1st September is World Letter Writing Day! Who knew?! And who decides these things? There’s a subject for your afternoon daydream.
I’m posting this early on the morning of 1st September, so you have plenty of time to pop out, get a few cards, stamps, writing paper, etc. and post a few letters to your friends and family before the end of the day. So no excuses! And I want to see proof of you posting them – post box selfies in the comments below please!!
Getting post is one of my favourite things, but only if the envelope is hand written. Although I do like getting parcels too, whether handwritten or not, other post just isn’t that exciting. I have some wonderful friends who send me postcards from every holiday they go on, even if they don’t get outside the M25, and even some friends in the US who send me Christmas postcards with photos of the family on. So American, but I keep them so one day I can look back at them and see how their family has changed and grown. Plus I really miss them, so anything they send me is highly treasured.
I don’t know anyone who doesn’t like getting snail mail, and one of my other favourite things is doing nice things for other people. Mostly giving thoughtful presents or sending a ‘just thinking of you’ card or postcard. I’m such a card and stationery addict that Daddy Bear worries about our bank balance whenever I go near somewhere that sells pretty things. I always have a stash of cards and writing paper at home, but sometimes you need something really special or strangely specific. Here are my top 5 places to buy cards and stationery –
- Paperchase – I may be biased seeing as I used to work at the head office, but their card selection is hard to beat. Yummy stationery, art paper, a pen collection I wish I could install at home, and a plethora of other little things to make a letter even prettier, maybe Daddy Bear has reason to worry whenever I step over the threshold at the ‘Chase.
- Oliver Bonas – every time I go into OB I never expect to buy a card. I usually go in to browse the sale or drool over their latest homeware ranges, but always get sidetracked by the cards! They’re funky, modern and most of them are great for guys or girls which is a huge bonus (ha, bonus at Bonas!). They always have lots of really cool cards which are blank on the inside, which I love, love, love. It means I can send them to anyone, anytime – I don’t have to wait for a birthday, or any other reason to send a card. I can just pick out a pretty one and pop it in the post whenever I feel like it, or whenever I feel that one of my friends needs some extra love. I think getting a nice letter or card from someone is a bit like getting a hug through your letter box.
- Tiger. This wonderful treasure-trove of random and unexpected household, craft, toys, fancy dress, stationery, haberdashery, luggage, and food (I’ve definitely left out several categories!), is another danger to our bank balance. I always leave with something, and more often than not with a bag bulging at the seams. It’s full of those ‘oh I never knew those existed but how have I lived without it ’til now’ kind of things, and the first time I saw their card wall I was smitten. From totally random cards that, to be honest, I have no idea who I’d ever send them to, or what I’d think if I received one, to gorgeously simple 2-coloured geometric cards, they have a pretty good all round selection. I have used their birthday cards for kids and grown ups, and they’re all blank inside so not stress about buying a card for someone who’s just lost their pet to find it says ‘congratulations!’ on the inside. They’re also super-duper cheap. Bonus.
- Online small businesses. I love supporting small businesses, especially when I know that people have spent time, effect and creative juices to make something beautiful, and with really nice materials. My favourite at the moment is the wonderful Liz Mosley, a graphic designer turned freelance designer/full-time mum, whose simple and beautiful hand-drawn designs caught my eye since she started selling her own cards a few years ago. She has chosen the most amazing card too, like the card that cards are made from, that card, know what card I mean? Card card card card. Lost all meaning. Anyway. Her cards are so luxuriously thick and high quality that I am super proud to send them to my friends and family. Another great website to get cards from is Cheerfully Given. It’s a website with way more than just cards on it, and has a Christian ethos, so lots of beautiful Bible verse cards and prints that don’t remind you of your Grandma (as much as you might love her). I stumbled across it last summer when it was still pretty new, and now it has a brand-spanking new website and SO many cards, postcards, prints and gifts that it’s hard to know where to start! And then the last one I’ll tell you about is one that randomly popped up on my Instagram feed – Plewsy. Lots of watercolour and lettering, this is right up my street.
- Lastly, I love to shop local, and in Crouch End there are plenty of local shops selling handmade cards and designs by local artists. Down the road, right by the clock tower, there is an amazing little shop called Gift, which sells cards printed with designs by local artists, featuring local landmarks like the clock tower and Alexandra Palace. They give small companies a chance, and stock all the well-known brands too. Their humour section is second to none, there’s always someone chuckling away to themselves at the back as they browse. Art shops often sell handmade, unique cards too, so keep your eyes out. Our local craft shop even sells knitting and crochet related cards that I can’t find anywhere else!
I am in the middle of my list and have sent 6 cards/letters/postcards already. I can’t wait to sit down to write some more, I just hope I have enough cards! Archie Bear helped me choose some new ones in Oliver Bonas this morning so I should be well stocked, and he even helped me post a few at the Post Office too.
Go out and find some gorgeous local shops and buy up all their cards, postcards and writing sets. Then write a list of people, at least 10, and get writing. You will put a smile on those 10 people’s faces, and that, surely, is worth the cost of a postage stamp, even if you make your own cards at home out of newspaper and post-it notes!