Friday, October 28, 2011

hunkering down...

So it's Friday evening.
A chilly, brisk evening - clear skies, beautiful sun going down here in Portsmouth... the kind of evening that makes you love living in New England (Or makes you hate it, as the case may be :)

I love this change in the weather. It makes me want to stay in the house - cook and bake - snuggle up and enjoy... and then take a stroll around town before bed. Something about bundling up that just really gets me going.

Today I had the chance to unpack and merchandise some really lovely new housewares and gifties, though... which now means that I'm on the 'i wanna renovate and redecorate my house' train. A perfect time of year to do so - get a little festive about it...

Most of these products are new for us at Gus & Ruby Letterpress. Everything from denim laptop cases to oatmeal soaps, and screen-printed burlap placemats to tobacco pouches :) We are really trying to get some beautiful new product in for you this holiday season; really raise the bar in terms of fabrication and design.

You want to hear more, don't you....

Well then here we go:
You'll see some of my favorite new stationery items from Loop, a Phillie-based company that produces organic and sustainable paper goodies that will literally keep you staring (and drooling). Elissa, the woman behind the hand-drawn designs of Loop is incredible, and her work just makes my heart go pitter-pat. The photog above shows her small jotters and larger lined and unlined journals. We also are carrying her gift wrap sheets and boxed notecards. This stuff is serious eye candy - all printed in a palette of grays and ombres on white stock - i love love love it all!

(photos courtesy of Loop)

Some other fabulousness that you should probably take note of are the super fun and whimiscal Thomas Paul textiles that we are carrying in the shop for the holidays. From fun, canvas eyeglasses cases, to those tobacco pouches and laptop cases I mentioned earlier - what I really adore about this company is that the products are hearty.

(photos courtesy of Thomas Paul)

Super sweet goodies right?! I just want to string those little printed, canvas chickadees all over the place :)

And how do you feel about bars of soap. I know - a little old school, right? But honestly, who doesn't dream of a big, bright bathroom with a beautiful bar of handmade, oatmeal soap and cozy hand towels just waiting for them at the sink! I certainly do... and if you've never had that dream before, you should put it on your To Do Dream List, because it's the best!

We couldn't pass up these 3-packs of soaps from Izola this year. Oh... and we have flasks now. Yeh, you heard it - 3 and 5 ounce flasks that are round and cute, and even the lightweight in me wants one. You should really get over here to check these suckers out!

(photos courtesy of Izola)

There's more to share... so I'll be back soon.
But for now, enjoy your weekend. Hunker down. Relax. Snuggle. And when you are looking for some inspiration, come see us at Gus & Ruby :)

Lots of love,

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Holiday cards by Dauphine Press

We are HUGE fans of Dauphine Press and love love love showing both their Coral album and the new album (more on that soon....holy cow. I'll leave it at that) of wedding invitations. So, when the fabulous Dauphine team sent along a little holiday album, we were just delighted. As is the case with all that Dauphine does, the designs are absolutely adorable, fabulously customizable (you can change colors, fonts, layout, etc.) and beautifully letterpress printed on textural 100% cotton paper.

And, it gets better! Order your cards or soiree invitations with Dauphine this holiday season (through January 1, 2012) and you'll receive FREE matching letterpress gift tags* as a gift from Dauphine to you! Amazing, right?

Check out some of the gorgeous designs below. Because many of these designs are hot off the press, we only have photos of a few and PDFs of the rest - but trust us when we say that the printing is to die for.

Example of a super cute photo card and then the matching gift tag that you'd receive for free:

And another example of a sweet photo card (remember, this would be beautifully letterpress printed in real life!) and matching gift tag:

So, give us a ring on the telly or drop us a line and set up an appointment ASAP to come check out this gem of an album. It's time to get started on those holiday to-dos; and, with Dauphine, you'll have the cards to beat this holiday season!

Ta ta!

(All photos and PDFs courtesy of Dauphine Press)

*Free gift tags will be printed on the same stock, in the same color palette and in the same quantity as the corresponding holiday card order. Embellishments such as foil stamping, die-cutting or back patterning are subject to additional charges.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Thanksgiving Inspiration

Hard to believe that Thanksgiving is just a few short weeks away but no need to worry because we just got in the most adorable fill-in invitations and tented escort cards from Rifle Paper Co. to help get you inspired! 

photos courtesy of Rifle Paper Co.

Even though I'm married now and have a home of my own, A.K. and I still jet up to Wolfeboro every year to have Thanksgiving with my family. My mom is such an amazing cook and puts together quite the feast. I know the time will come someday when we host dinner at our house and I have a feeling I will spend way more time on the decor and table details than I will on the food. Below is an inspiration board I put together based on the above invites and escort cards. I love love love the rich color palette and and rustic details. 

Stop in soon to pick up a box of invitations and set of place cards! 

Friday, October 21, 2011

Finger Lickin' Friday: Maison Laduree

(Little beauties. Found on La Tartine Gourmand)

It's been a long time since I've written a Finger Lickin' Friday post. Too long, really. But I really couldn't pass up the opportunity today to tell you all about my trip to Maison Laduree in NYC and the deliciousness that ensued.

Maison Laduree, as most of you likely know, is a world-famous patisserie that originally opened in Paris in 1862 as a tea salon. The shop(s) has become one of the most talked-about sweet-spots in the world thanks to the incredible confections that they make - most notably their french macarons - and their stunning brand design (well, for design geeks like me, that's one of the reasons I love Laduree!).

(Hello, adorable packaging. Picture found on Lobster and Swan)

French macarons are delicate little cookies made of ground almond and a meringue-like egg white batter sandwiched together using a myriad of fillings such as ganache, buttercream and jam. They are frustratingly finicky to make: too much mixing (the macaronage - the most important step) and you get wide, flat wafers. Too little mixing and they puff up. Too hot and they crack. Too cold and they don't get their little feet (the ring of bubbles along the bottom that signifies a well-baked macaron). I've attempted them myself to no avail. I'm a bit of a haphazard chef, so the finesse that these require isn't totally suited to my abilities (or lack thereof!). But, dang, if they aren't delicious!

(Beautiful Laduree box and delicious macarons. Found on Fashion + Class & Jetlag)

In any case, this past August, Laduree opened their 1st US location. The beautifully decorated shop is located in the Upper East Side of Manhattan and has made quite a splash in the NY sweets-loving scene. So, obviously, this past weekend while visiting my wonderful older brother in NYC (for his birthday! Happy Birthday, Alex!), I knew I had to make a trip to macaron mecca. On Sunday afternoon, we set out from the hip East Village to the decidedly more fancy-pants destination of 70th and Madison Avenue. Having been a far-away fan of Laduree for some time while never having actually tasted their goodies, I was giddy with excitement. While I knew that the opening had drawn crowds, I was not prepared for the 30+ minute-long line that we found upon our arrival at 4:30 in the afternoon several months after the grand opening. People really want macarons, it seems. We debated for a moment just throwing in the towel, but I knew I would regret not visiting so we settled in for a little people watching and mingling. Alex is a pretty great big brother.

(Waiting in line to get into the shop.)

It was a long wait for a 1.4" diameter cookie, but I'm happy to report that Maison Laduree did not disappoint. We got a sampling of flavors that included Pistachio, Salted Caramel, Blackberry, Coconut and Chocolate and they came beautifully nestled in an adorable little box. The macarons were the perfect mixture of delicate crunchy shell and soft, chewy inside and creamy, luxurious filling. The flavors were balanced and mouthwatering. And, while not cheap ($2.70 per plus the cost of a box if you don't want them in a wax-paper bag), they did live up to the hype in my mind. I'm already dreaming of my next visit!

(Inside Laduree)
(Me with my prized possessions)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

crumby, rainy afternoon...

It's on days like these that I wish I had a big cozy sofa to nuzzle into, with a hot cup of tea and a yummy candle burning :) Don't you?

The only problem is...

Our candle selection here at Gus & Ruby Letterpress is impossibly wonderful. And I mean - IMPOSSIBLY!!! wonderful. I was just saying yesterday how I wanted to rub my face in one of the candles?! What?! Is that normal? Or are the delicious and perfect floral and holiday scents seriously impeding my senses?

Regardless - I don't care. Because it smells deeeeee-licious here at the shop, and I want to share some of the love - with

All of our candles right now are made in the United States, hand-poured and 100% soy. They burn clean, all the way down to the absolute most-bottomest part of the jar :)

You are all familiar with our Aquiesse candles, which we'll be carrying in great new stocking stuffer sizes this year!

Luxe Linen and Pink Peony are our every-day best-sellers, but Monterey Pine is so popular that last year we literally couldn't keep it on the shelves. The beautiful boxes they come in still knock my socks off. And for those of you looking for a great hostess gift for your Grammy or best friend who's hosting turkey day this year: see Cinnamon Tabac. They'll love you (more than they already do) for it!

A recent addition to our every-day gift offerings here at Gus & Ruby are the crisp and clean designs and scents from Sydney Hale Company. Many of you have already snatched these oober awesome candles up. I love the sleek design and the fact that these could easily be given as gifts to that guy in your life who you never know what to buy for (because those boys always need a little extra hand in the get-my-place-to-smell-fresh department).

Oh, and did I mention they have a candle called Cocoa & Espresso... and it smells like you're baking fresh, delicious, decadent chocolate chunk cookies... from scratch.... in your own oven... seconds after it's lit. Right - you want this candle now, don't you :)

For those of you trying to diet before the holidays. My sincerest apologies. This candle will not help you fix your cravings for delicious homemade cookies. Maybe you should try the Grapefruit & Orange?

Just a thought...

And because I'm feeling extra generous, I'll let you know that we also have our holiday Paddywax scents in! In both small, ceramic jars and diffusers these home scents are really wonderful. How they manage to get the smell of Snow right is beyond me... but this is the candle I was trying to stick my face in yesterday. So I'll warn you, shop with caution when you find these goodies.

Don't even try to tell me your closet couldn't use a little something special and fresh this winter. These diffusers are just the trick! And what pitch-perfect packaging!!

Anyone wanna' come over and snuggle up with me?!
xo Lizzy