Sunday, January 31, 2010

More News + More Clearance

I had been thinking about it for a few years, but I finally gave my dog Capsule away yesterday. I know it was the best decision for everyone involved, but it still made me sad.

She's such a lovely dog and she deserves a family who will take care of her properly. Our lifestyle just isn't right for a big dog. Astuce, our small Boston Terrier, on the other hand, is perfectly happy here, so I'm keeping her and of course Tortille the cat. I hope Capsule has a good life with her new friends.

In other news, more letter sets are now on sale in my store!

Diablotine - $7 (only 4 left!)

Meow - $7 (only 4 left!)

Look in the CLEARANCE section of my shop for more stationery at a discounted price!

I hope everyone has a nice weekend,

Julie xox

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Clearance + Big News!

I know that I've neglected my blog over the last week or so, but I've had other stuff on my mind lately! (It doesn't help that my beloved computer went on strike - at least I have my laptop, but I can't use it for some work-related stuff...) Things have been crazy since I turned 30 years old - I never thought that there would be so many changes in my life in such a short period of time...

Two of these big changes:

Change number 1 ---> I'm going to be moving soon! Nicolas has been my ex for about 3 years now and even though I love my son's dad very much (as a friend only, obviously), it's time to move on. We stayed in the same house for so long because of financial reasons, but hopefully I'll be able to manage and support myself fully within the next couple of months.

Nicolas will be staying here and I will be buying a house. I visited a cute little red one last weekend and I liked it, but it was too noisy because it's on a busy street. And there's no real living room either, so it's not too practical since I plan on inviting friends over more regularly after I move! :)

Things are happening quickly, but I think that I'm probably going to have a house built for me on my mom's vacant piece of land next to her house. Having a new house would be wonderful, but it will obviously take a little longer to be able to officially move in than if I buy a house that's already built. It will be worth it though!

Change number 2 ---> We've Got Paper will no longer be... I'm still going to be designing and selling stationery, but I need a name change. To make a long story short, We've Got Paper was an inside joke with friends and I never really liked the name. Now that I need to make a living of my stationery, I'll have to start selling locally so I want a French name! More about that in a future post.

With the new name will come a new look, new logo, new business cards, new products... My stationery will also probably be printed on 100% recycled paper! :) I want to do what I can for the environment.

So in the meantime, I need to get rid of all my inventory so that I can start fresh. Some of the items in my shop are already on sale:

Vintage Cantaloupe - $7 (only 2 left!)

Forest Friends - $7 (EDITED - SOLD OUT!)

Pin-up Notecards - $5 (only 4 left!)

Panda Girl Flat Notecards - $2 (only 4 left!)

Also, if you're interested in purchasing several items from me, just shoot me an email (you can find it by clicking on "view my complete profile") or send me a convo via Etsy and let me know exactly what you'd like to buy and I'll give you a BIG discount. :)


Julie xox

Monday, January 25, 2010

Penpal of the Week #32

This time, let's meet our first Penpal of the Week from Finland: Tove.

1. Please tell us about you!

My name is Tove, I am 24 years old, at least for four more months! I am engaged to be married, the date of the big day is still not decided! But the wedding plans are in full mode! Together with my wonderful husband-to-be I have a beautiful baby girl, named Novalie. This means "new star" or "cloud" in Italian I've been told. Another child is very much welcome to our small family! I'd like to have my own "Brangelina clan" with biological children, that is.

Family portrait, Christmas 2009.
Novalie looks like a gingerbread lady, don't you think? ;D

We are living in the Turku Archipelago on a small island called Korppoo, Finland. Marcus's work keeps us out here. For you who don't know anything about this little island of ours it's about 80 kms from Turku, which used to be Finland's capital city back in the days ;) To get here you have to take two ferries, so we don't get a lot of unannounced company ;) I am currently working in a grocery store myself, planning on going back to school to study health care!

We are a very animal loving family. Fiibi is our four year old dog, who lives at my mothers; she didn't appreciate her new siblings, our cats Melvin, Miro and Matheo. Our boys don't mind sharing their home with Mollie and Minnie, our degus, which are half Guinea pigs and half Chinchillas for you who don't know what they are! And last but not least we have an aquarium.

Me and Fiibi (Phoebe in English)! This picture was taken
back in 2005 when Fiibi was only nine weeks old! Cute!

I love love love doing things with my hands! I recently made a portrait of Novalie using photopearls! It took me two days to get it done, it was worth it though! I also made a puzzle out of her kindergarden picture a while back. My grandmother taught me how to cross-stich, so I'm doing that too, so no, it's not just elderly people who do that kind of stuff x) My latest creation was a Christmas stocking for Novalie, who else? ;)

Photopearl portrait of Novalie, I made it in two days.
The puzzle was a Christmas gift to both me and Marcus.

2. Describe your personality in 10 words!

1. Honest – Honesty is number one in my book! I am a very honest person and I expect honesty from my friends and family too. Yes, the truth can sometimes sting pretty bad, but the lies and dishonesty hurt even more! I am not perfect but I tend to stick to the truth all the way around... a few white lies can't hurt though... right? ;)

2. Acceptable - I don't judge people, I accept them as who they are. I support gay rights, who's to say there can't be love between two males or two females? I accept different cultures, beliefs, and religions! I believe in equality!

3. Open minded - I like new ideas and I'll try anything once! We only have one life, why don't we make the most out of it? Go for it!!

4. Detailed – You can expect very detailed letters from me! In my letters I'm not shy, and I hope you're not either otherwise we might not click! I will tell you about anything into the last little detail!

This picture was taken at the autumn market
in Tammisaari back in 2009.

5. Shy – In new situations I tend to be withdrawn and shy. But once I get to know you I will open up more and you'll never get rid of me!!

6. Talkative – I recommend you bring a pair of ear plugs if you ever come to visit me! Otherwise I will keep you up 24/7!! I never shut up once I get going!

7. Opinionated – Ask me a question and I will answer. You might not like the answer though! I tell you exactly what I think, not what you want to hear!

8. Strong-willed – What can I say... What I want is what I get. For example my daughter's name, Marcus didn't like it at all when I first mentioned it in week 16. Once she was born I took a look at her and said "She looks like a Novalie, don't you think", he knew it was no point to argue, and I got my baby girl princess to be named Novalie.

My loves! Am I lucky or what?? :)

9. Fun – This I've been told by friends. I'm usually the one who lights up a dull moment. Not intentionally, but I seem to have a hidden talent of saying the right things at the wrong moment, you know? Weird, yes I know. That's me!!

10. Caring – I am the kind of friend you can call in the middle of the night and ask anything! Once I make a commitment to someone I'm there every day of the year every minute of the day. If you're feeling down I will do my best to cheer you up, and when you're happy I will be even happier for you!

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

I wrote my very first letter when I was eight years old. I had read an ad in a school paper and answered it. It was the beginning of my (soon to be) seventeen year long hobby! I loved it as much back then as I love it today! Besides, I thought it was so unfair when my mom got mail and I didn't... The only difference was that she was receiving bills when I received one sheet letters! Haha!

Maria, my first pen pal and I still have contact today. We don't write letters anymore but we do chat online from time to time. She's currently busy studying and I accept that, education is important! I used to be so happy when I found a letter from her in my mailbox, even though it only was one page long with big messy handwriting and a lot of questions. I still have the letters today! I save all my letters in a big red treasure chest, it's fun reading them over and over again some years later!

My treasure chest, filled with lovely letters from all over our globe.
Keep them coming!! :)

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

Gosh, I don't know the exact number since it changes a lot. At this moment I have to say I have around 20 pen pals. Whom I love very much!

I've met them all at InterPals where I have an account. They are all over this globe of ours! To mention a few countries: Finland, Sweden, Germany, Italy, Austria, USA, Australia...

Some of my penpals are still quite new to me like Muriel, whom I already love to pieces, Julia, the Austrian girl who writes her letters in Swedish, Sabrina who moved to my beautiful home coutry to be with her loved one, Ramona, the girl from Germany who was one of my first penpals from InterPals, Mandy, whom I actually already knew without knowing who she was (You know what I mean), Monica, who got me inspired to begin writing themed letters, Whitney, I know you gonna make me some beautiful wedding jewelry, Sarah, who sends the most interesting parcels with lots of suprises... And all the rest of you, you mean the world to me!

To explain what I mean with "themed letters". For example I sent a Moomin themed letter to Monica, (complete with Moomin drawings and candy) and a "Kiroileva siili" themed letter to Sabrina! Mandy got a really creative snowflake letter. I must say I did pretty good with the glitter on that one x)

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

I don't have one favorite topic! My letters usually contain stuff about everyday-life, my thoughts and dreams. Experiences from the past, hopes for the future and anything else that pops up to mind! When I begin writing a letter I don't have it all figured out, I let it come as it comes. That's why you never know what will come next! I really do write about everything! In my letters I'm not shy! I will tell you about my lovelife, daughter, work, my past and what I'd like my future to look like. I will tell you about my happiest memories and my darkest, about my darkest secrets... EVERYTHING! I really do trust my penpals, like they were friends that live close by even though they don't. I consider my penpals to be so much more than "just penpals"!

This picture is taken on our forest adventure back in 2009 :)

6. What are you looking for in a penpal?

I am looking for long lasting friendship to start with. I'd prefer you to write long detailed letters as I do, that's not the main thing for me though! I hope, once we start writing that you won't disappear after a few letters! If you don't think we hit it off it's okay, tell me that, don't just stop writing! I want someone who's gonna be by my side in all situations! You know I'm going through a rough period right now and I'm so happy to have all of you! I will be there for you too!

Someone who really opens up and talks about everything! No one is perfect and neither am I, just be you! And don't hesitate to write me whenever you need me!!

But please, share the same values!

7. What do you like the most about penpalling?

I like to get stuff in the mail, the bills I can do without, but not letters from my friends and loved ones! I like the idea of having friends from all the corners of our planet! It's especially great if I would decide to travel the world someday! I would have a lot of places to go, and a lot of lovely people to meet up with! Besides, who doesn't love getting a letter in the mail from a really good penpal? Just to know that someone half around the world sat down to write a letter that's just meant for you to read! Love it!!

Me and my beautiful baby girl Novalie.
She was just a baby, now she's all grown up ;D

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

For the most part I write in English. I also write in Swedish! Julia, who is from Austria, really impressed me (and still does!!) by her talent in languages – I love getting her letters, especially since she learned the language in just one year! AMAZING!!

Sabrina, the girl who moved from Germany to Finland and learned Finnish is another great friend of mine! I write my letters in Finnish to her, and she answers in which language she prefers! I must say that these two girls really have made their mark in my heart, so talented! (Pssst girls, teach me German!!)

So, I am writing letters in English, Swedish and Finnish.

Not the best picture, but that's 100 % my handwriting! :)
I hope you can read it!?

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

I usually sit down to write a reply straight away! I actually sometimes manage to get a letter written in time for it to be mailed the same day I got mine! I don't like to keep my penpals waiting!

Before I get started to write a letter I have to figure out which paper to write on, it has to be perfect! I also choose a pencil very carefully, yes, I'm a perfectionist when it comes to writing letters! I want my penpals to really like them as much as I’ve liked their letters!

I write all of my letters in our living room or, rarely, at the kitchen table. I need to have some noise in the background which Novalie, my daughter, is more than happy to provide for her mommy ;)

Novalie goofing around. She LOVES the camera!

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

Yes! I once had a male penpal from Ghana who tried to scam me for money! He portrayed himself to be a student with economy problems. He also sent me some necklaces to sell for him since he needed to feed his family... I sent them back and told him that as much as I'd like to help him I can't, and that I would be there for him if he needed a friend, but I wouldn't be able to send him food or money. I never heard from him again.

That's why I am taking some distance from male penpals. I'd like to have one, but unfortunately it's really hard to find someone who's "for real"... Hopefully I get one through this interview!

11. Have you met any of your penpals?

No, not yet. We are however talking about a penpal meeting with some of my penpals! If anyone of my current penpals are interested please let me know! I would LOVE to meet all of you one day! You mean the world to me!!

Novalie takes after her mommy!
How happy she is mailing Moni's package :D

12. Are you currently looking for more penpals?

Yes!! I am also looking for males to write to since I think it can be interesting to see what we might have in common! Please notice that I am engaged and only looking for friendship!

If anyone liked my interview and would like to get to know me better I'd be glad to write with you! So don't hesitate, contact me on InterPals and we take it from there!!

This is the most recent picture taken on me!
Posing with me is Fiibi, my four year old four legged baby.

Thank you for reading my interview, and thank you Julie for giving me the chance to do this!

You're welcome, Tove! And thank YOU for this lovely interview.

If anyone would like to be featured as Penpal of the Week on my blog, just reply to this post!

Julie xox

Monday, January 18, 2010

Penpal of the Week #31

Today, let's meet someone who has been penpalling for a long long time: Garci in the USA.

1. Please tell us about you!

My name is Garci and I live in a suburb of Phoenix, Arizona, USA. I was named for my maternal grandfather, Garris, who had a British name. I do like having a unique name and have not met another Garci thus far.

With my niece, Emmi.

Where I live in the southwest, it is very hot and dry and I love the climate here, even though the summers are brutally hot. I grew up in Colorado but have been in Arizona for 25 years now.

I'm divorced but in a terrific relationship now. I woke up one day and realized that I forgot to have kids (ha ha), but I have a wonderful niece who lives nearby and I've been part of her life since I cut the umbilical cord during delivery! My boyfriend, Ernesto, has two grown daughters who are fantastic and bring us a lot of joy. My sweetheart is a great cook and can fix anything; I decided a long time ago that he's a "keeper".

My immediate family is all here in Arizona and there's only my sister, brother-in-law, my mom and Ernesto (small family, eh?). Nesto's family, on the other hand, is very large with lots of cute kids running around. We seem to split our time going to family events with either family.

Nesto and I love to travel together; we went to the Outer Banks in North Carolina, Maui, Hawaii, San Francisco and Las Vegas last year. I've decided to try and see all 50 states in the United States before I'm 50 (just as my brother-in-law did). I'm about at 40 states right now; I have yet to see many of the small Northeastern states. I have been fortunate to travel overseas many times but my dream trips are to go to Japan, Spain and Ireland. We recently bought another motorcycle, a Victory Vision (made in Iowa) and it's a nice cruiser, so smooth on the road. We are exploring the great state of Arizona by motorcycle.

Ernesto and Garci's new motorcycle, a Victory Vision.

I love thrifting and collecting! I go to yard sales, second hand stores, estate sales and my best shopping partner is my mom. While I was hosting a garage sale once, a man told me that yard sales are a way to keep the earth in balance – transferring the junk from one location to another! We have found some cool stuff while shopping, like my kitchen table, bookcases, tons of books (my niece is a voracious reader), tools, kitchenware, and a few gifts! A friend of mine recently said that she doesn't shop at thrift stores because there are other people that need that stuff more than she does. I don't disagree with that statement, but shopping helps the stores stay in business and my family does donate a lot of goods to charity and they go back in the system... thus keeping the earth in balance!

I can be found on postcrossing at chandlerguera.

My blog is here.

2. Describe your personality in 10 words!

Capricorn. Loving. Giving. Humorous. Sensitive. Blunt. Procrastinator. Thrifty. Collector. Organized.

Eating shave ice in Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii.

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

I started penpalling in grade school to a girl in France and a boy in Sweden. I still send a Christmas card every year to the boy in Sweden, although I haven't heard from him in 25 years! The cards must be getting delivered as they have never been returned. Perhaps a new family lives there now and reads and enjoys my annual card! Or maybe the Gothenburg post office recognizes me by name, and says, "Oh no, she's still sending the cards to the long-lost boy!"

As a child, I would also correspond with my grandmothers, so that laid the foundation for me to enjoy lifelong letters. My mother is a talented writer and can always write the best thing for the occasion. I'm sure I learned a lot about writing from her.

Lavender growing in my backyard.

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

I have been corresponding with a gal in Australia for about 15 years; I answered her penpal notice in the back of Royalty Magazine, so our love of Princess Diana was the common denominator. She's quite the correspondent (very witty and long letters; she writes just like she talks, as if I was right there in the room), although much less frequently due to she has two small children now, and I usually hear from her via email and Facebook.

My primary longtime correspondent has been for 20 years! I met Kazuko at the Hard Rock CafĂ© in Los Angeles, and we've been writing ever since. She's Japanese and is fluent in English, thank goodness! When we met, we were both single and since then there has been the marriages, my divorce, her three children, and lots of other major events we've shared in 20 years. We snail mail 99% of the time and email only several times a year! We are constantly sending each other little packages with candy, household goods, photos, pens, bags, you name it – we've sent it! Now Kazuko's teenage children are learning English so they're writing me too! I love it.

Circa 1990 - my first meeting with Kazuko (on the left)
in Los Angeles and her friend Ryoko.

I am also currently corresponding with two lovely Finnish ladies (Pirjo and Ann-Catrin), whom I met through Postcrossing, a beautiful mommy in California (CaRho), Cathy in Florida, Carol, the American who married a Brit, the wildly artistically talented Bianca in Australia, another sweet artist named Gemma from England (we met through a letter swap) and Postcard Jim and I have exchanged a few bits and pieces.

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

What I've been doing, motorcycle rides, holidays, traveling.

6. What are you looking for in a penpal?

Cool mail art is always fun to receive! I enjoy a witty writer and just learning about other cultures and backgrounds.

7. What do you like the most about penpalling?

I like to use creative stationery and stamps and decorate the envelope up. I'm so inspired by Bianca's mail art; if you've seen her blog, you know what I'm talking about. I'm currently on a mission to find tacky vintage stationery and I've scored some in thrift shops and estate sales. I have some Garfield (the cartoon cat) stationery from 1978, some very orange paper with flowers and a round stationery pad that's pink. All vintage.

I love learning about other cultures; it's been a rewarding lifelong hobby.

Beautiful fall color in Sycamore, Illinois.

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

English but I like to throw in a little Spanish sometimes.

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

I just got a new lapdesk for my birthday so I've been using that while sitting in bed at night (the boyfriend is sleeping). I also write a lot when I'm traveling, even on the plane! For my birthday, I bought myself a butcher block table/workstation at Ikea (meant for use in a kitchen), and it's in my spare bedroom/office/workroom. I'll be able to do crafts, write letters, wrap gifts, etc. on this big tabletop. The boyfriend assembled it straight away when we brought it home.

Every year I write a Christmas letter and I try to set the mood with holiday music, scented candle burning and a cup of tea, cocoa or wine. I have a notebook full of my Christmas letters and cards in chronological order that I started in 1992. I hope that people enjoy my letter – I try to write a humorous letter with some highlights, and not a boring bragging letter.

A Christmas picture of my sister and I from the 1960's;
I sent it out as a Christmas picture about 20 years ago.

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

Occasionally Kazuko will send me something from Japan that I am not sure what it is and I can't read the package (Japanese), so we have fun figuring it out. For instance, I think she sent me disposable handwarmers but they look like magnets. She also sent these one-use "shots" of flavored mouthwash in flavors like orange, rose and green tea.

11. Have you met any of your penpals?

Di, the first Aussie, took a trip around the world and she was able to travel through America and Arizona and we met in person. She recently posted a picture of us on Facebook from our horseback ride out in the desert!

Kazuko in Japan has since returned to the USA (after our initial meeting) to visit me and she brought her three kids; we did the Grand Canyon, swimming, horseback riding, Sedona, shopping, baseball game, sushi – so much fun. It was evident that children are the same everywhere – they run, squeal, play, make messes... no matter what language they speak.

My penpal Kazuko's son, Joe, and a picture he made in school
that described his trip to Arizona in 2002!

12. Are you currently looking for more penpals?

I'm good right now, developing relationships with the new ones and maintaining friendships with the long term ones!

Thank you, Garci!

If anyone who reads this would like to be featured on my blog as Penpal of the Week, please let me know!

Julie xox

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Paper Cut Treasury

Another one of my items is currently featured in a treasury, yay! This time it's "Chirp".

Click on the image to see the treasury (and take a closer look at all these fun paper products) before it expires on Monday afternoon.

Julie xox

Friday, January 15, 2010

Surprise Treasury

"Butterfly Fairytale" is currently featured in a treasury on Etsy!

Isn't it gorgeous?! Click on the image to see the treasury and take a closer look at all these beautiful items.

The treasury will expire on Sunday, January 17 around noon.

Julie xox

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Stationery Finds #5 - Valentine's Day

There's one month left before Valentine's Day, so if you'd like to order a card online, now's a good time to start thinking about it!

Here are some of my favorites. Just click on the images to see the full listings on Etsy!

rosydesignsonline has quite a few pretty cards in store (and prints for gay couples!) - buy them individually or in this set of 4.

Meg of olliegraphic designs printable cards with her cute customized characters. She's fun to work with - she made characters that look like Louis-Justin and I last year and I was very pleased with the results!

If you like Meg's characters but don't want to print the cards yourself, you can order them from Sara of saratams who will print them and send them to you via snail mail.

These mini cards by whaleandbee would be perfect for kids but I'm sure most adults would love them just as much!

If you want to have custom cards made for you with a photo of your child, delightdesign has several gorgeous templates to choose from. This is one of my favorites because I love the color combo!

These penguins by Claire of OrangeTwist are adorable. I have nothing else to add! :)

Cammie from thecraftpantry has amazing cards and you can choose your 6 favorite ones when you purchase this variety pack. Only bad news is she only ships to the USA now...

If you're looking for something different (think gothic, punk, alternative, indie), Calan of GingerDead has the perfect card for you.

This card by Tara of blacklilypie is also a little gem for the alternative crowd. Such gorgeous, deep colors!

On the other hand, if you're a true romantic at heart with a traditional side, you will love this card by Julia from thespottedsparrow.

You can also say it in French with this beautiful card by bellaseradesigns!

Give this card by nelladesigns to your favorite coffee lover!

This card by modernemotive is eco-friendly and customized with your name + the name of your lover - so sweet!

Were you made for each other? Then witandwhistle has the right card for you!

Send these 10 mini cards made by shoofly to your favorite crushes! Need just one card? No problem, Rania has a listing for a single card as well.

Mika from Cuore is very creative - I'm impressed with her skills! She has so many cute cards that it was hard choosing just one... But please meet Stewart the Owl!

For turtle lovers like my mom, elenaseasel has a cute 4 card pack with 2 different designs just for you.

And let me end this post by showing you one of my own cards that's actually a postcard. Made by wevegotpaper!

I hope you enjoyed my selection of Valentines! Which one(s) would you give your loved one(s)?

Julie xox

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Stickers - Butterflies

New stickers in my shop!

Butterflies - 16 removable stickers that can be used on paper, walls, windows, photos or as envelope seals!

Julie xox