30 letters in 30 days

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Did you once love writing and receiving letters by mail? For years now, my mail has mostly consisted of junk and a few bills. I miss the surprise of seeing a friend’s handwriting, colorful stickers and doodles, and the thickness of an envelope containing pages of story and musings.

And I remember spending long, satisfying hours hunched over a desk writing letters to friends, anticipating their reply.

So, I’m taking part in a challenge for the month of April. Would you like to join me?

It’s called “Write_On,” and the mission is to “promote joy, creativity, expression, and connection through hand-written correspondence.” The task: write 30 letters in 30 days during April, which happens to be National Letter Writing Month.

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stationery set available in my Etsy shop

Although I imagine quiet, thoughtful hours at the desk neatly “penning” letters to dear friends — my life just does not work that way right now. So, I’m sure the month will be a bit frenzied, my handwriting less than stellar, and many one-page letters dashed off and sent. Nevertheless, I’m doing it!

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Egg Press, the company that pressed my political postcard, created the event. Egg Press staff all take part in write_on. Here, Katelyn is standing next to their idea boards from previous years. Notice the bagel on the bulletin board? Yes, someone figured out how to mail a bagel.

My goals, so far, are to make my letters mostly thank you letters. Some political, many friend-neighbor-family focused. And, as much as time allows, I want to illustrate my own cards and stationery.

But really, I want to let the letter writing take me where it will. I want to get back to those days of much slower (and sloppier in my case) communication that involved so much reflection and love and consideration. Also, serendipity. I’m not sure who all I’ll write to, what they’ll say in response (if anything), or where it will all lead. I just know it will involve pens, color, stationery, cards, stamps, stickers, and walks to the “blue box” up the street to mail my letters.

You can do it however you wish, as long as you write 30 letters in 30 days, starting April 1st. I’ll be sharing updates on Instagram and here, and I’d love to hear how you’re doing as well.

 

Pressing Onward

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letterpress political postcard

“You should try letterpress,” my husband said. This was his solution to the rather expensive black-and-white printing estimates I’d received so far.

If plain old copies are spendy, letterpress will be totally out of my price range, I thought. But, I contacted the three companies he forwarded to me anyway. The first: doesn’t do postcards. The second: isn’t taking new projects. The third? . . .

. . . Amazing, supportive, kind, instructive, inspiring response! The printing cost compared closely to the other printers, but it would be in color, on luscious paper, and pressed like a real piece of art!!

Egg Press (insert hearts here) took my design, worked with me to smooth it out for the plate (see image below), and printed gorgeous two-sided postcards. You can see the dent of the press in that top picture, right? You can feel it too!

Katelyn worked with me at Egg Press, and when I went to their super-cool studio in an old warehouse overlooking the train tracks in NW Portland, she gave me a tour: opening a vault door, leading me up wide wooden staircases through a cold and dim warehouse, sliding back a huge heavy iron door to reveal:

a brightly lit, exposed brick studio filled with presses and work spaces, ink and paper, binders and cutters, and people — artists and designers and press operators. People whose talent would easily intimidate me but who were all so nice I tried to come up with a reason why I needed to stay there all day.

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political postcard drawn by me and printed by Egg Press!!

I am so proud of this 4×6 postcard, and so grateful for the supportive experience I had with Egg Press and Katelyn. You’ll see a picture of her in my next post. I’m taking part in a writing event Egg Press is hosting. You can join me if you want. More soon!

In the meantime, if you have messages you need to send to politicians, organizations, or agencies, this bold, patriotic blue letterpress postcard will catch their eye! (You can shop for them here: www.etsy.com/shop/CarrotCondo).