Tag Archives: Letter Writers Alliance

spreading the love

Lately I’ve realized how little I’ve mentioned some of the brilliant blogs out there which support our passion for writing. So on this fine, sunny Monday I thought I’d bring up a few that keep me coming back for more.

The gals behind Letter Writers Alliance honestly amaze me. Beginning in 2007, Kathy Zadrozny and Donovan Beeson created not only a blog which consistently highlights the importance of the postal world but have also created a community in Chicago that offers gatherings such as Letter Writing Socials. They also sell unique writing supplies on their fantastic online shop. And best yet, an inexpensive LWA membership gives you access to exclusive postal items and downloads. These gals do it all!!

membership

Oh, Hello Friend is another favorite. Danni sells her products online as well as via brick and mortar in California. She also shares a million DIY paper projects, like this simple message in the bottle.

By the way, head to OHF today for an awesome give-away of handmade notes!

If I want to be visually inspired, Suann Song from Simple Song Design (just outside of DC) always plays with paper, color and design. She also creates stationery for The White House which is a treat to check out.

 

There is nothing like foodie blogs which grab my attention such as herriott grace (pie in a cup below) and bogart loves (egg in a hole)!

 

Of course, Letters of Note is one of the most fascinating sites around, gathering all kinds of letters, postcards, memos, telegrams and faxes from over the years. One of my favorites, below, is from Johnny Cash to June on her birthday. Such sweetness.

Who do you all follow these days?  Come on now, spread the love.

simplifying

The month of September has been one of the busier times in my life. Between hosting a wedding ceremony as well as a dance party/taco truck/b-day party for a friend, family visiting from Seattle, and Oliver’s birthday party, this family has been on GO mode. I would not have changed a single thing. But now, I am ready to be still.

The funny part is, I’m not sure this is even realistic in my present life while managing a house filled with three kids. Go figure. However, I will do my best to simplify my life. Some people might react to this thought with “emailing vs. letter writing will sure save you time.” And although they might be right, that’s not part of my master plan. Instead, I will find ways, manageable ways, to keep up with the writing without losing sleep.

Idea #1 – The Document Folio from Letter Writers Alliance

I can’t even begin to tell you how useful this bag became this summer. Between swim lessons, park outings, plane rides, I always had my pouch from LWA on hand when I needed to shoot off a birthday card, thank you note, or generic postcard. The key was to supply it with enough postage, stationery and pens to stock me up for battle.  And this small bag is the perfect size and weight for all I needed.

I also include a tiny address book with all my friends’ & family’s addresses on hand. I found this one at a Minneapolis boutique years ago but they’re not hard to find.

Idea #2 – Buy Postage online

I am happy running errands but these days my time is limited. So, when I enter the neighborhood Post Office to find a line out the door and only one or two postal workers behind the counter, it’s hard to not let out a major sigh and do a 180 (it’s what we get for paying all those bills online). One great solution, which I’ve thought about for awhile but never taken the initiative, is buying stamps online. And lo and behold, it’s the easiest process. The shipping is less than it costs you to drive to the post office.

Once I went online I was blown away by the variety of stamps offered. I had no clue the USPS sells custom stamps which you can’t find in the post office. They’re twice as much as the 45 cent forever stamps but, hey, it does make your letter stand out from the rest of the stack.

 

The Candy Corn stamps are Ollie’s favorite but I prefer the Autumn Treasures.

Crazy about these Hand Turkey Custom stamps

 

You can get a jump on your holiday cards by ordering the Santa and Sleigh right now. Talk about simplfying your life. Bring on the snow.

As I go forward with this idea to simplify, finding the time to write cannot be pushed aside. I have this gut feeling…life is not going to be any less crazy even with a slower social schedule. I’m up for the challenge. Let the writing continue.

Old School Arrival

The other week I was coming back from my last run around the lake, (Baby Brown has had enough up and down movement for this pregnancy), when I noticed a tentative mail carrier leaving our home. This was an unusually early time to receive mail although I was more curious why this woman was walking away with such caution. As she drove off I noticed an odd figure hanging from our mailbox. I started to laugh out loud. Hard.

Our Pigeon Post had arrived! Recently Sally, my mother-in-law, had mentioned something out of the ordinary would be arriving via mail. She hinted what this might be only to me.  The pigeon was originally sent from cousins in San Marino, CA who had read my holiday gift post and loved the idea of the Pigeon Post from Letter Writers Alliance.   I never thought we’d be fortunate enough to receive the carrier pigeon ourselves. So I left the goofy looking bird hanging from the mailbox for the boys to see that afternoon. Their mouths dropped when they returned home from school.

After reading the letter sent from Sally & Bobbi, we learned that “Pat the Pigeon” was originally Guru Govind Singh the 118th in retirement from the India Post service. He was one of the best service pigeons, being clocked at a top speed of 125km per hour. Sounds as though Guru is a mentor to the other pigeons serving the LWA in its regular delivery service. Who knew? The boys were hooked. The idea that at one time letters were delivered by pigeons had tackled their imaginations. Who should we send the pigeon to next was a burning question soon on their minds.

 

A few weeks later Oliver and I handed Pat the Pigeon to a kind mailman sitting in his delivery van (LWA suggests dropping it in the mailbox but we thought the letter carrier might get a kick out of the bird). He had witnessed a coconut being sent through the mail but a pigeon was the first. So watch your mailboxes, readers. Pat could be arriving at your door any minute now.

 

A Few of My Favorite Things…

It was too challenging to narrow the list down to only a dozen, so hold on to your pens my friends. The holiday gift idea list is a bit on the long side.

First off, to the postal lovers.

 

The World’s Smallest Post Service is at your service, ready to be enjoyed by your favorite letter writer. What a great excuse to sit down, focus on something small and send it off to someone you love. 

 

For those of you who may have a family member who still looks back with naustalgia at the carrier pigeon days, here is the perfect gift. This Pigeon Post package from Letter Writers Alliance (one of my favorite sites) provides you with everything you need to send the pigeon back and forth, holding a letter in it’s pouch, just like the good old days.

 

You can’t go wrong with a custom stamp from Paper Source works. Although this means you would be stamping and not writing, if a stamp provides the motivation to write a letter then bring it on. I gave my mother and mother-in-law these personal stamps for Mother’s Day this year and both were thrilled (free shipping with orders over $100).

 

Now let’s celebrate stationery.

I am sucker for notecards and sales. And right now R.Nichols has a great deal for you. Free shipping and 25% until the end of this week. Too hard to pass this up!

This Ikat Domino + Wood Box Set from Stripe and Field might be the ideal gift for that family member who appreciates hand written notes…or just to keep for yourself!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These stationery sets are beautiful enough to frame.  Peony from Satsuma Press is produced by one woman in Oregon and the three dimensional Retroplants from Crafterall is created here in Shorewood, MN by a one gal as well (love you single, female artists!).

 

And for that friend with the beautiful handwriting…

My friend, who will remain anonymous, is surprising her sister with her very own OpenType font created from her personal handwriting. I thought this was a brilliant idea especially for someone with impeccably, unique handwriting.

 

Spread the Journaling Bug.

For the bird watcher or traveler in your life, this Hamline Pocket Journal is made in Heirloom Cognac leather and can even be personalized. Can we say Father-in-Law?

 

And for those bloggers (who ever you are) out there, this Archie Grand notebook from J.Crew is the perfect way to keep track of your favorite sites.

 

Pens and Pencils are perfect stocking stuffers.

The retractable, ballpoint Spectrum Pen in the MOMA color palette will keep you smiling all the way through every journal entry.

 

Why not step out of the box and pick up one of these beautiful pottery mugs to use as a pen and pencil holder. Something a loved one would see every day at their desk can make a meaningful gift.

 

And for those of you with more expensive taste…

From the Rad and Hungry, a site which sources interesting supplies from around the world, treat the pencil fanatic in your life with a Yearly Subscription of (twelve kits over 12 months) of 14 STMT X Pencils each month!

Coming from Symthson on Bond Street, this Jonathan Saunders Panama Diary is one you want to hide from the kids.  It’s elegant in every way using goatskin leather and lined with printed silk. Oh la la (or Ho Ho Ouch!).

 

In my world, the ultimate gift would be a quarterly surprise in the mail where you would be delighted with cards from different artists each season. Parchment Post read my mind. Here you can purchase a six month or one year subscription of their seasonal collection of cards. Sending handwritten cards just became even more enjoyable.

 

Lastly, for those of you still in need of holiday gift tags, look no further.

 

Etsy rocks with many treasures created by talented artists including…

Joy by Paper Lovely Letterpress

 

 

 

And Tree and Red Cherries by Conversational Design.

 

 

 

 

 

These gifts cards from Rifle Paper Co. can be ordered online or, if you live in the Twin Cities, pop into Paperista and droll over the beautiful variety of stationery (check out their blog as well).

So there you have it folks. My list of the year. Hopefully something grabbed your fancy and you will join me in making this holiday season a time for writing and reflection.

Merry Merry.