I give and send a lot of cards. If there's an occasion to celebrate, I do with a card. It's the best way I know to let those both near and far that I'm thinking of them.
But lately it's been extremely difficult to find great cards at shops near me. I had three friends move into new places this month alone and it was close to impossible to get a great card to mark the occasion.
That's why I looked further afield and fell hard for with Australia's Olive and the Volcano.
This letterpress and print studio is located in the Tweed Valley hinterland of Northern NSW Australia in a place called Doon Doon.
Their handcrafted paper goods and printed matter includes everything from greeting cards to gift tags, notebooks to garlands and bunting. Even custom letterpress and fabric notebook sleeves. They work from their vintage press in a solar powered studio.
Thank god they ship internationally.
The thick paper has a fantastic heft - now this is a card of note - and silky texture. The feel alone is completely lush. Many of the cards I received were made with Wild 300gsm 35% cotton & 65% sustainable plantation. And the depth of impressions is impressive. Some are so deep, it feels like braille in reverse. Even the envelopes are made of strudy kraft paper, and if you're a design person, you'll get this - the back flap is one of the nicest I've ever seen (pictured here, but without the beetle).
Their graphic cards are striking and colourful, yet minimalist with a nod to Swedish modern design. I love the stylish blank cards from the Dwell Collection such as Nowhere Somewhere, Big Sky Little Cabin and Hidden House. In these, I not only found the perfect modern new home cards, but ones I can use for any occasion.
There are others too. Boots Love is so sweet, I dare your eyes not to dampen. And the Canopy Collection are wildly attractive and contemporary, which is why you've got to get a stack of these Condolences cards. And while you're at it, get a bunch of Thank You, Congrats and Sorry cards. Because you know damn well, you're going to need 'em and you won't find great ones like this at the mall.
Which is why you should get the insanely gorgeous, unbelievably awesome Canopy Collection Gift Set (pictured above). It has everything you've ever wanted and more. Drool.
See those notebooks tucked in between the cards? You're going to want to get a whack of these too, both for yourself and for gifts.
These one-of-a-kind, hand-painted cyanotype notebooks like this one - OOAK Cyanotype A5 Size Notebook 003 - boasts blues that range from blue jean to night sky, prussian to Portuguese hand-painted plateware. I leave it out on my desk not just for easy access but so that I can see it all the time. In fact, it's so swoon-worthy, I'm going to tear it off and frame it when the pages are filled.
The soft cover has the signature Olive and the Volcano weight to it that gives it gravitas. A blend of soft cotton and sustainably harvested fibres also delivers a stunning texture, slightly rippled but never bumpy or rough. Rounded corners and in-house machine stitching give this handcrafted 14.5 x 20.5cm notebook a breathtaking finish.
Ooh, 70gsm 100% recycled paper is phenomenal to write on - it has a softness and slight give to it that slows your writing and improves your penmanship (very much needed in my case). What I can't get over is that the 80 blank pages can be completely transformed with lines and/or grids thanks to their little writing guide that you just slip under the page. I do not buy blank notebooks because I need lines to follow, but I would if they would simply add in this amazing feature like the brilliant Jo and Andy Olive of Olive and the Volcano have. This changes everything!
You simply got to shop Olive and the Volcano right now. Because handmade cards and notebooks this extraordinary deserve a good home.