Whether you’re into swirly or straight, diminutive or daring, she can turn initials into works of art. A monogram, after all, is the ultimate expression of individuality. So it made sense, then, that we get personal about, well, getting personal.
When did your interest in the monogram begin?
My interest in monograms began shortly after being hired by Crane. I was hoping to develop an art-based career. I found such an opportunity in making monograms. Monograms allowed me to become creative, thereby making them my art.
We love a good love story.
But our favorite is that of Pen and Paper.
Thus, we were delighted to pick the brain of Rick Propas — a specialist for Swann Auction Galleries, where he directs the newly created Department of Fine and Vintage Writing Instruments — whose first pen was given to him more than 50 years ago.
“In the Jewish tradition, it’s customary to give a boy a fountain pen at his bar mitzvah,” Propas explained. “I didn’t get one, and when I complained to my dad, he pulled out his own pen and gave it to me.”
Propas has been collecting vintage pens ever since.
We’re so glad to see you! When the palm trees and popsicles heard you were coming, they jumped for joy, as you know how much they love when you visit every year. We hope you stay for awhile, and don’t forget to bring a swimsuit!
Love & Letters,
Crane & Co.
Because we like to think the perfect evening letter is always accompanied by the perfect libation — and because everyone should be privy to a signature cocktail — we present to you the Crane & Co.cktail, courtesy of our favorite purveyor of all things fancy, Mrs. Lilien. Enjoy!
2 oz Gin
Juice + zest of 1 lime
3 oz fresh grapefruit juice
2tbs agavae nectar
In a shaker half filled with ice add the gin, lime zest + juice, grapefruit juice + agavae nectar. SHAKE. Pour into prepared highball and top with a champagne float.
For more delectable recipes, pick up a copy of Mrs. Lilien’s new book, “Mrs. Lilien’s Cocktail Swatchbook.” Cheers!
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!”
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, please — Americana. And what better time to launch it than while we’re all dreaming of fireworks and BBQs?
First, there was 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.
Quite often we get asked about one particular wedding invitation design we offer. More specifically, we get asked about the ‘font’ on that invitation.
The font in question, we tell them, is actually calligraphy done by one Angela Welch.
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.