August 31, 2009

Insert Hilarious Monkey Pun Here

Check out this letter I recently received from a pen pal, isn't it wild? I just love the fuzzy monkey stickers and the use of glitter pen to make a creative address box. The theme was carried into the letter itself.

On the bottom of each page, my pal drew a vine footer around a set of page numbers.

And, she added these colorful touches next to her signature and on the outside of the envelope. I'm just bananas about them.

This pal has really set a high bar for creative snail mail. I'm not sure how I'm going to climb to her level.

Ok, I admit my failure to be creative with words in this post. Can anyone think of any better (or, rather, worse) monkey or banana puns describe this letter?

August 27, 2009

Pairs Well With a Mojito

Apologies for not having a picture of a printed example, but I've posted this wonderful vintage letterhead image in *you guessed it* the vintage letterhead image archive!

August 26, 2009

Change of Season

Alas, summer has come to a close (for me, at least), and my days have again become busy.  Hopefully, that won't mean much in terms of the quality of content that I post here on Everyday Correspondence, although it may affect the frequency with which I post.

Luckily for you, you can keep up with Everyday Correspondence by subscribing to the site's RSS feed!

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August 25, 2009

Thanks, Karen!

In celebration of Bastille Day on July 14, the Quo Vadis Blog (published by Exaclair) gave away free J. Herbin ink samples in red, white and blue. When I saw a post about it by the Missive Maven, I could hardly believe it. I'm a J. Herbin ink loyalist, and I just about lost it at the opportunity to try another one of their delicious inks.

I ordered a bottle of Eclat de Saphir. And when it arrived, I was ecstatic to discover that the package included a healthy sampling of Exaclair products! Included were a pad of G. Lalo Verge de France paper, along with matching envelopes, a pad of lined Rhodia paper and a Clairefontaine notebook. So... I guess that means I'll be doing some product reviews!

I'd like to give my many thanks to Karen Doherty, Vice President of Marketing at Exaclair, for conducting this giveaway and being so generous with the samples of Exaclair products.

August 24, 2009

"Dear Avis, "

I caught a matinee of Julie & Julia on Friday, and it tickled both the side of me that loves food an the side that loves to write letters.

The delight of my inner foodie is obvious, the parallel stories of how Julia Child came to cook and another woman's journey to self discovery by cooking her way through Julia's cookbook. The part about writing letters, however, was a total surprise! It doesn't spoil the story to know, but the story of Julia Child's time in Paris was compiled (via Julia's autobiography) by sorting through Julia's letters to her pen pal, Avis, back in the United States. And, in the movie (as well as in reality, I'm guessing) Julia's letters play a critical role in her success publishing her cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking.

On top of my general interest in letter writing, I found it fantastic that Julia Child wrote on Clairefontaine notebooks. In fact, the filmmakers approached the makers of Clairefontaine to obtain vintage notebooks so that Meryl Streep (who plays Julia) could use authentic paper in the movie.

Admittedly, it's not the kind of film one needs to see in a theater, but if you enjoy food and/or snail mailing, I recommend seeing Julie & Julia. Even if you're not interested in the content, you'll just love Meryl Streep's magnificent performance.

NOTE: Aside from my celebrity crush on Amy Adams, I have no affiliation with anyone connected to Julie & Julia. I also have no affiliation with Clairefontaine paper.

August 23, 2009

Ink Swatch: Diamine Prussian Blue

Not a whole lot to say about this particular image. From page to picture, this is Diamine Prussian Blue.

August 21, 2009

Pre-Made Postal Products: Part Deux

Yesterday, I mentioned crispness as one reason why I like cards so much. This card depicting the Brooklyn Bridge is a perfect example of what I mean by that statement. The picture is just right, and while it is shot in black and white, there are so many greys that there is lots of depth in the image.

The envelope paired with the card adds further dimension, while still sticking to the two color scheme, by surprising the card's recipient with a shiny black envelope liner. Writing on the blank interior of this card, I kept it simple and used a fountain pen filled with Waterman Black ink. I hope the recipient, Patty at Just Letter Rip, enjoys reading it as much as I did composing it.

As you can tell, I really like the black and white theme. I find it clean, calming, and classic. What about you, what color combination really gets you going? Why?

Market Watch: Pomegranate Card Sets at Marshalls

Although I noted it in the previous post, I think it's worth it's worth it's own post to spread the word that Marshalls is currently carrying a number of card sets from Pomegranate. I picked up a set that retails for $14.99 for only $4.99 at Marshall's.

If you haven't already left your computer in order to dash over to your nearest Marshalls, it's also worth noting that is currently having it's own 50% off sale on select boxed notecards, many of which are pretty spectacular.

I have no affiliation with Marshalls, it's just my favorite store for rummaging. And, I have no affiliation with Pomegranate, I just enjoy their designs.

August 20, 2009

Pre-Made Postal Products

While I usually prefer to make my own envelopes and create my own unique stationery, there are some times when I want the crisp look of a card. On the down side, I don't usually keep many cards in my stationery stack. On the up side, I found my way into a Marshall's while in Minnesota (I can't stay away from my favorite store for long!). There, I picked up a box of Edward Gorey cards, by Pomegranate. I've long heard exultation about Gorey from the Missive Maven, but this was the first time I'd actually seen any in a store, let alone on sale (12 cards and envelopes for $4.99).

What is your latest paper purchase and/or stationery steal?

August 19, 2009

Stampy Stationery

As much as I do love writing on homemade stationery (or classy paper that I've embellished or printed letterhead onto), sometimes I stumble across some fantastic printed stationery.

In this case, it was not I who found the stationery, but rather I who received a letter written on this pretty pulp.

August 18, 2009

Postal Roadkill

ARGH! It was bound to happen sometime. I finally received a letter whose wax seal was destroyed by postal service machinery. It looked like it would have been a really great seal, too. It appears to have once been a frog.

On the plus side, I got a letter sealed with wax. That's still neat. And, the rest of the letter was in tip top condition.

Thanks to the consistently superior performance of the United States Postal Service, this is the very first "incident" I've ever had with them. But I guess every once in a while, even a finely tuned delivery machine has to goof.

What's your experience? Do you have any postal "horror stories" you'd like to share?

August 17, 2009

Ink Swatch: Diamine Poppy Red

I consider this to be a pretty good representation of the actual color in Diamine Poppy Red. However, I was unable to capture this brightness of the ink. So, imagine this color, saturation, etc. and then make it glow in your mind. That's Poppy Red.

August 16, 2009

Daedal Digits

In a recent letter, these creative numbers adorned the bottom of each page.

I've said it before, but I'll say it again, page numbers are too often over-looked as outlets for creativity. This pen pal, however, makes perfect use of them.

I see different parts of my pal's personality and interests coming out in each of these illustrations. Fantastic.

Emphasis on the Re-Use

While I was away, a thank you letter from Patty over at Just Letter Rip, written in response to this, found it's way into my post office box. I was ever so delighted to receive it. Not only was the envelope fun and creative, it was made ENTIRELY from recycled goods.

The envelope itself was actually another envelope in a previous life! Patty flipped an envelope she received into an envelope of her own. She has blogged about the process on her site.

August 11, 2009

Temporary Leave of Absence

My apologies for not posting this earlier, but I've been on vacation in Minnesota since August 5. I will be back and posting sometime next week. Till then, all the best from the Midwest!

August 10, 2009

The Whole Package

Although I usually prefer making my own envelopes, I just couldn't resist purchasing a set of these, marked 70% off at Papyrus (no affiliation). The envelopes are wonderfully thick and printed in a durable copper metallic paint. And, I just love the way they fold from the side.

Each envelope is paired with with a single sheet of very heavy cardstock. Fearing that the paper would feather, I wrote my message with a fine Esterbrook 9556 nib and was delighted when there was no problem.

The whole stationery set feels wonderfully vintage, but I find that the brand stamp took me out of the experience. So, for this letter, I covered the mark with the envelope as I wrote.

For me, the icing on the cake is the metallic copper string provided inside each envelope to wrap the finished products like packages. And as a final touch, each envelope is given a sticker, presumably to use for addressing the envelope. Unfortunately, the shiny stickers don't take my fountain pen ink, so I was forced to use a fine point Sharpie to address this letter. With only one sticker per envelope, there was no suitable place for me to write a return address, hopefully the Missive Maven, to whom this letter was mailed, doesn't stamp it, "Return to Sender."

Overall, I really enjoyed using this stationery set. However, the prominent mark on the stationery and the difficult to use sticker labels would likely prevent me from ever paying full price for the set.

August 6, 2009

Pilot Legno 89s: A Pictorial

As you can probably tell, my preferred tool for writing is a fountain pen. I collect them... sort of. I really just keep around as many as I can use, and then I try to sell off those that end up gathering dust to purchase new pens! It's a wonderfully delicious cycle.

Well, I recently made the decision to begin "trading up" my pens, getting rid of many in exchange for a few. The first pen to come to my mail box using this new strategy was a Pilot Legno 89s. The definition of legno is "with the wood." This makes perfect sense when considering how the 89s' barrel is made. The body is made from a kind of compressed wood, where thin slices of wood are pressed under high pressure and impregnated with resin. The exterior is then somehow imprinted with a remarkably authentic looking wood texture.

Released in 2007, only in Japan, the 89s commemorates the 89th anniversary of the Pilot pen company.

The pen comes with a Pilot No. 3 14 carat white gold nib. Mine is a medium, which writes like a western fine nib. Asian pen nibs tend to run more narrow than their western counterparts.

At 4.1" from end cap to nib, the 89s is made to be used while "posted," or capped. To put it in perspective, the 89s is just a hair shorter than an Esterbrook SJ, although it is reasonably, and pleasantly, heavier.

The 89s is a cartridge pen, which means exactly what it sounds like: it takes cartridge ink. But I was lucky enough to score mine with a squeeze converter. To fill, all I have to do is insert the nib into a bottle of ink and press the pressure bar a few times.

This magnificent piece of art walked into my life at a substantial discount by way of a gracious seller over at the Fountain Pen Network. It's been my frequent experience that the people selling pens in FPN's classified section are generally good folks who sell at reasonable prices, all in the name of spreading the fever. The fountain pen fever... of which I was a willing victim.

What instrument do you prefer to write your correspondence with? Do you have any dream pens or pencils (or markers, or paints, etc.)?

August 4, 2009

The First Carnival of Pen, Pencil and Paper

Everyday Correspondence was fortunate enough to be chosen as a contributor for the First Carnival of Pen, Pencil and Paper! As described by this month's Carnival host, Notebook Stories:

Some carnivals have roller coasters, fried dough, and oversized stuffed animals as prizes. This carnival offers just as much fun and variety, if you love handmade Japanese paper, fountain pens, Filofaxes, and 15-year old spiral notebooks. Every month, a different blog will host this traveling collection of the best posts about pens, pencils, notebooks, and other related topics.
I’m so excited to be launching the Carnival with such a great collection of posts. The submissions were everything I’d hoped for: a wide range of topics from a variety of blogs, some that I knew well and some new ones I’ve just discovered. It was hard to select a few favorites to highlight as Editor’s Picks, so I chose a few from the blogs that were new to me.

Everyday Correspondence's "exhibit" at the Carnival is a post about Thomas Jefferson's fountain pen, which I was able to see on a recent visit to his home, Monticello. For more information about the Carnival, including on how to submit and where it will be hosted next, check out this post over at Notebook Stories.

My favorite post from this month's Carnival is from Monda at Fresh Ribbon, titled Reading the Minutes. It is about discovering an old minutes log from the Daughters of the American Revolution. I enjoyed it because the secretary who kept those minutes probably never realized that she was going to be corresponding the activities of her organization to individuals 70+ years after they were written. And, also, because the post features a letter from Eleanor Roosevelt.

What about you, what is your favorite "site to see" at the Carnival?

August 3, 2009

Dear Congresswoman

In addition to serving as a fantastic medium for communicating between friends, snail mail letters also have the power influence those with the power to make the changes we wish to see in this world.

I am strong proponent of writing to Congress and the President. Whenever there is an issue of importance to me, I write a short and direct letter on where I, as a constituent, stand. I couldn't urge you more strongly to do the same.

An e-mail can be boiled down by a staffer to a sender's name and a subject line. A letter, at the very least, must be sorted, manually opened, read for content and identified with a real person by way of a signature.

Today I mailed a letter on an issue involving education. I printed the letter on Southworth 24lb 25% cotton linen finish paper and handmade an envelope from another sheet of the same paper. It is my hope that the time and effort I put into not only writing, but also professionally packaging, paying for a stamp, and walking to a mailbox, add weight to my message when it reaches the office of my Congresswoman.

NOTE: The poignant stamp in this post came to me by way of the Missive Maven.

August 2, 2009

Advertise Here!

Everyday Correspondence is now an approved publisher on the Project Wonderful advertising service. It is my hope that this new partnership will benefit you, the readers, by providing quality recommendations and the Everyday Correspondence, by providing a source of revenue to pay for the upkeep of the site. With Project Wonderful, only advertisers that are both relevant to the content on Everyday Correspondence and approved by myself will be allowed to advertise.

If you would like to advertise on Everyday Correspondence, click on the link below the skyscraper style ad box in the sidebar. That advertising space can be yours for as little as: FREE!

All website revenues will be used to upkeep this site and to purchase items for feature on Everyday Correspondence, such as pens, paper, new letterheads, etc.

Thanks for the support!


Just because they don't deliver mail on Sundays (at least not in the United States) doesn't mean that you can't send any. I actually consider Sundays to be my most productive writing days... probably because I work at a library on Sundays and have the kind of time, space and serene environment that are conducive to good letter writing. What about you, where and when do you do create your best correspondence?

Note: I received this wonderful postcard from PostMuse. It's titled "Good Post is Not a Thing of the Past."

August 1, 2009

Vintage Letterhead Contest Winner

Congratulations to Tejal from Damaged Goods! Her link to Everyday Correspondence drove the most traffic to the site since her entry into the contest.

Thank you to everyone who entered, I really appreciate you support of the site. And, I enjoyed visiting your sites, too, they're fantastic! I encourage readers to pay a visit to all those fine individuals who supported Everyday Correspondence by entering the contest:

Okami at Whatever
Sam at Future; Nostalgic
Patty at Just Letter Rip
GirlZoot at GirlZootZilla
phonelady at The older side of life
John at
Leon at Walking Without Rhythm
Denise at Knitting in the Wild

Market Watch: Free Paper Samples

Many individuals with whom I correspond use paper from journals to write on. And after giving it some thought, that makes perfect sense. Journals can offer some really high quality paper at low prices, if you catch them at the right times. This is one of those times, The Journal Shop is giving away free samples of paper from a variety of different notebooks and journals. It's so free, in fact, that they'll even pay the costs of shipping. The only thing The Journal Shop asks in return is that you share your thoughts in comment on their site Simple as that. Now get over there and order away!

I have no affiliation with The Journal Shop, I just happen to like free stuff.