Snail Mail Birthday Presents

I met a friend during my recent trip to London and after a delicious meal of tapas at Navarro’s (highly recommended if you find yourself in London), she gave me the most perfect birthday gift.  Well, perfect for me, a lover of snail mail, because she gave me a letter opener!

Of course, this isn’t just any letter opener.  First, it is brassy, simple and elegant, with ruler markings to help with mail- and paper-art measurements.  Second  it came in a cool package that said “Long Live Snail Mail”!

wpid-20140201_125854.jpgThe best part is that on one side it says (as you see above) “Follow The Rules,” but on the other side it says:

wpid-20140201_125908.jpgSo now I can decide if I feel prim or saucy before I open my correspondence. Thank you so much Eileen!

P.S. For those of you who’d like one for yourself, she bought it at Anthropologie.  It looks like it is no longer available. But they have other divine letter openers if you have a hankering for one.

P.P.S.  As I have done with other travel-related posts, I’m going to share a touristy photo at the end of my posts.  Here is one of the London Eye from the Westminster Bridge.

wpid-20140121_153832.jpgIt was a beautiful day and my sister and I took a ride up inside the Eye.  Wow! What a way to see the city!

 

Edinburgh, Scotland

I just returned from a trip to the U.K.  I visited London, England and Edinburgh, Scotland.  While in Edinburgh, I stayed on the Royal Mile–a stretch of cobblestone street between the Edinburgh Castle and the Palace of Holyroodhouse (the official residence of the British monarch in Scotland).

wpid-20140126_134456.jpgWhile visiting the shops on the Royal Mile, I found Bonnie Blue–a delightful little gift shop with woolen tea cozies and purses and, my favorite, cards and notebooks!  The shop carried a line of items by Wrendale Designs called The Country Set.  I fell in love with the disheveled look of these woodland creatures!

I picked up note books with the hedgehog and the owl.  Take a look:

wpid-storageextSdCardDCIMCamera2014-02-01-12.25.08.jpg.jpgwpid-20140201_121945.jpgMy favorite feature is the back of the books that has another picture, usually of the animal running away and showing off its tush:

wpid-20140201_122055.jpgThen, I saw this delightful tea cup that had this crazy hare, with a little surprise inside as I sip my tea:

wpid-20140201_192904.jpgwpid-20140201_192950.jpgHa!

 

wpid-storageextSdCardDCIMCamera2014-02-01-12.23.15.jpg.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

1940’s “Air Mail” Italian Pillowcase

Last weekend I had a great visit to my Mom and Dad. While rummaging around in a trunk, I came across this souvenir my grandfather brought back from Italy in the 1940s.  He was deployed there just after WWII as part of the occupation troops.

The souvenir (I know it’s a souvenir, because it says so on the actual souvenir!) is a satiny, blue pillowcase sporting a lovely coral-colored fringe.  The pillowcase features bold stitched symbols of a bird carrying a letter to an open window.

Here is a detail of the letter-carrying bird:

My mother was very kind and let me bring this gem home.  It’s so nice to have a little piece of my family’s history that also sports a postal theme!

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,
Dana

Square Books and Nest in Oxford, MS, Again!

In October I made a visit back to Oxford, MS.  You may recall that the last time I was there, I found several nice things at Nest Paper Studio.  This time, I stocked up on some more Kartos stationery since I’d gone through my first batch so quickly!

Nest is located on the square in downtown Oxford. Oxford is a beautiful little town and sports many nice restaurants and boutiques.  I was fortunate enough to have dinner at City Grocery and if you you ever make it to Oxford, I highly recommend it. Their chocolate mouse dessert with a side of passionfruit sorbet and a passion fruit chocolate truffle was AMAZING!  Plus, they very graciously and deliciously accomodated my vegetarian tastes and made me something unique and off-menu!

A couple doors down from City Grocery is Square Books–a very successful local book store that has actually expanded to two other locations on the same square! Square Books Jr. specializes in children’s books and Off Square Books touts itself as a “lifestyle store” although I don’t know what that means since I didn’t get a chance to go check it out.

I did spend some time in Square Books, though.  They have a wide selection of books–including many authors from Mississippi (I picked up a collection by Eudora Welty the last time).  But of course I gravitated to their stationery section and I wasn’t disappointed.  They had several great card sets, some stationery sets, including this stationery set about mostly stationary cats.

I picked up the following lovelies to bring home:

A card set featuring a painting, by Molly Hawkins, of Square Books’ location on the square. Note the little blue mailbox out front!

I also had to have these gold-embossed, red dragon cards by Graphique de France.

My favorite find were these little books of labels by Galison New York.  Woodland creatures, flowers and, my favorite, Paris!

My favorite image, of course, is the dachshund with the striped shirt and beret! So cute!

 

 

Postcard Coasters

I’ve noticed a mini trend recently…coasters that are postcards.  I saw the first one in New Orleans (and I was actually enjoying a Kwak in that cool glass at the time!):

And I just saw another here in Chapel Hill.  My sister mailed one to me:

Beer and snail mail.  What a lovely combination.

Spoiled Rotten, Ogunquit, Maine

During a recent trip to New Hampshire, I went with some friends up to Ogunquit, Maine for the day.  Ogunquit is one of those adorable New England towns filled with fun shops and gorgeous water views.

I had the pleasure of visiting Spoiled Rotten, a wonderful shop with tons of gifts–soaps, specialty foods, candles, jewelry and dishware.

My favorites items were the Tom Collins glasses featuring a 1950s-looking pole dancer cartoon. It was classier than it sounds.  Well, not by much.

Spoiled Rotten also had a nice stationery section–featuring a variety of on-site customizable note sets, some card sets, and an array of notebooks featuring inspiring messages and wonderful vintage imagery.

I came home with these cute Maine map notecards by Inviting Company.  I thought they featured Maine’s highlights perfectly–I liked the moose head below the state name and the “lobstah” especially. Other states (although not all) can be found here.

While in Ogunquit, we checked out Perkins Cove–one of the most picturesque places to grab a meal. Seriously, this was the view from my outdoor table at Barnacle Billy’s, Etc. (it’s the second Barnacle Billy’s, so it got the “etc.”).

So if you’re in southern Maine and in the mood for seafood, quaint shops or piano bars filled with gay men singing show tunes, Ogunquit is the place to be.

I leave you with a photo of a gorgeous sunflower I took while I was there.  Cue bumble bee.