It's always a weird week when there's a holiday, but especially so when it's in the middle of the week. But, we're finally at the weekend, and I hope you're spending it strolling about in this summer weather. Exciting things have happened this week: now that we've begun carrying Parker, I got a Parker Sonnet - I got the Brown Rubber Lacquer finish (a brown pen! How could I resist.), and it's my new favourite pen, I just can't stop writing with it. I've been writing nonsense words and doodling on post-it notes and invoices basically non-stop for the last week. The brown version comes with a gold nib which is pretty soft as far as regular gold nibs go (it's not a semi flex or even "soft-fine" kind of gold nib, just a standard gold nib with some spring), and it's been such a surprise as being such a wonderful writer! I'm not sure why I was so surprised, although it's probably has something to do with the fact that I picked it because it's brown and not to do with how I thought it might write... It's the perfect size and weight and the nib is responsive and wet, and it has that classic look and shape, while still being kind of interesting-looking. I think we may try to bring some into the shop, although I'm not sure on the timeline for that. If you are interested, we can always special order one for you - there are some with gold nibs and some with steel nibs. I've been trying to convince Jon we need to carry this pen regularly, and not just because I think I need a dark grey one. (But will that be too close to the brown?? How will I tell them apart! Oh, the decisions...) Additionally, I discovered Washi Tape. In case you didn't know, it's possible to run a stationery shop for two years and not have any washi tape, but not for much longer. I now have some pink tape with dinosaurs on it. Just what you need to be taken seriously by your accountant. But really, what I'm writing about today is the arrival of a new product for us: glassine envelopes. We have two sizes in packs of 20 - a larger 6 x 3.5 inch one and a smaller 4.25 x 2.5 one. These thin, translucent, kind of crinkly envelopes are the ones that you might know from stamps. These days, Canada Post stamps are mostly the peel and stick kind that come in a booklet, rather than with the gummed back that you have to lick, so you don't really need a glassine envelope to hold them, but in "the olden days" the glassine material prevented the gummed backs of stamps from sticking to the paper and also protected against moisture, air and grease. Now, glassine envelopes are used to protect items or things against water, for example in pharmacies to hold drugs, to store specimens, firecrackers, vintage stamps or photographs. The possibilities are endless: - as favours to contain cards, notes or pictures at a wedding or shower - to separate or sort items and prevent damage from moisture, like photographs or stamps - to hold seeds for gardening - contain tickets, or a cash or cheque gift in a greeting card for a wedding or birthday - place dried or pressed flowers inside, and then keep them inside of a book (which prevents any residual moisture or pollen from damaging the pages of your book) - save important magazine or newspaper clippings - vintage ephemera, like old ticket stubs, labels, old postcards, tarot cards, or other flea market finds - bits of confetti or rice for a wedding or celebration - loose leaf tea - jasmine or dried lavender as scents - fortune teller fish! If you're tucking them away somewhere like in a book or folder, you don't need to seal them shut, but you can keep them closed with a bit of washi tape (!) or some sealing wax. But my favourite thing for these glassine envelopes is to use them to hold small tokens or gifts, and then include the glassine envelope with your letter to mail. These enclosures can just make your letter a bit more special for the recipient. You can include vintage stamps, pressed or dried flowers, photographs or polaroid pictures, a recipe card or magazine article of interest, your favourite tea bag to send as an enclosure to the recipient. The glassine envelope will also make sure ink or marks don't smudge onto the items, keep your items together, and are just that extra touch. These glassine envelopes add a vintage or old-style air to whatever you're doing, but are also very practical for protecting your small and precious items against damage. The smaller size is perfect for stamps, tags or other small items, and the larger size is good for cards, notes, photos or other bigger items. And on that note, just a reminder that we also have our Letter Writing Club coming up next weekend, so mark your calendars! Sunday, July 12th from 2-4 pm here at the shop 250 Carlaw Ave Unit 105 - no cost, writing supplies provided, coffee, tea and treats, bring addresses and maybe a friend. Hope to see you there!