February has officially come to an end, which means that International Correspondence Writing Month (InCoWriMo) is over as well. For those of you who don't know what InCoWriMo is, here's the 5 second version: you write a letter a day in February. Frankly I stink at writing letters, so I decided I would try InCoWriMo for the first time and see if I could develop a new habit.
I really enjoyed writing letters, so let's talk about my favorite letter-writing supplies I used this month. I absolutely make this more complicated than it needs to be-all you really need is an envelope, a piece of paper, a pen and a stamp, but I am great at making simple things complicated. What can I say, it's a gift.
I loved getting letters this month-I have replied to most of them, but I still have a few left to go. My favorite part of getting mail is seeing the different stamps. I use the boring flag forever stamps right now because I already had a big roll of them, but when they run out I will be finding stamps that aren't so boring. One trick I learned is to put a little x in the bottom right hand corner of the envelope once I've replied to the letter (you can see one in the bottom of the picture). That way I don't forget who I've responded to, and who still needs a response.
Can I be frank? I am a paper snob. Seriously, it's a problem. This month I tried: a Strathmore Writing pad in letter size, along with matching envelopes, a G. Lalo writing tablet in A5 with matching envelopes, and an A5 Clairfontaine Triomphe Stationery Tablet with matching envelopes, and honestly, I didn't like any of them. The Strathmore and G. Lalo had too much tooth, and the Clairfontaine was too smooth. It's like the three little bears, too hot, too cold, and just right. Everyone has their paper "sweet spot" and Tomoe River paper is mine. So after giving all three of these papers a try, I ended up using a Nanami Crossfield notebook with the spine cut off. You can find the review here. I'm anxiously waiting for someone to make a Tomoe River 68gsm notepad in A5 dot grid. If someone makes them, I swear I will buy them all.
My favorite pens this month were:
- Pilot Vanishing Point Twilight, broad nib
- Pelikan M805 Ocean Swirl, broad nib
- Pelikan M805 Vibrant Blue, broad nib
- Waterman 52 1/2 flex nib
- Pelikan M605 White Transparent, medium nib
- Pelikan M400 White Tortoise, vintage 400N nib
As you can see, right now I'm obsessed with Pelikans, broad nibs and flex nibs. The ink varies every day, depending on which ink review I'm currently working on.
Since I didn't love any of the envelopes that came with the stationery I tried (listed above), I decided to find/create my own. The envelopes at the top of the picture are from Cards and Pockets, the A6 size with Euro flap. I have found that I really enjoy pairing wax seals with Euro flaps and washi tape with square flaps. I'm picky, I know... The best part about ordering envelopes from Cards and Pockets are that you can order them in bulk, with a minimum of 10, and they come in over 100 colors. The four shown here are White Frost, Straw Kraft, Real Grey, and Ultra Black (I love the black ones). These ones are great neutrals, but I ordered some other colors for springtime.
The envelopes on the bottom I made myself, using the Envelope Punch Board by We R Memory Keepers. I make the A6 size, which seems to work the best for A5 stationery, the size I use the most. For these envelopes I used a Recollections Watercolor paper pad from Michaels, and a Marbleous paper pad from JoAnn's (both of which I used a 50% off coupon for). I have found that it's about the same cost per envelope if I buy them or make them myself (mainly because I'm picky about my paper), but envelopes are really relaxing to make myself-it gives my hands something to do.
This is the Rose Gold Envelope Addressing Template from Ink Me This. I didn't find this until the end of the month, but man it's great for addressing envelopes. Plus, it's shiny and rose gold so how could I not get it??? It's the same size as an A6 envelope, which is my favorite envelope size.
Sometimes I have a little bit too much fun with the recipient's name on the envelope, and the Fine Tec watercolor palettes are great for that. Left to right are the Pearlescent 12-set, the Six Classic Color Set, and the Six Pearlescent Color Set. I use a Caran D'ache Aquarelle Fibre Fine Brush and a Kuretake Fude Water Brush Pen in medium.
Other pens I use for addressing envelopes:
- Uni-ball Signo Broad UM-153 Gel Pen - White Ink
- Sharpie Water-Based Paint Marker - Fine Point - White
- Uni Posca Paint Marker PC-5M - White - Medium Point
- Uni Posca Paint Marker PC-5M - Gold - Medium Point
- Sakura Pen-Touch Paint Marker - Medium Point 2.0 mm - Silver
- Faber-Castell PITT Metallic Artist Pen - 1.5 mm - Copper
I fell in love with the Alexander address stamp from Ladd Designs. There will probably be more address stamps in my future, just because they are fun, and I hate writing my long address a million times.
I used InCoWriMo as as an excuse to buy my first wax seals, and I can already tell you, I will end up collecting them. Glue gun wax is the easiest, and cleanest way for me to make wax seals. I ordered this glue gun from JetPens (looks like they are selling the black version now).
The wax I tried is from Back to Zero, left to right: Champagne Gold, Copper, Silver, and Copper Gold. The Champagne Gold is my favorite. Since I use a lots of different colored envelopes I tend to stick to metallic and neutral colored waxes.
I really enjoy using the glue gun method, with mine it takes about one full trigger squeeze per wax seal. You can see in the picture above I tried different amounts of wax, but one full pump of the glue gun trigger is about perfect.
I'm in love with wax seals right now, I have already ordered a few more "springy" ones since Spring will be here soon.
I also used washi tape, especially for securing the flap on square flap envelopes, and let's be honest, washi tape makes everything more fun. These ones are from Simply Gilded Co on Etsy.
I had lots of fun doing InCoWriMo this year, and hopefully some of those letters I sent out will turn into pen pals. I think I ended up sending out around 26 letters, some of which included ink samples, which falls a little short of the 28 letter goal, but still a good effort.
Now that I've overwhelmed you with tons of stationery info and links, did you participate in InCoWriMo? If you did, what were your favorite letter-writing supplies? Let me know in the comments below!
Disclaimer: All photos and opinions are my own. There are some amazon affiliate links in this post, but this post is not sponsored in any way.