Comments 7

Pop Up Party! Happy Mail Happy Hour

Sitting in a cafe exchanging ideas about creating content, technical challenges, general practices, and upcoming goals, I told my blog buddy that I’d been wanting to host another #happymailhappyhour but the logistics and timing of it had proved tricky this time of year.   Continuing to discover more paper brands and itching to plan a casual girls’ get together, as I love to do now and then, she reassured me something small would work perfectly.  I told her, “You know what?  Let’s just do it.  Let’s have another one, a  small one the week after next.  We can do it potluck paper style, and well … I can figure out the rest.”  So we did.
While exchanging a few gorgeous notes with letter pressing gem, Allison, of Ink Meets Paper last September,  I kept in mind that her co-creator/ husband, Daniel, and she were more than happy to contribute to my next #happymailhappyhour in some way.  Is there any doubt why this brand was a recent Martha Stewart American Made Finalist?  They generously sent these popular postcards for guests with my order of friendship cards.
Photo by bp.
My next plan of action was to buy more gel pens at Maido because none of the other twenty plus pens I have from Paper Source and Tokyu Hands   had the exact pen tip I needed in bronze nor the rose gold color I desired to use for my thank you notes.  It’s not just the paper that counts, but the pens have to feel good and look great too, if you want to get down to some serious writing.  That’s MY excuse.  
Testing pens is a psychological exercise.  Read my mind on their testing sheet.  Photo by bp.
Guests were instructed to meet at the cafe at six o’clock, but two of us arrived an hour early to  grab the communal table in back.  No reservations, no talking with the manager, which for a rule abiding, reservations making, minimum order worrying person like me was a slight thrill.  Relax, I told myself, it’s a semi public place for goodness sake, where people come to work, meet and eat. Besides, it’s not a library.
The communal table was the object of my affection for the event.  I don’t know what that girl is stressed about -writer issues?   Photo by bp
We got to work, (Pop-Up Style!) as each person arrived with her sharable stationery stash in tow such as handmade pieces, Rifle Paper Co.,  Garance Dore (c/o Rifle Paper, natch), and other various brands. My choice contribution included my favorite, JulieAnnArt (Boom.Manners.), the ever classic and stylish FermeAPapier (Merci), and new hot picks InkMeetsPaper (Grateful You’re My Friend & Happy Thoughts),  and the perfect acorn card from the graphically eclectic LittleArrowStudio (Give Thanks).  I also brought some Egg Press (orange letterpressed#write_on cards from their collaborative project with Hello Lucky.
Top L-R: Communal stash; my picks from FermeAPapier, JulieAnnArt, InkMeetsPaper, LittleArrow & EggPress/HelloLucky.  Bottom: Yes To Carrots says yes to #happymailhappyhour too!  SO generous!   Photos by bp
The servers at the cafe were amused, “Are you girls writing cards?  That’s so cute!”  After serving plate after plate of caprese or turkey sandwiches and salads, I was relieved that we definitely were going to be able to tuck in for the evening, and that the creative and convivial vibe could commence.  I declared the theme for the #happymailhappyhour:  Gratefulness and Thanksgiving, a time to write to those you want to thank for a simple pleasure, a grand gesture, or even a long overdue love letter.  Need we really have a reason?   We were all grateful to the delightful Connected Carrot  for the surprise Yes To Carrots products she brought for the group!  The cleansers, lotions, eye creams, spot treatments, and FACE WIPES (I am a coconut wipes fan here) made us nearly as nuts at the end of the night as when we started sorting through the stationery three hours earlier – Total comedy.
MontgomeryFest and Carla of AlyssaandCarla getting busy as a Garance muse looks on beneath a bowl of coffee.
Photos by Lila of LingeringDayDreams
@_lovelyletters_ came to play hard.  A full box of paper and her calligraphy set in hand, she practiced her perfect lettering while I scribble scrabbled away in my cards.  I should have had her at least address one my envelopes to offset my poor hand, or would that have made it more obvious?  There was a collective gasp when some macaroon cream plopped onto one of her pages.  “It’s fine, I’m only practicing,” she laughed.  If she were in my high school calligraphy class I may have tried submitting her ‘practice page’ as my final project.
@_lovelyletters_ and her lovely writing
Photos by Lila of LingeringDayDreams
Writing a note for my neighbor.  Yes, I smile a lot, unless I’m deep in thought.  Smiling’s my favorite.
The freaking rockstar bad a$$ DIYer herself, Lila, finally in front of the lens as Ashlee is working behind hers.
Photo by bp.
The Connected Carrot (with a hot cup and a hot mani) and her macaroon stack.  Washi tape and Lila’s handmade cards.
Photos by Lila of LingeringDayDreams
Happiness at #happymailhappyhour

It’s only been two days and already I am imagining the next time.  I love bringing together varied friends who connect so easily over a shared interest as simple as snail mail and stationery (and beauty products – surprise or not).  A girl date during a mid week San Francisco downpour sets the stage very well, don’t you think?   The key to any recipe is always in the ingredients.  This pop up paper party is a recipe worth repeating.

Are there any card lines out there you would share if you were there?  Let’s talk about it in the comments below!


  1. Thank you! I know each time we will only have even more fun! It's all in the paper and people mix 😉

  2. oh man. so many things. I'm grateful for our blog buddy café chats. I have all of my photos edited and I never sent them to you! but these are fab..mine wouldn't have done this post justice. I'm pretty sure “…as a Garance muse looks on beneath a bowl of coffee.” is the most eloquent photo caption in the history of photo captions. but, seriously. it's a bowl. I'm afraid your secret hideaway is known to the world now, thanks for sharing with us 😉 that last photo cracks me up – the ridiculous expression I'm sharing with you is directly correlated with how much fun that night was!!

  3. Hey Annie! Thank you for that. I would still like to see your pictures one of these days! Everyone has a different perspective that is important and interesting! Stay happy!!!!

  4. So much fun. Worth saying again. So so so much fun! I just loved being there and what a wonderful group. Thank you so much for organizing. I can't wait for another opportunity to gather!

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