Some days we feel like the protagonist of Gil’s unfinished novel in Midnight In Paris: nostalgic, longing for a world past, attaching sentimentality to stuff that was prosaic only a generation ago. Like letters, for instance. Remember when letters were still a thing, when fancy stationary made us happy and bright neon envelopes were lined with stickers? Paper has become a retro accessory; even good old Indian Railways recommends you carry a copy of your ticket on your tablet or cell phone to conserve trees. And while that’s all very well, we miss the beauty of ink on paper, the feel of a thick handmade page, and even, maybe a little bit, paper cuts.
Stuck on you
Us paper Romeos were therefore pleased as punch to stumble upon two month old online portal Lulupu (http://www.lulupu.com), a Gurgaon-based online craft store that sources the nicest supplies from the UK, US and China. Founder Karuna Chauhan is a crafty cat herself (check out her blog here) and would promise friends all kinds of favours to cart back her supplies from trips abroad. Eventually, her readers began emailing with questions about where they could score the same stationary, and so she decided to start Lulupu.
Karuna insists that Lululpu isn’t “just a shop” – that would be no fun and also defeat her aim, which is to get more people to adopt crafting as a profession. To this end, she has populated her website with a gallery of cool craft designers, a Youtube channel offering video tutorials, and if you’re completely confused, a phone number on which you can call her for advice on your purchase and final DIY product. Members on the website (registration is free!) can also comment on pictures and hang out in the e-Lounge area to toss about ideas.
We love the background and feel of the site, bright and cheerful without being twee. Single links on the masthead are easy to navigate, and categories on the sidebar are conveniently specific. The site’s still a bit buggy - it refused to load on our browser for a couple of hours one afternoon – but a the sunshiney floral background finally bounced into view, and it was hard to stay annoyed.
Our favourite merchandise on the site is washi tapes from Japan, especially vintage rose and black and white cancelled postage stamps patterns: use them to seal your love letters; and mini stamp sets with fun little cartoons to press all around the edges of a homemade birthday card. Also check out clear Fishy Love stamps, perfect for your laptop casing. In the We’re-Not-Sure-What-We’d-Do-With-That-But-We-Still-Want-It department are stick-on googly eyes, a bag of assorted buttons, A4 sheets of felt and a little gadget that adds heart stitching on to your paper without you having to use a sewing machine. Talk about being a lazy daisy!
We know it’s 2012 and we can’t travel back in time to attend a party with Fitzgerald and his spunky wife, but with a little help from Lulupu, we can make a card inviting them to our own bash right here in the 21st century.