Friday, April 30, 2010

Inspired By [The Note]

A little inspiration to get you excited about letter writing!

[Images clockwise from top left to center: Treehouse Collective; Brione's & Co. Pendant letter writing kit; bird and banner; Rifle Paper Co.; Hello Handmade Valentine; Paperfinger Custom Return Address Stamp; Hello! Lucky stationery; Bird and Banner; Neither Snow calligraphy]

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


Six years ago today, this precious little person was born. I remember when he was a baby that I couldn't even imagine him ever being this old. But he is, and as cliched as this sounds, it does seem like only yesterday that we were celebrating his first birthday.

Here's one of my favorite pictures from his first birthday [notice Poggin, the pup, right on his heels, making sure not to miss any of the cupcake droppings!]:

Happy Birthday, Precious Boy.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Friday, April 23, 2010

My Sister Ate My Homework

But fortunately for us, she did not eat the giveaway names. I put them all in my sophisticated Pokemon tin picker, and the winner is...Meghan!

Please send me an email -- alston[at]bwisepapers[dot]com and let me know which label design, colors, etc. you'd like!

Thanks to all of you who are joining me -- I'm excited to see where the month takes us!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Nice Bike

In honor of Earth Day today, I'm going to talk about one of my favorite modes of transportation -- the bike. Being pregnant and having an infant has seriously decreased my use of said mode, and I miss it. But Miss Mags is almost old enough to use the bike seat, so I'm gearing back up. Parking on campus is a nightmare, so I'm looking forward to biking over to meet Ben for lunch. We do, however, need to get the front tire of my bike fixed. Reginald rode it to a bar in Chapel Hill one night and someone backed into it and bent the front tire. His ride back was a little wonky!

I've mentioned before my obsession with the tricycle cargo bikes that seem to proliferate only in Sweden and Denmark. I'm already looking into trying to rent one of those while we are in Copenhagen. Do you think I could check one on the flight back? I'm sure the airline wouldn't mind hauling all that gigantic splendor.

This mega bike [pictured below] by Workcycles made me laugh...honestly, can you imagine navigating that big daddy?! The description says it can hold TWELVE KIDS and it's uses are "(Big) family transport, schoolbus replacement, circus acts." Love it. If I saw someone riding one of those, I'd have to get their autograph.

If you are in the market for a bike that matches your outfit, Abici has Pantone colored bikes. And it doesn't hurt that the bike itself looks like it just rode in from a picnic in the hills of Tuscany. Was Gregory Peck there, too? Probably.

So, in conclusion, biking is cool. I just might go around putting one of these on all the bikes I see out today...especially the old ones...and the pretty colored ones...and the gigantic ones...

[top image by skippy designs]

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


I've been savoring the last issue of Cookie, so just came across the article about Moomah, the creative space for kids in NYC. It looks like such an inspiring place...

I love the white, blue, gray and wood tones in the decor.

Here's a snippet from their website on what they are about:

And for those of us who don't live nearby, there are a couple ways to get a taste of Moomah -- Do-It-Together kits for sale and an interactive part of their website where you can create collages...

Have any of you ever been there?

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

A Letter a Day in May + a Giveaway

I wish that I could motivate myself to write a letter a day, and I'm thinking that maybe if I write about it here and you join me that we can encourage one another along.

You see, there was a time when I actually did write a letter just about every day. Back in the dating days, Ben [aka Reggie D.] was in London. I was in Atlanta. We were in love and he was pretty much all I could think about. So we wrote letters. Lots of them. And did I mention that he is a writer? I was in awe and slightly intimidated by his letters at the beginning. Here's a sample sentence from his first letter to me [and it was hard to pick one sentence out of the letter because his letters are written like stories]:

Dear Alston,

I have made it back to England, where, at first glance, men and women walk feverishly down the city streets with their heads down as if counting all their steps and carry bags with valuable valuable valuable accounts of the days' gettings and spendings and dispose a look that believes perhaps tomorrow will be the reward for today's labor; at first glance, men and women sit and stand on top of one another in the underground train as the fluorescent lights flicker to illuminate the first beads of sweat on the forehead of a balding man and the white knuckles of a young man rubbing his eyes, the train jolting and weaving beneath the city; at first glance, the man next to you on the bus is scribbling revisions on a proposal surely due in twenty minutes time, while outside the window bicycles and motorcycles and taxis weave in and out like the workings of a great concrete and metal loom...

He goes on to talk about what you see at second glance, but you get the idea. And it wasn't all so serious either -- I got to hear later about the "hot dog dog" at the park that bit his ankles while he was running.

My response was something like "Dear Ben, Weather is good. I am fine. How are you?" Hopefully it was better than that, but nothing close to what he had going on! He did make me a better letter writer, though.

I also discovered how therapeutic it is to sit and write someone. Even when they are far away, it's as if you are having a heartfelt conversation with them. And there's something about a letter that captures that moment in time. Linsey wrote an awesome post on letter writing last week, and one part that particularly resonated with me was when she mentioned the power of even just seeing the handwriting of someone. That's so true for me; it's almost like you get to keep a piece of them forever after they are gone.

So, I've decided that for the entire month of May I'm going to write a letter every weekday. Will you join me? It doesn't have to be long -- even just a postcard to say "hello." And I'm not going to be strict -- if you have to go out of town or something you can write more on another day. The point is to connect with people in a way that shows you took the time to sit down and write to them. I've already got a list going!

*AND AS BONUS INCENTIVE, if you leave a comment and let me know you're in, you'll be entered to win a set of custom address labels [one of the three designs pictured above; you choose whatever colors you want!], enough to get you through the month! I'll choose a commenter at random this Friday.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Inspired By [Spring]

Having just returned from Atlanta where the Dogwoods were a-blooming, I've got a new spring in my step, and am finding myself in the mood for walking barefoot on the grass, picnics, digging in the dirt, flower clippings and flowering branches, and dinner al fresco. How about you? What do you look forward to in Spring?

[Images clockwise from left to right to center: Snippet and Ink; Style Me Pretty dogwood cake; Elizabeth Anne Designs picnic; Ritzy Bee; Style Me Pretty Umbrellas; Gemma Comas flowering boots; bike 100 Layer Cake; Yummy Life Photography; outdoor table Snippet and Ink; potted plant Ritzy Bee]

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


Circle, circle, dot, you have your cootie shot? I don't know if you spied the cootie catcher that was in this inspiration board, but Tart Workshop has a free download of one here. I love the calligraphy inspired font -- makes it look like it came out of a Jane Austen novel. Now, go catch those cooties!

[Left image from Martha; Right image from Tart Workshop]

Monday, April 12, 2010


We made it back home safe and sound. It was a great trip, and it's always hard for me to leave family and friends to come back to this new place we call home. Plus, you wouldn't believe all the bags I need to unpack!

DC was a blast! While Ben was at his conference, Maggie and I went exploring, walking all around Dupont Circle and Georgetown. The weather was gorgeous and we caught the tail end of the cherry trees. We also made our way to the American History Museum -- highlights for me were Julia Childs' kitchen and the inauguration dresses of all the first ladies. And after that I had the best margarita I've ever had [I've lived in Houston, so I've had a lot of good ones!] at Alero. Seriously, so good. The chips and salsa were amazing, too, so if you are ever in the area with a hankering for some Mex, check it out.

I also had the chance to meet some ladies from Minted, which was so fun. I really appreciate that company's vision for independent designers, and hope to work more with them in the future.

Until I get some more inspiration going, I'll leave you with a picture of Maggie and me standing in front of the White House. I was hoping to catch a glimpse of an Obama, but alas, it wasn't meant to be. Maybe next time!

Monday, April 5, 2010

And We're Off...

...for a break -- some time with family mixed in with a couple meetings, which should all hopefully be fun.

Miss Mags will be going on her first plane trip, which should be interesting. I wish we could just take one of the bad boys pictured above [by Nicole Hill Gerulat]. How great would that be? I'll be back in a bit -- I'm sure with a few stories. Have a great week!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Inspired By [Nest Eggs]

The white, the woodsy tones, the pop of blue or orange, ovals, twigs -- the whimsy of it all makes for some wonderful inspiration.

[Images clockwise from left to right to center: Martha - this would be a fun thing to try one day; Paloma's Nest hope egg; lonny magazine; Martha - peonies in nest centerpieces; Revisions egg votive soy candle; Star Egg Nightlight from giggle; Birds by ArhitectMade; Maggie Taylor; Martha - Nesting Baby-Bluebird Cupcakes]
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