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3201 St. Paul St. / 410-235-7860

Open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday, or by appointment

After years in the custom stationery business, Lisa Belman has mastered the fine art of the invitation. An authority on paper stock, inks and type styles, she's sensitive as well to the touchy task of acknowledging moms and stepmoms and other blended-family members in auspicious announcements.

Milestones and their celebrations are "not a time to divide your family," says Belman, who keeps Crane's Wedding Blue Book, an etiquette guide, at the ready.

Since she opened Signatures Charles Village in January, Belman has helped customers fashion proper invitations for weddings, bat mitzvahs or graduations and any number of events, at any number of price points. The cost of 150 wedding invitations starts around $500, Belman says. "I always try to give people something classy that's going to be well-received, regardless of budget."

Belman's shop also offers a panoply of inexpensive mix-and-match stationery by Rossler and a selection of fetching greeting cards by tumbalina, Caroline Gardner, Saffron and other companies. Signatures is also a source for journals, office storage products, gifts for teachers and cards featuring local landscapes.

E-mail has yet to obliterate the personal note, Belman says. "I don't think our society will ever completely accept that."

Know of an interesting shop that's just opened in your neighborhood? Let us know. Send a note to liz.atwood@ baltsun.com.

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