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By Hand, Ink

Books ~ Stationery ~ Gifts

I 'm not ashamed to admit I've been a "paper junkie" from a very young age. Pristine composition books at the beginning of the school year, the smell of a brand-new hardcover, the crisp feel of bond or parchment beneath my pen - these are sensuous pleasures I enjoy unabashedly. Stationery stores (along with bookstores) are my favorite haunts.

I have always been fascinated by words: not just the magic of stringing them together to create sentences, paragraphs, etc., but the actual shapes of the individual letters - how simple up and down strokes create such graceful lines, and how different fonts can create entirely different moods.

W hen I was a little girl, I traced pleasing alphabets, then painstakingly re-traced them, one letter at a time, to create greeting cards or other special projects. Later, when I discovered there were pens with various nibs that would form the thick and thin portions of each letter automatically (if the pen was held correctly) I was over the moon!

I have been doing calligraphy for decades, mostly addressing wedding invitations, designing posters or greeting cards for festive occasions, and some other fun things. Over the last few years, I have been thrilled with the burgeoning popularity of handmade and/or hand-embellished cards. This led to my interest in opening a design studio where I could create greeting cards and framed poems and quotations.

When the opportunity to open a retail store arose, I envisioned an intimate, cozy space filled not only with my work, but with the work of the many talented designers and letterpress printers whose work I've come to admire. In addition, I wanted a shop stocked with beautiful and unusual items . . . the kinds if things I'm always looking for when I shop. And so I spent months searching for and finding suppliers of fine Italian stationery; giftwrap, gift bags, bows, ribbon, & tissue paper; pens, ink, sealing wax & seals; parchment paper; letter openers handcrafted in Italy; French crystal paperweights; other unique gifts; and a lovely line of greeting cards by Cardthartic.

Why us?

These days, we too easily dash off a quick email, or an even quicker text. Our goal is to get you to slow down just a bit - to sit and actually write a note to someone on a pretty notecard, or send a birthday or get well greeting card to a friend. Imagine how rare handwritten notes will be in the years to come, and how they will be cherished!

Each card has been chosen individually by me; I didn't sit down with my sales rep and ask her to select an assortment for me. Instead, I studied catalogs for hours on end, picking images and sentiments that appealed to me, often saying, "Oh, this one would be perfect for that friend's birthday," or ""This photo reminds me of the time we . . ." I hope you have the same reaction, and find cards suitable for numerous occasions.

Our matted and framed pieces are reproductions of my original calligraphy and artwork, done by hand, (I'm pretty much technically illiterate, so no Photoshop or Illustrator for me!) then carefully printed on quality papers and mounted in the prettiest moldings available.

Our calligraphy notecards are created in the same way; in addition, many are hand-colored and embellished and, where rubber stamps are used, each stamping is done individually, after the rest of the card has been printed. Choosing papers and envelopes is a daunting task, since the selection is incredible - I want them all! 

I take pride in my work, and I want you to be happy with your purchase. Sitting down at my light table (with the ideas that kept me awake for much of the previous night racing through my mind) gives me great pleasure. With a pile of colorful pens on one side, and a stack of blank paper on the other, I get to work. I'm always surprised when I finally notice that hours have gone by; that I didn't bother with lunch because I wasn't aware of hunger; and that an impressive tower of rough draft designs has accumulated. I absolutely adore being "in the zone!" 

All of our framing is done in house. We recycle wherever possible, so don't be surprised if your order arrives in a box sporting the logo of a familiar retailer!