Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Crane Stationery Collections for the New Year

Just about this time every year, I get the first copy of Crane's annual boxed stationery catalog. Just a heads-up: Don't ask me for one; it's a wholesale catalog, which means that the new items displayed will be in stores and online in February.

As we're all looking forward to the New Year, I figured it would be fun to show you some of the cool designs for 2009. We'll start off today with three new collections: Lace, Tea and Safari. All three collections include folded notes, thank-you notes, boxed gift sets and imprintable invitations to create an entire stationery wardrobe.
Lace is presented in Moonstone Grey and Pearl White with delicate hand-engraved stitchery. The Tea set is steeped in jewel tones and teams with scrollwork details crafted in gold foil. Safari features exotic animal prints letterpressed on Crane's naturally neutral shades.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Vince Gets Nod for Entertainer of the Year

Wendy, the boys and I go way back with infomercials. When we gather each holiday season we compare notes on the past year's best performances and determine The Best of the Best.

I'm not afraid to admit that we do go back; back to Sam Popeil. Yup, that's Ron Popeil's father! Popeil's Pocket Fisherman, Veg-O-Matic and the "Set it and forget it" Rotisserie. And, be honest now. You all have a set of Ginsu knives in the back of a kitchen drawer somewhere. I know I do!

So, for a couple of years there really was nothing to challenge the informercial entertainment dominance of the "What Can You Do in Ten Seconds" Magic Bullet. It was, and still remains, a late-night, half-hour classic.

But with the introduction of Shamwow, a new standard was set. This, like all other infomercials, has nothing to do with the product; it's all about entertainment. And Vince gets it done!

But wait! There's More!

Move over Veg-O-Matic.

Move over Chop-O-Matic.

In the style of the elder statesman of pitch men - Heeeeeeer's Slap Chop!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Stylish Motifs Grace Letterpress Wedding Invitations

I've mentioned before that I'm a big fan of letterpress. I appreciate the subtle shadows created by type and designs in fine paper, and wish I could photograph them to better advantage.

For an upcoming magazine article, I was leafing through Crane's new Letterpress Weddings album and noticed several new designs that really flew off the page. It took me a moment to realize why - the letterpressed designs bled off the page. I thought I would share a few with you. I especially like the last.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Exclusive Martha Stewart Wedding Invitation Design

Earlier this year, Crane produced a custom wedding invitation for Liesl Menning, Martha Stewart’s assistant, for her wedding this summer in Tennessee.

The letterpressed invitation and postcard reply are a perfect combination of quality, beauty and environmental responsibility. A striae pattern is gently etched into the 100% cotton fluorescent white paper, adding texture and depth. Text is letterpressed in kona brown and surrounded by a stylish double-line frame. Coordinating response postcards are available.

The invitation will be featured in the Winter issue of Martha Stewart Weddings, on Martha’s television show and on the Style Network.

Have a look:

Friday, December 12, 2008

Christmas Dollies for Pownal Kiddos from Aunt Gert

I live in Vermont. I live in a small town in Vermont. I live on a dead-end street in a small town in Vermont. I have wonderful neighbors on this dead-end street in this small town in Vermont.

Aunt Gert, as she's been known for all the years I've lived here, is as tough as nails and as soft as a bunnie. Her family has lived in Pownal for generations, and Aunt Gert herself has lived on my dead-end street since she retired quite a few years ago. (I used to be a journalist, and obviously have grown tired of letting facts get in the way of a good story, so just let it go, OK?)

Last year, when Wendy and I and the faculty and staff at the Pownal Elementary School were collecting clothes and toys for local kids in need, Aunt Gert called up and wondered if we would like some stuffed animals.
Yup, sure would, and I'll be right over.

Well, it wasn't quite that easy. Aunt Gert is quite a collector. Down in her basement there were bags upon bags upon bags of bears, rabbits, dollies, barbies, cabbage patch creatures - you name it.

And they were there for the taking. What a joy to sift through decades of memories - not so many of mine as Wendy's - as we sorted through all sorts of little people and creatures just waiting for loving companions.

There were so many of these little friends that we had to store scores of them for "next year." And earlier tonight, we pulled out all those bags, and were able to recall all those happy moments from last year, and anticipate many more this year to come.

So, thanks Gert, and thanks to everyone who helps make the holidays a special time for those in need.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

A Roosevelt Holiday Card We Could Use Today

From the Crane Museum of Papermaking, the 1942 Holiday card by Crane from President and Mrs. Roosevelt. Different circumstances led to their holiday wish, but the sentiment resonates six decades later.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Study Shows E-mail Opens the Door to Our Dark Side

A study presented at the annual meeting of the Academy of Management finds people significantly more willing to lie in e-mails than in communication with pen and paper, even when both are done in relative anonymity. Moreover, they feel more justified in lying.

I knew it!

It had to be true.

I've just been waiting for the study to come out.

And here it is: Being Honest Online: The Finer Points of Lying in Online Ultimatum Bargaining

"The results of our study illustrate that traditional pen-and-paper communication is indeed different from e-mail in the way it influences people's behaviors, even though both [are] text only," conclude the study's authors, Charles Naquin of DePaul University, Terri Kurtzberg of Rutgers University, and Liuba Belkin of Lehigh University.

As if that weren't darning enough, hold on to your hat:

They add: "Overall, the lower degree of social obligation found in the use of e-mail versus paper, coupled with ambiguity for communication norms and lack of formal rules, procedures, and expectations regarding e-mail, may allow individuals to tap into a sense of psychological justification for their deviant behaviors (such as deception) more easily online than in the paper mode."

Well, there you have it.



There's not much more to be said to those of you who wish to attain any level of acceptance in polite society.

Just four words: paper, pen, stamp, write.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Crane Launches Greeting Card Line in the New Year

It's like Christmas all year 'round!
Every so often, a package arrives from Crane with samples of new boxed or personalized stationery. I'm on the "advance" list, which means I get to see what's coming ahead of their introduction to the market. So, rather than be stingy with this inside information, I'll share with you some new items coming to a stationer near you early next year.
Crane is introducing a new line of letterpressed and engraved greeting cards to celebrate a host of life's events. Here are some of the designs:

Clockwise from top left: Be Happy, Happy Birthday, You Can Have Your Cake, and Happy Birthday.

Clockwise from upper left: "A little bird" Happy Birthday, "Put on your party hat" Happy Birthday, Thinking of You, and Best wishes on your wedding day.

Here's my favorite, engraved in gold and red: