Last week’s snail mail delivery included a letter from a friend written inside this beautiful notecard. Look closely and you’ll see that Midsummer’s Day at Pyramid Point depicts a profusion of meadow flowers along a trail leading to one of Leelanau County’s dunes. Roiling clouds cast ominous shadows on both the shoreline and the surface of Lake Michigan. Butterflies rise from the meadow and dance in the upper border of this complex and intricate card, a creation of Leelanau County artist, Kristin Hurlin.
I’ve admired Kristin’s work for many years and before I received my friend’s letter, I’d already reached out to ask Kristin if I could feature her stationery on the Leelanau Letter Writers blog. This post, the first in a series highlighting and promoting stationery by Leelanau artists, is meant to showcase their artistry and help you obtain products from these individuals if you’re interested. (Please note that I don’t market any of these products, nor do I receive any payment or products for writing about them. I’m simply hoping to promote local artists and, of course, letter writing, and to suggest that if you’re looking for writing paper, you might think about spending locally and sending globally. Besides, supporting Leelanau County artists can be a way of sharing the natural beauty of this peninsula with the world.)
Back to Kristin—
If you’ve spent time in this area, you’ve likely wandered into Kristin and her husband, Paul May’s, Glen Arbor shop on a summer afternoon to check out Paul’s handcrafted furniture or admire Kristin’s prints. Or you may have spotted Kristin’s cards in one of Leelanau County’s many gift shops. Kristin and Paul moved to Glen Arbor in 1983 with their two children. Now longtime Leelanau artists, their creations have delighted visitors and residents for years. In particular, the Leelanau scenes Kristin captures in her prints and transfers to her stationery possess a magical quality; the borders surrounding each card are their own versions of amazing.
This past December I purchased several of Kristin’s winter scene cards from her website. I selected cards showing a pine forest laced with lake effect snow, a somber orchard with unharvested apples capped with snow, a snowy owl sailing beneath a silvery full moon, and a cedar wreath hanging on stained glass adorned with chickadees. From these, I chose the card I thought each person on my list would appreciate. When I finished my Christmas letters and mailed them to friends and family, some of whom live on the other side of the world, I felt like I’d included a present, in addition to my handwritten letter.
And although it’s not stationery, since this website is the Leelanau Letter Writers, I wanted to share a Kristin Hurlin product I only recently discovered. While in Northport’s Pennington Collection, I came upon a jigsaw puzzle with Kristin’s version of a map of Leelanau County. The artwork depicted the varying depths of Lake Michigan with soft shades of blues and greens, the intricate geography and topography of both the mainland and islands that comprise our county, and an imaginative legend and border. I purchased the puzzle and spent the following weekend putting it together. Once completed, I left it on my coffee table for several days just so I could admire it; Kristin’s use of color and her designs were, as always, one-of-a-kind, recognizable, distinct, and beautiful. I found myself thinking that this puzzle would be a welcome addition to a Northwoods cottage. Or a souvenir of a memorable visit to the Leelanau.
A selection of Kristin’s cards and her puzzle can be purchased at Northport’s Pennington Collection or you can order more of Kristin’s cards, along with her prints and other art work directly from her website: glenarborartisans.com. If you mention the Leelanau Letter Writers when you order cards directly from Kristin, she’ll include an extra card with your order.
And the next time you’re in the market for stationery, consider spending locally and sending globally. Support the artisans who enhance the quality of our lives. But above all, keep writing and mailing those letters!