by Marisa Marcantonio

It's time to get the party started.  Summer festivities call for the perfect invitation to set the mood of the event to come. Create excitement around a fete!  I love the new designs from Paperless Post, some of which are available in paper, mailable versions. Choose from "best of" designs created by letterpress and graphic artists  you know and love-  decoupage artist John Derian, whimsical prints from Kate Spade, charming drawings by Linda and Harriet, quirky cute motifs from Mr. Boddington's Nephew,  elegant script by calligrapher extroardinaire Bernard Maisner, classics from the new addition, Oscar de la Renta, and tons more.  Here are some themed invites to set the tone and give people a reason to gather on a breezy summer day.  Cheers.

Beach House by Virginia Johnson. You may recall her watercolors from Deborah Needleman's book, The Perfectly Imperfect Home, a tome I adore.

Poppies by John Derian

Blooms by Kate Spade

Geranium, another great one by Virginia

Bring on the charm- Bernard Maisner's Hand Painted Snake

A signature drink always gets people excited,  it always has me at hello. Cucumber Lemonade Vodka from Linda and Harriet

Hand Painted Elephant, by Bernard Maisner

Please Join Us from Blue Pool Road

Sea by John Derian for an old timey feel

Surfing is BIG, from custom surf boards at Saturday Surf to their Pret a Surf collab of striped and polka dot rash guard shirts and board shorts. Carter Kustera's Surfer Bro invite says it all.

Oops they spelled Darien wrong, but we forgive. Betsy Ross Handiwork by Mr. Boddington's Nephew says 4th of July with quirk.

Popsicles for everyone! Popsicle Pattern from Linda and Harriet

Burger Beer from the Indigo Bunting captures the perfect burger a la artist Robert Rauschenberg.


by Marisa Marcantonio

Photos courtesy of J. Crew
Instead of relying on your email and the inbox, walk to the mailbox this season. Connor for J.Crew has just launched the "Write Again" Collection in time for Holiday 2010. Just hitting the web and 10 select stores now, the exclusive collection of wedding invitations, elegant boxed sets and calendars are now available at select J.Crew boutiques,, through 800-562-0258, and the catalog as of December 1st. Choose from fun motifs to make your thank you's more original. Connor's detailed engraving is created in their Paris atelier with hand stamping done in the US. As a newer entrant in the fine paper category, the young stationer creates artisanal writing papers with endless monogram and motif design options. Rich dye hues and golden accents set off their die stamped hand painted icons in the most unique way. But wait it gets better. Packaging their papers in handsome grey linen - wrapped boxes, they are a treat to receive. Recently, Connor opened an appointment only space on the mezzanine level at the Plaza Hotel, so if you need something custom, pay Justin Felber and creative director Henri Richter-Werner a visit. From classic to cutting edge, Connor is helping to make the lost of letter writing relevant again. Make the mailbox instead of the inbox work for you, and pick up a set.

The classic Italian linen wrapped box with clean type has a distinctive look.

Pick a motif. Choose from 5 varied patterns that come in a set of 12 notes per box.

XoXo Guns for those you love but would sometimes like to kill.

A Rhino because they are so darn cute.

Feeling dangerous? Then the Snake is the way to go.

Elegant and full of mystique, Flamingos evoke old world glamour.

Need to keep better track of your time? How about the Connor 2011 Giraffe Calendar? It comes with a brass easel and could perch on a desk or table nicely.


by Marisa Marcantonio

Photos courtesy of Mrs. Strong

Stationery aficionados rejoice! Mrs. John L. Strong has been purchased, and it is back in business after much speculation. Would it be revived, would it just be a memory of great stationery design past? The soigne and chic paper company that makes bespoke writing papers and stationery, limited edition seasonal Ready to Write™ collections, and desktop accessories such as calendars, event and wine journals, book marks and gift tags, is back in action. Purchased by Jacqueline Kotts, she became the proprietor of Mrs. Strong in the Fall of 2009. "I have long had a love affair with the Mrs. John L. Strong brand and am tremendously passionate about the beautiful products we create and the superior service we provide to our customers. It is my intention to run Mrs. Strong in a manner true to its 80 year-old traditions as the premier provider of quality stationery to the discerning client, " she says.
Founded in 1929, the paper company has long been a staple in stylish New Yorker's writing cache, and I was thrilled when I was walking up Madison and saw their window display was revived. They still create the same designs as they have for years, and their amazing dies, unique color inks and custom capabilities are once again available. Visit 699 Madison Avenue's flagship red - walled showroom to re-order your favorite papers.