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!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Keeping Letter Writing Alive

There's another letter fan out there!

According to this story in the Marin Independent Journal, Alex Beritzhoff and Angie Allison are offering a free class on "The Handwritten Note" Thursday (June 21, 2012) evening in Larkspur, California. That's where Beritzhoff's store, Folio Fine Stationery and Gifts, is located.

If you're in that area, stop by and give them some support.

I won!

A couple of weeks ago I entered a giveaway contest on the Old-Fashioned Correspondence blog. Olivia was giving away some handmade envelope and a pen case she crafted out of a recycled bicycle inner tube. (The pictures here are Olivia's pictures of the items I won.)

After I entered the giveaway, I forgot to look and see who won. So, I was extra surprised to find an envelope in the mailbox Saturday from Olivia. What fun! I've already mailed out a letter in one of the envelopes!

Thanks, Olivia!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Letters About Literature

The 2012 Letters About Literature contest recently wrapped up with six winners each receiving $500 Target gift cards and designating a library to receive a $10,000 grant.

The contest involves young readers writing to an author describing how that author’s work somehow changed the reader’s view of the world or himself/herself. However, a notice on the website states that some changes are in store for next year.

The contest is hosted by the Library of Congress' Center for the Book, and 70,000 entries were received this year. 

Many of the kids send their letters in decorated envelopes, so the contest organizers have started a page on the website featuring scans of the Mail Art.

Check it out and encourage any young readers and/or letter writers that you know to enter the contest next year.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Teaching Kids to Write Letters

Adrianne had a recent post on the "So she says" blog about a family activity involving letters. Her kids exchange letters with Adrianne's alter ego Mrs. Brambleyum. The letters magically appear in the family's indoor mailbox located in the dining room.

What a great way to introduce children to letter writing! Adrianne has some great photos of that magical mailbox and the letters they send back and forth. Take a look!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Stamp Blog

I just discovered the USPS Stamp of Approval blog.  It has information about USPS stamps, postal products, the stamp artists and more.

Plus, it features great artwork! Check it out.

U.S. Stamps Go High-Tech

The new US Postal Service stamps featuring Miles Davis and Edith Piaf are the first U.S. postage stamps to have a QR code on them. Additionally, the stamps are being jointly issued by the French postal service, La Poste.

A QR (or Quick Response) code is a barcode-type symbol that can be scanned to provide you with more information. You may have seen such codes in magazines and newspapers, on product packaging, even on billboards. Many "smart phones" or other electronic devices (such as an iPod Touch) can be used to scan the QR codes. Then, as long as the phone is connected to the Internet, you will see a website with more information.

With the new stamps, the QR code is printed on the back of the stamps. Once the code is scanned, a landing page opens with an option to listen to music from Davis while viewing photographs and a timeline of the lives of both Davis and Piaf. There are several buttons on the landing site including a "Buy Now" button that enables purchasing the U.S. and French versions of the Davis and Piaf stamps as well as other related products. The landing site can be emailed, shared on Facebook and Twitter and videos may be added.

For all the details on the stamps, visit the USPS site or the USPS Facebook page.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Letter from a Literary Hero

Photo by Caleb Sconosciuto
Today, on the website, writer Janet Gramza blogs about a letter she received almost 30 years ago from author Ray Bradbury, who died last week. Janet explains how, as a 21-year-old college student, she was afraid that her favorite author would die before she had a chance to write to him.

Fortunately, Janet took the opportunity to write a letter, and she still has Bradbury's response framed on her desk.

Is there a letter you need to write before it's too late (for one reason or another)? Write that letter today! Don't delay!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Letter writing in the classroom

Two Oregon school teachers are using letter writing as a teaching tool for their elementary students.

Lori Tubbs and Erin Kooyman paired up their students for the pen pal project.

And, all the way across the country, Massachusetts third graders are using letter writing to welcome a group of students who will be coming to their school in the fall. Read more: .

It's good to see a younger generation learning the art of letter writing!

Friday, June 8, 2012

New Blog

There's a new blog out there on the Internet. It's not a letter writing blog, but it is my daughter's new blog, so I thought I'd share it with you.

The blog is Chic Chick's Closet, and it's about style and fashion. Take a look when you get a chance.

Paper Source and Pony Express postcards

 I've long admired the Paper Source catalog. In fact, everyone in our family enjoys browsing the pages, looking at the stationery, journals, cards, etc.

Last weekend, we took a trip to the city and visited the Paper Source store in Dallas' North Park mall. It was our first trip to a Paper Source shop, and it was as great as we had imagined! The cards and stationery seemed endless, and the staff was very friendly and helpful. I'm betting we go back.

After looking at just about everything in the store, I came across these Pony Express postcards and couldn't resist them!

And, yesterday, my latest order of vintage postage stamps (unused) came in from Errol Murphy, so now I can mail my vintage-look postcards with vintage stamps!

Apologies, Missive Maven. I was so eager to mail you one of these cards that I didn't wait for my "new" stamps to come in!

Happy Letter Writing!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

New Scouting Stamp

A couple of years ago, the U.S. Postal Service issued a Scouting stamp in concurrence with the Boy Scouts of America's 100th anniversary. I wrote a post about it, and at the end of that post, I whined a little bit about how the stamp was called "Scouting," but that it only featured boys.

I suppose I was too hasty in my complaining. On Saturday, June 9, the USPS will release the "sister" to the "Scouting" stamp. The "Celebrate Scouting" will be released in conjunction with the 100th anniversary of the Girl Scouts of the USA. This particular stamp, a Forever stamp, features the silhouette of a Girl Scout.

The stamp dedication will take place during the Girl Scouts Rock the Mall event in Washington, D.C. on Saturday. For more information about the stamp and the ceremony, visit the USPS site. For more information about the overall Girl Scout event, go here.

Then, Celebrate Scouting!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Snail Mail Projects for Kids

Katie at "A Childhood List" blog posted a list of snail mail-related activities for kids. They sound like fun! Check out her blog!
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