Thursday, January 18, 2007

Letter Pressed

Pardon the slow start to the blogging year, but the writing I should be doing is my holiday thank-you notes. I am grateful for the wonderful gifts I received, but somehow putting pen to paper to express that to the kindly gift givers feels like a chore. Sigh.

What can turn a chore into a joy but (of course) some nice products!? A nice box of artful stationery, finely weighted pens and artistic stamps can turn an obligation into an art of self-expression. With such pretty things at hand, I love to sit down and hand-write letters and cards.

In today's email age, your sentiments are a Delete keystoke away. But when you send your thoughts or thanks through the mail, it takes on more meaning. Special paper can even make your note feel like a little gift in and of itself. This is why I love stores like Kate's Paperie! I go gaga over their pretty papers, ribbons, journals and fountain pens. (I designed my own wedding invitations and got all my supplies there.) Today, I got lucky and found some gorgeous letterpress cards at Anthropologie from Hello! Lucky and Elum.

What is letterpress? One of the oldest forms of printing! I took a class on this in college and it was so much fun selecting the individual metal type letters, locking them into their arrangment, putting them in the press, inking the type and literally pressing fine paper onto the inked-type bed. The results are always quirkily individual and there is a satisfying indent in the paper where the type pressed into it that says "authenticity." Letterpress cards are a great way to send a small piece of art to those you love.

For any other procrastinators out there, my internal Emily Post says that holiday thank-you notes absolutely must be sent by the end of January. If you don't have a Kate's Paperie or Anthropologie near you, here are a few places to find cards that will make writing more pleasurable for you and the recipient of your note even more charmed (conveniently distracting them from the fact that you're late!)


The typesetting image above is from Crafty Cards, and I am just in love with their special Valentine's card. It features"LOVE" in storybook letters, framed in red velvet and mounted on a gold and white yuzen paper. What a way to say you care! $4 for a 5x5" card



Whether you still need to send thank-you notes from the holidays or are getting a head start on Valentine's Day cards, try Egg Press, makers of the adorable cards at right. This collection is full of love, adorned with sweet patterns and one adorable love bug. The set includes valentines as well as everyday love and friendship sentiments. The Love, Valentine Collection includes: 3 letterpress cards and 2 letterpress die-cut cards with specialty vellum envelope and seal. $22 at EggPress.com.


If you want to get your shopping done in one fell swoop, there's a great set of "Every Card You Need This Year"! It has 40 cute and original cards, 42 envelopes and 13 great designs, all printed on 100% post-consumer paper. Box includes: 6 birthday, 2 congratulations, 2 valentines, 6 thank you, 2 mothers day, 2 fathers day, 2 sympathy, 2 anniversary, 4 blank, 2 get well, 6 holiday and 4 new year. So you'll never be without a card again. $60 at Elsewares.com


Greener Grass Design offers many beautiful cards, including this one, which of course is 100% Beauty Chick approved! A set of 8 cards of animals and botanicals is $40 at GreenerGrassDesign.com.


Once I've completed my thank-you notes, I'll be back with some reviews of the great new beauty products I've been trying. My new Test Tube arrived choc full of goodies, so stay tuned!

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