Lux Lotus: On Legends & Letters
Some years ago, I did a favor for a psychic and she offered me an intuitive reading in return. I said I’d like it as soon as possible, as I’d received the most important letter. I was in the midst of an affair with a novelist and we’d parted, sadly, a week or so earlier. His short, to-the-point letter reiterated our difference of opinion and our shared hope that we might work it out. We never did, but I always remember the power of that paper, the stamp, my address written out, his signature affixed to his words, outweighing anything a fiber optic cable could deliver, no matter the speed.
Literature is filled with great epistolary exchanges. Perhaps the most famous is Dangerous Liaisons, told entirely through letters, but in terms of the sheer power of a single letter to revive a storyline, I’d have to go with Jane Austen’s Persuasion. The heroine spends the entire novel unsure, and then, with a single missive, it all comes together. I had to pull it off the shelf tonight to reread it, and the opening lines affected me just as they always have: I can listen no longer in silence. I must speak to you by such means as are within my reach. You pierce my soul. I am half agony, half hope. Tell me not that I am too late, that such precious feelings are gone forever…
This past January, I resolved to write more letters, and with my Dempsey & Carroll engraved house stationery, made out to Emily Post’s 1922 specifications –– “Thin white paper, with monogram or address stamped in gray to match gray tissue lining of the envelope is for instance, in very best taste.” –– I have. I write them all out with a beautiful silver pen sent to me by an editor whom I greatly admire, but this one’s nice, too.
After a memorable party, evening, or any other occasion worth noting, it gives me great pleasure to dash off a note to a friend with gratitude for the gift of his or her time. One of my regular correspondents is the novelist Emma Straub, who wrote this year’s marvelous Laura Lamont’s Life in Pictures, about a small town girl who makes good in the Golden Age of Hollywood, and that’s just the beginning.
Emma has sent me many lovely notes for this or that, but one of my favorites came while she was on tour for her book, on hotel stationary from Los Angeles, with her room number charmingly noted as the return address.
Certain letters I can quote from memory, as in one of the only recently famous ones between Marlene Dietrich and Ernest Hemingway –– only ever said to be just friends –– came up at auction and were widely reported on. On June 19, 1950, 4 a.m., said he, “What do you really want to do for a life work? Break everybody’s heart for a dime? You could always break mine for a nickel and I’d bring the nickel.”
Like a swimming pool, the Letters of Noel Coward are irresistibly satisfying to dip into any time. Whether life is up, down, backward or forward, he finds the right words, even when it’s obvious that to do so requires extraordinary effort: BLUE HARBOUR, PORT MARIA, JAMAICA, WEST INDIES, 18th February 1965: “Let me hear from you. Just an ordinary love letter will do.”
Guest blogger Lauren Cerand
Dempsey & Carroll About Town
The event took place in the spectacular south penthouse that floats just above the Upper East Side skyline on the 34th floor. The night was busy with an abundance of fine goods such as Poochclub, GIR spatulas, Gracious Homes, Holly Hunt, and Daryle Preminger.
The finely curated luxury home goods were impossible to resist. Just ask Jen, who went home with 10 GIR spatulas — did you know that they are molded from a single piece of silicone and are heat resistant up to 464 degrees?
All in all, we had a blast and hope to participate in another event soon.
Invitation to High Tea
Mind you, I have never been invited to High Tea with Queen Elizabeth, but I would certainly like to receive an engraved invitation with the seal of the House of Windsor. Important occasions deserve fine invitations. You don’t have to be royalty to use engraved stationery.
In fact, fine stationery and custom invitations create a sense of excitement and anticipation that social media can’t match. Marshall McLuhan was correct when he stated that “The medium is the message.”
If you are planning a wedding, corporate event, or an important anniversary or birthday celebration, I recommend looking at the beautiful papers and delightful motifs of Dempsey & Carroll. Their engraved invitations and personalized stationery add a distinctive element of class to celebrate your event in style.
Don’t wait for an invitation from Queen Elizabeth, invite your friends for High Tea now!
Fierce Dragons on STYLEBEAT
Says blogger Marisa Marcantonio:
“Expect a wild year said the Zodiac. With the Chinese Zodiac Year of The Dragon coming to a close soon, it is interesting to notice how many great dragon designs have been created anew. Fierce, respected, honored, feared and fictitious, the dragon inspires awe and brings good fortune. Why wouldn’t you want some fiery fabulousness in your home?”
Daily Cup of Couture: Much Love for Monograms
Well darlings, for those of you who know me, understand that I have a slight love (almost madness!) for monograms. I have everything monogrammed from my Stubbs & Wootton slippers to my Pickard China. (The beautiful place setting still life to the left comes from Southern Living Magazine.)
I find that stationery is the most classic thing to include one’s monogram and Dempsey & Carroll has the most fabulous selection of custom engraved items! With their vast range of beautiful monograms, there is truly something for everyone. Now, the biggest question is how do I choose between correspondence cards, letter sheets, or folded notes? … Maybe I need them all!
P.S. You can work with one of our designers to create a truly custom monogram if you have a design in mind that you don’t find in our monogram selection. This monogram was inspired by a Rorschach ink blot and is one of my favorites.
Caitlin, thank you so much for your guest posts. You have been a dream to work with and we adore your taste and skill for curation. Come back again soon!
Celebrate Democracy in Style
While many on the East Coast are still reeling from the death and destruction of Hurricane Sandy, life goes on. Citizens across the country will choose our next President and national, state and local government leaders today.
What better way to celebrate this year’s election than with this stunning engraved correspondence card by Dempsey & Carroll featuring the American flag.
Regardless of your political affiliation, this elegantly crafted and engraved card is most certain to pick up everyone’s spirit. Celebrate Election Day in style with engraved stationery. As paper pundits would say, “a hand-written note is worth a thousand tweets.”
Make your voice stand-out in this world of digital chatter with personalized stationery.
P.S. Use code ELECTION2012 until November 30th for free shipping on www.dempseyandcarroll.com!
Our New York Originals Party
If there’s one thing New Yorker’s know how to do, it’s recover quickly and in style. This was on full display last Thursday night as we offered our neighbors a respite from the stress and chaos of Sandy.
Our New York Originals Event was an intimate, lovely neighborhood gathering celebrating New York for what it was, is and will be. Crisp Gala apples from upstate were served with New York cheddar cheese. We poured Big Apple Wine from Wolffer Estate and a couple selections from Millbrook Winery in the Hudson River Region.
A Scrumptious Pumpkin Pairing
We’re relieved Sandy is behind us, so now we can get right back to enjoying the beautiful fall weather in Manhattan. It’ll take more than the biggest storm in a century to keep this city down.
I’m looking forward to the month ahead. Here’s a decadent pumpkin pairing that is perfect to share with those you love. The recipe comes courtesy of Some the Wiser, and you can find our Pumpkin Correspondence here!
Daily Cup of Couture: Soiree to Stationery
Darlings, as you already know, it is always appropriate to send a thoughtful thank-you note after someone has hosted you for any type of soiree! I am always of the mind that it is fun to match your note with the theme or decor of the fabulous fete. A tablescape I absolutely adore is one that incorporates classic ginger jars with lush hydrageas. For a fun and fizzy touch, it is perfect to serve the tiny bottles of Blue Pommery “Pop” Champagne.
The Dempsey & Carroll stationery which matches most perfectly with this type of soiree is the ever-classic and elegant Gold Bumble Bee Correspondence Card on beautiful Dempsey Blue. The peitit size of the card is just enough room for a short yet sincere thank-you.
And for those of you who may not have been on their best behavior, there are always these cheeky Dempsey & Carroll cards …
Dempsey & Carroll Goes South in a Good Way
We are especially thrilled to announce that New York’s favorite stationer is now offered at the unrivaled Paces Papers in Atlanta, Georgia. Their offerings are a pleasure to sift through; every item is carefully curated and the result is a store brimming with elegant surprises. New York should really be closer to Atlanta…