Skip to main content

Touch, Feel, Use and Enjoy

Iris and Rose by Arline Rubin
Yes, you can do all this ... with paper! We are a special bunch, paper addicts. We know that when we touch a well-made paper that we hold the essence of tree and land in our hand. We know that a clean, white paper surface will never strain our eyes. We know that paper is still an envoy par excellence for thoughts, wishes, drawings, paintings, and that this simple two-dimensional creation can tailor a gift in just the right dress.  So, my fellow paper addicts, please read on to learn about a place worthy of pilgrimage for the likes of us.

While Texas sizzled under the sun (No idle metaphor. You can literally smell the baked earth when you walk outside), I had the luck to be strolling Selby Avenue in the Cathedral Hill neighborhood of Saint Paul, Minnesota. At Number 366, you'll find Paper Patisserie, a treasure of a shop, owned by Eileen Shapiro.  What follows is a selection of what you will find at Paper Patisserie.

Crane stationery. Always a good choice. Letterpress cards. Talk about touchable paper! The letterpress cards include selections from Saturn Press in Maine. While Paper Patisserie has a really good selection of cards for all occasions, its selection of sympathy cards really stands out. (I bought about 10 of these while I was there.) Sheets of wrapping paper lovely and unusual enough to frame. Claire Fontaine notebooks and journals!  These journals contain some of the most velvety white paper for writing and drawing you can find anywhere ....actually they are hard to find just anywhere. Sold widely in Europe, this line of notebooks and journals is not easy to find stateside. Handmade cards with pressed flowers. I bet you are thinking "old-lady cards" (which I like, by the way), but no...these pressed-flower cards by Arline Rubin make great contemporary art. Art cards by Minnesota artist Barbara Evan. Origami Originals, cards by Linda Oette that feature 3-D handmade kimonos. Labels that look just like European ephemera, but don't cost anywhere near as much. Hand-milled soap wrapped in, what else?, beautiful papers. No, I'm not done yet.  All this and chocolate! The exquisite, individually wrapped bon-bon kind, that is, well, so very bon!

Across the street: A church for people "who
want to make sense of things." See sign, lower left.
The selection of belles choses to be found here is thoughtful, interesting, and, yes, I am using this word correctly, unique. And don't bother looking for my link to Paper Patisserie, because the store does not have a Web site. ¡A Dios, gracias! 

If I could provide a link to this store, it would feel like cheating: cheating paper lovers out of pushing open the old wooden door in this red brick, 19th-century building and walking into a space that quietly embraces and invites you to look, see, touch. It would cheat you out of ambiance---that indefinable yet nearly palpable feeling of being in a place like no other, in this case, a place where paper waits for you and whatever you have to say, write, draw, wrap.  That eternal silent partner, cómplice to artists, writers, thinkers, lovers... still here, still waiting for you.

So, make a note, fellow travelers and amants du papier, if you are anywhere near the Twin Cities area, find your way to Paper Patisserie (parking is free).  366 Selby Avenue, Suite 100. (651) 227-1398


Que maravilla de tienda Ysabel!! Quien tuviera por aquí una así, me pasaría el día allí!!.
Un beso muy, muy grande preciosa

Popular posts from this blog

Life without Television, Part 2

I began life without television with relief, which was consistent Monday through Friday. The first few weekends, though, felt awkward, anxious, lonely. When PBS has good programming on Saturday nights, it is extraordinarily good. Father Brown, Phryne Fisher, New Tricks... Extraordinary acting, high production values, and I fantasize about the pudgy, brilliant priest just perhaps having an innocent crush on one of his special parishioners, which would be moi. 

I called a friend one Sunday. "Maybe television helped with my anxiety more than I realized," I said. She told me about her aunt who, after her husband's death, kept the television on in his "man cave" 24/7. He has been gone years now. The television goes on, everlasting, in his absence. I don't blame her. Much of my frequent and prolonged television viewing began with grief.

After my sister died, I would watch almost anything, especially late at night when sleep eluded me. I even watched Convoy with …

Our Texas, My Texas: "Memories we carry like scars and diamonds"

This post title includes a quote from Hermine Pinson's poem, "Four Sisters and the Dance." As you read, it will become clear why.

I was 7 when my father earned his Ph.D. from Duke. He then accepted a teaching position at a small private college in a rural Texas town in the 1960s. Population was 5,000, give or take a few. Our Texas roots ran deep, and we saw this return to the Lone Star State as a homecoming. So, I left the lyrical landscape of the Carolinas and the small private school where I had become nearly fluent in French. Then, I entered the hot, dry world of that small town. 

We did not yet have a place to live. Our family of five, including our infant brother, camped out in the girls' dorm for several weeks. Our furniture was stored on the university theater stage while my parents searched for a home. I was riding in the car with my dad and a member of the university administration and overheard their conversation. My father wondered where he could find help …

Whose day?

Years ago, I made some collages using pages from a desk calendar from the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The image that leads this post is one. Inside the hearts and flowers is a picture from the MMA collection of  a Japanese screen made in the 16th century. It is titled Tagasode, which means Whose sleeves?  The title comes from a 10th-century poem:

The fragrance seems even more alluring than the hue, Whose sleeves have brushed past? Or would it be this plum tree blossoming here at home?
Iro yori mo ka koso awaredo omohoyure tagasode fureshi ado no ume zo mo
The word haunts: tagasode. Whose sleeves? The question floats in my mind like a cloud on a still day. The sleeves materialize in my mind's eye. I hear them move through hushed air. I can imagine, though not name, the scent of the person to whom those sleeves belong. It's not unlike smelling the scent of your infant's clothes, or holding the perfume bottle that belonged to your don't need to open it... you know tha…