Posts Tagged ‘Friends and Family’

Hello March :: A Simple Sewn Folder for Letters and Notes

Letter writing has been so fun lately. It’s liberating, personal, and gives me an excuse another way to be creative. As a kid, I would write to friends and cousins. When one particular friend traveled, I would write her “letters from the future” and make up games for her to play while she was sitting in the car or flying. When I started college, pen and paper sort of went to the wayside because we were all given e-mail accounts… DOS, even. No windows-based programs yet.

I thought I  would share some pictures of a paper folder I put together for one of my favorite pen pals of all time. She received it recently, so now I can “unveil” it. 🙂 A little paper, a little sewing, some washi tape, envelopes – all things I love playing with!


Inspired by oh, hello friend

Julie-Tiu-letter-noteook-1

Folder front page

I love mixing paper and stickers. And I’m totally in love with my retro Dymo labeler.

Sewn binding in my paper folder reinforced with washi tape

Sewn binding in my paper folder reinforced with washi tape

I folded a 8-1/2″ x 11″ cardstock in half, and used washi tape to strengthen the fold before sewing the other pages in place.

Julie-Tiu-letter-notebook-4

Envelopes and a postcard taped into place

What a fun way to use up bits of paper, postcards and little notes.

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Mis-matchy embellishments make me swoon

Mini-envelopes taped into place are perfect for holding tiny treasures.

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Birthday Part 2: Painting Pottery

Really, this was “part one”. I kicked off my fabulous 40th birthday weekend with a ladies night out at our local pottery studio, If an Elephant Can Paint. What a treat to be able to sit and paint our own projects (not our kids’), and talk (uninterrupted).

I looked around the table at friends who span my childhood, grade school, high school, post-college and now, from my kids’ school. I am crazy blessed to have these people in my life.

If an Elephant Can Paint

If an Elephant Can Paint silkscreen

We even learned a silkscreening technique.

If an Elephant Can Paint

If an Elephant Can Paint

If an Elephant Can Paint

My painted platter in progress

If an Elephant Can Paint

Salt shaker in progress

Special thanks to Vicky and her crew at the studio!! You can check out our finished projects album, too. It’s at my personal Facebook page… until I transfer some pics here. Enjoy!

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Mugshot Monday: Good Old Days

TeaLula storefront (Park Ridge)

TeaLula storefront with customer and family pictures over the years (Park Ridge)

We headed to our favorite tea shop for Mugshot Monday. Yesterday morning was a little more festive than usual – TeaLula celebrated its five year anniversary! (What a great milestone for a new business!) Check out the big number five – a picture of Oliver is at the tail end. He fell asleep on that table, in that very window.

TeaLula Anniversary Blend

Enjoying a new brew

Chinese Bai Mudan white tea

Chinese Bai Mudan white tea

TeaLula: Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for 5th Anniversary

TeaLula: sitting at the bar

TeaLula: refreshments

Mingling around with our tea friends, having a spot of tea, scones and fruit made for a lovely morning.

TeaLula with my tea buddy

TeaLula with my tea buddy

It’s hard to remember now, lugging Oliver’s infant car seat into the shop. (So sweet how the staff remembers.) Then he learned to sit up at the bar and sip his rooibos… totally content. Now we bring the iPad so I can have a little more time to chat with our friends.

TeaLula with my tea buddy

It wasn’t just a teashop for me. It was my refuge once a week, a time to talk with “grown-ups”. (We tease now because we’re not sure how “grown up” our conversations were!) I was settling into my new role as a stay at home mom, and with postpartum depression experience from the first time around, I was hell bent on not going down that path again. TeaLula was my way of doing something for me, even if it was just for an hour or so.

When I first went to the store, I could not get over how quaint and cute everything was. Talk about wanting to buy everything…

TeaLula mugs
TeaLula mugs
TeaLula: aprons

Sheila Duda capturing the morning

Sheila capturing the morning

So, congratulations and thank you, Sheila, for not just creating the loveliest, cutest shop ever, but creating an atmosphere of friendship and hospitality. It’s a haven for anyone. The best part wasn’t learning about all the delicious teas from around the world, it was meeting you and everyone at TeaLula who I can call friends. Here’s to more good old days.

**Update: Links to more TeaLula posts including Oliver falling asleep.

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Mugshot Monday: Deep Thoughts Mug

Monday Mugshots

No coffee or tea shot today, but here’s another way I use my mugs. Hope to make some time to draw and color after the kids are at school. Valentine’s Day is just around the corner after all.

(Don’t get me wrong… I gotta start the day with a little kick. I’m drinking some lovely coffee from Intelligentsia today.)

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I’ve had this coffee mug since the 1990s. My best friend from high school (later my college roommate, then matron-of-honor) gave it to me. Who remembers “Deep Thoughts by Jack Handey” on Saturday Night Live? This one reads, “Better not take a dog on the Space Shuttle, because if he sticks his head out when you’re coming home his face might burn up.” Still makes me laugh! Yes, I’m geeky that way.

So perfect because my friend studied Aerospace and Aeronautical Engineering in college.

H, I’m thinking of you today. 🙂

Have a great Monday everyone!

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Summer Blur :: Almost Wordless Wednesday

Who knew that it’s been over a month since the last post? No one but my family and a few close friends read this blog anyway… so, it’s okay, right? No, no. I know friends out there are reading. I’m sorry I’ve been away. I always seem to let too much time pass between posts in the summer months. With the kids and husband home, every day is an adventure – except when outside feels like a sauna and we hunker down in our basement and play video games and ping pong. (Not very into the pool scene. I don’t buy pool passes. No chance to break even.)

Forgive me for the lack of posting? Facebook and Twitter have been easier to update on the road and on the fly.

Since I last posted…

For neighbor kids and friends, we hosted a week long art camp in our garage.

Made some great projects during art camp.

Ssampled Brazilian Brigadeiro – chocolate truffle with sea salt and lime zest

Made cake again to make sure the recipe wasn’t faulty.. happy to report that it was not.

Managed to sew some burp cloths for expecting mom friends

Found this little guy on a garden walk which inspired me to get back into my own garden.

Made some Model Magic baked goods with the kids on a “too-hot” day

Checked out the Lego Kids Club

Celebrated 4th of July with family :: cakepops by my cousin

Tasted roasted purple cauliflower at a friend’s home

Worked on a Subway Art sign for a friend

Survived my first t-ball season

Visited an awesome bed and breakfast

Got to hang out a little at the beach, too

… and turned 39.

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First Visit to a Bed and Breakfast

Our friend turned innkeeper - perusing a cookbook

What would you say if your friends called and said, “Hey! We bought a bed and breakfast! Who wants to come for a working weekend to help us get ready?”

We said, “Of course!” We had never been to a bed and breakfast before, but mostly because of accessibility issues. Luckily, there was a ramped entrance and we had a ground floor room. Perfect.

So two weekends ago, we packed up our bags, brought an air mattress, blankets and headed two hours out of Chicago to their bed and breakfast in Michigan. A possible snow advisory didn’t stop us either.

Doors and walls in the innkeepers home needed painting, furniture had to be moved, kitchen cabinets and appliances were waiting to be cleaned… and there were over ten adults (along with at least fifteen children – I lost count) willing and able to do jobs. Talk about a great greeting – having friends come out to your car with big hugs.

I stayed in the B&B where all the kids were. (Couldn’t leave them to their own devices.) Spent most of my time in the B&B kitchen catching up with other friends who had come to help. Oh, and I contributed – scrubbing out cabinets, finding miscellaneous kitchen gadgets and glassware left behind by the previous owners. Not your typical weekend activity but I loved it. The evening ended with wine, guitar playing, kids in the basement complete with pillow fights, and prepping for the next morning’s breakfast… awesome.

What a truly exciting adventure ahead – so proud of our friends, Julie and Eric.

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