7 Importance of Writing Handwritten Letters

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Mail Art

I love mail art! When writing a letter, whether it’s a Hello! I’m thinking about you! or a simple thank you letter, turn it and the envelope into something fantastic and unexpected.


Mail art (also known as postal art and correspondence art) is a populist artistic movement centered on sending small scale works through the postal service.

It initially developed out of the Fluxus movement in the 1950s and 60s, though it has since developed into a global movement that continues to the present.

Some mail artists lavish more attention on the envelopes than the contents within. Painted envelopes are one-of-a-kind artworks with the handwritten address becoming part of the work. Stitching, embossing and an array of drawing materials can all be found on postcards, envelopes and on the contents inside.

“Correspondence art is an elusive art form, far more variegated by its very nature than, say, painting. Where a painting always involves paint and a support surface, correspondence art can appear as any one of dozens of media transmitted through the mail. While the vast majority of correspondence art or mail art activities take place in the mail, today’s new forms of electronic communication blur the edges of that forum. In the 1960s, when correspondence art first began to blossom, most artists found the postal service to be the most readily available – and least expensive – medium of exchange. Today’s micro-computers with modern facilities offer anyone computing and communicating power that two decades ago were available only to the largest institutions and corporations, and only a few decades previous weren’t available to anyone at any price.” -Ken Friedman

It’s Thank You Letter Time!

Thank You Chapter 7

The holidays have come and gone and all those lovely gifts each of us received now deserve a thank you.


Some general guideline tips from the LOLA book for writing a thank you letter:
* Compose a draft of each letter on scrap paper or on your computer before you write the final one by hand
*If you were given something to wear or use, acknowledge it by saying something positive (even if the item is a misfit). Mentioning a specific, such as the nice color or fabric, will go a long way in showing how much you value the person’s kind thought!
*Don’t forget to include the recipient’s name in the initial greeting.
I’ll be using my new LOLA stamps on the thank you letters I’m sending out!

The Power of the Handwritten Letter


This excerpt is of a love letter written by Frida Kahlo: “I don’t know how to write love letters,” Frida Kahlo wrote in 1946. “But I wanted to tell you that my whole being opened for you. Since I fell in love with you everything is transformed and is full of beauty… love is like an aroma, like a current, like rain.

The renowned Mexican artist wasn’t pining for her then husband, Diego Rivera. The love letter was intended for Jose Bartoli, a Catalan artist and political refugee who moved to New York after escaping the horrors of the Spanish Civil War. She and Bartoli met there while Kahlo was recovering from spinal surgery — a procedure aimed at treating injuries she sustained in a tram accident when she was 18 years old. When Kahlo returned to Mexico, leaving Bartoli behind, the two embarked upon a secret, long distance romance, exchanging letters over a period of several years that touched on Kahlo’s paintings, health and relationship with Rivera.

Love the illustration she added at the end of the letter:

Source: http://link.huffingtonpost.com/524b4c023227b874ccf82de22gglz.jsg/VR7cA0mOfOGR51q2C8298

Send Stickers to Bubby!


Take part in brightening the day of an 8-year old child who is terminally ill. Bubby contracted a virus at birth, Cytomegalovirus or CMV. Usually it’s harmless, but in very rare cases it can be devastating. In his case it will be fatal.

There is beauty and much to be experience in the gift of giving. Looks like he has an affinity and love for Mail sent to him…& stickers of any kind. His 9th Birthday is Feb 11th. Bubby Everson’s birthday wish is to receive lots of mail… and maybe some stickers! His PO Box that has been set up by family is:

Bubby Everson
P.O. BOX 1142
Graham, WA 98338


I sent him LOLA stickers!

Thank You Letter Time


The week or two following the holidays is a great time to write thank you letters. Big and small gifts should receive equal attention as does everyone who thought about you by making the effort to give you something.

Email thank you’s don’t count!
Write yours by hand.

Writing A Real Letter


The handwritten letter is an endangered species. It was driven out by telephone calls, which are themselves being driven out by texting. Now, people tell me, when someone dies, they get a text from their friends that says, “Oh sorry.” Texting makes sense if you want to ask someone to get a cup of coffee. More serious occasions, like a death in a family or a wedding, call for a handwritten letter. It’s not hard: Take a blank piece of paper and write.

You can also use your artistic skills on the envelope.
-Judith Martin
Source: Judith Martin in RealSimple/Dec 2014

Handwritten Letters Rock!


Maya Penn: Thank You Cards


I’m the CEO of my company Maya’s Ideas where I design and create eco-friendly clothing and accessories. With every order from my company that I mail out, I write a personalized handwritten card to the customer and put it inside the package. I also draw a little flower on the cards! Every time I receive an order I feel so happy that someone loves the hard work and passion I put in to creating each of my designs so I always want to include a personal thank you. Having a good connection with your customers and your audience is so important and essential for any business to thrive.

November 3, 2014: Maya Penn Curates LOLA

What makes a great love letter?


“Sincerity,” Stacy Keach said.
“A kind of excess,” Mia Farrow said.
“Good spelling, good grammar and passion,” Carol Burnett said.

Angelica Huston’s interview in the New York Times:
Do you remember the first love letter you ever wrote?
The first love letters I wrote were to my mother. And to my father, who was away a lot. Romantic letters started when I was 11 or 12. The first I remember was a valentine. I did a whole decorative thing with safety pins. The object of my affection opened up his desk on Valentine’s Day and said: “Ugh. I can tell Angelica did this.”
What makes a good love letter?
Depth of feeling. And courage.

LOLA tribe: Do you remember the first love letter you received? Do you remember the first love letter you ever wrote?

The Lost Art of the Unsent Angry Letter


WHENEVER Abraham Lincoln felt the urge to tell someone off, he would compose what he called a “hot letter.” He’d pile all of his anger into a note, “put it aside until his emotions cooled down,” Doris Kearns Goodwin once explained on NPR, “and then write: ‘Never sent. Never signed.’ ” Which meant that Gen. George G. Meade, for one, would never hear from his commander in chief that Lincoln blamed him for letting Robert E. Lee escape after Gettysburg.

Lincoln was hardly unique. Among public figures who need to think twice about their choice of words, the unsent angry letter has a venerable tradition. Its purpose is twofold. It serves as a type of emotional catharsis, a way to let it all out without the repercussions of true engagement. And it acts as a strategic catharsis, an exercise in saying what you really think, which Mark Twain (himself a notable non-sender of correspondence) believed provided “unallowable frankness & freedom.”

Harry S. Truman once almost informed the treasurer of the United States that “I don’t think that the financial advisor of God Himself would be able to understand what the financial position of the Government of the United States is, by reading your statement.” In 1922, Winston Churchill nearly warned Prime Minister David Lloyd George that when it came to Iraq, “we are paying eight millions a year for the privilege of living on an ungrateful volcano out of which we are in no circumstances to get anything worth having.” Mark Twain all but chastised Russians for being too passive when it came to the czar’s abuses, writing, “Apparently none of them can bear to think of losing the present hell entirely, they merely want the temperature cooled down a little.”

But while it may be the unsent mail of politicians and writers that is saved for posterity, that doesn’t mean that they somehow hold a monopoly on the practice. Lovers carry on impassioned correspondence that the beloved never sees; family members vent their mutual frustrations. We rail against the imbecile who elbowed past us on the subway platform.

Personally, when I’m working on an article with an editor, I have a habit of using the “track changes” feature in Microsoft Word for writing retorts to suggested editorial changes. I then cool off and promptly delete the comments — and, usually, make the changes. (As far as I know, the uncensored me hasn’t made it into a final version.)

In some ways, little has changed in the art of the unsent letter since Lincoln thought better of excoriating Meade. We may have switched the format from paper to screen, but the process is largely the same. You feel angry. And you construct a retort — only to find yourself thinking better of taking it any further. Emotions cooled, you proceed in a more reasonable, and reasoned, fashion. It’s the opposite of the glib rejoinder that you think of just a bit too late and never quite get to say.

But it strikes me that in other, perhaps more fundamental, respects, the art of the unsent angry letter has changed beyond recognition in the world of social media. For one thing, the Internet has made the enterprise far more public. Truman, Lincoln and Churchill would file away their unsent correspondence. No one outside their inner circle would read what they had written. Now we have the option of writing what should have been our unsent words for all the world to see. There are threads on reddit and many a website devoted to those notes you’d send if only you were braver, not to mention the habit of sites like Thought Catalog of phrasing entire articles as letters that were never sent.

Want to express your frustration with your ex? Just submit a piece called “An Open Letter to the Girl I Loved and Lost,” and hope that she sees it and recognize herself. You, of course, have taken none of the risk of sending it to her directly.

A tweet about “that person,” a post about “restaurant employees who should know better”; you put in just enough detail to make the insinuation fairly obvious, but not enough that, if caught, you couldn’t deny the whole thing. It’s public shaming with an escape hatch. Does knowing that we can expect a collective response to our indignation make it more satisfying?

Not really. Though we create a safety net, we may end up tangled all the same. We have more avenues to express immediate displeasure than ever before, and may thus find ourselves more likely to hit send or tweet when we would have done better to hit save or delete. The ease of venting drowns out the possibility of recanting, and the speed of it all prevents a deeper consideration of what exactly we should say and why, precisely, we should say it.

When Lincoln wanted to voice his displeasure, he had to find a secretary or, at the very least, a pen. That process alone was a way of exercising self-control — twice over. It allowed him not only to express his thoughts in private (so as not to express them by mistake in public), but also to determine which was which: the anger that should be voiced versus the anger that should be kept quiet.

Now we need only click a reply button to rattle off our displeasures. And in the heat of the moment, we find the line between an appropriate response and one that needs a cooling-off period blurring. We toss our reflexive anger out there, but we do it publicly, without the private buffer that once would have let us separate what needed to be said from what needed only to be felt. It’s especially true when we see similarly angry commentary coming from others. Our own fury begins to feel more socially appropriate.

We may also find ourselves feeling less satisfied. Because the angry email (or tweet or text or whatnot) takes so much less effort to compose than a pen-and-paper letter, it may in the end offer us a less cathartic experience, in just the same way that pressing the end call button on your cellphone will never be quite the same as slamming down an old-fashioned receiver.

Perhaps that’s why we see so much vitriol online, so many anonymous, bitter comments, so many imprudent tweets and messy posts. Because creating them is less cathartic, you feel the need to do it more often. When your emotions never quite cool, they keep coming out in other ways.

But even though a degree of depth and consideration may well have been lost along with the art of the unsent letter, something was also lost with those old letters that weren’t sent because their would-be sender overthought their appropriateness. I’d have loved for Truman to have actually sent this one off to the red-baiting Republican senator from Wisconsin, Joseph R. McCarthy: “You are not even fit to have a hand in the operation of the Government of the United States. I am very sure that the people of Wisconsin are extremely sorry that they are represented by a person who has as little sense of responsibility as you have.”

Truman may have ended up regretting lashing out, but at least he would have had the satisfaction of knowing that he’d told off one of the blights of the American political scene when so many kept quiet. What survived as a “hot letter” would have made for quite the viral email.
by Maria Konnikova, from the NYTimes


Handwritten Letters


Writing someone a thank you letter or a friendly note by hand and in cursive not only helps your memory but also nourishes the soul. It feels good to write it and feels good to receive it.

According to Maria Konnikova in a recent piece for the New York Times, she writes that “cursive or not, the benefits of writing by hand extend beyond childhood.

LOLA card

For adults, typing may be a fast and efficient alternative to longhand, but that very efficiency may diminish our ability to process new information. Not only do we learn letters better when we commit them to memory through writing, memory and learning ability in general may benefit.”letter-writing

Who can you write a thank you or a hello how are you note to today? They would love to hear from you!

Go Green with your stamps!

Each stamp shows you step by step ways to reduce our environmental footprint from buying local produce and reusing bags, to riding a bike, recycling and using public transportation whenever possible.


Write postcards to your friends and your mom too!

Artist Eva Hesse and her very close friend artist Sol LeWitt, wrote postcards to each other from across the globe. In the summer of 1966, LeWitt wrote to Hesse:

“Do a lot of little things-it’s better than large things. Make nets with things in them.”

eva hesse


Try writing a heartfelt note-with pen and ink on lovely stationary or a handmade card-and you just might find your effort repaid in kind.

T you:lola240

be old fashioned pw letter

It’s always nice to send and receive a hand written letter!

samantha letter1samantha letters 2-from Samantha Boardmans’ article in Harper’s Bazaar.

hwlp_second_book_cover_smallerdear readerharperharperleeletter

harper nate

letters of noteLetters of Note: a wonderful site and book presenting fascinating correspondence, complete with scans and transcripts of the original missives where available.

to the letter

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