What are your intentions?

What are your intentions?

Recently, I've taken some time to sit with myself and really consider what I want. It's a time to take stock. To look at things as they are, right now, and think about how I'd like them to be. What are my intentions?

An intention is different than a goal or an objective. It's broader in that it can guide any goals we want to create. For instance, when I know my intention is to be healthy, I may create a goal to exercise four times a week to align with my intention.

Intention is also more constant than objectives, which I set from time to time. Intentions are with me throughout my day, whether I realize it or not. It's behind every one of my many, tiny (and not-so-tiny) decisions.

Start here, now.
Before I go about setting new intentions, I take time to observe my current ones. It just requires me to be willing to notice myself with honesty. So I consider the past few minutes: when I sent that message I just wrote, what was my underlying intention?

Was it to get something off my to-do list? Was it to get my point across? Was it to honour my truest self in a respectful way? Was it to take the next step forward toward a mutual goal?

How was I feeling and thinking when I wrote the note - calm, frustrated, annoyed, happy, resentful?

Even my decisions on when and what I eat and drink have an intention behind them. I may be seeking something to quench my thirst or looking for something to distract or numb me from an uncomfortable feeling. My intention may be to get away from processing sadness, anger, loneliness, anxiety or envy.

It only takes a few seconds, but I find noticing my intentions very eye-opening. I realize I can make a positive impact in my life through small, quiet decisions. For example, when I'm about to reply to a message, I take a couple deep breaths and think about what I want my intention to be before I respond.

To make my intentions stick, I write any little discoveries and wishes down in a notebook. There's something about the process of handwriting that feels grounding and calming to me in a way that typing doesn't. It's just me and the page.


What intentions are you setting for yourself? Whatever they may be, we wish you much success in becoming more of who you want to be. It was Maya Angelou who said, "success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it."

Wishing you conscious intentions in 2023!

A Fresh Start

A Fresh Start

After the hustle and bustle of the holidays, I find myself wanting to recharge and reset. It makes sense at this time of year - after all, winter is nature's dormant season. Many animals hibernate and plants rest. It seems a bit deceptive to our modern sensibilities: many of us are conditioned to equate success, and even our worth, with productivity. However, rest is productive - it rejuvenates us in a way nothing else can. Also, through life experiences, we all come to realize (sooner or later) that our worth doesn't come from any achievement, or even anything physical. We're worthy because we're here.

What're the ways you replenish yourself? Is it taking a nap? Having your best friend over for coffee or tea for a heart-to-heart conversation? Time away from screens? A walk or run outside? Tending to your plants? Drawing and painting? Getting those heavy, dark or tangled thoughts down onto paper to lighten your load? Singing or playing a song? Meditating? Yoga? We all have our own ways that really do the trick.

The start of the new year can often be a time when we like to give ourselves challenges to begin. We set new goals and objectives. And while this is fine, it's also fine to take it easy. To rest. It's not that one way is better than another, rather, it's about what is right for you in this moment. Only you can know for sure what's best for you.

Regardless of how you choose to begin this new season, one thing that's guaranteed to have a positive effect is this: be kind to yourself. Imagine you're your own best friend. How would you behave? What would you do differently? Chances are, you'd be a lot gentler with yourself. More open-minded, tolerant and accepting. Especially of any perceived imperfections.

So how will you be starting off your January? If you happen to pop by the shop, feel free to let us know. It's always wonderful to hear about a new practice that is working and makes you feel healthier, calmer, and clearer. After all, aren't we all after the same thing? It brings us joy to connect with you.

Wishing you and your loved ones a year of good health, creativity and joy!

Last Minute Gift Ideas

Last Minute Gift Ideas

Am I alone in feeling like I'm sometimes flying by the seat of my pants leading up to the holidays? Before I know it, Christmas is a few days away! It's typically during times like this I have to remind myself to take a few deep, slow breaths. Yes, that feels better. Now, those remaining names on my list - where to begin?

Please note that the shop will be open Thursday, Dec. 29th and Friday, Dec. 30th from 11-4 between Christmas and the New Year (closed Wednesday, Dec. 28th and Saturday, Dec. 30th). Regular hours of 11-4 resume Wednesday, January 4th.

We wish you and your loved ones a very Merry Christmas!

Stocking Stuffers

Stocking Stuffers

Stockings were a big tradition in my family when I was growing up. Every Christmas Eve, my siblings and I would hang up our stockings, and two for my parents. They're red with white trim and our names labelled on them with glitter. My dad would take our photo in front of the lit fireplace while we all got hot in our pajamas. The next morning, the stockings were the one thing we'd open before our parents got up.

Stockings are a wonderful way to surprise family members with small-sized gifts and cards. At Figg Street Co., we've several stationery and gift items that make beautiful and thoughtful stocking stuffers:

Of course, the shop is filled with many other little treasures that're ideal stocking stuffers: stickers, pencils, notepads, brass accessories and soap among them.

We hope you're savouring the season and enjoying making memories in the process. It's always a pleasure assisting you with your preparations. Next week we'll discuss some last minute ideas before the holidays arrive!

Setting The Table

Setting The Table

Of all the preparations and activities during yuletide, I think my favourite is decorating and setting the table. It's all a joy: selecting the tablecloth, dishes and napkins. Writing names on placeholders. Tying ribbon around cutlery and in little bows. Snipping greenery and berries outside and bringing them in to adorn the table. Lighting candles... then stepping back to admire the gathering together of all the things I love.

Do you have any favourite table setting memories and traditions? Is it the sight of a particular china pattern that arouses nostalgia in you? Maybe it's an heirloom decoration, the smell of pine, or the feeling of a cold draught when the front door opens to let in another guest with cold cheeks. Or the taste of cranberry punch, gingerbread or a special family dish...

At Figg Street Co., we have a few things to make your tabletop delightful this holiday. Note that many of these items are in-shop only. While we carry some products online, there's a lot more to see in the store, with new items arriving continuously. So if you're able, pop by to see us in person.

We wish you and yours much joy ahead - including any preparations you're making this month for the holidays. If any of those preparations are in the kitchen, don't be surprised if you find others lingering!

Have a lovely week,

Gift Ideas For Him

Gift Ideas For Him

When I think of the many school pageants going on in the lead-up to Christmas, I can't help thinking about Ken Robinson. One of his two TED Talks was the #1 most watched video in the world (and the second wasn't far behind). In one of them, he talks about children's gumption to give things a try, even when they're uncertain. He speaks of three kids with tea towels on their heads playing wise men bringing gifts. The first one says, "I bring gold". The second, "I bring myrrh". And the last one wings it: "Frank sent this!".

Are there any boys or men in your life that make you laugh? A funny uncle? A little nephew or grandson's antics?

Sometimes it's the tender moments I witness with the men in my life that touch me the most. An encouraging word, helping hand and unexpected gentleness can be heart-warming.

Take a moment to think about the special men in your life. What interests do they have? What colour(s) do they gravitate toward? We have a few things at Figg Street Co. for your special someone:

We wish you joy in selecting special items for the men in your life.

Next week, we'll be setting the table. Until then, take a moment to pause and enjoy the brilliant, colourful sunrises and sunsets on display. Twice daily!


Gift Ideas For Her

Gift Ideas For Her

Who are the women in your life who help bring you to your centre of peace and calm? The ones who make you laugh, who you look forward to seeing? Who you can trust with anything and won't judge you? Who do you just adore and love so much?

The upcoming holidays is one of those times that gives us a great excuse to express our feelings to the many women in our life we cherish.

Does the woman you're considering love colour? Perhaps specific colours, textures, and design elements?

The holidays are an opportunity to gift someone with an everyday basic, like a writing instrument, of a quality that matches what they deserve. It's also a good time to surprise them with a newly released item you know they'll love, but they may be unaware of.


      Whatever the activity, we wish you plenty of time this holiday season doing what you love with the women you love in your life. Let them know how precious they are.

      It's time to use your favourite inks...

      It's time to use your favourite inks...

      It's hard to imagine this with the warm weather we've been having (20°C in November!), but there's six weeks until Christmas.

      What's the first spark of the holiday season for you? One of my first steps is finding and writing Christmas cards.

      Writing cards is a ritual I enjoy. I make a list of names and pop into the post office to pick out stamps. (The Nativity star and winter birds are featured this year!)

      It's a time to make myself a warm beverage, light a candle and pull out my favourite fountain pens and inks. As I select a card for each person, I think about them and send them good wishes.

      Add a little shimmer to your Christmas card writing this year by using a shimmering fountain pen ink.  

      Diamine is famous for its shimmer inks. When I see Golden Sands Shimmer together with Moon Dust Shimmer the festive song 'Silver and Gold' plays in my head. There's also the gorgeous red and gold Dragon Blood and Firefly Shimmer inks. Razzmatazz Shimmer is a beautiful chartreuse with gold that reminds me of the branches of yellow dogwood in wintertime.

      Another new shimmering ink option is Ferris Wheel PressReminiscent of icy snow on evergreens is Moonlit Jade, a green ink with silver shimmer.

      If you prefer non-traditional, punchy colours that sparkle, consider:

      If you prefer inks sans-sparkle, but still want something festive, try one of these colourful options:

      When it comes to selecting Christmas cards, we've several options, including local and European items. New this year, Katie Leamon has cards that have been sustainably made using upcycled coffee cup material. [In case you missed it, check out the October 4th issue of Tuesday's Tonic for our interview with Katie.]

      Available in-store only, you'll find Simply Stitches, a local card maker who hand stitches her greeting cards one at a time.

      There's also a mix of modern and traditional from Museum & Galleries and RossiRossi's letterpress cards are close to my heart. My love of letterpress runs deep and is one of the reasons why I created Figg Street Co. Run your fingers over any of the letterpress in the shop and you'll experience the same tactile pleasure I enjoy. Bliss.


      What ink colours will you use to write your cards this year? If you can't decide and enjoy experimenting with colour, consider our Diamine advent ink calendar and you can use a different hue each day, starting with December 1st!

      Two Minutes of Silence...

      Two Minutes of Silence...

      Every year, we become a little more removed from the events that gave rise to Remembrance Day. Also, in this part of the world, many of us don't have first-hand experience with war. It's easy to take this for granted. So let's not.

      This November 11th, let's embrace more than two minutes of silence. Let's consider how we can honour those who sacrificed their lives. How can we pay tribute?

      Know the facts
      Spend a few minutes brushing up on your knowledge of Remembrance Day and related history. Lest we forget.

      Visit a memorial
      Sixty-one thousand Canadians were killed in World World I. Many others died in subsequent wars. St. Catharines' Victoria Lawn Cemetary has 61 war graves from both world wars (31 from WWI and 30 from WWII). If you're nearby, visit them. Just seeing all the veteran crosses on the north side of Queenston Street is thought-provoking and emotional.

      Make a personal connection
      Do you know anyone who served in the military? Do you have family members or ancestors who've experienced war? Spend some time researching your family's history. Take a few minutes to listen to another's story. There's a lot we can learn from each other that often goes unsaid.

      Practice Gratitude
      We're living in peacetime here in Canada. For that, we're grateful. In Niagara, we have an abundance of beauty all around us. We have clean air to breathe. What else makes you feel grateful?

      Exercise Your Freedom
      We often hear people say that soldiers died for our freedom. Do you live freely? Or do you feel like you're at others' mercy? That you have no choice?

      Freedom is about choice. Do you set your intentions and make decisions that reflect the truth of who you are and what lights you up? Honour lives sacrificed by honouring your life. Start there.

      Exude Peace and Kindness
      We know that our emotional states are contagious. So don't underestimate the good you do when you're a centre of calm and peace, especially when others around you aren't.

      Kindness is also a choice often expressed through small actions. When you're driving in heavy traffic, consider letting in a car in front of you. Buy a coffee for the next person in line. Run an errand for a neighbour. Surprise someone with flowers. Get creative! Kindness can be a lot of fun.

      Thank you for taking a few minutes with us here to consider those who came before us.

      Lest we forget.

      November pick-me-ups

      November pick-me-ups

      Aah, November!  We're deep into autumn now and sweater weather is here to stay for awhile.  Each day, sunlight time is shrinking and becoming more precious.  For some of us, this can affect our mood.  

      Intentional planning and taking action can grease our wheels and keep things moving at whatever pace works for us.  Since this time of year can pose challenges for many of us, we'd like to share some tools we use to keep our spirits up.

      All the clutter in our head can feel heavy. I feel much lighter when I can get all those swirling thoughts outside me and onto paper. From there, I can see more clearly where my attention's been going. It also helps me examine my thoughts and consider what's worth pursuing, and what I need to make peace with and let go.

      Some journal prompts to consider:

      • What activities, people, and environments leave me feeling drained or tired? What emotions does this bring up in me?
      • What's something I've wanted to do, make or experience for a long time? Is there a step I can take toward it?
      • Where do I feel joyful in my life right now? What activities, places and people bring out the best in me?


      Music has the ability to change my mood quickly. I can be going about the day on auto-pilot, then hear a favourite song and it will re-invigorate me. Sometimes I'll sing along. When it's got the right tempo, it may even lead me to my next pick-me-up...

      If I'm listening to great music with a strong beat, it could lead to dancing. Or it might be a cardio workout. Taryn Toomey's The Class is one of my favourites.

      There's also running, of course. I enjoy it for the clarity of mind it provides me, as well as the physical health benefits.

      Another thing that lifts my spirits is the excitement of upcoming events and creative releases I enjoy. This can be anything from a new stationery brand discovery, to a new album, upcoming concert or other live performance. A great movie or upcoming exhibit or local event all do this, too. It could even be more personal, like looking forward to catching up with a friend over coffee.

      Here are some upcoming items of note that may add a little spark to your day:

      • a potential (she's hinting) concert tour for Taylor Swift's new album, Midnights
      • a 2023 concert tour for Depeche Mode's new album, Memento Mori
      • Season 5 of The Crown will be released on Netflix November 9th
      • currently in production, Season 3 of Bridgerton is expected to air in 2023

      ... and, more specific to us: we'll be celebrating a Customer Appreciation Day here at Figg Street Co. in store on Saturday November 5th 10:00 am ~ 4:00 pm!

      Enjoy 20% off your purchase in store.
      Please note: some conditions apply

      We're looking forward to seeing you at the shop and seeing the new seasonal items that have arrived!

      What will you create this Halloween?

      What will you create this Halloween?

      It's nearly here! Trick-or-treat time is fast approaching.

      Halloween's a fantastic holiday for the imaginative and whimsical. From the costumes to the decorations and sound effects, it's a time when you can really stretch your creative thinking skills and conjure up whatever character, mood, or special effect you like.

      There're creative activities of all types:

      • carving and styling pumpkins, squashes and plants;
      • costumes to design and make from paper or sew;
      • making miniature models, paper maché and window displays;
      • applying character hair and makeup; and
      • staging musical and sound effects.

      Here are a few paper-based Halloween crafts you may like to consider this year:

      Spider webs
      For the full effect, add a fake spider, which you can also make from paper or use felt, cotton or whatever you have on hand. CLICK HERE

      Pumpkin Garland
      For a hit of seasonal orange, make this colourful pumpkin garland to string across your mantle, banister, window frame or wherever else you wish. CLICK HERE

      Simple enough for young children to make, these are also effective enough for adults to enjoy. Dangle them from a thread (or use wire) to create the illusion of bats flying, hang them upside-down from the ceiling, or stick them on the wall. You can also include them in your front door decor by nestling them into tree or shrub branches or place them on and around your veranda or stoop. CLICK HERE

      Paper's great to use when creating decorations, but it's also wonderful for making costumes. When I was in a kid, a friend of mine used paper, a cardboard box, a pencil and some string to turn herself into a walking calendar for Halloween!

      CLICK HERE for a few other do-it-yourself halloween costume ideas you can make.


      We hope this issue gave you a few Halloween ideas to think about. If you're in the shop, let us know what costumes or decor items you enjoy making. And we hope you enjoy watching the parade of characters meandering the streets this year!

      Run, run, as fast as you can!

      Run, run, as fast as you can!

      Those close to me know one of my favourite activities is running. Especially in the autumn (and the spring). The comfortable temperature and conditions at this time of year make running outdoors invigorating.

      I'm a morning runner, and I run with my husband. We keep each other going and plan to keep doing so as long as we can!

      When it comes to preferred running conditions, I'm not alone. It's why so many marathons are held during the spring and fall.

      Speaking of which: the Niagara Falls Marathon is back this year with a new course. It's now entirely within Canada (previously, it was a joint US-Canada event).

      Sunday, October 23rd is race day, and there will be four races:

      • a 5K starting at 8:35am;
      • a 10K starting at 8:30am;
      • a 1/2 marathon starting at 8:30am; and
      • the marathon starting at 8am.

      Now, I've never raced a marathon, but I have participated in two 1/2 marathons. They certainly take a lot of preparation, dedication and hard work. It's a wonderful feeling when you experience the cheers and encouragement from people along the sidelines. It can really give you a boost when you need it most.

      After spending much time indoors and without large-scale events over the past couple of years, a marathon is a great opportunity to re-connect. If you're not participating yourself, consider attending the race as a cheerer! You can make a real difference to the athletes and others there. The positive, uplifting energy around you is bound to give you a bigger boost than you expected.

      A great paper-based activity for marathons is to write out inspiring slogans, mantras, and motivational quotes. Break out your thick, colourful felt-tip markers and bristol board. Consider making key words in thick lettering, which you can fill in with a pattern or extra-bright colour. Dress up or bring pom poms with you to get in the spirit!

      Road races are not only great for one's health; many participants also improve the health of others by raising money for various causes. There's also the benefit runners have on all the bystanders cheering them on, and vice versa. It's a win-win-win!

      At a time when so many of us are looking for joy, it's empowering to know that such moments are possible. We can create wonderful experiences for ourselves and others close to home by taking a few minutes to celebrate the achievements of strangers. It costs us nothing and it's good karma.

      Plus, you never know... you may get inspired to run the race yourself next year.


      We hope to see you spreading some good cheer this Sunday! And just to remind you, Saturday is the Doors Open event in Niagara-on-the-Lake. Twelve venues will be participating.

      Have a wonderful week and a fun-filled weekend!