Love Letters

July 22, 2015

I love writing letters. I thrill at the weight of a fine pen in my hand. I feel fizzy with anticipation as I remove a fresh piece of stationery from its box. After years of sending and receiving social correspondence, I can say with some authority that your personal stationery communicates as much about who you are as the words you write.

Learning how to set the table and how to write a thank-you note were the very first lessons in etiquette I remember my mother teaching me as a little girl. Years later when my friends started getting married and the wedding invitations began to roll in, she schooled me in the fine art of a handwritten RSVP (see below for examples).

I will never forget making that special trip to our town’s fine gifts and stationery shop to select my first personalized stationery. Talk about a rite of passage for a southern girl!! Over the years, I’ve curated a list of social stationery essentials every lady should have in her desk.

Up next week:  An assortment of chic accessories to outfit your desk at work or at home!


Boxed Stationery

Bespoke Stationery

Address Stamp

Gift Tags

Notepads and Journals

Variety of Pens in Different Colors


When I got married, I was equally as excited to pick out my personalized stationery as I was to choose my diamond wedding band! Bespoke stationery is still the luxury its always been, but thanks to the wide variety of choices out there today it doesn’t have to be a huge financial investment. Whether you’re shopping for engraved note cards, calling cards or personalized note pads, here are the absolute best online sources for creating your very own bespoke stationery:

Crane & Co.


Mrs. John L. Strong

Paper Source

William Arthur

SuthinGirl’s personal stationery is a heavy white foldover note card featuring a French green and gold monogram by Crane & Co. The envelopes are both engraved with our return address and lined in paper of the same green.


We commissioned renowned artist Heather Young to render this beautiful pen-and-ink drawing of our home which we had printed onto note cards. She is an absolute doll to work with and her online shop, The Ink Lab is one of my very very favorite go-to’s for stationery and gifts!



The Ink Lab Custom Pen and Ink Architectural Drawing of Your Home $250


Perhaps personalized paperie is not your style? Not to worry! There are a bevy of boxed stationery sets worthy of your fine taste and high standards!

MJLS note set

Mrs. John L. Strong Notes $65 for a set of 10


Faux Bois Embossed Stationery Set $16.50 for a set of 10

I adore the fabulous artwork and craftsmanship of Crane & Co. stationery!

crane sample 3

crane sample 5crane sample 4

Crane & Co. Love Bird Note Cards $29 for a box of 15 engraved notes and lined envelopes

Crane & Co. Blue Hydrangea Note Cards $29 for a box of 15 engraved notes and lined envelopes

These William Arthur note cards are not as formal as Crane & Co., cost less and are so cute!

WA sample 1 WA sample 2

William Arthur Macarons Note Cards $20 for a set of 10 lithographed cards with lined envelopes

William Arthur Shoe Soiree Note Cards $16 for a set of 10 lithographed cards with lined envelopes

Anthropologie carries a wide assortment of fabulous Rifle Paper Co. cards.
Love the personality and artwork!

Anthro set 1

Rifle Paper Co. Card Set $18 for a set of 8

anthro set 2 anthro sample 3anthro sample 4

Rifle Paper Co. Cards $6 each


While many wedding invitations include a response card these days, it’s such an elegant, personal touch to send a handwritten note on a piece of your stationery instead.

Here are two basic templates for replying to formal invitations. Be sure to center your response on your stationery as you see in the examples below, always spell out full names – no initials – and the date and time if you are accepting the invitation, and reply to your hosts as promptly as possible.

Mr. and Mrs. John Harrison Clancy / Doctor and Mrs. John Harrison Clancy /
Doctor Catherine Ralston Clancy and Mr. John Harrison Clancy /
Ms. Catherine Ralston Clancy
accept(s) with pleasure
the kind invitation of
Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Hays Chatham
for Saturday, the 25th of July
at seven o’clock in the evening.

Mr. and Mrs. John Harrison Clancy / Doctor and Mrs. John Harrison Clancy /
Doctor Catherine Ralston Clancy and Mr. John Harrison Clancy /
Ms. Catherine Ralston Clancy
regret(s) that they are unable to accept
the kind invitation of
Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Hays Chatham.
When I need etiquette advice and mom’s not answering her phone, I visit Emily Post online!


Oh, what would I ever dooooo without my beautiful return address stamp? A personalized return address stamp is a must for adding a finishing touch to your boxed stationery set. It’s also the simplest and most stylish way to add your address to envelopes containing less exciting correspondence…like bills!

Noteworthy Stamps $40


Lavender Calligraphy $50


FullSizeRender (89)

I love the custom calligraphy address stamps shop owner Laura creates at Lavender Calligraphy. I asked Laura to make my stamp the self-inking style instead of the wood handle type.

Note: Laura is on vacation until August 1. (Custom note card by The Happy Hound.)


Whether graciously gifting a bottle of wine or proffering a pretty present, I prefer composing a short and sweet note onto my personalized gift tag rather than including a larger greeting card.

The Happy Hound is another one of my very favorite shops on Etsy. I’m a long-time customer and really enjoy working with Vickie! Plus, she’s based in North Carolina which makes her a southern girl too!


Personalized Victorian Vintage Gift Tags from The Happy Hound $12.95 for 26 tags

Personalized Napoleonic Bee Gift Tags from The Happy Hound $8.95 for 18 tagsFullSizeRender (91)


We all keep a notes section on our smart phones and computers these days, but nothing replaces ease of jotting down something quickly on a notepad or the accountability of a tangible to-do list. Doodling and letting your mind wander, pen in hand, is when problem solving and creativity abound.

MJLS tablet box

Mrs. John L. Strong Goddess Tablet Box – 3 tablets for $98

Love these! The Goddess Tablet Box by Mrs. John L. Strong contains a set of three classic writing tablets hand engraved with the words Strength, Beauty and Wisdom. $98 (Also available in Social Butterfly Box set and Create Your Own set where you get to choose three tablets yourself from their collection. $98 for each set of 3)

il_570xN.797273797_dgugMore goodies from The Happy Hound! Personalized Family Crest Notepads

$13.98 for a set of two 50-page pads: 8.5″ x 5.25″ & 4.25″ x 5.25″

Amazing value! Great gift item, too! MANY STYLES TO CHOOSE FROM!

NMV28DK_mk NMV28DK_ak

Smythson Leather Manuscript Book 7.5″ x 5.5″ $230 Smythson notebooks are the ultimate in craftsmanship and luxury. If you keep your personal calendar or addresses on paper, you should definitely invest in a Smythson personal diary and address book! Also check out their Travel Journal and Wedding Planner.


Smythson More is More Panama Notebook 5.5″ x 3.5″ $80 Smythson Panama notebooks feature a darling inscription on the cover. Some of my favorites are Blah Blah Blah, Busy Bee and Make It Happen.

anthro journals 235670330_066_b232842809_004_b

Sea Life Journal $12 each

Leather Sagitta Journal $26


Le Pen

Le Pen 18 Color Pen Set $23 ($2 per pen when sold separately) SuthinGirl and her mama have sworn by Le Pens for decades. The rainbow of colors ensures you’ll find the perfect shade to complement your stationery. At $2 per pen, you can’t beat the value! My penmanship always looks amazing thanks to the fine point! See below!


Parker Sonnet Silver and White 5th $210 If you love the look of a fountain pen but don’t enjoy writing with them, the Parker Sonnet 5th may be your new favorite pen! Handcrafted in France, they feature a flexible tip which interacts with the metal hood and adjusts intuitively to the user’s style of writing.

Parker IM Premium Shiney Chrome Silver 5th $80

graf-von-faber-castell-anelloGraf von Faber-Castell Anello Ivory Fountain Pen Medium Point $495 This pen is my everything. I love love writing with fountain pens because they work so well on many different textures of paper.The Anello is also sold in ballpoint ($325) and rollerball ($425) and in black and titanium finishes.


Padrino Fiore White Ball Point Pen $40 ON SALE! $24.99

Padrino Fiore White Roller Ball Pen  $50 ON SALE! $34.99


I took a peek and your desk could use a little freshening up!
Next week I’ll share the gorgeous desk accessories I’ve chosen just for you!


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