Thursday, December 16, 2010

Choose Happy

*This is being reposted from Dear Jack.

It’s often not until you’re faced with the imminent prospect of death, that you’re awakened to those things that are most important to you and to your happiness.

Bronnie Ware, a palliative nurse, questioned her patients about what they would have done differently, and found the following five most common regrets. We especially love her advice to choose happiness, as she says “many did not realise until the end that happiness is a choice”. Bronnie explains each end-of-life lesson learned beautifully and compassionately as follows (we hope these will become, for you, five things that you achieved and are most proud of):

1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.

This was the most common regret of all. When people realise that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Most people had not honoured even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made.

It is very important to try and honour at least some of your dreams along the way. From the moment that you lose your health, it is too late. Health brings a freedom very few realise, until they no longer have it.

2. I wish I didn’t work so hard.

This came from every male patient that I nursed. They missed their children’s youth and their partner’s companionship. Women also spoke of this regret. But as most were from an older generation, many of the female patients had not been breadwinners. All of the men I nursed deeply regretted spending so much of their lives on the treadmill of a work existence.

By simplifying your lifestyle and making conscious choices along the way, it is possible to not need the income that you think you do. And by creating more space in your life, you become happier and more open to new opportunities, ones more suited to your new lifestyle.

3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.

Many people suppressed their feelings in order to keep peace with others. As a result, they settled for a mediocre existence and never became who they were truly capable of becoming. Many developed illnesses relating to the bitterness and resentment they carried as a result.

We cannot control the reactions of others. However, although people may initially react when you change the way you are by speaking honestly, in the end it raises the relationship to a whole new and healthier level. Either that or it releases the unhealthy relationship from your life. Either way, you win.

4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.

Often they would not truly realise the full benefits of old friends until their dying weeks and it was not always possible to track them down. Many had become so caught up in their own lives that they had let golden friendships slip by over the years. There were many deep regrets about not giving friendships the time and effort that they deserved. Everyone misses their friends when they are dying.

It is common for anyone in a busy lifestyle to let friendships slip. But when you are faced with your approaching death, the physical details of life fall away. People do want to get their financial affairs in order if possible. But it is not money or status that holds the true importance for them. They want to get things in order more for the benefit of those they love. Usually though, they are too ill and weary to ever manage this task. It all comes down to love and relationships in the end. That is all that remains in the final weeks, love and relationships.

5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.

This is a surprisingly common one. Many did not realise until the end that happiness is a choice. They had stayed stuck in old patterns and habits. The so-called ‘comfort’ of familiarity overflowed into their emotions, as well as their physical lives. Fear of change had them pretending to others, and to their selves, that they were content. When deep within, they longed to laugh properly and have silliness in their life again.

When you are on your deathbed, what others think of you is a long way from your mind. How wonderful to be able to let go and smile again, long before you are dying.

Check out the original post here.

Monday, December 6, 2010

The Giveaway Has Begun!

Head on over to to enter! You can enter any time between now and December 24th. The winners will be announced on Christmas day.

Also, stay tuned for the first ever Kara Correspondence giveaway here on the blog this week. I'm thinking maybe a boxed stationery set would be a good giveaway... any suggestions?

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Oh my! Handmade Goodness Giveaway!

I am so excited to participate in this giveaway! Check out the sneak peak photos here and you'll see a KC stationery box tied up with a blue ribbon! Read the press release below for more info... 

December 1, 2010- This Christmas over 30 handmade businesses from around the world have joined together to offer a unique giveaway experience to Oh My! Handmade readers.

Inspired by the season of giving, on December 5th readers will be encouraged to nominate themselves and up to five charities, non-profits & organizations for a chance to win one of two prize baskets. Valued at over $500 the baskets are filled with handmade goodies from the following businesses:

*Bella Paper Goods
*Bumpkin Bears
*Crayon Couture
*Cute As A Button
*Doodle Kreations
*Elle Thornton
*Flutterbye Designs
*InkSpot Workshop
*Issa Ino
*Kara Correspondence
*Leen Machine
*Maken Designs
*Magpie Patterns
*Modern Little Ones
*My Wonderful Walls
*Name Your Design
*New Jersey Knits
*Nimbus Publishing
*Noisette Illustration
*O Happy Day Handmade
*Perideau Designs
*Pink Panda Fabrics
*Pixie Chicago
*Redraven Studios
*Sarah + Abraham
*Shabby Lane Boutique
*Sugarsticks Parties
*Sweet Harvey
*The Bowtique
*The Ideal Planner

This December Oh My! will be showcasing selected giveaway participants and their products with Spotlight Features throughout the month. Along with the monthly contributions from our growing community of industry experts that make Oh My! a popular resource for the handmade community. 

This giveaway will run from December 5th-24th with the winners announced Christmas Day on For more information on this upcoming event visit us online or email Editor, Jessika Hepburn, at

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Cyber Monday Coupon Code at Kara Correspondence!

Better get your Christmas cards in the mail soon! :) 

To wish you a very happy holiday season, I am offering 10% off either of these Christmas cards! Just enter "HOLIDAY" in the new coupon code section of Etsy's checkout. Convo or email me if you'd like to order a larger amount than the standard 16 cards... the 10% coupon will still apply for larger amounts!

Happy shopping!

[coupon code will be good through this Friday, December 3, 2010]

Saturday, November 27, 2010

DIY Paper Ball Ornaments

Now that Thanksgiving is over, I think it's ok to start decorating for Christmas. As a print designer, I LOVE paper... and when I saw this DIY I knew I had to give it a try. Check out the tutorial here.

Photo courtesy of Sarah + Abraham.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hope everyone had a Happy Thanksgiving! Here are a couple of photos of our table and the centerpiece I made for the occasion. Happy weekend, and enjoy the leftovers!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Tis the Season!

Let me know if there's anything you'd like to see in the shop for the holiday season!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Open Studio Tour: 10.14

I'm back! And with a little peak into what I've been creating... I worked with a good friend to create a custom set of note cards for her to give as a wedding gift. I love the way these came out. Just added to the shop today.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Monday Morning Inspiration

Because this blog is also about the inspiration behind the designs, I have to share with you these awesome prints from Aardvarkonsea. I absolutely love them both, what perfect mantras for your week! You can find them here. Enjoy!

New! Pretty Patterns

Here's the latest from the studio! They are now up in the etsy shop, you can find them here. Lately I've been really into designing pretty patterns for the back of flat cards. I love the very simple front with just a subtle hint of the back pattern. Pairs perfectly with kraft colored envelopes.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Open Studio Tour

Here's a little peak into what's going on in the studio right now... My printer is very busy pumping out the pages to this wedding program. Kristie decided she wanted programs like this after seeing these, but of course I designed them to match her custom wedding invitations that you can find here.

Happy Friday! :)

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Back to School!

It's hard to believe that today is September 1! But you know what that means... back to school! My sister, the mom of these adorable four kiddies above, asked me to make these notes for her to send to their teachers, bus drivers, other moms, etc. I thought I'd share them here on the blog to celebrate the new school year. You can find them here.

***A very special thank you to Yael at TeaPartyHats for featuring these note cards in her treasury!***
Check out her adorable hats here.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Celebrating 50 Sales on Etsy!

As a thank you to all of my wonderful customers, 
enjoy these note cards at 50% off for the 
entire month of September!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Just a Hint of Gothic

This is one of the latest custom wedding invitations that I have been working on for an awesome bride named Kristie who lives in Washington, DC. She wanted an invitation that was classy and had just a hint of a gothic theme. Stay tuned for the matching programs which will be up in the shop soon!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Vineyard Wedding Invitations

When Elizabeth saw these invitations I had in my Etsy shop, she knew it was a good starting point for her wedding invitations.

After a few email conversations, I got to know Elizabeth and I had a pretty good idea of what she wanted her vineyard wedding invitations to convey to her guests. I illustrated these grapes and altered the design a bit so the invitation would be completely custom to her wedding. I'm so happy with the way they came out, and am really excited to add them in my Etsy shop this week.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Happy Friday! (and a Few More Photos)

As promised, here are a few more photos from the recent shoot. If you check out my etsy shop you will see I have been busy updating it with my lastest work. I'm really anxious to get all of my wedding invitations up there, so I am heading back out to the cliffs this afternoon to finish shooting. 

The top invitation is called the Vintage Virginia wedding invitation. I designed this for one of my best friends who got married almost a year ago! (Happy Anniversary Virginia and Nick!) I put it up in my etsy shop shortly after their wedding and have received some great feedback and several orders. I recently finished working with an awesome bride who loved these invitations but wanted to me to alter the design a bit for her vineyard wedding. I added some grapes and vines, and we both were really happy with the way they came out. I will post photos of Elizabeth's Vineyard version tomorrow. 

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Photo Shoot on the Cliffs

I am so excited to share a sneak peak of some of the photos I shot today for my Etsy shop! These photos are one of the latest wedding invitations (and one of my personal favorites!) that I designed for my old roommate of six years, the now Mrs. Laura Butterfoss!

We both had so much fun during the design process, as I came up with a design to represent her vision--a classy summer wedding with just a hint of a nautical feel, which was accomplished in the color scheme.We used the monogram in so many places throughout the wedding, and it really tied everything together.

Stay tuned for the rest of photos from the shoot... there are several new wedding invitations and lots of stationery... check back tomorrow!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


Welcome to the very first post! Here's where you will get a peak into the inspiration behind Kara Correspondence. I will share the lastest designs I am working on---I'll also post about my favorite etsy finds, art, photography, books, music I'm listening to, blogs I'm reading, etc. All of which affect my designs on a daily basis.

Thanks for visiting, and enjoy!