Monday, September 17, 2018

Letters & Journals Blog Has Moved

The Letters & Journals blog has moved to Wordpress. You can find it here.

If you're kind enough to include a link to L&J from your blog or website, please let me know so that I can send you a thank you card!

The new website is still in its beta stage and is being updated and tested as we continue to enrich and expand it. Your feedback is welcome.

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Antarctic Postmarks

Exotic postmarks have an allure and charm about them, especially the more well-known and scarce postmarks, such as mail postmarked from the Titanic or the Hindenburg.

When I heard about an opportunity to possibly receive mail postmarked from Antarctica, I prepared four envelopes and sent them off to the first two addresses listed on this government website. I wanted to see if I received anything before sending to all three locations.
There's no guarantee that you'll receive your stamped envelopes back, but I thought it was worth a try and was glad to see two of them show up in my mailbox with their deliciously clear postmarks-  especially on the envelope above with the postage stamps of Arctic explorers.
These both came from the McMurdo station as you can see from the postmarks above.

I've previously posted about postmarks here and here.

Do you collect postmarks? Do you have a favorite or a place you wish you could have one from?

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Porcelain Mailbox

This lovely mailbox was created by Kelvin Chen who is known for his collection of enameled porcelains. I found this in a gift shop in San Francisco when I was there this past March for my first ever PlannerCon which I wrote about here.
Don't you love the morning glory vines painted all over? Plus the butterfly, a bee and a tiny bird, a flower and a mailbox flag on top.
The mailbox measures approx 5" tall, 1 1/2" wide, and 2 1/8" deep. It is number 2406 and was made in 1999.
Here are some views from different angles. 
Here's a close-up.
Now the door is open. What's inside?
Sadly, nothing today.
Back view.
I happen to have a teapot with a trio of cats also made by Kelvin Chen.
What's in your porcelain mailbox?

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Scooby Doo Mail Giveaway

I have postcards and envelopes of the Scooby Doo First Day of Issue stamps and I thought it would be fun to have a contest and mail some of them out.
The postmarks come in color and also black and white.
There will be 10 winners. Will you be one of them?
Contest Rules:

1. Share this blog post on any social media and email me a link to your post using this hashtag in the post:

2. Mail an entry to:
Letters & Journals
PO Box 120052
St Paul, MN 55112
This can be a postcard or short note (or letter if you'd like!). Just be sure to mention Scooby Doo.

Entry deadline is August 31, 2018. Winners will be selected September 10, 2018.
Limited to United States entries.

Friday, August 10, 2018

Cherry Blossom Tree Calendar Giveaway Winner Announced

The winner of the Cherry Blossom Tree Calendar is Natalia G from New Mexico! Congratulations, Natalia! And thanks to all who entered.

Thanks also to Kate Murray at Quick Brown Fox Letter Press for donating and sending the calendar to Natalia!
For any of you who would like to purchase this lovely 2019 calendar, you can do so at the Quick Brown Fox website.

Monday, July 30, 2018

The Shape of Ideas Sketchbook

I am on a mission to improve my drawing skill set, or, as I like to call it, my doodling. I've never been confident of my drawing ability and don't have an eye for the horizon line and other drawing concepts. However, I do realize that the key is practice and that's where The Shape of Ideas Sketchbook comes in.
This 144-page book was sent to me by the publisher for a preview before its release this September. The book was created by Grant Snider who published The Shape of Ideas: An Illustrated Exploration of Creativity in 2017.
The smooth white pages of the sketchbook are mostly blank, except for a few pages interspersed with colorful illustrations; it lies flat for ease and comfort while drawing; it includes a pen holder and comes with an elastic binder to keep the book closed flat.
Grant Snider is an orthodontist by day and an artist by night. You can follow him on Twitter (@grantdraws) where he regularly posts thought-provoking illustrations such as this:
Do you doodle in your letters and on your envelopes? It's like sharing a piece of your self when you are willing to share your art. I do occasionally and would like to do it even more.

Friday, July 20, 2018

Highlights from the Scooby Doo Stamp Release Ceremony

Highlights from the Scooby Doo Stamp Release ceremony last Saturday at the Mall of America include getting a free envelope with a canceled Scooby stamp ready to mail (or save), a Scooby Doo pin, and an agenda for the stamp release ceremony.
Ceremony Agenda
Stamped envelope with ScoobyDoo cancellation and commemorative pin
Stamps from the USPS were available for purchase along with pre-cancelled envelopes in color or in black-and-white Scooby cancellations.

Since this was my first time at a First Day of Issue ceremony, I wasn't sure what to expect and didn't realize that I could have brought my own postcards or envelopes to have them hand-cancelled after putting one of my brand new Scooby Doo stamps on them. So I stopped at a store that sold some Minnesota postcards and purchased a dozen of them that I could send out to friends, relatives and pen pals.
The friendly postal worker in line in front of me had a wonderful t-shirt that she allowed me to photograph. Don't you love it?!
These lovely ladies were hand-cancelling the envelopes and postcards that people bought.
Here are four of the postcards I purchased and then put on a Scooby stamp and had them canceled by the two ladies shown above.
Here's the stage where the official ceremony took place. There were quite a few photographers on hand although I'm not sure who they were all with.
 And here I am with Scooby himself. Smile!