Archive for March, 2012

Welcome to the Perfect Country Guest Room
March 20th, 2012
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Since we spend so much time considering the smallest aspect of every thing we create, we’ve become particularly attuned to life’s little details. And when we experience something where those details are so finely considered — even when it has little to do with stationery — we like to share it. Such was the case with this charming guestroom we had the occasion to enjoy in Upstate New York.

In fact, this room could be a case study in how to create the perfect guest room. First, a pretty palette of blues (above) is a wise choice: blue is renowned as the most calming of colors. What better way to welcome someone who might have fought through the Friday night rush hour?

Fresh cut flowers provide a lovely grace-note of color in the room, alongside a pile of the latest magazines (above).

A peaceful seaside painting (above) is positioned next to the bed to delight the eye and let the mind wander.

A worn but friendly teddy bear (above) stands as librarian to a collection of old volumes on the bedside. Is there anything better than discovering an unexpected book, with a bit of extra time to enjoy it? “The Life of the Bee” (circa 1923), the slim volume on top, was oddly fascinating.

There is something about the crisp air and deep quiet in the country that always generates new ideas for us, so how perfect to have a sharpened pencil and notepad to hand.

The only anxiety about such a lovely weekend is what house gift to bring. Even before we started producing them ourselves, we’d often bring a box of stationery. And now we’re spoiled for choice, of course.

The little dog quote cards are an idea if your hosts are dog-lovers, or a bright box of Easter cards (below) is welcome in Spring. And thank you cards, like the ones below left, are always great to have to hand.

You can see all our boxed sets of cards here.

It’s a Honour Just to be Nominated …
March 16th, 2012

No, we never believed in the sincerity of these kind of comments either. Even a seasoned pro like Kate Winslet couldn’t quite manage it at the Oscars in 2009, when she won and then tried but failed to name all her co-nominees. “Who’s the other one?!” she cried out. (Deliciously, it was Angelina Jolie.)

But now that we find ourselves nominated — just today! — for two Louie Awards (our industry equivalent of the Oscars) we really do feel very privileged simply to be named.

This year’s competition drew nearly 900 entries from over 180 companies worldwide, and for each category there are only 3 finalists. (Even the Oscars get 5!) Over the moon are we!

Our Zebra Happy Birthday card (above) has always been a favorite — it’s the one we most often use personally — and we were delighted it was nominated.

Even more special to us is the nomination for the Amazed Anniversary Card (below). This was one of the first 3 cards we designed. We have designed nearly a hundred since then, but there’s nothing like seeing that first card in a shop window. … And now, maybe on a trophy!

Henry David Thoreau advised, “Beware of all enterprises that require new clothes,” but we think we might just defy his wisdom and splash out on a natty new outfit for the awards show. After all, the Louie’s might be as close to a red carpet as we’ll ever get!

Winners will be announced at the National Stationery Show in New York at the end of May — and, don’t worry, whatever happens we’ll have on our best awards-show face.

Railway Rhapdsodies
March 16th, 2012

Last week in Paris, editors from around the world crossed the finish line of the fashion show marathon that began 5 weeks ago in New York, and the results are in: NY was distinctly ho-hum, Milan luxuriously beautiful, Paris unexpectedly trendy — and the breakout star was a train.

Not just any train, of course, but the full-scale steam engine Louis Vuitton built specifically for its fashion show. On it steamed to the runway (above), with models disembarking, accompanied by uniformed bellhops. Bravo! What a way to sell hand bags.

We weren’t surprised at the consensus of delight: we’ve long adored trains. One of the most enchanting train trips we’ve ever taken was also on one of the smallest trains we’ve ever seen: just two carriages made up this little PeruRail train (above) which traveled from Cusco, the old Inca capital, to magical Machu Picchu.

As fate would have it, our office actually sits alongside a rather active train track (above), and the rumble and shake of passing trains inspired us to create not one, but two cards (below).

Getting our Glam On in Palm Beach
March 5th, 2012

Our favorite Fred Astaire song is “Top Hat”, particularly the first verse:

I just got an invitation through the mails/
“Your presence requested this evening/

It’s formal, a top hat, a white tie and tails.”/
Nothing now could take the wind out of my sails …

We are of the same mind: nothing delights us more than a formal invitation. And this one (above) promised to be especially tony: Palm Beach Illustrated, the glossiest of the Florida magazines, was celebrating their 60th anniversary.

So last Thursday we threw on our dinner jacket, tucked in our orchid boutonniere (above), and off we went to the Flagler Museum on deliciously balmy evening. (Too hot for a top hat.)

The Flagler Museum (above), formally Whitehall, is the grand Beaux Arts residence of the man who essentially founded south Florida, Henry Flagler (1830-1913). Now it’s a historical landmark and museum — and also a pretty swell place for a party.

Through the enormous bronze gates (above) we stepped into the Grand Room, at 5,000 square feet the largest room of any of the mansions of the Gilded Age.

Doesn’t everyone look better bathed in rosy light? The West Room (above) was staged to sparkle, its 27-foot vaulted ceilings humming with the high spirits of the crowd.


Vintage PBI magazine covers decorated the room, and two of our favorites were: Jacqueline de Ribes, that most aquiline of the society aristocrats, in a splendidly modern silk dress (above, top), and the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, the couple Palm Beachers love to loathe, but somehow can never resist celebrating (above).

Later, the crowd spilled through to the veranda overlooking Lake Worth, shadows dancing against the white stucco façade (above).

Palm trees lit against the wide Florida night sky, a full moon high above — a pitch perfect Palm Beach night (above).

To help celebrate their birthday, the editors of Palm Beach Illustrated asked us to design a special birthday card. We got a little carried away and designed three, all of them decked out in the classic Palm Beach combo of pink and green. (above)

And we’ve had such a terrific response to the number-juggling flamingo (far right) we are planning to put it into production this summer.

New York’s New Color for Spring
March 1st, 2012

NYC never fails to delight our eyes to the latest color trend. But rarely has one shade been seen with such insistence. Dear reader, the message from New York is … mint!

Call it pistachio, call it aqua or even call it celadon if you’re feeling particularly sophisticated — mint is most definitely the color for Spring. We saw it all over the city: on an edgy leather skirt in Soho (above), in a cardigan and belt combo at J. Crew‘s Rockefeller flagship, or luminous in lucite bangles at Alexis Bittar‘s Bleecker St shop (both, below).

The magazines were also full of the color. Let’s face it, the pun-worthiness of mint is a boon for every fashion copywriter. (Below, tearsheets from Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, and People Stylewatch.)

And, yes, we’re minting it (see! can’t resist) here at J. Falkner, too. Our ‘Champagne Congratulations’ card and our ‘Peacock’ cards (below) are an easy way to stay on-trend, just in case you didn’t get onto the wait list for that Vuitton sorbet-colored frame bag.


Congratulations cards are available singly (with a pretty lavender envelope), and our Peacock cards come as boxed sets of 8, or as single cards. Check them out here.