one hundred and five: a letter for Debbie Millman

I am a big fan of talk radio. I wake up to NPR’s Morning Edition and have a dozen or so podcasts synced to my iPod daily. One of most favorite radio shows is Design Matters with Debbie Millman. She carries on a clever conversation about design, interviewing artists, writers and graphic designers. Today I treated myself to a grilled cheese and a few hours of Debbie’s discourse.

April 16, 2011

Dear Debbie,

I spent today catching up on your brilliant radio show archives. I subscribe to your podcast, but so rarely have the time to listen to your shows in their entirety, uninterrupted. Your poised and soothing voice was the perfect antidote to a rainy Saturday.

I was especially delighted about your recent interviews with Grace Bonney and Heather Armstrong—two of my favorite bloggers. You always seem to ask just the question I’m wondering about myself. Thanks for keeping the design conversation alive!

All the best,


P.S. I love your theme music too!

Crane and Co.

one-hundred and three: a letter to Gwyneth

In addition to eating, I love to cook. I’ve just tucked in to Gwyneth Paltrow’s new cookbook (thanks Mom!), My Father’s Daughter. I know everyone loves to hate her, but I just adore her. I love her movies (and who could resist her on Glee?!), her weekly newsletter GOOP, even her husband’s music. I’ve dog-eared dozens of recipes and am counting down the days until summer’s bounty arrives at my farmer’s market.

April 14, 2011

Dear Gwyneth,

I am just smitten with your new cookbook. I love the organization and the assortment of recipes, especially the vegetarian ones. I live alone and while I love to cook, I often find myself in “same–old” ruts. I am in desperate need of a new repertoire. I’m hoping your new compendium will jolt me back to delicious variety (that and the spring bounty arriving at my farmer’s market). And although I’ve yet to make it, I’m going to thank you in advance for your fish tacos recipe—YUM—be still my beating heart.

Best wishes and continued success,


Sarah Drake (graciously donated–thank you)


ninety-eight: a letter for Netflix

Adam generously gifted me an apple tv earlier this year. I was hooked at first click of that sleek remote. A Netflix subscription followed, and now apple tv and I are having a steamy affair. Netflix recommends movies I might like, remembers all my favorites and sends me mail—what’s not to love?!

I got to thinking about the people who pack up the DVD’s and send all those rom coms my way. I’m an advocate of little surprises, so I tucked a postcard in with my The Royal Tennenbaums return. I wish I could see the face of the un-packer.

April 9, 2011

A friendly hello to the somebody who makes movies happen for me! Thanks for packing (and unpacking) DVD’s so that I may pair my popcorn cravings and rainy days with a little cinematic sweetness! I hope this bit of yellow cheer brightened your day!

Yours truly,


enormous champion for Chronicle Books postcard

ninety-six: a lust-letter for Parchment Post

Miss Alex introduced me to the most amazing little website: Parchment Post. I am over the moon with excitement! Parchment Post is a subscription based card service—every three months you’ll get six cards produced by small designers and expertly curated by Jamie Ambabo. Friends, I am all over this! I just had to write Jamie, and insist we become friends. I hope she says yes!

April 7, 2011


I just discovered your site and am completely smitten! I love everything about it, from your cleverly designed logo (I heart airmail) to the post-mail cheer you are spreading nationwide.

You are brilliant! I don’t know how you came up with this idea, but I am so glad you did. I immediately subscribed and am eagerly awaiting my first lot of cards!

Best of all, I love knowing there are kindred spirits out there, championing letter-writing one card at a time. We really must be friends. What do you say?! I hope you develop a huge following. And that snail mail lives on, forever!

All the best,


Shilling Halfpenny

seventy-seven: sympathy for Japan

Heartfish Press: 100% of  the proceeds of this lovely letterpress print go to the earthquake and tsunami relief effort in Japan (purchase here).

I am just heartbroken over the recent events in Japan. It seems like the whole world is crumbling, bit-by-bit. I was particularly moved to hear the stories about people helping each other—no looting or chaos, but selflessness in the face of extreme adversity. I’m not sure I would behave so well.

March 19, 2011

To The People of Japan,

My thoughts and prayers are with your country at this difficult time. I cannot imagine your loss or the harrowing road ahead. I am so awed by your courtesy and willingness to help one another. It is admirable.

And to the courageous men and women involved in the nuclear crisis at Fukushima, I commend and thank you. Your commitment to Japan and your incredible determination are beyond words. You are true heroes.

May you receive aid and assistance expeditiously. And may you be comforted knowing that people all over the world are wishing you well during this difficult time.

With Sympathy,


seventy-five: luck for Lonny’s Michelle Adams

Friends, I had the distinct pleasure of speaking with Michelle Adams of Lonny Magazine fame this past Saturday. She was a complete delight (I have to admit I was a little star struck). In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, I’m sending a wee bit of luck her way… a day early.

March 16, 2011

Dear Michelle,

I just wanted to wish you luck on your tv segment this week. I know you will be a sensation (just like the last few shows). That Nate Berkus is one lucky man!

As I mentioned on Saturday, I just adore what you’ve done with Lonny! Simply brilliant! You are leading the charge of online magazines and doing a damn good job. I hope you pat yourself on the back at least twice a day. Thanks for bringing a little beauty and decorating genius to my inbox. And extra thanks for being so lovely in real life.

So, lots of luck! I can say with complete confidence, your outfit is a total showstopper, wink.



Dee & Lala


seventy-one: a letter for the post office

Today the U.S. Post Service celebrates its establishment and 222 years of service. Every year those guys + gals see to it that more than 212 billion pieces of mail are delivered. That’s a lot of letters friends. And while I loathe waiting in line at my local post office (there is always a forever-long line), and the ever-rising cost of stamps, I very much appreciate the service provided. Did you know the USPS receives no government funding? In honor of letter carriers everywhere, I’m writing to the postal staff at my local office. Without them, this project wouldn’t be possible.

March 12, 2011

Dear Post Office Staff,

I wanted to extend a proper thank you for your services. I took on a little project this year—I’m writing a letter a day in 2011. This of course means, lots of trips to your offices and scattered blue mailboxes.

Your clerks are always courteous and patient with my endless stamp requests. Thank you for sorting all my letters and making sure they get to their intended destinations, near and far. And thanks to the letter carriers that leave the busy hive to deliver our precious parcels, in sweltering heat and icy cold conditions.

I’m sure many take what you do for granted. But I sincerely appreciate all your efforts. Without all of you, my project wouldn’t be possible.

Many thanks,


P.S. I’m so excited for new stamps in 2011!

heavy cardstock + Airmail envelopes


sixty-nine: a letter for Mr. Alexander Graham Bell

"Alexander Graham Bell at the opening of the long-distance line from New York to Chicago," 1892. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress.

On March 10th, 135 years ago, Mr. Bell placed the first telephone call. He rang his assistant and said: “Mr. Watson—come here—I want to see you.” Not quite “One small step for man one giant leap for mankind,” but completely practical. What would you have said? I wonder what Mr. Bell would think of our iPhones and Blackberries, amazing or complete excess?

March 10, 2011

Dear Mr. Bell

If I had to list my most favorite inventions, the telephone would definitely be in the top ten. If my thirteen-year-old self was making the list, your genius would be number one.

I was a big phone talker as a teen, so much so that my parents gifted me my very own phone line. Phone lines have come a long way Mr. Bell. The line came with a snazzy portable phone (no cord!) with an accompanying answering machine in case I missed an important call. When you’re thirteen, every call is important. But, I had to wait for a phone number to free up. Turns out, when my Mom phoned the folks at AT&T they advised her the only number available was 876-6969. I’m not sure if that number had any significance back in your day, but lets just say my Dad was having none of that.

Your fantastic invention has come a long way. I no longer have a ‘land line’ but make all my calls on a mobile phone which fits in my pocket—can you believe it?! It does all sorts of other neat tricks too, like keeps an address book of numbers I can’t seem to remember. And it surfs the internet—but that’s a long story and another letter I’m afraid.

Thank you for inventing the telephone. And thanks for your other contributions to the vault. You had quite a lot of interests—you were granted 18 patents in your name alone. And I had no idea you tutored Helen Keller (I think they forgot to mention that in school). Hats off to you good sir! And many thanks!

Forever indebted,


sixty-seven: a letter for Women For Women

International Women’s Day has been observed for years and years (it dates back to the 1900’s). But I love that it’s gotten more and more attention in recent years. It’s even an official holiday in twenty-six countries; men honor their mother’s, wives, girlfriends, etc. with token gifts. How neat is that?!

Women for Women is an organization that champions this effort year round. They give hope to women survivors of war, aiding them financially and providing skills to help them establish self-sufficient businesses. So in honor of IWD, I made a donation to the organization and sent along thanks to the people who make it all possible.

March 8, 2011

To the Brains + Muscle Behind Women For Women,

A sincere thank you to the dedicated employees and volunteers of your organization. I am honored to support such a worthy cause, and proud to see all the good work you are doing in war-torn countries. You are changing thousands of lives and impacting entire nations. Thank you for raising awareness and for giving those women a voice that can be heard.



kate spade (who partners with this organization: check it out!)

sixty-three: a letter to the Store Manager at Starbucks

I am particularly fond of small acts of kindness, helping a blind person cross the street, assisting a mother and her baby carriage up the subway stairs… it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. But what I love most of all is catching someone else in the act. It reminds me that there is goodness in the world.

March 4, 2011

Dear Starbucks Store 16211 Manager,

I wanted to share with you an experience I had in your store on March 2nd.

An older gentleman and his service dog were standing around the beverage pick up zone—he was confused about where to order. When the man realized he was in the wrong place and saw the snaking line, he decided to forgo the coffee. One of your schedule managers Alneis (I’m most definitely butchering his name, my sincere apologies) observed the situation unfolding and sprang into action. He approached the man and got him his “black coffee.” The old man was elated, flashing a “thumbs up” to his waiting friends.

I was so pleased to witness this small act of kindness that made someone’s day. I applaud the efforts of Alneis and wanted you to know about his quick thinking and expert customer service. He inspired me to do something equally nice for a stranger.



Mudlark Stationery