Wednesday, July 29, 2009


It rained so heavily between 4pm and 5pm that there was a flood in my mom's basement. My mom is currently on vacation in France, so guess who spent almost 3 hours playing in dirty water?! Yes, me! And it rained for a few more hours so it only got worse!

My boyfriend lives in a basement and his apartment also flooded, but it wasn't too bad so after he finished taking care of everything at his place he came to my rescue at my mom's house. My knight in shining armor! I was so exhausted by the time he arrived (physically and emotionally) that I just hugged him and watched him do all the work for a few minutes.

Now I'm back home, in my pj's, eating a late dinner. At least my house didn't get flooded!

Who else has had the joyful experience of cleaning after a flood?!

Julie xox

New Tags

I designed these "Handmade with Love" tags / mini cards about a year ago but just got around to listing them in the store last night!

Click on any image to read the description!

Julie xox

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Tori Amos & Stéphanie

I'm so excited! An old friend I met while studying communication in university in 2002 (yeah, in another life!) just got back in touch with me... and invited me to go see Tori Amos live in Montréal with her on August 11!

I'm so glad to be back in touch with Stéphanie! We had so much in common, I'm not sure why we lost touch over the years. Probably because I got pregnant and had a baby while she finished her studies and started working... The fact that we didn't live close surely didn't help. But we spent about an hour and a half on the phone tonight, catching up and everything... It will be wonderful to see her again in a couple of weeks!

I saw Tori Amos live in 2002 and the show was great so I can't wait! Any other Tori Amos fans out there?! :)

Julie xox

Monday, July 27, 2009

Penpal of the Week #7

Hi everyone! This week, let me present you Neva from the USA!

1. Please tell us about you!

Hi! I'm Neva. I'm a 31 year old female living in Conover, North Carolina. I live about an hour north of Charlotte and an hour west of Winston-Salem, 2 bigger cities in North Carolina. I am originally from Maryland, outside of the US's capital, Washington DC. I lived there for 30 years.

Currently, I am an elementary school teacher. I substituted for 6 years before finishing my Masters in Teaching from Johns Hopkins University. I have been teaching for 3 years now, the last two in first grade. I absolutely love it and don't know if there's any other job that I would like to do!

I grew up around dogs, but last month I purchased my first kitten, Daisy. She is a gray tabby with a white belly and boots. She is so adorable, and I love her to death!

My kitten Daisy and I... isn't she the cutest!

I have a boyfriend named Carl. We have been together for over a year and are looking forward to what the future holds for us!

As far as things I like to do, I enjoy reading, writing letters, hanging out with friends, watching movies, shooting pool, cooking, baking, playing miniature golf, playing board/card games, taking walks/hikes, learning new things, watching sports (especially American football), working with children, shopping, painting pottery, watching plays/musicals, taking photos and much more!

This is a mug my boyfriend and I painted together!

2. Describe your personality in 10 words!

Not an easy question to answer, but I will try my best... I am a shy person when getting to meet new people, but once I am around you for a little while, I'll open up! I'm honest and not really one for stretching the truth. I'm very loyal. Once I'm your friend, I'll stand by you through the thick and the thin. I can be stubborn at times - I have the license plate "Princess" on my car. :) I'm open-minded and will listen to other viewpoints than my own even if I'm not sure that I agree with them. I'm genuine. I do nice things for people because I want to do them, no ulterior motive. I can be a perfectionist when it comes to certain things - like making games for my classroom. I want it to be the best! I'm timely, meaning that I am usually on time whenever I go places. I've got red hair, so I've been known to be quick-tempered at times. Finally, I'm kind. I try to treat others the way I would like to be treated.

My boyfriend Carl and I celebrating our anniversary.

3. How long have you been penpalling? How did you first start? Tell us about your first penpal!

I have been penpalling for about 19 years. First, I wrote letters with my cousin in Florida. She was never very consistent, so I began looking in teen magazines for penpals. My first pen pal was named Stacey. She has red hair like me. While we haven't written in a while, we still have contact through MySpace.

4. How many penpals do you have now and where are they from?

Right now, I only have about a handful of penpals. I have penpals in the US (Texas, Florida, West Virginia, Wisconsin, New Jersey), Australia, The Netherlands, and Indonesia. I'd like to have 10-15 regular pals. :)

Penpal letters my students sent to my cousin's class in Georgia - passing down the tradition to the younger generation!

5. What are your favorite topics to discuss in letters?

I'm not sure that I have a favorite topic to discuss in letters. I like to talk about anything and everything that is going on in my life. Sometimes, it is a good place for me to vent and try to figure out things in my head. I also like to ask lots of questions of my pals because I want to get to know them better.

6. What are you looking for in a penpal?

As for things that I look for in a penpal, I want someone who has some similar interests as me, is around the same age, writes medium-long to long letters, is honest, loyal, and really looking forward to being friends. I want letters to be interactions with each other, not like reading someone's diary.

Turkey meatloaf I made with lots of love.

7. What do you like the most about penpalling?

As I mentioned earlier, I like to ask pen pals lots of questions. One of my favorite things about penpalling is the opportunity to get to know another person better on a personal level. You get to learn about them socially, emotionally, culturally, etc. There is a wealth of knowledge out there just waiting to be tapped into.

8. In what language(s) do you correspond?

I can only correspond in English. I took 4 years of Spanish in high school, but that was a long time ago!

Me with my rockstar purse!

9. What are some of your habits in regards to letter writing?

I'm usually sitting on my futon in my living room when I am responding to letters. I almost always write/type my letters on some sort of stationery. Over the years, I've bought tons and probably have at least 5 bins filled with stationery! I love everything from Hello Kitty/Sanrio to Morning Glory to Diddl to Forever Friends, etc.

I write back as quickly as I can, more often in the summer because I am not teaching. If I need to, I will keep in contact through email if for some reason I can't write for a long time. I like to keep my pen pals updated on what's going on in my life.

Me trying to overcome a fear by touching a snake!

I like to keep each of my pals' letters in a folder so that I am able to look back at their letters from time to time. It's a great thing to do especially when you've been writing to someone for quite some time.

10. Has anything strange/funny ever happened to you since you've been penpalling?

I remember when I was 15, I had a penpal named Ryan in England. He was turning 18, and he offered for me to stay at his house as I was invited to celebrate his birthday. Unfortunately, my parents didn't go for that, and our friendship fizzled out. It was awesome to hear an English accent on the phone though!

11. Have you met any of your penpals?

Yes, I have met some of my penpals. Here's a picture in front of the Hard Rock Cafe in Washington DC when I met my pal Jess. We've known each other for about nine years now. We had a terrific time together!

I have also met one of my close friends, Beth. We have been friends for about 8 years. Originally, she moved to Maryland for a job, and we were only about an hour apart. I have not seen her since I moved to North Carolina, but she is coming to visit in August.

12. Are you currently looking for more penpals?

Yes, I am currently looking for a few more female long letter pals around my age. If you are interested in writing, please contact me at Thanks!

Thank you Neva for sharing these stories with us!

If you'd like to be featured on my blog as the Penpal of the Week, just leave a comment with your email address!

Julie xox

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Weekend updates

- The spider is gone, Nicolas took care of it. Phew!

- Last night I had white wine + seafood fondue with my boyfriend, my best friend (Nicolas) and my son. What a wonderful evening!

- My dad died exactly 4 years ago. I dreamt of him 3 times this week, last night included. I miss him!

- I finished a letter to my penpal Amelia from Australia today.

- I sold 3 letter sets yesterday.

- I'm spending a quiet evening at home alone tonight, which is perfect.

Overall, my weekend was pretty nice.

What were the highlights of your weekend?

Julie xox

Friday, July 24, 2009

Bugs and mailboxes

There's a spider on my mailbox! It has been living there for a few days now... I hate killing living creatures, but I don't like spiders, especially not on/in my mailbox. It was there when I opened my mailbox this afternoon to find a delightful letter from my pal Ashley!

I'm not sure what I'll do... I might ask Nicolas to get rid of it so I won't feel as guilty... Mario refuses to kill any bugs and I love him for that, haha!

I went through a phase a few years ago when I rescued every spider I found in the house. I would put a piece of cardstock near them, wait until they crawled on it, then safely bring them outside. I no longer have the patience/courage/motivation.

I also have a few tiny ants near my kitchen sink and I don't want to kill them, but I don't want them anywhere near my food either!

Am I the only one who worries about insects like this?! Maybe that's because Louis-Justin loves the movies "A Bug's Life" and "The Ant Bully"! :) I think that every creature on this earth deserves to live. But... Can they please stay away from me?!

Julie xox

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Penpalling Forum

I recently found a forum for people who are into penpalling & stationery and I thought I'd share the link on my blog! So all of you who love to chat about your favorite hobby, just click on the image to be taken to the forum.

You'll have to register and wait until Debbie approves you, but this is a quick process and everyone is very nice over there! The group isn't too big, so it's personal and friendly. Tell them Julie (wevegotpaper) sent you! :)

Let me know if you end up joining!

Julie xox

Monday, July 20, 2009

Penpal of the Week #6

Hello dear blog readers! This week, let's welcome Shivanee from Trinidad and Tobago! I asked her to be the Penpal of the Week because she seemed fascinating to me. And she is!

1. Please tell us about you!

I'm Shivanee, and I'm a twenty-two year old Caribbean girl. I'm a final year B.A. Literature and Spanish university student. I've lived on the island of Trinidad all my life, but I am certain it's not the place I'll live forever. (My wanderlust is a force with which to be reckoned, and I aspire to be a global traveller.) I currently live alone, in an apartment near my university, but I visit my family regularly on weekends. I dream of owning a delightfully serious little daschund some day soon! I have a boyfriend of more than two years, a fellow quirky uni. student.

Here's a random collection of my pursuits, interests and passions, all tangled up: old 'Frasier' episodes, uncommon languages, early morning strolls through dewy countryside, dreams of the impeccable Austenian hero, colourful parties, getting lost in bookstores and libraries, earnest talks with old and new friends, frog memorabilia, art appreciation, live performances, dancing in heels while giddy with laughter, dusk, exotic makeup, calligraphy, independent cinema, chai lattes, spirited female vocalists, reading poetry aloud, hugging my mother.

My e-mail address is My user name on Interpals is LadySiva, where you can find my prolific, possibly exhausting, hopefully entertaining profile in full. Congratulations to you if you read it all!

Me, circa mid-2007, England, with a recently acquired stash of novels - I adore bookhunting, and pursue it fervently, much to the detriment of my funds!

2. Describe your personality in 10 words!

Opinionated * Esoteric * Odd * Introspective * Gregarious * Bookish * Unconventional * Feisty * Proud * Liberal *

A testament to my writerly vanity - a stylized quill, inked near my left collarbone.

3. How long have you been penpalling? How did you first start? Tell us about your first penpal!

I've been writing letters since I was 11 or 12, possibly younger. My first penpal was a lovely girl named Elena, a few years older than me. She attended the school at which my mother taught, and I remember our letters being filled with secrets, confidences, private reassurances and fond, fond memories. Sadly, we lost touch several years ago. Whenever I think of her, it is with a vague sense of regret.

4. How many penpals do you have now and where are they from?

The penpals I have now are a motley assortment of bright, funny, engaging women from all around the world. They hail from various states of North America, as well as Canada, Mexico, my own country of Trinidad and Tobago, England, France, Spain, Luxembourg and Belgium. All told, I have ten to fifteen regular, faithful penfriends. These ladies inspire me, make me smile, laugh and think. I consider them all to be no less than my genuine friends, including the ones I am just beginning to know.

A cross-section of letters from friends around the globe!

5. What are your favorite topics to discuss in letters?

I like talking about things that matter to people in my letters - it's reprehensible to think that I could write about only those pursuits which interested me! I might as well have a conversation with myself, or post myself letters, if that were the case. Therefore, you can expect to find topics ranging from politics, art, economics, natural science, astrology, mass media, religion, to the delightful minutiae of everyday life, including weather, family life, one's surroundings, personal plans, goals, ambitions, dreams, hopes and fears. I am comfortable with the idea of being able to discuss 'life, the universe, and everything'!

6. What are you looking for in a penpal?

I actively seek out lovers of words and self-expression, those who have much to say, and those who do not stop thinking or abhor thought, to write with me. I adore correspondences with the literarily minded, or the brazen adventurers, those unafraid to live their lives to the highest powers.

I am not interested in writing with those who will only spew out lukewarm comments on the most mundane of things, those who do not take letter writing seriously, or those who are only interested in some generic, poorly thought out idea of 'cultural exchange' with absolutely no personal interface. Please, don't misunderstand... I am a firm supporter in fostering cultural appreciation and awareness... but if you only wish to hear about the size of my island, the warmth of the beaches, or the idyllic, stereotyped paradise island life, then I kindly suggest you consult a travel brochure.

Sitting on a sunny rock near the sea, scribbling thoughts in a journal, in the company of my cousin, Elysia.

7. What do you like the most about penpalling?

The tangible feel of a heavy, stuffed envelope in one's hands, brimming with news meant just for your eyes, is heaven in a small slice, don't you agree? :) Penpalling brings me close to people with whom I would otherwise be disconnected and oblivious. That in itself is a minor miracle, and one I do not take for granted.

8. In what language(s) do you correspond?

English is my native language. I can also correspond in Spanish, which I speak fluently, and I have competent control of French. I'm currently learning Arabic.

A sample of my handwriting, up-close, from a letter to a new penpal - Elena's name comes up.

9. What are some of your habits in regards to letter writing?

I love writing letters at my big wooden desk at home, surrounded by my arsenal of stationery, stamps, stickers, envelopes, glue, fancy-edged scissors and all the other paraphernalia that usually goes into producing a well thought-out letter to a friend (including the active participation of my mind and hands, of course!) I try to respond to the letters I receive in a timely fashion, and I always alert my penpals if there's to be a legitimate delay in my responses. No one likes to wait for ages on a letter, but sometimes there are valid reasons to justify the wait, in which case, I don't mind at all.

10. Has anything strange/funny ever happened to you since you've been penpalling?

I once received a letter from a friendly lady in the States (United). Upon opening the envelope, an assortment of beautiful, perfectly-prepared stamps fell out. As a stamp collector, I was thrilled! However, upon reading the letter, it dawned on me slowly that it was a none too subtle letter of conversion! She was attempting to draw me into the 'salvation' of her faith, regarded by many as a cult. What a combination of the beautiful (stamps) and the overbearing (pushy, preachy attempts to indoctrinate me)!

11. Have you met any of your penpals?

Sadly, I have not yet met any of my penpals, except for Elena of my youth. I spent several evenings in her company, actually, since my father would give her a lift back to her country cottage before driving us home. It really is quite the bittersweet story, or at least, it's how my memory renders it to me now.

I'm hoping to meet my current local penpal sooner than later - perhaps before the year's out. It ought to be very cool, indeed. I'm making it my mission to meet up with my penpals once I start travelling again! It would be lovely to share physical space with those people with whom one has shared so much else.

Caught on film in the process of penning a love letter to an old beau.

12. Are you currently looking for more penpals?

I am open to the delightful idea of more, long-letter-loving, chatty, independent thinking writers and daydreamers! Feel free to get in touch with me through e-mail or Interpals.

As an ending note, I'd like to thank Julie profusely for nominating me as Penpal of the Week. I was flattered, and I hope I did the exercise justice! I've had a lot of fun sharing this glimpse of myself with all of you.

Yes, thank you Shivanee, you were absolutely perfect as Penpal of the Week! :D

Julie xox

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Mon petit papa d'amour!

I had such a vivid dream last night! I was with my dad (who died almost 4 years ago) and we weren't really doing anything... We were just together and it was fabulous. When I woke up, I had a big smile on my face and I was so happy! I felt like we actually spent time together and that was so comforting!

But the good feelings eventually turned to sadness. I started missing my dad and suddenly I couldn't stop crying. Most days I'm perfectly fine and I smile when I think about him... But a few times a year I have huge crying fits, especially on certain days like my birthday, his birthday, New Year's Eve, the day he died, etc.

It will be 4 years on July 26. In 2006, my mom, my sister and I got together to celebrate. We went to Montréal, ate at one of my favorite vietnamese restaurants and went to see "Elvis Story". In 2007, the 3 of us got together again to have dinner at a Greek/seafood restaurant that we used to go to with my dad. In 2008, my mom was in France so we all spent the day on our own.

This year, my mom will be in France again but I want to try and do something special. There's an organic farm nearby that has an open day on July 26, so that might be something fun to do with Louis-Justin.

Here's a photo of my dad & I in 1980.

Us again, in 2004.

Julie xox

Friday, July 17, 2009

This week flew by!

I can't believe that I haven't updated my blog this week, oops! I've been busy and distracted...

There have been quite a few storms over the last few days and a lot of rain as well. I managed to spend the day outside when it was sunny though! On Wednesday, I went to an amusement park especially for kids with Louis-Justin and Nicolas. We had a great time and Nicolas and I didn't even argue once! :) Now I'm sunburnt though...

The highlights of my week:

- Sushi yesterday!
- A letter from my dear penpal and friend Cindy! <3
- A couple of visits to the farmer's market = yummy fruit & veggies!

Oh and I purchased an industrial round die cutter punch on eBay that I should receive next week... So I'll finally be able to sell decent round stickers! Woohoo! Actually they are vinyl stickers / wall decals. More info soon!

It's already 7:32pm and I'm hungry so it's time to start thinking about dinner! I don't usually eat this late...

I hope everyone has a nice weekend!

Julie xox

Monday, July 13, 2009

Penpal of the Week #5

This week, let's welcome Stephanie from Canada who has some funny stories to share!

1. Please tell us about you!

Hello! My name is Stephanie and I'm 24 years old. I'm from Newfoundland, an island in Eastern Canada and moved to Calgary, Alberta on the Western side 2 years ago. My day job is as the office manager of an investment banking office, and at night I'm an adult ESL teacher. I have a Bachelor of Arts (which I have learned doesn't get you too far other than to another degree!) and think I'm going to do a Bachelor of Education in the future. I'd like to eventually be an Elementary ESL teacher.

I'm a huge cat person and currently have one kitty named Dakota, who I brought over from Newfoundland with me when I moved. In my free time, I love studying languages, dancing (salsa and merengue are my favourites), working out (huge fan of Zumba & any Latin Aerobics), playing video games, reading and writing letters of course!

My e-mail is

Me in November 2008. I don't have many pictures of just me, so this one is cut out!

2. Describe your personality in 10 words!

Loving (Audrey Hepburn's quote describes me perfectly: “I was born with an enormous need for affection, and a terrible need to give it.”), shy, indecisive (I like friends who know what they want to do when we go out, I'm TERRIBLE at deciding anything, whether it be a meal on a menu or where I want to live. It's the flaw I'm working on changing right now), a keener (I love going to school and volunteering), music junkie (one of the main turn-on's about my boyfriend was his taste in music; music is everything!), open-minded (Peace and love!), gamer (I love video games and play them probably too much), polyglot (can't get enough languages! If I had one wish it would be to speak every language in the world perfectly), perfectionist (I have a terrible habit of rewriting all my lecture notes neater, so that I fall behind and end up with incomplete notes.), stubborn (I don't deal with change well.. even if I know I'll like it in the end I don't adapt well immediately. I also get disappointed easily, but usually keep it to myself!), and optimistic (my boyfriend will argue with me on this one, as I vent to him and express my doubts. So maybe more an optimist on the outside, and a realist with myself. I like to think I'm realistic rather than pessimistic).

May 2008. The only nice picture of my boyfriend smiling... I think in existence. He's definitely a Chandler!

3. How long have you been penpalling? How did you first start? Tell us about your first penpal!

My very first penpal started when my Mom and her cousin who lives in Australia thought it would be a good idea for their children to become penpals as well. I remember we both had the same name, but that's about where our similarities ended. We only exchanged letters for about a year; I was 11 and she was 14 and much more rebellious than me, and we didn't have a whole lot in common. I also think that her Mom forced her to write to me. But it opened my eyes to how fun it was to write letters, so I began looking for other opportunities to find penpals.

4. How many penpals do you have now and where are they from?

I don't have a lot of penpals right now. I have one in Scotland who was my best friend when I was younger, and the rest are people whom I have met online and started writing to. Two are in the U.S., one is in Canada and another is in Spain.

My best friend and I are currently very far apart, and I write to her the most. We both like pretty stationary and cards, and are very busy so while we do talk on the phone sometimes, we're more apt to writing letters and sending parcels.

My best friend Maggie and me. As we are currently very far apart, we often send each other letters.

5. What are your favorite topics to discuss in letters?

Just everyday things, mostly. What's going on in the person's life, any dreams or goals, opinions on events, anything really! I usually write about what is happening in my life.

6. What are you looking for in a penpal?

I'm not too picky when it comes to penpals. My preference is someone who writes more than a page (but they don't have to write a novel either, even two pages is fine. I find a page doesn't usually have a lot to it, though) and someone who writes at least once a month. Any more and it's hard to keep in touch so much.

Me, my boyfriend and his famous smile. In Mexico, November 2008.

7. What do you like the most about penpalling?

The excitement of receiving a letter, or the good feeling you get sending one. I also like learning about other people's lives. Everyone usually considers their own life to be boring, but through someone else's eyes it can be much more exciting than you think.

8. In what language(s) do you correspond?

English, French, Spanish and Italian.

9. What are some of your habits in regards to letter writing?

I used to be really bad for writing back. I didn't mean to take so long, but I was a bad procrastinator. However I made it a goal to change this about myself (as I didn't just procrastinate when it came to letter writing), because I hated having to start out each letter with "Sorry it took me so long to write back!". I started responding right away. I now send out responses either the same day or the day after of when I receive a letter.

My sister and me underneath the sign of the city where we used to live. I had the best address... Stephanie Chamberlain, ## Chamberlains Road, Chamberlains, Newfoundland! Wish I still had that address!

10. Has anything strange/funny ever happened to you since you've been penpalling?

Once I received a letter from a girl that seemed very interesting who lived in the same province as me, but on the other side. Her parents had really nice jobs, she was a triplet and her siblings were all very interesting to read about. She included a lot of information about herself and her letter was very aesthetically pleasing. I wrote back but didn't hear back from her again. A few months later, I received another similar letter from the same address... but all of the information was different. The girl has the same first name but a different last name, and then the entire letter had a similar form but with the information changed. Her parents had different names and jobs, the triplets were now twins, even her favourite colour changed! Although her favourite band was the same. Since I keep the letters I receive, I just mailed her both of her letters back to her and wrote that I thought her letters were very entertaining!

I also put my name somewhere on the Internet (no idea where, I wish I knew so that I could remove it!) for penpals, and apparently it got published in a Ghanan magazine. I have received probably a hundred letters from Ghana, all asking for lots of things, like money or help getting through school! The first few I responded to, but unfortunately most of the people weren't really looking for a penpal. My mom still has a few for me every time I go home!

11. Have you met any of your penpals?

Just the one I knew before we became penpals.

I have met online friends, which I guess are kind of like the new digital penpals?

Online friend I actually met in a Shakira forum. Closest thing to meeting a 'penpal' as of yet.

12. Are you currently looking for more penpals?

I am! If you'd like to become penpals, just send me an e-mail! :)

Thank you Steph for the entertaining stories!

If you'd like to be featured on my blog as the Penpal of the Week, just leave a comment with your email address!


Julie xox

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Mini Letter Set - Chirp

I just listed a new Mini Letter Set in my Etsy shop : Chirp!

I love the rounded corners.

You can click on any of the pictures to see the listing in my shop and read the description!

Julie xox

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Ode to my family

I live in what used to be my grandparents' house. My grandma passed away when I was around 4 years old in the early 1980's and my grandpa died in 2002. A few months later, I moved here.

My grandma was born in France in 1921 and her name was Marguerite Jacq. She was an only child and her mom died when she was 14.

My grandpa was born in France in the early 1920's. His name was Yves Trévily and his family was bigger than my grandma's, but I'm not sure how many siblings he had. They all stayed in France so I only met them once or twice when I was a baby.

My grandparents got married in July 1943 in France. Wasn't my granpa handsome?! And I love my grandma's dress.

My mom is an only child and she was also born in France, in 1946. Her name is Annie Trévily and she was such a cute baby! She looks a bit sad in this picture though.

She moved to Québec with her parents when she was 4 years old. This was her passport photo.

Her crooked bangs on this picture make me smile. Very charming!

And here she is at 16 years old in the 1960's!

As some of you might know, my last name is Trévily-Pigeon, Pigeon being my dad's last name. My son's dad and I decided to give Trévily as a last name to our little guy when he was born.

As a tribute to my family, I made notecards with all the photos featured in this post. They should be available in my Etsy shop as a set in the coming weeks!

Julie xox