Friday, April 23, 2010

Happy Friday!
Have a great weekend! I'm going to be spending most of the weekend redesigning much of our collection with French greetings. We've been asked by a large french retailer to translate our cards for the French market which is funny because so much of our imagery actually originated in France . Here are a couple of pictures from my last shopping trip to Paris - this is one of the dealers that I buy vintage and rare paper ephemera from. His store is on Rue St Paul along with many other great dealers. It's about 10 am in this picture and we are drinking wine to seal the deal - aaah, that's the life! Vive La France!

All of these fun vintage pieces have great type. Checkout the type on these 2 canisters. This Etsy seller, Sweet Love, has a very fun sense of vintage - I think you'll like what you see.

Are you thinking of taking your small business to the next level? I get several emails every week from people looking for small business advice. I'm happy to give it but I have a pretty narrow focus. This week at Crafting an MBA Megan has been offering up some of the best, most practical and, more importantly, most realistic advice I've read in ages. There's no point sugar coating the realities of small business - it's hard work, all consuming and exhausting but if you make a careful and strategic plan there's no reason why you shouldn't reap the benefits of being a self employed and successful business owner. I encourage you no matter what stage in your business you are at to check out Crafting an MBA - take the advice you need and participate in the discussion.

Love all these salvaged pillows. The blue and white graphics are so striking. There's a nice selection of pillows to admire here.

An odd but interesting collection of utilitarian bric a brac is featured at Modern Poverty. You might find something you like . . .

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Happy Earth Day!

It's Earth Day. I wanted to take this opportunity to talk a little bit about what we do here at Cartolina to protect the world we live in. It's my belief that if you are in the paper industry you are obligated to take responsibility for the environment in whatever ways you can. When we first started out we researched our options until we came up with a product and a process that we felt good about. We chose a recycled paper to print all our products on and we jumped through the hoops that enabled us to use the FSC logo on all our products. You've probably seen the FSC logo - it represents products produced from well-managed forests, controlled sources and recycled wood. You can't automatically slap that logo on your products they have to be approved - the paper and the printing process have to meet all the requirements of the FSC before they can qualify. When we chose a printer it was important to us that we could develop a relationship with a company that cares about the environment as much as we do. Our printer has been named the most environmental printer in Canada for 5 years in a row - they run a carbon neutral plant - and strict recycling program.

Our decision to stop packaging all our cards in clear plastic sleeves has proved to be one of best decisions yet - clear sleeves are produced in China(a country with less than stellar human rights records - and on Earth Day it's not just all about the trees.) We have always been proud to be a domestic product - thus reducing our carbon footprint and supporting local business. Retailers have been thrilled with sleeveless cards and sales have gone up. Waste has been reduced which is very important to us.

It's great to be connected to other business that care like Modern Paper Goods who are our sole online retailer in the US - for every 10 cards you buy at Modern Paper Goods their partner, Ecolibris, will plant a tree on your behalf! They have already planted a thousand trees - we think that's very cool!

On a personal note - Doug and I chose to flee the big city 16 years ago and move to a quieter lifestyle in the country where we can be closer to nature. Living and working surrounded by such beauty makes you very aware of how fragile the world around you is every day, not just Earth Day, I am grateful to be so lucky to live and work here. Yesterday, as if on queue, Doug was out picking up a huge shipment of envelopes - he was crossing the bridge over the wetlands near Creston and noticed a Painted Turtle crossing the road. With cars whizzing past - he stopped the truck, got out and rescued the turtle from it's inevitable demise - here's a picture . . . . it's beautiful thing . . .

[Top photo is the view from our studio]
There are some seriously pretty pictures at this Tumblr page - calm and quiet - checkout the graphics on the pink and cream coloured tin, top shelf on the left - very cool - almost looks like Wanda Gag's work!

I was just thinking how much these reminded me of the vintage books we featured here yesterday. Funny isn't it how different cultures and eras share a similar aesthetic. I think the styling on these beautiful little treasures is wonderful. Seems like such a joyful culture to use such pretty birds and flowers and happy faces in their artistic icons. Available from Lorena Angula.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Stop for a minute and admire the simplicity of these vintage book jackets . . . . .

. . . . . . .There, how do you feel - inspired? Good - now get to work! Images from here.
I discovered Aidan Gray yesterday at Modern Home yesterday(which is part of Modern Paper Goods blog) What a great selection of curiosities, old and new, for your home and garden - a shabby, rustic, glamorous collection of treasures.

New Cartolina Retailer
I was really happy to see Pedlars among the stores listed on our latest Cartolina retailers list from the UK. I've always thought they seemed like such a cool store selling a wonderful mix of new and vintage. I think you will enjoy their website - checkout the vintage 'gems'.

Check out these old school erasers - remember the dark end is for pen ink - not that it ever really worked!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

I was watching The Antiques Roadshow last night and a TWA poster by David Klein was featured. It inspired me to look Mr Klein up and research more of his work. He was very prolific on the 50s and 60s and worked at TWA as one of their in-house designers. I thought you might enjoy them too - I think all you mid-century design junkies will be drooling over these - this California one would look amazing framed on some retro wood paneling walls.

These aren't the best images - looks like they are photographs rather than scans
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