Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Subscription Freebies!!!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Blog update!

I've decided to make this a full-on offer to new subscribers of Letter Parade blog, and not limited to the apothecary-style address labels found below. The contents of the letter/package to new subscribers will be a surprise! Each letter/package will contain different stuff all letter-related or something to support your hobby (like assorted stationery, postcards, stickers, etc)! 

To get yours in the mail, just subscribe to this blog by clicking the FOLLOW button found at the left hand side, follow the simple instructions how then drop me a short, sweet email with your address so I can send the goodies to your way! It's that easy! Get all your pen pals to subscribe, too! My letter love extends beyond the USA :0)

Happy writing!

Cindy Gonzales-Kujat

PS If you blog and would like to use the subscribe banner (above) feel free to do so! It's created by yours truly. Just link Letter Parade for credit.


Tuesday, August 31, 2010

As my way of saying thank you for following my newborn blog, Letter Parade, I'm giving away a set of five apothecary-style labels I designed under my GKkards to each follower. So 'Ria Cabral', 'The Missive Maven', 'Angie Seffker Cope', and 'Jan. F' please email me your mailing address so I can send one set on your way, postage is on me!

Spread the love to your pen pals and have them follow this blog so I can send them a set, too!

Again, thanks for the support.

Thanks for keeping the art of letter-writing alive; for building long lasting friendships through this medium; for spreading love, peace and happiness as effortless as writing letters :)

Happy writing!

Cindy Gonzales-Kujat

PS This limited design label is printed on thick cardstock with matte finish and is not yet sold anywhere.
      Sticker version will be available soon here!

Monday, August 30, 2010

USPS Goes Retro?

Lately, I'd been reading about the issues USPS has been having, like closing on Saturdays and increasing postage from $0.44 to $0.46 by January 2011. It's inevitable! While a lot of people claim that USPS will soon close down its services to the public as more and more people choose to pay bills online with the urging of most billing companies adding a certain percentage of fine for not going paperless - the number of letter writers and postcard collectors are rapidly growing each day! I would think so. Ask any letter writers you know who go past sending greeting cards on holidays and they'll tell you we are on a letter-writing revival! It's certainly not primarily to save USPS, but personally, I think because people just miss the feeling of getting actual letters that are not bills you needed to pay, or coupons and catalogs you only browse once. It's true, there's nothing quite like it, and the joy of every process in writing, sending, receiving and reading one is unmatched. It especially excites me that younger generations are getting into this old trend. I've noticed more names in the 14-20 year-old bracket at the penpal section of this one pen pal finder site I found some of my new friends at.

Which brings me to this new argument re: USPS rebranding, will redesigning it appeal to the masses or help solve the ongoing budget crisis?

Designer Matt Chase created these gorgeous body of work for USPS taking in a more retro appeal. I love it and support implementation of this project, why should USPS be a stark white space like every other boring government office? While the eagle head logo is famous, I sure won't miss it if they changed it to Matt Chase's proposed one. In fact, I think the current eagle head logo would be more appropriate for, say, a new military or air force department if they don't have enough eagles in their logos already.

But this argument should also be taken into consideration: Shouldn't USPS focus more on finding strategies to become more competitive with FedEx, UPS, and perhaps partner with larger companies to develop some sort of mailing campaign? To make USPS the primary carrier if that is at all still possible? This article by Max Fisher (The Future of Mail) packs some very feasible solutions, including one that I don't approve of: shutting down USPS.

While the nostalgia route of the proposed designs appeal to people like me, if it's only going to generate appreciation instead of more supporters, then I think it's time to look the other way. But seriously, how can these not work? If our government couldn't rescue USPS, maybe a designer/creative agency could?

Happy writing!

Cindy Gonzales-Kujat

Friday, August 27, 2010

Paper Art : Brian Dettmer

If I could write to my pen pals pages and pages about art, I would. Oh wait, I think I already do! But if you saw these works of Brian Dettmer in one of your online excursions, wouldn't you at least spare a few lines of your beautiful stationery sheet to share about his amazing work?

I've seen his works a few years back and blogged about it in my Multiply account (since then he's added so much more to his collection!), and after recently discovering Su Blackwell's work I can't help but dig up Brian Dettmer whose works are also in the same medium, books. Who knew there's so much more you can do with one aside from reading or helping you doze off? A few years ago, there was a wave on altered book art and the trend is going strong. But I'll save that for another day.

In the topic of books, I am currently reading David Linden's 'Accidental Mind: How the Brain Evolution Has Given Us Love, Memory, Dreams and God'. I have always been fascinated on how the brain works and its mysteries that leave most neurologists still puzzled. But we are slowly learning more about its intricacies and functions. And these discoveries never cease to amaze me. This book sheds light to new studies, correcting misconceptions and explaining in great detail the little cells in a way no other science books do - it packs humor and keeps the praising of the brain to a minimum.

Check out Brian Dettmer's works here and don't forget to write about it in your next letter out to your pen pal/s. Should you want to blog about Mr Dettmer's work, don't forget to cite credit and drop him a compliment :)

Happy wiriting!

Cindy Gonzales-Kujat

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

5 000 000 Postcards!!!

I'd like to congratulate Postcrossing and its wonderful team led by Paulo Magalhaes for reaching the 5 million mark of postcards sent through members of Postcrossing since they started this wonderful project in 2005.

A couple of days ago I tried my luck at guessing the countries (or combination of) the 5 millionth postcard will be sent from/to. My guess was USA to PHILIPPINES and there were 871 guesses! The winner of the right guess wins a surprise from Postcrossing team and guess what? Nobody guessed the right combo. So what about this 5 millionth postcard?

Here it is, sent by member Elefantus (who's been a member for 3 years and has sent over 2,116 postcards around the world!) in Italy to Ployploy (is a newbie like me and member for 29 days and this 5 millionth postcard is only his 4th received!) in Thailand. Elefantus and Ployploy will get the prize instead since nobody guessed it right!

Congratulations Postcrossing!!! Congratulations to Elefantus and Ployploy!

And here is the previous 4 millionth postcard:

Happy postcrossing!!

Cindy Gonzales-Kujat

Monday, August 23, 2010

Bad Postcards

If you haven't joined Postcrossing yet, it would probably be best if you skipped this entry so as not to inspire you to send out the worst postcard! On the bright side, if you do get one, instead of thinking "what a waste of stamp," have a laugh and share some! Because there is a blogsite dedicated to bad postcards you can upload. And yes, it is literally called Bad Postcards. So next time you need a chuckle, you know where to go online.

Here are some of the postcards you will find at the site:

Friday, August 20, 2010

Paper Art : Sue Blackwell

Obsessing about paper is almost automatically innate when one is into writing letters. Beautiful stationery is among our best friends. So when I stumbled upon Ms Blackwell's work, I knew I had to share her talent with you. Remember the pop-up books we used to have as kids? She has taken that very same concept and turned it into a more intricate and complex work of art which she calls 'book sculpture' using outdated and otherwise boring textbooks into something of a museum quality piece. Take a look for yourself:

So next time a society feels the need to go back to our old book-burning days, we might want to consider a more creative way of disposal and take it from artist Su Blackwell.

Visit her website and view more of her book-sculptures in her portfolio as well as other commercial and non-commercial projects.

Work of art as unconventional yet familiar as Ms Blackwell's is worth writing about, so share it to your pen pal.

Happy writing!

Cindy Gonzales-Kujat