Sunday, June 29, 2008

i went to italy ...

and all I got was this lousy photo! I didn't even try for a re-shoot or do the crazy mom dance trying to get them smiling. I knew I was lucky to get this one, hot, sweaty, crabby looking shot. It's mid-90's and sunny and after the winter and spring we've had in Wisconsin, this weather feels like Arizona norm to my kids {and me for that matter!}. This is big brother Odinn with my girls and they're posing in the Colosseum.

I thought I may see some cute Italian boutiques or maybe even a stationery store that I could tell you about ... but after looking at the shot above, you understand that I'd be flirting with an early death if I even thought about dragging these kids into a 'cute boutique!'

After a crabby, touristy morning, we went back to the hotel for swimming ... the saying is so true ... if you've got a crabby kid, throw them in water! We had a much better afternoon and dinner ... and I couldn't resist sharing these photos of my baby enjoying her spaghetti!

Tomorrow the Vatican ... {and I promise some stationery posts for you too}.

Friday, June 27, 2008


I can't believe I missed it!! We've had a lot of turn over recently and I've been working like a maniac {when my goal was to take some time off and spend summer with the kids}. So today, I actually took off and spent the day with the girls at the pool {in between packing for our European adventure which starts tomorrow!}.

So I'm at the pool and ... What's this? Mommy's got a text ... WHAT'S THIS? LEANN RIMES IS IN THE STORE!! How in the world do these things pass me by? Although ... I did get to ride in an elevator with Nicholas Cage once! Man, is he tall!

Anyhoo ... LeAnn was gracious enough to pose with Emily AND she agreed to let us blog about it. {thank you Ms. Rimes!}. Of course the store was in a tizzy and I needed to call in asap to get the details. Word is she's as cute as ever, had just come from yoga, and was in need of some greeting cards and gift wrap.

And there, my friends, is your E! News of the day ... happy weekend!


Miss Emily was a busy bee today! Brand new Linda & Harriett greeting cards are now available to purchase online. Happy shopping!

more drooling ...

We received our GORGEOUS new Linda & Harriett custom book yesterday ... beeeautiful! These two designs are my favs ... I love {stress love} the lamp post, bench and yellow lettering. And the stella & patrick script font? Yummy!!

We've also got their fun new greeting cards ... I'll let you know when they're in our web store. {Maybe I should get Wynter the moose card?}

Thursday, June 26, 2008

child labor?

My kids are all about nature, bugs, and the great outdoors. Last weekend when we took a camping trip to Montana, I was in awe of them hunting and gathering all the creepy crawly things they could find. They busied themselves the whole weekend ... but I particularly enjoyed the 'store.'

Piper & Wynter both took part in setting up and getting it ready, but it ended up being Wynter's passionate project for the weekend. She was constantly getting us to shop, always had a deal, and most of the time the items were free.

We found out pretty quickly why the items were free! One fascinating item was the 'cookie' ... but upon careful investigation, we found it to be ... MOOSE PIE {think cow pie}! Um, yeah, we all had a sanitizer bath after that sale ...

The 'cookie' ... {note the wrist bands & gum also for sale}.

Wynter's directing {bossing} her baby staffer, I mean sister.

So how can I foster her retail passion at home? Put the child to work! I brought her to the store with me today, gave her an apron and a list of chores. The best part? She works for product. She found all kinds of fun little items {thankfully she shops the sale shelf} to work off her wages.

{Every sales consultant needs a pair of sparkly shoes}


Lilsugar posted today on their great new find, the momME weekly planner. The whole lobotoME line can be mommy's new best friend!

bwp's very own designer ...

I am very blessed to have an awesomely creative staff! And have enjoyed encouraging a few of them as they're working on their own product lines {more to come!}. These cards are from photographer/designer Kate Funk. Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


We are always looking for ways to improve and encourage customers to give us their feedback. These are the comments we got today ... I wonder if we had a field trip in?

giddy with excitement

You would've thought it was the Fourth of July the way we were oohing and aahing in booth #3620 at the recent stationery show! Every which way we turned, it got better and better. One statement ... no two ... mini cubes and yellow & grey.

When our shipment came in yesterday, we were drooling all over again! Brand new Snow & Graham coming soon to a web store near you! {drool free}

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

operation heartfelt

My nephew recently graduated from Army basic training and I humbly admit, up until that point, I hadn't put as much care, thought and prayer into our troops as I should have been. Watching him graduate affected me in a way I can't explain. And listening to him talk about his experiences touched me deeply. One of the things he mentioned was how much he loved getting mail. How all of them pretty much lived for the mail they received. If one soldier had done something wrong, as a punishment everyone's mail would be withheld and some soldiers would actually cry about it! That's how important it is for them to receive mail.

So ... I decided to host an event at the store involving some good ol' fashion letter writing. I thought it was an awesome idea ... come on in, write a letter to our troops and receive a discount on your stationery items. Genius? Apparently not ... sadly, we had only four people take part of this event {and one was my sister}.

I'd like to urge you to remember our troops {support them} by writing. Honestly, it's what's getting them through day-to-day. I found two great organizations to help. The first lets you start a pen pal type relationship with a soldier, Any Soldier. The second, let's you just send random letters of support and thanks, A Million Thanks. And of course, if you're looking for awesome stationery to get you started ... click here. :)

Monday, June 23, 2008

susy's online!

Miss susyjack* jack jack ... all dressed in black black black ...

Sorry, I had that song swimming in my head as I was taking these photos! I am pleased to announce that our susyjack* goodies are now available in our web store. Happy shopping!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

we love trees!

When entering a booth at the recent NSS, it was astounding to me how many designers would immediately point out what was eco-friendly in their line, complete with use of soy-based inks. I don't recall the importance of this at previous years shows.

We've always been pretty eco-friendly and try to purchase said products whenever possible. So when we returned home from the show, I got to thinking we should definitely announce a little louder that BWP is earth friendly.

We started by creating an eco-friendly & recycled category in our web store for our tree loving friends and yesterday Tony {sales associate extraordinaire} created this eco-friendly display! Don't you love it?

Monday, June 16, 2008

inner-dwellings of bwp

I thought it would be fun to show you our backroom, receiving department, and web photo lab. {terms used loosely!}.

We're getting boxes and boxes of new stuff everyday!

When items are received, we decide what goes into our web store and put it aside to have photos taken.

Then photos are taken and edited.

After the items are entered into our inventory system, a description is written on each item and posted in new arrivals. We do all of this in-house and wish there were more of us to make it happen faster so you wouldn't have to wait so long for fun new things! Who said patience is a virtue?

OH! And many thanks to The Speckled Egg for the great mention this morning!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

got directions?

I've got a husband who has absolutely everything and is horribly, impossible to buy for. If he wants something, he gets it ... if you give him something he doesn't want, he throws it away {honest!}. I'm at a serious loss this Father's Day. Until ...

I'm at Walgreen's and spot an easy, peasy craft ... design-a-tie! I couldn't have been more excited {and forgive me if they've been around forever and I'm just discovering now}. I'm thinking 'Genius!' I also saw a craft in a parenting magazine that I was going to have the kids do, so the tie was a bonus to our handmade holiday.

The kids love craft time and take their work seriously {yes, a serious baby crawls on the table to find just the right marker}. Note: this is minus miss {new} teenager who is busy IM'ing with friends ...

The first craft had them coloring paper cubes. I actually had them do one for each of their teachers for a year-end gift too, which gave them each 3 cubes to color. They weren't quite getting the concept, so I grabbed a Snow & Graham cube from my office to help get the point across. {They were quite impressed with 'my' artwork!} Piper took the project literally and copied the S&G cube! What do you think? Maybe they could use a new designer?

Then it was on to the tie. Still can't believe how genius and am excited to have them start drawing on it. I pass it around and they all take turns. At last our Father's Day projects are complete and I can call it a success. That is until I'm folding the tie up to put it back in the box ... I happen to turn over the box and see the directions. What directions? You just color on the tie, right? No, in fact ... it's not that easy. I needed to have the kids color on a piece of paper {said paper already in a ball in the garbage can} and then transfer it via iron to the tie. Who has time for that?!?

I didn't fret too much, as {sadly} I know where the adorable tie's fate lies ...

Friday, June 13, 2008

miss susy's in the house!

I received a gift of SusyJack* stationery for Christmas from one of my employees {thank you Eric!}, who likes to get us stuff we don't carry in the store ... and I fell in love! I had been emailing Susy ever since, but could never get my act together to get an order together.

I couldn't wait to find her booth at the NSS and get my order placed! When we finally got there, I think I must have ordered one of everything and now it's at the store ... YAY! We don't have it in our web store yet, but stay tuned ... we're working on it!

{I love using the clips as a photo holder ... shown here with my bahama baby bottoms}

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

creative packaging?

Any idea how difficult it is to 'design' a package for a graphic designer ... and a great one at that? That was my task this evening. Actually, for the past weekend, but I procrastinated until this evening because I just couldn't think of anything brilliant enough!

That is until I received a gift last night that I got much inspiration from and pretty much used the same idea {and the actual box!}. 1) I took the box and cut down my beautiful snow & graham cupcakes sheet wrap for the cover. 2) lined the cotton thingy pad that comes inside the box with pink tissue paper. 3) cut down some brown cardstock to 10x2.5" then folded in half. 4) cut down gift wrap for the cover of the card. 5) cut more wrap for the inside of the card that will hold the gift card, and then wrap it around the bottom edge of the inside of the card. 6) pick a great font and color for the birthday note, print, cut, adhere. 7) insert gift card. 8) wish you could give the package to yourself!

I hope she loves it!

Friday, June 6, 2008

looking for an easy birthday gift?

My six year-old daughter has a birthday party to go to this weekend and I was stumped on what to have Piper bring as a gift. My budding artist was at her drawing station when it hit me that she could give her little friend personalized stationery! What girl doesn't want stationery? And don't you think we should start 'em young anyway?

Since BWP now offers in-store printing, I brought in Piper's original artwork {received a favor from the designer to pull out a rush order!} and waa-la! The perfect present! Total for 25 folded notes & envelopes? $38.50! I'm thinking a bargain for one-of-a-kind artwork and easy gift.

Find more info on our printing services here.

i love baby thumbprints!

My baby goddaughter {cutest bundle ever!} made me a bookmark for Mother's Day this year. I loved it ... and what a great idea, um, for Father's Day which is quickly approaching!

So ... when I saw these new thumbprint designs from Egg Press at the NSS this year, I was all over them! {shown here at bwp}