Tag Archives: National Stationery Show

Just Send It

Last summer, while away on a family vacation, I received a difficult phone call from my dear friend, Ron. He had recently been diagnosed with leukemia. My first reaction, aside from “OH SHIT, you can’t leave this world!”, was how soon can I mail a card to him back home. Unfortunately, I had some practice writing  get well cards over the past few years to friends and family. But as I saw through my mother’s partner, David, who received letters while battling melanoma, handwritten letters make a difference. They really do.

Since our small beach town in Oregon only carried a small selection of encouragement cards and were not totally my style, I decided to roll with the situation and buy the most sappy, Deep Thoughts by Jack Handeyesque cards I could find. It became our theme to send Ron extremely  syrupy, footprints-in-the-sand kind of greeting cards (he’s still talking to me so something must have worked!).

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Thankfully, more greeting card designers are creating cards which simply state how we feel, the Queen Bee these days being Emily McDowell. Her booth at the National Stationery Show is always packed with buyers and it’s easy to see why. Emily’s empathy cards speak the truth in a humorous yet thoughtful way!

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After her experience (and triumph!) with cancer as well as connecting with people who have lost loved ones, Emily understands first-hand what it’s like to be on the other side.  The emotional impact of the experience was her inspiration to create cards she would have liked to receive while she was ill.

Indeed, it’s a fine balance, how direct are you with those you feel empathy towards? This quote from Dr.Brene Brown sums it up well, “Empathy is a choice and it’s a venerable choice because in order to connect with you I have to connect with something in myself that knows that feeling. Rarely, if ever, does an empathic response begin with at least...we are trying to put the silver lining around it.” And what are these words to use if not found in the perfect card?

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TOO SEXY from Patterson Paper

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Throat Punch Cancer from Black Lab Studio

Years ago an article in the NY Times made it a bit more clear as far as the Do’s and Don’ts of communication to those ill. Words which are direct and have feeling appear the most powerful. “I’m sorry you have to go through this.” “I hate to see you suffer.” “You meant a lot to me.” These statement plus keeping it light with a little juicy gossip, (a Hollywood star scandal, the school Principal’s dating life, etc.), can be the key in getting through the next round of chemo.

This is what I believe to be true. Show up, be real, be encouraging. Look for online support if the what’s and how’s don’t come naturally to you (my good friend recently kicked off Cancer Doula blog after losing her best friend to breast cancer and was unable to find support which spoke to her!). Do not hold back mailing a card if you don’t have the perfect words or perfect card. Your loved one will be overjoyed knowing you are with them in mind and spirit – And they are not alone.

    Featured Designer: Moglea

    Confession. For the past few years I’ve developed a big time, girl crush on Meg Gleason from Moglea. As I slowly strolled by her booth at the National Stationery Show, I would observe both the crowds and the cards and then continue on. Finally this past year I could no longer bare the lure of her handwriting, colors and designs and introduced myself to Meg and her talented team, including her husband and co-founder, Chad. And I’ve never looked back!

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    We’re thrilled to feature Meg as the recent Featured Designer – And lucky you, readers, can receive 20% OFF all of the Moglea products through November 6th! (use code: Moglea20)

      May Movement

      Before I begin sharing the best of the best I found at last week’s National Stationery Show, here were a few highlights from the month I would not want to overlook!….

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      First off, I’m thrilled about the release this week of the National Parks stationery set found on The Reed; a new site created by Lizzie Garrett Mettler (the woman behind Tomboy Style) to explore movement, travel, and adventure. The set is a collaboration between Brown Ink and The Reed (with great support from Pomegranate Press!) inspired by generations of Americans hitting the road to explore our glorious National Parks.

      Next up, the people behind Bond (robots that write notes…more on this later) has teamed up with KINDSnacks for Military Appreciation Month by turning tweets of gratitude into handwritten notes which will be delivered to US soldiers around the world. Tweet thank-you’s to America’s bravest! #thankskindly

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      On to my favorite international paper goods shop, Rad and Hungry. They are celebrating their 50th STMT Kit with a custom Scottish goods kit and their first ever T-shirt (free with orders over $100) thru May 31st. Each kit is locally sourced in each city and filled with limited-edition lo-fi office supplies from a company that is crazy about paper goods! Speaking of office supplies…

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      Who says we all have to rely on technology for our Summer road trips with the kids?  All for the Boys reminds us we simply need to look into our office supply drawer to find loads of ideas to bring out our imagination and get you to your destination in peace and without a screen!

      Finally, the Letters Live events are picking up speed, a unique lineup of outstanding artists reading remarkable letters to a captive audience. Last Sunday’s performances at the Hay Festival must have been mind blowing as others listened to actors celebrate the pain, joy, humor and wisdom found in each letter they read. Check out the Letters Live in CA next month!

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      And you still have until the end of tomorrow to pick up Summer paper goods with 30% OFF the entire order at Brown Ink Paper Goods using code: SUMMER30 — so move, travel & write!

        On the Road with Power & Light Press

        A few years ago when I was first determining which artists would work well within the Brown Ink Paper Goods aesthetics, I came across the one-of-a-kind woman, Kyle Durrie, from Power & Light Press at the National Stationery Show.

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        Both her taste and her exploration as a young adult made her a shoe-in for the store. I recently connected with Kyle, our current Featured Designer, to hear a more about what makes her move. Check out the story here and continue to follow me via Instagram as I connect with both new and seasoned designers at the show this year!

          Cursive; More Questions Than Answers

          The other day while cleaning out Emmett’s backpack, (our 2nd grader), my mouth dropped. I was unexpectedly holding a worksheet for students to trace and then write a letter “B” in cursive!! This was too good to be true. I know the Minneapolis Public Schools system no longer teaches cursive, choosing instead to spend time studying for standardized tests among other reasons, so I was (pleasantly) surprised by the find. After asking Emmett and his teacher, Mr. Janssen, why Emmett had been practicing cursive, I learned it was an extra bit of work the students could select during their free time. Although his teacher feels strongly about the importance of handwriting, he must use his class time for other school district requirements.

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          I was taught cursive in 3rd grade soon after D’Nealian was introduced in 2nd grade. Through the years my handwriting took the form of half-cursive, half-block writing. Surprisingly, the cursive has returned. Although I can’t say the same for my two closest friends from grade school. Both Kari and Theresa were taught cursive in the same fashion but have printed for as long as I can remember (and adoringly, their writing has barely changed!).

          I generally like the look of my writing and it’s become clear over the years that my cursive is here to stay. Not only does it hold a unique form but it’s by far faster to use cursive versus block writing especially when it comes to writing page after page while journaling.

          Awhile ago I caught a great story on the Today Show (patience with the 30 sec add, it’s worth the wait!) asking the question; are computers really fazing out penmanship? There are two clear sides to the battle; those who believe learning cursive takes time away from other subjects pitted against others who look at the values it brings to a student. Today in 44 states teaching cursive is optional, and in Hawaii and Indiana cursive is no longer in the curriculum. Which means as a school and a teacher and a parent we need to fight the good cursive fight.

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          The Oxford Dictionary’s definition of cursive is “any style of handwriting that is designed for writing notes and letters quickly by hand” and “many or all letters in a word are connected.” There you have it – Cursive is meant to save us time. I should share this with Emmett. He’s all about how fast can he get through his work! Maybe cursive is his answer. Stay tuned this summer as I remind you all of the benefits of handwriting, both print and cursive.

          P.S. I’m headed to the National Stationery Show tomorrow to find more paper goods for the shop! Be sure to follow my adventures on Instagram – Lots to discover at the Javits Cetner.