Wish you were here

Dear reader,

It's summer and that means the On Paperettes have been busy with bridal season and helping our loyal, rain-drenched customers. (We had 19 straight days of rain in June.) A few of us have been able to get away from the soaking and head out on summer vacations. It’s not a competition, but the trip to Paris wins “most fabulous.” The trip to northern Wisconsin wins “most mosquito-y.”

When we take a break from the museums and canoeing, the Impressionists and the cheese plants, we might think about our nearest and dearest back home, and those wonderful people holding down the fort while we’re away. And, if we’re postally inclined, we might take a few minutes to send off a postcard.

The postcard has a relatively short history—just right for these little missives. While they were circulating in Europe a bit earlier, postcards began appearing in Stateside mailboxes in the late 1800s. Only those printed by the government were official “postcards.” All others were called “private mailing cards.” Doesn’t quite have the same ring, does it?

It took an act by Congress in 1907 to allow a message to appear on the same side as the address. Before that, we’d have written our notes on the front. Thanks, Congress! After all, who’d want to sully one of these gems?

Bonus: if you collect these bits of art and correspondence, you can call yourself a deltiologist, and who doesn’t want to be an –ologist? If you’re looking to add to your collection, we have vintage-inspired Columbus and Ohio designs for sale in the shop, and you can peruse antique markets for the real McCoy, complete with scrawled musings on the sites and cuisine.

The postcard format is even used in wedding stationery. If you're drawn to the nostalgic design of a postcard for your save the date or reply card, we still recommend sending these important pieces in an envelope. Doing so protects them from dirt and other smudgery along the way. 

And, big news! We've been hard at work on beautiful new website. 
Be sure to come back soon!

Wish you were here, 
On Paper



Please, but mainly thank you

It's Ohio in February. It's gray. We shovel every morning to get to our salt encrusted cars, which we must also shovel out. We wear our snow boots all day and have totally given up watching the weather, because guess what? It's just going to be terrible. Still, we're thankful. We're not under multiple feet of snow like our Northeastern friends and family. Our below zero days are less frequent than our Minnesota and Wisconsin loved ones'. Yes, thankful.


Right after the December holidays, NPR ran a segment on the value of the thank you note, especially as it relates to kiddos; the featured guest Peter Ormerod suggested kids might express their gratitude in other less regimented ways than writing a traditional note: videos, songs, drawings. Click on the link below to take a listen.

You know that as soon as we heard it, the On Paper crew practically held a summit. While we're all for creative expression (we've got an illustrator, a poet, a graphic designer, a painter and visual merchandiser on staff), we also believe in the value of putting pen (or pencil, or crayon) to paper to write a thank you note. Why?

Sure, basic skills like spelling, grammar, and punctuation are practiced, but from a more meditative standpoint, if you will, when we ask kids to sit down and express gratitude, even for a gift they don't necessarily love, we're giving them time to find a way to feel good about receiving and reflect on generosity of the giver, not the gift. Major American writer Flannery O'Connor says it well, "I write because I don't know what I think until I read what I say.” 


In other, less eloquent words: write gratitude, feel gratitude.

Among Peter Ormerod's criticisms are the sometimes formulaic thank you notes produced when kids feel pressured to write them. Enter On Paper! Stationery and writing instruments in bright colors, glitzy stickers and crayons for accompanying illustrations allow for some heartfelt creative expression and whimsy. After all, nothing says "I appreciate your generosity," like the words carefully written above Hello Kitty piloting a hot air balloon.


And for the adults in these kids' lives, keep in mind that On Paper carries traditional engraved, sweet floral letterpressed, and handmade stationery sets, not to mention (but mentioning) personalized stationery that can be ordered at the shop or on our website.


Well, dear reader, thanks for stopping by! We're grateful! We appreciate it!