October 22nd, 2013
A writer at the British Guardian has challenged himself to a year without email. Three hunderd and sixty five days of putting pen to paper, can you imagine that?
Well, we can't, but we're determined to write more letters at least, and pretty stationery is a good place to start.
Virginia Johnson's first ever stationery collection for Chronicle Books is just the inspiration we need, with gorgeous note cards ($18.95) in the designer's signature whimsical style.
Critics say cursive is caput. But when you're writing to great aunt Betty, don't forget your loops and curls. —Athena Tsavliris
July 10th, 2013
Note to self: start writing more.
A charming new neighbourhood pen shop could save handwriting from the doldrums.
At Wonder Pens you'll find such gems as limited edition Lamy fountain pens, bordeaux calligraphy ink and beautiful handmade papers from G. Lalo.
If you prefer the simplicity of pencil on paper, consider Palomino for its smooth writing experience.
Now, all we need is a pen pal. —Athena Tsavliris
Wonder Pen, 906 Dundas St. W., Toronto, 647-461-2426, www.wonderpens.ca
November 15th, 2012
If there’s one downside to the digital world, it is a serious lack of decent stationery. Try finding a good looking notebook that won’t break the bank (Smythson) but won’t leave you embarrassed during a meeting (anything from an office supply store).
That’s why we are excited about the recent opening of the Ordning & Reda shop in shop at The Bay. The Swedish stationer sells colourful notebooks, chic magazine holders, and simple diaries that get us in the mood to put pen to paper. Think Moleskin quality combined with Ikea simplicity and colour. If only you could buy a hot dog on the way out. —Alexandra Suhner Isenberg
Ordning & Reda, notebooks range from $20-$40, The Bay Queen Street, 176 Yonge St., Toronto, www.hbc.com
October 26th, 2011
There’s nothing lovelier than discovering a postmarked handwritten note in amongst a pile of bills and fliers.
We’re reviving old-fashioned manners and pledging to put pen to paper more. With good, thick stationary, a traditional fountain paper and these charming mint vintage Canadian stamps, our correspondence drawer is officially well stocked. Each pack ($2) contains enough postage to mail a standard sized letter within Canada.
Now, we just need to perfect our loop de loops. —Athena Tsavliris
June 3rd, 2011
The best cards are handmade, everyone knows. But who says they have to be made by your hands?
Deadweight, a.k.a. local artist Sandi Falconer, handpaints geometric prints and simple scribbles on highly individual cards. One says "good luck" over a horseshoe; another is just sugary pink triangles and licorice-black lines. The unfanciness of her work makes sentiment feel fresh again.
A card by Falconer beats some factory-made feeling—hands down. —SNP
$3-$4 each on Etsy.
February 9th, 2011
Take the Cake
Instead of multi-tiers of white frosting indulge in Bobbette and Belle’s aubergine and gold macaron towers or hand-painted gateaux inspired by your invitations. Also en vogue: royal-inspired designs, sweet tables, and metallic sugar work. 416-466-8800, www.bobbetteandbelle.com
Go Bold or Go Home
We simply adore designer Christine Flynn’s vintage-themed invites that mix old-school fonts with modern type. Hot this season? Yellow and grey hues, postcard-style RSVP cards, and Chevalier lettering paired with classic Helvetica Neue. Love the Card, 647-955-1916, www.lovethecard.com
Thanks for the Memories
Snapz '60s-style curtained photo booths print black-and-white strips posted in an album where pals can jot cheeky messages. It’s a fun twist on the traditional guest book (especially after a few cocktails) and, after the party, use one of you and hubby as thank-you cards. 1-877-412-6684, www.snapzphotobooth.ca
No one wants to be tightly wound on her big day; that goes for the flowers too. Riverside’s Stemz creates gorgeous looser-styled bouquets framed with berried ivy and local passion vines. And while white buds are classic, this season’s forward-thinking brides are branching out into spectacular corals and soft yellow tones. 416-686-8526, www.stemz.ca
True to You
At each table display vases of peonies on stacks of your favorite books. Instead of expensive wedding favours (that end up in a drawer), fill mini mason jars with jellybeans or make a donation to the charity of your choice. Toronto contributor Marianne Wisenthal chose to make her chuppah out of her hot pink saris from Little India. Mazel Tov!
November 26th, 2010
Between thank you cards, birth announcements, and the holidays, you might as well be running a small publishing business from your dining room.
And the golden rule of small business? Outsource!
The gals at Vancouver's Haute Note offer new photo cards for Christmas (we love this subtly retro Collage design) with your precious family snaps ($55/25 cards).
Because Facebook can't be propped on the mantle.
View styles and place orders at www.hautenote.ca
September 23rd, 2009
Whatever happened to the handwritten note? We’re not talking Griffin and Sabine-style correspondence, just a simple “Hello, I miss you and thanks for taking care of my goldfish,” will do.
Start with a well-stocked stationery drawer and your penmanship will flow from there.
Snap and Tumble is a lovely local letterpress that makes all sorts of paper goods printed by hand on thick 100 per cent cotton stock.
Tanya Roberts uses antique hand-levered table top presses and vintage letterpress blocks that she sources at shops and markets in and around the city. The result is simple, elegant and full of charm.
Write it, stamp it and seal it with a smooch.
Snap & Tumble is available online and at Kid Icarus, 75 Nassau St., Toronto, 416-977-7236, www.kidicarus.ca
March 27th, 2009
Social networking is hard work for toddlers these days.
But we found these clever play date cards by Felix Doolittle so your little one can make friends faster than Facebook while working the playground.
Customize the high-quality cards and choose from 100 fun images, and both of you will make a great first impression.
My place or yours?
US$30 at www.felixdoolittle.com
January 28th, 2009
Maybe it’s a bridal shower or maybe it’s a birthday, but before you resort to that impersonal voucher why not take a peek into new Yorkville prezzie boîte Red Letter Store.
Packed with pretty candles, soaps, stationery and china, you’ll find more than enough things to tickle your fancy.
Spoil the bride-to-be with some Lothantique lavender linen water ($32), a Voluspa scented candle ($32) and a cute Cath Kidston notebook ($10.95) to scribble down her endless to-do-lists in. And for the birthday girl, what about some yummy Dufflet hot chocolate ($12) and a Marimekko mug ($12)?
For yourself (because it’s always your birthday) an elegant scalloped pedestal for teacakes and macaroons might do nicely.
Red Letter Store, 128 Cumberland St., Toronto, 647-340-7294, www.redletterstore.ca