Archive for May, 2012

May 22nd, 2012

28 times in 28 years


Here’s a beautiful envelope I received from Holly in England:

Holly envelope 1

Holly envelope 2


Inside was this pretty envelope:

Holly envelope 3


Enclosed were Holly’s penpal ad and top 10 quirks:

Penpal ad Holly 1

Penpal Ad Holly 2

Top 10 Quirks Holly 1

Top 10 Quirks Holly 2


Holly, I think it’s totally insane that you’ve moved 28 times in 28 years! I would have gone completely crazy by now. Unless you do enjoy moving?

May 21st, 2012

Penpal of the Week #77


Hello dear readers! Ready for another edition of the Penpal of the Week? Let’s go…


Please tell us about you!

My name is Ellie, I’m (almost) 22 years old and I live in Washington, DC. Although I’m American I grew up in the United Kingdom due to my father’s job so I only just properly moved back to the U.S. in the fall of last year after graduating from college. I love to read, ride my horses, walk in the rain, bask in the sun, craft, cook, travel and write letters (of course!)


Ellie 1

From left to right- my pony Gypsy, me, my sister’s pony Andromache.


I’m a baseball and American football nut (Yankees and Broncos but also the Nationals and the Giants… and sometimes the Saints too… long story, don’t ask. Or, actually, write me a letter and ask!) with a bit of college basketball (HOYA SAXA), rugby and equestrianism (eventing mainly but I follow show jumping a little bit and occasionally some pure dressage… if you understood any of that you should DEFINITELY send me a letter) thrown in for fun too. Despite all that I’m entirely unathletic myself, apart from riding of course. Apparently, having just re-read this paragraph, I also use parentheses way more than I ought to!


Ellie 2

Me at Yankee stadium.


I’ve been horseback riding for upwards of 14 years and the one thing I really, really, REALLY miss about England is my two horses who still live there along with my parents and siblings. We own two ponies, who are absolutely members of the family, and have another one on loan at the moment. He belongs to a friend of ours who doesn’t always have time to exercise him so we help her out a bit.


Ellie 3

Gypsy doing as Gypsy does (i.e. putting way more air

in between us and the jump than is necessary).


(By the way, I know it probably doesn’t sound like it from my description of myself but I really can hold lengthy conversations without mentioning sports or horses once!)


Describe your personality in 10 words!

Quiet, diligent, wry, friendly, compassionate, impatient, sarcastic, shy, (yet still) opinionated, geeky (I do work in a museum after all).


Ellie 4

Cooking for the Super Bowl party.


How long have you been penpalling? How did you first start? Tell us about your first penpal!

I’ve been writing letters to friends for years and years but I actually only just started penpalling in the traditional sense, by which I mean writing to someone you don’t actually know in real life. My first two penpals are Shannah and Sarah, both of which I “met” on this blog.


How many penpals do you have now and where are they from?

I write to around ten, give or take a couple, of people on a regular basis. The vast majority of these are friends from England (two of whom I went to school with in England but who now live in Japan and France) or friends I made during my junior year at Georgetown University who now live elsewhere in America. Three of those are traditional penpals, one of whom lives in Louisiana, one of whom lives in Oklahoma and one of whom lives in Australia.


Ellie 5

Tebowing at the Super Bowl party!


What are your favorite topics to discuss in letters?

I believe that exchanging letters with someone should be like having a lengthy conversation with a friend and so I like to talk about anything and everything really. Some of my favorite topics, however, are books I’ve read recently, places I’ve been and restaurants I’ve been to.


Ellie 6

Three of my great loves- reading, history and Washington.


What are you looking for in a penpal?

I’m most interested in corresponding with women aged between about 18 and 30 who live in America.


I’m not really one to turn down a letter from anyone but the reason I’m particularly interested in having penpals from all over America is that I’ve lived most of my life until this point as an expat and so I’m really just starting to discover my own country. Obviously I’ve made many trips back to America during my life but, by necessity, they tended to only ever be to the same few places because we’d visit family (not that I’m complaining, I love my family!) I’d love to have penpals all over the country. I’m very familiar with New York, I’m very familiar with Maryland, DC and Virginia (though I’d be delighted to correspond with other girls from those states too) but I’ve never been West of Pennsylvania or South of Virginia so there’s a whole lot of country out there that I know very little about.


Ellie 7

Another of my great loves- afternoon tea.


What do you like the most about penpalling?

There’s something magical about putting pen to paper. I think, often, that there are things that you can say by letter that you can’t necessarily say via email. Handwriting a letter adds a certain gravitas, I think. I love email and Skype and Facebook and all those things and I wouldn’t want to be without them but I also would never, ever want to be without snail mail.


Ellie 8

My typical set up when I’m writing letters – cuddled up in bed with my pink lap desk,

my leather letter writing case and some music (NB- Disney channel on Pandora!)


In what language(s) do you correspond?

English mostly. I do read and speak French fluently but my writing is very, very rusty and it takes me forever to write in French which isn’t particularly conducive to any kind of in depth discussion of anything.


What are some of your habits in regards to letter writing?

I always, always, always reply to letters in the order in which they arrived. I don’t know why, exactly, but it’s just a habit that I’ve adopted over the years and it stuck. I try to reply promptly (i.e. within a week / a week and a half) but sometimes when life is particularly hectic or crazy it takes me a few weeks. I would say that my letters are usually medium length, I don’t write pages and pages and pages but they’re a decent length. I prefer to receive shorter, but still substantive, letters more frequently rather than the occasional tome.


Ellie 9

A sample of my handwriting.


Has anything strange/funny ever happened to you since you’ve been penpalling?

Not as of yet. Should I be concerned?!


Have you met any of your penpals?

No, but it’s only been a few months.


Ellie 10

Walking in the rain.


Are you currently looking for more pen pals?

I think there’s a thin line between having many wonderful, and sustainable, snail mail friendships and having so many that you can’t devote enough time to anyone. That said, I definitely have time for a few more. If you have similar sorts of interests and live in America (or if you live anywhere and love horses) I’d be very happy to correspond with you. Please feel free to drop me an email at – Even if you’re a Red Sox fan!


Thank you Ellie!

So glad to  know that you found your first penpals on my blog!


My name is Julie and I'm 37.
I'm French Canadian and fell
in love with an American,
so I'm now living in Vermont
with my wife.

I write letters, I love stationery and I have a handwriting fetish. I often eat sushi, still feel like I'm 16 and only wear skirts & dresses (with colorful tights when it's cold).

I'm happier with a mind full of ideas, a mailbox full of letters from my penpals, a shop full of stationery, a house full of pens and a day full of hugs.

Read my Top 10 Quirks here.

This is me with my wife,
Denise. We met through the
League of Extraordinary
Penpals and are living
happily ever after in the
Stationery Kingdom.

Denise blogs here too and is
the one in charge of the
social media: Facebook,
Twitter and Pinterest.

She's 40 years old,
from South Dakota,
and in love with me, washi
tape & imperial rolls.

Send your penpal ad & top 10 quirks to:

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penpal of the week