Last week I received a package from a dear friend, Tracy, who lives in California. She was my old boss but, more importantly, a trusted and loving confidante whom I wish I connected with more often. Tracy is old-school in the sense she never texts, rarely emails, but occasionally rings while sipping wine in a vineyard she thinks we ought to visit. The moment I noticed Tracy’s easily identifiable handwriting on a brown paper package on my doorstep, I smiled really, really big.
I had seen her writing for years on production shoot notes or editing scripts, each letter always leaning way to the left as if there was a fan on the right side of the page. This was Tracy alright. Although her writing made me miss my close friend, there was a comfort in knowing she had created this package and card only days ago, pen and paper in hand. Nothing better.
I thought of this feeling again today when I received a correspondence in the mail. Just a few days ago I met up with a woman named Michelle, a fellow believer in the importance of handwriting . While we both took notes during our conversation I noticed her unique penmanship. All of her letters were printed lowercase yet still held a nice finesse and sophistication. When I found her letter sticking out of the junk mail one day, I knew in a second this was Michelle (I soon enjoyed a thoughtful note on lovely cotton paper, personalized with letterpress. My kind of girl!). Even after one meeting, her writing became one of the pieces of my new friend.
As we consume piles of catalogues, bills and excess paper advertisements each day, it’s a simple joy to receive anything personal in the mail these days. It’s in this moment when holding a simple, handwritten letter naturally forces me to pause, feel the life within the correspondence, and appreciate and give thanks for the effort behind the letter.
Handwritten étiquette and social stationery seem to be making the hot list these days. From a recent article in W Magazine which featured Sofia Coppola’s “wardrobe of stationery”…
…to an April article in the Fashion & Style section of the Sunday Times stating that the Thank-You Note is making a comeback, is this latest writing trend here to stay?
Writing letters and thank-you notes has never left my universe. I feel a bit fortunate for my age. It was only toward the end of college in ’94-95 when the internet began to take form (we all felt so giddy emailing each other across the room in the computer lab at UW-Madison). I was still writing my parents from travels abroad and keeping up with college friends via long handwritten letters soon after graduation. When I could afford it, personalized stationery came back into my life later on in my 20’s (mom spoiled us with monogramed stationery as kids) and my love of paper goods continued to gain speed. Even today, the only drawer I try desperately to keep my 1-year-old daughter out of would be my stationery drawer.
At a market last weekend, I was pleasantly surprised to see how many more young adults were purchasing Brown Ink Paper Goods. These folks also seemed the most enthused about the variety of products. It gave me hope. The Millennials might be shooting off a fancy, graphic designed picture sharing their gratitude for a memorable party, but if sources are correct, they also are following up with the thoughtful correspondence via snail mail.
Yesterday afternoon I found myself running down our snowy sidewalk in my socks. I usually prefer running shoes even in our balmy 22 degree weather but my heart made me do it. After missing our Postman’s pickup, I had no other option than to hand deliver the Valentine for my sidekick to the Postman’s mail truck. Love is in the air and at that particular moment there was nothing more important than making sure my postcard was in the mail on that day. The Postal Service also has reason to share this emotion. The USPS has recently announced The Love Letters Project, posting stories of individuals who owe a great deal of thanks to the Postal Service for a making love connection and drawing people together. Now through February 19th you can follow these stories through audio clips shared online.
My favorite is the story of Sandy and Donna, both heartfelt and thought provoking. You must listen to hear it all but here’s my favorite clip from Donna…
“But there is this moment when you receive that (letter) and it’s stepping into a whole other world. And I think that’s just the whole thing, suddenly being able to say things and choosing words properly without intonation, without implied messages, without anything. It’s just this heart.”
Make sure to take a listen to the other stories, all connected to letter writing through the Postal Service. But be warned, you just might be stirred to pen some sentiments of your own! Happy Valentine’s Day.
We at Brown Ink Paper Goods have been busy restocking, finding or creating fresh, new lines for all you paper goods fans. Enjoy…and more to come soon!
Once again we collaborated with Pomegranate Press to create a line of heartfelt cards which I’m crazy about!! These notes are perfect to send to a friend or loved one for Valentine’s Day but also can be easily used for any occasion. The XOXO’s were made from wood blocks and both the heart notecards were created with vintage letterpress type.
Two Hearts Card Set
XOXO Card Set
Starry Heart Card Set
We also asked Jonna at Twigg’s Bindery to create a few more colors from her Cardinal Long-stitch Leather Journals series since they were so popular last year.
Pink Cardinal Long-stitch Leather Journal
Cyan Cardinal Long-stitch Leather Journal
Let’s get our PINK & RED ON with a variety of goods from Brown Ink…
To Do List in hot pink by le typographer helps keep life in order.
Delfonics makes a sweet baby pink Ballpoint Wood Pen for all your scribbles of love.
Poppy colored Kraft Journal from Sideshow Press would make any writer warm inside! Also ideal for children for story writing or adventures over the winter months.
Octavo Long-stitch Fabric Journal in hot pink, another fabulous product from Twigg’s Bindery, can be the catalyst for a journal you write with a child or your other-half. Or a personal, inspirational journal of all that you love and wish for in the years ahead.
Use the Peony Ticket List as a coupon book for your favorite mate (good for cleaning the car, movie date in the VIP section, alone time in house, foot rub, etc.).
We still have a few items left for SALE in our Holiday collection for those looking for a deal. Too much goodness to go untouched. So spread the word that love is in the Brown Ink house!
As the festive season is coming to a close, wouldn’t it be nice if your stamps and Thank You cards were all lined up and ready for writing early in the New Year? Yes? That’s what we thought too!! Kick off your enthusiasm with ordering a few of these beautiful stamps for the new year.
The elegant 2014 Year of the Horse Forever stamp features Chinese drums and drumsticks painted red for luck, the seventh in the Celebrating Lunar New Year series.
Nothing beats the classic Ray Charles Forever stamp, a part of the Music Icons Series. The stamp sheet was designed to appear similar to a vintage 45 rpm record sleeve, with one side filled with stamps and the other an image of a record peeking out the top of the sleeve.
Here’s a peek of a few of my favorite stamps arriving in the coming year…
A new postcard stamp of the graceful hummingbird will arrive early in 2014.
The great spangled fritillary butterfly 66 cent stamp will make its way out in the New Year…
…as is the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge Priority Mail stamp marking the bridge’s 50th birthday in 2014, a part of the USPS Stamps Places series.
(If you are stamp nut, look back at the 2013 Stamp Stories and vote for your favorite stamps!)
Now all you need are some Thank You notes…
The Capri Thank You Set on Brown Ink Paper Goods is perfect for anyone on your list.
Although created for wedding needs, this modern and personalized Vista Thank You Card Set from Seaborn Press would be brilliant to have on hand.
Throw a little nostalgia in your note with the 60’s VW Bus card set from Pistachio Press.
If you are looking to make Thank You cards enjoyable for the kid in your life, try out these Many Thanks stamps on Brown Ink Paper Goods, with a variety of ink pad colors to select from.
Or pick a set of Les Animaux cards for the more mature young adult.
Whether they actually say “Thank You” or simply display a memorable image, it’s the written word which will appeal to the receiver on a cold winter’s day!