Thursday, June 30, 2011

Edward Gorey #14

Who doesn't love to get a postcard in the mail? Sending these Edward Gorey cards from the 2011 Postcard calendar has been a lot of fun.  Behold postcard #14!
 People on bicycles eating berries, because that's what people in Edward Gorey's world do.
So I've chosen a number between 1-100. The first person to guess the number will get this postcard. Just leave a comment with your email so that I know how to reach you to get your mailing address.

#4 was the selected number in honor of the July 4th holiday. Since #2 was the closest, I will send bascombe2 this card. Send your mailing address to Jackie (at) lettersandjournals (dot)com or jackieflaherty (at) yahoo (dot) com. If anyone else who entered the contest wants to leave their address I will send them another card. Specify if you want 'Gorey' or 'Any'. If you select 'Gorey, you may get one of the upcoming ones. If you select 'Any' then I will send a MN postcard.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Letters & Journals Subscriptions

Letters & Journals has begun accepting subscriptions to the print magazine! We're offering charter subscriptions ($15 for 2 issues) to the first 1,000 people. The premiere edition will be available this Dec 2011 and the second edition will follow next summer, July 2012.

You can sign up by going to the SUBSCRIBE page. Payment options include check, money order or Paypal. The magazine will also be available in a digital version.

If you have any questions or problems with your sign up, please contact us:

Customer Service 
Jackie Flaherty

Thanks for being a faithful supporter of Letters & Journals as we started with an idea + blog and now have a website, e-newsletter and are on schedule to have the print magazine published in just a few months. Thank You!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Winner of the Monsieur Notebook

Olivia L from CA was the selected winner (#33) of the Monsieur Notebook as featured in this blog post.  Loved seeing all of the comments and emails about what people would do with this notebook should they win. Olivia said that she's an avid journaler and is about to finish her current journal so will start anew with her winning journal.
I neglected to mention the iconic mustached man with the monocle as pictured below (from the Monsieur website). This character is featured on the back of each journal. If you didn't want one before, you probably do now, I  imagine.
I should note that Tom from Monsieur Notebooks emailed to clarify that with use, the notebooks will lie flat. Mine is just too new and not yet broken in. I should go write a few notes in my journal now. Excuse me...

Monday, June 20, 2011

Monsieur Notebook Review and Giveaway

It's nice that every once in awhile we bloggers get sent products we sometimes blog about in an effort to review and promote the items being sent. Who doesn't love a blank journal made of supple leather that opens up, lies flat and waits for your stupendously brilliant thoughts to flow from your head to your pen to the paper?
The Monsieur Notebooks are the flagship brand of Hide Stationery, Ltd. They are brand new and currently only available in the UK, but are planning for expansion later this year. On the Monsieur website, these journals are described as:
"These covers are made from one single piece of thick vegetable-tanned leather. These have the scent and touch of leather, unlike inferior ‘bonded’, ‘recycled’ and processed ‘genuine’ leathers. Because of this our books have an authentic feel unachievable in mass-produced notebooks. Our books’ understated beauty only improves as they get used, battered and bruised."
 I sampled the small black notebook (below) with my lovely aquamarine Lamy Safari (medium nib).
The flow of the pen on the paper was ultra smooth and I was very pleased to see no feathering of the ink.
I was also very pleased to see there was no bleed-through on the back side of the page.
 The journal opens flat, but doesn't stay flat unless you hold one end down. I prefer journals with the stretching rubber binder that helps hold the journal closed, so was pleased to see that this journal has that.
Overall, I was very happy with the quality of the paper and the overall appearance and functionality of the notebook.
One of you can compare for yourself how these notebooks hold up under scrutiny by winning the large brown journal shown above. Tell me what general or special purpose you would like to use this journal for and either leave a comment (include your email) or send me an email to Jackie (at) lettersandjournals (dot) com. Giveaway ends 6/23/11.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Edward Gorey #13

Edward Gorey Postcard #13 is the mile marker to being halfway through the year and half done with the Gorey postcard theme. How does time go by so quickly? Slow down, I say.

There is a lot of detail in this color postcard called "The Galoshes of Remorse".  We see four bored gentlemen framing the scene of the woman in the swamp wearing gloves and holding galoshes.
"Frivolity, at the edge of a Moral Swamp, hears Hymn Singing in the Distance and dons the Galoshes of Remorse."
I have to be careful to send some of these cards to people who, either like Mr. Gorey's work, or who know that I'm doing this bi-weekly mailing project. Otherwise, what would they think when they receive this card about morale galoshes out of the blue?

I will send this card to someone who leaves a comment that they would like it. You will need to provide your mailing address either in the comment or in an email to me (unless you know that your address is already in the system) It will be a surprise as the person won't know until they receive the card that they were the one selected. If no one comments then I'll send it to my sister. She'll be confused but will probably guess its from me as she knows how much I love mail and postcards and such.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Crane Thank You Cards

I'm a big fan of Crane & Co as some of you may know. The quality of their paper is first rate as it is 100% cotton. I happen to follow them on Facebook and was rewarded recently when I signed up for a THANK YOU giveaway and won 3 sets of Thank you cards. Sweet!

I should start writing now as there are always lots of people and companies to thank. Now, which card to use first?

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Stamps + Ephemera Winner

We have a winner for the May e-newsletter giveaway! Congratulations, Heather M. from Canada! This giveaway was announced in the monthly e-newsletter for May. Odds of winning were1 in 86.

Below are some photos of the assorted stamps and ephemera that were prepared especially for this giveaway.
I had fun putting all of the items together. Here is a portion of them.
Stamps, ticket stubs, page from a dictionary, stickers, stamped images, library card, front of a used envelope, blank sticker label, pictures from magazines, business cards, airmail twine, postcard, portion of a cut out letter, handmade envelope, scrap paper, plus a few other odds and ends.
I used a see-through vinyl packet to store all of the items as you can see below. The clear folder was the perfect receptacle to house the miscellany. Below is the front. At the bottom of the photo you can see a sticker that says "Expressionery" which is where I got this useful folder when I ordered some note cards recently.
Next is the folder when it is opened so you can see the two inside portions.
This last picture is the backside of the folder.

Putting together this packet of stamps + ephemera showed me just how much of this stuff that I have. Expect to see more of these contests in the future.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Magazine with Mail Art Cover

Wandering the local Barnes and Noble last weekend, I found this issue of Esopus magazine which I had never heard of before. Intrigued by the stamp/envelope collage cover and after a quick perusal inside the magazine, I paid the $14 price. 
(Magazine Cover)
The article that the cover art refers to was an interesting piece about the correspondence between Ray Johnson and Robert Warner. Mr. Johnson is often credited for the concept of 'correspondence art (mail art). And, although he may not have invented it, he was the first major proponent of such according to Wikipedia.
(Magazine Back)
Warner responds to interview questions about Johnson such as how they met and the types of mail art they used for their correspondence. I didn't know very much about Ray Johnson except that he was closely associated with mail art so the interview was informative as well as entertaining.
As an added bonus, there was a packet of paper ephemera (shown above) that was filled with about a dozen pieces of paper including the newspaper reprint and the postcard you can just see peeking out of the orange/pink sleeve. I assume these are reproductions of the art that Ray sent to Robert.
The photo above shows a close-up of some of the added papers that were included with the magazine.

In an unrelated article later in the magazine was a 32-page booklet that told of letters from 1927-29 that were found in an attic of the article's author, Kathe Burkhart, in 1988. Amongst the typed letters are black and white photos of the two female correspondents as well as some of their history. Intriguing.

Overall, I was pleased with the contents of this new magazine and even at $14 they are not making a profit. They state on their acknowledgement page:

"The magazine never includes advertising or commercially driven content and is priced well below its actual cost of production so that it can be accessed by a wide range of readers."

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Edward Gorey #12

The Year of the Edward Gorey Postcards continues. This one is going to my niece who is turning Sweet 16 on Wednesday. I don't believe she's a fan, but who cannot be enchanted by this image?
 It's a mystery to me what's going on, as often is with Mr. Gorey's illustrations. I think that is part of the charm.
Next week I think I will send to a random name from the list of L&J subscribers, just to change things up a bit.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

June Stationery Giveaway

This is the first anniversary of the monthly Stationery Giveaway at Letters & Journals! Thanks to our sponsors and readers for helping to make it so successful! We have an awesome giveaway this month as well as some new rules for entry.

Let's start the June 2011 Stationery Giveaway with this awesome SRX Galaxie Fountain Pen, bottle of Chesterfield Ink and a package of ink cartridges all from a new sponsor, Xfountain Pens. It's not often that we have a fountain pen and ink to include in our monthly drawing, so this just adds to an already great giveaway! The fine folks at xFountain Pens were also kind enough to include an extra set for us to try, so I will be having a review on this exact pen and ink later in the month.
This unique journal from Revolver Bound Books is actually two journals in one. You see the red journal in the photo, but if you open it up a special way and then fold back the red covers, you will reveal a second journal that has a black cover. One of the journals has blank pages and other has lined (64 pages each).You can see a video on their website of exactly how this works.

"Two journals in one with a little magic in between."
A reader recently commented that it was harder these days to find boxes of loose leaf stationery and asked if I knew where to purchase any. As it happened we had just received a package from Peter Pauper Press so I sent her to their website where you can find lovely designs just like the one pictured below for $9.95 (30 sheets + 24 envelopes). I love this set!
The Texas Pen Company donated a box calligraphy set containing 2 Scheaffer Fountain Pens, 3 calligraphy nibs, 14 ink cartridges, a practice pad and calligraphy booklet with step-by-step instructions. WOW! That is a lot. Sometime in June we will also be giving away one of these sets in a drawing on our Facebook page.
Papaya Arts has been a long time donor to the monthly giveaway. This hard cover journal is just "write" for starting a diary or daily writing journal.
Artist and children's book illustrator, Nina Crittenden, donated this set of five simply-yet-divinely illustrated note cards and packaged so nicely in a a clear fold out package and tied with a light blue ribbon. There are five different illustrations. You will love them. Trust me!
This Cavallini & Co. journal of San Francisco featuring the Golden Gate Bridge with a postage stamp in the corner was donated by Journals and Paper, a Canadian sponsor who also contributed some photo note cards (not pictured) to be included in this month's giveaway.
Product Superior sent in this colorful Octopus and Submarine print (8x10) along with a handful of unique greeting cards. Love it!
Ex Libris Anonymous, otherwise known as Book Journals, have submitted another of their unique books made from an actual book that they turned into a journal by adding 75 blank pages of acid free paper and rebinding the book with spiral binding. Each of these books is unique and for an added touch they have left a few of the original pages from the book interspersed among the blank pages. If you see one you like on their site, GET IT! As once they are gone, they most likely will not have it again.
The originality of the small sized Parker Planner is that they come undated so that you can plan and use your planner for any four months that work for you. The planners were created by Ethan and Benjie when they were in college and were looking for a planner to fit their needs. Not finding one, they created their own. I met them at the National Stationery Show this year and they were nice enough to send me home with some of these wonderful little planners.
And, is that pink Pentel pencil in the photo also part of the stationery giveaway? Why, yes it is! Thanks to Pentel and Julie at Whatever, where I was lucky enough to win more than a handful of Pentel products. So I am spreading the joy (and pencils.)
Our next sponsor is Survival by Design who just announced that some of their product line is now in the Target stores. The nirvana of many companies- getting into a big box retailer where they will receive national exposure. Let us say Congratulations to the fine folks who create these eye-less wonders!
Wimzie Prints has donated four gorgeous colorful cards that seem to say Summer! (And I'd like to add, finally! as it has been a cold, windy, rainy spring in Minnesota.) Thanks, Wimzie, for helping to brighten our days with your cards!
 Journaling Arts is one of the original sponsors of the monthly giveaway and this month they offer the Mood Quaderno Sketchbook which comes with a snap cover and its own pen! The sketchbook offers blank pages  and a page for your information as well as a plastic catchall for receipts and/or ephemera. Journaling Arts is also offering a 20% discount on your entire purchase (Use code JAPC20)
Botanical Paperworks has sent in this lovely 3 pack miniature notebooks - each unique and handmade. Botanical Paperworks has a terrific line of earth friendly papers comprising all sorts of cards, journals and notebooks.
Puppy Paws Productions: Dog Note and Greeting Cards is a first time sponsor of the giveaway and they have sent in a package of these lovely poodle cards. Cute, huh? I thought you'd agree.
Sean McMahon created his own line of musical greeting cards and there will be five of them included in the June stationery giveaway. You can check out Sean's line of cards on his musical website and also read about the feature story that L&J wrote about Sean here.
And there you have it! The wonderful selection of prizes for the June Stationery Giveaway at Letters & Journals.

How do you win? Just leave a comment on this blog post with your email so that you can be contacted. Winners can be from anywhere and you will have 5 days to respond to the email with your mailing address. You are also welcome to include your address in your comment. Some people are OK with this and some are not. I don't require it. I just want it to be easy for me to contact the winner and get the prize package put in the mail!

7/1/2011 UPDATE: The winner of the June Stationery Giveaway is Glenda T from TX. Glenda left a comment at the regular site. Thanks to all who commented. Try again in July!