Thursday, December 24, 2009

My New 5-Year Diary

2010 will begin with a new 5-year diary from Levengers (this photo is from their website). I also got one for my sister, who wrote the following in her Christmas letter this year:
"I read my Mom's journals this summer. For those of you considering starting a journal, I would highly recommend it. It was like talking to her on the phone. Mom's been gone for ten years and after reading those journals I felt like I had just seen her. I need to start my own journal."
Our mother, Judy Grothe, died from cancer at the age of 56. For years mom kept a daily journal with just the highlights of what she did that day, kind of like a 'tidbits' journal. She used plain notebooks, cloth bound books, daily calendars- something different each year.

We feel fortunate to have them and are glad she took the time to make journal writing a part of her life. Now her sisters have asked to read them. And, later, her grandchildren will be glad to have them. When they find their way back to me, I will post a few pictures and excerpts from them.

If you're interested there is also a 10 year journal keeper called Journal 10+ that I found in the Bas Bleu catalog for $45.

In the magazine Letters & Journals, I plan to have regular features on the types of diaries people keep, the books they use, what they write about, why they do it. In the meantime, I am excited about starting this new 5 year diary!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays!

I visited the Missive Maven blog as I do regularly and see that she has a contest to give away a copy of this new hardcover book, Yours Ever, by Thomas Mallon. Just pop over and leave a comment on Missive Maven's site to be entered to win.

I got my copy of the book from Barnes & Noble a few weeks ago when I wrote about the book and its recent reviews and awards. I have just started to read it and so far am enjoying it.

Good Luck!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Found Letter

I came across this letter inside of a used book that I bought not too long ago. And earlier this year one of my pen pals sent a copy of a letter she also found in a used book that she got from Goodwill. Aren't these fascinating these little glimpses into lives other than our own? And to see the letter as it was written, and not a typed facsimile, just adds to the mystery.

In this case, the writer used colorful handmade paper for the first page and speckled white paper for the second page (not shown). She talks about making the stationery in her first paragraph:

Hello Dearest Christie,

Carlin is napping, so I got his paints out just for fun for me and Frank. It is very satisfying and relaxing. I don't like the way this turned out. I need to get the real primary colors, but it was fun in process. I've been doing a Waldorf play group with Carlin, which is wonderful. All the materials they use seem to come from Germany. The paints, the toys, etc. It does make a huge difference using the high-quality, all natural materials.

It was wonderful coming across this colorful missive. learning about the letter writer (female, creative, has a child, in a relationship, foreign (I think, based on how she phrased some of her conversation), recipient is a female). And also wondering about all of the missing information? When was this written? Where did it go? Where is she from? How did the letter end up here?

Do you have any found letters? If so, how did they come to cross your path? What did you do with them. I've kept this one in my stationery box because once I found it, I knew I would have a blog entry about it. I don't know what I'll do with it now- probably put it back in the box with my other letters.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Notebook Purchase

I bought this mini binder (8.5" x 7") at russell + hazel stationery shop in Mpls., MN a couple weeks ago. I haven't decided what purpose it will serve yet, but I loved the smaller size and the assortment of colorful filler paper and dividers. They had a wonderful selection of colors for the binder and I debated between orange and lime green, but ended up choosing brown since I already have other notebooks in orange and lime green.

Possible uses this notebook include:

Monthly Highlights Journal
Business Expense Tracker
Goal Setting Planner/Tracker 2010
Letter Organizer
Magazine Planner (keeper of ideas, references, articles, art for Letters & Journals)

Sunday, December 6, 2009

russell + hazel Store (School and Office Supplies)

On a recent shopping expedition in Minneapolis I visited the russell + hazel flagship store for school and office supplies. What a fun (and dangerous) place for a stationery addict (Yes, I'll admit it. I can't help myself). The back of this store includes a work area that is wide open and inviting and looks like part of the store.

The russell + hazel products are known for having a contemporary design and color and also for adding some pizzaz to the product line. You can see for yourself by going here or here or here.

The russell + hazel brand is carried at other stores in addition to their own and you can also order online. Visit here for a list of stationery stores that carries their products.

What did I get, you ask? A planner, some filler for the planner and a few pens. For the curious I will post pictures and a review in my next blog update.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Old Letters

Old Letters. Do you have any? I have a few. In this pink folder I have some letters from my parents and grandparents (deceased), from my husband before we were married and from my daughter's grandmother. I also have some old family postcards from the early 1900s that have survived somehow to find their way into my possession.

I got out this packet of letters recently as I was writing an article on communication and I decided to focus on letters. Old letters. Memorable letters. Souvenirs of the soul.

James at Everyday Correspondence is creating a zine called blotter paper and he is looking for submissions as noted in his Nov. 25, 2009 post. So I decided to write my submission on 'Communication as... Memories' in the form of letters. Submissions are due Jan. 9, 2010. If you're interested in submitting, please read James' blog for instructions.

One of the aspects of the Letters & Journals magazine will be old letters- famous, infamous, historical, personal, tragic, heartbreaking, inspiring. I can hardly wait!