Sunday, 14 August 2016

Greetings From….

My letter writing has been a bit lackluster, I am even finding hard to keep up with this blog. However, recently I've restarted swapping postcards rather than write letter. This is something I have not done since Japan where I even have a dedicated IG account I @rgswap which I have starting using again.

When I was in Japan I used to swap Gotochi postcards which were Japanese prefectural postcards sold via the JPost. Gotochi postcard are only available its own prefecture in post office branches. Now I'm back home the only postcards I can swap are the Greetings From series from Postal Love.This has been quite fun to start and in many ways better that Gotochi as it’s international so there's quite a few countries to collect so far got about 20.

Each postcard has information and country such as population, famous people, favourite pastimes and also includes how many Postcrossers the country has. Fortunately I've got a nice collection of washi tape and stickers with a UK theme to go with my Greetings From United Kingdom postcards. It’s fun and nice just to make them extra bit special and it's not always reciprocated that's that's not the point. I enjoy doing it I just hope I can rise to the challenge to find other countries to try and swaps with.

I’m finding a lot of countries/people but I am finding myself getting quite into trying to find people willing to swap for non GF or that have UK already! You can see postcards I have sent and received on my IG accounts. I have considered asking people to write in the native languages to match the postcard so I can try and translate them, not sure yet.

If I were giving tips to anyone thinking about collecting them I would say don't just look at the hashtags (#gfpostcard #gfswap etc.) look at the pictures that person is tagged in to see what they're sending and receiving also check the comments on pictures.

Happy swapping!


I've been writing letters and postcards for a long time, in Japan it was really easy and fun to find nice stamps. You could find a whole variety of stamps and change it up and make the correct values. Since returning to the UK it's been a lot harder. The Royal Mail release new stamps a lot less frequently compared to JP post. Recently I have made greater efforts to improve this by buying stamps on eBay.

The eBey buying was thanks to @weepingwillow84 it was her suggestion. I've been buying mint presentations packs. They are slightly more expensive but a lot more interesting. It makes me a real difference to my mail rather than the normal Queens head. But I must admit that some of the stamps that have been released by Royal Mail this year have been rather nice. There has been Star Wars, Animail, the Queens 90th and Beatrix potter as well as the Shakespeare quotes but the eBay stamps are a good addition.

Annoyingly the new stamps tend to come in the same denomination first class, or higher values but sometimes £1.05 which are good for international postcards. The presentation pack prices are a bit random ranging form anything from 5p to 39p but it's fun to try and make up the right value. It also makes mail look far more interesting and adds to your mail art.

I am also currently taking part in my first chain card and have started my own Olympic themed one. Though I find them long and tedious the end result is worth it for the postcard full of stamps. A chain card is just as it sounds everyone sends a post card adding their own stamps and sending it to the next person in the chain until you receive your original postcard back with stamps from everyone that took part. Chain cards are another good reason to start buying old used stamps.

I have to admit that I have become slightly addicted and have a bit pf a surplus at the moment. But they will get used and do make a difference to my mail.

Thursday, 31 March 2016

Write On (A Month of Letter Writing)

So next month is marks National Stationery Week (25th April -1st May) in the UK as well as World Stationery Day on 27th April. It also seems to be the National Letter Writing month in the US mainly observed with the Write On campaign. I don't know if anything similar here in the UK but I know there's been International Correspondence Writing Month InCoWriMo but don't think much happened with that this year.  *sigh* There is also Lettermo which is in February which I have done before.

But regardless I thought it might be nice to take part even if it's not in direct conjunction with anything. But as a stationeryholic and keen letter writer it's an good excuse to get writing. I have been managing to write more for myself as mentioned before. But need to make a better effort with correspondence I thought this might be a good way for me to catch up on letters owed, renew some old acquaintances and possible make some new ones. Not to mention just putting pen to paper again I am in the way that haven't done in a long while. I mean who doesn't love a good excuse to get some new stationery and get writing? 

I think I roughly know most of the people that I'm going to write to but I have left space for some extras. I always say I'm not looking for penpals I have reached out to a few people which hasn't worked out. Which is a shame and it makes me wary of taking on any new pen pals. I believe there's always the right there's always enough room for the right person.

I will say for now for the one off later I've got about five days or spaces so if anyone wants to receive a letter from me they can leave a comment here or on my Instagram post. Just explain why you like to write and or why you would like to receive a letter. It may not be a letter it could be a card or a postcard but it will definitely something handwritten or from my typewriter, something analog and personal from one person to another.

Sunday, 20 March 2016


I wrote a post before about the Traveler's Notebook Caravan event at the Ace Hotel. The event was actually held in three cities Berlin, London and Amsterdam. I learnt more about the Amsterdam venue a shop called Miscellaneous through Instagram and the Traveller's Factory website. Ever since I saw Miscellaneous' Instagram posts and checked out their website I had instant stationery envy and wished it was in London. The Ace Hotel had Traveler's Notebook products provided by the Journal Shop for the London event whereas Miscellaneous is an actual store that has a lot of Traveler's Notebook products as well as other brands.

So of course when I planned my Amsterdam trip I knew I had to go check the place out. I went with my friend Chanou, a longtime pen pal and fellow stationeryholic. Miscellaneous is conveniently down the road from the Kopjes Cat Cafe that we visited earlier that day. Cats, cakes and stationery what more could a girl ask for?!?!

There's not that much to say I was quite good and didn't spend too much. It would be easy to buy up the whole shop but I don't like buying things about having a purpose in mind and I already have a surplus of notebooks and statioenry thought I don't lke to admit ti that often. I stuck to notepads and a new Hightide Nahe case and note cards and notepad from Le Typographe a Belgian brand.I wanted to go to their shop while in Brussels but didn't get the chance so was glad to find their products there. As with my trip with to Amsterdam in in general I already want to go back!!

Museé Hergé

Going to the Museé Hergé was almost a bit like a pilgrimage and it was nice to go with my sister who is just as excited as me. I've loved Tintin ever since I was a child passed down from my dad. The museum itself is so well put together. The collection not just based around his art but lots or artefacts from his personal and professional life and that of Studio Hergé. 

It gave me deeper sense of appreciation of the research that her out into each booker after The Blue Lotus from the influence of his Chinese friend Zhang Chongren. It great to see direct links from Hergé's world and life that went directly in the Tintin books. His father and his twin brother who dressed alike being the basis for Thomson and Thompson. Or the relics from The Seven Crystal Balls or the Broken Ear that Hergé drew from museum exhibits  in Brussels.  It was lovely to see the sketches and the different stages in his work not just Tintin but Quick & Flupke and The Adventures of Jo, Zette and Jocko. 

The Museé Hergé was definitely the highlight of our Brussels trip something my sister and jointly enjoyed. The staff were lovely too and the shop had many great items. My favourite place in Belgium. 

Saturday, 19 March 2016

Kattencafe Kopjes

So Japan has a number of cat cafes and now even London has one, Lady Dinah's Cat Emporium. I haven't been to Lady Dinah's but if I'm comparing Kopjes to Miysis my local cat cafe in Japan Kopjes wins hands down. Both London and Amsterdam are also much cheaper and much better and comfortable for humans and cat alike. Also Kopjes doesn't have many cats just the 7 Misysis is a bigger space but has somethign like 30 cats but I think the Kopjes set up works well for the cats. As we most cat cafes all the cats were rescue cat just making it even better,.

The cats of Kopjes

Kopjes also provided me with a great opportunity to meet my long time pen friend Chanou and fellow cat lover. This was a great way for us to meet up we both have cats and the place is just so damn cute. I absolutely adored the place it was also somewhere I could enjoy jointly with my sister who I was travelling with.

As mentioned the key difference between Miysis and Kopjes is that though Kopjes is smaller and  had less cats, there were more people than cats while we were there. Admittedly this could be slightly less fun for human visiting  BUT the cafe is so nice that even without the cats it's a nice place to chill and grab a coffee. THe cafe is just so cut and kitch everything is cat related in the cafe, I loved their attention to detail. I would definitely go again the coffee, cake and atmosphere with or without the cats was lovely, but of course much better with. 

Cats and klitch