In spring of 2022, while talking with a close mentor friend of mine, she mentioned she once opened an Esty shop to supplement her income while she underwent chemo. Later that October, as I sat in the hospital for one of multiple two-week stints fighting Cystic Fibrosis, a rare and life-threatening lung disease I was born with and have been on Disability since 2019 because of, I began daydreaming about how I might do the same.
Most who know me are aware I’m an unashamed office supply geek — My husband, Zack, has zero problems turning me loose at a shopping mall, but thinks twice before leaving me unmanned inside Staples — But a much lesser known fact about me is that one of my very favorite things is a trusty stone paper journal. One afternoon, I had the fleeting question of how likely it would be that I could learn to create more personal and meaningful covers for them, and learn to recover them myself for friends and family. Once I had researched some, and realized it was not only possible, but probable, I started putting together a list of things I needed to get started… And a month later, I released our first greeting card designs for purchase on my personal Facebook page.
Cystic Fibrosis, or CF, is a genetic, life-threatening illness that primarily destroys the lungs and digestive system over time. It’s a recessive trait illness, passed down from a faulty gene from both the mother and father, and is not contagious or harmful in any way to the general population. When I was born in 1983, my parents were told I would not live to the age of 8. Zack’s, in 1986, were told 18. But our God had other plans for us! There are currently multiple treatments for CF, as well as a particularly remarkable drug that’s the first of its kind to treat the genetic cause instead of simply targeting the symptoms. But there is no cure for CF, and although the average life expectancy has jumped significantly since we were diagnosed, it’s still only 51.
Stone paper, sometimes also referred to as rock paper or mineral paper, is different from the paper you’re accustomed to in that it’s made of limestone instead of wood pulp. This gives it unique qualities such as a velvety smooth texture (I often say it’s “like writing on butter”), as well as water and tear resistance. It is also rumored to be more economically-friendly, as it doesn’t damage anything living to create.
My personal favorites are ball points. The writing is smooth, clear, and rich. Gel pens, in my experience, tend to skip on the pages and take a long time to dry, if they fully do at all. Highlighters also take a while to dry, so I always recommend writing everything you need to first, then going back and highlighting when you have a few minutes to let it sit.
My absolute favorite pens, that have translated so well from wood pulp to stone paper, are BIC Ecolutions Ocean-Bound medium ball points in blue or black ink; and for highlighters, my go-tos are these Sharpie Clear View Highlighter Sticks. (Not affiliate links. Just super high recommendations!)
At this time, it’s not possible to purchase loose leaf stone paper, unless I source it from one of its original locations in Lithuania or Sweden. So, the alternative is to buy the pre-assembled notebooks by Oxford from Amazon, disassemble them, and reassemble them with my covers and bindings. Currently, a pack of two journals costs just over $15, so the paper alone is almost $8 per journal, plus everything else to create them. Additionally, everything is truly handcrafted, which takes time!
Right here on our secure website! Should you have any issues while placing your order, please reach out and let us know, and we’ll get on debugging it as fast as we can.
At this time, we do not. But that’s not to say we won’t in the future! We do, however, take commissions for orders of 25+.
As understandably inconvenient as some may find it, Breath of Life Handmade is currently a home-based, husband-and-wife only duo gig, where we live up to the name “handmade” in every stretch of the imagination. Additionally, we battle the uncertainties of daily living with chronic illness. So we have found that realistically, the turnaround time for creating orders is 3-5 days, and we always contact the buyer in full transparency if we see it’s going to be longer.
That’s honestly up to you. We prefer to use USPS Priority Mail because of their reasonable rates and their history of having packages, even clear across the country, delivered within 2-3 days. However, we strive to make sure you always have a more cost effective, albeit slightly longer, option, should you choose.
Absolutely! If you live and/or work within the Tyler proper area, we are more than happy to schedule a meet up to hand off your order to save you shipping time and cost.
Breath of Life Handmade is home-based, so we don’t feel comfortable giving out our actual address on the internet. We have no problem sharing though that we are out of Chapel Hill in East Texas 🙂
Feel free to reach out and ask!