Friday, January 29, 2010

Paper Blogger Bares His Soul

I recently had the opportunity to gab with the writers of Against The Grain, the blog for Neenah Paper. We had a blast - bunch of paper geeks - and the interview has just been posted.


Here's the link.

Monday, January 25, 2010

What Message Will You Send on Valentine's Day?

As you might guess, this is a loaded question, and it was prompted by a recent visit to the pharmacy. The aisle I usually travel was temporarily blocked, so I was shunted down the stationery aisle. It's not a place I usually frequent; as a matter of fact, I can't remember the last time. So, imagine my surprise when I looked at the price of the cards with Valentine's Day right around the corner.

They're not cheap! I do need to get out more to touch base with reality on occasion. In this case, I had no idea that Crane's 100% cotton, engraved or letterpressed greeting cards are not that much more than what you can buy at the drug store. At $4.79, I'll let you judge the value quotient. And it is Valentine's Day, after all......



Thursday, January 21, 2010

Letterpress Illuminated by Vermont Lettra Light

It's beyond beautiful in Vermont today. We got a couple of inches of powder overnight, and the sun's out to create shadows on stark white.

To me, these are Lettra Light days; when the natural world can be replicated with letterpress impressions on a pillowy white paper. These are also days to have some fun with the camera as Lettra Light enhances the influence of press on paper.







Wednesday, January 20, 2010

A Martha Stewart Morning: Repurposing Holiday Cards, and New Wedding Invitations Albums Arriving at Stores

Whilst checking on my stock portfolio in the Wall Street Journal this morning (not!) I came across an article entitled "What Would Martha Stewart Do With Holiday Cards Still Sitting Around?"

Here's a link to the article so you can check it out yourself. 

In the article I noted with interest and enthusiasm an option for those of us who are not crafty and who want to be able to make a contribution to a very valuable cause even when we don't have the funds to write a check.

Those used holiday cards can be turned into new cards as part of the St. Jude's Ranch for Children Recycled Card Program. Mail the fronts of your cards to 100 St. Jude's St., Boulder City, Nev., 89005 before Feb. 28. For more information, go here.

And while I'm on the subject of Martha Stewart and stationery, brand new albums displaying the Martha Stewart Weddings collection have arrived in stores, just in time for the busiest invitation-planning season.


To have a look at the collection from the comfort of your own computer, you can click here. To find a Crane stationer nearest you who carries the album, you can click here.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Penmanship and Letter Writing by a Papermaker

I was digging around the Crane archives the other day with Jane Bower from the Wenham (Mass.) Museum. The Museum is hosting an exhibition: Paper Capers: Adventures in Paper Art from Feb. 9 to May 5. I was happy to loan them some really fun items, so put it on your calendar as a must-see.

One of the items lent is a letter written by Zenas Marshall Crane to his future bride Caroline Laflin of nearby Lee, Mass., which was to become the nation's leading papermaking town later in the 19th century. The Laflins were a prominent family in Lee, first as gunpowder manufacturers, then the more reasonable papermaking.

I have long contested that "awkward" penmanship should not be an excuse to avoid putting pen to paper. And I've long advocated being responsible with the amount of paper we use, especially because we tend to print everything that appears on our computer screen.

So, with that as context, here is one of scores of letters from Zenas Marshall Crane to Caroline Laflin during their two-year courtship on paper.

Wedding and Signature Events Kick Off 2010

If you're in the market for wedding invitations or personalized stationery, this is a great time to visit your Crane stationer. Two sales programs began this past Saturday and will continue through April 12. Here are the details:

Crane’s Wedding Event

Two offers are being made for all retailers who carry Crane’s wedding, kate spade wedding and Martha Stewart wedding collections.

Letterpress Wedding Invitations

Engraved, Letterpress and Foil Stamp Orders: Customers will receive free invitation and return address dies (a $148 retail value on two dies) on orders of 50 or more invitations and envelopes. Letterpress and foil dies are not returned.

Thermography and Flat Print Orders: Customers will receive free return address printing on their outer envelopes (a minimum $58 retail value) on orders of 50 or more. For this offer, the number of printed envelopes ordered must be equal to or greater than the number of thermographed or flat-print invitations.

Crane’s Signature Event

And at the same time, through April 12, Crane will hold its annual Signature Event. Customers will get their name or monogram and return address dies free on engraved and letterpress personalized stationery orders of at least 100 sets (a $96 retail value). Or they may receive a free return address on thermographed personalized stationery orders of at least 100 sets. The number of printed envelopes ordered must match the number of thermographed or flat-printed cards, notes, folders or sheets ordered.

Letterpress Wedding Invitations

To find a Crane retailer nearest you, click here.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

A Big Night in a Small Vermont Town

I've lived in small towns all my life. I've lived in one little Vermont town for more than 30 years now. Pownal is the first town in Vermont as you're headed north from Massachusetts on Route 7. Mostly people know Pownal because that's where the Green Mountain Race Track used to be. There's usually not much exciting happening here - and most like it that way.

But last night was an exception. Last night the Town of Pownal kicked off a year-long celebration of its 250th anniversary. You can find the schedule of events right here. So have a look and if you're in the neighborhood, stop by and celebrate with us.

Here are some photos from last night's festivities in the Pownal Elementary School gym.

Doreen Forney piped in the crowd. She wanted to make sure I contacted her about our holiday Spirit of Sharing campaign next year. I missed her this last go-around.

The gym at the elementary school was SRO last night. It was noted that this was likely the largest gathering in town since the track closed. Could be right.

Willie Jones, retired Pownal school teacher, noted thespian and host of two radio programs on WBTN, reads the charter signed by Gov. Benning Wentworth on January 8, 1760. At left is Rachel Mason, Pownal's Poet Laureate. At right is MC Rich Ryder, also a program host at WBTN in Bennington.

The Pownal Elementary School Chorus led the crowd in rousing renditions of several historic and patriotic songs.

Bill Botzow, our state representative whom we share with the Town of Woodford, came in period attire. Before I forget, the portrait on the front of the podium is Thomas Pownall, the Royal Governor of  Massachusetts. It's complicated. We were chartered by the Governor of New Hampshire and took the name of the Royal Governor of Massachusetts. Wentworth left off the second "L" in the charter.

Here's Saint Wendy The Patient with our anniversary logo. Wendy is one of the organizers of our 250th anniversary celebration. It's been a lot of work.

Pownal's 250th anniversary quilt, put together by the talented Barb Luscia.

This is our square. Our little neighborhood of Center Street in Pownal Center has been designated a Historic District by the State of Vermont.

Bill shows off an oversized version of a special first-day cover with cancellation scheduled for January 28 at the Pownal Post Office. Better get there early!

The little ones brought out a big paper cake. We all got to make a wish and blow out the candle.

We had a surprise visit from Vermont Gov. Jim Douglas, who traveled from Montpelier (we're as far away as you can get) on some very snowy roads.

It's still a big deal when the Governor visits a small town like Pownal. He was welcomed with a Standing O!

That's Jordan Schell-Lambert on the left. He's a Master Gardener and manages our Community Garden. On the right is Sue Sweeney, who coordinated our 2010 calendar. The cake was awesome.

This is Charlotte Comar with one of the calendars. You can order celebratory merchandise here.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Hottest Item in Crane's Annual Clearance Sale

Every year, there's a terrific clearance sale at crane dot com. If you've got some birthdays coming up that need some attention, you want to get an early start on the 2010 holiday season, perhaps Valentine's Day or just want to give yourself a well-deserved treat after all the holiday hubbub, check out some of these great bargains.

The best bargain of all, in my humble opinion, is Crane's Cherry Finish Wood Stationery Box. I have looked longingly at this particular item for many years as The Perfect Gift for a letter-writer, as well as for - me!

Check it out. It's gorgeous, and it's on sale for $47.99, down from $125.


Now I can afford to get and give two. One to a writer and one to me!

So who, besides me, shall I give this beauty to? I know, let's have a contest! Let's have some fun on Twitter!

Please tweet the following:

RT@craneinsider Retweet and U could win Crane's Cherry Wood Stationery Box! Pass the word. A bargain even if U don't win.

When you Tweet, you will be entered in a drawing. I'll keep track of all the Tweets and I'll announce and notify the winner next Monday, January 11.

Good Luck! And if you don't win, treat yourself.