Her Ink · Paper and Ink

Join the Happy Mail Movement!

I have always loved real mail. The kind that says that someone is thinking about you and took the time out of their day to sit down and write you a REAL letter. I’m not sure if it’s the writer in me, but it just means so much more when I get letters in the mail. I suppose it started with my best friend moving away when we were in elementary school. Back then, you couldn’t just call someone who lived far away, or text them. Long distance phone calls were expensive. Texting didn’t exist (sheesh, now I feel OLD!). The only way to keep in touch with my best friend was through letters.

I wrote her, she wrote me. We kept our friendship alive that way. For three years. She was supposed to move back after that, but instead I got a letter in the mail saying that she was moving to Idaho instead.

Somehow the letters stopped after that. I guess I figured that Idaho was so much closer than Kentucky, we should be able to keep in touch without letters now. Either way, I didn’t really get letters after that. Not until my friends started leaving on missions for my church (AKA they go live somewhere for two years and teach other people about our church). They’re not allowed to call, or text (even though it was around by then). The only way to keep in touch with them was letters.

I won’t lie, I wrote 12 missionaries and my main objective was to get mail. I just loved getting the mail. To this day I can still hear the mail truck coming when I’m at my mom’s place. Although a strange thing happened because of that mail, I met someone I had never met. He saw my handwriting and asked if I would write him. Through mail, I gained a friend.

Then after college I became pen pals with one of my roommates after we decided that the world was a better place when everyone wrote letters.

I still believe that.

So, in an effort to resurrect the beauty of correspondence I plan to send out “happy mail” every week. Probably just letters, but once I feel like we’re rich enough I’d love to send out packages every once in awhile, just because.

I’d love for you to join me! (I’d even love to send YOU some happy mail). So Happy Mail Postcard

 

Do you like real mail? Do you send real letters?

Her Ink · Paper and Ink · Reading

Paper Heart Poet

Today is Poem in your Pocket day! I’ve been planning this post for quite awhile, but then kind of forgot about it (I’m definitely human), so this will probably be short and sweet!

I’ve always loved poetry. I’ve never felt like I am very good at writing it, but I’ve always felt compelled to write it. Especially around times of turmoil (so basically my whole life). I’ve always loved that feeling of converting my emotions into words and ink, setting down in words just what my heart is feeling.

I’ve always loved knowing that even if no one else understood, that page understood what I meant. It became a confidant when I couldn’t, or didn’t want, to explain what I was feeling to someone else.

I’ve also always loved finding little things in books. Post its or papers or notes from whoever read it last that they forgot to retrieve. Even though I knew that I would never know who they were, it made me feel kind of connected to someone else who had read and loved the same words that I had.

So, the paper heart poet was born. The idea is to write a poem and leave it in a book for someone else to find. That way, you’re putting more art, more beauty in the world, and maybe connecting to someone else. I also liked that you don’t necessarily have to remain anonymous. You can put your social media handle or the name of your blog or whatever and connect with someone new.

You can really do it however you like, but if you wanted an easy way to do it, here is a printable.  Just print it out, cut out a heart and write your poem on the back and slip it into a book! It could be any book, but I recommend one that you read and loved 🙂

If you don’t feel like the best poet, you can always put a poem (with credit) that you love that someone else wrote on the back!

I hope you have a poem filled day!

Paper Heart Poet Template 1

 

Are you carrying a poem in your pocket today? What book would YOU leave a poem in?

Her Ink

Words

If you couldn’t tell from the title of this blog, I’ve thought a lot about words. I think that words are powerful. I think that the words that we use to define ourselves are important. If you think that you are beautiful, then the way you treat yourself and the way you treat others is going to change.

Brains are weird things, they seem to create the reality around us differently based on how we define things. If I start thinking that the world is unfair, then my brain will start picking out different things to back me up. Then suddenly EVERYTHING seems terrible and unfair. That’s not to say that things aren’t unfair sometimes. Or that things aren’t occasionally terrible, because they surely are. For me, for you, for everyone.

Once we start to define things that way though, then things only seem to get worse.

So, since this blog is about words, I decided to showcase some of the words that I define myself by. They change all the time, but these are the ones that I felt like described me when I started this blog.

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Some of the words are things I am, some of them are things that I love, and a few are things that I’m not sure I am yet, but they’re things I aspire to be.

  1. Photos
  2. Chef
  3. Watercolor
  4. Princess
  5. Bold
  6. Ink
  7. Roses
  8. Brave
  9. Flowers
  10. Ocean
  11. Adventure
  12. Teacher
  13. Flawed
  14. Kind
  15. Blue
  16. Best Friend
  17. Reader
  18. Create
  19. Beauty
  20. Handletter
  21. Daughter
  22. LDS
  23. Artist
  24. Wife
  25. Sister
  26. Runner
  27. Blogger
  28. Writer
  29. Dreamer
  30. Pink
  31. Smart
  32. Hiker

 

 

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Clearly I am flawed. But that shouldn’t and doesn’t stop me from trying to be better.

Optimist isn’t on there, but it’s something that I try to be. I think it’s important to remember, that while things can get worse (and often do), they can get better too. It reminds me of when I’m sick and I’m wishing to die, it always seems that things can’t get better, so I wish they would just get worse and get it over with already. But, things can get better, in fact, so far they’ve always gotten better eventually.

You just have to remember, that things get better eventually. Remember that just because you define yourself a certain way now, maybe in a way that you don’t particularly like about yourself, it doesn’t have to stay that way. You have more control over who you are than you think, even though you don’t have control over the circumstances in your life.

 

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Today I am a wife, but two years ago I was single.

Today I am a hand letterer, but two years ago I hadn’t sold anything and I was just starting out. I’m still learning.

Today I am a blogger, but four years ago I’d just started and I had no idea what I was doing. I’m still learning here too.

Today I am a computer lab assistant (in a room full of macs), but when I started I’d never used macs and knew nothing about computers.

We grow, we learn, we move forward.

Today I am a wife, but someday I hope to be a mother.

Today I am a writer, but someday I hope to be an author.

Today I am messy, but someday I hope to be more organized.

Today I am someone who has never left the country, but someday I hope to be a traveler.

Own who you are, but believe that you can be whatever you want to be. You can 🙂

 

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Thank you so much for reading. I really appreciate all of your support!

Photography by: GingerSnaps

What words do you define yourself by? What words do you want to define you?

 

Her Ink · Paper and Ink

Keep Moving Forward

Keep Moving Forward

 

Meet The Robinsons has been one of my favorite Disney movies for years. It’s one that I keep thinking about over and over again. Mainly for the quote that is the title of this blog post.

Life is not always easy. In fact, a lot of the time, it seems to decide that the best thing for us would be to kick us when we’re down. But, just like they say in the movie, we don’t learn a lot from our successes. We learn most from our failures. There shouldn’t be any shame in failing.

We just have to learn to Keep Moving Forward.

I know, it’s easy to say, and hard to do. Lately, for me, life has seemed to be a series of problems. One gets fixed and another pops right up in its place, usually larger and harder to tackle than the previous problem.

But we’ve all made it this far. We’ve moved forward to this point. There’s no reason why we won’t make it past this obstacle just like all the ones before.

So, Keep Moving Forward.

Keep Moving Forward Printable

Click here for the printable! I hope that it inspires you to overcome whatever obstacles are in your way!

 

What words to you use to motivate yourself when things don’t work out? 

 

 

Her Ink · Reading

Madeleine L’Engle’s Secret to Success

Author Spotlight Madeleine L'Engle
I first read something by Madeleine when I was 14. It was an interesting time in my life, my parents had just let me know that they were getting a divorce. I feel like the books you read when you’re going through a hard time stick with you more than the books you read at other times in your life. Which is maybe why books you read as a child and especially in middle school stick with you forever (Because, let’s be real, those are TOUGH times).
The first book that I read by her was A Ring of Endless Light. I loved this book because it dealt with grief and first loves and dolphins and poetry. It was everything that I needed at the time. It’s still a book that I turn to every year or so. It reminds me of who I am and who I want to be. It combined my love of writing and science.
I loved this book so much that I read everything by her that I could get my hands on. I read all of the Austin Family Chronicles and all of the Wrinkle in Time series.
I looked her up on Goodreads and found out that she actually wrote a ton of books that I haven’t read yet (my to-read list just got longer…). If you want to see the full list, click here.
Reading an interview with her is one of the reasons that I decided to try writing by hand. In the interview she said that she wrote her books by hand and typed them up on a typewriter later. It also made me want to buy a typewriter. Probably I would never use it. Probably it would be a fun paperweight, but I admire her so much that it made it feel like that’s the best way to write a good book.
There’s simply something different about the books that are written by hand. There seems to be a thoughtfulness that often falls to the way side when they’re written on a computer. I wasn’t all that surprised when I found another author whose work I loved also wrote her books by hand.
Her writing is beautiful and deep. It makes me want to be a better writer. When I feel like I’m in a writing lull where I don’t really feel like writing, reading her writing makes me want to write. Especially poetry. Its the kind of work that makes me want to follow my dreams.  She’s the first writer that really made me feel like I could be a writer if I wanted to, though she certainly wasn’t the last.
Who’s your favorite author? How did you discover them?
Also, if you want to read more about the benefits of writing by hand, here are some resources:
Favorite Things · Her Ink

Tools of the Trade | Voice Dictation

TOOLS OF THE TRADE | VOICE DICTATION-2
A few weeks ago, my husband Brian and I saw the movie Passengers. In the movie, Jennifer Lawrence plays a writer named Aurora. After realizing that she has woken up too soon, she finally gets back to what she loves doing… writing. However, in the whole movie, I don’t think I saw one pen, or even a keyboard. She writes by speaking.
Admittedly, I really like Jennifer Lawrence and I wanted to see if I could do that too.
Around the same time I had a friend at work who had to go in for Carpal tunnel surgery, so I started worrying about that. I use my hands for EVERYTHING. I’m a writer, so I type and write by hand. I’m a hand letterer, so I use them for art and lettering. I want to take care of my hands and make them last as long as I can.
My little sister has Lupus, so typing is hard for her, so I’d heard about Dragon Speaking Naturally. I was thinking it would be pretty cheap…
It’s about 300$. Not only is it 300$, but it’s less accurate for a Mac, which is what I use.
Being that I don’t have 300$ laying around (my husband has been out of work for three months, and even before that we definitely weren’t rolling in dough), I wanted to see what else was out there.
I read a few articles and considered my options. Most of the options that I saw in the articles were Dragon Speaking naturally. It’s like they have a corner on the market or something. Then I found a blog post about Google Voice typing. I’m already a huge fan of Google Drive so I thought I would try it out.
I fell instantly in love.
I’ve been trying to get my last novel that I’ve been working on by hand typed up for awhile, but just typing what I’ve already written is kind of boring for me. However, reading it out loud has several advantages.
  1. The computer does the typing for me.
  2. I can hear the awkward sentences, or see if things are flowing smoothly, while accomplishing another step.
  3. Because voice typing is not 100% accurate I read over it again. Usually there aren’t too many mistakes and my work gets another once through.
  4. I feel super cool.
Number 4 might be the most heavily weighted.
I used Google Voice typing to type up my post about General Conference actually. It’s so fun to watch what you say magically appear on the screen. I was head over heels for Google Voice Typing until I found Mac Dictation.
The first time I tried it I was geeking out so badly and smiling so widely that I almost couldn’t speak. No one was home, but I kept looking around to tell someone, “Can you believe this! Look at this!”
It’s even MORE accurate than Google Voice Typing. If you have a Mac, you can start using it pretty much right away. Plus, you can even download it to your computer so that you can use it when you don’t have internet.
I highly recommend both of them. Especially if you’re a slow typer. Or, even if you just want to feel cool and justify it by saying you’re saving your hands.
Have you tried Voice Dictation? What did you use? How did you like it?
Faith · Her Ink

General Conference | Spring 2017

General Conference Spring 2017 Post

 

This weekend is General Conference for my church. At first this might seem unconnected to Ink, but the words they speak this weekend will largely affect my reading material for the next six months.

This weekend leaders in my church will give us modern scriptures in the form of talks. Then a few days later these talks will be converted into articles that can be read on any mobile device.

I love this weekend for many reasons. the chance to get new information on ways I can change, the chance to be inspired by leaders in my church, and the chance to listen to all of it with my family and my husband.

Couple Journal | Conference Oct. 2016

Last conference after everything was over, my husband and I, made a  list of all the topics of General Conference that the speakers spoke about over and over again. After we had made the list we then talked about the different promises that we had been made if we acted on those things that the leaders had asked us to do. We also made  goals on what we should do moving forward. I loved to see how the speakers talks connected even though they were not assigned a specific topic to speak on. While this is the first time that we had done this, I’m sure that this will be a tradition that we continue. I found this activity to be so helpful that I thought I would make you it worksheet that you can use to fill out during Conference or after conference is over. Hopefully, this worksheet will help you to focus on the most important things for the next 6 months.

 

General Conference Worksheet Spring 2017
Printable General Conference  Journal Worksheet

 

Also, even if you are not a member of our church, you are welcome to listen or watch. the information that they cover is not solely pertaining to the members of the church, but good information in general for anyone wishing to be closer to Christ. I don’t say this to try and convince you to join my church or trick you into spending hours watching hours of talks, I simply wish to invite you to be inspired. It’s something that inspires me every 6 months. Even if you don’t watch or listen you can still read the talks later.

If you’re planning to watch or listen, I’ve linked the options here!
I hope you have a wonderful weekend and if you have anything to share or any questions please leave them in the comments below. I’d love to connect with you!

 

Do you watch General Conference? How do you use the information to move forward?