Monday, May 30, 2011

Giveaway Changes

We have good news for the regular readers and followers of Letters & Journals! The odds of winning the fabulous monthly stationery giveaway just improved tremendously!
 We're changing the way we select the winner by only allowing active readers to be entered into the drawing. This should improve your odds of winning as entry to the monthly stationery giveaway will now be limited to the number of people who leave comments on the specified giveaway post each month.
Currently there are over 800 people signed up for the drawing and the number increases each month as new people sign up for the e-newsletter. This is great to grow the readership of the e-newsletter, but we're finding that the more readers who opt in for the e-newsletter, the fewer people are actually opening and reading the e-newsletter.

Beginning with the June Stationery Giveaway, you will need to post a comment on the current month's blog post to be eligible for that month's giveaway. We will post the new entry rules within the blog post on the website and also in the e-newsletter. There is also a page on the website with the entry rules.

And, to reward the readers of the e-newsletter, we will have e-newsletter only giveaways as well, just as we sometimes have for L&J Facebook fans.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Pentel Pens and Pencils

What is more fun than trying out new pens? Tying out new pens that you win!

I won this wonderful selection of pens and pencils from Pentel at a contest at Julie's Whatever blog.I will write some of my impressions of them later, but wanted to share them with you now before they went their separate ways (purse, work, bedroom, office, pen pal letter kit, etc.)

In order of appearance from left to right: 
1.  Purple e-Sharp .05 Pencil
2. EnerGel Needletip .05
3. Handy Lines Yellow Highlighter
4. Purple Rolling Writer 0.8
5. Twist Erase PinkPencil .07
6. Blue Hyper G .07
7. Jolt Pencil .07
8. EnerGel Red.07

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Book Bandi Giveaway

UPDATE 5/30/11: Robyn and Twisted are the winners of the Book Bandi. Please email me your address and I will send it to you!  My email address is Jackie (at) LettersandJournals (dot) com 
Robin- you won the middle brown Book Bandi and Twisted chose the black bandi on the bottom from the photo below.
The Book Bandi is a bookmark, rubberband and pen holder all in one! The folks at Book Bandi asked if I would try it out and offer up my humble opinion. They also suggested that I might want to have a GIVEAWAY to one lucky reader. (Skip to the end for the GIVEAWAY.)
You can see in the photos above and below what the Book Bandis look like. They come in different sizes and designs that you can specify when you order on their site.
It was helpful to watch the video on their site to see the different ways this product can be used. As I mentioned earlier, you can use it to mark your spot in a book. Or you can use it to hold a book together or to keep ephemera from falling out.
In this notebook size scrapbook that I use, I put on the Book Bandi to keep the book tightly closed while also marking the page I was recently working on.
What is nice about the Book Bandi (besides its multi-functionality) is the way it stays flat inside of your book. The last thing I want in a bulky book is more bulk.
Probably the greatest selling point for me is the pen holder only because there are some books or journals that you want to use a certain pen with and the built-in pen holder always keeps the pen handy.
I was pleased with the design and functionality of the Book Bandi and would definitely use them on my journals as well as books that I read that I like to take notes while I'm reading.

One lucky winner will get their choice of the 3 Book Bandi's featured in the top photo in this blog post. Just leave a comment on this blog before midnight Friday, May 27 with your selection. Make sure to include your email so that you can be contacted. I will email the winner this weekend and you'll have 3 days to respond to the email with your mailing info. Of course, you are welcome to leave your mailing info in the comment if you want and I will just mail it to you without having to contact you first.

Be sure to state which one you would choose and if you want to say what you would use it for, that would be fun to see. The winner will be randomly selected.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Edward Gorey Postcards #8-11

I thought it would be so easy to keep up with this postcard project. Alas, that has not been so. I'm going to do a big catch up in this post and list 4 cards that will take me through May 2011.

Postcard #8 has a man in a dressing gown being carried off by a giant rodent. Oh, the things this man comes up with! At the bottom of the card it says 'Pouf'!' but I'm not sure what that means.

 Next, we have a cat in a rowboat. This color illustration says it is from Edward Gorey's 'Category' collection. Aptly named, don't you think?
"They lived in a house covered with roses on the edge of a marsh," says the description on this card from the Deranged Cousins. You can barely see the woman inside who looks as if she is blending in with her surroundings.

I'm not quite as fond of the color illustrations as I am of the black and whites. This one doesn't speak to me at all except that the gentleman's sweater looks like a corn cob.

Now, I shall sit down with one of my favorite pens (currently a Pentel Hyper G .07) and write a brief note on each of these cards so that I may get them in tomorrow's mail and then be caught up with the Edward Gorey Postcard collection at least through May.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Day 3 of the National Stationery Show

 Tuesday was Day 3 at the National Stationery Show. What a fantastic and busy day! Started early at the show and made sure to meet some of the sponsors I had not seen yet. This is my last day at the show since Wed is only half a day and I am heading back to MN.
Here are some of L&J's awesome sponsors I visited today. These are a few of the people who have supported the monthly giveaway this past year and helped to make it such a grand success:
 Christy at Regreet
Stacey at Hard Cards
Anne at Tilia Press

Some of the possible new sponsors who I met include:

Dempsey Press
Snail's Pace
Oblation Papers & Press
Parker Planners

One of my favorite booths is the NCWU Corporation, which is a wholesale company, so you can't purchase items directly from them, but you can get an idea of what's out there and hopefully, find the items that appeal to you somehow, somewhere. (The following 4 images are from this booth.)

Later in the day, I visited the Morgan Library and Museum to see 'The Diary' exhibit (will blog about that moving experience later), met a pen pal who took me to the Strand Bookstore and then out to dinner. As if that wasn't enough, she also sent me off with a box of these chocolates.

Maybe I should have taken the photo before I helped myself to one of the delicious bites of heaven?

Overall, the show was a great success. A lot of people showed interest in being a sponsor and possible advertiser so it will be exciting to see the new offerings in the next year.

The next push is to line up advertisers for the print magazine scheduled for December 2011.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Website Maintenance

Sorry to interrupt the National Stationery Show updates, but I've been informed that they will be doing the second part of the server maintenance and upgrade this week, so I wanted to get this announcement posted right away.
I will post Day 3 of the NSS as soon as the upgrade is completed, which will hopefully be completed this week.
If you should visit the site and not get a response, it will be because the upgrade is in process.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Day 2 at the National Stationery Show

Day 2 at the National Stationery Show was a success! The stormy rainy day in NYC made it a great day to be indoors!
I met some more of the generous people/sponsors who have donated to the L&J monthly giveaway including:
Jennifer at Survival by Design
Peter at Crane Stationery
Chronicle Books has also been a generous sponsor of the giveaway and I saw this cute little package at their booth on Monday.

I also met some people I had seen online (Twitter, Facebook, Blogs) including:
Kseniya of Thomas Printers from Ladies of Letterpress
Kara from Kate Reed Designs
Jen from Knock Knock
Maia at Dandy Lion Press

Stay tuned for more news and pics about day 3. Still having trouble with photo uploads so I will plan to do a bunch when I return home to Mpls and can take my time to get them uploaded to Flickr.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Day 1 at the National Stationery Show

Just a quick post to tell you that I'm at the National Stationery Show (NSS) and that it is lovely, just as it is every year! I have some issues with my camera, so will need to use my iPhone for more of the blogging posts on this trip. Unfortunately, I didn't know that today, so only took one pic with my iPhone.
Each year I continue to meet new and established owners of companies who had a dream and are pursuing what makes them happy. This makes me happy as that is what Letters & Journals is all about.

Some of the super friendly people I met today include:
Tara at Gratitude Designs (cards and journals)
Jode at Plymouth Card Company
Nathan at Rifle Paper Company (current L&J giveaway sponsor)
Stacey at SE Hagerman Designs  (current L&J giveaway sponsor)
Carin at Compendium Inc
Nancy and Clay at Jot2Jot

There are more but I will add them at another time when I can include the proper photos.

Stay tuned for Day 2 at the National Stationery Show tomorrow! I will definitely have more pictures to share then.

Friday, May 13, 2011

National Stationery Show Preparation

This week I will be attending my fifth National StationeryShow. I am just as excited this year as I have been every year I’ve gone. For the pen and paper lover, this is the trade show to attend.
It’ s great to walk the show aisles and see eye candy and functional, whimsical, practical, colorful stationery, cards, notebooks and office supplies and much more.

I’ve met some great people at the NSS including some of the original sponsors of the Letters & Journals monthly giveaway:
Christy at Regreet
Karen at Exaclair

 Currently I’m working on the print magazine of the premiere edition of Letters & Journals and will be looking for potential advertisers. Soon I will have pricing information posted on the website.  Print advertising rates will start at $200. More info to come on that!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

100 Mile Garage Sale Photos

I first mentioned the 100-mile Garage Sale back in April when I made plans to spend two days along the Mississippi visiting the area and checking out some of the hundreds of sales in the towns between Red Wing and Wabasha. Although I didn't find any special ephemera, office or writing supplies, I did experience some gorgeous scenery and perfect spring weather on my journey. So this blog post is filled with photos of the area rather than the books, cds and small fully furnished fish aquarium that I purchased.

I walked along this lovely walking path next to the mighty Mississippi in Wabasha where I spent the night at a nearby hotel. This area is a mecca for eagles, but, alas, I did not see any on this trip.
Continuing down the path is one of the bridges that cross the Mississippi and take you into Wisconsin (MN on the left and WI on the right).

This unique bench sits outside of the National Eagle Center in Wabasha, MN.
The photo below shows the steps and large stones that greet you at the National Eagle Center.
Southern Minnesota has seen its share of flooding this spring. By the time I took these photos much of the water had receded, but not quite.
Water blocks the way to this lakeside dock.
This lonely bench sits outside the nearby park which also was partially filled with water.
The photo below was taken at a rest area outside between Wabasha and Lake City.
Moving onto Lake City where I spent a lot of time on Saturday, I visited this library which was taking advantage of the 100-mile garage sale by having its annual book sale. People who know me, know that it's almost impossible for me to walk by a book sale.
I had a breakfast lunch (excellent) at the Chicadee Cottage Cafe in Lake City. The bright yellow building with the white picket fence sits along Hwy 61 and is one of the most inviting places I visited.
 Here is a picture of the cafe entrance where you can just see the 4 season porch on the left where I sat and at my breakfast with a few other travelers.
Initially I had hoped to take photos and talk about the finds I made on this annual trek (my first), but there was really nothing extraordinary or worth noting, so I will have to plan that for another time.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Journals Made From Vintage Books

Some journals are better than others. We each have our own demands, expectations or quirks about what we expect in our journals. A common requirement is that journals lie flat. Having writing paper that is smooth is another. That makes me pleased to introduce Ex Libris Anonymous Book Journals.
These spiral bound journals lie flat and have 75 sheets of 24/60#, acid free, BLANK paper. The books also keep some of the illustrations, library cards, maps, inscriptions that were part of the original book which really adds a unique flavor to each of these custom made journals.
Because each book is unique and made by found and purchased books by the fine folks at Ex Libris Anonymous, you will want to immediately purchase any book you find on their site that appeals to you.
The book shown in today's blog post is the one featured in the May Stationery Giveaway. It comes from Hollydale Grade School in Gresham, OR according to the library stamp at the back of the book as shown in the image above.
When you visit their site you will immediately see covers of the journals they currently have in stock. But once that book is sold, then they may not have it again as most of these books are individual purchases that were then made into journals.

Watch this blog and Facebook if you're a fan of Letters & Journals for a chance to win one of these journals in May.

Monday, May 2, 2011

May Stationery Giveaway

We are so fortunate to have such generous sponsors. For the May Stationery Giveaway we have a little bit of everything; pen, postcards, note cards, journals, magnets, print, luggage tags, a book, bookmarks, musical note cards and a handy bag to carry all of this in.

The Rifle Paper Company has donated this colorful box of Thank You cards. They also have a lovely card collection of monogram designs that you will see on the homepage of their website.
Once again Product Superior has offered unique giveaways with this postcard set of Moving postcards and a print ready for framing.
New this month is Sean McMahon's musical greeting cards. Letters & Journals wrote an article on how Sean got started making these unique cards. You can read Sean's article here.
Papaya! Arts has been a generous sponsor of this monthly giveaway and we've also done some individual giveaways of their product at the Letters & Journals Facebook page. This month they have a set of note cards and envelopes- both beautifully designed.
Tilia Press has also been super generous with their second donation to the monthly giveaway. This month they have donated 3 sets of box note cards, 2 bookmarks and a butterfly bag to carry all of your stationery items. How cool is that?
Donated this month from Crane Stationery is a set of note cards with one of my favorite designs- the antique map. And you can never go wrong with lined envelopes.
The Bonnie Marcus Collection is a new sponsor to our giveaway. They donated these brightly colored, cupcake themed note pad (Life is Sweet) and Notes on the Go purse-sized notepad.
The Puro Papel luggage tags are customizable and come with a felt marker for writing your information on the backside of the tag.
Chewy Tulip sent in these miniature cards from her Etsy store. Being an animal lover, Chewy has many animal themed products on her site.
The brightly colored cards below are from a new sponsor, Zucchini Fish. These blank note cards should bring a smile to anyone who receives one.
Survival by Design has once again contributed some of their unique people cards (notice they have no eyes) as well as a couple magnets they included with their prize.
The old books have been donated by Book Journals and the journals have been filled with blank, smooth, white paper (excellent quality) and then bound into blank books. The front and back are part of the original book binding and also they usually have some pages included in the book from the original that are mixed amongst the blank pages I'm going to do a blog post and a separate contest offering 1 or 2 of these one-of-a-kind journals where I can relay more information about Book Journals.
Another first time sponsor is Wimzie Prints who sent in this selection of male-oriented cards just in time for Father's Day for the man/men in your life.
Who doesn't want to own a new pen? Named the Floral Silhouette, this sleek roller ball pen writes a fine line (0.7) in black ink and has been donated by Peter Pauper Press. The pen is nicely weighted (solid brass) with a beautiful lacquer finish.
Peter Pauper Press also donated the Little Black Book of Paris as shown below. This book is filled with wonderful information about the romantic city and includes fold-out maps and insider tips. The book has the most enchanting black and white illustrations and is a delight to hold and read. Trust me.
This 2011-12 Day Planner was supplied by one of the original sponsors, Journaling Arts.The bright orange color will keep this planner the focus of any day. Even sitting on my desk now, my eyes are continually drawn to it and I want to touch it and open it. With willpower I keep it safely tucked inside its protective wrapping.
And there you have it- the awesome May Stationery Giveaway that just keeps getting better every month thanks to generous, caring sponsors.
June 3, 2011 Announcing the winner of the May Stationery Giveaway as selected by the Random.Org. It is Tenzin from California. Congratulations!