Lindsey of the fantastic calligraphy blog, The Postman's Knock, has up no less than THREE amazing Halloween tutorials on her site for you. We love everything Lindsey does, but we especially love how free she is with her knowledge. Thanks Lindsey, you're awesome!
Some of you might know that one of my other jobs besides the L.W.A. is being a part of Challengers Comics + Conversation, an award-winning comic shop in Chicago. This Saturday is a big day for a lot of comic shops because it's Free Comic Book Day. You read that right, FREE. We mean it. Lots of shops participate and all you have to do is visit and make a selection from the number of special Free Comic Book Day books. In honor of this weekend's festivities, here's a cool tutorial I found about turning comic books into envelopes. Enjoy, and if you can, try out your local comic shop tomorrow. Even if you hate the book, you'll have some cool looking mail art supply for free.
I took the inspiration for my Valentine's this year from a little video on the U.S.P.S. Instagram page. In it, they took a big heart and folded it around a card, forming an envelope. I loved it, but when I tried to recreate it, I realized that when you cut a heart from an 8.5" X 11" piece of paper, it makes an envelope on the rather small side; so small that I didn't want to chance mailing it.
Now, I could certainly have sized-up my outer heart, but instead, I chose to get smaller. I had a bunch of heart-shaped doilies in my mail art stash and decided this was a good time to use them. The heart-shaped doily is a sweet reminder of the season, minus all the calories.
I loved the idea of the heart shape appearing when the letter was opened. To create that effect, I made some tiny little cards, 2.5" X 3" and typed a short message on them. Then I folded the doily around the card and sealed it with a vintage stamp or cut-out heart. I put glue on the "back" of the doily envelope and affixed it to a 4.25" X 5.5" flat card for mailing. The cards are cut-down from card stock and so are thick enough for me to write a longer message on the back.
I've already sent out all the ones I made as part of my crazy letter-response drive during Month of Letters/International Letter Writing Month. What are you guys doing for your Valentines?
I confess that I am one of those people who carefully, oh-so-carefully, extract gifts from wrapping paper; so I can use the paper again for other things. It's pretty and I hate being wasteful and it drives my family nuts. Wins all around. Ashley Lurcott has a really simple tutorial on her blog about repurposing leftover gift wrap into envelope liners. If you're a weirdo like me, you could use the paper from the gift to line the thank you note for that gift! Thanks for the easy step-by-step, Ashley!
I was blown away by this project shared by Lindsey of The Postman's Knock. She has a step-by-step pictorial guide and free download to help you make your own gorgeous typography envelopes. What a lovely person, to share such beauty with the rest of us. If you are resolved to send more beautiful mail in 2015, this is a great way to start.
The Jet Pens blog has one of the best basic calligraphy guides I have ever seen. It covers everything I had questions about and then some. If you're intimidated at all by fancy lettering, but are really wanting to give it a try, I highly suggest reading through this post. Perhaps holiday cards addressing would be a great way to practice, no? It's full of handy links for ordering too. Jet Pens, you never disappoint!
I sincerely regret my decision as a 10-year-old to go as an X-ray machine and not a U.S.P.S. post box. Look how hilarious it is! You can "mail" candy to it which is genius. I love it. There's a rather cursory tutorial available here, but honestly, just get a box and paint and some posterboard and you should be able to put it together. My Internet search turned up a Canada Post version as well. Their box design is even simpler, lacking the rounded top of our blue boxes. I'm sure you could make all kinds of postal boxes into costume inpirations. Send me a picture of you or your victim friend in a postal costume and I'll send you a Halloween treat!
Donovan and I are excited to announce our second L.W.A. Laboratory: Fountain Pens! We've teamed-up with Greer this time around, so you know it will be good (and boozey).
If you are curious about fountain pens or always wanted to write with one but never knew where to start, this is the Lab for you! Expect to learn tips to tricks and understand the mechanics of fountain pens, from nib to end cap. I will also show you how various ink filling techniques which you can test out on your new Kaweco Sport. Yes, each attendee with get their very own Kaweco Sport fountain pen to learn all the techniques on during the lab and to experiment with at home.
Want to know more about inks and what is a good pen purchase? We will also discuss best inks for your writing style, share resources, and give you personal recommendations for your next pen. You will leave this class completely confident in your fountain pen use. Details are below--we hope to have you as our Lab Rat!
Fountain Pen Laboratory Saturday, Oct. 11th from 1-3pm Location: Greer, 1657 N Wells St, Chicago, IL Class limited to 6 people. $75 Lab fee includes Kaweco Sport (M nib, clear body) and ink cartridge
L.W.A. Labs are similar to our workshops, except that they have more specialized topics, smaller groups, and individual attention. For example, this Fountain Pen Lab is capped at 6 people, so get your spot now.
In this era of instantaneous communication, a handwritten letter is a rare and wondrous item. The Letter Writers Alliance is dedicated to preserving this art form. Prepare your pen and paper, moisten your tongue, and get ready to write more letters!
The L.W.A. was established in 2007 by Kathy Zadrozny & Donovan Beeson. These two ladies manage every aspect of the Alliance, from design, to packing orders, to maintaining the website. The L.W.A. is a labor of love and we are happy you have joined us in sharing a love for letters.