I heard recently that there are many schools that have dropped or are considering dropping cursive as a subject, and focusing instead on typing skills. Modern technology like smart phones, iPads, and computer keyboards certainly seem to justify the change, but as with many other subjects that are dropped from school curriculums in order to meet budget demands, or to stay current with the times, there are important considerations that are being ignored. In an article in the Wall Street Journal, Philip Hensher wrote about this very thing. "Handwriting can be untidy and malformed and difficult to read, but there is always going to be someone who recognizes even the worst of handwritings and treasures it because of who it comes from. The handwritten letter from a soldier at the front; a letter from a boy on a first solo trip abroad, discovering the world and having lots to talk about; letters from a son who has just gone away to university for the first time—these were all common things until very recently." His article, The Lost Art of the Handwritten Note, is well written and worth the read.
A few years back I attended a workshop taught by the lovely and encouraging Tracie Lyn Huskamp whose blog, The Red Door Studio, is full of art and nature, and reflects her love of what I call THE REAL. In that workshop Tracie Lyn called my attention to the dying art of the handwritten anything, whether it's a letter, a recipe, a get well card etc. She was in the habit of collecting anything handwritten, and since that workshop I have begun my own collection, taking a photo of a letter and using the digital image in backgrounds, or printed out for mixed media. Which all leads me to my topic for today, which is the THANK YOU note.
Every year ever since I knew how to write my name, my Mom insisted that we 3 kids spend part of our Christmas vacation writing thank you notes for every gift we'd received.
I can honestly say that as a kid, I thought it was a complete misuse of my valuable vacation time, but I learned a lesson that has stuck with me ever since... saying thank you is nice, polite... and precious. I know how much I love to get a personal letter in the mail, and I want to be the kind of person who gives that kind of warmth and love to other people. So, I decided that this year I would make all my thank you cards and envelopes, which is why this post is 2 months AFTER Christmas!
If you have some coordinated scrapbooking paper laying around, that's great - I had some in 12x12 sheets. Get your ruler, pencil, scissors, glue, and the odd ingredient is the cloth medical tape I found at the drug store. Any tape will do, tho something like washi tape would be best, ESPECIALLY if it coordinates with your paper! Cut a 12x12 into quarters, leaving you with 4 pieces of 6x6 paper to make 4 envelopes. I took a picture of the measurements I made for folding lines:
I folded both the right and left edges in to the center line...
Using the fold lines and the 1" line as a guide, cut the corners of the bottom out...
Use tape to seal the edges (that you folded) and glue the flap up over that, making a nice little pocket.
It's time then to cut the envelope flaps out of a coordinating paper, in one of 2 styles. A square flap, or a triangle flap. Square being the simplest, I tried that first, by cutting a 1.5" strip of paper in the coordinating piece, as long as the pocket is wide.
Fold the strip in half, lengthwise, and glue half to one side of the pocket opening.
For a triangular flap,cut a piece of paper that is the width of the pocket and 1.5 inches tall, folding like in the picture below. The vertical fold is in the middle, and the lower horizontal fold is 1/2 inch from bottom edge. Once you draw a line from each fold/edge to the center fold/edge to get the shape of the triangle, you can cut it out and glue it to the pocket.
After much trial and error, I came up with the following measurements for the paper that you will write on, that will fit easily into the envelopes once folded:
Instead of gluing the flap closed once you've folded and inserted your handwritten, precious note, I just used my return address sticker to close the envelope.