Paper Hearts

Five shops that’ll put you back in touch with your inner epistolary artist.

By Kristin Cordova January 13, 2010 Published in the February 2010 issue of Seattle Met

Sweet nothings: Wrap up tiny treasures at Lucca Great Finds in Ballard.

Affair to Remember
Cross the threshold at Lucca and let the French-milled lemongrass soap and we’ll-always-have-Paris soundtrack cast a seductive spell. Fall for iconic black-and-white postcards or shop owner Francine Katz’s line of vintage-inspired cards depicting Victorian-era sentiment, and get sweet on heritage Italian perfumes and Old World grooming potions. Proceed to the treasures in the back, where endless spools of ribbon, gorgeous wrapping paper, and hand-forged scissors make up Cupid’s workroom. Lucca Great Finds, 5332 Ballard Ave NW, Ballard, 206-782-7337;

Modern Bromance
The Moxie team welcomes bewildered Eastside beaus to their new Bell Square outpost. In their West Seattle store, 40 percent of their clientele are dudes, so they’re used to steering overwhelmed suitors toward Prince Charming territory with sharp, minimalist notes from boutique letterpress stationers. An emperor penguin pair (think Happy Feet) offered by Seattle’s OrangeTwist nuzzles sweetly beneath a heart while a pirate-bedecked monkey from the Hello! Lucky line growls sweetly, “Arr! You’re my best mate!” Moxie Papergoods and Gifts, 3916 California Ave SW, West Seattle, 206-932-2800 and 2028 Bellevue Square, Bellevue, 425-462-8400;

Make History
According to legend, a Chinese eunuch invented paper in 105 CE. About 1,000 years later, papermaking began to flourish in pre-Renaissance Italy. Sometime after that, the tiny De Medici Ming was meticulously organized with the planet’s most distinctive exemplars of the craft. Hand-watermarked, 100 percent cotton cards graced by peaceful, Asian-inspired landscapes capture the charm of bygone eras, and locally hand-painted watercolor art cards convey timeless affection.De Medici Ming Fine 
Paper, 1222A First Ave, Downtown, 

Love Child
Mother-daughter duo Kathy Perkins and Alicia Olsen opened Paper Delights in the heart of Wallingford in March ’08 so that then-pregnant Olsen would have more flexibility for family time. Spend more hours with your own little ones by making homemade “Be Mines” with the kid-friendly DIY line called Palettes. Nine vivid colors of cards and envelopes come in unembellished packs of eight; your short-’n’-sweet cohorts can take over from there. To go with: Sweet Valentine’s cupcake bedazzling kit, complete with winged-cupid toppers. Paper Delights, 2205 N 45th St, Wallingford, 206-547-1002;

Novel Idea
Elegant, formal correspondence supplies, European fountain pens, and antique inkwells suggest a love affair with Jane -Austen–era liaisons at Silberman/Brown, Seattle’s 33-year-old stationer. But brand-new storefronts—one, a lofty, hardwood salon at the Fairmont Olympic Hotel; the other, an atelier at -Bellevue’s Bravern—revive an interest in composing classic love letters with hand-blown Italian-style glass pens. Silberman/Brown Stationers, 417 University St, Downtown, 206-292-9404 and the Bravern, 700 110th Ave NE Ste 250, Bellevue, 425-455-3665;

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