I love to write, I love letters. I even try and set up pen pals through Instagram.
I still have all my letters that I got from pen pals as a teen, letters discussing tears, pot noodles and dorm room frolics from my friends at university.
Kept in a box with the scent of Snake Bite Black and first kisses. Those memories will remain for as long as I can keep them.
Long live the pen and ink, May your words be forever posted through the slits of homes and opened by fingertips. I mean swiping beautiful words from friends/loved ones is just not the same is it.
So when the fabulous mama and fellow letter lover Charlotte Peach created Letters To Loved my sentimental and quite retro heart jumped for joy.
Total bonus that she is also a seriously badass illustrator too.
I had a chat with Charlotte and she told me all about Letters To Loved and why she created it. She also kindly sent me some of her stationery and it is pretty exquisite in a totally going to use it and save it for my grandchildren kind of way.
She also sent a picture she created of my first meeting with Phoebe (See a few images below). Did not shed a tear, nope. Not even a bit (totally blubbed)
Part of Letters To Loved is contributions from other parents who write letters to their loved ones. I sent one too – it felt quite emotional writing it and raw but somewhat therapeutic too.
I mean, I share a gazillion words on social media about parenthood, writing a letter directly to the little lady in my life just felt so right.
But first read about this wonderful lady and her brilliant idea.
Charlotte Peach – Letters To Loved
Why I started Letters To Loved
Letters To Loved started as a collection of letters to my daughter. When she was a baby I had all these things I wanted to say to her, things I kept making mental notes of to remember to tell her or teach her, things I wanted to make sure that she knew, and as remembering things was not one of my fortes as a sleep deprived first-time mum, I decided to write as much of it down as I could remember. I found it cathartic. It helped relieve a lot of horrible anxiety I had as a new mum, as well as being a good way to capture the intense feelings I had for her. Feelings I didnt want to forget and wanted her to know that I felt.
It also lead me to read other people’s letters, throughout history through to modern day. I wanted to start a collection where they were all in one place and see if it inspired other people to enjoy writing letters to their children as much as it did me.
I have a ‘thing’ for good stationery – I think it replaced my ‘thing’ with shoes! But I think some letter writing stationery, although incredibly beautiful, can make everything feel a bit formal and stuffy. So you end up with lots of stunning things to write with, great for when you want to rsvp to the queen, but until then are tucked away in a drawer somewhere. I wanted the Letters To Loved stationery to feel great in terms of quality and design, but also styled in a way that you want to pick it up and use it right away. And if you make mistakes so what? I’ve worked with Laxmi Hussain on a lot of the branding for the company and the collaborative process has been great.
In terms of the artwork I produce, that’s another way of capturing memories and feelings in a similar way to a letter. Many of the styles are about stripping back the noise around images we have of loved ones so that all you see is the beauty in the simplicity of that moment. Simple lines with very little detail around them, helps you see the connections between for example a parent and child, the simple way someone is held and I think it helps you reconnect with how you felt in that moment.
For example the picture of my daughter and I came from a photograph taken in the hospital shortly after she was born. The photo is quite clinical and grey, with a Sainsbury’s bag full of snacks in the background. With all that filtered out all you see is the line of my arm around my tiny little bundle that I can’t stop looking at – a moment of calm and pure love with my daughter.
What’s coming next
I’d love to keep Letters To Loved 2017 going throughout the year. Each month I’m collaborating with illustrators and designers to create themed, limited edition luxury letter writing sets. The designs of each theme will reflect a new motivation for sending the letter and all profits from these editions will go to a different charity http://letterstoloved.com/2017-a-year-of-letters/
I’m also going to introduce lots of new products too, as well as more exciting collaborations with different artists and small brands
My Letter To My Loved
To my Phoebe Cecily Violet
A million words I could say to you.
The beat to my heart.
I hope you know this is all about you.
I didn’t think we were meant to be.
You proved me wrong.
I didn’t think I needed you.
You showed me I did.
I thought I was okay before you.
You made me realise I wasn’t.
I was never very good at patience.
Now I am bordering on being a saint.
I didn’t know a child could make you feel like that.
You make me feel everything.
I didn’t know happiness felt like this.
Now it is all I know.
I thought I was always going to be alone.
Now I will always have you.
Thank you for picking me PC
I am yours today, tomorrow and forever.
Mama A x
Head over to the Letters To Loved website for a peruse and also her instagram.
So many pretty words and pictures. The stationery is pretty phenomenal too.