Thursday, November 26


.....we will be opening at 9 am for you early birds!
we may even stay open til 7, dunno, we are wild and crazy like that.



What did you notice?
The dew snail;
the low-flying sparrow;
the bat, on the wind, in the dark;
big-chested geese, in the V of sleekest performance;
the soft toad, patient in the hot sand;
the sweet-hungry ants;
the uproar of mice in the empty house;
the tin music of the cricket’s body;
the blouse of the goldenrod.
What did you hear?
The thrush greeting the morning;
the little bluebirds in their hot box;
the salty talk of the wren,
then the deep cup of the hour of silence.
What did you admire?
The oaks, letting down their dark and hairy fruit;
the carrot, rising in its elongated waist;
the onion, sheet after sheet, curved inward to the
pale green wand;
at the end of summer the brassy dust, the almost liquid
beauty of the flowers;
then the ferns, scrawned black by the frost.
What astonished you?
The swallows making their dip and turn over the water.
What would you like to see again?
My dog: her energy and exuberance, her willingness,
her language beyond all nimbleness of tongue, her
recklessness, her loyalty, her sweetness, her
sturdy legs, her curled black lip, her snap.
What was most tender?
Queen Anne’s lace, with its parsnip root;
the everlasting in its bonnets of wool;
the kinks and turns of the tupelo’s body;
the tall, blank banks of sand;
the clam, clamped down.
What was most wonderful?
The sea, and its wide shoulders;
the sea and its triangles;
the sea lying back on its long athlete’s spine.
What did you think was happening?
The green breast of the hummingbird;
the eye of the pond;
the wet face of the lily;
the bright, puckered knee of the broken oak;
the red tulip of the fox’s mouth;
the up-swing, the down-pour, the frayed sleeve
of the first snow—
so the gods shake us from our sleep.
~ Mary Oliver ~
(What Do We Know)
happy thanksgiving to all...

Wednesday, November 25

scout loves o'suz

so there's a gal in town, susie matheson, who of late has made hunting and pecking for gems in charlottesvile her pride and passion. be they restaurants, shops, realtors, artists,winemakers and the like, susie "scouts" out the reasons we love charlottesville and have chosen to make it our home. you can subscribe to and read her blog scoutcharlottesville , as it posts almost daily about something she loves in this wonderful place. today she posted about us, thanks susie!!

On my honor, I will try:
To serve locals and local businesses,
To help people at all times, And to live by the Scout Law.

I will do my best to be:
honest and fair, friendly and helpful, considerate and caring, courageous and strong, and responsible for what I say and do and to respect myself and others, respect authority, use resources wisely, make the world a better place, and be a sister to every Scout.

Sunday, November 22

Harvest Time Cookbooks

this time of year, one of our favorite things to do is to share a warm feast of comfort food while the cold is brewing outside. whether you are preparing for a thanksgiving meal, or just a casual meal at home with friends, our collection of cookbooks can provide you with an endless number of downright delicious dishes to keep you full and cozy all season long. my mouth is watering just thinking about it.

come find inspiration for your future feasts!!

Saturday, November 21

2009 hostess gift guide

#1 beehive heart measuring spoons cast in lead free pewter, $40 for the set

#2 sachets from charlottesville's own lotta helleberg of inleaf, $20

#3 hand soaps from la compagnie de provence, 25 g for $2 and 100g for $6

#4 tag squirrel salt and pepper shakers, $12

#5 roost wood slice cutting board, $44

#6 modern twist coasters in a variety of designs $26

#7 jonathan adler vases, $30

#8 caskata note card box sets for the correspondence loving hostess, $18

#9 kikkerland champagne stopper, $8

#10 charley harper serving bowl from tag, 4.5" high, 10.5" diameter, $46

Wednesday, November 18

24 hours from now....

i know where at least 80 of you will be- AT O"SUZ being festive and sharing in the holiday cheer we plan to spread around with glee. are you coming? 4-8 at o'suz (on 4th street northeast).
at the very least there will be bubbly spirits (with alcohol and without), serious 2 4 1 goodies, perfect for gift giving including lots of kids and baby goods 2 4 1!!! .....and don't forget the 15 % off storewide during those hours, just for you!!!!

Wednesday, November 11

'tis the season to be jolly and so...

....o'suz is having a holiday bash to kick off the season in style-with spirits and sweet deals.
date: november 19th (next thursday) 
time: 4-8 pm
details are as follows:
we will have spirits to share and it will be the big reveal of the 2 for 1 for this year.
as well, we will be offering 15% off regular merch storewide during those hours, (no exceptions here). the party is casual but private. it's not the party you bring everyone you know and their kids to. not because we don't want a big turn out, but because if rsvp's mean anything at all, we will have a full house. in other words, with this get together, we are hoping to thank our blog readers and our mailing listers,  so if you are reading this, that's you! 

come and see all the xmas goodies we are putting out as i write, including amazing ornaments, cards and stockings as well as the 2 for 1 which is seriously juicy people, just ask aaron: she has been tending to it for months now as we work our way towards the season of giving. we did it last year, much later and it was a huge success, but with much less hooplah. this time we want to make it a treat. so between the xmas cheer and goodies and the 2 for 1, there will be much to see and buy!!! get it while the gettin's good. 

please rsvp to:

Sunday, November 8

books for tots that remind us of autumn....

one of the many joys of parenting is reading to your kid(s). though we are not reading long stories to red yet we are not far from a time when i hope redford will want a story every night at the very least. when he is ready, we will be too, as the book collection just gets better by the day at o'suz (and in red's bookcase). here are just a few titles we have at o'suz that seem like fun fall reading.

those darn squirrels!

the little yellow leaf

"i have a little problem", said the bear

HELP! a story of friendship

a seed is sleepy

peek a who?


autumn an alphabet acrostic

in november


little pea little hoot little oink

Thursday, November 5

squirrels are lining up at o'suz

Carrie: "You can't make friends with a squirrel. squirrels are just rats with cuter outfits."

unlike carrie, from sex and the city, we are nuts for our squirrels at o'suz. it's hard to resist such a cute and furry little woodland creature. be sure to come in and check out all these critters before they scamper back to the forest with their winter stash of acorns.

mcnuttie the squirrel from bla bla holding his acorn ornament from roost

pyrrha squirrel necklace
(represents a lover of nature and the woods)

bla bla 6 month squirrel sweater and hat

mark poulin squirrel necklaces

sukie agenda, tomo tomo squirrel lunch box,
and the boygirlparty magnet squirrel playing a guitar!

enormous champion i heart you card, squirrel postcard by the claudettes, and modern twist keepsake box

jonathan adler porcelain squirrel ring box

fun little tag acorn magnets, as well as these fantastic acorn tokens

roost squirrel lamp

Tuesday, November 3

save the date!!!!!!!

so you might remember we had a big 2 for 1 thing going last year at o'suz during the month of december. well this year, we plan to expand on that idea and begin the madness in november. ideally, our plan is to invite you, our loyal readers, and those of you who have so kindly given us your email address, to a preview party on november 19th. we will have the 2 for 1 out for you to peruse and purchase first. we will also have out all xmas merch by then as well as some libations. we are thinking 4-8. mark you calendars and stay tuned....

Sunday, November 1

november love it...pearl & marmalade!

hey there, peeps. remember a few weeks ago when i said to stay tuned for the october love it post? well somehow october turned into november, and here we are, november 1. we hope the juiciness of this post makes up for our tardiness!

pearl & marmalade is an amazing design studio out of chicago, comprised of dani and lee, two of the wittiest and nicest ladies around. we found them online a couple of years ago, and we've been obsessed ever since. their cards are offbeat and super, super sweet. i mean, who doesn't want to receive a note in the mail that reads: "like a shepherd and its rawhide chew i am rather fond of you." here are just a few of our favorite cards, and let me tell you, it was hard to narrow it down. enjoy, and thanks so much to dani and lee for answering our questions and giving us a peek into the world of pearl & marmalade!

well hello, little hedgie dirigible!

this is quite possibly the best "sorry" card ever made in the history of paper goods.
click on the image to read the text.

an ever-popular engagement/wedding card for the jane austen lovers out there.

and finally, one of aaron's personal favorites. i've actually never seen her look at this
card without cracking up.

what were your first jobs and how did you end up working in stationery and design?

Dani: In middle school I would babysit my cousins. Most of my hard earned money was spent on clothing and accessories from the local mall.

Lee: My first job was picking berries at a local fruit farm the summer I turned 13. I ate a lot of strawberries & spent most of my earnings on a very chic pair of hot pink Reebok high-tops!

We never formally studied graphic design (Lee went to school for writing & Dani's studies concentrated on textiles & fiber arts). But in Chicago we stumbled upon jobs at the same company creating & typesetting wedding invitations and became fast friends! From the beginning we were both at wit's end with the mainstream design-work, and bored with a greeting card market saturated with mean cards, hip catch-phrases & lazy typesetting. We took some spare change & a month of morning coffee money (we started P&M with about hundred dollars each), bought a ream of card stock and got to work. The early days were challenging- learning the ins and out of the mysterious world of business management, pricing & printers was a labyrinth (we are sometimes still in it!). We worked full time which demanded our weekends and nights belong entirely to P&M. But looking back it was the best motivator. Since we didn't have financial support from loans or investors our only option was to turn our ideas and that initial spare change into something more, or simply fail. The past 4 years has been a magnificent adventure. Getting to know other card-makers, being a part of the finest stationery shops (one such favorite called O'Suzannah comes to mind), and connecting with admirers of our cards is such an honor.

this is a recent letterpress print. i have it hanging in my
house, and it makes me smile everyday. yes, those
are raindrop hearts.

what are your favorite pieces/groups/series in your work?

Dani: I'm most proud of our limited edition letterpress prints. As a card designer I fear that my cards will eventually get discarded. The hope with the prints is that they will be framed, put on display and cherished for a long time. Our first print Amidst Routes was designed by Lee. It features botanical imagery, lace details and diamond shapes. It has a sophisticated color palette of warm grey and mustard yellow. I immediately fell in love with the design when Lee showed it to me. It reminds me of an old botanical print, but with a modern edge. It's just gorgeous! I'm a proud owner of the print, and it's on prominent display in my living room. We also offer two prints named Numbers, Numbers, one version in blue and grey and the other in pink and grey. I designed these prints with a baby nursery in mind. I think of these prints as my way of introducing children to design at an early age.

caught in the tentacles of love!

Lee: Of our letterpress cards I have a perma-crush on the Octo Love card that Dani designed this year- it's my favorite for a valentine/love card! And I have a fondness for our roots & vegetables cards 'cause each was designed with a special someone in mind (Mushroomy Compliments was for my husband, Fiercely Rooted for my childhood best friend, & Turnip Times was for Dani).

an o'suz favorite...there are no words to describe how much i love this card.

who or what inspires you?

There are piles of visual things that inspire us (antique valentines & wallpaper, 60's & 70's children's books, vernacular photography, vintage Vera scarves, old-time illustrations, strong fonts). But, plenty of our inspiration is also born in our fascination & longing for the curious manners of "olden days". We're all for a bit of sass and sarcasm here and there, but with our greeting cards we focus on an attempt to be a part of a community of folks wanting to send and receive sentiments of a kinder, more heartfelt & quirkier nature.

pearl & marmalade inspiration wall

what three websites do you visit daily?

style me pretty
oh so beautiful paper
oh joy

creature comforts
uppercase gallery

describe your ideal sunday.

Dani: My ideal Sunday is waking up late, treating myself to a homemade latte (I'm an espressoholic) and reading fashion magazines. If the weather is nice I love taking walks with my husband through our neighborhood and admiring the beautiful architecture. We live in the Chicago neighborhood of Wicker Park, which is known for its beautiful Victorian era homes. If the weather is crummy my husband and I love curling up on our sofa with our three cats and watching movies.

Lee: Mine would involve getting up early, taking the pooch for an extra long stroll & a few thrift stores. I also try to catch up on my letter writing & the week's news. On Sundays my husband usually makes fresh sorbets in the summer, or really simple delightful soups in the winter (in my book, this is ideal!).

pearl & marmalade cards EVERYWHERE!!!

studio vignette...hmm, owls and mushrooms, two of our favorite things.

Our studio space is tucked away in the Logan Square 'hood of Chicago. Our walkway & backyard is plumed with wild grasses, Queen Anne's Lace, giant hosta leaves and a gang of surly "garden cats" that shyly spy on. It's a perfect fit for us- quiet, a little dusty and off the beaten path. And as we grow, it's been large enough to comfortably fit all our production & stock, but small enough to remind us to keep things in tune to our initial mission of independent, honest and personal designs.