GET CARDED: SWEET VALENTINES

by Marisa Marcantonio

This Valentine's day, seal it with a kiss.

Photo courtesy of Mrs. Strong
Well said, Mrs. John L. Strong.

Photo courtesy of Mr. Boddington
Sweet As Sugar from Mr. Boddington.
Photo courtesy of Dempsey and Carroll
Adorable. Dempsey and Carroll

Photo courtesy of Paperless Post
Is someone the star in your universe? Share this Starry Heart card by Enormous Champion on Paperless Post.
Photo courtesy of Dempsey and Carroll
Love Bug Notes, Dempsey and Carroll

Photo courtesy of Bell'Invito
Flamingo fabulous from Bell'Invito.
Photo courtesy of Smythson
Keepin' it real. This Smythson of Bond Street card with elegance and simplicity states the facts, just the facts.

Photo courtesy of Paperless Post
Cuteness. Foxy from Paperless Post.

Photo courtesy of Leta Austin Foster
Say Je T'aime with this darling Parisian birds card from Leta Austin Foster.

S.W.A.K.

STYLEBEAT'S TRULY GIFTED GUIDE

by Marisa Marcantonio

Photo courtesy of Assouline
Interior designers and aficionados love Cecil! Assouline just launched Cecil Beaton: The Art of The Scrapbook, a 400 page visual diary chronicling the life and photos of the British bon vivant extraordinaire.
Photo courtesy of Moet & Chandon
Make the bubbly even better with a personalized bottle from My Moet. FIrst, choose if you want the Magnum or the regular size Moet & Chandon Champagne. Then put your own twist on the gift with up to 14 letters on the mag and 7 letters on the original. If you are in the city, stop by Saks on the 8th floor and place your order at their Moet Kiosk.

Photo courtesy of Jack and Lulu
Keep track of your days and dates with Jack and Lulu's letterpressed 2011 Calendar in candy brights with seasonal motifs.

Photo courtesy of Smythson
Case closed, decision made. Tote your laptop in style with Smythson's Damson case in a croc print.

Photo courtesy of Robyn Brooks
Glam it up with brightly colored stingray and cork bangles by Robyn Brooks.

Photo courtesy of Julia B.
Get cozy by the fireside in a warm wool blanket with custom monogram from Julia B. The color choices are endless.

Photo courtesy of Vivre
A custom made Medor sculpture of a dachshund by artist Marie Christophe from Vivre for the true dog lover.

Photo courtesy of Bounkit
Bling! This Flourite Cocktail Ring by Bounkit is sure to get you in the holiday spirit.

Photo courtesy of J. Crew
One of my favorite home fragrance collections, Anthousa, is doing a votive candle available through J. Crew. The Vanilla, Grapefruit and Orange is amazing.

Photo courtesy of Tiffany
Everyone loves a little something something from Elsa Peretti for Tiffany. This leather box in her signature bean design can stash earrings or coins on a dresser.

A gift set of fragranced soaps from Matouk in brightly colored shades.

Photo courtesy of Delight
Cute and unique, the Acorn Speaker from Delight has an FM radio function and provides great sound on the go.

Photo courtesy of C.S. Post
Watch the days of the week fly by with these retro nostalgia dish towels from C.S. Post.

Photo courtesy Ancient Industries
Shetland wool socks from Ancient Industries will keep everyones tootsies warm.

Photo courtesy of Hammocks and High Tea
If you have a friend that just got new furniture, they can add pizazz to their dresser drawers with Hammocks and High Tea's scented Chevron Drawer Liners. Available in a pack of 6 sheets, choose from scents like Mandarin Jasmine and Rose Tea.

Photo courtesy of Treillage
Make a statement in the garden by giving these Iron Obelisks from Treillage.

Photo courtesy of Ballard Designs
Available with up to 3 initials or numbers, the Suzanne Kasler designed coir mats from Ballard Designs with colored borders welcome holiday guests with style.

The adorable Emma monogram teapot from Pottery Barn may be just the thing for your in laws.

Photo courtesy of DWR
An illuminating option for fans of cult modern designer Tom Dixon from Design Within Reach: the brass Etch Candle holder. It casts a warm glow and was created digitally. Yay for high tech design!

Photo courtesy of Graphic Image
Protect that hot little ipad with Graphic Image's ipad Sleeve. The bright leather case can be monogrammed and is lined in a shammy cloth so it will always be as shiny as the day it was first unwrapped.

Photo courtesy of Anthropologie
Runway Rabbit Lamp in rough luxe black finish from Swedish designers Front through Anthropologie.

Photo courtesy of Paul Smith
Game on! Paul Smith playing cards in his signature stripe.

Photo courtesy of West Elm
Place a David Stark Sphere Topiary of recycled newspaper from West Elm on each end of the fireplace mantel and you are good to go.

Photo courtesy of Jo Malone
A candle swathed in silver will make the season bright. Jo Malone has a new gift for holiday, the festive Pomegranate Noir Candle in a silver plate lidded box. Perfect for travel or a powder room.

Photo courtesy of Eduardo Garza
Eduardo Garza's black Marble Sphere on a gold base would look great on a book shelf or table.
Photo courtesy of Apple
The sleek new Jambox by Jawbone wireless speaker designed by industrial design darling Yves Behar works off Blue Tooth technology for music and conference calls.

Photo courtesy of Jonathan Adler
A puffy poodle ornament by Jonathan Adler can serve as an objet d'art after the tree is down for the season.

Photo courtesy of Gretel Home
Amazing thin walled paper Japanese bowls are covered in a water resistant coating making them durable and beautiful. From Cuiora through Gretel Home.

Know someone that likes mid century modern design and necklaces? Then how about the Tiny Little Chair Necklace from Lisa Perry? They come in silver, bronze or gold and look like your favorite mid-century classics except shrunken versions.

Buy beans from Blue Bottle Coffee Co. in San Francisco for all your artisanal coffee obsessed friends.

Photo courtesy of Bodum
Bodum's Electric Bistro Juicer comes in some kicky colors.

Photo courtesy of Fawn and Forest
Plywood Animals by Ferm Living are great for little hands with big hearts from Fawn and Forest.

Photo courtesy of Anthropologie
Decorate the tree with furry friends otherwise known as woodland Brush Ornaments from Anthropologie.

Keep your iphone or ipad upright with the i plunge from Z Gallerie.

Photo courtesy of Pier 1
Pier 1 glasses with gold stripes or dots for a festive cocktail.

Photo courtesy of Kate Spade
Tidbit Plates come in a set of 4 from Kate Spade. Great for the hostess with the mostest.

Bell'Occhio chalkboard mats are just the thing for restless children at the table.

Both Alexa and Duane Hampton have come out with new books, and you should own them both.

Photo courtesy of Liz Victory Designs
For the one's that are not neat and tidy, this bag trio from Liz Victory Designs will make them.

Photo courtesy of Susy Jack
Susy Jack's Magnetic Shopping Bag Pads for busy moms.

Photo courtesy of Roberta Roller Rabbit
For the little monkeys: a little fabric covered monkey from Roberta Roller Rabbit.

Photo courtesy of Pottery Barn
The Rustic Log Holder from Pottery Barn does it's job and looks good doing it.


Photo courtesy of John Robshaw
Never miss your luggage with John Robshaw Elephant Luggage Tags.

MRS. JOHN L. STRONG HAS CLOSED- IS THERE ANY CHANCE OF A BUYER?

by Marisa Marcantonio

Photo Courtesy of Vivre
I heard it a few weeks ago, but did not want to believe it until it was confirmed. Then I read about it in the New York Times. Mrs. Strong, founded in 1929, has closed. Their fine, handmade writing paper represented a genteel, elegant way of living, entertaining and communicating. The demise of a great American brand like this says something about the times we are living in. Nannette Brown, a style icon of mine, purchased the company several years ago, injecting a youthful, au courant style into the signature red and brown packaging, design selection, icons, candles and gifts. Her freshening of the brand attracted a new customer, and it was easy to believe there would always be a loyal following, willing to spend more than usual to leave a lasting impression. A splurge for some, a necessity for others, handmade quality products like this seem to be a dying breed. Brown tried to find a buyer for the company she revived, to no avail. Is there a company out there that will swoop in and save Strong?
If there is no turnaround in sight, take your custom plates to the following brands: The Printery in Oyster Bay, Dempsey and Carroll, and Smythson of Bond Street.