More Asian Stationery

In addition to the Asian stationery I picked up in Singapore, I have also bought bits and pieces in various places over the years.  This is my favorite Hello Kitty set because the images seem to make Hello Kitty at home in a pulp fiction novel:

Is Kitty on the run from the law?  Is that a “Japan’s Most Wanted” sign on the telephone pole? Is that confused mouse a cop?

Maybe she’s just worked up because she can’t express herself…maybe writing a letter will help:

Oh, yeah, that’s it!

Now I feel like the mouse.

I don’t think this stationery is available any longer, but other Hello Kitty stationery can be found here. My pen pal Annie also pointed me to which sells lots of cute stationery, paper and other asian craft goods.  They sell nice letter sets for those of you always on the prowl for new kits!

La Papierre Stationery

In an effort to help my fellow letter writers find great stationery for their longer letters, I wanted to share my recent purchase from La Papierre (photos below are from Julie of La Papierre’s Etsy shop).  The package arrived in a lovely, large pink envelope that was beautifully decorated.

I got the Monsieur Hibou (Mr. Owl) set, which is perfect for fall letter writing and comes with dark metallic envelopes!:

Monsieur Hibou - A5 Letter Set

I also got this “Your Majesty” set:

Your Majesty - A5 Letter Set

Julie, the owner of La Papierre, is an avid letter writer herself, so she knows that many of us like to send long missives.  She provides options to receive more letter sheets and fewer envelopes at the same price when you order!  Julie also blogs at Penpal of the Week, so be sure to pop over there and visit her.

For other letter sets, see my previous post.  And please share your own favorites with me and other Save Snail Mail readers.  We’re always on the prowl for new letter sets.

Flyleaf Books, Chapel Hill, NC

I was in our local independent book story, Flyleaf Books, the other day and found some fantastic cards that I wanted to share with you before I put them to good use.  I am apparently a true Anglophile (a lover of all things England) because three of the four cards were by English designers.

Here’s a lovely letter press card featuring a typewriter by Archivist Press:

This cute card by Fresh Frances says “We’re in your corner and rooting for you.”

This crazy clock card is by Soulissimo, a card company that boasts fiber from well-managed forests, compostable cello bags, vegetable-based inks, recycled envelopes, and offset carbon emmissions.  Oh, and they like worms.

And here’s a lovely cherry blossom card.  Sadly, I don’t remember the company that designed the card and I’ve already put it to good use and sent it to someone!

Show Some Gratitude

I just picked up a box of 50 thank you notes at Target–these lovely cherry blossom ones by Gartner Studios.  I wanted to have the box on hand to send off those little thank yous that we often forget to send.  I have so many things to be thankful for in my life–my neighbor who makes and shares soup with me, my sister who is always pet sitting our dog Rico, and other folks who are not even friends, but who do something that deserves a little recognition.

I often vow to hand make all of my thank you notes. But if I wait to hand make them, I wait to send them, and some get lost in the shuffle.  Having notes on hand increases the likelihood that I’ll actually send them and that people will know how grateful I am for their love, help, or support.

I was inspired to pick up the thank you notes by a book I read earlier this year. A friend of mine recommended 365 Thank Yous: The Year a Simple Act of Daily Gratitude Changed My Life by John Kralik.  Kralik pledged to write 365 thank you notes in one year to make him more mindful of all of the things he should be grateful for.  He chose to do this at a time in his life when he didn’t have much going his way.  Divorced, aging, and in poor health, his girlfriend left him, his law practice was going under, he lived in a low-rent apartment and he felt distanced from his grown children.  After much self pity, he had a realization that he needed to be more thankful for what he did have going for him and for all of the little things that went right each day.

This lesson is a hard one, especially when we’re facing challenges.  This summer I lost my father-in-law, my mother underwent a tough round of chemo and radiation, my dog went blind and I’m about to lose my grandmother (and only living grandparent).  I say these things not to get sympathy, but to say that it’s been easy for me to be distracted these days by all that’s going wrong.  But I think John Kralik is on to something and I’m going to give it a go.  I can’t promise 365 thank yous this year, but I can promise to be more aware of the joys in my life and of the opportunities to thank someone for their help, for their support, or for a job well done.

If you want to take part, please do.  The Note Project is encouraging folks to “take the pledge” and send a note of gratitude to someone in their life.  You can share your notes on their website, or just read others’ for encouragement and ideas. And, according to Vogue, it’s never out of vogue to send handwritten thank you notes.

If being thankful to others isn’t enough, and you’d rather give someone something to be thankful for, then pop on over to 365 Give and see how one woman has been giving every day for almost a year. Some of her “gives” are very inspiring and may encourage you to do the same.

Asian Stationery

In the summer of 2005, I spent five weeks in Singapore.  One day, in a mall on Orchard Road, I found a sale bin full of stationery and had to bring a lot of it home.  I think I know why it was on sale.  I smile just looking at them.  The letter sets are rife with whimsical images and sometimes strange, awkward and confusing text.

I recently perused the pile again, and wanted to share a few with you!

This one is exuberant! And that apple looks angry:

Although this says “wonderful world” it seems a bit maudlin:

Your cookie adventure could be a little dangerous:

Here’s a sheet you use especially for those pen pals you’d like to guilt trip into writing you back!

Here’s a set perfect for your crafty friends who can’t follow a train of thought:

This one shares some advice for us adults:

And then they just get weird:

This one is sweet and holds it together…until it doesn’t…

Postcard Coasters

I’ve noticed a mini trend recently…coasters that are postcards.  I saw the first one in New Orleans (and I was actually enjoying a Kwak in that cool glass at the time!):

And I just saw another here in Chapel Hill.  My sister mailed one to me:

Beer and snail mail.  What a lovely combination.

Spoiled Rotten, Ogunquit, Maine

During a recent trip to New Hampshire, I went with some friends up to Ogunquit, Maine for the day.  Ogunquit is one of those adorable New England towns filled with fun shops and gorgeous water views.

I had the pleasure of visiting Spoiled Rotten, a wonderful shop with tons of gifts–soaps, specialty foods, candles, jewelry and dishware.

My favorites items were the Tom Collins glasses featuring a 1950s-looking pole dancer cartoon. It was classier than it sounds.  Well, not by much.

Spoiled Rotten also had a nice stationery section–featuring a variety of on-site customizable note sets, some card sets, and an array of notebooks featuring inspiring messages and wonderful vintage imagery.

I came home with these cute Maine map notecards by Inviting Company.  I thought they featured Maine’s highlights perfectly–I liked the moose head below the state name and the “lobstah” especially. Other states (although not all) can be found here.

While in Ogunquit, we checked out Perkins Cove–one of the most picturesque places to grab a meal. Seriously, this was the view from my outdoor table at Barnacle Billy’s, Etc. (it’s the second Barnacle Billy’s, so it got the “etc.”).

So if you’re in southern Maine and in the mood for seafood, quaint shops or piano bars filled with gay men singing show tunes, Ogunquit is the place to be.

I leave you with a photo of a gorgeous sunflower I took while I was there.  Cue bumble bee.


Send your Pictures by Post

You know that awesome picture you snapped on your camera phone of your friends dressed as zombies? Yes, that one. Wouldn’t it be fun to share it with them through the mail?

Well, does just that for you.  From your computer or through a smartphone app, you can now generate some lovely (or scary, if zombies are involved) snail mail for your friends and family. You can even add thought balloons or captions to the photos. Each postcard printed, stamped, and delivered is $1.49.

I found out about this service by receiving just such a postcard from my cousin.  He took a picture of me and my sister with his phone while were visiting family in Maryland.  A week later he sent us these:

So many great photos live on phones or on facebook, and it’s nice to have a way to liberate them into the real world for prominent display on the fridge. And the postcards are very sturdy, so they’ll withstand some front-of-fridge wear and tear.

I’m going to send some out soon!