May 10, 2007

Better Than Hallmark: Cards and Stationary

With Mother's Day, Father's Day, Graduations, Weddings, not to mention lazy summer days with plenty of time for writing notes, I wanted to share with you some of my favorite resources for cards and stationary.

First (and foremost): I buy postcards and notecards at museums. I learned this from my aunt, who always had a different card from the Smithsonian on each of our Christmas presents. When I first went to the National Gallery of Art I spent almost as long in the gift shop as I did in the galleries, trying to decide between a Warhol and a Vermeer. These postcards are so cheap, you can buy a bunch, and save them for the appropriate gift or recipient.

Second: I go to Paper Source. Paper Source is a chain based in Chicago, but a small one that is dedicated to good design, affordability, and creativity. Their stores are magical (they website doesn't do it justice!): I can't walk away without buying something. They also have workshops that teach you the lost art of book-binding, or show you how to make your own wedding invitations.

Third: I go straight to the source, by buying from individual letter-press companies. My favorites are:

And, finally, I buy from, which is an online community of craftsmen, and artists who sell their humble wares on a simple site. My very favorite cards come from Etsy, because the small letterpress companies are full of magic and whimsy, and becuase I am helping small creative businesses (often run by at-home moms!). Etsy has lots of things, but my favorite letterpress sites are:

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