Happy Valentine’s Day


In honor of this day commemorating love, I wanted to share the images on these cards I have from the 70s.  They have that fun plastic covering on them that makes them shiny!

I hope you all spend this day and every day feeling loved!


Traveling Woman

I have not been writing much lately. Work has kept me busy…as evidenced by my growing collection of hotel stationery:


But hotel note pads are not the only paper products I have picked up.  I am working on some posts about my recent stationery adventures in Geneva, Switzerland and London, England and I have some other stationery adventures I’ve been meaning to post on Boston, San Francisco, New Orleans and elsewhere.  It’s coming!

Artists and Salespeople

My dad gave me his favorite magazine from his childhood–an issue of The Leather Craftsman dated September/October 1959.  He always loved the image on the cover and the accompanying story that someone had written from the perspective of the cougar.

I love that the image is all tooled in leather! Look at that detail!

As I was reading through the magazine, I saw this little bit of wisdom:

I have been thinking about ways to move from artist to salesman, of designing my own stationery and selling it online and at craftshows.  But as the “feet” concept suggests–it’s a lot of work to do when you already have a full-time, non-stationery related job!

Since my trip to the National Stationery Show in May, I’ve been thinking about the trend in the industry away from letter sets and toward cards only.  I walked up and down aisle after aisle, looking in hundreds and hundreds of booths.  I saw thousands of cards and fewer than five letter sets.  I’ve heard from pen pals that they don’t find letter sets in stationery stores any more. They have to go online and find folks who still believe that we have something to say that won’t fit in a small card.

There are some companies that still do fun letter set designs (I like Peter Pauper Press, Crane and Chronicle). And there are a lot of great Asian letter sets out there. But it feels like there may be room for me, too.  I may jump into the fray.  If it get up the courage, you’ll be the first to know!

National Stationery Show

I just printed off my boarding pass for my early flight tomorrow.  I’ll be at the National Stationery Show Monday and Tuesday and will share my findings when I return.  I’ll be posting more regularly on Twitter @savesnailmail while I’m at the show, so please follow me if you’d like an inside perspective.

In the mean time, I wanted to share some vintage stationery that my mother-in-law found in some of her mother’s belongings.  She gave them to me. She thought they would make me squeal with delight and she was not disappointed!

These Wildflower Floral Notes were designed by the Tichnor Brothers in Boston.  I’m not sure how old they are, but I think they’re at least 50 years old. 

They are so vibrant! Here’s a detail of the water lily:

And hiding in the box were a couple of other cards with this cute design:

I assume that’s a mirror she’s looking into (telling it her biggest secrets). Either that or she’s headed off on what will be an unsuccessful butterfly-catching expedition. And is she a fairy or an angel?  With wings like that, what do you think?


Dreams Do Come True!

Well, readers, I’m writing to say that in one week, I’ll be fulfilling a dream to attend the National Stationery Show in New York City. The NSS is open only to “industry people.”  That is, folks who either make or sell stationery or those who supply materials or equipment for stationery making.  Since I am not yet one of those types (though I hope to be some day), I am pleased that there is another option…press!  So I will be attending the NSS as a member of the press and sharing here on my blog what I find during my exploration of the show.  I’m very excited (what stationery lover wouldn’t be?) and I look forward to sharing the creative booths and stories of some of my favorite stationery lines.

If you are going to be a NSS and want to meet up, let’s connect via email (dana at savesnailmail dot com).  If not, stay tuned and I’ll update you soon on all the fun!

If you can’t wait, you can see a quick video about last year’s NSS here.

Yours in papery obsession,

Letter Writing Social at the National Postal Museum

If any of you plan to be in Washington, D.C. this weekend, be sure to stop by the National Postal Museum.  Melissa over at Craftgasm is working with Erin at the NPM to host a letter writing social from 12:00-3:00 this Saturday, April 28th.

While you are there, you can write letters, check out our nation’s postal history, buy some stamps and connect with other postal enthusiasts (or philepistlists as Melissa has coined us).

Who knows, maybe I’ll hop in my car and head north.  It certainly is tempting!


National Stationery Day–in the U.K.

Britains have their priorities straight…they have designated April 24th as National Stationery Day! I don’t think we Americans have our own special day just yet, so I’m celebrating with the U.K. until we catch up.

To mark the day, The Guardian featured a slide show of unique stationery designs from a new book by Charlotte Rivers called I Love Stationery.

Guess who has already ordered the book?!

National Letter Writing Month in the U.S. is from April 1 until Mother’s Day–so we have a lot to celebrate this month.  Keep writing–and don’t forget to include a note to your mom. She’ll appreciate it.

Snail-y Mail Happenings

Well, I’ve finally broken my stationery fast of 2012.  

Well, to be truthful, I broke my fast just a teensy bit on February 29th. I felt a bit guilty, but it was a postal emergency!  I realized in the middle of the day that it would be fun to send Leap Day-cancelled letters to my parents, my sister and myself.  But I was out running errands and didn’t have any of my stationery stash with me.  Knowing I couldn’t get home, write notes, and get back to the post office by the end of the day, I stopped by the post office to see what they had on hand.  I found this lovely bonsai card set–10 cards, 10 envelopes and 10 matching stamps!:

The set is available here at The Postal Store or in your local P.O. if they carry them.

Preston at the counter agreed to hand cancel the cards, so I sat in the post office and wrote out three.  Preston gave them a beautiful cancel:

But I really broke my stationery fast on my most recent trip to Nest Paper Studio in Oxford, MS. I just had to have these two snail-themed card sets.

This first one is from Lark Press.  Look at that lovely snail!

I also picked up this Greek-inspired snail design from Sharp & Sally.

I love the detail:

The lovely snail theme continues this set I got for Christmas from Orange Tabby Press.

How cute!  I know the term “snail mail” isn’t exactly appreciated by the USPS, but I just love these snail designs.  It seems the stationery world is “embracing the snail” of handwritten correspondence and recognizing it isn’t a derogatory term.  It’s more a part of the slow movement–good things come to those who wait and savor!

What stationery have you picked up lately?

Stationery Issues

So, I promised myself that I would not buy any stationery this year until I had used up (or very significantly depleted) my current, somewhat embarassingly large, collection of stationery.

I have kept that promise for over a month!

But it’s sooooo hard when I keep seeing these lovely sales all over the place.  A girl can look, can’t she?

So I thought I’d just share a couple sites I’m drooling over right now with you and then I can move on to using all of the gorgeous stationery I already have!

Night Owl Paper Goods is having a big sale on their lovely letterpressed and wood (yes, wood!) stationery.

Crane has had some items on sale (slowly dwindling before my eyes!) but this airmail journal is still available for only 5 bucks (pic from Crane)!

And I have been avidly perusing European Paper Company’s lovely selection of, well, European paper.

Fortunately, my stationery purchasing ban does not extend to those people who have given it to me as gifts lately; I have a few new treasures to share, soon!

P.S. Crane’s website has some great “how do they do that?” videos.  I loved watching this man gild the edges of a stack of cards.  Wow!


Hilton Postcard

My love for stationery and vintage items burned anew for this postcard:

I love that “Statler Hilton” script.  I’ve been practicing those H’s with my calligraphy pen!

Here’s the description of the hotel on the back:

I love that the luxuries of “air conditioning” and “rooftop heliport” are mentioned in the same sentence.  I am risking a heat stroke just imagining a Texas hotel without air conditioning. But at one time, people had to live with that reality. My how we’ve advanced!

The best part about this postcard is that it is unused…so it’s ready to send to a recipient who can also bask in the glory of the 1001-room, Y-shaped hotel!