A letter-writing blog extolling the virtues of snail mail:
old-fashioned postal paper mail and all of its varied accessories.
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
1980 airmail postcard
Isn't it just grand when the rate on a vintage airmail postcard equals the current domestic postcard rate?
Thank you, eBay.
Beautiful Cypress Gardens...
"...Natural fairyland of sunshine and flowers."
Wait, southern belles are part of a natural fairyland? Guess so! Love it for the kitsch factor, doubly so because I've had a spate of southern belles in my mailbox lately (in fact, someone even commented on the last postcard like this that it looked like Cypress Gardens), complete with those oddball pouffy dresses. I know, they're not oddball for the time and the place, but they strike me as extremely comical now. (I'm a no-nonsense midwestern girl cum plane-jane New England transplant. Wearing a dress like that would be antithetical to my very nature.)
A few of my correspondents just send me the coolest vintage postcards. I laughed at this one for a long time. Love the Lusterchrome color!
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Vintage Timely Correspondence Ensemble
It's been a while since I've blogged about any of my vintage papers, so I'll return to that today. This is the lovely "Timely Correspondence Ensemble" I snatched up on eBay eons ago. The box is a little worn, and the "all-occasion captions" weren't present, but otherwise it's great.
(Oh - if you buy old stationery much, you'll come across the problem of gummed envelopes. I find if you work them very gently with a proper letter opener, you can pry them open while still retaining enough of the glue to reseal. Guess I'll have to demonstrate that in photos sometime!)
If you've read this blog for a while, you know how much I love meta-themed stationery - about the postal service or letter writing. So I'm very charmed with the little letter-writing scene here. The papers, folded, fit inside the cards with the writing scene, and all fit inside the matching plain blue envelopes (not shown).
This is very similar to the White Lace stationery ensemble about which I blogged back in December, with the old-style blue paper. It takes fountain pen ink BEAUTIFULLY, dries quickly and hardly ever smudges, even with my most saturated, slow-drying ink.
And yes, as I write this, I'm well aware that my own correspondence these days is hardly timely!
Monday, September 28, 2009
Fairytale bear card from Norway
This card came from someone with whom I exchanged postcards via Postcrossing. She likes pen palling, we have a lot of interests in common, so lo and behold, we're writing letters now. Seee??? You CAN get pen pals from Postcrossing!
She sent this lovely card featuring work by Th. Kittelsen. It has a very magical feel to it.
On the back of the card, you can read a bit more about Kittelsen (and, if you have a Flickr account, you can view large to read it even better). I wish I could translate the title - bear king? Something like that?
She included a lovely kitty sticker on the envelope, too.
Saturday, September 26, 2009
Review: G. Lalo Verge de France Deckle-Edged Correspondence Set
It's time for another Exaclair product review from all the goodies I got this summer!
Here we have the G. Lalo Verge de France Deckle-Edged Correspondence Set in blue. It comes with 10 cards and 10 tissue-lined envelopes. You can see full product information here, but the way the catalog is done in some weird animation programming (flash?) makes me dizzy and I find it hard to read. (Wha' happened to the good old PDF pages?)
My husband used one of these before I did, for a short thank-you note, and his conclusion is that they are perfect for just that purpose... or, he said, for a letter where you have very little to say. I concur about the thank-you note length - short and sweet, but obviously paper of high quality and good craftsmanship.
Here it is with my beloved letter-opener; don't they look nice together? You can see the edges have a pattern to them, hence the "deckle-edged" title, on both the envelope and the card itself. The stock is nice and thick, akin to card stock, and as with all G. Lalo papers, it is exquisite with fountain pens. I don't think you could bleed through this puppy if you tried, and I've never experienced any feathering. (This is not my first time buying these - I've used them before.)
I hope this shot lets you see the gentle texture of the laid finish. It's almost like tiny raised lines, but I don't find it at all distracting. If you have trouble writing in a straight horizontal line, the laid surface can assist as a guide. I've used very fine nibs on these and not had a problem with the texture. Here you can also get a nice close look at the fine tissue lining in the envelope.
Finally, you can see a blank card with the envelope.
These are 3.25 x 5.25 inches, and my pack has 10 cards and envelopes with a retial price of $9. I'd rate that a very good value, at less than $1 per card, for some very high quality stationery.
Friday, September 25, 2009
Dylan Thomas: Clown in the Moon
This gorgeous, moving postcard came to me from the man behind my REAL wall. It just blew me away. What poignant imagery combined with an incredible poem.
Here's the text of the poem. I hope you can read it through the postmark.
That's the info - the voting is closed but it's still an interesting project at BBC Poetry Season. And you can read more poems there.
Touchingly, the writer said that the link to Anysoldier.com on this blog inspired him to go there and send a package.
Thursday, September 24, 2009
I was too afraid to send this postcard while he was in office, for fear I'd be placed under some creepy FBI surveillance.
The small print reads "0% Vol., Bottled in Texas, Not Suitable for Export. Can lead to blank-minded behaviour."
Love the Brit spelling of behaviour. Guess we know where this came from.
This grain elevator medley, so evocative of my childhood in the midwest, is from the Chronicle Books Wanderlust USA Postcard box. It went to someone in Nebraska.
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
The future's bright (green, that is)
Another great eBay find, a bit old lot of Muppets postcards. I'm not exactly sure what the slant is here - is it copying some other kind of ad slogan? - but I love it.
This is what I sent to PostMuse in response to her fantastic Carlsbad Caverns bat postcard.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Carlsbad Caverns bat!
The indomitable PostMuse sent me this fantastic Carlsbad Caverns bat postcard. As I mentioned to her in my response, I actually have this very bat photo on a large matted poster in my bedroom! Awesome bat-ly goodness. Forgive my little photographer's shadow in the shine of the glossy photo.
Love the "We Can Do It!" stamp, too.
Monday, September 21, 2009
Vintage bikini on a log
What's up with this posed studio shot? Is she supposed to be sitting on driftwood? No matter, this is one of a few lovely fine vintage pin-up postcard I got from eBay. Red polka dots are cheery.
This one went to a friend in Florida.
Sunday, September 20, 2009
Fan mail art for Good Mail Day
A little while back, I kvelled over Good Mail Day. See that link for all kinds of nifty info on how to buy this awesome Mail Art book. Before I read it, I never would have called myself a mail artist. Sure, yeah, I decorate things, but I'm not an artist. Then I started reading the book, and I got totally inspired.
So I made this fan mail/mail art postcard to send to the fabulous gals who were responsible for the book. (OF COURSE they put their mailing address in the book so readers could do this very thing.)
We all know I can't really draw, so I went for a simple idea of various ways of punctuating "I love the book" written all over the back of an airmail postcard, in one of my ever-awesomeZebra Super-Marble 3 Color Changing Gel Ink Pens (about which I blogged so merrily in July). Then I drew over that and filled in a larger slogan with glitter glue. I think this photo, above (after about 15 different angles and attempts!) actually shows off the many glitter colors pretty well. (And if you have a Flickr account and can actually view large, you'll see it even better. But I know not everyone can access that. Sorry.)
And here's the "Star Wars view" angle. Yay, mail art with mail art book! I know I'm but a novice, but I have to say this was a lot of fun. I know I'd really get a kick out of pulling something like this out of my mailbox.
Finally, behold the front of this vintage air mail postcard, which even oh-so-meta-ly features an air mail plane. I'm pretty sure I added some silver glitter to the front of the card, but I forgot to photograph that before it landed in a mailbox.
Oh, and I forgot to mention, in my previous post about this book, that the creators of this book have an excellent blog, Make Every Day a Good Mail Day - check it out!
Then go make some interesting mail.
Saturday, September 19, 2009
I have blogged about my love of Shag (that's the artist, Josh Agle) before, but not until I searched around on here did I realize how little I've talked about his fabulous stuff. I write letters on his offerings from Dark Horse comics quite a lot, but I guess I don't blog about them nearly enough. (So many letters, so little time...) This set is called Supersonic, and it's peppered with very slinky hipsters doing groovy things. There is kind of a travel theme, but also kind of not - some rocking out to record players and other such things show up in the set. I just adore Shag's artwork and style.
Anyhoo, I wrote the letter featured in this blog entry in response to fabu pink-enveloped letter from the gal behind Goodnight Little Spoon. Her letter to me was so beautiful that I had to liven up even this Shag envelope with a little glitter-glue bling.
As I noted on the back of the envelope, I chose the supersonic flight stamp to match the "supersonic" stationery theme, but it doesn't say supersonic on it anywhere, so that's kind of an inside thing.
From a sheet of vintage stamps, I snagged this "mail early in the day" advice, which is now completely moot with today's sorting methods (I think).
Friday, September 18, 2009
L'Shana Tovah / Happy New Year!
Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, is one of the most important Jewish Holidays of the year - and thanks to scheduled posts, I've written this post ahead of time and timed it so that it will post at the beginning of Rosh Hashanah/Friday sunset, while I'm in synagogue.
To commemorate this joyous occasion, I'm sharing with you a few of my favorite handmade Rosh Hashanah cards from etsy.
Above we have Jewish New Year Cards by SusanItkinBatik. In the middle it shows the Hebrew in colorful lettering, and around the edges we see both a translation and a transliteration.
Next, sporting some colorful apples, Shana Tovah Warhol Apples cards by ooliecards.
Finally, we end with a little robot humor with the Robot Rosh Hashanah card from lrhbindustries.
(Apples and honey are traditional foods to eat on Rosh Hashanah, symbolizing the sweetness of a new year.)
Wishing all my blog readers joy and peace this Rosh Hashanah.
I want to be a kitty.
Today I bring you yet another design from the lovely world of Chronicle Books stationery: Mutts fold and mail.
I wasn't really familiar with Mutts before I saw this, but the artwork is very cute and should appeal to both cat and dog lovers, I think. Even the animals themselves are a bit confusing, but from the context of the cartoon I know this is a cat. Couldn't cover up the little guy in the top right corner with a stamp...
On the back is this wonderful comic that is actually a lot easier to understand before you fold it up: it's a battle/joyfest between a kitty and his favorite "little pink sock." He thrashes about with it, loves it, and falls asleep. Then his owners express sentiments that I often share: "I want to be a kitty." Ah, to be a cat...
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Say it with bananas
One of my fabulous postcard correspondents from The Fountain Pen Network sent me this vintage postcard, which I just adore. Bananas?? Awesome. It has a raised texture (which should be more visible in the next photo), and someone (not my pen pal) wrote "Love to Lizzie, Ella" on the front.
Competing for top awesomeness honors is this bit on the back, which says "postcard" in 19 languages. The sender and I agree that this postcard must have originated outside the USA. I don't really know how old it is, but I find it utterly charming.
Good day, pink envelope
This fabulous piece of mail art came to me all the way from Australia, from the creative gal behind Goodnight Little Spoon. She is, in fact, a member of the International Union of Mail Artists, and her professionalism shows.
I mentioned in my response to her that I was just sort of amazed that the Australia Post didn't get confused by all those awesome foreign stamps. Somehow I figure the U.S. Postal Service wouldn't be tickled about that, but I love the effect. Woodpecker stamp!
I think the envelope is handmade, and the paper has this kind of silky, creamy feel while still being very fibrous. I had to open most tenderly with my letter opener, in order to keep the envelope intact. But I appreciate a good challenge every now and again.
She blogged about this letter right when she wrote it, and I do encourage you to check out that link because she shows some wonderful photos of what she calls "mail tag." She sent me some mail tag, and it is a fabulous idea, I highly recommend it. It's a wonderfully creative and interesting way of exchanging information with people, and comes in especially handy with new pen pals when you're getting to know each other.
And beyond the mail tag, it was a heckuva fine letter. I do believe Miss Spoon posts her address right on her blog, so she's another one of those mail addicts like myself who is open to surprises from all corners.
This is not art!
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
I'm a little over-proud of myself for the suggestive placement of this Credo / In God We Trust stamp.
This is Catwoman fold and mail stationery by Chronicle Books.
Top open, slit top and sides - preferably with claws.
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Letter-bats from Moldova
I have a blog reader from Moldova! Who knew?? Best of all, this blog reader sent me a very sweet letter that even included bat stickers and stories of bats.
I don't know from whence this stationery comes, but the mangled English phrase at the bottom is fun: "Investing the future has been man's favourite game of escape." Hmmm... thought-provoking.
Seriously, I had no idea people were reading my blog from such corners of the globe, and it was so exciting to receive this. Letter-writing really does unite people internationally, and I am touched.
Monday, September 14, 2009
Good Post is not a Thing of the Past.
PostMuse sent me this charming PodPost mailbox postcard. I wish they still sold it, but I don't think they do. At least, I can't find it on their website. But I love the meta-mailbox mood. The postcard/artwork title is "Good Post is not a Thing of the Past." Hear, hear!
It also came with these awesome vintage stamps, neither of which I'd seen before.
So in keeping with the meta-mail theme, I responded with this postcard, showing "The Letter" by Albert Lynch.
And I included a few vintage stamps of me own.
Vintage camellia kitsch
This vintage postcard came to me from a correspondent from The Fountain Pen Network.
Wow. Dig those dresses.
Sunday, September 13, 2009
Vintage kitty postalette
A lovely blog reader letter came to me last month on this vintage postalette with a kitty chasing a butterfly. I am a mystery lady! Who knew?
And the kitty even quotes Oscar Wilde:
☆"We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars."☆
☆ ☆ ☆
Finnish frolic and footwear
This giddy postcard came from a Postcrosser in Finland. I just love the dancing old ladies' mood. This has to be one of my favorite Postcrossing cards received.
Edit: The artwork on this postcard is by Inga Löök -- thanks for letting me know, PostMuse!
AND, it came with this really cool stamp! I don't wear high heels myself, but I love the ideal that shoes can make such groovy postage.
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