Handmade Envelopes from Last Year’s Calendar

My 2014 fridge calendar was so beautiful that I wanted to find a way to salvage / reuse the beautiful images.

At this point, you are probably well aware of my new love of making my own envelopes {remember that time I made envelopes from an old skirt magazine for the Bridal Tea party?}. I knew the weight and size of the glossy pages would be perfect for constructing envelopes so I saved a few of my favorites.

I saved some of my favorite pages from the calendar before recycling the rest. The pages had been sitting aside waiting patiently to be turned into envelopes for a few weeks now.

handmade

To get started you’ll need to gather these supplies:

  • Calendar pages (alternate options: magazine pages, wrapping paper, scrapbook paper, etc)
  • Glue stick
  • Scrap paper for the address label (alternate: use a permanent marker if the design is light enough)
  • Permanent marker
  • Blank piece of paper (if you want to make a template to reuse later)
  • Envelope (used or unused – doesn’t matter)
  • Scissors
  • Strong liquid glue or clear tape
  • Washi tape
  • Paper for envelope lining – optional
  • A card that fits inside your envelope template OR make your own with construction paper, scrapbook paper or other colored paper pieces

Instructions:

Creating the Envelope template

If you have a used envelope whose size you like, deconstruct it by carefully detaching the sides and bottom of the envelope. Since you will be using the deconstructed envelope as your template, skip to the instructions for constructing the envelope.

If you have an unused envelope, you can create a template without deconstructing by following these steps:

1. Lift the top flap of the envelope (so that it is “open”) and align it with the top edge of the paper you are using to trace the template.

2. Trace the side edges of the top flap on the paper. Carefully hold the envelope in place on top of the paper and close the top flap. Trace around the rectangular body of the envelope (with the top flap down).

3. For the bottom of the envelope, measure the height of the bottom flap. On your paper template, measure the same distance (from the bottom of the envelope body outline) and draw a few marks. Connect the marks with a straight, horizontal line across the bottom of your template paper.

4. Measure the length of the top of the bottom flap (the area where the top flap would overlap when closed). It should be slightly less than the horizontal length of your envelope’s body.

5. On the line you have drawn at the bottom of your template page, draw notches that match the length measured in step 3 centered (as best you can) below the envelope body.

6. Draw a line from the bottom left corner of the envelope body to the left end of the line drawn in step 4. Repeat on the right side. The lines should be angled slightly inward.

7. Use the same method to draw the side flaps.

8. Use your scissors to cut around the outline of the envelope.

9. Fold the side flaps in then fold the bottom flap up. You can use a ruler to help with this by aligning the edge of the ruler along the folding line (outline of the envelope body).

10. Ensure that the side and bottom flaps overlap enough so that you will be able to glue them together. Also ensure that when the top flap is folded down, there is enough overlap so that you can secure the envelope.

If my directions are hard to follow, I suggest checking out these directions from The Postman’s Knock.

Constructing the Envelope

Once you have your template constructed (and tested to make sure the pieces align properly), you are ready to start tracing.

1. On the wrong side of the calendar pages (in our case, on the calendar grid side), trace the template using a permanent marker. Before cutting, make sure that the outline is lined up how you would like it on the image (pay particular attention to where the body of the envelope / middle rectangle aligns as this will be the front of your envelope).

2. Using your scissors, cut around the outer edges of your template outline.

3. Line your ruler up to the corners of the side flap (along the edges of the envelope body) and fold the flap towards the calendar grid (interior of envelope). Repeat for the other side flap.

4. Repeat step 3 for the bottom and top flaps.

5. Use your glue stick to coat the exterior of both side flaps where the bottom flap overlaps. Fold the bottom flap up so that it sticks to the side flaps.

6. Ensure that the envelope doesn’t glue shut by inserting your card or a piece of paper to separate as necessary. (Remove the paper or card / don’t leave the card inside the envelope while it dries.)

7. Set envelope aside to let glue dry.

8. Using a piece of scrap paper, write your recipients address and attach to your envelope using strong liquid glue or clear tape.

9. If you already have a card to use, go ahead and write a sweet note to someone you love. If you don’t have a card, cut pieces of construction paper / scrapbook paper / other colored paper slightly smaller than the body of your envelope. I found some colored 5×7″ card stock on clearance at Michael’s so that’s what I used 🙂

10. Put the beautifully written note inside the envelope and seal with washi tape. If you are feeling especially handy, you could try making your own envelope glue.

11. Send your lovely happy mail on it’s way! {Don’t forget a stamp!}

Here’s some envelope eye candy from my 2014 calendar…

e 1nvelope

Wouldn’t this be perfect for holding a handmade wedding card?

envelope 1a

Envelope interior with exposed calendar grid (no lining)

I kind of like how the calendar grid peeks through on the inside of the envelope. To me it screams: “Once upon a time I was trash, but now I’m treasure!” 😉

If you want your upcycling to be a little less obvious, feel free to add a lining to your envelope. Martha Stewart has a nice how-to on envelope lining here or you can download her liner templates with this tutorial.

envelope 2

I can’t wait to send this one in the spring!

envelope 5

I sent this one to my penpal and was able to write her address directly onto the front with a permanent marker.

I picked out my favorite one and sent it to my Mom 🙂

calendar envelope

I love how colorful this pattern is (and so did my Mom!)

A lesson learned: a glue stick isn’t quite strong enough to hold the address on (I glued paper scraps with the address directly to the front of the envelope). If it’s possible, I recommend using a permanent marker to write directly onto the envelope. For some of my designs (like the white flower), this worked, but for others (like above) that wasn’t an option. Next time I will try using my liquid glue or clear tape to keep it secure.

Luckily, the address piece didn’t fall completely off until it had reached my Mom (yay!), but I wanted to share a word of warning because it would be a real tragedy if your beautiful masterpiece didn’t reach it’s intended recipient!

envelope 4

When I send this one, I think I will try to wrap the address below the purple flowers.

A wall calendar is the perfect material for making envelopes. If you’re still holding on to last year’s calendar, give handmade envelopes a try!

Keep an eye out – these envelopes will likely make a reappearance in some future #reslicedHappyMail!


Spread Love Mail Swap: I’ve Got A PenPal!

A few months ago, two of my favorite local creative chicks (Rachel Tenny of A Little Bit Of Me and Paulene of Leen Machine Calligraphy & Design) announced a penpal exchange they would be hosting. I immediately jumped on that train! I have been longing for a penpal (you already know I love to send Happy Mail, but I love to receive it too! 😉 )

I’m so excited to be a part of the #SpreadLoveMailSwap! I’m really looking forward to being a part of this ongoing swap that will put me on the receiving end of a few letters 🙂

I sent off the first letter to my penpal last week:

penpal

Envelope calligraphy by yours truly, but I can’t take credit for the card: it’s a print from Leen Machine Calligraphy & Design – Paulene gifted it to us for taking her calligraphy class.

In return, she sent me a little note about her (she sounds super sweet!) and this beautiful watercolor card which I promptly hung on the wall of my office…directly across from me as a reminder 🙂

penpal2

I’m so excited to finally have a penpal and I can’t wait to learn more about my new friend through our exchange. I have lots of creative ideas for sprucing up the snail mail I send to her so I’ll keep you updated with my creations.

And as always, I’ll also keep you updated with my #reslicedHappyMail creations. There are some really great nominations whose stories I can’t wait to share with you. Stay tuned!

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 😉

kt card back

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

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 🙂

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


Vintage Charlotte

{Brace yourself for a long post chock full of love for handmade + vintage businesses and loads of holiday gift ideas – explore the links and images that will take you to the shops!}

glasses

Glasses from Dress My Room Interiors – click the image to be taken to her site.

At this point, you’re probably familiar with my love of all things vintage.

Well, this weekend I discovered Vintage Heaven!

Vintage Charlotte at The Fillmore

Vintage Charlotte at The Fillmore

Over the summer, my friend Emily of Butterfly Vintage participated in the Vintage Charlotte pop-up market. In the months leading up to the summer event, I started following Vintage Charlotte on Instagram and Facebook and actually won the giveaway via social media (but I forfeited the gift since I couldn’t make it to Charlotte that day…le sigh).

After hearing how amazing the summer show was and drooling over all the pictures, I made sure my calendar was marked for the Winter Market!

I talked my sister into taking the day trip with me early Saturday morning.

Here we are just before skipping inside - can't even hide our excitement!

Here we are just before skipping inside – can’t even hide our excitement!

We happily paid the $5 early bird fee to get in at 10am (admission is free after 11:00) – and let me tell you: that’s a definite recommendation! When we left the market around 12:30pm, the line was wrapped around the building – there had to be 200 people waiting to get in! And inside it was elbow-to-elbow.

We grabbed a Yelp tote…

yelp bag

…and a scavenger hunt worksheet (yes, we’re total nerds who can’t resist the enticing challenge of possibly winning a prize!)…

Yep, that's right: we got ALL the stickers! AND we were the first to turn it in. #TeachersPets

Yep, that’s right: we got ALL the stickers! AND we were the first to turn it in. #TeachersPets

…and off we went into #VintageHeaven!

We quickly found Emily to give her a good luck hug and check out her booth.

I'm always excited to see what Emily's mannequin is wearing because she has such great style! You can't see it here, but the behind me that mannequin is wearing a long sleeve floral print dress with a calf length fur vest - tres chic!

I’m always excited to see what Emily’s mannequin is wearing because she has such great style! You can’t see it here, but the behind me that mannequin is wearing a bright, long-sleeve floral print dress with a knee-length fur vest – tres chic!

After greeting Emily, we started our first loop. It wasn’t long before I fell in love with this bag from Sans Maps:

sans bag 3

{Photo credit: Sans Map – click the image to be taken to the shop}

As a gal who loves sewing bags, I am usually pretty good at resisting buying purses, but this bag really got me. The design is absolutely brilliant – the top flap is a fully functional (and very spacious) zipper pouch, the adjustable strap allows you to convert from a shoulder bag to a cross-body / messenger style with ease, and there’s even a clip on the inside to hook your keys so they don’t get lost in the pit!

The exterior of the bag was made from a vintage wool skirt (there’s even the hint of what used to be a pocket on the back) with remnant leather accents.

sans bag 2

{Photo credit: Sans Map – click the image to be taken to the shop}

The interior is made from vintage floral print linens and Marimekko fabric.

sans bag 1

{Photo credit: Sans Map – click the image to be taken to the shop}

The abundance of pockets and storage solutions prove this to be a very thoughtfully made bag.

One of my favorite things about going to pop-up markets is being able to meet the maker and hear their story. Corey’s husband is French and in their time together they have lived in several different countries. She named her company “Sans Map” as a nod to their life without borders. I enjoyed chatting with Corey and was so excited to support her handmade business. This bag is going to be the perfect travel companion for my trip to England – it’s big enough to fit my essentials with room to spare for souvenirs while still being comfortable (& stylish!) to tote around town.

Speaking of my upcoming trip, I found this very fitting travel journal (well, that’s what I’ll be using it as!) at Vintage Concord‘s booth:

england

You know my love for snail mail so it should be no surprise that I stocked up on cards at the market!

Sable & Gray‘s booth caught my eye with their quirky-yet-lovely prints.

sable & gray

And how perfect is this sweet postcard?! Kristin snuck 2 in my bag without me noticing – such a sweet surprise!

Here are a few cards I picked out from Sable and Gray:

s&g thank you

{Click the image to be taken to Sable & Gray’s shop to buy this card for yourself!}

happy bday

{Click the image to be taken to Sable & Gray’s shop to buy this card for yourself!}

Looking for a birthday card for the ladies? Check out this pretty one – I bought one of those too 🙂

And my personal favorite:

cool card

{Click the image to be taken to Sable & Gray’s shop to buy this card for yourself!}

While completing the VTG CLT scavenger hunt, I stopped at Shannon Newlin‘s booth for a sticker and spotted this gorgeous scarf:

s.newlin scarf

No, I didn’t buy it, but I almost did! Isn’t it lovely? I wish you could feel how soft it was. The print is just gorgeous.

While at Shannon’s booth taking in all of her beautiful paintings, I spotted a holiday card set I just had to have:

cards

I mean, how cute are these penguins?!

penguins

You know I couldn’t stop at just one booth for cards! So if anyone is looking for a pen pal, I’m in the market for one! 😉

One thing I always buy at craft markets is soap. Long ago my Mom got us hooked on handmade soap. That was always the souvenir she’d bring us when she had to go out of town for work. It felt like such a luxury! I’m so happy that more and more soap artisans are popping up so getting my hands on a little slice of sudsy luxury isn’t so hard anymore!

There were 2 shops whose soap collections we liked so my sister and I split the bulk sale at each – a compromise while still getting a deal: win-win!

The first soap shop was Kitsch and Fancy.

I WISH there was a scratch-n-sniff option for WordPress because these gals nailed the Pumpkin Spice scent in this soap! If you love fall, you need to order some and hold onto to this little slice of fall for as long as you can 🙂

kitsch p.spice

{Click the image to be taken to this soap in Kitsch and Fancy’s shop}

My second choice from Kitsch and Fancy: Peppermint of course!

kitsch peppermint

{Click the image to be taken to Kitsch and Fancy’s Etsy shop}

Since there’s no scratch-n-sniff options, here’s a list of other scents from Kitsch and Fancy that I recommend: Fresh Linen, Lavender Basil, Maple Pecan Streusal, and Holiday Berries.

The second soap artisan we loved: Whispering Willow.

From Columbia’s Crafty Feast to Asheville’s Bele Chere festival, I see Whispering Willow everywhere! And I don’t hate it. Not one bit. In fact, I swear by their mint lip balm – it’s amazing.

I couldn’t decide whose peppermint soap smelled the best (peppermint is probably my favorite scent) – so I came home with another peppermint soap! 🙂 I can’t wait to end my day with a long shower filled with the scent of the Goat Milk Lavender soap – such a sweet, soothing scent!

whispering willow

{Click the image to be taken to the Whispering Willow’s shop}

While stalking perusing the feed from the summer market, I discovered Ferris Wheel Vintage on Instagram and fell in love with her style. I knew I would find something great at her booth, and I did!

I found this great navy knit dress – a perfect winter work outfit – at her booth for only $15! What a steal.

{Click the image to be taken to the Ferris Wheel Vintage shop on Etsy}

{Click the image to be taken to the Ferris Wheel Vintage shop on Etsy}

Even the tag for this dress was adorable!

fw tag

{Click the image to be taken to the Ferris Wheel Vintage shop on Etsy}

Katherine’s tagline for Ferris Wheel Vintage is “beautiful, affordable, hand-picked vintage gems for all styles and sizes” – I couldn’t agree more! Her Instagram feed is drool-worthy and I definitely recommend giving her a follow.

ferris wheel

{Click the image to be taken to the Ferris Wheel Vintage shop on Etsy}

One thing that I do at every craft fair / pop-up market that I go to is collect business cards from all of the vendors selling goods that I like. While I’d love to buy from all of them, my budget just won’t allow it.

biz cards

My collection of “favorite booth” business cards from Vintage Charlotte.

Once I’m back at home, I sort through the business cards and look up the shops on social media.

Tips:

  • If you have an account on Etsy, add the shop to your favorites so that your followers will also see the shop – this helps share the love with some free marketing for your new favorite shop while also saving the shop so you can easily find them later.
  • Build a secret “Gift Ideas” board on Pinterest to collect links to items you think would make a great gift for so-and-so. As you are browsing the shops (on Etsy or otherwise), “pin” the items so you can refer back as holidays/birthdays approach.
  • If you have an Instagram account (let’s be friends!), search for the shop and give them a follow. Lots of handmade businesses are starting to do exclusive flash sales and promotions on Instagram so this is a great avenue to keep up with your shops (and score a great deal on something you wanted to buy anyway!).
  • Remember to support handmade businesses this holiday season! By purchasing from a small, creative business you are fueling the artists fire and keeping them inspired – they rely on your support! As a handmade business owner, I know how special these sales can be – and I never regret supporting another artist. [I can’t say the same for big box purchases..]

Vintage Charlotte is one of the best craft fair / holiday market / vintage-anything I have ever been to! I absolutely cannot wait until the next VTG CLT!

What are some of your favorite handmade businesses? I’d love for you to leave a link in the comments so I can check them out for the holidays!

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 🙂

{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 🙂

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. 😉

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! 😉

A few months ago, I discovered Rachel on Instagram through some common friends. Her posts are so thoughtful and uplifting – not 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! 🙂

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. 🙂

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 – like 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 😉

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!