The THANK YOU NOTE in 3 easy steps: Make it quick. Make it easy. Make it classy.

Be careful not to overlook an important aspect of the gift-giving season: thank-you notes.

The thought behind the thank-you should be equal to, or greater than, the thought that went into the gift. But it does not have to be the chore we all dread. In fact, if you follow the “3” rule, you can have this chore beat in no time.

In 3 days… Ideally the thank you note should be written within 3 days of receiving the gift. However, even if it’s much later, it is still special.

On 3 lines… That’s all it takes. (Not including the salutation or your signature)

Make 3 statements

·     Acknowledge the gift, (“How thoughtful of you to remember that I love teapots.”)

·     Explain what you will do with the gift, (“I have a box of Earl Grey that I am dying to try.”)

·     Express a future meeting or hope of a meeting, (“Looking forward to seeing you at Jack’s party in a few weeks.”)

That’s it. Sign your note. How easy is that!?

Now, there IS one thing more thing that must be done…but this is the fun part! No matter the occasion, start with the paper, the actual card.

When choosing the perfect stationary, look for one that’s elaborate in detail and intricate in design. Envelop lining and artwork, heavier card stock, decals, embellishments and gold leaf script, always boast well. Once retrieved in the mail, it will stand out from the mundane and make the recipient feel special.

Emily Post suggests,” the letter you write, whether you realize it or not, is always a mirror which reflects your appearance, taste and character.”

What a joy to receive a rare treasure —a handwritten thank you note from a family member or friend. No one has to know just how easy it

was!

Rossi 1931: The Gift of Christmas

“Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before! What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store? What if Christmas…perhaps…means a little bit more!” 

 Dr. Seuss, How the Grinch Stole Christmas!

For many of us–whether we choose to admit it or not–Christmas is about presents. Children eagerly wait in anticipation of Christmas morning. Far-sighted adults start stockpiling on-sale gifts early in the summer. The procrastinating multitudes flock to the mall in the week or days before Christmas. However, gift-giving did not become the central Christmas tradition it is today until the late 18th century. Stores began placing Christmas-themed ads in newspapers in 1820. Santa Claus, once and still known in some cultures as St. Nicholas, the increasingly popular bearer of gifts, started popping up in ads and stores 20 years later. . But despite the Christian roots of gift-giving, the practice ultimately steered Christmas closer to the somewhat secularized holiday it is today. By 1867, the Macy’s department store in New York City stayed open until midnight on Christmas Eve, allowing last-minute shoppers to make their purchases. Today, Christmas is the ultimate gift-giving bonanza.

Holiday gift giving began long before Christmas. The Romans would give gifts to one another on pagan festivals like Saturnalia, the winter solstice, and the Roman New Year. The tradition of gift giving became associated with Christmas because of the Three Kings’ offerings to the infant Jesus. The magi traveled to Bethlehem to present the gifts of frankincense, gold and myrrh.  Early on the Church discouraged the practice of gift giving because of its pagan associations. But by the Middle Ages the tradition had become so popular that it became a mainstay of the holiday season. It was during that time that St. Nicholas, a Christian Bishop in Turkey, known for his generosity, was giving to those less fortunate than he. He also gave to children of all backgrounds, simply because he felt they needed to savor their childhood, and have joyous times to remember. The most common gift given were homemade foods and sweets, oranges, a rare treat. It moved throughout the world very quickly, and before the 10th century it is known that nearly every country was participating in this exchange on St. Nicolas’ Eve.

Although the tradition of gift giving has a long Christmas history, those gifts being presented in colorful paper and tied up in curls of ribbon is a relatively new practice. While Christmas cards began to be sent in the mid-nineteenth century it wasn’t until many years later thatdressing up presents in Christmas finery caught on.

Early on gifts were wrapped in simple tissue paper or more sturdy brown paper. In the nineteenth century, gifts were sometimes presented in decorated cornucopias or paper baskets. The technology did not exist to mass produce a decorated, foldable, paper until the 1890’s, when developments in printing presses allowed colored ink to be printed fluidly on stiffer papers. Before the introduction of scotch tape in the 1930’s gifts were tied up with string and sealing wax.

Over the years the look of wrapping paper changed as well. The first wrapping paper was decorated in the ornate style of the Victorian era. Gilded flourishes of cherubs, birds, and flowers draped across sheets of popular wrapping papers. 

In the 30’s and 40’s, patterns became more stylized due to the popularity of Art Deco.

Decorations moved away from nature to symbols we commonly associate with Christmas today

collage

Popular patterns included ice skaters, snowflakes, Christmas trees, and candles. It was during these decades that Rossi’s decorative paper was born, inspired by traditional Florentine designs of the Renaissance. Later on they included contemporary alternatives

featuring little details that add up to big impact: small hits of brilliant gold and silver metallic ink, finely detailed and multi-layered illustrations, delicate flourishes and stunning patterns and colors.

Aficionados rejoice! Next year’s Christmas papers are a combination of two techniques; letterpress and a heated application of gold, producing a very special outcome. 

 

We here at Rossi are truly blessed to be able to do what we love and share our products with you. Thank you. Have a joyous Holiday season.

 

“We wish you light snows and twinkling lights. A home alive with cookie smells. A child to play with, a dog to pet and the hope of answered prayers.”

 

Sharing the stage: OrangeArt, one class act.

An interview with Carol Mackin of Orange Art, Woodstock, CT.

“Our roots are deep in paper.” ORANGEART has been a family run, wholesale, fine paper business for three decades. Once strictly a distributor of art products and material, OrangeArt now offers its own line of letterpress products.

Through Orange Art, many fine retail dealers have been able to find stationery products from around the globe which are far from ordinary.

 

Why or how did you pick the name Orange Art?

Actually, we bought a tiny rising art paper distribution business in 1983 already named OrangeArt. We have enjoyed the easy marketing the name provided.

You have a direct sales force. Yes? How many states do you cover?

We do the selling ourselves in New England and New York and employ Reps in other parts of the country. John has been personally visiting many of our customers in the last few months. He also has a new Prius hybrid which is a good incentive to get on the road.

Any plans for expansion going forward? Speaking of which, did I understand you now have an online “store”?

We are expanding our trade show presence. We will be in Atlanta Gift in January. We have always been at the NYC Stationery Show and Gift Shows (now called NYNOW).

Yes, our online sales are growing very fast which has changed things. We used to be entirely direct sales/phone/fax. Many of our customers, especially wholesale print paper customers, like our Rossi customers, prefer to order online after working hours. We have an easy online ordering system that sets up an account page for our customers with their order history so they can re-order quickly.

How do you decide what lines/products to distribute? I like how you say, “collect” unique social papers. And speak to the difference between being an agent and a “collector”.

What we did in the fine art paper and materials business for 30 years was “distribute” which we sold in 2010. We were a regional distributor of art products to retailers in New England and New York. That means there was no personal involvement in the product design and choice.

However, since the beginning of OrangeArt in 1983, our stationery business has always been based on our choices. We manufacture and design our own products.

We also represent some European lines in the USA, exclusively. That is what an “agent” is.

How has the computer impacted your business?

Only is good ways. I love the immediacy of it. We can service faster and we can show our customers what is new online immediately

In this economy, do you see a trend that more customers are making their own social items (invitations, etc.) from your papers rather turning to custom designers like Crane or Wm. Arthur?

Digital printing has become less expensive and more accessible. That has changed the way stationery papers are personalized, forever. There is no excuse for a badly done business card or note!

Since we have now being living with technology for some time now, do you see any traditions coming back that once were lost? Any new ones beginning?

A personal, hand-written note or paper invitation is finding its modern place in our lives. It is something distinct from email which has become too banal. It is now communication “etiquette” to write and invite in this “personal” way. It takes time which is a gift in and of itself. The paper, the stamp, are a reflection of the personal taste of the sender.

I think that people are happy to spend more money on a well-designed card, journal, etc. Again, it is a little exercise in design much like their choices of home décor.

How, and when did you find Rossi?               

We have stocked Rossi products since 2006. We travelled to Borgo San Lorenzo to talk to the Rossi’s about our interests and paper background, which included 12 years of experience with another, similar paper also made in Italy. We really know how many ways our customers can use this versatile, beautiful paper. Our experience has taught us how to support sales with thoughtful templates and well versed customer service who can explain an album fold from an A5 sheet, convert metric into inches and always make sure they are ordering the right envelopes!

We appreciate all of the Rossi products. By the way, their warehouse packing is the BEST! Everything arrives correctly and un-damaged. No one appreciates that more than the people who receive, stock and re-ship it.

What does the future hold for Orange Art?

Well, we did recently sell the “big” business and as I said, we are in transition in a good way. The reason we did OrangeArt together, here in this beautiful place, was to control the way we were going to live and raise our two children.Now we can be smaller and more focused.We would like to find just a few more exclusive lines, and maybe tiptoe into complementary products. I keep imagining a beautiful desk we could all use in our lives to keep our “stuff” organized and allow us to write, think and look out the window at nothing at all. What would be on it?

A Brief History of the Journal

What is a diary as a rule? A document useful to the person who keeps it. Dull to the contemporary who reads it and invaluable to the student, centuries afterwards, who treasures it.” 

Sir Walter Scott.

letterpress notebooks

Journaling is not a modern phenomenon; there are recordings traced back to 55AD China. During the Renaissance period, the Western world began journaling regularly and the diary, began to have some literary value as the importance of the individual began to come to the fore. Ladies of the court in tenth century Japan used pillow books to record their dreams and thoughts with images and poetry. Throughout history, travel logs were also used as journals in both the Eastern and Western worlds. They were used to record details of places, people, navigational insights, botanical and other information. Since then it has often been used by the historian, not only as a supply of factual information, but as a picture of the daily life and personality of its writer.

The most poignant records of recent years was the wartime diary of Anne Frank. Broadly translated, it is one of the most widely read pieces of literature in history. It was begun when Anne was 13, just before she and her family went into hiding from the Nazis in a small apartment annex in the city of Amsterdam, and ended shortly after her 15th birthday, when the Nazis raided their hideout. After the war, her father, Otto, the only survivor in the family, decided to publish his daughter’s heart-rending diary. 

Distinguished diaries have also come from literary figures, such as Virginia Woolf and Emerson, religious leaders like Pope John XXIII, statesmen: George Washington, Winston Churchill and Thomas Jefferson, and a host of nonpublic figures whose personal dramas have become historical classics. But diaries should not be seen solely as literature; as Henry David Thoreau once said, ”the journal is a record of experience and growth, not a preserve of things well done or said.” In studying the lives of great men, one might notice a common trait: they were all consistent journal writers. If it weren’t for their journals, we probably wouldn’t know much about their great lives and deeds.

In the 1960’s the idea of journaling really came into play, when an American psychotherapist, best known for his development of the Intensive Journal Method, began offering workshops and classes in a method  using reflective writing as therapy with the ultimate goal of psychological healing. It is believed that by recording and describing the significant issues in one’s life, one can better understand these issues and eventually diagnose problems that stem from them. Today that method has been taught to over 250,000 people.

Journal therapy has been used effectively for grief and loss; coping with life-threatening or chronic illness, repairing troubled marriages and family relationships; increasing communication skills; developing healthier self-esteem; getting a better perspective on life; and clarifying life goals.

Still, people journal for a variety of reasons; to record memories, to improve their writing, to develop self-discipline or help change bad habits, to reach new levels of self-discovery.  The reasons are endless, but overwhelmingly journaling gives people a space to develop their thoughts. The diary is, first and foremost, a psychological tool, an instrument for self-understanding. Those who recognize it as such look upon their journals as companions and confidants. Like a good therapist, the diary is the perfect listener.

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For information about the beautiful Italian journals available through Rossi 1931, visit www.rossi1931.com

Calligraphy: alive and very well

Calligraphy, the art of beautiful hand lettering, dates back to 213 B.C. One might think that it would never survive the onslaught of modern day technology, but it is thriving in an environment of computer fonts. Nowhere is it more apparent, than at Calligraphic Arts in Dallas, Texas. Susie-Melissa Cherry is known as one of the world’s foremost calligraphers and a mentor in her profession, creating artwork and designs for noteworthy clients such as Queen Elizabeth, Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton, Louis Vuitton and a lengthy list of notables and businesses worldwide. Of course her local clients in the Dallas area and beyond feel extremely fortunate to have one of the best for their special lettering and design needs.

Any artist knows the importance of one’s canvas; Susie-Melissa especially loves the Italian made Rossi papers, “I love Rossi papers because they are perfect for lettering. They provide good clean lines and strokes. The papers hold the ink just the way I like to create bold, strong impressions. It is especially great for colored inks.”

She has been a Rossi customer since 2008 and especially loves the Diploma Collection for its vegetable parchment. It’s a favorite for announcements and artwork.

She says her customers are “very hands on” and they choose Rossi for the unique classy designs and the look it creates, and,” they love the square envelopes.”

When not in her gorgeous store or design studio, she teaches calligraphy at a Dallas university. She has “between 40-50 students generally” and they love to use Rossi plain vegetable parchment paper because it “holds the ink so well.”

It’s only fitting that since calligraphy began with the Romans that Rossi Paper be the choice of artists like Susie-Melissa and others.

 

 

Featured Designer: Dominique Augagneur

It’s not often that an artist has the skill to create art in multiple mediums.  They’ve usually honed their craft in one or two areas, and leave it at that.

But Dominique Augagneur is unique. She has turned everyday lamps into works of art. She has transformed furniture into whimsical accent pieces. She has created products for kids rooms that are decorative as well as functional. For over 30 years, this talented Paris-based artist has created a huge array of creative products.

Dominique Auganeur, Rossi, Rossi1931, Italian fine stationery, Rossi stationery, Rossi letterpress, Italian letterpress, Italian decorative papers, Florentine stationery

Dominique Auganeur, Rossi, Rossi1931, Italian fine stationery, Rossi stationery, Rossi letterpress, Italian letterpress, Italian decorative papers, Florentine stationery

Dominique’s  creations begin as plain cardboard pieces, which she then transforms into one-of-a-kind wrapped products using  Rossi1931 decorative paper.

Originally from Italy, Dominique is passionate about Rossi papers.  She exclaims, “The Rossi papers are great quality, are very easy to work with, and their vast and creative collection fuels my imagination. And they are continually launching new collections,“ she adds.

Dominique Auganeur, Rossi, Rossi1931, Italian fine stationery, Rossi stationery, Rossi letterpress, Italian letterpress, Italian decorative papers, Florentine stationery

Dominique is a busy lady; she organizes and teaches courses and workshops, has authored 13 books and two DVDs, and writes regular how-to features in several magazines each month.  Her amazing work is featured on her website where you can also purchase her products in her online boutique.

Dominique Auganeur, Rossi, Rossi1931, Italian fine stationery, Rossi stationery, Rossi letterpress, Italian letterpress, Italian decorative papers, Florentine stationery

Dominique’s creations are truly inspirational, and we look forward to see what she comes up with next!qui_01[1]

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Featured Designer: Juliette Goggin

3 soaps

Crafting is enjoying tremendous growth at the moment thanks in part to a strong DIY movement. Websites like Etsy have sprung up, fair trade retail is surging, and the green movement is fueling the recycle, repurpose, and reuse trend.

Designer and UK resident, Juliette Goggin, co-author of Junk Genius, is at the forefront of this trend, expertly blending her marketing and crafting skills to createbook several successful product lines.  And she uses Rossi stationery products for many of her artisan ideas. Here Juliette explains how it all came about:

“I first discovered the amazing range and quality of the Rossi collection at the Top Drawer Show in London. I incorporated some of their beautiful botanical papers in a small selection of soaps for my Juliette at Home gift line, and they quickly became our very best sellers.”

She explains: “Locally made rectangular soaps were first wrapped in glassine paper to protect them. Next I wrapped them in a variety of Rossi paper designs. From a range of six shown at our first trade show, the collection grew rapidly to around 20 and to our delight, the sales kept going up as well. This idea is a simple project which anyone could copy to transform a plain soap into the perfect gift. The hardest part is deciding which paper to choose!”

stamp

Juliette claims: “It’s a well known saying that people buy with their eyes, but occasionally the quality of the product disappoints. However with Rossi one discovers that the quality of the papers matches the beauty of the designs, and this lifts any project way above the ordinary.”

Since those early beginnings Juliette has used Rossi papers to wrap many a gift and cover many boxes. “I also included Rossi papers in my craft book “Junk Genius” where they were used to embellish envelopes and decorate gift tags and labels. My latest discovery is the Letterpress collection with which I have only just begun to experiment. I am sure this journey will be as much fun as my very first Rossi experiments, ” she said.

skin 2

Juliette concludes with these quick tips for wrapping soaps:

“Wrapping soap is just like wrapping a parcel. The important thing is to remember to cut the paper to the right size, so that it wraps around the width of the soap and overlaps at the back, but at the sides there is just enough to make a neat envelope closure. Too much paper will mean that the corners won’t be sharp and the soap will have a bulky look.”

“I always prefer to use opaque scotch type tape rather than clear sticky tape as it’s virtually invisible and looks so much more professional. Before wrapping with decorative paper, it’s a good idea to use baking parchment first, or other barrier type paper to prevent the soap discolouring the wrap.”

For more information about Juliette Goggin and her product line, please visit: http://www.juliettegoggin.co.uk/

For more information about Rossi1931, please visit http://rossi1931.com/

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Featured Designer: Scroll Book Arts

It’s always fascinating to learn about entrepreneurs who have turned their passion into thriving businesses. It’s even more interesting when you discover that Rossi decorative papers have played an important role in their businesses!

That’s the case for Kris Stewart, a talented bookbinder from the Pacific Northwest who has been designing exquisite books and albums for the past 14 years. Last year, she designed two of her best-selling albums using Rossi decorative papers: a beautiful blue peacock feather motif with shimmering gold accents and a weathered gold brocade on a white background.

Happily ever after: a popular Rossi sheet used for a wedding album Happily ever after: a popular Rossi sheet used for a wedding album

Kris describes herself as a “maker” and a “designer.”   She says, “When I was really young it was construction paper with tape and staples (way too much tape and way too many staples!)  Then it was coloring books filled with abstract patterns just begging for the right combination of crayons. Next it was grand architectural plans for houses I wanted to live in when I grew up, complete with furniture arrangements and landscaping.”

A brilliant Florentine pattern, traditional and modern

“Now that I’m an adult, I may not live in any of those houses I designed as a child, but I am still a maker and a designer, happily working at the intersection of beauty and function.  Bookmaking  became a passion when I happened onto a class 14 years ago. I researched new techniques and tried new ideas and now specialize in paper covered albums and scrap books which I sell through my Etsy shop, Scroll.

Kris says she is very fortunate to work with the world’s most beautiful papers every day: “How lucky I am!  I get the opportunity to work with papers from around the world, including Italian-made Rossi  Papers.  They have become some of my best sellers!  One of my favorite things is to go to the paper store and pull out one big drawer after another, looking at and feeling each paper.”

Kris says that the design process for an album’s cover starts with choosing the decorative paper.  She states: “That seems like it would be the easy part, but really, there are too many choices!   So much beauty, so little time.”

Kris is a master at combining materials like this sand-colored binding paired with a Rossi seashells paper.

Her plans for the 2013 line of custom wedding and baby albums are coming along nicely, and lovely Rossi papers will once again be represented.  The new albums will debut in mid-January and she looks forward to another exciting year of bringing smiles to customers’ faces.

Kris Stewart’s books can be found on her Etsy store, Scroll.  For more information, please visit Scrollbookarts.com

To see a video of the Rossi1931 collection, click here.

For more information about Rossi1931, please visit http://rossi1931.com/

 

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