On rainy days like today I often write letters to keep busy. Years ago I had an idea to make a lap desk that I could carry around or use sitting up in bed for letter writing. The neat part is you can store things in the lap desk. I wanted it to look French, bien sur, and pink and be something that I thought a woman in the court of Louis XV time might use.
I was lucky to know a very talented decoupage artist ( M J Toole) that happened to live near me at the time. She has made my lap desk a true work of art. I have used it now for almost 20 years and if the house is on fire it would be one of the things I would try and grab before running outside! Decoupage came from Japan via Italy and France. Marie Antoinette and others at court became quite enamoured of it and their scissors flew creating all types of decoupaged items.
John Donne said, " Letters mingle souls; for thus friends absent speak." and even in this email age I have friends who write me letters. I used part of that quote on inside of my lap desk. One dear friend in Colorado ,Becky Metcalf, sends me the most amazing letters not only lovely penmanship (a skill I lack) she also makes them little works of art ---water coloring flowers and things on the letters and envelopes. We have had a pen pal friendship for over 20 years! I have saved almost every letter and you can see how beautiful they are.
Marie Antoinette and Madame de Pompadour were both prolific letter writers and some of their letters have survived. It is through letters and diaries we know a lot about the etiquette and daily workings of the French court of that era.
Alexandra Stoddard wrote a book years ago called Gift of a Letter and that is so true ! Don't we all have a little rush of happiness when we see a real letter addressed to us in the mail box? I love to get the mail and see something for me in there --it is a true gift.
The billet doux (love letters)of the French court were full of romance and intrigue better than any gossip TV show of today. In letter writing we see someone's real essence and how special we feel that she took time to sit and write and think about us. So make someone's day-- send them a letter--on pink paper bien sur!
Have a PINK day!