Thursday, July 30, 2009

A Whole New World of Paper Possibilities!

Long before I started at GLM®, I was an art major in college, hoping to do interior design. My art classes required me to sketch all my design projects on graph paper. Graph paper or lined paper helps the artist to correctly measure and accurately proportion their drawings according to the original reference point. Now, if you ever used graph paper, you’ll remember that it begins to get extremely difficult to differentiate between the actual drawing and the lines from the page especially when drawing with black pen or pencil. The dark, harsh lines cause your eye to sway from the drawing to the line. This sway causes the lined paper to compete with the drawing, rather than display the drawing. This distraction can, in fact, drastically alter the completed drawing. Instead of the viewer seeing the picture, they also see dark squares and/or dark lines intruding on the finished work. There is another crucial factor in drawing; this is known as the eraser. Once an eraser hits the surface of lined paper, it can cause the dark lines to smudge, further destroying the art. As an alternative to lined paper there is plain paper. Plain paper is just a blank slate, hoping to display art, writing, etc. However, when an artist uses plain paper they almost always have to use a ruler to make sure that the picture is level and proportionate. I thought there was no other way, until recently…

Whitelines® a new company, was started because of this very struggle. Just as the company name describes, Whitelines® has developed a paper with white lines. So that the dark markings from pens, pencils etc. do not interfere between the lines on the paper, making the writing, sketches, and drawings really stand out.

Whitelines® sells a plethora of products such as: notebooks, graph paper, notepads, journals and more. Each of their products helps to show off the picture and not the line. This is a genius idea, that not only helps artists but also mathematicians, bringing geometry equations to a whole new level!

I was so happy to meet a couple of the guys behind the company and this brilliant idea at the National Stationery Show® this past May, and I look forward to seeing them again next year! To all the artists out there, check out their website for a whole new world of possibilities.

Until next time,
Rachel Veach

Friday, July 24, 2009

My Daughter's Baptism - Oh the Decisions!

August 30 marks my daughter’s first momentous occasion – her baptism. So this oh-so-proud mama has been on the hunt for the perfect invitation and party accessories…right down to the napkins. What I’ve discovered is that the market for baptisms is expansive, with both practical and luxurious options. Who would have thought? And the colors! I never expected to see baptism invitations with bright hues and patterned ribbon embellishments. In fact, I very much expected to start my hunt for invitations, favors and party d├ęcor and be done 30 minutes later. Instead, 4 hours later I returned home with several options floating in my head.

But alas, the winner of the invitation is revealed...SanLori Designs! (And for the record, my deadline for this blog forced the decision.)

And after much debate, I decided that my daughter’s guests will leave her baptism party with these cute little Crystal Angel keepsakes, which are custom cut from crystal and packaged in a cushion-lined gift box adorned with a customized ribbon featuring my daughter’s name and date of her baptism.

…and of course…the napkins “I just had to have,” as my husband says.

Who would have thought a baptism would be so much work. Long gone are the days of just a few options…and only white options!


Friday, July 17, 2009

Comfort is in the Cards….

It’s probably no surprise that I grew up a greeting card addict. I had boxes and drawers filled with cards, piles stashed under my bed and even in my book bag. My friends and I designed and wrote cards after school for years – an old fashioned version of a play date I suppose. I actually thought at one point, I’d write cards for a living. But, I found a better niche for this card-passionate, aspiring PR professional, first working for the Greeting Card Association and later – for 20 years - as the show manager of the single most important event for greeting cards – the National Stationery Show.

So, when HOPE is in the Cards ( launched @ the 2009 show my propensity for activism kicked into gear. I vowed I would pick up the torch again to promote the power of the written word in this age of digital sentiments that have little staying power once the delete button is pushed. I’ve decided my focus will be local, taking the lead from Russ Haan, HOPE’s founder, and get into the elementary schools to orient tech savvy kids to the high touch concept of ink on paper. Our social culture is starving for this, in my humble opinion and it’s up to the next generation of humans to carry on the tradition.

Now, fast-forward to two weeks ago when so suddenly, my father passed away. The greeting cards have been pouring in since, and I cannot express with enough emphasis the comfort that I derive daily from every read, every passing by the area in my home or in my office where these sweet offerings embrace me. I have come to rely on them when I least expect the grief to take over, and more than ever this reinforces the quality that cards possess to comfort, support, help heal, help cope, feel the love of another human being, understand the power of the written word – this only next to the hug of my husband, mom or very best girlfriend.

The cards I received vary in style, size and shape, printing sophistication, paper quality, eco chic, philanthropic orientation. Some are versed, others are blank. Some are layered, others are flat. Still others are handmade. I counted the number of companies whose cards I received – 17 in all! And, while stylistically very different one from the next, the enduring fact remains that when the message really matters, there’s absolutely nothing more powerful, more personal than ink on paper. Yes, indeed, comfort is in the cards.


Friday, July 10, 2009

GLM Summer Outing

There is a proverb that says “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” Well, we don’t have any Jacks on the NSS team but we sure have a lot of people who would enjoy a little play time! So twice a year GLM shuts its doors, turns off its phones and puts all trade show related work aside to have some much deserved fun. This year we took a trip to West Point a.k.a. the United States Military Academy located about an hour from our office here in New York. Our day began with a tour of the grounds:

We then returned to our army themed tent for a hot lunch, flight simulator games, a rock climbing wall and our annual GLM softball game. The NSS Marketing & Sales teams cheered on our co-workers who were adventurous enough to play – one of which being our Show Manager, Patti Stracher.

Kelly Bristol, NSS Sales Manager with Kristen Hamilton from the NYIGF team

NSS Marketing Team: Melissa Gray, Jessica Reiche, Rachel Veach & Stephanie Leon-Santiago

Here’s wishing everyone a happy summer – make sure to take a little time off!


Thursday, July 2, 2009

Celebrating Our Independence

Aside from the occasional birthday or mid-summer wedding, the summer months do not offer a lot in the way of celebrations or occasions to reach out to friends and family through greeting cards and the written word.

Fortunately, there is the 4th of July.

When I think about the 4th, I think of fireworks, John Philip Sousa marches, Uncle Sam and, of course, cookouts. And that is where stationery comes in. How are you letting everyone know that you are firing up the old grill and that your backyard is the place to be this Saturday? Why not let everyone know about your party with this simple blank “American Flag Invitation” from Checkerboard –

Or, maybe you could send out some of these blank “BBQ King” cards from Louie Award winning Meri Meri –

And how do you plan to set your picnic table? Yes, you could pull out every dish that you own and then spend the 5th washing them, or you could put out these “Stars and Stripes Square Paper Plates” from Caspari –

And to keep the kids hands and faces clean, use the “Red, White & Blue Paper Luncheon Napkins” also from Caspari -

Regardless of how you invite guests to your get-together, you’re going to have a blast (pun intended). There is a shared sense of wonder on the 4th. As we sit with our friends, family and community members to stare up into the night sky, waiting for the next explosion of color and sound, we grow together. We are all kids again.

Have a happy and safe Independence Day.

- Aaron Hazard