ABC's of Letterwriting / E = Envelope
Though most correspondence is slipped in to an envelope, that was not always the case. Lettersheets, distributed by the postal service, were common in the 18th and 19th centuries. Lettersheets were simply a sheet of paper used for writing, then folded and addressed on the outside to become self-mailers. Airmail sheets were lightweight lettersheets, but they, like the original lettersheets are no longer sold—but you can create your own!
You can also make your own envelopes from decorated or plain papers, or purchase them from paper companies, printers, or office supply stores.
The USPS has requirements for standard envelopes sizes. Envelopes that fall outside the proper dimensions will require additional postage (minimal cost), but worth it!
Do you make your own envelopes and/or stationery? We'd love to see it!
Today is 2nd Half of the Year Day - there's still time to make it the best ever. Let's go for it!
ABCs of Letter Writing / K = Kiss
Put S.W.A.K. at the end of a letter or on the outside of an envelope, and your intended's heart may skip a beat. Another way to express your feelings is with x's and o's (for kisses and hugs), as many as you want!
Calendar of Days / Today is Earth Day. If you get a chance, get out among the trees . . . look at the sky . . .
The Pony Express started in 1860 and ended just 18 months later when the telegraph was introduced. Employed with a dangerous and grueling job, Pony Express riders carried mail, newspapers, messages, and small packages across a 1,900-mile trail. Racing from Missouri to California, riders changed mounts every 10-15 miles, covering an average of 70-100 miles a day.
In contrast to our telephones, tweets, and overnight delivery, Pony Express riders cut east-west delivery times in half—from an average of 20 days to just 10 days, a remarkable feat on horseback.
The Pony Express National Historic Trail, highlights landmarks along the trail from California, to Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, Utah and Wyoming.
ABCs of Letter Writing / P = Pony Express
Elvis Presley's 1962 hit "Return to Sender" from the movie Girls! Girls! Girls! holds true today. If you get unwanted mail, simply write "Return to Sender" on the unopened envelope or parcel and the Post Office will take it away, no additional postage necessary.
I've had mail returned with the "Return to Sender" stamp when I've used an out-of-date or mislabeled an address. Takes a while, but it does come back.
ABCs of Letter Writing / R = Return to Sender
Today is National High-5 Day - Give a high-5!
When Patrick Henry, Revolutionary War activist and politician, made a call to arms against Britain, he grabbed a letter opener, thrust it toward his chest and delivered his well-known line, "Give me liberty, or give me death." Very effective.
My collection of letter openers comes from antique shops and yard sales, and often feature personal engravings or business logos. A surprising selection (though far less ornate) are available at office supply stores, while stationery stores and boutiques offer a selections with more character, like this one we found at Izola.
The ABCs of Letter Writing / L= Letter Opener
ABCs of Letter Writing / D = Dear
Dear . . . it's the most common of all salutations, in handwritten and printed letters. In emails, things are different. "Hi," and "Hello," are common, though some experts argue "Dear" is still the best way to begin an online correspondence with someone you don't know. What do you think?
Today is licorice day . . . what's your preference, red or black?
The National Postal Museum, part of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. offers exhibits, collections, and events. Open daily (except for December 25th), the museum is free and open to the public.
Visit online, or in person:
National Postal Museum
2 Massachusetts Ave., N.E.
Washington, DC 20002
Tel: (202) 633-5555
Z = Zip Code • As we design and develop our stamps, the topic and design for some is coming more easily. So rather than follow the alphabet from A-Z, we'll jump around as inspiration strikes. The Z-stamp is all about the zip code. We decided on 20002 because it's the zip code for the National Postal Museum in Washington, D.C.
In 1963, in an effort to streamline delivery across the United States, the zip code was introduced. A massive campaign was launched to encourage people to add the five-digit code to mailing addresses. Mr. Zip was introduced to build awareness, appearing in advertisements, on products, and in comics.
Easy, fast, and efficient, zip codes are now standard procedure, enabling the postal service to route mail directly to processing centers for faster delivery.
THE ABCs of LETTER WRITING / Z = Zip Code
In celebration of letter writing, this month we're designing a stamp for each letter of the alphabet, starting of course with A—for address. Because without it, your letters, cards, and notes go nowhere!
The ABCs of Letter Writing / A= Address