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Colour your own envelopes

It has been quite a while since I last updated my blog. In the past few months I have changed jobs three times and I am in the middle of figuring out how to make some massive changes in my life and really push myself to have some really cool adventures. One thing that has not stopped though has been the steady stream of letters.

I love recieving colourful mail, and I love sending it too. There are some wonderful and talented people who create some wonderful things to make your mail stand out against all of the usual piles of junk mail and bills. A few months ago, I came across the cutest envelopes, which were designed by an etsy seller who sadly has now closed her shop, but I think that they are so incredibly fun.

I had a great time colouring one in, and it is such a simple idea. Most people know how to make their own envelopes, and that is what this is. The design has been hand drawn and then scanned and printed off. There are so many different possibilities with something like that. The beauty of it is that each one starts off looking the same but they all end up different. The one I finished was coloured using coloured pencils, but the results would be just as good with felt-tip pens…and you couldn’t miss them in the mail.


Stationery Retail Therapy

Every now and again…well, far more often than that if I am being honest, I like to enjoy a little stationery retail therapy. Sadly it is becoming increasingly difficult to find interesting and affordable stationery sets on the high street. Pens, stickers and the like are becoming increasingly easy to obtain in all the varieties and prices you could want, but actual matching envelopes and sheets of paper with interesting designs on are scarce in England. That being said when I do find a good store, I tend to stock up with as much as I can. This week I discovered that my favourite chain store stationery shop Paperchase has begun selling a fantastic selection of writing sets. In each set you get 10 sheets of patterned paper (with the side you write on being more subtle), 10 translucent envelopes so that you can see the pattern of the paper through them and 10 matching address labels. There are several designs but I chose this one:

This lovely set only costs £2.50, so I will definitely be going back to stock up on some more in the coming weeks. It makes me so happy to see that stationery retailers on the high street are finally realising that if they do not produce great looking, affordable stationery for people to use, they will no longer have a market to sell to. Paperchase sell a wide range of products, and I love the variety and quirkiness of their products, and one thing that I constantly love shopping there for is stickers. They have such a wide range of designs and themes, and they are reasonable priced too, so when I was in there this week I stocked up on some as there was a 3 for 2 offer on that I just could not resist. I love how cute these stickers are, and the London ones will go perfectly with the writing set that I bought. The christmas stickers will be used on christmas letters and cards to friends and relatives as part of 52 weeks of mail. So far I have managed to keep up and successfully send out at least one item of mail every week. I like trying to see how many I can send out each week, but with most of my letters to friends and pen pals already being sent out of this week I may struggle with who to write to this week.

This week I posted a letter to a fairly new pen pal from France. Although we have only exchanged a few letters, I do look forward to her letters. She always uses such beautiful stationery and I love her long letters. I always try to put just s much effort into my stationery choices and letters as she does. The back of the envelope was decorated with some of the flower and envelope stamps from Paperchase, just to make it a little more interesting.

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Good Mail Days

This week has been full of good mail days. There has been the odd bill a couple of pieces of junk mail, but it seems as though there was something good in my mail every single day this week.  Quite often it seems, there will be a theme to the mail that I get. Sometimes it is penpal letters, sometimes it is postcards, but this weeks it is stamps. I often look on ebay for stamps, and whilst I never bid more than the face value of the stamps, I have amassed quite a collection. I mostly look for stamps with interesing designs or photographs on them, and ths week I got very lucky. Here is what I recieved:

6 beautiful presentation packs of some of the loveliest stamps made by Royal Mail. I especially like the lightning stamp. The colours on it are amazing. The only trouble I have now is trying to convince myself to use them rather than hold on to them. I am sure though that the lucky recipients will have as much fun looking at them as I do now. What makes me even happier is that one of the people I bought some stamps from used some very interesting stamps to send my pack to me.

The stamps are a mix of very recent releases, such as the lion, christmas release stamps from several years ago, and a much older stamp featuring the Queen at three ages. I love the diversity of images on stamps, and I love seeing stamps that I have never seen before. Pretty stamps brighten up mail just as much as a colourful envelope does.

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I love stationery

It is true. I love stationery, and I love shopping for new stationery just as much. In the past few days I have done some serious stationery shopping to replace several writing sets that I have used the last of. As soon as I manage to get everything sorted around here I will post some photos of my new purchases.

I do however, have some photos I took at the end of last week that I have been meaning to post for a few days now. I posted out three postpals cards and a letter to a new pen pal from Texas. I was a little slow in replying to her letter so in my rush to get it posted as quickly as possible I completely forgot to take a photo of it. I love to brighten up the envelopes of the cards I send to the post pals by decorating them with brightly coloured stickers.

I often buy my stickers and pens from my local stationers. I am incredibly lucky that there is a fantastic stationery shop just three roads away from my house. Although the shop is only small, they sell a fantastic range of pens, inks, writing sets and some other fascinating little items. Big chain retailers take so much business away from local, small shops and I really like to support my local stationery shop. They certainly recieve a large part of my wages.  This time, I went to stock up in stickers for the post pals envelopes, and as usual, I ended up leaving with far more than I had planned.

I ended up with two packs of stickers, a white gel pen, a light blue ink filled fountain pen and a dark blue rollerball pen. I have hundrends of pens in every colour, but I always manage to convince myself that I need more. The white gel pen is fantastic, and I have so many writing sets that have dark coloured paper in. I have been looking for a really good white gel pen for  while now and it seems that I have finally found it. The lady who owns the stationery shop was kind enough to give me a scrap piece of paper to try the different types of white gel pens on to find the perfect one.

As much as I love shopping for stationery, on a good day I love shopping for stamps even more. I say ‘on a good day’ because the level of service I recieve at my local post offices varies dramatically. There are some post office workers who cannot do enough to help me, and when I ask for a set price in mixed value stamps, they go through every set fo stamps they have to make sure that I leave with all of the stamps I want. When I get service like that, I always end up spending more on stamps than I intended to but I also end up leaving happier than I thought I would be. Quite often, when I recieve service like this I will stock up on stamps so that I don’t have to gamble on recieving poor service the next time. More often than not though, I recieve a level of service that is less than desired. I have had postal workers tell me that they only sell first and second class stamps, and some even deny the existance of stamps of other values despite having the huge folder of stamps right next to them. I have even been told to bring all of my latters in to be weighed so that they can put huge gold postage stickers on my letters rather than use stamps at all. This week however, I was lucky, and I came away with quite a few stamps.

There are quite a variety of different sets of stamps here. There are a few to celebrate the London 2012 Olympics, a Thomas the Tank Engine Stamp (although it is not Thomas, he is on the 1st class stamp in that set). The sword is part of a set featuring royal jewels. I love being able to get such a wde variety of stamps from my post office, and with all the reports of possible job cuts and post office closures because the post office is losing money, it is hard to see why employees do not want to sell stamps to their customers.

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Post Pals and pen pals

This past week marks the first week of the Etsy Greetings Team’s 52 Weeks of Mail project, and I am pleased to say that I sent out quite a bit of mail. I am not counting things I have sold on Ebay or bills, but that is just my personal choice, so that I cannot convince myself that I have done something for the week that hasn’t actually involved sitting down and writing a letter.

This week’s mail has been about two things that I love very much… Post Pals and pen pals. I have several long standing pen pals that I write to as often as I can and I have recently begun writing to a few more. I am always interested in writing to new people and I love getting mail from different countries. Post Pals however, is something that I only discovered a few weeks ago and is something that so many more people should know about. Post Pals is a UK based charity that encourages everyone to send a piece of mail to  sick or disabled child, and the website currently lists around 100 children who have asked to be put on their list to receive mail. Each child has a profile page where their parents can list what they like, how they are doing and to thank those who have sent things. The addresses listed are forwarding addresses, and the women who run the charity suffer from ME and know how much it can lift a person’s spirits to receive something in the mail.

I have promised myself that during 52 weeks of mail, I will send a card to each one of the children listed on the website. Today I mailed 9 cards off, so I still have a long way to go. I think this is a fantastic charity and that so many more people should know about it. It may not be changing lives, but it can brighten a child’s day.



52 weeks of mail

I love searching the internet for new and interesting ideas about letter writing and mail. Usually there are a few new products or a great new blog to read, but this week I stumbled upon a fantastic new idea from the Etsy Greetings Team called 52 Weeks of Mail. The idea is pretty simple, to send one thing in the mail a week, for 52 weeks.

There is a facebook group for it here, where you can follow everything and add your own comments. I think that this is a fantastic idea and have promised myself to stick to this one. It began on the 9th of October but you can still participate, and you could always send extra mail one week to mkae up if you missed the start. I will be tracking my progress here for the next 52 weeks as well as on the facebook page.


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Hello world!

This is the shiny new blog for me, Sarah, to write about all of the lovely stationery that I make as well as the packages that I send and recieve in the mail.  am a big believer in keeping the art of letter writing alive and frequently write letters to friends all over the world. There is nothing nicer than finding that you have a handwritten letter from a friend in amongst all of the bills, and being able to sit down with a nice hot drink and enjoy the words that a loved one has spent so much care and thought writing down for you.

I love adding little touches to my mail, such as interesting stamps, to give the recipient a lttle extra gift when they recieve my letter. Not only do they get my words, handwritten on (usually) matching paper and envelope, but there is the added curiosity that a stamp other than our Royal Mail gold First Class stamp.

I buy a lot of stamps:


I also send a lot of mail though, so stamps help. I have some new penpals whom I have only exchanged letters with once or twice, and I also have penals that I have been writing to for years. This week, I had several letters to mail out:

Both of the letters in the airmail envelopes are going to new penpals, which always leaves me excited for that first reply, and the possibility of forging new and lasting friendships. The letter in the small, white envelope however is going to a friend that I have been writing to for about five years. Even though we have each other as friends on facebook, and lead completely seperate lives, we still write to each other regularly and I enjoy reading all of his letters.

So go ahead and write a letter, because you have to write a letter to get a letter.