Sending a card in times of sorrow.

Grief and loss are part of life and we all know this. But sometimes we are uncertain as to how to react and how to give to those that are suffering with a loss. It is often simply the acknowledgement that a loss has occurred that can help a friend begin to get through a distressful time. It is estimated that half of the stress during grieving can be decreased by talking and sharing with people who don't judge or advise.

When a loved one, a friend or an acquaintance is suffering with intense sorrow or some emotional pain we want to hold out our hand and offer our love and support. There are some excellent websites to give us some guidance in helping someone with grieving. Sometimes this helping hand can start with simply a card that acknowledges what has happened. Finding the right card can be a challenge so we try to have a variety of sympathy and  "thinking of you" cards for you to choose from. 

The Beautiful Art of Calligraphy: Getting Started

Calligraphy and Design by Fox and Flourish | Invitation, envelope liner, wax seal from Paper-Ya, flowers by Celsia Floral | Photo by Tahnee Sanders

Calligraphy has a rich and beautiful history and is considered to be one of the world's oldest forms of writing.  V. Lazursky describes it as "a kind of music not for the ears, but for the eyes." It allows you to paint words across a page and bring a new layer of meaning to the text. With all the styles out there in this art form, it can be quite daunting to try to learn!  

Starting calligraphy takes investment in the right tools, some patience, and lots of practice. Beginning with a simple dipping pen, ink (we have plenty of scrumptious colors to choose from!) and a few different nibs is a great starter kit. 

There are many different sources to help you figure out where to begin, so don't worry! Books, video tutorials, and our newest edition of the Uppercase Magazine can all help you figure out what style you'd like to experiment in.

Christina Luo, calligraphy and lettering artist based in Vancouver and creative mind behind Fox and Flourish, gives this piece of advice, "Find a class or workshop (either in-person or online) that teaches the style of calligraphy that you are drawn to. There are so many different subsets: copperplate, spencerian, gothic, blackletter, and of course the more modern takes on pointed pen. Once you learn how to use the tools properly, work on mastering that alphabet, and once you feel confident in the consistency of your letterforms, continue to add our own style."  Christina offers workshops for modern pointed pen calligraphy in Vancouver. 

Above are just a few examples of the beautiful things you can create with paper, pen, and ink. There are so many reasons to love calligraphy, and when asked why she loves the art form, Christina said, "That moment when the ink is still drying onto the paper, and afterwards, how you can run your fingers across the words and physically feel what was just written mere minutes ago. I'm drawn to the ephemeral and nostalgic quality of it, but as a graphic designer by trade, I think it's so amazing that we can take these handwritten words and create digital copies of them for my other paper- based love, the art of print!" 

Calligraphy can be used to personalize a gift, create party invitations, commemorate a special event and so much more. It truly is a stunning art form! Visit us soon, and get started.

Scottish style Mura sealing wax comes in knock out gorgeous colours.

Each stick has a wick and measures approximately 100mm and will generally give 6-8 impressions. And, oh the colors, nummy or what!

We can also help you with the seal. Letters or images or combine them!

Check out our fun to watch video and get sealing!

It's never too late to start planning for the upcoming year.

Our new daily, weekly and monthly planners are in now. For the best selection of what we have to offer choose yours soon and get your 2014 mojo happening! 

Choosing the right planner can be tricky, but no worries; from our tried and true Moleskine to our amusing animal weekly planners, we've got several to pick from to help keep you sane in 2014. Not only can these lovely agendas organize your life and improve productivity, they can even help brighten your day. Hourly schedules, a side page for notes, tearable edges for the days that have been completed, and colorful artwork are just a few of the unique features packed away in these planners. For a glimpse at what is on our shelves, scroll through the slideshow above.

The Amazing Paper Clip

Some of the attributes of the modern paper clip stated by early paper clip manufacturers are as follows:
1. Does not catch, mutilate or tear paper
2. Does not get tangled with other paper clips in the box
3. Holds a thick set of papers
4. Holds paper securely
5. Is thinner and takes less space in files
6. Is easily inserted
7. Is light weight and requires less postage
8. Is cheap

All this tantalizing information is readily available. Just check out the online Early Office Museum.  In fact, if one is to research further you will find there is a dark side to the paper clip. Apparently the paper clip can be bent into a crude but sometimes effective lock-picking device. Good grief! Not to worry, all the paper clips at Paper-Ya are good and honest paper clips.

Sustainable...we hear it all the time. But what does it mean? Sustainability is a complex subject, but basically it is the capacity to endure. We all want that!

We wanted to tell you about a company that has committed themselves to an eco-friendly production of cards, boxes and wrap. They have gone the extra kilometer. Smock creates beautiful letterpress cards on bamboo paper! This soft paper is luxuriously thick which responds to the letterpress printing process beautifully. Bamboo is a plant that does not require pesticides or fertilizers to grow. And surprisingly, bamboo generates substantially more oxygen than hardwood trees and absorbs four times as much carbon. Smock also use only vegetable oil based and low VOC inks.