Friday, February 16, 2018

More from InCoWriMo

The letter writing goodness keeps spreading as I received this gem in this week's mail as part of International Correspondence Writers' Month (InCoWriMo). I'm inspired by the envelope and in love with the handmade paper she used as stationery. You too? Who can blame you?
I plan to unplug for the majority of the upcoming week and dedicate myself to analog communication: letter writing, journaling, idea generation, diving deeper into existing ideas to see how I can best execute them, planning, dreaming, capturing my dreams on paper. All this with a pen and notebook (Maybe a few postcards and note cards too. A few colored pens and pencils. Maybe some whimsical rubber stamps. And fun postage stamps too.)

And what will you be doing this week?

Sunday, February 11, 2018

InCoWriMo Update

I received my first letter from the InCoWriMo website where I had entered my name and address in their international Address Book.  Isn't that some lovely writing and mail art? I just love a decorated envelope (and, really, any mail that's personal is appreciated!).
Interestingly, the author chose to select someone who has the same name as her. I love that idea! I've been doing random searches by scrolling and then stopping and selecting one of the names that are presented in that screenshot. Sometimes I choose one from outside the US, but mostly I've selected names from the US.

How about you? Are you participating in #InCoWriMo this year?

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Types of Mail to Send for InCoWriMo

In my last post I listed suggestions of who to send mail to for the 2018 InCoWriMo challenge. In this post I will list types of mail you can send if you need some more inspiration.

1. Postcard of your city or state
2. Postcard of a place you've been
3. Sympathy Card - If you don't know someone who lost someone or a pet recently, then possibly find someone in news whose story touched you.
4. Birthday Card
5. Handmade Card
6. Copy/paste some humorous cartoons or sayings into a WORD document and print them and mail them to someone who A) Doesn't do social media or B) Would appreciate them.
7. Thinking of You Card
8. Get Well Card
9. Send a letter on your prettiest stationery
10. Create your own Q&A to share with a friend or penpal
11. Mail a secret on a postcard to (keep anonymous)
12. Thank you card
13. Valentine card (better yet, buy a pack of six)
14. Purple (or the color of your choice) Letter (ink, paper, stickers or washi)
15. Congratulate someone (new job, baby, move,blog)
16. Ephemera - gather some mismatched paper pieces and send to someone who appreciates
17. Recipes - send a copy of your favorite recipe (include a photo if you'd like)
18. Send a picture of someone that you have to them - maybe one they've never seen. What a delight!
19. Weather updates - track weather patterns for a day or two and send a report to one of your mail recipients. Extra: Include a photo.
20. Send a letter to yourself. When you receive it, leave it unopened for a set amount of time (five years, one year, six months, whatever you decide) Current challenges, future dreams, list of gratitude.
21. Send a postcard. Most of these are international ($1.15 postage) and the site requires you to have an account. In exchange, when your postcard is received/registered, then you will be sent a postcard from somewhere in the world.
22. Go to Goodwill or some other store where you can buy used goods. Purchase postcards, cards or stationery there and then use one of them to send a piece of mail.
23. Say your sorry. It's never too late to make amends.
24. Send some color to a friend. A scrap of paper, a square of cloth, a ribbon.
25. Send a bookmark to your favorite bibliophile.
26. A calendar page with a date circled/highlighted for you and the recipient to do something fun.
27. A piece of fan mail to someone whose profession rarely receives such a thing (undertaker, custodian, nurse, policeman, etc)
28. Send a letter to yourself. Use your favorite stationery and best stamp(s)!

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Ideas for InCoWriMo this February

Are you making plans to participate in this year's International Correspondence Writing Month, more commonly known as InCoWriMo? If you visit the official website, you'll find a list of hundreds of names and addresses from all over the world, as well as ideas on how to make the most of InCoWriMo.

If you're on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, you can search for #InCoWriMo and see who is talking about what they'll be doing for this annual, month-long, self-designed adventure. It's great to get some new ideas and find others just as interested as you in sending and receiving mail.

I came up with a list of 28 ideas of possible recipients for the writing challenge. Of course, the easiest way would be to pick a different name from the address book on the InCoWriMo website. You can state in your card, letter, postcard if you're looking for long-term correspondence, or just a one-time "How do you do".
1.  Movie Star
2. Sport Figure
3. Newscaster
4. Television star
5. Author
6. Politician (local or national)
7. Penpal (current or previous)
8. Someone from incowrimo
9. Someone from sendsomething,net
10. Valentine to someone
11. Someone you admire
12. Family member
13. Old friend or co-worker
14. Musician/band
15. Someone from armed services
16. Someone who lost a spouse/child
17. Someone you've never met
18. Nursing home resident
19. Stationery enthusiast
20. Public figure you admire
21. TV show writer or producer
22. Favorite product/company
23. Local animal shelter or cause
24. Letter to south pole
25. Someone in another country
26. Sympathy card
27. New homeowner
28. Someone pursuing a dream

Of course, you can always write to Yours Truly! I'll be glad to write back.

What are your plans for InCoWriMo? In my next blog post, I'll show how I've begun my special preparations so that I'm ready to roll on February 1.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Postage Increase on January 21, 2018

The cost to mail a 1 oz letter increases from .49 to .50 on Sunday, January 21, 2018. The postcard rate will increase from .34 to .35. There's something soothing/correct to have the stamps at rounded numbers and not at odd/unusual numbers like it seems they have been for a long time. I have always missed seeing the denominations on the stamps. Ah, the good old days.

An additional ounce stamp remains at .21 and the cost to mail an overseas letter or postcard (1 oz or less) also remains unchanged at $1.15.

With the introduction of the Forever stamps (2007), it does make it convenient when the stamp prices increases to not have to go out and purchase more stamps or additional postage. Still, I miss having the amounts on the stamps. How about you?

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

A Visit to the Paper Patisserie

Welcome to the Paper Patisserie store in the Cathedral Hill area of St Paul, Minnesota. It's a beautiful area of the capitol city with tree lined streets, wide sidewalks and wonderful coffee shops such as Nina's Coffee Cafe which is just a few steps from Paper Patisserie.
The welcoming front door to the building greets you with old, well-worn brass and wood. Once you're in the building, you will still need to enter the store which is immediately to your right.
Welcome! Isn't this quaint?
The first thing that caught my eye was this book lamp. Don't you love it?!
I'm drawn to the desk with it's small drawers and inviting space.
How about this massive collection of Clairefontaine notebooks? Small, medium, large- they've got them all!
So this owl was there and tried to talk me into taking him home. Maybe next time!
Who doesn't love a collection of waxes and seals? I have some of each but just do not use them enough to go through them very quickly, so they last a long time.
Pens, pens and more pens.
This lovely typewriter pencil holder was one of my favorite finds
The wall of gifts and, more importantly, paper!
New file folders, anyone? Yes, please.
This aisle is bordered by the large glass windows that let in the Minnesota sunshine.
Here's a view of the front door from the inside.
Looking back before I leave, purchases in hand, ready to go outside and brave the Minnesota winter.
Goodbye, Paper Patiserie, until we meet again!

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Stationery Stores in the Twin Cities - First Stop: Ampersand

Recently I visited the Ampersand Shop in Edina (suburb of Minneapolis). My goal is to visit all of the stationery stores in the Twin Cities' area between now and the end of next year. I didn't get a picture of the outside of the store (which is located in an upscale strip mall not far from another favorite place of mine, The Container Store). I found this image on their website.

Some of the stores are mostly all stationery and some of the stores have just a little bit of stationery with a lot of other types of gift items. Such is the case with Ampersand Shops.

Don't you love this Letters plate? Me too!
I took the photo above because I liked how their name was decorated with plates. Very original.
Here we have some postcards. Aren't they great? I love unique and unusual postcards
A wonderful selection of boxed note cards.I maybe should have taken some close-ups of some of the designs.
This is my favorite - a giant LOVE ball. They have a variety of sizes and colors. This one is a 5' ball that sells for $99.
Stay tuned next week for another stationery store visit. What's your favorite stationery store?