Monday, June 18, 2018

Put a Stamp On It

There was a scavenger hunt at the National Stationery Show (NSS) this year! Legion Paper, NSS, Paper Chronicles, Parse & Parcel, and the Rifle Paper Company sponsored this year's stamp collection called #PutAStampOnIt.
The box to hold all of the stamps was designed and created by Rifle Paper and printed by Legion Paper, who also printed most of the cards in this 28 card collection.
Ginger P Designs with the Occasion Group created the glitter foil border design below. Like many, I miss stamps with their amounts on them and wish the USPS would find a way to re-incorporate them.
I met Val of Lily & Val and she was so sweet and personable I could have visited with her for hours. I love the gold foil stamp design on this floral image. Simple, yet evocative.
Based in Knoxville, TN, the Smarty Pants Paper Co is all about bright colors, bold graphics and vintage style. Don't you love the lip stamps and wouldn't they be fun to use?
Euni + Co, based in Seattle, (below) started as a calligraphy studio and then expanded into other paper goods
These little unicorns are in a stamped shaped envelope that opens in the back to reveal more information about Halifax Paper Hearts.
This card by Paper Bandit Press was unique with its images and also the red clear overlay that went atop the white card to reveal the hidden images in the card.
Paper Bandit Press makes letter press cards and posters.
The stamp sheet below was created by the Regional Assembly of Text and they were creative enough to include "An Application for Maintaining a Friendship Over a Great Distance" application on the backside. Don't you love it?

They're based in Vancouver and once a month their LETTER WRITING CLUB meets and everyone is welcome to attend and join in - all supplies provided. When I plan a trip to Canada, I will keep this mind for my itinerary.
The Imagination Spot has this adorable snail mail stamp. What adds to this stamp (in addition to whimsical illustration) is the postmark. Kind of wishing there was an option to purchase postcards of some of these super cute cards.
As you may have surmised, Page Stationery is based in Virginia. This stamp card captured the great outdoors with their heavy card stock postage stamp. On the back it says "Let the Adventure Begin".
Hester & Cook, based in Tennessee, offers a wide variety of stationery and gift items. This adorable, sparkly unicorn postage stamp card is emblematic of their style.
Boss Dotty celebrates "strong women through playful illustrations that are laced with humor and a can-do attitude".
The Pinwheel Print Shop specializes in hand lettering and illustration for their fresh, whimsical designs. Owner, Colleen Reid is its Chief Snail Mail Officer.
I met the lovely Colleen, owner of the Colleen Attara Studio, at the show. She was a delight and she shared with me one of her handmade journals (altered book) which was incredibly detailed and inspiring (saving this for a future blog post). Her beautifully crafted card below shows her vision of the world coming together to support each other and work as one. After all, We are all in this together, aren't we?
Fresh Out of Ink is run by husband and wife team, Katy and Albert, who fell in love via snail mail when they were both 14. Sweet, huh?
Up With Paper is not only the original pop-up greeting card company, they're also the world's leading marketer of innovative, three-dimensional greeting cards and stationery products. Their #PutAStampOnIt entry below is a highlighted in rose-gold ink that, sadly, does not show up in the photo.
Sisters, Alice and Doris, love mail and puns so making cards is a natural fit for them. I Loot Paperie is based out of Pasedena, CA. Their design below is the perfect image for snail mail. I love it!
One of my favorite #PutAStampOnIt cards is the one below from Good Juju Ink, who believes that anyone and everyone can change the world one perfectly imperfect illustration at a time.
Inklings Paperie, based in Detroit, was founded by Lindsay Henry who believes in the power of the handwritten note, and is committed to creating products that inspire kindness and bring joy to life's many little celebrations, as perfectly illustrated in the card below.
Finally, we have the Gotamago Collection which features original ink-and-watercolour illustrations designed and printed in Toronto, Canada. I wish my pictures would capture the way the gold foil glitters on the card.
Now the challenge is how to keep and display these postal gems and keepsakes.

Saturday, June 9, 2018

One Million Lovely Letters

Jodi Ann Bickley began writing letters to strangers while trying to overcome challenging health issues and depression that she suffered from after having a stroke and a brain infection at age 23 in 2011.
She set up a website and asked people to email her if they wanted her to write them a letter. She asked them to tell her what they were going through so that she could reply to them and their issue (ill health, losing a home or loved one, unexplained sadness - you get the idea). Soon she had hundreds and then thousands of emails asking her to send them a letter.

She found her purpose. At least for now. At least to get her through her current life challenge. Isn't that something we all want and look for? Serving a purpose.

Then she had a book and received even more requests. Now she has a team of helpers so they can reach even more people.
One Million Lovely Letters: When life is looking hopeless, one inspirational letter can change your life forever

Friday, June 1, 2018

Journal Winners

Fox Chapel Publishing giveaway has two winners! Congratulations to Linda Hutchinson and Kathy Delumpa Allegri! Please send me your mailing address to my email and I will get your selected journal off to you!

Thanks to everyone who left comments and mailed in entries! Stay tuned for another giveaway soon!

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Highlights from the National Stationery Show 2018

The 2018 National Stationery Show was a fabulous showcase of so much stationery goodness! Booth after booth offered eye-catching displays and products as well as having super-friendly and passionate people.

 This pictures were from the Sakura of America booth. My favorite is the seahorse stationery!
Who doesn't love beautiful quality lined envelopes?
All in a lovely stationery set.
The images below are from the Lily & Val booth. I fell in love with these prints of store front images. Aren't they gorgeous?
I love them so much I can't pick a favorite.
The only thing missing is a storefront image of a bookstore.
This lovely Keepsake Kitchen Diary from Lily & Val is a combination cookbook, journal and scrapbook. There is so much inside there that it would be best to watch the video on this page of their website.
 This is just a portion of what I saw at the 2018 NSS. More to come in future blogs.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Getting Ready for the National Stationery Show 2018

The National Stationery Show (NSS) is held every May in New York City and this year, for the first time since 2011, I will be attending.
This annual trade show showcases product and trends from 750 vendors/booths to over 8,000 visitors, mostly store owners and product buyers.
Years ago I visited the Rifle Paper Co at the show when they were just starting out. Now, I see their product everywhere, including this lovely postage stamp that was released earlier this year and was designed by Anna Bond (co-owner and founder of the Rifle Paper Co) for the USPS.

I wonder what treasures I'll find this year? I plan to take lots of pictures and maybe some video and will share all when I return from the show next week.

Stay tuned.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Pilot Fountain Pen Review

I recently purchased this affordable fountain pen to add to my small fountain pen collection. I don't use fountain pens too often but I'm trying to improve my skill level and comfort with them, so I selected the Pilot Metropolitan Collection Fountain Pen.
The pen was less than $13 on Amazon. The description calls it a medium nib, but it looks and writes more like a fine point to me. I usually prefer fine point pens but had opted for a medium nib to change things up a bit.
The pen comes with both a converter and an ink cartridge. So far I've only used the converter as I have so many bottles of ink (14 and counting).
In the images below I used Private Reserve Ink Bottle Copper Burst which is a lovely shade of brown.
The pen writes smooth, but I've found that it skips occasionally causing me to have to go back and rewrite a letter.
There is no bleed thru in the Moleskin notebook, but you can see the outline of the words through the paper. The weight and feel of the pen are good - not too heavy and not too light. I find the smooth barrel of the pen beckons to me from its perch when I'm using a different writing instrument. Each pen has a different purpose. Not all are meant for every day use.
Overall, the pen writes fairly decent, and for the price it is a good buy.
I haven't tried the ink cartridge and probably won't for awhile as I have so many bottles of ink to dip into. I'm glad to be back to having a hand fountain pen at my desk and may look at what it will take to get my others out of their boxes.

What's your favorite writing pen these days?

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Journal Giveaway

Fox Chapel Publishing has recently sent me some journals to review and give away. You can click on any of the four titles and it will take you to the page on the Fox Chapel website that includes a video and more info about each journal.

My favorite is the Hello Angel Lined Journal. Isn't this a gorgeous image? This same photo is also featured on their DO Magazine (issue 6) which they also publish. There are no guided entries, but there are plenty of illustrations that are colorful and whimsical.
They have a few different prayer journals, including the one below, My Prayer Journal. This has pages of illustrations and daily prayer journaling questions by Joanne Fink.The font choice is lovely and the guided entries are very useful: Today I Pray; Today I am in Awe of: Today I Regret; Today I am Grateful for. There's also a monthly listing for each month and a prayer tracker for your prayers or those you are praying for.
The Tangle Easy Guided Journal is a lined journal with mandalas -some to color and some that are in color. Here are some sample journal entries: What animal is most similar to you? What kind of friend are you? What did you want to be when you grew up? What is your earliest memory?
Here's a better view of the mandala on the front cover.
The Woodstock Dot Journal is filled with dot pages and has a few pages of bullet journal instructions and examples included at the beginning of the journal. 2019 will be the 50th Anniversary of the 3-day Woodstock Celebration that took place in 1969.

The Woodstock journal is paperback and all of the others are hardcover. Each of the journals has a retail price of $7.99.

I didn't test the paper quality as I opted to do the giveaways instead. I can tell you that none of these lies flat as the binding is not flexible.

You can enter by doing any of the following:
1. Leave a comment on this blog with the choice of journal you would like.
2. Use #LandJgiveaway on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram (limit one per venue) along with your choice of journal.
3. Mail a card, letter or postcard to me at:
Letters & Journals
PO Box 120052
St Paul, MN 55112
Limit one entry per type (ex: 1 on Instagram, 1 letter, 1 comment, 1 Twitter, 1 Facebook). Winners will be announced on June 1, 2018. Limited to US entries only.

Good Luck!