July 31, 2009

Inside the Envelope Surprise

I do love a good surprise, and I hope that the people to whom I write do, too. One of the tools that I use in my surprise arsenal is the envelope liner. Here, I used an image from a magazine advertisement. I just the the ad to shape, glued and smoothed over. Then I folded the flap of the envelope over the top of the liner to frame it and give it a more finished look. I sent this slightly more elegant envelope and paper as a thank you note.

July 30, 2009

Punny Stationery

The Missive Maven got me again! She socked me right in the funny bone with a letter written on this punny stationery.

Oh, and before I frog-et, the Maven sealed the envelope with this sticker:

July 29, 2009

Ink Swatch: Diamine Pumpkin

One of my pen pals has an enviable collection of inks. And to my delight, he uses them. In a recent letter, my pal exposed me to a very pleasant orange: Diamine Pumpkin. The color reminds me of J. Herbin Orange Indien... but with a more modern feel, and less shading (although that could just be the pen my pal wrote with). Check it out:

July 28, 2009

Red, White and Blue

For this letter to a pen pal, I decided to go with a color scheme rather than a theme. It just so happened that one of my latest vintage letterhead reproductions fit in with the red, white and blue scheme.

I used the same paper for the second page of the letter, but jazzed it up a bit by gluing down some used vintage stamps on the corners. I purchased these as part of a 25 piece lot on eBay for $1.50, including shipping and handling.

If you're interested, I have now made the Paul's Choice Inks & Mucilage letterhead image available for download. You may access it and the other vintage letterhead images featured on Everyday Correspondence here.

July 27, 2009

Paper Extravaganza!

This past weekend I paid a final visit to Paper Cult, a Northern Virginia paper store that I previously posted about here, to stock up on as much paper as my billfold could currently handle. In the end, I walked away with: six Rhodia pads, three Apica notebooks, two packs of G. Lalo paper, a pack of G. Lalo envelopes, and an assortment of other amazing paper products (not pictured)... it was all 50% off, so I couldn't help myself! Besides, one almost never sees Rhodia or Apica paper on sale. I just couldn't pass the good deals by. There is still quite a bit left, so if you live in the area, I would encourage you to help Christina over at Paper Cult unload the last of her inventory before she closes the doors on July 30th.

I have no affiliation whatsoever with Paper Cult. I'm just sad to see it go... and I love a good sale.

July 24, 2009

Cool Wax Seal

This wax seal arrived in today's post from a pen pal. It was made with Atelier Gargoyle wax and a torch, and I must say that it arrived in perfect condition. The wax has a wonderful gloss.

July 23, 2009

Iroshizuku Tsuyu-Kusa Ink Review

Once I saw one, I had to purchase a bottle of Iroshizuku ink, if only for the bottle. The bottle I found was being sold half price on eBay, half filled with tsuyu-kusa ink (Japanese for spiderwort, as in the bloom). As it happens, I very much like it.

In addition to being very attractive, the 50 mL bottle is also practical - it has a small well at the bottom of the bottle, allowing you to get every last drop of ink into your fountain pen.

To view the full review in the highest quality, click on the images to open them in a new window.

This is the full ink review with no flash:

With flash:

I wrote the review on 20 lb, 92 whiteness copy paper. It just happens to be the paper I use in my office printer. The review was written with an Esterbrook 2668 nib.

The ink dried within a reasonable amount of time, fully dry in fewer than 10 seconds.

As you can see by the chromotography sample, tsuyu-kusa is a very pure blue ink. It is mostly cyan dye, with a darkening dye and a touch of cyan - but not enough to make the ink look purple.

I purchased this bottle on eBay, but you may purchase the entire line of Iroshizuku inks at JetPens, with whom I have zero affiliation. Although they charge 22.50 for the 50 mL bottles of ink, JetPens offers free shipping on orders of $25 or more.

July 22, 2009

Nomadic Pencil Case Giveaway

The Pen Addict is giving away, raffle style, a Nomadic PD-03 upright stand pencil case. I have never seen one of these before, but I want one. Visit the Pen Addict here to enter the contest. Entries will be accepted until 11:59 PM EDT Thursday, July 23 and the winner will be announced on Friday.

Market Watch: Paper Cult to Close

It is my great displeasure to inform everyone that my new favorite paper store, Paper Cult, whose sale I posted about a short time ago - is closing.

To help dispense with their inventory, Paper Cult is having a 50% off sale on everything in the store. So, if you're in the DC metropolitan area, make sure to stop by Paper Cult for some great deals on great paper.
Paper Cult is located at Tysons Corner Center in McLean, Virginia. The store is scheduled to close on July 30, 2009. I have no affiliation whatsoever with Paper Cult, I just wish them well.

A Fountain Pen of Note

One of my favorite exhibits on display at Monticello was Thomas Jefferson's fountain pen. According to the card, this pen, made of silver and gold, was used by Jefferson in 1824, two years before his death on July 4, 1826.

I don't have any pictures of the notebooks mentioned in the display, I did see one and it was quite ingenious. The notebook was a fan style bound collection of credit card sized ivory slats. Jefferson would write on the slats in pencil and then erase for re-use. Brilliantly durable.

The above image is a close up shot of the nib. I apologize for the low quality pictures, they were taken in low light without a flash, per the rules. Below, you can make out the initials "TJ" on the butt of the pen. Though not clear in the photo, they are actually quite legible.

I inquired about replicas at the gift shop, but unfortunately, none were for sale.

NOTE: I found a short blurb about Jefferson's involvement in the creation of the modern fountain pen here. The images displayed in the article are replicas of then pen shown in this post .

July 21, 2009

Souveniers from Monticello

This past weekend some friends and I took a road trip to Monticello, home of Thomas Jefferson, author of the Declaration of Independence and third President of the United States. What does this have to do with Everyday Correspondence, might you ask? Well, I picked up some wonderful stationery and a letter opener at the gift shop.

The stationery set, printed on recycled paper (in honor of T.J.'s dedication to environmental stewardship) came with eight notecards, eight petite notecards, fifteen lined letter sheets and the appropriate envelopes for each. The best part, the price, I got it all for eight bucks!

The pattern on the paper depicts scenes from the Monticello estate in the style of Toile de Jouy cloth. The images were originally created using a technique of printing on plain cotton or linen fabric with engraved copperplates. It is well documented that T.J. purchased many yards of the fabric during his time as United States trade minister to the French Court. Although, it should be noted, he prefered the printed fabric in red.

My other purchase is a letter opener with a pineapple motif. I've long been a huge fan of tasteful pineapple decor. In colonial and early American times, because of it's scarcity, pineapples were often given as gifts. They then came to symbolize both wealth and generosity and worked their way into the decor of many colonial homes.

I have no affiliation with Monticello or it's store, but if you would like to purchase this stationery set, it is available at the official store for $9.99.

July 20, 2009

Thank Heavens it Wasn't an E-Mail...

that got sent to a junk mail folder, or deleted in the heat of the moment. I'm referring to the letter at the center of this news article.

Vintage Letterhead Giveaway Contest!

I have a bunch of vintage letterhead reproductions, several of which have been featured here on Everyday Correspondence. Because it will take me a while to feature it all, I have decided to put it to use for the site by giving away a sampler pack!

I have two goals for this contest: 1. to reward readers; and 2. to get the word out about Everyday Correspondence. This contest is for a sampler pack comprised of two of each of the seven vintage letterhead reproductions that I have completed thus far on your choice of either white or ivory Southworth 25% cotton linen finish paper.

To enter, post a link to http://www.everydaycorrespondence.com somewhere on the internet and then take credit for the link in the comments section of this post (don't forget to post a URL where the link may be found).

The link can be posted anywhere, for example in a forum post, on the sidebar of your blog, as a feature post in your blog, the comment section of another blog's post, etc.

The posted link that draws the most traffic wins! A winner will be declared on Saturday, August 1.

NOTE: Deceptive links will not be honored as valid submissions. For example, anchor text "FREE MONEY!" with a link to this site.

July 19, 2009

Vintage Letterhead Image Archive

To download images, first click on the desired image to display the image in the highest quality available, then simply right click on them and "Save Image As" whatever you'd like to label it.

I recommend printing these two to a page on letter sized paper, to produce two 5.5" x 8.5" sheets when cut.

Intellectual Property Disclaimer: I do not own any of the below images. I do my best only to post images which I believe were created prior to 1923, published without copyright notice, or were otherwise not in compliance with copyright registration and renewal requirements, placing them in the public domain. If you have information to the contrary, please contact me.

1. Hotel Mecca, Cleveland, Ohio. Originally dated 1920. Postcards printed with this image are now available for purchase at the Correspondence Shop.

2. Robot Salesmen Ltd., Liverpool, England. Original date unknown.

3. Paul's Choice Inks & Mucilage, Jersey City, New Jersey. Original produced during the 1890s. Scanned from an original by We Made This.

4. H.N. Heusner & Son, Inc., Hanover, Pennsylvania. Original production date unknown.

5. E.P. Cone Booksellers, Stationers and General News Dealer, Nashville, Tennessee. Originally printed during the 1890s.

6. Maison Orlhac, Paris France. Original dated 1928.

7. George Bateman & Son Limited Brewing Company. Original production date unkown. Scanned from the original by We Made This.

8. The Musicians' Protective Union, Port Townsend, Washington. Original production date unknown. Many thanks to Julie from Whatever for the great find!

9. The Caldwell Brothers Co. Machinery Merchants, Seattle, Washington. Originally dated Oct. 18, 1907.

10. LaFayette Brewery, Inc., LaFayette, Indiana. Original production date unknown.

11. The Smith Premier Typewriter Co., Syracuse, New York. Original production date circa 1899.

This is my collection of "refurbished" vintage letterheads. They are images that I found on vintage stationary around the web and cleaned up using GIMP digital imaging software. It was all free to me, so I don't see any reason why it shouldn't be free to you.

New images will be posted as the letterheads are featured on Everyday Correspondence. Make sure to bookmark this page, or better yet, subscribe to Everyday Correspondence, to get word when new images are added to the archive.

For more free vintage imagery, I recommend the following sites:

Just Something I Made (vintage images)

The Blah, Blah, Blahg (mailing labels/address boxes and vintage-esq images)

Tammy Tutterow (vintage images of paper goods, i.e. forms, book pages)

Letter Writers Alliance (printable V-Mail stationery download)

LetterHeady (great archive of original scan vintage letterheads)

I would also like to give a shout out to The Zoey Blog. Inspired by the Everyday Correspondence Vintage Letterhead Image Archive, the authors of the blog made their very own family letterhead, and it's stupendous.

Updated 03.10.12

July 17, 2009

Robot Salesmen

This wonderful letterhead was sent off to a pen pal in Florida. So, to keep with the beachy-techie theme, I mailed the letter in an envelope I made from an advertisement I found with pixelated people enjoying the summer weather.

I then wrote the the addresses in block letters using J. Herbin Orange Indien. My topper was a black vintage cinema stamp commemorating a film from the 1930s - I'm just pretending that the film and my stationery are contemporaries. Just let me believe.

Robot Salesmen is now available for download here.

July 16, 2009

A Seal Unscathed

Flying in the face countless horror stories about wax seals not surviving trips through the mail that I have heard, I continue to receive envelopes with intact wax seals.

To the powers that be: I am very grateful.

July 15, 2009

Market Watch: Sale at Paper Cult

I stumbled upon this sale yesterday while shopping at Tysons Corner Center: Paper Cult is offering 30% off everything in store (except new magazines) through July 27! The sale is not advertised in store, so I was pleasantly surprised when my purchase rang up a much lower than I expected!

I have no affiliation with the store, but I do recommend a visit to Paper Cult, it has a unique selection of beautiful sheet paper, letterpressed cards and other fine papers, including Rhodia and Apica notebooks. A sampling of their product line may be viewed at the Paper Cult blog.

Paper Cult is located across the hall from The Limited at Tysons Corner Center in McLean, Virginia.

Roaring 20's Themed Letter

I must tell you about my latest fascination: vintage letterheads. I have been finding scans of vintage letterhead online and trying my hand at photo editing to obtain clean images that I can print (on my office color laser printer for max effect) onto quality paper.

This letterhead is from what I assume to be complimentary hotel stationary from the Hotel Mecca in Cleveland, Ohio. The original date (that I digitally removed from the image) was 1920. So, I picked up on that theme and decided to use an envelope I made from a liquor advertisement.

To top it off, I used a vintage black cinema stamp, commemorating the film Hallelujah, released in 1929, and a pair of classic Tiffany lamp 1 cent stamps.

If you would like to use the Hotel Mecca letterhead for your own correspondence, I have posted it for download here. It was free to me, and although I took the time to clean the image up, I see no reason why it shouldn't be free to you.

July 14, 2009

Under the Sea

These stickers and drawing came to me in a letter from a pen pal who had recently seen The Little Mermaid on Broadway. Could that be the inspiration?

No matter what the inspiration, I totally dug the the decor. The below image is from the envelope. The sender decorated the front of the envelope and then covered everything with a sheet of blue cellophane. Brilliant!

July 13, 2009

It's Domo!

My latest letter to a penpal was written on a sheet from my tablet of Domo fold-and-mails. Instead of squiggling out the writing and obscuring the stationery, I took a photo of a blank sheet to show you.

There are four different designs, this is the one that I used. Wouldn't you love to get this little fella in the mail?

I have no affiliation with Dark Horse, but if you'd like to purchase this stationery, you can do so here, at the Dark Horse website. I have no idea how they are timed, but I feel like Dark Horse frequently has sales on it's paper products (albeit, often only 10% off). So make sure you frequent the site so you can buy when the time is right!