Pre-release Aumsome Postcards – National Stationery Week Giveaways

With National Stationery Week sadly over, it’s about time to announce something special. Inspired by all of the stationery love out there, my own love of letters and a desire to spread a bit of joy in the world… I’m very pleased to announce that Aumsome the shop will be coming soon. I have designed my own selection of postcards to start selling. There are currently five designs but I plan to release new ones every month, to increase this. I am really pleased with the current selection, which I hope will be popular. These Aumsome Postcards are something that I have previously made for myself to give out and I love them. I am so pleased to be able to share them with you.

The shop will launch in a few weeks. However, the first batch of postcards arrives this week. For the third and final giveaway of National Stationery Week, I wanted to share with you a set of the postcards. The winner will be the first person to sample them! I cannot show you a picture right now – as they have not even arrived yet. However, this is one of the designs that was printed in a test.

Aumsome Postcard - Thank you for being you

The rest of the four are surprises. However, the winner will receive a bundle of postcards that they can send to their family and friends. As you know, I love writing letters. So I really hope this prize helps inspire you to write some too. As a thank you to all of you for your support, I’ve held three giveaways out of my own pocket…

The Three Giveaways:

As you may know, there are THREE giveaways that are currently open. All of them will end at the same time and can be entered the same way. The following prizes are up for grabs… Click the images or links for more information on each of the giveaways.

A Busy B Busy Life Notebook in A6 – Find out more here

Busy B Notebook

A Spotlight Stationery Subscription Box OR a £25 Gift Certificate from Stationery & Art – More Info here

Spotlight Stationery Box

Spotlight Stationery Box

A set of Aumsome Postcards – 5 different designs

Aumsome Postcards

How to enter all of the Giveaways:

For the chance to win any of the above prizes, all you have to do is comment on any post on this blog. This competition is open internationally. You may comment once on each blog post, each will count as an additional entry. I will randomly pick a winner from the comments I have received between May 2nd until the end of the competition.

The giveaway ends on 12th May 2019. The winners for all of the giveaways will be contacted on 13th May to claim their prize.

Oh and if you’re interested in finding out about the launch of my shop, be sure to follow me on Twitter or Instagram. There may also be an extra entry over on one of them.

#SendALetter – Writing Letters for Good

Today, we come to the end of National Stationery Week and what better way to end it than with my favourite theme: #SendALetter day. Writing letters is a way to spread joy, love and kindness. I have always said that we should write more letters. However, today, I want to focus on using letters in a way that benefits the society that we live in. Let’s write letters. Even if you don’t know who to write to, continue reading. There are so many people out there that could benefit from receiving a letter from you. Strangers, friends, family.  Donate a letter to help someone today.

You can write to anyone: a friend, a family member, a colleague… Anyone you know that could benefit from receiving a bit of love. Perhaps you have someone to thank. Do it through a handwritten letter. Maybe you just want someone to know that they are not alone. Write it down and remind them. If you’re not sure who to write to, here are my top three choices of organisations or sites that you can refer to. These all encourage you to write to someone who could really use a smile…

Let’s start with my top choice, From Me to You, which I have spoken about before. I absolutely love their mission and just had to share it with you today:

From Me to You - Donate A Letter Continue reading “#SendALetter – Writing Letters for Good”

Personalised Mother’s Day Gift Guide

Mother's Day Personalised Gift Guide

Personalised gifts are one of my favourite things so I thought it was only apt to create a Personalised Gift Guide today. I’ve found that it’s really hard to dislike something which is personalised to you. It shows so much thought and effort has gone into the present. And since Mother’s Day is quickly coming up, I found a few great personalised gifts that I absolutely adore, which might help give you some ideas for your own presents! This Personalised Gift Guide features various products from Etsy, which has a huge range of handmade items. Continue reading “Personalised Mother’s Day Gift Guide”

Goodbye February, Hello March – National Craft Month

Many years ago (well when I was a child), Craft and Hobby Association (now known as Association For Creative Industries or AFCI) made February the National Craft Month. This has been a big part of the craft industry in North America, I believe. And despite it not being very relevant to where I live, it’s something I really wanted to focus on this month.  

So Happy National Craft Month!

National Craft Month

For me, crafting is a really fun hobby. I could definitely spend more than just a single month talking about craft. I’m sure I’ll have more craft related posts later in the year for you. However, I did want to focus on it because I wanted to introduce more crafting to my life. Although I love arts and crafts, it’s also one of those things that I never seem to have time for. There’s always other things to do, for example, like blogging. Craft is a really good way to look after your mental wellbeing though and it’s something I’ve been trying to incorporate into my weekly plans. Every week, I try to dedicate a little bit of time to just crafting something – absolutely anything.

So in National Craft Month, I am going to ensure I stick to this plan and craft a little bit every week. The best thing about this hobby is that there are many different things you can craft. It’s not limited to just paper materials, for example. Craft includes needle work or knitting, upcycling furniture or heck, even brewing beer (it’s called Craft Beer, is it not?).

Essentially, craft is some sort of activity that involves making something by hand. These are a few of the things that I like. However, it would be great to hear what sorts of crafts you enjoy and if you are planning to do anything for it. If you’re curious, a lot of these ideas are also in my Stationery Self-Care post, which shows the different ways you can do self-care with your stationery addiction. Continue reading “Goodbye February, Hello March – National Craft Month”

The Joy of Penpals – Hannah’s Story

Letters from Hannah's penpalsThe joy of letterwriting is something I speak of often and always, to anyone who listens. However, today, I wanted to feature someone else and get their take on it. I’m very pleased to welcome Hannah from Han Plans to the blog. I’ve actually had the pleasure of meeting Hannah in person, through the planner community (why yes, there is a community). Not only is she a kind and amazing lady, she’s also an avid planner, crafter and – you guessed it – letterwriter.

So without further ado, let’s hand over to Hannah and hear her story!

Like most people I had my first penpal when I was at school as some kind of English project. I vaguely remember that my penpal went to one of the schools in a village near Hitchin. I think we’d all been paired up in a sort of “exchange student” kind of way. Now, I have no idea where I’d start but I’d love to track down my penpal. One day I might need to see if any of my letters are still with all my school work in my Mum and Dad’s attic.

I’ve always loved keeping a journal (online or notebook), loved card making and scrapbooking. I will often send postcards when I’m away on holiday. As I write this I’m on a train to Birmingham – I’m wondering if I’d have time to send Jaxon a postcard while I’m away. It seems silly as I’m away less than 24 hours but I think he’d appreciate getting his own post for once.

Anyway, so back in 2007, I graduated from university, I had a temporary job while I found something a bit more permanent. Around this time I stumbled upon Swap-Bot. I signed up for small swaps and joined in. One of my longest penpals is Bob, he’s based in Kansas in the USA. He’s an artist and nearly always (no actually make that always) decorates the outside of the envelope. I think I have kept nearly all the envelopes because they are works of art in their own right.

Hannah spotting a letter from one of her penpals

Now it’s almost 12 years later and I’ve had some penpals that have lasted 2 or 3 letters and then fizzled out or other penpals that keep writing. I’ve learnt about life in Australia, USA, Denmark, Hungary and Norway amongst other places. I’ve told my penpals about life here in the UK and taken them on adventures with me too. I think I posted a couple of letters from Paris before we went to Disneyland Paris back in May 2018.

Most of my letters are in English but I’ve attempted to write the odd things in other languages depending on whom I’m writing to. I’ve wished my German friend Frohe Weihnachten and my friend in Denmark Godt Nytår. Sometimes I’m worried I’ll get it wrong and call someone’s Mum a goat or something like that. But, I hope that my penpals know that it’s me trying to make an effort rather than intentionally insulting them!

Letters from Hannah's penpalsSo in such a technological time when it’s so easy to open an email and fire off a few sentences, what is it I like about handwritten penpal letters that is so important.

Well, to me it’s the time it takes. It’s the thought that goes into the letter. You sit down with a pen and paper and you write (in your best attempt at neat handwriting) a letter that you hope will bring someone some sunshine. I love those days when I’m having a terrible day and then a penpal letter arrives. Clearly, when the person wrote it they had no idea that I was going to have a bad day and yet that moment it arrived, I needed to see it.

Then it’s the topics, do I write about what’s going on around me or do I write about something specific? Maybe I have something going on and need to talk about it. When my grandmother had a stroke back in 2008 and passed away the same day, I wrote to my penpals. I poured a lot of grief into my letters. But also when I found out I was pregnant and then when Jaxon arrived in the world I celebrate with my penpals too. I’m friends with a few of my penpals on social media so we sort of touch base between letters but there’s something about those letters charting our friendship.

Letters from Hannah's penpalsPenmanship and writing letters is a dying art, our banks and mobile networks give us discount for paperless billing, less people are sending Christmas cards because of the cost to the buy the card and then the cost of the stamps. It’s easier just to post on social media and move on with life. But in a time when we are more connected by technology than ever before, more of us are feeling lonely. Maybe writing penpal letters is the way to shrink that loneliness.

What better way to end this month’s focus then with a personal story from a friend. I’m thrilled to be able to share her experience of letterwriting and the penpals she has made through it. Hannah’s story has definitely made me want to write more letters and get some more penpals.

I really love the creativity that goes into letterwriting. Some people choose to express themselves through words, other choose to draw or decorate them. There’s no right or wrong. It’s all about connecting people together and I really love the freedom it gives people.

Follow Hannah over on her blog, Han Plans. She’s also active on social media and has a lovely Instagram, full of stationery and crafts!