Need some spooky ink for your ghostly post? I love the look of the Noodler's Whiteness of the Whale ink under black light. They also make an "invisible" ink called Blue Ghost. I think it's perfect and love that you can order wee little black lights for your pens as well. I've mentioned this ink here before, but I thought it deserved another go round in the spirit of the season.
I recently read this article in the Wall Street Journal about the decline of penmanship. The author argues that our crummy pens might be partial culprits in the lack of legibility for handwritten text. I have noticed that my writing does change depending on what kind of pen I'm using, but I hadn't ever thought about the whys and wherefores of it all. According to the article:
"Those struggling to write neatly should avoid rollerballs, according to Todd Craver, former owner of the recently shuttered Seattle pen and watch shop World Lux. "Rollerballs tend to cause your handwriting to deteriorate in appearance; they almost flow too quickly," he explained. On the flip side, ballpoints require writers to apply excessive pressure on the tip to get the ink to flow, which can have equally deleterious effects."
The article really lobbies for the use of fountain pens and goes through some features and price points. There are also some links to handwriting practice worksheets and tips about paper choice. It's a good read, and hopefully, will lead to some good writing!
P.S. The sharp-eyed amongst you may have spotted this new workshop. Perhaps it would be of interest if you're looking to get started writing with fountain pens, yes?
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.
We had a blast looking at all of the pictures of your virtual social antics on Instagram and reading about them on Twitter. These virtual socials are so much fun! Any excuse to write letters all day, right? We'll keep doing them on a regular basis, probably around once every 2 months or so. Thanks for participating and for writing so many letters.
As promised, here's the reveal of the SUPER SECRET SURPISE. We've got an edition of 50 of these fancy notebooks and five of them are being awarded to our participants from the social on Sunday. Check your Instagram and Twitter comments to see if you're a winner. They will be for sale while supplies last and look for them in the Member's Only shop soon. You're all winners for being such champion letter writers!
I get asked about white pens a lot. I've used one or two in my time and some are definitely better than others. If you're curious about what white pen is best, please check out the review of basically every white pen ever at the Jet Pens blog. There's even a giveaway if you follow the rules at the end of the posting. I love that they give a list of drying times as well as consider the different applications of the pens. My personal favorite is the Uniball Signo Broad (and that goes for their brand of metallic pens too). Now, please excuse me while I go spend too much money on supplies from heavenJet Pens.
Not that we care how you write your letters-- whether it be by hand, or typed, or computer-generated, we just want you to send more of them. However, our friends over at Pendemonium are holding a fun contest to celebrate. Pendemonium is one of my favorite pen and stationery suppliers. They are offering $10 gift certificates in exchange for your handwritten letters about your love of fountain pens. It seems like a pretty sweet deal if you love letters and fountain pens. Here's the information from their website:
1. Write us a letter with a pen telling
us why you like writing with fountain pens. (No novelettes. Please keep
it to one page or less!) Include your name, snail mail address and
email address. Letters must be postmarked no later than Thursday,
January 31, 2013. Letters become the property of Pendemonium and may
be used on our website or other social media, but don't worry, we'll
black out your name if we use your letter. We're not out to infringe on
your privacy, we just want to encourage everyone to enter our contest!
2. Mail the letter via USPS snail mail to us at:
National Handwriting Month Offer & Contest
PO Box 447
Fort Madison, IA 52627
3. When we receive your letter, we will mail you a Pendemonium Gift Certificate good for $10 off your next purchase of $25 or more.
You can use it toward any in stock merchandise on our website. Not
valid for nib grinding or other services. Not valid on special orders.
Not transferable. Redeemable online on our secure order form. This $10
Gift Certificate will be valid through March, 31, 2013.
4. In addition to the $10 gift certificate, we'll drop your name in the
big ink pot and draw one name on Wednesday, February 6, 2013 for a $50
Pendemonium Gift Certificate. Winner to be announced in the Thursday,
February 7, 2013 issue of Inky Greetings.
I think that all sounds like fun. I wish I loved fountain pens, but I may send them a letter anyway, just to tell them I think they are great. So get writing, HANDWRITING, those letters!
P.S. You could even come to the Read/Write Library tomorrow and write your letter with us there, at our first social of the year!
I happened across these great postcards on the Creature Comforts blog and loved them, but didn't know how to make them relevant to you other than "Cool postcards! Look!" The link has been open on my desktop for a few days. Turns out though, that tomorrow, 10.11.12, is the first ever International Day of the Girl. Well, okay then. I'm all for girls, everyday, but here's a good excuse to show you these postcards. And so, without further adieu, I give you the "Bad Girls Throughout History" postcard set by illustrator Ann Shen.
Ada Lovelace is my favorite (Marie Antionette is my least favorite), but Josephine Baker is a close second. Yay for girls! Yay for postcards! Just Yay!
It's true. Pneumatic Post is back! Well, okay, it's not the grand system of yesteryear. Back then there were miles of tubes used for mail in America's major cities. The system in Manhattan stretched for 27 miles. There were multiple deliveries a day, sending as much as 200,000 pieces of mail an hour. It was the mail service of the future.Sadly, other advancements in technology (curse you, automobile!), rendered all that futuristic tubing outdated and by 1918, most pneumatic post services were a thing of the past. The tubes are still there though, just waiting...
We've tried to regain that sense of freedom and innovation with our newest postal kit. Illustrated by yours truly and designed by Kathy, our kit includes:
1 Pneumatic Tube
6 Pneumatic Post message forms
Instructions on how to mail
Postage for one mailing in the United States
Not included is the "Whoosh!" sound effect. You'll have to supply that when you pop this into the blue mailbox. They are available in the shop now and we'll also be selling them at Renegade Craft Fair next weekend! We're booth number 210.
I am in love with these simple and sophisticated paper cut cards from cut&make in Germany. Oh, that there was a U.S. retailer for them! I shall try to whisper in the importer ears I know. In the meantime, they are available in Berlin, London, Munich and Copenhagen. Perhaps I should just take a stationery buying vacation...
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.