Introducing Snail Mail Swap ’16

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Last year was a great year for snail mail. Thanks to the Egg Press + Hello Lucky! Write_On campaign, snail mail was living the high life last year. Thousands took to their post offices to send a handwritten note or card every day during the month of March. My guess is that 2016 will be even bigger!

During Christmas I shared some of my favorite holiday greeting cards on Instagram with my #ChristmasCardCountdown. I loved doing it and started looking forward to the next holiday I could celebrate. Today I’m launching #ValentineCardCountdown and adding a new feature: Snail Mail Swap ’16.

For most major holidays this year I’ll be sharing some of my favorite cards here on my website and on Instagram. I’ll offer a simple card swap for mail lovers to participate in.

Ready for some Valentines? Go ahead and sign up!

New Year, New Plants

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23695985513_ec9e4efdf3_oThe holiday decorations are put away, you’ve given your home a good clean, and your resolutions for 2016 include developing a green thumb. Not bad! Now what?! If you’re hoping to bring more plants into your life, try a simple house plant. From succulents to ferns, it doesn’t take much get started.

Earlier this month Shelli and I made just in time to Pick Me Up, a house plant pop-up hosted by pot & box and held at The Peacock Room. Word spread quickly about the sale because by the time we arrived at lunch, the show was on its way to being sold out. Luckily there were other great vendors there selling botanical-themed items to keep everyone happy. I picked up this new arrangement, pictured above, from pot & box to kick off a new year of planting.

Curious about succulents and house plants? As someone who has a pale-green thumb, here are a few of my tips:

  • Find a place in your house with a good dose of sunlight that your plants can call home (all based on their individual needs, of course.) Some succulents don’t like spending half the year outside and then half the year in, so keep that in mind when selecting a new plant to call yours.
  • Succulents are low maintenance, but they do NEED maintenance. (I’m looking at you, air plant owners. Give that plant some water!) Your plant will tell you whats wrong simply by looking at it. Shriveled leaves means it needs more water. Changing colors could mean there is too much, or not enough, light. Dots or strange marks could be a source of infestation.
  • Enjoy watching them evolve. A well-cared for plant will thrive in your home and grow right before your eyes!

Here are a few of my favorite plant books that have helped me learn more about house plants:

  • The Plant Recipe Book
  • Succulents Simplified
  • DIY Succulents
  • Hardy Succulents
  • cactus

    24296505956_aeb38b0122_oStill a bit worried about that whole “green thumb” thing? Not to worry, you can still enjoy a delightful house plant. But instead of the kind that require water, may I suggest the kind that require yarn? Crocheted succulents are one of my favorite handmade goods to pick up, as I can take them to my office and not worry about them and I know my cat won’t try to eat them (that happens a lot at our house). I added this cute new cactus to my collection thanks to the Pick Me Up sale.

    If you’re feeling confident that you can give a good home to a crocheted plant, I’ve put together this Etsy Treasury, pictured above, of a few of my favorite cactus finds that don’t require, well, ANY care! They’re a sure bet!

Impossible Project, Third Man Records and Yellow Polaroids

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Have you heard of the Impossible Project? From their website:

THE FUTURE OF ANALOG PHOTOGRAPHY
Edwin Land, the founder of Polaroid and the inventor of the world’s first instant camera and film, once said: “Don’t undertake a project unless it’s manifestly important and nearly impossible.” The founders of Impossible took him at his word when, in 2008, they purchased the last factory in the world manufacturing Polaroid instant film, creating ‘The Impossible Project’. Their aim was simple: to save 200 million Polaroid instant cameras from becoming utterly useless.

Two years later, the fledgling start-up began producing its own re-formulated versions of classic Polaroid instant film formats for the SX-70, 600, and Image/Spectra cameras, as well as larger 8×10 format film, at plants in Enschede, the Netherlands, and Monheim, Germany.

Today, Impossible is no longer a ‘project’ but a fast-growing company with over 140 employees in Austria, Germany, the Netherlands, Britain, France, the USA and China. Its core products remain analog instant film, refurbished Polaroid cameras, as well as its own-designed range of analog instant cameras including the Instant Lab Universal. Now, at its creative headquarters in Berlin, Impossible continues to re-design analog photography for a digital generation.

I wasn’t familiar with them until my visit to Third Man Records during Christmas. There Nick and I saw the Impossible Project’s Polaroid 600 Job Pro camera. Its yellow-and-black color scheme was a perfect match Jack White‘s record label, which honors the same combination. I admired the camera but moved about my day. Until my wedding anniversary when Nick surprised me with the camera, a package of the record label’s limited edition film and a great story.

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After Nick and Shelli were out picking up the last of my anniversary present goods, they stopped for a drink at Selden Standard. Who happened to be there? Jack White, filming a music video. They grabbed the camera, asked him for a photo, and the rest is analog photography magic.

Check out Impossible’s offering of refurbished cameras and films and start thinking about your next photography project.