butterflydreaming: A pink fountain pen, a tea cup, and a bottle of sake (Default)
[personal profile] butterflydreaming
 Having just moved to a place with a great mailbox (seriously, this thing is big enough for a USPS medium flat rate box), I find myself inspired to get some letters out. I like to think that it entertains the postal carrier to see mail that isn't bills or marketing.

Batman has been my go-to stamp.
Batman stamps



jjhunter: mock postage stamp with 'A Month of Letters Participant 2013' text superimposed over blue etching of hand with letter (lettermo)
[personal profile] jjhunter
For the folks who decided to give lettermo a try, how's it going so far?

I've also made an icon version of the challenge banner; please feel free to snag & use yourself!

mock postage stamp with 'A Month of Letters Participant 2013' text superimposed over blue etching of hand with letter

Comment: Courtesy of the 'A Month of Letters Challenge' site; resized by JJ
Description: mock postage stamp with 'A Month of Letters Participant 2013' text superimposed over blue etching of hand with letter
jjhunter: Drawing of human JJ in ink tinted with blue watercolor; woman wearing glasses with arched eyebrows (JJ inked)
[personal profile] jjhunter
[personal profile] syntaxofthings suggested some of you might enjoy giving this a try...

mock postage stamp with 'A Month of Letters Participant 2013' text superimposed over monochrome blue etching of hand holding out a letter

A Month of Letters Challenge:
I have a simple challenge for you.
  1. In the month of February, mail at least one item through the post every day it runs. Write a postcard, a letter, send a picture, or a cutting from a newspaper, or a fabric swatch.

  2. Write back to everyone who writes to you. This can count as one of your mailed items.

All you are committing to is to mail 23 items. Why 23? There are four Sundays and one US holiday. In fact, you might send more than 23 items. You might develop a correspondence that extends beyond the month.

Write love letters, thank yous, or simply notes to say that you miss an old friend. Let yourself step away from the urgency of modern life and write for an audience of one. You might enjoy going to the mail box again.
red_trillium: cartoon cat that says "I love cats but can't eat a whole one" (Default)
[personal profile] red_trillium
I have received something from my official Craft Swap partner, [personal profile] butterflydreaming and one from one of my regular snail-mail pals, [personal profile] herlander_refugee. Picts to come eventually (especially since it's after 10pm here & I've been running too low on sleep.

Herlander_Refugee's gift showed up about a week or so ago, a beautiful small cross-stitched wreath on a red paper background with a green ribbon. It's a book mark but is currently hanging on the Christmas tree as an ornament.

ButterflyDreaming's gift was in the PO box today when Carol checked it. We've been hitting it fewer and farther between now that she isn't working & doesn't go into Auckland city proper much. When I opened the envelope I found a bunch of my icons on sticky address labels. Adorable and neat idea!

Picts to come later but thank you both for making my days brighter.

Share what you've got so far. I know a couple swaps may be running late but fingers crossed most are in the post and at their recipients' houses.

Merry Christmas, blessed Yule, Happy Hanukah and Happy Holidays to you all.
red_trillium: Dreamwidth sheep with Maori flag & face moko (DW sheep - Tino Rangatiratanga)
[personal profile] red_trillium
Hiya, just a reminder for those of you doing the craft swap: the deadline for shipping is 5/12. If you have any problems or Life Issues please contact your swap partners asap. I hope crafty-related packages are making their way around the world to their respective recipients. I sent mine out late last week, fingers crossed they make their way safely. I'm still working through sending Christmas cards out to my regular pen pals still, I suspect some will be late this year.

Don't forget we've got the November pen pal post up. Stop in and reply to someone's comment and pick up a new pen pal.

As we head into the holiday season, feel free to post pictures of your snail mail, holiday cards, writing-themed gifts, etc! We'd all love to be snail-mail inspired!
red_trillium: a glass fountain pen, ink and candle base on red background (pen ink candle)
[personal profile] red_trillium
It's officially hit "silly season" in the US with the coming & going of Thanksgiving. It's always been a bit odd for me since I moved to New Zealand about 11 years ago that I don't have that easy break from "non-Christmas" to "Christmas" that I used to with Thanksgiving. Christmas kind of starts creeping in around October but doesn't have the official start that it used to with Thanksgiving to separate it out.

What writing & snail mail themed gifts are on your list?

I prefer "shopping small", especially at this time of year to support people who own their own businesses and are trying to live their dreams. It's getting harder to do this with so many online places like Amazon and Ebay making it almost impossible for small shops to compete in brick and mortar and in their online shops.

Here are a couple writing gift ideas from small businesses I'd recommend.

Landreth Seeds is America's oldest family-owned seed company, has been in business for 229 years. They specialise in heirloom varieties. Their seed catalogues are a thing of beauty and you can get notecards reproduced from some absolutely gorgeous 1940's and 1950's style seed packets.
The veggie 12-pack is only $15.00, the flower 12-pack is only $15.00 or you can do a flower & veggie mixed 12-pack for $15.00. Very reasonable and supports a small business.

Look at the detail in these flower cards!


Dream of Italy is a small shop in New Zealand. They have a really nice selection of calligraphy items including inks and very nice, stylish stationery. Prices are in NZ dollars (which is lower than US dollars right now) & you can change the currency to several others to see what the price would be in something you are familiar with. The shipping is free on many or most items, stationery is defiintely one of them. I admit to a little bias on this one, I do know one of the owners informally. She's a very nice, caring person. She and her husband go to Italy and personally pick pick out the goods for their shop. I can speak that this is a genuine small business that tries to support local artisans and who care about their customers.

I'm going to ask my wife for the Escher cards this year for Christmas. I think they're cool.


I don't know that I'd use these but think they are rather stylish and what I'd think of when I imagine an Italian stationery set. [personal profile] herlander_refugee, Was this similar to a set you had once and sent me a beautiful bookmark from?


Now let's see some of the writing gifts you want or have put on your list!
red_trillium: Dreamwidth sheep with silver fern flag (DW sheep - Silverfern Dreamwidth Sheep)
[personal profile] red_trillium
Here are a couple articles about the US Postal Service--

The US Postal Service is joining with some major retailer to trial same-day delivery in San Francisco.

And in another Yahoo story...US Postal Service delivers post card after 70 years.

Anyone have other postal or writing-related news stories from their areas they can share?
red_trillium: A Christmas tree that has a dark background so the lights stand out (Christmas tree by me)
[personal profile] red_trillium
We've got our Craft Swap partners sorted and I have been working on getting my crafts together and just about done. Now to get them sorted and sent! Don't forget, deadline to get them sent out is 5 December to be sure they reach your partners by Christmas ideally. If you have any problems or questions please let me know.

Mean time, here's November's Pen Pal Post and a suggested topic if you don't know what to start writing about. October's one is here if you want to see how they go.

If you are looking for a pen pal please comment with your answers to the questions. If you find someone you want to write to, let them know by commenting on their answers. If you've answered these questions in a previous post and are still interested in getting pen pals you can link to your answers or put them out here again.

ABOUT ME:
Name: (first name only is fine, you can exchange details in an email or message)
Age:
Location:
What I'd like a potential pen pal to know about me:

ABOUT YOU:
Countries I can send to:
Age range I'd like for my pen pal:
My expectations for a pen pal and/or this snail mail exchange:

ABOUT THE MAIL:
I am willing to send/receive long letters/short letters/cards/postcards [please state your choice(s)]
Favorite aspect of snail mail:
Least favorite aspect of snail mail:

MISC:
Anything else you like to share to help find a pen pal(s):
How many pen pals are you looking for?:


---------------------------------
Suggested topic: What is your favorite (current or past) holiday ornament or decoration? Is it something you have now? Something you were given? Something from childhood?
red_trillium: cartoon cat that says "I love cats but can't eat a whole one" (Default)
[personal profile] red_trillium
I've sorted out the swap partners and everyone should have at least one partner and should have their details. Let me know if there are any questions, concerns, suggestions, etc!!

We're still shooting for a shipping date of 5 December, earlier if you can for international folks.

If anyone wants to join and didn't get to sign up, let me know. We might be able to accommodate a couple more people so if you are interested comment & we'll see what we can do!

It would be great if we could all post photos of the goodies we get, kind of neat to think about the hand-made gifts being sent to people around the world and I'd love to see what others have made/received.
red_trillium: Small worm character from Labrynth with the words "squee" (Squee)
[personal profile] red_trillium
I haven't had a chance to close off the Craft Swap Post yet. Long days at work and computer problems last night and today have kept me away. I'll post a general post for our comm in DW Community Promo & give it a few more days before closing. We've got 6 of us so far.
red_trillium: cartoon cat that says "I love cats but can't eat a whole one" (Default)
[personal profile] red_trillium
Just a reminder, we've got the Craft Swap Post sign ups going right now. There are 5 of us signed up so far (comments are screened there since people are posting personal information). We've got a ship-by date of 5 December so I want to close the sign ups ideally next weekend (4 Nov in NZ which would be 3 Nov in most other countries) to give people time to start making their pieces specifically for their partner if they want.

Go sign up! Even if you aren't a Martha-Stewart craft person, even getting together a pack of 6 to 10 post cards from where you live and wrapping them with a ribbon and funky writing pen is an option.
red_trillium: photo and icon by red_trilliumToy elf carrying presents up a staircase (Elfs and presents by me)
[personal profile] red_trillium
The Craft Swap Signups are now closed! I'll email partners shortly!
[personal profile] herlander_refugee had a great idea in her last post of doing a kind of craft swap. I think this would be kind of cool to do. If you are interested, comment below with the following info. I'll pair people up & off we go.

*Edited to add: I'm aiming to close this off on 3 Nov 8 Nov in New Zealand/4 Nov 7 Nov in most other countries to allow people time to make something specifically tailored to their swap partners if they want before the shipping deadline. If you want to join us after this date please PM me and I'll see if we can accomodate you.

Some guidelines:
-Basic is fine, this is a small craft swap that isn't meant to stretch people's budgets (you can go as far as you want but the aim is on affordable) both for supplies & for postage.
-'Craft' can be widely defined, but let's see if we can keep it 'reading or writing themed' if you are able to. Even making 4 to 6 cards with your photos, drawings or collages on them and packaging with envelopes would qualify, bookmarks, home made stickers or stamps, drawing someone writing a letter..... all welcome!
-Let's aim to ship by say 5 December to allow a bit of travel time overseas. If you need more time please communicate with your partner.
-This is a commitment. There will be someone on the other end hoping for some sort of Crafty Goodness.
-You may or may not end up with a pen pal at the end of this; some people may not be able to write regularly but others may be thrilled to find a pen pal. Participating won't commit you to an ongoing writing relationship unless you both so choose!

If this gets your interest, comment below with the following details. All comments are screened. Myself (or Ariestess if she's got time and is interested) will do some random matches based on your answers & email your partner's details to you.



Required info for participating
-Full Name
-Email Address
-Postal Address (including country)
-International ok?
-Only 1 swap partner? (I expect a 1:1 match but if we have interest and enough people we can see about doing multiple partners)
-Anything you want your Swapper to know (ie--religious preferences or not, interests, etc)?

I think that's all for now. Open to suggestions as usual!
herlander_refugee: fountain pen  on text (Mighty)
[personal profile] herlander_refugee
...On an arts and crafts board I belong to elsewhere in the internet 'verse, we occasionally do crafts "swaps" and a recent one there struck me as possibly fun for pen pals.

We made and swapped bookmarkers/book 'thongs'! Of course, with people across the world, even a purchased bookmarker from abroad might be plenty entertaining!

Specially with the holiday season coming up, this would be an easy low cost way of making a holiday letter special, since flat paper or other similar materials of bookmarkers could mail in an ordinary envelope.

Does this sound entertaining to anyone else?
red_trillium: cartoon cat that says "I love cats but can't eat a whole one" (Default)
[personal profile] red_trillium
I can't believe we are already at October. Life has been it's usual "runaway bus without any brakes" & is ramping up with more stress and finalising changes at work & I'm sorry for the little hiatus. I've got letters to return and am so looking forward to our first 3 day weekend in a long time.

Before I get onto our usual pen pal call, I had an idea tonight and wanted to share it. Our local bead store has stuff to create your own glass tile pendants. They are an interesting idea and seem easy enough for people with out a lot of craft skills. I thought "what about making tile pendants with stamps"?? This would be easy, we have access to used stamps from pen pals & some stores sell bags of used ones (there's a tourist store near my work that does this). You can google how to make tile pendants, but these seem to be pretty good, thorough and well-photographed instructions. I haven't done this yet myself but would suspect you'd want to test for colour-fastness & be careful of the franking on the stamps running in the glue.

They would make great Christmas gifts for writer friends!

Now, onto the pen pals.....

If you are looking for a pen pal please comment below with your answers to the questions If you find someone you are interested in writing to then comment on their answers. If you've answered these questions in a previous post and are still interested in getting pen pals you can link to your answers or put them out here again.

I've also proposed a topic you can use to start writing to each other, you don't have to use it if you have something else to write about.

ABOUT ME:
Name: (first name only is fine, you can exchange details in an email or message)
Age:
Location:
What I'd like a potential pen pal to know about me:

ABOUT YOU:
Countries I can send to:
Age range I'd like for my pen pal:
My expectations for a pen pal and/or this snail mail exchange:

ABOUT THE MAIL:
I am willing to send/receive long letters/short letters/cards/postcards [please state your choice(s)]
Favorite aspect of snail mail:
Least favorite aspect of snail mail:

MISC:
Anything else you like to share to help find a pen pal(s):
How many pen pals are you looking for?:

If you're stuck for a topic to write to people about or to kick off your pen pal letter here's a suggested topic: what smell(s) evoke the happiest memories for you?
dame: (Default)
[personal profile] dame
I hope this is alright to post. Although I may be looking for pen pals someday, this is not to discuss that.

I am debating whether or not I even want to start writing to other people! I've always had terrible handwriting (think of the person who everyone says will be a doctor due to their terrible handwriting). And now that I'm a chat support specialist full time, and am also on the computer much at home, I barely ever write anymore and only type. My writing has went from bad to worst over a few years. The only time I ever wrote was to take notes in classes, and now that's gone! I have a lovely leather journal and fountain pen I use at home, but I often feel no reason to update that since I already have a very active DW.

I really love some aspects of being a penpal; sharing ideas, getting to know people (I dislike things such as Facebook), stationary and fancy pens, receiving mail that isn't bills, .. but I am absolutely terrified of writing to someone and having them be unable to read my writing. I'd definitely take my time when writing my letters, but it'd be a lot of work to do this and my handwriting would still be somewhat poor.

I guess I am curious if anyone would like to share similar stories or fears of wanting to start writing again, but perhaps have terrible handwriting or have no idea what they would write about? (Another concern of mine.) Or even if you'd like to share why you started writing to others in the first place (or maybe you've been doing it all of your life)?

Also, mods, I am sorry, but I had no idea what to tag this as. Feel free to tag as is appropriate.

Reducing

Oct. 5th, 2012 08:29 am
herlander_refugee: My tattoo'd back to the world (Default)
[personal profile] herlander_refugee
I am greatly reducing my online time, to the point of discussing canceling my DW account. But since I do value this community (among others), I am holding off on that for now...but I will be less visible and likely only read here infrequently. Offline life is intensely busy just now.

Sign Up?

Sep. 27th, 2012 01:40 pm
herlander_refugee: My tattoo'd back to the world (Default)
[personal profile] herlander_refugee
Ok, I am one of those strange non-orthodox, barely there religious sorts...I've been accused of being Granny Weatherwax of the Terry Pratchett Discworld stories, only stuck on this round sans-elephant and turtle version.

So, one of my important holidays is coming up at October's end (this year Oct 29th)....PM me if you are a pen pal (or want to be) who would like one of our home-made Samhain cards!

No curses included, I promise.

Ok, I lied. If Mitt Romney signs up, he is already cursed; but I can send a re-charge on that puppy.
red_trillium: an orange & white cat cuddlying while sleeping (Ah Le Gai & Zephyr Cuddle)
[personal profile] red_trillium
How is everyone's writing going? Have you started sending letters to your new pen pals? If you've had your pen pals for awhile have you written to them recently? Share your accomplishments or hurdles here.

I've done a few post cards and got a letter finished and another written & sent off. My wife has gone for treatments for her back twice, both times hour-long. I go along for support and have taken my writing so I can get something done and still be easily available to help her as needed.

I need to get to our post box to check that, I don't trust the letters to come here (too many have been stolen when I first got here--ones I needed for my immigration paperwork) so sometimes there's a delay in retrieving mine.

I watched a neat little animated movie last week called "Mary and Max". I think it's an Aussie film, about an 8 year old Australian girl & set in the 1970's on. She ends up writing to a guy in New York (pulls his name out of a phone book) named Max who doesn't have any friends. It's about the ups and downs of their friendship as it develops by letter over the years. It's not really a kids film, more on the young adult to adult side I think. But it's a neat film about friendship, about reaching out to touch someone's life and the effect it has on you both. And it's about writing letters, which is pretty darned cool too!
red_trillium: 4 different envelopes and postage (letters!)
[personal profile] red_trillium
Stamps are one of the joys of snail mail. I love the different scenes that show up in my post box from around the world. There are animals, birds, flowers, insects, scenes, people......just about anything and everything. I've never been a "stamp collector", more of a "stamp admirer".

I've been eyeing some Maori rock art stamps New Zealand Post put out this year for Matariki, the Maori New Year. I haven't picked any up yet, haven't needed stamps until recently and haven't been to the post office since I ran out of post card stamps.

I thought it would be neat to share some of your favorite stamps, either issued from your own post office or ones you've received. Feel free to post picts or links in the comments! I'll kick it off with some of the Matariki stamps & some from several years ago that NZ Post put out for the Lord of the Rings trilogy (it was filmed here, Weta Workshop in Wellington who did the special effects designed those stamps).

Before I do, here's a reminder of the Pen Pal Post that we've got going on. It's been active so do check back in there to see what's happening.

Now on to the photos.

Matariki Maori rock art sets:


more under the cut!!
Read more... )
red_trillium: a blue Dreamwidth Sheep (DW sheep - Blue Dreamsheep)
[personal profile] red_trillium
Just a reminder, there's the Pen Pal Finding Post going on. There are a couple topics mentioned in the post if you are stuck for what to start writing about. Once you've found some one or a few people you are happy to correspond with you can message each other with your details.

While I write to people on my friends list, I've also write to someone not on my friends list. It means we can share information with each other that the other hasn't read yet. It's your choice whether to friend or not your new pen pal.

Our local paper had an article recently about the "lost" art of letter writing in its Weekend Leisure section. It's an interesting article about letter writing groups, read it here. There are links to some of the groups. In New Zealand there is Alphabet City which lets people come in and use typewriters. There is a US group called the The Letterwriters Alliance which has interesting articles online.

I've never thought to look for a letter writing group, but they do exist! It is a nice idea, find a group of people and a place you can sit and write together. It becomes something of a social visit but you are also setting aside time on a regular basis to write. You can share resources, information about postage changes and favorite stationary suppliers.

Feel free to post any Letter Writing groups here, I'll create a tag for it. If you do go to one or join one please post and let us know more about it!

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got_snail_mail: a fountain pen, 5 nibs and a bottle of indigo on a blue background (Default)
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