Stationery Spotlight: Usem Cards

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I'm sure all of us stationery heads are always on the look out for the latest, prettiest bits of stationery on the market... but what about more practical ones? I must admit I often go for looks rather than function, but I've recently come across a product I thought was a game-changer.

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These are called Usem cards; simply put, they are note cards the size of a credit card. Their maker thought there was a gap in the market for a product of that size. What if you just need to jot down a short message for someone and don’t have time to go out and buy a full size card? I mean, you could use a napkin, but as romantic as it is, it’s not the most practical solution, is it?

This is where Usem comes to the rescue as thanks to their size, they fit perfectly in your wallet, business card holder, and they’re just easy to carry in general. I don’t know about you but I love this idea.

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I have the bad habit of tearing pieces of paper from my agenda when I need to hand someone a note - which leads to having a pretty ugly looking bunch of pages with missing corners throughout my diary and journals.

I also think that as much as we rely so much on our phone and apps, sometimes jotting something down on a piece of paper is much better - regardless if it's a reminder for yourself or a note to someone else.

I'm already using my cards for a couple of things: I've put one in my card holder, purse and wallet with an "if lost" message with my contact information (which were previously scribbled on the back of an old receipt, ha!) and I also carry some in bag in case of necessity.


Have you ever been blown away by something so simple yet genius? I think Usem cards did it for me, but I'd love to hear about your discoveries, too. ☺️

Ζ’. xx

5 Questions With @EdelweissPost - Mail Artist

Instagram is a wonderful place to find like-minded people, and I’ve been really lucky to stumble upon some brilliant individuals that not only inspire me with the beautiful images they share, but also with their incredible passion for what they do.

β€˜5 Questions With’ is going to be a segment where I introduce you to those people: it will be a great opportunity to learn more about them and also to - hopefully - inspire you, too.


Today I’m asking 5 questions to Patrick, aka EdelweissPost, a mail artist and supporter of all things postal.

Hi Patrick, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Thanks for having me, Fab! I live in a city of lakes: Minneapolis, Minnesota. I grew up as a military "brat", as my dad was a pilot in the Air Force, so we moved all around the US - California, North Dakota, Alabama, Maryland. I went to the University of Iowa and majored in History and Film Studies. I was a social studies teacher for a few years before becoming an Immigration paralegal. As a paralegal, I was required to mail many documents and I was always bored with the US Flag stamps, so I'd spice things up with colorful commemorative stamps, which my boss wasn't so keen on! My favorite foods are movie-theater popcorn and blueberries (but not together!). I have a love for classic films (All mail lovers should see Audrey Hepburn's Charade, but my all-time favorite movie is Katherine Hepburn's Bringing Up Baby. Both of these films happen to co-star Cary Grant. And all three of these stars appear on postage stamps, by the way.)

On your IG you share lots of photos of your mail art and postage stamps. When/How did you first get into it?

I first got into vintage stamps - and mail - when planning my wedding, actually. I wanted my invitations to be something nobody had seen before, and a treasure my guests would want to keep forever. My stamp-collecting grandfather had passed away recently and I also wanted to do some kind of memorial to him which didn't involve candles, and I saw online that someone had used vintage stamps on their invitations and I was sold! What a special and fitting homage to him. And when I traveled to the local mom and pop stamp shop a mile from my house, it was truly love at first sight. There were so many options with vintage stamps, because you had decades worth to choose from - all different colors, subject matter, etc. On most of my invitations, I catered the stamps to what I thought each recipient would like, so they were even more personalized that way.
Many people ask "Why the name Edelweiss Post?" Well, I had always had a fondness for The Sound of Music and my grandparents had an old Swiss music box which played that haunting lullaby. Additionally, the flowers at our wedding appeared in different classic movies. It was edelweiss we wore as boutineers, as the symbolizes male fidelity, because it only grows on rocky cliffs high in the mountains, and suitors would venture out on the treacherous terrain in order to pick it for their love.

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What do you love the most about mail art and philately?

The best thing I love about mail art is that it captures the imagination. After I send off mail art plastered in beautiful old stamps, I daydream about who comes across this unexpected art, from my local mailman to the postal workers on the line, in the trucks, and the delivery person on the other end, and finally its intended recipient. What pleasant surprises mail art brings to all who are lucky enough to receive it or come in contact with it!
And stamps, well they are simply tiny pieces of limited edition art. But they're more. Not only do they decorate the envelope, they are magical tickets which give wings to our very thoughts and wishes, flying them 1st Class to almost anywhere on earth we want them to go. If that's not magic, I don't know what is.

Do you have any advice for people wanting to get into mail art or letter writing?

The advice I always give to people starting out doing mail art: Don't wait - Just create! Don't question it. Don't think it's not good enough. Experiment. Be bold and brave.

Any IG account you’re most inspired by?

There is so much beautiful mail art talent I'm inspired by on Instagram, I'm reluctant to mention just a small group, so I'll stick with my all time favorite: The Devoted Diarist, who also runs the postal-themed subscription box Mail More Love. She has since become a pen pal and my snail mail bestie, and we finally met in person a few weeks ago after a year and a half! That's another thing about mail - it brings people together from great distances.


A huge thank you to Patrick for taking the time to answer my questions and for sharing with us such beautiful and insightful answers β™₯

Make sure to check his Instagram account for more gorgeous photos of his mail art, and his Etsy shop for lots of philatelic goodness.

I have many other wonderful people lined up for this segment, so I hope you're as excited about it as I am!

Ζ’. x

Stationery Spotlight: Mustard

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After a year and a half, I’ve finally come to accept that my creative-mess desk days are a thing of the past; the desk in my flat is really small, so I have to keep it as tidy as possible if I want to be able to comfortably work on it.

That’s why I don’t really display anything on it anymore, except for a corner where I keep my corkboard, pen pots, books I’m currently reading, and the occasional bits and bobs I may have laying around (because let’s face it, there’s no way my desk would stay that tidy for longer than the time needed to take a couple of photos, no matter how I hard I try).

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Because the creative space is limited, I like to mix it up every now and again, so that I don’t get bored of it. My current setup is featuring lots of pops of teal (no surprises there) and a couple of pieces from Mustard, a stationery brand I've spotted in a few different shops in the past, but that I got to know better at the London Stationery Show earlier this year.

They specialise in very trendy, novelty stationery and accessories. They have several collections out now that I really like, but they all seem to be very fun and bright - which is something I can definitely get behind.

They kindly offered to send me a couple of things from their catalogue, and this is what I've picked.

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Cactus Push Pins: I don't think I need to say more.. just look at them! I was using just regular black push pins before and I don't think I can go back now!
Lucky Cat Pen Pot: I do love me a bit of Japan-esque decor, so this was an obvious choice. What really sealed the deal tho was the magnetic paw.. how genious is that? No more loose paperclips!

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Typewriter Sticky Notes: when I moved to London I had to leave behind my beloved typewriter - and because of the lack of space mentioned earlier, I can't see myself getting another one anytime soon - so this sweet sticky notes holder is the perfect compromise.
Metallic Notebooks: again, easy chioce! If I see a notebook I like, chances are I won't resist getting it.. even better if they come in packs of three AND are metallic, right? I love the plain yet stricking covers, and I am currently DIY-ing them, so stay tuned for the upcoming post.

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Have you added anything to your desk lately, that you really love? If so, please do let me know! ❀️

Ζ’. x

Discovering New Stationery at Pulse London

Back in May, I headed to the umpteenth trade show.. but what can I say, I just love having a browse - even more so if it leads to discovering new independent brands.

One that stood out to me in particular, was All The Ways to Say, a paper goods brand based in France. Their collections are original and beautifully illustrated, with lots of attention put into the colour combinations to really complement the designs.

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Jacqueline Colley is an amazing artist (and lovely lady, which I had the chance to meet a couple times now) and her stationery line is simply stunning. Everything - from the colour palette to the lettering - is on point, and if you're enjoying the tropical trend look no further and feast your eyes on her illustrations.

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I already am a big fan of Katie Leamon's creations, but I thought it was worth mentioning her new marble line; I personally love the whole marble trend, but I feel like sometimes it can be quite plain and predictable, so it was very refreshing to see Katie's take on it, which includes bold colours and very intricate patterns that really stand out.

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Is there any trend you're loving at the moment - especially for stationery and cards?

Ζ’. x

Everyday Inspiration: Lettering Around Edinburgh

Last year I began a series called "Everyday Inspiration: Lettering Around London" where I would post pictures of beautiful signs and lettering found during my explorations. I only wrote two posts [part 1], [part 2], which is a shame considering I still have lots of photos to share, so I decided to resume the series and to kick things off with something a bit different, actually: inspiration from Edinburgh's shop fronts.

Back in March, my boyfriend and I headed to Scotland for a weekend for my birthday, and albeit short, we truly enjoyed out stay and really loved the city.

It was impossible to walk for 10 minutes and not spot a colorful shop, so I obviously had to document!

β–Ό The Cat's Miaou, Elm Row, Edinburgh EH7 4AH

β–Ό Leith Walk, Edinburgh EH6 8PD

β–Ό Greyfriars, Edinburgh EH1 2QQ

β–Ό Canongate, Royal Mile, Edinburgh EH8 8BN

β–Ό N W Circus Pl, Old Town, Edinburgh EH3 6ST

Do let me know if you like to see more of this series ☺️ I hope you'll find some inspiration, too!

Ζ’. xx

#natstatweek: London Stationery Show

Yesterday, Natasha and I ventured to the Business Design Centre for the London Stationery Show. Much like Top Drawer, the event is mostly for traders, but we still managed to find a few gems hidden in between the very corporate/basic office supplies stands.

Some that stood out are:

1 // NU Notebooks - you'll probably all familiar with the brand (I personally loved using their notebooks back in my Uni days), but perhaps you did not know that they also have a more on-trend line called Nu:Era, perfect if you like your journals to be more stylish and luxurious (they even have a pen holder and several slots for your cards!).

2 // Origin One - is a collection of everyday stationery made in India "made for the design-loving global nomads" which is surely a message I can get behind! All the products are nicely designed and there's lot of attention to details while still keeping it pretty minimalistic, which again, I love ❀️

3 // My Pretty Circus - is a relatively new German stationery brand that mostly focuses on reversible wrapping paper and greeting cards. All their patterns are really colorful and they sell blank note cards that come with occasion stickers, so you can stick on whichever you need and be all set - genious if you ask me!

Lastly, a special mention goes to Manuscript Pen Company that was having a live calligraphy demo by the super talented Joyce of Artsy Nibs, who was kind enough to beautifully write my blog name for me ❀️


Have you got any new brand under your stationery radar? βœοΈπŸ‘€

Ζ’. xx

#natstatweek: Sketching on The Go

It's day 2 of #NatStatWeek! The official theme for to day is 'get crafty', but I'm paraphrasing it a little bit and using it as an excuse to share what I carry with me when I wanto to sketch on the go, as well as some of my latest drawings.

When I decide to take my supplies with me, I always make sure to bring just the essentials. I find having too many things it's not only impractical but also distracting: most of the time when I'm sketching outside I just want to capture what I see in the simplest way, I don't want to worry too much about the outcome in terms of quality, but instead, use it more as a subject to practice with.

Here's what I carry with me:

  • Derwent Graphik "Inspire Me' sketchbook: it's very compact, the pages are suitable for markers and it also has several patterns printed throughout (grid, dotted, isometric...)
  • Copic Multiliner 0.3: 0.3 is my favourite tip to use for base lines.
  • Pencils: I mostly use a regular graphite pencil, but sometimes also a thin 0.4 mechanical one.
  • Sharpener + kneaded eraser

and only when I'm travelling, I also like to carry my watercolours and water brush.

Do you like sketching on the go? If so, do you have a kit of things you like bringing with you? I'd love to know!

Ζ’. x

#natstatweek: Pen and Pencil Day

In the UK, today is the first of seven days dedicated to celebrating all things stationery, aka National Stationery Week. As per their program, the first day is dedicated to pen and pencils, so I thought I'd update you on my current faves.

I don't know about you, but I own way too many writing supplies. I love having a variety of pen and pencils to use for different purposes, but I've noticed that on a day to day basis I tend to always use the same ones. At the moment, my absolute favourites are the Pigma Micron 03 and the Tombow Dual Brush in 243 (which is a nice pastely mint green shade).

Everyone and their nan uses these two pens, so I thought I'd throw in a more unique one as well, which is a star tip highlighter I got from an Happy Mail box. These are also my must-haves when it comes to bullet journaling, so I always carry them around with me.


What's that one pen you keep reaching for? ✏️

Ζ’. x