I absolutely love writing letters. I have all my life. Maybe it’s because I grew up with Jane Austen and my love of history. I love to see handwritten letters and postcards at the flea markets. I love to imagine people sitting at a desk, dipping into inkpots, writing with a unique stylus or quill, and sanding their letters before sealing it off with a waxed initial or crest. The whole experience is rustic, yet so chic and so beautiful.
My dad is a letter writer. He courted my mom through letters. Growing up, seeing him write in his perfect cursive inspired me to work on my own handwriting. When I corresponded with my cousin through letters as a child, my dad would make me rewrite them if the print wasn’t legible. To this day, he still writes out little notes and letters to me – and he only lives ten minutes away!
In my years of collecting stationery, I’ve also acquired quite a few instruments and items to make my writing all the more special.
One of my absolute favorites is my writing box. I’ve yearned for one for years, having seen them in, what else, Jane Austen movies! I got mine from Amazon a few years ago and use it every time I write. It’s polished wood, folds up into a nice box when not in use and sits on the ledge next to my antique desk. When unfolded, it has an angled board for writing.
2. Used red seal wax.
3. Metal seal in ‘M’.
4. Chinese crest stamp made of stone carved into a tiger.
5. Opened bottles of colored ink.
7. Gold seal wax.
8. Metal seal in ‘Y’, for my maiden name.
9. Box of nibs for my styluses.
13. More red seal wax, this type I’m not fond of, so it’s hidden away.
The main compartment of the writing desk opens up to a cubby that stores stationery. Here, I like to collect Chinese wooden carved bookmarks (the red book), old library cards, letters I’ve gotten back from writing Britain’s Royal family, beeswax taper candles, and vellum envelopes.
It’s all about creating the ritual, nay the ceremony, for writing, which is becoming a lost art. With texting and video chatting, taking time to really put thoughts to words is something special to cherish.
Oddly enough, through Twitter and Instagram, I’ve discovered a whole network of people who are dedicated to sending notes to each other. Who doesn’t love to open their mailbox and see a letter addressed to you? It instantly brightens your day and they are lovely to collect. I think it’s amazing there are people out there dedicated to keeping up the art.
Are you a letter writer? What’s your style? Pure words or mail art and crafty? Let me know!