Jade Stephenson, Australia

jadeHello there! How are you doing? Tell us more about yourself, your hobbies, personal life, interests.

Hi my name is Jade Stephenson. I am 27 years old and have been penpalling for over 3 years now! I live on the Gold Coast, Australia. I am a Psychology student and I love arts and crafts and music! I do swaps with kawaii (cute in Japanese) things. I love anything on Hello Kitty, Sanrio and have many photos of my Facebook page. I also love friendship booklets. I have a fat cat called Melly and she is 11. I rescued her from the Animal Welfare League. She has a Facebook page. She has more friends that me!! Other members post their pics of their kitties too. Video’s of cats using the toilet!!

I also love making wind chimes. Mushroom wind chimes. Here is a link www.etsy.com/shop/jadegreen83. I also have a Facebook page of it as well. I have turn tables and love electronic music. I mix music and love the Internet! I also love post cards. Great post card site at http://www.postcrossing.com/ it’s where you get an address, just a random one then when they receive it your address gets released into the system and some other person from who knows where sends you a post card! Easy to use as well.

If you have to describe yourself in only 5 words what would they be?

Artistic, Free spirit, Loyal, Loving.

Tell us something about your town, city or country.

The Gold Coast, Australia is the biggest multi-cultural city in Australia! It has beach all up the coast with high rises. Suburbs are lovely with big lawns and beautiful gardens. We have many different cultures living in Surfers Paradise. The party capital of the world! Loads of night clubs and always something on for the family. We have many theme parks on the Gold Coast. Dreamworld, Wet n wild, Warner Bros Movie World plus the biggest shopping centre in Queensland!

Food is fantastic here. We have my favorite Japanese food, Tai, Vietnamese, Chinese, Korean, Italian, Mexican, Brazilian, Vegetarian, and of course Australian foods like hot chicken rolls, pies and sausage rolls!

mesandbookHow did you start penpalling? When was that? And why did you decide to start Penpalling?

My interest in letter writing began when I was very young. My family took me away to Byron Bay about 3 hours drive from where I live. It was the annual camping trip. My grandmother raised me and had a VW camper van. The old 70s style. Bright yellow! My Nan would buy me arts and crafts and cute stationary to do. Sitting on the beach, in our lovely camping grounds on the cooking table. My fondest memories of my Grandparents are from this holiday. So we went into town and on the way was a youth carnival . There I remember meeting a group leader lady. At the age of ten, I felt close to her and was sad that I could never see her again! So I asked her if she could please write to me? The next day I went back and gave her my address. She gave me my first decorated letter to me!! I remember little doggies on the envelope. I read it so many times and kept it in my pocket throughout my holiday. I did write to her a few times but lost contact. A few years ago, I thought I’d try finding some penpals! I googled penpal sites and found a few. I tried at first and got a whole lot of junk coming through my email. Then 3 years ago I looked on facebook. I found so many and posted an add! I got many responses and have had up to 25 penpals at a time. Today I have 11! All girls that are my best friends! We talk about everything. Our highs and lows. Even though we are so far away, with technology and snail mail I feel as close as can be! We do swaps, arts and crafts, ATC’s (Artist trading cards), birthday cards and presents. Hand made cards and of course beautifully written letters from these amazing women.

What do you like / dislike about Penpalling/correspondence?

The thing I like about penpalling/correspondence is that their will always be someone their to talk too. My penpals are on facebook too so because they’re from all over the world usually one in online to chat too! I love getting wonderful letters that are decorated and are one of a kind. Just for me! I love checking my mail box every week day wondering if I’ll get a letter today! and I especially love the fact that I have made such wonderful girlfriends that I will be friends with for a life time!

The things I dislike about Penpalling/correspondence is that it can be quite hard to find a loyal penpal. If you keep trying (like I did) you will find some lovely friends. Stick it out and keep writing! Try not to prejudge. Remember, they are probably nothing like the mental picture you have in your head.

Another thing is some penpals you can send little sticker gifts for months and months and they won’t send you back. It can be disheartening, maybe just mention that it bothers you. Be honest! Also postage can be expensive so light postage things are great!

4How do your friends react when they discover you are into Penpalling? Are they also into it or they give you the β€œstrange” faces?

Well! I have had some very interesting reactions. Apparently I don’t ‘look’ like the type of person (didn’t know we had a look?) who is into penpalling! I have told friends and they laugh and call me a nerd! It doesn’t bother me because I know they’re missing out!! I have tried to get some friends into penpalling and they’ve been quite blunt about not wanting to do ‘that sort of thing’. Worried about other people having their address ect or what other people will think of them. I don’t have any friends in my own country that are into penpalling. Their is a silly stigma with the whole thing that is very 1980s!! Penaplling is for people who like something different! Not just email.

Do you still stay in touch with your first penpal? Tell us about your first penpal even if you have lost touch with them. We might be able to help you locate him/her?

No, I didn’t stay in touch with my very first penpal. It was the lady from the youth group in Byron bay. It was magical and without the technology to track her down then it was impossible. I unfortunately don’t have the special letter any more. Refer back to question 4

How many Penpals do you have? Where are they from?

I have 11 penpals currently. From: Japan x 2, China (Macau), Portugal, France, USA x 2, Holland, Austria, Italy, U.K, and Germany!! I have been writing to these girls for over 3 years now.

Are you searching for new Penpals? If yes, please give us some contact information that we can publish in the magazine so that people can write to you back.

http://www.facebook.com/JadeStephenson this is my facebook page if anyone would like to be my penpal. If you are searching for penpals place an add on these facebook pages. This is where I found mine.

nWhat are you looking for in a penpal?

I am looking for females that would like a life time friend. Any one that is into Jewellery making/swapping, Sanrio, cats, arts and crafts, ATCs (Artist Trading Cards), Stickers and stationary, post cards, poetry, reading, wii games (so we can verse each other on MarioKart and Animal Crossing). The Internet, etsy, Twitter, Skype, MSN. One of those any ways! I love to listen and give advice if asked xo

Where do you find new Penpals from? Do you rely on FBs or Facebook or other websites/blogs.

I have found penpals from www.postcrossing.com as well! Mainly facebook sites. Seem to be the most reliable and you can find out about the person you’re writing to. Also if you are lucky enough to receive a full friendship booklet that you have to return. I become penpals from friendship booklets too.

Tell us a funny/interesting story from your Penpalling experience?

Well in January of this year I posted a letter to my penpal in Italy! Through facebook every week I asked her if she had received it yet? Every week the answer was no. πŸ™ So I stopped asking. The minute I stopped asking she emailed me and said that she finally received it!! 4 months later. Better later than never right? LOL!! We were cracking up about it.

How do you keep track of your mail? Share your tip on how to organize ourselves.

The way I keep track of mail is I have my adorable address book that I have come quite attached too. I write all their names down and have a sent, received tally system. Just to keep track I write what they’ve sent me and what I’ve sent them!! As long as you tick it off when you are putting the letter in the envelope, it’s fantastic. Hasn’t failed me yet! I save all my letters in a big cake tin!!! I need a second one soon xo

Do you swap things? Do you like sending gifts to friends? If yes, what is the funniest gift you have ever sent/received?

Yes I love doing swaps!!! I swap things that are kawaii (cute in Japanese) like pens, handmade cards, jewellery, wind chimes, stickers, friendship booklets, post cards, hanging window chimes, I love sending gifts to friends because all of mine are handmade!

The funniest parcel I have ever received was a letter that I opened that burst open with glitter!! GLITTER BOMB! It was all over me and took weeks to finally see the end of the stuff!! So funny, we laughed for a while. I had no idea she was doing that. Then every letter I received from her I opened with caution.

9Have you met a penpal? If so, let us know how the meeting went.

No I haven’t met any of my penpals but I speak to them through skype, video and chat. So I’d like to think so! At first talking and seeing them was very strange. Then I almost craved talking to them once a week!

What do you usually like writing/reading about in the letters?

I usually like writing about things in my life. Books, friends anything I have previously stated. πŸ™‚ I like reading about anything you would like to tell me! I will not judge you!

When it comes to making cute and personal letters, everyone has his/her own style. Tell us your trick how to make a letter/envelope unique? Do you decorate it? If yes, how. Give us some tips on how to make the letters more interesting.

My style is love hearts, stamped hand made envelopes, recycled papers, stickers, art it depends on how I feel. Always pretty. Hello kitty paper and envelopes. I even design my own on Illustrator. I love cupcakes as well. So it will likely have some of those going on!!

Where do you buy your stationery supplies from? Do you prefer traditional shops or e-shops? If so, give us some links.

Most of my stationary I buy from www.etsy.com search kawaii. www.ebay.com. search Hello Kitty papers and all the individual characters. Very very cheap and most are free postage!!

So that’s me. I spent a lot of time on it. xo πŸ™‚ <3

Contact Information:

Email: Jadestephenson83(at)hotmail.com

Facebook user: http://www.facebook.com/JadeStephenson

Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/Jadegreen83

Blog/website, etc: http://www.etsy.com/shop/Jadegreen83?ref=si_shophttp://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=152393801931

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