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Friday 16 September 2011

Paper & Penmanship Q&A with Tea & Crayons

Not only do the arts and illustration collective Tea & Crayons love a good doodle, they're also fans of writing as well. And the know how to make a postcard pretty. That's what they're doing at Paper & Penmanship on Sunday. Rachel and Rachel are coming along to help you design your very own postcards. Not only will your postcards look bloomin' gorgeous, you'll then be able to pen a lovely little letter to someone special. We caught up with Rachel Lewis and pestered her about writing letters. She coins the fabulous phrase 'margin doodles'.

What do you love most about writing letters?

The personal touch is what’s best about letters – and you can get a feel for the person much better through their handwriting. Writing letters with an actual pen also lends itself to little margin doodles which are always exciting – much more so than a half-arsed emoticon :)

What's important to you in a letter? What makes good penmanship?

It’s completely important, as such, but good handwriting is always a pleasure. Good penmanship is about taking care over what you’re trying to say; and if it takes you an extra 10 minutes because you’re putting lovely curly serifs on everything, well then that’s time well spent!

Do you think email is ruining the art of letter writing?

To a degree. There are times when email is much more suitable; such as a work/office environment, and times when a hand written note is best, such as a thank you letter. If I got a thank you email (or worse, a facebook message) then that would be awful. Digital is so transient. Which reminds me, it was my birthday 6 weeks ago and I still haven’t written thank you letters. Maybe I’ll write mine at the event!

What was the last handwritten letter you received? Who was it from?

It was from my nan; we were writing to each other a few months ago because I gave her my new London address and she got a bit excited about that. I call her as well but getting letters from her is amazing, her handwriting is from another era and she always uses great floral paper.

Where are your favourite stationery shops?

There’s one in my hometown of Leighton Buzzard, in Bedfordshire, called Room No. 9; not only does it sell all kinds of paper and art materials you could ever need, it’s a beautiful tea room as well. Tea and paper together in one place; can you imagine!

Tell us about a brilliant secret Sluttery thing that we'll like

About twice a year, the Ephemera Society Fair happens in central London – it’s like another world. It’s great for picking up very old, very rare theatre programmes/ postcards/ cigarette cards/ tickets/ anything – prices range from £1 to £1000. Seriously. These people are dedicated collectors and it’s quite amazing. I’d recommend a wander round next time it’s one.

Want to come along and design your own postcard with Tea & Crayons (there will be lots of Domestic Sluts in this session - we're not missing the chance for glitter and doodles!), you'll need to be in the afternoon session at Homemade London. You'll also take part in the Letter Lounge and get even more postcard happy with Aimee from Postcarden. Tickets for the whole afternoon session are just £15 and you'll get a goodie bag when you arrive so you can play with it throughout the day. There will be lots of playing.

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