Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Art of the Hand-Written Note

When I was in first grade I won the handwriting award–an accolade I won't soon forget–which prompted me to write notes to people, mainly so I could admire my handiwork as it flowed across the page. My ego aside, I loved corresponding with friends; writing letters became a passion, topped only by the thrill of receiving a response in the mail. I loved the entire art of letter writing, from the paper and the ink to the story behind the stamps. Santa brought me a calligraphy set one year for Christmas and I would spend hours at our kitchen table practicing my flourishes. Soon I was addressing envelopes for weddings and making my own cards. To me, a letter represented my connection with someone else. It was an artistic expression of thoughtfulness.

Letters have now been replaced by emails and Facebook is the new way to connect (allowing you to "collect" friends with whom you'll probably never correspond). I miss those authentic bonds made through an exchange of paper, and so I'm bringing back the art of the hand-written note.

Here's what you'll need:

A Letter Station - Designate a place in your home devoted to all the essentials you'll need to write and send a note on-the-go. I use a silver tray on my desk which houses pens, blank cards and stamps. My pens sit upright in an old glass floral frog. Can you guess which pen is my favorite in the photo below?

I love the idea of an old tack box filled with all the necessities. You could also use an old plate, platter or bowl.

Blank Cards - There are some fantastic options at Target (I bought a box of 200 multi-colored note cards over two years ago and I'm still using them). Kate Spade makes a box set of cards for every occasion, so you'll always be prepared. I stock up on paper and envelopes at Paper Presentation on 18th Street and often make my own. For the card below I used an old photo I found at the flea market and attached it to a blank note card with gold photo corners.

A Great Pen - There's nothing like a thick, inky pen to help you get your words on paper. I love to write on a diagonal...it looks so unique and personal.

Notes are especially appreciated when they're unexpected. Thank someone for a recent heart-to-heart or let someone know they're on your mind. One of my girlfriends always sends me a thank you card after coming to my house for dinner. Of course she doesn't have to, but that's the point. To open my mailbox and see a personal card can literally brighten my day. The art of the hand-written note is about connecting with someone and showing them how much you care.


  1. Love! And, always love finding one of your beautiful, beautifully written notes in my mailbox.

  2. Fabulous post! soooo inspiring! I so agree with you about hand writing notes..in fact I do miss receiving them!