100 Penguin Postcards

You may recall that I declared a stationery fast for 2012…or until I use up my current stash of stationery.  I’ve kept to it for a whole month! Fortunately, for me and my readers, the fast does not apply to others who can buy me stationery for special events, like my recent birthday!

Here is a lovely box of 100 postcards featuring Penguin Book covers. I received it as a gift so it absolutely doesn’t count against my fast!:

The postcards sport such a wide variety of titles–from politics to architecture to history to literature–that I have been finding cards relevant to all sorts of circumstances in my friends’ lives. My gay best friend preparing to marry the love of his life?  “Men Without Women” by Earnest Hemingway.   For my relieved neighbors whose cat just came home after running away for a bit? “The case of the careless kitten” by Erle Stanley Gardner.  You see how much fun this is?

It’s nice to have a pile of cool postcards on hand to jot off a quick note to a friend.  Postcards are easy to send, always appreciated, and–as Melissa at Viva Snail Mail said a while back–they’re a great way to divert your online status updates to the physical world.

If you’d like some for yourself, they are available from online retailers and at Anthropologie stores.  Enjoy!

Resolution Inspiration

This quote sums up my resolution for 2012:

“Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” Arthur Ashe

My goal this year is to buy less and do more with what I already have.  I have books, music, games, stationery and art supplies a plenty.  I don’t need more stuff.  I need to do more with the stuff I have.  So I’m going to do just that this year.  I’m on an art supply and stationery fast and I’m getting my creative juices flowing!


The Perfect Holiday Letter

I’m finishing up my holiday letter tonight, so it’s the perfect time to share some tips on writing your own.  I’ve guest blogged about my end-of-year letter writing process over at the National Stationery Show’s blog. I hope you pop on over there to check it out.

For those of you who don’t know, the National Stationery Show is the industry’s biggest event, held every May in New York City.  Imagine, if you will, row after row after row of booths filled with glorious stationery.  It’s my idea of heaven!

Greeting Cards–Down but Not Out

This LA Times article via the National Greeting Card Association website made me think about the role greeting cards play during the holidays. Apparently, like other first-class mail, holiday greeting cards have been experiencing a steady decline since the mid 90s.  The greeting card industry sold about 2.7 billion cards during the 1995 holiday season and expects to sell 1.5 billion during 2011’s holiday season.

This precipitous decline made me wonder if the 1.5 billion includes photo cards made on web-based photo services like Kodak, Snapfish or Shutterfly.  I have noticed more and more folks are sending these types of “cards.”  And, though it doesn’t help the greeting card makers, there are still lots of us who make our own cards each year.

But whether they are store-bought cards, photo cards or homemade, I think sending physical cards is a great way to connect via snail mail at least once a year with people who are special to you.  A snapshot of opinions in Milwaukee suggests the feeling is mutual.  Online cards just aren’t the same.

What type of cards do you send? Readymade, family photo, or homemade?  I’m doing a hybrid this year: homemade with a photo! Do you receive e-cards from friends and family? What do you think about this option vs. getting some mailbox happiness?

However you connect, I hope you are connecting this season.  It gets dark early, we’re all rushing around, many of us are fighting colds.  It’s important to remember that we need to take the time to stop and reach out to important people in our lives as another year comes to an end. Thank them for being in your lives and let them know you look forward to more adventures in 2012!

Fun Christmas Card Tips

It’s December 1st.  That means I’m in full-on panic mode to make my holiday cards, write my annual letter, and get them in the mail.  I usually send about 100 of these, so this is no small undertaking!  I wanted to share with you all a few tips on how to make your cards extra special.  Below are some fun options for those of you sending Christmas cards:

Want your cards to have a North Pole postmark? Simply address and stamp your cards, put them in a bigger envelope or box and mail that package to:

ANCHORAGE AK 99530-9998

Letters received by the 10th of December should arrive at their destination by Christmas. More instructions are here courtesy of the USPS.

If you’d like postmarks from other “Christmas-sounding” cities such as Christmas, FL; Holly, CO; or Evergreen, NC, check out this list and instructions.

And if you haven’t chosen your Christmas card yet and you’d like to send the most vintage-inspired card, pop on over to the British Museum’s website.  They are selling reproductions of the world’s first Christmas card from 1843.  It’s very Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol feeling.

Now I’m all jazzed up to actually make my cards.  I cut it close each year and sometimes they don’t go out on time.  But this year I’m hoping to get them out before 2012 arrives!


Square Books and Nest in Oxford, MS, Again!

In October I made a visit back to Oxford, MS.  You may recall that the last time I was there, I found several nice things at Nest Paper Studio.  This time, I stocked up on some more Kartos stationery since I’d gone through my first batch so quickly!

Nest is located on the square in downtown Oxford. Oxford is a beautiful little town and sports many nice restaurants and boutiques.  I was fortunate enough to have dinner at City Grocery and if you you ever make it to Oxford, I highly recommend it. Their chocolate mouse dessert with a side of passionfruit sorbet and a passion fruit chocolate truffle was AMAZING!  Plus, they very graciously and deliciously accomodated my vegetarian tastes and made me something unique and off-menu!

A couple doors down from City Grocery is Square Books–a very successful local book store that has actually expanded to two other locations on the same square! Square Books Jr. specializes in children’s books and Off Square Books touts itself as a “lifestyle store” although I don’t know what that means since I didn’t get a chance to go check it out.

I did spend some time in Square Books, though.  They have a wide selection of books–including many authors from Mississippi (I picked up a collection by Eudora Welty the last time).  But of course I gravitated to their stationery section and I wasn’t disappointed.  They had several great card sets, some stationery sets, including this stationery set about mostly stationary cats.

I picked up the following lovelies to bring home:

A card set featuring a painting, by Molly Hawkins, of Square Books’ location on the square. Note the little blue mailbox out front!

I also had to have these gold-embossed, red dragon cards by Graphique de France.

My favorite find were these little books of labels by Galison New York.  Woodland creatures, flowers and, my favorite, Paris!

My favorite image, of course, is the dachshund with the striped shirt and beret! So cute!



Snail Mail Roundup

I wanted to share a few articles I’ve read lately about the USPS’s financial situation, email privacy (or the lack of it), some neat postal service history from Springfield, IL, and another person sharing the fact that snail mail in her mailbox makes her squeal with delight.

On another note, last night I put together the stationery stash I’ll be giving away on the 15th.  It includes 15 different card/letter designs and will come in a nice folio by Kartos.  To be entered into the drawing, send snail mail to: Dana c/o Save Snail Mail, P.O. Box 95, Carrboro, NC 27510 USA.  Senders of all notes received by November 15th will be eligible and I’ll announce the winner that night!

P.O. Box Warming and Giveaway

For those of you who missed it, or just need a reminder, I’ve asked readers to help “warm” my new post office box with letters and notes.  In return, everyone who writes between now and November 15th will be entered into a drawing to win a variety of stationery from my personal collection (some of which has been featured on this blog over the last six months).

Send your notes to:
Dana c/o Save Snail Mail
P.O. Box 95
Carrboro, NC 27510

I’ll write back and you could win a new stash of stationery!

Keep writing!


Write Me Request + Stationery Give Away!

I recently obtained a post office box.  I’m not entirely sure why, but it seems to make Save Snail Mail more official,  the other cool kids have one, and I don’t have to post my physical address on the interwebs.  But I realized that I need to ask people to write me in order for me to actually get any mail there!

So, I thought I’d provide a little incentive.  Please send me a note or letter or post card or piece of mail art to help break in my new P.O. box and every person who sends me something between now and November 15th will 1) receive a reply and 2) be entered into a drawing to receive a lovely package of various stationery from my personal collection.

So get writing!  I’m so excited and I hope you are, too!  This is my first blog giveaway, so I’m looking forward to putting together something great.

Please send some fun to my mailbox at:

Dana c/o Save Snail Mail
P.O. Box 95
Carrboro, NC 27510