The Lost Art of Letter Writing

As I mentioned in a previous post, one of my newer hobbies is card making, and letter writing goes hand in hand with that.  With the recent collapse of the US postal system, I’m trying to reinvigorate the lost art of sending letters and notes in the mail.  And getting something unique in the mail that isn’t a bill really lifts people’s spirits.

Background:  I used to manage a Hallmark store, so I amassed stacks of greeting cards and sent them to my important out-of-state peeps like The Mom, The Bestie, and The Sis.  Then working retail in this industry jaded me and I stopped caring as much.  More recently I thought it would be fun to send longer letters on pretty stationary I bought.  Then, with my ABNA credit, I decided to invest in some card making equipment that I would never have bought other wise, but I figured, $350 to spend on Amazon, it’s basically free money, so let’s be a little frivolous!  Thus, I  now own an embosser, oodles of cardstock, and some especially awesome Alice in Wonderland stationary.

Then I started thinking of the archives of great authors like Hemingway, who we know so much about because of his correspondence with loved one and other writers.  Back before cell phones, texting, and e-mail (even before landlines), people wrote letters.  I remember writing dozens to friends I had met at youth conferences, and it is only recently that I have regretted not saving them.  And I thought about how many historical figures are so well documented by the letters they wrote, and even those they received.  Plus I egotistically thought, what if I become famous one day?  There will be valued correspondence and original “artwork” by The Julz!  So my campaign began.

I wrote a good amount of letters to friends who showed enthusiasm at the idea.  Though my pen-pal project has been somewhat one-sided, that hasn’t stopped me from sending a card in place of a more formal letter just to remind the recipient that I’m thinking of them.  And I know people will appreciate it knowing that it wasn’t something I just bought, I spent time and attention creating the little pretty in the envelope.  So I thought I’d show you some basic examples of what I’ve made to inspire you.  I don’t have super fancy equipment, I just try to make due with the basics: a paper-cutter, a variety of paper, and some leftover craft supplies I just happened to have like buttons, rhinestones, ribbon, and paint.

My favorite thing to do is to customize for the recipient, as I’ve done here using my embosser:

My most recent technique is layering textures and colors (my mom bought me this wonderful handmade paper from her farmer’s market, which I used in the red card above and the brown card below).

This is embossing I hand colored.

But you can use anything you have on hand, as I did with this wine label and the embellishments I already had.

If I’ve sent you a hand-made card or a letter recently, please Twitter or Facebook me a picture, and I’ll do a post featuring them!

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