Tanabata Tales July 07 2010

Another Japanese tradition that uses paper! July 7th is when the Tanabata or the Star Festival ocurrs in Japan. This event is based on a Chinese legend, in which, Kengyuu (the star Alter) meets Orihime (the star Vega) only once a year on this day over the Milky Way. People celebrate the legend by putting up big branches of bamboo with colorful decorations in their homes or out in public places. They write a wish or prayer on a strip of paper and hang it from a green bamboo branch. Many cities, such as Sendai and Hiratsuka, also celebrate this event by rigging up huge green bamboo branches in the main streets, and then hang elaborate paper decorations from them, which causes them to bow low to the ground. See photo above. Here's a sweet, hand-printed Tanabata image on Japanese kozo paper,... of course!

Feels Like New July 07 2010

NYC was wonderful in so many ways. At the National Stationery Show, I reconnected with some favorite customers and it was great to see familiar faces. Oblation recently requested these kites, which, in the frenzy of selling paper in sheets, I sometimes forget about.... These ARE really special; they feel like a new arrival. Or maybe I'm just seeing them with new eyes? I thought: time to RE-show more of those types of unique products here at Paper Connection.

What do you think?

Amazing Talent by our Paperwomen June 10 2010

As some of you know, we have many talented ladies working here at Paper Connection. So what happens when one paperwoman asks another to create a wedding box for her big day? Voila!
Our trusty Deb made this wonderful box to hold cards and well wishes out of our Japanese Yuzen and Lokta from Nepal. Our blushing bride Jeri was very pleased, and we were all amazed at Deb's latest work of art.
BRAVO to our paperwomen! Can't wait for the big day!

New York, New York May 10 2010

May is a great time to head to the city. The weather was perfect last week- dry, sunny. Here's the May sky at Lexington around 30th Street.

Was in NYC for a networking event called "Rock the World" sponsored by the on-line, woman's entrepreneur group called Savor the Success, with my RI associate, Joan M. from Cicione Studios.

May 5th: Lisa Price, Poppy King and Taryn Rose; the experienced business women who spoke in the morning, were a great inspiration; each one with a "in the beginning" or " in my garage" story to relay.

The real-life interactions between on-line networkers was no less than fascinating. Things got REAL exciting, in the afternoon, when Michael Gerber, author of the E-Myth, generously spoke about his long life experiences, slowly yanking off the audience's business-blinders; blinders which we "wear" tightly wrapped around our cluttered, little heads, in order to bring us back to the here and now of REALity... Mr. Gerber is a very present, grounded individual indeed. Mid-May: Back to NYC for the Stationery Show at the Jacob Javits Center-will take photos if they allow it! DONT FORGET TO SAVE THE DATE for our Paper & Fabric trunk show at 133 W. 25th Street (btw 6&7th above the Quilt Shop). Luscious paper goods plus a yummy salad of fabrics and cute tees for sale from 10:30am -5pm, Thursday May 20th- wow! that's already next week!

Believe It or Not... April 28 2010

You can do letterpress on handmade, Asian paper! Despite its thin countenance, Japanese papers can hold their own against the letterpress machine. Simply set your pressure higher as you press and the letters and/or images come out as they would on your usual Western paper, except with a unique surface that comes only from these special papers made from wood-free (bast) fibers.

Above is an extra heavy weight white Kozo paper (M-0207-#3) with a letterpress image, made by Lois Harada, a graduate student at RISD- (Rhode Island School of Design). Remember that even though this sheet is extra heavy weight, it doesn't need to be- It's stronger than it looks. Kozo paper, in particular, has more wet-strength than a cotton paper. Below are some images of instructor Dan Wood's April 2010 letterpress course at RISD.

Paper and Prints in Philadelphia April 01 2010

Just back from Philly after attending the annual Southern Graphics Conference 2010. What a great show, full of great people, and innovative ideas for printmaking. Check out the fun here. Backed Gampi, of course, was a hit, as well as our exclusive Laurelai and An-Jing papers...we loved hearing the feedback from those who bought our papers at last year's show. Any more comments we would love to hear! Thanks everyone at SGC for creating another memorable event.

Going Back "home" March 02 2010

Still not sure which is which: Japan or the USA, but the timing seems just about right to depart from one home or the other. My other self gradually gets unpacked upon arrival: paperwoman: the (mainly) researcher in Japan and paperwoman: the teacher/marketeer back in the US. This was a few days ago at a friend/client's in Japan:
Now, I'm between homes.. this week here in the Lone Star State: Texas Nonetheless, I won't be a "lone star"! Together with my long time client and friend, Joan Son; an amazing paper artist, both morning and afternoon on March 4th in Houston I will do a talk and slide presentation on how Japanese paper is made: From Fiber to Finish, followed by an Origami Demo by Joan, at Texas Art Supply on Montrose:
Yesterday, I saw Joan's incredible paper robes in person at her studio- unbelievable! and she used our exclusive Laurelai Designs in this stunning piece shown to the left. For more of Joan's incredible work in paper, check out her website:

Redundant Language for thought January 12 2010

Just thinking about those funny redundancies (tautology rhetoric) in English that we use or hear everyday?

ATM machine M=machine, PIN number N=number, UPC code C=code, RAM memory M=memory, OR chai tea, chai=tea, ramen noodle, men=noodle, and last but not least, washi paper -shi=paper

Can you add to this list?

Our paper as seen in Oprah Magazine Dec. 09 December 12 2009

Great article about giving, and of course, our beautiful, in-house designed Laurelai paper used in the lay-out. SUPER combo! Thanks "O".

2009 SummERized: October 06 2009

Our Great Land of Diversity What did I do over summer vacation? It started off with......perfect weather days in Rhode Island. Visiting some Wamponaog old acquaintances on Martha's Vineyard in Aquinnah. Having spent many summers here as a youth I couldn't help but reminisce with the salt air, breathtaking ocean views. It was great to create new memories on this unique island.
I'm well aware that I'm one of those fortunate people who has traveled many times out of the US. But this summer I was able to travel inside the US, and I was struck by the diverse cultures and land masses which make up this vast country of ours.
188A quick visit to the Big Apple; there's no other place like it!192 Finally, at the end of the summer season we ended up with a memorable trip to New Mexico.
Early Sun in Santa Fe
Santa Fe is a concentrated artist community where many transplants from the East have settled. No doubt they were lured by the inspirational district and colors of the landscapes there. Although we had work to do (the Artisan expo), I was more excited to take in everything the desert had to offer. I had never been here before, and was ready to be inspired myself.
Perfect combo
How can one not be inspired by the long history and culture of all its native peoples, all the Mexican folk art and stunning New Mexican sky-scapes?
New Mexico 09.09 111
Looking forward to the changing color of leaves back in New England. What an AMAZINGLY diverse country! That's what makes the USA so unique.