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Halloween Preening

10.24.2018

It’s that time of year. Days are getting shorter, leaves are falling, there’s a chill in the morning air and a chance of spotting ghosts after dark. Halloween is pumpkin spice and costumes naughty-and-nice, trick-or-treating and candy corn eating. It’s apple-bobbing and gravestones rocking in the dead of night. At Elūm we love a holiday that allows us to be someone else for a day. We get to dress up, tell spooky tales around the fire, believe in vampires and do the monster mash. We’ve put together a list of seven scary good things to wear, drink, do and decorate with this season. Let’s throw a party and have some fun!

1. Host a Seyoncé. Yes, that’s what we said: a mashup of a Girls Run The World night and a seance. With Beyoncé on the soundtrack and red wine in old fashioned crystal glasses, gather around the dining table with your girlfriends. Turn down the lights, unfold your Ouija Board, ask everyone present to put a hand on the planchette (the floaty thing), and whisper the time-honored question, “Is anybody out there?” Even if the spirits choose not to visit, you and your gal pals will still be slayin’ it with Queen B. #seyoncé

2. Bake a batch of Halloween Cupcakes. Don’t sweat how they turn out, frosting is our friend. It’s like a hat on a bad hair day: no one can be sure what’s happening beneath it. Buy orange and purple food coloring and use them. Get battered up and creative. Dots of frosting on toothpicks can become eyes on stalks, and don’t get us started on all the crazy things you can do with pretzels.

3. Speaking of pretzels, put together a fearsome Halloween Buffet. You’ll be starting with devilled eggs, of course! And you can never go wrong with finger foods. Get into the spirit of the season and embrace your inner ghoul. A simple platter of deli meat can become Long Cold In The Grave Cuts if decorated with olive eyeballs. And let’s cook a few dishes for their names alone, like British favorites Toad in the Hole, Bubble and Squeak, and Black Pudding (hint, it’s not even close to pudding or dessert). #britishfoodlove

4. Channel your inner bartender and get some bloodcurdling cocktails going. Add a splash of blueberry juice to turn this Yellow Rattler into your very own Purple Bone Rattler. Check out The Chunky Chef’s delightfully dreadful Poisoned Apple Cider Cocktail, and don’t forget that old classic standby, the Zombie Apocalypse. If you want to keep it simple you can turn just about any drink—lemonade, iced tea, white wine, gin and tonic etc—into a darkly dread creation by adding a shot of pomegranate juice and garnishing with impaled cherries on Halloween cocktail sticks.

5. Embrace hair-raising decorations. Carve pumpkins, stock up on gourds, bedeck your halls and yards with string lights. Head to your nearest TJMAXX, Home Goods or Marshalls to stock up on our Halloween gift bags and plates. This is the one time of year we get to free our inner freak. There is no such thing as overdoing Halloween. If you want a demon girl on a rocking horse on your front porch, we say go for it. Though we have to admit she’s pretty darn freaky when she starts moving. #freethefreak

6. It’s getting darker earlier and we all know what that means: more time to Netflix and chill. Watch the Netflix original series The Haunting Of Hill House. It’s so scary the master of horror himself, Stephen King, called it, “Close to a work of genius.” Heat some popcorn on the stove and snuggle with your SO as you stream I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House. The movie’s opening line will have you hooked: “I have heard myself say that a house with a death in it can never again be bought or sold by the living. It can only be borrowed from the ghosts that have stayed behind.” Yep, we’ll take some of that. #scarymovie

7. Dress despicably. Whether you want to be one of the headless horsemen of the apocalypse, Jessica Rabbit, Snow White or Elvis we say GO FOR IT! Goofy, punny, sexy or sweet: it’s the mix of costumes and personality that make Halloween so crazy amazing. And why stop at decorating our bodies, when we can bedazzle and customize our faces as well? Check out the mesmerizing Ida Elina, Cassy Lloyd Fox and Ah Its Rosa to see Halloween make up slam-dunked.

Most of all Halloween is a time to let loose and have fun, and our Elum crew wishes you all the devilish delights of the season. Now go dress up and be bad. #baddressup

Sharing The Local Love

10.15.2018

Our iconic Local Love Greetings Cards have been receiving a lot of #stationerylove recently. We’re thrilled they’re having a moment and are full sending that love back to you. Part postcard, part retro fun: we created Local Love as a way of showing pride in your state. To celebrate our ongoing series, we’ve created our very own Elūm Local Love Guide to highlight some of the fiercest things to do in each of our featured states. Hang on to your hats, apples, sunglasses, oranges and pilgrims: our foot’s on the gas and we’re about to get stately.

 

FLORIDA

Where To Go

Sanibel Island. Bicycle friendly trails, seashell-strewn beaches and pink flamingoes: we’re in! This gorgeous barrier island is part nature sanctuary, part seal-the-deal classic Floridian fun.

What To Eat

It’s an established fact that it’s impossible to say the words “Cuban sandwich” without your mouth watering. Head to Bodega in St. Petersburg to satisfy your craving for Latin street food and oh-so-sweet Cuban espresso.

What To Wear

Color shy need not apply. Florida fashionistas are lighting up the internet with bold prints, neons, and super-saturated hues. We can’t get enough of Danié Gómez-O, Cayleth Vivas and Ariana Pierce.

What To Listen To

Don’t fight the heat. Miami born and bred Jason Derulo makes being hot look cool.

 

MASSACHUSETTS

Where To Go

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Because we can’t get enough of girls in science. We have major girl crushes on MIT professor Neri Oxman and MIT alums Andrea Wong and Sampriti Bhattacharyya. So next time you’re in Boston take a stroll around the MIT campus, stop for coffee at the museum, watch students playing with robots and get inspired. #girlnerds

What To Eat

Hungry? Head north to Hyannis and claim an outdoor table at Spanky’s Clam Shack. An ice cold beer, a lobster roll and a view across the harbor should do the trick.

What To Wear

It’s Fall, pack a coat. Don’t take our word for it though, style-file these awesome Bay Staters who are serving some serious sartorial satisfaction. Christie Ashley, Lisa Jean Francois and Gretchen Adams-Burke.

What To Listen To

Fire up the classic disco. Stream Boston-born legend Donna Summer calling out the Bad Girls. Yeah, that’s us! #elumbadgirls

 

NEW YORK

Where To Go

The Adirondacks just might be NY State’s biggest secret. Get your outdoor game on and kayak across Mirror Lake, trail run through the ferns in Lake Placid, and hike one of the 46 peaks.

What To Eat

Hit up Di Fara in Brooklyn for the best slice of pizza in the city and watch the owner, Domenico De Marco, hand-cut the basil topping right in front of you. Afterward head north to Fishkill Farms to pick your own apples and enjoy a glass of home-made hard cider in their Cider Garden.

What To Wear

Bring your A game. New York City isn’t known as the fashion capital of the US for nothing. Study Instagram badasses Janelle Marie Llyod, Natalie Lim Suarez and Kelly Augustine to see NY style done right.

What To Listen To

If anywhere has a soundtrack it’s New York. Download Jay Z to put yourself in the perfect Empire State of Mind.

 

TEXAS

Where To Go

Everything’s happening at the Riverwalk in San Antonio. Take a gondola ride along the river and float under charming stone bridges, past historical missions, outdoor cafes and waterfalls. At night the Riverwalk is lit by thousands of twinkling lights and filled with the music of flamenco guitars. #texasromance

What To Eat

Anchor your barge at Boudro’s, sit on their cobbled patio and enjoy the people-watching as you sip on ice cold prickly pear margaritas and nibble on warm tortilla chips and guacamole.

What To Wear

A little bit country, a little bit ladylike and a whole lot of chic. Texas girls are killing us right now with their stylin’. Check out Alice Kerley, Olivia Watson-Printy and Jane Ko to see Texas style the way it was meant to be.

What To Listen To

Queen B, of course. Wifey to Jay Z and everyone’s favorite diva, Beyonce is Houston born and bred.

 

CALIFORNIA

Where To Go

We may be biased here, but we’re going with San Diego. Sun, surfers, skateboarders, swamis, Top Guns and bitchin’ smoothies: yep, that us. Come on down, we’ll show you around.

What To Eat

We believe the taco should be its own food group. We love them so much we made them a couple of cards. We’d send it to them if we had their address. For some of the best fish tacos in California run, do not walk, to Oscar’s Mexican Seafood.

What To Wear

Athleisure. Comfortable, stretchy and body-con without fuss, California girls are the driving force behind this gym/street mashup. Check out Michelle Carigma, Adrianne Ho and Massy Arias to ace the look.

What To Listen To

California Gurls by Katy Perry and California Girls by the Beach Boys, what else? We’re all Cali girls at heart here at Elum! #caligirls

 

Tell us your favorite places to go in the comments below!

2018 Back-to-School Essentials

8.06.2018

It’s that time of year. Summer is rolling out her final glorious month while Labor Day looms large on the horizon. Before we know it we’ll be back to school, back to the office and Hello Work Week. Our color palettes are switching from watermelon pink and lemon yellow to burgundy, burnished gold and midnight blue, and our minds are turning to freshly sharpened pencils, crisp notebooks and office supplies. Back to school is the unofficial turning point of the year, gently pirouetting us from the lazy-hazy days of late summer toward the exciting bustle of fall. This is one of our favorite times of year at Elūm so we’ve made a list of our Seven Back-to-School Essentials.

1. Organize your work space with an adorable desk set. We designed an exclusive back to school collection for Anthropologie that includes all your office essentials. Whether it’s color-blocked file folders in swoon-worthy rose red and baby blue, a pistachio daily schedule, or a bounty of geometric paper clips our chic color-contrasting Ledger Collection will help you update and freshen your desk.

SHOP THE BTS COLLECTION EXCLUSIVELY AT ANTHROPOLOGIE

 

2. Let there be light. With nights drawing in we’re turning on our desk lamps earlier in the work day. Oprah’s favorite designer Nate Burkas says lighting, “should be like your favorite Instagram filter: Warm, flattering, and prepared to make you feel more confident than ever!” We couldn’t agree more which is why we love Brightech’s Circle Lamp. It’s form meets function personified, a radiant work of art that will illuminate you and your workspace like a personal spotlight.

3. Sharpen your pencil collection. Who doesn’t love a freshly sharpened brand new pencil? It’s an invitation to write, sketch and compose. Palomino’s Blackwing 602 is an icon. Hollywood Reporter calls it, “without question among the most fetishized writing instruments of all time.” Crafted from incense cedar, lacquer-coated and containing the world’s finest Japanese graphite, we can’t get enough of these sexy little black numbers. Legend has it that Steinbeck wrote the Grapes of Wrath and John Williams composed the theme to Star Wars with Blackwing 602s. We can’t think of a more inspiring pencil to have on hand when inspiration strikes.

 

4. Prettify your paper supplies. Where would our Blackwing be without a fresh sheet of paper? Malcolm Gladwell says, “The visionary starts with a clean sheet of paper, and re-imagines the world.” Reimagine your world with our exclusive Moderne Desk Collection for Papyrus. Using a dreamy palette of blush, celadon, gold and midnight blue, we have designed and curated a luxe Art Deco-inspired collection of notepads, sketchpads, planners and stickies. We’ve even included a decadently feminine clipboard just in case you need to take your questions and paperwork outside the office.

SHOP THE MODERNE COLLECTION EXCLUSIVELY AT PAPYRUS

 

5. Fanny packs have undergone a makeover and emerged as the “It Bag” of the season. Adorable and practical, belt bags can instantly update your wardrobe, turning a simple T-shirt and jeans into Parisienne street style chic. We love this Rebecca Minkoff bag in our favorite shade of vintage pink (it matches our Moderne Desk Collection) and this one by See by Chloe in glossy midnight blue.

 

6. Grab a good book. Back to school means back-to-busy: full work days, classes, study, after hours work and school events. Don’t forget to take some “Me Time” every day. Grab a chai latte and a good book and treat yourself to an instant break. You’ll function better because of it. We love indie legend Parker Posey’s You’re on an Airplane: A Self-Mythologizing Memoir for its fly on-the-wall insider take on the movie industry and Ms Parker’s smart and funny prose. And we can’t wait to read The Court Dancer by Kyung-Sook Shin which tells the story of an orphan whose talent for dancing takes her from the Korean Josean court where she dances for the Emperor to Belle Epoque Paris. That’s one historical journey we’re dying to take.

 

7. Make a list, check it twice. Back to school means multi-tasking and multi-scheduling. Keep on top of everything with our Luna Collection. Gold-foil stamped on our letterpress machines dating back from the 1950s, in colors of burgundy, deep blue and barely blush, our Luna notecards, journals, schedules  and tasseled pencil pouch turn making lists into an art form. Transform your daily tasks into treasured rituals by using our beautiful and luxurious hand-finished collection. The Lunas also make the perfect gift, and in this hectic back to school season that’s one less “To Do” on your list.

SHOP THE LUNA COLLECTION FROM ELUM DESIGNS

How To Write A Love Letter

7.24.2018

Can you think of anything more romantic than a love letter? The handwritten envelope sealed by the touch of your cherished one’s tongue, the tenderly-folded paper, the opening words: My darling Jen, I need to tell you how much I adore you. We can only think of one thing more swoon-worthy here at Elūm than receiving written proof of our loved one’s adoration, and that’s sending a love letter ourselves. When we write a love letter we immortalize our feeling for our partners, sweeties, main-squeezes and spouses. We demonstrate and celebrate our love in the time-honored romantic ritual of setting pen to paper. But where do we begin? What paper to choose? What words to use? How to start and how to finish? Love letters can be thoughtful, spontaneous, starry-eyed, jaw-droppingly passionate, tender and sweet. Yet how do we create these romantic works of art? At Elūm we believe that writing a love letter should be as wonderful an experience as receiving one that’s why we’ve put together our six passionate pointers for creating the perfect love letter.

1. Pick a canvas worthy of your words. By writing a love letter you’re creating a unique and moving keepsake that will be treasured by your loved one for years, even decades. Pages torn from a ruled spiral notepad have many wonderful uses, but will not create the same sense of significance as a beautiful foil-stamped cotton rag note or a page of plush artist sketch paper, lifted from your personal journal. As the English poet John Keats said, “A thing of beauty is a joy forever.” Create a gift of tangible lasting beauty with your choice of pen and paper.

2. Send your love letter by mail—even if you see your loved one every day and share the same apartment or house. By writing a love letter you’re creating an experience for the recipient. The delightful surprise and sense of intrigue created by receiving a hand-addressed envelope through the mail adds to the magic. Choose a pretty stamp, mist the envelope with your favorite cologne, and write your name and return address on the back (so your loved one has to turn over the envelope to discover who sent it). Give them the full experience.

3. Draft your love letter before setting pen to paper. Use whatever medium works for you—laptop, mobile, pencil and notepad—and plan what you want to say. Leave it, come back to it. Experiment. Use your draft to hone in on the most important thing you want your loved one to know. Maybe you want to tell him or her that your life changed the day you met them, that when you hear their car pull into the driveway your heart beats a little faster, or that sometimes you lie still in the morning just to watch them sleep.

Planning what you say beforehand will cut down strikethroughs on the finished page. A love letter doesn’t have to be perfect—a sprinkling of errors are endearing and charming—but too many will distract the reader from your purpose.

4. Begin your letter with a familiar and tender term of endearment. If you call your loved one Babycake/Honey/Hubs/Sweetie/Love Muffin now is the time to use that pet name. Simply drop it into the classic love letter opener, “My Darling ________” or “My Dearest________”. Mexican artist Frida Kahlo began loves letters to her husband and fellow artist Diego Rivera with three simple words, “Diego, my love,” and the French emperor Napoleon began letters to his new wife with “My one and only Josephine”.

While your greeting sets the tone of the letter, your closing should end it with a promise. The line above your signature is the place to tell your loved one you will cherish them forever, as the composer Beethoven did to the woman known only as Immortal Beloved, “Ever thine. Ever mine. Ever ours,” and Jimi Hendrix pledged to his girlfriend, “Love to you forever, Jimi”.

5. Date your letter. You’re creating a tangible and lasting gift, a letter to be kept, treasured and reread. In ten years time, when your loved one reaches for the box at the back of the closet, finds your letter inside and pauses to read it, you want him to know the exact date you set down the words. Knowing the date will help transport him back in time to the moment he received it.

6. Finally, write like yourself so when your loved one reads your letter he or she can imagine you saying the words. Your voice and turn of phrase are uniquely beautiful. Remain true to yourself and write exactly how feel. If you love his goofy dancing, the way he holds the door open for strangers, or how he makes you laugh, tell him. If the way she cares for your family sometimes brings tears to your eyes, let her know. At Elūm we believe a love letter should always be a message straight from your heart.

Now it’s your turn. Head to our website to find the perfect canvas for you to spill your heart out.

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Unicorns Unlimited

7.11.2018

Hello! We are Elūm and we have a problem. We’re obsessed with unicorns. We can’t stop thinking about them and adorning our paper goods with them. “They’re fun,” declares Haley, one of our senior designer. “They’re a symbol of joy, hope and boundless magic. It’s no wonder they have spread into things that are usually mundane. Why not add a dash of magic to dyeing your hair, bringing a reusable bag to the grocery store, or even your morning toast?” Today we’re celebrating our U-love by hosting an Elūm roundtable devoted to our favorite mystical beast.

The first thing we agree upon is that we believe in unicorns on roller skates, and will be first in line to buy tickets to Unicorns On Broadway if Andrew Lloyd Webber ever decides to create the show. Our designer Ali says, “Unicorns represent the magic of childhood and the belief that anything is possible! They bring us back to simpler times of playing with My Little Ponies, collecting Lisa Frank binders, and making your dad pause the VCR on Tom Cruise’s Legend so you could see a real unicorn.” When we hear that Ridley Scott, the director of Legend, used “Unicorns represent the magic of childhood and the belief that anything is possible.” a recording of humpback whales to create the sound of unicorns at play it makes us love his movie, unicorns and whales even more.

Shannon, another one of our senior designers, asks the question, “Why be a pony when you can be a unicorn? Unicorns remind us to be our own unique selves, and that which makes us different makes us powerful.” At Elūm we believe there is nothing in the world quite like unicorns and nothing quite like you. That’s why we come to work each morning. Rhinos and narwhals are the only other mammals on the planet who have a central single horn like unicorns (the narwhal’s amazing spiral horn is actually a protruding canine tooth), and we celebrate their adorable uniqueness too.

Our designer Olga believes, “Unicorns are both symbols of childish innocence devoid of any additional subtext, as well as an ironical and witty representation of all things weird and impossible in our daily lives.” The collective noun for unicorns is a blessing of unicorns, and that’s what we believe unicorns bring to the party: pure sparkly fun. In mythology they are symbols of purity, and legend has it they can only be captured under a full moon by a virgin. We’re not sure anyone at Elūm will be capturing a unicorn any time soon, but whenever there’s a full moon we’re going to look!

“The Unicorn is a Feminist symbol,” Shannon reminds us. “They are ‘girly’ but also super strong. You may be distracted by their rainbow tails, but they have magic powers “Why be a pony when you can be a unicorn?” and a weapon on their head and don’t you forget it!” After we stop cheering, we learn a unicorn’s horn is known as an alicorn and has the power to purify water and neutralize poison. Unicorns are traditionally slow to fight, preferring to settle differences peacefully, but if you ever come between Baby U and Momma U, be prepared to deal with Momma U’s horn charging toward you at full speed. Imaginary or not, that’s gonna hurt.

After some discussion we agree we’re not even sure if unicorns have a gender, and love and support the fact they have become symbols of the transgender and genderfluid communities. Go purple unicorns!

“Unicorns remind us not to take things too seriously,” says Haley. “I mean, c’mon, who doesn’t want a break from being an adult?” Lake Superior State University understands this and issues a delightfully whimsical hunting license for unicorns. Their hunting regulations include permissible times of day for questing. “Unicorns may be taken during daylight and dark except for those hours when the Tooth Fairy is about. She was once frightened by a grumpy unicorn and in deference to her attitude we make the exception.”

Olga says unicorns, “are a flashback from our childhood when every day felt magical and adventure-filled and anything was possible.” We nod our heads and agree we’re “Unicorns remind us not to take things too seriously. I mean, c’mon, who doesn’t want a break from being an adult?” getting closer to the heart of the unicorn’s enduring power. Shannon adds, “When everything is awful, unicorns remain fun and sparkly. They remind us of better days, waaay back before we knew about global warming and human rights violations.” Unicorns are part of our collective childhood. They not only represent our innocence, but also the innocence of the entire world. Existing in a land of rainbows, waterfalls and serene green hills, they reflect our most simple and noble dreams as humans. Beauty, peace and love for all.

We take a moment to sigh and finish our unicorn smoothies and then head back to our desks. Blank paper awaits, and we’re itching to start important unicorn work.

CLICK HERE FOR A SELECTION OF LETTERPRESS UNICORN CARDS

5.0 Shades of Pink

6.22.2018

We love the color pink here at Elūm so when we learned June 23 is National Pink Day we didn’t need much persuading to celebrate. Pink is the color of princesses and peonies, breast cancer, gay pride, happiness, flamingoes and bubblegum. Audrey Hepburn famously declared, “I believe in pink!” We believe in it too so we set out to discover as much as we can about our five favorite shades of pink.

1.0 True Pink. Pink was a bit of a later starter compared to others colors. While red, blue and purple where swanning around the Medieval world, dressing royalty, adorning paintings and generally getting themselves into trouble, pink didn’t even have a name. It wasn’t until Elizabethan times, that people began to use the word pink to refer to the color. The name comes from the flower Dianthus which is a true and pretty pink.

After a late check-in to the color party, pink wasted no time claiming the romantic high ground. Shakespeare used the word pink in two of his plays, most-fittingly the great love stories Romeo & Juliet and Anthony & Cleopatra. With the Bard’s stamp of approval under its belt, pink had officially arrived.

2.0 Magenta. In 2013 NASA announced it had discovered a pink planet. This adorable heavenly body orbits the star 59 Virginis and is named GJ 504b. It’s four times the mass of Jupiter, fifty-seven light years from Earth and a toasty 460°F year round. “If we could travel to this giant planet,” Michael McElwain, a member of the discovery team at NASA, tells us, “we would see a world still glowing from the heat of its formation with a color reminiscent of a dark cherry blossom.”

The rich magenta color of GJ 504b is due to methane fluorescing in its atmosphere and potassium which emits wavelengths in the violet spectrum. At Elūm we love this glowing pink planet so much we’d like to send it a sparkly Thank You note just for existing.

3.0 Rose gold. If beautiful Princess Pink married dashing Prince Gold and they had a daughter, she would be named Rose Gold. This perfectly dreamy color occurs when gold is combined with copper and a hint of silver to produce a delicate pink metal. Carl Fabergé, jeweler to the Russian czars, was one of the first craftsmen to put this charming alloy to use, most notably in his breathtaking Fabergé Eggs.

Despite its delicate appearance, rose gold is tougher than it looks and is more durable than yellow or white gold and less likely to tarnish. Add in the fact that its soft pinkish hue makes it flattering to most skin tones and it’s no wonder we love it like crazy.

4.0 Blush. If any color is having a moment it’s the dusky salmon-hued shade of blush known as millennial pink. Style bibles love to weigh in on how and why it’s so popular, but to us it’s simply a variation of classic blush. And blush pink will never go out of style. Blush is the color of hope and promises, of babies’ cheeks and bridesmaid dresses, chilled rosé and seashells. Newlywed Meghan, the Countess of Sussex, wore a blush pink Carolina Herrera dress for Trooping the Colour earlier this month, and Jay- Z just wore a blush pink John Galliano suit at the Louvre while shooting his and Beyonce’s APES**T video.

Vogue may have declared millennial pink over, but its big sister blush isn’t going anywhere.

5.0 Hot Pink. Who doesn’t love a color with the word “hot” in it? Hot pink reminds us of bad fashion choices in the 80s, of questionable prom dresses, Malibu Barbie, Dirty Dancing and Wham! It shows us that pink isn’t all petals and ballet slippers. It can be as bold and sexy as red. Italian fashion designer Elsa Schiaparelli introduced the world to hot pink in 1937. Schiaparelli dressed Marlene Dietrich, Great Garbo, Katherine Hepburn and Lauren Bacall. When she invented a color the fashion world took notice.

“Bright, impossible, impudent” hot pink has been part of the landscape ever since. It’s even been declared the new orange as increasing numbers of construction and road workers are adopting it as their color of choice for safety vests and hard hats. Turns out hot pink is just as visible as blaze orange yet a whole lot sassier. At Elūm we are hot pink’s biggest champions. We love a color that isn’t afraid of being its own bold self.

CLICK TO SHOP A SELECTION OF PINK ITEMS

How To Pick The Perfect Birthday Card

5.14.2018


It’s a universal truth that everyone has a birthday. It’s also a universal truth that picking the right card can be tricky. We’ve all been there. It’s 9pm on a week night and we’re in the drugstore trawling the Greeting Card aisle, desperately searching for a last minute birthday card for our sister. Do we buy the funny one with the cat getting a manicure? Or the serious one that declares, On Your Birthday With Love? This is where we normally wander over to the freezer aisle and snag a pint of dulce de leche—we can make a decision see—while wondering if Sis really cares about whether or not she receives a card. In our hearts we know she does, but it’s late and we have ice cream, and choosing the right card suddenly seems like too much responsibility for one person to bear.

At Elūm we understand BCIS (Birthday Card Indecision Syndrome)—heck that’s one of the reasons we started our company—which is why we’ve collected 4 fierce tips for picking the perfect birthday card.

1. Consider the tone of your relationship with the birthday gal or guy and match it to the tone of your card. If it’s a work-related acquaintance, always pick a card you’d be happy to show to your boss. Keep it primetime and office whimsical. If the recipient is an older relative who you have great affection and respect for, go with a classic. You can’t go wrong with a timeless floral or a vintage all-rounder. If it’s your bestie, go to town and celebrate her (or his) fab self. This is the person who’s seen you eat all the brownies, down two margaritas back-to-back, and finish with the ugly cry. Show them you adore and cherish them in the most shout it from the rooftop way.

If you’re sending a birthday card to a parent, we have it on good authority that any card with the word Mom or Dad on it will send them dizzy with delight to their happy place. Turns out parents are surprisingly easy to please with cards. We’re still working on the complex algorithm of birthday greetings for siblings, but we’re predicting a sweetly-fun statement of fact will always carry the day!

2. A less-than-ideal card is better than no card at all. Giving a birthday card is about recognizing and acknowledging the value of its recipient in your life. Think about it: If you received a cheesy, run-of-the-mill card but when you opened it found a touching handwritten note inside, how would you feel? Pretty cherished, right? So don’t sweat it. If you purchased the cat getting a manicure card for your sister but then decide you’d really like to say something heartfelt instead, say it! Right there inside the cat card. Sis, I love you more than cats having manicures. You are the most constant and remarkable force in my life. Katy. XOX

3. Stock up! We have umbrellas for when it rains, Vitamin C pouches for potential sniffles, and entire quadrants of our wardrobes devoted to the little black dress. Why? Because we predict we will need them in the future. According to statistics the average person sends 11 greeting cards a year. We know birthdays are on the horizon so why not plan for them? Think of birthday cards like panty hose or ramen noodle: it’s always good to have a couple extra in stock. So next time you purchase a birthday card take a few minutes longer to select some sidekicks as well.

4. When all else fails and you’re rendered immobile by the dreaded Birthday Card Indecision Syndrome, unable to decide what type of card to send to your preschooler’s teacher/your personal trainer/your brand-spanking-new boyfriend have a fallback position. Bypass the humor section, the cutesy animal section, and the heart-on-your-sleeve section and make a beeline for classic minimalism. A simple Happy Birthday with zero graphics on the front is as blank a canvas as a birthday card gets. Understated elegance never goes out of style or season and is always perfectly appropriate. Keep it neutral with a simple signature, warm it up with a handwritten message from your heart, or embellish it with hand-drawn flowers and stars. Make it your own.

Never forget that when you send a birthday card you create and store a little magic. We call it card-fairy magic here at Elūm. It’s released the moment your envelope is opened by someone you care about or love.

What tips do you have for picking the perfect birthday card? We’d love to hear them! Leave a comment below.

CLICK TO SHOP ALL OF OUR LETTERPRESS BIRTHDAY CARDS

Office Life: Museum of Ice Cream Team Field Trip

9.11.2017

Adult field trips are the MOST FUN as we recently discovered on our Museum of Ice Cream team field trip in Los Angeles. If you haven’t yet heard of this magical place, it’s a pop-up art museum with nothing but ice cream themed exhibits and delicious sweet treats to accompany many of the installations.

We got out of the office for the day to find inspiration at this colorful and delicious museum. Plus, we brought along some of our favorite ice cream themed cards for photo ops! If you want to get a first-hand look at all the fun Elum had and get an insider peek into this sold out pop-up museum, keep scrolling!

Office Life: Museum of Ice Cream Field TripAs the anticipation of getting into the museum grew, we were tasked with choosing a group name that was a combo of an ice cream flavor and an animal, so naturally, we deemed ourselves the Pistachio Llamas.

Museum of Ice Cream Team Field TripLike Wonka’s Chocolate Factory each room in the Museum of Ice Cream is brimming with pure imagination. Designed to provoke inspiration and bring you back to that magical feeling of kid-like wonder (not to mention it’s an ideal place to score a few amazing selfies.) The first room was a series of picture-perfect backdrops accompanied by a scoop of vanilla brownie ice cream.

Office Life: Museum of Ice Cream Field TripThe exhibits were truly laughter inducing, with squeals of excitement erupting every time we turned a corner to see a new room. There was a small traffic jam at the banana swings as each person in our party took a turn. As you can see from our Art Director, Amy and Creative Director, Kristi below, these swings were pure joy.

Office Life: Museum of Ice Cream Field TripWe explored our way through the banana jungle. The perfect place to style our “Birthday Bananas” card.

Museum of Ice Cream Team Field Trip

Office Life: Museum of Ice Cream Field TripSenior Designers, Samantha and Shannon took their turn on the banana swing as Designer, Olga got lost in a sea of bananas.

Office Life: Museum of Ice Cream Field TripThe mint room was a living art installation with three different types of mint growing inside. We were encouraged to rub the leaves between our fingers to smell the differences between them. Samantha opted to get right in the action. If greenery isn’t your thing, this room also offered mint chocolate chip Mochis!

Office Life: Museum of Ice Cream Field Trip

Museum of Ice Cream Team Field TripSome of the team used the bright and cheerful backdrop of the Rainbow Sherbert room to snap pics of our “Every Flavor” and “Lucky Birthday” cards. Meanwhile, Regional account manager, Zoe, got caught in an action shot while she was mid-boomerang!

Office Life: Museum of Ice Cream Field TripThen there was a quick impromptu dance party in the hallway.

 

Next, our childhood wishes for larger-than-life sweets were finally realized. This enormous popsicle exhibit had us dreaming of a world that rains down giant frozen goodness from the sky.

Office Life: Museum of Ice Cream Field Trip

Museum of Ice Cream Team Field TripThe gummy bear installation ended up being one of our favorite photo backdrops. Each wall featured unique, bold color-blocking reminiscent of mod 70’s style with life-sized gummy bears scattered throughout. As an added bonus we got tasty gummy bear treats while we explored this exhibit. There was a mad dash to get photos in front of every wall and with every bear before we moved on.

Office Life: Museum of Ice Cream Field Trip

Office Life: Museum of Ice Cream Field TripThe Black Cone room was a small transitional room between the Gummy Bears and the Sprinkle Room. It was covered in sculpted chocolate cones stuck to the walls each one is unique and individually hand made. They were also doing tasters of black candies in this room that included dark chocolate covered malt balls and black licorice.

Museum of Ice Cream Team Field TripOverall, the Sprinkle Pool was the universal favorite. The pool is filled with over 93 million plastic sprinkles (about 1 million of which were stuck in Kristi’s shirt after we buried her in sprinkles.)

Office Life: Museum of Ice Cream Field TripTime was limited in the Sprinke Pool but that didn’t stop us from making the most of it while we could (and making a huge mess).

Office Life: Museum of Ice Cream Field TripIt’s true that everything in life is better topped with sprinkles. For the rest of the day, we kept finding sprinkles hidden in our shoes, pockets and rolled up cuffs on our jeans.

Office Life: Museum of Ice Cream Field Trip

Office Life: Museum of Ice Cream Field TripTo finish out the museum experience we got one last round of ice cream in the lounge and then scoped out the gift shop.

Office Life: Museum of Ice Cream Field TripHave you been the Museum of Ice Cream or any other fun art installations? We’re always looking for new inspiration and places to take team field trips so tell us about yours in the comments below!

6 Must-Haves For Your Summer Stationery Travel Kit

7.18.2017

Here at Elum we know summer is all about being on the go. You’ve got to make the most of the few fleeting months of good weather, right? Whether you’re at a BBQ, sipping a poolside drink or jet setting around the world, the fast pace of summer can be a lot to keep up with. That’s why we’ve curated a stationery travel kit—to make sure you never miss a beat all summer long. Stay organized, capture your brilliant thoughts and never forget a birthday, wedding or thank you along the way.

Here’s what we’ll have packed in our stationery travel kit this summer.

1.) JOURNAL

Elum Monstera Leaves Spiral Journal | Summer Stationery Travel Kit

There’s a better way to capture your memories than with a selfie stick (seriously, put it down). Take a little time each day to recap your summer adventures in a journal. It’s a great way to unwind at the end of a fun-filled day or pass the time while you’re catching some poolside sun. If you’re having trouble choosing just one method of keeping memories, a travel journal can also double as a sketch book, a scrapbook, a place to house a collection like pressed flowers or to write down the recipes for all your favorite summer cocktails.

 

2.) WASHI TAPE

Elum Flamenco Flamingo Washi Tape Set | Summer Stationery Travel Kit

Washi tape is the perfect complement to your travel journal. It can attach maps, ticket stubs or Polaroids to accompany your brilliant thoughts. It’s also great for gifting. Use it to attach gift tag, dress up plain wrapping paper or as a colorful replacement to ribbon on gift wrap. It’s the perfect way to dress up a card’s envelope. You can even use it to make an easy DIY book mark, personalize your phone cord (so none of your friends or family accidentally walk away with it) or use it for party decorations.

 

3.) LIST PADS

Elum Lightbulb Magnetic List Pad | Summer Stationery Travel Kit

Summer always seems to fly by so it’s easy to see how things fall through the cracks. Stay uber organized all summer long with a handy list pad. Make a grocery list for your upcoming party and create a checklist for your suitcase so you don’t leave your toothbrush behind (again). It’s also really convenient if you need to leave instructions for your dog sitter, a friendly note to someone parked poorly at a festival (I mean, come on! Finding parking is hard enough and now you’re going to take up TWO spaces?) or maybe even to leave your number for that cute bartender, hey you never know!

 

4.) MINI NOTES

Elum Je T'aime Letterpress Mini Notes

Be ready for whatever occasions summer has in store with a set of assorted mini notes. They may be small but they’ll leave a big impression. Say thanks to the host of a BBQ, leave one for a friend who needs some motivation and have a back up plan for forgetting your Aunt Lisa’s birthday. These little letterpress dreamboats are pint-sized and perfectly portable.

 

5.) BOXED NOTES

Elum 'Ello Letterpress Box Notes

Rediscover the art of the hand-written note. A more meaningful way of staying in touch than sending a Facebook message. The recipient is sure to get the warm-and-fuzzies when they realize you took the time to pen a hand-written letter. You can start correspondence with a new pen pal and look forward to getting something other than bills in your mailbox. They’re also a luxe alternative to a post card on your travels.

 

6.) PEN OR PENCIL

Elum Summer of Stationery Jet Setter Collection

Maybe the most important part of our stationery travel kit is a dependable writing apparatus. Without a pen or pencil you won’t be able to write down your brilliant thoughts, sign your name on a greeting cards or compose a hand-written message.

Want to win one of our Summer of Stationery Travel Kits? Head to Elum’s Instagram and keep an eye out for details.

Is there anything else you think would be super useful in a stationery travel kit? Tell us about it in the comments below!