Card collecting

I’ve had an obsession with office and paper supplies my entire life. Getting my list of required school supplies was a little piece of Christmas in August (July sometimes, if the gods were listening) throughout all of elementary school. Milky pens, stickers, Sharpies, post-it notes, paper clips, to-do list pads, you’ve all held a weirdly special place in my heart at some point or another. This may remain, today, one of the best parts of having a desk job. But in my adulthood, my favorite piece of the office supply world has been stationery—note cards, thank you cards, personalized letterhead, etc., and I cannot get enough of this stuff.

My favorite things to buy when I’m traveling are new greeting cards. So many of the bigger cities I’ve visited have great paper supply stores or little card boutiques that I (without exaggeration, with exasperation) could easily spend hours rifling through. For me, these little things are souvenirs. I love keeping a unique collection going that I’m constantly adding to and taking from. Some of them feel too precious to ever use (these may make their way into frames), but most of them are saved until a fitting opportunity (or person) comes along for me to send off a special little note.

Not only do I love collecting them, but I love sending them, too. There’s something so special about receiving an envelope in the mail with your name on it, written by hand. Getting mail like this is one of my favorite things in the world, and I get an awful lot of satisfaction out of doing it for others, as well. I try to use any and every opportunity to send cards to all the people I love—birthday cards and thank you cards for sure, but also just thinking of you cards.

I know how card sending can get away from you really fast, and then it may feel awkward to send a belated greeting. I’d certainly be in this boat too if it weren’t for my calendar in which I document both the birthday and a reminder to send a card a couple days prior to that date, as well as the fact that I always have cards on hand. Note writing is something that’s very important to me, and makes me feel in-sentimental-touch with those far away (or those close by), even if just for a few minutes.

Some of my favorite card designers

Rifle Paper Co. (sold at Anthropologie, Paper Source, and several other stores)
Lucca Paperworks (sold at Lucca in Seattle)
TokyoMilk (sold in boutiques)
Sugar Paper Co.
Great Lakes Goods (sold at Black Ink in Boston)