November 18, 2014

Letters Mingle Souls (a giveaway)

All of us at some point in our lives have experienced the joy of stumbling upon a vintage shoebox of old postcards, letters and notes. I don't think anyone can deny there is something magical and special going through a well-crafted handwritten message, salutation or love letter that instantly reveals the personality of the sender not only by his or her cursive script, mistakes, scrabbles, but also by his or her choice of words, choice of subject, choice of card. All of them - forgotten or unknown relatives, old friends and romantic souls - are like characters of a book, a novel, ready to be published and shared with the world. In fact, one of my all time favourite books is a lovely, heartwarming novel written as a series of letters, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows. If you haven't read it yet, treat yourself to this book. 
As I have mentioned multiple times already, I am a firm believer in the importance of hand-written cards and letters. It is a life wisdom to invest time and effort to select and buy a thoughtful card, to pick up a pen and express yourself on the paper, to sign the card "Someone who thinks you are very special" and to go to the post office to adorn the envelop with a postage stamp and then to send it to fly. It all requires a certain discipline, a sense of caring for others and a kind of mindset that my aunt, who loves to write cards and still does, possesses. I used to do that for many years. However, I am guilty for falling into the trap of writing not so personal Birthday wishes on my friends' Facebook timelines and quick thank you e-mails on my computer. I can't remember the last time I wrote a letter to someone... Yes, I still send cards for Christmas, but I think-that's it. And it makes me worried about the decline of letters and notes crafted by hand rather then keyboards buttons; about the vanishing of those shoeboxes filled with hand-written memories and legacy of ancestors. I love the efficiency of emails and texts, but we all know they lack the personality and intimacy that only handwriting can create. We've somehow given up beauty for speed and artistry for efficiency. I know cards might be expensive, but we can't measure with money the excitement and the warmth that goes throughout our bodies once we find an envelop with special unique handwriting on it among bills and flyers in our letterbox. Then going inside, while sipping hot coffee, we open the envelop and immerse ourselves in the feel of the paper and the soul of the writer...    

"A good handwritten letter is a creative act, and not just because it is a visual and tactile pleasure. It is a deliberate act of exposure, and a form of vulnerability, because handwriting opens a window on the soul in a way that cyber communication can never do. You savor their arrival and later take care to place them in a box for safe keeping".
Catherine Field

After sharing my Holiday cards last Christmas here, on the blog, I received a lot of asking and suggestions to make them available for purchase online. So, the last couple of weeks, I have been finally working on putting together an Etsy shop where I can offer a selection of cards that feature my original photos. The shop is called SylviaSimpleLife, of course, and for now I am listing  36 different Holiday Cards printed in Canada. All images are carefully selected in order to convey a message of a simple and handmade Holiday season. They are blank on the inside as I wish it's going to encourage the sender to skip the generic Holiday greetings and hand write more personal and special sentiment to family, friends and perhaps strangers.

I am inviting you to celebrate with me as I am giving away a set of 5 cards of your choice. 

1. Visit  SylviaSimpleLife Shop and click on the little heart on the top of the card you like. 

2. You can also favourite  SylviaSimpleLife Shop  and share with me your favourite cards. Each card has a title which I have tried to keep short and simple. 

3. You have more chances to win when you share my shop or this post on your social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterst, etc.) and let me know in the comment section below. 

The giveaway is open worldwide and I will announce the winner on Wednesday, November 26, 2014

I sincerely hope you like the cards and choose them when you send a little handwritten joy someone's way this Holiday season. 

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your support!

Sharing with The Homemaking Party


  1. With you all the way on this post! I did in fact post a letter I had written yesterday to a blogger who had said she loves to get real ones and although I do correspond by e-mail I also write letters occasionally since I know how different they are to receive - you can't slip an e-mail in a pocket to re-read later can you?

  2. Sylvia,
    I just discovered your amazing blog via Aiken House and Gardens. So happy to have found you.
    Is your giveaway also open to international readers? If so, please, enter my name. I'd so love to win a set of your gorgeous cards.
    I'm now off to visit your shop.
    greetings from Italy!

    1. Rita, thank you very much for your kind words. I am happy you like the cards. Of course, the giveaway is open worldwide. Thank you for asking; I've clarified that.

  3. Good morning beautiful soul! I so agree with you here....I have left this first love of mine in the writing world. As a child, I used to seek out pen pals all over the world. Who would have thought that as an adult, I'd have many PEN PALS now, as a blogger. The only thing missing however, is writing the messages by hand. I simply do not have time; my fingers, like many other peoples', work faster on the keyboard. However, a hand-written card is the most lovely thing to find in the mailbox after a long day at work. Your cards are so beautiful with your signature photography in muted tones and blissful blurry backgrounds. Much love to you, Sylvia! Anita

  4. Your cards look beautiful Sylvia! Like Anita I agree with you too on handwritten cards. It's such a joy to receive a beautiful card with a sweet message from a friend.

    Madelief x

  5. Your cards and your new shop are gprgeous, as is all that you do! I liked and shared around here and there...I am sure you will do so well with them!

  6. Sylvia,

    I think this is a wonderful way to share your beautiful photography with the world! I will be sure to follow the notes to be entered in the giveaway~thank you. I'll also post about it and your blog and shop. Just because I think readers will fall in love as I have!

    I try to do handwritten cards, my own handwriting is terrible and hard to read! lol! But as you say, it's individual and shows our personality (in so many words). When I get a handwritten note, letter or invitation, it gets taped up for all to see!

    Thank you for a great post. I will be back to see your holiday cards. A sweet stamp inside will make them very personal and festive! :)

    Jane x

  7. Beautiful Sylvia! Good morning! I just saw that you visited me, and thank you SO MUCH! I have missed your lovely companionship so much! I so know how busy days don't allow for regular posting. I am now down to posting once a month because I want to stay connected, but school is just too demanding.

    Your comments are so kind. I do my best in school, but there are so many others who are top-notch teachers that excel in certain areas yet to be mastered by me...but we all have something to offer the classroom and especially, to the students. I carry on...

    OH! I forgot to say that I'd like to enter your giveaway! How could I not want a chance to have your own photography in a collection? Please put me down!

    Many hugs to you from a very cold but beautiful Minnesota! LOVE! Anita

  8. I love your photos and I am so happy that finally you are offering us the awesome opportunity to buy them as cards! They look wonderful as expected since your photos are always beautiful. I have liked favorite your Etsy boutique which was quite hard to do since everything your offering is so awesome! Wishing you great success as a fellow Etsy entrepreneur myself under the name "créationmam'zelles".

  9. oups....That was meant to read ..."wasn't" quite hard to do...

  10. your blog is very interesting, I will visit again in the next article
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  11. Поздравления за креативността! Желая успех!

  12. Dearest Sylvia,
    First of all, I would like to thank you so much for stopping by to see me, faithful friend and sister! :) We are down to one computer here, and it is very difficult to adhere to a regular blogging schedule...I think of you often.
    As for this gorgeous know, Anita and I were just corresponding regarding this very thing. How comminication is becoming less personal, etc., and the magic of sending and receiving hand-written letters and cards. Vulnerability,humanity, and soul magic become the missing pieces...efficiency taking their place. I, too, write out all of my holiday cards as well as (most) thank you's. I don't even have my birthday up on FB because I don't want a wave of impersonal messages. I am so grateful for artists and souls like you and Anita who understand the value and importance of this increasingly lost art.
    Finally, it is SO thrilling to see that your photography will be shared with the world in this way, dear one! You are a phenomenal talent, and I congratulate you on this new adventure...may you have tremedous success! I will do a blog post to share...oh, so good! You do not need to enter me in the drawing (although it is so very kind and generous for you to do this)...I will be shopping at your Etsy store....can't wait!
    Sending lots of love to you,
    - Irina :)

  13. Good morning beautiful sister...and I see our dear Irina (who I must call today!) is here. How I miss her posts....

    Thank you for coming to visit me today. We are preparing our holiday meal which will be simple, but that is OK...and filling in the emptiness with gratitude really is the way to go about it. Thank GOD for the voids and the areas that need reparation, healing, understanding, or else we wouldn't appreciate the goodness that is accorded to us.

    I know you have had your Thanksgiving already up in Canada, but whenever anyone celebrates anything around the world, all of us rejoice. Peace, growth and happiness to you, always! Looking forward to more creations from you! Anita


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