Tag Archives: Postal

It’s Just This Heart

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.

Conversation No. 1

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.

Signed, Sealed, Delivered

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.

VW Bus, letterpress cards, set of 6

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!

Time & Season

In case life has not given you a moment to stop and shop, here are few more ideas to get you going.

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First, just in time for the holidays, find unique paper goods at Brown Ink Paper Goods Holiday Sale with 20% off your entire purchase through December 21st. Please use Discount Code: HOHOHO20 at check out. Guaranteed delivery by December 24th if you order by 4pm this Friday, December 20th!! We even wrap your goodies for no charge.

Also, a few others which have caught my eye….

Image of Snowflake Card in Gold, Single Card

Gold Snowflake by Aileen Cheng Design could be used for brilliant New Year’s greeting card.

Typewriter Stamp Kit

The Typewriter Stamp Kit from terrain will make any hand-made card an original.

Letters In The Mail is a brilliant service which mails out letters at least twice a month from well regarded authors; some typed, others handwritten. For the young adults, Letters For Kids will be written by children’s authors, many of the them including a return address to write them back. And it’s only $5 a month! This all comes to you from The Rumpus, a place where people come to be themselves through writing. These people are passionate about writing!!

Since our family loves paper, stars and the moon, this 2014 Astrology Calendar from the Little Paper Planes online shop grabbed my attention right away.

The Typewriter Notelets from Smythson includes a matching tissue-lined envelope – Start a tradition by exchanging written letters over the holidays with your family!

Bergdorf Goodman is the stop for high quality items such as these personalized Leather-Bound Notebooks, a gift to hold on to for years ahead.

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You can find a beautiful, screenprinted by hand Marble Notes and Planner Set on Of a Kind created by Julia Kostreva which includes a notebook, planner and calendar.

Image of Snowshoes Holiday Thank You Card

 Being a fan of Thank You Notes, who wouldn’t love to receive this Snowshow Holiday Thank You Card from Small Adventure once the snow has settled post-holiday season. Ha!

Lastly, for you local Twin Citians, if you are out and about this week, make sure to stop into my friend’s new card and gift shop on 2515 and Nicollet Ave So…

South Minneapolis based Joel and Lauren from Old Tom Foolery have recently opened a bricks and mortar shop, Greater Goods, to sell their personal line and other goods as well. Swing by their Grand Opening Party tomorrow, December 18th from 4-9 pm with 15% off your purchase. The store even includes a writing corner and mailbox for those eager writers. My kind of folks!

Stamp duty: a postman braves snow in Kent, December 1962 - Not the first-class post<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
 Lastly, don’t forget your Postal carrier this time of year. They can’t except cash, but a simple Gift Certificate will definitely put a step in their stride as they hand deliver your mail this year. And if a gift isn’t in the cards this year, a written note expressing Greetings and Thanks just might be the best gift of all.

Maria

A little over a month ago Nick and I headed to Paris to celebrate my 40th birthday. We’d been contemplating this trip since the day I turned 39, researching restaurants, hotels, neighborhoods, gardens, cafes, food shops and more throughout the year. The weeks before the trip were filled with writing lists, organizing kids’ schedules, stocking the house with food and creating any possible order for our home to run as smoothly as possible for my sweet mother who looked after the Brown kids for six days.

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As I finished packing the night before we were to depart, I ran through my head the most important items on my packing list. Phone charger, check. Journal, check. Camera, check. Fabulous new boots, check. Passport, check…Passport up to date…pause…deep breaths continue while Nick heads downstairs to triple check. Pause. No breath. No, passport is not up to date. Reality hits hard. I am not going to Paris tomorrow afternoon, triple check. Oh wow.

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8 am came fast. With a few hours of sleep, blood shot eyes from crying, and a smidgin of hope inside of me, I headed for downtown Minneapolis to the original Government Center (potentially shutting down at any moment it being October 1st, government shutdown day) to sweetly ask, but with gentle persistence, how one might receive a new passport asap. After two hours of tracking down a passport photo, filling the meter, inhaling coffee, and watching the Government begin to shut down on CNN, I met my new friend, Maria. As I wrote out a check for my not-so-attractive passport picture (seriously, no complaints), trying to hold back my tears of joy and exhaustion, I asked Maria how I might thank her for expediting my passport. After she refused any gift cards she simply replied “Just send me a postcard from Paris.” This was only the  best possible thing I could have heard at the moment, besides “Yes, you will be receiving a new passport today.” Pure joy. I gave thanks to Maria and raced to jump on a plane as fast as possible.

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Four days later, as I sat at in Parisian cafe beginning to write my postcard to Maria, surrounded by French conversations, fountains and champagne, I thought this has got to be the best postcard I have ever written. And it was. It was a memorable trip from start to finish. But writing that postcard topped it all.

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The surprises continued on the flight home when we received a bottle of wine from a flight attendant with a note attached, on stationery with a photo of the Eiffel Tower. What? In this day and age. Lovely surprise. We gave thanks.

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There is hope out there people. And surprises in your day, just when you think you’ve hit a wall. We have yet to receive any of the letters we sent to our children from Paris but, hopefully, one day Maria will receive her postcard, and will smile hearing my gratitude.

Wendy’s Wednesday Picks

I’m alive and well, fellow readers!! Aside from a quick trip over to Paris with Mr. Brown (more on this next post) life has been jam-packed as we make the final tweaks to the Brown Ink Paper Goods online boutique, opening soon. My time to blog these days has been spotty, but eventually this will change. For now, I’ll be highlighting my favorite topics every Wednesday to keep you up to speed on interesting points in the writing world!

First off, check out the new blog from the founding editor of Stationery Trends, Sarah Schwartz, called The Paper Chronicles. For a paper lover like myself, this blog is fabulous for introducing new lines and connecting with those who appreciate the handwritten note. Congrats Sarah!

The Paper Chronicles

Speaking of new businesses, these letterpress business cards from The Beauty of Letterpress are out-of-sight. Crazy about this one, numbered and perforated. So original.

My in-laws, Sally and Jim, just returned a few weeks ago from a month long trip to Alaska. Sally, a big fan of handwriting, sent numerous postcards to our family. We loved hearing about their adventures through writing and pictures of wildlife they came across.

IMG_0007I was the lucky recipient of a postcard full of the Alaska State Flower Forget-Me-Not seed. Love.

To celebrate its first birthday, Olive Box has come out with a stationery box filled with beautiful greeting cards for every occasion. Perfect for a gift or to have on hand!

Card-olivebox-bigFor you local folks, it’s the 20th Anniversary of Lunalux, my favorite letterpress printing and stationery store in the Twin Cities. To comemmorate the anniversary, they created a beautifully letterpressed party invitation, printed it on a unique lead and wood type, and added lined envelopes to boot.

lunalux.two-oh!.invitation1Make sure to stop by next Saturday on Customer Appreciation Day with 20% off products.

Speaking of local, temps have only begun to drop in Minneapolis, yet soon enough the Holiday season will arrive. Just our luck, the 2013 USPS set is larger than ever, with 8 holidays stamps. Check out the history of each one. Here are a few of my favs…

Global Holiday: Evergreen Wreath

Global Forever: Evergreen Wreath

Gingerbread Houses 

Poinsettia

Poinsettia

Finally, a word from my son Oliver. The other day he needed a little alone time in his room and, with no direction from his parents, returned downstairs with this note in hand.

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Translation: Bea I am sorry I spit on your head. Priceless.