I have the tendency to go on and on in my thank you cards. This pithy thank you card, written by Marilyn Monroe, shows that sometimes the shorter the note, the more charming the sentiment. My new goal is not to go on and on in my thank you notes, but rather to pack more punch with the words I do use!
Posts tagged ‘Letter Inspiration’
I have so many friends and family members with summer birthdays, and I can’t help but feel like I’m writing the same thing on every card. What is there to write on a birthday card besides Happy Birthday? How do you make a birthday card personal without sounding overly sentimental or trite? Tired of writing the same thing and in desperate need a few fresh ideas, I went looking for some inspiration and came across this gorgeous letter from Mark Twain to Walt Whitman for his 70th birthday on Letters of Note.
I love how Twain chronicles all the major events that have passed during Walt Whitman’s lifetime; a similar approach could be take with any milestone birthday to create a birthday card that really spans the richness of their life. When he transitions to his wishes for Whitman’s future, the birthday letter is at its most elegant. This combination of past, present, and future is an excellent technique to ensure that you will have plenty to say and create a birthday card that they’ll always remember!
The letter reads:
Hartford, May 24/89
To Walt Whitman:
You have lived just the seventy years which are greatest in the world’s history & richest in benefit & advancement to its peoples. These seventy years have done much more to widen the interval between man & the other animals than was accomplished by any five centuries which preceded them.
What great births you have witnessed! The steam press, the steamship, the steel ship, the railroad, the perfected cotton-gin, the telegraph, the phonograph, the photograph, photo-gravure, the electrotype, the gaslight, the electric light, the sewing machine, & the amazing, infinitely varied & innumerable products of coal tar, those latest & strangest marvels of a marvelous age. And you have seen even greater births than these; for you have seen the application of anesthesia to surgery-practice, whereby the ancient dominion of pain, which began with the first created life, came to an end in this earth forever; you have seen the slave set free, you have seen the monarchy banished from France, & reduced in England to a machine which makes an imposing show of diligence & attention to business, but isn’t connected with the works. Yes, you have indeed seen much — but tarry yet a while, for the greatest is yet to come. Wait thirty years, & then look out over the earth! You shall see marvels upon marvels added to these whose nativity you have witnessed; & conspicuous above them you shall see their formidable Result — Man at almost his full stature at last! — & still growing, visibly growing while you look. In that day, who that hath a throne, or a gilded privilege not attainable by his neighbor, let him procure his slippers & get ready to dance, for there is going to be music. Abide, & see these things! Thirty of us who honor & love you, offer the opportunity. We have among us 600 years, good & sound, left in the bank of life. Take 30 of them — the richest birth-day gift ever offered to poet in this world — & sit down & wait. Wait till you see that great figure appear, & catch the far glint of the sun upon his banner; then you may depart satisfied, as knowing you have seen him for whom the earth was made, & that he will proclaim that human wheat is worth more than human tares, & proceed to organize human values on that basis.
Hope everyone had a great Fourth of July! Here’s some of our favorite blog posts this past week:
1. Artfully Crafted Atlanta Wedding – The shots from this wedding (above) are completely gorgeous and original wedding photos. I love the intimacy created by the distance and the balcony. The rest of the wedding, featured on 100 Layer Cake, is full of similarly thoughtful details. Photography from W. Scott Chester Photography.
2. EGO-EGO-EGO – I love this letter, featured on Letters of Note, from Madonna to her producer and collaborator Pat Leotard. She comes off completely sincere, charming, and humble–it’s a really interesting side of Madonna and a great lesson in letter-writing to boot!
3. Frank Lloyd Wright Letterhead – I would love receiving a letter written on this gorgeous letterhead from architect Frank Lloyd Wright featured on Letterheady! The few pops of color really let the intricate design shine.
I recently stumbled upon a fantastic site called Dear blank, please blank that features short little letters written about any thoughts. Some of my favorites include the following:
Sincerely, I’m not moving out of your way.”
“Dear person reading this,
Sincerely, I’ll work tomorrow.”
These letters are so much fun and way too distracting; I could spend hours reading them!
I case you haven’t heard, and I don’t know if that would be possible, the newest Harry Potter movie is coming out this Friday, November 19th. I’ve been hearing about it from everyone, kids and adults alike, and the excitement is pretty contagious! In honor of this upcoming release, our letter inspiration today comes from the incredible author of the series, J.K. Rowling. In this letter, Rowling tells a young fan to expect 7 books in the series, and compliments the fan’s handwriting. I find it fantastic that although Rowling was certainly famous and incredibly busy, she found the time to hand write a note to a fan, showing what a fantastic writer she truly is.
To say that this next edition of Letter Inspiration is old would be a total understatement. Hailing between 1350 and 1335 BC, this letter written on a stone tablet from a king to his pharaoh is absolutely remarkable. The art of letter writing has been used for countless centuries, and is something I would hate to ever lose. While we’re no longer etching our letters into stone (thank goodness!), I see no reason why we can’t take the small amount of time to write down a kind note to someone to keep in touch.
Image from Letters of Note
Today’s letter inspiration details a little bit of the creative process; something I’m absolutely fascinated by. As I can barely draw a stick figure, I appreciate anyone’s artistic abilities. This letter comes with some preliminary sketches of Wonder Woman as the creator, Harry G. Peter, shows off his new heroine. I think the discussion of her clothing and look is really interesting, and shows how we got the Wonder Woman we now recognize today! Just goes to show even the littlest sketches on some stationery can help to create something wonderful.
In honor of Christopher Columbus Day, our Letter Inspiration for the day comes from the man himself! With the discovery of this new world, Columbus promptly sent a letter detailing the journey and his ensuing discovery to the monarchs of Spain. If you’re interested in reading the letter in its entirety, you can see it here. Otherwise, the letter contains beautiful descriptions of the vegetation on the island and what remained to be discovered there, along with his hopes for future excursions. Whether you have the day off today or not, Happy Columbus Day!
This week’s inspiration comes from a note Kurt Cobain scribbled on a sheet of paper following the premier of Nirvana’s video Smells Like Teen Spirit in 1991 on MTV. While this would be seen as a success by many, Cobain’s letter speaks of his discomfort with living in the public eye, and contains excellent examples of his incredible wit. Check out the full letter over on Letters of Note to read his excellent note, signed Kurt Cobain Professional Rock Musician.
I am a huge fan of Louis Armstrong. He is a jazz legend, and after listening to just one song, it’s immediately evident why. However, I didn’t know that the man had such a fantastic sense of humor! After reading this letter from Letters of Note, I’m more interested in him than ever before! He has so many little one liners like “Am ricely and chickenly yours”, and is endearing throughout the letter. I feel like I know the legend now! Be sure to check out this awesome letter.