Friday, January 29, 2010

Write more letters.

(Brand new letter stationery sets from Smock!)

We've talked about this before, but getting a hand-written letter in the mail is truly one of the best pick-me-ups a gal can receive during the day. The fact that a friend (or lover! *Swoon* A love letter? Yes, please!) took the time to hand write some special thoughts to a friend is just one of the most thoughtful, lovely things one person can do for another.

Some people may argue that letter-writing is dying art, but I can tell you that Gus & Ruby customers disagree (they are the best in many ways!). We've had so many people ask about true letter-writing stationery. So, of course, we are beyond happy to deliver for all you letter-writing paper hounds.

We now have some gorgeous letter writing stationery sets from G&R fave, Smock, and from local-ish (Maine) superstar company, Saturn Press. From patterned and fabulous to sweet and simple, these letter-writing sets are stunning.

(Gorgeous, hand type-set letterpress stationery from Saturn Press)

(All photos courtesy of me, which would explain the sub-par photos of these gorgeous products!)

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

I'd like to bag it up.

New styles of our most favorite eco-chic, totally compact, hip, durable, carry-all-able bag, Envirosax, are here! The perfect little mid-winter pick me up gift, don't you think?

Come see! Even more styles arriving in the coming weeks.

(All photos courtesy of Envirosax)

Sunday, January 24, 2010


Oh Egg Press, you're hilarious. And adorable. And I'm totally loving all the fun new cards we're getting in for Valentine's day! Come by soon for pick-of-the-litter.

(All photos courtesy of Egg Press)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Our new favorite vendor (soon to be yours)

One of the greatest parts of our job is finding new vendors to represent in our store. When we first started dreaming of owning our own paper boutique, we kept an ongoing list of our favorites. By the time we were able to start ordering, our list was extremely long. Somehow, we managed to buy a few items from a hundred different vendors. 100. Literally. In our tiny, 850 square foot store. We had so many favorites that we couldn't leave anyone out. One of the downfalls of ordering from everyone on our list the first time around is that we now have a huge challenge to continue to discover new and exciting vendors so we can keep our devoted customers happy. This has proven harder over the last couple of months as Sam and I have gotten busier and busier. It's important that we take time each day to read our favorite blogs, peruse Etsy and trying to keep abreast of what other similar paper boutiques around the country are doing. It's time consuming, but necessary. It's also super fun.

Just the other day I was browsing the 2 Fresh Threads website because we are almost out of their adorable bibs and changing pads and we are hoping to order some oven mitts and potholders this time around. While I was thinking over our next order, I admired (as I always do) the gorgeous photography on their site. For some reason I had never clicked on the link to their photographer, Kari Herer's, website, but this time I did and now we are thrilled to say that we are carrying these gorgeous prints:

Aren't they lovely? If you can believe it (I couldn't), they're even more gorgeous in person. We bought them all as 8x8" prints, which are a perfect size... small enough to frame a couple of them together! Sam and I are already plotting out which ones we will buy for our homes. I was so excited today because I knew Kari's husband was dropping them off (free delivery!) and when he showed up I tried to act calm and cool so he didn't think I was totally lame, but as soon as he walked out I was jumping up and down while I opened the gorgeous package. Kari included mini clothespins and twine so we can display them like this:{all images courtesy of Kari Herer}

And that's not all she included in her adorable package. She baked us cookies! Well, I'm guessing she didn't bake them specifically for us, but she happened to bake them today and was sweet enough to send some with our prints. Now you can see why I was so pumped. Kari Herer = uber talented and oh-so thoughtful! I know you are as excited as we are so get in here this week and pick one up. And if you're trying to be good by not spending any money, send your husband in. Valentine's Day is just around the corner and you know he doesn't have anything else up his sleeve. Help him out. They're only $25 each!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Finding inspiration.

(Gorgeous "Lemon and paper whites" inspiration board, featuring invitations by store favorite Alee & Press, found on Snippet & Ink)

Planning a wedding takes a great deal of organization, budgeting, adjusting, compromising and time. Truly, though, a fabulous wedding takes - more than anything - INSPIRATION.

Those weddings you see featured in Martha Stewart Weddings, those are the result of some serious inspiration. These aren't your run-of-the-mill weddings. Inspiration can come in many forms - from choosing a specific color palate, to having an overall event theme or a specific floral scheme. Weddings that WOW are all alike in that they have been thought through, precisely planned and lovingly crafted by the couple, their friends, family and vendors.

Finding inspiration for your wedding can be a seemingly daunting task - but it doesn't have to be! Whitney and I have compiled a list of some of the wedding and design blogs that we read to spark our creative fuses. These online idea-warehouses can be great places to see what others are doing, identify trends or themes that you are drawn to and educate yourselves on the details that turn a wedding into THE wedding.

Grab a cup of tea, cozy up on the couch and check out a few of our fave online sources of inspiration (in no particular order):

Oh So Beautiful Paper (a MUST when you start thinking about invitations. Then, come see us
so that you can see all these gorgeous pieces yourself. Nothing compares to seeing and touching gorgeous paper in person and talking through your needs with an expert! We carry albums from lots of the most blogged-about designers on this site!)

Make time to find inspiration in the everyday, too. Take inventory of you and your fiance's life together to get started. Do you share common interests or a special bond? Could that play into your wedding vision? Do you both love skydiving? Use that as a platform to create an adrenaline-filled wedding theme (complete with a high powered fan and photo booth for "falling in love" photos!).

Is your cozy 400 sqf apartment lovingly filled with vintage farmhouse furniture? Pull items you already own to create a romantic, vintage wedding with antique lace, long farmer's tables and mismatched porcelain place settings.

("East of Eden" inspiration board from Snippet & Ink)

Can't get enough cheery orange in your life? Set a bold and varied orange color palate with tangelo, vermilion, and burnt sienna colors against a smokey grey.

(Inspiration board from Snippet & Ink)

The key to feeling inspired is to be OPEN. Be open to new ideas, to suggestions and to patterns, colors, objects, flowers, foods and activities that mean something to you. Weddings come in all shapes and sizes - nothing is off limits for your big day! Find what makes your heart sing and design your event around that.

(Photo by Greg Slick, found on Snippet & Ink)

It's the little details (the stripey straws in your signature cocktail, the ice-cream sandwich bar, the ouiji board table...) that will leave you and your guests smiling from ear to ear. Don't be afraid to be different! Don't be afraid to have fun! Don't be afraid to go against the grain a little! Take the time to craft a wedding that reflects you and your fiance, your life together and all that is important to you; you'll be glad you did!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Boston Hearts Weddings

Check out this lovely new blog that our fab friend Francie, of the uber talented planning firm Tangorra Wedding Planning, started recently: Boston Hearts Weddings

It's still in the nascent stages, but we think she's going to do some amazing things with it! And, we couldn't be more honored to be listed as one of her preferred vendors. Hooray!

Thanks Francie. We heart you!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Lovely prints

{courtesy of the artist}

Sam and I just want to a take a time-out to say that our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Haiti and those who's loved ones are there. Horrific natural disasters seem to be happening more and more often and we realize how lucky we are to live where we do and that our friends and loved ones are safe. So many people feel helpless in these situations and I am always in awe of those who step up to offer a hand, even if it's small.

We have been keeping an eye on this up and coming illustrator and hope to get her work in the shop in the near future. Buy one of the beautiful love prints shown above (and available here) and 25% of the sale will go to Yele Haiti whose (current) primary goal is fundraising to help with the disastrous earthquake. For a list of additional organizations who are accepting donations, click HERE. Thank you, Nole, for first mentioning the promotion.

While we're on the topic of lovely prints, Samantha gave me a late Christmas present today. Being the thoughtful friend that she is, she remembered this funky Roddy & Ginger print that I had been lusting over months ago. I can't wait to frame it and hang it in my dining room. Thank you, Sam! A.K. and Ruby thank you too.
{courtesy of the artist}

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Free save-the-dates!!

Our love of the invitation powerhouse Smock is well documented (read about it here). This dynamic stationery company out of Syracuse really knows how do design and print right. From their eco-conscious practices (bamboo paper? yep! wind-powered presses? yep! giving back to the planet? you know it!) to their stellar designs and incredible, detail-oriented client services, Smock is one of our favorite vendors to work with.

Well, Smock is having an absolutely unbelievable promotion for their letterpress wedding album. When you order your invitations, reply cards and envelopes from Smock, they will happily throw in FREE save-the-dates to match your invitations. Can you believe that?! That's a savings of $480 (based on 100 2-color invitation suites)!

Don't need save-the-dates? No problem! Smock will happily offer FREE 1-color printing on your outer envelopes when you order a full letterpress invitation suite. That's a savings of $240 (based on 100 2-color invitation suites)!

Pretty amazing, right? Serious savings on seriously gorgeous wedding stationery. Come by for a visit to flip through the fabulous Smock book or call ahead and we'll chill some champagne for a toast to your big day. Either way, we can't wait to see you!

(All photos courtesy of Smock)

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Gus + winter = not so good, actually

For those dog lovers out there - and I know there are a lot of you - I have to share some Gus news. Poor little Gus has not been loving this cold weather. He's a hardy little guy (well, as hardy as a 10 lb dog can be) and he likes to run and romp and play. But, this ice and salt is just too harsh on his little paws. Recently, on walks, he'll start out strong and then about 2 blocks into it will stop walking, start whining and picking up hist little paws one at a time to shake them in the air. It's a sad sight and I end up carrying him the rest of the way, warming his tiny feet between my hands.

I realized that I needed a better way to transport him to and from work with me, since I walk here everyday. But, because I don't usually treat him like a little dog (a la Paris Hilton), I had no dog bags or anything of the sort. But, we soon discovered that a regular tote bag (Le Sport Sac, to be exact) works just fine! For the last few weeks on those super chilly/snowy/wet mornings, Gus has been riding in style on the way to work. Check it:

(Photo courtesy of my bestie, Karen)

I know it's not Christmas anymore, but I was reading the blog of one of our adorable bride-to-be clients (hi, Lindsay!) and she had posted this picture and I just had had had to put it up here, too. It's a brussels griffon, like Gus, in a Santa hat. Presh! Ok - more hilarious than precious. Look at his wonky eyes!
(Photo from Trixie + Peanut)

And, a little somethin' somethin' to pique your interest: I'll be blogging tomorrow about an AMAZING letterpress wedding invitation sale! :) Hooray!!


Thursday, January 7, 2010

Wedding Invitations: the pieces and the timeline

(Photo courtesy of Smock)

As all you brides-to-be know, 2010 wedding planning season is in full swing! We're full-steam-ahead with 2010 invitation orders right now - helping couples craft the perfect stationery suite to set the tone for their event and create a cohesive look for all the little details. Brides and grooms have been coming in to look through our albums, chat about custom work and get the creative ball rolling.

The process of ordering invitations, from the initial appointment to having invitations in-hand can take anywhere from a month (if you are the type that can find what she wants and make quick decisions) to two or more months (if you need time to go back-and-forth a lot with changes and designs and wording, etc.). The timing can depend on many things including the
amount of design or customization needed, the printing process and the number of proofs needed to get everything perfect. For this reason, most couples should plan to start the invitation process at least four months prior to their wedding date.

As is the case with most of the wedding-planning, Whitney and I always suggest being ahead of the game than behind the eight ball when it comes to your paper needs. Leaving a little wiggle room in your stationery timeline can relive the stress that can be caused when you are waiting desperately for your pieces to arrive or when you need to address 100+ invitations in one week in order to mail everything on time. Better to have them ahead of time so you can relax and enjoy the few months before the big day!

Some pieces you might need and the typical timing info on each:

(Photo courtesy of Alee & Press)

Save-the-dates have become an increasingly popular way to inform guests of your upcoming wedding. These little pieces are a great way to ensure that a majority of your guests will be able to attend the big event as they give guests enough time to block-off your date, arrange their
schedules and book travel arrangements. Save-the-dates are also fabulous places to include any additional information (accommodation, wedding website, etc.) that might be helpful for guests to have before the invitation arrives. Generally, save-the-dates should be mailed 9 months prior to the wedding for weddings where a majority of the guests will need to make travel arrangements or 6 months prior to the wedding for non-destination events.

(Photo courtesy of The Lettered Olive)

Pretty sure you all know what these are! Your invitation is the pièce de résistance of your wedding stationery. They set the tone for your big day and allow guests a peek about the event to come. The full invitation package (invitation, reply card and any insert cards) should be mailed out between 8 and 10 weeks before your wedding. This will give enough time for the invitations to arrive at your guests' homes, for your guests to reply and mail the reply cards back to you, and for you to get a final count to your venue and caterer. Invitations to destination weddings are often mailed out 10 to 12 weeks prior.

(Photo courtesy of Alee & Press)

Reply Cards
Reply cards are smaller insert cards sent with the main invitation that allow guests to respond to the invite. These cards are then mailed back to the host of the event so that the families are able to tally how many guests will be attending the wedding. Often times, for weddings with sit-down dinners, entree choices will be included on the reply card. Most venues and caters require a final count for the wedding a few weeks before the big day, so couples often like to receive responses between 2 and 4 weeks prior to the event.

Insert Cards
Insert cards are detailed cards that accompany the invitation and reply card and might include pieces created to provide information about:
The reception: information about the party! Typically done if your ceremony and reception are being held at different locations or different times.
Directions: to help your guests find you!
Custom maps: Maps (fun, artsy or more traditional) detailing the location of your big day and all the events. Well, isn't that a fun idea?
Accommodations information: Contact information for local hotels and inns
The rehearsal dinner: invitations and information about the rehearsal dinner.

(Photo courtesy of Alee & Press)

Day-Of Elements:
Day-of elements is a catch-all group for all the paper needs you may have for the actual event. These pieces are usually created using the design of your invitation package, but are printed closer to the wedding as they incorporate details that usually don't come together until just before the big day. It is helpful, however, to start brainstorming, planning for and budgeting for these pieces from the beginning of the process. Day-of elements may include:
Ceremony programs: Programs for your ceremony are the perfect place to include information about the flow of the ceremony. They are a veritable who's who of your wedding party, officiant, and bibliography for various readings/songs/traditions, etc.
Escort Cards: Escort cards, not to be confused with seating cards, are the little do-dads that inform your guests at which table they are seated. They, in essence, escort your guests to their table.
Seating Cards: For those brides who have assigned seating at each table, the seating card is located at each place setting and informs guests which seat is theirs at the table.
Table Numbers: So your guests can find their table!
Menus: For all the foodies, menus are a wonderful way to explain in detail the meal that will be served as well as any wine or cocktail information.
Welcome Letters/Notes: Many couples choose to leave welcome baskets or notes at the hotels of out-of-town guests. It is a sweet way to welcome your loved ones and start the wedding off on the right foot!
Favor Tags: As many couples offer favors to their guests, favor tags (adhered to the favors, around the favor station or at each guests' place setting) is a nice way to personalize the little gifts or explain any alternative (donation, remembrance) that may take place.
Coasters/Cocktail Napkins: cocktail napkins or coasters that match your stationery suite is a fun and fabulous way to create a cohesive look throughout the wedding day.

(Photos courtesy of Alee & Press)

Thank You Cards
You brides-to-be can already attest to the fact that with an engagement and wedding comes loads of generosity. Typically, in the form of well-wishes and gifts! Customized stationery (preferably that matches your invitation package!) is a wonderful way to thank your friends and family for their support and gifts. Sending thank you notes within a month of receiving a gift is ideal (but tricky!). The old adage that you have up to a year after your wedding to send thank you notes is largely incorrect. Like any gift, the sooner you can thank the recipient, the better.

Phew - that about covers it. Of course - your wedding is all about YOU! Some couples have loads of paper goodies (think personal notes for each guest, lots of explanatory cards for fun traditions and details) and some have very few (just the basics). What makes the process so wonderful is that each package we craft is made just for you!

Stop by soon for a peek at the albums and to chat about all the lovely details of your big day! We're chilling some champagne for you! :)