Thursday, July 14, 2011

Sandbook PenPal Magazine July 2011

The cover  July 2011
The guys from SandbookNet never seem to disappoint! The new July 2011 issue is released and it is looking absolutely gorgeous! Few things about the magazine make a huge impression! 
Firstly, the design. As a big fan of the 80s/grunge style, I think that this issue is totally made to my likings! Thank you, Sandbook! I love the overall designer touch to the magazine. When the magazine firstly hit the "market" (or should I say the internet, since it is a totally free e-zine, for now anyways!), we could see that the SandbookNet Team had made their best to come up with an original and cute design of the magazine. It certainly didn't have anything to do with the newspaper/ad design that most (if not all) other penpal related magazines had. The first issues of the Sandbook magazines had the side bars that framed the pages. Personally, I really liked those and did think that removing them wouldn't do much good for the design. Boy, I really love to be proven wrong! The latest issue of the magazine doesn't have the side bars, but the design didn't lose anything from that, even more than ever, I really found myself enjoying the full pages of the magazine.The hip and new "80s" look of this issue, surely points to the creativity of the design team.

The magazine starts with Editorial from the Editor in Chief:
The Content pages are totally redone: What can I say I simply love, love the colors:

 The articles that you can read inside the magazine are totally diverse and I am sure that everyone will find something that would personally intrigue him/her. For example, the Write Around the World Project that deals with the upcoming Pen Pal Movie made by Glass Completely Empty Productions:
 Or if you are feeling like reading something about stationery, SandbookNet has thought about you, too. They are making an awesome collaboration with Letters Parade. Check out the Letters Parade Blog and then don't forget to use the coupon discount (free shipping) code for all of the Sandbook Readers (see details in the magazine) in the Letters Parade Etsy Shop.
Discover Letter Parade Etsy Shop and Blog

And if that's not diverse enough for you, make sure you read the articles about MidSummer in Sweden, Clava's handwork with patched blankets or catch up on articles about the holidays (July 4th, Canada's Day, Lammas). Personally I find the Lifestyle Article Section (ADHD, Peace, Love, Respect article, etc) quite interesting! 

If you have enjoyed this review of the issue 9, July 2011 of Sandbook PenPal Magazine, be sure to read all the stories in the magazine, which you can download for free at (or just click on the This Isssue link here).

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Letternet, LetterMag and DeutschePost

The LetterMag Post seemed to have a lot of feedback. Generally, people have been searching the web to find previous issues and any information about this penpal magazine, but encountered two problems: either there wasn't any working links or the links that they discovered were only in German.
I will try to bring things to prospective (as far as I know them). By the time that the LetterMag was released, Deutsche Post (German Post Service) had undertaken this project to keep the art of penpalling and correspondence alive. You could sign up with email, but the correspondence was strictly snail mail. It was a win-win situation for both Deutsche Post who marked increase in the use of their service and of course for all of the penpals who got to have a free and totally new paper magazine, called LetterMag.
 Letternet is advertised as the world's largest penpal club.When you "arrive" at their website you can look through their news and updates. However, for all of the features to become available to you, you will need to register.You fill out their application and in a couple of days you will receive the activation code in your snail mail. You can read in the FAQ questions that "Letternet is both an online magazine and a network of pen pals, so Lettermag was discontinued when Letternet was created."
And there you have it - the connection between Letternet, Lettermag and Deutsche Post and why the search engines are giving the same search results. I will try to get a hold of the new online magazine of Letternet and I will be back with a review real soon!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Letter Mag

Once, not so long ago, there was a time when a free paper magazine was on the market. Unfortunerely, like all good things that are for free, eventually they simply cease to exist. Why? My best bet is that the management wasn't able to sustain the magazine due to financial reasons, since we are more than well aware of the fact that the interest for such media is huge.
The magazine that I have is issue 2 from 2007. Here is the cover:
As you can see, it is made by the Deutsche Post and was available for free for quite some time. The whole magazine is bilingual, which means that the articles are written in both German and English. It was a wonderful source of new ideas and topics to discuss. On the other hand, you could practice your German/English while learning about new things. The articles inside the issues were pretty diverse - there were of course some penpalling articles like "Tips for writing letters abroad":
 But also there were pretty diverse topics discussed in the issue that have little to do with penpalling or correspondence. For example, in this very same issue there is an article about the Climate change:
 and about Live Earth - Rock in the greenhouse:
 In conclusion, the magazine was pretty interesting in its topics and as well as the upside of being paper and free, delivered right to your doorstep. It could only get better than this, if the magazine actually made it through to nowadays. But you can't ask for everything, right?
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