Penpalling & Letters

Saturday, 29 December 2012

Oh Paris, Paris...

This is one of the lovely gifts I got these Christmas: a set of Paris clear stamps! Isn't it a great amount? Some of us feel attracted by the French capital and its corners, which combined with penpalling-related items like the Eiffel Tower postal stamp, the pen, the cup of coffee/tea (yes, it is possible to drink a coffee or a tea while writing letters, right?)... you can see in the pic make a perfect item to own. I was thrilled to get them! Love these clear stamps so much already! They will surely be used in my future correspondence!

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Penpal agenda

Along the years I have tried several possibilities to keep my penpals' postal-addresses and data: single sheets of squared paper (A4 and A5 sizes), A4 or A5 sized notebooks... but for one reason or another it was not working as wished. For example, when someone would move or would stop writing... what to do with the page? Remove it? Rip it off? It did not look nice and crossing out the data was out of question. I have finally come with a solution to keep everything tidy. Look at the picture below! This way, if data becomes obsolete, the contact fades away or I simply do a mistake I can easily discard that sheet of paper while the rest are kept in a perfect condition.
Inside and outside in my favourite colour: blue!

Friday, 19 October 2012

Place your ad!

Are you looking for penpals, swappers, a penpal for your child, a lost penpal, wish to arrange a class-exchange, find a mail-art buddy or a postcard-pal?

Remember that you can place your ad in Penpalling & Letters Ads:

Click on the pic to get to Penpalling & Letters Ads!

Have a look and follow the intructions and we will publish your penpal ad as soon as possible!

Please, note that all messages are reviewed individually and those which do not meet the purpose of penpalling will be declined. Thank you for your understanding!

Good luck in your penpal search!

Sunday, 30 September 2012

Decorated letterbox

This time I would like to share with all of you one picture of a beautiful letterbox I have taken during a trip to a small village in southeastern France. The following elements are painted on it: the "Mediterranean" sea, an angel bringing letters and then, two flags: the one on the left is the Catalonia flag, together with the donkey, a kind of symbol in this area; the one on the right, the Austrian flag, tells the country of origin of the family owning that house.

Have you ever found in your way a beautifully painted letterbox? How did it look like?

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

The useful scale!

Three or four years ago I got myself a scale to weigh my letters or those packages which needed to be adjusted in order to get advantage of the allowed weight limit in relation to the postage to be paid. I found that weighing my mail at the Post Office was not a good idea as most of the time I still could fill the packages/letters with more stuff until the allowed limit. Getting myself a scale was an excellent idea, making the most of the last added grams indeed! But my old scale stopped working at the end of July...

Here it is the replacement! Isn't it cute?!

Sunday, 29 July 2012

Storing penpalling items

Where do you store or keep your penpalling stuff?

Here you can see some of my boxes which keep letters, postcards, stationery, penpalling items...

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Making your letter ready to be sent!

Your letter is ready to be sent now and once you made sure that your penpal’s address is written correctly… What to do next?

First of all, make sure that your envelope is securely sealed. If you feel that it is not well sealed, use glue, stickers or sticky tape. This way there are more chances that the contents arrive safely to your penpal and are not lost in the way.

Finally it is time to stick the correct postage! Most countries have several weight limits starting with 20g (the cheapest). If you are not sure about the exact weight of your letter, either you will have to weigh it at the post office or get yourself a scale. Each postal system has a listing of weight limits and corresponding prices both for mail to be sent inside the country and to the rest of countries of the world. Prices vary depending on distance most of the time, so the further away, the more expensive the letter will be. To check the prices which correspond to each weight limit, either visit your national mail service website or ask at the post office about it.

Are you in need of more tips to write your letters? Then, you should visit "Tips on letter writing".

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Penpal Ads in Penpalling & Letters!

Are you looking for penpals?

Do you find difficult to find the perfect person to write to nowadays?

Penpalling & Letters presents its twin Blog Penpalling & Letters Ads:

Click on the pic to get to Penpalling & Letters Ads!

Visit it and follow the intructions given to have your penpal ad published online in Penpalling & Letters!

Good luck in your penpal search!

Monday, 23 April 2012

"Diada de Sant Jordi", the celebration of the Book Day in Catalonia, Spain

The particular Saint Valentine's Day in Catalonia (northeastern Spain) is called "Diada de Sant Jordi". It is celebrated on April, 23rd day of Saint George (Sant Jordi), patron saint of Catalonia, under a festive environment. Book and rose street markets can be found along the streets and squares of all cities and villages. Lots of people will be walking around, looking at the books and buying roses. The tradition says that the man should gift his loved one a rose, whereas the woman should gift her sweetheart a book. The festival is a mix of traditions and customs going back to the Middle Ages. On Sant Jordi it is also celebrated the "Day of the Book". In Catalan it is said:

"El 23 d'abril, -"On April, 23rd,-
Sant Jordi, -Saint George,-
una rosa i un llibre. -a rose and a book.-
Una rosa com a símbol d'amor -A rose as a symbol of love-
i un llibre com a símbol de cultura." -and a book as a symbol of culture."-

Even if it is not known the exactly time when roses started to be gifted on Sant Jordi's Day, the origin of the tradition started in Barcelona in the XV century. Women belonging to the nobility were attending a mass in the Palau de la Generalitat Chapel (dedicated to the saint) on that day. They were receiving a rose as a gift. In the same square where Palau de la Generalitat is located, the "Fira de Roses" (Roses Festival) was celebrated at the same time, an old festival where men were gifting roses to their loved ones as a proof of love. Perhaps the origins of this Roses Festival comes from Roman times, when floral offerings to goddess Flora were taking place in the month of May. The typical Sant Jordi rose is a red rose which is gifted together with a wheat spike and adorned with the colours of the Catalan flag (gold and red). The "Senyera" (Catalan flag) is the symbol of the land protected by Sant Jordi, that is, Catalonia, the red colour of the rose is a symbol of passion while the wheat spike represents fertility.

Such an event had to come together with its own legend. The legend of Sant Jordi explains the origin of the roses in the festival:

"The Catalan tradition tells that once there was a fearsome dragon in the lands of Montblanc (Tarragona) which terrorized the people living there. The dragon was always very hungry and it was approaching more and more to the walls of the city. People were so afraid of it that they tried to look for a solution so it would stay away from the city. At first they feeded the dragon with sheep, then oxes, later horses... but it was never enough and the dragon was always asking for more food. It arrived a time when they had to feed it with the own people of the village, otherwise the dragon would kill them all at once. They wrote all the names of all the inhabitants in pieces of paper and put them inside a pot. Every night, an innocent hand would choose who would be the next one to die in the claws of the dragon the next morning. One day it was the turn of the princess. Some people say that the king begged and cried, others say that he accepted with determination and courage the destine of his daughter: the princess would be the next one to be sacrified. When the princess was sent out of the walls of the city and started to walk towards the dragon, a knight riding his white horse appeared in the mist. The knight fought against the dragon and finally killed it. Some people said that the dragon was melt and absorbed by the land. Others said that a pool of blood formed where the dragon had fallen dead. Whatever happened, a rosebush grew up instantly from the dragon's blood giving brilliant red roses. The knight who killed the dragon was Jordi/George, who gifted the princess one of the beautiful red roses."

If you are interested in reading more articles featuring characteristics of our homelands don't forget to check: Travelling around the World sharing Cultural Heritage, Folklore and Background.

I am always looking for people who would like to take part in this section of the Blog: Travelling around the World. If you would like to write about any aspects of your homeland don't hesitate to contact me at: penpallingandletters[at]gmail[dot]com and we will work on it!

Monday, 2 April 2012

Letters... obsolete?

At present, a letter-exbition is taking place at the Spanish National Library. It was on the news a few days ago and below, you can see a video about it and a translation to English. Sadly, in the report, they refer to letters as obsolete, museum objects nowadays, and to mailboxes as those objects in danger or extinction. Do you agree about it? Do you think it is so "weird" to write handwritten letters at present times?

"Handwritten Letters Exhibition at the Spanish National Library"

Journalist (male voice):
"Dear viewers,

Today we are talking about letters, and this is why we are going to the National Library. Here we have confirmed what everybody suspects: letters are a "museum object". Writing letters is as old as the Humanity. The epistolary genre gains great importance when distance is insurmountable, physically and technologically speaking. As they have explained to us, letters are just a conversation between absent people in the end."

Gema Hernández (Spanish National Library):
"To write a letter, a situation where distance or absence exist is necessary. We are speaking about wars, emigration movements, convents and monasteries, prisons..."

Journalist (male voice):
"Right now, letters are 140 characters long. They still are a conversation between absent people. The novelty is that in many occasions those people are not only "absent" but they don't know each other. We don't know what would "Quevedo, Santa Teresa, Azorín or Valle-Inclán" -Spanish writers and poets-, present in this exhibition, say about the e-mail, "washap", Twitter and so on...
You should know, too, dear viewers, that in the streets we still can find these objects, on the verge of extinction."

Girl 1:
"And yes! To open the letterbox and find a letter from a or from someone who thinks about you is very exciting."

Girl 2:
"I hadn't written a letter for the last five years."

Man 1:
"I was a sailor and was writing to my girlfriend every day." (laughs)

Journalist (male voice):
"Love letters?"

Man 1:
"Yes, love letters. My love..."

Journalist (male voice):
"And this is the end. I hope we see each other soon!
Carlos del Amor (the journalist)

And now, we put it in the mailbox. With some luck the letter will arrive tomorrow..."

Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Happy Second Anniversary... Winner!

Penpalling & Letters second anniversary was last 1st January, 2012 and the celebration was running during the first whole month of 2012: Second Anniversary in Penpalling & Letters. Today, February, 29th -a day we only have the chance to live once every four years- I have the pleasure to announce the lucky winner of the prize offered in this contest.

The winner is Miriam Shilling! Congratulations Miriam!

Thank you very much to everybody who took part in this 2nd Anniversary Giveaway! In the end there have been quite a lot of participants and many interesting stories were shared. It has not been easy to choose a winner among them as each contribution was unique and special. So, to those who were not lucky this time, don't give up! Surely there will be more chances to participate in another contest in Penpalling & Letters in the future!

Sunday, 1 January 2012

Happy Second Anniversary... and Contest!

730 days later, over 120,000 viewed pages, more than 46,000 views of the Blog and visitors from 176 states/territories from all over the world have lead to the celebration of Penpalling & Letters Second Anniversary!

The past months have been prolific in the environment of Penpalling & Letters. We have built a nice community of letter-writers at the Penpalling & Letters Forum and at the Penpalling & Letters Facebook Group. We also have a support page at Google+ Penpalling & Letters G+, so feel free to join the one which fits your purposes better!

Thank you to all the P&L members/community for all this time spent together, to readers and visitors for participating, for the encouraging messages and the support along these two years and to the many lovely people I had the chance to meet!

To celebrate Penpalling & Letters Second Anniversary we are having a giveaway of some cute penpalling stuff you can see below!

How to enter this contest?

It is very easy! Just go on reading... The only imposition on my side is that any "anonymous" won't be taken into account. If possible "I would like to know you". How? Just sign with a Blogger, Twitter, Facebook... profile. Or at least, leave your name and tell me you are in Facebook, Twitter, any social network, website... If I cannot find you anywhere, I am very sorry but cannot take you in. I simply don't want to send a prize to a "ghost" if you know what I mean. This is what you have to do to participate:

Leave a comment in this post and tell me (remember to leave a way to contact you):
How did you start penpalling and got hooked in letter-writing? Please, don't write a few words as those won't be considered. I am asking for a little story about this event and the one I like the most will be the winner! So, take advantage of your penpalling-qualities and write a good one!

Please, notice that if you would like to participate in this contest, your reply has to be written in this post, under comments section. Comments in Facebook, G+ or any other place around the Internet won't be valid. Also, only one entry per person is allowed, so chances to get the prize are the same for all of you.

Everybody is welcome to enter, it does not matter where you are located, and if you feel like it, tell your penpals and friends as well. It is a good chance to get a cute set of stickers from P&L! Deadline will be the 1st February, 2012, at 00:00 GMT+1 Time Zone. The winner will be announced a few days later. Good luck to all participants and my wishes of a healthy and fabulous 2012 for everybody!!!