Tag Archives: pen pal

Cherry Red Cheeks

This Summer has become one of exploration. I’ve allowed myself to take some time away from my blog, Pinterest and the digital world by placing energy in new areas. From a painting series, pottery 101, piano lessons (a first since 9th grade), long bike rides around the city, and finding a new overseas Pen Pal, my mind and body are embracing the change in the current pace.

However, my enthusiasm for all the gorgeous, new products which hit our store last week is impossible to contain! Make sure to check out the main Shop page for a glimpse of fresh paper goods as well a handful of new Designers. A few of my new favorites for now…

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Seaweed Hello Set from Ferme a Papier

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Dahlia Gift Tags from Modern Lore

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Kraft Market List from Sugar Paper

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Thank You Mix Set from Read Between the Lines

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Eagle Letter Pouch from Izola

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Mushrooms Set from Gilah Press

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Kitchen Wall Calendar from Ilee Papergoods

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Polka Dot Notebook from Sugar Paper

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Neon Tags & Twine Box from Knot & Bow

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Here’s to celebrating the season…lemonade stands, evening bike rides, dips in the lake, journal writing on the porch in your PJs, sand in toes, cherry red cheeks and dirty knees. Throw in a postcard from the Grand Canyon and you got yourself a good, old memorable Summer.

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Stop the season. Summer is halfway over and I have yet to remind readers my love and the importance of camp letters! As I shared last year, aside from talent shows and singing in harmony around the campfire (you think I’m joking?), nothing brought more happiness than receiving a written letter at camp. A simple reminder that someone back home is thinking of you can bring joy to any camper, especially in today’s digital world.

Packing pre-addressed, pre-stamped envelopes with colorful notecards and unique stamps is probably all you need. However, if you supply a child with camp-themed stationery it might be just the trick to get them to share a wee bit more of their adventures while away from home.

Anne Marie from Scout’s Honor Co created a summer theme to her recently released stationery. I adore the Summer Camp card set as well as the Bait + Trail set, both perfect for camp letters.

Image of Summer Camp Card Set

Image of Bait + Trails Card Set

Personalize your stationery with these Campfire & Tent themed cards.

For the enthusiastic letter writer, this letterpressed camp stationery from Fawnsberg is perfect for young people to share all the details of their activities.

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Camp

My Camp Adventure Stationery seals the deal with a Summer Camp 2013 sticker!

 Sideshow Press is entirely Camp-themed (can’t wait to be selling some of their fabulous goods this fall!). A camper would go crazy for the Canoe Pencil Case filled with Message Pencils.

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Pencils

When packing their duffle don’t forget to throw this Sunshine Journal (filled with awesome craft paper), Paddle Postcards, and a Patch card with a message sharing how proud you are of your child venturing “away” camp. They can wear their badge of honor when camp is finished!

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Paddles

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Why shouldn’t learning to write letters be among one of the independence-building experiences your child brings home this year? Who knows, they might even come home with their first pen pal.

fueling the fire

It’s been years since I’ve been involved in an ongoing, consistent relationship using letters. This is too bad. It’s not as though detailed emails or longer phone calls with out-of-state friends or family have taken their place. No, simply put, overall communication has generally fallen off. Bugger. And it’s a bigger disappointment when you admit the value and purpose in sharing bits about ones’ lives through letters has almost disappeared. Thankfully not for all, such as with my friend Julie…

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Julie (juliekesti.com) and Cheyenne (rudolphclaystudios.com) became instant friends 11 years ago, both spending the summer as work-study students at Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts in Gatlinburg, Tennessee (home of the worlds largest Salt and Pepper Maker Shaker). Soon after Julie’s departure, the letter writing began and it’s never stopped.

On average a letter is sent every month, running about three pages in length and often composed over a couple of weeks. They purposely email or use the phone only when needed for business or big news. Being a teacher, Cheyenne often reuses paper and Julie tries to guess its origin. And Julie uses colorful pens, stickers and drawings in her letters and envelopes, always a treat for Cheyenne. They once made a painting through the mail, mailing pieces back and forth to each other, which was eventually used in an art show.

This is their first experience with pen paling, but it easily became a natural correspondence. Cheyenne feels through writing “Julie and I have a different kind of friendship…I feel very open to her in ways I am not with other, more local friends. I think with writing, we share a part of our self that is more private or more authentic than we could get through email or phone.”

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Julie says, “You get to be a part of moments in a faraway friend’s life that you probably wouldn’t otherwise. This happens a bit with Facebook but a letter is much more direct and personal, more like you are really present with the person – it’s magical.”  Cheyenne agrees, “A real letter is substantial and important, because it’s tangible and some other person took real time and real physical effort to make the letter.” These women are committed and consistent pen pals. I give them praise!! It might take more time, but the reward is priceless.

The people at The Little Folk also believe in the power of a Pen Pal but for young kids. They recently launched Pen Pal Collective, a traditional letter writing program for children 4-13. Once signed up, Little Folk will match your child with two writing pals as well as with a writing kit that includes paper, pencil, stamps, and more. The Brown boys will be sure to share their correspondences this spring.

In this file photo, a mailman for the U.S. Postal Service closes the door on his postal vehicle on November 15, 2012 in Miami, Florida.

In addition to these existing relations which fuel the fire, news just in from the USPS. The Postal Service plans to delay its plan to end Saturday delivery mainly because they do not have the authority to make such a decision. The question still remains where the postal service can save money. So for the time being, see if you can’t ignite a pen pal with a letter to a college buddy or sign your child up for the next round of pen pal from Little Folk.