Monday, September 27, 2010

I Found This Snail Mail Card

I love sending cards, especially colorful cute cards with motifs related to books or mail or writing. Imagine my delight when I came across this autumn colored snail mail card at the annual Sheyenne Valley Arts and Craft Fall Festival at Fort Ransom, ND last weekend. I loved it so much, I bought 4!

Award winning artist Jessica Magnus, from Richardton, ND, had a booth at the fair and also has her artwork for sale at her website If you visit, you may also see this image where 'Owls Discuss the Universe'. I love it! I will definitely be buying more from this talented artist.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

What is regreet?

For a fun way to re-use some of those funny, one-of-a-kind birthday cards (or any kind of greeting card), regreet offers an innovative change from the ordinary. Who hasn't thought of doing this? In 2009 Christy Eichers took this seed of an idea and went on to start her own company.

I met Christy this year at the National Stationery Show and have been following her (and her smiling green frog) on Twitter and Facbook and watching regreet grow.

For the uninitiated, here is how it works
The basic regreet kit comes with signature labels (to cover the previous signature), note paper, envelopes and journey labels. The journey label allows you to identify your newly minted regreet card with a unique regreet ID number that you can enter online and then track where the card goes once it leaves your care. Or, in some cases, you can see where it was before it found its way to you.

When I approached Christy for the monthly stationery giveaway, she immediately responded and sent in two items that can be won in this month's giveaway- the basic regreet greeting kit (pictured above) and a greeting card organizer as seen below.

This sturdy and earth friendly organizer comes with 2 single sets for regreeting your first cards and pockets for each month plus an pocket for supplies.For more information (including a short video) of how regreet works, just visit their website.

If you would like the opportunity to win these items in this month's stationery giveaway, just be sure you are signed up for LetterNews, the monthly e-newsletter.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

A Visit to the National Postal Museum (Part 3)

Before visiting the National Postal Museum (NPM) I had been reading about it through different blogs- the NPM blog, the PostMuse blog, and James at Everyday Correspondence and his wonderful three part coverage of the museum (Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3) earlier this year. There were a few others as well, but I neglected to bookmark them, so if you wrote a blog post on the NPM, please comment and let me know.  It is great to see that others are as fascinated as I am with postal history.
In trying to learn more and better prepare for our visit, I began following the NPM on facebook and twitter. I also follow the news posted on the British Postal Museum and Archive.

After writing my first two blogs (Part 1 and Part 2), Abraham at La Vie Graphite mentioned a post he had written earlier this year about the history of letter forms at the Musée de la Poste (the postal history museum) in Paris. This one was fascinating to me because the museum concentrated more on handwritten letters.

In my research and travels I am finding that it's not just people who like stamps or people who like mail who are fascinated with Post Offices and the history of mail service, but there are many kinds of people- all with varying degrees of interest and preferred topics.

For example, my husband (who was such a good sport to accompany me on my 2 hour tour) has zero to minimal interest in anything postal, but was drawn to the Armed Services display (In hindsight, it could have been that this display came with a set of chairs). Or the friendly NPM store clerk who shared with me that she had not been particularly interested in anything postal and hadn't realized the NPM existed until she started working there a few years ago. Now she buys newly minted sheets of stamps and saves them in a stamp album. And that's how it begins.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Win Your Own Flying Wish Paper

I met Julia, the owner and founder of Flying Wish Paper, at the National Stationery Show (NSS) in May of this year. Part of the fun of attending the show is seeing all of the new products and meeting the owners and passionate founders who started their own business. Julia had a booth and was handing out samples of her Flying Wish Paper. It wasn't until later, when I  returned home from my trip, that I took out my sample and gave it a try. The instructions are simple: "Write it. Light it. Watch it fly."

The magic of Flying Wish Paper comes from the belief that writing down your dreams and sending them forth into the world on the whisper of a flame can make your dream come true. This is not to say that belief or ritual is ALL that is needed to make your dreams come true. Dreams also require action, hard work and perseverance.

A lot of studies show that the act of writing down your dreams and goals helps them become reality. Henriette Anne Klauser, author of 'Write it Down, Make it Happen' explains the physiological effects of writing down dreams and goals in simple no-nonsense language. "Writing down your dreams and aspirations is like hanging up a sign that says, "Open for Business."

Working with Flying Wish Paper to write your wish/dream/goal down and then proceeding with the ceremony of crumpling the paper, smoothing it out, rolling it into a tube and lighting it on fire all combine to make a powerful statement to the universe. Click here to watch a video of how it works.

While I know that this is not for everyone, I believe there is some truth and magic in the power of ritual and of writing things down.

If you would like to try this for yourself, leave a comment to be entered into a drawing for one of these packets. They come in two package sizes- the large and the mini. You can see them both on the Flying Wish Paper website where you can also order them. I will send out a LARGE packet to one lucky winner.

This same packet is also part of the September Stationery Giveaway. If you are signed up for the monthly e-newsletter at L&J then you are already entered for that monthly drawing.

Monday, September 13, 2010

A Visit to the National Postal Museum (Part 2)

One of my favorite stops in the National Postal Museum was a display celebrating the 15th Anniversary of the museum. It was called the Alphabetilately A to Z.  The room was set up with 26 different stops and each letter had its own theme and artwork. I spent so much time zooming in trying to capture the quality of the photos of some of the letters, that I neglected to capture some shots of the room itself. Lesson learned (I hope).

In a corner of the room when you first walk in is a standing display case of a free set of postcards that match the theme of the room with the A to Z motif. The perforated card set has 8 cards attached and each card offers a collage of postal related items.It almost inspires me to create my own postage themed collage. I scanned them and added the photos to Flickr if you want to see them.

Thinking that one or two of you may want your own set of these cool cards, I grabbed a couple extras. Leave a comment if you would like one and I will draw two names to send them to. I will send anywhere so this is not limited to US residents.

The photos in the blog are different than the postcard images. If you want to see the postcards click here to visit my Flickr account where they are located.

9/16/2010 UPDATE with the names of the contest winners- Pamela G left a comment on Facebook and Vixen left a comment on the website blog. I will contact these two people and get their mailing information. If I can't reach them then I will draw again and post another update. There were a total of 9 comments in the 3 locations and I numbered each person and drew two numbers to get the winners. Thank you!

Friday, September 10, 2010

September Stationery Giveaway!

The Letters & Journals Stationery Giveaway has some great new products being featured for the September giveaway. To be eligible to win this collection of gifts, just be registered to receive the free monthly e-newsletter, LetterNews. Every month Letters & Journals gives away a package of goodies to one lucky winner. We're grateful for our sponsors who so generously donate as well as all of the readers who visit the blog and website. Thank You!

Flying Wish Paper describes itself as "A whimsical kit to make wishes come true." This package comes with 50 sheets of flying wish paper, 25 wish platforms, matches, pencils and instructions. You can see a video demonstration of how Flying Wish Paper works by clicking here.
Regreet Card Organizer & Greeting Card Kit promotes itself with its cute green frog and says that with their product you can "Get more mileage from your greeting cards."

Hotshoe Cards Summer Collection set (6 cards) offers you a chance to submit your photo to compete for $250 and the opportunity to have your photo featured on its own card set!
Quo Vadis Notebook (Exaclair) offers a lined notebook for your writing pleasure! This purse sized journal  was donated by Karen at Exaclair.

 Gelly Roll Stardust Pens (Sakura of America) is a decorative glitter pen for those of you who prefer a little BLING in your notes, letters and journals.
 Pennant Magazine (Fall 2009) was contributed by Richard Jarvis from Pen Collector's of America. "Keeping the history of writing instruments alive through member support and community education." This collectible magazine should satiate your desire for learning more about pens.
 Thanks for visiting L&J blog! It was nice of you to stop by.

Congratulations, Missive Maven! You have won this month's wonderful stationery giveaway! 10/1/2010

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

A Visit to the National Postal Museum (Part 1)

We were in DC over the Labor Day weekend so we spent a few hours at the National Postal Museum. I was pleased to find out it is open 364 days a year (Christmas Day is the only day it's closed) so we didn't have to adjust our schedule at all. Rather than give a play by play of our visit, I will highlight in a few blog postings some of my favorite or most memorable parts of the visit.

I was carried away on a wave of nostalgia when I saw the wall of these old post office boxes. I grew up in a small town in North Dakota and remember getting the mail inside the local post office which was located on main street next to a cafe and two doors down from the movie theater.

We were PO Box 133 for many years- probably until my parents passed away. I remember the metal dial as shown below as well as the little window that offered just a glimpse to show you if your box held mail or not.

If you received a package that was too big for the mailbox, then you got a slip (just like today) telling you to go to the teller window to pick up your package.

I recall the first piece of mail I received. My godparents from Montana had sent me a small package for my birthday.  I was turning 5 or 6 years old and, boy, was I ecstatic to realize I could get a surprise like that out of the blue with no ceremony or fanfare- just a package wrapped in plain brown paper addressed to me. What was this wondrous thing called 'mail' and how could I get some more? And so it began.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Stationery Giveaway Winner Announced!

Congratulations, Julie (aka Okami) who is the winner of the August Stationery Giveaway! Prizes include:

Ciak Leather Notebook
Crane Thank You Cards
J. Herbin Ink
J. Herbin Glass Pen
Micron 3-pack of Pens
Rhodia Notepad
Pennant Magazine (Spring 2010)

Julie is one of the first people I met when I started blogging about Letters & Journals in April 2009. As stated on her blog, Whatever, Julie mainly writes about "...pens, inks and paper; talk about postcards, letter writing and journaling; and, of course, our Akitas..." She has been a welcoming and supportive fixture in this blogging world of pens and stationery.

Congratulations, Julie! Am excited for you to get all of the stationery goodies!!