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The Language of Stamps + Free Printable

13 Mar

The Victorians, at least the well-to-do variety, sure did have a lot of time to pay attention to details. They devised the use of Personal Calling Cards, the selection of flowers to send a certain message, and lots and lots of rules about etiquette. Even today, we are discovering (and reviving) Victorian traditions. For letter writing and mail enthusiasts, there is one in particular that has gotten notice in the last few years: The Language of Stamps.

Special EuropeanPaper.com stamps (not for postage use)

A few special stamps we mocked up for EuropeanPaper.com

Just as it was a Victorian tradition to select flowers based upon a message you’d like to send (the red rose equating to true love still exists today), there was a tradition of affixing a postage stamp to a letter in a certain way. Upside down, tilted left or tilted right, the direction and placement of the stamp said much more than ‘postage paid.’

Perhaps the most interesting part of the language of stamps is that there were no distinct rules. An upside down stamp might have meant one thing in the southern U.S., another in the northern U.S., and another in the UK. For all intents and purposes, the language of stamps was restricted to particular groups or regions. Even then, there is evidence that individuals and couples had their own private codes they used just between themselves.

Today, this tradition has made a resurgence (albeit a small one) with the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Men and women writing to spouses serving overseas flip stamps upside down or in another direction to signify things like “I miss you” and “I love you.” The ‘codes’ in these letters are generally just between the letter writer and the recipient and there is by no means a true system out there today.

There is also a section of the US population that are avid letter writers who see value in reviving traditions like these. Major newspapers and popular websites have covered this very topic in recent years which has helped to draw more interest (and participation).

Communicating an additional message with a stamp is all about details. Not only is the letter writer taking time to write a letter, put pen to paper, fold it up, put it in an envelope and mail it, but they are going the extra mile in selecting the way the stamp is adhered to the envelope.

And, in case you ever wondered, if you place your stamp somewhere other than the upper right hand corner of your envelope, it will still get delivered. (However, if you do choose to place the stamp elsewhere on the front of the envelope, the letter might be slightly delayed due to the postage machines not able to scan it normally and therefore it will have to be handled manually.) In fact, this is the reason the original process of the recipient paying for the postage of a letter changed to the sender paying the postage. Senders would affix a stamp a certain way or put some other code on the exterior of the envelope or letter, and many times the recipient would get the message and decline paying postage on the note. Needless to say, word spread and the system was abused to the point that it was changed to where the sender pays the postage.


To encourage you to partake in the Language of Stamps tradition, attached to this article is an editable letterhead document you can download and print! Click the following link for a letterhead made specially for you to download and use –> EPC-Stationery-Hot-Air-Balloon-Editable

It is a PDF and features a hot air balloon in the bottom right hand corner. This particular image was lithographed in the Victorian era and is a rather appropriate subject for the sending of ‘air mail,’ no? After you download the letterhead, open it up in Adobe Acrobat (free) and click where the text appears. You can enter your own name or details for truly personal stationery. It prints two sheets to a standard sheet of 8.5” x 11” paper. Just cut right down the middle.

Interested in more reading? Here is a selection of articles and posts on the Language of Stamps you might be interested in:

From Love to Longing to Protest, It’s All in the Tilt of the Postage [New York Times article from 2005]

Blog post with lots of vintage ‘language of stamps’ postcards [by Rio Wang]

The Language of Stamps [post by Letter Writer’s Alliance]

The Language of Stamps [article on Philatelic Database]

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Meet the Writer: Cole Imperi is a business owner and a proponent of the handwritten word. When not at Doth Brands, a Branding & Identity firm catering to the health, wellness & deathcare professions where Cole works as Owner and Creative Director, you might find her on her yoga mat teaching yoga or behind a laptop writing for Simplicity Embellished, a letter-writing and lifestyle blog.

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Why Stationery is Important + Free Printable

29 Feb

Whether you write a quick note or a full-blown letter to a loved one or friend, any paper product will do. Truly. However, if you take the time to consider what you are writing on and with, you’ll see that you are creating an experience for the recipient. You are also creating an experience for yourself. The act of writing a letter was (and still should be) a way to connect with the recipient and to allow the recipient to connect with you. When you opt for stationery that has been customized, you are opting for a deeper experience.

Personal stationery became popular in the Victorian era and we still have remnants of this tradition today. It is most common in business situations; however, a revival of personal, customized stationery seems to be taking place, at least in the USA.

Stationery selection is really an art form. When you are writing a letter to someone, whether it be a thank you note or a letter for pleasure, one should select the stationery based upon the recipient and the purpose of your writing. The stationery should also be a reflection of who you are as well.

Choose your stationery in relation to the importance of your note. If you are sending an important letter; choose classic, important stationery. Traditionally, avoid using day-to-day paper (like notebook paper or computer paper) because it is everywhere, it is cheap and it is associated with other tasks, like homework and printing out reports and documents. You do not want your recipient to associate your special letter with homework or a work project!

Choose your stationery with the same amount of care you give to the words you put on the page.

To get you started, I’ve included a downloadable PDF of stationery you can customize! Click the following link for a letterhead made specially for you to download and use –> EPC-Stationery-Pomegranate-Editable

Free printable with a pomegranate from EuropeanPaper.com

Click to enlarge.

The image that appears on the upper right corner of the letterhead is a Grenadier Punica (aka Pomegranate) and was illustrated in the early 1800s. Fruits were a common addition to personal stationery and they would often appear in borders or as full-blown illustrations. The pomegranate represents fruitfulness and growth. This is a great choice for congratulatory letters or letters bearing good news.

The printable stationery set is customizable if you so choose. The file prints two sheets to one, 8.5” x 11” piece of paper. Fold it in half and cut it right down the middle. Each half-sheet folded in half fits perfectly into an A2 envelope.

To customize your stationery with your name and address, just open the PDF and click on the areas that have text. If you don’t want any text, just delete it and click save, then print. If you want to customize it with your name and contact information, simply click on the text and type what you want, save it and print it! The font and color of the font are already programmed in so it matches the image perfectly.

I’ll have another download for you in a few weeks. Let us know what you think of this resource and if you’d like more!

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Meet the Writer: Cole Imperi is a business owner and a proponent of the handwritten word. When not at Doth Brands, a Branding & Identity firm catering to the health, wellness & deathcare professions where Cole works as Owner and Creative Director, you might find her on her yoga mat teaching yoga or behind a laptop writing for Simplicity Embellished, a letter-writing and lifestyle blog.

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A Guide to Recycled Paper

23 Feb

There was a time when recycled paper came in two hues: washed-out gray and off-yellow. Now, recycled paper is available in a rainbow of colors, a range of materials, and even with custom printing options. But not all recycled paper is created equal!

Buying recycled paper reduces the amount of waste ending up in the landfill. It also saves energy – recycled paper uses much less energy to produce – and recycling causes less air and water pollution than manufacturing “virgin” paper. However, make sure you’re getting the biggest environmentally friendly bang for your buck. Keep in mind a few recycled paper definitions that will help you choose the most eco-friendly option whether you’re buying journals, stationery, or even office supplies!

Post-Consumer Waste vs. Pre-Consumer Waste

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), recycled paper must be made from at least 30% post-consumer waste. That means that 30% has been used by a consumer, turned into a recycling program, and then reused to make new paper. Pre-consumer waste, on the other hand, uses scraps left over from the paper manufacturing process. While it’s good to use up that waste, it’s even better to eliminate it from the paper production process altogether, which means buying paper with the highest post-consumer waste content that you can find. For example, the Mudlark notecards boast 80% post-consumer waste, a very eco-friendly choice for writing that thank you note!

Recycled Content

You might find paper products labeled with a “recycled content” or “contains recycled content” claim. In these cases, the product has less than 30% post-consumer waste or contains only pre-consumer waste. While it’s great to buy products that use any amount of recycled content, these paper options are on the low end of the eco-friendly paper scale.

Chlorine Free

You might see a number of chlorine-related claims on paper products. The bottom line: The chlorine bleaching process produces tons of toxins that may disrupt our immune systems. If you’re looking for top-shelf eco-friendly paper products, you want to find the “100% chlorine free” claim, which means the virgin paper wasn’t bleached with chlorine at any point, or – even better – the “processed chlorine free” claim, which indicates that the recycled content wasn’t bleached with chlorine.

Acid Free

Acid-free paper production neutralizes the acids that occur in wood pulp to create longer-lasting paper that won’t yellow over time. The paper itself can last from 500 to 1,000 years, which has made it appealing to archivists and scrapbookers, but that long-lasting feature has made it a subject of numerous eco-debates. However, the process to make the paper is significantly more environmentally friendly than the process to produce standard paper. So don’t choose paper simply because it’s acid free; choose a paper that is environmentally responsible in some other way and is acid-free.

Tree-Free Fiber

A tree-free fiber claim on a paper product means that material was derived from a source other than trees. These tree-free options are usually a little more expensive but provide you with the most sustainable paper option. Tree-free fibers include animal poop, hemp, textile scraps, sugar cane husks, and more. Check out the Cherry Blossoms Large Lokta Journal or the Poo Poo Paper Elephant Silhouette Journal for tree-free fiber options.

Sustainable Certifications

The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification schemes (PEFC) are both non-profit, non-governmental organizations that promote responsible forest management. Seals from these organizations indicate that paper has been approved in their certification processes. As is the case whenever multiple organizations provide the same function, there is significant debate over which certification is better; in North America, it seems the preference is for the FSC seal.

Finally, to score more eco-friendly points, look for recycled paper that is printed with soy-based ink. Traditional ink is petroleum-based, so soy is a gentler alternative.

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 Meet the Writer:Maggie Marton is a freelance writer who lives in Bloomington, Indiana, with her husband and their three darling dogs. View more of Maggie’s work at MaggieMarton.com

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Valentine’s Day Inspiration Collection

1 Feb

Bloggers have lit up the web with Valentine’s Day inspiration before your New Year’s resolutions had time to dry in your journals. Now that we’re in the “month of love” we feel a bit more comfortable adding to the fray. Below is a random smattering of some of our most adored products sold on EuropeanPaper.com to aid you in writing love letters and sweet notes (or writing out your angst with the season). Below that we’ve got a fine selection of blogger’s links to pique your Valentine’s Day interest even further.

Moleskine Volant Pocket Ruled Notebook (Set of 2)

Brause Calligraphy Gift Set

Rhodia Large Webnotebook

Fisher Translucent Bullet Space Pen

Paperblanks Foil Embossed Large Wrap Journal

Mudlark Eco Lola Memento Boxed Note Cards

Jan Petr Obr Red Bicycle Boxed Flat Note Cards

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Oh So Beautiful Paper has had multiple Valentine’s Day collection posts that will warm your heart as you scroll through them. Check out Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, and a splendid Part 5.

Similarly, Paper Crave shared tons of Valentine’s Day card designs to get your creative juices flowing. See her round-ups here: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3Part 4, and Part 5.

The Sweetest Occasion has a sweet & simple DIY printable for Valentine’s Day; MJ Monaghan offers an interesting twist to the classics in his Valentine’s Card – 6 Special Options post; and Julie of Penpal of the Week did a round-up of some very sweet handmade cards.

Will you be doing anything special with pen & paper for Valentine’s Day? Share with us in the comments!

 

10 Letter Writing Tips

31 Jan

Writing a letter might seem like an art that no one follows anymore, like speaking Latin or doing the jitterbug (and where else can you find a comparison between those activities but here at EPC?), but there are many enthusiasts still out there. You’ll recognize us if you look closely. We sit in coffee shops with pens and paper in front of us instead of laptops. We walk into office supply stores and head over to the fountain pen ink refills instead of the printer ink refills.  We know how much an extra ounce costs, the price of an international stamp, and how much we can squeeze into a first class priority box before it explodes.

G. Lalo Verge de France Correspondence Sets on EuropeanPaper.com

G. Lalo Verge de France Correspondence Sets

Yes, I am one of them (and proud of it!), and I write hundreds of letters every year. My free time is spent with pen in hand talking with friends near and far. When I walk out to the mailbox every day, I know more than bills and advertisements are waiting for me.

Of course, to GET letters, you have to SEND letters. So, here are the 10 best letter writing tips I know, based on hundreds of letters written (and received) every year. These tips refer to both personal and professional correspondence.  The first six tips are must-do’s; the second four are options to consider.

  1. When you are going to write a letter, make sure you have enough time to do so. A rushed letter feels like a rushed letter, and typically, handwriting takes longer than you remember. If you aren’t sure you can find a free half hour or hour, combine your writing with other activities like watching a movie, waiting for the dryer to finish or sipping that morning cup of java.
  2. As you begin writing, refer to your last visit, conversation or letter with that person. Mention where you were, something that was said, or another statement that reconnects the two of you.
  3. Date the letter. I know that might not seem very important, but when the person reads the letter, re-reads it, and keeps it for ages, that date is very important. I recently dug through some old boxes and found all of the letters my mother wrote me while I was in college. She is no longer living, so these letters are truly precious to me. I organized them in the order she wrote them and put them in folders. The dates were essential.
  4. Write legibly. I know, I know. Duh, right? But you wouldn’t believe how many people have almost illegible handwriting. They either try to be fancy or they simply haven’t dusted off their penmanship skills in a long time.  If you have trouble with cursive, print. If that doesn’t work well, type. Make it easy on your reader.
  5. Ask the person questions.  A letter that just tells a person all about you-you-you and then says goodbye at the end is not much fun to read and often very difficult to respond to. Ask the person questions, such as: How is work? How are the children? Where have you traveled? What are you reading lately? They can be as simple or complex as you want to make them, but obviously keep your reader in mind regarding the type of personal questions you may ask. This will inspire the person to want to sit down and write back to you.
  6. Follow the simple rules of good writing. Always double-check that you spelled their name correctly and make sure you have the right address for the envelope. You aren’t being graded here, so you don’t need topic sentences and appropriate transitional phrases between paragraphs (yes, I used to be an English teacher!), but make sure you aren’t writing in such a manner that others can’t understand what you’re saying.

Those were the “must-do’s” of letter writing. Here are four more tips to consider implementing as you write more.

  1. Click the image to buy this product on EuropeanPaper.com

    Mudlark Eco Hayden Leigh Memento Boxed Note Cards

    Use attractive paper and cards for your letter. The European Paper Company carries many lovely options, including boxed notecards, a wide selection of eco stationery, and much more. Sure, lined notebook paper is nice, but it can be dull. A letter on fine stationery is often much appreciated, but if all you have is lined notebook paper dress it up a bit to make it special.

  2. Include fun little tuck-ins. Getting a letter is fun – getting a letter with surprises tucked inside it is even better. It can be photos, newspaper clippings, comics, bookmarks – whatever you want. These little extras can make letter writing even more enjoyable.
  3. Respond to letters quickly, but not TOO quickly. If your letter is in response to one sent to you, don’t let it sit around for more than two to four weeks before answering it. If too much time goes by, the person may forget what he wrote or think you have decided not to respond at all.  If I haven’t heard from someone in more than a month, I also send a quick postcard making sure all is well with them. On the flip side, it might sound crazy, but I wouldn’t recommend responding to someone the day or day after you get a letter. That might be so quick that it makes the receiver feel pressured.
  4. Finally, if all of this sounds wonderful but you’re stumped on who to write to, do some homework and check out organizations. If you don’t have family and friends that would be interested in writing letters, go to the The Letter Writer’s Alliance and The Letter Exchange online. They both offer wonderful connections to other crazy letter writers like me. EPC also lists web sites for letter writers to connect (check out the blogroll in the right column of this blog). Believe me—we are out there and waiting by our mailboxes. Write!

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 Meet the Writer: Tamra Orr is a full time writer and has written more than 300 books for readers of all ages. She is also mom to four and writes an average of 50 letters or more a month.

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Brand Feature: Jan Petr Obr

5 Jan

Shop all Jan Petr Obr Stationery on EuropeanPaper.com

 On EuropeanPaper.com, we truly have an international selection of paper products appealing to paper lovers across the board. We love introducing new brands to our website, keeping up the stock of known (and well-loved) brands, and seeking out the best of the best for our audience. In 2012, we will tell you the stories behind each brand and why we carry them on our website; hopefully you will love them all as much as we do.

Let’s Get Started with JPO

Jan Petr Obr is a distinguished Czech paper mill located in Prague. Their extensive and exquisite collection of handmade stationery is designed and produced in the classical European tradition – processes dating back to the 16th century. The stationery has a characteristic natural edge and felted surface. Each piece of paper is an individual work of art. Every box of stationery gives a personal nod to the skilled artist that impressively engraved or hand-printed the stationery. If you enjoy beautiful things, you can look forward to marveling at this amazing collection.

We’re still swooning over Jan Petr Obr’s exquisite stationery collection coined Bohemian Correspondence. The extensive collection is designed and produced in the classical European tradition, and pulls from their extensive library of engravings, antique maps, and art nouveau designs. Hailing from the Czech Republic, all Bohemian Correspondence Papers are engraved and hand-printed in Prague. From start to finish each sheet passes through the hands of the papermaker 10 times. Selected with pure joy in our hearts, we know you’ll fall in love with this timeless collection as we did. Here’s just a sample:

Jan Petr Obr Red Bicycle Boxed Flat Note Cards on EPC

Jan Petr Obr Red Bicycle Boxed Flat Note Cards 

Jan Petr Obr’s Red Bicycle Boxed Flat Notecards belong to an extensive and exquisite collection of stationery called Bohemian Correspondence Paper. This set of 10 note cards is engraved & hand-printed in Prague, by the artist L. Vojtova and engraver Nadezda Baubinova. Each of these quaint A6 flat note cards are adorned with a red bicycle at the top center and are accompanied by matching, elegant tissue lined envelopes. Charming and skillfully crafted, you’ll want to see them for yourself!

See the other boxed note card sets HERE.

Jan Petr Obr A7 Folded Card & Envelope Set 3 x 4.25 on EPC

Jan Petr Obr A7 Folded Card & Envelope Set

Jan Petr Obr’s A7 Folded Card & Envelope Set belongs to an extensive and exquisite collection of handmade stationery called Bohemian Correspondence Paper. With its characteristic natural edge and felted surface, each piece of paper is an individual work of art. Charming and skillfully crafted, this is a classy and sophisticated way to “Repondez s’il vous plait” (RSVP) and a luxurious way to announce jubilant events. Discover unmatched quality with this set of 25 sized A7 folded cards and 25 corresponding sized C7 envelopes.

Check out Jan Petr Obr’s other card & envelope sets HERE.

 

Giveaway: Fabriano Medioevalis Box [Closed]

7 Dec

Fabriano Medioevalis Reception Folded Cards on EuropeanPaper.com

Fabriano Medioevalis Folded Cards : click for more.

Giveaway Alert! We’ve got a lovely box of Fabriano Medioevalis Reception Folded Cards (200 x 300 mm) that is so lonely; it needs a new home!

From our site: “Built on the foundation of quality and tradition, Fabriano’s elegant Medioevalis Reception Folded Cards have myriad uses. The luxurious soft feel of the 260 gsm cards is sure to inspire for any event. Combined with the Reception Envelopes, they are perfect for letterpress, offset, inkjet, laserjet, ink, pencil, charcoal, pastel, light washes, stamping, rubbings, stencils, engraving and printmaking.” … Or really anything else you can come up with!

Fabriano Medioevalis Reception Folded Cards on EuropeanPaper.com

Fabriano Medioevalis Folded Cards : click for more.

This beautiful Cartiere Milliani Fabriano Decorative Box includes 100 moulde-made cards to be used any way you like. Plus, you can use the box afterward to hold other paper, letters, or mementos. **Disclaimer: This box does have one corner we repaired (there was a slight tear), but the paper inside is pristine.**

To enter: Leave a comment on this blog post with an accurate email address & what you would use the Fabriano paper for … that’s it! You’ve got 48 hours – we’re announcing the randomly chosen winner at 9 a.m. (MST) on Friday, 12/9!
(Sorry, but this giveaway is only open to those in the U.S.)

 

Green Gifts: Thoughtful Eco-Friendly Products for Friends & Family

6 Dec

Whether it’s during the major holiday season or for birthdays or life events, give your friends, family, and coworkers thoughtful gifts that have a minimal ecological impact. Pretty and sleek, eco-friendly stationery and office supplies come in a variety of colors and designs. With so much range, you can find the perfect, environmentally-responsible gift for everyone on your list!

For the Harried, Hurried Exec

Exacompta Exacard Wirebound Business Card Holder on EuropeanPaper.com

Exacompta Exacard Wirebound Business Card Holder

For the busy professionals in your life, give the gift of organization with the Exacompta Exacard Wirebound Business Card Holder. Your environmentally-conscious professional friends will appreciate the 80-percent recycled material. With slots that hold up to 120 cards, you’ll also help them reign in those unruly stacks of business cards. You also can send this to your business contacts as a creative, professional holiday gift. Slip your card into the proper alphabetical slot, and turn the sleek card holder into a fun – and functional – business gift.

For the Daydreamer

Poo Poo Paper Elephant Silhouette Journal on EuropeanPaper.com

Poo Poo Paper Elephant Silhouette Journal

Give the writer, dreamer, or goal-setter a unique gift: a journal made from elephant poop. That’s right; the Poo Poo Paper Elephant Silhouette Journal is made from elephant dung that has been cleaned, processed, and turned into ecologically-responsible journal paper. This one-of-a-kind gift will impress the eco-friendly journal writers on your list. Personalize the journal by writing an inspirational quote or heartfelt message on the inside cover.

For the Creative Genius

Eco Vintage Journal on EuropeanPaper.com

Eco Vintage Journal

The blank tree-free pages of the Eco Vintage Journal beg for sketches. The artist in your life will be inspired by the hand-painted images adorning the cover of each journal. Because many artists develop preferences for materials and media, it can be difficult to find just the right thing. These journals give an artist plenty of blank space with room to scrawl in a travel-friendly size.

For your Nearest & Dearest

Mudlark Eco Hayden Leigh Memento Boxed Note Cards on Europeanpaper.com

Mudlark Eco Hayden Leigh Boxed Note Cards

For a gift that is as wallet-friendly as it is eco-friendly, pick up a recycled paper notecard and pen a love letter. Though it sounds too simple, a heartfelt, handwritten note will give the recipient a lasting memory and a keepsake that will last longer than another scarf-and-gloves set. Write a note to your mom telling her how grateful you are for all she’s done for you. Pen a romantic note to your partner detailing why you love them. Send a letter to your friends explaining why their friendship means so much to you. Tie a bow around the envelope and leave it under the tree – or draw a bow on the envelope flap if you’re sending it through the mail. This simple, eco-conscious, budget-friendly gift can be a meaningful gift that may even spark a new tradition.

Lama Li Eco Hemp Pencil Bag on EuropeanPaper.com

Lama Li Eco Hemp Pencil Bag

For the OCD Organizer

Give the gift of storage to your favorite organizer. The Lama Li Hemp Pencil Bag is handmade from uber-eco-friendly hemp. At four-by-eight inches, it’s big enough to tote pens, pencils, and highlighters, while being small enough to tuck into a purse or laptop bag. Plus, it’s a gift with good karma: Proceeds from sales help support rural economic development projects inNepal.

For the Fountain Pen Aficionado

Conklin Mark Twain Crescent Blue Marble Fountain Pen on EuropeanPaper.com

Conklin Mark Twain Crescent Blue Marble Fountain Pen

Channel an American legend with the Conklin Mark Twain Crescent Fountain Pen. A classic refillable pen is an eco-chic alternative to traditional writing instruments. Americans buy around 106 billion (yes, billion!) ballpoint pens each year. All that plastic eventually ends up in the landfill. Spend more on an elegant pen that will last a lifetime, stay out of the garbage, and inspire your grateful recipient.

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 Meet the Writer:Maggie Marton is a freelance writer who lives in Bloomington, Indiana, with her husband and their three darling dogs. View more of Maggie’s work at MaggieMarton.com

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Paper for the Holidays: Gift Giving Tailor Made

29 Nov

Thanksgiving is over (and your belly is probably still full from the feast!), and November is almost gone with its crisp autumn breezes and crackly, colorful leaves. If you haven’t started planning for the major gift-giving holidays, now is a good time to start, plus it will make those busy days and long lists much easier to handle.

Paper is one of the best gifts to get anyone. It can be practical or luxurious, simple or fancy. With some thought, it can also be tailored to fit anyone’s wishes.

The Big Event

Do you know someone who has a big event coming up in the next few months? Perhaps they are getting married, expecting a baby, or graduating college?  If so, paper is the perfect gift.

Why not put together a special package? Start with a set of boxed note cards and a set of thank you cards. Blank notes allow your family or friends to send out everything from event announcements to address changes. The set of thank you cards are a perfect follow up for any gifts given for these life-changing events.

Mudlark Eco Stephanie Boxed Note Cards on EuropeanPaper.com

Mudlark Eco Stephanie Boxed Note Cards

Suggestions: Mudlark offers a variety of colors and designs for everyone. Quotable Cards can also be a great choice, with quotes that reflect each person’s attitudes

Buying Tip: When ordering note cards or stationery, keep in mind the weight of the paper (found in the product description). Written in “gsm,” (grams per square meter), the heavier-weight papers will be higher quality, more durable, and have less risk of ink bleed-through. While sheets of paper may be as low as 80 gsm, cards will frequently be greater than 200 gsm.

A Happy New Year

The beginning of a new year is always exciting. Everyone makes big plans for what they want to accomplish. Help them achieve their goals by getting them just the right datebook. Pocket planners slip into a purse or a briefcase, while large planners provide plenty of room for notes, comments, and much more.

Moleskine 2012 XLarge Weekly Planner

Suggestions: If you know someone who doodles, often with pens, you might choose a Rhodia datebook with Clairefontaine paper because it will hold up under those constant scribbles and heavier inks. On the other hand, if you know someone who prefers to take notes or draw with pencils, a thinner paper Moleskine would be the perfect choice.

Buying Tip: Of course, another terrific way to help people keep track of time and obligations is by getting them just the right calendar. Yep, we’re thinking of none other than Cavallini’s lines of wall and desk calendars.

Journal the Year

Moleskine Passions Wellness Journal

One way to help others (and yourself) start off 2012 is by keeping a journal. It’s a simple solution to many people’s New Year’s resolutions: just by keeping an informal daily or weekly journal, you will keep track of your goals much more efficiently.

Suggestions: Moleskine has a line perfectly geared for people’s passions, aptly titled the Passions Books. These include specially organized journals for those who love everything from cooking, reading, traveling, and gardening, to drinking wine, watching movies, and listening to music. Each journal is unique and sure to please the people on your list.

Eco Warrior

You might know someone who likes something more unique—and more environmentally friendly. This is a broad category and can include products that are made with tree-free paper, recycled paper, or alternative fibers, as well as products that come from companies with sustainable and eco-friendly manufacturing processes.

Valley Eco Pulp Stationery on EuropeanPaper.com

Valley Eco Pulp Stationery

Suggestions: For the adventurous, why not grab them a set of Valley Eco Pulp Stationery and choose between sets made of bamboo, banana trunks, coconuts, mango leaves or pineapple husks fiber. For the sweet, Mudlark has an eco line of boxed note cards with designs to match every personality.

The holidays are a chance to not only show someone you care but also to show that you know them well enough—and care enough—to find a gift that’s right for them. Paper can be a fabulous choice for many of the names on your list, and paper products are easy to buy in order to avoid that last minute panic.

Quick Tips for Making the Paper Gift Extra Special:

Add a sheet of first-class Forever stamps.
Slide in an address book with family and friends already listed in it.
Take an extra step and provide personalized address labels.

What quick tips can you share?

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 Meet the Writer: Tamra Orr is a full time writer and has written more than 300 books for readers of all ages. She is also mom to four and writes an average of 50 letters or more a month.

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Take a Mental Holiday with Cavallini & Co.

23 Nov

Cavallini Brand Story on EuropeanPaper.com

Cavallini’s Roots

Cavallini and Co., one of our most distinctive brands, is devoted to vintage. Classic illustrations of major cities and the natural world create a certain allure to Cavallini’s products.

Cavallini & Co. was founded by Brad Parberry in 1989. Parberry had spent a year of his college experience in Florence, Italy, where he saw a beautiful line of calendars and saw an opportunity in them for the U.S.  He found the source company that had created the calendars in a phone book, gave them a call, and the rest—as they say—is history. From this lucky finding in Florence and a single phone call, Cavallini established a relationship with the Italian calendar designer that lasted for twenty years.

Parberry began the company, originally in his San Francisco apartment, by selling two calendars that looked very much like the wall calendars Cavallini sells today. Those first calendars were designed in Italy by the company he’d befriended. As the company began to flourish and grow, Parberry began finding his own vintage images and created designs for all of the calendars he was offering. As a personal touch, Parberry chose his grandmother’s family name to represent his new paper products and christened the company, “Cavallini.”

Distinct Italian Style

To this day, the company is located in San Francisco and, as such, they have several San Francisco-themed products in their inventory. But Cavallini has a wide and worldly influence when it comes to the images and themes included on their items, such as images from London, Paris, and New York.

All of Cavallini’s products, from its rubber stamps to its charming postcards, carry the feel of days gone by. Its line of New York-themed products, for instance, feel as if they’ve stepped straight from a store in the 1920′s and into Cavallini. The city is portrayed in an art deco style, almost as though the notebooks are advertisements for the World’s Fair. Likewise, many of their city-themed products look like those large canvas suitcases that characters in old films plaster with travel stickers.

All of the products offered by Cavallini are designed at their San Francisco offices by a team of graphic designers who collaborate to create the products and the ideas behind them. From there, a graphics team pull images from Cavallini’s vast archives and put together the finished items.

Cavallini

Sookie Koban, an employee with Cavallini, says the company is possesses  a large archive filled with vintage images that they’ve collected over the years. These images, Koban says, come from “postcard shows, antique stores and from vintage books.” When using these images, Cavallini endeavors to “retain the integrity and authenticity of the images” they collect.

Highlights

When it comes to signature items, Cavallini prides itself on its line of calendars. Koban describes Cavallini’s calendars as “unique in the marketplace as they focus on beautiful art prints.” The calendars are all printed on Italian cream laid paper, a fitting choice since the company began with the calendars Brad Parberry first found in Florence.

The driving philosophy of Cavallini, as described by Ms. Koban, is “to [create] unique high quality products.” This philosophy is evident in every product that Cavallini offers. With each vintage styled creation, Cavallini promises to give its customers an office supply that will stand out among the others on their desks. The imagery used by Cavallini may have otherwise been forgotten, but they bring new life to it through their notebooks, thank you cards, and other office ephemera.

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Meet the Writer: Mary Egan is a recent graduate of Lewis University and is currently interning with a publishing company in Chicago; she also has more pens and notebooks than she knows what to do with. She is the founder of the Jet Fuel Review, a student-run literary journal, and still blogs for them at Lewis Lit Journal.

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Brand Feature: G. Lalo

12 Nov

G. Lalo Brand Story on EuropeanPaper.com

Originating in Paris in 1919, G. Lalo quickly rose to be ‘de rigueur’ for social stationery in Paris and in the royal courts across Europe with its handcrafted stationery. Two aspects of G. Lalo stationery contribute to its fame: the quality of its papers and the elegance of its presentation. A paper is selected and allowed to bear G. Lalo’s exclusive watermark only after exacting examination of its texture, weight, finish and color.

Double Bordered Correspondence Cards

Colorful Parisian panache with the chic G. Lalo laid finish: These Double Bordered Correspondence Cards are both thoroughly modern and impressively elegant.  At a substantial 250 g, they are perfect for invitations, thoughtful missives, and cheerful notes.  You’ll find these lovely, lively cards available in sets of 10 with matching tissue-lined envelopes.

Verge de France Correspondence Sets

The new G. Lalo Verge de France Correspondence Sets come in myriad colors for you to choose from, and all are appropriate for invitations, announcements, love letters, or a simple hello. Elegantly understated, the Correspondence Sets speak for themselves with a deckled edge, heavy card stock (300 gsm), and a laid paper finish. Choose from an array of colors, all presented in sets of 10 flat note cards with 10 matching tissue-lined envelopes. A perfect gift for yourself and others to enjoy!

G. Lalo Stationery on EuropeanPaper.com

Verge de France

Verge paper has the look and feel of handmade paper. It even has the grid of parallel translucent lines (“vergeures”) made as the paper was laid to dry. These grids are very helpful as guides for handwriting. Verge paper was made by hand in huge vats, and today, G. Lalo makes the same paper according to traditional methods but with modern techniques.

Borghese Stationery

This is the stationery set that makes you want to write to everyone you know. From royal stationers G. Lalo, these deckle edged cards are a full 160 pound cardstock with a laid finish. The matching envelopes complete the picture. The beautifully boxed set contains 50 flat cards and envelopes measuring 3.75 x 6 inches in blue, ivory, or white. It’s a wonderful canvas on which to send your sentiments, one that the lucky recipient will truly appreciate.

Mode de Paris Stationery

Luxurious G. Lalo stationery is the perfect canvas for expressing your sentiments in a memorable way. Elegantly understated, it speaks for itself with a deckled edge, heavy card stock, and a laid paper finish. Choose from an array of colors, all presented in a lovely box.

Have a box of G. Lalo stationery, but don’t know what to write on it or use it for? Read our article “Beautiful Paper, Perfect Pen … Now What?”  for some inspiration. And let us know your ideas!

Beautiful Paper, Perfect Pen … Now What?

10 Nov

The timing couldn’t be better. You have a free hour to spend as you please. On the desk in front of you is some of the most beautiful paper you have ever had. It might be a sheet of Amalfi watermark stationery or a tablet of G. Lalo Verge De France. In your hand is your tried and trusted fountain pen. You are ready to spend your hour writing.

G. Lalo Fine Stationery on EuropeanPaper.com

G. Lalo Fine Stationery

But—writing what?

Chances are you have some type of correspondence waiting to be written—most people do. Think about it for a moment. Perhaps you owe a few thank you notes to some people? Maybe a reply letter to a distant friend or relative? Perhaps you’d like to write a love letter to someone special? In these modern days of texting, instant messaging, emailing and Twittering, a handwritten letter is still a treasure many people appreciate.

The post office is struggling at the moment, but there are thousands of devoted people around the planet who are doing their best to keep it going, and you can be one of them. Many people sit down and spend an hour—or two or three—writing to someone in another city, state, or country. They share their thoughts and dreams, their daily activities, their opinions and philosophies, and much more—all just a sample of what you, too, can write. While many people pen letters to friends and family who have moved away, a number are also corresponding with friends they have only met through the mailbox.

Here are a few tips to help you put pen to paper:

Before you start composing, give your words some thought. What would you like to express to this person? If you are not sure how to phrase it, try jump starting those creative juices by taking a walk outside (nature can be amazingly inspirational!). As you walk or after you return, jot down a short list of points you want to cover in your letter so that you don’t get to the end and realize you forgot something important.

For a fairly brief letter, perhaps one to thank someone for doing something kind, consider drawing a swirl or border on your border to personalize it. You can also add a wax initial stamp to the bottom. Also, If you have trouble writing straight on unlined paper, you can often find a line guide in high-end paper, or you can create your own on the computer and place it behind your paper as a guide to follow.

G. Lalo Correspondence Sets on EuropeanPaper.com

Example of deckle-edged G. Lalo Correspondence Sets.

If you are using a fountain pen, make sure you have adequate amounts of ink on hand. If you have multiple pens with different types of ink, consider writing in one color and adding that swirl or border in another tone. Check that your ink has dried before carefully folding your letter into the envelope. You might want to embellish the envelope with the same swirl or border to create unity between container and contents.

Remember that while you want your correspondence to look lovely and delight whoever receives it, this is not English 101. You will not be graded on your perfect punctuation or vibrant vocabulary. Simply speak from your heart and let the words flow from your hand through the pen to the paper. After all, beautiful paper is like a sailing ship sitting in a harbor. It wasn’t meant to just sit there. Instead, add your words to it and then send it off on a journey.

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 Meet the Writer: Tamra Orr is a full time writer and has written more than 300 books for readers of all ages. She is also mom to four and writes an average of 50 letters or more a month.

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