Monday, July 27, 2009

Daily Paper: Woodnotes

PAPER YARN, people. Seriously. Paper Yarn. Say it again, and this time believe it. Paper yarn. I think I just died and went to heaven.

, a standout Finnish company, in their own words, "...designs and manufactures products and concepts inspired by paper yarn for homes and public spaces."

Gorgeous and sophisticated, and BIODEGRADABLE? You bet. I have been telling you guys how amazing and diverse paper can be. Their products range from carpets to window dressings, furniture to accessories. Woodnotes does it all, with amazing style.

I would be honored to include Woodnotes products in my home, but I'm thinking they wouldn't last too long with the 6 month old we have scooting around now. This will have to wait until our nest is empty. Bookmarked for 20 years from now...

Above, left to right: Bed Concept, Fisherman Scarf

Sunday, July 26, 2009

We're back... and tweeting, too!

Just wanted to say a quick thanks for being patient while we enjoyed a little staycation. Over the last two weeks we have had family in town and had fun playing tourist at home!

Now that we are back, I wanted to let you all know that we have officially launched our Twitter account. I am still mending my tattered ego from the lack of response to our little "Name our Twitter Account" contest (don't feel bad. really. we'll keep posting even if it feels like no one is reading). SO, we have decided on UNVELOPE. Follow us. We'll be tweeting you soon!

**UPDATE: Our Twitter name has since been changed to UncommonStudio. Why, you ask? Read here.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Kiva Loan - Najibeh

It's time to make a new Kiva loan! Our latest loan is to Najibeh in Lebanon. Her lender page is sparse on details, but we know she is in the paper biz so she gets our support.
Good luck, Najibeh!

Here is the info from Kiva:

Name: Najibeh
Location: Location Undisclosed, Lebanon
Primary Activity: Crafts
Loan Amount: $1,200
Repayment Term: 14 months
Loan Use: Buy a paper-packaging machine

"Najibeh is a 50-year-old married woman and mother of four children. She has been working as a home-based bag producer to help her husband satisfy the household demands. Today, Najibeh is requesting to borrow $1,200 to buy a paper-packaging machine to develop her work in order to increase her income."

Please join our Kiva Lending Team.

Kiva - loans that change lives

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Daily Paper: DIY!

I thought it would be appropriate to put a post up about how you can make paper, the object of my obsession, at home. I thought about how I could do a demo, photograph it, etc... but then I thought that I need not go through all that when someone like B_Zedan has done this already in such a marvelous way on Flickr! You must check out this tutorial photostream, including all the helpful instructions in the captions.

I'll be in my lair petting my own piles paper. GO MAKE YOUR OWN!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Daily Paper: Etsuko Ichikawa

Oh, Etsuko, your work lights my fire.

Before meeting Etsuko Ichikawa (yes, this internationally acclaimed artist resides in Seattle and learned the art of letterpress where I print) I had never heard of the word PYROGRAPH:

The word, the way it sounds, its definition, and all the creative ideas that come spilling in when considering this "medium" intrigue me to no end. And then you see Etsuko's work, DEAI, and it all goes out the window because she just can not be outdone. Etsuko's pyrographs, created with hot glass and rolls of paper, are flowing, free form, illicit contradictory thoughts of water, not fire.

Check Etsuko's website for exhibition listing updates and when you see her work is coming to your town, light a fire under your butt to go see. It is not to miss.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Name our twitter account and we'll send you a tweet treat

It's time, folks, to start a dedicated twitter account for Uncommon Envelope. The trouble is that we have not been clever enough to come up with a memorable name within the twitter parameters. WE NEED YOUR HELP! Make a Twitter username suggestion for Uncommon Envelope in the comments below that fit in the following guidelines and we'll send you a substantial freebie in appreciation!

The username must be:
  1. available
  2. 15 characters or less
  3. cool enough for us to like it and choose to use it!
Thanks for your help! We are looking forward to hearing all your clever suggestions.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Daily Paper: Vintage Stamps

What better time to talk about the art of the US mint than 4th of July weekend?! It may be cliche at this point but I still love the look of a handful of vintage stamps plastering an envelope or postcard in lieu of a shiny new stamp (the new Love stamp might be the except to this sentiment).
Clockwise from top left: 1974 Continental Congress, 1958 Statue of Liberty, 1960 Credo, 1952 Service Women
(all currently available and courtesy of
SeaJay Stamp & Coin)

You may ask, "can you actually use vintage stamps?" The answer is YES, as long as they are not already canceled. The value is the same as what is printed on the stamp.
  • Be prepared to spend a little more on postage. Vintage comes with a price, and that price is called "Catalog Value." Just remember that your stamp selection becomes a major component to your design. If you love the look of vintage stamps, just think of the extra expense as design-related, not mailing related.
  • This may seem obvious, but the value of the stamp as you are putting it through the USPS system is the same as the value printed on the stamp. They don't care that you may have paid more than face value.
  • Be prepared to remain flexible. You'll need to mix and match stamps and your selections will all depend on what is available at any given moment. It is quite possible to put together a collection of stamps that fit a color theme and/or topic theme. The fun is finding the best mix!
Here are places you can find vintage stamps:
If you become a serious stamper, you'll want to order the latest Postal Service Guide to US Stamps so you can see full size images of the stamps and reference their catalog numbers when working with stamp dealers.

Happy hunting! I feel a new (admittedly dorky) obsession coming on!

Oh, and have a beautiful and safe 4th of July weekend...

Thursday, July 2, 2009

NY Times Article

I wanted to share this with you all:

The New York times ran this lovely article yesterday and I so related to many of the thoughts brought forth by other paper lovers. I, too, have a massive stationery "wardrobe" and when writing a note to a friend, client, or vendor I think long and hard about exactly which piece of stationery most suits their style and the sentiments I am trying to relay. I also do everything short of keeping a journal to take care to not send the same paper and envelope to the same person twice, and if I have it was a mistake...

Some would call this outdated, obsessive, or formal. I call it the reason I do what I do for a living. I not only love stationery, but I believe in hand-written correspondence as the ultimate way to show someone exactly how you feel about them, whether you are sending a thank you, an invitation, or just a postcard. And when I think of how often I receive half-hearted emails instead of a written note when appropriate, I am sad. A stamp costs 44¢ (for now) and you can find that hiding in your couch.

The article also touched on some technical aspects of what goes into fine, hand-crafted stationery. You wonder why custom stationery feels so special, or why it might be "expensive?" It is because in reality it is not REALLY stationery. Each piece is an individual work of art, hand crafted with love and attention to every little detail so it best represents who my clients are. I sincerely love what I do and I put hours of hand work into my orders. When you look at it that way, is it really expensive?

I encourage you to read the article to learn more...

Daily Paper: Colleen Baran

A girl can only hope to find one of these rings waiting inside a pretty little box for her anniversary or Valentine's Day or Birthday... (hint, hint). CUSTOMIZABLE love notes hidden within jewelry. OH, yum. These designs by Colleen Baran are unforgettable. If there are any men at all out there reading this blog, please keep these in mind for the ladies in your life. She'll know you're a keeper if you surprise her with one of these.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Daily Paper: Noriko Yamaguchi

When I find an amazing artist I have never come across before, I get butterflies. This is what happened when I found Noriko Yamaguchi. PAPER. BASED. INSTALLATIONS. I am really interested in the shadow play that happens when you light the pieces.
And if you love the work so much you wish you could wear it, you can. I just haven't figured out where to get the brooches. When I do, I will update this link. In the meantime, dream up the outfits they could adorn.