Link Love: Puns and Paper

Link Love

(Ironic artwork)


Pens and Ink:



Book: New Postal Style 50

New Postal Style

My lovely friends often bring me treasures from Japan that are office-y or mail-related which is how this beautiful book came into my hands. The title of the book is New Postal Style 50 and is filled with envelope-like folds for mail.

New Postal Style inside spread

All the pages feature variation alternatives to the same old envelope. I was smitten until I started looking more closely at the possible durability or mailability of these envelopes. I know that anything with a stiff stick cannot be run through the standard machinery used by the US Postal Service but the envelope + folded note design might be interesting for a letter.

New Postal Style inside spread

There are some great ideas that might be modifiable for actual mail. I know that generally speaking, the postal service does not like string or rubber bands on the outside of a package either but maybe the wrap over a box could be modified with washi tapes and glue? The trapezoid letter is super cool, as is the stamped letter design.

New Postal Style instructions

In the back of the book are instructions and diagrams. Even if you don’t read Japanese, the diagrams and calculations are universally useful.

This book could be ordered from or check with your local Asian book store so see if they stock it or could order it for you.

Link Love: Holiday Mail and More

USPS Holiday Post Deadlines

Letter Writing and Postal Follies:

Neil Gaiman and his Lamy 2000

Pen & Ink:

Notebooks & Paper:


Black Friday Purchases

Note: Some of the items mentioned below would not strictly be considered “office supplies” but I thought you might enjoy them. Please leave comments if you’d prefer less (or more) of this sort of post. Thanks!

I was in Chicago for Black Friday again this year. I decided the best course of action on such a nutball shopping day was to shop local. We definitely wanted to visit Pieritz again so we visited other shops in the Oak Park area as well. My husband discovered the fabulousness of HooDoo Headwear, a beautiful hat shop that opened in July. He bought three hats! And we both put the independent bookseller, The Book Table, on our radar after discovering a classic Chris Ware illustration of their storefront on their web site.

I visited with my pen pal Kimberly and her husband and we all had lunch at the Prairie Bread Kitchen. The cookies, coffee and tuna melt were all excellent.

Then we decided to trek into town and hit Challengers Comics and meet with the postal princess  and comic book super heroine Donovan. We also bought a load of new reading material.


At Pieritz I was able to purchase a new pad of Clairefontaine Triomphe paper ($5 at Pieritz, online from JetPens $9) and a pack of red labels ($4). At The Book Table, I bought a packet of Telegram Postcard from Girl of All Work ($6.75) and a copy of The Drunken Botanist ($16) which I highly recommend for the cocktail connoisseurs out there.


At Challengers, we bought an array of graphic novels including the Mind MGMT Volume 1, Mister X: Eviction and Batman: Death by Design. Oh, and I found a booklet of watercolor postcards by Jill Thompson (signed!).

What did you do with your Black Friday shopping day?

Are You Sending Holiday Cards?

Its beginning to look a lot like Christmas Card time, isn’t it? The biggest trend in holiday cards is photo cards and the easiest way to do that is online. There are lots of possible services but I thought I’d give a shout out my recommendations (there’s a little plugging the firm as well).

Tiny Prints Foil Stamped Card

First up is Tiny Prints. Their quality is top notch with unique, fresh designs. They’ve recently added foil stamped designs. They offer postcard, flats, folded and round cards as well as a range of die cut edges for each design. They are offering a 25% discount until November 28 so if you hope to use one of their fabulous designs (and save some money), you’ll have to act fast.

Minted Vintage Library Card

Minted is another personalized card company with some great looking, modern designs and this year, they are offering foil as well as the more common digital litho offered by the other companies. You can also choose from several different die cut shapes like wavy edges, rounded corners or tag shapes. They offer flat cards, folded cards and mini booklets. They have a 15% off sale through today: November 26.

Hallmark Personalized Holiday Card

Hallmark Personalized Greetings (plugging the firm!) offers a wide array of photo card options including the premium foil stamped designs and sleeved designs. They have multi-image and multi-panel designs as well as classic postcard styles and folded cards. Their are laser cut and ornament shaped cards with ribbon ties to hang like an ornament. Upload your address and have cards sent directly to your mailing list or have the stack sent to you and address them personally. Hallmark is offering 40% off all holiday cards through 12/26 with the offer code HOLIDAY40.

Hello Lucky Chicago Card

Skating Mailman Card from Hello Lucky

Hello Lucky offers some unique design elements, beautiful type and patterns but they don’t have a lot of the bling that the larger companies offer. A lot of their folded cards feature artwork on the cover with the option for a photo or newsletter on the inside so your family and friends can admire your handsome family or a simply lovely card. They have location-specific illustrations and silhouette skylines Chicago, Boston, New York, San Francisco, LA and London.

Crane Christmas Card

If what you want are photo-free, elegant, classic holiday cards, Crane & Co offer a selection of their boxed cards. Their cards are engraved, embossed and include lined envelopes.

Are you planning on sending cards this holiday? Have you chosen your cards yet? Addressed and stamped them? Are you making your own?

Link Love: Miscellany Loves Company


There were lots of hard-to-categorize bits of wonderfulness on the pen-blogospere this week including the epic link list from the Pen Addict Podcast Gift Guide Episode (#81) which is a link list onto itself.

Fabulous Miscellany:

Letter Writing and Post:




Pencil stylus by FiftyThree


Pardon my repeated turns to digital recently. As computers, cell phones and tablet devices are as much a part of our working life as pens, paper and staplers, I feel its worthwhile to include references occasionally.

Neatography: A Subscription-Based Paper Goods Shop

Neatography Subscription

Neatography is a subscription-based paper goods company from outside Chattanooga, TN. As a former resident of Chattanooga, I was really excited to see what kinds of products Neatography would offer and to have a chance to offer support to a hometown girl. The package was wrapped in lovely grey-and-white twine with a hand-stamped tag. It felt like a delightful little present!

In the package, Lindsey includes an assortment of products that value at least $25. Since the monthly subscription rate is $23 +$4 shipping, that seems more than fair. My kit included a letterpress fill-in-the-blank card from Ruff House Art; a set of fabric-covered, polka dot thumbtacks in grey and orange from Girl of All Work; an “Old School” notepad, also from Ruff House Art; a roll  washi-style masking tape with arrow pattern from Side Show Press; and four US Forever stamps with the heart wax seal from this year. Neatography also includes a self-address, stamped reply postcard to send back to Lindsey with your comments about the set.

Details of Neatography Subscription


I think this is one of the nicest collections I’ve received from a paper good subscription and I particularly liked the inclusion of a block of stamps. Its a very thoughtful way to make keeping in touch quick and easy. All of the products seemed to come from small, independent companies and none were products I’d seen or purchased before which was quite a treat.

The notepad is lovely offset printed tablet of 50 lined sheets and I look forward to using it. I’m about to move offices at work again and I think the cloth thumbtacks will be nice on my plain office pinboards. And, seriously, who doesn’t love a roll of washi/masking tape? Its a giant roll!

The Neatography subscriptions are available in a limited quantity and can be purchased as a one-time shipment, monthly or on a quarterly basis. The price is the same per shipment regardless of which option you choose. A single one-time purchase would be a great gift for a friend. Sadly, it doesn’t look as if international shipping is currently available.

DISCLAIMER: This item was sent to me free of charge by Neatography for the purpose of review. Please see the About page for more details.

Link Love: All Penned Up


Letter Writing:




Does Anyone Still Use Paper Address Books?

Address book


(Pictured above: Hallmark Address BookLeuchtturm Pen & Pencil LoopUS Mail StampG. Lalo notecard and Letter Ledger)

This may seem like an arcane topic in 2013 but I think paper address books are still handy and, that if you don’t have one, its not a bad idea to start one.

Why? Digital data can get corrupted, lost, or inaccessible due to disaster (natural or otherwise) so having all your really important contact information in a paper form can prove hugely useful in a time of crisis (be it hard drive failure, mobile phone loss or power outage).

A paper address book can also be a repository for shared contacts like Great Aunt Sally, the family physician and even your alarm company and credit card 800 numbers. It seems antiquated but sometimes the safest place to store sensitive data is in a book on your shelf. After having my house broken into twice, calling all those credit card companies and banks was easier because a lot of the info was in my address book and/or planner.

When traveling, its nice to keep a small address book so that you can send postcards to folks without having to find an Internet connection.

If, God forbid, anything untoward happened to you, a paper address book would be an easy place for a spouse or loved one to start to access your accounts and contacting people. Think of it as an ICE (in case of emergency) file or as my friend Chery darkly calls hers ICID (in case I die).

I find that addressing Christmas cards is a perfect time to review my paper address book and make sure that all my friends and family addresses are up to date. I also update phone numbers and email addresses. Then, when I sit down to handwrite addresses, I don’t have to have my computer open. I can have a quiet, tech-free afternoon handwriting my cards.

So, where can you find a paper address book these days?

  • Moleskine has an address book option. European Paper carries an large (A5) and pocket (A6) version. They have die cut alphabet tabs and lined paper so you can write long or short entries for your contacts. More sizes and color options are available directly through Moleskine including itty bitty volant (2.5″x4″) versions with flexible covers.
  • Paperblanks offers address books in their three most popular sizes: mini (4″x5.5″), midi (5″x7″) and ultra (7″x9″). The address books use the same ivory stock as their other products with lines for contact information and die cut “thumb cuts” to make finding your page easy. Love Notebooks is the best place to order a Paperblanks address book online.
  • Leuchtturm 1917 offers a medium, pocket and mini address book  (about the same size and materials as the Moleskine offerings). The Leuchtturm1917 mini pocket address book seems quite popular but I did not have any luck finding any for sale online except at Cult Pens. Yeah for the UK readers!

Rolodex Green

  • My husband recommends an old school Rolodex for business contacts. He makes dozens of phone calls a day and can slide business cards into plastic sleeves without having to die cut cards or transpose information. While not pocketable, its a great way to keep keep information handy.
  • I use a small address book I picked up in the Hallmark Gold Crown Store. It has a light blue, leatherette cover and measures about 6.5″x3.25″ with pale blue lines inside. There isn’t much room to write full addresses but I make do. When a contact has moved, I just put a line through the listing and add a new one to the next available spot.  Business cards get pasted into the divider tabs. Hallmark does still stock address books regularly including the ring binder style and replacement pages (plugging the firm!).

Do you use a paper address book? Do you have a favorite?


Link Love: Overdue Again

Japanese pencils
Pencil acquisitions from Kinokuniya (via Paper Pastries)



Pens and Pencils:

Paper & Notebooks:



Tiny Post Offices Print (via Power and Light Press , shoutout to Paper Pastries)

Ex Postal Facto

Ex Postal Facto

Have I mentioned Ex Postal Facto yet? Its coming up in February 14-16, 2014 in San Francisco. It will be a 3-day mail art extravaganza. I am going to be there! I cannot wait to meet pen pals, see awesome inspiring mail art and hit lots of fabulous shops in the SF area. I even plan to bring an assortment of my stamps to trade and/or sell to folks interested in acquiring them. I may even unveil some new designs.

Tips for food, office supplies and drinking establishments in SF are welcome.

This is going to be the best Valentine’s Day EVER.

Ex Postal Facto Mail Art Book

A somewhat wonky, early morning shot of my submission for the Mail/Art/Book exhibition. Wanted to at least capture it before I dropped it in the mail at the last possible second!


Hot News:

Nock Co. Reviews and Previews:

Postal Enthusiasm:




Paper and Notebooks:

Link Love: Pencil-centric



Pens and Ink:

Paper and Notebooks:

Postal Museum Gallery Opening Flyer


Ask The Desk: Moving Announcements

Ask The Desk Header

My good friend Geoff asked me to recommend some “non-cutesy” moving announcements.


My first advice is to start on Etsy. I searched for “moving announcements” and my first few items did not feel cutesy but simple, tasteful and cool.  Clockwise from top left,  library card announcements, the simple, letterpressed cards, the vintage Hawaiiana and the handlettered cards all felt cool enough for a gent.



Tiny Prints had a nice collection of appropriately masculine and urban moving announcements. Since they are digitally printed, its possible to order small quantities and prices start around $1 per card.

Paper Pastries Address Stamp

And, of course, he’ll need a new return address stamp so the first place I thought of was my pal Margaret at Paper Pastries. I think the arrow design would be a good option for Geoff but I bet Margaret would not be averse to creating a more masculine design for the urban gent. Her prices start at $65 for an original design.

I hope these options get him started. If you have any other ideas for good moving announcements, please leave a note in the comments.

And if you have a question for The Desk, click on the “Ask The Desk” button in the blog header. Thanks!

House Industries Goes to the Desk

 13_journal_animation-1   15_journal_lineup_image

I have been a loyal supporter of the type design gurus at House Industries since the early 90s. They have a flair for the vintage and an eye for detail seldom rivaled so when I heard they were introducing a line of office supplies to their already extensive repertoire, I knew it would be good.



House Industries has partnered with Chronicle Books to create a box set of 100 letter-centric postcards ($19.95), a set of four pocket notebooks ($9.95) featuring their graphics on the covers and a set of die cut labels and stickers ($10.95).

9_postcard_box_image-1 11_postcards_image

(via Chronicle Books and House Industries)

Link Love: The Two Weeks Late Edition



Ed Jelley's Pen and Ink Tattoo

Ed Jelley’s Pen and Ink Tattoo (via Ed Jelley)


Paper and Notebooks:

Paper Message Tape (via Oh, Hello Friend)

Paper Message Tape (via Oh, Hello Friend)


Link Love: Instragramatics and more


Clockwise from top left: MrMikeDudek’s Kaweco AL Sport, trefste-metrese’s On-the-go penpal kit, klpeabody’s currently inked pens and Writetomeoften matched her nail polish to her ink (or vice versa).

I find office supplies inspiration everywhere. As I’ve posted before, Pinterest is a source of products, ideas and inspiration but I get just as much valuable information on Instagram and Twitter too. Yeah for other office supply lovers!

Pens and Pencils:




Again, clockwise from top left: IvanR365 and his pen case, Design_concussion finds the magic of Doane Paper, GreerChicago finds our kind of vending machine and Writetomeoften puts her Pelikan M100 through its paces

DIY Inkodye photo transfer pencil case (via Etsy Blog)

DIY Inkodye photo transfer pencil case (via Etsy Blog)

Moglea Stationery

Moglea Couture Collection

Moglea is a tiny letterpress print shop run from a farmhouse in rural Iowa. They are creating some beautiful cards and stationery products as well as printing services and custom design and printing work.

Moglea letterquette

The Letterquette set was inspired by a vintage Eaton’s stationery set. The kits include notecards and envelopes.

Moglea notepads

They also created a series of notepads  for to do lists, grocery lists and assorted notes. Each pad is letterpress printed with artwork or an inspirational title in a casual script.

Moglea Mail Candy

Visit the Moglea shop on Etsy to purchase products. All the images are from their 2013 Lookbook.

Ask The Desk: Stationery

G Lalo Paper

Yesterday on Twitter Roxtime asked

Where do you buy writing paper?

When she asked, I had just posted a photo of my outgoing mail on Instagram so I assumed she meant stationery rather than bound notebooks and the like.

There are lots of lovely options for stationery and writing paper but, like notebooks, each option has its own set of criteria, costs and advantages. I hope to cover a few but please leave comments and questions if I missed something.

Original Crown Mill

If you’re looking, first and foremost, for paper for fountain pens then I would recommend purchasing Original Crown Mill ($9 for a pad of 100 half-sheets) or G. Lalo ($12 for 50 half-sheet pad) paper and envelopes ($9-$14.50 for pack of 25), both available at Goulet Pens and other fine shops that sell fountain pens and stationery.

Paper Source sells full 8.5″x11″ sheets of paper (a 10-pack is about $2.50 though I’d avoid the metallics which tend to resist ink more so than plain paper) in packs and could be cut in half for a more classic letter size in an array of colors. Not of all the paper will be great for fountain pens but its a small investment and most papers should work well with other sorts of writing tools like gel ink pens, ballpoint or rollerball. Or you could order paper directly from a paper company like French Paper — straight from the source.

If you’re feeling particularly decadent, you could purchase some of Smythson’s fine writing paper ($25 for 50 sheets) Crane and Co. carries letter sheets, some can be personalized as well but this is not an inexpensive option.

Rifle Paper Co Equestrian Stationery Set

If you’re looking for flat cards, Greer Chicago carries some Original Crown Mill and G. Lalo card sets with tissue-lined envelopes and deckle edges — quite sumptuous! The Vickerey also sells a lot of European style notecard sets.


If what you’re wanting is something with decorative designs on it, first I’d recommend Rifle Paper Co. They have some lovely stationery sets and various flat and folded notecards. Chronicle Books also carries lots of paper sets and blank notecards with a wide array of designs. The paper is not always the best for fountain pens, if that’s a concern but the sets are lovely and often come with stickers to seal or use to address your envelopes.

Ilfant letter set

If you still haven’t found what you’re looking for I’d recommend heading to Etsy. Some of the great options I found were letterpress lined papers from Ilfant Press, playful letter sets from La Paperie, and lots of vintage stationery and letter sets. Just do a search for “vintage writing paper” or “vintage letter sets” and you should find lots of options to choose from.

printable neon stationery

And finally, if you’ve decided to go with a plain paper option but would still like to add some flourish to it, you can look about the internet for downloadable PDF files that you could copy onto your stationery. I would recommend copying one sheet first and testing to make sure that the copier did not coat your paper in fuser oil of other ink resistant goo before copying onto all of your lovely paper. A great example of well-designed, free downloadable stationery is from How About Orange (show above).

The recent Uppercase Stationery Guide is a great resource for finding a stationery shop or custom printer near you.

(shoutout to Letter Writers Alliance for the Uppercase Stationery Guide tip)

New Rubber Stamps Available in The Shop!

stamps on carousel

Finally! My new shipment of rubber stamps came in and they are all for you! Visit the shop over on Big Cartel to place your order. This time, I ordered a few on the classic wooden handle just to see if you like them and the pricing was similar so I thought, “Why not?” If you like these stamps but prefer the compact wood block mount, please let me know and I will get them re-ordered in that format. Or vice versa.

I also want to let you know if you are in the US and order several rubber stamps or other small items like airmail envelopes, you will only be charged $6 for shipping, and it will be shipped in a US Priority Mail flat rate box. If the order system charges more than that, I will refund the difference.

If you live outside the US and are interested in ordering any rubber stamps or any other products, please email me directly and I can build a custom order for you and send you a PayPal invoice instead of going directly through the site so I can customize the shipping rates. I don’t want to overcharge anyone for shipping.