News / paris

Paper Travels: Paperworld and fun in Frankfurt!

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!

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Paper in Paris -- the Paper Traveler winter tour!

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.

Take a tour with Donna Morris of Best Friend In Paris.

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.

Whenever I'm in Paris, I always visit Calligrane and Melodies Graphiques, and leave with the most beautiful stationery and paper goods. (yes, that is vegetable paper from Calligrane!)

Want to join me? You can -- just follow me on Instagram!

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Finding pedrô! on rue Denoyez

Renee and I were having a blast in Paris. I’d taken her there as a graduation gift, and we strayed farther away from most of the usual tourist destinations. We rented an apartment on rue de Belleville through Airbnb (, bought wonderful cheeses, bread and wine from neighborhood markets, and wandered mostly around the 19th and 20th arrondissements.



When Renee said that she wanted to see some street art, I knew where one of our stops should be: rue Denoyez.

(there's a great pic and article at



Rue Denoyez is an ever-changing canvas, with artists staking out -- or covering over -- new spaces on the outdoor walls every day. The colorful street is host to graffiti art, sticker art, murals, and anything else in between. As we took photos of the outside of a studio, the artist came out to talk to us. His name was pedrô!, and when he invited us inside we saw murals of Rosa Parks, Barack Obama, Amy Winehouse, and a host of other famous people. The canvases were not in our budget, but pedrô! had paris maps stenciled with Rosa Parks, and we could not pass them up. We’d burned through most of our cash, but we dug deep into our pockets to for every last euro we could find to get those maps, that’s how special they were to us. I don’t know where Renee decided to put hers, but mine hangs proudly in our living room.


 (Rosa, before I put her in a frame.)


I later commissioned pedrô! to create the maps with Barack Obama's image on them for PULP, to hang in our store windows.



Later, I licensed a few of his designs, and you can have them, too! They are now available as blank notecards.


(pn001, Rosa Parks Paris Map)


 (pn002, Obama Paris Map)


(pn004, Frida on Vinyl)


I’m looking forward to seeing pedrô! and Paris and the 20th arrondissement again, hopefully sometime soon!

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