Valentine's Day is the same week as my partner's birthday, so there is usually much fanfare. This year, however, life got in the way of much celebrating. So we are just trying to enjoy the time together.
Last fall I was approached by a designer to help detail a furniture showroom for Haworth. They were looking for handlettered inspirational signs to pair with Patricia Urquiola's "Openest" line at the launch in the DC showroom. The furniture line is designed to invite people to gather, share ideas and focus on a task (even if that task is occasionally relaxing). The signs were in multiple languages and multiple sizes. It's my highest profile and largest commission to date, even though my work was anonymous!
Zora Neale Hurston is infinitely quotable, but on this MLK, Jr Day it is important to remember her contributions to documenting her rich racial heritage. An influencer of many authors and poets from the Harlem’s Renaissance, Zora is the OG #blackgirlmagic. And while there is chasm between her life and mine, I’m so inspired by her words and texts. This new year, this quote particularly resonates with me. Bring it on, world.
I am not the most patient person by default. So this year will be about taking a pause when before I wouldn't have, giving the benefit of the doubt, keeping quieter, and allowing myself to take the time.
In our current times, as citizens of society, we could all do with a bit more patience for each other. Listening and having a bit more restraint before we jump to conclusions or assumptions. Taking the time to appreciate the nuances and layers of those around us, and remembering that we never know a person's full story. (Recently a co-worker's husband passed away, which came as a surprise to those of us at work. But he'd been living with cancer for some time, and she kept it a secret for her own personal reasons. Not that I was ever unkind to her, but could I have been kinder had I known?) Be kind, be patient with everyone we meet.
As a parent, my patience is continually tested. I hope to be a better example to my kiddos, and cultivate their ability to be patient as well. They deserve that.
And I hope to be more patient with myself, to give myself grace, and in moments of anger or annoyance try to identify what I'm really feeling. Ursula K Le Guin wrote it beautifully when she said, "If I'm in an angry mood and aware of it, I can ask myself, So what is it you're afraid of? That gives me a place to look at my anger from. Sometimes it helps me get to clearer air." Ideally I can get myself into some clearer air this year.
I am sure 2018 will continue to test us all as a society, and certainly myself as a parent, and an individual. Hopefully I can meet the challenges with grace and patience.
It's that time of year. Holiday greetings have been spread far and wide, for us this year in both analog and digital format.
My love of mailed correspondence and hand lettering really culminate this season. Not to mention that the reason I started this site was based on encouragement after sending out my annual holiday greetings in 2013. But I also just have a fondness for the intimacy of a "Christmas letter". I was happy to see this article in Darling about the author's "unapologetic love for the Christmas letter". Certainly a pristine family photo has become en vogue with so many web services printing it with a well-designed border on beautiful card stock. But I love hearing a family's perspective on their year. Certainly it allows my partner and I to reflect on our accomplishments and our adventures, and think about how we've grown and changed in the course of the year. Due to time restrictions with a young family, most of my cards could not include handwritten greetings in addition to the printed message this year. But all of my envelopes were lovingly hand-addressed.
While my young children don't yet appreciate a nicely wrapped present, for ones I send out, I like to take some care to wrap them neatly. This year the wrapping paper was store bought (I'm actually not sure how we acquired it), but I do like attempting reuse where possible. And I have a staunch no-bows rule. Not only do they offend my design sensibilities, but they are immediately trashed. Washi tape and baker's twine certainly suffice.
There really is little better than getting something fun and lovingly designed in the mail.