Monday, December 20, 2010


Dear Reader -  I'm really (really) excited about the card lines that we're planning to carry at biblion. We've worked hard to build an assemblage of beautiful, thoughtful, quirky, cute, and funny ones. And I decided I'd give you a little foretaste, telling you about some of the designers that we've found in a series of posts.

The first thing that you need to know is that I come from a long line of card-reservers*. My mother was one (she was so organized about it all that her box of spare cards was organized by her very own file of occasions). And her mother was one, too - though her cards were always kept in a box:

A Komfort Kings box (please read their tag line and please, please tell me that you'll talk me off the wall if I ever decide to pursue a marketing slogan using alternate spellings):

When I was a little girl I would spend hours sifting through Grandma's and mom's card boxes. I loved them. Who could resist the charming graphics, the sprinkles of glitter, the witty sayings:

I also had a major thing for the button tin that my mom kept, too - it had three or four generations of buttons in it - I, again, would play with them for hours - sorting, anthropomorphizing, etc., etc.. I loved her cards, and I loved those buttons. So you can understand, Reader, how sad I was when I learned that all of my mom's treasures that I'd played with as a girl - her buttons, her cards, her jewelry boxes full of generations of pieces, and her closet of very uniquely-Judy (that was her name) clothing all disappeared one day when my mom's cleaning lady and my brother's wife decided to clear out her stuff from the house to make things easier on my dad. Just one of those things I had to mourn for an instant and then release (kinda like the spring morning of my childhood when I woke to find that my treasured collection of panoramic sugar Easter eggs had all dissolved on my dresser overnight, stolen by the the warmed and moistened Kansas breeze that drifted through our open windows).

I, too, have my own collection. I'm more like my grandmother, just keeping them all piled together in a bag and box. But I know each one by heart.

So when it came time to go looking for card lines for biblion, the first place I went to search was my own box, turning over each card to find its maker and then heading to my computer to find them.
 I particularly love the one in the middle, from a line made in Bath, England, that I found and procured many years ago. I quickly found that they were no longer in business, but I really wanted to carry cards with quotes from authors and thinkers and the like, so I set out on a Google search.

What I found was a little outfit up in Blue Hill, Maine, called Borealis Press (if you click on the Buying Borealis tab at the top of their website, you can see some of the cards)

I fell in love with them instantly - and not just 'cause they have cool, well-priced cards.

They're up in the middle of nearly nowhere (not unlike us):

And they're the ultimate small-town-small-shop endeavor. Settled in this little coastal town, they're working with a very sane and simple business model, sustainably creating sustainable products. Very happy.

Here's where they live and work:


They're exactly the kind of people that, just by being themselves, make me feel good about carrying their products.

And, as providence would have it, once I'd discovered them along this path, I just kept finding more and more folks of the same ilk. More for later  - Jen

*Card-reservers are those folks who buy cards that they like and keep them in reserve for just the right occasion.


  1. I have relatives in Blue Hill,'s a charming town...can't wait to see the cards you will stock. (I, too, am a card reserver!)

  2. Pat! You win the PRIZE! The first comment prize! How 'bout we make it a book?! [grin] - Jen

    P.S. Nice to find a like-minded soul.

  3. I am also a card reserver and had already thought that I would look through my collection for you -- and now that I've read this blog, I will! I already am a fan of Borealis Press -- good choice!

    Sometimes when I look through my cards for one that I need at the "last minute", I may find a card that is right for the person/occasion but I have to confess that there have been many times when I think that that particular card is so special that I can't part w/ it. A habit formed before the days of Google when it wasn't so easy to find out how easily available the cards might be.

    Do I get a prize for the longest comment so far? ;-)

  4. Anonymous - Thanks for the affirmation of our Blue Hill friends! Can't wait to see what card lines you come up with in your reserve box (bag? highly-organized file? random pile?) adventures!

    Now, about that prize . . . while I do appreciate and enjoy your diving in and joining in the play here, I suppose we need to set the standards/boundaries here pretty clearly early on: I am hereby deciding that this is NOT going to be one of those "everybody gets a trophy" kind of cultures. [another grin]

    Some of us, I'm afraid, will just have to be losers sometimes. And alas, my dear anonymous, if verbose, friend, you have now officially lost this prize opportunity.

    But stay tuned - you never know when I could toss out another opportunity in the days, weeks, and months ahead! - Jen

  5. Jen...I don't need a prize for commenting. I was just so tickled to see the charming little town of Blue Hill mentioned (and the fact that you are getting cards from Borealis up there) that I just had to comment!!!

  6. I love that about you, Pat! But fair is fair - and, who knows, maybe I'll come across a long-lost, rare volume on the art of bell ringing that's just perfect for your unselfinterestedly-spontaneously-commenting self! [grin] - J


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