Paper&String is a digital care package
from the Black Barn at Maplehurst.
A monthly invitation to experience
what we celebrate at the Black Barn.
The delight that comes when we
Read, Listen, Grow, Taste, and Gather together.
BONUS: we will also be opening the doors to a virtual Black Barn.
For one week only: Feb 1-7
each subscription to Paper&String
comes with a membership to
The Black Barn Collective!
No matter where you live,
no matter how many miles
between the front door of this barn
and your own front door, you can come in.
You can join the Black Barn Collective.
A place where we can gather and listen to one another.
A place quieter and more peaceful than social media.
A place more communal than a blog.
Connect Dig Deeper Plant Seeds Build Your Barn
|Across time zones and zip codes, borders and boundaries, come and linger with all who have eyes to see the treasure buried in plain sight in our ordinary lives. Welcome. Make friends. Bring friends.||Into the conversations that start in the Paper&String care package, the Out of the Ordinary Podcast, and so much else. This is where we get to hear from you and you get to hear from each other.||Swap stories, encouragement, and ideas (not necessarily advice) around our shared values and interests. Here is good soil for growing meaningful conversations.||Experience the goodness of the Black Barn no matter where you live. And start to see all the benefits of the Black Barn growing in your own life, right where you are.|
Meet the Founding Members of the Black Barn Collective
who have prepared your Paper&String care package
and this virtual barn gathering place for you.
First, there’s the Black Barn at Maplehurst. Located in Chester County, PA it hosts writers in need of soul care and readers in need of a social media respite. It’s a gathering place for storytellers and placemakers. A space dedicated to hospitality, creativity, and faith. And all who gather here share the belief that the very best stories grow out of the soil of ordinary life.
Christie and Jonathan Purifoy live at the old farmhouse called Maplehurst in Pennsylvania and built the Black Barn. Christie earned a PhD in English Literature from the University of Chicago before trading the classroom for a picket-fenced garden and an old writing desk. Now she writes books and raises kids and chickens and tends the trees that gave Maplehurst its name.
Lisa-Jo and Peter Baker have known Christie and Jon for over 20 years. Peter teaches political science and Lisa-Jo is a former attorney, sought after speaker, writer, and storyteller who joins Christie every Wednesday to record conversations on their widely followed podcast called, Out of the Ordinary. Lisa-Jo builds communities the way Christie builds barns.
Elrena Evans first had the dream of sending you a care package from the Black Barn. She’s a writer, editor, and dancer, and a new Paper&String care package every month is her gift as our editor-in-chief to you.
Amy Hinman is wife to Mike, momma of 3 girls, artist, and crazy chicken lady! She created the gorgeous chalk wall mural at the first Black Barn gathering in July 2019 and now she’s brought the virtual Black Barn to life, along with all the hand drawn elements in Paper&String.
Anna Grist is the Canadian in our midst, working away on Paper&String from her home in the Canadian Rockies. She creates all the design and layout and contributes a few illustrations and snippets of writing as well as laughter and well-timed gifs.
Now we’re all just waiting for YOU!
Is Paper&String a physical package you’re mailing to me?
It’s not a physical package. Yet. It’s a virtual care package lovingly prepared by the creatives at the Black Barn Collective. But we think you’ll enjoy the same “care package” experience when you unwrap each part of Paper&String — Read, Listen, Grow, Taste, and Gather. Imagine a fresh smorgasbord every month of: words, recipes, music, gardening, and community to feed our homesick hearts.
How much does Paper&String cost?
For founding subscribers, Paper&String is only $5.99 a month, and you can cancel at any time. Each subscription helps cover the costs of our virtual paper and string (website hosting fees, email delivery fees, etc.), BUT it also ensures that every writer, artist, designer, and maker who crafts something special for us will be paid for their work.
Why are you charging for a subscription?
Want to support the work of faithful artists and community builders? We think a subscription to Paper&String is an excellent, enjoyable, and easy way to do exactly that. Thank you in advance for joining us!
What is the Black Barn Collective?
The Black Barn Collective is a community rooted in the Black Barn at Maplehurst, a gathering place dedicated to hospitality, creativity, and faith. Members of the collective are united in their desire to see the day, rather than seize the day.
We are storytellers and placemakers. We value conversation and friendship. And we wanted a way to connect virtually, beyond blogs, social media or the limitation of zip codes. Because so many have asked, we are finally opening the doors to a virtual Black Barn where we can gather regularly and be inspired by the glory of ordinary life daily.
What can I expect inside the virtual Black Barn community?
As a member of The Black Barn Collective, we want you to find immediate value when you join our private, online community group. We’re aiming to offer these simple things:
CONNECT: across time zones and zip codes with all who have eyes to see the treasure buried in plain sight in our ordinary lives.
DIG DEEPER: into the conversations that start on the Out of the Ordinary podcast, the Paper&String care package, and so much else. This is where we get to hear from you and you get to hear from each other.
PLANT SEEDS: Swap stories, encouragement, and ideas (not necessarily advice) around our shared values and interests.
BUILD YOUR BARN: Experience the goodness of the Black Barn no matter where you live.
Why aren't you using a Facebook Group, which is free?
To give you the benefit of a community space that is online but is NOT linked with Facebook or Instagram or other social media platforms. We want to give you a private, quiet, virtual gathering place where we can focus on one another without the notifications and noise of our social media feeds. Think of it as a social media silent retreat for your soul.
It’s the Black Barn. Online!
Can I visit the actual Black Barn at Maplehurst?
We host regular live events and workshops. Click here to find out more.
How often can I expect Paper&String?
This is a monthly subscription. New care packages will arrive by the first of every month. The Black Barn Collective is ongoing. But you’ll find directed conversations:
- The first week of each month as we savor our Paper&String care package together
- Wednesdays and Thursdays as we respond to the conversation begun on the Out of the Ordinary podcast
- For special events. Sometimes these will correspond with events at the Maplehurst Black Barn, sometimes these will be unique to the virtual barn
How can I contribute to Paper&String?
We LOVE to hear this question. Stay tuned. Our editorial team have plans to invite our members to submit their creativity to Paper&String in the future!
How do I cancel my subscription?
Once a monthly payment has processed, we’re unable to refund it. However, you can cancel anytime. Simply click on the “unsubscribe” link at the bottom of any Paper&String email notification. If you have trouble — contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org