E. Frances Paper
As some of you may know, Caleb is starting kindergarten in the fall, which is terrifying and unbelievable, among other things. Caleb is pretty excited, so I've been using this as an opportunity to blackmail him into doing things he doesn't really want to do. There's been a lot of "you can only go to kindergarten after you learn to tie your shoelaces" or "you have to practise watching your sister so you'll be ready to go to kindergarten." As I navigate the murky waters of over-emotional hysteria, high up on my list of things to do to prepare was to find just the right stationery to leave notes in his lunch box.* And I came across E. Frances Paper, a line of stationery and paper goods. In particular, they make these small notecards with watercolour designs that are just perfect for slipping into a lunch box.
The fronts have space for writing a quick note, and the backs all have cute, matching designs.
Unfortunately, while the paper is stiff and thick, the notecards don't handle fountain pen ink extremely well, so you may want to limit it to fine or extra fine nibs, or maybe try a pencil. These notecards are also perfect for:
- Having in your wallet/bag in case you need to write something down for someone
- Leaving notes for people around your home or workplace
- Using as a bookmark, and making small notes on interesting passages
- Gift tags
- Noting a new address in your snail mail
- Writing the date/time/place after arranging a coffee date with someone to leave with them
- Quotations to hang up on your wall or in your journal
- Slipping a few blank ones into snail mail to include with your letter
- Notes to your child's teacher
But of course E. Frances Paper also makes a bunch of other great stuff. Along with some lovely greeting cards, with sweet and funny designs, which will be up online soon (already available in store), we're carrying notepads. I think it was the pencil one that initially drew me in, but we're carrying a few others as well. These notepads are super thick - 150 sheets - and with great paper for fountain pens, also slightly thick and heavy.
It's a bit hard to catch with a camera, but there's just the slightest texture to the paper, and the paper turns out to be great for fountain pens.
We also got some boxed sets of thank you cards and blank notecards - you can see the whole line here. As a family and as a shop, we've are pretty fortunate to have had plenty of reasons to send out thank you cards in the last few years, and so they're always handy to have around. I didn't make InCoWriMo this year, but I've been sending out more cards and notes in the mail just in general, which feels great, the practice of gratitude and acknowledgement. I have a box of thank you and birthday and blank cards to dig from when needed, and it's nice to keep the supplies fresh.
***In other news, we signed up the family for the YMCA. There are a few locations we can go to on both on the west and the east ends, including the relatively new Cooper Koo location near the Distillery District, which makes sense for us since we've got the main shop on the west end, and we're hoping sometime in the next decade to open our east end studio shop, once our permits finally come through. Rather than just a gym, it's more of a community centre: I love that the YMCA has a pool, along with kids activities like soccer and basketball, and open family play times, with music and play equipment in the gyms. Both Caleb and Naomi enjoy the water, and Caleb is beginning to become more independent in the water, but my favourite is bringing Naomi in. She's just this smiley baby with two tiny teeth, gurgling and laughing and splashing and getting her bald head dunked in the water. They also have this great "child minding" thing where they mind your child for you while you swim or work out. Jon and I tried the child minding for Naomi for the first time the other day, on our Monday off, and it took us literally two hours to get everything we needed, get out the door with the baby, drive 10 minutes and find parking - we went to the Grosvenor location at Yonge and College. While the baby did get a good nap in the car, we're working on shaving that time down a little.
*At this point, Caleb can't read, and I think the plan is for him to come home for lunch, but you know. I'm always looking for good stationery. And good reasons to look for good stationery.