If you can’t remember the last time you sent a handwritten letter, you might need to rethink your current mode of correspondence. Although snail mail may seem MIA in the era of Snapchat, emoticons and good ol’ SMS, Emily O’Donnel of Thimble proves that the handwritten letter is not a lost art. After all, there’s always something special about receiving a handwritten note, prettily packaged and delivered to your doorstep. As a so-called “mail enthusiast” and a lover of all things vintage and kitsch, Australian blogger O’Donnel reminds us just how sweet the handmade note can be. Take a creative cue from O’Donnel’s personal outgoing mailbox of vintage-inspired snail mail and read our exclusive interview with the blogger below!

Snail mail has become so uncommon since, well, e-mail was invented. Did you always love sending snail mail?

I’ve always loved mail. When I was little, I used to have a mini mailbox outside my door and would make fake mail for the rest of my family and deliver it to them. It’s just such a fun surprise to receive a letter in the mail instead of an email. As lovely as an email from a friend is, I think snail mail is a nice way to show that you care for someone and are willing to put in a little bit of extra effort for them.

Where do you find inspiration for them?

There are so many amazing people who share their mail online, and so I get a lot of inspiration from blogs like Hello Sandwich, Send More Mail and Goodnight Little Spoon. And of course, Pinterest is always an inspiration. As soon as I’m on there, I want to make everything I see!

Where do you like to shop for stationery and the little surprises that you put in your snail mail?

Like many, I have completely succumbed to online shopping. I especially love browsing Etsy and stocking up on stationery and goodies. I am also a major thrift shopper, so I pick up a lot of little things to send to fellow vintage lovers.

Can you describe your favorite letter that you’ve ever received?

Gosh, this is a really hard question! I’ve received so many amazing things over the years! Anything I receive from friends and family is always cherished. One that springs to mind is a parcel I received from fellow blogger, Fiona, of Burnt Feather, which had an assortment of thoughtfully-chosen thrifted goodies that were all things that I collect.

What’s your favorite part in the process of creating snail mail?

My favorite part is probably decorating the envelope or parcel. I’ll put on a movie and I can happily spend hours decorating mail!

So you have a mail exchange going on between you and other bloggers where you send each other snail mail. How did that get started and what’s it like to send and receive mail to and from other bloggers?

I actually started my little blog with the hope that I would find other people who enjoyed sending mail. Most of my penpals started from comments left on my posts and it has been wonderful meeting people who appreciate snail mail as much as I do.

Who do you write to the most?

I’ve been in America the last 6 months, so recently I’ve been sending a lot of mail to my mum and sister, who always send back lovely, vintage postcards.

What’s your favorite snail mail you’ve ever sent and who was it for?

If I had to choose, it would be a letter I sent to Sara from the blog Random Places / Familiar Faces, purely because I adore confetti. Normally, I include confetti in my letters, but I love how bright and happy it looks when stuck onto the envelope.

If you could be pen pals with anybody, who would it be?

I have so many wonderful penpals already, but Margaret from Paper Pastries always sends out the most wonderful-looking mail with beautiful calligraphy. It would be a treat to be penpals with her!

What’s the most special letter you’ve ever received and why? Let us know in the comments below!