Category Archives: Paper

Maeve’s birth announcement.

Is this not the most stunning birth announcement your ever did see?! It was created by one of my favorite designers Karly Depew of Oscar & Emma for her new daughter. For more pics see my post on the Minted blog today.

On a limb.

A very cool new online magazine just launched today: Matchbook Mag. I am so impressed by Katie and Jane‘s labour of love! (Image courtesy of these lovely ladies!)

Sydney Newsom just went full-time with her creative endeavor and shared this inspiring quote with me:

Way to go ladies!

Eraseable pens.

How have I never heard of you?! Pilot Frixon‘s are pure genius… instead of throwing out beautiful pieces of stationery when I make one silly mistake or having ugly scratch-outs, I can now just use one of these! The eraser on the end of the pen works remarkably well.

Juniper Books.

You might have seen yesterday’s article in the New York Times about Juniper Books. Juniper Books is basically a used book store that curates libraries full of interesting books that also further a decorator’s agenda.

These photos are from Cullman & Kravis’s room at the Kips Bay Boys & Girls Club 38th Annual Decorator Show House in New York City. How amazing are the turquoise accents? And I have to say, the books in these photos really got me thinking about my bookshelf and how much work it needs. For starters, I really like how the photos are placed on top of book stacks for an orderly effect.

They sells gorgeous sets of leather covered books… here are a few I love.

I would personally love to have a collection like these above. They will also put together themed collections of simply old books… and this is where I can’t help but think that Juniper Books is helping people pose as intellectual when really they’re not at all and will never actually read any of these titles. I am curious about just how much he charges people to go into a used bookstore for them! Although being here in HK where we left most of our books behind and there are no used English bookstores… I do kind of crave his services!

They also do some pretty aggressive re-covering… I personally prefer the real jackets of older books, but some of the covers of new books are so cheesy that I might go for something like this.

I actually randomly wrapped a Christmas gift for my music loving–sister-in-law in the same paper (and yes I took a picture of it so I could remember it!):

While I love my Kindle as much as the next girl, there is something that just makes me really sad when I think that my children might not ever hold a real book or go into a library that has that comforting, musty smell… I’ve clipped Juniper’s founder Thatcher’s defense of libraries from his blog:

1. An expression of one’s personality: This aspect is completely lost with the digitalization of books and music. With the advancements in technology most evident in such devices as the iPod, Kindle and now the iPad, we are losing the ability to learn about a person just by observing a record on their shelf or a novel in a bookcase. It used to be that you could learn an awful lot about a person’s interests just by taking a brief glance at what was sitting on their shelf; this is not the case anymore with e-readers that have reduced books to a collection of 1’s and 0’s.

2. A great way to impress guests: What better to show guests that you’re cultured and intellectual than some strategically placed Marcel Proust or 19th century Russian literature on your shelves? The best part is you don’t actually have to read them. They serve their purpose just sitting their collecting dust while you watch your favorite MTV reality shows.

3. Makes for a good conversation starter: In this case you probably need to have read the books on your shelf or at the very least read the blurb on the back of the dust jacket. A guest might see a book in your library and realize that you both share an intense interest in rare miniature frogs; a new friendship is then instantly formed.

4. When done right, it just looks cool: A shelf full of iPads is totally unnecessary – not to mention an odd design choice. Books, on the other hand, make for endless amount of decorative possibilities. You can outfit your home library in antique or modern leather, color sorted covers, vintage cloth, custom wrapped solids and whatever else looks good covering a book.

I like his honest defense and in closing I just have to share Juniper’s Christmas tree with you because I think it’s awesome and I’m just starting now to pull down my decorations, which is always a little sad and depressing!

Mrs. J L Strong is not dead!

Wonderful news! For all of you who thought that Mrs. John L. Strong–the bespoke stationer beloved by the likes of Anna Wintour, Oprah Winfrey, and TomKat–has not gone under as reported last year by the NY Times. It’s been totally under the radar… I just realized this when I literally walked by the Madison shop and sadly looked up at the 5th floor… but then I saw that there was still signage so I decided to venture up!

As it turns out, a wealthy woman with a deep love of stationery bought the brand out of bankruptcy and is reviving it. And her packaging, which after all is half the value-add of anything high-end, is alive and well.

I did not do anything custom as that was quite out of my budget (over $20 per card), but I think in light of the new economy the new Mrs. JLS will be doing more ‘ready to write.’
Here are the cards I bought while researching Minted’s competition… I couldn’t help myself. And I thought they were very festive for fall… if you receive one of these notes you are in my VIP circle! I am rationing them.
I will mention that some HK friends of ours dropped us a JLS thank you note… I, of course, noticed right away! The lined envelopes are a dead giveaway and that “strong vanilla” colored paper.

While I was at JLS, I did indulge in a very fancy souvenir ruler. I love that it has both US and UK measurements… everything here is in centimeters which can be quite trying! She was also selling bone folders, just below. Now, I bought mine (displayed below) for pennies compared to what she was selling hers for… but hers may actually have been real bone. I didn’t ask that question!

So even if we can’t all swing JLS prices and may need to consider places like Minted for more affordable personalized stationery, we can all take a lesson from her bone folder patronage. It is seriously the most wonderful gadget any paper lover could ever have! So what, you ask, do you do with this tongue depressor shaped object? You use the tip to trace a line along a ruler or straight edge… this indentation results in the most perfect fold, even with very thick paper. I used this method recently to make the place cards for a friend’s engagement party.

But they are also immensely helpful with origami (and crane making). Or for DIY crafts, like say making your own gift tag enclosures out of scraps. If you’re a bride-to-be… the bone folder could become your best friend when faced with epic projects, like programs for example. It’s also helpful when your stationery doesn’t come pre-folded and needs a little help in making sure the corners align just so-so. Or! If you’re a letter writer, the bone/ruler combo can help make sure you fold the pages in a compact fashion to fit beautifully into an envelope. It’s a must have tool I tell you! Stocking stuffer? I think yes!!!

Finally, the JLS shoppe will remain as it has for decades until the New Year when they will be remodeling and updating… so do stop by if you’re in the area. There is a very impressive solid dining table where you’re invited to sit while working out the details of your family crest! I really do hope they keep that table–a lot of famous people have sat there after all.