Life with Lilly: Five Years Later

lilly five years later

Today we are celebrating five years with our sweet little ball of fur, Lilly. I can honestly say that I can’t imagine life without her and I can’t remember life before her. She is one of the sweetest, loving animals I have ever met and filled with so much personality. Spend five minutes with her and you know exactly what I’m talking about. Much like a dog, she greets us at the door when we get home. She follows me around everywhere I go. When I run, she runs with her bell jingling on her collar. When I talk to her she responds with little, and sometimes not so little, meows. She wakes me up in the morning when I sleep through my alarm. She cuddles on my lap and purrs for hours. She loves to watch me knit and on occasion I will run out of yarn because she has chewed off a piece for herself. She loves to play and even wags her tail when you pet her. She has filled our hearts with so much love.


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Five years ago, she was a foster cat with Tigerlily Cat Rescue in Metro Detroit. We wandered into to PetSmart for dog food and made our habitual trip past the cats. She was there and up for adoption at the time. That’s about all it took to steal out hearts. As we walked past and she got our attention. She was meowing at us and rubbing up against the glass looking for some love. We loved her, but went on our way. After leaving we couldn’t stop talking about her. We went back to see her the next night and decided to apply to take her home. A few short days later we brought her home and the rest is history. I wrote about the whole experience and then some here.

As sweet as she is, this cat is a trip. When I say she has personality, I mean she has PERSONALITY.  Bold that and underline it three times. I love her to pieces for it. I also can’t remember the last time I got a full night’s sleep. I’ve been working hard to break her of waking us up for attention during the night. We have evening play sessions to tire her out and I try to keep her up as much as I can during the day. This seems to be working, however, as soon as the sun rises it is time to go. She wants me up, wants me up right now. Her new thing is batting me in the face as soon as my alarm starts to go off. It’s terribly annoying, yet effective. It’s hard to sleep with a cute little fur ball IN YOUR FACE. I can hear her purring in my ear before I even open my eyes. I’m not a morning person and waking up is a gradual process for me. I hit the snooze button a lot. It’s a process. A process that she doesn’t care for or tolerate. Her morning wake up call is actually starting to grow on me. I’ve been getting up earlier and actually getting a little more done because of it. Thanks, Lil.

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Life has been an adventure with her and we’re loving every second. Read more stories about this fur ball in my Life with Lilly blog series.

Have you adopted a pet before? I’d love to hear your stories!

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Carolina Bound

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So we’ve got some big news. Hennel Paper Co. is moving to gorgeous Charlotte, North Carolina. We are in the process of packing up our cute 4 bedroom house (who wants to rent it?) and trying to figure out how to fit it all into a 2 bedroom apartment. If you have any suggestions on that topic, I’d love to hear them – honestly 🙂 We are very, very excited and feeling a little overwhelmed since this is all happening so quickly. The husband was offered a really great job opportunity with his company that we just couldn’t say no to. Plus, who doesn’t want to move to North Carolina, right? They get on average 4 inches of snow a year in Charlotte. Last winter, Detroit saw over 96 INCHES. It was the winter of all winters up here. 

Our move date is set for June 19th. The shop is open and fully functional – (we just released a new batch of cards this week – blog post coming), but we anticipate some down time while we are on the road. It’s a long drive from Detroit with a nervous dog and a sassy little cat. More details will be posted here on shop availability when we have them. Until then, wish us luck packing and finding a tenant. Our house went on the market yesterday afternoon and we have 8 house showings scheduled for today already. Woo!

Life with Lilly: The Spring Cleaning Series

Last weekend I spent sometime weeding out old clothes from my closet. It’s almost spring in Michigan, and I say almost because at some point it has to stop snowing, and that means it’s time for spring cleaning. I decided to get a jump on it this year, maybe to give the world a hint we’re done with winter. Like, really done. We’re 3 inches of snow away from being hands down the worst winter on record, and I think I can honestly speak for everyone when I say we are ready for spring.

Somehow every year during the winter months our house becomes so cluttered with stuff. I don’t know how this happens exactly or where it all comes from, but low and behold every spring we have a porch full of items to donate to Goodwill. Does anyone else experience this phenomenon?

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This year, Lilly of course, got involved. She is a very involved pet. While Linus snoozes on the rug next to me, she is in my face. Most of the time I feel my way through a task because I cannot actually see what I’m trying to do, instead all I can see are whiskers and fur. For some reason she really loves to “help me” wash dishes and open the mail, which means that she mostly likes to get in the sink and sit on the mail, but I like to think that’s her brand of helping. So to help me clean out my closet she decided the best place she could possibly be was on top of the donation pile. I make a new pile, she gets on top of it. I relocate her to an equally comfy spot, she is immediately back on the pile. After about five minutes of that game I gave up and just let her stay there.

Pick your battles 🙂

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Hello, 31.

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Today is my birthday and I’m ready for another wonderful year. To help me make the most of it, I like to create a goal list that helps stay me on track throughout the year. I really believe the key to making these lists is to be specific. The more specific your goal is at the beginning the less room there is for interpretation and ultimately procrastination. Some of these are small goals and others are long term, but all of them will help make another great year. Here it goes:

  1. Curl my hair more, at least twice a week
  2. Rebuild our backyard deck
  3. Go back to North Carolina ❤ (and perhaps stay there forever)
  4. Blog more, 3 times a week is my goal
  5. Post at least one thing a day on Instagram
  6. Complete an entire greeting card line for all occasions
  7. Expand our product line to include ready-made custom invites, art prints, notebooks and tote bags
  8. Actively pursue more custom work that fits in with my goals
  9. Start selling my products wholesale and get into 10 stores
  10. Continue to workout on a regular basis, three – four times a week
  11. Clean out and organize our house
  12. Take time to experiment with new art projects and leave room for failure.
  13. Reach 500 Etsy sales
  14. Do at least one craft show – Rustbelt Market or the Detroit Urban Craft Fair
  15. Start participating on social media more, especially Twitter, on a regular basis
  16. Go to a conference
  17. Solidify my brand style and marketing plan
  18. Get a business mentor
  19. Start Screen Printing
  20. Read a book a month, bonus if at least half of the books are from my 2014 Reading list
  21. Spend quality time every day with Linus ❤
  22. Build my creative confidence and continue to improve my skills
  23. Try a new local restaurant every month
  24. Create a line of products whose proceeds go to an animal welfare group
  25. Improve my product photos
  26. Go to a concert with Steve
  27. Learn to sew
  28. Build a new portfolio site
  29. Go on a date a week with Steve. All fun, no business.
  30. Get an actual (not-for-profit) hobby, maybe photography.
  31. Get a cute swimsuit and swim in the ocean

A few ongoing goals of mine are to strive to focus on quality over quantity, to slow down and relax, and to accept that fact that some things just take time. I’m a hyper productive person and I want what I want, when I want it, so I’m really trying to have more patience just in general.

Steve and I both took that day off work to spend the day. Two years ago today it was 80 degrees outside and we went to the Detroit zoo. Today was 40 out, and we decided to go to the zoo again. It was chilly, but with the winter we’ve had 40 felt like a heat wave. Happy weekend, everyone!

See my last couple lists:
29 in 29
30 in 30

 

Hey, love.

The Valentine’s Day cards are here, a whole mess of them. They are all hand lettered and illustrated by me and produced on 100% recycled materials. All of the cards are 5×7 and blank inside so you can write your own cheesy message. We are especially smitten with the new line of animal cards. There is just something about a cute, fuzzy critter that makes you feel all lovey inside.
View them all here.

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We’re on Papernstitch + New Products

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We’re really excited to officially announce the we’re exhibiting on Papernstitch through the end of the year! If you aren’t familiar, Papernstitch is an online exhibition space that was created to promote artists, designers, and makers selling handmade goods. The exhibition space is fabulously curated on a monthly basis by Brittni Mehlhoff and showcases the very best hand-picked items on an international level.

We’re very very excited to be part of it. And as a little bonus we’ve made today’s top pick and are being featured on the pns homepage! Thank you Brittni!

And like that isn’t enough, we’re also debuting a few new products to celebrate. These products are currently only in our Etsy shop, once we get them on our website we will make a formal announcement back here.

 

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Go check out Papernstitch!

Our Biggest Sale of the Year is Here!

Our Biggest Sale of the Year is Here!

This year we have two ways to shop our biggest sale of the year. We’re offering 20% off everything in our Etsy shop with code ENJOY20 OR free shipping on your order above $10 from our website (no code necessary). Take your pick, but don’t think about it too long, only good from now through Monday, December 2.

Three Years of Marital Wonderfulness + a Little Adventure

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Last week Steve anImaged I celebrated our three year anniversary. It’s pretty much been a whirlwind ever since we met. The time is just flying by, each day gets better and our relationship grows stronger and stronger. Getting married was a welcomed, but somewhat scary transition for me. I’ve always been extremely independent and completely ok on my own. I liked taking care of myself and having the sense of pride that comes along with that. So moving in and joining my life with another person was an adjustment, but I am proud of both of us. We’ve learned how to go from “me” to “we”, if you will excuse the cheesiness of that phrase, and we’re doing a really great job at it. We’ve moved to a place in our relationship where we feel strong and act as a single unit, while still maintaining our own unique individuality. That’s not always the easiest thing to do. Marriage is a wonderful adventure, friends.

This year to celebrate, we went on our own little adventure. We both really love to travel, so we planned a quick trip up north to see the beautiful wine country of Traverse City, Michigan. Since it was just an overnight trip we thought it would be really fun to bring our Westie, Linus, with us. He loves the car, going places, and anything that involves his leash, but most of all he loves being included. Anytime we leave the house without him his little face goes from super excited to super sad. It breaks my heart every single time. So this time, he got to go. I’ve rarely seen him so excited. He was racing through the house at full speed with that huge Westie smile on his face, I couldn’t get him in the car fast enough. He is just like having a little kid, except furrier. It turned out to be a pretty drizzly weekend, but the scenery was still absolutely beautiful. We caught the end of the autumn colors, drove up the Old Mission Peninsula through wine country and walked around downtown sipping pumpkin lattes, mmm. Short little trips like this are such a nice break from reality that give you the chance to slow down and relax. These are a few photos I was able to snap through the rain.

 

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Illustration Process Snapshots

So today I thought it would be fun to show a little glimpse of my illustration process. This is something that I’ve been working on for a while now and I ended up writing a detailed explanation of the entire process, where I go into specifics on each step. If you’re interested in seeing how I do it, hop over here and get the whole scoop.

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