Friday's Fab Finds - Lettering

Happy Friday!!
Super excited about today's Fab's all about handwriting and brush lettering.  These are my favorite Instagram sources for lettering inspiration. Each is a bit different. I love the tools, resources, ideas and tips they share on their Instagram accounts and/or blogs.

More good news!!!  I am thrilled to announce that I will be co-hosting a Letter Writing Challenge in April with my friend Danielle Nelson.   To get all of the details and a freebie (designed by yours truly) hop over to Danielle's blog and get all the details...You will want to join the special list that she has set up so you can stay informed about the guest posts and challenges!  There will be prizes!! 

P.S.:  I am letting the cat out of the bag early on the FREEBIE since it won't be sent out until next week!!  You can also keep up with us on Instagram with hashtag #sendcardsspreadlove.

Back to the regularly scheduled Friday's Fab Finds:

@calligrabasics:  This is a fun Instagram feed by Eliza @elizahcalligraphy • Kate @itskateshandwriting  • Kathleen @thetenpost.  They explore a different hand-lettering tool each week. Super fun to follow along.

@ckelso:  Caroline at Made Vibrant offers a fun Instagram lettering challenge.  The color and energy in her feed makes me smile and motivates me to get out my pen and practice.

@therevisionguide:  Here you will find inspiration, how-to tips and eye candy.  You can also check out her blog for more info including a recent post on how to edit Instagram posts.

@randomolive:  Oh the lovely hand lettering you will see here - often in real-time video!!  Olivia, offers freebie practice guides on her blog, and you can find her original artwork and more in her shop.  If you want to improve your brush lettering skills you need to follow her!

#rockyourhandwriting @boho.berry @decadethirty @tinyrayofsunshine @prettyprintsandpaper: With this fab find you get four in one!  The challenge is hosted on Instagram by these four lovely ladies.  They all bring fun, smarts, creativity and ideas on how you improve your hand writing. Bonus:  Jessica at Pretty Prints and Paper also has a lettering section on her blog.

Projects: December Daily 2015 - DONE

I know, I know it's March, and I am recapping my 2015 December Daily.  Well, that's how it goes sometimes.  Even though this is a daily documentation project - I never manage to complete it in December.  I have given myself permission to finish this book at my pace.  It's totally OK!!
I love this project, and this is my 7th year of completing this little album - WOO HOO!!  Each book is a window into what was happening at this very busy time.  One reason I still love this project is that the album is never the same, and I don't force the completion.  It comes when it is ready.

December 2015 wasn't your average holiday season around our house.  I had surgery in the middle of the month and I was changing my career.  My WHY for capturing the month had less to do with the holidays and more with how I felt leading up to the surgery and my recovery and what was next for me.  It was the perfect project at the perfect time.

To keep things simple, I used a two of the kits from Ali Edward's shop.  It turns out I journaled more that I have in the past, and expect that I am going to find this to be an important album when I look back.

Here is a flip thru of my completed album:

If you wanted to do this project but didn't or started and gave up on this project and have some regrets don't.  You can still do it.  Go back and print your December pictures, look in your calendar see what you did.  Look around for any random memorabilia.  You can still document these days.  Keep it simple - do what you can.  Maybe you only want to do the holiday week - that's awesome - go for it!

There is no right or wrong way.  For several years, I believed I could NOT do this project because:

  • I didn't have kids
  • I didn't have your average traditions
  • My local family was small
  • I had just a couple of pictures
  • My photos weren't very good

None of that turns out to be true.  Anyone can create a daily book!!  One of my favorite December Daily books has no photos.  You read that correctly - NO PHOTOS!  It is a compilation of STUFF that I punched and put on rings throughout December 2009.  When I look through that scrappy album it I am transported back to those moments and memories.  These snippets of my activities with friends and family are dear to me.  Look how fun a random collection of things can be:

This project can work in ways that we haven't yet imagined.  Just go for it!! Capture your story.  It matters!  You matter!  Young, old, big family or if it just you - all of the little parts of your journey are worth capturing.

Right now I am using my planner to keep track of daily tasks, memories and memorabilia.  This is creating habit and a place to keep all of the little bits of things that make up my life.  This way when I go to do the next project ...could updates to my project life album or the 2016 December daily...I will have one resource for all of the info and stuff gathering - and if I have them add pictures.

Need some goodies to add to your planner or journal - check out the Mercantile Mail kit here.  You will find stickers, journaling cards and more in the kits that will help you document your story!

Craft Tip: Using Clear Stamps

Clear stamps are the cool kid on the block when it comes to stamps (at least in my book).

The two reasons I love them:
1) You make fewer mistakes because you can see through them and
2) They are much easier to store than woodblock stamps

In the March Mercantile Mail kit, there was a faboo set of clear stamps designed by Christine Herrin.  Designed with a planner in mind but these stamps can be used by card-makers,  art journalers, and scrapbookers alike.

Here is a peek of how I use the coffee one in my planner. Keep reading for three easy steps to using clear stamps.

1) Remove the stamp of your choice from the backer sheet and position them on a clear acrylic block. The stamps will cling to the block. Don't have a clear block?  You can also use:  bottom of a clear bowl or water glass (flat surface) or top of the ink pad .  When I have been stamping on the go I have even used my finger with these little stamps - works great!

Hint:  There will be a block in an upcoming Mercantile Mail box :)


2) Apply the ink of your choice.  With smaller stamps I tend to take the ink to the stamps and gently apply.  You don't want to smoosh the stamp into the pad.  In this example I am using a water based ink.  There are lots of inks and you can find them at your local craft store.

3) Line up your image where you want it and firmly and evenly stamp down.  Don't put all of your weight into it.  Just firm even pressure does the trick.  Then lift the stamp straight up and you are all done.

Enjoy your creation!

Looking for some great ideas on stamping?  One of my favorite stampers is Jennifer McGuire...Her blog is full of inspiration and ideas.

p.s.:  Next month's Mercantile Mail box will have a fun clear stamp from Lawn fawn!  Join the club here...Last day to sign up i

p.p.s.:  To keep you stamps in good condition be sure to clean them off after each use.  You can use a stamp cleaner, a baby wipe (without alcohol) or rag with a gentle soap.

Obsession: Fave podcasts right now

I missed my Fab 5 post last week - life just got in the way.  Onwards...Today it's my current obsession: Podcasts!  These are my top 5 :)

I just started listening to podcasts.  Yep, I was late to the party.  That doesn't, however, mean I haven't embraced them thoroughly.  Now all I listen to on a regular basis are podcasts and the Hamilton musical.  I am trying to go all in with the Hamilton musical, but that's a different post. 

There is (I hope) something here for everyone!  Enjoy!  If you have a favorite podcast...let me know!!  I need more listening material :)

Stuff You Missed in History Class: This is great listen. You will hear fantastic non-fiction tales that you will be glad you listened to.  Your hosts are Tracy V. Wilson and Holly Frey.  They will share with you the story behind the building of the Disney Haunted Mansion, of Crayola crayons and the history of the Whiskey Rebellion.  Often I can't stop listening and need to remind myself the recordings will be there in the morning.

Freakonomics:  Stephen J. Dubner and Steven D. Levitt help you discover the hidden side of everything.  You never know what topics they will be tackling.  Subjects include finding the perfect hamburger, the gender pay gap, the Dilbert index and much more.  After a few episodes you are sure to consider yourself part of the "freak club" and it is a great club to be in.

Raise Your Hand and Say Yes :  Full Disclosure - Tiffany Han the host  is my friend and my business coach.  But, I would listen to her even if I didn't know her in real life.  She describes it as a podcast about the creative adventures of (extra)ordinary people.  I love the way she weaves learnings in with a poignant story.  Most of the interviews are with creative women, but not always.  One of my recent faves was a broadcast where Tiffany talked with Kate McCombs - a sex educator.  The advice was fun and you learned a few life lessons you would have never expected.

Call Your Girlfriend:  This is one of those listens that will leave you thinking or laughing or rushing off to try something new or needing to call your best girlfriend.  Your hosts are  Ann Friedman and Aminatou Sow.  The show is comprised of their weekly phone calls...they check in with each other and share on everything.  You can find out their opinion on:  Why women shouldn't have a candy dish at work,  Lady's annual exams and how they feel about nudist resorts.  Note: there are explicit episodes so you may not want to listen with wee ones in the car.

Radio Cherry Bomb: This podcast is for foodies and non-foodies alike.  If you want to hear from interesting, cool or badass WOMEN in the food industry you have found your podcast.  Some of my favorite episodes include interviews with Margaret Braun and Ruth Reichl.

Friday's Fab Finds - Tiny House resources

Something not everyone knows about me is that I LOVE a tiny house. I Dream of a tiny house. I long for the day that I can live in a tiny house.  But, I love my partner more than I love the idea of a tiny house.  So, Aaron and I live in our fantastically perfect house in Redwood City - and I work in a tiny office.

My obsession with the tiny/small house movement has created a long list of resources.  Today's 5 Fab Find are some of my faves!  Many of these ideas/resources apply to all sizes of houses so keep reading you are sure to find something to inspire you.

P.S. for me a tiny house isn't 200 ft.² it's actually about 800 - 1000 feet.

1. Tiny House Talk:  This site is filled with tons of resources, ideas and lots and lots of Tiny House talk.  You can find info tiny homes, micro buildings and more.  One of my favorite resources.

2. Erica Reitman - Interior Designer:  Erica is a badass when it comes to interior design.  She is an expert at small spaces.  She does more than talk the talk - she walks it.  She has lived in small spaces all over.  With a bit of help from Erica you can take your small space from drab to fab.  Check out her YouTube channel to see her ideas in action.  And her blog is a teriffic resource.... This tiny bedroom hack is awesome!

3. Kitchen Storage idea - by DIY Crafts You:  This blog isn't dedicated to small houses but I LOVE this kitchen hack.   Don't stop at the kitchen you can use this idea  in the  bathroom or an art studio.  

4. Waterhaus by Green Pod Development:  The Waterhaus design speaks to me - it is a beautiful design for living in 450 sq. feet.  But this is just one of the many designs that you can find at Green Pod.   The founders of this company are on a mission to simplify the building  process for pre-fab homes.  Check out all of the different options they offer.

5 Tumbleweed Tiny House Company:  This was the first site I visited when I became interested in the Tiny Houses.  Here you can find the ultimate house on wheels and it is SUPER tiny - less than 200 ft. tiny.  This of course doesn't mean the awesomeness of these homes is tiny, just the opposite.  There are tons of resources on building your own tiny home.  Or if you want to go a bit bigger be sure to check out their cottage plans for designs up to 900 sq. ft.