Thursday, March 24, 2011

German Jellyfish

I can always depend upon my Louisiana cousin to surprise me with a new and appealing stationery product. Carolyne keeps up with what’s cool and new in the field of cards and stationery much more avidly than I’m able to do, and that is probably because one of her passions is writing cards and notes to everyone she knows and many she has only briefly met. This requires a sizable array of material in her stock room, which I believe was at one time a guest room in her house. A big box arrived here from Carolyne yesterday, and among the various treasures inside was a ‘Blend and Send’ stationery set, a collection of twenty-four stationery sheets, twelve envelopes and twelve seals, all in what teNeues calls a Sea Life theme. Splendid—just what I would expect from a German designer and manufacturer of stationery goods.

The name teNeues will not be new to many whose passions include fountain pens and ink. Directly in line with that is a love of fine paper, notebooks and stationery. teNeues (ta-no-es) was founded originally as an offset printer in Krefeld, Germany in 1931 by Dr Heinz teNeues. Today they publish a wide range of books and also produce calendars, greeting cards, stationery, posters and blank notebooks or journals. In 1982 the company opened a New York subsidiary, followed by subsidiaries in London and Paris. teNeues products are available through their online store, as well as through several dealers in paper and stationery, including Amazon.

The Sea Life set is all in dark blue and khaki brown, with four distinct page designs of sea life, from seahorse to jellyfish and starfish, and including sea shells, starfish, coral and sea anemones, with the back side of both paper and envelope plain white. The word that comes to mind is ‘striking.’ This is not a set of writing paper and envelopes you are likely to find at your local stationery store, or among the offerings at Staples or Office Depot.

Probably a wasteful indulgence, but I wanted to test the quality of the paper, so used one of the twenty-four stationery sheets to write out a sample passage from a favorite book, using a Pelikan Souverän 600 filled with Noodler’s Lexington Gray (this month’s favorite ink). The result was good. No feathering or bleed through and smooth flowing all the way.

I’m eager now to try one of the many teNeues blank notebooks that I found on their website.


  1. Beautiful and interesting post. The paper is exquisite and leaving it to Carolyne to send something that lovely.

  2. That paper is extraordinary and the post very interesting. I love beautiful note cards and stationery but I'm not as prolific a correspondent as your cousin. Maybe that will be a new goal towards which to aspire. Lovely ink color, also, although the greens and violets are still my favorites.

  3. Beautiful cards; perfect for you in your environs. Am familiar with teNeues from my bookstore days: calendars, journals, striking books. Glad to see in our ever homogenizing market that they seemingly are thriving.


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Oak Hill, Florida, United States
A longtime expat relearning the footwork of life in America