Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Forget e-vites and emails...Exquisite stationery from Libretto makes writing a letter special again

The beautiful new stationery collections from Libretto will make you think twice the next time you are tempted to send an emailed thank you note. It seems that while convenient, electronic communication via computers, phones and tablets are lacking in the tactile qualities that used to make handwritten notes something you would save and treasure. Now more than ever, it seems we want that special touch that only a handwritten note can provide, so maybe Libertto's new collection of stationery products will prompt a new trend.

Either way, I like that Libretto has unveiled its 2015 stationery collections including notebooks, note cards, paper weights and stationery boxes.

Renowned for its luxury stationery and exquisite leather goods for some of the world’s finest designers and fashion brands, such as Christian Lacroix Papier, Liberty and Architectural Watercolors, Libretto believes in the charm and power of paper. According to press materials, the company's guiding principle is that social stationery should be inspiring and truly "social" and romantic, amusing, provocative. Libretto uses print techniques that are very tactile, such as gilding, flocking, pop-up, embossing. Their pieces are beautiful to the eye, but they are more than that...you want to touch them and run your fingers across them to savor the craftsmanship of items that honor the past but are made for today.

You can purchase Libretto products in the U.S. at Neiman-Marcus, NKate's Papery, the Frick Museum and The Getty Museum; in England, at Selfridges, Liberty of London, Heals, Harrods, the V&A and Le Bon Marché; Beymen in Turkey; in Australia, David Jones and Myers:, in Hong Kong, Lane Crawford; and in Japan, Bus Stop and Takashimaya. 

Aren't these products delicious?
The collection includes journals, notecards, paperweights and more. Copyright Libretto-Group.com.

With these items, writing a note or keeping a journal is something special to be savored. Copyright Libretto-Group.com.
Here's the front...and then...Copyright Libretto-Group.com.
The back of a paisley journal. Copyright Libretto-Group.com.
The title page. Copyright Libretto-Group.com.
Here is the Hampton Wedding journal...the front. Copyright Libretto-Group.com.
The back of the Hampton Wedding journal. Copyright Libretto-Group.com.
The title page of the Hampton Wedding journal. Copyright Libretto-Group.com.
Paperweights (remember those?) are also part of the collection. This is the Glam'azonia paperweight.
Copyright Libretto-Group.com.
And the box it comes in. Copyright Libretto-Group.com.
Here is the Bijoux paperweight. Copyright Libretto-Group.com.
And its box. Copyright Libretto-Group.com.

The Libretto Group was founded in 1997 by Thomas Cushing and created Kate Spade’s first license, Kate Spade Paper. A blend of beautiful illustration and fine leather goods, using Kate's signature fabrics and leathers, it changed the direction of social stationery. Since then, Libretto has created several stationery and accessory collections, under license, for some of the world’s finest designers and fashion brands, including Christian Lacroix Papier, The New York Times, the Victoria & Albert Museum, Lotta Jansdotter, and Orla Kiely Paper. 

What do you think? Do you prefer handwritten letters and thank you's or the electronic variety?

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Decorating with birdhouses inside and out

Stroll through the aisles of any nursery, florist or even stores like Hobby Lobby and you'll be struck by the number of beautiful birdhouses that are on the market. There are even more if you venture online to specialty stores or handmade outlets like Etsy.

With so many beautiful birdhouses to choose from, you may disappointed if you live in a high-rise or don't have a place to hang a birdhouse outdoors. But hey, don't limit yourself to just displaying a birdhouse outside. Birdhouses make great accents around the house both indoors and out.

With so many birdhouses to choose from, don't limit yourself to keeping them only outside. Here's just a sampling of birdhouses I found at Hobby Lobby recently. Too cute, right?

I use birdhouses inside and out...but mostly indoors. I have them scattered around the house because I think they are just to pretty to expose them to the elements. Here's a sampling that I have displayed in a window transom in my sunroom.

I have hung them around the house and set them on top of my china cabinet in the dining room. There is no area that is off-limits for a birdhouse. Some I made with my son; others I bought.

Outside, I hang them in all the usual spots...from trees and Shepard hooks and even from a trellis.

This birdhouse was designed as a tribute to Victorian architecture. It is mounted on a pole and sits in a cozy spot in the garden.

When two old trees had to come down in our yard, we saved the stumps and dressed them up with birdhouses. This one is from Nature Creations and is handcrafted from recycled wood and metal from old bars and homes in southeastern Illinois. I purchased mine at Alsip Home & Nursery in Frankfort, Illinois. I love the heavy slate room on this model and the stone fireplace/chimney.

Here's another birdhouse form Nature Creations. This one has a metal room and stone chimney. It is only crooked because the stump isn't exactly level but the odd angle, to me, just makes the birdhouse more whimsical. I love the idea that it is made of repurposed materials that can be as many as 100 years old.

Turns out, my neighbor is into birdhouses, too. She has her collection on display along the exterior wall of her garage.

Do you decorate with birdhouses? If so, send me your photos.