I love to take morning walks, experience the wide and beautiful world around me, and use the images I discover in my work.
April was the month for cherry blossoms in DC, and I enjoyed wandering around the old trees to take in their fragile beauty.
In May, I had a delightful visit while I was gardening at our home in the Shenandoah Valley; this butterfly actually sat still long enough for me to snap a photo!
And in July, I discovered a leafy plant in West Virginia that I hadn't seen before (please tell me if you know what it is). I thought it would look great on this card!
I hope you'll enjoy sending these brand new greetings to the people you love!
Pop In to a Pop Up!
Here's where you can find me in July and August. And remember, you can always shop for Paper Traveler goodies online!
Ongoing through July & August
Think Local First Market at The Shay
Wednesdays through Sundays, 12pm - 7pm
1933 9th Street Northwest (Next to Warby Parker), Washington, DC 20001
July 28 & 29: 11am - 4pm, weather permitting
Outdoor DC Makers Market, Woodley Park Ace Hardware
2616 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20008
August 18 & 19: 11am - 4pm, weather permitting
Outdoor DC Makers Market, Adams Morgan Ace Hardware
1704 Columbia Rd NW, Washington, DC 20009
Follow my Instagram feed (@papertraveler) to see where I'm headed on my morning routine. I may be around the block, in DC, in Philly, or who knows? If I'm lucky I'll be in Paris. You just never know what I'm going to photograph next!
When I launched Beverly Jones, Paper Traveler, I told my friends that one of my goals was to buy and sell pretty things all around the world. I'm thrilled that in addition to my own work, I'm now able to feature the work of two Austrian companies. I love it when a plan comes together!
I discovered Michaela Zirg's ZIMIglobe paper spheres while walking the aisles of Paperworld in Frankfurt. The little globes drew me in -- the world, the globe, the paper traveler, right? When I found out that they were actually cards, I nearly jumped for joy.
Michaela Zirg is the inventor, designer, and owner of Vienna-based ZIMIglobe. Michaela's products are cards that turn into gifts; you write your greeting on the back and mail it (a vellum envelope is included). Your recipient reads your greeting, then pulls the wire to create a three-dimensional ornament. The ornament is easily turned back into a flat card by pulling the wire again. Pretty nifty, eh?
I was delighted to find queer-diverse, LGBTQ friendly cards at Paperworld -- it was a fantastic surprise. Ulla Klopf and Ute Baurecker are the designers behind PABUKU -- The Quirky Paperie, also based in Austria. When I walked into their booth, I gasped and smiled, just as my friend Ron Henderson would have done if he were alive, and had been there with me. I found cards for EVERYONE here! One of the things PABUKU believes in is "creating with love and pride -- it comes straight from the heart," and it shows.
This past weekend, as I read and relaxed, I looked over at my huge aloe vera plant. It was such a tiny little thing when I bought it four years ago, and put it on this friendship greeting card.
Here's what it looks like today:
Can you believe it? Before and after! I'm happy that my aloe's happy. I'm sure it can't wait to get back outside when the warmer weather arrives.
One of my other photo subjects did not fare as well. Large, beautiful cherry trees used to line the path of my morning walks. I took many pictures of them, and used them for a blank notecard and a Mother's Day card.
Alas, those trees have been destroyed. A huge apartment building is going up where they used to stand. Why couldn't the developers try harder to save them, so they would continue to bring joy to everyone passing by?
I'm so glad to be able to capture moments -- whether they're around the block, or around the world -- so that you can enjoy them, too, in the greeting cards and art prints that I create. It's a chance to keep history alive. It may be just a tiny little sliver of history, but it matters to me, and I hope it matters to you, too.
Cafe 9 has moved on from this teeny tiny pop up to do great things -- just check out their yummy offerings on their Facebook page -- and a gelato stand is popping up in their old space.
I hope they have some great signs!
I want to be like my beautiful 88 year old neighbor, Ruth, when I grow up. She's full of humor and wit; when I visit her, she regales me with stories of travels she's taken, and places she's lived throughout the years around the world. It's always fun to get together with a fellow traveler!
I gave Ruth one of my Inspiration calendars for Hanukkah, and now she calls me the Quote Lady. Each month she looks up the quote and the person that I picked for the calendar; this time around she had some choice words for me!
In 1987, Congress declared March as National Women's Month, and I chose Jeannette Rankin to be the woman to grace the calendar page. Ms. Rankin was the first woman elected to the United States Congress in 1916, four years before the 19th Amendment was passed giving women the right to vote nationwide. She was the only member of Congress who voted against United States participation in both world wars. While searching for a quote to go with another image, I stumbled upon Ms. Rankin's quote that remains timely: " If I had my life to live over, I would do it all again, but this time I would be nastier."
Ruth loved the artwork for March, but she said, "Jeannette Rankin had so many other quotes that I think fit her better. Have you seen them?" I'd seen a couple, but decided to find more that I could share with you, too.
“I may be the first woman member of Congress, but I won’t be the last.”
"We're half the people; we should be half the Congress."
"Men and women are like right and left hands: it doesn't make sense not to use both."
Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/jeannette_rankin_802727
"The individual woman is required . . . a thousand times a day to choose either to accept her appointed role and thereby rescue her good disposition out of the wreckage of her self-respect, or else follow an independent line of behavior and rescue her self-respect out of the wreckage of her good disposition."
“Babies are dying from cold and hunger. Soldiers have died for lack of a woolen shirt. Might it not be that the men who have spent their lives thinking in terms of commercial profit find it hard to adjust themselves to thinking in terms of human needs? Might it not be that a great force that has always been thinking in terms of human needs, and that always will think in terms of human needs has not been mobilized? Is it not possible that the women of the country have something of value to give the nation at this time?”
In 1970, while talking to a reporter about the Vietnam War, Rankin said “Surrender is a military idea. When you’re doing something wrong, you stop.”
Jeannette Rankin's philosophies and ideals continue to this day. When Jeannette Rankin died in 1973 at the age of 92, she bequeathed part of her estate to help mature, unemployed women. The Jeannette Rankin Scholarship Fund now provides college scholarships and support for low-income women 35 and older.
Jeannette Rankin is ever-relevant... thanks for the lesson, Ruth!
Hi, friends! Some of you know that I planned a big Euro trip, first to Frankfurt, and then to Paris. While I was excited about attending Paperworld, I was even more jazzed to be able to travel to Paris to explore the arrondissements, take tons of pictures, and create brand new art products for you to enjoy.
The Paris part of the journey did not work well at all; I came down with the flu and spent ALL of my time in a Belleville hotel, in bed. The Hotel Scarlett was a sweet little hotel, by the way, with an excellent staff -- they helped me find a doctor, and made me tea. I took a few pics of my lovely room and at the airport, but I have to say that part of the trip was a flop. No worries, it gives me one more reason to go back to Paris -- soon!
one of the few Paris pics I took... rue de Belleville.
But before that, I had a marvelous time in Frankfurt. I'd never traveled there before, and it was a great experience. I spent most of my time at Paperworld, as I was only there for a couple of days, but the hotel in which I stayed was comfortable and fun.
I decided to save a little money, and booked a hotel about three miles from Paperworld. The Moxy Frankfurt East, a Marriott concept in the Frankfurt neighborhood of Ostend, was easy on my pocketbook. I'd read lots of reviews about the hotel, and some folks who posted thought it was a very strange, nontraditional hotel; check in at the lobby bar! no full service restaurant! no closets! It all sounded intriguing to me, and I thought it would be a good time to try something new.
My check in experience did take place at the bar, and it was a pleasant interaction. I told the staff they were the hardest working hosts in hospitality! They handled check in/check out, tended bar, served as baristas, cooked delicious bar snacks (yes, bar food was available, heated in the convection oven or the microwave - it was quite tasty), and handled special requests with professionalism and humor. They were the best part of my stay at the Moxy. Marriott, I hope you are paying these nice people very well.
I loved my room at the Moxy. I packed relatively lightly, so not having a closet was not a problem. I had to search a bit to find hooks to hang my coat; they were embedded into a super graphic wall hanging. I ended up saying "Hello" to this woman every night!
can you see the hooks?
My room was compact, but it was minimalist, spotless, and had cute messages on the walls. It was very soothing after a long day at the show.
I ended up using some of the room fixtures and furnishings as props for my mini art prints -- they'll be up on the website soon.
When I wasn't relaxing in my comfortable room, I was either on my way to Paperworld -- the trade show provides free passes on public transportation, a big plus -- or I was wandering the show halls. There were actually four different gift shows going on at Messe Frankfurt simultaneously; Paperworld, Creativeworld (arts and crafts supplies), Christmasworld, and Floradecora (a floral show). I started to get lost in all of the beautiful craft exhibits of Creative World, but since I had a limited amount of time, I tried to get a little more focused! Tried. :-)
My favorite booth was the Caran d'Ache exhibit, where I got to play and color with my fellow attendees. How fun!
Another fun exhibit was Werkhaus. I loved their easy-to-assemble, sustainable products, and I hope to carry their some of their products soon.
I jumped for joy (on the inside! I tried to maintain outer calm) when I discovered Pabuku. It's a gender-diverse, funny greeting card line, and I enjoyed meeting Ute Baurecker and Ulla Klopf, the owners of the company. I placed an order, and Pabuku will be available online in my shop and at the Ace pop ups beginning in May.
I almost missed Michaela of ZIMIglobes. Her booth was tucked away in a tiny sliver of space -- it was probably the smallest space a vendor could get! But I saw her mini world globes, which of course made me think of Paper Traveler, and I quickly found out that these little spheres were actually greeting cards! I ordered the world globes and some Dia de los Muertos DIY coloring globes.You color the globe, write your message on the other side, mail it, and the recipient pulls the wires so that your card becomes an ornament. How clever!
Michaela and her sister
I was so excited about ordering desk planners and notepads from Dot or Dash that I totally forgot to take pictures, but I'll have their products in time for Mother's Day.
Even though the rest of my trip was a bust, I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Paperworld, and hope to come back again and spend even more time in Frankfurt!
I had big fun in 2017 creating sets of mini art prints of inspiring people and places I've been, and I was thrilled that you loved them, too, and bought them over the holidays. In a few days, I'll find even more photo opportunities for my designs; I'm taking my paper travels to Europe later this week! My first stop will be PaperWorld, a gift show held in Frankfurt. I'll be looking for excellent stationery and paper goods to sell in the online shop, and at pop up shops later this year. After Frankfurt, I'll spend a few days in Paris, taking tons of pictures for new art prints, mini art print sets, greeting cards, and calendars. If you have a favorite place, I would love to know about it -- please email me and let me know what you suggest.
The list of places I want to visit and to photograph keeps getting longer and longer. I know I won't be able to make it everywhere, but here are a few things I definitely plan to do.
I met Donna Morris through a DC friend several years ago, and had the most wonderful dinner with her in Batignolles, a residential neighborhood in the 17th arrondissement. Donna has lived in Paris for ten years, and conducts entertaining, engaging tours around the city. I'm going to take her Paris, How It Works tour so that I know how to move around the city more efficiently.
Book a photo shoot through Airbnb.
I'm late to the party... I didn't know that in addition to booking places to stay, Airbnb provides all kinds of experiences, from live music crawls to having dinner in a French chef's loft! Tania is going to take dozens of photos that I'll be able to use here on my blog, on Instagram, you name it. I can't wait... even though I don't usually like to have my picture taken. :-)
Visit my two favorite paper stores.
Want to join me? You can -- just follow me on Instagram!
O what fun we'll have at The Docks at Union Market! Logan Hardware, Bailiwick Clothing, Mare Naturals, and Beverly Jones, Paper Traveler are teaming up with the Junior League of Washington Holiday Shops and many other cool DC merchants from Friday, November 17 through Sunday, November 19 at 1309 5th Street NE in Washington, DC. Dock 5 is located on the second floor of Union Market.
Holiday Shops is more than a unique shopping experience; it is also one of JLW’s major fundraisers. Funds are raised through ticket sales, vendor fees, and an online auction, and support the League’s ongoing efforts to improve the Washington, DC, community through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers and by awarding annual grants to local nonprofits.
Each year, thousands of shoppers attend the Holiday Shops throughout the weekend. Be sure to stop by, say hi, and shop for your family and friends; with each purchase, you'll be making a positive impact on the DC community.
Friday, November 17, 2017: 6 – 11 p.m.
Saturday, November 18, 2017: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Sunday, November 19, 2017: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
The cost for a general one-day shopping pass is $5; a two-day pass is $10. Tickets to special events are also available.
I received this card from Dr. Timothy Lapham and his wonderful medical team at the Wound Care Clinic in Leesburg, Virginia.
It reminded me that paper, art, and enlightenment have been my co-companions on a path over the past year and a half for which I was totally unprepared.
When I first launched Beverly Jones, Paper Traveler, I intended to travel the world, buying awesome paper goods internationally to sell locally, taking lovely photographs, and selling my cards and art prints around the globe. Last year, however, I received the news that I had multiple myeloma -- a blood cancer -- and my journey was significantly diverted.
My weeks soon filled with chemotherapy treatments, additional visits to specialists to combat the many side effects associated with treatment, skyrocketing blood glucose levels (my diabetes was affected by the steroid medications I took), and extreme fatigue. It was a very rough time.
It was also a very enlightening time. I processed my jumbled emotions and feelings through art, creating dreamy, psychedelic works, sometimes at 3 o'clock in the morning (those doggone steroids again!). While some of the images were pretty, I made some really awful stuff too. What I discovered was that it didn't matter -- good or bad, my desire to create was the thing that was most important. For years I had struggled with crippling anxiety about my work, wondering if I should even continue with my business. After my multiple myeloma diagnosis, in a matter of weeks, that anxiety was gone. I realized that life is short, and I needed to get busy following my passion for art. It was a tremendous breakthrough moment for me.
A very positive person, Mark Andrekovich, gave me the best tip to aid me in my process. Mark suggested that I create a looseleaf binder to hold all of my medical documents. I used a big binder to hold everything, but also created a sleeker binder that I carried everywhere with me. It contained my appointment schedule, current medications, most current test results, and important addresses and phone numbers. I inserted pages of my art prints inside and on the outside cover, and they brought moments of joy and inspiration even on the most horrible days.
As my body got more used to the chemotherapy and my side effects lessened, I was able to get back to my morning walks, discovering new images to incorporate into my designs. I hope they will inspire others to be brave and courageous, too.
After 24 weeks of chemotherapy, I underwent a stem cell transplant at the University of Maryland Medical Center. I spent three weeks in the Bone Marrow Transplant Unit, and many more weeks as an outpatient and several months recovering at home. Art was there to cheer me again, this time in the form of warm, loving get well cards and notes from friends and family.
I'm finally getting back to my old life -- I'm once again busy with art markets, pop-up shops, and more -- and I use the insights I discovered along my unexpected path to create new works to share.
After everything I went through, I found that side effects from the maintenance meds I'm on still creep up here and there, hence the sweet card from Dr. Lapham and his crew. I'm still on the multiple myeloma path, which ultimately is good, because that means I'm still alive! (How's that for a silver lining?) While myeloma is very treatable, it is not yet completely curable. So... while I still intend to share with you stories of retail shops that I find across the country and around the world, and photos from my morning walks, I'll also include tales from the medical path I'm still on, as it continues to inform the work that I do. I hope you enjoy the ride!
I was so happy to share my morning walk yesterday with my friend Naa'ilah. We have known each other for over 20 years, from the time we were single moms living in Philly. Our children are now all grown up, and thriving... and Naa'ilah is now jidd (Arabic for Nana), down here in my neck of the woods helping her daughter (my goddaughter!) care for her sweet new baby.
Naa'ilah is a photo buff, and I thought it would be cool to take pictures together. I didn't know what we would find out here in suburbia, but we managed to see some interesting things.
I found various textures and shapes in the apartment lobby to use in my photocollages, and once we stepped outside, of course there were lots of flowers and plants...
...and sadly, a memorial.
All along the way, we chatted about our daughters, friends, family, and life in general. It was good to catch up! All too soon, it was time to get back home and get to work. But I was reminded that one of my mottos for the year is to simply Connect. How wonderful it was to make time to do just that.
Thanks, my beautiful friend. Let's do this again soon!