Friday, June 6, 2008

umm. . . can I have your number

People always have good intentions at parties and social gathering, I can't tell you how many times I am talking to someone and they give me a tib-bit of advice, suggest a new restaurant or I promise to share my broker's name and I fail to get their email, phone number etc. If only they had a personal calling card, I would follow-up. There are also the awkward points on any first meeting that one must exchange numbers, emails etc. and then there is a dig of a pen and paper--ugh, not so smooth. What if there was a sweet and simple way of exchanging information with ease and old-age social decorum, the personal calling card.

Why personal calling cards ever went out of fashion I have no idea, but these tiny little cards have never been more useful with email addresses, web sites and ever changing phone numbers. Sometimes your business card just doesn't cut it and you want to give someone your personal email or your home number, then slip them your personal calling card.

I love using mine for store clerks too when they are entering my mailing address or information. I don't have to spell out my confusing and long last name, my street address that sounds differently than it is spelled and my email address that has a dot and a dash.

The calling cards are making a come back and like good social graces, sweet and simple will never go out of style.

the looming wedding thank you note

The thank you note is one of these age-old traditions and social graces that will never go out of style. I truly believe that even in this age of blogs and emails, you can't beat ink meeting paper delivered with an actual postage stamp via snail mail. It is a simple act that shows the gift giver your are a truly gracious person, and thank you is never out of fashion.

Wedding gift thank you note (even though I have no idea what it is, used for, or why exactly you thought I liked faux leather). Yes, without a doubt, whip out that thank you note. Wedding thank you notes are not optional, don't even try to rationalizing yourself out of these. Even if you are doing your residency, your spouse is working nights and weekends as a first-year attorney and your dog hasn't been walked since in 4 month and your suitcase from your honeymoon is still in the middle of your bedroom---you have time to write a few notes each week.

Okay, so I was one of those strange people that actually liked writing my wedding thank you notes, I know it sounds strange, but really did. It was a way to personally connect with each of my wedding guests---because let's be honest, you don't remember one conversation you had with anyone on your wedding day. I used it to truly make each guest and gift giver feel special---it is not rocket science, just a special memory I have of them or a special reason why I will appreciate the gift. I tried my best not to write the cookie-cutter note we all get, "Dear "___" Thank you for the "___" we will use the "____" often and think of "___ and/or you" thank again! Love, ____

Okay if the cookie-cutter thank you is the best you can ink-out, at least you tried. . . but really it is not that hard to try just a little bit harder and write something more personal.

The best piece of advice is to write the note as soon as it arrives. This is three-fold savvy advice, 1-Sweet and Simple: it is just easier to write a few notes at a time, once they pile up it is a daunting task.

2-Practical: the note let's the gift giver know you received their package, it assumed they did, but not always. It has been known to happen, packages are rerouted, store clerks forgot to send etc. Seriously I am still waiting for thank you notes from brides, and half thinking, "Did they ever receive that uber-expensive silver fork?" I am not loosing sleep, but you have been married long enough to redecorate your house from top to bottom, maybe instead of pulling fabric swatches you should have been thanking your wedding guest for the lovely items that your newly decorated love nest is brimming with.

3-Old-school Social Decorum: In a perfect world it will get your mother and/or mother-law off your back (note there are always exceptions to this, some people will never be satisfied here). But as I said before, thank you notes are never out of fashion ---- just have fun with your stationery and add your own personality and add your own twist to your stationery with a custom monogram or letterpress printing.

Timing is another thing, just like the false myth about having one-year to send a wedding gift, you don't have one year to send than you notes. It is one of those bridal myths that people think if they repeat often enough everyone will start to believe them. It is false, the wedding is over, the honeymoon is over, come down from your cloud and write the darn thank you notes. If you adopted my Sweet and Simple advice above, you have been writing your notes as they arrive, but if you more of down to the wire type, it is time to hunker down with your fashionably chic stationery, your guest list and start right away. And oh, 2 is company, not a crowd, so the spouse can help write as well. Forgo the old tradition of only the bride writing the formal thank you notes. The groom is just as thankful and can write a thoughtful note as well. Especially to his family and friends. My husband writes some of the funniest thank you notes ever, I think sometimes he gets perverse pleasure in writing about mundane objects like kitchen appliances, but one can never say they aren't clever and well crafted.


Yours turly

Welcome to the "Beyond Paper & Ink" blog about clever design, beautiful paper and especially about realistic living---beyond the etiquette books.

A little bit about me. . . I am the designer and creator behind the stationery line, Sicily Eason where my motto is sweet and simple, with a twist on classic stationery and invitation design. As a designer many of my clients come to me with questions that bring to light the nuances of social etiquette. I don't pretend to be the etiquette queen, nor to I claim to have all the answers, but I will say I am pretty savvy when it comes to pin pointing what fits most social situations.

I believe is classic correspondence, the punctual thank you, and practicing social graces that would make any Southerner feel right at home---but I am also a modern and realistic woman, and have adopted variations to social graces and I am never afraid to stray from "by-the-book" etiquette. Just like I like my ice tea, with a twist of lemon, I guess you could say I am a a bit of a non-traditional Southern.