Hip hip Hooray! It’s Tuesday, it’s raining, and I’m starting a new series here at HGH! Over the past few days, I’ve been spending time learning from the matriarch women in my community. I spent several hours with Loise walking through her antique shop and listening to stories about the way things used to be. I had dinner with Grace herself, my lovely grandma, and discussed the simple joys like delivering meals to people and handwritten notes. I learned about flowers, how to care for them and create bouquets from Myriam. And Barb walked with me through her farm and taught me the in’s and outs of growing your own food, gardening and living off the land. As I looked through my notes and photographs, I decided to compile everything I learned into a new series for the blog called “ladylike laws” . #basics (is it an oxymoron that I just used a hashtag? Hey, I’m just trying to keep it real.)
Now-a-days it’s more convenient than ever to just say thank you via text, email, or FB message. But, if you ask me, that only makes handwritten notes more special than ever! Stationary, like your wardrobe, expresses a great deal about your style. Saying ‘thank you’, congratulations, or just ‘hi’ means so much more written down on a pretty piece of paper. Call me nostalgic, but I think old fashioned letter writing is one of life’s sweet simple pleasures & I ain’t about to give it up no matter the ever-changing tech climate. In fact, I wrote a whole other post about that so don’t get me started. For now, I’ll just get to the point: since it’s becoming so outdated, I thought it absolutely necessary to put together a quick cheat sheet on handwritten notes.
1. Stationary Shopping Spree!
Rule one, have stationary that you’re excited to use! I love love LOVE Ashley Brooke Designs. In fact, the picture above is of one of her stationary sets. Target has cute ones lately too, and so does TinyPrints.com. Rule of thumb, have casual, semi formal, and formal notes on hand just in case. If you don’t know what to buy, I suggest a monogram as always. #obviduh (again with the hashtags… I’m impressed that you’re still taking me seriously) Anyways.. MONOGRAMS, they’re simple & elegant and can be used for both casual & formal occasions. I hereby give you permission to TREAT ‘YO SELF.
2. Basic Knowledge
Fun fact! Did you know that the first paper mill was built in America in 1690, and that all of the paper was hand made from cotton? Just to cover all our bases, a casual stationary would be printed with flat ink and include an image of some kind like a watercolor design or something. A semi-formal tone in stationary will have raised ink print, which is called thermography. The most formal would be considered engraved, letter pressed, or gold foiled.
3. Just How Much is Too Much Procrastination?
“Did you write your thank you’s yet?!” Yes, okay, everyone calm down. Lets clear the air. The acceptable time limit is three months after you receive a gift. However, that doesn’t mean you should wait until the end of February to send thank you notes after the holidays. However, if you have something like a wedding coming up, this gives you time for the bridal shower, wedding and all that jazz to all take place and then you can send one thank you note to each guest. My advice for a situation like that is to keep track in a little notebook of all the gifts you receive, who sent them to you, and which occasion they were sent on. But, I’m probably overdoing it now, so lets move on.
4. Princess Behavior
Formal notes can be written after a special occasion like a Gala, college graduation, elegant dinner party, or wedding. If possible, reference the specific gift given and how you plan to use it and your appreciation for their involvement in your life/event/achievement. Brownie points if you use a calligraphy pen! Actually, feel free to have a brownie while you write regardless. I would… Is that ladylike? Who want’s a calligraphy tutorial??
5. Well this is Awkward…
My grandma says not to ever mention the words “cash” or “money” in a thank you note. If someone has given you a monetary gift of some kind express your gratitude for the ‘very generous gift’ and possibly what you intend to do with it… as long as it’s appropriate. If you spent Grandma’s birthday money on booze for the pool party last weekend, I’d leave that out. And seriously, if you’re gonna blow money… why not the new Tory Burch flats? C’mon sister. Get it together.
6. Big Leagues, Baby
If you’re looking to take this to a whole ‘notha level… I suggest adding a personal touch like a picture of the gift in use, or a happy memory from the event. If it’s fitting, sometimes, (okay, most of the time…) I’ll bake a batch of cookies, or send flowers too. Fluff and cookie dough aside, simple is usually best.
Happy Tuesday Readers! Thank you for spending some of it with me. XOXO
Que the Queen, “When you had somethin’ to say, you’d write it on a picec of paper. Then you’d put it in the mail and they’d get it three days later…”