Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Edward Gorey #23

The Edward Gorey postcard collection draws closer to the end with postcard #23 in the 2011 postcard book. Somewhere I must have missed a week as I only have two more after this one.
R is for Raccoon Coat
I'm in the process of mailing postcards to the people who kindly entered the mailbox contests in the Sept/Oct newsletter so I expect that one or two recipients will get one of the Gorey postcards. Others will receive postal museum cards, Minnesota cards, L&J cards or Antarctica postcards.
I've enjoyed having a theme and I'm considering what kind of regular blog updates I can do in 2012. Thoughts?

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Mailbox Contest Winners

Announcing the mailbox contest winners from the Sept/Oct newsletter. There were four prizes given away and each recipient selected the prize package they wanted to win when they mailed their entry. There were about 5 entries for each prize selection so I sorted the mail into A, B, C and D piles and selected one winner from each. Also, as I mentioned in the newsletter, if entries contained a photo or drawing of a post office box, then that person received an extra entry for the added effort.

Package A (ephemera) was won by Phyllis from CA. Here is the envelope Phyllis used and below is a photo of Phyllis's mailbox which happens to be

a mailbox slot in her garage door. She explains in her letter her experience of getting wet mail when it rains as well as having to get out of her car in the driveway to retrieve the mail each day so as not to run over it, which she has done.
Prize Package B (Pencil box with pens/pencils) was won by Pamela in CA with this decorated postcard. Pamela excels in mail art as many of you might recognize from her website, Cappuccino and Art Journal.

Here is the front of Pamela's card. Love all of that mailbox goodness!

Prize package C (Surprise goodies include journal, note cards, stamps, stationery, etc) goes to Kelly in IL. Love her telegram postcard!

Finally, Package D (set of cat rubberstamps) goes to Barbara, aka, CatBookMom. Creatively, Barbara used rubberstamps in the postcard she sent in. Aren't the snail and cats adorable? Nicely done!
I'll post photos of the prizes later this week when I prepare them to be mailed.

In the meantime, here is a sampling of some of the other mail themed entries that were submitted. Oh what fun my mailbox had in Oct and Nov!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Letter Links Nov 25

For those of you enjoying a lazy day after Thanksgiving- sitting at your computer- might I suggest the following links?
Hosting Your Own Letter Writing Social by Letter Writer's Alliance
Writing Letters...it's not just fun...it's good for you by 365 Letters
12 Days of Letter Writing by The World Needs More Love Letters
Need a Gift Idea for the Holidays? by Julie at Whatever

Thursday, November 24, 2011


For those of you who celebrate Thanksgiving, I'd like to wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving. It's easy at this time of year to be reminded that it's all about GRATITUDE.
I have this gratitude book that I started on 6/2/10, but have not written in since 8/10/11 and it's only about 1/5 completed. Not that I have to write things down to be able to give thanks, but it helps to find things everyday in our everyday lives to appreciate. It's time for me to get back into the habit.
Gratitude is an art of painting an adversity into a lovely picture.  ~Kak Sri

We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.  ~Thornton Wilder

The unthankful heart... discovers no mercies; but let the thankful heart sweep through the day and, as the magnet finds the iron, so it will find, in every hour, some heavenly blessings!  ~Henry Ward Beecher 

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Writing Personal Notes & Letters

I have been reading Writing Personal Notes & Letters by Jennifer Williams and the editors of Victoria magazine on and off for a few months now. Although much of what I've read so far is often in other books on letter writing, it's still enjoyable to be drawn into the world of the letter writer. Indeed, it is.
The smooth white pages of the book are filled with lovely illustrations of postcards, stamps and writing images, much like Alexandra's Stoddard's classic, Gift of a Letter

From Chapter 2: 
Any good writing- writing that communicates something real and true, including letters to friends- derives its power from our experiences of life, whether it's a plain old "day-to-day life" or one fraught with extraordinary events. It doesn't matter. If you tap directly into your own life and allow it to speak for itself, your letters will never fail to be vivid and true.
What I've found with books on letter writing is that I like to read a little bit at a time, otherwise it becomes like eating too much pie at one sitting- uncomfortably filling.

Here are the chapter headings if you're curious.

Chapter 1: The Pleasures of Staying in Touch: A Meditation on Letter Writing
Chapter 2: Pictures of the Heart: Letters to Friends
Chapter 3:Transports of the Heart: Love Letters,  Valentines, and Billets-Doux
Chapter 4: Please Join Us: Invitations and Announcements
Chapter 5:  The Words to Say It: Thank You Notes and Letters of Congratulation
Chapter 6: The Comfort of Connection: Condolence and Sympathy Letters
Chapter 7:  Staying in Touch with the World: Letters of Admiration, Letters of Complaint, Letters to Magazines, Alumnae Newsletters and More

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Mail Contest #1

The Sept/Oct newsletter had a mailbox contest where the entrants were asked to send in a piece of mail with a number selected that was between 1-100. The winner wins this handcrafted pencil box filled with a collection of pens from Nvizio. And the winner is..... (drum roll)

Jennifer from CA! This package will be on its way to you this week! Below is Jennifer's winning entry.

The winning number was #18 and Jennifer guessed #13. There was also a person who guessed #23 and since both of these numbers are 5 away from 18. I put both names in a hat and drew Jennifer's name.

 The pencil box was handcrafted by Harvey Christiansen. Here's a close-up of the inside which is covered in brown felt.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Misty's Mailbox Sketch

Imagine my delight to find this wonderful black & white illustration in my mailbox last week! Signed by the illustrator (and blogger) Miss Misty Davis from Confessions of a Pen Thief, this piece of art measures 8.5 x 11. Here you can read her post where she blogged about her talented mailbox sketch!

How lucky am I to be the recipient of such lovely postal image? I'm on the hunt now for the perfect frame so that I can hang this on my office wall.

I must admit that it's been a joy to find all of the mail in my new PO Box since I did two (that's right- TWO) promotional contests in the Sept/Oct newsletter. One has ended and I'll be announcing that winner this weekend. The Mailbox Contest goes until Nov. 23, 2011. Hurry! There's still time.

Thanks, Misty! You've definitely earned an extra ticket in this drawing. Good Luck!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Letter Links November 8

I thought some of you might enjoy these blog posts that talk about mail, post office, desks, writing space, lists, journals, collage and typewriters (among other things). Enjoy!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

November Stationery Giveaway

Welcome to the November Stationery Giveaway where one lucky winner will win ALL of these prizes.

The Texas Pen Company kindly 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.
First time contributor, Cindy at Letters from Midlife sent in a selection of lovely photo note cards. There is a combination of flower note cards and tea cup note cards. No two are alike in this packet. Enjoy!
In My Book sent in 3 of their combination note cards/bookmarks. Love the book-themed illustrations on these cards. If you have a favorite bookstore, library or gift store that carries bookmarks, please ask them if they'd like to carry the In My Book line.
Tilia Press continues to delight us with their beautifully illustrated note cards. This set of Thank You cards comes with purple envelopes. Have fun with these!
Eraser Carver contributed a set of historical greetings note cards that are uniquely designed and illustrated. I'm amazed by all of the creative and dedicated artists following their dreams and sharing their passion and art.
This Keith Haring lined notebook is made by Quo Vadis and comes from Karen at Exaclair who regularly supports the pen/ink/paper community with contests and donations.
The variety at Ex Libris Anonymous is amazing! This Pineapple Story blank book is larger than most of their journals and has many pages of black and white illustrations from the original book interspersed with the clean white pages of their quality paper stock.
If you're on the internet, odds are excellent you have multiple passwords for all of the sites you access. The Personal Internet Address and Password Logbook is published and donated by Peter Pauper Press. Here's a hint for creating passwords: Use three words in a short sentence. Add a number or capitalization for those sites that require it. Examples: BabySleeps2Night, catclimbstrees4, birdsaystweet.

They don't have to make sense, they just have to be memorable by you.
This assortment from Haley's Handmades includes a box set of invitations, a selection of note cards, 2 pins and a set of stickers.Who wouldn't have fun with this?
Chewy Tulip sent in this selection of five owl postcards. These colorful whimsical cards are all unique and beautifully illustrated.
There are 6 assorted flat note cards in this package from Wimzie Prints including the bird you see here, a ladybug, dragonfly, butterfly and more. Some say "Thanks" and some say "Hi" or "Just a Note".
Everyone loves new pens! This set of medium gels from GellyRollers from Sakura of America comes in a package of 10. Exciting times for one lucky winner!
Ecojot continues to support us by sending in cards and journals from their awesome selection on their site. This colorful journal has a quote by Edmund Hilary, "It's not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves." How true. For those of you who may not know, Ecojot has a Give Program where they donate a journal for each journal purchased on their site. Thanks, Ecojot!
Leave a comment to be entered into this giveaway.

I contact the winner by email, so be sure to include your email address with your comment or you can send me your email address: Jackie (at) lettersandjournals (dot) com. I number each comment on this the website, the blog and the few I receive via email. I then use the Random Number Generator to select the winning number. Good Luck!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Edward Gorey Postcards #21 and #22

I love the night sky eyes in this Edward Gorey postcard #21. 

Dracula and Lucy
And since I am just a bit behind, below you will see postcard #22 for the weeks of 10/31 and 11/7. The three characters here are from the collection called The Black Doll. Admittedly, this illustration is not one of my favorites.
There was a comment recently that the person will be glad when this series of postcards is done as they are not enjoying them at all. I would feel the same way if I liked a blog, but not a series of posts or illustrations they were featuring. I was glad that the person spoke up as it's nice to hear what people are thinking when they read your blog. Usually we just hear from the people who like it, so it's refreshing to get other input. Thank you. (We're almost done.)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Winner of the October Stationery Giveaway

The October Stationery Giveaway goes to one lucky winner in Montana! Congratulations, Toyia! The random number generator selected #11 today out of the 103 comments that were left in Oct.

Already at work putting the finishing touches on the November Stationery Giveaway. I'll have that posted in the next few days. Stay tuned and never give up!