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