Post Script: Mrs. Lilien

We’re adoring fans of Mrs. Lilien and her fancy finds. So we were delighted to hear she was coming out with a book. We were even more delighted when we found out it was a book titled “Mrs. Lilien’s Cocktail Swatchbook,” a collection of 50 classic recipes that have been updated with a modern twist and fashionable accoutrement.

Because one good hostess quality (serving stellar sips) deserves another (sending stellar stationery), we thought it made perfect sense to ask our new favorite dinner party guest about our favorite fancy subject: correspondence.

When did your interest in all things fancy begin?
August 10th, 1979. There hasn’t been a day in my life that I haven’t been possessed by my love of all things fancy!

Why do you enjoy writing about letters and/or correspondence?
Because it’s ladylike + because it’s FANCY!

What is your favorite step in the process of written correspondence?
Probably signing my rather gargantuan and rather flamboyant signature.

If you could be pen pals with anyone in history, to whom would you write and what would you say?
Cleopatra, Queen of Egypt — without question. In my fantasy she begins each letter with “OMG…”

To whom do you most often write?
Love letters to Mr. Lilien.

Describe the most memorable letter or postcard you have ever received.
A wildly amusing ditty from my friend Mr. Adler regarding my gifted urn (aka: my final resting place).

What makes a particular letter stand out from a stack of cards?
Fine, thick paper and subtle yet extravagant detailing, such as embossing, letter press, color edging. These pieces always get opened first!

Do you have a favorite stamp or stamp series?
I’m always a fan of the silver screen actresses of yesteryear. Nothing screams class quite like a little bit of Audrey Hepburn on the upper right hand corner.

What makes your correspondence distinct?
Inside of every Mrs. Lilien correspondence that I send, I always sprinkle just a few gold sequins into the envelope for an added touch of glam!

The one etiquette rule you never break?
Be a lady in all things — while this is vague, it covers vast no-no’s that I find abhorrent.

The quote you live by?
“Go big or go home!”

P.S. If you’re in NYC Thursday night, please stop by what is sure to be a fabulous cocktail party at Jonathan Adler’s SoHo boutique to celebrate Mrs. Lilien’s new book.  Kindly RSVP here.

The Making Of: Our New Americana Collection

In this edition of The Making Of, we take a look at yet another one of our new collections (my, our design team has been busy).

Patriot meets pen in a premier collection celebrating all things red, white and blue. We’re calling it — drum roll, pleaseAmericana. And what better time to launch it than while we’re all dreaming of fireworks and BBQs?

First, there was Inspiration.

americana stationery collection inspiration“This collection came together as I was going over the archives,” recalls VP of Creative & Product Development Rachel V. Ivey. “I noticed that Crane was present for every Presidency. With an election approaching, developing a collection that celebrates our country was a pleasure.”

Next, the team thought about Americana’s target customer, and came up with three types:

  • The Classic American, who loves rich history.
  • The Proud American, who isn’t afraid to wear her U.S.A. love on her sleeve.
  • The Young American, who is learning how to become more involved in his country.

Finally, it was time to think design.

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Post Script: Calligrapher Angela Welch

Quite often we get asked about one particular wedding invitation design we offer. More specifically, we get asked about the ‘font’ on that invitation.

silver bevel calligraphy personalized wedding invitationThe font in question, we tell them, is actually calligraphy done by one Angela Welch.

calligraphy artist angela welch pen and pauperThe bubbly Alabamian (is there any other kind?) has been providing her fanciful flourishes for us for years, and so we thought it was about time we highlighted the woman behind the nib.

When did your interest in calligraphy begin?
Before the age of six for sure. In first grade I never knew my place in the reader when my teacher called on me to begin reading — I was too busy trying to write a “fancy” alphabet of my own.

My first calligraphy job was in the sixth grade and a teacher asked me to letter, in Old English, the heading of a flyer to be printed. I loved the challenge of making a beautiful mark with lots of different mediums. My fascination with flourishing as a whole arm movement began in the third grade.

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Mad for Dad: Last-Minute Father’s Day Gift Ideas

What he’s so good at: Fixing all things creaky & squeaky. Chip shots. The medium-well burger.

What he’s not so good at: Dropping present hints.

No worries. We’ve come up with a fine list of last-minute Father’s Day gifts.

  • For the Host with the Most

D Initial Card

  • For the Book Worm

jonathan adler whale bookends
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The Making Of: New Personalized Stationery Collection Crane Style Now

This post will be the first in a new series called ‘The Making Of,’ in which we show our enthusiasts just how a design or collection became so.

First up, our newest made-to-order collection, Crane Style Now.

personalized stationery collection crane style now

For a while, we’ve offered collections that cater to the enthusiast who is big on style and small on time. The idea being: a few choices — ink color, motif, font — instead of something completely customizable, which, while stunning and very personal, can be a daunting process.

While we wanted to keep the process simple, we also wanted a collection that spoke to today’s trends. And so, our VP of Creative & Product Development, Rachel V. Ivey, and her team began with step #1: The Inspiration Board.
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Etiquette: How to Use QR Codes on Your Stationery

letterpress bar mitzvah invitation with qr codeRecently at the 2012 National Stationery Show, we dedicated one of our storefront windows (prime real estate!) to QR Codes and how to incorporate them into social stationery. Wedding invitations, letterhead, business cards: Why yes, there is a way to include one and still keep that classic aesthetic & craftsmanship Crane & Co. is known for.

In case you’re curious how to do so, we’ve put together this handy QR Code Etiquette Guide. Technology never looked so luxurious.

Have more questions about stationery etiquette & style? Email our Crane Concierge at concierge@crane.com. 

2012 National Stationery Show: Day 3 Recap

While the National Stationery Show is certainly a time for us to show off our new collections as well as old favorites, we also love admiring the wonderfully creative work of our peers and — since they come from all over the world — meeting them in person.

Which is why we were thrilled take part in the 8th Annual Paper Party, which was generously hosted by Oh So Beautiful Paper and Delphine Press.

The party is a chance for stationers, designers, press operators and press to mingle, sip & nibble, and — of course — talk paper. The party was a-hoppin, so unfortunately we couldn’t speak with everyone, but we did get to chat with the lovely folks from The Happy Envelope, Southern Living, Stationery HQ and Mr. Boddington’s Studio.

We must say, it’s quite fun exchanging ooh’s & ahh’s over business cards, sharing favorite design finds from the day and now having a stationery stop in pretty much every city we’ve ever wanted to visit. And what else is fun?

Receiving the Best. Gift Bag. Ever. (We saved the Crane & Co. goodies for the other guests.)
national stationery show paper party gift bagIt was the perfect end to a great show. See you all next year!

Life’s richer with friends, so let’s stay in touch! Follow us on Facebook, Twitter & Pinterest

2012 National Stationery Show: Day 2 Recap

crane & co. social media booth national stationery showNormally, torrential Monday rain would make us yearn for one more day to don pajama pants ’til noon. However, despite the need for an industrial-sized umbrella and clunky rubber boots, we were quite excited to get to our booth and let the National Stationery Show goodness begin.

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2012 National Stationery Show: Day 1 Recap

A picture of our Limited Edition print & National Stationery Show invitation

After two days of drilling, assembling, hanging and placing…

It was finally time for some admiring. The 2012 National Stationery Show kicked off today, and New York City’s Javits Center was abuzz with all things paper.
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A Quote for Mother’s Day by Maurice Sendak

where the wild things are book by maurice sendak“Once a little boy sent me a charming card with a little drawing on it. I loved it. I answer all my children’s letters — sometimes very hastily — but this one I lingered over.

I sent him a card and I drew a picture of a Wild Thing on it. I wrote, “Dear Jim: I loved your card.”

Then I got a letter back from his mother and she said, “Jim loved your card so much he ate it.” That to me was one of the highest compliments I’ve ever received. He didn’t care that it was an original Maurice Sendak drawing or anything. He saw it, he loved it, he ate it.”