When I was growing up, learning to handwrite was the big leagues for elementary school students. In grade three, we reached what was considered a critical milestone as we moved from printing in pencil to handwriting with pens. The wisdom of the day was that as eight-year-olds, we had the necessary dexterity to write in cursive and the maturity not to spill ink on our clothing.
In third grade, a daily period was dedicated to teaching us to handwrite. During this solemn time, we purposefully learned to transcribe words into our lined notebooks without letting our pens leave the sheet. Mastering the art of handwriting was deemed as important as our ability to memorize our multiplication tables. Our looping letters were carefully scrutinized by our teachers and the prettiest examples were proudly displayed on our classroom walls and family fridges.
For me, exchanging my pencil for a pen, and learning to handwrite, was electrifying. It felt like a wonderful honour. My favorite letter was L. I loved L both for its grace and its extravagant flourishes. I lamented that my name didn’t start with an L and was a tiny bit jealous of my dear friend Lori Williams.
My passion for handwriting flourished throughout my elementary years. Once I’d mastered the basics I became obsessed with the idea of writing as small as possible. My greatest childhood achievement was transcribing a significant portion of Corinthians 13 onto a tiny piece of paper I could put in my favorite silver locket. I vividly remember cutting out tiny hearts and trying over and over again to make all the words fit. Today, I find it hard to believe that I found this so fascinating.
My handwriting devotion eventually evolved into a love of quotes. This was back in the foggy dark ages before you could Google any quote or saying and easily post them onto Pinterest boards. Back then, you had to read to find quotes and I read everything I could get my hands on, scavenging for words and phrases I found to be inspirational or fun. I’d transcribe my favourites onto small pieces of paper and devotedly pin them on my bulletin board.
My love of words and quotes stayed with me through the decades, and they continue to inspire my daily life. I read my beloved ones repeatedly. They help me to remain full of the vibrant energy I need to get everything done and to find peace and joy.
So, it was a natural fit for me when my husband Don and I started manufacturing art blocks featuring quotes when we founded Cedar Mountain Studios four decades ago. I just knew my passion would resonate with so many other people as well.
And this brings me to Timber Bits...
Wood cut-offs are an inevitable by-product of art block production, and we soon found ourselves inundated with tiny pieces of cedar. We didn’t know what to do with them, and so we used them to start fires. Every time I’d throw a piece into our wood stove I’d think to myself “this is crazy, there must be something else we can do with these.”
It wasn’t long before the idea for our Timber Bits was born. The joke was on us though because now our Timber Bits are so popular we no longer have enough scraps to make them all.
Timber Bits are scattered throughout our home both for inspiration and reminders. For instance, I always keep a “Thank You” Timber Bit by my kitchen sink. At the end of a long day, when I’m feeling irritated about washing yet another round of dishes, it reminds me to be grateful that we have dishes to wash and food to eat.
There are so many ways to use Timber Bits to bring joy and inspiration to your home and life. You can stack and combine them to create personal messages that resonate with you and the people you love. Place them in kitchen windows, dining room tables, desks, bathrooms, nightstands, and bookshelves.
We love how Timber Bits speak to almost everyone with their simple universal messages and how easy it is to use them to celebrate special occasions or as positive reminders during difficult times. I use them to instill lovely messages in my kid’s minds. For instance, when my daughter Erica was preparing to write the BAR exam I sent her a “You Got This” Timber Bit and today it’s a fond memory we share.
Last winter a heavy beam fell on my head at a craft show and gave me a concussion that lasted for months. During this time, I put a Timber Bit by my bedside table that said “This Too Shall Pass.” It’s a phrase that reminds me of my grandmother and it very much helped me to remember that my pain was temporary.
We hope you’ll have fun with our Timber Bits Collection, get creative, and stack them with messages that make you smile.
XO Suzanne Zacharias, Co-founder & Tea Drinker, Cedar Mountain Studios