Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Foxy and Winston

In my trip up to the Catskills last weekend, we wandered into the cutest homegoods store (I wish I could remember the name). The proprietor was very friendly, and it was a nice stop, which became great as soon as I saw a collection of cards retailing for far less than they doin Manhattan! I was most pleased by the collection by Foxy and Winston. All of their cards are screen printed which lends a unique textural feel: the ink is very thick. I’ve said it before: the tactile qualities of actual paper win me over every time.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

I love the dichotomy of this card. The idea of sending a card to initiate a phone conversation is such contradictory splendor. The vintage phone and font plus the casual call out to “Hey- let’s catch up,” make this the perfect specimen of what cards do best: create a connection between to people with a physical manifestation to show that your thoughts. It’s a heavy burden for a piece of paper to carry: good things these are some hefty cards.

Cardiology Cards has many other tongue-in-cheek offerings that are great for special occasions and everyday communication alike.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


I know very few people who love the mail as much as I do. Upon returning from a trip I am sometimes prompted to ask friends if they received the postcard I sent- I am perplexed by responses along the lines of ‘Oh- I have not checked my mail for a while.’ Whaaa…? How can you not have checked your mail?

For me, there are few things greater than a magazine or a postcard in the post office box. Nothing beats a surprise letter though. I am fortunate to have parents that will still send the occasional letter, and some friends have sent hand written letters as well. I’ve even gotten into an ill-conceived long distance relationship (with 2,408 miles of separation to be exact) that was partially induced by my postal addiction.

Yes, my name is Laura and I have a postal addiction. You may have already guessed that, since ninety-five percent of the content I write about is focused on cards that I love, but I think everyone knows the ulterior motive to sending cards, is to get them in return. Even though my ratio of card giving to card receiving is about 3:1, it is still completely worth the effort.

Imagine the scenario: you’ve just arrived home from work, or a Saturday of running errands, and of course you stop by the mailbox on your way inside. Upon inserting the key into the mailbox, and swinging open the creaky door you scan the paper booty. There are a few of the standard size white envelopes, denoting bills or insurance claim receipts. Then you see a flash of color in an atypical size- your heart lifts just a bit- it could still be a marketing gimmick, a ploy to subscribe to a new magazine, or a coupon for a mass retailer. Pulling the letters outside the box, you are allowed surrender and let your spirit rise as you see there is actual hand writing on the envelope. Penmanship is not longer a skill that gets rewarded in school, so more often than not the handwriting is somewhat clumsy. But the fact that a friend took the time to put the pen to the paper defies the connotations that designers strive so hard to build with fonts. The handwriting is subtle, and does not indicate any particular mood- but it positively screams human.

You hurry inside now, and dump whatever is occupying your arms, so you can focus on this unexpected joy. Ripping open the envelope you get the first hint at what this will be: a thank you card for a gift, a love note, a hello from a friend, an indicator that you were in someone’s thoughts. The card itself can be a mass- produced item from Hallmark or even picked up from the grocery store; or it can be a beautiful example of the letterpress designs that I have a particular penchant for and feature on this blog. The point is that someone took the time to physically buy you something, handwrite the letter and drop it in the post office. No social media site, no inbox, no text can ever compete.

Feel free to send me some mail.

Store Review: Paper Presentation

Paper Presentation is an amazing store. During a meandering walk one day I just stumbled into this location by accident; having complained to my friend just the night before that I needed a good craft store. Part of my happy happy joy joy feeling is because I stumbled in on a bunch of post-Christmas 75% off items; so I got $60 worth of items for $16. But I will definitely be back- I can already here the siren call of all that pretty paper. They have a wonderful selection of cards, wrapping papers (although not quite as awesome as Kate’s). What really sets this place apart is the scapbooking section. I know, I know- it sounds much more Midwest/ Grandma than it actually is: in reality there is a wonderful selection of gorgeous papers than can be used as gift wrapping embellishers, be made into cards, or just do what I do and stockpile them manically.

23 W 18th St (between 5th Ave & Avenue Of The Americas), New York, NY 10011

Monday, August 2, 2010

Old Tom Foolery makes great cards, living up to their motto of "Unsappy, Uncrappy greetings and more." The cards all have a definite heft to them, with the words deep set for that authentic letterpress feel: the reason so many of us are enamored with letterpress is because of the tactile benefit: the luxurious feel of luxury. These cards are all on thick "tree-free" cotton. Since tacos are my favorite of all foods, the "I'm in the mood" card was essentially a marraige of my two greatest indulgences: cards and tacos. It's exactly my type of humor. Ok, so I prefer the tacos at Mayhuel to Taco Bell- but cards are meant to be written on and customized.

Old Tom Foolery has a whole like of asterisk cards- they all work really well too. Highlights:

Kiss me.*

*But brush your teeth first.

Happy Graduation!*

*Welcome to the real world, sucker.

I miss you.*

*It’s been so long, I’m starting to forget what you look like. Sure hope you’re not ugly.

It's a fun site to go spend some time on, with many line extensions- go find an uncrappy greeting.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

I missed the stationary show this year due to a trip abroad. My trip to Paris inspired visions of paperies. I mean, Kate’s Paperie here in NYC is an amazing card shop in which I can do major damage. (Review to come soon!) So, when I was dreaming of how my trip in Paris would go, you can imagine how excited I was. In my mind, I saw myself strolling along the Seine or the Avenue des Champs-Elysées, croissant in hand with a basket of fresh raspberries and an Orangina and chancing upon a myriad of quaint paperies and stationary stores. Perhaps I would find a shop with cards that had been using the same letterpress imprints on thick paper milled with cotton fibers in addition to smooth wood pulp that would equal a card of such beauty that I would be inspired to pick up calligraphy just to do such a wonderful piece of beauty justice.
Well, that’s not exactly how it went. For one thing, I did not really plan ahead as much as you might imagine I would on my first jaunt to Europe. My strolls failed to produce quite the quality of paper goods that I was hoping for. The best shop that I found for cards was a gift shop:

Les Fruits du Temps
80 Rue Saint-Louis en l'Ile, 75004 Paris, France

This was in a somewhat touristy area, but the card was a lot of fun. They sold a myriad of goods here. The quality was much like that of a Hallmark store. While mass produced there are still some lovely gems and pieces of beauty and humor.
I do plan to travel back to Paris again one day. Next time I will do my research ahead of time, as I know my mythical stationary store is out there, waiting for me to stroll in there.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Review: Grace & Company (Bainbridge Island, WA)

Grace & Company Paperie
271 Madison Ave S
Bainbridge Island, WA 98110
(206) 780-5498

I was lucky enough to get to take a trip out to Bainbridge Island when I was in Seattle. The view from the ferry was spectacular, and I was in good company and it was all in all shaping up to be a great day. Icing came in the form of the Grace & Company Paperie. The storefront looks quaint and pleasant with Paperie in bold block letters. While I speak no French, I was beckoned and welcomed by this one perfect word.

The store is small, but has a great selection of individual cards from some of the premiere letterpress companies. There is also a nice but small selection of boxed cards, gift paper and bags; as well as some delightful candles. I got a gorgeous calendar (review and pics to come shortly). The best part was the friendliness of the store owner. Her name escapes me, but she really made the visit to the store wonderful. Many times there is an air of pretention at specialty card shops. As much as I love paper, this is something that irks me in a lot of places. Not so at Grace & Company Paperie! The owner was knowledgeable and passionate about the industry, and we had a wonderful conversation about the trends of paper products in the industry, and the impact of the economy (not all letterpress companies have survived).

If you are in Seattle, I highly recommend the trip to Bainbridge for the view from the ferry, the experience of the island, and the charm of Grace & Company Paperie.