Succotash at the Studio

How To Start A Local Letter Writing Group – In 10 Easy Steps

Tampa Letter Writers Club

We are often asked how one can find a group of letter writers in their local area? We hear that most often there is nothing like that in their neck of the woods. So, we say ask and you shall receive! Start one yourself. It’s simple and a lot of fun. Have a meet up so you can find like-minded people by doing the following:

  1. Find a place to host it. The library, a coffee shop, someone’s home or office after hours.
  2. Let people know via flyers, email, your choice of social media - Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or whatever else is out there.
  3. Gather your materials. This can be pens, pencils, paper, cards/envelopes, a typewriter, stamps, washi tape, colored pencils and rubber stamps.
  4. Pick a theme (or not) Who will you write to? Friends, family, thank you notes, letters of action for positive change, business correspondence, holiday cards or to local charities and first responders. Retirement homes, hospitals, orphanages, anyone who could use a smile and a written hug.
  5. Put on music, set a mood. Have fun refreshments – tea/coffee, cookies and chocolates.
  6. Write until your heart is content.
  7. Exchange ideas for the next social, mix it up, do something different each time.
  8. Make a list of potential members so they will know when the next meet up is.
  9. Look for other groups in your area that might want to meet up with you. Cross pollination is energizing and mash ups are neat.
  10. Take your cards and letters to the post office!

Yes, its that easy. Let us know if you start a group in your area, we will sponsor your first social. Simply email us. For more inspiration please visit the Letter Writers Alliance for more inspiration, ideas and to even find a pen pal.

National Letter Writing Month Inspiration #2: What to Put in Your Snail Mail Traveling Notebook

Welcome to Week Two of inspiration for National Letter Writing Month.  Here is where we show you ideas of what to put in your traveling snail mail notebook. Skylar has done a video to walk you through her version and I was so inspired that I did a version too.

Here is my Traveling Notebook No.1 Project.  I am sending it to my friend as a surprise, she and I have never done anything like this and I hope we get one other person involved so it can be a round robin book of inspiration.  I decided to include the following since it is Spring:

  • a seed packet for flowers
  • a seed packet for catnip
  • a book mark
  • a letter
  • a fun origami heart tucked inside a windmill pocket
  • and instructions on how this pen pal notebook works

 

Here is Skylar's video, she will walk you through how she decorates her book to create a stunning vintage look using old and new materials.  Get layout tips, paper techniques and inspiration to start your pen pal notebook.  She works on the book first and then writes, which is how I did mine as well.

Often when it comes to the writing portion, you may need some inspiration.  I always think it is nice to let folks know what you have been up, a new project, things happening with the family, perhaps a discovery of a book or movie that you would like to share. Think of what you would say if you were on the phone or over a cup of tea) Its that simple, write from the heart and share a piece of yourself.  

Materials:

Let us know what you think and show us what you put in yours!

Yours in all things keeping in touch, Tona

 

Just released: The Blackwing Vol. 205

The brand new 2017 Blackwing Limited Edition Volumes has just been announced: Blackwing Vol. 205.  This time, we get two for one!  The gorgeous Jade color and a pearlized white color.  These are available in studio and online.

In 138 BCE, Chinese explorer Zhang Qian set out on an expedition west. The journey lasted more than 13 years and laid the foundation for the Silk Road, a trade route that was instrumental in opening up communication between Asia and Europe. From around 120 BCE to the 1450’s CE, explorers like Zheng He, Marco Polo and Jorge Alvarez used the Silk Road to trade goods, share ideas, and spread artistic influences throughout a myriad of different cultures.

One of the most prominent goods traded along the Silk Road was jade. Besides its natural beauty, jade was believed to protect its owner in their travels, encourage creativity and stimulate mental agility. The trade of jade introduced people to cultures they were unfamiliar with, an experience that can challenge the mind and inspire the soul.

Each Blackwing 205 set contains six green jade pencils and six white jade pencils. The number 205 references the molecular weight of jadeite, the most sought after form of jade. Each pencil features a gold ferrule, black eraser, gold imprint and our firm graphite formulation. Pre-order your limited edition jade pencil now.

April is National Letter Writing Month

So needless to say it is one of our favorite months of the year!  Letter writing lives and we celebrate our love of snail mail with happenings all month long.  Here's a few ways to get involved.  Happy Mail starts here:

Write_On Challenge we are participating in the National challenge to write 30 Letters in 30 Days. Who will you write to? We can get you started with our Weekly Giveaway - Each week we will be giving away kits that features letterpress Write_On cards, a Jellyroll pen and Stamp Out Hate stickers. Here’s how to get yours: participate in our Facebook giveaway each week or follow us on Instagram and tag two of your friends in our weekly letter writing tips post. 

Stamp Out Hate – As a proud member of the Letter Writers Alliance, we are participating in their Stamp Out Hate Initiative. Stamp Out Hate is a project devoted to spreading hope through the mail. It aims to encourage people to send letters of hope, healing, and happiness to those who need to know that they are not alone.

Every month, Stamp Out Hate features a new call to action encouraging you to send positive letters out into the world. These small acts of kindness are truly important. April's action is to send notes to LGBTQ centers and support organizations. You can find free downloads on the Stamp Out Hate website and some suggested addresses as well. Together, we will make a difference. Together, we can make things better. Thank you for joining us. Be kind. Try hard. Send hope.

Letters for Positive Change – The Tampa Bay Letter Writers will be hosting a social on Saturday April 29th 9am – 11am . This event is free and open to the public.  They will be showing and sharing how you can write letters for positive change.  This can be to local representatives or any governing entities and organizations that can affect change.  All materials will be provided.  Lists as well as supplies to write postcards and letters.

The Art of Letter Writing Workshop - In this workshop we will discuss how a new snail mail movement is happening around the globe. Participants will discover the beauty of lovely crafted letter writing tools; write with a beautiful fountain pen; type on a vintage typewriter; and get creative with envelopes, labels, and vintage postage. Lastly, we will discuss how to find like-minded enthusiasts including pen pals and letter writing clubs. Your kit materials include: Tomoe River paper, Life paper, envelopes, ephemera, address labels, postage and more. Taught by Letter Writers Alliance member and co-founder of The Tampa Bay Letter Writers Club, Tammy Wright. April 29th Saturday 1-4p. Reserve your spot now.

 

National Letter Writing Inspiration #1: Learn to Make a Snail Mail Notebook Mailer

So excited to be sharing the first inspirational video in a series that helps celebrate National Letter Writing Month this year.  Each week we are posting a fun, informative video that encourages you to write more letters, enhance connections with others and do good in the world.

This week, we partnered up with Skylar Hand who shares a love of letter writing here in Florida.  From Palm Bay she is showing us a fun way to correspond with a pen pal.  She has created a snail mailer that is sent back and forth between two pals.  I call it a traveling notebook!  Its fun to embellish and decorate a book, write a letter and then send it off.  Imagine if it was a few family members or a few friends with common interests...you could share a joint writing or art project, keep in touch with family members instead of always posting on Facebook, or even write a story and each person writes a chapter.  The possibilities are endless!

Next week, we will be giving you more hints and tips on what to put in this fun snail mail traveling notebook. Until then, enjoy this neat idea, thanks Skylar.