Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Brown paper packages tied up with string

Brown paper packages tied up with string

I don't know which I love more, the package or what it contains. This came from India bearing fine Indian fountain pens. The package, emblematic of one of my favorite song lyrics, was so lovely I had to photograph it. (Haven't photographed the pens yet... too busy writing with them!)

Package from India

It came all the way from India most expeditiously, and in fine condition.

Sealing wax with string

The Pièce de résistance: this hard wax seal over the string.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Glittery Living Dead Dolls letter

Glittery black

Here's a closer look at that black letter from yesterday's post. It's on the Living Dead Dolls stationery I blogged recently, dolled up with glimmer mist, glitter glue, and a fitting Poe stamp.

Poe stamp with glimmer mist

Poe has a glimmer mist glop on his nose. I am not so subtle with my spraying.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

The day I wrote 9 letters

9 letters heading out

I do write a lot of letters, but 9 heading out on one day is prolific even for me. This is what I did with my spring break.

9 letters, the backs

These babies all headed out on March 19, so yeah, I'm behind on this happy blog... but I think it's apropo of the timing of snail mail... you just gotta wait for it, and that's part of the joy. Plus, these letters have already arrived by now (I hope!); I hate to ruin the surprise of letting recipients know exactly what their letter is going to look like before it hits their hot little hands.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Heart bat

More hand-drawn bat loveliness

I am so rich in batty goodness... more from one of my favorite sendsomething correspondents.

Artistic envelope

I am so loving that cross-hatching.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Rainy frog dude

rainy frog dude kawaii stationery

I have no idea what this Japanese stationery really means, but I love it. What's with the guy in a little suit and tie wearing a frog head? And there are also real frogs and little black tadpoles swimming around... but the pinnacle of cool is that the lines radiate out in pond ripples. Love it.

Rainy frog dude envelope with sealing wax

This correspondent generally uses wax seals, too, and this seal survived the trip from Canada pretty well.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

My beloved Parker 51

My Parker 51

This is a photo I didn't actually intend to take - I had laid my camera down on the table while I was photographing a letter, and I liked the picture that was on the screen. So I pressed the shutter. I kinda dig this angle.

My Parker 51 is one of my very favorite pens. I write many, many, many letters with it. I baby it, and only put Waterman Black in it, but it will write beautifully on any paper. Purrr. Go, P51, go!

By the way, that's my black 48-pen case on the table behind it.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Have my feelings been softened?

Kawaii quote

I love the creative English on some kawaii stationery. This came from a correspondent in Pittsburgh.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

The guts of my letter journal

The guts of my letter journal

I keep track of all the letters I write in this letter journal. The right side of the page lists letters written to whom and on what stationery, and left side lists one of the pens and inks used (usually the last one used in a letter, as I log the letter just before I seal the envelope). I started listing the pens and inks because over time some of them fade, and I've gone back to old pages and said, "now what ink color was that?"

I don't keep a record of letters I receive, but since I write back to every letter, I can sort of deduce that. I've toyed around with listing letters received on what date as well... might start that up with the next journal.

The outside of the journal is shown here in the bottom left, with my letter opener resting on top of it:

A lovely way to spend an evening

Decorated page numbers

Letter doodle page 2

One of my correspondents not only writes lovely letters with great pens and ink colors, she also fills them with artistic doodles, particularly around the page numbers. Little ladybugs!!

Letter doodle page 3

I just love these.

Letter doodle page 4

Every one is always different.

Letter doodle page 5

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Gift booklet from the LWA

Booklet giftie from the LWA

The lovely Letter Writers Alliance (LWA) sent out another goodie mailing, this time in honor of reaching 400 members. Tres cool. It's a little booklet made out of old postmarked postcards.

Booklet from the LWA

Almost eerie: both cities on my booklet are cities of significance in my life. How cool that these are from the 1930s.

Living Dead Dolls stationery: zombie fun

Living Dead Dolls stationery set

Behold my latest el cheapo eBay find. I had never even heard of the Living Dead Dolls (I do kind of live in a self-imposed, killed-my-television pop culture vacuum) but this stationery set appealed to my funky dark goth streak, so I bid reeeeeeally low on it, never thinking I'd be the lucky winner. But here it is! Oh so creepy cute, and perfect for metallic gel pens.

The stickers are either the best or the worst part:

Living Dead Dolls stickers

I'm stuck on you

I'm stuck on you

One of my correspondents is from New Zealand, and she sent me this surprise package covered with wonderful deco tape: awesome arrangement on the back!

It contained some very cute kawaii stationery, which I'll have to photograph to show to the Missive Maven readers. All in due time...

Friday, March 20, 2009

Victorian Papers stationery

Victorian Greetings Antebellum envelope

I've been using this stuff since I was in high school. The designs are lovely and the prices are quite reasonable, and most of the papers take fountain pen ink fairly well. The design shown here is called Antebellum.

The design sweetly wraps around the flap of the envelope to the back:

Victorian Greetings Antebellum envelope, back

I've sealed this one with a sticker featuring my cat Magic, from moo.com.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Green Owl from Red Tango

Red Tango owl envelope

One of my new favorites from the Dark Horse Comics stationery line is the Red Tango stationery set. Each designed page is a different color theme, all with kind of cute retro-type images. The cat is wonderful, too, but this green owl has to be my favorite. Maybe it's because I'm a child of the 70s, and this reminds me so much of the decorative arts from my childhood.

Fountain pen users who are wondering - it's fairly good FP paper. The coated colors make some inks play more nicely on it than others. With some pens there is bleedthrough, with others, not. My Parker 51 loaded with Waterman Black is always a safe bet on any Dark Horse papers, and that combo never bleeds through or feathers.

Red Tango owl, back

This went out to a LEXer (a person from The Letter Exchange, that is) who responded to my listing in the winter issue.

For anyone out there who's reading this and is a LEX member, I'm #12447. Someday (soon, really.... yeah...) I will dedicate a post to just how cool LEX is. (In the meantime, read a bit more about it here.) I'm kind of waiting to see how many more people I actually do get letters from, since I've only got one regular correspondent from that venue - but it seems like a wonderful resource so far. More to come.

nouvelle cuisine

nouvelle cuisine

This beauty came in from a Sendsomething fountain pen user. HA! I love the older model Mac, too. The postcard is from inkognito in Germany, which often has really amusing artwork.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Red and gold elephants

Red elephants with gold leaf

What a gorgeous treat was this paper. And the writer also has gorgeous handwriting, in this case with a flex fountain pen.

I have a particular soft spot for elephants, and the combination here of deep red and gold leaf is really striking. I don't think my photography and use of light really do it justice, but it is a treasure. (Go ahead, take a closer look.)

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Gmail stickers: total disappointment

Gmail stickers: a disappointment

I was so excited when I read about and sent away for my gmail stickers and they were such a disappointment. These came weeks ago and I was so apathetic about them that it's taken this long to take and post a photo. Blah.

No unicorn! One glittery envelope!

But how obnoxious am I? Where is this sense of entitlement? They were free, after all... I just got my hopes up.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Postcards from Florida

Postcards from Florida

I was just in Florida visiting family and friends, and came back with some awesome gaudy postcards. Now I've gotta finish sending 'em.

Pink! So much bloomin' pink!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

The felt parts of this card can be played with

The felt parts of this card can be played with

The felt parts... played with... heh heh heh.

My friend gave me this card as a gift, just because of the sticker and what it says. I haven't taken it out of the package and played with the felt parts yet.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Singapore stamp: postal services through the years

letter from Singapore

I got this great letter a few days ago from a pen pal in Singapore, who always writes lovely letters in her beautiful handwriting. But she also shows me the array of gorgeous Singapore stamps, of which this has to be my favorite:

Singapore stamp: postal services through the years

Love the barefoot postman with umbrella, c1910! What visions of old-time tropical mail this brings.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Why you shouldn't drop letters into the cat's water dish

Why you shouldn't drop letters into the cat's water dish

Of course this was an accident. I was coming in with the mail, and this little envelope was on top. My hands were full, it slipped out of my grasp, and I was standing right by the water dish. Argh. I snatched it up and immediately opened it, and fortunately because of the thick paper, the wet was only on the envelope, and the letter inside was fine. You can sure tell which of the inks had a mix of waterproof elements, though! I smudged out the sender's name and address, but it was quite legible.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Soda, the letter helper

Soda helps to write another letter

My cat Soda is ever-helpful when I write letters. She decides when she needs attention, but for some reason it is frequently when I write letters, wherever I am. We usually reach a peaceful balance, after she tries nuzzling my pen hand, when I pet her for a while and then she settles into a position very near where I am writing. It usually involves some re-situating, as she tries to sit ON the letter I'm writing, or on the letter to which I'm responding.

She is preternaturally aware of when I'm writing this particular correspondent (he'll recognize his letter and mine, so he knows who he is), who also has cats, and I frequently remark on how Soda is rolling all over his letters. She says hi.

If you write to me with any regularity, you are sure to hear about Soda the letter kitty.

Incidentally, I'm using cat-themed paper here... ah, the feline goodness.

For the fountain pen folks who are reading this, that's a Pilot SP-100N EF with R&K Alt Bordeaux ink.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Friday, March 6, 2009

Catwoman fold and mail

Catwoman fold and mail

Here's one of the designs from the Catwoman fold and mail by Chronicle books. I can't find it on their website now, so perhaps it's out of print now. (Good thing I stocked up.)

The recipient commented on how sexy it was... and I replied that this is one of the more "tame" designs!

Catwoman fold and mail

I'm really digging this new Poe stamp, too.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Jezebel: Maxwell, Viola, and their coterie

Maxwell, Viola, and their Coterie

I know I'm Jezebel-heavy these days, but her cards are just so damn gorgeous and wonderful. It's like a treat to myself to write a letter on one.

The stamp in the corner is a photo-stamp from Zazzle, featuring my sassy kitty Magic enjoying a sunny, lavender-laden windowsill.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Hallmark Muppet stationery red envelope

Muppet envelope

Finally wrote a letter with my precious new/old vintage Muppet stationery. The envelopes are just plain red. I used some gold glimmer mist to make this sparkle, and of course I had to use a Muppet stamp.

Muppet envelope with stickers

The stickers on the back of the envelope did not come with this set - they're much newer; I found them in a store last month.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Red Milton fold and mail

Milton fold and mail

The Milton fold-and-mails are delightfully whimsical. I forgot to take a photo of the front of this one. The top flap seal is assisted by a Moo sticker of my cat Soda helping me to write a letter. And I have my customary warning on the back, for those who might not have encountered fold-and-mail goodness.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Direct from blog viewer to letter writer

surprise pearly envelope

Earlier in February, I got the best treat-return from my blog yet: a fellow letter-writer discovered my blog, read for a while and then wrote me a letter about it! I'd never heard of this gal before, but she sent me a stunningly gorgeous letter.

back of pearly envelope

I was first greeted by the pearly envelope - I'm not a great photographer and I haven't mastered that lighting trick, so I can't really show off the subtle pearlescent sheen of this envelope well. The Victorian-esque stickers are fabu, too!

Marie Antoinette Paper Nosh card

But the card inside takes the cake - or should I say, takes the cupcake. It's high rococo Marie Antoinette theme (er, is that rococo?), complete with actual glitter and the phrase "Let them eat cupcakes" (I think) in French.

Back of Paper Nosh card

Here's the back of the card, which also has glitter and an excellent feather quill as part of the logo. It came from Paper Nosh on Etsy, for those of you that are squinting in close to figure it out (like I would be, if I saw a photo of this online!).

I should mention that this glitter was firmly affixed, so I could ooh and ahh at it, shaking it from many angles in the light, without it falling out all over me, my furnishings and my clothing. A definite plus.

Glittery blue writing!

The glitter-liciousness extended right through to the writing on the inside, which must have been done with a blue glitter gel pen, of a variety sparklier than I've seen previously.

Again, here I am plotzing over the pretty face of the letter, but the MOST exciting part was that it was from another letter lover looking to correspond. Of course I've written her back. If she's reading now, thanks for the WONDERFUL happy surprise!