Discover the best selection of paper products from around the world!

Archive | Letter Writing RSS feed for this section

Charles Morrison Hand Writes Four Letters a Day, with Files of Hundreds of Writing Topic Inspirations

1 Oct

Dream of the day when your schedule yields enough time to include handwritten correspondence? We’ve just come across the amazing Charles Morrison, who devotes a few hours every morning to write (with a calligraphy pen and bottled ink) around 4 letters a day to a cycle of 106 people. He finds inspiration from hundreds of ideas he collects from his voluminous library of dictionaries. Charles has such a passion for writing that we’d simply love to shake his hand (in awe). Here’s the Creative Mornings talk on how he got started, his process, and why he enjoys it so. There are many great quotes in this lecture as well. When he said, “I love paper – I really love fine paper…” all of us here at European Paper were naturally aligned.

Check out the interview from The Seattle Times : 4,000 and counting: The handwritten letters of Shoreline’s Charles Morrison by Monica Guzman

What’s your favorite stationery to write letters on? We’d love to know!

Make it Yours! 3 Ways to Decorate Envelopes When Sending Letters

27 May

Nothing is better than receiving a handwritten letter in the mail. The time someone took to pick out the stationery, to sit down and craft sentences, and send it off is something of an anomaly.  In this day and age of social media, a handwritten letter is largely considered a thing of the past.

Show You Care with a Letter!

So why not show your appreciation to a friend, a family member, or a loved one and send off your own personalized letter?  You don’t need to spend a fortune on pre-made cards and envelopes, just take a blank envelope and you can make it totally your own in seconds!

While I love buying traditional cards, I love buying plain cream colored folded cards and envelopes.  This allows me to personalize the envelope (and the card) to the individual person, rather than rely on pre-written wishes!

Letter Decorating Supplies

My old standby has always been rubber stamps.  I have amassed a small collection of lovely stamps from various places in various designs – a small cat, a star burst, a lovely paisley design reminiscent of India – to name but a few.

Personally, I always pick a color first (most of my letters follow a color scheme), then I ink the chosen image on the side and the back of my envelope.  In a contrasting color, I would write the address. Depending on how creative I want to be, I either stop there or I add a little watercolor wash, layering colors and images until I am satisfied with my final product.

Washi tape is my new obsession.  I love its versatility and it comes in the most darling prints. One idea is to take washi tape and create a small box in the middle of the envelope and write the address inside.  Or you can place the washi tape all along the sides of the envelope.  You can use images from magazines coupled with washi tape to create a unique and simple design!

Something to Cherish Forever

Finally, you can just draw.  My best friend, who is an incredible artist, used her envelopes as a small mini canvas. In an attempt to flatter and impress her, I decorated my envelopes (and card) with little stick figures running around!  While that was the extent of my creativity, the sky is the limit for your artistic thoughts!  Using sturdy glue, you can create a lovely collage on the envelope front.  You can use stickers, pretty colored pens and ink to really create a lovely, unique envelope to send off to your friends and loved ones.

There is no limit to what you can do with your envelopes! Have some fun with them and see how you can transform this non-traditional canvas into a work of art.

 

~~~

Meet the Writer: Akhila Jagdish is a writer and a senior editor at The Crafted Word, an editorial services company. She loves making lists, collecting journals, reading, drinking wine and cooking. She is always looking for a good book, a new pen or a yoga class! 

~~~

Just In: New Colors of G. Lalo Mode de Paris Boxed Stationery

28 Mar

G. Lalo Mode de Paris Boxed Stationery (3.75 x 6) new colors (extra white, graphite grey, raspberry) on EuropeanPaper.com

Get them while they’re hot! New colors of the G. Lalo Mode de Paris Boxed Stationery just came in! The new colors are: Extra White, Graphite Grey, and Raspberry.

The luxe Mode de Paris stationery is perfect for expressing your sentiments in a memorable way. Elegant and classy, the Mode de Paris boxed stationery comes with 30 flat note cards and 30 matching lined envelopes for exceptional correspondence your family, friends, and penpals will want to keep at hand for years. Check out all G. Lalo Stationery here!

And a huge thank you to everyone at the Quo Vadis Blog for their wonderful shout-out to us yesterday – see it here!

Pull Out Your Finest Pens, Stationery & More: It’s Letter Writing Month!

1 Feb

February is Letter Writing Month! Accept the Challenge at EuropeanPaper.com

We’re psyched to begin February with news of two fabulous letter writing challenges from around the blogosphere!

  • First up is the Month of Letters Challenge (LetterMo.com) started in 2011 by novelist Mary Kowal
  • FPGeeks also created a “mail a day” challenge called International Correspondence Writing Month (InCoWriMo, which is inspired by NaNoWriMo if the acronym doesn’t sound familiar).

Both challenge websites have forums and more information, but the premise is simple: mail one thing per day over the course of the month. (Technically, LetterMo’s challenge is for you to send 23 pieces of mail, one per every day the postal service runs, while InCoWriMo’s challenge is 28 pieces of mail, one per day.) Whether you send a postcard, 5-page handwritten letter, mail art, or package is completely up to you.

Resources:

Have you written a blog post about Letter Writing Month or have another resource for us to list? Add it in the comments below and we’ll add it up here!

7 Ways to Celebrate National Handwriting Day

23 Jan

celebrate national handwriting day with EuropeanPaper.com!

Celebrate handwriting with EuropeanPaper.com on Instagram – follow us @EuroPaper

1) Practice your penmanship. No, seriously. The small things in today’s world have such an increased focus on them, that you’ll appreciate having nice handwriting when the time comes to write a thank you letter, sympathy note, or love letter.

2) Start a new journal if you don’t already have one in rotation. Need inspiration? Check out our blog post: 10 Ideas for a Journaling Jump Start (or just start writing about National Handwriting Day)!

3) If you have more than one notebook you journal in currently, go through each one and write a paragraph about this day/week.

4) Volunteer at your local elementary or middle school and help teach children how to improve their handwriting–and why it’s important! Check out Campaign for Cursive for more information. (h/t Canon-McmillanPatch)

5) Take your time, sit down with your favorite stationery or note card, and write that thank you letter you’ve been avoiding since the holidays. Here’s how: How to Write a Thank You Letter.

6) Did you know National Handwriting Day was created on the birthday of Declaration of Independence signer John Hancock? See his beautiful signature on Wikipedia and see if you can recreate it freehand

7) Never used a fountain pen before? Today’s the day! Learn how to write with a fountain pen!

Need more inspiration? Check out our blogroll for amazing snail mailers, pen & pencil aficionados, and writers galore HERE

And that’s just scratching the surface. What are some of your suggestions for celebrating National Handwriting Day? Leave them in the comments below!

 

Blogroll: Our Top 6 Most Fabulous & Informative Blog Posts of 2012

5 Jan

How to Write: A Letter of Resignation

  • Resigning from something – whether it’s a job or a volunteer position with a local non-profit – is an occasion that should be given some care and attention. In most cases, your letter of resignation will be kept on file permanently and is something that could potentially resurface in the future. Here are a few essential components to any good resignation letter and a few best practices as well.

How to Write: Sympathy Notes

  • Sympathy Notes really get a lot of scrutiny from the recipient. A  sympathy note is a reminder that the recipient has many people in his or her life to help fill in that empty spot. There are lots of things you can say in a sympathy note, most of which are probably fine. However, there are a few things you should avoid saying in a sympathy note and I’ll tell you why.

How to Write With a Fountain Pen

  • No matter what fountain pen you have; whether it’s a $2 drugstore find or a $1,000 special edition, it’s important to understand what the tool was designed for so you use it properly. It’s also useful to find other people who use fountain pens and ask them for their tips and advice. That said, here are my tips for how to write with fountain pens.

How to Write: Improving Your Cursive Skills

  • Cursive is a word that basically just means the letters are joined. So, whether your cursive is bubbly and wide or teeny and scratchy; as long as those letters are connected, you, my friend, are writing in cursive. Here are my best tips for improving your cursive.

How to Write: Friendship / Appreciation Notes

  • Friendship and Appreciation notes are a special kind of personal correspondence and are always treasured by the recipient. They can be a challenge to write because they require the expression of honest, heartfelt emotion and sentiment when we, at least Americans, don’t normally do that. Start to change that with this post!

How to Write: Thank You Notes

  • Thank you notes do not serve the purpose of simply naming (and sometimes also describing) a gift someone sent you. This post in the How To Write series is meant to help you write thank you notes well. And we begin by understanding one subtle difference: a thank you note is different from just a thank you. They are not one and the same.
Click the image below for even more How to Write blog posts in the series, and enjoy!
Read more of our How to Write blog post series

How to Write: Letter of Recommendation

12 Nov

How to Write: Letter of Resignation by Cole Imperi on EuropeanPaper.com/Blog The most important thing to keep in mind when writing a letter of recommendation is that you are writing to present new information; not to confirm information that is already available. Let’s go through some scenarios:

Recommendation Letters for Students

Many graduate-level education programs don’t highly consider recommendation letters that simply confirm information available in a student’s transcript. This means information like grades and test scores.

If your student has an A in your class, it’s best not to write something like:

“Student is very conscientious, arrives to class on time, has never missed a lesson and is 3 out of 67 students academically. He would be an excellent addition to your program.”

The above example is simply confirming what’s in the student’s transcript. One can easily tell this student is really good at being a student. But is that all they can do? Are they able to be anything else? The emphasis should be on their ability to apply their knowledge in the real world, and it should reference their enthusiasm and interest in whatever their course of study is.

Recommendation Letters for Employees & Interns

Your first step is to ask what the letter is for. Is this for another internship? If so, where? Or is this for admission into some sort of educational program? Your letter of recommendation will be more valuable if you are able to write it with an understanding of what its purpose is for.

Your letter should be concise and thorough. It’s actually OK to mention a weakness as long as you are emphasizing the positive. When mentioning a weakness like “She/he doesn’t always know when to ask for help,” be sure to end with a positive solution like “She/he doesn’t always know when to ask for help, but after we paired her/him with a senior-level manager to mentor them, we saw immense development of skills and ability. Their leadership skills grew as a result and their contribution to the team multiplied tenfold.”

A letter of recommendation for an employee is not a request to state that the employee showed up on time or did their job. It’s a request to understand more about the character and ability of the person. They want to know if this person is likely to persevere through difficulty, or give up. If they’re able to adjust to changes and adapt to new situations. If they can work with a wide range of personality types and still keep projects moving forward. They don’t want to hear that they took no sick days in 2012. They want to hear that the applicant is not only capable of working independently, but also able to ask if they’re unsure of something.

Recommendation Letters for Volunteers

A volunteer is special. They are giving up their most precious resource—time—to your cause or organization. Keeping that volunteer volunteering is vastly important. If they’re ready to move on from your organization, it’s your job to make sure they continue giving their time somewhere else. Volunteers are precious resources!

Writing letters of recommendation for volunteers should involve two things: statements about the volunteer’s character and information about your organization. Each organization or group that utilizes volunteer time is built differently. How your group is structured may not align with how another’s is. It’s important for the person reading the letters of recommendation to not only get a feel for the volunteer’s character, but also to understand the inner workings of your organization.

Recommendation Letters Are Not About You

It’s generally useful to provide a paragraph’s worth of information about yourself. How you know the person you are recommending and a little about how you interacted/worked with them. But that’s it. No need to get into specifics. The letter is about them, not about you.

How to Structure a Letter of Recommendation

Be formally concise. Your first paragraph is the statement of recommendation. Your second paragraph covers who you are and how you worked with the person being recommended. The next 1-3 paragraphs should each detail a specific example (all positive) of situations or events that clearly demonstrate certain aspects of the character of the person being recommended. Your final paragraph should serve to summarize: restate your strong recommendation on the basis of the person’s demonstrated strong character and positive attitude.

When NOT to Write a Letter of Recommendation

Simply, don’t write a recommendation letter for someone if you don’t mean it. You will waste their time and yours. If you need a way to decline writing a letter of recommendation, you can simply say that you do not have enough time to write an adequate letter.

~~~

Meet the Writer: Cole Imperi is a business owner and a proponent of the handwritten word. When not at Doth Brands, a Branding & Identity firm catering to the health, wellness & deathcare professions where Cole works as Owner and Creative Director, you might find her on her yoga mat teaching yoga or behind a laptop writing for Simplicity Embellished, a letter-writing and lifestyle blog.

~~~

Editor’s Note: This article is part of the How to Write series. Read the others here:

How to Write: Sympathy Notes

How to Write: Ideal Business Correspondence Notes

How to Write: Friendship / Appreciation Notes

How to Write: Thank You Notes

How to Write: With a Fountain Pen

How to Write: To a New Penpal

How to Maintain Your Pen Collection

How to Write: Improving Your Cursive Skills

How to Write: A Letter of Resignation

National Novel Writing Month: NaNoWriMo

1 Nov

It’s that time of year again! If you’ve never heard of NaNoWriMo, this is the time to kick your writing into overdrive.

Starting today, the goal is to write a 50,000-word novel by midnight on November 30, 2012!

Fifty thousand words can sound incredibly daunting – especially if you don’t write on a regular basis – but it is very possible. Whether you don’t think you have the time, or you think you’re not a good writer, or anything else that may be stopping you in your tracks, let us just say that all you have to do is start writing! It is as easy as that.

To start, put it on your schedule to write for at least 15 minutes a day and gradually increase your writing time over the month. That way, you at least start the process. Once you get the ball rolling, by mid-month you’ll feel much more at ease with the writing process and your goal of 50K words. If you need support, encouragement, or just a bit of enthusiasm to get you started writing, the NaNoWriMo site has a wonderful forum of other people in the writing process, too!

Last year, over 250,000 people from around the world participated in NanoWriMo 2011. “NaNoWriMo is the writing world’s version of a marathon,” said Grant Faulkner, executive director of National Novel Writing Month. “Writers exit the month with more than a novel; they’ve experienced a transformative creative journey.”

Are you participating in NaNoWriMo? Comment below and include your blog link!

How to Write: A Letter of Resignation

10 Sep

How to Write: Letter of Resignation by Cole Imperi on EuropeanPaper.com/BlogResigning from something – whether it’s a job or a volunteer position with a local non-profit – is an occasion that should be given some care and attention. In most cases, your letter of resignation will be kept on file permanently and is something that could potentially resurface in the future. Here are a few essential components to any good resignation letter and a few best practices as well.

1. Formatting

Format the resignation letter formally. If you use a word processor like Microsoft Word, you can use one of the pre-installed templates. There are several that will work; one in particular is called ‘Formal Letter.’ Use a heavier, decent paper when you print it off as well to add a more professional look.

2. Keep it Simple

There is no need to detail any specifics in a resignation letter. You might want to describe a situation or take time to write something a bit lengthier – don’t. Save that for your exit interview if you wish. If there is no exit interview, perhaps offering up those additional details would be better delivered in person verbally or through a thoughtful email. Ask yourself if anything more really needs to be said.

3. Include Basic Information

Make sure your full first and last name, current mailing address, date, the name of the company or organization you are resigning from, their address and your signature (in ink) are all listed in the letter.

4. List Your Resignation Date

It’s very important that you list the date your resignation will be effective. Whether you already told your employer in person is no matter, you need to have it in writing. If your employer has requirements for giving notice (the standard is two weeks), this letter will serve as proof that you gave enough notice.

5. Be Positive

Even if you are leaving on bad terms, it’s important to not be negative in your resignation letter. Imagine if a future employer saw this letter. Would they be left with a bad taste? If you are finding it hard to be positive, at the very least thank the company or the organization for the opportunity and leave it at that.

6. Offer to Help

Offer to assist in finding a replacement or to train your replacement. It’s important to show that you are a team player and are trying to avoid leaving the company in a lurch.

7. Clarify Final Duties

It is good practice to not only list your date of resignation, but to note that you need clarification on your final duties and any other final matters before you go. This helps the company or organization know that they need to figure out what is left as well. If you’ve already discussed your final duties and responsibilities, it would be appropriate to list those out in writing in your resignation letter.

Here’s the thing about resignation letters. You never know when – or how – you’ll cross paths with your former boss or coworkers in the future. The fact is, you may never, but the world is a very small place sometimes. If you leave anything in writing, make sure it’s positive and professional.

Below is a basic example of a resignation letter (click to enlarge). What experiences (positive or negative) have you had with resignation letters?

How to Write a Resignation Letter via EuropeanPaper.com/Blog

~~~

Meet the Writer: Cole Imperi is a business owner and a proponent of the handwritten word. When not at Doth Brands, a Branding & Identity firm catering to the health, wellness & deathcare professions where Cole works as Owner and Creative Director, you might find her on her yoga mat teaching yoga or behind a laptop writing for Simplicity Embellished, a letter-writing and lifestyle blog.

~~~

Editor’s Note: This article is part of the How to Write series. Read the others here:

How to Write: Sympathy Notes

How to Write: Ideal Business Correspondence Notes

How to Write: Friendship / Appreciation Notes

How to Write: Thank You Notes

How to Write: With a Fountain Pen

How to Write: To a New Penpal

How to Maintain Your Pen Collection

How to Write: Improving Your Cursive Skills

How to Write: Improving Your Cursive Skills

7 Sep

How to Write: Improving Your Cursive Skills on EuropeanPaper.com/Blog

Cursive is a word that basically just means the letters are joined. So, whether your cursive is bubbly and wide or teeny and scratchy; as long as those letters are connected, you, my friend, are writing in cursive.

Having a solid cursive writing style at your fingertips is useful. Cursive is nice to bring out for special occasions, like birthday cards and letters, and once you really get it down, it can become a beautiful style of day-to-day writing.

What tends to be most frustrating about this style of writing is that things can look a bit uneven. If you look at your own natural cursive and you aren’t happy with something, can it be attributed to uneveness? In my experience as a long-time letter writer, penmanship and calligraphy instructor, and type designer, this is exactly the case. Here are my best tips for improving your cursive.

 Slow Down

Whether you are printing or writing in cursive, this tip will always ring true. Take something you’ve written in cursive and set it down next to you. On another sheet of paper, write the same exact thing but slow down when writing it. Compare the two. Is there a difference? When we slow down to write, it gives our hands time to create smoother strokes and more consistent connections. Get used to writing slower and you’ll soon be able to speed up without losing any quality in your penmanship.

 Same Angle, Same Position

When you are writing in cursive, take note of the angle of the pen and the angle of your hand. Whatever angle you start with—keep it throughout the entire piece of writing. You see, when we change the angle of writing mid-stream that’s when we have problems.

 Be Cognizant of Connections

Cursive is all about connections. If you have uneven connection points, those can be fixed by either slowing down or keeping a consistent angle. If you find yourself having to draw longer connections sometimes, you probably have changed your angle. If you find yourself with short and rough connection points, you need to slow down. These connection strokes in cursive are what make cursive cursive. They are what make this style of penmanship beautiful. They make it this way because they provide rhythm and repetition. Do you know what happens in a song where the drummer can’t keep a consistent beat? It doesn’t sound right. Same with cursive, keep that consistent stroke and connection going on.

 It Takes A Little Time

Slowing down at first will give you some ‘breathing room’ in properly developing your style of cursive. If you don’t slow down at first, it’s like building the walls of the house before the foundation. Slowing down does not mean you are not a good writer or you are not capable of writing faster, it just means you are taking time to really master something well so that in the future, when you do speed up, you’ll be prepared and will be producing something that is the same quality as what you produced at a slower speed.

Your Cursive Will Be Different Than My Cursive

If you’re like me, you were taught cursive in second grade. We all were taught based on the same model and were graded on how close we were to that model. Don’t approach your penmanship the same way.

How I write cursive will not be how you write cursive. It can be helpful to look at other writing samples for ideas or as ways to diagnose connection problems (i.e. how others connect an ‘r’ to an ‘s’), but you should really work on developing your cursive independently. Go into it with the mindset that you are honing your own cursive; not that you are honing someone else’s cursive.

Find a Rhythm

One thing that may help you improve your cursive quickly is to find a rhythm in the way you write. Have you ever sat down to write and you noticed that words you were writing were flowing onto the page with ease? Did you notice that your hand might have fallen into a ‘rhythm’ of upstrokes and downstrokes? If you can write in a way where your upstrokes and downstrokes take the same amount of time, your writing will reflect this style. Because this tip is a bit abstract, I’m going to explain a simple exercise so that you can actually ‘hear’ your cursive. All you need is a felt tipped pen of some kind (or any pen that will give some squeak or scratch), any kind of paper and some quiet. Write in your natural cursive and ‘listen’ to your letters. Listen for your upstrokes and your downstrokes as you write. Does it sound smooth and consistent? Try writing in a way so that you ‘hear’ a rhythm in the way you write.

I’ve included an image of the ‘traditional’ model of cursive for you to take a look at. Chances are, you naturally do not write your capital Z like shown. That’s OK. Write how you write.

Traditional-Cursive-Image - How to Improve Your Cursive on EuropeanPaper.com/Blog

~~~

Meet the Writer: Cole Imperi is a business owner and a proponent of the handwritten word. When not at Doth Brands, a Branding & Identity firm catering to the health, wellness & deathcare professions where Cole works as Owner and Creative Director, you might find her on her yoga mat teaching yoga or behind a laptop writing for Simplicity Embellished, a letter-writing and lifestyle blog.

~~~

Editor’s Note: This article is part of the How to Write series. Read the others here:

How to Write: Sympathy Notes

How to Write: Ideal Business Correspondence Notes

How to Write: Friendship / Appreciation Notes

How to Write: Thank You Notes

How to Write: With a Fountain Pen

How to Write: To a New Penpal

How to Maintain Your Pen Collection

NEW Moleskine Messages Note Cards & Notebooks

29 Aug

NEW Moleskine Postal Messages : Note Cards & Notebooks : on EuropeanPaper.com

The Moleskine Messages Postal Notebooks and Note Cards are a brand new way to share your love of Moleskine! Pop them in the mail to your family, friends, and penpals. They’re available in 2 sizes, 2 formats, and 4 cover colors. Trust us, everyone loves a handwritten hello! Shop all Moleskine Messages here.

~~~

Moleskine Messages Note Card – Pocket & Large

Moleskine Messages Note Cards on EuropeanPaper.com

~~~

Moleskine Messages Notebook – Pocket & Large

Moleskine Messages Postal Notebooks on EuropeanPaper.com

Reconnect on Friendship Day

3 Aug

Happy Friendship Day (which is this Sunday, August 5th)!  Where would we be without our friends?  I know that I, for one, would be lost without them.  My friends mean the world to me, and I try to make sure that they know!  In this day of social networks, texting and emails, a handwritten letter can be a light on a dark day.

See all Stationery, Note Cards, and Post Cards on EuropeanPaper.comSometimes life can take over and a cherished friendship falls to the wayside.  So how do you get back in touch? Personally, I send them a postcard.  I love art postcards, and every museum I have ever been to, I always pick up a handful of postcards.  I find one that speaks to me and I fill it out – telling them that I miss them, and hope they contact me back.  A postcard is small enough so it doesn’t get awkward trying to think of things to write about, but long enough to get your point across – that you miss them and want them to know it.

Showing your current friends how you appreciate them can be an exercise in creativity!  You can send them a homemade card – take a blank folded note card and draw, paint or make a collage on the outside, fill out the inside, and send it off.

Or you can do something really different and send them a book letter.  My best friend, J, lives in New York City.  We have known each other for over a decade, and we always write letters to each other.  For Christmas last year, I decided to send her a book letter instead of just a letter.  We were at a gallery earlier that year and she remarked how she loved this one particular blank notebook, so while she was perusing one section of the gift store, I bought the notebook.

My friend is an artist – a phenomenal painter and I have a lot of her work in my house.  And I am a writer.  So I thought about doing something a little different: I was going to write her a poem and in this notebook, I was going to document HOW I was writing it.  And then the last page of the book would be the finished product, the poem itself.  It was something different; something she could keep that would be personal and just for her.

Sending a note to an old friend is always fun as you have so many ways to get your message across. Create your own collage card, send a quick and personal postcard, or opt to write a traditional letter. Consider sending your friend an inspirational quote, or introducing them to a new poem.

Celebrate your friends this Friendship Day and every day. Let them know you care about them and think about them by sending them a note. I know they will appreciate it!

~~~

Meet the Writer: Akhila Jagdish is a writer and editor in the process of starting her own editorial services company, The Crafted Word. She loves making lists, collecting journals, reading, drinking wine and cooking. 

~~~