Pretty by Post

For those of you who share the Mary’s love of all things paper, but aren’t having a lot of success locating a source of cards and stationery, you’re in luck. You don’t have to spend hours haunting thrift stores or online resources, the paper and cards can come to you.

Pretty by Post® offers a bi-monthly greeting card subscription service, and a quarterly stationery box for paper lovers.

Founder and fellow paper lover Danielle Nelson, believes in the power of intimate connection and keeping the old school way of communicating alive. She is a self-proclaimed paper junkie, obsessed with stationery, journals, lovely notebooks, and greeting cards. Like this Mary, she heads to the office supply aisles in whichever store she visits.

If you sign up for her newsletter, you net a free shipping code and subscriber-only discounts, sneak peeks and first dibs on her offerings.

For $35 for a 3-month subscription, you will get a box of notebooks, journals, stationery, note pads and note cards once a month.


Each box will include one of a kind offerings. If you aren’t interested for yourself, you might consider this as a Mother’s Day gift for the paper lover in your life.

You can also choose a subscription of greeting cards, a gift subscription, or even a mini-gift subscription for $12 every two months.

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If you have an idea for blog topics, e-mail Danielle at

If you’d like to know more about a 30-year friendship linked by letters, you can read my guest post (and maybe win a book!) that was featured on Day 12 of her #sendcardsspreadlove challenge.

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Click HERE to read the post. And don’t forget to make a comment underneath the post for your chance to win a free book!


Take the April Challenge; write a letter~

In 2001, the U.S. Postal Service officially designated April as “National Card and Letter Writing Month” to raise awareness of the importance and historical significance of card and letter writing. While Mary JH and I don’t need a month designated to letter writing to write each other (we’ll do that regardless) I do love a challenge, and the idea of sending out at least one letter or card each day in the next 30 days appeals to me, particularly if I up the challenge and make it a card or letter to someone other than Mary!

mary letters

I often get asked where I get all my stationery and cards. While the majority of my stash is unearthed in thrift stores and from eBay, I have a penchant for paper, and there are times when I can’t resist a splurge. Like this butterfly paper I discovered in our local Widner drugstore last year. I mean, really…as much as I like butterflies, how could I have resisted?


As part of the April challenge, I’ll be sharing some stationery resources in this blog.

Today’s feature is the Lang Company, where today only (April 1) you can get 30% off your order with the code JOKES.  They sell gift items, as well as calendars, notepads, and notecards, like these beautiful Christian notecards.

lang note cardsYou might want to check their clearance section out for some good deals on beautiful gift items, calendars, address books and notecards as well.


Picture This~Paper~ One writer’s foibles

Both Marys love stationery, and all things related to paper and writing. Perhaps that is common with writers; of books or letters. Or, perhaps it is a particular foible (one could say obsession) of these two writers. But sometimes this Mary (Mary K) wonders if her co-writer is truly aware of the depth of her love affair with stationery. That when she stops at a thrift store she goes straight to the office supply section? Or when she stumbles across a packet of pink stationery priced at $1.49 and a $1.99 vintage box of DaySpring “elegantly foiled and embossed” stationery sheets, she simply cannot resist the temptation~She buys them.

stationery 014These splurges are without rhyme or reason, when she already owns drawers full of the stuff.

stationery 007At what point does a foible become an obsession? A collection become a hoard? This is one of the topics addressed in the “Letter Writing 101” chapter of our upcoming book.

From Mary K:

“When Mary mentions our mutual love of paper and pens, I wonder if she knows the extent of my obsession. Would she be shocked at the contents of the cabinet where I store our school and office supplies? Three of the shelves hold paper; there are reams of white copy paper, stacks of colorful notebooks, bins of cute notepads, and brand new boxes of stationery. Then there is the seven-drawer plastic storage unit next to my desk. The bottom drawer holds scratch paper for grandchildren to scribble on, but the other six drawers are crammed with vintage stationery, decorated printer sheets, and a wide assortment of note cards. I do have preferences, preferring smaller stationery sheets to the larger printer size, thinner sheets to the thicker ones, and vintage stationery to newer. Thin air-mail sheets satisfy nearly all my senses. I feel a thrill of satisfaction when I fold the letter in half and hear the crinkling as I insert it in the envelope. Sometimes I take it out to re-read, just to feel and hear the paper again before mailing.

A scent of patchouli emanates from the incense sticks and soap bars I store inside the drawers of paper. I don’t just like pretty paper~I want it to smell nice (like an old lady, according to the grand-daughter who shares my paper passion). While I love stickers, rubber stamps, and embellishments on envelopes, I don’t take the time to use them. I’m fascinated by the concept of “mail art.” When I receive an elaborately decorated letter, I will look at it many times before I store it in a trunk where I keep favored correspondence.

My favorite pen changes, but I consistently have detested any fine-tip utensils or colored gel pens. I abhor erasable ink pens. I love the thick pens that are free promotional items from businesses. I wrote much of the first draft of this chapter using a fat ink pen with a comfort grip. ‘Iowa Prison Industries’ is emblazoned on the side.”

We will be sharing some fun pictures with you soon, including an image of our cover design in progress. Later this week we plan on running a “Caption This!” photo contest featuring one of the fun photos our photographer, Daniel Kenyon produced from a morning photo shoot that took place at the Bread Basket coffee shop. The Bread Basket is where Mary H took Mary K out for lunch every month for more than a year and a half after her husband died.

In the meantime, enjoy this photographic tour through Mary K’s office supply storage and cabinet.

stationery 006Storage cart drawers. Note the bars of scented soap. There are sticks of incense in one of the drawers as well.

stationery 009Top shelf of cabinet; holds printer paper and notebooks.

stationery 008Second shelf holds journals, note cards, small note pads and new boxes of stationery.

stationery 011Another shelf holds envelopes, pens, pencils, highlighters, and more small notepads.

As you can see from my stash of paper, perhaps I came to the correct conclusion in the “P.S.” Chapter:

“Mary is a lot more like me than I realized,” I told my daughter Elizabeth on the phone.
      “Maybe if Jim dies someday, you and Mary could live together,” was her reply.
      Without thinking, I’d blurted out in horror, “Oh, no, she’d drive me crazy!”

Mary laughed when I confessed this transgression one day at my brother’s house. “We’re too much alike,” she agreed.
     “Can you even imagine not writing each other?” I asked then.
      I saw tears well up in her eyes at the thought.

Later on the way home, I let myself briefly consider a life without Mary’s letters. I couldn’t bear it. I thought again of what my daughter had suggested; that Mary and I live together someday, and this time I could picture it. Aren’t there things about anyone we might live with that annoy or irritate us? Didn’t I have to adjust to living with another human being when I married David?

I love Mary. She is one of the first people I turn to in both good and bad times. Co-writing this book with her has drawn us even closer. Yes, I can imagine us living together as two old (much older!) widows. Would we want to continue writing each other even though we lived in the same house?

That would work. I own more than enough stationery already for the both of us.