All Blogged Out

After almost a year of not blogging, or checking other blogs, or doing anything at all blogger-ly, it is time to admit I’m all blogged out.

What has happened?

I’ve fallen back in love with pens and paper and receiving epistolary goodness in the mail . . . and fountain pens and bottles of ink, decorating envelopes with Sharpies and watercolours, and on and on . . .


Letter with hand painted envelope going to New Zealand this week

There’s just nothing like a walk to the mailbox on a cold grey winter day, then returning home to settle in next to the fire with a cup of tea (probably Yorkshire Gold) and a stack of letters from friends and penpals near and far. Nor is there anything like finishing off the evening with yet another cup of tea (definitely Yorkshire Gold at this time of night), one’s favourite pens, and indulging in the very private, intimate, generous, attentive act of letter writing, holding that one special person in your mind as you write with the goal of informing, inspiring, entertaining, and uplifting in that particular, personal way suited only to them.

My letter writing HQ

My letter writing HQ

Letter writing and pen-palling is fun, creative, satisfying and an anecdote to our rushed, hurried, inattentive culture that has no time for paying attention, being kind, and quietly focusing on the things that matter. It is everything our increasingly impersonal world is not.

If you want in on the action, please add your address to my postable:

And, in the meantime, thank you to Julia, Nicole, and Monique for all the years of wonderful, therapeutic correspondence. Seriously, we wouldn’t need anti-depressants if everyone had letters like yours lurking in their mailboxes on a regular basis. And thanks to Tina for her recent letter (complete with a card and photos and the most exquisite cursive script of all time). Hopefully, it will be the first of many.

For those of you who’ve felt the pull of getting back into letter writing, here are a few of the wonders I’ve found on my journey:

The League of Extraordinary Pen Pals – The friendliest, happiest, most enthusiastic group of letter writing, pen-loving, mail-art making nerds on the planet.

Wonder Pens – An independent shop in Toronto for that moment when you get serious and buy your fountain pen

ImagePen-pal of the Week – A blog by Julie in Quebec, stationery designer and the mastermind behind League of Extraordinary Penpals, and the kind of person who makes you realize, that despite Rob Ford, Canadians are still the warmest, friendliest, most helpful people on earth

And some Etsy shops for stationery:

La Papierre
Scoutaroo Paper Co.

and for that must-have personalized return address rubber stamp:

SayaBell Stamps

Two fabulous books:

To the Letter – by Simon Garfield, a joy, an absolute joy, true to its subtitle : A Celebration of the Lost Art of Letter Writing

Good Mail Day – Ideas and inspiration for creating awesome mail art

And the preferred beverage of correspondents everywhere:

Yorkshire Gold – In Canada you can buy it at London Drugs. Sadly my nearest London Drugs is over 100 km away and I’m on my last few teaspoons of leaves!!! Desperate times . . .

yorkshire gold

There you go. Now you’re all set to put pen to paper and rediscover the joys of letter writing.

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6 responses to “All Blogged Out

  1. This is a great and informative post, Laurel, and I salute your return to pens and paper. Many of us long for the art and ambience of old-fashioned letter correspondence. I plan to check out the sites you’ve mentioned. During the meantime, you blogs are also welcomed, when and if you have the inclination. Above all, go forward with exploration and everything that excites you.

  2. Love all of this, Laurel. You have rediscovered a wonderful thing. (BTW, I’ve just discovered Jing teas, which are absolutely fantastic. Why don’t you give them a go?)

    • Jing teas!? Yes, I will give them a try. Always happy to explore the furthest realms of the world of tea. I ran out of the Yorkshire Gold (AKA elixir-of-life) last night and tried my Dilmah tea, which I used to think was quite good, but it was so disappointing and flat in flavour . . . sigh.

  3. Laurel, so sorry to hear that you’re giving up on your blog. I really enjoyed it. I agree that letter writing is wonderfully contemplative and rewarding. Anything that slows us down in this fast-crazed world is a good thing. Ironically, I wish I had time to engage in writing letters. My best to you.

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