Letters from a president

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I’m not one to watch funeral services online, but today I listened to former First Lady Nancy Reagan’s.  How wonderful to hear about the handwritten letters that President Reagan wrote to her over the years.   Even better was to hear that she kept all the in a shopping bag in her closet.  I’m working on writing a book about letter writing and when I did a survey for family and friends, one of my questions was do you keep letters.  Do you keep them in a special place?

If you google Ronald Reagan letters you’ll see many from the former President.  He had a way of expressing himself that was simple, funny, and honest, yet caring and genuine.  May they both rest in peace.

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“I believe in the handwritten note.”

I haven’t been blogging much, but that doesn’t mean I’m not writing and sending cards.  I don’t even know where to start with some of the cute stationery I’ve mailed recently so I’ll just feature one here today.

Carde Blanche has been one of my favorites with these cute Namaste and Best Wrapped Gold Foil Cards.  Anyone who starts their about me page with “I believe in the handwritten note.”, is already a fan of mine.

Go to this site and I bet you’ll order something.  The quality of the paper and envelopes is very good.   She sells a lot of kraft enveoples, but color always adds a little brightness when opening the mailbox and their colored envelopes do that.  The Best Wrapped Foil cards are perfect because you can write a salutation in the small box.  So far I’ve written “Happy Birthday”, “Feel Better” and “Hey you!” on them.  A good choice to send a male a card with these.  Not feminine or masculine, again, just perfect.  🙂

They also sell a Grab Bag Surprise.  This is a fantastic deal for 10 cards for only $22.00 right now.  It is normally $32.00, which is still a great deal.  She also throws in a few pens and a surprise.  I ordered this and can’t tell you how perfect all the cards were.  The packaging and presentation–lovely!

Grab Bag Surprise

Off to buy some Halloween candy for the kiddos.  I’d much rather give them stationery, but doubt that would go over well.  Hee, hee!

Post Script: LA Pen Pal Club Founders Margaret and Victoria

Love this!

Crane & Co.: The Blog

Meet Margaret Haas and Victoria Vu, founders of the LA Pen Pal Club. The two stationery enthusiasts host the monthly meetup, during which guests can talk correspondence, share interesting letters they’ve received, saddle up to a typewriter or take pen to paper. Here, they talk about postcards from Italy and the pen pal who wouldn’t have to write anything at all.

Margaret Haas, Paper Pastries

When did your interest in the epistolary world begin?
I was making birthday cards for family members when I was very young, around kindergarten10832300_895321993813553_338458302_n of first grade. They were mostly decorated with stickers, but a heartfelt message was always the center of attention and what I’d spend most time on. I’m sure there were a lot of typos, but you got the general idea. Picking out just the right postage stamp for the envelope was always the cherry on top.

Tell us about your Pen…

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Guys who write …

guyletters3“What are the odds?  Not one, but here are two cards we received already this year from guys and were the same type of note cards.  I hope American Greetings sees this and is thrilled!

I received Owen’s card last month for donating to his Rally Me fundraiser for his windsurfing competitions (remember I mentioned loving sports in my last blog?).  The greatest thing that was by donating $20, that was the perk–I’d receive a handwritten thank you note.  I was beaming when I read that!

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The holes in the cards are because they have been up on my bulletin board.  I don’t think I’ve ever had two cards at the same time like this and definitely not from two guys.  Very cool!

The other card is from a friend my husband has known for years.  We attended his surprise party a few weeks ago and not only was I completely shocked to receive this handwritten note from him, but his writing was quite nice and I never expected it to look the way it did.  Total judgment I guess, but I expected it to be sloppy.  Ha!  I’ll have to send him this link and hear his response.

Being a former middle school science teacher I have a strange memory where if I run into a former student, I remember their writing more than their face or name.  I’ll have to dig out some old letters from former students…someday.

This morning I read this article, How a personal touch stands out in the digital age and even posted it onto a friend’s Facebook page.  I’m all for emails, texts and twittering to and about others, but whether it’s a co-worker, boss, vendor, or customer, today’s businesses could still utilize sending a handwritten note.

Rich Eich summed it up in the last sentence of the article, “The business world could gain a lot by recapturing this lost art. The next time you want to congratulate someone for a job well done, share a project outline with your co-workers, thank your boss for giving you a raise, inspire a newly hired worker, or show appreciation to a client, make it personal and better yet –write it by hand. You will be pleasantly surprised by the effect it has.”

On the Facebook post I said, “I’m visualizing a nice flat note card with your name or business logo on it.  I forgot to add that Embossed Graphics is my favorite for personalized stationery. Their partner websites Fine Stationery and Gifts in 24 have a great deal with free return address on envelopes that normally cost $29.99.  50 note cards for around $50 isn’t bad.  I think they make a bold statement, so another reason to purchase if you have a need for personalized stationery.  The card stock quality is medium paper weight and comes in a nice gold box.  I have given men boxes of this stationery and they raved about how much they enjoy it, use and re-order!

The verbiage about the banner card and bordered cards are not only worded perfectly, but are the ones I’ve purchased the most!

“Impressive & classic! Our bestselling Banner Card is designed to impress. Its thick, creamy paper feels smooth and substantial in hand, and the name confidently announces itself. The personalization appears in upper-case, crisp, embossed lettering, accented by two bullet points at either end and two horizontal bars above and below. Ships in 24 hours.”

“Order the Bordered Note as your primary stationery. Your eyes will widen as if you were staring into a diamond. Each note is enclosed by a border that will adorn your message. A simple design gives you enough freedom to use this note all year round. Made for every occasion, the Bordered note will deliver each time.”

I read this out loud to my husband and he thinks I’m crazy.  I don’t think I’m crazy, just full of passion!  This is exactly why I started this blog–to share my passion for keeping the art of hand-written letters alive!

Bottom line, guys write!  Right on!  I’m going to share this post with guy friends and ask them to let me know the last time they wrote a handwritten note or letter.  ~JM

Alex Rodriquez: A letter from a very famous baseball player

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Being a big sports fan I came across this article about Alex Rodriguez today.  I don’t have much in common with a man who has a $275 million 10-year contract.  I think he’s a great player, but was disappointed when I heard he was using illegal PED (performance enhancing drugs).  What intrigued me most about the article was his handwritten letter “to the fans”.  I was like, “Oh cool, his own writing, but then remembered when I was a teacher (not English, remember that when you read my blog, ha!) and sometimes when students were misbehaving we’d pull out a copy of a paper that talked about being respectful and have them copy this sentence or paragraph and write it x number of times until the bell rang.  I didn’t do this often as it was just a waste of time.  My point is, did Alex Rodriquez write this?  Did he sit down and really think about what to write or did his agent or lawyers sit a paper down next to him and suggest he copy it?  I’m no copywriter, but I would have liked the letter more if it read, “To my wonderful and amazing fans”…”to the fans” seemed so disconnected.

My blog, letters just because … what does that even mean?  Did he write a letter “just because” he wanted to try and save face for using illegal PED.  Did he write a letter because he wanted to put pen to paper and be honest and let the words truly come from his heart?  I have a hard time with people doing things until they get caught.  Not saying he’s right or wrong by writing the letter.  Will it make an impact for his upcoming $27.5 million year salary?

I could go on and on about this, but I believe actions speak louder than words.  I need to take action on writing some thank you notes.  Below are note cards I had designed from my lovely friend Karin.  Don’t think I posted these before, but she’s ramping up her website now so I will have to post later when we can hopefully purchase cards straight from her site.

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Happy writing the rest of the week~J

Happy Valentine’s Day and more …

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I purchased this cookie card last week for my husband and because he eats much more healthier than me, each bite was enjoyed by yours truly.  I hope you are having a great Valentine’s Day.  There’s so much hoopla over it.  I like it and even though we are staying home (my husband just had a birthday where we were out of town earlier this week to celebrate) tonight, I do hope people find ways to let others know they are loved and appreciated.  I’m sure it is hardest for those that are single.  I try and be considerate of my girlfriends that don’t have a significant other, but I guess I’ll start another blog all about relationships-ha!

Below were my favorite Valentine’s cards I received this week.  The one of the dog cracks me up and the photographer’s website, Sexy Chicken Photography name is quite clever too.  I encourage you to visit the website and look her lovely nature photos.  The detail in each photo is magnificent!

The card with the dog holding the letter is darling.  I love that I have some girlfriends that even though we live close by (same county) we still take time to write each other throughout the year.

mangel dogdogcard

A very unexpected gift that arrived yesterday was this adorable zippered pouch filled with 6 folded quote notes with coordinating envelopes, compliment cards, labels and a pack of colorful markers.  The photo below is what came in the zippered pouch, but after I took the photo I turned over what I thought were white note cards with polka dots, only to find inspirational quotes, with the first one saying “You are amazing” on the back.  I like the bold colors and different fonts she uses.  Erin Condren has a fabulous website and it was a big mistake for me to peruse it …I think I’ll be making an order soon.  I dare you to check out her website and see if you can’t find something you like.  This Bundle-love note clutch I received is a perfect gift for a hostess or friend.  My friend Ellen who sent me this is not just Ellen, her official name is Ellen, my stationery friend.  I never say just Ellen.  I’ll have to dedicate an entire blog to share about her sometime.  Nonetheless, I am grateful for our friendship and the love of stationery that we share.

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The last photo for today was taken a few hours ago when I thought about how I could make someone’s day anonymously.  I’m a big fan of random acts of kindness and especially Kindspring.  Their motto, small acts that change the world is all we can do sometimes. I went to our local Dollar Tree store and purchased 10 Valentine’s balloons and randomly slipped them into the windshield on cars around town.  I know this blog is about letters, but there was a small note attached to the balloon that read, Happy Valentine’s Day!  Keep for yourself or pass on to someone else.   It was fun and not knowing the recipients made it even better.

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How was your Valentine’s Day?  Share your about your experience below–card related or not 🙂

Love letters to neighbors

 My husband and I usually go for a walk after dinner and the other night I screamed out as we walked by a neighbor’s house a few doors down. I was so thrilled to see what was hanging on their door.  A couple with two small children have lived here a little over a year.  We rarely see them, but when we do they are always a delight. They are a beautiful family and always have pretty decorative things on the door and porch. I’m not a crafty home decorator…no need to go there on this blog, ha!   Anyway, I immediately snapped the picture and knew who would be getting my next letter.

I am about to go place this in the card in the mail slot for them to tell them how much I appreciated seeing this hanging on the door and made my heart smile knowing there are others who still write and enjoy a handwritten letter.

The card is from Target and right to the point. They came in a pack for around $3.00. Can’t beat that! I love when I buy cheaper cards as they come in handy just as much as expensive ones.

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I’m off to run some errands before our 15 year anniversary getaway where I’ll be scripting more letters, but wanted to share someone else you can write to (a neighbor) … just because. ❤️