New Orleans’ Scriptura Stationery Shop

During a recent trip to New Orleans in May, I explored the French Quarter, Marigny, and Garden District with my sister.  We listened to live music, ate scrumptious food, enjoyed late-night cafe au laits and beignets at the Cafe du Monde, and met some interesting people.  During all this fun, I managed to carve out some time to visit the stationery shop Scriptura on Magazine Street.

The shop offered a welcome respite from the torrential downpour that threatened to further swell the Mississippi over its already record highs. I took the picture above as I left the shop, when the rain had abated.

Scriptura offers an excellent selection of fine stationery, fountain pens, and journals.  Most of their wares you can find in nice stationery shops everywhere.  I was on the look out for something unique to New Orleans.  I was thrilled to find these flat-card sets made by Scriptura and sold only in their shop:

The “Jazz Hall” flats celebrate one of New Orleans’ greatest gifts–music! 

I loved the blue flat cards below with a stamp image and postal cancellation featuring New Orleans’ unofficial motto “Let the Good Times Roll.” 

And the green flat cards sporting the historic St. Charles street car design bring back memories of riding the rickety street car through the Garden District on a gorgeous spring day…windows down, sun shining. 

Here’s a shot of the street car coming to pick us up and take us back to Canal Street.

The ladies at Scriptura said they will mail orders to folks out of town, but they have not yet established their website for taking orders.  So if you’d like to get these sets for yourself, give them a call!

As is the case in most stationery stores these days, Scriptura did not sell loose-leaf stationery sets to write letters with beyond the nice, but plain, Crane sets.  I’ll continue my search for stationery sets suitable for actual letters and not just notes, but I fear they’re a dying breed. 

P.S.

To continue the tradition I began with my France entries, I wanted to share a few non-snail mail related photos from my adventures.  Of course, pastries are involved. Here are the hot, fresh beignets and a cafe au lait from Cafe du Monde.  It’s a requirement that I have a beignet-a-day anytime I’m in New Orleans!

Of course, there’s lots of other yummy food.  Here’s a pizza from Angeli on Decatur St.  Yes, those are whole roasted garlic cloves:

And what would a trip to NOLA be without some live music?  We checked out some street performers, nearly went deaf listening to a big brass band at d.b.a., and heard a couple acts at Mimi’s, including Gal Holiday and the Honky Tonk Revue:

And while checking out what other live shows were in the offering in the area, I saw this band was going to perform (sadly, after I left town!):I leave you with a photo of a simply awesome tree, overgrown with other greenery that decided to grow right out of its boughs and branches.  I think the sultry weather in Louisiana supports this glorious overgrowth: 

We really let the good times roll and I can’t wait to go back!

Susie Ghahremani stationery

A recent visit to vivasnailmail.com reminded me of the stationery designs of Susie Ghahremani. I have loved her designs for a while, especially her owls…I’m a bit obsessed with owls these days.  I have a great journal of hers and thought it was time I checked out her new stuff.

Susie’s site (boygirlparty.com) has a lot of great stationery.  I picked up these tiny notes:

Some campfire cards I’ll use for a future party invitation:

Some dachshund-themed birthday cards (I have an adorable red, mini dachshund named Rico, so I’m required, by law, to purchase anything that has a red doxie on it!):

And the “Birds of a Feather” notes which turn into little stand-up pieces the recipients can continue to enjoy after they’ve read your messages. (You can see them here).

For fun, I’ll send a birds of a feather note to the first three people who email me their mailing address at dana at savesnailmail.com. Choose the design you’d like: peacock, tucan, owl, or hummingbird. I promise only to use your mailing address for this purpose, nothing nefarious here! Just a random act of snail mail love.

Oxford, Mississippi’s stationery shop

Hello out there!  I’m sorry my rate of posting has slowed recently.  I’ve been out of town a lot for work and family reasons and the blog has taken a back seat.  But I’m always thinking about things I can share with you here on Save Snail Mail, even while I’m traveling! 

In April, my work took me to Oxford, Mississippi.  Oxford is a beautiful college town (home to Ole Miss) and its town square sports several nice restaurants, an amazing book store that has branched out to three different shops around the square, several high-end clothing boutiques and a great stationery shop called Nest Paper Studio. 

I had visited Nest last fall and was eager to stop back by in April to stock up on some more fun designs.  I chose this blue, letter-pressed stationery set by Smock:

And this beautiful, but affordable, stationery from Kartos:

I’m still enjoying these sticky notes I picked up the last time I was there.  They have a fun postage and office-supply theme:

Nest also sells a great selection of letter press cards and other letter-writing accoutrements. If you’re in the area, stop by the town square and check it out!

French stationery #4

Here it is, my fourth and final installment on the stationery finds I made while I was in France.  I’m sad to see this little series end, but I saved the best for last!

I hit the stationery jackpot in Paris.  On a single street–Rue du Pont Louis Philippe in the 4th Arrondissement–I found four great shops.  The first one I went into was a design studio that offered a small selection of unique, Paris-themed cards.  I chose this foldable diorama of famous Parisian sights as a souvenir of my trip:

I then visited Calligrane, which is the single-most posh stationery store I’ve ever been in.

The shop specialized in  fine-quality Japanese paper, the stationery was impeccably displayed, and the shop keeper was a crisply dressed woman who was clearly used to serving a clientele of the rich and famous.  And the prices proved it!  Small paper journals ran 45 to 60 Euros (about $65 to $85)!  I was able to find three flat cards I could “afford.” The picture doesn’t show the great patterns on this divine, rough-edged paper, but here it is anyway:

I also picked up a packet of five sheets of paper that came pre-folded into their own envelope:

Next, followed my favorite stationery store of the entire trip: Melodies Graphiques.

Here are the front window displays:

I swear, my heart began beating faster when I saw these windows! They’re spectacular!

The shop keeper, Eric, is a calligrapher and the walls of his shop sport envelopes of the letters he’s received from what he called his “fan club.” I think they were thank you letters for his services, notes from fellow calligraphers, etc.  But they may have been just letters from folks who really loved his store.  I know I’m one of them!

Melodies Graphiques had cards, stationery, journals, calligraphy pens and inks and other little gifts.

Here are a few pics of his shop:

And here are the things I brought home. Two pens–a swirled calligraphy pen with removable nib and a delicate red pen that writes like a dream when dipped in ink (the shop had a display that let me try it before I bought it).

I also picked up a few sheets of this paper:

And some French royalty stationery:

Here’s one of my favorites, a gold-embossed, flat-card set with the quill pen image:

And my favorite piece was this large flat card featuring some wonderful calligraphy in the image of Montmartre’s Sacre Coeur Basilica. Even the envelope is gorgeous!

A close up reveals the “sweet” words used to make the bushes on the hill going up to the church:

Wow! So many wondrous things! Oh, I wish I had a store like that!

The fourth shop, which I only had an opportunity to window shop, was Papier Plus, and it featured brightly-colored journals and books.  Definitely worth a look if I’d had more time.

P.S. Since this is my last installment about my trip to France, I wanted to share a few pictures of some of the amazing paintings France had to offer. They’re from the Orangerie Museum in Paris

Here are the waterlily paintings that circle around two oval-shaped rooms constructed especially to house these fabulous works by Monet.  You feel like you’re in a rowboat in the middle of the pond, and that it’s every time of the day, depending on which direction you look!

And I leave you with a Renoir I found enchanting:

Au revoir!

Paris-themed paper goods

As I was planning my trip to France and fantasizing about all the wonderful things I would do and see, I kept running across French-themed paper goods that I had to have.  It all started when I found these lovely file folders (by Cavalini) at a Chapel Hill stationery shop, Salutations:

I feel more inspired to organize my various piles of papers with file folders sporting the Eiffel Tower and other fun Frenchiness.

And this Paris journal (also by Cavalini) beautifully coordinates with my red fountain pen:

Other people gave me little Paris-themed paper gifts, knowing I would treasure them.  This included this small note pad (by Punch Studio),

and this folio of calendar sheets and sticky notes (with a Morgan Yamada Design):

that opens up like this:

Even before I left the ground, my trip to France was resulting in additions to my paper products collection!  I’ll be sharing my last, but certainly not least, French stationery installment this week.  I’ll be sad to see the French installments end, but I hope you’ve enjoyed them!

P.S.

Here are some pics of the Eiffel Tower, so prominently displayed on the Paris-inspired paper goods:

Nothing says “France!” quite like the Eiffel Tower.  But I also now associate France with small, strong cups of coffee (well, really it’s a shot of espresso).  I couldn’t hack it on its own, so I typically ordered “noisette” style. Noisette means “hazlenut” and refers to the hazlenut color of the coffee with cream rather than any hazlenut flavoring.  Cafe noisette comes with a dash of cream, two sugar cubes and a sweet treat, usually a piece of chocolate, but here with a chewy candy.

These additions made the coffee so much more enjoyable for this American who couldn’t quite handle the local favorite.  By the way, the Cafe Americano you can get at your local coffee shop (espresso with water added) was created in Europe when American soldiers during WWII also couldn’t handle the strong coffee and requested it watered down.  So I’m not alone in this!

French stationery #3

In an eclectic shop in Colmar, called Le Hameau, I found a huge selection of recycled, colorful envelopes that I used to send home post cards (the French send post cards in envelopes–it costs the same, doubles the writing space and protects the privacy of your notes!).  I sent some postcards this way and some the old-fashioned American way and had a few envelopes left over.  In this shop, I also found a beautiful book of multi-colored, 100% cotton paper:

I don’t know what I’ll do with it just yet, but I had to bring it home!

French stationery #2

My first official stationery shop stop occurred in Strasbourg at Monogram.  Here I am outside the store.

This shop offered a card selection, fine-quality stationery, journals, and an impressive selection of pens and inks.

It was hard to choose, but I walked out with this lovely pink paper and gray envelopes, made in Belgium:

I also found refills for my favorite French pens which I had bought here in the states, but had been hesitant to use often because I didn’t want to use them up!  I bought out Monogram’s entire stock and can now continue to write with them for a long time to come.  Woo hoo! 

A fun thing about stationery in non-English speaking countries is that you can sometimes find some entertaining English translations.  Here’s one:

P. S. Another great find in Strasbourg? Pastries!  Chocolate-filled beignets were “in season” for Easter and they were soooooo yummy.  Other delicious pastries included this “peach” which was a delicate pastry, filled with pastry cream, sporting a candied peach center and entirely covered in almond paste, and rolled in coarse sugar.  It was divine:

There was a pastry/chocolate shop every 50 feet in Strasbourg.  They were all decked out for Easter. 

Here’s a shop in the town of Colmar (also in the Alsace region, like Strasbourg), notice the chicks and eggs are in egg crates?

Interesting note, they had Easter bunny-themed decorations in Strasbourg (in the Alsace region, which has gone back and forth between Germany and France over the years), but Paris and much of the rest of France doesn’t have bunny imagery for Easter.  Who brings the candy to children Easter morning in Paris?  Why, the “Bells of Rome” of course!

French stationery #1

My first chance to peruse paper and pens in France occured during a surprise downpour in Strasbourg. We sought refuge in a book store/paper shop where I found mostly school supplies, but wonderful supplies they were.  The French apparently appreciate good paper and pens, even for everyday use.  I picked up these two pens, a fine-tip illustrating pen and a calligraphy marker:

and some wonderful multi-lined notebook paper (who needs this many lines?):

Since I’m not in school, I’ll use the loose-leaf notebook paper for sending letters. The shop was a great surprise that kicked-off my stationery tour of France!

P.S. Speaking of fun surprises, another unexpected pleasure happened as I walked down the Champs-Elysees and stopped at a place called Laduree:

I was lured in by their beautiful bakery shop and decided to stay for a treat.  This restaurant made my inner little girl squeal with delight.  I had coffee and macaroons in a gorgeous mid-19th century mansion. It felt like I was “playing tea” as a little girl. Here was the set up:

How fancy!