Happy Monday everyone! I know that we’re only a month into summer, but I’m almost feeling ready for fall (my favorite season). I loved summer so much as a child, but now I prefer autumn, and I can’t wait until the weather cools down a bit.
But first, it’s my son’s birthday on August 8 (and like every year, you can expect an 8/8 surprise at La Papierre), and then it’s the international hot air balloon festival in my city from August 9 to August 17. Denise is excited about that! Next month I’ll try to post pictures of the beautiful balloons that fill up the sky above my house.
After that, it’s time to shop for school supplies because Louis-Justin will be in the 4th grade already! Then the leaves will start to turn yellow, orange and red… But I’ll stop daydreaming about August and September now and will get back to reality. It’s time for a penpal interview! Are you ready?
Please tell us about you!
Hi! My Name is Ellen Gehring and I am 32 years young. I live in Virginia Beach, Virginia with my husband Zach and our three crazy cats. Our cats names are Elliott, Tony and Sparkie. I am a graphic designer at a diploma framing company where I have worked for almost 8 years.
My husband and I on our wedding day reading a letter from my mom.
Our wedding theme was vintage love letters!
I have a ton of interests… I love to cook and bake and I recently took up making homemade jam! I like to watch movies, read books, craft, hang out with my friends and family and most of all I love to write letters!
I have a letter writing blog: postmarkedwithlove.blogspot.com. My email is email@example.com. My instagram is @postmarkedwithlove. And my etsy shop is elbowmacaroni.etsy.com.
Describe your personality in 10 words!
Giving, creative, caring, sensitive, hard working, forgiving, loving, strong, positive, self-aware.
Two of my three furry babies! Elliot and Tony.
How long have you been penpalling? How did you first start? Tell us about your first penpal!
I have been penpalling for as long as I can remember. My first penpal was my mom. I used to spend the summers with my grandparents in South Carolina every year and my mom would write me letters all the time while I was gone. I remember sitting at my grandparents house writing her back and getting so excited waiting for the mailman to come get the mail and seeing if I got a letter in return. When I was home, my grandparents would write me too! I recently found all of the letters that I had written to my grandparents that they had saved over the years.
I moved to New York for College and my mom and best friend would write me letters almost every day to make sure I didn’t get homesick while I was gone. I loved it! Since college, I have started getting more and more penpals!
Our mantle that contains a few of my favorite things!
How many penpals do you have now and where are they from?
I recently did a penpal ad, so I received a lot more pen pals through that as well as through my letter writing instagram account!
Before that I had a penpal that I received through Letter Writers Alliance who lives in Colorado. I write to several family members in South Carolina and have a penpal in Canada and Japan! My mom and I still write letters to each other too even though we see each other all the time and live only a few miles away from one another!
I like to save stamps off letters I receive,
this is a bunch drying out to use for future projects.
What are your favorite topics to discuss in letters?
I think my favorite topics to discuss in letters are the everyday happenings in life. I think that is the most interesting. What do my penpals do day to day, what is a day in their shoes like. Just keeping letters real and honest. A place you can be yourself.
What are you looking for in a penpal?
I think it is nice to have some things in common with your penpal so you have things you can relate to each other about but it is also nice when you are opposites. You learn so much when you don’t relate on every topic. Keeps the letters interesting!
Me with one of the Banksy art pieces in Manhattan!
What do you like the most about penpalling?
I like the connections you make most with penpalling. I have kept in touch with several friends that I might have lost touch with if it weren’t for penpalling. And just the great people you get to know by becoming penpals. If I ever got the chance to meet some of my penpals that would be awesome, but if not then that is ok too! I think you have a connection by being penpals that maybe you would never have with someone by just knowing them.
In what language(s) do you correspond?
I correspond to my letters in English.
I love to make envelopes out of random newspapers, maps, etc.
This is two envelopes I made using old newspaper articles on family members!
What are some of your habits in regards to letter writing?
I have several different places I like to write my letters. I either sit on the couch with a clipboard or at the kitchen table. I sit at my desk in the office to work on my mail art and decorating mostly.
Depending on what is going on in life depends on how long it takes me to write back. I always try to write back within a week or two, but sometimes it takes me longer. Unfortunatly life gets hectic sometimes and puts a delay on my responses.
Most of my letters are pretty long. I have large handwriting, so I think that makes them appear longer than they are too. :)
Has anything strange/funny ever happened to you since you’ve been penpalling?
I have never had any weird requests or received anything unusual from penpals! I would love to see what other penpals answer to this question.
Have you met any of your penpals?
The only penpals I have met are the ones that I was friends with before we started writing. If I ever get an opportunity to meet any of my penpals that would be awesome!
Some envelopes I decorated using some of my many rolls of washi tape!
Are you currently looking for more penpals?
I am always seeking new penpals! I love having penpals from all over the world.
Thanks Ellen! You make me want to go decorate envelopes and play with washi tape…
Now who wants to be interviewed and featured as Penpal of the Week on the blog in August? Get in touch!