Giving Thanks

“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”

John Fitzgerald Kennedy

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Thanksgiving is America’s most celebrated tradition. It falls every year on the fourth Thursday in the month of November.  Its origin can be traced back to the 16th century when the first thanksgiving dinner is said to have taken place.

In 1609, a group of Puritans fleeing religious persecution in England moved to Holland. They ­lived in Holland for a number of years until, in 1620, a group of English investors — the Merchant Adventurers — financed a trip for more than 100 passengers to the New World. On Sept. 6, 1620, 102 passengers set sail on a ship called the Mayflower, a 17th century sailing vessel leaving from England. The pilgrims reached Plymouth Rock on December 11th 1620, after a sea journey of 66 days.  Many did not make the final landing in Plymouth (Massachusetts), succumbing to the extreme cold. Still many others perished from that first cold winter in Plymouth without much food.

In the spring of 1621, native Indians taught the pilgrims to survive by growing food. With their help, the Pilgrims were able to survive in the New World. They were taught how to get sap out of the maple trees, how to avoid plants that were poisonous and how to plant corn, beans and pumpkins. In the autumn of 1621, Plymouth Colony’s first governor, William Bradford, decided to throw a celebratory feast and invited the colony’s American Indian neighbors to take part. The American Indians brought food as well, and the celebration is said to have lasted for three days. The grand feast was organized to thank God for his favors. This communal dinner is popularly known as the “first thanksgiving”. It’s uncl­ear whether the Pilgrims themselves called that first feast a thanksgiving celebration, but they were certainly celebrating the abundance of food and the peace with their American Indian neighbors. There is however, no evidence to prove if the dinner actually took place; some historians believe pilgrims were quite religious in which case, their thanksgiving would have included a day of fasting and praying. Other historians say that the dinner did indeed take place.

It wasn’t until several years later, after enduring a month’s long drought, that Thanksgiving was celebrated in earnest. In response to the hot, dry summer months, the governor called for a fast. Soon afterward, rain revived the shriveled crops, and the Puritans celebrated.

The custom of marking good fortune with a day of gratitude quickly caught on throughout New England. In the early days of the United States, the new nation’s leaders began proclaiming country-wide thanksgiving celebrations. In the American Revolution, for example, the Continental Congress called for a day of thanksgiving to mark the U.S. victory at the Battle of Saratoga. Then in 1789, President George Washington called for a day of thanksgiving in recognition of the U.S. Constitution’s ratification.

Although its origins are traced back to that first thanksgiving in 1621, a number of other countries celebrate harvest related festivals. They are observed with different names and in different seasons. Harvest related festivals, all the over the world are characterized with fun and merrymaking, for the most part, celebrating communal harmony. Each region has its unique customs and traditions to jubilate the occasion. 

Canada celebrates thanksgiving on the second Monday in the month of October .The first Canadian thanksgiving was celebrated on 15th April 1872 to thank the recovery of King Edward VII from serious illness. The next thanksgiving was celebrated after a few years in 1879 on a Thursday. 
Canada later, had a turbulent time deciding the day of national Thanksgiving. It fluctuated between Mondays some years and Thursday in others. Finally, on January 31, 1957, Parliament announced the second Monday in the month of October as the official ‘Thanksgiving Day’. It was declared as “a day of general Thanksgiving to Almighty God for the bountiful harvest with which Canada has been blessed.” The thanksgiving celebrations include parades, customary ‘family feast’ and ‘turkey’. It is a time for sharing, loving and family reunions. The central idea behind the celebration is to be thankful for the past harvest and praying for the coming year. 

 India also has a number of harvest related festivals in different regions. Though the underlying principle behind each of them is same, every festival is exclusive and different from the other.

Other Asian countries such as China, Malaysia, and Korea celebrate the festival on different dates. Each festival has a folklore attached to it. Harmony, peace, and feeling gratitude is the underlying theme of each celebration.
Many view the first Thanksgiving as an example of the possibility of great respect and cooperation between two different cultures.

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On that note, we here at Rossi1931 are extremely grateful that you take the time to read our blog and we extend a gracious thank you for your support. We couldn’t do what we do without you, your loyalty and your passion for paper.

“A thankful heart is not only the greatest virtue, but the parent of all other virtues”~Cicero

Wrapping Up Father’s Day

With Father’s Day just around the corner (June 16 to be exact), have you shopped for those gifts yet?  And what about the finishing touch: gift-wrapping?  Even Dads appreciate the thought that goes into a beautifully wrapped package.

Rossi is not one to leave the men out, so with that in mind, we selected several decorative papers—definitely on the more manly side—to consider as you wrap up those neckties, fishing poles, and other Dad’s day gift items.

Father's Day + Flag Day (June 14) go hand in hand!
Perfect Match:  Father’s Day + Flag Day (June 14) go hand in hand!
Bold vintage travel labels would make anyone want to take a trip.
Bold vintage travel labels would make anyone want to take a trip.
Here's the masculine version of the popular fashion series - also a big hit
Here’s the masculine version of Rossi’s popular fashion series – also a big hit
Hints of Wall Street
In the news: Hints of Wall Street and New York Times
More travel
Subway maps, passport stamps and tickets blend together on a sea of blue.

Those were just a few examples of decorative papers from the more than 250 designs that Rossi manufactures.  Many more possibilities can be viewed in this Rossi video or the website.  To see in person, check out the selection in the retail stores that carry Rossi.

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Featured Retailer: Hollander’s

Some 1500 varieties of papers sourced from around the globe are inventoried at Hollander’s in Ann Arbor, Michigan. That pretty much makes it the United Nations of decorative papers.  

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Hollander’s is the kind of store you could spend hours in, getting lost among the aisles of art supplies, stationery, gifts, and most astoundingly, racks and racks of papers from every corner of the globe: Italy, India, Philippines, Japan, France, Egypt, Thailand, Korea, Nepal, Portugal, the US, and more.

There are Unryu papers, Florentine marbles, Chiyogami, Italian woodblocks, embossed and flocked papers, metallic sheets, corkskin and tissues and laces made from hemp, rayon, and kozo. Hollander’s has made decorative papers and bookbinding supplies the focus of their business, and over the years, they have built one of the largest collections of both in the country.

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Tom and Cindy Hollander began their business in 1986 selling handcrafted boxes and desk accessories from their home. They opened the retail store in downtown Ann Arbor in 1991.  An online store followed soon after.

But you might say Tom Hollander grew up in the business. As a teen, he was recruited into his mother’s home-based business of handcrafting boxes and books. What began as a cottage industry has blossomed into a thriving retail store and online business.

Hollander’s stocks about 200 of Rossi’s decorative papers occupying several racks within the store. Tom said, “When we had the opportunity to visit Italy a few years ago, we toured the Rossi operation firsthand.  After importing these decorative papers for so many years, it was quite a thrill to see them being created and produced,” he added.

Since 1994, Hollanders School of Book and Paper Arts has been nationally recognized for its workshops and high quality instructors.  Over 1000 workshops have been conducted since it opened, and they continue to be a great resource for those involved in book creation.bookbinding_supplies_new_1[1]

Kris Stewart, a bookbinder and Hollander’s customer from Washington state, agrees:  “Hollander’s is an excellent resource.  They carry a unique selection of decorative papers, some that I can’t find anywhere else, especially in the Florentine Prints and Italian Woodblock categories.  And they have a nice assortment of bookbinding and crafting tools, too.  I only wish I lived nearby!” she added.

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Hollander’s is located in the Kerrytown Mall in downtown Ann Arbor. If you’re in the area, a visit to Hollander’s is well worth it.  Just plan for a long visit!

Rossi, Rossi1931, Italian stationery, Rossi stationery, Rossi scrapbooking papers, Rossi letterpress, Italian letterpress, Italian decorative papers, Florentine stationery

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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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Sneak Peek: Decorative Papers

Rossi’s newest collection of decorative papers has launched!  This standout Italian collection is as tactile as it is visual, with a huge array of subjects, patterns, and color palettes.

It’s often the 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.

From Art Nouveau flowers to vintage numbers, the range is stunning
From Art Nouveau flowers to vintage numbers, something for everyone

To achieve such a wide range of saturated colors and incredible color registration, considerable technical skill is required.  These are the details that would challenge any pressman!

Be it weddings, showers, or bar mitzvahs, these patterns are big, bold, and contemporary.
This is gift wrapping luxury, be it weddings, showers, birthdays, or  bar mitzvahs
A hint of gold metallic among the flourishes
A hint of gold metallic among the flourishes (you won’t find these at Wal-Mart!)

Two sizes are available: 28 x 40 and 20 x 28, as well as new collage sets containing an assortment of sheets.  Perfect for scrapbooking, decoupage, handmade cards, and school projects.

You’ll want these decorative papers right away!  Keep in mind, a large selection of Rossi papers are now stocked stateside in Florida, making shipping and delivery a breeze throughout the US. For a list of retailers carrying Rossi papers, please click here.

For more information, visit http://rossi1931.com

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.

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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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