I grew up on the top floor of a five story apartment building in Boston. Our family lived across the hall from another young couple who had a three year old daughter. Although I felt much older than her, I was only five. We became fast friends and spent many hours playing house at the top of the emergency exit staircase.

As dinner time approached and we went back to our apartments, I'd go back to my bedroom to write her a note. I'd make a card and write as best as I could in big block letters. I'd finish it off with stickers, step out into the evening hallway, and leave it on her doormat. Sometimes she'd write back, sometimes she'd thank me, but more than her reactions, I'd always feel the thrill of making those notes and dropping them off.

Thirty years later, not a bit of that thrill has worn off. I'm always searching for that special card or beautiful paper to write on. I'm always excited about sending people cards and I love writing letters. When we travel to Japan, a country as much in love with paper as I am, I end up spending hours in the stationery section of the department stores. Everything is so wonderful and different, it's hard to pick. Luckily, my husband is patient! Finally, when I return home to Los Angeles, with a suitcase full of new goodies, I'm ready for another season of writing.

I wanted to bring all those unique items together for you in one place. Here they are! May your search through them be as fun as my search in gathering them.

Garin Hussenjian