I’m not sure which part of the invitation was more tantalising for me. Was it the opportunity to look at a new line of stationery designs or the promise of chocolate to boost my serotonin levels?

(I know this question is a no-brainer for most of you, but remember that I’ve always worked with paper and design, and I love handling paper stock, feeling it flutter between my fingers. I also appreciate and analyse new designs and artwork; I’m always looking for inspiration. Stationery lines combine the best of paper and art in an affordable product!)

There was a third factor in looking forward to this afternoon’s sortie. I had received the golden ticket of our locality’s homeschooling network — an invitation to visit Tracey’s home — she of the legendary homeschooling supplies, plethora of fantastic ideas, great wealth of syllabus knowledge, treasure-trove of well-organised toys, vault of choice curricula and a home library that puts mine to shame.

I tell you, I was not disappointed. It was a great afternoon.

There were five lovely ladies in all. We spent some time getting to know each other before Lisa gave us a presentation of the Phoenix Trading stationery materials that she offers.

I love hearing how people have been drawing closer to God. It’s amazing that you can spend time with some Christians and not hear much about the impact God has made on their lives. But with others, His name overflows from their heart as they speak about the past, the present and the future.

Jo, May 2010
Jo has been brought on a wonderful journey of discovery and wholeness by embracing the desires God has for her life.

A mother of three sons, Jo-Anne keeps a lovely blog — Princess Warrior Lessons — in which she shares intimate lessons from her life. It was a privilege to finally meet her in the flesh (after lurking on her blog for a while — yeah, I didn’t tell you that, did I, Jo?).

Lisa + Jo, May 2010
The ladies also used this opportunity to browse through and ask about Tracey's extensive collection of homeschooling curriculum selections.

Kerrie + Tracey, May 2010
Tracey was a generous hostess, opening her home to a greater number of mostly pre-schooled aged children and setting out toys and games to engage the kids.

Kerrie, May 2010
I was glad Kerrie was there today. It's always nice to have one very familiar face at a gathering with new people. (She's also used to me snapping pictures all the time and manages to ignore the camera when I bring it out.)

Aisha, 5yo, May 2010
Aisha and Brioni loved setting up the elaborate wooden train track.

Calista, 2yo, May 2010
Cali's favourite toy was the trampoline.

D + Brioni, May 2010
Brioni and Aisha spent the afternoon playing with their best friends, Kerrie's boys.

Lisa, May 2010
After hearing about the worldwide prevalence of human trafficking, Lisa was inspired to start her own home business so she could contribute to charities who rescue slaves.

Lisa donates a portion of all her profits to the A21 campaign which works to assist victims of human trafficking through providing safe shelter, legal assistance and restoration programs.

Lisa, May 2010
Lisa talked us through Phoenix's stationery lines which use a variety of artists so there's a style to suit everyone.

Here are some of the lovely cards and materials that were on display. There are many more on Lisa’s website.

Phoenix Trading Cards

Phoenix Trading Cards

Phoenix Trading Cards

Phoenix Trading Cards

Phoenix Trading Cards