Hi, I’m Kim and I live in a little tin house, with a pointy roof, surrounded by my garden, on three, lovely Far South Coast acres. I share all of this with my husband, Pete and my son, Lew, my step kids Jess, and Josh, and a menagerie of cheeky animals. I write and cook and potter in the garden, and I have re-discovered my love for old fashioned letter writing.

Betty Mae Wrote began as a humble little blog called Feather and Nest, in 2010, back in the days when blogging was a thing. I spent most of my time, way back then, unschooling my son and sharing snippets of our daily life and basically being a homey type.

A lot has changed since those early years of blogging, there’s been ups and downs and around and arounds, but as the years have rolled on, my desire to tell stories and connect with people who enjoy the everyday lovely moments of life: the little things that bring cosy and joy (a cup of tea, a piece of home baked cake, the first ripe tomato in the garden, a flower unfurling…that kinda stuff) has remained.

And so in 2019 I created a snail mail exchange called The Lovely Letters Project. It has become a wonderful community of like-minded women, who enjoy sharing snippets of their everyday lives, and connecting with one another through the art of the hand written note. My humble old letter box has become my most favourite place to visit each day, and I can’t imagine what 2020 would’ve been like without the excitement and joy that each and every letter I received brought me.

This little shop has come about because of that joy. In 2020 I decided to create a box of goodies, sent via the mail, that would bring many moments of cosy and joy to women who were looking for lovely, unique, and affordable country style stationery to create their lovely letters with. I wanted the box to be an experience, not simply a purchase of 'things'. I called these boxes: Tea and Toast and they have become a bit of a hit. As the years have rolled on, the boxes have changed, ever so slightIy, but what remains is that cosy, hand made feel of unique, illustrated stationery goodies to keep lovely letter writing women's desk drawers full of snail mail supplies.

I have since then added a digital subscription to The Tea + Toast Club, as well as some other essential, beautiful stationery goodies, to this space. Here you will find: wax stamps, wax to create seals with, my ebooks, some wax sealing accessories, cards, postcards, letter writing kits, pens, and a few bits and pieces to add to any letter lovers desk. Oh, and you will also find my son's artworks in all of the illustrated stationery here. He is the artist behind all of the drawings found in the Tea + Toast subscriptions, and if I'm being perfectly honest, his watercolours are my favourite part of each and every subscription box and digital bundle. Biased mum? Yeh, sure. But honestly, how could anyone not love his quirky, whimsical style? 


Why Betty Mae Wrote?

Betty was my precious nan’s name. We were as close as mother and daughter, for many reasons, but I think the main one being that I lost my own mum, her eldest daughter, when I was 18. Oh, and when I was born, my mum and dad were very young, and so we lived in the downstairs flat of my nan and grandpa’s house. I think those early years of me scrambling up the stairs to have a cheeky visit with Nan and Grandpa whenever I wanted, and those nibbles on the massive dog biscuits she 'hid' in her bedroom (I mean, hid dog biscuits in her bedroom? Was she hiding them? From me? So much to unpack here!), helped cement our 50 year bond.

My Nan died in March 2022, the same month I turned 50. It all felt terrible. Really terrible, and honestly, life has not been the same since. But to bring a bit of happy back, and also in honour of her, Betty became part of my business life.

It feels fitting, but let me explain.

You see, my Nan was the first person I ever wrote to. For 50 years we exchanged letters. There were visits, of course, and weekly phone calls, but those precious letters are something I can still go to. I can touch them. Sniff them. Hold them. Savour her every word. Oh, and her handwriting. Don't you feel a teeny tiny essence of a person remains trapped inside the ink they use to write their letters?

So, whenever I feel sad, or that sense of longing and missing becomes too overwhelming, I take those letters out and read them.  I can feel her there, on those yellowing lined pages, and life feels a little easier once more.

 My nan was the woman in my life who I adored the most. She did all of the things I love to do (oh except she was way better, because I can’t sew or knit or anything clever like that), and I learnt so very much from her over my 50 years of life. She was always there for me, through thick and thin. I could go on forever and a day about her loveliness and preciousness. She was just awesome and everyone knew it.

She was also the first person I ever wrote a letter to. Letters were important back then. The phone was expensive and with a 9 hour car trip between my home and hers, letters were a lovely way to keep in touch and share our lives. All through my life we wrote letters to one another, sharing the significant and insignificant moments of our day.


My Nan was born at a time when letter writing was the only form of communicating with people who didn’t live close by. She was the person I would write to most throughout my childhood. We wrote  all the time, even up until just before she died. There were always, just always, Nan letters.

My nan wrote to lots of people, but quite possibly the person she wrote to the most was her cherished younger sister, Eleanor. Eleanor May to be precise. Hmmm, do you know where I'm going with this?

For decades they wrote weekly letters. In more recent years the letters became a little less, but even well into their 80s, my nan and her sister wrote to one another.

Throughout the years, Nan would share little snippets of her life with me, and me, being inquisitive and the eternal question asker, encouraged it as often as possible. One of the stories that she loved to tell, and retell, and vent, over and over, was the fact that she hated her name.

It's just plain old Betty, not Elizabeth, not Beatrice, and not even a middle name to make up for it. Her words, not mine. (personally, I love the name Betty).

This is where Nan's sister comes into the equation, but let me state this next bit first of all, because Nan would be appalled if I didn't.

 So, Nan and her sister were very close. Like chalk and cheese, in many ways, but as close as could be. OK, I've stated that. Onto to the name hating.

Nan was always jealous of Aunty Eleanor’s name. Firstly, Eleanor May was their mum's sister's name. It had meaning. It had history. It had a connection to someone they all adored. It had a nice ring to it too. It felt fancy to my nan who ended up with plain old Betty. 

The fact that Eleanor got to have not one nice name, but two, was something my nan seriously resented. She let Aunty Eleanor know this as well. For 89 years in fact.

So, can you see why adding Betty to my business name feels special?

But wait, there's more.

My Nan’s married surname was Rae. She had this funny little thing that she’d say whenever she wanted people to take note of her words. It was her 'listen to me I'm being serious' kind of thing. She'd just stop what she was doing, and the conversation happening around her, and she'd say:

 But I am Betty Rae!

It worked too. Everyone would stop, and listen to her, laugh out loud and agree: Yes, indeed you are Betty Rae! Often we'd eye roll too. It was a funny, quirky thing within our family, especially considering she was one of the most unassuming, placid, non-controlling, 4 foot 9 ,under 50 kgs woman we' d ever come across. The best human ever. without a doubt, and funny.

Aunty Eleanor's middle name is May. I felt it fitting that Aunty Eleanor was somehow included, I mean they were as close as two sisters could be AND Nan was jealous of her sister having two names. So now Nan kinda has two names. And I probably don't need to spell it out for you but May and Rae. Get it? 

So there we have it, the story behind Betty Mae Wrote. My nan would quite possibly cringe at the thought of me using her name in my business, but my hope is that it honours her, and all that she was to me. 

Okey doke, well enough of my rambling. My hope is that you might find some lovely, cosy moments each week, to sit at a favourite spot, enjoy a hot cup of tea (the whole thing, not just a sip here and there), with a pen and paper in hand, and write some lovely letters.  hope you get to connect, via the daily stories of your life, with loved ones and penpals (don't forget to join The Lovely Letters Project!), and that you also get to experience the wonderfulness of finding a lovely letter inside your own mail box, from time to time. That would be the icing on the cake! 

Happy letter writing days to you.

Oh, and if you'd like to contact me, please do so at my email address: