way for those of us not in the classroom to be able to help).¬†From time to time they’ll even send me credits that I can “gift” to any project I want (how cool?!).

On Saturday I found a package in my mail box full of drawing from my¬†sister’s students thanking me for my donation to her recent project (to get them books):

donors choose

Y’all know my feelings on thank you notes [always a must] so obviously these completely melted my heart.

You can see pictures of her amazing students enjoying their new books here¬†– aren’t they so sweet?!

Ok, back to #reslicedHappyMail ūüėČ …

If you know someone who could use a little reminder that they are special, nominate them for a piece of #reslicedHappyMail! Read all about it here.

View all of the #reslicedHappyMail projects here.

resliced Happy Mail #1

I’ve finished my very first #reslicedHappyMail card and I’m so excited to share this story with you!

When I was first thinking of this project, I immediately started thinking of people I knew. I wasn’t sure what the traction would be or if I’d get any submissions at all so I wanted to make sure I had at least one to get started ūüôā

Last year, a former coworker shared with me that her Mom had been having some health issues and because she lived alone (and out of town) may be moving into a nursing home soon.

No mother and daughter relationship is perfect and my coworker acknowledged this, but she couldn’t hide the worry and guilt from showing [ever-so-slightly] on her face. Since this conversation, thoughts of her Mom and how she may be doing have come to me several¬†times. The last time just-so-happened to be as I was planning the launch of #reslicedHappyMail – and I knew she’d be the perfect¬†first recipient!

I immediately reached out to my former coworker to check in. Yes, her mother had been moved to a nursing home. And YES YES YES she’d love to have a card. ūüôā

After badgering her with a few questions, I knew exactly what I was going to create for her mother.

According to¬†her daughter, Pat’s favorite color is green and she¬†likes patterns you’d generally find on a quilt.

Well…y’all know my love of sewing! {And you may remember that I’m [very slowly] working on my very first quilt}

In my mind, I envisioned a quilted card with hues of green.

To get started, I mapped out the pattern so that I could fit this mini-quilt on the front of the card. I used a 3 inch square as my pattern template and cut six different fabric scraps. I pieced them together with a 1/2 inch seam – pressing them open as I went.

The “binding” for this mini-quilt was another story. It was good practice because I’m not quite (but almost!) to that step of my actual quilt. I’ve done¬†a lot of research on how to bind a quilt. The intimidation of this process has kind of crippled my motivation for my¬†actual quilt. The binding of this mini-quilt is far from perfect, but I convinced myself it was okay because it was [obviously] not going to be washed so I think it will¬†hold up ūüėČ

I literally stitched the mini-quilt directly to the front of the card without any trouble from my machine.

Here’s how it turned out:

happymail 1 card

Fabric story (from left to right, top row first): the shamrocks were given to me by my neighbor, the ladybugs were previously a scrub top/uniform, the plaid is from a pair of shorts, both paisleys are scraps from previous projects and the dark green floral print used to be a tea towel.

Last week, my friend Emily hosted a Craft Night. That was¬†just what I needed so I could focus on addressing envelopes to¬†finally send my first piece of happy mail. Since I’ve learned calligraphy, I have a¬†very hard time allowing mail to be sent from my house (with the exclusion of bills) without having the address calligraphied (yep, I made that word up). That being said, there’s quite a production before snail mail actually exits my house and it can often sit around for a bit longer than I intend. Gathering with a few friends last week – all of us working on a different craft – was just what I needed in order to catch up on my address calligraphy.

I used The Lawrence style from The Postman’s Knock¬†for Pat’s envelope. It’s by far my favorite way to address an envelope. It’s easy and it looks¬†so stinkin’ fancy!

happymail1I won’t reveal what I wrote inside, but I’ll admit I tried¬†very hard to brighten this sweet lady’s day! ūüôā

In other news, I tried out Julie Blanner’s recipe for homemade oreos in honor of the Hubs’ birthday on Thursday. To be honest, I actually made the red velvet cookie sandwiches¬†without the red food coloring (I substituted water) so that we could have the cream cheese icing filling (YUM).

oreos

This might be the only time I use my mixer for anything other than lotion-making ūüėČ

I even bagged the icing and cut a corner so I could pipe it onto the cookies. Also discovered that we own a wooden roller (who knew?!). So fancy.

Ok, back to the happy mail…

If you know someone who could use a little reminder that they are special, nominate them for a piece of #reslicedHappyMail! Read all about it here.

View all of the #reslicedHappyMail projects here.

My initiative to spread joy at a snail’s pace

Since starting resliced almost 3 years ago, I’ve had less and less time to dedicate to making-to-sell. I’ve struggled with the balance of working full-time while trying to grow my handmade business. Last year I stepped back a bit. It was tough, but I was able to suppress the nagging voice in my head that was telling me I needed to spend all my free time building up the stock¬†in¬†my Etsy shop (while¬†robbing myself of the¬†creative joy I needed). Instead I started to focus on improving my skills. I no longer beat myself up for making something for¬†me – practice makes first drafts and first drafts aren’t always sell-worthy.

Throughout my hiatus from the one-woman-assembly-line, one thing remained constant: my desire to make¬†something…anything…with my hands and to share it with the world.

I’ve always wanted to learn calligraphy (you can read more about how I became interested in calligraphy in my feature¬†on the Leen Machine Calligraphy blog), so I took a class. The class¬†really reignited my passion for¬†snail mail.

I’ve been practicing¬†a lot since then. I used my newfound calligraphy skills to create holiday cards for my friends and family (you can see most of them in this post). I even made a very special birthday card (inspired by Pinterest) for my Dad…

bday card

word on the street is that he liked it! (I was in England when he opened it, but I left specific instructions not to open until the big day)

I also recently taught myself how to make envelopes (with guidance¬†from The Postman’s Knock). I spent a weekend practicing – I made 11 unique envelopes to¬†hold invitations [made those too!] to a Bridal Tea I’m planning for my Bestie (deets to come!).

handmade envelope from the November issue of Skirt! magazine

handmade envelope from the November issue of Skirt! magazine

So, why am I telling you all about the snail mail I’ve created? Well, I’ll give you a hint: it has¬†a lot to do with my new initiative!

I’ve been tossing around this idea for a while. Like a raw stone in a tumbler, I think I’ve polished this idea as best I can ūüėČ

kt card back

the back of one of my handmade envelopes which happens to be a quote quite fitting for this post ūüôā

I¬†love sending snail mail. And frankly, I’ve run out of friends and family to badger with my everyday thoughts (and they never write back!). I want to¬†share the love while continuing to practice my calligraphy and fancy snail mail ideas (you can see some of my inspiration on my Paper Play board on Pinterest). While I may not have the time to mass produce stock for my Etsy shop, I¬†do have time to create and send one card (or maybe more!) per month.

That being said, I’m starting a new initiative that I’ll share with you monthly, but¬†I need¬†YOUR help!

Ponder this: Do you know someone who could use a reminder that¬†they matter and¬†someone somewhere is thinking of them and sending good vibes their way? Don’t we all know¬†at least one person who could?! Well, I want to help by sending a little happy snail mail their way.

And so I present to you my new project: #reslicedHappyMail!

happy mail

Here’s how #reslicedHappyMail¬†will¬†work:

1)¬†You fill out this form to nominate someone you think could use a little happiness sent to their snail mailbox. This could be an elderly relative who lives alone, a kid who’s having a tough time at school, or your friend who’s undergoing a serious quarter-life crisis and needs to know someone is sending her some good vibes. Anyone you think could use a little reminder that they’re loved.

2) I’ll collect the nominations ongoing until I reach my capacity (whatever that may be). As you think of someone, submit another form. You can make more than one nomination, but please don’t nominate the same person twice.

3) Once a month, I will pick a nominee to receive a card from me (I will likely go in order of receipt unless a story compels me in an urgent way). I’ll use the information you provided on the nomination form to inspire¬†the text in the card and/or the decoration on the card and/or envelope.

4) Once a month, I’ll post pictures on my blog of the snail mail with a story of the nominee (this information will be pulled from what you provide in the nomination form. Give me some good information [as much as you feel comfortable] so I can tell the story of this amazing person that you know and love). You can follow along with the project by subscribing to my blog (at the top of the page, on the right side you should see a “Follow Blog via¬†Email” button) and by¬†following the hashtag #reslicedHappyMail on Instagram.

Rules

  • You can make more than one nomination, but please don’t nominate the same person twice. Each nomination should be submitted in a separate form.
  • You are permitted to nominate a group (like the staff at your local animal shelter). Reversely, you are also permitted to nominate an individual as a group (like you & all of your coworkers want to nominate your boss).
  • You are not permitted to nominate yourself.
  • The nominee’s address will never be made public, but photographs of the card and/or envelope will be posted on this blog. Their name may be exposed, but their full address will not be (like in the envelope pictured above). If this makes you uncomfortable, please make a note in your nomination form and I will make sure to take pictures before their name and address are on the material.
  • Feel free to make design requests and I’ll attempt to accommodate as I can¬†(but I cannot guarantee).
  • International nominees are permitted so long as the postage does not exceed $5 (shipping from Columbia, South Carolina, USA).
  • Recipients are encouraged, but certainly not required to post selfies with their snail mail on Instagram using the hashtag: #reslicedHappyMail (feel free to tag me: @jordslice11).
  • Incomplete forms will not be considered.
  • resliced by Jordan is not responsible for items lost in the mail. (Fingers crossed that won’t happen!)
  • This is a project being run by one little lady with a passion for snail mail. Should the demand exceed my expectations, I reserve the right to close nominations. If this happens, I promise to come up with an alternate plan. I can’t, however, promise to meet all of your needs or demands (but I’ll try!).
  • There is no guarantee that every individual nominated will receive mail. If/when your nominee is accepted, you will be alerted via email.
  • Additionally, this project (and all snail mail involved) is being provided to you free to charge. Stamp or stationary donations, social media shout-outs, and general happy thoughts are welcome & appreciated ūüôā

Ready, set, go nominate someone! Fill out the form here.


Calligraphy Feature

A few weeks ago, Paulene of Leen Machine Calligraphy & Design asked if she could feature me on her blog. After nearly exploding from excitement (and flattery!), I quickly agreed.

Well, today’s the big day: my feature is now live on her blog – you can read it here.

{Click the picture for a link to my feature on the Leen Machine Calligraphy blog}

{Click the picture for a link to my feature on the Leen Machine Calligraphy blog}

I’m hypercritical of my calligraphy (as I always am when I take up any new craft) so it really meant¬†the world to me that the person who¬†taught me thought I was worthy of a feature.

Paulene has been such a great calligraphy mentor – building a Facebook group for all of her students to keep in touch where she regularly posts tips and inspiration and always lends an encouraging word to us!

While Paulene’s Modern Calligraphy classes with Gather & Craft¬†have wrapped up for 2014, she’ll be back in the new year to offer you a chance to learn a new (and super useful!) skill. You can read all about the fun I had in class I took here.

Happy Hump Day, friends!

What I’m Lovin’ in October

October is my¬†favorite month of the year! I’m sad to see it go, but man was October good to me ūüôā

{Image via Pinterest}

{Image via Pinterest}

There are¬†so many things that I’m lovin’ this month, but here’s my short list!

oct

Since October is my birthday month, you’ll have to forgive the fact that almost all of my favorites this month¬†revolve around that ūüôā

Oh, well – Cheers to being one year older!

1. the watercolor family portrait by Rachel Tenny my sister had made for me

If you've ever met me, the Hubs and our pets, you know how very SPOT ON this painting is ;)

If you’ve ever met me, the Hubs and our pets, you know how very SPOT ON this painting is. ūüėČ

Y’all know how much I love my sister and when it comes to birthdays, she never disappoints! She’s also been pushing me to get some family pictures taken (no wedding = no fancy couple pictures) so this was the perfect solution! ūüėČ

A few months ago, I discovered Rachel on Instagram through some common friends. Her posts are so thoughtful and uplifting Рnot to mention beautiful. Of course, I had told my sister all about how much I loved her work.

When I opened the portrait (which my sister had framed beautifully…upside down!), I almost cried. It was beyond thoughtful and something I will cherish¬†forever.

My sister says that Rachel was amazing to work with! I’m shamelessly¬†encouraging you to support this super talented local artist by ordering from her shop, but secretly I want to hoard all her time because I have about a billion family portraits I want her to make for me! ūüôā

2. the Lavender Mocha at Drip

Lucky for me, my birthday fell on a Saturday this year which means I talked my sister, brother-in-law and the Hubs into going to The Good Life Cafe for brunch followed by a stroll through the Soda City market which ultimately landed us at my very favorite coffee shop, Drip on Main where Rachel aka “the Best Barista in Town” (as confirmed by Free Times) treated me to an iced Lavender Mocha {to.die.for. – for real, go grab one now!}

The Lavender Mocha is to.die.for!

Thank you for the treat, Rachel!

3. Learning new tricks to make my snail mail even fancier!

After learning the calligraphy basics (read more about that here), I’ve been diligently practicing and sending obnoxious amounts of snail mail (this month brought on a great excuse for thank you notes!). I was thrilled when I ran across a tutorial for “5 Unique Ways to Address an Envelope” on The Postman’s Knock.

{Source: The Postman's Knock - click the image for link}

{Source: The Postman’s Knock – click the image for link}

The best part about¬†the post is that she includes styles that you can do without any “real” calligraphy training (aka: faux calligraphy).

4. Flowers

The morning of my birthday, the Hubs said he was going for a run. An hour later he arrived home¬†carrying a vase full of beautiful flowers! Not only were they gorgeous on their own, the story of how they got to my house paints quite a comical picture:¬†The Hubs arrived at Publix, picked out pink roses for sentimental value (the first flowers he ever bought me were pink roses), baby’s breath because they are my favorite and yellow because who doesn’t love yellow?! Then bought a vase, scissors and a bottle of water [which must have come from a cooler because the vase nearly slipped out of my hands from all the condensation!]. He cut the stems in the parking lot and arranged them all by himself in the parking lot of Publix. I can only imagine what this looked like to the grocery shoppers that morning!

flowers

I think we’re all familiar with the fate of most plants that end up in my care (remember the Dutchess?), but my sister insisted on sending pansies home with me last weekend.

After a bit of resistance, I gave in and took those pretty purple flowers home to adorn my porch for as long as I can keep them alive.

pansies

I have to admit, being greeted by colorful little flowers after a long day of work sure is splendid. ūüôā

5. Any excuse to shop for vintage clothes!

One of my favorite local vintage shops is having a sale on Saturday, November 8th from 12-4pm at the Conundrum Music Hall. The Thrifted Sisters are two super sweet sister-in-laws who have a knack for finding the coolest vintage apparel (and other neat vintage goodies) and making them generously available to you (and me!).

thrifted sisters

Aside from the event on Nov. 8th (which you should definitely go to), you can find their goodies on Instagram (you get first dibs there¬†and you’re the first to hear about sales!) and Etsy.

My friend Shanika and I attended the  last party the gals threw and we had a blast trying on some super cool vintage outfits Рlike this awesome faux fur wrap Shanika found:

shanika

This picture makes me feel regret for not snatching this for myself!

And last, but not least: I’m lovin’…

6. All of you who made me feel so special on my birthday!

If you're not following Kid President on Facebook, you need to! {Click the image for a link to his page}

If you’re not following Kid President on Facebook, you need to! {Click the image for a link to his page}

I love birthdays – not only because they’re full of delicious treats (like homemade cupcakes from my sister!), but because they’re a reminder of the fact that people care about you! My heart is so full from all the birthday love this month. Thank you to everyone who made me feel so stinkin’ special!

{Catch up on all What I’m Lovin’ monthly posts here.}


Calligraphy – and more reasons to send snail mail

As you all know, I’m a huge fan of all things crafty…and I’m always looking for an excuse to learn¬†a new crafty skill!

My friend Shanika of Life is Pichey recently launched Gather and Craft¬†as a way to encourage crafting in Columbia. She has been coordinating with local artists to offer “how to” classes. {Secret: I’m planning to do a jewelry-makin’ workshop with Shanika soon!}

I love the idea of using your creativity¬†to inspire others and I’m super happy my friend Shanika is leading this crafty initiative in Columbia!

creativity quote

When I saw that Paulene of Leen Machine Calligraphy would be teaching a “Modern Calligraphy” class, I desperately searched for¬†every excuse I could think of to sign up.

My friend MaryAnn of Life is a Maker Faire said she had been thinking about signing up – thus, I had my excuse: the only thing better than learning a new craft is learning with a friend.

I’m a huge fan of snail mail and believe there’s¬†always¬†a reason to send a hand written note or card to someone you love.¬†Always.

I’ve tried [unsuccessfully] to make my envelopes and packages fancy like this:

Aren't these envelopes just precious? {Click the image to be taken to the source}

Aren’t these beautiful?! {Click the image to be taken to the source}

Yes, receiving something other than bills in your mailbox is fabulous enough, but pulling an envelope out that just screams: “this was MADE just¬†for you!” (rather than “this was automatically generated through a mass printer that doesn’t know you from a hole in the wall just to remind you to send us all your money”) is even better!

So, I was ready to learn calligraphy so I could make my snail mail fancy!

Oh.my.gosh am I glad I took this class!! Paulene is a fabulous instructor (not to mention extremely talented!).

Our seats were sweetly decorated with all the supplies we’d need for the class.

caligraphy set up

As you can see, I’m really great at tracing. I’m going to leave out proof of my free-hand attempts ūüėČ

The best part: we left the class with¬†all of the supplies so we could keep on “calligraphing” on our own. How thoughtful!

Since we all had the same sheets, we were encouraged to put our initials on them so we would know which were ours when they were dried. I quickly learned that lower case was¬†far easier for me so that’s what I stuck with.

Finally got the hang of writing my 3 letters!

Finally got the hang of writing my 3 letters!

I thought about the class all week and couldn’t wait to have more time to practice again on my own. I picked up my “pen” this weekend and jazzed up some snail mail to my sister.

katie

I love sending my sister snail mail. {As you’ve probably already caught on: I’m smitten with my sister.} As a former Teacher and current Reading Coach, my sisters days are filled with the kind of stress I’ll probably never understand. Sending her a little bit of happiness is¬†SO worth the few minutes of my time and a 50 cent stamp.

In the days of typing-on-a-computer-all-day, we should definitely spend a little more time writing by hand. And what better way to spend your handwriting time than by filling a card with sweet notes to a friend?!

Go forth and send some happy mail, friends!

Go forth and send some happy mail, friends!

Whether or not you have calligraphy skills, I still recommend sending more snail mail! But if you’re local to Columbia (or within driving distance!), I recommend checking out the next Modern Calligraphy class [keep up with Gather & Craft¬†and Leen Machine Calligraphy on Facebook¬†to see when the next will be offered]! It’s always great to learn a new craft, gather with friends / make new crafty friends and support local artists willing to share their passion with you.

I love that the Gather and Craft classes are small – you get¬†loads of personalized one-on-one attention from the instructor to leave feeling empowered with your new skill. I also enjoyed being able to get to know my classmates –¬†It’s always nice to make new crafty friends to keep you inspired!

The calligraphy all stars from the Sept. 22 class!

The calligraphy all stars from the Sept. 22 class!

If you’re looking for calligraphy inspiration (or just a lovely feed for inspiration of all kinds), you should follow Paulene of Leen Machine Calligraphy on Instagram – her posts are thoughtful and encouraging. She’s the kind of virtual friend who is a breath of fresh air.

Read more about the classes on Shanika’s recap of the first class on her blog and be sure to follow Gather and Craft on Facebook so you’ll be one of the first to hear about what’s coming up next!