Pony Express Google Doodle

Today’s Google Doodle celebrates the 155th anniversary of the Pony Express.  It features a game that lets you be a Pony Express rider, picking up letters, switching horses, and avoiding the treacherous obstacles that faced these riders as they traveled across the U.S. in the 19th century.  It is a lot of fun, especially when you fall off!

 

Pony Express DoodleYou can find the Pony Express Google Doodle archived here after April 14th.

And here is a great video on the making of the Doodle, with a little Pony Express history.

Hooray for mail-themed games!

 

January is National Thank You Month

You have nearly two weeks left to send off your thanks for the many kindnesses folks have done recently–holiday gifts, parties, errands, or for just being your friend.  If you need a refresher on the basics on writing a thank you note, here you go.

And if you really want to say thank you, you can send a bottle of bubbly in a beautiful mailbox.  Veuve Clicquot has recently had a design contest to redesign their mailboxes.  Check out these babies.  My favorite is the play on words–“chain mail box.”

Design by: Lars Wannop, Australia winner

P.S. Thank YOU for reading!

Snail Mail Birthday Presents

I met a friend during my recent trip to London and after a delicious meal of tapas at Navarro’s (highly recommended if you find yourself in London), she gave me the most perfect birthday gift.  Well, perfect for me, a lover of snail mail, because she gave me a letter opener!

Of course, this isn’t just any letter opener.  First, it is brassy, simple and elegant, with ruler markings to help with mail- and paper-art measurements.  Second  it came in a cool package that said “Long Live Snail Mail”!

wpid-20140201_125854.jpgThe best part is that on one side it says (as you see above) “Follow The Rules,” but on the other side it says:

wpid-20140201_125908.jpgSo now I can decide if I feel prim or saucy before I open my correspondence. Thank you so much Eileen!

P.S. For those of you who’d like one for yourself, she bought it at Anthropologie.  It looks like it is no longer available. But they have other divine letter openers if you have a hankering for one.

P.P.S.  As I have done with other travel-related posts, I’m going to share a touristy photo at the end of my posts.  Here is one of the London Eye from the Westminster Bridge.

wpid-20140121_153832.jpgIt was a beautiful day and my sister and I took a ride up inside the Eye.  Wow! What a way to see the city!

 

My Birthday

Look what my darling love gave me for my birthday:

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It is a delightfully tiny metal envelope on a necklace. As if that wasn’t perfect enough, look at how beautifully decorated the wrapping was!

Of course the first thing I did was see of it opened…and it does!

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Now what should I write on the letter I will put inside?

1940’s “Air Mail” Italian Pillowcase

Last weekend I had a great visit to my Mom and Dad. While rummaging around in a trunk, I came across this souvenir my grandfather brought back from Italy in the 1940s.  He was deployed there just after WWII as part of the occupation troops.

The souvenir (I know it’s a souvenir, because it says so on the actual souvenir!) is a satiny, blue pillowcase sporting a lovely coral-colored fringe.  The pillowcase features bold stitched symbols of a bird carrying a letter to an open window.

Here is a detail of the letter-carrying bird:

My mother was very kind and let me bring this gem home.  It’s so nice to have a little piece of my family’s history that also sports a postal theme!

Stationery Issues

So, I promised myself that I would not buy any stationery this year until I had used up (or very significantly depleted) my current, somewhat embarassingly large, collection of stationery.

I have kept that promise for over a month!

But it’s sooooo hard when I keep seeing these lovely sales all over the place.  A girl can look, can’t she?

So I thought I’d just share a couple sites I’m drooling over right now with you and then I can move on to using all of the gorgeous stationery I already have!

Night Owl Paper Goods is having a big sale on their lovely letterpressed and wood (yes, wood!) stationery.

Crane has had some items on sale (slowly dwindling before my eyes!) but this airmail journal is still available for only 5 bucks (pic from Crane)!

And I have been avidly perusing European Paper Company’s lovely selection of, well, European paper.

Fortunately, my stationery purchasing ban does not extend to those people who have given it to me as gifts lately; I have a few new treasures to share, soon!

P.S. Crane’s website has some great “how do they do that?” videos.  I loved watching this man gild the edges of a stack of cards.  Wow!

 

Dachshund Stamp Roll Holder

My better half found this adorable little stamp-roll holder, featuring a mail-delivering dachshund.

Here’s a close up of him handing you the airmail envelope:

I don’t usually buy rolls of stamps, but this cutie makes me want to!

New Orleans’ Scriptura Stationery Shop

During a recent trip to New Orleans in May, I explored the French Quarter, Marigny, and Garden District with my sister.  We listened to live music, ate scrumptious food, enjoyed late-night cafe au laits and beignets at the Cafe du Monde, and met some interesting people.  During all this fun, I managed to carve out some time to visit the stationery shop Scriptura on Magazine Street.

The shop offered a welcome respite from the torrential downpour that threatened to further swell the Mississippi over its already record highs. I took the picture above as I left the shop, when the rain had abated.

Scriptura offers an excellent selection of fine stationery, fountain pens, and journals.  Most of their wares you can find in nice stationery shops everywhere.  I was on the look out for something unique to New Orleans.  I was thrilled to find these flat-card sets made by Scriptura and sold only in their shop:

The “Jazz Hall” flats celebrate one of New Orleans’ greatest gifts–music! 

I loved the blue flat cards below with a stamp image and postal cancellation featuring New Orleans’ unofficial motto “Let the Good Times Roll.” 

And the green flat cards sporting the historic St. Charles street car design bring back memories of riding the rickety street car through the Garden District on a gorgeous spring day…windows down, sun shining. 

Here’s a shot of the street car coming to pick us up and take us back to Canal Street.

The ladies at Scriptura said they will mail orders to folks out of town, but they have not yet established their website for taking orders.  So if you’d like to get these sets for yourself, give them a call!

As is the case in most stationery stores these days, Scriptura did not sell loose-leaf stationery sets to write letters with beyond the nice, but plain, Crane sets.  I’ll continue my search for stationery sets suitable for actual letters and not just notes, but I fear they’re a dying breed. 

P.S.

To continue the tradition I began with my France entries, I wanted to share a few non-snail mail related photos from my adventures.  Of course, pastries are involved. Here are the hot, fresh beignets and a cafe au lait from Cafe du Monde.  It’s a requirement that I have a beignet-a-day anytime I’m in New Orleans!

Of course, there’s lots of other yummy food.  Here’s a pizza from Angeli on Decatur St.  Yes, those are whole roasted garlic cloves:

And what would a trip to NOLA be without some live music?  We checked out some street performers, nearly went deaf listening to a big brass band at d.b.a., and heard a couple acts at Mimi’s, including Gal Holiday and the Honky Tonk Revue:

And while checking out what other live shows were in the offering in the area, I saw this band was going to perform (sadly, after I left town!):I leave you with a photo of a simply awesome tree, overgrown with other greenery that decided to grow right out of its boughs and branches.  I think the sultry weather in Louisiana supports this glorious overgrowth: 

We really let the good times roll and I can’t wait to go back!

Oxford, Mississippi’s stationery shop

Hello out there!  I’m sorry my rate of posting has slowed recently.  I’ve been out of town a lot for work and family reasons and the blog has taken a back seat.  But I’m always thinking about things I can share with you here on Save Snail Mail, even while I’m traveling! 

In April, my work took me to Oxford, Mississippi.  Oxford is a beautiful college town (home to Ole Miss) and its town square sports several nice restaurants, an amazing book store that has branched out to three different shops around the square, several high-end clothing boutiques and a great stationery shop called Nest Paper Studio. 

I had visited Nest last fall and was eager to stop back by in April to stock up on some more fun designs.  I chose this blue, letter-pressed stationery set by Smock:

And this beautiful, but affordable, stationery from Kartos:

I’m still enjoying these sticky notes I picked up the last time I was there.  They have a fun postage and office-supply theme:

Nest also sells a great selection of letter press cards and other letter-writing accoutrements. If you’re in the area, stop by the town square and check it out!