We have been wanting to have our very own wax seal stamp for so long and I am so happy to announce that we now have two for you to choose from!
The seals themselves are sized at 3/4" with 3" wooden handles. Choose between the L.W.A. Crest or a clever vintage inspired saying, "Good sense sent with good cents". Each seal comes with a stick of sealing wax so you can start using them straight away.
The seal stamps are currently on pre-order for $10 off. These are only available to members, so you'll have to login to view them. Expect to get them in your hands around April 1st.
Circa Ceramics knocked it out of the park with these espresso cups! I asked Nancy to put some pigeons on these cups with the L.W.A. colors and this is the awesome that she produced. Get your hands on a set of your own on the membershop.
We have a brand new R.S.V.P. coming up on Monday and it is appropriately themed for today: DEAD LETTER OFFICE. On November 3rd (Monday) at 7pm CSTSeries #13 will go live and you will have a chance to get one of 10 sets. R.S.V.P. is only available to members, so make sure you are able to login without issue if you want to grab a set for yourself.
The Royal Society of Venturesome Parcels program is the closest L.W.A. comes to a subscription service. R.S.V.P. is a themed mailing over the course of four weeks with one package sent each week. We curate the packages to contain all manner of nifty things, leaning heavily on stationery and other philatelic items. Most mailings have something vintage and are limited to 10 sets.
At our social on Saturday, an attendee asked where they could buy excellent stationery. The obvious reply was "From us!", but we have friends and neighbors on the Internet who are also great resources for amazing stationery. Our letter-loving compatriot, The Missive Maven, listed a wonderfully comprehensive guide to her favorite sites, but I'd like to make some additions.
Paper Pastries - The source of the custom stamps in the photo above. Margaret also offers calligraphy services, office supplies and a full line of wonderous products that I have a hard time keeping out of my shopping cart.
GREER - My homebase stationery store in Chicago also has a premier web shop. I just sent my mother shopping on it the other day because she needed "the world's best baby card." You can also find gifts here of unparalleled excellence. If you get a present from me, it most likely came from Greer.
Saturday Morning Vintage - My mailart runs towards the collage side of things and I am obsessed with using vintage items. There's nothing quite like that aged quality. The paper pack selections here are particularily good.
European Paper - The name says it all. The blog often has a lot of contests and specials happening.
So between the Missive Maven's list and my additions here, no one should be wanting for stationery. These are the best of the best places and I'm happy to be a part of them. Happy shopping! Pretend it's for back-to-school. For some of you, I'm sure that's even true.
I made cookies for our L.W.A. Laboratory last Sunday. Mind you, I couldn't just make an old buscuit, oh no, I had to have themed cookies. Fortunately for me, I had picked up this adorable envelope cookie cutter from Printmeneer. (They have many amazing cookie cutters. You have been warned.) It is designed to cut out the main shape and leave an impression of the lines of the back of the envelope on the cookie. I'm happy to say it worked great!They were fairly tasty too, even though they were gluten-free. Thanks America's Test Kitchen for the gluten-free "Holiday Cookie" recipe. I did make a batch of "stamp" cookies as well, using a ravioli cutter for the crinkled edges. The hardest part of the process was waiting for the dough to chill before cutting out the shapes. Have you made letter-writing themed cookies? Any tips to share? Let us know in the comments!
I am fortunate to work in one of the world's premier stationery shops, GREER, here in Chicago. That doesn't mean my love for other shops of high caliber is diminshed. If anything, I have even more respect for what they are doing because I know how much work it is to do it. I was thrilled to get a link to this video from member Cheyenne sharing Present & Correct in London, the Regional Assembly of Text in Vancouver and Victoria, and Papelote in Prague. What a wonderful tour. Do give it some of your time. It's the next best thing to being there.
Before I could even tell you about it, the NEW Tiny Mail Kit (you may remember one from a couple years ago) was fully funded! Still, there's no reason not to support such an amazing project and take advantage of the special Kickstarter pricing. Even if you had one of the older kits, this one has new features like actual wavy edges on the stamps. There is also a deluxe version with custom-made postal ink stamps and tiny "security" envelopes. My favorite part is that, unlike the first version which was manufactured in China, this will be made in Berkeley, California by the original creator. I'm thrilled for Lea and Co. and hope to see more of her awesome projects in the future.
Back when I did my reviews of a number of stationerysubscriptionservices, I got quite a few suggestions to check out Nicely Noted. For $18 a month, the folks at Nicely Noted will send you a package containing three letterpressed cards with envelopes and selected postage. Perry was kind enough to send me a package for review. You can see that it was delightfully packaged. I appreciated the fun label and the way they wrapped the cards.
The back of the band holding the cards together had information about each of the card's makers, which I liked. It figures out to be $6 a card, but they give you the stamps and send them straight to your door. It's a sweet little package to get and worth the fee, especially if you don't have access to cards of this level of quality on a regular basis. You can see some of their past sendings here.
What do you guys think? Would you use Nicely Noted? Leave a comment and be entered to win the set above! Rules: You must be an Alliance member to win and you'll be asked for your member number to claim your prize. If you are International, there will be a small fee for shipping these to you. Good luck, and thanks again to Perry at Nicely Noted for the opportunity to review their service. Winner to be picked on Friday at 9AM! **We have a winner! Commentor No.3 is our lucky winner. Thanks for the opinions everyone!**
My final review of a "stationery subscription service" is of Rad & Hungry. Rad & Hungry does packages of office supplies from around the world. You can order older sets from Spain, or Brazil or wherever, or you can sign up for a mystery mailing from another country. When I went to do my review, there weren't any unrevealed country sets available so I opted for a "Rad Bag", a mad lib mixture of supplies from all over. I wanted that unknown quantity to better compare the experience with that of Quarterly Co. and Olive Box.
The Rad & Hungry set has a really great aesthetic, packaging wise. It's all kraft and plain paper paired with pops of florescent orange. I was undone by the cleverness of the bag closure. Two holes, a paper clip and a rubber band = GENIUS.
My Rad Bag contained a notebook from Spain, wood push pins from the US, a "European Version" Bic Pen from France, an eraser from Brazil, a pencil from Columbia, and a pencil cap from Japan.
I have long derided the Rad & Hungry sets to myself. Every one seemed to me to be another slim folio notebook, another ho-hum pen. BUT, while that's essentially what I got in my "Rad Bag", the little note card about where things were from and the obvious care with which the supplies were selected really came through. It managed to make the ordinary really special. My favorite was the business card with the various paper clips on it which isn't even a part of the "Rad Bag"; it's the Rad & Hungry business card. Again, GENIUS.
At a $20.00 price tag, with shipping, it was a little more expensive than I'd like, but I didn't feel cheated. It was a fun time.
Would you like this Rad Bag? It's rad! You can win it here. The giveaway is for MEMBERS ONLY. If you win, you'll need to supply your Letter Writers Alliance member number to redeem your prize. We'll cover the shipping domestically, but International friends will be asked to reimburse us any shipping costs. The rules are simple. Leave a comment with something rad you think we should know about. A winner will be picked at random next Friday! ***Contest is now closed. Thanks everyone!***
Welcome to the second part of my reviews of some popular subscription services. Today's post is all about Olive Box, a subscription for "a delightful box of paper & lifestyle products delivered to your front door each month. From cards to artwork to inspiring books and gifting ideas, you never know what exciting products you will unwrap each month. Each box will have a surprise theme and will include goodies that have been transformed by the beauty of paper."
The attention to detail on the packaging was really nice. I loved how the enclosed note had a little heart sticker just like the logo.
The box contained one greeting card, one Night Owl grocery list, and an issue of Sweet Paul magazine. I picked up the box from the post office on the way to one of my jobs. I didn't have any stationery with me, but I had letters to return. "What fortune!", I thought, "I have this mysterious box which is surely full of stationery as it is a papery subscription."
So, I was really, really disappointed to be presented with a single card, a small notebook with a specific, non-correspondence purpose, and a magazine which, though nicely designed and photographed and I could cut up into some pretty envelopes, seems to be mostly about food. I suppose the surprise theme is something to do with cooking. Even months later, I'm disappointed by it. At $32.95 with shipping, it was the most expensive of the services I tried and the least satisfying.
A word to the wise, as a subscription, it automatically signs you up for the next round. I was unlucky enough to not even receive my first box before I got charged for another. Plus, the website is not very helpful when you want to cancel. I had to send in an email request. I also have yet to receive the second box I was charged for; so I've sent another email. Email sending is not my favorite thing. My second box was a bit more enjoyable content wise, but as I didn't want or need it in the first place, that's not enough to make me more charitable in my assessment. I cannot endorse Olive Box. It feels too style-based without enough substance to really satisfy my paper needs. Maybe I just got a bad batch though.
As with the Quarterly Co. review, I'm having a giveaway of this box! The giveaway is for MEMBERS ONLY. If you win, you'll need to supply your Letter Writers Alliance member number to redeem your prize. We'll cover the shipping domestically, but International friends will be asked to reimburse us any shipping costs. The rules are simple. Leave a comment with something you would hope to get in a mystery paper box. A winner will be picked at random next Wednesday! ***Contest is now closed. Thank you.***
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!
May 28th (Thursday)
Chicago, IL Letter Social
Uncle Art Gallery 7-9pm 1359 N Maplewood Ave
Join us and our typewriters to write some letters together. We will have mail art supplies, stationery, and a few of our old-fangled typing machines available for your use. Free!
May 30th (Saturday)
Chicago, IL OBSCURA DAY 2015
L.W.A. Clubhouse Several time slots available
Enjoy exclusive access to the Letter Writers Alliance Club House in celebration of Obscura Day. You'll see the inner sanctum of operations for the letter writing organization and have an opportunity to write letters and postcards using vintage typewriters.
Your ticket includes free supplies and typewriter time. Donovan, the Letter Writers Alliance typewriter expert, will be on hand to answer questions, troubleshoot cranky machines and make pithy comments. Come join us and type a letter or two!
Tickets: $5 Purchase options available soon!
June 6th (Saturday)
Chicago, IL Postcard Party
606 Opening Celebration, 10am-6pm
Humboldt Blvd between Cortland & Wabansia
Write some postcards and explore the new Bloomingdale Trail with us. Free!
June 7th (Sunday)
Chicago, IL Mix & Mailology
L.W.A. Clubhouse 3:30-5pm
Old Fashions and Wax Seals, two old-timey things we love. Learn the secrets of mixing an excellent Old Fashion and making the perfect wax impression on your envelopes. We will also have other wax-like experiments for your mail art pleasure. Our solutions, both alcoholic and artistic, will surprise you. All materials, including liquid forms, will be provided.
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July 12th (Sunday)
World-Wide L.W.A. Book Club
Join Kathy, Donovan, and a special guest Margaret Haas (of Paper Pastries) via live video while we discuss Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn. Discussion and further info can be found on the Goodreads book group page. Event Page
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.