the best mail today. it might not look like a gardenia anymore, but it sure smells like the ones in my parents' yard.

i love my strange, unpredictable life. after my post this morning, i reflected a bit on a few moments that unbeknownst to me were pieces of a bigger story. i never would've predicted that a stranger named jeff @shinabarger in atlanta who found me on the internet and called me up (while i lived in chicago) to design an invitation for @plywoodpeople would become a regular fixture in my (atlanta?!) life nearly two years later. my little studio space is ten(ish) steps from his desk and the community he has created has become inspiring mentors and dear friends. i'm grateful for this season working out of #plywoodplace, and for being around people who have believed in me, hired me, and have continued to work with me since the earlier days. i'm cherishing this time learning, growing and living alongside them. also, please note the dress attire...

some days i'm all about that hustle. and others, i humbly acknowledge a plan greater than my own— where things are handed to me that i didn't have to hustle for, and things i've wanted and worked tirelessly for are withheld. these things i can't totally comprehend, but that's okay. most things make more sense while looking back at them from far away in futureland. until then, i trust (and surrender) the timing of things i cannot control.

i keep waiting and wanting to show off my new fave/soffffftest @liveoutsidethecamp purchase. two problems. 1) atlanta might have clouds and crazy storms, but

if you haven't heard... in some incredible stroke of serendipity and blessing, i was offered the opportunity to move back into this dreamy little place i subleased last summer in santa barbara! i'll be working out of a brand new studio space in the funk zone and will be looking to put together a summer team with the hope these people and positions will become long-term. while i'm not totally sure my time in ATL has really come to an end, we are definitely taking a *pause* for a summer by the sea. (can you really blame me?) in my life of three month seasons here and four months there, living in a familiar space that i never expected to see again and doing life with this dear community and my sisters and brother is a crazy cool gift. already craving the feeling of sunshine up in those gorgeous mountains and sitting on the biltmore wall watching the sun set over the sea. looking forward to becoming a regular again at all the old haunts and riding this rickety rust machine all up and down those hills. see you soon, sb! 📷: @constancelyu

when that happens, you do it.

i heard this once and it made so much sense to me. it can be a defeating and exhausting scramble to try to keep climbing as we're feeling the floor drop out from under us. but holding on, holding fast to what we know to be true while waiting out the storm white knuckled, that, that we can do. and you know, it's a pretty great view from all the way up here. 😉👌✨ 📷: @constancelyu

brave vulnerability encourages us all to rise and step into bold truth. life's not wholly golden for any of us. and it doesn't require a

one of my favorite parts of the may mail subscription was the collaboration greeting card by @sylbiee— center, a

i love paint. as a middle schooler, i used to mix my nail polish colors on paper plates in my bedroom at midnight so that i could match my nails (and my headgear, nerd alert) to my exact mood. i still feel that way, staying up too late watching colors bleed into each other.

want to know one of the worst things to me? women who can't stand behind and support other good, successful, ambitious, beautiful women. let's be better, ladies. let's champion the women in our lives who are totally crushing it— without envy, and with hearts full of admiration and affirmation. let's take the time today to encourage them, to support them, to fund their ideas and make way for their dreams. because, seriously, why are we not??? let's be better. if you have friends doing amazing things, tell us. let's celebrate that kind of crazy ambition and recklessly large ideas. that said... what are OUR crazy big aspirations, and how do we begin to chip away at them? let's GOOO, monday. bring it.

#alimakesmail begins like this. lots of paper, and playing with paint. trying out new color combos and weird ways of writing the same thing ten thousand times. last chance to sign up for MAY MAIL! (still in the alimakesthings.com shop) also, i just realized that the most prominent words featured here are

i've been posting this every weekend lately.... but that's because i don't think we give ourselves nearly enough permission to rest and recharge! today...! take a nap. a walk. call a friend. bust out your paints. clear your calendar and forgive yourself for some of the shortcomings. take it easy today. 🌴🍹

working on mailllll. way inspired by quirk and color as of late. ✉️✨ let's see if this makes the cut. ✂️🎨😬 #alimakesmail on the website!

whatever comes your way today... it's (gonna be) okay. you got this.

this was one of my favorite pieces from last month's #alimakesmail! a little glimpse into my process— i've always been pretty obsessive about creating the textures, layers and images i want to use in my work and this last month was no exception; i spent time out in my moms yard with a white background i found in a magazine snapping away. i love and live and look for the layers of significance in everything i do— and make. also, this golden beauty is one of my new favorites! i bought it last night from @kulaproject. ✨

REAL is my currency. not real down with the rest of it.

my girl @arbuzzy breaks it down for all of us. (🙌) there's a vocabulary that goes w/ learning letters… it's cool if you don't know it yet, but buzzy's got a glossary. reposting.
.

my girl @arbuzzy breaks it down for all of us. (🙌) there's a vocabulary that goes w/ learning letters… it's cool if you don't know it yet, but buzzy's got a glossary. reposting. . "today, a hashtag has been circulating @instagram, asking letterers to "show me your real handwriting." I get it, but mostly I've seen people writing things like: yikes, messy, ew, etc. which is a total shame. when I thought more about why this upset me I realized this little graphic could maybe help clear it up. let's talk letters. FONT: this is the word most people use. why? because that's what you use on your computer! a font is actually a carefully and masterfully designed set of letters that stay consistent no matter the user, all in the same weight and size. example: lulo clean, 10pt. TYPEFACE: this is a family of letters in varying sizes and widths with lots of additional characters that all fit into the same style of general characteristics. no less carefully designed and also consistently applied no matter the user. example: various sizes and weights of garamond. CALLIGRAPHY: calligraphy is a prescribed method of hand-making letters where the traditional goal is for consistency no matter the user. obviously differentiation is inevitable but conforming to the set tools and forms was/is required to qualify as a master of this craft. at one time reserved as a task for only those who held the occupation of scribe. example: @arbuzzy. HAND LETTERING: a method of drawing generally accepted letterforms by hand, desiring some consistency but also allowing for vast experimentation. tools can vary from pens, brushes, finger painting to experimental lettering made with sand, fruit, anything. see: stefan sagmeister. HANDWRITING: this is a matter of function over form. content over design. it is as unique to you as your fingerprint. it's the passing of information without the exclusivity of access to tools or equipment. handwriting is a movement of civil rights. it's a record of history and the ability to share your innermost thoughts. your literacy and ability to write for yourself is something that people could not experience for centuries. nothing about the way you write is "ew."

my friend sarah started @kulaproject THREE years ago and TONIGHT we are CELEBRATING three years of investment in the dreams of rwandan coffee farmers! cocktails, food, fun... @youvebeennoted will be in the house screen printing tees and there will be an artisan marketplace for all the swoon-worthy jewelry sarah's always wearing. if you like bangles and supporting good humans... bring your allowance money because you'll need it. and if you are in ATL (or can get here by 7!) join me in supporting and hearing more about the awesome work they are doing!

all of life is a series of beginnings and endings and we are always stranded, er, *journeying* and navigating somewhere along the in between.

love this image of april's #alimakesmail from @lizziekateontheroad! MAY is for sale over on alimakesthings.com :)

hello, monday. bring it.

MAY MAIL IS FOR SALE ON ALIMAKESTHINGS.COM! $25 for an envelope full of handlettered goodness-- encouragement, inspiration and real talk. this month's theme is #lifeunfiltered (as discussed in an earlier post) and it's going to be all about hope and bravery, authenticity and the glorious mess of real life. (link in profile) HOPE YOUVE HAD AN AMAZING WEEKEND! #alimakesmail

celebrating this smokin hot babe today. im so lucky to have a such an amazing confidant, road trip/drinking buddy, cheap laborer, prayer warrior, bff, half marathon accountability partner and number one fan all from the lady I call

had one of those nights where you toss and turn all night with ten thousand to-dos on your mind. went into work first thing this morning (clearly wishful thinking/not taking my own advice from last post) and was overwhelmed with this gift from my fave partner in crime and life, @renxchristiane. literally no one gives gifts like she can. full of greens and gold, details, inside jokes and the prettiest color palettes around, this made my day. mail, you guys. send more fun mail.

its the weekend, so get to it!😏☝️✨

this morning i read an article about Madison Holleran, a 19 year old UPenn athlete whose life was cut short when she succumbed to her private struggle with depression. in a beautiful article by @espnw, Madison's family and the author talk about removing the filter--literally and metaphorically-- from our lives and social media accounts in favor of truth and authenticity. Madison's story strikes me deeply, as we share a struggle of depression with the desire of strength, ability to be (at times) high-functioning, and driven towards perfection. i value beautiful images and branding as much as the next guy, but if my feed in any way contributes to comparison or a filtered life, none of it is worth it. a few years back, someone commented

this morning i read an article about Madison Holleran, a 19 year old UPenn athlete whose life was cut short when she succumbed to her private struggle with depression. in a beautiful article by @espnw, Madison's family and the author talk about removing the filter--literally and metaphorically-- from our lives and social media accounts in favor of truth and authenticity. Madison's story strikes me deeply, as we share a struggle of depression with the desire of strength, ability to be (at times) high-functioning, and driven towards perfection. i value beautiful images and branding as much as the next guy, but if my feed in any way contributes to comparison or a filtered life, none of it is worth it. a few years back, someone commented "your life is poetry." and in all honesty, it wrecked me. my life was in shambles, and i had snapped a picture of 1/1000th of my life that felt put together and pretty in the midst of the chaos. if you know me in real life, or if we had coffee, you would see/hear this dichotomy in me. you would know that it's way more likely that I have salsa/unintentional dreads in my hair than the halo pictured here. it's not a bad thing to celebrate the beautiful moments we all have in our lives— this is one of the ways i fight my darkness actually— by finding, capturing, cataloging the LIGHT. we might not always have talented friends with cameras on hand to document them, but make note. they are real. this month's may mail is going to be on this idea of #lifeunfiltered and it's going to be an important one, full of hope and vulnerability, truth, courage and real talk. i'm going to post the link to Madison's story in my profile. and please, if you are on this path, seek help. you have resources (@twloha for one). people love you. life gets better and your unfiltered life is really truly glorious. and PLEASE, share what #lifeunfiltered means to you. how do you celebrate the light in your life? what words encourage and inspire you in this way? comment away below, i'll start. 📷: @haleysheffield

yes please to the prettiest drink ever made. amazing per usual, @supericaatl.

sneak peek of one of the custom ship prints i listed earlier this week! these are seriously so fun to make for me... im loving sending these tiny pieces of nantucket to you!! if you still want one, there are a few left on my website!

let everything you do and make be made up of layers and layers of significance.

oh, i love when a tattoo comes out so well, and will be worn forever by people i love. stella, you're a gem. 💎✨ 📷: @stellajoeq

stoked about the launch of @bravecycling's website and new kits! my brother in law, @bryan_cox and his brothers have been hard at work on this venture for the better part of the last year and its so cool to see it go live. if you're into biking/ being awesome/ looking good while doing it, you'll want to get on board with them now. they recently got a crew together to bike from SF to SB (around 400 miles) and it was amazing to see them accomplish that ambitious goal. CONGRATS! #bravecycling 🌊🚲🌌

last year, when i lived in nantucket, i scored a few of these vintage ship prints at an estate sale. i've been wanting to do something with them for a long time and tonight seemed like the right night to try it out. i have a limited number, so if you are interested in a custom one, email me alimakesthings@gmail.com and let me know! $45

love this picture of @andreacollect's april #alimakesmail! thanks for tagging me! mail is weird and can take a awhile, so don't worry if yours hasn't shown up yet... it's on its way! show me your mail with the #alimakesmail hashtag! ✉️✨

i've wanted to run a race since standing on the sidelines of the chicago marathon a few years ago. it's incredible. the energy, the accomplishment. the one problem? i'm not a runner. not a

my ride or die. ✨👯👯✨

ah! the lettering i did for @kelsboyte is live! i just adore her and her way with words, the incredible culinary masterpieces she dreams up and the stunning food photography that accompanies them. after our first design round, this is the feedback she gave me (i hope she doesn't mind me sharing!):

when life throws you lemons, make lemonade. or, when you have to

🌿 days like today remind me of how far we've come and also how far we still have to go. 🌿 life, man. LIFE. ;) 📷: @jonraagaard 🌿 #alimakesmail

this was last year's

not that i am surprised, as @laurenledbetter has this way of making everything in her path ridiculously beautiful... but she made the april #alimakesmail look like a million bucks! thank you for sharing your mail, lauren! the world needs more fun mail. 😻🙌✉️✨ a few extras are listed on my site under

this is another way (monet's much more eloquent way*) to describe this idea of being forever aware and overwhelmed by all the crazy amazing inspiration that surrounds us in everyday, ordinary life.... if we only take the time to notice. this is why i build exploring and seeking into my practice. the day i lose my sense of wonder... stop following me. because it'll all go downhill from there.

so, my space inside my head is like Pinterest meets A Beautiful Mind (on a good day) meets Hoarders (most days). imagine a warehouse with scraps of pieces of inspiration pinned up against its walls. textures and colors, new places and familiar faces, ticket stubs and pieces of string. i can't stop exploring because i can't stop collecting mementos of memories. this visual collection feeds my creation. and opelika, i didn't know you even existed but you've stolen a smidgen of my heart with your kind people, your consignment racks full of the anthro dresses i reluctantly let go five years ago (can't buy em all), your beautiful church steeple that steered me towards the center of town, your perfectly executed dry goods store, and leftover letters from another era. i'm yours.

you know what's fun? spontaneous weekday road trips to places like montgomery to meet up with a high school bff on a work trip. because it's been forever. because she lives in places like ohio and kentucky. because atlanta isn't all that far. because slumber parties are important. and catching up until 2 am in an alabama hotel room is possible. and because life is too short to let the good ones go.

for someone who grew up with word dreams and a local newspaper internship, being tagged in pieces of beautiful art with my words, not just my letters, is pretty much the best... so thanks @thewordaffair, this made my day!

CHEERS TO THE WEEKEND! okay, so it's not technically the weekend (sorry folks) ...but all the april mail is on its way to you, @lilspiel is basically done with her finals, my roomie's back, and i found a good reason (spontaneous party on the roof) to bust out my SB fave, @muniwine bright white. they have a wine subscription, and if you're looking for a subscription (that isn't my mail, haha) i wholeheartedly recommend this one.

🚩in case you were trying to procrastinate again.... here's your sign. 🚦🚥

today looks like this. except more messy topknot and less makeup. 📷: @haleysheffield

here's to goals. and to hustle. and to getting it done. whattup, monday, bring it.

a trillion years and twelve lifetimes ago, i worked at a little store you may have heard of called @anthropologie where i learned about these things called installations. i was on the visual team when someone new took the helm as the display coordinator. there are story lines in our lives that we don't realize are essential to our future paths at the time, and she is one of them. her name is hannah and she was from rhode island, which, if you're unfamiliar, is very, very far away and very, very different from suburban northern california. it was during that time, (and there was a lot of it, doing things like creating 6' ostriches out of tea stained newspaper remnants/hand dying/tying more fabric to pieces of rope than i knew was possible) that i learned so much. about details. about process. about the incredible intentionality of craftsmanship. about staying true in commercial making. i was insecure in my work as an artist, studying criminal justice and working at a church. i was timid and skittish and spending time in that art room tying knots in fabric to hide from the rest of my life. she probably doesn't realize this, but she (along with others) were such mentors to me. her RISD education inspired me to seek my own art school journey, leading me to SAIC. she was in atlanta selling her jewelry collection Black Black Moon.... stunning, complex jewelry, which she normally only offers wholesale. i had the incredible fortune to pick up a few pieces and can't wait to wear them. if you have a shop, seriously seek her out. her display itself is a testament to her talent, a canvas, layers and layers of paint, color and texture. it's been at least six years since our paths have crossed, but as we shared a meal reminiscing and relating, it was so, so good to see how far we've come. we both had to make some tough decisions along the way, have explored and pursued art, have learned to come into our own. i'm so inspired and proud of my friend. don't ever discredit or underestimate the role you are playing in the lives of others. this friendship (and internship/employment) totally influenced the direction of my life.

a trillion years and twelve lifetimes ago, i worked at a little store you may have heard of called @anthropologie where i learned about these things called installations. i was on the visual team when someone new took the helm as the display coordinator. there are story lines in our lives that we don't realize are essential to our future paths at the time, and she is one of them. her name is hannah and she was from rhode island, which, if you're unfamiliar, is very, very far away and very, very different from suburban northern california. it was during that time, (and there was a lot of it, doing things like creating 6' ostriches out of tea stained newspaper remnants/hand dying/tying more fabric to pieces of rope than i knew was possible) that i learned so much. about details. about process. about the incredible intentionality of craftsmanship. about staying true in commercial making. i was insecure in my work as an artist, studying criminal justice and working at a church. i was timid and skittish and spending time in that art room tying knots in fabric to hide from the rest of my life. she probably doesn't realize this, but she (along with others) were such mentors to me. her RISD education inspired me to seek my own art school journey, leading me to SAIC. she was in atlanta selling her jewelry collection Black Black Moon.... stunning, complex jewelry, which she normally only offers wholesale. i had the incredible fortune to pick up a few pieces and can't wait to wear them. if you have a shop, seriously seek her out. her display itself is a testament to her talent, a canvas, layers and layers of paint, color and texture. it's been at least six years since our paths have crossed, but as we shared a meal reminiscing and relating, it was so, so good to see how far we've come. we both had to make some tough decisions along the way, have explored and pursued art, have learned to come into our own. i'm so inspired and proud of my friend. don't ever discredit or underestimate the role you are playing in the lives of others. this friendship (and internship/employment) totally influenced the direction of my life.

i want my walls to feel like living inspiration boards, full of memories of places that inspired me awake, the faces of people who challenge, support and believe in me, projects that feel like benchmarks in my journey, and the work of other artists and friends that evoke something in me. this is a glimpse of my current curation. (ps the sassy lady in the romper with some serious swagger drinkin bottled coke and leanin on her bike is my GRAM! 😻) 📷: @haleysheffield

it was an overcast, work-from-home saturday.... but after ending the day with this view and a playlist optimistically titled

happy weekending! give yourself permission to just BE this weekend.

i post these words from ira glass every couple of months because, in my opinion, it is the ultimate and most powerful art + design/maker/creator advice i've heard. it's hopeful, but keeps it REAL and tells us that quantity and perseverance are our friends. we may WANT to be that artist, that writer, that (whatever) but if we aren't making the work and putting in the time, we will never conquer the gap. he encourages us to just make something, anything, and keep making because if we do, one day, we will close the gap and our work will be as good as our ambitions. here are the words. •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
“What nobody tells people who are beginners — and I really wish someone had told this to me . . . is that all of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, and it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. // But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase. They quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know it’s normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. // It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.”

i post these words from ira glass every couple of months because, in my opinion, it is the ultimate and most powerful art + design/maker/creator advice i've heard. it's hopeful, but keeps it REAL and tells us that quantity and perseverance are our friends. we may WANT to be that artist, that writer, that (whatever) but if we aren't making the work and putting in the time, we will never conquer the gap. he encourages us to just make something, anything, and keep making because if we do, one day, we will close the gap and our work will be as good as our ambitions. here are the words. ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• “What nobody tells people who are beginners — and I really wish someone had told this to me . . . is that all of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, and it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. // But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase. They quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know it’s normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. // It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.”

@cctextiles:

the miraculous truth that the earth and all it contains are unfathomably stunning mysteries. for as much time as we take to study our surroundings, we will always be learning and discovering the intricate design in which we live. take time today to notice the majesty of the mountains, the sea, the sky and trees.... and don't forget to marvel a bit at these bodies we beings get the honor of existing in, as we praise the world around us!

over the past few months, i've been working with super talented designer caroline cecil of @cctextiles to create some lettering pieces to complement her brand and stunning work. her craftmanship and eye to detail is remarkable- she's a true artist who begins with india ink, is obsessed with quality, artisanal textiles and screen printing by hand. caroline's resume is impressive (from carolina herrera to target, amongst other huge names!) and she's now designing under her own name!! additionally, she's a gem with an affinity for my unruly brush lettering.... so clearly, i love 'er. and BONUS: her website feels like a fun scavenger hunt game when you're trying to find all the AMT lettering hidden amongst her beautiful designs. she recently did a little feature on me for her #CCTArtisan series, so if you're wondering what i eat for breakfast, what my workspace looks like and what advice i have for new artists, click on that hashtag to see her post and check it out. 📷: my mega talented soul friend and myers-briggs twin: @haleysheffield

a sneak peek of one of my favorites from this month's #alimakesmail. tonight is the last night to sign up before they all get sent out! link in profile if you want in on april. 💌✨

can i be honest? sometimes i scribble things out in the heat of the moment and forget i ever made them. it's this tactic i use to instantly defuse the pressure on my heart, and once i do that and make something i feel a thousand times better. i saw this quote in my pinterest feed yesterday and thought

into this whole

an overdue congratulations to @debweisz (a client turned sweet friend over the process of creating their invites!) who married her love kyle this weekend!! they got married in a desert botanical garden and i've been obsessed with all things succulent since! 💕🌵💕 📷: @debweisz

. • 🌸 🌿 G R ō W 🌿 🌸 • .
 plants from my mothers garden.

at the end of the fourth season of GIRLS, @lenadunham talks about

i typically like keeping the #alimakesmail a

in case you missed it, this month's mail is up on my website! go go go! and for being so sweet to me yesterday.... ✨you get a code for 10% off everything! its: INTHEARENA (like the teddy roosevelt quote! and works until 11:59 tonight!✨

have you ever stood in the same place twice and noticed how different your perspective? what a difference time and growth makes.

MAIL SUBSCRIPTION! #alimakesmail 
click the link in profile to purchase APRIL!
here's a hint: it's about 🌿📈💓. for $25, you'll get an envelope full of surprise & delight-- handlettered encouragement and a letter from me talking about my influences for the designs and curation. 
if you have yet to receive last month's, please email me at alimakesthings@gmail.com and we will work it out. the world needs more pretty mail. as always, you can leave your email in the comments to receive a paypal invoice from me, or purchase on alimakesthings.com! ✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨
and, i didn't plan on doing this, but because everyone was literally the best today, if you use the code: INTHEARENA you'll get 10% off any package ON MY WEBSITE. ✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨ ps WINNERS are: @lindsalita and @lifelovepaper! Thanks for posting your #alimakesmail 🏆🏆🏆

i have a series called #thingsihadnowordsfor, which is pretty straightforward in its description... and, while this an old piece, let's be totally honest, it's perfect because i am standing here speechless (with nothing but ✨) at the outpouring of love, support, affirmation and encouragement [a truly REMARKABLE number of] you showed me tonight. i've been trying to learn from the brilliance of @brenebrown and her work (if you don't know her/it, quit this immediately and go google her @TED talks) regarding vulnerability... and you are proving why it's beyond worth it to go

i have a series called #thingsihadnowordsfor, which is pretty straightforward in its description... and, while this an old piece, let's be totally honest, it's perfect because i am standing here speechless (with nothing but ✨) at the outpouring of love, support, affirmation and encouragement [a truly REMARKABLE number of] you showed me tonight. i've been trying to learn from the brilliance of @brenebrown and her work (if you don't know her/it, quit this immediately and go google her @TED talks) regarding vulnerability... and you are proving why it's beyond worth it to go "there." today i had such a bummer, defeating encounter and decided to share it— despite my reservations— and was rewarded beyond belief.... i don't even know how to possibly thank you all. so, sincerely, from the bottom and top, really just all of the entirety of my heart, THANK YOU. i wish we could all get in one room. can you imagine all of you amazing, wonderful people in ONE ROOM?? seriously. and the words of teddy roosevelt that keep resonating through me tonight, "it is not the critic who counts; nor the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. the credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat." ...you all have truly made me feel like you have seen me in the arena giving it my all, and that— that— is a gift beyond my wildest dreams. so thank you.

today a stranger came and sat by me at the coffee shop and started talking to me. i took off my headphones as she immediately belittled my letters and went on and on giving me tips on how to letter

today a stranger came and sat by me at the coffee shop and started talking to me. i took off my headphones as she immediately belittled my letters and went on and on giving me tips on how to letter "better." she told me all the things i was doing wrong and all the places i could purchase "better" materials as i sat there, sort of stunned. (unbeknownst to her, i was already feeling defeated trying to finish a batch of envelopes while messing up at least twenty more than usual.) i asked her if she was a letterer, and she told me no, but that it was a "tiny hobby" of hers and that she just has "excellent handwriting." i then muttered some kind of "oh thank you...." response and put my headphones back on, being bummed out and messing up the next three envelopes as she sat there, watching with her hawk eyes. after she left, her words stayed with me, poisoning what was an otherwise decent afternoon. i realized it wasn't her words that were bumming me out, but rather, my inability to articulate why it was okay that my lettering didn't look like hers, or what she thought great lettering "should" look like. my lettering hasn't ever really fit the mold; i'm aware my letters aren't perfect... and while i have such a deep respect and admiration for letterers and calligraphers who DO make perfect letterforms on the regular... ITS OKAY that mine don't look like that. i want my letters to always look like they have feelings welling up within them, or as a friend once put it "your letters look drunk." 😂 and you know, maybe they are. and that's because a totally not-perfect human hand made them. my ways work for me. and that's okay. so keep on keepin on making your things, friends. (and thanks for letting me totally replay my response, so that it was better and more brave! haha) #write_on

another great photo of some pieces from last month's #alimakesmail courtesy of @jonraagaard! if you're missing March, email me at alimakesthings@gmail.com!APRIL will be posted tonight! :)

came back from a week or so of celebrating in california-- SUNSHINE, showing up and surprising my dear friends at their engagement party💍, family reunions, two birthdays🎈, taxes with my dad 📊🎉, easter 🐣, a serendipitous slumber party at my parents with a faraway friend, and cheering on my brother-in-law and friends as they biked 🚲 from san francisco to santa barbara!! after all that, coming back to atlanta was a little bit of a bummer... but when i got to my desk, there was a box on it. my sweet sister sent me these (amazing)

no, the miles aren't the answer, but they probably can't hurt the process. // learning to be at HOME (wherever that is) // 🏡🏃✈️

i fell in love with her as soon as he pointed them out in the album. i don't know if it was her coat with the fur collar, that she had better things to do than buckle her boots properly... or her straightforward stare down. but clearly, he's amused with his too high pants and too short tie. they're quite a pair, these two. and then i paid a dollar for them and brought them home. :) #bff4lyfe #bffl #wistfulformemoriesthatarentmine

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