Wednesday, January 10, 2018

A Visit to the Paper Patisserie

Welcome to the Paper Patisserie store in the Cathedral Hill area of St Paul, Minnesota. It's a beautiful area of the capitol city with tree lined streets, wide sidewalks and wonderful coffee shops such as Nina's Coffee Cafe which is just a few steps from Paper Patisserie.
The welcoming front door to the building greets you with old, well-worn brass and wood. Once you're in the building, you will still need to enter the store which is immediately to your right.
Welcome! Isn't this quaint?
The first thing that caught my eye was this book lamp. Don't you love it?!
I'm drawn to the desk with it's small drawers and inviting space.
How about this massive collection of Clairefontaine notebooks? Small, medium, large- they've got them all!
So this owl was there and tried to talk me into taking him home. Maybe next time!
Who doesn't love a collection of waxes and seals? I have some of each but just do not use them enough to go through them very quickly, so they last a long time.
Pens, pens and more pens.
This lovely typewriter pencil holder was one of my favorite finds
The wall of gifts and, more importantly, paper!
New file folders, anyone? Yes, please.
This aisle is bordered by the large glass windows that let in the Minnesota sunshine.
Here's a view of the front door from the inside.
Looking back before I leave, purchases in hand, ready to go outside and brave the Minnesota winter.
Goodbye, Paper Patiserie, until we meet again!

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Stationery Stores in the Twin Cities - First Stop: Ampersand

Recently I visited the Ampersand Shop in Edina (suburb of Minneapolis). My goal is to visit all of the stationery stores in the Twin Cities' area between now and the end of next year. I didn't get a picture of the outside of the store (which is located in an upscale strip mall not far from another favorite place of mine, The Container Store). I found this image on their website.

Some of the stores are mostly all stationery and some of the stores have just a little bit of stationery with a lot of other types of gift items. Such is the case with Ampersand Shops.

Don't you love this Letters plate? Me too!
I took the photo above because I liked how their name was decorated with plates. Very original.
Here we have some postcards. Aren't they great? I love unique and unusual postcards
A wonderful selection of boxed note cards.I maybe should have taken some close-ups of some of the designs.
This is my favorite - a giant LOVE ball. They have a variety of sizes and colors. This one is a 5' ball that sells for $99.
Stay tuned next week for another stationery store visit. What's your favorite stationery store?

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Dot Journaling - The Book

When I first heard the term 'dot journaling', I wasn't sure what that was. Then I was sent a free review copy of this book, Dot Journaling-A Practical Guide: How to Start and Keep the Planner, To-Do List, and Diary That'll Actually Help You Get Your Life Together by Rachel Wilkerson Miller,  and the book explained everything. Every thing. I loved it and am inspired to finally try (again) my own dot journal, also known as a bullet journal.
Dot Journaling is authored by Rachel Wilkerson Miller, who's a lifestyle editor at BuzzFeed. Think of Dot Journaling as a combination of diary, planner and to-do list. She published her book this summer.
The book has wonderful (and plentiful) illustrations, ideas and examples. I was particularly impressed with the variety of spreads and all the ways you can customize the journal to what fits your needs.
I was familiar with bullet journaling and had tried this for a few months in 2016 - a very basic attempt. Although it is extremely flexible and customizable, there is still a learning curve and a commitment to the process.
The author addresses concerns (commitment, learning curve, dissatisfaction with penmanship) and offers ideas on how to overcome them.

I am inspired by her work and her words and look forward to creating my own 2017 (what remains) bullet journal.

Bullet Journal was created by Ryder Carrol. For a wonderful selection of informative articles, podcasts, etc., please visit

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Cute Post Office Alert

I have driven by this cute little Post Office in Bayport, MN, many times. If I had more time on this visit I would have stepped inside to see if the inside is as quaint as the outside. Maybe next time.
My pictures do not seem to capture the cuteness of the building. It was hard to snap pictures in between the blur of cars going from I-94 to the south, into historic downtown Stillwater, MN, a few miles to the north. Both towns sit on the Minnesota side of the St Croix River across from Wisconsin.
If I got too close, you couldn't read all of the words, and if I stayed too far away, the building seemed to lose its quaintness.
Just up the road (and across the street) is the Bayport Library, which was new to me so I stopped there too and took some pictures. I absolutely love the rounded window room as shown below.
Doesn't the sitting area look inviting? You can sit and admire the beautiful garden area.
What's a library garden without a statue of a girl (or boy) reading a book?
The tree-lined sidewalk offers a lovely venue to go for a stroll (Hint: Go to the left.)

Sunday, June 11, 2017

My Visit to the PaperSource Store at Mall of America

A couple weeks ago I visited the PaperSource Store at the Mall of America. I was lucky enough to get a fellow pen enthusiast as my cashier and we spent about thirty minutes sharing information on our fountain pen favorites and preferences.

She introduced me to one of her favorites, a TWSBI, which she had attached to her shirt behind her name badge. She was even kind enough to let me try it.
I purchased a couple Pilot G-tecs, a sheet of decorative paper for bookmaking, a rubber stamp of the #4 (about 2" tall) and some stickers.

I sent my PaperSource helper, a postcard of Letters & Journals later that week.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Old Postcard from North Dakota

One of the oldest pieces of mail I own is a postcard that was sent to my great-grandmother, Alma Olafson (below), before she married my great-grandfather, John Holen in 1912. This photo was taken in the 1950s. Alma was the recipient of the postcard below.
The front of the card has about an inch of white to the left of the photograph. I'm unsure why this is or if it was done on purpose or accidentally.
You can clearly see the year is 1910, although the actual date is not noted. Alma would have been approximately 22 years of age the year she received this.
The postmark says it is sent from Pleasant Lake, ND, which is the name of the lake in the photograph. The lake was called Broken Bone Lake by the Dakota Indians and is located Pleasant Lake National Wildlife Refuge, which is east of Rugby, ND.

Etta G, the author of the postcard, I think may have been Alma's cousin, Emma Groettum, who went to teach at Pleasant Lake.

My grandmother, Alice (daughter-in-law to Alma) had this postcard in one of her photo albums that I inherited when she died years ago.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

What I Bought at Faber-Castell in Germany

Last October we traveled to Nuremburg, Germany where I visited the Faber-Castell shop. I did a post on the Castle Grounds and also my tour of the onsite Faber-Castell Shop.

I spent the most time deciding on the fountain pen I wanted to purchase. I ended up purchasing this LOOM pen with a medium nib. Normally, I prefer a fine point pen, but for a fountain pen, I prefer a wider nib.
I selected the silver color which has a shiny barrel, a matte cover and a grip area with fine rings for easier handling.
Below is a close up of the nib. Even though the nib is medium, it writes like a fine. The ink can be a little heavy at times, but it could just be the user acclimating to the personality of the pen.
I selected three colors of ink cartridges: Hazelnut Brown, Violet Blue and Deep Sea Green (shown below).
I also selected this quality set of watercolor pencils. I've long been fascinated by the art of creating art with watercolors, but I haven't experimented much with using these.
I've recently begun creating Artist Trading Cards (ATCs) and exchanging them on Swapbot.I will post some examples of those in another blog next week.
These pencils have a triangular shape and a sturdy dot grip not to mention a wide variety of color.
More posts to follow with my watercolor experiments masterpieces!