Archive for the ‘adventure’ Category

New things in Hawaii

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My pals at Silhouette asked if I wanted to go to Hawaii for an upcoming launch. I was more hesitant about booking the flight than Chris was since I would be leaving him alone with 3 kids for the majority of a week. That didn’t scare him! He’s so used to the family schedule (with both of us working from home) that he urged me to go and stay an extra day or two to really enjoy Oahu. It wasn’t a hollow offer. I took him up on it and lived it up Aloha-style!

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All of this fun was because of Silhouette Summit. The Silhouette team launched a slew of products last week and we who were in Hawaii, got to see it all in action first. And let me tell you, it’s amazing. 

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Image via Silhouette

July 2015, Silhouette will be launching their Curio machine, which will have the capabilities to etch, cut, stipple and most importantly emboss! I’m thinking of all of the calligraphic possibilities there and I’m nerding out just a little.

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Image via Silhoutte

Then, September 2015 (which can’t come soon enough, if you ask me) Silhouette will launch Mint. It’s the first desktop DIY stamp maker. OH yes. All calligraphers rejoice! It will use a companion software that will be compatable with fonts, the silhouette library and your own designs. Instead of 2-14 day turnaround for a custom stamp, try two MINUTES! I showed everyone on periscope, but I have no idea how to find the link to that. I’m @melissapher if you want to check out past videos and see how it works.

Through thermal printing, it exposes the “plate” and the exposed portions allow ink to saturate. And once inked, the stamp will last up to 50 impressions! Perfect for return address stamps or stamping your own business cards (which I’ve done in the past more than a few times – here, here, here). More on all this as I get to experiment with the machines themselves. Stay tuned!

But it wasn’t all business all the time. 

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Silhouette had a tour bus waiting for us Wednesday so we could explore the island more. Heather, Kierste, Linda, Cindi and I decided to go off the beaten path, rent a jeep and tour the island by hopping from one food stop to another.

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And the food in Hawaii was amazing. One of my favorite treats was a pineapple malasada I had the first day. It’s like a doughnut. But better. And filled with pineapple cream. Rolled in cinnamon and sugar.

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Image by Sarah Hearts

Then there was the shave shave ice! I got Waiola’s Passion Orange Guava with cream on top. We have shave ice in Utah during the summer months, but I’m not sure we have the ice shaved as finely as you can find at Waiola. It was remarkably refreshing.

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This is the water on Lenikai beach. A private-ish beach found on the east side of the island. A ton of beautiful homes are backed up against the beach. There are a few people lingering on the beach, but not crowded like Waikiki.

Funny thing: I’m not a beach person. They’re beautiful, but for heaven’s sakes get the sand off me!! I have insane texture issues. Needless to say, I brought my swimsuit, but I really only got up to my knees in the water. A shame since it’s Hawaii.

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This may be completely odd, but the highlight of my trip to Hawaii was teaching a calligraphy workshop at South Shore Paperie. We partied with brush markers, ate some delicious pastries and joked that I sounded like a chain smoker.

I lost my voice through the course of the trip. Something that had been working its way through my system since before I left, perhaps. I felt fine despite my voice sounding terrible, thank goodness.

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Image by Bradley & Lily

We spent considerably more than the 2 hours I budgeted for the workshop, but we all couldn’t tear ourselves away from the learning. We also couldn’t help but drool over the gorgeous Bradley & Lily stationery line. They just launched a new feature on their website allowing customers to essentially complete their own invitation design. Sometimes I wish I could get married all over again simply so I could use all of the wonderful resources out there like this one. I digress.

I was incredibly impressed at how well everyone did during the workshop! Great focus, good positioning and neat practice! My favorite part of my job is seeing other people catch the calligraphy bug and run with it. That enthusiasm really pushes me to work harder on my own craft. Follow along here and instagram for a Utah brush lettering workshop coming soon.

This post isn’t sponsored by Silhouette. I just really, REALLY can’t wait for these products to launch! They’re both game-changers. 

 

Meet Me in Tennessee

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I’m excited to announce that I’ll be speaking at INSPIRED 2015 Presented by Amber Housley in April. I’ll be talking about the effectiveness of a landing page (what one really is), and why creative business owners need a good one.

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To hear all my knowledge bombs, lessons learned and how Chris and I have grown IStillLoveCalligraphy.com to a full-time business, grab a ticket! Use code ISLY for $200 off early bird price. Valid through February 28th or while tickets last.

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After seeing the images of what I’ll be able to enjoy, I’m all “hearts for eyes” about it. That waterfall? Takes me back to Havasupai when I was in high school. Paradise.

 

Calligraphy: Micro Letters From the Tooth Fairy

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Penelope started losing her teeth recently. The first tooth she lost caught us off-guard and unprepared. So we totally botched that one. And THEN the ‘Tooth Fairy’ totally fell asleep when the second one fell out. She didn’t have a chance to visit or anything. Penelope was crushed.

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Chris was thinking quickly on his feet and said that the Tooth Fairy must have been busy. So the next night I wanted to make up for it.

UNFORTUNATELY, this happened:

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I lost my tooth in the drain.

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It was like we were doomed! Thankfully Chris saved the day and was able to retrieve the tooth in the trap underneath the sink. So I made sure to write her a letter explaining what happened.

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Dear Penelope, 

I’m sorry to hear that your tooth went down the drain! I bet that you felt sad. Luckily, I’m small enough I was able to find it! Thank you! Be sure to tell your mom and dad to clean down there. It’s stinky. 

You have some great teeth! Keep brushing and flossing. 

Love, The Tooth Fairy

She was thrilled. Over the moon, in fact! She sent a second letter to the tooth fairy and made her a little house.

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I liked the little card. It was funny. I wanted to give you something. (She attached a $2 bill to the note)

So of course, the Tooth Fairy slept over when it was a little too windy one night.

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Dear Penelope, 

Thank you for making me such a beautiful home to visit! It was too windy last night for me to make it home safely, so I slept over. 

I hear you have a couple of loose teeth! I’m excited to see those when they come out. 

You are a very sweet and caring [girl]. Thanks for looking out for this old fairy. 

Love, The Tooth Fairy

She loves her relationship with the tooth fairy! I wanted to make sure that she kept this documentation so I got matching Amac boxes. One for her notes and one for the teeth that the Tooth Fairy collects. It’s been fun. Now I’m anxiously awaiting her next loose tooth to fall out!

Done with an Esterbrook 355 and a sumi/walnut ink mix on blank Rhodia paper.

We Bought A Photobooth

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It’s like one of those things that you say that elicits a cocked head and a, “What?”. Like we bought a zoo or something. Except infinitely sillier and minus the animal poop.

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In October of this year Alix and I (along with our men) bought an open-concept photobooth. Alix is heavily involved in the event planning scene in the Utah and Salt Lake valleys. Both of us have been sorely disappointed in poor branding, terrible exposures and bulky equipment. Especially when it came down to the Secret Garden event back in January.

If you want something done right, you better do it yourself! So SaltyBooth was born: A utah-based photo booth business run by event experts. 

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Since getting our photobooth, we’ve had a ton of fun. Lots of late night photo sessions sorting out branding and layouts. It’s resulted in lots of family photos. An excellent perk of the new job, I might add.

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We set up the booth for our Christmas cards (which are turning out to be more like New Year’s cards – EEP!). The image quality  was nice enough for us to get a 11×14 canvas of the above amazingness. I can’t tell you how thrilled that makes me!

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For Halloween we started a new tradition: Pic or Treat. Take a pic or grab a treat. It was a huge hit! Parents could get a great photo of their kids in costume and teens. . . teens squeal over any opportunity for a good selfie!

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We had our first event last month with a handful of bloggers. The reception was more than we could have hoped for. Since then we’ve had our second event and booked several more. Get in touch if you’re looking for a photo booth rental for your next event! Here’s why what we offer is better than anything you’ll see locally:

  • We understand events and the blogging industry (amazing images are everything)
  • If you hire us, you get a calligrapher/designer and an event planner to make your booth awesomesauce
  • Users won’t be able to resist sharing their images across social platforms (Integrated Twitter, Facebook and Twitter, SMS and email sharing)
  • Instant gratification with a ridiculously amazing photo printer (we only use the best)
  • Our rockin’ lighting system allows you to get fabulous photos every time, even if the lighting at your event sucks
  • Our open-concept booth takes up very little space and it’s all-in-0ne so no bulky equipment to trip over
  • We’re really fun!

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image by Alix | business cards by engrave jet

Email us at infoATsaltyboothDOTcom to book us for your next event.

Welcoming: Juniper Inês!

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It’s been quite silent around  here, and with good reason. I’ve been snorting the newborn smell like a crack addict. Miss Juniper Inês finally made her way here last Tuesday at a whopping 9 pounds 9 ounces. My biggest monster yet. We were all surprised at her girth and the speed with which she arrived.

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Tuesday morning I started feeling quite achey. Felix woke up two hours before his usual and came upstairs to cuddle me. It was like he knew I was in pain and needed someone to hold. Not minutes after he climbed into bed with us, my water broke. It was 4:30 am. There was an audible pop. I sprang to action, saving the sheets. Chris was more than pleased. I was pretty proud I was able to get out of bed that fast at 40 weeks pregnant. No small miracle there.

I had a feeling I didn’t have much time. Yet I still took a shower. I needed a shower.

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Chris got the kids dressed and fed. I grabbed the last-minute items like our bluetooth speaker and iPad. We dropped the kids off at the neighbors and drove off to the hospital at about 5:30. Driving to the hospital seemed like an eternity. The contractions were about a minute apart at this point. They were hurting at this point. I was in pain, but I knew every contraction was my body doing what it was born to and one step closer to meeting my little girl. To be honest, I was getting excited.

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I decided before I got pregnant that I would deliver Juniper naturally in a hospital. I’ll admit I didn’t do much of any reading or practicing on the subject. I mostly talked to friends about their experiences and listened to what worked for them and I came up with a plan that worked for me. More than anything, the mental preparation got me excited to labor rather than dread it. Each contraction was a painful celebration.  Strange, I know.

We arrived at the hospital and were admitted just before 6am. I was in pain and I wanted to get the show on the road. The nurses had no idea how far into labor I was. One insisted to make sure that my water had in fact broken. I’m thinking, “DUH. I’m in pain and this isn’t my first rodeo, can we get a move on?!?” She checked. To her surprise I was dilated just past an 8. She literally ran out of the room and didn’t stop running after that. They rushed to action. Nurses asked me if I was okay with the attending doc delivering the baby. I was fine with it, but deep down inside I wanted my midwife to be there. Just before I started pushing, there she came. She was ready. I was ready. So was June.

June clawed her way into the world about 4 minutes after my midwife showed up, 36 minutes after I was admitted into the hospital. In June’s haste she snagged on my femoral artery and I started bleeding out. Chris could see what was going on, but everyone kept their cool and eventually a suture kit was located and the bleeding was under control.

I’m glad I had planned on having her naturally. By the time I got to the hospital, there wouldn’t have been enough time to get an epidural and I would have been clueless and likely afraid of doing it all on my own. Instead I was under control and afterward I had the most amazing high. I was on top of the world, my body had done something so hard and I survived!

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I had a hard time visualizing myself using hypnobirthing CDs; so before I delivered, I compiled a playlist of my favorite dance-y songs. If I were to visualize myself doing anything, I wanted to visualize dancing and rocking out through the pain. The nurses and midwives got a kick out of it. The midwife told me something along the lines that it was one of the happiest, upbeat deliveries she’s experienced. And it was a happy experience! If you’re on Spotify, you can listen to the playlist right here.

Chris was the best cheerleader I could have asked for. The fact that the entire labor was under 2 hours probably made the experience that much better, but I’m so glad I went natural with this one. Throughout this week I’ve kept thinking how our bodies are such amazing things. We can do some seriously hard stuff.

Juniper is an amazing little babe so far. She’s eating and sleeping like a champ and she’s already given us huge smiles. She looks just like a darker-haired version of Penelope. It’ll be so fun to see how they’re similar and different in the coming years.

I can’t believe I’m already a mother of 3. I still feel like college graduation was just weeks ago. It’s unreal. I’m so grateful to have these kiddos in my family!

From a work standpoint, her timing couldn’t have been better. I hired a calligrapher to help me manage the coaching aspect of I Still Love Calligraphy. Erika has been instrumental to my mental health these last few months. She’s taken on enough of the workload that I’ve been able to create new content for the course while still staying involved in the teaching process.

Each Monday and Friday we sit at the computer and attack the uploads from students. She’ll go through the work and leave feedback. I’ll review Erika’s feedback and leave additional comments if any are needed. Instead of sitting at the computer for 12-14 hours on these days like I was previously, I’m spending around 4-5 hours at the computer these days. But last week, Erika was out of town on a much-deserved vacation with her husband. I was nervous that I wouldn’t be able to keep up if I were to have Juniper. The little Miss was so thoughtful and arrived on Tuesday, leaving me plenty of time to rest before Friday’s workload came along.

Maintaining work hasn’t been as hard as I thought it would be. Chris is at home helping me with business and family, so making sure I get sleep before these big days isn’t so much of an issue. Juniper has been a very well-behaved baby, so I can just snuggle with her if she’s fussy and finish my work just fine. It’s been a huge blessing to be able to work while growing this family of ours. Taking time off would have been a necessity if I didn’t work from home and at a desk. It’s been nice to take it easy while still be productive. That newborn phase can be so joyous, but frustrating when you have the energy to get a million things done but can’t because you’re ‘stuck’ feeding a baby.

Don’t get me wrong. It’s a fabulous thing to be ‘stuck’ doing. But it’s nice to feel productive while giving her the attention that she needs.

 

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