Tag Archives: stationery addict

Balancing Minimalism and Joy: What Do You Collect?

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Little kids always seem to be working on some collection or another. When I was young I had all sorts–everything from rocks to beanie babies to dolls that lived on a shelf and weren’t meant for play. And kids these days are keeping up the habit. (Recently, I had a lovely chat with a little one about all her Tsum Tsums.)

But I’d love to know, what do you collect as an adult? Dishes in a specific pattern? Harry Potter paraphernalia? Miniature buildings to add to an ever-expanding Christmas village?

The nice thing about having a loud-and-proud collection is that it makes gift giving much easier. There’s always that one friend in a group who LOVES a certain Disney Princess or anything with roses on it. So you always think of them when you’re in a store and stumble upon an item that’s “on theme.” Convenient for the gift giver…and also kind of nice for the collector. Wouldn’t you feel sorta special knowing that people are thinking of you each time they spot an item with stars on it? Or used a fountain pen? Or interacted with whatever it is you squirrel away?

Yet, with the quest for minimalism being such a popular feature as of late (shout out to Marie Kondo and all those capsule wardrobe YouTubers) I wonder if some have let their little stockpiles wither away. Even when that little stockpile brought them joy. How do we balance that fad-driven need to cull our belongings with our own happiness?

Whatever your answer might be, I’m curious about what it means for adult collections. Personally, I’m loving my ever-growing collection of washi tape. (See photos for some of my favorite rolls.) This collection feels like the perfect marriage of minimalism dreams and hoarding realities. Haha! Washi is so, so cute with so many patterns to choose from. But it’s also cheap, technically a consumable (because I use it to make pocket letters and for other paper crafting and planning), and doesn’t take up much space. For now, washi collecting feels right. (And who knows! Maybe someday I’ll lift my embargo on rock purchases…but probably not on Ty products.) Bottom line: I don’t want to resist something that I know makes me happy. And washi tape makes me happy!

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What did you collect as a child? What about now? Does your collection bring you joy or does it make you feel guilty? I’d love to hear! 

P.S. Other questions for you to weigh in on — What were your favorite childhood TV shows? and What’s your favorite mug? 

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What’s Your State Flower?

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louisiana state flower

florida state flower

north carolina state flower

michigan state flower

Have you had a browse of the magnificent paper goods shop, Thimblepress? I love the idea of their gold foil cards that feature hand-drawn illustrations of state flowers. Aren’t they beautiful?

You can buy one card (Wouldn’t they be awesome to send to someone who has recently moved to a new state?!) or a box of six. Or rep the whole U.S. of A. with a print of the whole map. Now that’s one heck of a bouquet!

The idea for Thimblepress’ State Flower Collection was born from a quote by Lady Bird Johnson, “Where flowers bloom so does hope.” I love that.

Pictured above: Goldenrod (KY), Magnolia (LA), Orange Blossom (FL), American Dogwood (NC), and Apple Blossom (MI). 

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Cocoa Daisy August 2016 Planner Kit Unboxing!

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I had quite the mailbox surprise awaiting me when I arrived back in Miami after the wedding. The August 2016 Planner Kit from Cocoa Daisy! I reached out to Cocoa Daisy a few months ago in the height of my planning/pocket letter frenzy and they were generous enough to send me a kit on the house. Once I opened the package I was absolutely blown away. I just had to share every little perfect detail with you guys. Seriously, if you’re into planning, pocket letters, scrapbooking, happy mail or any sort of paper crafting you’ve GOT to check out the kits this website puts together. I really love that their planner kits are customizable to a ton of different planners and planner sizes. I plan in a personal size binder I got from the Target Dollar Spot and I can’t wait to put some of these goodies to good use! (Not to mention share the love in a pocket letter or two!!)

Wanna see what’s inside?

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“Enjoy Every Day” stuff sack // Planner Inserts (including week at a glance, weekly spreads, journaling pages, month at a glance, year at a glance, and double sided daily to-do pages) // floral washi tape // planner charm // pennant post-it notes // small tablet // puff stickers // hummingbird die cut // hummingbird paper clip

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2 sheets of planner stickers // 2 3×4 notecards

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Copper glitter tape // 6 large cardstock dashboards // 6 small cardstock dashboards // Happy Planner binder clips

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Numerical stickers // package of small die cuts // 6 divider tabs // 1 sheet of icon stickers // 1 sheet of whimsical stickers // journaling card

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Ok, so are you as *heart-eye emoji* as I am right now??? Stationery supplies HEAVEN! So, I think I’ll pop a post or two up next month about how I use the planner pages (and how I like them) and how I style the extra goodies for a pocket letter. Keep an eye out!

Thank you SO MUCH, Cocoa Daisy! This kit is so gorgeous and wonderfully curated. I could stare at all of it all day. 

P.S. Is planning and paper crafting your jam, too? You might like this planner tip or this pocket letter how-to!

mid-week round-up

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Hi loves! How’s your week going so far? Chet is back from a week-long work trip and I am ever so glad!!! This week’s forecast is full of warm and sunny weather so we headed to the beach for a couple of hours yesterday. We are also planning on hitting up the pool and maybe sauntering down to a new-to-us park I found while on an evening stroll last week. We’ve also been researching potential locations to go camping in the near future. I’ve found a few that look promising, but I’d love to know if you’ve ever been camping around South Florida, The Everglades, or The Keys! Any spots we should know about? Anywho, enough dawdling…ON TO THE LINKS…

Communal living in the 21st century.

Bulk bins are BAE.

Vacation destinations that don’t require a passport to visit.

Wouldn’t this be a sweet print to hang in our bedroom?

This pegboard is #HomeOfficeGoals.

Stores of women who’ve broken the mold, fought poverty, and changed the course of their lives for better.

This Grapefruit and Avocado Buddha Bowl would make a delicious and light springtime supper.

Why the word Y’ALL should be the standard second-person plural in English.

Where the soldiers are scarier than the crocodiles.

Shonda Rhimes and co. star in an unprecedented campaign ad.

Muscle aches and pains? These helpful pictures show you how to stretch it out.

This looks like a fun DIY to try over the weekend (and feed my marble obsession).

P.S. If you’re looking for something to do this week, I have a couple recommendations! I recently watched the documentary, The Barkley Marathons, on Netflix and thought it was both fascinating and entertaining. I also have a slight obsession with the weird and wacky world of college policy debate. Check out the episode titled “Debatable” of the Radiolab podcast to get a glimpse into this world.

DIY: Picture Frame Desk Organizer

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If you’ve been peeping around these parts for the last couple months then it is no secret that I’m having a bit of a love affair with Dollar Tree. I love making super simple DIY’s but I hate spending a ton of money. Add to that the fact that I discovered Pocket Letters and suddenly I’m jonesing to go to DT every other week for craft supplies and stationery finds.

In need of a new project, I decided to see if I could create an inexpensive gift to dress up a desk. I came up with a desk organizer made from a picture frame and some fabric. This would make a really cute gift for the teachers in your life. Or shipped off to a dorm dwelling college student. Or to welcome a new co-worker to the office! The best part? It allows you to tuck in a few stationery goodies you think the receiver might enjoy. Something that Dollar Tree is PERFECT for. So, check it out! Here’s how to make a Picture Frame Desk Organizer for six bucks…

What you’ll need: 

Besides a couple materials I had on hand, scissors and glue, here’s what I picked up at Dollar Tree…

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  • 8″x10″ picture frame
  • metallic gel pens
  • post-it notes (how stinking cute are these???)
  • notebook
  • 2 fabric place-mats (Note: You could just use any ol’ fabric. But if you do, you’ll need to create a sturdy edge for the pockets by folding the top down and sewing a border. I’m lazy and wanted to limit my materials to Dollar Tree items. If you’re like me, go for the place-mats or fabric napkins!)
  • envelopes

and how it all comes together:

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Take the picture frame apart. You won’t need the glass or that lovely (fake) family portrait.

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Cut a piece of the place-mat to fit the frame. This is the back piece so you won’t need to worry about borders. Just make sure it fits well.

Note my Sharpie-labelled “Fabric Only” scissors. #classy

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Now cut two additional pieces WITH BORDERS on the top edge to serve as pockets. Leave a little bit of room on either side so you can play with how much “give” your pockets will have. To do this, pop everything through the frame without securing it and run your finger through the pockets. Once you’ve loosened them to your liking, trim the edges.

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Since you’re using a crappy Dollar Store frame you’re going to need some re-enforcement. I went in with my trusty E6000 glue all around the frame where the fabric will lay. I flipped the lined up fabric, cardboard, and frame backing over into the frame…

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…then I removed the frame backing and put some glue on it as well. (Note: You’ll see above that there’s a piece of cardboard half the size of the frame. This frame didn’t come with the cardboard that a lot of frames do so I just cut my own out of an Amazon box. If your frame comes with cardboard I would recommend cutting it down so it only lays above the pockets. This will balance everything out while still letting you get the frame closed.) 

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Squeeze everything tight while the glue drys! Or, if you want to (again) follow my lazy lead, you can use giant binder clips. (I weirdly get a TON of use out of these clippy dudes.)

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Once the glue is dry you can fill up your creation with all sorts of goodies! Feel free to embellish the fabric and pockets with sewing notions or cute pin-back buttons if you like.

I was having way too much fun thinking about other stuff you could tuck in your desk organizer so I put this “look” together too…

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…highlighters, crayons…and who wouldn’t love a Starbucks gift card clipped on front? You could also include paper clips, pencils, tablets, paintbrushes, cards, stationery paper, letter opener, book-marks. The possibilities are endless!

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What do you think? Who would you gift with this little DIY? What would you tuck inside? Do you have any other cheap and easy crafts you think make great gifts? 

A Pocket Letter How-To

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Confession time. I’m a little bit addicted to going down weird rabbit holes on YouTube. I could watch people tell me about what’s in their handbags, how they prep meals for the week, and what a day in their life looks like FOR HOURS. But recently I followed a rabbit hole on a path that looked a little bit like this…

Christmas craft tutorial —> Dollar Tree Haul —> Pocket Letter “Unpocketing”

Hold the phone. Pocket Letters? Say what?!

Fast forward about an hour (in which I clicked video after video about these little mail goodies) and I was obsessed. Essentially, Pocket Letters are an adorable platform to send mail to your “pals” by way of a 3 x 3 playing card page protector. You decorate each pocket however you like and tuck little stationery goodies on the back. How. cute. is. that?!

Here’s the thing…I’ve always loved the idea of scrap-booking. Even the new trend of glam-planning looks like it would be a really fun crafting outlet. But my problem lies with the commitment. I can’t reconcile the fact that I would have to keep up with something consistently for an entire year in order to come away with an end product. Pocket Letters seemed like a cool alternative. A way to flex the same artistic muscles while also providing an excuse to send some beautiful mailbox love. I also LOVE patterned paper, stickers, washi tape, and all sorts of cute stationery supplies! (Read: I love having an excuse to buy them.)

I’ve made two Pocket Letters so far and can’t wait to make more! If you’re interested, here’s how I do it…

I purchased the page protectors on Amazon. To act as the background for each pocket, I got patterned paper from Target. Most of the videos I watched about PL’s recommended getting paper in a 6″x 6″ size because the patterns are more to scale for the size of your pockets. So I went with that advice. You can also find this sort of paper at Wal-mart, Michaels, Hobby Lobby, etc. I picked out the patterns I wanted and cut them to size for the pockets, 2 1/2″x 3 1/2″.

Next comes the fun part, decorating each pocket! I found the easiest (and quickest) way to affix all the decorative elements on to each page was to use an adhesive runner. Everything I used either came from Dollar Tree, the dollar section at Target or I already had it on hand.

Finally, a big part of PL’s is including samples of your stationery stash for your pal to enjoy. These little pieces get tucked in, along with the all-important letter, and then the Pocket Letter is ready to ship!

Wanna see more? Keep scrollin’!

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Pocket #1. I used some plain paper with my patterned paper as an accent and included some fabric tape I had on hand and a puffy owl sticker from Dollar Tree. I also stamped the top with alphabet stamps from Target Dollar Spot. On the back is a little bookmark to write down books read in December.

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Pocket #2. Samples of page flags act as the main decoration with a little bit of ribbon accent at the top. On the back is a sample of post-it notes.

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Pocket #3. Adhesive label, pretty ribbon, puffy sticker from the same sheet as the owls. On the back is a sample of a couple of washi tapes. To make sure the recipient can use the washi, make sure to wrap it around something with a glossy finish or some plastic.

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Pocket #4. I have a huge atlas in my craft box that I bought for this project. So I cut a little section out from that and added some paper hearts. On the back are more paper hearts and stars plus a tiny tin star ornament. The top of this pocket is washi taped down so these little pieces won’t fall out.

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Pocket #5. The little square on this one is actually a cut out from a set of gorgeous sticker sheets from Dollar Tree. Topped off with another owl! A lot of PL’s include a tea in one pocket but the recipient of this one has enough tea to last a lifetime so I decided to include the sweetener instead. 😉

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Pocket #6. I used plain purple paper as an accent and slapped a little magazine cut out of a New Orleans style building on top. The top corner is another square of sticker sheet topped off with a heart cut from the atlas. On the back I wound some ribbon around patterned paper and washi taped it in place. I was unsure about including this sample but I ended up loving how it looks.

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Pocket #7. Another magazine cut out, a circle from the atlas, and an autumnal puffy sticker. At the top I folded washi tape through a paper clip and cut out a triangle. On the back are two bookplates (from my stash) and a few fox stickers (Dollar Tree).

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Pocket #8.  I cut some more sticker sheet into the shape of a gift tag to hint at what the goodie was for this one. I also cut out some of the shapes from the floral sticker sheet and made a little cluster for the top of the tag. The birch bark looking tags on the back are from the Target Dollar Spot.

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Pocket #9. For my final pocket I included my letter which I folded up and tied with some ribbon. I also tucked in another owl sticker which I left on the backing so the recipient could use it.

Wanna see another one!? Of course you do…

Front: 

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Back: 

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Pocket #1. A cut out from the purple sticker sheet topped off with a greeting. I included several paper clip flags on this PL because I think they’re adorable. On the back are a couple book plates.

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Pocket #2. I chose a magazine cut out of a compass as the focal point and accented it with fabric tape and a new travel-themed washi I recently procured from Dollar Tree. The orange binder clip holds a few stickers in place on the back and nestled at the bottom is a tiny card which I cut out from a larger card…more on that in a minute.

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Pocket #3. More washi and more OWLS! These chip board babies are also from Dollar Tree just like their puffy counterparts. On the back are a few Christmas gift tags which I cut out from a box of cookies. I like that they’re bilingual.

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Pocket #4. This is the letter pocket! I cut a greeting card in half to create a pocket sized card to write my letter inside. The other half of the card I cut down to make the tiny card in pocket 2. The card is from a set I got at Target Dollar Spot.

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Pocket #5. I cut out some of the wood patterned paper to write a little positive affirmation and included some sticker tape and a chip board flower. On the back is a post-it note sample.

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Pocket #6. This pocket is decorated with some burlap I had on hand and another paper clip flag. On the back are bobby pins because what gal couldn’t use more bobbies?

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Pocket #7. Just a simple “to” and “from” pocket with some plain purple paper and sharpies. On the back is a fabric sticker that I thought matched this PL quite nicely.

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Pocket #8. Look at those owls! (Maybe my next PL will branch away from owls but they’re so darn cute!) I also used sticker tape on the side and attached another paper clip flag. On the back I included a ribbon sample.

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Pocket #9. Last but not least, an adhesive tag decorated with washi tape and a Christmas tree sticker. Since I was gifting this PL in lieu of a Christmas card I wrote “merry christmas” and included the year. On the back I included some band-aids as the last time I saw the recipient she needed one and didn’t have any in her apartment, lol.

To mail my Pocket Letters, I sent them flat in a standard, page size mailer but you could also fold them and send them in an envelope, like so…

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Pocket Letters are super fun to make–calming handiwork that can be completed in one sitting–and they definitely brighten the receivers day! I’m so excited to continue making these in 2016!

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Have you made any Pocket Letters? Or is this the first you’ve heard of the super cute mail goodies? Either way, if you’re interested in whipping one up and would like to swap with yours truly, do let me know in the comments below. Or if you would like to swap a PL from me for some other mail goodie from you, I’m totally open to that too! Let’s spread some postal positivity!!!