What do these have in common?

- Glue Sticks after a table of children have completed their Easter Craft (oh, say, about ages 12 and under)

- A great tasting rack of BBQ Ribs (full rack, if you please)

- The floor at the corner of High and Patterson after an epic Tiki-Fest (ahhhh, you know who you are)

- The blob of pink bubble gum, baking on the pavement of a Target parking lot, RIGHT OUTSIDE your car door

- Fly strips at the beginning of the summer (not so much towards the end)

Answer - they are all STICKY.  And so are my custom labels.  Prices range from $0.75 - $1.75 per sheet.  Labels are great for party favors, wine bottles, gift bags.  

You can also give labels as a gift.  Bookplates for their personal library, personalized labels for people who can lots of fruits and veggies or puts out a killer salsa.  I gave my mom, an avid baker, labels that she could apply to the baked goods she gives away.  She loved it.  


Quotes on Marriage

Quote #1
"An ideal wife is any woman who has an ideal husband."

This is that time of year - Bridal Season. This is the time of year I'm so busy I can barely remember my own wedding date - let alone the 50 or so brides I have on the docket. This year in particular I'm exceptionally busy so back in March I warned my husband that in April he should not expect much out of me in the way of housework, cooking or general fun. I apologized in advance and explained how I not only needed to concentrate on the beloved brides, I also wanted to revamp some things in the office to make our (mostly my) life easier. He agreed and has been pretty great about not having my undivided attention.

Quote #2
"Marriage is not a noun; it's a verb. It isn't something you get. It's something you do. It's the way you love your partner every day."

So last night I needed to run to Celina to make some errands. I waited until Adam got home to see if he wanted to go with me. He arrived home tired, dirty (bridal season goes hand in hand with swimming pool building season) with plans to mow the yard. I could tell he really wanted to just do the yard work and then probably zone out on Facebook for a couple years but instead he hustled through the mowing and got cleaned up so we could go together.

Quote #3
"It is not a lack of love, but a lack of friendship that makes unhappy marriages."

We had a fun night. It was one of those night where all you do is run boring errands and then share dinner at some random, not exciting, restaurant while you discuss if you should purchase both the grill and the weed trimmer or just the grill and wait another month for the weed trimmer. One of those "old married couple" nights that are fun because they just ARE.

Quote #4
"The real act of marriage takes place in the heart, not in the ballroom or church or synagogue. It's a choice you make - not just on your wedding day, but over and over again -- and that choice is reflected in the way you treat your husband or wife."

I should mention that one of Adams greatest joys is to make waiters and waitresses laugh. He's probably worried they are going to spit in his food. I usually worry they will spit in our food after they deal with him. Believe me, I've heard my share of stupid jokes.

Patient waitress: "Sir, would you like a box for your leftovers",
Him: "yeah but I gotta warn you, I have a mean left hook".

Get it? Box, left hook. If you box with someone you might get a mean left hook? Funny, right? Last night was no exception. It was a slow night in the restaurant we picked but the waitress looked tired nonetheless.

Me: I ordered a Pepsi or a Coke. (I'm easy like that).
Tired Waitress replied: "Pepsi?
Me: I said sure.
Adam: I'll have a Coke. (wait for it . . . confused look on waitress face and . . . a smile)
Adam said Pepsi would be just fine.

I ordered my food - I got the meatloaf special.
Adam ordered the buffet - and asked the waitress to bring ketchup for me since I forgot to ask.
I cooed at him because it was sweet that he remembered (hey, we've been married for almost 8 years - remembering that I like ketchup on meatloaf is sweet).
Adam smiled because that's what Adam does when I coo at him.

Yeah, we were pretty happy sappy in front of the waitress.

Quote #5
"Love at first sight is easy to understand; it's when two people have been looking at each other for a lifetime that it becomes a miracle."

So Adam leaves the table to visit the buffet and when the waitress brings our drinks she, almost awkwardly, asks how long we'd been married. I told her almost 8 years and she opened her mouth to say something, pointed at me, pointed at Adams empty seat but then abruptly walked away.

When Adam came back I told him about the waitresses odd behavior. As we were wondering about it she came back to the table and apologized. She explained that she'd just gotten married a couple weeks ago and she didn't think it was going to work out. She babbled for a little bit before she left admonishing herself, "I must be crazy for telling you all this."

The third time she visited our table I said, "hey, just so you know - we haven't always gotten along. Believe me, we've had our rough patches. BELIEVE ME. I mean . . ." But she interrupted me and gave us a laundry list of reason she didn't think the marriage was good. And the list was pretty long. And pretty ugly. Then she abruptly left again almost in tears telling herself, "I'm crazy, I really think I'm crazy for talking about this."

Quote 6
"All you need in the world is love and laughter. That's all anybody needs. To have love in one hand and laughter in the other."

I look at Adam with almost tears in my eyes for this poor girl.

Adam looks at me long and hard and says, "I think shes working us for a tip."

But he looked sad too.

Quote 7
"All weddings are similar, but every marriage is different."

The rest of the meal she acted like she'd never divulged her inner most thoughts. So we did too. Then on the way home I said a prayer for her and for her husband. But even today I can't stop thinking about it. Certainly I've had my share of relationships that didn't work out. And let's face it - marriage is hard. But with faith and love everything can work out. There was just something so hopeless about the way she looked. I really hope she's going to be okay.

I told Adam to go ahead and get the grill and the weed trimmer.

He deserves it.

Quotes found on these great websites

Good things are coming for Sara Paper in May and June!! Check back often!

Busy, busy, busy . . .

A fun jam packed day today. Now I'm relaxing with a coffee and getting ready to dive in again. Lots of jobs in the design mode finally getting moved into the printed proof mode. This is always a fun but time-consuming day. It's fun because I finally get to print the proofs on the fancy paper and hope they look exactly as I envisioned them. It can be time-consuming because one thing usually leads to another and I start pulling out all kinds of paper and random ribbon that I think might add to a design.

And then I have to do a mini photo shoot so I can remember when the heck I mailed. By the time a bride looks them over and shares them with her family and friends, a couple months can easily pass. I don't know about you but I tend to forget the little details and I hate thinking, "oh crap, did I print that on shimmer paper or linen."

I won't share any of the photos of the proofs from today (that's cheating) but I'll show you what the top of my table looks like right now.

Lots of fun colors for a beach wedding (I'm so jealous.)

Oh well, moving on . . . Let's see what Harry and Helen have to say today. I should have started with the very first letter but that box was behind the other boxes and I was a little too lazy to dig it out. Today I took the extra two minutes and pulled out the box with the starting letter.
September 27, 1943
Ft. Bening,
Harrison, Indiana

Dearest Helen,
Well, today I am a soldier. We arrived here about 11:30. Waited for awhile. Then some Capt. MD looked down our throats and then short arm inspection. (I told you so). I am writing this in a hurry. Hope you can read some (Note: this letter was very sloppy. I thought "great, I paid $40 for three boxes of paper that I can't even read". But Harry ended up having nice penmanship)

We now are assigned to beds and barracks. We have practiced making beds. The army doesn't use the same method you do. Yours is easier (Note: Harry has a dry wit, I've noticed)

I doubt very much anything can be arranged for Sunday. Will let you know later. They told us that we wouldn't be here for more than 5 or 6 days. We don't know for sure. So mail a few letters.

We had roast beef, boiled potatoes, tomatos, carrots and onions for dinner. Tea to drink. Was pretty good (Note: Harry often reports his meals to Helen, which actually ends up being pretty interesting to me)

Well Honey, I have to sign off now. So I'll close by telling you I love you very, very much.

Love, Harry

P.S. We have tests, shots and get uniforms tomorrow. Busy day.
Okay, so that wasn't the most romantic letter in the world but by the time 1946 rolls around Harry digs deeper into the depths of his heart and it's very touching. I'm looking for a great one for Valentines Day.

DIY or a Professional - or somewhere in between

With all the bridal shows swirling about, I've been in touch with my fellow vendors. And we've been talking. In any business you have obstacles and challenges that make you think outside the box. One of the considerations of Sara Paper is the "DIYers". The Do It Yourself Brides.

Let me start out by saying that I am a frugal person. It may not seem like it because I like expensive lipstick, dinners out and I'm pretty fussy about using nice paper for everything. Still, I like to cut corners when I can. So I respect the DIY Brides. Especially these days when you don't know if it will take $11 to fill your gas tank or $20. Especially if you have the challenge of planning the most beautiful day of your life - and then paying for it on a shoestring budget.

Let's face it. It's expensive when you're first starting out. Maybe you don't have the dream job yet. Probably you have student loans. Or you've just purchased a now home and have to fill it with the essentials. It's hard to shell out a bunch of money for printed paper when you really would rather buy a set of matching dishes. "I'll just make them myself," you think to yourself. But wait, this isn't only about spending money. It's about finding value in the services you need.

Wouldn't I love it if all my brides picked out the dream invite? The one with pockets, layers, ribbons and sparkly things and thick shimmery paper. But the reality is that many brides need to exercise frugality. That is why I want to urge all DIY Brides to consider the value of working with a professional before they take on a project themselves.

First off, I don't want to upset my fellow professional vendors. Some vendors might think it's a waste of time to meet with DIY Brides. But I view each free consultation I offer not as a waste of time, but as an opportunity to serve. I understand that not every gal can afford the elaborate, sparkly invite. I can even accept that not every woman even WANTS the elaborate, sparkly invite. (you crazy, nutty people). And that is why I strive to provide a wide variety of products for all tastes and budgets.

This spring I will carry a line of products specifically geared towards the DIY Brides. The Carlson Craft Album is aptly called D.I.Y. I haven't seen the book yet but I think it's going to be a hit.

Another reason to contact me before you do your own invitations is because I would love to show you all the other products I offer. A DIY Bride cannot make her own wine glasses. (Well, if she can I'll be very impressed) but I can offer her beautiful personalized wine glasses at a 20% discount. A DIY Bride can't foil stamp her own personalized napkins but I can let her flip through pages and pages of cute, fun designs that she can order from.

A DIY Bride can cut her own paper when she's making her own programs. Sure, it will be free but it might take her several nights to do it. Or a DIY Bride can wisely decide to pay me $10 and I'll cut it in a couple swoops of my cutter. There's a value in paying $10 to save hours and hours of time.

Some things you can't put a price tag on is advice. Professional vendors are pros because they know the ins and outs of their business.

My point is, doing it yourself is a great thing. While there is a certain satisfaction in taking on projects and saving money there is also true value in shopping around and letting a professional help you. Especially when it's such an important event. Give me a call and see if I can help!

Husband and Wife Landscaping

It's been awhile since my last post, with good reason. I've been super busy with a multitude of brides and various projects. I'm looking forward to the summer, have been faithfully attending my pilates and zumba classes and according to the post title, doing a bit of landscaping.

First off, I'm not the worlds greatest gardener. I'm more of an "appreciator" of great landscaping. But I try to keep up and do my part by planting a couple flats of annuals and of course a garden heavy with tomatoes. This year Adam commented that we need to plant perennials so we have less work in the spring. So in addition to my petunias I planted a Bleeding Heart bush (very pretty delicate little blooms). My neighbor offered me some of her hostas that she was planning on eliminating from their much more impressive landscaping, so I hopped on that and moved the hardy plants to my yard.

Now, let's talk about my husband and his thoughts (or in this case his actions) in the landscaping realm. He's a mulcher which is great. The town offers free mulch which is actually pretty decent mulch. Last night he works until he can no longer see. He's cleaned up the grape vines (our own little vineyard) behind our home, yanked out all the sticklers and dug up some random tulips bulbs. Then a fresh layer of mulch and his own decorations. I laughed out loud when I went out there this morning.

My idea of pretty

His idea of pretty

A close up of what made me laugh.
His prized cattle heads from Jackson County, each artfully adorned with a fading tulip.

Compromise is everything in a marriage.

May Showers = well, May Showers

So it rained today. A lot. Twice I had to shut down my computer because I don't trust my surge protectors and I have the horrible worry that the lightening is going to zap my computer which essentially runs my whole life. But that's life.

A quick "shout out" to my sister in law Abi who is celebrating a birthday today.

And happy wishes go to several Sara Paper Brides who will be wed tomorrow.
Aletha and Eric will marry at the Columbus Museum of Art surrounded by family and friends from literally all over the globe. One of my popular services is the Addressing Service. Brides love it because it saves them a lot of time and writing. I enjoy it because I get to see a lot of cool names and addresses. This wedding had an incredible amount of names I couldn't pernounce and places I didn't even know exsisted.

Another couple getting married tomorrow is Heather and Tom from the Lima area. This is a fun couple. Tom even helped the bridesmaid plan the Bachlorette Party. He worked behind the scenes to get Heather a few days off work. When Heather sat down to a meeting at the Abercromie corporate office she was very pleasantly surprised to find her bridesmaids in attendance ready to wisk her off to her party. They also added their own touch to their invites and programs. I printed them and they finished them off with their own embossing tool.

I wish for these couples a beautiful day (regardless of the weather) and many years of happiness.

Some more tidbits from http://www.nytimes.com/learning/general/onthisday/index.html
In 1519 Artist Leonardo da Vinci died. And much more recently, in 1997 Tony Blair became, at age 44, Britain's youngest prime minister in 185 years.

And finally another recent Sara Paper project.

These programs were for Jennifer and Grant, a Columbus area couple who recently married at Disney World in Orlando, Florida. Jennifer had a specific vision and I'm really proud to have worked on these extra fancy and special programs.

Weekend Recap - Famous Husband and Lots of Food

We're pretty excited around here. We might inherit some big money. No, we're not rooting for some long lost relative to pass on so we get their stash. We're rooting for the folks at Deal or No Deal to call my husband and invite him to be on the show.

Saturday afternoon my husband Adam went to Piqua and joined 5,000 other eager participants, all waiting for a chance to interview for the honor. After 5 hours Adam had a 20 second shot to tell them everything about himself. They liked what they saw and sent him on to the second round! After the second round he was asked to stay and answer some interview type questions. They scribbled a bunch of stuff on the back of his application and told everyone who had made it this far that they'd be in touch!

He ran into my cousin Paula and her boyfriend, who also made it to the second round, though when I called them later they informed met that they didn't make it to the extended interview portion. Bummer. With 5,000 people in attendance I'm surprised he didn't see anyone else he knew.

Adam kept pretty busy while in line handing out Sara Paper business cards. If you are the recipient of one of those cards allow me to say "welcome" and "hello". I should also apologize if Adam was much trouble. I'm impressed he stuck it out so long, usually he gets pretty antsy and starts acting up.

To the guy that called Adam out by accusing him of being nervous . . .GOOD CALL. Not much scares him but my husband never shuts up, unless he's really nervous.

Probably one of my favorite things about weekends is dining out. Even if I work all weekend, which I did, I am happy if I get to go somewhere good for dinner. Friday night my friend Patti came to town and we enjoyed chinese food and conversation. Saturday night Adam took me to La Carreta, the new mexican joint in Celina, Ohio. Yummmmmy! Oh it was good. The place was packed with people all having a good time.

Then Sunday night we delivered a sign to Guarnieri Pizzeria in St. Marys, Ohio. While I didn't design their great logo I print their menus and helped Ang with the photos on the wall of their beautifully redecorated place. The food is awesome! If you're going to be in St. Marys give them a call and pick up dinner.

So all in all, it was a great weekend. I was very productive with my work, my husband is on the pathway to fame, and we all ate well. Life is good!

Weekend Recap - Babies, Bowling and Business Decisions

Adam and I happily drove to Columbus Friday evening to visit the newest member of the Suchland family. Samuel Griffin Suchland was born to Adams brother Matt and his wife Heidi. They have the distinct honor of having the largest newborn baby, weighing in at 9 pounds, 15 ounces! I'm usually some what squemish about handling tiny newborns but Sam was so thick and study I didn't have too much trouble. Even Adam was game and finally held him. I noted this and suggested out loud that when I have a baby I will hope for a large one so we will be comfortable taking care of the baby. Tiny Miss Heidi quickly (but weakly) put me in my place. I can't imagine why?!

Saturday night we went bowling with Adams large extended family. I got to meet some of the family that I've never talk to before even though we've been married 5 years. It was a nice time even if Adam did beat my score.

And now for business decisions. Lately I've been enjoying a fuller Sara Paper schedule so I've decided it's finally time to quit my part-time job at the Chamber of Commerce. It wasn't an easy decision. I enjoy working outside the home, I enjoyed my co-workers and the actual job. So I leave with some sadness.

On the other hand this means I will be more available for my clients, I will be able to work on the developement of my stationery lines and website which really makes me happy. Hopefully by the beginning of May I will have new and exciting designs to share, set hours to better serve my clients and a website full of pictures from my portfolio.

Best of all I'll have more to time spend with Adam and the dogs.