“The Switch”

“The Switch”

Even though it’s been a long time coming (almost 2 years in my head), the transformation (aka – “The Switch”)  from being Calligraphy Etc. to Barque happened VERY quickly.  Yes, it took a lot of pre-planning, but once we got the ball rolling, the entire project was completed from Saturday afternoon(move out) to Thursday evening (preview party for family and friends).  Needless to say, there were a LOT of fantastic worker bees that made that happen, but now that it’s all done, the store is exactly as I had imagined it.  Actually, it’s even better.  I might need some serious sleeping in over the next few days to get caught up, but at least now I can rest knowing that the hard part is done.  I’ve been brainstorming about “The Switch” for so long it’s hard to believe it’s actually a reality!

Here are a few before pics of the store:


Note, I always hated the slat wall and super high ceilings and high bay lights (yuck), but since the purchase of the store (and move to this location) happened in less than 2 months, I didn’t have much choice but to just go with it.

DSC_0867The invitation room before – way too utilitarian and not a very good use of the floor space, especially since now we do more custom invitation than packaged ones.

DSC_0861Our “kitchen corner” before.

A few during:

DSC_0895I couldn’t believe we were able to move all of contents of the store OUT – it was crazy!

DSC_0919The contractors starting to install the wooden “clouds”

DSC_0926One of my favorite moments – the “wood walls” going up!  I had collected several pieces of antique wood for them to mix in with the pickled wood the clouds were made of.  I’m seriously considering having this done in my dining room next!

DSC_0963Isn’t she beautiful?  I’m in love.


And finally…. After!

DSC_1056I LOVE the new feel of the store with the changes – it’s homey, and inviting, and much more interesting… and I think it’s much more ME!  In fact, the best compliment I’ve been getting is how much more this looks like me and my home.  That just makes my heart happy.  Spy that bakery case?  It’s full of fresh baked dog treats!  We’re the only store in Lubbock to offer them.

DSC_1018The fixture about our register is the same one I have in my kitchen.  Thought I might as well have it in my “second home” too!

DSC_1068Check out those fabulous new invitation shelves (made from scratch by my super awesome granddad) – they use less floor space and actually hold more than what we had before – and they’re on wheels!

DSC_1061“Kitchen corner” no more!  I think our White Wing Label and Jon Hart displays are so much more appealing in this space!

DSC_1008This makes me happy.  And it makes me love coming to work even more than I did before, because it’s really MINE.

A big thank you to my amazing team of girls (who worked like crazy, even juggling school, to make this happen during the week), my supportive family for their prayers and help, my grandparents for their mad skills at making shelves and other necessary installations, friends who have listened to me drone on endlessly about store ideas, Hasco Commercial Construction for the actual manual labor and to God for the amazing opportunity to live my dream.

Feeling extremely blessed,




So this new name, Barque, how do you say it?  [bahrk] – sounds like a dog’s bark or bark on a tree.

Now then, what does it mean?

According to the dictionary, it’s a sailing vessel, which is but for our purposes, Barque is a combination of things we love – paper, dogs and cooking.  It’s a pretty random combination, but it about sums up ME.

Paper (think bark on trees) + Dog’s bark + the “que” nods to French influence (and cooking). So in a vague and round about way, Barque encompasses our new focus: gifts, events on paper and puppy love.  Our goal is provide a unique selection of products and services, and I can pretty much guarantee that there’s not an existing store like it!

Below is our branding board, to help convey the style we’re going for with the new name and look, if you’re interested:


FREE Red Mustache Printable

FREE Red Mustache Printable

With St. Patty’s Day right around the corner, I thought it might be fun to help you get in the Spirit O’ the Irish! How about this straw idea for your St.Patty’s shindig this weekend?  Kids and adults alike are sure to enjoy these!redmustaches

Simply download the free printable (HERE), print on white cardstock, and glue them to any decorative straw (like these stripey ones).

Serve these in your favorite drinks this weekend and see how many “Irish Eyes are Smiling” in return!

Happy Early St. Patrick’s Day!


Punny Valentines

Punny Valentines

I’ve always enjoyed collecting vintage Valentines,  mostly because they’re punny!  “I long for you” on the image of a dauchsund, “You make my heart go BOOM BOOM BOOM” with a marching drummer, you get the idea.  I guess I’m a sucker for clever combinations.

Last year, when I needed something to offer as kids Valentines for the store, I decided to design my own.  It was so close to the holiday, I only had a few days to sell them, but the response was good, so this year I designed a few more.

DSC_0630 sm

I think they’re really fun and quirky – and NOTHING like those dreadful, cheap, made in China options you find at every corner drugstore.

Each package includes 12 cards, three each of four designs per theme.  Here are a few of my favorite themes from this year:

cameras sm

takeout sm

postal sm

bicycles sm

These favorites from last year are still going strong too:

breakfast sm

diner sm

So what do you guys think?  If want to purchase some, it’s not too late.  You can get them HERE.

Last week my friend Tony, who shares my affinity for collecting Valentines, sent me a text message:

“Ever think how cool it is that someone 100 years from now might have your cards in their vintage collection?”

Actually, it never crossed my mind… but now that you mention it, that’s pretty cool.

Home (and Heart) Expansion

Home (and Heart) Expansion

As life would have it, we are once again a home with three redheads.  It all happened quickly, but already it’s been a blessing.  To be honest, I wasn’t sure that I was ready for another pupalup, but I’ve known for awhile now that Lucy has been needing that kind of companionship.

I already knew that I wanted a golden retriever (because I didn’t have the heart for another lab, and goldens are the next best thing), so over Christmas I looked into Golden Retriever Rescues.  There were lots of great-looking dogs, but none of them  “spoke” to me.  I just couldn’t get excited about the adoption process.

Then I saw my next furbaby in a photo on Facebook, and I knew he was the one.  I think it was Divine Intervention that he was in the shelter, and that I saw him online, AND that I was able to adopt him so quickly.  (In shelter on Friday, adopted on Monday, home on Tuesday.)

We were happy to have him join our little home, but for him it was a pretty traumatic week.  From the shelter to being adopted, to getting neutered, adjusting to Lucy and I, me leaving for Market and dad dog-sitting for the weekend… By the end of the week (of course while I was gone), he had stopped eating and dad had to take him to the vet twice.  When I got home, one barium treatment and one stomach exploratory surgery later, we discovered that his GI tract had stopped working completely.  They said it could have been inflamed from stress.  So he had two major surgeries within a week, the poor fella!

I’m happy to report that now he is healthy, happy and playful puppy!  He’s still adjusting (we all are), but it’s been (mostly) fun!

The vet thinks he is about a year old and what appears to be full {red} golden retriever.  He is beautiful and a sweetheart, there’s no doubt about it.  He is also a chewer and thief, but we’re working on that.   My favorite thing is that he smiles – all the time – it warms my heart.

Speaking of the heart, I’ll admit that I was caught off-guard by how little capacity I thought I had to love this “new dog”… and surprised by how much my heart has expanded to include him.  (Just like the Grinch’s heart!)  I didn’t think I was ready, but now that he’s mine, he has a piece of my heart too.  And that’s a good thing (for both Lucy and I).

All that to say… our home (and hearts) have expanded by four feet!

Friends, meet Linus!  Of course this occasion calls for an adoption announcement…

linus announcement sm


{BTW, the name Linus was my brother’s idea – he’s clever like that!}

We’re looking forward to lots of fun with Linus in the future!  Just search for #ohlinus and #redlucyandlinus on Instagram




Happy Wednesday, friends!

It’s beginning to look a lot like Valentine’s!

It’s beginning to look a lot like Valentine’s!

When I take down the Christmas decorations, it always feels so… empty in the house.  To cheer myself up, I like to pull out my Valentine’s Day decorations as soon as possible.  It’s nothing fancy, just a few little things that make me happy.

Being the paper lover that I am, it’s no surprise that I’m a collector of vintage Valentines.  I love finding them at antique stores and estate sales, especially when they have unique graphics or clever phrases.  I have far too many to display, but every year I select a few to display on the mantle on tiny easels.

DSC_0705smThe bunting I made a few years ago out of some leftover burlap and red felt (and ric rac), but I think it spruces up the fireplaces quite nicely.

DSC_0700smThis is probably my favorite treasure of all.  It’s the classroom Valentine box from when I was in the first grade.  Yes, I’ve held onto a painted cardboard box for close to thirty years.  Surely that must be some sort of record?  Why on earth would I do that?  Because it’s sentimental of course!

When I was in the first grade, our class made this Valentine box to house all of the cards we were to exchange.  We each drew a portrait of ourselves and taped them in the windows.  DSC_0699sm

We cut hearts out of construction paper and tiled the roof.  On Valentine’s Day, I was home sick, so I missed the doling out of the cards (and I was so sad).  My sweet teacher, Mrs. White, stopped by after school and delivered the Valentines I had missed, as well as the schoolhouse.  To date, it was one of the nicest things anyone has done for me.  It meant a lot that she did that, and I honestly love how cute the schoolhouse is (although thirty years has started taking its toll on the poor thing).

Do you decorate for Valentine’s Day?  If so, what kind of items are sentimental to you?  What keepsakes make your heart happy?