Etsy How Good Is Pip-Life

How Good Is? Episode 3: Vintage Stationery

March 9, 2017

Vintage StationeryVintage StationeryVintage Stationery

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The internet has changed so many things, hasn’t it?

Letter writing, for instance. Granted lots of people are still fans of ye olde worlde snail mail, but it’s considered to be a charming, nostalgic endeavour, rather than just a thing we do.

It’s often embraced as part of a like-minded-group project, rather than just a random, default, stock standard way to communicate.

It used to be a thing we just did, you know? Not even a cool or indie thing…

I was also thinking that when I was growing up, stationery had a different focus.

There was less focus on personal journals and notebooks (to record our thoughts and to-dos just for ourselves) and a whole array of varied letter-writing sets (so that we could chat and connect to other people in our lives.)

Less us.

More them.

Now, these letter writing kits are few and far between.

If we want to tell someone our news or just anything at all, we mostly communicate via texts and electronic methods.

I think we might have optimised communicating with others, honing electronic systems for speed and efficiency (goodbye letter writing kits), and at the very same time done the opposite for ourselves, delving deeper into self-discovery and pondering our own lives (hello one zillion journals and sketchbooks about us)?

Swifter them.

Slower us.

Of course, most delving into ourselves is a good thing in terms of self-awareness and self-care. I ‘m all for that. Deeper delves for ourselves = yes!

What I am wondering, though, is if in the quest to efficiently optimise our communication with others – and have more time for us/work – whether we’ve lost a little something?

Perhaps we’re leaving so much unsaid or unwritten – in the name of time management – that it’s threatening the depth and intimacy of our relationships with our special people/former penpals?

It’s an interesting thing to ponder, right? I have a feeling that it’s a bigger problem than we might realise…

That said, we’re talking about How Good Is? today. And my chosen topic is Vintage Stationery! And how blinking good is it? So good, as you can see!

I found all these cute examples on Etsy and I think everyone should snap some up and write a plodding letter to someone special, just for the heck of it!

What do you think about all this?!





  • Reply Donna Campbell February 2, 2018 at 12:49 AM

    Dear Pip,
    Your picture with your tri-color cavalier made me miss my Samson. He looked just like yours. Love the breed! I am down to one now.

  • Reply Boots Paper (Brenner) March 15, 2017 at 11:27 AM

    I launched a tiny stationery brand in June 2016, and along with the journals and notebooks you reference, also came stationers envelopes, notecard sets, and correspondence cards – tools for the letter writers.
    Through Instagram I have unearthed an entire community of snail mailers! It would seem that there is a real surge towards embracing a slower way of living, which is seeing people return to letter writing.
    There is an art to good letter writing, as I discovered through Naomi Bulger, who also creates the most mind blowing envelope art. Naomi has a free how-to-make-mail ebook, which, for those who are interested, can be found at .
    We can’t deny that it is the hand written correspondence we hang onto. Even the loveliest of emails or text messages eventually make their way into the deleted folder. And writing need not be time consuming. Sometimes just “I’m thinking of you” written on sweet paper is enough to fill someone’s day with joy.

    • Reply Meet Me At Mikes March 15, 2017 at 4:00 PM

      I know that book very well! It’s a good one! Thanks for your thoughts and for reading, Brenner! xx

  • Reply Camille March 14, 2017 at 3:32 PM

    Love these! I need to write more letters. I remember some stationary I had when I was a kid that had lilacs on it and it also was scented, like lilacs of course, it was heavenly.

  • Reply Kerri March 10, 2017 at 11:32 AM

    I fondly remember these writing kits from when I was little and always loved receiving one for a birthday gift. I use to use them to write to my childhood pen pals. These days I make handmade cards and I will use my stamps from that to make personalized paper and envelopes to write letters on. I love doing it, I just don’t do it enough. This blog post has just prompted me though so I’m going to do some up on the weekend and write my lovely 90yr old grandma a letter to brighten her day next week.

  • Reply Wendy March 10, 2017 at 1:06 AM

    Handwritten notes and messages, like handmade gifts, seem to me to be both more personal and imbued with more personality. But I’d never badmouth email. I love the practicality and immediacy of that too , coz I’m not good at face-to-face communication.

  • Reply Wendy March 10, 2017 at 12:56 AM

    I’m old enough to still prefer handwritten messages and letters. Like giving something handmade, I think a handwritten message is imbued with some of the essence of the giver/writer/creator. More personal and with more personality. Plus it is always fun to find something other than bills in the letterbox.
    Mind you, I couldn’t function without email.

  • Reply Paula March 9, 2017 at 9:27 PM

    Love this! I threw away so much of this – half used, and similar I had as a child. It was just normal to write thank you’s, letters etc now I wish I kept more. I follow a writer on Instagram & am so Intune to handwriting – write on recipes, scribble here, there etc. I know I may be going slightly off track but there is so much more in a handwritten receipt, time scribbled on a bus ticket etc than a text. Having said that, all communication is great. Far better to have a relationship with my kids through txt language than none at all!

  • Reply Jessie March 9, 2017 at 9:18 PM

    Well I don’t need to buy any – I still have some stashed away from when I was a kid! I’ve even got a pad of that very fine ‘onion’ paper you used for airmail 🙂 I used some of it but for some reason just never got rid of it. Maybe it’s time to bring it out again, for my daughter perhaps. I wonder, my children are not old enough to have their own phones/devices (& will be putting that off for as long as possible), and they are part of a generation for whom handwritten letters are a rarity. They receive the odd postcard and birthday card in the post and absolutely love getting real letters, addressed to them…it’s a bit sad to think that potentially letter writing could bypass them entirely. So yes, bring back stationery and we will start letter writing. You need to send one first to maybe get one back!

  • Reply Lou Buller March 9, 2017 at 9:00 PM

    I write letters fairly regularly…..being from the UK and having friends and family over there helps. My brother has an 18 month old little girl so I sew her things and always include letters…..Last year we went to Japan….they’re mad for stationary over there so I was in heaven….bought back lots of gorgeous envelopes and paper. Love the vintage kits. I’m also better at spelling on paper than on a computer…does anyone else find their ability to spell leaves them when they get on a keyboard…?!!

  • Reply Chloe March 9, 2017 at 8:15 PM

    I was one of the people who wrote to you a couple of years ago as part of your letter writing project (in fact I wrote twice!). I looked for letter writing kits as part of that, and it’s so hard to find lovely notepaper. Maybe I should make my own!
    You’ve also got me thinking that if I can write three pages in my journal everyday, I can write a letter once in while. Is it too late to write thank you letters for Christmas presents?

  • Reply Lucy Kalstrom March 9, 2017 at 7:14 PM

    I was given a gift of 100 cookery postcards for Christmas by my brother and his wife who live in the UK. That is a lotta stampage, given the small amount you can say on a postcard! Though some countries (France maybe) prefer you to send your postcards in an envelope, so that is always an option. Hand written correspondence has a much longer lifespan and is more personal, albeit the slow as a wet week delivery these days. I used to correspond a lot years ago, first with my Gran in Q’land – I’m in Vic and then with friends I made through girl guides and of course family overseas. Like everyone else once email came along I got out of the habit. It is worth getting back to though. 🙂

  • Reply Kate March 9, 2017 at 5:17 PM

    yes yes yes.
    I’ve searched high and low for letter writing kits, not easy to find.
    Funny when I was a kid I hated that there was only 1 sheet of paper for each envelope so I would use plain paper for the extra pages, now I find it hard to write more than a page. Probably mostly because of the quick text/message function on my phone means I’ve shared everything when I sit to write. Not that I write much at all.

    I’m starting to think for me personally that it’s time I stopped examining my navel and took my focus outward, I don’t think it’s doing me one ounce of good. It’s like I’m looking for problems now because life can’t possibly simple anymore.

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