Monday, July 27, 2015

More incoming mail!

Seeing new letters at my doorstep always makes me happy and brightens up my day a LOT. Today I'm coming with another blogpost in which I will show you what I've been receiving over the last few days. It's going to be a short post since I'm sick and not feeling too well at the moment but would still like to keep up with writing on this blog weekly.

First of all, a letter from Ada who's from Poland. I'm not a big fan of Lord of the Rings but I do think the stationery is lovely! Ada also sent me tea but it was gone by the time I took the pictures :)

Next comes a letter from Edith who lives in Hungary. It was a long, sweet letter and I really enjoyed reading it!

And another gorgeous letter from Theresa who lives in Germany. I really love the stationery with the Harry Potter houses printed on it <3 I'm a potterhead so whenever my pen pals send me Harry Potter related things, I get really really happy!

Last but not least, a beautiful piece of mail from Mira. Mira is from Finland but she works as an au pair in the United States. I can't get over the fact how beautiful the envelope Mira decorated is! Besides, the sent me loads of goodies which I'm really thankful for! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

That would be it for today's blogpost! It's not the end of the incoming post, though! Part three of incoming mail coming up on the blog soon!



Tuesday, July 21, 2015

A lot of incoming mail!

Hello everyone! I have returned to Ireland! I probably would have written this blogpost sooner but some problems have occurred and my laptop charger is broken. I am planning on buying a new one in the nearest future but for now I have to use my boyfriend's computer. So, thank you for letting me use your laptop, boyfriend :)

I came home to see a huge mail pile that had been getting bigger and bigger during my absence. I received seven lovely letters in total and if you don't believe me that my pen pals are the best people in the world, have a look at the pictures I'm going to attach below. Maybe you'll change your mind! You might have seen those pictures already if you follow me on Instagram. I tend to post a lot of stuff on there so I recommend you follow me!

click on the attached picture above ^

I'm now going to show you what my lovely pen pals sent me last week. Loads and loads of lovely mail! I'm really lucky to have such thoughtful pen friends. Let's start from the letter that Anka from Slovenia sent me. I don't know what it is about black envelopes but I really love them. I need to make some of my own at some point. By the way, that tea Anka sent me was yummy! I really enjoyed it. I'm a huge tea person so I love to get tea bags from foreign countries!

Next I am going to show you all the goodies Shay from the Philippines sent me. She made me two amazingly pretty bookmarks that I intend to use for when I read paper books. I've been mostly reading on my Kobo lately 'cause I'm short of money and can't afford to buy books in paper, unfortunately. Being a bookworm is tough sometimes. But anyway, here's all the mail love Shay sent me:

Aren't these adorable?

Here's a lovely letter from my beloved pen pal Sophie! She always sends me long and interesting letters that are full of love. This time Sophie sent me a "new home" card because I'd officially moved into my house in Ireland. I can't wait to start responding to Sophie's letter! I'm writing her a notebook-long letter now and I hope she'll love it 'cause I've been trying to make it special and interesting. I'm planning on writing a separate blogpost on notebook-long letters.

Thank you, Sophie <3

Another letter made a long journey all the way from Indonesia. I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw how beautiful it was! Andria, you totally made my day! Thank you for the little dreamcatcher, it's a brilliant touch to my collection of dreamcatchers (I collect dreamcatchers from all over the world). Thank you, thank you 

And another lovely letter from Lozzi who lives in the UK. Look at the pretty handmade envelope that she created! The letter she wrote me was really nice to read, too.

The next letter came from Barcelona, Spain. That city is one of my favourite places in this world and I always wanted to become pen friends with someone who lives there. One day a guy named Enric wrote me a message asking if he could send me a letter and I let him do it :)

Lastly, I am going to show you the letter I got from Jessica whom I've been pen pals with for quite a long time. Jess also lives in Ireland but she's from County Kerry. She's lucky to live there 'cause that's the most beautiful county in Ireland in my opinion.

That would be it for today's post. I have more incoming mail to show you but I don't want to make this blogpost even longer than it already is. Do you prefer shorter or longer posts? Let me know! And bye for now!

Thursday, July 09, 2015

How to write a good intro letter?

Are you one of those people who have difficulty thinking up things to write in an intro letter to a new pen pal? If your answer is a big YES then I am glad you're currently reading this blogpost! I have come up with a bunch of ideas you could include in your first letter to a person who's just become your new pen friend. I am going to wrap all of those ideas together and I am hoping they will help someone out there who really wants to create a beautiful and meaningful letter. Let's get started!

✓ RULE ONE: Introduce yourself. This is an important step that should be done in the first or second paragraph of your intro letter. Don't forget to mention when exactly you and your new pen friend agreed to exchange letters. I have got a lot of intro letters in the past in which people did not introduce themselves and that resulted in me having no idea who the sender of the letter actually was. I ended up not responding to those letters because it was impossible for me to figure out who those people were.

✓ RULE TWO: Avoid giving vague information. Examples of unclear sentences would be: "I like to draw." or "I'm a real bookworm.". Try not to mention your hobbies vaguely. Instead, write more about them and describe your ideas comprehensively. Instead writing "I like to draw," you can say "Drawing is one of my biggest hobbies. I generally draw in pencil, and most of my drawings are portraits of people. I have drawn a lot of portraits of my family members and famous people such as... (give loads of examples). If you are interested in seeing some of my art, you can find it on..." Such sentences sound more reliable and they can make your new pen pal have a better idea of what you are talking about.

✓ RULE THREE: Ask them questions. Your new pen friend will most likely get bored if you only write about yourself. After reading your letter, they will feel confused and they'll struggle to write a response. Make sure you ask them a lot of questions - that will show them that you have great interest in getting to know them better, and that's always a good beginning to establishing a lovely, long-lasting friendship. Unsure about what you should ask your pen pal? In this case you should subscribe to my blog by writing your e-mail address in the bar on the left side of my website where it says Notify Me About New Posts. I am planning on writing a blogpost titled "100 Things to Ask Your Pen Pal" in the near future!

✓ RULE FOUR: Write your return address clearly. You can write your return address on either the envelope or you may write it on a separate sheet and attach it to your letter. It's your choice. Make sure you write your address clearly so that your pen pal has no trouble reading it and using it to send you a response later on. If your handwriting is messy, you can always write the address on a computer and print it out.

✓ RULE FIVE: Use lovely stationery and make your letter look pretty. Your new pen friend will appreciate the effort, trust me! To get inspired, you can browse the Internet under the phrase "Mail art". Have a look at hashtags on Instagram (example: #mailart), look up various snail mail related boards on Pinterest or receive inspiration from various snail mail blogs (there are plenty of them on the Internet). Don't be afraid to experiment and create new designs! You don't have to be great at drawing to produce beautiful mail art, trust me. Just rely on simplicity.

Apart from this you can:
  • Tell your pen pal about other people who have a special place in your heart. 
  • Throw in a few sentences about your pets and what they mean to you.
  • Write about your daily routine - explain what you usually do and what your whole day looks like.
  • Tell them about your dreams that you would like to fulfil in the future.
  • Explain what snail mail means to you and how your adventure with it began.
  • Mention your favourite bands, books, movies, etc. Who knows, maybe it'll appear that your pen pal likes the same things! Also, tell them what those things mean to you and why they are your favourites.
  • Tell them a little bit about the place you live in. Attach a postcard of your town or city if possible. If you don't have a postcard, you can always throw a few pictures in. People love it when you send them photos that were taken by you.
  • Remember: snail mail is a time-consuming and pricy hobby. Although, it is extremely rewarding! There is nothing better than receiving a letter from a person who lives across the globe.
Recently I have written quite a few intro letters myself since the idea for this blogpost. I hope my ideas and suggestions on how to write a letter to a stranger turned out to be helpful for you in one way or another. Make sure to let me know if you have ever found it difficult and awkward to write your first introductory letter to someone. What are your experiences? Also, feel free to share your golden tips on making an intro letter special and interesting to its receiver. What do you usually write in the first letter? Do you bother to create mail art? I can't wait to getting your feedback!


Friday, July 03, 2015

Postman problem solved + outgoing and incoming post.

Hi everyone! I haven't received any mail after I had written the last blogpost. Until today. Recently, I have found out there was a new postman in our area who didn't take his job too seriously... There have been a lot of problems with him lately, and yesterday I took a ride to the local post office to express my dissatisfaction. I was told that the new postman was only working as a locum for the old one and that he would only do it for one more week.

I had been waiting for letters from three Polish girls that I got to know on a pen palling Facebook group. The founder of the group, Ada (whose letter I am still awaiting but I'm hoping it'll arrive soon), came up with an idea of this great action which everyone interested in snail mail could take part in. Ada collected our addresses and made a draw assigning us one or two of them each. We had to write surprise letters to the people whose addresses Ada had chosen for us. I was happy to find out I had to write a letter to Ada! I wish I had taken my own picture of the letter I wrote so I could upload it on the blog. However, Ada snapped a picture of it and posted it to our Facebook group. I don't think she'll mind me using her picture to show you my letter to her:

It would seem that the complaint has been treated seriously because the new postman brought a bunch of letters today! I had already started believing that the mail must've got lost... So these are the letters from two lovely girls: Dworak and Wiktoria:

Dworak, thanks for the tea, that little angel and the kisiel <3 (kissel)

The postman looked quite grumpy today, if you ask me. What if he knew I was the one to complain about him? Sorry, not sorry!

Yesterday I finished writing my letter to my Chinese pen pal who lives in Taiwan. Ying Syuan is such a lovely and nice person and we've already exchanged a couple of letters. All her letters are thoughtful, beautiful and interesting. I hope my post will reach her soon! You can find some snaps of my letter to Ying Syuan below.

I also included my favourite recipe :)

I feel so happy and relieved that the incoming letters didn't get lost. I hope the new postman will do his work scrupulously from now on. I'm still awaiting two more letters: one from Ada that I had mentioned already and another one from my Polish friend living in Sweden. 

That would be it for today's blogpost! It was quite random because I hadn't thought I would write it today. However, it makes me happy that I have things to write about. I have plenty of ideas for future blogposts as well but if there is something you would like me to write about, let me know in the comments below! I will take all suggestions into consideration.