Photos © 2012 Curly Girl Design, Inc./Leigh Standley. all rights reserved.

A quick catch up

Photos and journal

Oh my! Time is just cruising on by!

June is a month of creative development and wrap up before our summer trade shows begin. I have been in studio a lot (which you can see) and working on getting the shop ready for the holiday season (hard to believe, but I must.). It is both a very invigorating time and a tiny bit of a stressful one. My deadlines are looming (some of them have passed...eeep!) and I am at the moment "in the weeds". Not sure where I learned that term, but it suits me perfectly from time to time.

I wanted to say 'hi' though and give you a quick photo catch up of the past few weeks outside of the studio! (It has not been ALL work...)

I flew down to Dallas Market to buy for Marmalade for the holidays. I had three days, two trusty companions and a large list of things to accomplish. We got a lot done, not all...but we did accomplish some decent guacamole and margaritas. Win!

I have been home a bunch, working...which is no fun for Lucy, but it does mean that I cook more. And Coach, who is knee-deep in a doctoral program, has been 'bustin' it on his summer courses. One of which involved writing a 65-page paper in 5 weeks. Yipes! He finished yesterday....with an 'A'!! So glad and proud!

Oh, and one other 'mini' thing....

Lucy and I got a new ride!! I have wanted a Mini Cooper for about one million years, and after much deliberation and some serious 'grown up' decision making, we decided to go for it.

Actually, my darling husband said: "You work really hard and it really suits you. I think you should do it."

He said something like that one other time regarding a pink couch. (Our first major furniture purchase...) I think I swooned as much then. I knew all of those things, but having your person see you the way you see you is a pretty amazing thing. I am grateful for that.

So, that is the quickie version of what has been going on over here... via Instagram. I am back in studio this week so look for some fun new sneak peeks!

Hope you are all enjoying your summer beginnings! It's gonna be a great one!!


By Leigh 06.29.2012 – 9:26 am


Holiday 2012 Sneak Peek #6


Hello! Happy Friday! I am just wrapping up the 2012 additions with this cute little weiner dog and thought I would share! Because I live far far away from where I am from, many of my nearest and dearest (and my family) live many miles away. I miss them constantly and daydream a lot that I can run down the street and borrow a cup of sugar from one of them. It seems hardest at the holidays (perhaps this is when I need the most sugar...) and I always feel like this is what I want to say to them, even if I miss the chance in the craziness of the season. Also, I like the idea of a weiner dog in a sweater driving the sleigh. Hey, it gets chilly out there!

Would love to know what you think, and which are your faves!

By Leigh 06.15.2012 – 10:22 pm


Holiday 2012 Sneak Peek #5


Here is the next addition to the 2012 holiday collection! As I was writing this one I was snickering a little at the idea that Santa has a "maybe" a "B" side for the nice list. Folks who have stepped in it here and there, but are pretty much all right in his book. I then pictured Mrs. Claus (we all know that's who really gets stuff done up there) forcing him to sit down and finalize the list. He hems and haws but ultimately knows the old lady is right and sets to it. (I have a tiny bit of an active imagination...)

I like to think that I have gotten up to enough stuff throughout the year to teeter right on the edge, but nothing so bad that it leaves me with a hunk of coal. Here's to the teeterers! To you, I raise my mug of cocoa (with Bailey's in it, once in awhile) and wish you an adventurous new year!


By Leigh 06.13.2012 – 10:13 pm


Holiday 2012 Sneak Peek #4


I hope you all had a wonderful Wednesday! I was busy in the studio singing show tunes (much to my downstairs neighbor's dismay I am sure) and making this new holiday card.

To me, this one sounds like the quiet of the first night of a snowfall. A quiet that reminds us how beautiful the world is and how lucky we are to be part of it. A layer of sparkly new snow to make even the rough parts look pretty and to whisper in our ear that we are all the same here. In the most essential ways. We are all visitors. We are all beautiful. And we are all worthy. In that understanding, great peace is possible.


By Leigh 06.06.2012 – 4:16 pm


Holiday 2012 Sneak Peek #3


Good evening! Just finished this one up and wanted to share it. I have a *thing* for elephants and can think of nothing more fabulous than getting your presents via pachyderm! And I do hope you have to measure your blessings by the ton. All the time. Not just at Christmas. Enjoy!!


By Leigh 06.04.2012 – 9:25 pm


Photos © 2012 Curly Girl Design, Inc./Leigh Standley. all rights reserved.

Insanely Good Avocado Toast

The Dish

I have a few consecutive studio weeks on my hands (also known as: the best part of my job) which puts me at home all day...and keeping less structured hours than usual. I work early in the morning or until late at night (which means I am up past my usual 9:45...) and I have less than structured eating habits. This can be a bit of a pitfall for me, so this time around, I am making an effort to get to the gym (via standing appointments with a trainer...yep!) and trying to surround myself with healthy snack options (truffle salt on popcorn counts right?). This can be a challenge, especially when the studio session is for holiday, and all I am thinking about is hot chocolate, homemade cookies and feety pajamas!

The superfood that meets all of my cravings almost all of the time is the avocado. I think if I were a fruit or vegetable, I would be an avocado. They are rich and creamy, filling, nutrient dense, high in healthy fats, and they go with just about everything. I could eat them all the time, but because they are a bit calorie and fat dense, I have to keep an eye on it.

When I was in NYC for the Stationery Show I had a long leisurely brunch with one of my nearest and dearest at Cafe Gitane in Nolita and had their avocado toast (on high recommendation) and was forever changed by it.

How could something so simple be so incredibly delicious? I have since dedicated myself to re-creating this magic, and think I have come pretty darn close. You will thank me later.

Insanely Good Avocado Toast (ala Cafe Gitane):

you will need:

1 ripe avocado

1/2 lemon

red pepper flakes

really good multi-grain bread (I use When Pigs Fly 6 Grain & Pumpkin Seed)

olive oil ( if you have a bottle with a spout pourer, or can use a basting brush, that is best)

sea salt


Toast your favorite bread. While it is toasting, scoop avocado into a bowl, squeeze the better part of a half a lemon over it, add a pinch of salt and mash until slightly chunky.

When bread is toasted, brush with olive oil (or if you have a spout pourer, just hold it touching the bread and quickly drizzle the length of the bread not drench!). Spread the avocado mixture on the bread thickly. Salt the top and add another quick squeeze of lemon. Sprinkle with red pepper flakes. Be forever changed.

This should probably serve two, but nobody has successfully gotten close enough to me while I'm eating this to share it with me. I consider it a full meal.

Enjoy! Let me know what you think!


By Leigh 06.04.2012 – 11:12 am


Holiday 2012 Sneak Peek #2


Just finished this one up and wanted to share! I am really indulging my sweet tooth on this bunch! Nothing says Christmas time to me like making treats (and eating them...obviously!) and frankly I just loved making the mixer so much for this card that I couldn't help but make a jazzy holiday one! (OH! How I wish I had a red polka dot Kitchen Aid! Sing it!) So this one goes out to the makers and bakers. With my spatula, I salute you.


By Leigh 06.03.2012 – 12:17 am


Holiday 2012 Sneak Peek #1


Hello again! I really hope you are out doing something with this fine Friday evening, but on the chance that you are not, and you are loafing around on the computer or (gasp!) still at work... I wanted to share the first of this year's new holiday cards!! I just love it and have a million uses for it already! Hope you do too!

Let me know what you think! I will go back to drinking my hot cocoa now...


By Leigh 06.01.2012 – 7:46 pm


Photos © 2012 Curly Girl Design, Inc./Leigh Standley. all rights reserved.

National Stationery Show 2012

Photos and The Biz

Hello there and happy Friday! This week went fast didn't it? Sheeew! Last week Molly and Emily and I took the show on the road to the National Stationery Show in New York City. (Does anyone else hear those "Old El Paso" salsa commercials in their head when they say "New York City" out loud?.....just me? aging myself here?)

This was our 9th year at the show, and as ever it was full of fun, old friends, new friends, long days, some even longer evenings (ahem, waiting for our crate at the Javits) catching up, catching on, and some of the prettiest paper products in the world (not just ours either!).

We attended the annual LOUIE Awards (which are like the Oscars in the greeting card industry...or so they say...) where we were up for 2 awards this year. We didn't win this time, but nearly everyone at our super fun table brought home some major well-deserved glass!! Congratulations to Bold Face Type, Amy Smyth, Rifle Paper Company and Old Tom Foolery!!! You guys are rock stars and we are glad to know you. We would still hang out with you if you didn't win, but this helps.

We may not have won a LOUIE award but Marmalade won this:

Part of my job while we are at these shows is to do the buying for our store Marmalade. So I have to wear a couple hats and be a buyer and a seller.

This award (No, I didn't get to keep the cool engraved brass top hat...) was from Old Tom Foolery, whose hilarious cards we carry at the shop. This past year at inventory time, we discovered that their cards were the most frequently shoplifted in our store. We know this, because the shoplifters leave us the envelopes. Because that is helpful. When I told Lauren and Joel from OTF about it, they swelled with pride and decided to give us a prize. With that we recieved the honor of being the OTF "Store of the Year". Thanks guys!!

The show is in New York City. (..."get a rope.".....nobody?) I love New York and really love that I get to spend several weeks a year there for work. Though I don't think I could live there all the time, the city has some real magic to it that keeps calling me back. Over the years I have grown to love certain streets and neighborhoods, have favorite restaurants and morning walks. I got to do a tiny bit of that this trip between heavy rain and long days at the show.

Mostly these shows are a whirlwind of business and chatter, networking, selling, buying, eating and drinking, and eating. I always leave inspired and energized though. Full of new ideas and partnerships and refreshed by getting to see folks who have grown to be dear friends. It really is a very friendly industry (as you might hope)...I can only imagine how different the experience is at say, an auto show or technology expo. Not for me I dare say.

Over the years (Molly and I have been doing these for almost 10 years now) we have gotten some things down. We have decided that it's just not worth the savings to stay in a $99/night hotel room in Manhattan (and have the stories to prove it). We know to always always bring an extra pair of shoes in your bag. We know where to catch cabs and where we will never get one. We know that eating well is well deserved and always try to have one special dinner. We know where to save: we bring our lunch to the show so we don't waste money on bad food, and where to spend: treating our tootsies to a pedicure once in a while goes a long way. 

We still have lots to learn and learn new things every year. We are constantly redesigning our booth and trying to do things better and make things easier for our customers. We learn from those around us and try again next year. It's a journey like everything else. So as we head into our 10th season, our big brass top hat is off to you NSS!!


By Leigh 06.01.2012 – 1:02 pm

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