Tuesday, August 31

Drew Barrymore: Advocate for Old-Fashioned Correspondence

Drew Barrymore has a penchant for writing letters, and when it comes to corresponding, she eschews faster forms of conveyances in favor of the handwritten. She considers it more meaningful to pen a note, and insists people write letters to her instead of sending an email or other electronic communication.

In method preparations for her Golden Globe award-winning role in the
2009 HBO movie Grey Gardens, she isolated herself from all modern communicative technologies, and limited herself to letter writing as a way of entrenching herself into her vintage character, Little Edie Beale. Barrymore went into seclusion, “No contact with friends, no cell phones, no Black Berry, no newspapers, no magazines, no computers, no cars, no television. Nothing, for three months,” she said. "But she’d write,” said on-again, off-again boyfriend, Justin Long. Long tells of her creative letter writing, "She'd write beautiful, profound, poetic letters on a typewriter."

As for the
subject of the letters, Drew revealed, "They were about my fears of not being able to pull this character off; this icon, and about learning a level of discipline… about facing your fears." Barrymore said the old-fashioned letters, which she wrote on an avocado green IBM Selectric typewriter, helped her work through her jitters about the part. "I had to understand what isolation was really like."

Even after the role ended, Drew explains "I
still write letters. I don't want to communicate in a relationship via text and email. I love a letter. You are thoughtful when you write it, and someone can read it, and hold onto it, and go back to it. For me, there's something very dangerous to have everything so instantaneous."

The star of
Grey Gardens has wishes for social betterment, where folks become more gracious and mindful of their manners. As in times past, people were polite and ceremonial in their conduct, and acted out of consideration. She longs for a resurgence of this courtesy and gallantry, “There's a part of me that misses the grace and formalities of the past," says Drew. "Like, when gentlemen wore hats and opened doors.” Although, she is not all old-school airs and elegance. “I love that now, we're not trying to pretend so much that everything is prim and proper,” laughs Drew. “I'd like to find a balance."

Both gorgeous photographs are of Drew Barrymore looking like an old-Hollywood, living vintage doll in an Alberta Ferretti gown, and a true vintage headpiece as she appeared at the Ziegfeld Theater, New York City premiere of Grey Gardens.

The exceedingly interesting characters of "Big Edie" and "Little Edie" are true-to-life socialites from an era past.
Edith "Big Edie" Ewing Bouvier Beale and her daughter Edith "Little Edie" Bouvier Beale were the aunt and first cousin of Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis. The two women lived together at Grey Gardens, a decrepit mansion at 3 West End Road, in the wealthy neighborhood of East Hampton, New York for decades with limited funds, resulting in squalor and almost total isolation. The home became the center of quite a scandal when it was revealed in 1973 that the reclusive aunt and cousin to Jackie O. were living in a state of poverty and filth.

Both the
original documentary, and the modern HBO movie, are critically acclaimed, award winning, and gleamingly reviewed by viewers.


Tuesday, August 24

Custom Vintage Letterhead - Free Printable

I am happy to introduce the first in a series of Art of the Letter Free Printable Custom Vintage Letterhead. The letterhead on a full size sheet was designed to shrink-to-fit 8in. x 11in. standard printer paper, and the full page actual size is somewhere close to 9.5" x 11.4". The margins are wide enough to be unaffected by most cropping or scrapbooking/binding if you should deem necessary. The letterhead is the same image as above, and will contain your text. I will use Photoshop to design your AOTL custom letterhead. All letterhead design is black, with the font being your choice of color. This is a simple image not of high quality, but is a genuine victorian vintage/antique period image, and will lend a special touch to your handwritten letter. It would be lovely made into stationery on a lightly colored or tea stained page.

To receive AOTL Free Printable Custom Letterhead:

1. Please write a quick blog post with a link to Art of the Letter included, or add a button specifying Free Vintage Letterhead from Art of the Letter.

2. Select the font for your text:

3. Select the color you want for your font:

4. Develop 1 or 2 lines of up to 20 characters each.

5. Send an email to artoftheletter (at) gmail.com with your text specifications and your blog link. Please allow 1-7 days for processing. The full page file will then be sent return email for you to save to your computer and print as you choose.

I will be offering this free letterhead promotion for a limited time, whereafter only the letterhead .jpg will be availabe. Any further requests will be considered with respect to currently running promotions.

If you use the image on your web page, please give me a shout out with a link. I would be thrilled to see any creative uses of this letterhead, and am happy to receive email any time.


Wednesday, August 11

Love Letters To Elizabeth Taylor

Hollywood royal, Elizabeth Taylor, has offered a generous and intimate glimpse into her bedside stand by revealing her treasured, personal, and never-before-seen love letters from star crossed lover, Richard Burton. The scandalous relationship between these two charismatic and legendary stars was infamously passionate and equally as tumultuous. It turns out, Richard's love letters to Elizabeth parallelled those lines of passion and turbulence with his writings of his profound desire for her and a remarkable darkness revealing his extreme vulnerability in the face of existing without her. In this momentous collection of magical love letters from Richard Burton, he reveals himself to be a charming, talented, lusty letter writer, and creatively exposes his mischievous spirit in effortless mastery.

Richard found that Elizabeth's allure was impossible to escape. He mused, even until his end, in the possibility of rekindling their relationship. To Richard, Elizabeth was a painful temptation, irresistable and magnificently attractive. He was fascinated by her - delighted by her - dashed by her.

This spell-binding couple created fan pandemonium in their outings, which in turn gave rise to the paparazzi phenomenon. The unprecedented access to Richard's personal love letters and diary writings came in time to promote and support this juicy and scathing biography of the two:

In an short excerpt from a Kathleen Hughes review of the book Furious Love:
It's a mesmerizing tale - sad, sometimes ugly -
as the two stars engaged in vicious fights,
nursed their jealousies and insecurities,
and descended into alcoholism,
while outwardly living a life of glamour and sophistication.

The beautiful illustration leading this post is from the original motion picture soundtrack of the movie The Sandpiper, starring both Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton while they were in their honeymoon phase. The few Amazon reviews for this soundtrack are of astounding compliment, worthy of a read themselves, and the music has been described as haunting, intoxicating, seductive, and romantic.
We are privileged to to behold these private letters from
a legendary and powerful love affair.


About Me

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Portland, Oregon, United States
I am a loving and grateful wife to a wonderful man, and aspire to be ever-more nurturing as Momma to our wonderful little boy. I am inspired by vintage and antique eras, which motivate my personal creativity. I am a Jane-of-all-trades around home, and find pleasure in all manners of good homemaking skills.

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