Window Boxes = Smiles

July 9th, 2012

note_windowbox_textEvery once in a while, I get the opportunity to do a feel good project. What is a feel good project you ask? A feel good project is something like planting a tree or doing a project in your home that just feels good. I know you can relate to the necessary project. Those are things like fixing a leaky roof, buying a dehumidifier, replacing your furnace. I don’t like those projects. As a matter of fact, I remember saying to my husband, when I was new to owning a home, “I just think that dehumidifiers should be free.” He laughed. Honestly, they are no fun. Yes, they collect unnecessary humidity in your basement but they are loud, they get in the way, they need to be emptied and they are money spent out of necessity, not enjoyment.windowbox

I like the feel good projects. Putting window boxes on my house recently was my feel good project. I have always pictured this house with flower boxes, but I received an added bonus when these went up. I knew I’d like them from the outside, but I had no idea how amazing they are from the inside! Now when I look out my kitchen window, I see flowers right outside my window.

If you are working on necessary projects, it’s really ok, just get some of our Letters from Lilly stationery with the window box design. It will bring you smiles too.

School’s Out for Summer!

June 6th, 2012

inv_icecreamcone_textTomorrow is the last full day of school here. It’s also the first day of final exams, which stretch themselves unpleasantly through Tuesday, but we’re talking about summer here.

Summer means lazy days of ice cream and friends. I love this photo of the ice cream truck. I think about the evenings our ice cream truck used to pass through the neighborhood. It wasn’t often, but when it did, you ran for it.

Making your own ice cream is even more fun that chasing down the ice cream truck. Here’s an old recipe from my great-grandmother from Kentucky.

3 in 1 Sherbet by Mrs. William B. Loughridge

1 cup orange juice

1/2 cup lemon juice

1 cup mashed ripe banana pulp

2 cups sugar

2 cups water

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 egg whites beaten

Boil sugar and water 2 minutes. Cool. Add fruit juices, banana pulp and salt. Pour into sterilized freezer and crank a bit, then add egg whites and crank until stiff.

If desired this sherbet can be frozen in *refrigerator, adding whites of eggs when mixture begins to freeze. Remove tray at least 4 times during freezing process and beat mixture thoroughly. It just isn’t as good as freezing in a “crank” type freezer.

Try my great-grandmother’s recipe or try our stationery with the ice cream cone design. Either one will bring smiles during your summer!

*These words are from my great-grandmother so I’m guessing her term of refrigerator is really what you and I would refer to as our freezer.

Gardens in Bloom with Flowers and Friends

May 21st, 2012

note_dragonfly_textOne of the best things about spring, to me, is the garden tours that are available in our community. There is literally one per weekend starting in mid-April and going through May. This weekend was the La Jolla Secret Garden Tour, benefiting the local Historical Society.

It’s inspiring to see what people do with spaces. The best thing about gardening is that you don’t need to have a lot of space to make something beautiful and enjoyable to you and the friends who visit. When I say friends, I mean your friends and family, but also birds, dragonflies, hummingbirds, bumble bees and even critters who keep your soil lush. Dragonflies love mosquitoes so they are a welcome guest in any garden. A gray cat visits my yard and patrols img_1156my garden. I appreciate her help in keeping things at bay.

This is a photograph of one of the front walkways I saw this weekend. I particularly like how the juniper vine is growing up over the window and the lilies are below.

Our dragonfly design flies out of here on stationery, invitations and stationery sheets. Each one carrying a message to a special friend.

Entertainment in a Tent

May 2nd, 2012

stkr_circustent_textI know, I’m using the same design image as a month ago, but is there another one as fitting to tell you about the newest Cirque du Soleil show I saw on Friday?

Totem opened last weekend and like other Cirque du Soleil shows, it did not disappoint. It’s only the second one I have seen. The other, Iris, was in a theater in Los Angeles with a high ceiling and lots of places for cables and platforms for the performs propelling themselves through the air. Totem is in a circus tent at the cirque-du-soleil_totem1Del Mar Fairgrounds. The seating is almost in a full circle and the performers come out on an elevated platform that slopes down to a circular stage. I’ve noticed that I spend a lot of time trying to figure out just how they do things.

Then the other time is spent asking myself, “Are they really doing that or is it just an illusion?” They are doing it.totemThe conversation on the way home always starts with someone saying, “Is it too late in life to start training for that because I’d like to be in a show?” By the time we make the ten minute drive home, we’ve all convinced ourselves that even if it weren’t too late, the stunts are too scary, elevated high up in the tip of the circus tent, and the movements too fast. Especially for someone who had an enchilada for dinner that night.

Letters from Lilly circus design is safe at any height. Use it for birthdays or any other occasion that sure to be full of fun.

Lavender Weddings and Things to Come

April 19th, 2012

The lavender flower is a symbol of Purity, Silence, and Luck. I understand associating the purity and luck part with the coming together of two people through a wedding, but silence? Let’s just say that’s keeping quiet during the church service, that way the symbolism will work with my posting.

After yesterday, with my social media temper tantrum, I decided I needed to get back to basics. For me it means my products and designs and putting pretty things together for all of you. So I put together this inspiration board.inspirationboardbridalbouquet Each picture speaks to purity, silence and luck, especially those pearls! I love the pearls and the shoes. The dress is also beautiful to me, but I don’t have an occasion to wear it. I didn’t have the guts to wear a dress like that for my wedding.

I hope you are each inspired now and will end your week with lots of luck.

My day picked up when new art passed my desk and I am thrilled with what is coming!

Like us on Facebook so you will see it first!

Image Sources:

Wedding dress /Stationery; Letters from Lilly / Bike / Lavender field / Wedding cake / Shoes / Cupcakes / Pearls / Gift

The Circus of Social Media

April 18th, 2012

gf_circustentLife is a circus! I am telling you, my days have changed! When I started my business in 2005, I had a computer, a few printers, a copy machine, a fax and a desk top telephone. My days were filled with meeting with customers by phone or in person and filling orders. Life was simple.

Somewhere between 2004 and today, I have been thrown into the circus ring of social media.  At first it was fun to connect with customers and friends and have a resource to get my business out and in front of people who might not otherwise see Letters from Lilly stationery.

Today I am not feeling the fun. I made a list of all my social media responsibilities and it stopped me in my tracks. Someone might tell me to hire someone to do it for me. I like to update information myself because I do want my customers getting my impressions of the industry and my take on the images, but sweet elephants! It’s taking up a big portion of my day.

Don’t worry, your orders come first, but the constant pull to update, refresh and keep up is … tiring. I’m new to Pinterest (this is where I ask you to go check out my boards. I’m under Letters from Lilly).  I’ve made my boards and have really had fun doing it, honestly, but then I came across a site to “help you organize your Pinterest boards.” Are you kidding me?

That is for another day.

Now that I’ve updated my blog, I need to post it to Facebook. I can’t forget to post it on the Letters from Lilly page (please connect here) and my personal page too. Then I’ll have to Tweet it on Twitter (please follow me here) so that’s up to the minute with my fun.

This is truly a circus.

Crown to Cockpit

March 22nd, 2012

note_airplane_textLast week, Lilly and I had the opportunity to meet Patricia Ann Murray who went from being Miss California to a pilot flying in Baghdad. Her life stories are entertaining and insightful, all the while reinforcing the belief that you must pursue your own dreams and not get sidetracked by what others are doing.


“Run your own race, let the others catch you” was the title of her talk addressed to middle school and high school girls. She talked about the importance of knowing your strengths, sharpening your skills and keeping your eyes focused ahead rather than off to the side, concerned with what others are doing.

Patricia knew at a young age that she wanted to be a pilot. After her guidance counselor told her “Girls like you don’t do that,” she was more determined than ever to pursue her dream. Needing money for flight school, she was industrious and entered pageants knowing they awarded scholarships. The title of Miss California came with the scholarship she needed for flight school and off she went!

She has a book coming out called Crown to Cockpit, coming out this summer. Letters from Lilly has an airplane design, although Lilly and I don’t know how to fly…maybe someday.

Flowers Feed Our Souls

March 14th, 2012

gf_bridalbouquetLast week, I was lucky enough to see a lecture and demonstration by Shane Connolly. You might not know this floral designer unless I add the fact that he was the Artistic Director of Flowers for the Wedding of The Royal Highness the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Those 15′ maple trees lining the aisle of the Abbey were his doing. Shane shared the initial plans of blooming trees and how this idea all seemed quite perfect for a princess until the warm spring forced all trees to bloom early. By the time of the wedding, there were no blooming trees to be found. As he shared this, I imagined people on the phones, day and night, trying to solve the crisis of no blooming trees and the looming wedding. Luckily, he said knew he was working with a flexible princess and she found the img_09351green maples to be just right with or without the blossoms. After the wedding, Shane looked back and felt the blooming trees might have been too predictable and was glad with the way the day turned out.

He’s quite a quick wit,  just what you would expect from a sharp Irishman. He was on stage with two long tables, identically draped in black. He started behind one table with luscious lilacs and quickly whipped up a masterpiece of an arrangement, then snapped right over to the next table doing the same with peach blossom branches sprouting out of a tall, glass cylinder and then wrapping jasmine around the outer, bottom base. For two hours, he took what looked like dull, commonplace containers and made them magically transform, all the while encouraging us that we too could do the same at home. With every flower he touched, he taught us the meaning of each flower reminding us that “flowers feed our souls.”

Back in the day, men and women couldn’t be seen talking with one another so flowers were sent and depending on the flower, you could be delivered a message of love, despair or the symbol of true friendship. Pink roses mean perfect happiness and red roses express passion and love. Flowers were used for communication, much as writing papers are used today.

I walked away learning things that were elementary to him, but keepsake suggestions I will use myself; bunch like flowers in arrangements rather than polka dotting them within, use containers of interest, and have fun with it. Rather than forcing flowers to hang a certain way, let them fall where they may. They will be happier and you’ll end up with a more natural and beautiful display.

Above, see our bridal bouquet design on Letters from Lilly gatefold stationery, resembling the arrangement by Shane in the photograph, which is full of luscious lavenders to use for any event from birthday celebrations to weddings.

P.S. Shane got to see “the dress” before any of us!

StationEry with an E like pEn and lEtter

February 27th, 2012

note_greenbow_textI’m detail oriented and I think other people notice the details, even love the details, that make things special. Details make a party special, make a gift more personal and make a home more comfortable.

The details of our writing define who we are, not only what we are trying to express.

Stationery; writing paper.

Stationary; a fixed item like a stationary bike.

Since I’ve been in the stationery business, I have seen and continue to see people spell stationery incorrectly. I’ve even had retail store owners submit requests to carry our products who spell stationery incorrectly.

So here’s the easy way. Stationery writing paper is with an E like pEn and lEtter.

Just a tip. Hope it helps.

Giving Gratitude

February 1st, 2012

stkr_heart_textIn 2008 a man named John Kralik made the decision to be grateful.  At the time he decided to do this, he was anything but thankful. His self employment situation was desperate, he was overweight, out of shape and depressed.  His relationship has just ended and not by his choice. He made a conscious effort to change his attitude by reaching out to thank others.

John vowed to write one note a day for a year. He set no guidelines about who bookjpgthe note needed to be directed to or what the subject matter needed to address. One note for each day.

He made the decision to be grateful.

John started out by writing a note to a barista who made his coffee  everyday. He thanked her for remembering his name and order everyday. Then he wrote to colleagues and thanked them for their referrals, he wrote clients and thanked them for paying on time.  One note, each day.

Guess what happened? When people replied, they reflected the same kindness back to John. Things got better.  His colleagues referred more clients to him, his current clients paid faster, he was happier and felt like exercising and he lost weight; got healthy. Positive energy reflects back.

Make the decision to be grateful and show your gratitude to others. It will make you feel good to drop that note in the mailbox. It will make the person receiving it feel even better.

Letters from Lilly has a heart design that is used a lot during February, the month of the Valentine, but feel free to use it all year long to tell someone you love them.