We end our stay at our friend’s home in the country this morning and head into the city where I will attend the National Stationery Show today. It is our tradition when we stay here to set the table and make the dinner the night before we depart. It is a fun way to say thank you, as the host can just sit back and be feted in their own home. One of my most asked questions at the shops is what to bring as a gift when you are staying as an overnight guest. While we enjoy taking our host out for a meal as a gift, it can be so much more relaxing to have a home cooked meal. Setting the table, putting together the flowers, choosing the wine, cooking the meal–all become part of the gift. For someone who has everything, the festive evening becomes part of a memorable gift. It was an evening filled with friendship, a tasty meal, good wine, and much laughter.
We just received another order of the ‘Basic Dempsey’ from fab stationer Dempsey & Carroll. These are really just the perfect little mix & match sets. You buy 10 of the individual flat notecards in a set, and you can also buy 10 of the lined envelopes in another set. With a lovely range of colors to choose from, mixing & matching is a fun way to personalize your note writing. Or choose the same. I chose orange with orange lined envelopes (I know, very surprising) for a crisp and clean look, with a little Hermes-y, Veuve-y spin. So nice to have a stack of these at the ready to send off a quick note.
We are off to the airport in just a bit to catch a flight to New York. 11 days of action packed goodness. Part upstate, part in the city. It is always fun to have you along for the adventure. Happy start of the week!
The beauty of a hand written note is a very powerful thing. In our world of e-mails, texts & tweets, receiving a note written by hand has become so rare. I received the above note from a new vendor asking me to stop by and see them at a show. Just the gracious act of them taking the time to send such a lovely piece of correspondence made them go to the top of my list of appointments. Notes do not have to be lengthy. Actually a few well crafted, thoughtful sentences will do. But it is the thought and the act that carries such importance. Think of the joy you will have spread when the recipient opens the mailbox to a handwritten envelope and note by you.
On Saturday when I was enjoying a full day of display, I also snapped a few photos of some things that stood out as goods that would be perfect heading into the new year. After the Holidays, my note writing list is quite long–so many kind gestures and special gifts that need thanking for. This classic initial set by Dempsey & Carroll fits the bill beautifully. With a bold blue initial engraved from one of their hand cut typestyles on the bottom right corner, it is just the right sized card for jotting a quick note of thanks. With 10 in a box, along with lined envelopes, any left over will work well left out on your desk for visual enjoyment and at the ready for your next note. We can have your initial boxed set sent directly to you if you so desire. Again, another cheers to handwritten notes!
The gift of food is always a winning & gracious gift. If you made or grew what you are presenting, even better. The above tomatoes were given to us yesterday by close friends, and were grown and picked by our godson, Magnus. That fact that he just turned 5 makes it all the more special. There is just something incredibly meaningful about giving something you have grown–like flowers, vegetables or fruit. Put in a cool container, it is a gift that will be remembered long after the tomatoes have been enjoyed.
We sell stacks and stacks of this book, Things A Gentleman Needs To Know, and it always tickles me when I see a customer walk up to the register with one in hand. Published in England, the book culls ideas & tips from the 1890′s, but it is interesting to see how many points are relevant and still of great interest even today–proving that good manners and style are timeless.
Very few things make me happier than receiving a handwritten note. In our world of e-mails and text messages, it has become rarer and rarer that folks send a note. I fall victim myself. I will send a quick e-mail in thanks for a swell dinner and evening we had with friends, then get too busy, and let that take the place of a note. Not good. Not good at all. For I know the joy of getting a note, so to, I know how much it means and the happiness it brings for a friend to open up the mailbox and see something other than junk mail. I send plenty of handwritten notes, but I want to send more. This post is a challenge to myself and to all of us–spread the joy, sit and write a quick note and make someone happy.
Here are a few quick tips that make it so much easier. Find a box that pleases you and turn it into a stationery box. Have it accessible so it is easy to reach for when you want to jot a quick note. Fill it with notecards you find on trips or cards that you see when you are out shopping. I find this the quickest, surest way to make note writing easier. Add your favorite pen to the box as well as stamps. When you are next at the post office, buy a few extra sheets of ‘forever’ stamps with different images on them, so you have them at the ready. If you still use an address book, have that in the box too. That is it! By having everything in one place, it makes writing a quick note so much easier and much more doable.
Now the note. I think what stops many folks is they think it needs to be lengthy. It does not. A few well-crafted sentences is all you need. Just make it personal and heartfelt. The mere fact that it is handwritten will make it so very special. Cheers to sending AND receiving many handwritten notes!!!
In our hurried world, manners now seem more important than ever. We had dinner last eve with dear, dear friends, and these are little signs in their guest bathroom–primarily used by their children, Clementine and our godson, Magnus. What great, simple daily reminders. Working with the public, I am sometimes exposed to a lack of manners. Not often, but occasionally. These sweet little signs serve as a reminder, of the simplest of gestures.
We just received a new batch of cards from one of my very favorite companies, Dempsey & Carroll. The very witty ‘regrets’ cards are just the thing to send after a raucous evening at the home of a friend for dinner. Given the number of these we have sold already, I think this is something we will stock for quite some time. The below 4 cards are just sweet little notes to send throughout the year to a loved one. I think receiving one of these cards, not on Valentine’s day, makes it even more special and romantic. Perfect slipped into a purse or briefcase to be found at an unexpected moment during the day.
A hand-written note or letter received in the mail can really brighten your day. Sadly, in our busy world where the ease of sending e-mails has trumped postal mail, the fact that they occur less and less, gives them even greater specialness.
Nicole Brodeur, one of my favorite writers for The Seattle Times, and Watson Kennedy customer too, wrote an article the other day, “For the love of a letter.”
My father always wrote notes, and my mother to this day still sends lovely letters. It was something I learned from them, and it is a gracious act I stress to our nephews and nieces. I even send them gifts of boxed cards with stamps just to help encourage them.
Next week I will post an entry with a few tips I use to make hand writing a note an easier task.