Wednesday, 24 April 2013

National Stationery Week: Drop Someone a Note


Long Live the Letter!  I said on Monday - and you agreed. I started thinking about my favourites from the past: before emails, before texts. I wrote to my cousin every week for a year when we were teenagers; to a school friend who moved to Hong Kong, to a French pen pal; but some of the most exciting letters of all came from that intrepid traveller Uncle Dave, who wrote once a week from his apartment in Taipei. 

I looked forward to that blue airmail letter landing on the mat and I replied by return, cramming news of a n average sized Tall One and a tiny Small One onto that folded sheet. Isn't the design of an airmail letter just perfect? it's so crisply, neatly self contained. You write it, you fold it, you post it..

I decided to make a home grown version


Starting with some older, thinner patterned paper - Jenni Bowlin from a few years back - and a vintage look for a good old fashioned idea. 

The folded flap at the back secured with a Jenni Bowlin sticker. Today's red and cream typewriter is the one Uncle Dave bought in the junk shop. Shh..don't tell anyone, but it's just for decoration: it sticks a lot. 

I had a piece 12x9 inches waiting to be used, so my measurements worked like this:

The little red leather carrying case for the typewriter. When we brought it home we realised what a quirky purchase it was: it was made in Germany in the late 1950's and has German characters included.

And once it was finished I thought - I'll make another to post. This one will become a holder for a gift card. And then I thought - I need another one too, to make a "time capsule" birthday page, with a letter folded, ready to be opened on a special day in the future..

25 comments:

helena said...

I love the idea of a time capsule birthday page

yes airmail letters were fabulous - a specified space to fill; the way they folded up; and the so distinctive blue sitting in the mailbox

Sandi Robinson said...

Great idea for a page...love the idea of opening up an envelope years from now! I had pen friends in the US & Holland when I was in school & remember folding many an airmail envelope...the 'thinness' & 'crispness' of that paper...mmmmm!!! :D

laurie said...

What a great idea! I am a big fan of "snail mail" and, like you, remember growing up with the excitement of writing / receiving letters.

Sandra said...

There really was something so special about that thin sheet of blue paper :) ... oh I loved airmail letters. You always transport me back to happy memories Sian. Thank you x

Jane said...

lovely ideas, it's such a shame we don't get many letters now.

scrappyjacky said...

I loved those thin,crispy airmail letters as well....so perfect for the job....I used to send one to my uncle in the RAF....and another to a penpal in Poland....I always loved when one arrived for me.

debs14 said...

I love this post, brings back many memories of the excitement of a letter arriving from overseas. My pen friend and I started writing in 1968 and we're still in touch. Lettered replaced by Facebook - it's not the same!

Angelfish said...

Oh, airmail letters. I received a whole bunch from school friends during my month in India. I love your take on them.
Fiona x

Gail said...

I always remember with airmail letters how much was crammed into the little space. We had one cousin in Britain who used to write around the edges too.

Louise said...

I love how Uncle Dave took the time to write to you every week. I'm drooling over that gorgeous paper, it really is perfect x

Jennie Hart said...

Super idea Sian, I just love the thought and attention and warmth that has gone into it :)

Deb @ Paper Turtle said...

~sigh~ Sian, you just blow me away sometimes with your clever ideas and lovely execution! This is fantastic. You also brought back memories of letter writing years ago. When I first moved to Arizona (33 years ago) I wrote to my mother every day for the first year I was here. I'd add a little to the letter every day, then mail it at the end of the week.

I continue to write to my dear grandmother every week now, and she really loves that!

Amy said...

I think this envelope looks beautiful and nothing replaces the crisp lines of something so carefully handmade.

Last year when a student left to live in Singapore her friends organised skype chats, at school, it was quite surreal but the modern alternative I suppose!

Maria Ontiveros said...

I love these colors. I had a Japanese pen pal in elementary school, and I remember receiving airmail letters like these.
But the biggest letter writing I ever did was when Paul and I were apart during graduate school. We each wrote a letter almost everyday. I still have the letters and they are precious. I also have copies of the letters my parent exchanged during their engagement.
I might do something for stationery week.
Rinda

Karen said...

My father and I wrote a letter to each other every week until he was no longer able to write. I have a box of many of those letters. Recently I found letters my mother and I exchanged my first year in college. She became ill at the end of that year, and wasn't able to write as consistently after that. This post has brought back lots of memories, and your creation is, of course, just wonderful!

Miriam said...

I remember the fine blue paper and that lovley edging, what a joy to write on and to receive. Airmail letters, a wonderful memory Sian and your 'new' ones are so beautiful.

Lisa-Jane said...

What a cute letter! They'd make ideal thank you notes for children to fill in too.

Sandie said...

I used to have pen pals and when my friend moved to Australia I used to be very excited when her fat envelopes with the Airmail sticker fell on my doormat. Somehow holding the paper in my hand and the pages of writing were so much more exciting than the emails that arrive now, though just as welcome and wonderful.
Love your take on the airmail letter and envelope and your idea of a time capsule.

tidbitsandtreasures2011 said...

When I saw this series, I knew I had to share this new-to-me quote with you: "To send a letter is a good way to go somewhere without moving anything but your heart." ~ Phyllis Theroux

alexa said...

Oh my goodness, I missed this post! I love airmail envelopes too, and have fond memories writing them too on my travels. Making your own is a lovely idea - I really like the simplicity of an 'all-in-one'. I do so envy you those typewriters and am kicking myself for not buying one I saw when I was with DD last....

Clair said...

Oh. I feel so nostalgic now - letter writing used to be such an important part of my life! I think I shall make an effort to bring back the humble letter...want a penpal? x

Ruth said...

I remember HMForces blueys, similar to the airletter but free of postal charges, from my time in the Falklands and on Ascension. I believe they've moved onto e-blueys ... what a shame.
I really should get back in to Happy mail again, only instead of parcels, a postcard or two.

Elizabeth said...

I so admire your creativity! You seem to come up with the most interesting ideas. This one is a gem and will be referred to in a bit when I have more time.

Missus Wookie said...

I did love the airmail letter sheets too - so fun to squeeze in a bit more. We don't spend as much time over an email. I like making notecards and envelopes out of pp, especially the stuff I don't know what to do with ;)

Jo said...

That looks beautiful, I remember the really thin airmail paper :)

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