Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year Wishes

Letters & Journals would like to send you wishes for a Happy New Year! If you would like this on a postcard, just contact me with your name and address. You can do this via email, twitter or the old fashioned way- a letter or postcard request sent to:

Happy New Year, c/o Letters & Journals, PO Box 120052, St. Paul, MN 55112

Not sure what you want to see in the next 12 months? Here are some blog posts that may help. Get out a notebook and a favorite pen and enjoy this time.

The Edge of the Year or More of This, Please by Amy Oscar
17 Ways to be Happier in 2012 by Marelisa
Choose a Word to Guide Your Year or How to Choose a Word of the Year
Magic Reflections on My One Little Word by Elise Joy
Create a 2012 Memory Jar from Crafty Tuesday (this is more for reflecting than planning)

May all your wishes come true for a fabulous and life enhancing new year in 2012. Here's to health and friends, peace and joy in your life.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Letters & Journals Update 2012

As 2012 approaches I wanted to give you an update on the status of Letters & Journals, the print edition. I am still working on bringing this to life in a print format. Some people have recommended to do it as a zine or a digital edition, and although both options have merit, I see something different for the magazine (100 pages, perfect bound, matte cover, etc) so will continue to follow my dream even though it means 'not now.'
I'm taking a break from doing the monthly giveaway and the e-newsletter as I concentrate on my new business. When time allows, I will return to them.

My new job is the publisher of a Natural Awakenings magazine. This is a free monthly publication that is all about healthy lifestyles and a healthy planet. There are 85 of these in the country and starting in March, I will be publishing the Twin Cities (Mpls/St. Paul) edition. Here's a link to the Milwaukee digital edition to give you an idea of the magazine and its content.
Milwaukee January 2012 Edition
My website launched last month and currently I'm in the process of finding 300 locations to carry the free magazine as well as people to advertise in it. Exciting times, but super busy.

I had come across Natural Awakenings last spring when I was looking into print options for Letters & Journals. I was working at an office job (5 yrs) for a wonderful small company in St. Paul, but my job was unexciting and there were no opportunities to grow. I had planned to be working at L&J full time within 1-2 yrs, but time kept going by with nothing happening to get me closer to that goal.
When I came across the Natural Awakenings franchise I started looking into it and I liked what I saw. The free monthly magazine, the support structure, the training, the templates, the best practices of other publishers, the freedom to pick and choose my own topics and covers, etc.

In August I went to training in Naples, FL and then I quit my full time job to devote all of my time to making Natural Awakenings Twin Cities a success. Unlike the 9-5 hours at my office job, I am now working 60-80 hours a week which isn't a problem except that it leaves so little time for L&J fun stuff.
Dolphin mailbox in Naples, FL
But I still want to keep the site going and the plans for the magazine progressing. I just won't be able to put as much time and effort into it as I did previously.

Some people have offered to submit stories to the newsletter so I may do an occasional newsletter as I can get new material and put one together. And I have a few items to give away that donors such as Haley and Richard had donated previously so I will have giveaways here and there.

In the meantime, I am still planning to pursue the print edition of L&J and am keeping my options open and am continuing to add to my growing list of names for those interested in such a product.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Edward Gorey #26

Here is the final entry in the Edward Gorey postcard collection from the 2011 postcard calendar book. I've enjoyed sharing these cards and sending them to unsuspecting recipients.

"A future unremembered poet of the seventeenth century accepts a Christmas cookie from the Great Veiled Bear."
 I like the winter theme of this card. And who doesn't love the image of a polar bear wearing ice skates?
"Floating Worlds: Never-Before-Seen Letters and Envelopes" is a wonderful collection of some of Gorey's letters, envelopes and postcards.

This has been fun and I will probably do it again someday. I'm just not sure when.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Postcard Giveaway from Chewy Tulip

Chewy Tulip donated a set of 5 Evergreen postcards to the recent giveaway, but somebody (me) neglected to add them to the monthly giveaway. So this package of cards will have its own giveaway. I will even include five $.29 stamps. Woo-Hoo!
Contest is open to all and will end at midnight on 12/23/11. Just send an email to Jackie (at) LettersandJournals (dot) com with the word EVERGREEN in the subject line.

12/26 Update: The winner is Jane from Champaign, IL who has already been notified of her good fortune. Congratulations, Jane! And thanks to Chewy Tulip for donating the prize!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Edward Gorey #24

The 24th Edward Gorey postcard is a scene from The Doubtful Guest. There's a short rhyme on the card that says:
"It came seventeen years ago- and to this day it has shown no intention of going away."
The 'it' in question looks like a lonely malformed seal wearing tennis shoes or ice skates.
And there we have it - the second to the last Gorey postcard from the 2011 postcard calendar.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Letter Links Dec. 7

It's a busy time of year for many, but there's always time to check out some posts on a few of my favorite blogs.
Writing Letters is not just for fun, it's good for you by 365 Letters
Sketchbooks, Gluebooks and Art Journals by A Penchant for Paper
Beginning to look a lot like you-know-what by Cappuccino and Art Journal
Tis the Season to Simplify by Inkophile
Etsy Letterpress Love by Missive Maven

Sunday, December 4, 2011

December Stationery Giveaway

The winner for this month is Julie B. from Florida. Congratulations, Julie!
Here is the final monthly giveaway of 2011! I've decided to take a break from the monthly giveaways for 2012. It's just too much work now that I'm putting in extra time at my new job and trying to be successful and do a good job with that. I may do an occasional giveaway, but it won't be a regular affair.

Haley's Handmades is now known as Poodle & Cat. Love that new name! This month Haley has sent in 6 cards, a bookmark and magnet and a button.
Sakura of America donated this 6-pen set of brush pens in six different colors. Get your groove on with these fun colors!
This recycled book has new pages for your journal writing. Donated by Journals + Paper, this spiral bound book is a blank slate for your inspired and wondrous thoughts.
The Bonnie Marcus collection donated this notepad for all of your list-making tendencies. Shopping lists, guest lists, to-do lists. The world is waiting for your list masterpiece!
Crane and Company sent in this small blank book called 'Short Stories' because we all have a story to tell. Write your short story in this lined journal.
Next we have a set of Tree Greetings cards from Eraser Carver. If you like trees, you will love this set of three tree cards.
Tilia Press has been a long time donor and this month we are featuring a set of bee-themed Thank You cards from them. Lovely.
In My Book has three greeting cards/bookmarks in this month's basket. They come with a red envelope too so you can send and share.
The Verge De France stationery and envelopes were sent in by Karen at Exaclair. Who wouldn't want to write a letter using this combination? I know I would!
Finally, we have the Ecojot claendar for 2012. This beautifully illustrated calendar will set the tone for a harmonious and wonderful New Year!
The contest is open to everyone everywhere. Just leave a comment here. The December winner will be selected on January 1. The winner will be contacted by email and have 3 days to respond.  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 each month. Good Luck!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Pencil Box Photo

I took pictures of the four prize packages for the Mailbox contest that was held last month, however, only one of the pictures turned out. I guess I should have checked the photographs before I mailed the packages.
This felt-lined pencil box was filled with pens and pencils and was won by Pamela in San Francisco. The prizes going to Kelly, Phyllis and Barbara will just have to be a surprise.