Easter! It's just around the corner now - Sunday, April 4th. Between now and then we'll spring forward one hour and hop into the spring season. It's a time of year that's full of hope, renewal, and new life. Time to shed the heavy, old layers and prepare for fresh, new things coming our way!
Whether your Easter this year means an outdoor egg hunt in the garden or a feast with your household inside (or both!), we wish you a healthy, happy holiday!
Wherever you go, take a bouquet of grace with you.
Seedy Saturday & Sunday
Toward the end of February, weather permitting, it can sometimes feel like we are turning a corner in the year - or we are on the verge of doing so. Thoughts of spring start coming to mind more vividly and we give thought to upcoming spring bulbs and our gardens.
It is typically the last week of February that kicks off many Seedy Saturday and Seedy Sunday events across the country. Held at local botanical gardens and community centres, people gather together to swap seeds they've collected last season, donate to seed banks, purchase new seeds, and to learn from exhibitors about all manner of topics related to gardening, the environment and keeping our green spaces beautiful and healthy.
For some, this means graph paper and a ruler, drawing diagrams of their property layout, sun position and re-designing their hardscape and herbaceous borders. For many, it means writing out which seeds to purchase, spring to do lists, and a chart with a timeline of when to start sowing which seeds indoors.
Others play with coloured pencils and markers and draw their existing garden at set times of the year: what it looks like in early spring, late spring, midsummer, early fall, even winter. This might inspire changes and notes are jotted down about which plants to relocate to another area of the property, which new flower to try out, and which plants make good companions. One idea tends to lead to another and many times a list of tasks and projects emerge.
Although many of us long for greener days, when more and more bulbs burst through the soil each day, bringing colour and scent back into our lives, the act of planning our indoor or outdoor gardens can be a source of pleasure and joy in and of itself. It is time well-spent and is one of the more soothing indoor activities in our modern world.
Journaling as a personal practice...
February is typically a cold month in southern Ontario, so spending considerable time indoors is to be expected. This lends itself to certain activities, including reading and writing.
We've been hearing from several of you that journaling is an activity that many of you have taken up, returned to, or created more time for, during the pandemic. It certainly can be a salve to get our thoughts down on paper.
One of the other great things about journaling is that it is customizable and accommodates our personal preferences.
For some, journaling might mean doodling. Large sized notebooks with blank pages or lay-flat styles lend themselves well to sketching or adding little images and diagrams to our words.
Others prefer a more structured approach and have adopted the popular bullet journaling method. Dot grid formats are popular with these enthusiasts who can use the dots as guides when printing table of contents, calendars, and schedules since dots can be selectively joined to create lines.
There is always, also, the classic option of writing on lined paper. Perfect to air out thoughts, be they worries, ideas, conundrums or dreams. Lined paper also works well for anyone who follows the Morning Pages practice from Julia Cameron's popular book The Artist's Way.
It is for good reason that many therapists and performance coaches recommend journaling as a personal practice. Whether it is a means to work through life's challenges, learn more about yourself, work out what you want in life or clarify your goals, writing has many benefits.
It is a fair assumption that this month as you sit down to write in your journal, perhaps with a warm beverage in a cozy spot, there is a kindred spirit out there doing just the same thing...
Put a personal touch on Valentine's Day
In this week leading up to Valentine's Day on Sunday, February 14th, many of us inevitably think about love.
For those with romance on the mind, sinking into a novel like Pride and Prejudice, Jane Eyre or perhaps more appropriately for this year: Love in the Time of Cholera might be appealing. Others may prefer poetry, like the love poems of Nobel laureate Pablo Neruda.
If the focus is on one's romantic partner, The Five Love Languages or the classic Getting the Love You Want may be worth re-visiting. If it is escape and romantic dreaming one is after, it may be a book or documentary on any beautiful and scenic part of the world and a hot bath with soft music playing.
Our Ink Collection is now available to order online!
Due to winter weather, all ink orders must be collected curbside. Thank you for your understanding.
Midori Letter Pads
There are many ways to put a personal touch on this holiday. It may be writing that special someone a love letter, sealed with wax and stamped, which evokes the flavour of a bygone era (is your loved one's love language 'words of affirmation'?). It might be preparing a special meal, including setting the table with thoughtful personal touches. A candlelit bath, massage, or even a long walk together in a new park. For those who are musically inclined it might be singing a song, playing an instrument alone, as a duet or dancing together to some favourite melodies.
And yet, although so much attention is given to romantic love, the most important love of all is arguably self-love. When we honour ourselves, we fill up our cups and are better able to let love flow from us, from which everyone around us benefits.
A little story . . . . .
In 1912, French engineer Georges Claude installed the world’s first neon sign above a barbershop in Paris. His vibrant, tubular lights soon adorned the storefronts of small businesses around the world and symbolized the entrepreneurial drive that formed the backbone of their communities. Today, the spirit of “Main Street” is more resilient than ever. It can be found in urban cities and rural towns, bookstores and coffee shops, boutiques, and restaurants. It’s one of the many things that make our homes feel special. And it’s worth preserving.
The Blackwing 6 celebrates independent businesses and their entrepreneurial spirit. Each set comes with six neon red and six neon blue pencils inspired by the iconic neon “Open” sign. Each pencil features a black ferrule, black imprint, and our soft graphite. The number 6 is a nod to the six Noble Gases which give neon lights their distinct colors.
This release supports the Small Business Relief Fund as they work to help small businesses keep their lights on.
Blackwing Volume 6 Special Edition
Although we carry these iconic Blackwing pencils in our shop, I wish to illuminate the entrepreneurial spirit within.
This short story resonates with my heart and soul. Given the global landscape we are all navigating, many entrepreneurs are asking one another and ourselves, can we keep our lights on?
As we move into our seventh year in business in our little bricks and mortar shop I will say that I am full of hope and optimism.
You, me, all of us are resilient, adaptable people. Many have had to shift, learn quickly and figure out how to manage within new parameters.
Has it been easy, heck no! Changing course never is. But when a community comes together great things happen! I was fortunate to experience this during the Christmas holiday season.
So many of you graciously came out to support shopping local. You made significant choices to support your communities. You understand what is at stake. You want us to keep our lights on!
I sincerely thank all of you for your support, for sharing your stories, for your encouragement, and for your smiling eyes!
I am grateful for the municipal government's initiatives that helped get the message out to shop local. This is what community is all about.
Explore our Valentine's Day Collection!
When you cannot get the one you love out of your head! One of the things we love about E. Frances greeting cards, is that there is always a little surprise on the back of their cards. Guaranteed to make you smile.
Explore our new Craft Collection!
The design of these Rococo scissors evokes the ornamental late Baroque period, for which it is named. Its curves bring a sense of fun to a very practical and useful tool. Made of tempered steel, with handles plated in 24 karat gold. Ideal for detail work.
Created to Inspire
Woodlot is a Canadian line of premium, natural home basics. Woodlot's ingredients are as pure as their intentions; the products were created to inspire the beauty rituals of future generations who value clean- burning, plant based products. Woodlot's handmade products invite the spirit of wellness into the homes of communities near and far—Woodlot is for everyone.
Figg Street Co. Moving Forward
With hope and optimism in front of us, behind the scenes there is a lot of creative planning going on at Figg Street Co. I am so fortunate to be surrounded by a great team of women who inspire and assist me with my daunting to do list.
February is our debut of our blog Tuesday’s Tonic. It will feature a host of fun anecdotal tidbits of inspiration and pleasurable reading.
We recently launched our beautiful new website and we will be adding products to it.
New products are always on the horizon, a favourite project of mine.
We have a few other surprises up our sleeves and we are excited to share them with you as they come to fruition.
I look forward to seeing you all again soon, with the lights on!
Gratitude and The Thank You Note
I often say that snail mail is the best mail and I bet you would agree. Opening up your mailbox to find a note sent especially to you brings an instant smile to your face.
That the handwritten note is alive and well might be surprising given the additive speed of technology at our fingertips. There is something special about sitting down with pen and paper. Some say it is meditative in nature and a much needed break from staring at a screen on our smartphones or computers.
I believe it to be true. For me, it’s a practice of living mindfully and in the moment. When you sit down to write, your mind is focused on words and thoughts. The mind is quiet and reflective, and it is not competing or distracted by concurrent visuals.
A customer recently shared a wonderful video with me, “Teenagers and Thank You Notes.” The brainchild of a high school french teacher named Ashley Weber. Ashley developed ‘Thank you Thursday’ that allocated 10 minutes every Thursday towards writing thank you notes. Most of her students had never written a note or didn’t know how to! But that soon changed and it became the favourite day of the week.
Why? There are psychological benefits of practicing gratitude that are intrinsic to our well being. The more it is practiced, the more profound the results. It makes us feel warm and fuzzy. And when you conscientiously scribe gratitude in a thank you note, something magical happens. You truly become aware and appreciative.
Watch this video and see for yourself!
Thank You Thursday - An Experiment in Gratitude from Ashley Weber on Vimeo.