Tuesday, March 29, 2011


If you have written me a letter recently and sent it to my post office box, I apologize. I pulled a "Samara" and didn't get to the post office in time to pay it before they locked me out of it and then closed my "account." (Samara from the LetterLover blog got locked out of her post office box and then lost it a couple of years ago...) Samara eventually got another post office box, but I'm not sure I'm going to right now. I think I'll see how it goes without one. If you've been writing to my P.O. Box and need my other mailing address, just send me an email to 365letters@inbox.com, and I'll email you the address. In the mean time, I'll try to get some letters written with the other address on them. I'm sorry for any inconvenience.

Final winner!

Olivia won those Mary Engelbreit cards! Congratulations!

Thanks to everyone who commented and entered the notecard giveaways! I had a good time sharing them with everyone!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Basket of Roses Notecards Winner

And, the winner of the Basket of Roses notecards is Sara! I have sent her an email and will be sending her the notecards as soon as I get her mailing address.

There's one last giveaway this week. It's for some Mary Engelbreit cards that were in the mixed bag of cards I found at a thrift store last weekend. Be sure to go to that posting and leave a comment to be entered in the contest. Please leave an email address or a link to your blog or website so that I can contact you about your address.

And, since this is the weekend, I'm extending the entry deadline until midnight Sunday night. I'll announce the winner Monday morning.

Happy letterwriting!

Last 365Letters Giveaway This Week!

To win these seven Mary Engelbreit notecards, leave a comment on this post by midnight tomorrow (Sunday), and I'll include you in the randomized drawing. I'll announce the winner Monday morning. The notecards are blank on the inside and feature the quote, "Success consists of getting up once oftener than you fall down," on the front, along with a typically cute Engelbreit illustration. I'm sure you'll enjoy them if you win!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Kittens and Puppies Notecard Winner!

Today, I used a site called Stat Trek to pick a random number for the contest.

The winner of the Kittens and Puppies notecards is Carla from the blog Tiny.Angry.Crafter. Carla, please send me an email at 365letters@inbox.com with your mailing address, and I'll send you these cute notecards!

Don't forget...there's another drawing today, and one more tomorrow! Be sure to leave a comment, so you can have a chance to win!

Win Some Notecards Today!

Would you like these five elegant notecards featuring a basket of roses? Just leave a comment on this blog post before midnight tonight, March 25, 2011, and I'll pick a winner.

I'll have one more set of notecards to give away tomorrow....don't forget to come back!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Winner #3

Thanks to everyone for the kind comments in your giveaway entries! I'm enjoying them all.

The winner of the Songbird Notecards was the seventh commenter....Randi! But, I don't have your email address, Randi, so please send me a message at 365Letters@inbox.com with your address, and I'll send these delightful cards your way.

Today, I used the Custom Random Number Generator at www.mathgoodies.com.

One of the most fun parts of this giveaway is finding many more new letter writers!

Don't forget to enter today's giveaway! Just leave a comment on the blog post.

Puppies and Kittens Notecard Giveway

Awww! Aren't they cute! Do you want them? The notecards, I mean, not the puppies and kittens. This is the fourth day of my Spring Notecard Giveaway! This is a quick and easy contest. Just leave me a comment on this post by midnight tonight, and I'll count you in. A randomizer will pick the winner. I found a big bag of notecards at a thrift store last weekend, and these six puppy and kitten cards were in there. They're blank cards and have white envelopes.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Tulip Notecards Winner!

The winner of the Tulip Notecards Giveaway, posted yesterday, is "EMP," aka Elaine Mary Phillips.

When the random number picker chose her number, I decided to click on her links to see what EMP was all about. The first thing I saw was her profile statement on Blogger. I was immediately intrigued. Here's what she says in the profile:

"Since I was 7, I knew I’d be a letter-writer-poet when I grew up. Once I ventured out on my own (after hap’ly co-authoring and publishing a book of letters in 2007), I set up a baker’s dozen blogs as a discipline to record my thoughts and type up all the random bits ’n’ pieces composed in coffee shops and on silent retreat days."
EMP has a lovely website, and you can read more about her book, "The Hippo and the Unicorn: A Rainbow of Words" there. Browse around; she has some interesting stories!

Congratulations to EMP for winning the cards!

In case you're interested, today, I used the Truly Random Number Generator to pick the winner. Interestingly enough, both yesterday and today, the winning number was "2." To choose the winner, I write down the names of the commenters, in the order in which they commented, and then number the names, beginning with "1." If anyone posts twice for any reason, I just don't count that second post. Then I use a random number generator online to pick the winning number.

I'll do it again tomorrow morning, so don't forget to leave a comment today for the Songbird Notecards.

Songbird Notecards Giveaway!

Did I mention that I have enough notecards to giveaway some every day this week? That's what I'm doing! Just leave me a message by midnight tonight and let me know that you'd like to write some letters on these Songbird Notecards! There are 10 of these cards with white envelopes. Don't forget to make sure I have your email address so that I can contact you for your mailing address.

Happy letter writing!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

First Giveaway Winner....

The winner of my first Spring Giveaway is Stephanie of the Sunbeam Soapbox blog! Congrats, Stephanie!

There's another giveaway today! And, sure, enter this one, too, even if you entered yesterday. (Hint: there are more coming!)

In case you're curious, today I used www.randomizer.org to generate the winning number.

Flower Notecards Giveaway

Like I said yesterday, I'm sharing some notecards I found at a thrift store last weekend. Here are today's giveaway cards:

Like yesterday, this is an easy giveaway....just leave a comment letting me know that you'd enjoy writing letters on these four notecards, which come with matching white envelopes. I'll randomly pick a winner from the list of commenters who leave a comment before midnight tonight, March 22, 2011, and send you the cards. Be sure to leave me your email address so that I can contact you to get your mailing address.

Happy letter writing!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Spring Giveaway!

Hello, Blog Readers!

In honor of Spring, which started here on Sunday, March 20, I'm having a Notecard Giveaway.

As a way of recycling and reusing things that are still usable, I love to shop at thrift stores. This past weekend, I was "junking," as my husband and I like to call it, when I came upon a big bag of notecards. There were so many, that I've decided to share some of them with my blog readers. I've sorted them all and have found several themes that go great with the start of spring.

Now, this was a mixed bag of cards and envelopes. Some cards had matching envelopes, and some had almost-matching envelopes. But, maybe you won't mind.

Today's giveaway is for these four blank notecards featuring a colorful painting of flowers and pears. They have matching white envelopes.

There's not much to do to win, just leave me a comment on this post, letting me know that you'd enjoy these notecards. I'll count the number of commenters who leave comments before midnight tonight (March 21, 2011), according to the information on the comment, and then have one of those online randomizers pick a number for me. Then, I'll contact the person whose comment number (based on the time the comment was left) and get their address. Don't forget to make sure I have an email address so that I can contact you tomorrow!

By the way, I'm giving away more notecards tomorrow, so be sure to come back!

Letter Writing Topics #79-85

Here are some letter writing topics for this week:

Letter #79: What does spring look like at your house? Or, is it autumn where you live? Wherever you are, the calendar says the seasons are changing. Does it look like it to you? Here in Northcentral Texas, it seems to have gone from winter to summer with predicted temperatures in the mid- to upper 80s for this week.

Letter #80: Today, write a letter and send it with a card. It can be a store-bought card or a homemade card. It can be a special occasion card or a blank card with a nice picture on the front. It'll add a little something special to your letter today.

Letter #81: How do you listen to music? Do you have the latest mp3 player? An iPod or some other brand? Or, do you listen to CDs? Cassette tapes? Records? The radio? Write a letter today about how you like to listen to music.

Letter #82: Write a letter about your favorite photo of yourself. If you can, send a copy of the photo to your penpal.

Letter #83: Are you growing a garden this year? Write a letter about what's going to be in it. Tomatoes? Peppers? Squash? Cucumbers? Herbs? Write about it!

Letter #84: Do you do Mail Art? Are the envelopes you send your letters in simple and plain or all decorated? Do you decorate your envelopes with your own drawings? Collage materials? Rubber stamps? Write about how you send your letters and why.

Letter #85: When you mail a letter, do you choose specific stamps to convey a message, or do you just slap on the correct postage? Write a letter about your stamp choices.

Happy letter writing!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Good Mail Day

I finally bought a copy of "Good Mail Day: A Primer for Making Eye-Popping Postal Art" by Jennie Hinchcliff and Carolee Gilligan Wheeler. I've just started reading it, but so far it's very interesting.

I know not everyone who enjoys writing letters is also interested in Mail Art, but if you are, this is the book to buy! It's quite inspiring.

Letter Writing Topics #72-78 (March 13-19)

I hope your letter writing is going well and that you are receiving lots of mail in your mailbox!

Here are a few more topics to write about:

Letter #72: On a weekly basis, you probably visit several places in your community -- the bank, the grocery store, a gas station, the post office, etc. This week, take a look at your area from an outsider's point of view. What is there to see and do in your town? Write about it in a letter !

Letter #73: What's you CQ -- that's Celebrity Quotient? Do you follow every move of the stars of TV, movie and music? Do you refer to celebrities by their first names, as if you know them personally? ("Can you believe what Charlie said week? And, did you see that dress Lindsey wore to court??") Or, do you feel left out of such conversations? ("I thought Paris was a 'where,' not a 'who.'") Write about your level of concern with celebrities.

Letter #74: Write about the easiest meal you cook. If you do more than pop a frozen dinner in the microwave, include the recipe for your simplest dish.

Letter #75: Today, write a letter concerning something you're struggling with. Whether it's the homework for that college class you recently signed up for or a monumental life decision, there's probably something in your life that is causing you a little bit of trouble. Write about it in a letter to a caring friend.

Letter #76: Write a letter about your favorite artist. If you can, send a picture of his or her artwork.

Letter #77: Does someone in your life need help with something? Offer your help. Think about it...how can you assist someone? Write a letter sincerely offering to help.

Letter #78: Write a letter about the wildlife around your home. Are you surrounded by deer, coyotes, raccoons, opossums, skunks and rattlesnakes, like we are at our house? Or, is the wildest thing you see all day the ladybug on the windowsill? Whatever you see, your life and surroundings will be of interest to a pen pal!

Happy letter writing!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Latin Music Stamps to be Unveiled in Austin Next Week

According to the U.S. Postal Service website, the new Latin Music Legends stamps will be unveiled Wednesday, March 16, in Austin, Texas.
Five legendary musicians and performers of the Latin sound whose contributions have had a lasting impact on American music —Selena, Carlos Gardel, Carmen Miranda, Tito Puente, and Celia Cruz – will be honored on the stamps. Among the distinctive musical genres and styles represented are Tejano, tango, samba, Latin jazz, and salsa. 
The stamps were designed by Ethel Kessler of Bethesda, Maryland, and feature the work of artist Rafael Lopez, of San Diego, Calif., who painted semi-realistic portraits of each musical artist designed to evoke their personality, vitality, and even their sound. He used a warm palette of colors to suggest the flavor and energy these artists brought to their work. Each musician is depicted in mid-performance.  Kessler says, “My goal was that when you see the stamp, you hear the music.”

The Latin Music Legends stamps include:

Texas-born Selena Quintanilla-Perez (1971-1995)—known to fans simply as Selena—helped transform and popularize Tejano music by integrating techno-hip-hop beats and disco-influenced dance movements with a captivating stage presence. A Grammy recipient, the “Queen of Tejano” broke gender barriers with record sales and awards. Even after her tragic death, Selena remains an important representative of Latino culture.

A superb and evocative singer, Carlos Gardel (1890?-1935) was one of the most celebrated tango artists of all time. Raised in Argentina, Gardel helped popularize the tango in the United States, Europe, and throughout Latin America through his performances and recordings. “The man with the tear in his voice” also achieved fame as one of the stars of the Spanish-language cinema.

Born in Portugal and raised in Brazil, Carmen Miranda (1909-1955) achieved fame as a samba singer before moving to New York City, where she gained instant celebrity in theater, film, and radio. The “Brazilian Bombshell” appeared in 14 Hollywood musicals and recorded more than 300 songs. Her exotic signature outfit and persona are an inexhaustible source of inspiration.

Born in New York City to Puerto Rican parents, Tito Puente (1923-2000) was a musical virtuoso popularly known as El Rey, “The King”. With dynamic solos on the timbales and orchestral arrangements that have become classics in Latin music, Puente helped bring Afro-Cuban and Caribbean sounds to mainstream audiences. He performed for more than 60 years, and his legacy includes more than 140 albums.

A dazzling performer of many genres of Afro-Caribbean music, Celia Cruz (1925-2003) had a powerful contralto voice and a joyful, charismatic personality that endeared her to fans from different nationalities and across generations. Settling in the United States following the Cuban revolution, the “Queen of Salsa” performed for more than five decades and recorded more than 50 albums.

The new Latin Music Legends stamps are "Forever" stamps, which means that they cost 44 cents each and will be good to mail 1-ounce, First Class letters "forever," even if postage rates go up in the future.

For more information on the stamps, visit the USPS website at www.usps.com. The stamps will be available March 16, but you can pre-order them online today.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Notecards in an Etsy Treasury!

My "Musical Notes" stationery set is featured in a treasury on Etsy.

Musical Notes
Bonny, who has the Pinon Grove shop on Etsy, created a treasury called "Unplug Yourself," and she included my notecards in it.

If you're not familiar with Etsy and its "treasury" feature, I'll try to explain it, briefly. Etsy is an online site where individuals set up online shops and sell handmade and/or vintage items. A treasury is a list of items that an Etsy member likes. Often, the treasury has a theme, such as a color or mood. This "Unplug Yourself" theme features other items that might encourage someone to slow down and take a deep breath -- candles, herbs, bath soap, a journal, etc.

It's nice that Bonny considers letter writing a good way to "unplug"!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Letter Writing Topics #65-71 (March 6-12)

Here are some letter writing ideas:

#65 (March 6): Write a letter about why you write letters. Tell your letter's recipient why you enjoy the old-fashioned activity of correspondence. Encourage him or her to write letters, too.

#66 (March 7): Write a letter about a vacation you fondly remember. Where did you go? What did you do? Who were you with? Have you ever been back?

#67 (March 8): Write about a problem you have and how you handle it.

#68 (March 9): Write a letter to a child. Write on fun, brightly colored stationery. Send it in a non-traditional envelope. Add some stickers. Make it a joy to receive.

#69 (March 10): Write a letter with your favorite pen. Tell why it's your favorite.

#70 (March 11): What do you wish for? What do you want? What do you need? Write a letter to someone today, sharing your wish.

#71 (March 12): St. Patrick's Day is just around the corner. Today, write a letter and include an Irish saying in it. Maybe you'll want to say something like this:
May your blessings outnumber
The shamrocks that grow,
And may trouble avoid you
Wherever you go.
 Happy letter writing!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Write an encouraing letter

One of the most popular topics on this blog, according to the statistics I receive about how people get to this site, is about writing an encouraging letter.

Apparently, the citizens of the world feel the need to encourage their friends and family, and that's a good thing. Everyone could use a little boost every now and then, I'm sure.

Maybe many people are a bit shy about saying such encouraging things face-to-face. They think a letter will be comforting and encouraging without being embarrassing. And, they're probably right.

With that thought in mind, I think the most encouraging letter is written from your heart. Write down your feelings and let your friend or relative know that you care. Offer to help, if you can.

In this case, it is especially important to proof-read your letter before you send it out. Read it closely, looking for missing words, wrong word usage, etc. One little slip and your encouraging letter could turn into a slam. Also, try to read it from the perspective of the other person. Is there anything in your letter that will be taken the wrong way? This is a situation where you may have to write the letter several times before you get it just the way you want it.

Now, don't hesitate another minute. Write that encouraging letter today!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

New Items in Etsy Shop

It's been a while since I listed any new items in my 365 Letters Etsy shop. But, I posted a few things there today. If you get a chance, drop by and take a look. Thanks!

Here are a few of the things I posted:

Funny Papers Stationery Set

Vintage Postcard

Quirky Envelopes

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Great tips for letter writing

Steph over at the Scottsdale Moms Blog has a post on "The 'Art' of Snail Mail." She includes some wonderful tips for helping busy moms send more mail!

Drop by and see the post.
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