JOURNAL — Cards & Stationery RSS



Arbor Day

The first Arbor Day was held in Villanueva de la Sierra, Spain in 1805.  The local parish priest, Father Ramón Vacas Roxo, was “convinced of the importance of trees for health, hygiene, decoration, nature, environment and customs” and decided to plant trees, giving his town “a festive air.”  His congregation was enthusiastic.  After Mass and […]

Continue reading



Birth of a Nation

What does France have to do with the American nation—birthed 241 years ago today?  Well, a lot, it turns out.  France provided substantial aid to the American revolutionaries, mostly in the form of covertly-supplied weapons.  French volunteers—including Pierre Charles L’Enfant and the Marquis de Lafayette—joined the American fighters and provided important counsel to General Washington. […]

Continue reading



Happiest Hanukkah!

And a Festive Christmas Eve! Wishing our Jewish customers a happy and healthy Season of Lights.  May 2017 be a year of patience, growth and wisdom.       Today LEO Design will be open from Noon ’til 8:00 pm. See new merchandise first!  Follow us on Instagram: “leodesignhandsomegifts”

Continue reading



(Even) Bigger and (Even) Better

Today we show you more of Dan Durkin’s latest greeting cards—now in-store.  It’s a part of his Summer Beach series.  Shown above, a starfish and a lobster.  Besides these, we also have (in-stock) Dan’s NYC architectural landmarks and his songbirds series.  And, come 1 November, we’ll have a large assortment of his Christmas and Holiday […]

Continue reading



Bigger and Better

Artist Dan Durkin is one of the nicest guys you could know—and he was once a LEO Design staffer, too!  After graduating from art school, Dan worked at the shop before moving-on to bigger and better things.  But we’ve kept a part of him back here in the shop, in a way.  He designs and […]

Continue reading



Happy Father’s Day!

Thanks to all the men who raised us, shaped us, and encouraged us to become our best selves. Shown above, a greeting card featuring a detail from Lucien Baylac’s 1891 advertising poster for the French bicycle maker Cycles Clement.       See new merchandise first!  Follow us on Instagram: “leodesignhandsomegifts”

Continue reading



Spring Greetings!

Though Spring began over six weeks ago, it can be difficult to remember this—for it’s still been so cold!  Nevertheless, Spring is in full-blossom at LEO Design where we have many new greeting cards for the season.  Flowers, birds, and landscapes—we have a greeting card for nearly every sender or receiver.  Please come by the […]

Continue reading



New Spring Cards – part V

Today is Leap Day—which makes our newly-received English “Rabbit” card particularly apropos.  It shows a detail from an Arts & Crafts tapestry, now displayed in the V&A in London.  The tapestry was designed by a trio of artist-designers:  William Morris (who designed the trailing acanthus leaves), Phillip Webb (who designed the animals) and John Henry […]

Continue reading



New Spring Cards – part IV

We continue our little parade of newly-received English greeting cards with this one from the National History Museum in London (one of my two favorite buildings in that city). Renderings of various dinosaurs march across the card while two bronze dinosaur sculptures stand guard at front.  It’s a perfect card for your youngest (or oldest) […]

Continue reading



New Spring Cards – part III

Another English card, another English artist.  This time it’s from painter Cecil Aldin’s (1870-1935) picture, “Jack and Jill.”  Aldin studied painting at the National Arts Training School in London and found his first commercial work providing illustrations for London magazines and other periodicals.  Loving animals, he painted a lot of dogs and horses and scenes […]

Continue reading



New Spring Cards – part II

The Owl and the Pussy-cat went to sea In a beautiful, pea-green boat, They took some honey, and plenty of money, Wrapped up in a five-pound note. Edward Lear’s 1871 poem has been intriguing children for nearly 150 years.  It was also the inspiration for the English greeting card pictured above.  The illustration is […]

Continue reading



New Spring Cards – part I

We’ve just received a shipment of early-Spring cards from England.  Over the next few days we’ll share some of them with you. Shown above, a grouping from the Victorian and Albert Museum in London.  With 4.6 million objects in its permanent collection, the V&A is the largest museum of decorative arts in the world (and […]

Continue reading



Dandy Lion

Now in-store, a new lion card from English card-maker, Chase & Wonder. At LEO Design, we love lions—and I couldn’t pass-up this Edwardian Dandy when I found him.  Like a Nineteenth Century engraving, the card is finely drawn and crisply printed.  Come into the shop to see him—and the rest of our new shipment of […]

Continue reading



The Year of the Monkey – part I

Gong Hay Fat Choy!  And a Happy Lunar New Year to all!  2016 is the Year of the Fire Monkey.  People born under this sign are ambitious and adventurous, though they can also be irritable.  Generally speaking, “Monkeys” are intelligent & witty, fast learners, crafty, have magnetic personalities and are usually healthy because they are […]

Continue reading



Sending Greetings

Our Holiday greeting cards have arrived and we’re quite pleased with the nice selection. Shown above, a sampling of cards letterpress-printed on Swan’s Island, Maine ($4 each or $22 for a box of ten).  They range—stylistically—from the Arts & Crafts to Mid-Century Modern to the contemporary.  Other options now in-store from England, Vermont and Brooklyn […]

Continue reading



Welcome, LEO!

The sunsign, LEO, begins today!  Welcome the King of the Jungle with this handsome, British-made greeting card, now in store at LEO Design. LEO’s are known for their nobility, magnanimity, and regal bearing—not to mention, of course, their humility! They like to occupy centerstage and will usually strive to put-on a good show.  They value […]

Continue reading



Just Alighted…

The birds of summer have alighted—thanks to talented artist Daniel Durkin.  Dan, once a staff member at LEO Design, has gone on to bigger things, alas.  But he still designs and produces many of the greeting cards on-offer in our shop.  Shown above, his newest collection: wild birds on branches.  Please come into the shop […]

Continue reading



Happy Father’s Day

Hearty thanks and a lot of love to the magnificent men who have nurtured, taught and cared for us.  Your patience, sacrifice and example have made us the people we’ve become. The card above is part of our recent shipment of summer-themed cards, just received from England. Please come in to see the full assortment.

Continue reading



Tomorrow’s Summer—At Last!

I remember so well the bittersweet pleasure of a school year’s final day.  As sad as I was to leave my classes and teachers, I also looked-forward to a couple of months of playing all day, dressing in play clothes, and not having to complete any homework.  And there was the occasional super-treat of meeting […]

Continue reading



Forest Wildlife Greeting Card

On the heels of yesterday’s “Campagna” Italian pewter box, here’s a handsome, letterpress greeting card that might be right for your father’s day.  Bears, rabbits, raccoons, owls and deer romp around the handsome graphic of this card, printed on Swan’s Island, Maine. Please come into the shop to see a wide range of Father’s Day […]

Continue reading



Anchors Aweigh!

Just-in: a new collection of marine-themed summer greeting cards, perfect for the up-coming Father’s Day—or any summer season occasion.  We collaborated with New York artist Noha Mishriky to create this collection of six nautically-inspired works: anchors, lighthouses, rowboats, seahorses, starfish and seashells. She painted the originals in watercolor, then printed them on a nicely-textured watercolor […]

Continue reading



Bicycle Day

Naive as I am, I thought “Bicycle Day” was created to honor the two-wheeled, Earth-friendly, leg-powered vehicle!  It wasn’t.  But since I have little interest in chemicals more potent than strong tea, I’d prefer to talk about bicycles.  And so I will. The first modern bicycle is the German “draisine” from 1817.  Baron Karl von […]

Continue reading



Parrot Tulips

A “Parrot Tulip” is one with curled, twisting, or seemingly “feathered” petals—the result of selective breeding by horticulturalists.  Quite flamboyant, the Parrot Tulip also is more delicate than their simpler, original ancestors. As for the bold color striations seen in tulips—the Parrot variety or otherwise—these are the result of a diseased plant.  A “Mosaic Virus” […]

Continue reading



Poppies

“In Flanders fields the poppies blow, Between the crosses, row on row.” So begins the 1919 poem by Canadian poet-physician-soldier, John McCrae, memorializing the poppy fields of France and Belgium where so many hundreds of thousands died during World War I.  Nearly 100 years later, the poppy remains a potent symbol of soldiers killed at […]

Continue reading



Pansies

In William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the juice of a pansy “on sleeping eyelids laid, will make a man or woman madly dote upon the next live creature that it sees.” And in his Hamlet, doomed Ophelia, in one scene, distributes pansies, exclaiming, “There’s pansies, that’s for thoughts.”  Other writers and poets—including William Wordsworth, […]

Continue reading



Lillies

Greek lore tells us that Zeus’s son, Heracles (called Hercules by the Romans), was born of an extra-marital affair with the human woman, Alcmene. Zeus wanted his son to become a god, so he put his wife, Hera, into a deep sleep which allowed the infant to nurse at the breast of the goddess.  Hercules […]

Continue reading



Cornflowers

The humble cornflower—thus called because it often grew as a weed in English grain fields (which they called corn fields)—has a rich history in folklore, folk medicine, and even politics.  It was sometimes called a “Batchelor’s Button” because young men in love might wear them on their lapels.  Alas, if the blossom faded too quickly, […]

Continue reading



Tulips

Though most tulips have no distinctive fragrance, they are—visually speaking—one of my favorite flowers.  Either in the ground or in a vase, I love the way they stand—seemingly individually, yet always better en masse. As far as botanical historians can tell, tulips were first cultivated in Persia where they were a popular subject in art and […]

Continue reading



Hyacinths

In Greek mythology, Hyacinth was a beautiful and athletic youth who had admirers amongst the Gods.  Two gods in particular, Apollo and Zephyrus (the god of wind) were particularly smitten with him. Hyacinth showed a preference for Apollo, leaving Zephyrus none-too-happy.  One day, while Hyacinth and Apollo were tossing the discus, Zephyrus blew his wind […]

Continue reading



Easter Monday

Though not recognized much in the United States, Easter Monday has long been observed by Christians in other countries—and celebrated with various local customs from the charming to the bizarre.  Before the Nineteenth Century, the full “Octave” of Easter (that is, the eight days beginning with Easter) were celebrated, usually as an upbeat time of […]

Continue reading



International Children’s Book Day

Today is International Children’s Book Day—celebrated each year since 1967 on (or around) 2 April, the birthday of Hans Christian Andersen.  Each year, a different “host” country is selected and a children’s book author from that country is tapped to write a message to child readers.  An accomplished illustrator is engaged to design that year’s […]

Continue reading



World Water Day

Have you ever been “dying for a drink of water” and not been able to have one?  For one billion people in the world, clean, safe, reliable drinking water is not readily available. On this day in 1993, the United Nations General Assembly declared 22 March “World Water Day.”  It’s a day to focus attention […]

Continue reading



Spring Flowers

Here’s another offering in our new collection of Spring greeting cards.  It, too, is from Swan’s Island, Maine, printed on a vintage letterpress machine.  The artwork is by New Hampshire artist Katharine Woodman-Maynard.  It’s now in-store at LEO Design, just in time for Spring!

Continue reading



Simple Pleasures

As the weather warms and outdoor activities become more appealing, perhaps you’ll endeavor a countryside cycle trek?  If not, there’s always this card, now in-stock at LEO Design.  Adapted from a 1946 English graphic, this card was letterpress printed in a small workshop on Swan’s Island, Maine.  With great economy—and just three colors—it captures beautifully […]

Continue reading



The Year of the Goat

Gung Hay Fat Choy!  A happy and prosperous new year to all—especially to all those born in the year of the goat! The Chinese zodiac is comprised of twelve “signs”—each lasting approximately one year—each represented by a different animal.  People born under a particular sign are thought to share certain characteristics and personality traits with […]

Continue reading



Merry Christmas

A Merry Christmas to all—and a happy, healthy New Year, too. I’d like to thank all of my LEO Design customers for supporting the shop, especially during this—our twentieth!—Christmas season.  Without wonderful and loyal customers like you, we would not have made it this far.  Here’s to the next twenty Christmases! LEO Design is closed […]

Continue reading



Architectural Icons

The Empire State Building stands boldly on this new greeting card by artist Dan Durkin. While the collection is not new—we’ve been selling Dan’s cards for a few years—the card shown above was made recently at our special request.  Dan creates the original art work, prints the cards, then hand-applies touches of gouache before delivering […]

Continue reading



Cards in Another Color

More hand-made greeting cards, printed one-at-a-time in a small Vermont art studio.  The collection above—in red, buff, and white—are great for summer without being nautical. Please come into the shop to see the full range of new, summer-appropriate greeting cards. More new cards tomorrow.

Continue reading



Summer Greeting Cards

Just in time for summer, I’ve received a delivery of hand-crafted greeting cards, made (one-at-a-time) in a small Vermont art studio.  First the artist hand-carves the design into a linoleum block which is then inked and used to impress the design directly onto the paper. The original designs are fresh and perfect for the season—reminiscent […]

Continue reading



More Father’s Day Cards

Father’s Day is one week from today.  Just enough time to buy him one of our new “Outdoorsman” cards for the holiday.  Printed on 100% cotton paper stock in Canada, these cards are masculine, understated,  straightforward—just like Dad.  $5.00 each Come into the shop to see these and our wide range of great gifts for […]

Continue reading



New Cards for Father’s Day

With Father’s Day just a week away, we’re thrilled with our new shipment of Dad-appropriate greeting cards—in nautical and “outdoorsy” themes. Designed and crafted in Western Canada, they are letterpress printed on a luxurious, 100% cotton paper stock.  And, when Father’s Day is done, these cards will continue to be perfect for summer and early […]

Continue reading



Seasonal Greetings!

We’ve just received a large shipment—dozens of styles—of new Spring and Summer greeting cards from England, New England, and California.  Please visit the shop to see all the new styles:  flora and fauna, offset and letterpress.  We have cards perfect for Mother’s Day, Weddings, and warm-weather birthdays.

Continue reading