Overheard at the Paper Shop

Guest Standing in front of greeting card rack - "Do you sell greeting cards"?
August 03, 2020 — Susan Gallagher

Ilona, (Helen), Mom.

She literally could grow vegetables in gravel, she didn't need to, but she would show you how ("because that's what we had in our first house," she would say, ... "a yard full of gravel").
May 14, 2019 — Alex Pozsonyi

TN Canadian Stamp Caravan

"...TN users to customize & embellish their
notebooks. Some people have traveled
far to pop-ups in Tokyo, Madrid or Berlin
just to collect these stamps."
May 05, 2019 — Susan Gallagher

Happy Mail

We keep referring to Happy Mail in the shop and whenever we are about town.  And even though we don't get a chance as often as we would like to practice what we preach, we still believe in it and promote it.  We are passionate about the written word and sharing with those we love, hand written notes, cards, letters and journaling always created with the care and attention they deserves.  Old school writing.  It means something.

Let me back-up.  Do you know what Happy Mail is?  You definitely know what Un-Happy Mail is.  Un-Happy is when you go to your mailbox and what is it you typically receive?  Bills. Flyers. Notices.  Paper like this usually doesn't really make you feel that great. This is Un-Happy Mail.

But every so often, and truly not often enough, we receive a card or even better, a letter.  It may be for a birthday, or it may be just because.  It may be from Mom or Grandma, or a long lost cousin or even an acquaintance.  And it makes us feel special.  It makes us feel loved. It means something.  It has substance.  This is Happy Mail. 

If I was to send you an email on your birthday, I guarantee, it will be deleted soon after the day. Because, technology has stripped us of our human connection to each other.  And yet, if I was to send you a card or letter, snail mailed to your postbox, I can guarantee, you would keep it longer than that email and you would read it more than once.  I can also guarantee, that it will touch your heart, even your soul.  This is the power of paper and pen.  This is the connection we are loosing touch with.  This is what a lot of us are looking for or missing.


Riversdale - This is where we are.

Riversdale - This is where we are.

We have seen a lot of fantastic changes in the 10 years that we have been in Riversdale.

Okay, technically not quite 10 Open (building possession + 9 months renos =) years. But in our defense and in reality, the extra year was spent behind covered windows renovating the oldest building on our block.

We have seen wonderful businesses grow and expand, new friends join in our excitement and be part of a community that is embracing the change for better.  Riversdale is once again vibrant and fresh and if you haven't had a chance to experience what is happening, you need to take a day to explore.

Many thanks to Bell Media and CTV for showing the rest of the world what is happening in our community. Click the photo below or click Here for the great work now on air!




September 12, 2018 — Susan Gallagher

NAS - (Notebook Acquisition Syndrome) and YOU!

Do you suffer from notebook acquisition syndrome (NAS)? 

Does this sound familiar?  “I love notebooks, I have so many though.  They are just too pretty to write in; I want to find a special use for them.”

I’m the same way, I love notebooks!  So much so that I think I might have caught NAS myself.  At Soul Paper I get asked often “What are people using notebooks for nowadays?” So, with summer days, festivals and time at the lake just around the corner, I thought I would share a few ideas for summer fun.

Bullet Journaling is hot right now. It is a planning and journaling system that can be customized to the way you organize your life.  Some people fancy it up with brush lettering and various coloured markers to make their journal more personalized.  This would be a great pastime for your quiet days at the cabin.

Travel Journaling is another popular one.  This type of journal is great for keeping track of the wonderful places you have visited.  Traveler’s Notebooks® were created for this purpose as there are various notebooks within the leather cover to fill with all the details of your trip.  These notebooks slide in and out of the leather cover and are easy to replace. Some people include pictures, ticket stubs, places they ate and sketches to remember their trip.  However TN’s have become daily carries for many people as they can separate the different aspects of their life into separate notebooks.

Art Journaling is a wonderful way to get your creative time in while also journaling your thoughts and desires.  Art journals are usually created using collage, paints, ephemera and pretty much anything else.  It is a place for creative exploration.  Some people Bible Journal in the same way to express how the scripture has spoken to them.

Have you heard of Morning Pages?  These became popular through the book “The Artist’s Way”  by Julia Cameron.  The idea is that when you awake in the morning you sit down and write without thinking.  This is called stream of consciousness writing.  This type of writing allows our thoughts to flow, uncensored which opens our minds to different possibilities such as opening a little shop called Soul Paper ;o) She suggests writing 3 pages each morning. 

Although notebooks and journals are primarily used for writing down our day to day musings, schedules and lists, there are so many other uses.  Here are just a few suggestions:

Gratitude Journal

A Line A Day Journal

Dream Log

Habit Trackers

Event Journal

Family Journal

Gardening Log

Creativity Journal

Bucket List Tracker

Quotes Lists

Hobby Journal

Concert/Music Journal


Drop into our shop for more ideas on how to use your acquired notebooks.

Writing is such a great way to learn more about yourself.  This summer, enjoy some time documenting your life.


Susan's articles are also featured in Flow Magazine (Saskatoon).

June 06, 2018 — Susan Gallagher

National Letter Writing Month - #Write_On

April 1st, 2018 will mark the fifth year of Write_On a campaign of letter writing led by the creative geniuses at Egg Press & HelloLucky and co-hosted by Mohawk Paper & Sakura Of America. And it all happens during National Letter Writing Month. And for the third year, Soul Paper is on board in Saskatoon.

  “But, wait!”
  “Didn’t we just write letters in February?”
  “What was InCoWriMo?”

InCoWriMo did just happen in February and was a very, very successful “International“ event.  But the National Letter Writing Month campaign is the brain child of Scholastic and the United States Parcel Service (USPS) to promote joy, connections, artistic expression and sharing through hand-written correspondence. It is a way for us to unshackle ourselves from technology and put our souls into something that will mean the world to the recipient.

  “So why is Soul Paper doing this?”

We believe in Happy Mail. It is one of the founding cornerstones of our little shop. One of the disappointing things in our lives, is going to the mailbox every day to find … un-happy mail. Flyers. Bills. Summons to appear in court. Tax forms. You know the depressing, trivial, mundane mail. The stuff that we want to forget.

But Happy Mail is, that card from Auntie Gertie for your birthday or pictures and a notecard from your son away at camp or that touching letter from a lost friend traveling the world reaching out to reconnect. These are the letters we save in a shoebox for safe keeping and further reflection. Happy Mail creates moments that touch our souls. We believe in the cause, and want to promote it here in Canada.

  “So why should I write?

There are oh so many reasons. Remember the shoebox? Wouldn't it be great for your grandchildren to happen upon it long after you are gone, and learn about you? Or even the mysterious pen pal you had in Sarikei?

How about for the simple fact that you truly wish to keep old school correspondence alive. Emoji’s have their place, but there is nothing quite as personal or heartfelt as a hand written letter.  It shows that someone actually cared for you enough to write to you, and not simply email.

Or are you upset with the way the world is today? Write a letter that saves, makes a change or speaks for those who cannot. Use your words to make a change.

A great example for "why", is an excerpt of an article by Samara O’Shea for Huffpost in 2011;

“A text message that says: I Luv U

A letter that says: My dear Girl I love you ever and ever without reserve. The more I have known you the more have I loved. In every way--even my jealousies have been agonies of love, in the hottest fit I ever had I would have died for you.

(Excerpt from a letter written by John Keats in March 1820).”

  “I want to get in on this! What can I do?”

1. Participate. Commit to writing a letter every day for 30 days. Even if you just put them in a shoebox for your great grandchildren to find.

2. If you are in Saskatoon and wish to participate, follow the link for more information about our Kick-Off & Stationery Swap. If you can join us, be ready to trade stamps, washi, envelopes, etc.


3. For all other news, updates, connections and all letter writing goodness, follow us on Facebook and/or Instagram.

4. The official Write_On website.

5. Also, please connect, follow and share with these great folks too;

6. Have fun with this. It may well change your life for the better.


It Only Takes a Spark

“Make the most of yourself by fanning the tiny, inner sparks of possibility, into flames of achievement.” - Golda Meir
February 09, 2018 — Susan Gallagher
The Joy of Giving

The Joy of Giving

Is this the world you want?

You’re making it. Every day you’re alive.

You change the world.

 - Switchfoot
December 02, 2017 — Susan Gallagher


As a child, I was taught to respect my elders.  I was told to be kind.  I knew to especially respect veterans.

I was told in brutal graphic clarity why I should.  Both my parents survived the war as children.  They were over there, in the fields in Hungary, in the mud, helping soldiers, when the Allies bombed during the day and the Germans and Russians bombed at night.  They experienced it.  They had vivid memories.  Nightmares.  Thanks to them, they came to Canada as refugees as young adults in 1956, because they didn’t want their kids to have to experience war.  The level of respect I have for all that my parents have done is tremendous. 

As is my respect and admiration for all those that ensure my safety, security and freedom.

As an adult, I have an obligation to show my great appreciation to all that keep me safe from tyranny, war, strife and conflict.  They ARE the reason that I have the freedom to choose what path I lead in life.  Unequivocally respect.

But every year, I fight an inner struggle.  Every year I am faced with a dilemma.  And every year, I do the best that I can, to NOT show disrespect with my actions.  Let me explain …

Growing up, Remembrance Day meant more.  School was closed.  The adults didn’t work.  And you went to a service in the morning, solemnly, silently ending at

11:11am on November 11. The church bell would ring 11 times.

There was not a stitch of Christmas Holidays to be seen.  No seasonal swag anywhere.  No Bing or Cole on the radio.  And all the shops were closed on this day.  You stayed home with family.  Ate humbly, and took time to remember the fallen.  In fact, you spent some of it with family friends as well, listening to stories of people lost, time long past.

This day was to remember.  This day had substance.  This day was the one day that you took to respect people, just like you, that sacrificed their lives for all our freedom.

This November 11 falls on a Saturday.  So it would seem easy to spend the day as we should … paying respect.

Ahh but no.  Remember, the dilemma?  Or crux if you will?

As a small local retailer, we hold off stocking shelves with holiday cheer until November 12.  It is a choice, to follow tradition and to pay respect.  Yes, closing for a day and not putting out Christmas product, does affect business, marginally.  But instead, I choose to sleep at night, knowing that I haven’t sacrificed my values.  I don't shop.  I don't eat out.  I don't buy online.  I stay in, with family.  Just like my parents had me do.  Respect - for one day.

On Saturday we would be normally closed.  Saturday’s are typically a small retail businesses’ better revenue day.  It is also one of the only days that helps us little shops survive against big box & online sales.  So this year, we will be open the weekend.  Closed on Monday for observance.

In spite of ourselves and the choices we have to make, I will feel horrible about being open.  I am sure, some CEO in a tropical home somewhere won’t care in the least about my feeling. Or the fact that we feel bad about staying open, to survive.  I do sincerely wish them the best, as they count the earnings from the Christmas sales from this past mid-October.  Did I mention Christmas does not arrive in our shop until this Sunday?

I will feel bad.  The shop will be open.  And life will move on for those of us that are free.

I will feel good about one thing …

Every year, I personally take over one of our shop windows.  And every year for this solemn event, I honour those that gave me the freedom to do this for them.  It is a very small gesture.  It is all about poppies.  It is always about the poppies.

This year, the window honours all 11,755 from Saskatchewan that have fallen from 1885 to today.  The list creatively installed in the window can also be found here.  Take a moment to read the names.  They are family, friends and our past.

The Fallen sacrificed everything and freedom is what we were all given.  Lest We forget.

November 08, 2017 — Alex Pozsonyi