Thursday, September 17, 2015

Why Yes, Long Bow Archery Can Be A Letter Writing Trait

  Who Are They?

For the history and discussion of this most interesting letter pictured, see:  1885 Letter

A Few Interesting Facts

After a rather long and exacting  night of matching requests to connect participants in the first Jane Austen Letter Writing Society's Pen Friend Exchange and a few errors made on my part (many apologies for the name typos from cutting and pasting wrong information into emails), the deed is done.  

After the match up, I decided to compile some data that would give a little glimpse at  who was participating.  Not surprisingly, we are a diverse lot!  


In total we had 24 participants sign up for the first Pen Friend Exchange.  That is a lovely number to begin with.  Thank you one and all for the interest and the excitement generated.

Where in the world?

17  USA
3    Spain
1    Mexico
1    Canada
1   Australia
1   Netherlands

Lizzy, Jane, Emma?

The question of what Jane Austen character do you most relate to was asked of  each Pen Friend applicant.  Here are the results.

Elizabeth Bennet  7
Emma Woodhouse  5
Anne Elliot  3
Jane Bennet  2
Elinor Dashwood  2
James Morland  1
Fanny/Emma   1
Emma/Elinor  1
Undecided  2

Diversity Has It!

Each participant was asked to list a few hobbies or interests.  I was completely amazed with the diverse talents and interests.  What a fabulous group of Pen Friends!

Letter Writing                                                     
Martial Arts
Knitting Lace
Bird watching                                                
Nature Walks                                                  
Making Postcards
Long Bow Archery                                          
Playing Ukulele                                                
Tea Drinking
Playing Piano                                                    
Ballroom Dancing                                            
Japanese Culture                                              
Fountain Pens
Playing the Fiddle

Just a note to all who are participating.  There are really no rules, this exchange exists to promote thoughtful, meaningful communication.  Write letters and send letters to your Pen Friend partner, it's really that simple. 

I am taking Pen Friend Applications for a WAITING LIST.  Please email me at: if interested.

The next Pen Friend Sign up will be begin on October 15th for the November/December Exchange.

Write Letters
Write Often

Lady Pamela

"A person who can write a long letter with ease, cannot write ill."
~~Jane Austen

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Let's Make Some Austen Mail!

DIY:  Vellum Window Envelope


                                   Supplies needed:  
                                   Envelope template or a favorite envelope you can take apart
                                   1 sheet of scrap book paper
                                   1 sheet of clear velum
                                   Scissors, tape, glue
                                   Sequins or other  confetti
                                   Austen silhouette  stickers or die cuts (Austentation)

Old Script Scrap Book Paper 12X12

We are going to make some "Austen Mail", in this case we are meaning making  modern Austen themed envelopes in which to send your lovely crossed letter written by hand with  dipping pen.  But of course, if you do not own such an item, any nice pen will work.  Envelopes were not used during Jane Austen's time would have added to the cost.  Manufactured envelopes appeared on the scene in the 1840's, well after Jane Austen's life.  

Envelopes would have been considered an additional sheet, so these very early letters did not include them.  A letter was simply folded over and sealed with wax that was stamped by a signet ring or a seal. [Jane Austen's World]

But let us continue on with our modern project. I am using an envelope template made by 
Kreate-a-lope.  But you do not need one of these contraptions.  You can simply take apart any envelope and  trace about it to make your own envelopes.

Here, I am positioning my template on this very nice old script paper, but the sheet is a bit too small , so the script will appear at an angle on the envelope.  That is perfectly fine.

 I have cut out the envelope according to my tracing of the template.

After cutting, then place the template piece inside and make your creases nice and crisp. But wait!  Do not glue the back flaps down just yet.  We will need to open the letter up and lay it flat and cut out a "window"  for this project.

Here is how the envelope looks at this point.  But I would like to make a cut away window to add a bit of interest to this envelope.

I have a large 2 inch diameter circle punch , but regrettably there is no way to punch the circle where I want it in the front of envelope.  So I cut out a circle template and traced around it on the envelope, then I carefully cut out the circle window.

The next step is to make a velum pocket.  Here is my sheet of velum.

I used a cutter to cut approximate dimensions for the pocket.

I laid the velum over the opened envelope to check by dimensions and make adjustments where needed.

I tried to use glue to close the pocket (all but one side) but with velum, the glue didn't work very well so I just used tape.

Next I glued in position one Austen silhouette in the pocket.

Things are looking good.  Next, it is time to add the "bling factor".  Sequins are nice and inexpensive, but you could use just about any confetti type of material. Pour a few sequins inside your pocket then seal  the pocket up.  I don't have a picture, but I did cut a piece of  pink scrap book paper  and glued it over the back of the velum pocket to give it a little color.   I then glued on a pink tag and added a smaller Jane Austen silhouette sticker on envelope as positioned below.   

This completes our "Jane Austen" modern themed envelope.  I hope you enjoy this project and that it offers you some inspiration for future envelopes.   I will be posting future "Austen Mail" here, so please stay tuned.


Lady Pamela