Friday, November 28, 2014

Putting Pen to Paper

My notebook of choice these days is a Clairefontaine wire notebook (8.25 x 11.75) which has colored pages, tabbed sections and graph paper. But my favorite feature of this confection of stationery delight is the easy flowing smoothness of my writing experience. I especially enjoy using the Uniball Jetstream, which has a generous flow of ink without smudging or bleeding.
Below is a photo of the Uniball Jetstream on top of my current To Do List. Usually, I prefer a fine point pen with a generous ink flow, but with this pen, I actually like the bold point. Who knew?

 There's an excellent review of the Uniball Jetstream if you're not familiar with it.

I found this notebook in St. Paul, MN at a gift shop and paper store called The Paper Patisserie. They have a small selection of pens and notebooks and note cards.

What's your experience with Clairefontaine?

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Letter Writing and Avatars

Are any of you using avatars for your social networking? Recently I had two created for me. I'm fortunate to have the acquaintance of a children's book illustrator, Nina Crittenden, who doesn't normally do this type of thing, but she agreed to give it a shot.

Aren't these great? She incorporated some of my writing, and our two cats as well.  I just love the image she created!
You can check out Nina's illustrations here if you want to see more!
The other avatar I had done for $5 on a website called Have you heard of it?

According to Wikipedia:
Fiverr is a global online marketplace offering tasks and services, referred to as 'gigs' beginning at a cost of $5 per job performed, from which it gets its name. The site is primarily used by freelancers who use Fiverr to offer a variety of different services, and by customers to buy those services.

So I sent my photo and got this avatar within less than 24 hours. Not bad.
Now, I think I will copy these onto some stationery so that my plain paper will have some of my personality imprinted upon them. And then I must write a letter (like I need an excuse!).

What avatars are you using? Which one would you like to have? Next, I think I'll get one of me sitting at a desk writing a letter. I like that. A lot. You?

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Stamps in Season

Have you received your Stamps in Season catalog from the USPS? I received mine a couple months ago. The first image below is a cover of the small newsletter/catalog.
I copied a few of the 12 pages to give you an idea of what it looks like inside.
The page below shows the contents of this mini catalog/newsletter.
It was great to get this in the mail and see the images and celebration getting of letters and cards in the mail. I am catching up with some overdue letter writing this weekend and expect to send out 5 letters, a birthday card and a couple postcards. Inspired!

How about you? What's in your mailbox this week?

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Genesis 'Shades' Notebook Review & Giveaway

Roaring Springs Paper Products has a line of notebooks called "Shades" that comes in four pastel flavored colors; pink, purple, green and blue. They sent a pink one-subject notebook in the assortment they sent to Letters & Journals for review.

I used a bold Uni Jetstream ballpoint pen (black) to write in the notebook. Usually my preference is for a fine point pen, but with this one I love the steady, rich flow of the bold point.

Note the mindmap which I've been trying to incorporate more in my thoughts and note-taking. Do any of you use mindmaps?

I remember getting my first colored paper back in high school in the 1970s. What a treat! I had already discovered by then that I was a stationery connoisseur so finding something so new and different and pleasing to the eye was pure delight.

The pages are perforated and there is a dual pocket holder at the front of the notebook- bonus! Another feature about this product is that the paper is recycled and contains at least 30% post-consumer waste.
Roaring Springs is offering to send one of these notebooks to one lucky winner! Just leave a comment with a way to contact you (mailing address OR email address). If you're kind enough to spread this on Facebook or Twitter, just leave an additional comment with that mention and a link. Get one additional entry for each link (up to 3 total).

Winner will be selected after midnight Friday, June 6.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Incoming Mail

Here's a peek at some of the incoming mail that has arrived recently. Aren't they lovely and creative? It's such a joy to get mail, and is an especially gleeful moment to have it be so creative!

And here's a piece of outgoing mail using my new 'old' stamps.
What's in your mailbox? You can show me on Twitter or Facebook #mymailbox.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Crossover Notebook Winner

Janel G is the winner of the Crossover Notebook from Roaring Spring Paper Products! An email was sent to you requesting your mailing address. You can send that to me at Jackie (at) LettersandJournals (dot) com. Or just reply to the email you received.

A big THANK YOU to everyone who entered!!! Thank you for being a fan of Letters & Journals!

We'll have more notebook giveaways from Roaring Springs so be on the lookout!

Sunday, May 4, 2014

The Cross-Over Notebook Review & Contest

I had the pleasure of receiving a box of various notebooks from Roaring Spring Paper Products in the last week and I was thrilled to be introduced to the Cross-Over Notebook.
This legal sized notebook has regular lines/pages on one side of the page as you can see (Image 1). If you look closely you can also see the writing on the back where I wrote horizontally with the lines on the back side of the page (Image 2).
Image 1
While there is a see-through quality, I would say that is necessary for the grid component of using both of the pages together to create graph paper.

Image 2
The unique wire-bound notebook that has college-ruled lines running the width of the page on one side, and the length of the page on the other side. This allows you to take notes three ways:

1. Wide for sketching or to illustrate diagrams
2. Standard legal pad size for writing
3. Use the backlight grid pattern the lines create for graphing

Image 3
The  lines in the image above (Image 3) appear darker than they are in the notebook, but don't let that stop you from trying this unique and versatile notebook!

If you'd like to win one of your own, just do one of the following and let me know with a comment in this blog post. Remember to leave your email (or to send that separately) so that I can contact you if you win! You can do one of each for 4 entries if you'd like. Good Luck!

1. Mention this contest on Facebook with a link
2. Mention this contest on Twitter with a link
3.. Like Roaring Spring Paper Products on Facebook
4. Mention this contest on your blog with a link to this page

Winner will be selected randomly on May 10, 2014.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Send Mail - Get Mail

You know the old adage, 'You need to send mail to get mail'? Well, I've decided to have some fun with these new stamps I just received from Errol M in CA who sells unused older stamps at face value.

Send me some mail and I will send you some mail. Maybe a postcard or a note card or a letter. Depends on my mood. I've got them all and could probably send one a day for a year and not have to buy any cards or postcards. (But you know I will!)

I asked for cartoons and a few famous people by name. You can see I received Alfred Hitchcock and Lucille Ball (no Greta Garbo).
I also requested ocean and underwater stamps, as well as Greetings from the US state stamps.
Who doesn't love this stamp of the Red Barron?
These cartoon stamps are perfect for a postcard - or a letter. Which will you receive? Send me a letter, postcard or note card and find out!
You can request the stamp you like that I will use on your return letter, note card or postcard. There are no guarantees that you'll get it, but I'll try my best. You may want to put a back-up selection in your request.

Send your mail to:

Jackie Flaherty
PO Box 120052
St. Paul, MN 55112

If you'd like to order your own stamps, contact Errol by emailing him at ELMurphy (at) cox (dot) net and tell him the amount you'd like to spend and the themes/assortment you would like. Then he will confirm your order and give you his mailing address where you can send a check. Once received, he will get your order off to you!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Letter & Journals Update

It's been awhile since I've had any update on the status of the Letters & Journals magazine. Currently, I'm working on creating a Kickstarter campaign to get the jump start on printing the first issue of L&J.
If you're familiar with Kickstarter, then you know that people can give various amounts of money for some type of reimbursement if the campaign is successful.

For example, if you give a one-time gift of $10, $20 or $30 (or more) then you would receive the gift associated with that level.

Here are some thoughts in no particular order:
Special L&J stamp
First issue of L&J print edition
Set of L&J postcards

What other thoughts and ideas would you suggest to encourage people to donate to a Letters & Journals Kickstarter Campaign?

I'd love to have a variety of levels and offerings that will be appreciated by the donors and also be reflective of what L&J is all about.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

The Letter Tracker

In honor of the New Year, I've started a new way to track mail. I wanted something simple, colorful and handmade. Why keep track? For me it's because sometimes I forget (especially sent mail).  Plus, I find this motivates me to send more mail (who doesn't like that?!).

Meet my 2014 Correspondence Log. I expect to fill more than this page, so we'll see how the year goes.

Other methods I've tried in the past include:
Day Planner
In 2013 I found this Polestar Business Calendar because it had a column for Correspondence. It was easy to keep the planner on the current week and write down what I sent out, but I didn't track what came in and I didn't use the planner for anything else, which made it kind of a waste.
Index Cards
I had one for each correspondent and I would write who wrote what, when, what did I reply back. This was too much time and not convenient. Once you got behind it was hard to catch up.

Using an excel spreadsheet felt too mechanical and businesslike. Opening the program wasn't hard, but it was never convenient. I would so much rather write stuff down than track it in an impersonal program.

Some people keep track of their incoming/outgoing mail by documenting each piece in their blog. That is way too intensive for me, but I must admit I like to look at them.

The Missive Maven keeps a link to her blog post on how she tracks her mail: "How I Keep Track of My Mail". 

How about you? Do you track your correspondence? If so, how?