Samara O'Shea

Archive for the ‘Stationery and Supplies’ Category

The Card is on It’s Way

Thursday, December 9th, 2010

I wrote my first Christmas card yesterday. I only wrote one because I was bone tired, but I’ve still got fifteen days left until Christmas. I’ll probably write two to four on weeknight evenings and bang out five to ten on Saturday and Sunday. I bought these cards at Lee’s Art Shop last weekend while in Manhattan. (Fun fact: Brad & Ang go here often). The cost was $9.95 for twenty cards, which is reasonable. I tragically had to walk away (far away) from some gorgeous, handcrafted cards because they cost $14.75 for eight cards. If I were only planning to send eight cards, I could have justified it, but I must be frugal in my card purchases since I hope to send forty or so. In that case, another batch of twenty for $9.95 would be perfect.

Without further ado, here they are. The first twenty cards I send will look like this:

I was mildly irritated to open the package and discover these candy-cane shaped indents.

Luckily, they don’t inhibit my ability to write.

Dressed and (almost) ready to go! The cool stamp is courtesy of Mike & Lynn and the address label courtesy of Habitat for Humanity. (Notice the return address label: I figured out how to use the blur brush in PhotoImpression. This will come in handy).

The Evolution of Stamps

Tuesday, November 30th, 2010

Look what Mike & Lynn (of Mike & Lynn’s awesome card designs) sent me. Stamps with my book cover on it. It’s such a unique gift—I was mighty flattered to receive it.


You, too, can create your own stamps at This is the USPS’s latest attempt to remain cool and relevant in the age of no more mail. I find it funny that their slogan is “Never Go to the Post Office Again!” I like going to the post office. Especially on a sunny Saturday morning. I’ll stop by my P.O. Box on my way to Dunkin Donuts. It’s a great way to start the day–especially if there’s mail waiting for me.

In other news, my latest Huffington Post blog went up today. It’s called Flash Your Undies for a Good Cause . . .

Christmas Card Confession

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010

I cannot tell a lie: I didn’t send Christmas cards last year. I sent them dutifully and joyous the year before. I handwrote about eighty of them! But last year it just didn’t come together. It pretty much has to come together in my mind before December gets here. If it doesn’t then the month starts to spiral out of control, and I can’t get a grip on the card thing. Part of me wishes we could have Christmas every other year. It is a wonderful albeit exhausting holiday, and I think we’d appreciate it more if we got a break from it.

I hadn’t thought about whether or not I’d send cards this year. Then yesterday Habitat for Humanity sent me Christmas address labels. It’s such a simply, silly thing but it made me so excited for both Christmas and card sending that I officially know I will send at least 36 cards (that’s how many address labels I have).

Below are close ups of the label features. They look much more festive as a whole, but in the name of keeping my address off my website, I went with close ups.

First, there’s this guy. Isn’t he cute? With his messed up buttons and crooked nose.

Then there’s this sensual candle. The red is very deep on the label itself.

And here’s the archetypal bell to ring it all in!

They started playing Christmas music on the radio this past weekend. I say, if you can’t beat, join em! Okay Christmas, just wait a few more days until Thanksgiving is over, and then I’ll give you my undivided attention.

Are you planning to send cards this year?

Paper Mates

Tuesday, November 9th, 2010

Greetings everyone ~ Happy November!

The lovely Sara from Ventura, California wrote me a few weeks back saying, “I am being lovingly persuaded by my husband to downsize some of my immense stationery collection and I am currently making up ten parcels to send out. Would you like one?”

Sara is a fellow paper lover with a visually inspiring blog. Kudos to Sara for recycling her stationery, and another kudos to her husband for making his request “lovingly.” A joyous package arrive at my home a week or so ago . . .


And I am now the proud owner of a portion of Sara’s unique stationery set. Thank you Sara!


In other news . . . I bought these bookplates from Sarah + Abraham (a different Sara). I’m so excited to give these to my friend Tom (for his little girl Finley). There are a wealth of wonderful, reasonably priced gifts for children at S + A if you find yourself looking.


New Year’s Anxiety

Monday, October 11th, 2010

I experience a strange anxiety around this time. As soon as the calendars for the forthcoming year appear in drug stores and on newsstands I panic a bit. (This is inward panic—nothing outwardly extreme). The arrival of calendars makes me feel as though the end of the year is rushed, and that I have to be completely on top of everything for the new year.

My way of dealing with this is to purchase one of the calendars. Marketing Campaign: 10 Samara: 0. I don’t purchase just any old calendar—it has to be the right one. And by purchasing the right one, I accept that the New Year is coming and I am ready for it. Somehow it stops me from feeling October – December is in such a hurry. Knowing I have a calendar, makes me feel as though I can savor what’s left of the year but I’m fully prepared for 2011 when she arrives. Calendar = Suit of Armor

I saw a Norman Rockwell calendar in Barnes and Noble a few weeks ago, and figured that would be my calendar. Who warms the heart like good old NR? Then I was in New York City in mid-September and saw this beautiful Kate Spade creation:

Every month has a fun theme and illustration. (I know, it doesn’t take much to get me excited).

And the months are laid out as months (in many daytimers they are laid out by the week, but I like to see the whole month at once):

After purchasing my calendar I saw this, and it cracked me up. To each his own!

And to me, my own!
Strangely, I’m having a great 2011 so far. I’ve recived two article assignments. One for the January issue of Marie Claire and the other for Main Line Today (a local Philly magazine). Details to come . . .

Birds of a Feather

Thursday, September 16th, 2010

Look! I received two more beautiful cards courtesy of Lynn (the artist) and her proud husband Mike (the scanner and card putter onner). Here’s the first card they sent.

I’m going to call her Desdemona.

I’m naming these two Rosencrantz and Guildenstern.

Butterflies on Paper and Dresses in Trees

Monday, August 30th, 2010

Check this out: Reader Mike from Virginia sent me a stack of cards with this adorable design on the front. His wife, Lynn, is learning Chinese brush art, so he scanned one of her images and made cards. I will send four of these (to very special people), and keep one for myself. Thank you Mike. Lynn, keep up the great work!


In other butterfly news: This past Saturday, my neighbor’s daughter got married. I snapped a few photos of her dress hanging in his tree—sided by some paper butterflies, of course. This is a wedding trend I’ve noticed—photographing the dress hanging by itself in an interesting place. (Perhaps it’s not a new trend, but I’ve only seen it recently). In June, I discovered the wedding blog StyleMePretty (planning a wedding or not, this blog is a feast for the eyes), and in pretty much every set of photos is a dress hanging somewhere. For example, here and here. I like the idea a lot. Plus it made my Saturday morning cup of tea more interesting.