Friday, May 27, 2016

The Angry PenPal

The letter arrived in a business envelope with no fancy address stamp, which was unusual for this longtime penpal who always used lovely return address stamps and stationery to write her letters. My instincts told me this was an ominous message.

I opened the envelope to see a single sided white paper with the words scrawled on there that she was hurt that I had visited her state and had not bothered to contact her to set up a visit. It especially bothered her that I was only an hour away. If that was the kind of penpal I was, then she was done with me. Don't bother writing. Ever.

Wow. I was stunned.

Why did she think her desire to meet with penpals trumped my desire not to? And why the demand to stop writing? Can't we disagree and still write? Apparently not.

I was glad to let her go as I didn't need that anger and small-mindedness in my life.

After a few months passed, I shared this experience with two other penpals. One of whom also had this woman as a penpal and had experienced the same fate as me- visiting her fair state. They had actually planned to get together, but bad weather stepped in and changed the traveler's plans (who also had two children with her) so no get-together occurred. Cue mean penpal. Angry letter. End relationship.

The traveling penpal was relieved (and not too surprised) as the mean penpal had shown her colors once before when her birthday passed without a card from the traveling penpal. Cue one angry letter.

Seriously, who does that?

The traveling penpal took the cue, sent a belated birthday card and balance was restored. Until their fateful trip.

Life's too short for angry penpals.







Sunday, May 8, 2016

The Address Book

I found this homemade address book at a thrift store. It has a wood front and back that is lacquered with a picture and the word "Addressory" (I looked the word up in the dictionary- it's not there).
There are photocopied photos separating each section. In the photo below, you can see it says "AB" in the upper right hand corner. There are 10 dividers in all. There is also a quote on each divider. The one below is by Emily Post and says, 

"Love in a letter endures forever in our memories."
The next few pages are form sheets with spaces for addresses as shown below. What's nice about this is that you can easily add more pages as the need expands.
While I like the concept of the handmade address book, this one looks outdated with its faded pages and  photocopy photos. If I were to create one from scratch, I would use colored scrapbooking papers which are heavier, fun letter/mail images from Pinterest, un-decorated address pages so that they're cleaner, possibly room for photos of each recipient or fun stickers.

How would you create one? Or have you already?

Monday, February 8, 2016

Harry Potter Desk

While visiting the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios this January, I came across this lovely desk sitting on its own in a hallway at Ollivanders (makers of fine wands).
 It was an unexpected surprise to find this solitary desk so appropriately staged with books and scrolls, pens and lamps and lots and lots of cubbies.
This is the exact type of roll top desk that I am in search of. Drawers, cubbies and nice wood.
The chair is another story. While it looks like a good match for the desk, a much better choice would be  a wooden chair with armrests, a high back, and wheels.
What do you think? Do you dream of a special kind of desk?
 While I'm not the world's biggest Harry Potter fan, I sure did enjoy my afternoon spent here.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Charlie Brown Christmas Stamps

I'm super excited about the Charlie Brown Christmas stamps that go on sale October 1! I love colorful cartoon stamps and these ones look super, don't you agree?
I was almost 4 years old when the "Charlie Brown Christmas" aired in December 1965, so I grew up watching this perennial favorite.
I can see myself writing more letters and sending more cards just to use more of these delightful stamps.
You can pre-order your stamps now or wait until they go on sale on October 1. Visit USPS to learn more.

What's your favorite holiday stamp?

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Desks and Maps and Letter Cubbies

We were in Bovey, MN not too long ago which has a cafe + antique store with rooms of stuff for sale. Unfortunately, what I really wanted was this letter cubbie with all those slots for mail, notes, stamps, postcards; but it wasn't for sale. Isn't it perfect?
That sent me to Pinterest where I looked for ideas on creating my own - or looking to find ideas on how to get one.

The photo below came from the Eclectic Home Tours blog found via Pinterest, because when you do a search for "vintage desk", you find some awesome stuff. Behold!
This next one is credited to Home DIT and is part of the 21 Cool Tips to Steampunk Your Home. There is no cubbie, but the chair, desk, lamp and wall map make for an appealing office setting.
What does your dream desk/office look like? Do you have a letter cubbie to organize all your mail? Send pictures!

Friday, August 21, 2015

University Bookstore & Stationery Supplies

I recently went with a friend to the University of Minnesota bookstore. Look at this row of notebooks!!
It was notebook heaven! There was also a great selection of pens, but that aisle was too busy to take a photo. But it wasn't too busy that I couldn't find a few pens to buy, plus two highlighter pencils ( pink and a green).
I also bought the notebook (spiral bound, green paper). Couldn't resist!

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Letters & Journals Update

It's been awhile since I've done any update on the status of Letters & Journals. I've met with a designer on getting a new website and have begun plans for a future Kickstarter Campaign but it's been slow-going. My full-time job requires a lot more of my time than my previous job did and when I get some free time, I like to unplug - take walks, read a book, write a letter.
But don't give up hope! This magazine, website, community is near and dear to my heart, and finding ways to make it successful and appealing to those who want it as much as I do is a driving force for me.
I received a lot of wonderful feedback from fans and readers on ideas to offer for donations to the future Kickstarter campaign. Thank you! I'm continually taking notes for future ideas, adding images and articles to my massively overflowing folder of ideas, plans, articles, layout, contests, conferences, retreats. There is so much possibility here and it's just a matter of taking steps to get us closer and closer to the actual print magazine. Thank you for your patience!