“A master in the art of living draws no sharp distinction between his work and his play; his labor and his leisure; his mind and his body; his education and his recreation. He hardly knows which is which. He simply pursues his vision of excellence through whatever he is doing, and leaves others to determine whether he is working or playing. To himself, he always appears to be doing both.”
- Francois-Rene August, Vicomte de Chateaubriand(4 September 1768 – 4 July 1848)
Archive for the ‘Life in General’ Category
A Quote I Live By: “A Master in the Art of Living Draws No Sharp Distinction Between His Work and His Play”Monday, January 30th, 2012
We’re winding down from an A-M-A-Z-I-N-G year at The Papery and we look forward to what 2012 has in store for us! Thank you to all our clients, colleagues, partners and fans for their continued support and patronage throughout 2011! We love what we do here at The Papery and look forward to sharing many more celebrations with you all in the New Year!
Like the rest of the world around me, I lead a busy life. As a wife, daughter, granddaughter, friend and entrepreneur. But no matter how crazed I am, and I can get downright manic, I’m never too busy to look around me at the wonderful family with whom I share my life. To say that I’m grateful, while completely accurate, is just simply not enough. Words tend to fail me. Particularly when I know that unlike many around me, I get to spend time with my mother, Mary Lou, as well as HER mother, my Grandma Lena. I know, I know. Perhaps the words LUCKY, FORTUNATE, BLESSED should readily come to mind. But trust me, they do. And not just because it’s Thanksgiving week. I know I’m lucky to have two generations of women to share the trials and tribulations of life with, the absurdness of it all and the beauty each day brings. It’s a luxury I don’t take lightly year-round. I’m so BLESSED to hear their stories, GRATEFUL to learn from their mistakes and FORTUNATE to share their love of food and family. Not to mention, hearing my Grandma Lena talk about my mother, sharing a laugh with her about one of the men in the family, or just getting to watch my mom and grandma cook dinner together. It’s the little things that matter. And it’s truly a gift I TREASURE.
So this summer, when my Grandma celebrated her 99th birthday, it just had to be fabulous! I mean, come on, her 99th birthday! Isn’t that incredible? Entertaining is a family sport, passed on enthusiastically from generation to generation, and when it came down to celebrating Lena’s birthday, well, it had to be GOOD. And by “good” I mean good old fashioned backyard fun! My mother and I pulled out all the stops for a summertime family celebration for Lena.
Trees were filled with bright red paper pom poms, glass vases were filled with her favorite white flowers, white table clothes were layered with butcher paper runners, red-stitched dish towels became festive napkins tied with bakery twine, and tiny white pails filled with whole cherries became take-home party favors.
A serve-yourself homemade lemonade station was set up on an old wooden table we pulled from the house, and if you wanted to add a little Prosecco to your lemonade, that wasn’t a problem for Lena! and then there was the food, lots and lots of it! (We’re Italian, of course there was a crazy spread of delicious food!)
Mini Cherry Cupcakes and a delicious Cherry Birthday Cake! The perfect little sweet somethings for the summer birthday party!
My grandma was so overwhelmed by all the family and friends who came to see her on her birthday, she just kept hugging my mother and thanking her for her thoughtfulness. We love you Lena, and we’re GRATEFUL to share your table.
As a stationery and fine gift shop, it’s expected that we’d stock greeting cards for every possible holiday. Father’s Day included. For weeks I’ve been bustling about the store, doing my thing, passing the rack of Father’s Day cards without really focusing on the holiday and what it means to me personally. And then, a customer actually asked me “How are you celebrating Father’s Day this weekend?” and whammo, all of a sudden the sentimental feelings crept in and it’s all I’ve been thinking about. It’s more than what I’m doing to celebrate, it’s really about how fatherhood has affected me in my own life.
I’m overwhelmed with gratitude and emotion because I’m lucky to have two incredible fathers in my life: My father, Ed and my husband, Michael. Father to two children, me and my brother Edmund (seen above on the right), my Dad is my hero, my constant friend, my patient mentor and tireless ally. My husband Michael is my rock of Gibraltar, my life’s partner and my truest companion. Funny how they say you marry your father, and honestly, though very different men, I do see the similarities when I consider how they parent their children. I know that their families come first, no matter what. Their deep love knows no bounds, they find humor in everything, and their unwavering dedication to family is impenetrable. Children are just a part of the fabric of who they are as individuals.
Father’s Day is about how these wonderful men have influenced who I am as a person, as a wife, a daughter, a friend and companion. It’s about acknowledging how they continue to inspire and influence me every day by sharing their love, their support, their honesty and their senses of humor. They’ve spent a lifetime working hard, taking care of their families in any way they could, for the greater good of their kids, without any thought for themselves. They’re an inspiration.
As I watch my husband joke around with his son (which they do often as you can see from the photo above) or as I listen to my father share a glass of wine with my brother, I’m reminded of how fortunate I am to get to spend my days with these crazy guys. I’m so proud to say that I’m Ed’s daughter and so grateful for his kindness and wisdom. And I’m lucky to have Michael as my husband, who not only keeps me laughing every single day but shares his love for his son with me. (oh, I’m never gonna hear the end of it for this corny but TRUE post.)
Everyone knows that mothers are the tireless superheroes, the knowledgeable teachers, the brave healers, the finest five-star chefs (Italian, in my case) and the patient nurturers. Really, what would we do without them? Mothers have the most challenging yet most rewarding job in the world, but a job that is sometimes taken for granted in the everyday hustle and bustle of life. As time passes, and we all walk to the beat of Father Time, each day shared with our mothers should be regarded as more precious than the last.
Mother’s Day in our house has always been special, more than other holidays, in fact, because it’s a day celebrating the heart of the family. This year, the holiday is even more endearing because we are honoring my Mom, Mary Lou, and my Mom’s mom, my 98 year old Grandmother, Lena. (see below for a photo of us). Having three generations living and buzzing around each other on a daily basis is something that I treasure in my soul. It’s a GIFT to have these strong, confident, genuine, loving and festive women in my world. Their presence and inspiration have been, and continue to be, instrumental in both my personal and professional lives.
The stationery business, The Papery, really started with my Grandmother. With her encouragement, her two sons opened the first Papery store in Greenwich, Connecticut, which then spread to many other locations on the East Coast. Carrying on the tradition, ten years ago my mother and I opened a Papery store in Marlton, New Jersey to great success.
In 2003, just three years later, I opened the Philadelphia store in the historic Old City District. My dear mother, Mary Lou, works with me at the store everyday and it’s a blessing to have her! The help and support, and neverending hysterical LAUGHS she provides, keeps me, as well as The Papery staff in good spirits no matter what’s going on in the fast-paced world of stationery! We love her carefree attitude, sense of humor, and sweet tone of innocence. She really does bring a sense of levity to our “home away from home” and it wouldn’t be the same without her.
The International Stationery Show takes place in New York City in just a couple of weeks and it’s been our traditional over the past ten years to make a Mother/Daughter event of it. We travel with our husbands to Manhattan a couple days prior to the show opening to enjoy new restaurants, Broadways shows and shopping excursions before getting down to business. After our fun-packed weekend, the “boys” leave and it’s just my mom and I for three nights together in the Big Apple. We LOVE the Stationery Show and get such fantastic inspiration from seeing all the artists and manufacturers’ new product lines. But the best moments are when we leave the show and just walk around the city with no plan in mind. We ALWAYS manage to come upon the most delicious little Italian restaurants (usually on the Upper East Side). My mom is always sure to start some type of flirtatious conversation with the adorable waiter with the charming accent. We have such a good time that we giggle together like girlfriends all the way back to the hotel.
Sadly, this year will be a bit different. My Mom will only be able to spend one night with me as her mother, Grandma Lena, is about to go into a nursing home. At 98 years of age, and despite being in wonderful physical condition, she’s been suffering from dementia and cannot live on her own anymore. Our entire family is heartbroken and has been struggling with the challenging decision. But, it’s not about us, it’s about what’s best for Lena.
So this Mother’s Day is all about appreciating MEMORIES, TREASURING the past and being HOPEFUL for a long future with our moms and grandmas by our sides.
We love you so very dearly. XO
FINALLY! Welcome to Paper + Passion, our blog designed to share our obsessive love for social stationery, graphic design and clever products. We’re inspired each and every day by life in general but we thrive on challenging, creative projects brought to us by our clients, vendors and friends. In fact, we’re practically busting at the seams with stuff to share and it’s about time too! So drop in and take a look at what we’re designing today. Who knows what we’ll be working on? We could be designing one of our bride’s custom wedding invitations, packaging some amazing party favors, giving advice on appropriate social etiquette, laughing at one of our hilarious greeting cards or finding inspiration from events that take place in our own neighborhood. One never knows what’s happening in our studio but it’s a journey meant to be shared with other paper enthusiasts. So let’s get started, DRUM ROLL PLEASE…..Let’s get passionate about paper together.
Carolyn Brandhorst, Owner + Creative Director
The Papery of Philadelphia