Wednesday, June 3, 2009 of life's most overlooked treasures!

One thing you'll learn from reading my blog is that I'm random; completely random. So random in fact that when I bring up a topic of conversation or ask about something that is completely unrelated to the current conversation at hand, my husband insists on pointing out my randomness. Thus, today's topic, stationery. One of my all time favorite, completely taken for granted, simple pleasures in life. I really am unsure as to how my love of stationery, penmanship, personal notes and cards came to be; my best guess is that growing up my wonderful mother always made my sister and I write thank you cards, make birthday cards, get well cards for even the smallest occasions. I vividly remember that just as please and thank you were staples in my vocabulary, a thank you card was just as essential. Now I completely agree and understand with my mom's reasons for a thank you card for a gift, but a thank you card for a sleep over, a ride home, or lunch at a friend's house because I refused to interrupt our tea party? Whatever my mom's justifications for writing and sending a card, and no, not an e-card or email or text, an actual handwritten card, I love it because it's blessed me with one of my favorite activities, things to shop for and collect. From sending photo Christmas cards, to spending hours in my favorite stationery shop to pick the perfect invitation to a crab feast, to calling cards, I love it all!

Perhaps stationery became the topic of the day because this morning I made a list of 4 cards I need to buy this afternoon, the email I received this afternoon from my favorite stationery store for 20% off my purchase in June (hello early Christmas Card shopping) along with the wedding response card I need to send and the Father's Day card I need to buy.

Perhaps my love of stationery also blossomed from two of the most important relationships that I've been blessed with in life; my papa, who is no longer here, but I know he is watching down over me each and everyday and my grandma Bea who God brought into my life almost 4 1/2 years ago.

My papa is one of the sweetest and kindest gentlemen I ever knew. Growing up and living six hours away didn't afford us the opportunities to see each other and spend as much time together as I would have liked but nevertheless I have fond memories of the times I did spend with him and the memories that were made. O.T., as he came to be known, short for Otha Titus, was much like a cat, in that God gave him more than nine lives. From triple heart bypasses, to diabetes, to pacemakers, he was a strong willed man with one amazing fight to not only live, but to live each and every day to its fullest. In the last two or three years of his life and as his health was steadily dwindling, after my grandmother passed away, I began sending him cards. Not always nice cards, sometimes the 46 and 94 cents cards you can find at Wal-Mart. Regardless of the price, he loved and adored them. As his health was failing I made every attempt to send at least one card a week. I would write about recent things I had done the previous week, ask him how he was doing, if he had played any music lately, had any friends come by to visit, etc. etc. Anything and everything to bring a bit of cheer into his day and to take his mind off his ailing body. I never knew how much those cheap, little cards really meant to him until after he died. Of course he would always thank me for sending them when I'd talk to him or see him, but I really never fully got just how much they meant. I was shocked to learn at his funeral while speaking to family, friends and even one of his nurses, all the people that he had mentioned my cards to or shown them to. Perfect strangers were telling me how much "your papa loved those cards you'd send him". For me, it was a silver lining, I realized just how happy I had been able to make him once or twice a week when a simple piece of paper would be delivered to his room or to his house. I'll never forget my last visit to the Veterans nursing home to see my papa; I walked into a room full of cards I had sent him. I was taken aback at how many there were and how he had taken the time to make sure they were all on display. Perhaps that's why I cling to stationery and love it so much. Such a little thing that brings so much happiness, and one of my fondest memories of my papa.

Now that I've nearly caused a rushing river to flow from my eyes I'll end on a happy note by sharing some of my favorite places, sites, stationery designers and pieces of stationery to buy with you.
For high quality note cards at a cheap price check out They have amazing embossed and personalized folded and flat notes uber cheap! And they frequently run specials. A couple of months ago they were offering free return addresses, so I was able to get these classic and wonderful notes in baby pink for under $40 for 50! And to top it off, most everything ships within 24 hours! These make great gifts as well!

Boatman Gellar is another favorite of mine! Their designs scream preppy, summer, fun and classic all in one. Last summer I found these madras flat notes for our crabfeast and they turned out adorable. I ended up finding a small wooden red crab to adhesive on the corner of the cards to give it the ultimate crab feast theme! Boatman Gellar is a favorite of many stationery stores and can also be ordered online at

When it's time to choose my annual Christmas photo card, the first place I look is Sweet Pea Designs. From traditional to fun and creative, her line covers it all. The first year we were married, I sent out the traditional card with a picture of us on the front (this isn't really me or my husband, and I don't have a kid!). However, after having professional pictures taken at the beach for our 2nd anniversary, I decided to veer away from traditional and send a more laid back and photo fitting card . I could sit here and go on an on about stationery lines and designers. Papyrus and the Papery are two of my local go-to stores for amazing cards. And the fun doesn't end there, stationery encompasses much more than cards -- think wrapping paper, bows, gift bags, tags and last but not least, one of my favorite Christmas presents of all times; my return address stamper. These are so convenient and fun to use. Mine came from "Santa" who ordered it from the Stationery Studio and they have lots of fun accessories to go w. them from double ink pads to stickers.
Happy writing!!

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