London Trend Alert: Foxes
October 13th, 2013

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I’ve recently had the good fortune to visit London for a few research trips, and one visual motif has silently padded into each exhibition hall, or retail space I’ve visited. Nearly ten years since England banned foxhunting, the wily red fox has turned the tables and taken over London design. (Above, a detail from the Hackett store on Regent’s Street.)

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September’s Topdrawer London, the pre-eminent gift show in the city, included a veritable forest of squirrels and hedgehogs, as on these pillows, but the fox was always the star.

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At 100% Design, the UK’s largest design trade event, a dominant color trend was pairing neutral organic colors against vivid brights — for example, this scarlet side table anchored by walnut legs (above). And naturally, a red fox, adorning this logo, was right at home. (Treat your eyes and check out Young & Norgate’s gorgeous collection of handmade furniture here.)

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A month later I was at the Decorative Antiques and Textile Fair in Battersea. A treasure trove of unusual statement pieces it is a must-attend for London decorators. This mounted fox (above) was one of several I saw that day (though admittedly he looks none too happy about it).

Fortunately, it seems like the fox has cross-atlantic appeal, because one of our bestselling birthday cards at the moment just so happens to feature … a fox (see below).

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Happy Father’s Day
June 15th, 2013

On Father’s Day, here are some memories. I grew up an army brat, which meant that every two to three years, my family packed up and moved. If you thought this vagabond lifestyle meant we would lean towards traveling light, you’d be mistaken.

Nowhere was this more obvious than with my father’s multiplying collection of books. Hemingway jockeyed with Hesse, biographies of Churchill faced off against Lincoln, while Will Durant’s 11-volume History of Civilization stood watch above them all.

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This growing library would follow us to each home, and when I think of my childhood it is in the company of books, and of words. This is my father’s gift to me. Which is why I labor as much over the words on our cards as the images — and naturally never more so than with these two Father’s Day cards.

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Happy Father’s Day to all!



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Our Home at the National Stationery Show
May 27th, 2013

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When a little 10′x10′ box in New York becomes our home for the better part of a week, it can only mean one thing: the National Stationery Show! It’s when the world of paper converges on the city to put on their smiles and peddle their wares to buyers from across the country — and, as ever, the energy and creativity on display was a real inspiration.

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The concept (above): With our booth, the idea was to bring a bright, little patch of Palm Beach to the Javits Center. We started our moodboard (see above) back in January, and what emerged over the months was: kelly green, sisal carpet and storage bins, sunburst mirrors, crisp white frames and jewel-tone ottoman stools.

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The end result (above): Et voila! We were delighted to see all these elements fall into place in the stage set we created for J.Falkner. And there must have been something lucky in that gorgeous shade of green — we had our best show ever, with great stores reordering and new stores discovering us.

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Cards were ranged along white shelves (see above). “Fabulous. (Is what you are, my friend.)” is from a new card collection we launched at the show.

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After spending the days cooped up in the convention center, everyone’s ready for a good party. The Louie Awards are always a high point, and this year we were greeted by dramatic swirls of paper cut-outs (above), which became even more incredible as one looked to see the details of flying birds and airplanes.

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Though our nominated card didn’t win, it was wonderful to be welcomed into this special crowd, and see, hand-cut into one of the paper airplanes, the letters of J.Falkner Cards (above).



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Mothers: A Celebration
May 10th, 2013

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All my mother ever wanted on Mother’s Day, she insisted, was a hand-made card from her children. In an extreme case of careful-what-you-wish-for, she now has a son doing nothing but making cards all year ‘round.

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Maybe that’s no surprise. Because the unqualified enthusiasm with which my mother greeted my creative endeavours — even that less-promising phase with felt finger puppets when I was 8 — encouraged me to think that there just might be a wider audience out there. And now here we are, all these years later, shipping thousands of cards to stores across the US every month.

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Which meant the heat was on to cook up Mother’s Day cards to express full filial gratitude. Balloonists, birds and lucky clovers: these cards are for you, Mom — and mothers the world over.



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This Little Piggy Is Going to the Louie Awards
March 3rd, 2013

Wearied celeb-watchers may have decided that the award season was finally over with the Oscars last week — but for those of us in the stationery world, it’s all just begun. Yes, dear reader, the Louie Awards finalists have now been announced.

This year the Greeting Card Association had to sift through more than 1000 entries from 220 companies worldwide, so imagine our delight when our little pink pig found itself near the finish line in the birthday card category. (As for its final place on the podium, we will have to wait until the ceremony on May 19th.)

This card (see above) is one of our favorites, too. There is something about this pig’s cheeky smile that charms us anew every time we see it. And talk of pigs also allows us to trot out one of our favorite quotes — from Winston Churchill:

“I like pigs.
Dogs look up to us.
Cats look down on us.
Pigs treat us as equals.”

So here’s hoping that the Louie judges will be feeling as affectionate about the cloven-footed come May 19th.



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