Why not write a letter

Today we have snow, lots and lots of snow so I won’t be going out to see friends, but I can still visit with friends. All I have to do is write my friends a letter. It’s fun!

I make a delicious hot drink and pull out some paper. I might do a little drawing on that paper first because I do like to dabble in art, but then the fun begins. I get comfortable and just think of my friend writing freely as I would speak to her.

I share what’s been going on in my life – what I’ve been reading, where I’ve been going, what I’ve been thinking and I ask my friend those same questions. What has she been reading? Where has he been going? What is she thinking about these days? A letter must not be only about me.

I think of a time when my friend and I were together and I reflect on that time as I write. Reflection is good. Lord Byron said, “A life without reflection is a sad affair” and I agree. Writing a letter is the perfect time to reflect on anything and everything. We then share those reflections with our friend. Sharing doubles the joy and divides the sorow you know.

My new patio garden

I might enclose a picture in my letter. A picture is worth a thousand words. I’d been telling my letter friends, friends from all around the world, about the garden I was putting in last Summer. Well, why not send them a picture? Most of these people will never have the chance to come to my home for a tea for two under the umbrella – unfortunately. At least they can see my garden in the pages of their letter.

If you’re not already a letter writer you might not know who to write, but once you become a letter writer you’ll have letters to answer, lots and lots of letters. That’s the magic of letter writing. When you give good things come back to you and because you’ll want to answer those letters it will be very easy to know who to write next and what to say. You’ll respond to the things your letter friend told you in her last missive. It’s a conversation not an essay. You write of something going on in your life and then the next paragraph is all about something your letter friend told you. A little give and take makes your letter fun for your friend to read. They want to hear what you thought of their comments, their actions, their projects. A letter is about you, but not all about you.

I’m fortunate to have a lot of delightful letter friends, friends like Becky Ann from Orchard Park, New York, U.S.A. It’s always so nice to get her letter. She lifts me up as she describes the interesting things she’s doing and the beautiful things in her world. I try to lift her up with my letters too. That is the point of friendship, isn’t it? Sure, there’s always doom and gloom in the world but why focus on it. It’s much nicer to focus on the good and the beautiful. As we write about such things we feel good and beautiful. Thoughts have power you know. Maybe you should turn off the news and read a good and inspiring book or take a walk in nature, then write a letter to tell your friend all about those things.



So although I look out my window and see a cold, snowy day, my heart is filled with the warmth of the Thanksgiving Season and I want to share that warmth with others. I may not be able to visit friends in person but there’s nothing stopping me from visiting them via letter.
Letters waiting for my answer

Which letter shall I answer? Fear not, I do have a system. Yes, I’m blessed to have many correspondents and many letters to answer. I haven’t taken the time to count the letters waiting for my attention, but lots of letters is what happens when you write one, two or three letters a day. Your mailbox is a very busy place. It’s filled with love coming and going. So though it’s been fun writing to you about letters it’s now time for me to enjoy writing a letter. If you’re one of my pen friends that letter might just be to YOU!

Do you recognize the letter I’ll be answering? Is it from you? Beautiful stationery deserves beautiful stationery in return so I’m using paper in my Jane Austen collection and of course I’ll also be using my lovely Mont Blanc fountain pen. I hope you’ll be writing a letter too. I’m sure there are lots of people who would love to hear from you and of course you could always write to me. I’d love to hear from you,

So bye for now, be happy and just WRITE!

New Wildflower correspondence cards and stationery

 

I love writing letters but part of the fun for me is creating my stationery.  I come up with all sorts of designs for my letter papers. Some of my designs are quite simple while others are a bit more involved. Whatever kind of art,  the activity is always fun.  It’s a sort of therapy, relaxing, and I can get lost in the creative process.  While concentrating on colors and lines all other concerns temporarily melt away. Hopefully the end result is pleasing but whatever the end result the process is always most pleasing to me.  My letter friends often receive my floral letters.

This is because I love flowers, don’t you? I love growing flowers in my garden.  I love placing flowers in vases on my dining tables and night stand and I love drawing flowers to decorate my letter papers.  I’d love to send fresh flowers to my friends regularly as a way to brighten their days and sometimes I do, but more often I simply send off cards and letters with my floral designs.  I created a line of wildflower correspondence cards in past days and recently I’ve added new designs to that collection.

And because I enjoy writing letters on large sheets of paper as well as on cards I decided to create some wildflower stationery on paper measuring 11 by 8 and a half inches.  Here are three sample designs.

Dense Blazing star

Horn poppy

Whorled Pagonia

The educator in me likes to write a little information about each flower presented, either on the back of the correspondence card or around the edges of the stationery.  For example, did you know the strange long sepals of the Whorled Pagonia are reddish purple and the petals are greenish yellow, except for the lip.  This is a wild orchid usually found in the woods.  There are a number of wild orchids in existence.

So you see besides the enjoyment of writing letters to friends and family the art of letter writing gives me  the opportunity to look closely at a flower and enjoy the artful activity of drawing that flower. It also encourages me to learn about the flowers I draw.  As if that’s not enough, then, by sending my floral stationery to others I’m sharing my joy, and as you know, sharing doubles the joy.  It really does.

With all this going on in my life a walk in the park becomes a special delight for when I spot a wildflower I not only take notice, but I feel like I’ve run into an old friend. I’ve heard you can’t really love what you don’t know so studying flowers, drawing them, and learning about them helps me love flowers even more.

It’s all such fun.

I draw flowers and create all this stationery for my own pleasure but the stationery is available for sale because once again, Sharing truly Doubles the Joy. If interested . . .

Stationery -10 assorted floral designs with an extra blank sheet of paper for each design plus 10 envelopes cost  $20.00 plus $2 for shipping and packaging.

Packages of 10 assorted wildflower correspondence cards – each card containing extra blank pages for long juicy letters and 20 envelopes cost $20.00 plus $2 for shipping and packaging.

To order send check to

But whether you order my papers or not I encourage you to write letters and try creating your own stationery. Letter writing and art play are two very wonderful activities.  You just might enjoy both as much as I do.

Be happy and live abundantly

 

I Simply Remember my Favorite Things

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Today’s letter
I simply remember my favorite things and then… I bet you thought I was going to say, and then I don’t feel so bad, but no.  I was going to say, then I feel wonderful! I guess it all depends just how much we love those favorite things we’re remembering.  Well, I have a lot of favorite things and I hope you do too, but as you might imagine, a lot of my very favorite things have to do with The Art of Letter Writing.

Do you realize how hard it is, if not impossible, to focus on two things at the same time?  There could be dirt all over the floor along with other things not so pretty, but in that same room there could also be beautiful objects- flowers, gorgeous paintings, pretty fabrics… If we focus our attention on the lovely things, we will feel one way – probably lovely, but if we focus our attention on the dirt and mess, we just might feel quite differently.

My point here is simple.  We should train ourselves to focus on those things which make us feel wonderful, unless of course we’re in the process of working on those other more dreary items in order to improve or eliminate them.   Of course, that’s if we want to be happy, but I rather like to be happy myself, don’t you?

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Not all my favorite things are of a material nature, but we do live in a material world after all, so many are.  I love and live in an old house.  I love antique china, linen, crystal, and I love using these things daily.  I love country inns and elegant old hotels and try to visit them often.  I love cities oozing with charm and I love nature in all its glory.  There’s also puppy dogs and girl friends, afternoon tea and intimate candlelit dinners. music, art, books, cooking and baking… the list goes on and on.

Yes, I must be a real material girl for I love all sorts of material things, and just as Oscar Hammerstein II suggested, simply remembering  these favorite things can prevent dreary thoughts from taking hold.  Cultivating rituals around these things   is even better, for then these favorite things develop into passions and living with passion is wonderful.  Do you live with passion?

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Because The Art of Letter Writing has become a passion with me I am also quite passionate about the physical materials used in creating my letters. As some might feel a thrill of excitement when discovering a shoe or sporting goods shop I feel that excitement  at a stationery store.  Sealing wax in all its colors of the rainbow enchants  me.

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I love particular pens and inks, paper in all sizes and colors.  I love stickers and ribbon, water color pencils and paper punches that stamp out tiny little leaves for autumn tree designs for my stationery.  What we have to say in a letter is important of course, perhaps the most important thing, but the look of our letter adds an element of fun and put the two together and we have ART!

I know not everyone gets as carried away with the “art”  aspect of letters as I do.  I had a correspondent, a Scottish lady in Canada, who cleaned offices after hours. Her stationery consisted of the half-used paper she’d find in the wastebaskets there.  This paper  worked for her and maybe that would work for you too, but for me and a lot of my penfriends the art aspect of letters is at least 50% of the fun.

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Kathy’s artful letter envelope

I would never tell anyone how their letter must look or what materials they should use in writing it because this reminds me of a certain interior designer I know who preaches individualism and yet has a list of do’s and don’ts for her customers that totally erases all their individuality.  “Don’t cover your windows”, she says.  “Let the light pour in.”  “Don’t choose dark colors.  They’re depressing and dreary.”  Ha! Says who? Says this decorator.  But maybe her customers like dark colors and drapery.

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Maybe you like typing black words onto white paper for your letters and if that makes you happy, that’s great!  I mean it, but if you’re looking for a creative outlet consider the art play involved in The Art of Letter Writing.  Lots of people don’t think they’re very artistic until they give art a try.  You might discover an undiscovered pleasure which just could grow into a delightful passion.  That’s what happened for me.

Jean Renoir said, “True art is in the doing of it.”  He didn’t say anything about qualifications, training or end product.  Just have fun doing it.

You are a physical being. Letter writing is a physical activity using physical materials so –

Let’s Get Physical!

Write some letters