Monday, January 31

My Mail Experimentation:

Last weekend I decided to do a little mail experimentation.  I have fun using my piles and piles of stationery and I am a bit random.  SO I decided to sign up for  This is a site where you can go on and get addresses to randomly mail people.  They write their likes and dislikes and addresses.  It's not very private and unlike postcrossing, you are not limited to how many you can send to.  I'm not sure of the equiette of the site either, as to whether you have to send to the randomly generated address like postcrossing or not, (hopefully somebody will stop along and inform us).
But I have already recieved a piece of mail from the site.
From Fast Eyes- gorgeous!
I figure I'll give it a month, then I'll assess my mail experiment and see how I feel about it.  I'll keep you all posted.
Things I don't love about it right now are the lack of knowing if the addresses are current and it is not very private at all.   Not that my P.O. Box address is any mystery as it's posted to this site, but it's still a pretty open site, so precautions are warranted if you want to try it too.
Please feed the mailboxes!

Sunday, January 30

Lady Jayne- More Designs I Love!

Okay, a clarification is in order before we go any further.  I am a stationery addict.  I do invite the makers of the products to comment on post occasionally,(reason below), but they do not support me in any way.  They are welcomed to send me products for me to give away to you all, (so far I have none received, despite promises made), but again- no financial support.  If anything, they are my neighborhood stationery (drug) dealers.
So on with it!  I have recently found some products I have to share with you all. They are these beautiful cards from Lady Jayne Ltd. 

You can't see the envelope very well, but it is decorated too. Plus the sparklies in the butterfly and in the center of the flower did not photograph well.

At first, I looked over the boxes they were in- they had jewels embedded in them.  This is not my taste and I don't know about all of you, but I avoid the cards with too many bumpy pieces.  I just don't think they mail well.  Most of my friends who have sent these kinds of cards to me should know they never arrive in one piece.    But then I  looked inside and was amazed to see very beautifully designed cards and envelopes.

They remind me of Shabby Chic design.
Apparently this was a small kitchen table company started in the late 80's that blossomed in 2000.  I have invited them to say something about their products.  The reason I do this is because, in the professional world, its always nice to know what is being said about you on the World Wide Web.  Please consider it a sign of courtesy instead of promotion, because I'm sure most mailers do not like the same thing I do.
And this year, I decided to do more posts like this one, as I have written letters for years but really don't know the stationery makers.  SO consider it my own stationery design education and I'm just taking you all along for the ride!
Hope this finds you all happily mailing!

Saturday, January 29

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

Warning to my male readers, you may experience an estrogen spike by reading further!
There are days when I just feel girly.  I think most of my friends would label me more as a tomboy than girly girl.  Rarely do I wear make-up or spend much time on my hair, but I do enjoy a good skirt and a cute pair of flats every now and again.  But I'd have to say my taste in stationery tends to be . . .girly fun!

I guess the biggest reason is that most of my pen friends are female.  And I just can't resist glitz and glam.  And pink, did I mention pink?!
Had that Parisian Feel
 For the really close friends

And finally

Just a few of many femme fab stationery pieces I own!
Hope this finds you are your fabulous female pen pals sharing some love on ultra girly girl stationery!

Friday, January 28

A Little Whimsical Smile

Hello All,
I thought we could all use a little whimsy today.   I found these very cute post-it's at Hallmark (I know a stationery addict should not go there, it's like a crack house but filled with gorgeous cards and post that want to fall into my arms.  Yes, I have a problem.)
Veering back from the tangent- these post-it's are all different and made of uplifting phrases and pictures from Dr. Seuss's children's books.
I thought they would make excellent envelope embellishments, especially since I had a post all about my love of my Dr. Seuss inspired stationery. (old Link)

From "Oh, the places you will go"
I have yet to hear from my friends whether they loved them or not, but they make me happy, and I like to think they make the post people happy.  So by proxy, they should make everybody happy!
Sending a Smile ! )

p.s. For all the folks outside the USA who have never heard of Dr. Seuss.  He is a very well known author of children's books that most children in the USA probably learned to read from.  He wrote The Grinch, The Cat in the Hat, and Horton Hears a Who, which are now movies.

Tuesday, January 25

A Fave of Mine

Here's something to smile about!

"Thanks for being so sweet"
Occasionally I find an artist or brand of cards that I really like.  The other day, I found these "Thank You's" at a thrift store for a $1 a pack.  I got them because they were  done by the same artist who did a set I love and only send to my good friends.

"you'll always be my friend.  You know too much"

Both are "hand drawn by Jenny Sweeney" and are very cute with pearled paper envelopes.  I really like them, so I googled her.  There was very little I could find, which makes me enjoy these gems even more.  I did find an old abandoned blog by the designer, (apparently she does more than stationery), and several links to a boutique in Chicago, but the website was undeveloped.
I hope you enjoy them as much as I do and I would love to see other designs that the stationery hoarders among you may have in your collections!
I hope you enjoy these!

Monday, January 24

The 4th Fold-N-Seal

The 4th week of the Fold-N-Seal January.  To recap for those just joining us, I decided to make a new piece of stationery a week and send it to a different person each week.  This month was FoldOver month (or fold and send, fold and seal, basically a piece of post that is folded with no envelope and sent).

simplicity is the best with a foldover

It's about the size of one of those square cards.
Rachel B. asked me in a letter, what inspired me my obsession with the foldover.  Well I have 3 reasons. 
1) I inherited a bunch of them and I don't like the traditional fold and mails, they don't have enough room usually to really write anything.  But I see the potential to make something amazing.
2) They are rather green.  There is no extraneous paper in the form of an envelope so no added waste.
3) Most of the tradition seal-and-send's are open on the ends so they can't carry anything, which was something I worked on with other designs.
This is the final, to go out.  Rachel has a mail blog too.
I found some more of my grandmothers old seal-and-send's.  These are so old, the stickers are just falling off the page and the binding is falling apart.

Aren't they pretty?
 Gotta love the vintage!
Hope this finds you all happily mailing!

Sunday, January 23

Ways to Spend a Cold Weekend In: Outgoing

Well the weekend started off with the letters in, so now I have some of the letters going out.  And thought you all might like to take a peak.  Sorry if anybody peaks before they receive! 
I liked the simplicity of candy.  Something sweet for my friend's mailbox.
I'm also hugely into fabric. I do some sewing but I am Jr. High level at best despite being in my 30's.

Ink embellishment to make it look like patchwork.  Jessica writes the Snail Mail Aficionado Blog.
A little recycling project with turning the last of some gorgeous wrapping paper into envelopes and embellishing.

Some random leftovers from stickers I was using to make an interesting design.

this is what's left after the stickers are used

this is scrapbooking sticker border remnants
Chinese anybody?
An old joke about Chinese not being filling.  Hope E gets it!

I had a dog gone good time making these.

Well I hope this finds you all keeping warm and creative for the cold winter months!
I know these folks will appreciate the warmth that comes from reading a good letter, even if it is only in their heart!
Leaving a paper trail,

Friday, January 21

Ways to Spend a Cold Weekend In

Oh the beauty of snow!  It covers everything and makes the world look clean and simple.  But it's also cold, and usually more pleasant to gaze at it for awhile than be out in it. 
Although I was a bit bummed this week as I had not received much mail. I have limited time to check my PO box and right now Friday is my main day.  So I trekked out in the snow to run a few errands and low and behold . . . .

Postcards- postcrossing from China and one from Christi, who is kindly "feeding my mailbox"!

A letter from Margaret, a long time friend who lives in Canada

A fold and seal from Rachel B. who has her own mail blog.

A whole letter plus from a postcrosser out of the Czech Republic!
These definitely warmed my spirits and gave me a good reason to stay in and correspond back!  I am certainly glad I left my postcrossing account open to whatever people want to send, because I sure enjoy the occasion gem like this : )
I hope all your mailboxes are getting fed properly with good wholesome letters and not just junk mail!

Thursday, January 20

The Complete Package

I love a complete package.  No muss, no fuss, just simple and easy.  And that is why I adore these gorgeous cards with corresponding decorated envelopes.

Don't get me wrong, I also love to decorate my own, but in a quick pinch, who wouldn't love receiving this?
And finally,
I definitely have a soft place in my heart for stationery designers who try to do something different.  Although these don't stray too far from the standard card and envelope, I applaud the attempt at making the mail experience more special by making the envelopes like an appetizer to the main meal.
Hope this finds you happily mailing!

Tuesday, January 18

Random Postcards

Hello all,
I thought I'd put up some images of some various postcards I have received. There's no rhyme or reason to them, just had them in my photo database and thought I'd share!

hand made for the postmuse

from postcrossing- Finland

from Postcrossing.   Berlin after WWII

Mailart 365- the PostMuse

Colorado from Troy at Country Dirt

Florida- My friend Alison

Just a few snapshots of various postcards I have received.  I like postcards, but I will always consider myself a letter girl.  Although I find some people really get into the instant gratification of sending a quick note and others like the surprise of receiving a postcard. Either way they have a great place in the mailer community.
Happy Mailing,

Monday, January 17

A Letter a Week: Fold and Seal 3

Hello All,
It's week 3 of the letter a week challenge.  I twisted the challenge to make it a new made stationery item a week and send it to a different person each week.  I also proclaimed January Fold-Over (fold and seal) month, so I have been trying to increase the size of the traditional fold and seal and make them interesting.
There's a series of books titled K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple Stupid), so that's what I tried to do.  No cutting and pasting this week! I took a single sheet of paper and folded it to the size of an A6 envelope. (standard card sized)

2 sides folded in

folded then in 3

Then I decided to use the 9 sections as different areas to write in.  A follow the number letter!
Just a note.  I found this great sticker book to use on my stationery at a discount store.

There are pages of animal stickers and of outdoor scenes.
This one will go out to Kati, my pen friend. I'm sure she like the extra mail. Hope this finds you all sending something to somebody!

Sunday, January 16

Inspiration for the faux creative

I must say (again) that I have limited artistic talent.  I have my good idea every now and again, but not naturally artistic.  Being a novice quilter, I do understand the importance of having objects or books at hand that allow you to draw some inspiration.  Especially if you are not naturally artistic.  So my faux creative tip for January is to invest in some inspiration!
I found this super cheap stencil book with a variety of ideas and patterns in it.

Using stencils to add interest to an envelope
Magazine ads are great.  They can be used for collages.
simple collaged postcard from magazine parts
 I also like to look at art books.

I like the color techniques, though I haven't figured out how to incorporate my paints in to the letters.

art class: an envelope from NGS magazine
Anybody have other sources they would like to share?

I think the important thing is to add personal touches you feel comfortable with.  If stickers are your medium, stick to it!  If pen and ink are your strong points, draw from them!  And if random is your method, scatter the thoughts!  But I challenge you to try something different and make your letter reflect some of your personality!
Keep inking it up,

Friday, January 14

Blast from the Past

Hello all,
I have a special treat for your viewing pleasure.  I was sorting through the stationery when I decided to name this month fold-over (or fold and send) January.  When I did, I found several lovely vintage pieces of stationery.

Found in a discount Hallmark store in Indiana.  They were 50% off their original price.  The moving cards set me back 25 cents.


Found at the local Goodwill since moving.
I love the designs on these, and I think having a variety of materials makes letter writing more fun and interesting.  I know my contacts like to see what I will be sending. 
Never know, if you write and ask, maybe I'll send you a piece of stationery history!
Happy mailing my friends!