28 April 2009

paper, envelopes & handwriting

recently i've received some great questions that i thought i ought to post. i'll be stockpiling these babies in a new category (see my new sidebar feature button, everything you've ever wanted to know about me and then some).


Q. What type of paper do you use for stationery & invitations?

A. for invitations, i like printing on a variety of stock, yet i always am happy with thick paper. i love Classic Crest. 80lb solar white is a favorite. for finer stock, we prefer printing on Hammermill brand for the pages in our books. velum is super fun to print on too. and it's easy to run through my hp laserjet printer at home. i believe in having loads of envelopes on hand. i order envelopes from xpedx or actionenvelope.com. square envelopes used to be my fetish, now i adore the petite 4 bar size.

Q. I love your handwriting. Is it available in a font?

A. big, fat thank you. to set the record straight; yes, it is my own handwriting. and no, i didn't learn how to write from anywhere specific... it just evolved. in high school i used to write itty bitty. all my notes were in columns. that was my ee cummings phase. and then i went to all caps like every architect i know. later it became all curly and hippie free with lowercase and caps all mixed in like one big happy family. most days it is on the border of sloppy sweet and illegible. (note to self. scan in notes from middle school to college. make a timeline of m.writes, in the literal sense.) i did take a calligraphy class a couple years ago, which i loved. i realized the art form has too many rules i couldn't help but break. discipline and cursive and holding my pen just so are not my strong suit. i kept tracing letters but couldn't resist flinging my pen here and there and everywhere. i felt too boxed in. still, the ink, the fancy pens and all the practice is fun. real calligraphers amaze me.

and no, i don't plan on creating a font from my writing anytime soon. now that we're on the subject of handwriting, i might as well hop on my soapbox. i must tell you how IMPORTANT i think it is to write your own words. don't get me wrong, as you can see, i love a good cute squirrly font. i mean, geez, coming across a great font is euphoria. dafont.com has plenty of free and fabulous fonts to download. and yes, i agree wholeheartedly, there are times when hiring someone with pretty print is totally necessary. but letter writers, journalers, and scrapbookers, please, pretty please, jot it out in your own writing. you may say, no way. no how. i can't. my handwriting is chicken scratch. hideous. ugg.

before you roll your eyes and erase me from your life, let me tell you why i am a firm believer in writing it down. handwriting is your signature. it's yours. even if it is chicken scratch, it's your chicken scratch. embrace your chicken scratch. own it, love it, work it. if all your posterity ever sees are the cutesy fonts, rub-ons, stickers and typed up sentences, i fear they will miss out on the great joys of recognizing your script. my treasures are letters from my mom, postcards from my pop, cards from my whitney, and post-its from my man. believe it or not, your unique handwriting on an envelope is probably an instant smile for a long lost penpal. go big. write it up. someone loves that writing. if you don't have hours to practice your penmanship, try this. practice your cursive, bubble letters, and graffiti funky flair on the brown bag lunch you give jimmy every day. enough brown bags and you'll be an artiste.

xo. love mart

p.s. to you write clubbers, i promise something good is coming down the pipe. maybe next week. to you crafters, on may day i will be posting a tutorial. perfect for a quick mother's day gift. oh and of course thursday is another fun frothy frilly floaty giveaway. and i have a special feature coming in may. if i can just get my head wrapped around it. tune in. can't wait. spring is sinking in and i couldn't be happier. thanks for being friendly. and keep the questions coming.


Alisha said...

COMPLETELY agree about the own handwriting thing. My mom has a special handwriting that she uses for cards, etc. We call it her "love writing", and she knows it. I think it is good for her, because it makes her keep using her hands, so she's kinda beating old age, she's still using her hands, you know? I keep my mothers writing, i recognize it, love it, cherish it, even.

the blog of kh said...


I can't find the words to express how I feel about handwriting. But your little paragraph (soapbox edition) really said what I can't. I am a HUGE fanatic of old papers, preferrably from ancestors and it's always a treat when one is found that is handwritten. Those I cherish the most. They are priceless.

I write everything I can in my own "chicken scratch."

Lovely post.

RW said...

Funny - your comment on practicing on lunch bags. I have taken to writing my children's names in all sorts of crazy ways. My daughter really liked my bubble letters!

Hil said...

How can there be so much inspiration bottled up in one woman (a tiny woman at that!). I just don't get it. But I totally agree with you about the handwriting thing. I hate mine... it's more boyish than even my husbands... but I still write everything in it because I know someone will enjoy it one day. Even if it is my great-great-granddaughter who has boyish handwriting and has always wondered why.

simplybysandi said...

Thanks for answering the handwriting question Marta! I couldn't agree more that we should not stop writing in our own handwriting. The handwritten letter is a lost art that I would love to see come back. My paternal grandmother used to watch my brother and I when we were little because my mom and dad both worked, and I can remember waking up every morning to find her sitting in our living room under a lamp writing letters to the many people she kept in contact with her whole life. I remember thinking how neat it was that you could write whatever you want on a piece of paper (she always used a steno pad), then mail it where ever you wished. I try to keep in touch with special people in my life (even one's who live nearby) by sending notecards with handwritten messages inside, and either my own artwork or sickers which I then add little quotes to the edges of by writing around each sticker. My friend and family look forward to them and I must say it is a creative outlet to say the least. Thanks again...and HAPPY SPRING!!!!

Travelin'Oma said...

I agree. Write letters and notes, and even journal entries in your own hand for posterity's sake. I love seeing my parents', grandparents' and husband's writing. It's like saving an artistic example of their personality. Provide these for your kids.

As I write this, I realize I don't do it much anymore. I'm changing my ways. Maybe I need a mini diary for Mother's Day to write in!

saltbox girl said...

My 99 year-old grandmother has been battling macular degeneration for 15 years. She still lives in her own house and, with the help of a large magnifying glass, pens her own birthday cards to all the grandchildren. Like Monet's paintings, I have watched her penmanship change with time. As the letters get further apart, and the dots and crosses of t's and i's get further and further from one another, her letters and cards become all the more precious.
I love having pieces of her on the page. Thanks for your thoughts.

Christie said...

M, I just love how you write. Reading your blog for me is like sitting down and having a conversation with you. You always make me smile and you have a way with words.

Just thought I'd tell you in case you didn't know. :-)

carak said...

i love this - thanks for the great advice!

Amy said...

I completely agree about handwriting. I've kept years of notes and letters from family and friends in their own handwriting- and although I haven't completed compiling them into a book (that is the plan) having them is one of my favorite things, one of my most precious treasures. I love it!

Can't wait for all the "
p.s." to come about! :)

Anonymous said...

Wow.. Would love to see a timeline of your handwriting through the years.

I agree. We each have unique writing styles/penmanship. When I think about it, no one really knows my handwriting since I do most everything online. Perhaps a few coworkers see my scrawls on post-it notes or on documents, but that's about it. I don't even sign checks anymore! Shoot. Must begin practicing again right now..and send a handwritten letter to someone!

Anonymous said...

I totally agree with you and using a pen to write down thoughts. Even if you hate your writing.

I'm beginning to love my writing. I was just like you, in highschool it was tiny, then I moved to all caps (my Science teacher told me to do this because it was neater...and it worked) and now I do a bit of both. Depending on WHY I'm writing or WHAT I'm writing.

You're right too, written things are some of my most treasured things. I keep love notes (weirdly enough, sticky notes too!) in my wallet from my hubby and written letters from my friends. Hand written birthday cards are hard for me to chuck away.

Jessica said...

Love your blog!
I am having a giveaway on my blog {hillamcasa.blogspot.com}. please come enter!!

mary said...

thanks, marta - great advice (and I love that so many lovely ladies agree!) when I started journaling I hated my handwriting. but I stuck with it, worked to make it more legible :-) and now I get compliments on it. go figure. and nothing makes my day more than a real card or letter in the mailbox with real writing.

summer said...

hi marta, this new faq thing is genius! your opinion holds a whole lot of clout in my world. i can't wait to see more of your awesome answers for our inquiring minds.

Anonymous said...

I'm so excited for next week!!!!

allison said...

i have oh so many notes from you from elementary to middle to high school. i have kept all my favs, and look at them when i go home to my folks. i should send some to you next time i'm in town.

reya said...

Marta, your handwriting is pure art! It's a joy to see.

Jocelyn said...

I can't wait to see your examples of how your handwriting has evolved! I am obsessed with the different forms that hand writing takes. I love collecting old postcards just to see the writing.

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