Felix Doolittle – illustrated stationery

I absolutely adore Felix Doolittle’s range of stationery.  It was one of Oprah’s favorite things a few years ago – in my attempt to find some inspiration for Christmas gifts, I stumbled across felixdoolittle.com where I ended up buying myself a set of address labels and writing paper as a gift (I deserve it!).  The paper quality is very good (premium 100% cotton paper according to the site).  My two gripes are a) it’s expensive, especially if you’d like to get the paper personalized (I didn’t), and b) the set comes with 50 writing sheets and 50 envelopes – good for people who write short letters, but I always end up using all the writing sheets, and only about a third of the envelopes.  Right now, it looks like you can get USD 30 off the personalized writing set, so you’ll pay USD 95 instead of USD 125.  Hmm, having a look at the site now, it seems as though you HAVE to get the writing set personalized…

Lilac writing paper from Felix Doolittle

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Japanese Prefecture Cards

February 27: Exchanging Dubai cards for Prefecture cards with a postcrosser.

I’m not a postcard collector.  Really, I’m not.  I enjoy the pictures, but I am more interested in the message on the postcard.  Always.  With one exception…ご当地フォームカード/Prefecture Cards from Japan – the only cards I’ll swap for.  These are die-cut postcards sold by Japan Post where each prefecture has its own postcard featuring a symbol of the prefecture.  I discovered them back in 2009 when Japan Post issued the first set of postcards.  I love how each of Japan’s prefectures has its own symbols so you’ll have regional Kit Kat flavors, Pocky, gum, even regional Hello Kitty.  The challenge with the prefecture cards is that each prefecture only sells its own card, so it’s very difficult to collect them all.  And Japan Post makes it even more difficult by coming out with new versions each year – version 4 has just been released.  At this rate, I’ll never collect them all…

Japan Post also sells other fun items like the retro post box postcards – these are cards in the shape of a post box with the name of the post office printed on them, very cute!

My prefecture card collection can be seen here!  But here are some examples for your viewing pleasure:

Oita - version 1

Nara - version 1

Winter Post Box

Papaya Art, Gallery One, and just 4 days left!

I’ve been really busy with work lately and with sending out letters so I haven’t had much time to update here!  Here’s a quick recap:

February 22nd: AE 4305 was sent to Germany.  This postcrosser listed camels on her wishlist so I sent her these silly looking camels. 

Papaya Art postcardFebruary 23rd: A sort of homemade postcard using my 2011 Papaya Art calendar.  I love the artwork – whimsical, feminine, Asian/antique-inspired, incorporating different kinds of media.  So pretty!  The artist is called Anahata Katkin – what a lovely name!  There are a whole range of products available on the website from stationery to prints to bags.  Some of the products are now available at Bloomingdales in Dubai Mall now.

February 24th: Post office closed!  Spent most of the day a brunch that lasted for FOUR HOURS.  And it wasn’t a buffet, it was a course menu.  Ugh.

February 25th: I received my second letter from my Finnish pen friend who writes the most beautiful letters.  She seems like a natural born letter writer, her letters read like stories, as I read her letter, I can see a very clear picture of what sheTree of Life, Bahrain is describing.  I received the letter on Thursday.  Started my reply on Friday but was feeling quite glum so my letter got steadily more negative.  I read it Saturday morning and thought, ‘this won’t do at all!’ and then tore the letter up and started over (do you ever do this?).  I wrote on a card produced by Gallery One depicting the Tree of Life found in Bahrain – it’s a 400-year old mesquite tree located in the desert that’s survived although no one can figure out where it gets its water from.  Wikipedia claims it’s a 5,000 year-old tree, whereas Gulf News says 400 🙂  I also included a newspaper clipping, a map of Dubai and some teas.  I do love including random little things in an envelope!

February 26th – today!  It’s 9 PM and I still haven’t started!  Will post tomorrow with what I end up doing for today.

And just for fun, although not mail-related at all, I thought I’d include this photo of the cutest doorstop EVER – look at the cute little mouse!!!  You can buy it from Laura Ashley.

Doorstop mice from Laura Ashley


Wow – just four days left until the Month of Letters Challenge is over!!

Stationery from the UK

For today, I’m sending out a birthday card to my host sister in Japan – I hope it reaches her in time!  The card is by Rachel Ellen Designs – I bought it from the Susan Walpole store which I believe is closing or has closed down already, which is sad as the store had a great collection of greeting cards from the UK.

Birthday Card - Rachel Ellen Designs

I also like stationery by Clare Maddicott, sometimes available at Magrudy’s – the Lemongrass collection is just so pretty!  I do find it a shame that more and more non-Japanese stationery is being made to look ‘kawaii’ (yes, I’m talking about YOU, Paperchase!!), I ‘d much rather have Japan stick to doing cutesy stuff, and the UK do more pretty stuff like the lovely Cavania Cards – so elegant!

Just to recap, for the Month of Letters challenge:

26th February: official Postcrossing card to Romania.

Just a week left…

…until the end of the A Month of Letters Challenge.  It really is getting more challenging.  I thought I’d be able to plan more thoroughly and stir things up a bit by coming up with mini-challenges for myself, but apart from my making a mini cook book, I haven’t had the time or energy to do very much apart from standard letters and postcards.  I did however order a bouquet of flowers for my aunt for her birthday on Internet Hana Cupid (ooh, I didn’t know that there was an English site!).  Sometimes I find the internet too fast-paced, I lose the joy of finding things out for myself – remember way back when there was no internet, and you’d sit there with a blank tape in your cassette player ready to hit record when your favorite song came on?  And then after you had successfully recorded it, you’d then sit there transcribing the song lyrics bit by bit, stopping, rewinding, madly writing it all down.  Ahh, those were the days!!  So back to the topic, I’ve been ordering flowers from Internet Hana Cupid for a few years now and have been very pleased by the service, so if you need to send someone in Japan flowers…

I wasn’t feeling well yesterday and most of today so it took until late this afternoon for me to get into writing.  It also meant that I didn’t manage to go down to the post office today so am expecting wonderful letters in my mailbox tomorrow!  Yesterday, though, I opened my PO box to find two lovely letters – one from my pen friend in Turkey to whom I’d sent my first letter for this month.  She’d also very kindly sent me some tea – see photo below!  I’ve been brought up on Japanese teas and while I don’t mind black tea, I’d never been a big black tea drinker.  For the past few months, though, I’ve become tea-obsessed!  As long as it’s not a hibiscus or rooisbos based tea, I’ll drink it!  And as a late joiner to the world of black tea, I’ve got so many different types of teas to catch up on!  My other piece of mail was a lovely card from a pen friend in The Netherlands who also sent me some Dutch tea!  I’m saving it for the next letter I write to her!  So today’s letter was a response to my pen friend in Turkey – she wrote me a lovely long introductory letter to which I had many many questions that I wanted to ask her!

Lovely letter and tea from TurkeyTo make up for yesterday, I wrote out my two postcards for Group 177: A Month of Letters Challenge in the Themed Messages RR.  Hm, think I need to go back to bed now 🙂

PS: Today is Pancake Day!

The two burjs (The two towers)

For today’s A Month of Letters Challenge, I ended up sending two very typical touristy postcards of Dubai.  As I said in one of my earlier posts, the majority of postcards in Dubai seem to be of either Burj Khalifa or Burj Al Arab.  So I ended up sending a Burj Khalifa postcard to Japan, and a Burj Al Arab postcard to India.  ‘Burj’ is Arabic for tower, in case you were wondering.

PS: I do apologize – I couldn’t resist the LOTR reference!

Burj Khalifa

Burj Khalifa

Burj Al Arab

Burj Al Arab

Mail and all that jazz…

February 18th:
There’s always a build up of anticipation when Saturday comes round since there was no mail on Friday.  I always imagine that I’ll open my PO Box to find dozens of the prettiest envelopes containing long letters, and many postcards of exotic places, and exciting magazines waiting for me – no bills, of course!   There wasn’t much today, though 😦

The annual Jazz Festival takes place in Dubai for one week every February.  Since this year marks the 10th anniversary (has it been that long already?) of the Festival, this year the event is spread over two weekends featuring the following ‘main acts’ Miles Davis card– James Blunt, Jools Holland, Jason Mraz and James Morrison.  Please don’t ask me how three out of the four of those acts qualify as jazz.  Friday night found me at the Jazz Festival to listen to Jools Holland – I was a bit worried as the day was unusually windy and dusty (although there was no Mission Impossible-style sandstorm, of course…) but it had cleared up by the time the concert began.  It was quite a nice cool night, it was lovely doing something different from a change – listening to jazz on the grass.  I thought it only fitting that my choice of stationery for today reflected my weekend hence the Miles Davis card (by The Art Group again).   “For me, music and life are all about style,” says Miles Davis.  This letter goes to K.K. in the UK – I’ve written her quite a few letters this month!

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