Monday, September 28, 2009

How hard can it be...

... to buy a nice, linen-look old fashioned stationery set?

I still write notes to people from time to time. If I send my stepdaughter a parcel I'll slip a note in. I still have relatives who don't know one end of a computer from another so letters replace emails for them, and if I'm feeling really virtuous and old-fashioned I'll hand write them (often using a fountain pen for the total experience) rather than type them.

Years ago someone gave me a gorgeous linen stationery set: crisp plain white A5 paper, white envelopes lined lusciously with burgundy. I saved it for "best" - you know, the letters to the favourite aunts and so on. But now I'm down to my last sheet.

And do you think I can find anything out there on the big wide interweb to replace it? I thought I'd try eBay but most of the stationery sets there are poxy. No other word for it. Covered in awful bloody graphics and probably thin paper too. I'm not at the age where I want to send a Hello Kitty letter to anyone. And garishly-coloured bunches of flowers don't do it for me either. I then did a google search for all kinds of permutations on 'writing sets', 'stationery', 'recycled paper stationery', 'notepaper', you name it. I tried my usual art stores, the ones I buy pastels and paper at, I tried online gift stores. Nothing suitable or nothing at all.

I found a couple of likely replacements at $60US for 10 sheets and 10 envelopes, but my love for my steam-powered relations doesn't quite reach that far, even though the paper ticked all the boxes for quality, colour, texture and plainness of design. There's a supplier in Tasmania who has some good looking papers on recycled stock (including Roo Poo. I thought I'd seen it all in the World of Paper today, but that's even more exotic than elephant dung) which I've bookmarked.

You might ask at this point why I don't get out on my own two feet and find a shop, but the cost of driving (and the time cost of public transport as an alternative) to get to the Sydney CBD or other likely places that might sell beautiful writing paper outweighs the cost of buying online and paying postage. Where I live the shops aren't exactly aimed at the creatively-minded or those with a penchant for posh paper.

Disgruntled, I remembered about an hour ago I had some remaindered A4 thick creamy paper from a job I did in the corporate world ten years ago. It was bought for a tender response, and left over when the response was completed. Nobody wanted it...there wasn't enough left to do anything meaningful with. I pulled it out of my bookshelf and while some sheets are a little foxed near the edges, most of it is OK. Sadly it's not linen or textured, but it's thick and feels expensive. I have a paper guillotine in the garage.... so I think I've solved my problem. And I can get envelopes that sorta kinda match at 10 for $2 on eBay. So all is well with the world again.

Now I just have to unclog my fountain pen :-).

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