Monday, January 12, 2015

Penpal of the Week #157


Today marks the official start of the work week in our new office. How lucky am I to get to sit at a desk across from the beautiful Julie!? And as an extra bonus I get to look at all of the stationery inventory! My wife and stationery make for great inspiration and motivation.


Today I want to introduce you to another Julie. She is from the States and was nominated to be Penpal of the Week by her pen friend Cynthia.


Please tell us about you!

My name is Julie, I am 27 and I live in the south USA, in a little rural town that isn’t too big or too little for my liking. I am an only child and have always been close to my family. I have lived in my own house since April of 2013, so being a new homeowner is an adventure for me. My main hobbies are scrapbooking (though I seldom have time for it anymore), photography, and horseback riding. I have 3 horses and also ride and take care of 6 (with an additional 2 I don’t ride, totalling 8) horses for a friend in my spare time. My barn job is secondary to my main job in the public service field. Along with my 3 horses, I also have 4 dogs; I love animals.



My (really dirty!!) riding boots.


Describe your personality in 10 words!

Procrastinator, loyal, trustworthy, unique, artsy-crafty, hard-headed, picky, independent, introverted, honest.


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

I have been penpalling since I was around 11 or 12 years old. My first penpal was a girl named Claudia from Germany. We were matched up through a penpal match at my school, and we wrote back and forth for probably close to a year before we drifted apart for whatever reason, I honestly don’t even remember. Somehow, I’m assuming through the same penpal match, I was also paired with Federica from Italy, and we still write to this day. Along with Federica, the other penpal I have had the longest, for the same amount of time, is Ashlie from Wisconsin. We were paired up when we both sent in penpal requests to a kid-related horse magazine. We also still write to this day.



Some local landscape of the area I grew up in.


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

I currently have 10 penpals, and they range from all over the world. Along with the two I have already mentioned, I have penpals here in the States (LA, KS, NY), and also internationally (Germany, UK, Lithuania, Brazil, Indonesia). I don’t like any one penpal better than the other — I love different things about each one. Some write shorter letters which are nice because I don’t feel as bogged down trying to reply to tons of 30-page letters… and some write longer letters that are great to sit down with and read like the next chapter of a book I am looking forward to. One of my penpals always includes a few thought-provoking and interesting questions in her letters, and another is always sending the cutest little trinkets and gifts.



More pretty landscape from the area I grew up in.


What are your favorite topics to discuss in letters?

Anything, really. I view penpalling as a diary, of sorts, that will reply back! I love talking about current happenings in our lives, everyday things going on, and even stories from the past/childhood.


What are you looking for in a penpal?

I look for penpals that live in different areas than I do, whether it is a different part of the USA or a different part of the world. I love hearing and learning about other areas and cultures. It is nice to have a few things in common, of course, so there is plenty to talk about, but I don’t want to write to my “twin”. I love learning about new hobbies, customs, etc. I don’t mind if a penpal sends goodies all the time; I can’t afford to send things often, but I love the occasional photograph or something small, and I try to send the same to my penpals. Also, it’s always a plus when a penpal understands how life can get hectic at times and they may have to wait to get a letter.



Outgoing letters waiting to be mailed.


What do you like the most about penpalling?

I love the feeling of getting to travel without ever leaving my house, and meeting people that I would otherwise never meet. I love to write and spill my feelings on paper anyway… having a penpal is so much more fulfilling than having a journal.


In what language(s) do you correspond?

Just English.



This letter is from 1998… it is the first penpal letter I ever received,

and this is what started it all! I still have every letter I’ve ever received from a penpal.


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

I have to be in a quiet area, by myself, to write a letter. I write some at home if I’m not busy, just curled up in my chair without background distractions. My ‘favorite’, I guess, place to write is at work. I work 12 hour shift work and am at a desk the whole time. On weekends when it is relatively quiet and my paperwork is caught up at work, I will work on a letter or two to pass the time. I try not to keep my penpals waiting too long for a letter, but during busy times (like holidays) or if nothing too exciting in my life has happened to include in a letter, the wait may be a little longer than normal. Also, I try to match the length of my penpals’ letters. Long letter = long letter; short letter = short letter. I have a variety of lengths I receive, which I enjoy.



This is a closet in my scrapbooking room. The multi-drawer cart there

in the front? That (and the binders on top) are my “penpal station”.

I keep stationery and all my penpal stuff here.


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

Nothing that I can think of. The only unusual thing that sticks out isn’t actually unusual… when I was younger and just starting penpalling, like I already mentioned, it started with Claudia in Germany… then I also wrote to one of her friends a bit… and Federica in Italy, and also one of her friends… and then somehow, a girl in Spain named Nina got my address and wrote a sweet letter and included a picture of herself out snow skiing. I wrote back to her, but she never continued writing after that first letter. At the time, I was a bit upset… my eleven-year-old mind thought, “Did she not like me??” etc. And maybe she didn’t, but looking back now, I wonder if my letter to her got lost in the mail… I’ll never know!



My 3 horses, Tank, Cowgirl, and Tip.


Have you met any of your penpals?

Unfortunately, no. I have always daydreamed about how much fun it would be to meet my Italian penpal, and now with my newer penpals, any of them would be fun to meet. I live closest to my Louisiana penpal, so hopefully one day in the future, we can meet in person.



This is a sample of my handwriting.


Are you currently looking for more penpals?

I’m not actively looking for any new penpals… I am content with the amount I have now, and I feel if I were to get any more, then the ones I have already would have to wait even longer to get my letters sometimes (see #2: procrastinator). However, if you absolutely cannot live without having me as a penpal… haha… then, by all means, shoot me an email.


Thanks Julie.


One IKEA adventure yesterday was just not enough for us. So… after our work day is finished we are headed back. I think I had my fill of Swedish meatballs for now, so perhaps I’ll take advantage of the $0.75 hot dog for dinner.


If you would like to be featured as Penpal of the Week, or if you would like to nominate someone to be Penpal of the Week, you can get in touch with me here.


Posted under Penpal Interviews


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