Monday, December 17, 2012

Consider writing a letter

Oh, the news over the past few days has just been heartbreaking! Most of us live far away from the tragedy in Newtown, CT, but we still are devastated by what happened there Friday morning.

There are a few groups out there writing letters to the people of Newtown. If it's something you're interested in doing, check out these links for more information:

What you might write to them entirely depends on your situation, but I think the average person could simply let them know that, though we might not ever be able to know what they're going through, our hearts are aching for them and we're thinking of them.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

My first eBook!

I wanted to share some happy news with the readers of this first eBook is on Barnes & Noble's website!

"A Traditional Christmas" is a little story I wrote about rediscovering the joy of the holiday. Right now, it's available as a Nook Book, but we're working on putting together a version for the Kindle, as well. If someone doesn't have a Nook, they can download a Nook reading app for free for the iPad, Android devices, computers and more. Barnes and Noble also has an option for sending the eBook as a gift to someone. Look for the link beside the "Buy Now" button.

This project was a family affair. I wrote the story; my husband turned it into an eBook; and, our daughter drew the picture for the front cover.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Santa Stamp Stuff!

I mentioned in an earlier post that I love the new U.S. Santa stamps by the U.S. Postal Service. I also mentioned the matching ornament that was featured in the Philatelic catalog, but, at that time, I couldn't find a link for ordering the ornaments. Now, there is a link on the U.S.P.S site.

You can order the ornament online for $14.99.

While I was looking on the U.S.P.S. site, I found several other delightful items that I can't wait to order! When I first saw the stamps, I wished that they had some matching cards to go with them! And, now they do!

According to the website, the greeting card set includes 20 5” x 7” folded cards made with recycled paper and 20 plain envelopes. The message inside says “Happy Holidays!”.

The Santa and Sleigh stamps and cards show Santa Claus flying through the air in his sleigh with a cargo of toys and gifts. Artist Paul Rogers worked with art director Howard Paine to create this block of four holiday stamps. These computer-generated images were originally drawn in pencil on paper.

And, then, I found the matching Holiday Bear. What a cutie! On his right paw is the same image that's on the stamp! That link to the bear also has information about how you can help with the post office's Operation Santa program.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

A Father's Letter

The rules a father sent to his daughter some 146 years ago still ring true today.

According to Texas columnist Mike Cox, former Texas Gov. E.M. Pease wrote to his daughter in 1866, giving her a list of rules he wanted her to follow while she was away at college. He started out the letter with "My Dearest Daughter" and continued with the advice, wrapping up the letter by asking her to remember that her parents “are the truest friends you can have.” He ended the letter with, “Your dear Papa.” 

The rules were about studying, showing respect for her teachers, being organized and of good character, keeping herself and her clothing clean...

His final rule will win the hearts of those reading this blog: “Write to your Mama and Papa at least once each week.” To make that easier, he suggested that his daughter pick a certain day for mailing her letter and “never let that day pass without doing it [even if] it contains no more than ten lines.” 

Good advice, even in 2012.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Write Your Congressman

Now that the election is over, the U.S. lawmakers have returned to Washington, D.C., to work. Although they will be taking a holiday for Thanksgiving, the senators and representatives are back in session.

If you have something you want to say, if you want to tell your congressman what you think he or she should be doing, you can write a letter.

If you need the address for where to mail your letter, just click on these links:

Write your senator
Write your Representative (You'll have to click on your representative's name and then search his or her website for the address.)
Write the President and the Vice President

Let your elected officials know what's on your mind today!

(Flag clip art courtesy of

Sunday, November 18, 2012

How 'Letters' Saved Thanksgiving

In a few days, the citizens of the United States will celebrate Thanksgiving. You probably know the frequently cited history of Thanksgiving. Most likely, you know all about the story of the Pilgrims and the Native Americans and their successful harvest for which they gave thanks.

But, did you know that through the years, Thanksgiving was celebrated only sporadically until a letter writer campaigned to make it a regular national holiday.

Indeed, Sarah Josepha Hale took on the cause of Thanksgiving and championed the day of gratitude for 17 years until President Abraham Lincoln. In 1863, after receiving at least five letters from Sarah, President Lincoln proclaimed that the final Thursday in November would be a national Thanksgiving Day. It has been observed every year since in the U.S., although now Thanksgiving is on the fourth Thursday in November, which is not always the last Thursday of the month.

Hale had also written letters to Presidents Zachary Taylor, Millard Filmore, Franklin Pierce and James Buchanan. But, Lincoln was seeking a way to unite the country during the Civil War when he finally approved the holiday.

You can read more about Thanksgiving and Sarah Josepha Hale on Wikipedia and the links there.

This Thursday, as you gather around the table, enjoying turkey and dressing, remember to be thankful for a letter writer who lived some 150 years ago.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

National Stationery Show

I would love to attend the National Stationery Show next May. I've never been, but it sounds like a great place to be!

Back in the days when I was a fashion editor, I attended the Dallas Apparel Market, interviewing designers, going to fashion shows, etc. Then, I became a food editor and attended the Pillsbury Bake-off and the National Beef Cook-off. It was always such fun to connect with people interested in the same things I was.

Just think....thousands of people interested in stationery, cards, pens, journals, papercrafts, etc.! Wow!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Matching your letter topic to your stamps

It's easy to see how our letters match our stamps during holiday times. We put Christmas stamps on Christmas cards and letters, Hanukkah stamps on Hanukkah cards and letters, etc.

But, what about with our everyday letters? Do you ever match your stamp to your letter topic or to your letters' recipients?

I sometimes buy vintage, yet unused and still usable, stamps to put on letters. It's fun for me to sort through the stamps, choosing just the right stamp for the person I'm writing to.

Such activities aren't limited to old stamps, though. You can use the new Earthscapes stamps or the Go Green stamps to spark a "conversation" about environmental issues. Or, if you're raising funds to fight cancer, you could use the Breast Cancer Research semipostal stamp, which benefits the National Institutes of Health and the Medical Research Program at the Department of Defense.

If you like dogs, dance, theater, cartoons, baseball, history, literature, Scouting, exercise, and the list goes on and on, there are stamps to match those themes.

If you're struggling for something to write a letter about to a friend or a new penpal, take a look through your stash of stamps. You might just find an interesting topic just waiting to be licked!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

New Holiday Stamp

The U.S.P.S.'s new "Holy Family" stamp was issued yesterday, Oct. 10, 2013. The Forever stamp features Joseph leading a donkey that carries Mary and Jesus, guided by a shining star in the twilight sky. The stamp also features the word "Christmas" along the bottom edge.

Working together, art director William Gicker, designer Greg Breeding and artist Nancy Stahl have created the image of the Holy Family. 

The stamp was unveiled at a ceremony in the Washington, D.C., National Cathedral’s Bethlehem Chapel, whose “Epiphany Window” was featured in the Postal Service’s 1980 traditional Madonna and Child stamp issue.

 For more holiday images, the "Santa and Sleigh" stamps are being issued today. Here's the post I wrote a couple of weeks ago about those stamps: Santa Stamps!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Repeat Fortune

I've posted this before....but, I opened a fortune cookie this weekend and found the same fortune I received almost three years ago! Do you think there's a message there for me?

I think this is the fortune for all of us letter writing fans in the world!

Heed the fortune...write a letter this week!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Historic Letters Restoration

There was a fascinating article out last week about a project to restore many letters written to author Ernest Hemingway. The JFK Library and Museum in Boston is undertaking a massive project to repair and restore thousands of letters that have been damaged by time, the elements, insects, etc.

According to the Associated Press article, the project could take several years and $300,000. Each letter is worth about $5,000, the story says.

If you're interested in letterwriting, especially the value of the handwritten word in our society, this article would be worth your time.

This photo by Mary Hemingway shows Ernest Hemingway reading a letter at La Consula, the Davis estate near Malaga, Spain. (Courtesy of the Ernest Hemingway Collection. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston)

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Santa Stamps!

Oh, what a nerd I feel like, getting so excited to see the new "USA Philatelic" catalog in the mail!

I'm always excited about the stamp catalog, but this particular issue was especially fun for me. The cover features an image from the new "Santa and Sleigh" holiday stamp that will be issued by the U.S. Postal Service on Oct. 11.

But, the story goes further than that. You see, it's not just that it's about stamps. It's not that it has Santa on the cover. It's that Santa has green gloves on. (Technically, they're green mittens, but I always say "green gloves," for the sake of the alliteration, I guess.) I have maintained for many years now that the real Santa wears green gloves.

Sure, I've seen pictures and books showing Santa wearing red, blue, brown, even yellow gloves, but I've always known that he really wears green gloves. I supposed that idea originated with my first "Night Before Christmas" book that I had as a little girl. Right there on the cover, Santa is wearing green gloves (mittens).

And, now, the U.S. Postal Service agrees and has an image of Santa wearing green gloves on an official stamp. It's almost like the scene from the original "Miracle on 34th Street"!
The new stamp is part of a four-stamp set that celebrates the 100th anniversary of "Operation Santa" that you can read about on the USPS web: . You can buy the stamps in booklets of 20 stamps or in any of the other usual collectible versions (first day covers, uncut press sheets, ceremony programs, etc.

The USPS also is selling the traditional 2012 White House Christmas Ornament. But, this year, there's also a "Letters to Santa" Ornament, featuring the scene on the stamp set. I'm thinking I may add that to my wish list this year!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Behind on blogging

I've been pulling double-duty (and some days, triple-duty) at my day job lately. That leaves little time for blogging or writing letters, I'm sorry to say.

I have recently received several lovely letters that I will answer as quickly as I can. I do apologize for the delay and hope to get back on track soon.

In the meantime, I'll try to squeeze in a few more minutes each day to blog at least a little bit.

Happy letter writing!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Great essay on letter writing

Over at the Huffington Post, Elisabeth Egan writes about writing letters to her daughter at camp.

It's a great little piece! Check it out.

Here's a short excerpt:

"I'm a ferocious communicator, firing off texts, e-mails and tweets at all hours, but I'd forgotten how much I love the ritual of collecting my thoughts and writing them down, in pen."
-- Elisabeth Egan

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Writing Letters

Last week, I asked you why you write letters, and I received several thoughtful comments.

It is a curious thing, is it not, to write letters in the age of the Internet. And curiouser, still, are we who use pen and ink to hand-write our heartfelt words onto pieces of paper that are bundled up and dropped into boxes to be picked up and hand-delivered a block or a world away. While we are using almost-primitive communication skills, a robot has been sent to another planet, where it is roaming the surface in search of signs of life. All the while, we sit here on Earth, scratching words onto wood pulp.

Some people might say that our hobby, our habit, our passion is one that is stuck in the past, that we are clinging to the old ways, unwilling to let go of 19th and 20th century lifestyles. And, I'm sure many letter writers are like me and have a fondness for old fashioned manners, an interest in history, a fancy for days gone by.

Yet, I think the real reason we write letters is our conviction in the power of reaching out to other human beings today and our belief in a future that will cherish what we create.

Last weekend, I had the opportunity to look, page by page, through my late grandmother's scrapbook. In it, she had carefully glued pictures and articles and mementos of the 1930s and 1940s. There among the cherished items are letters that she and my grandfather received when they were first married, including a letter from my great-grandmother, expressing her surprise at hearing the news of the wedding and welcoming my grandmother into the family.

I'm not a Luddite or a technophobe. I use the Internet, email and cell phone every day. When that connection is down for one reason or another, I feel lost, unable to stop my brain from thinking, "I'll just look that up online."

And, yet, I know that many "conversations" I've had via email are gone, destroyed on an old harddrive or deleted in a computer crash. Things that I've written, comments that I've made electronically will never be seen again. If I sent congratulations to someone via email, no one in the future will ever read those words.

Somehow, words handwritten in ink on paper in 2012 bridge two worlds that are drifting further and further apart. And, I find a commonality with both when I write a letter and drop it in the mailbox or open the mailbox and find a card or a letter from someone else out there in the world, reaching out to me and the future with their words.

I think that's at least one of the reasons why we continue to write letters.

(Clip art courtesy of

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Why do you write?

I'm curious.

Why do you write letters? Why do you choose snail mail? Why do you prefer written correspondence?

I'd love to hear what drives you to put pen to paper. Leave a comment, write a letter or send a postcard (my address in the column at left). Share your enthusiasm with the rest of us penpallers.

(Clipart courtesy of

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Text-speak Not Really All That New

Today's texters are notorious for shortening conversations and sentences into just a few letters.

"What's going on?" has been transformed into "sup?" (short for "What's up?")

"Oh, not much" becomes simply "nm."

"I don't know" is "idk."

But, one acronym that has made it into everyday speech is "OMG," standing for "Oh My God," or for the more demure "Oh My Gosh" or "Oh My Goodness."

It's long amused me that the younger generation thinks they invented such shortcuts. Back in the 1970s, penpal letters often had "SWAK" (Sealed With A Kiss) or "WBS" (Write Back Soon) scrawled on the back of the envelope. I remember longer strings of letters that the writer giggled at when writing, wondering if the recipient would be able to decipher the somewhat coded message. I specifically remember "SWALCAKWS," which, of course, means "Sealed With A Lick Cause A Kiss Won't Stick."
Sir Winston Churchill

Ha! Today's texters had nothing on us!

As it turns out, we weren't exactly original either. According to recent news reports, the acronym "OMG" was first used in 1917 by Admiral John Arbuthnot Fisher. He was writing to Winston Churchill (who later became Britain's Prime Minister) during World War I.

George Mason University's History News Network credits the Oxford English Dictionary as having discovered the letter and usage of "OMG" in a book published by Fisher in 1919.

Admiral John Fisher
At the end of a letter complaining about the newspapers' coverage of the war, Fisher wrote:

"I hear that a new order of Knighthood is on the tapis—O.M.G. (Oh! My God!)—Shower it on the Admiralty!"
It is explained that he was making a joke, referring to the various recognitions that could be bestowed on people, such as O.B.E. (Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) or O.M. (The Order of Merit). (And, some research shows that the phrase "on the tapis" means "on the table" or "under consideration.")

You can read the entire letter at the Letters of Note on Twitter.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The Stamps of our Ancestors

One of my other hobbies/interests is genealogy. I've been tracing my family tree since I was a teenager, taking some extended breaks every now and then.

An interesting section on the Smithsonian National Postal Museum site is the "Collecting Ancestral Homelands" stamp collecting page. Individuals can tell their story (in 200 words or less), and their family's history will be posted along with a stamp.

As a typical American, I have a variety of "ancestral homelands," but the one I've visited is what is now called the Czech Republic. My great-grandparents came from that area in the early 1900s. Somewhere I have stamps that were on letters sent from Czechoslovakia.

What an interesting concept at the National Postal Museum!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Letter Writing Topics

Do current events work their way into your letter writing? Have you followed any of the 2012 Summer Olympics activities? Do you have penpals in any of the countries your homeland competes against? Have you been discussing the games?

For the most part, I believe in keeping correspondence nice and non-controversial. I know that long-time penfriends might choose to add a little more debate into their letters, but for less-familiar relationships, I think the letter writer should remain aware of the feelings of their penpal.

At the same time, I think current events add depth and interest to a letter. So, from my perspective, writing about watching the Olympics and your favorite sport is OK; bragging about your country beating their country may be going over the line a little.

What do you think?

Monday, August 6, 2012

New letter writing blogs!

I'm always excited to find a new letter writing blog! Sometimes, the blogs may have been online for a while, but they're new to me.

Today, I found Penpals Corner from Norway and My Air-Mail! from Mexico. What fun to see what letter writers around the world have to say!

Stop by their blogs for a visit!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Dance Stamps

Last Saturday, the U.S. Postal Service introduced a new set of Forever stamps honoring four influential choreographers who changed the art of dance in this country and around the world: Isadora Duncan, José Limón, Katherine Dunham and Bob Fosse.

According to the U.S.P.S. website, the Innovative Choreographer stamps feature:

Isadora Duncan (1877-1927) Dancer, adventurer, revolutionary and ardent defender of the poetic spirit, Duncan has been one of the most enduring influences on contemporary culture. Virtually single-handedly, Duncan restored dance to a high place among the arts. Breaking with convention, she traced the art of dance back to its roots as a sacred art. Duncan is credited with inventing what later came to be known as Modern Dance. The image on the stamp reflects Duncan’s interest in classical Greek dance.

José Limón (1908-1972) José Limón was born in Culiacán, Mexico. At age 7, he moved to the United States, where he later studied with Doris Humphrey and Charles Weidman and danced with their company (1930-1940). He established his own company in 1947, with Humphrey as artistic director. The company toured worldwide during Limón’s life and remained active after his death. On the stamp image, Limón is shown in a performance pose.

Katherine Dunham (1909-2006) Katherine Dunham became one of the first African-American women to attend the University of Chicago, where she earned a doctoral degree in anthropology. She was a pioneer in the use of folk and ethnic choreography and one of the founders of the anthropological dance movement. She is credited for bringing Caribbean and African influences to a European-dominated dance world. On the stamp image, Dunham is shown in a pose from her critically acclaimed ballet “L’Ag’Ya.”

Bob Fosse (1927-1987) Bob Fosse was one of the 20th century’s great choreographers. As an artist, Fosse was known for his thoroughly modern style, a signature one could never mistake for anyone else’s. Snapping fingers are omnipresent, so are rakishly tilted bowler hats. Both hip and shoulder rolls appear frequently, as do backward exits. Swiveling hips and strutting predominate, as do white-gloved, single-handed gestures. The image on the stamp portrays Fosse on the set of “Sweet Charity.”

For more information, see the U.S.P.S. website.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Letters in the Mail

I recently came across an interesting concept. Stephen Elliott, editor of the online magazine The Rumpus, offers a service called "Letters in the Mail." According to the website, subscribers receive a letter three times a month from a different author. The letters are photocopied by The Rumpus staff and mailed out to the subscribers, who pay $5 per month for U.S. addresses or $10 for international addresses.

The Letters in the Mail project has been going on for several months, and Elliott recently announced a similar project for kids, featuring letters by children's book authors.

I don't know much about Elliott or the project, but if you're interested in letters, you might want to check it out.

Artist's Letters followup

I meant to mention yesterday how it seems as if, long before "" was invented and "mail art" was a common term, Vincent Van Gogh was sending wonderfully illustrated letters to his penpals. It must have been delightful to receive a letter from him!

Monday, July 30, 2012

An Artist's Letters

From Vincent Van Gogh: The Letters
Sunday evening, I saw a re-run of a "60 Minutes" episode about Vincent Van Gogh, and his letters were mentioned. So, today, I did an Internet search to see what I could find out about Van Gogh's letters.

Indeed, the Van Gogh Museum (in Amsterdam, I think) does indeed have information about the letters online. Not just information, but also copies of the letters and the drawings he often sent with them. Online, you can visit the Vincent Van Gogh: The Letters site. You can see the original letters, translations into English, the drawings and more. You can sort them by when they were written, who they were written to, where they were written from....

According to the letters' introduction, "They were eagerly seized on as a rich source of information about Van Gogh’s gripping life story and exceptional work, and there was broad recognition of the intrinsic qualities of his writing: the personal tone, evocative style and lively language"

Fascinating! Take a look!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

What to Write About

If you are actively involved in letter writing, you may find yourself occasionally at a loss for words. This can especially be a problem if you are writing to a new penpal who you don't know very well.  And, if you have many penpals, like can happen when you are online blogging, Postcrossing, etc., you may lose track of what you've written about to which penpal.

Coming up with letter writing topics is easy for me. I start with what's going on in my life. But, if that doesn't seem very exciting, I turn to current events. For example, this week, the Olympics begin. You can use that topic as a launch pad to discuss sports, international relations, your favorite "foreign" food, London, etc. Speaking of favorites, you can write about your favorites — your favorite anything — candy bar, restaurant, color, hairstyle, job, TV show, book, quote, etc. As you write, you'll probably think of other things to write about. Just keep going!

One thing to keep in mind is that you don't have to write a long letter to brighten someone's day. Get a cheery notecard, write a few paragraphs about what's going on in your life, ask some questions about your penpal's life and, if you can, comment on something he/she wrote about in their last letter.

Now, go write that letter!

(Clipart courtesy of Webweaver.)

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Blogging About Snail Mail

Lately I've come across a few bloggers who like "snail mail" as much as we do. You might find some of their posts interesting.

At Cotton & Flax, Erin blogs about all sorts of things, but sometimes on Saturdays, she blogs about Snail Mail. And, when she does, she usually has lots of cool photos to share.

Devan at MyKoreaQuest is teaching in Korea and recently blogged about getting mail from home.

And, Pip, who blogs at As You Wish - Healing Light, blogged yesterday about how important it is to pause for a moment and savor what's going on around you. Her Take a Pause Tuesday post included a suggestion that her readers write a letter. She has a couple of other "snail mail" posts, as well.

Enjoy visiting their sites today!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Love This Stamp!

We live out in the Texas countryside, in a very rural area. Since we moved here about 10 years ago, on our little piece of land, we have seen deer, coyotes, foxes, raccoons, armadillos, opossums, skunks, rattlesnakes, wild hogs, hawks and many other types of birds, other types of snakes, turtles (maybe they were tortoises) and more insects than we could ever name.

But, we have never seen a bobcat on our property. We have seen them in other parts of the county, even just down the road. And we have seen indications that one might have come across our place, but we've never seen one around our house.

For now, my experience with bobcats will have to be through the U.S. Mail.

Last month, the U.S. Postal Service issued the 1-cent Bobcat stamp. For more information about the stamp, visit the USPS website or the Beyond the Perf site.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

"Hey U!" Note Cards Winner

The winner of Summer Giveaway 3 is Anne of the Letter Love blog. Congrats!

Anne, please let me know if I should send these cards to the address on your blog or somewhere else. You can email me at

Happy letter writing!

Day Brightener!

It was one of those mornings this morning. I was running late, and then my car started acting up. It wasn't a serious problem, just irritating. It seems that lately if the car doesn't start on the first attempt, it goes into anti-theft mode and shuts off the fuel flow. To re-set the system, I have to sit there with the ignition key in the "on" position for 10 minutes. Then, I can restart the car as normal.

So, there I was, already 10 or 15 minutes behind schedule, and I had to wait another 10 minutes for the system to re-set.

I was starting to get a little grumpy.

But, I made time to stop by my post office box, despite my lateness. I hadn't checked the P.O. box over the weekend.

I am so happy I decided to check the mail! What a day brightener! There was a bright yellow envelope from Clara. She was so right about it being like sunshine! And, I love all of the little stickers and peace signs and the Anais Nin quote! How lovely!

The next envelope was a delightful international air mail post with the cutest card from Helen in Australia who blogs at She wrote a wonderful letter. That card is from TMOD Post, and, according to their website, they do offer international shipping.

And, then, there were the postcards...six of them! I received postcards from Russia (2), Taiwan, Belarus, Virgina and Germany. What fun!

Now, of course, I have lots of letters to write in return.

Happy letter writing!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Giveaway Reminder

Don't forget to leave a comment for the giveaway reminder (see the link in the column at left). I do apologize for not posting more this week. It's been one of those weeks with a lot going on off-blog. Hopefully, I'll get all caught up this week. Happy letter writing!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

US Holiday

Don't forget...if you're mailing something in the United States....Wednesday, July 4, 2012, is Independence Day, and the USPS will be taking a holiday. There will be no regular mail pick-up or delivery. Although, you might want to check with your local post office about Express Mail delivery.

Happy Independence Day!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Summer Note Card Giveaway #3

"Hey U" That's what the note cards in this week's giveaway say. The package includes 10 Hallmark note cards and envelopes. The cards, which are blank on the inside, feature colorful graphics and the casual greeting "Hey U."

To enter, all you need to do is leave a message on any post this week. On Monday morning, I will have a drawing from all of the people who have commented on any post on this blog between now and 7 a.m. CDT July 9, 2012. I will draw a number or have a random number picker online choose one for me. You can comment as often as you'd like between now and Monday, but each person only gets one entry into the contest. I will post the winner as soon as I have picked it. If you want me to email you, if you win, please include your email in your entry or send it to me at

Please note that I have my comments section set up to be approved by me. So, don't worry if your comment doesn't show up immediately. I'll check on the status of the comments from time to time and update when I can.

Good luck! And, if you're here to enter the giveaway, please be sure to take a few minutes and look around and then, go visit some of the sister letter writing blogs (listed on the left side of the screen).

Flag Cards Winner

Jan, who posted the first comment last Monday, has won the American Flag Note Cards! (I drew numbers the old fashioned way....wrote numbers on little slips of paper, put the slips in a cup, shook them up and picked one out.)

Jan, if you'll send your address to me at, I'll put these cards in the mail to you!


Thursday, June 28, 2012

Great Postcard Project

Penny at A Mum in the Wild blog posted about a postcard she received from Kate over at the Our Little Sins blog. It seems that Kate bought a box of 100 Pantone postcards, each featuring a different Pantone color, along with its official Pantone number, and decided to embark on a postcard project.

Based on the photos I see on Penny and Kate's blogs, the postcards look great. It's a delightful project and one that brings a knowing smile to anyone who's worked on printing projects that involves choosing from all of those Pantone colors. I love matching the headline color on one of my publications to a color in the cover photo!

If you're interested in getting some of those Pantone postcards for yourself, I found them on Amazon. It's possible they're available on the Pantone website, but I didn't find them with a quick search (I didn't really try too hard).

If you're looking on Amazon, scroll down to the section of "Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought..." and see all of the other postcard selections to choose from.  You might find even more you like.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

This is so cool! Virtual Postal Museum Tour

Even if you can't get to Washington D.C. to visit the Smithsonian's National Postal Museum, you can still get a small taste of what it's like to tour the exhibits — virtually.

With a high-speed internet connection, you can "walk" through the museum's exhibits, turning around for a 360-degree view, zooming in for a closer look, craning your neck to see the ceiling, etc. According to the announcement by the NPM:
"The museum enjoys almost 3 million visits to its websites each year from more than 170 countries. These new virtual tours provide the museum an exciting new way to engage these audiences around the world who are not able to visit in person. Desktop and mobile versions seamlessly deliver 28 inter-connected, high-resolution panoramas of our museum spaces to whatever devices are accessing the tours, be it 30-inch monitors or smart phones."
Desktop version:

It took me a few minutes to figure out all the controls and find my way around the virtual exhibit, but once I did, it's great! Take a look!

Photo from the National Postal Museum

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

USPS Poetic Note Cards

Unless you live in a major metropolitan area, finding stationery is often difficult nowadays. With fewer people writing letters, fewer stores are selling note paper, note cards, etc.

There are very nice stationery shops out there, but even in the larger cities, there aren't as many of those as there used to be. And, your average discount or department store has a very limited selection of writing materials.

However, the U.S. Postal Service fills in the gap a little bit. They offer quite a few note card sets, postcards, fold-a-note sets and special-stamped envelopes. If they don't have what you want at your local post office,  you can order online! The note cards pictured above are the Twentieth-Century Poets Note Card set. They feature beautiful paintings and corresponding Poet stamps. But, there are many other options on the site. Check it out!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Summer Letter Writing Topics

I don't know what the weather is like where you're writing letters, but here in Texas, it's hot! We had 101 degrees (Fahrenheit) at our house yesterday, and that looks like that will be the lowest "high temperature" all week (does that make sense?). We're predicted to get to 102 degrees today. It's already 97 degrees, with several more hours to go before we get to the hottest time of the day.

So, that sparked some summer letter writing ideas. Try one of these topics the next time you're facing writer's block:

* Write about one of your favorite summertime memories. Did you get to stay up later in the summer when you were a kid? I remember playing a tag and hide-and-seek hybrid we called "Witch in the Well" long after dark on summer nights. We ran through each others' yards, trying to reach "base" before we were caught, as our parents visited with each other inside.

* Write a letter about your recent or upcoming vacation. No plans this year? Write about the vacation you'd like to take one day. Dream big!

* Tell your pen pal about your favorite cool-down. Do you like to take a dip in the pool? Pick up a fruit slush at Sonic? Eat a bowl of chilled watermelon? Write about it!

* When it's this hot at our house, we hate to heat up the kitchen. Outdoor cooking is one way to feed the family while staying cool. Do you have a favorite grill recipe? Write it down on a recipe card and include it with the next letter you send.

* If it's too hot to even think too hard, write a postcard, instead of a full-length letter. Keep an eye out for fun postcards while you're on vacation or even just shopping in your own hometown. Then, keep them handy for a quick, thinking-of-you note.

Happy letter writing!

(Clip art courtesy of

Summer Note Cards Giveaway #2

This week, I have a set of American flag note cards to give away! The package includes 10 Hallmark note cards and envelopes. The cards, which are blank on the inside, feature a delightful image of the American flag.

To enter, all you need to do is leave a message on any post this week. On Monday morning, I will have a drawing from all of the people who have commented on any post on this blog between now and 7 a.m. CDT July 1, 2012. I will randomly choose a winner. You can comment as often as you'd like between now and Monday, but each person only gets one entry into the contest. I will post the winner as soon as I have picked it. If you want me to email you, if you win, please include your email in your entry or send it to me at

Please note that I have my comments section set up to be approved by me. So, don't worry if your comment doesn't show up immediately. I'll check on the status of the comments from time to time and update when I can.

Good luck! And, if you're here to enter the giveaway, please be sure to take a few minutes and look around and then, go visit some of the sister letter writing blogs (listed on the left side of the screen).

Giveaway Winner!

The winner of the first 365 Letters Summer Note Cards Giveaway is Anke of the Anchor and Sing blog. She will receive the set of cute little note card I posted last Friday.

Anke, if you'll email me your mailing address to, I'll put those in the mail to you right away.

Stay tuned...I'll be posting the next giveaway soon!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Summer Giveaway!

I recently came across a discounted batch of notecards that I just couldn't pass up. They are so cute! And, I've decided to share some of them with the rest of the world.

To tell you the truth, I don't know how many packages I have....several....but I'll giveaway one a week until they're all gone. At some time, I guess I'll gather them all together and count them. I think there are at least two different designs, maybe more, but there will be some duplicates in the giveaways.

Today's giveaway is for the pack of 10 Hallmark brand notecards and envelopes pictured. They are about 4-by-5 inches in size and feature a little girl putting a letter in the mailbox. The inside of the card is blank for letter writing. Although I haven't opened the package, I think all 10 notecards are the same.

Because I'm posting this so late in the week, this one will have a short entry time. On Monday morning, I will have a drawing from all of the people who have commented on any post on this blog between now and 7 a.m. CDT Monday, June 25, 2012. I will printout a list of all of the comments, number them from 1 to whatever the last number is, enter the numbers into one of the online random number pickers and have a winner. You can comment as often as you'd like between now and Monday, but each person only gets one entry into the contest. I will post the winner as soon as I have picked it. If you want me to email you, if you win, please include your email in your entry or send it to me at

Please note that I have my comments section set up to be approved by me. So, don't worry if your comment doesn't show up immediately. I'll check on the status of the comments from time to time this weekend and update when I can.

After this week, I will post a new giveaway prize each Monday and will have the drawing for that prize the following Monday. I'm not going to make a really big deal about it, I'll just write a simple post. (I don't want the giveaways to take over the blog.)

Good luck! And, if you're here to enter the giveaway, please be sure to take a few minutes and look around and then, go visit some of the sister letter writing blogs (listed on the left side of the screen).

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Letter Writing Post with Nice Photos

Elaine over at the Life in the Slow Lane blog recently posted about letter writing. She has some delightful photos on her blog. Check it out!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Fun With Stamps

Baseball fans can "vote" for one or more of four Major League Baseball legends by pre-ordering sheets of stamps of their favorite player.

According to the U.S. Postal Service, Ted Williams is in the leadoff slot for hits with 14,380 stamps sold. Joe DiMaggio is following with 10,100; Willie Stargell with 5,920; and Larry Doby batting cleanup at 4,700.

The Postal Service is issuing sheets of 20 Forever stamps honoring each player individually. You may preorder the stamps and collectible products by visiting, by calling 1-800-STAMP24 (1-800-782-6724) or by mailing a check or money order to:

KANSAS CITY, MO 64144-0001

(For mail orders, customers should include an additional $1.25 for orders up to $50. or $1.75 for orders over $50.)

The individual player stamp sheets will be sold only in limited quantities beginning July 21 at select Post Offices in Boston, MA; Cleveland, OH; Cooperstown, NY; New York, NY and Pittsburgh, PA. 

Order your favorite or favorites today!
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