Monday, January 20, 2014

Letter & Journals Update

It's been awhile since I've had any update on the status of the Letters & Journals magazine. Currently, I'm working on creating a Kickstarter campaign to get the jump start on printing the first issue of L&J.
If you're familiar with Kickstarter, then you know that people can give various amounts of money for some type of reimbursement if the campaign is successful.

For example, if you give a one-time gift of $10, $20 or $30 (or more) then you would receive the gift associated with that level.

Here are some thoughts in no particular order:
Special L&J stamp
First issue of L&J print edition
Set of L&J postcards

What other thoughts and ideas would you suggest to encourage people to donate to a Letters & Journals Kickstarter Campaign?

I'd love to have a variety of levels and offerings that will be appreciated by the donors and also be reflective of what L&J is all about.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

The Letter Tracker

In honor of the New Year, I've started a new way to track mail. I wanted something simple, colorful and handmade. Why keep track? For me it's because sometimes I forget (especially sent mail).  Plus, I find this motivates me to send more mail (who doesn't like that?!).

Meet my 2014 Correspondence Log. I expect to fill more than this page, so we'll see how the year goes.

Other methods I've tried in the past include:
Day Planner
In 2013 I found this Polestar Business Calendar because it had a column for Correspondence. It was easy to keep the planner on the current week and write down what I sent out, but I didn't track what came in and I didn't use the planner for anything else, which made it kind of a waste.
Index Cards
I had one for each correspondent and I would write who wrote what, when, what did I reply back. This was too much time and not convenient. Once you got behind it was hard to catch up.

Using an excel spreadsheet felt too mechanical and businesslike. Opening the program wasn't hard, but it was never convenient. I would so much rather write stuff down than track it in an impersonal program.

Some people keep track of their incoming/outgoing mail by documenting each piece in their blog. That is way too intensive for me, but I must admit I like to look at them.

The Missive Maven keeps a link to her blog post on how she tracks her mail: "How I Keep Track of My Mail". 

How about you? Do you track your correspondence? If so, how?

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Ex Postal Facto Event February 2014

Mark your calendars and update your travel itineraries to visit lovely San Francisco to attend the Ex Postal Facto event celebrating correspondence art, faux philatelics and postal modernism Feb 14-16, 2014.

Organizer Jennie Hinchcliff from Red Letter Day created the event with the help of some of dedicated art and mail enthusiasts. You can follow the news, updates and events at the Ex Postal Facto blog.

The 3-day event includes a vendor expo, exhibits, lectures, passport stamping and so much more. We'll see if the planets align for this mail enthusiast to go!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Product Review & Contest

Winner Update August 28, 2013

The winner of the OfficeMax Giveaway is Jakki (the third commentator to this blog post)! Congratulations, Jakki! An email has been sent directly to you to get your mailing address. The fine folks at OfficeMax will mail your package directly to you.

Thanks to all who entered!
Maybe next time!
OfficeMax generously sent an assortment of pens, pencils and highlighters for review and they were also kind enough to offer the same items to be given away to one lucky recipient! One winner will be chosen from the comments on this blog post. Winner will be selected on Sunday, August 25. Be sure to either leave your email in the comment OR email me your name after you leave a comment (Jackie (at) LettersAndJournals (dot) com.

You can see a sample of each item below, but the full assortment of product is in the following pictures. In the notebook photos I used each product to show how I sampled the different writing instraments.

This 10-pack of highlighters was a joy to use. I love the variety of colors and the heavy smooth flow of the highlighter ink. You can see in the pictures above how I used the highlighters to highlight and to color. (Yes, I had fun!)
The angled tip of the highlighter made it easy to draw, color or highlight. Your choice!
 And look how nicely they fit in this pencil holder.
These 0.7 point gel pens have a smooth rich flow, like most gel pens. I'm a fine point person and found these pens very easy to write with and had no skipping or bleed-through.

Lastly, we have the box of 12 mechanical pencils. The eraser colors are eye-catching and the matching grip makes the writing a little easier. I prefer mechanical pencils with a little more heft and weight, but other than that, these pencils work superbly.

Disclaimer: I received the writing products in this post from OfficeMax in order to facilitate my review. The items featured in this giveaway are also provided by OfficeMax and will be sent to the winner directly. Opinions expressed in this post are 100% my own. I have not been compensated for this post in any other way.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Letters & Journals Magazine Update

I didn't want you to think that I have forgotten the vision and plans for Letters & Journals! It has been a long road, but I haven't given up. Even though my current job keeps me working more hours than my previous job, it only means I can't blog as much as before, not that the dream has died.

I'm continually on the look out for potential articles, advertisers, features, images, web design, contests, etc. You would not believe the file I have! Not to mention the mailing list of almost 5,000 names. I am starting to research the possibility of running Kickstarter campaign to fund the initial launch. Oh, the possibilities!

It lights up my heart to see ads like these promoting the products and services that we are endeared to- don't you think? What are some advertisements that you think should be in Letters & Journals?

Thank you for your patience, support and helping to keep the dream alive!

Friday, June 28, 2013

It's a Notecard Kind of Day

I'm of the opinion that a person can never have too many notecards. I try to send 2-3 notecards every week so am always on the lookout for new ones. Here's just some of what's in my stash currently.

This lovely pink notecard set is from Crane Co. You can't beat the quality paper that Crane uses in its notecards. These cards love a good fountain pen.

The dragonfly cards are a little glossier than the Crane notecards, but the image is just so lovely.

This homemade notecard includes a photo from one of my favorite walking paths in St. Paul, MN. Love to see the seasons change at this park.
I bought these notecards when I visited the Strand Bookstore in New York with my pen pal, Cecilia, whom I had just met that day.
Starry Night by Van Gogh is one of my favorite images. For a long time I had this as a screensaver on my cellphone. Then I upgraded to a new phone and lost the image. I think I bought these notecards at Barnes & Noble which has a respectable line of stationery offerings.
What's in your stationery stash?

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Spring Ephemera Giveway

Winner Announced 5-13-13
Congratulations, Linda H from Nevada! You're the winner and the box is on its way to you. Enjoy!

In 2012 I sold 5 boxes of paper ephemera for the price of shipping and payment processing. Since that time I've had one box sitting in my closet that I've been continuing to add miscellany to as I come across various items. Most recently these include postcards, stamps, bus tickets, journal, stickers, maps, cards, and so  much more!

Now I'd like to offer a giveaway of this final box to one lucky winner, which I will mail to you at no charge.

All you need to do is send me something in the mail- a letter, a postcard, a quote, a thought, a million dollar idea- and include the secret word- MAILBOX.

Your entry must be postmarked by May 1, 2013. Send entries to:

Letters & Journals
Jackie Flaherty
PO Box 120052
St. Paul, MN 55112

Don't forget the secret word, "MAILBOX", which tells me you're entering this contest and not just sending me fun mail because you are nice and thoughtful, although I'm sure you are!

All entries will be assigned a number as I receive them and the winner will be randomly selected by after May 11 (Note: Only entries with a postmark by May 1, 2013 will be eligible).