Archive for Penpal Interviews

June 9th, 2016

Penpal of the Week #184


I cooked a yummy shrimp stir-fry dinner tonight… and then I cleaned the kitchen. After that I started a load of laundry and played with a new (to us) vacuum cleaner that a friend gave to us. I guess you could say that I’m feeling pretty domestic this evening. My dream job would involve being a full-time housewife. I’m one of those odd people who enjoys cleaning, errands, etc.


I also enjoy sharing Penpal of the Week interviews with you! And so before I go back to vacuuming, I want to introduce you to Angela.


Please tell us about you!

Hello, my name is Angela, I am 43 years old. I am originally from Nebraska but now live in Florida. My family consists of my husband Scott (we will be married 27 years come December and both of our birthdays are in June), our son Matthew who is 24 and our daughter Rachel who will be 21 in August. We also have quite the animal family, two dogs (Sissy and Peepers), three inside cats (Tiny, Socks and Shadow), four outside cats (Reese, Skip, Tiger and Blue) and a one legged finch named Bella. All of our animals are rescue animals.


I am an avid reader and have been since I was a child. I have a book blog where I do reviews – A Holland Reads (Blog & Facebook) I do also have a personal blog for journaling but need to work on my self discipline in writing on it more often.  A dream of mine is to write a book one day.


I enjoy collecting bookmarks and postcards although if you ask my family I also collect journals, pens and stationary. My hobbies are scrapbooking, card-making (although it has been awhile since I have done this), coloring in the new adult coloring books and pen pal writing. I am a Real Housewives junkie and enjoy watching historical themed tv series. I am a huge Green Bay Packers fan and enjoy listening to podcasts while driving or writing.


I was a paralegal for 23 years and just recently decided to switch careers and am now a bank teller.


My email is – I also can be found at my blogs listed above as well as my personal Facebook which is Angela-Scott Holland.




This is my family taken a couple of years ago – Rachel, Matthew, Me and Scott.


Describe your personality in 10 words!

Friendly, shy, organized, shy, emotional, neat freak, OCD, honest, nerdy and introvert.




My whole family two years ago in Nebraska.


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

I had my first penpal when I was about ten years old. She was a girl that I met when I was spending the summer with my grandpa on Lake Shetec in Michigan. We hit it off and decided to exchange addresses and write after the summer. We kept in touch until we were teens then lost touch.




Wall of books (notice all the pet treats on the top of the shelf on the right, LOL).


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

I have about 10-12 pen pals right now with probably eight of them being very active. My penpals are from all over the US, England, Australia, Belgium, Germany, The Netherlands and Norway. I enjoy hearing from each of my penpals as it is not only nice to receive fun mail but also to learn about others.


What are your favorite topics to discuss in letters?

I love to discuss books, tv shows, life in general, customs and cultures or whatever topic we are in the mood to discuss.




This is Socks, Tiny and Shadow with Rachel in the background.


What are you looking for in a penpal?

In a penpal I like to see someone who is good about writing back in a reasonable amount of time. Someone that is friendly and enjoys visiting. I am not set on a certain age group as I am pretty open. I just recently started writing to my first male penpal.




Sissy and Peepers.


What do you like the most about penpalling?

What do I like most about penpalling – writing and receiving letters would be right up there at the top of the list. I also like the close friendship that is created by writing to others. It is nice that you can be honest and talk about anything with your penpals and they seem to understand. I also love learning about the different countries and cultures.




A bit of my paper collection.


In what language(s) do you correspond?

At this time I only correspond in English – maybe one day that will change.


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

Usually when I get a letter I try to respond in two to three days but occasionally life does get in the way and it may be a week. If the weather is nice it is always nice to sit in the peaceful outdoors and write. But more often than not I write in my living room listening to a podcast. One day I hope to have a designated writing area. My letters tend to be medium in length. Somedays I have more to write and somedays less but the majority are medium length.




A sampling of my pen collection I use in writing letters.


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

I can not think of anything really strange that has happened with my penpals other than one person who wrote to me was asking some very strange questions and then only wrote about the weather in her letter.


Have you met any of your penpals?

No I have not had the pleasure to meet any of my penpals yet but maybe one day.




My handwriting.


Are you currently looking for more penpals?

I am always looking for new penpals. The more the merrier.


Thanks Angela!


If you’re interested in being featured here on the blog, you can check out our Participate page for more information. This is a great opportunity for you to share about your own penpal hobby.


I’m off to move the clothes from the washer to the dryer!

May 9th, 2016

Penpal of the Week #183


As I’m sitting here in the office today, I am over the moon impressed with my wife’s design work for this upcoming month’s edition of the La Papierre SSS. Many of the new designs will be making a home in my all time top 10 La Papierre favorites! Did you know that there are now subscription plans that come with matching envelopes?


And now, I have the pleasure of introducing you to an artistically creative letter writer… Nina in Croatia is our Penpal of the Week!


Please tell us about you!

My name is Nina (Bančetović), I’m 37 and at the moment I work as a babysitter. It gives me a chance to get to know the little girl that I’m taking care of and it also reminds me of some inner parts of me. I love creating paper stuff like notebooks, gift tags, envelopes and, when I feel confident enough, even do some bookart. I also love to dance (still feel shy) and to take photos.







Describe your personality in 10 words!

Talkative but shy. In love with movement. Adore writing. Curious.


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

I started when I was 10/11 with my best friend (then). We exchanged letters often. There was a long pause after high school and I started again 8 years ago, after letting go of my job as a copywriter and moved to Lisbon, Portugal with my former boyfriend. I was looking for something important to me and letters showed up again.



Writing on a friend’s terrace.


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

20 – 25. One third are people from Croatia. Others are mostly from Europe (Greece, France, UK, Italy, Portugal, Belgium) and few from Australia, USA and Brasil.



I love the sea.


What are your favorite topics to discuss in letters?

I have no favorite topic, it all depends on a person. I love to read about what’s important to my penpal and to write about what’s important to me at the moment. It changes. But usually it starts with private life, hobbies, travels, books and then the conversation grows.



A letter.


What are you looking for in a penpal?

To be what they are, to share themselves and their experiences. Passion, honesty, curiosity.



Another letter – a long one.


What do you like the most about penpalling?

It’s like a little precious book someone wrote just for you. Or a book you wrote to someone. It connects, slows everything down to the right rhythm and makes me share myself back. It’s always a win – win. Either I enjoy writing or I enjoy reading. There are so many ways you can be creative in a letter and then you share it with someone.



My handwriting.


In what language(s) do you correspond?

English and Croatian.


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

I love writing in a bar and I usually write long letters. Most of the time I drink something while writing and I take a lot of photos of letters, envelopes that I make.



I use many different papers.


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

I opened an idea to write many letters to the unknown people so I had a personal project (took me a year to finish it) “1000 letters”. I made envelopes, wrote messages, made attachments and shared them around.


I also organised group writing letters in a bar so we would meet every Tuesday in the same bar (for 6 months) and write letters together, as a game or with some funny tasks.


And there was a short period when I used my wooden dwarf named Kika to write letters to children. They responded and those were wonderful.



Some envelopes I made.


Have you met any of your penpals?

Just those that live in Zagreb. But I’d be glad to meet them all eventually. They are all beautiful and interesting people.



Paper ships.


Are you currently looking for more penpals?

No, but if anybody feels connected or interested, they are more than welcome.


Thank you Nina!


Many thanks to those of you who ordered spring stationery! We’ve had a few warmer days and I think the apples are starting their process on the tree in our backyard. I took a photo of the blooms that are just beginning to form. It’s pretty cool that something like this will turn into fruit!





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.

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