Monthly Archives: May 2011

Old and new Stationery Show friends.

I saw so much brilliance at NSS I just have to share more images with you. Warning: if you’re not card-obssesed like I am, this will be very long and boring so I suggest skipping this post!

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Cards on trees.

While at the National Stationery Show last week, I threw a party for our designers and a few members of the press. Working with the great floral shop H. Bloom, I put together these fun card trees to display our samples.

I am so excited about re-creating this in our apartment to display our Christmas cards come December.

The tree branches were white washed which I think made them really special. I simply punched holes in the cards and tied them with ribbon. The little circle garlands I ordered from Kristina Marie on Etsy. I sent her some old samples we couldn’t use anymore and she made the paper garlands from them–so very green of us, don’t you think?

Red and green circles would really tie this together during the holidays.

I bought some pretty green and white Japanese fabric that I used underneath the trees and then on the little cocktail tables. Making a 1970’s conference room with no natural light look festive is no easy task!

But I think everyone really had a great time and enjoyed getting to know one another!

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Radiation: Fukushima vs. flying

Jurvetson just posted this interesting diagram and account on his Flickr page.

“My friend, Mike Kirk, is an executive at a Silicon Valley tech firm, and he recently returned from a business trip to Japan. One of his destinations was 50 miles from the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. As a precaution, a colleague gave him a Geiger Counter so he could make sure it wasn’t getting dangerous as he approached the plant.”

So, obviously the radiation danger from Fukushima is quite low as compared to flying. And while the risk from flying is still quite low for the average person, it does add up to dangerous levels. The following is quoted from the paper COSMIC AND SOLAR RADIATION: FACTS FOR FLIGHT ATTENDANTS by the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA.

  • “The FAA estimates that for a crewmember who flies
    900 hours a year for 30 years on flights between the US and Europe, the excess risk of radiation-induced fatal cancer can be as high as 1%.
  • A study done in California showed that flight attendants were 30% more likely to develop breast cancer.
  • The danger is magnified for fetuses: Pregnant women who fly more than seven roundtrip international flights (e.g., LGAT to KJFK, 9.4 hours, maximum altitude 41,000 feet) will approach the fetal limit of 1mSv and will need to “modify their work schedules.” This calculation assumes normal solar activity. Flying during solar particle events (SPE) [which are said to increase radiation levels by 1,000%] will reduce this recommended maximum number of flights dramatically.

The basic summary of radiation levels while flying is:

1. TIME SPENT IN FLIGHT: Exposure is cumulative so the more time that you spend in-flight, the higher your potential dose.

2. LATITUDE: Exposure is more intense at higher latitudes; for example, at the same altitude, radiation levels at the poles are about twice those at the equator. This is especially important for cabin crew, pilots, and passengers on the polar routes introduced by two airlines in the spring of 2001.

3. ALTITUDE: Exposure is more intense at higher altitudes because the layer of protective atmosphere above you is thinner.

4. SOLAR ACTIVITY: Although the frequency of flares from our sun peaks every 11 years or so, it isn’t the solar flares themselves that are of health concern to passengers and crew, but rather the emissions of charged particles called solar particle events (SPE, also called “solar radiation storms”). SPE can follow solar flares, but are most frequent during the years leading up to and down from a solar maximum. During a SPE, radiation intensity can increase 1,000 fold compared to background levels. SPE are a health concern to pregnant passengers and crew and can also disrupt communications, especially on polar flights. The most recent peak in the solar cycle was 2000, but there was a rash of very intense SPE in 2001, and as of this writing (May 2006), have been at least eight severe (S3 or higher) such storms since then.

So there really isn’t anything for the average traveler to worry about, but it really is something international female flight attendants should keep in mind. And in my mind, it’s just one more reason we should try to be extra nice to our servers in the air. Not only are they basically waitressing without tips for as much as 17 hours in a row, but they’re also exposing themselves to radiation. I recommend giving them your magazines when you’re finished with them or even bringing them a box of chocolates–especially if you’re flying on Christmas or another holiday!

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Pretty details: Cabbages, lanterns, and jelly.

One of my oldest friends (dating back to our grammar school St. Andrew’s) got married last weekend and her wedding had such pretty details. I loved her cabbage arrangements.

She hung little lanterns in branches for the other half of the centerpieces.

Red Pepper Jelly was the favor–she is quite the cook and made it all herself!

She had the foresight to have letterpressed tags made to match the invites. Talk about ambitious!

If you want to make your own Red Pepper Jelly, check out my recipe and how-to here.

Now I’m sure you’re dying to see the bride behind all this handiwork…

I loved her all white bouquet. So elegant! After the ceremony, Jackie traded in her oh-so-fabulous poofy veil for a fascinator–so very Kate M. of her, don’t you think?

Best wishes to Jackie and Steven!

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Dear Hancock.

I just got home last night from the National Stationery Show, where I was representing Minted and throwing  a few events for our designers. It was my second year going and just like last year, I loved every second of it! I have to say that ‘Dear Hancock‘ was my favorite new find. I’ll blog about some of my old favorites tomorrow.

They are a husband and wife team, but Gwendolyn refused to be photographed!

I was really amazed that they actually draw and paint collaboratively… they have two drawing boards on opposite ends of their dining room table and they just pass cards back and forth. I am OBSESSED with their desk series. How cute would it be to send a card that looks like the surface you are writing it from?

This one most closely resembles my desk.

This would be perfect for my sister-in-law Deirdre.

This one is perfect for my gardening Dad.

This one is perfect for my mother-in-law.

They also had a very cool print for expecting parents. I would love to customize the bookshelf print for someone special.

They said they were inspired to create this because so many of their friends are either trying to get pregnant or expecting. Since it’s hard to see, the titles read: Romanticism, Vol. 1; Survival Guide; L’art de la Conversation, Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot nothing is going to get better, it’s not –Dr. Seuss.; Poems for Parents; Great Expectations; Mind Reader. What a great gift for parents-to-be with a sense of humor!

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