Friday, September 30

OMG It's Been a Trip

Dear readers!
Can you believe it?  It's been over a year (9-20-10) since I started this crazy journey.  A lot has happened in that time.  I have learned to navigate the on line world of pel palling and mailing. I've become much more acquainted with the Postal codes and rates.  I've sent and received amazing mail, learned what mail art is, found a way to be crafty and donate my papercrafts, found amazing people to correspond with and started to travel the world through stamps, postcards, and photos!  In general, my life has been enriched!  Thank you all for participating in this last year of exploration.
I think today calls for a celebration!   Destination unknown, but sure to have some photos!
Before I started I didn't even know there was a Falkland Island or dream of stamps from India.  Now I want more of the world, folded and sent in the pages of a letter.  As far as the future of this blog goes, I will have to make some fundamental decisions soon about quantity versus quality.  But I really wanted to post a big thanks to all of you.
As many of the mail bloggers write, "To get a letter, send a letter!"
The journey starts with a stamp!
My Heartfelt Best of Luck,

My India stamp dreams came real this week with a beautiful postcrossing
the entire back of the envelope is coated in stamps!

Sunday, September 25

What did you do today?

Hello all!
I just thought I'd throw up a post on my afternoon accomplishments.
Some puppy love cards
Thanks Carrie for the awesome paper for Christmas!  I am finally using it.
I love the travel ones so much that they will be hard to give to Operation Write Home.  Oh well!  I have so much and they could always use more!  Plus I was looking for a good use for the travel poster stickers, and this really seemed to work.
Hope this inspires you all to create!

Plus here's a photo I snapped on my cat watching me write letters.  I love the reflection.  He looks camouflaged by the patio rail and flowers.

Saturday, September 24

This Week is the Start of Something Big

The title has nothing to do with the content, or does it?  My mail week started slow and then built like an avalanche, though the ending was definitely less destructive than an actual avalanche.  Although to be fair, a lot of this weeks big surprises were posted on Monday.  Thanks again Malyss, Speck, and Wanda!
Postcrossing was quite prolific this week.  I've been in it long enough to be able to send more cards at once. So I get more cards!
Love the stockings!
Taiwan and Netherlands
Some notes from the other bloggers
From Pen Palling Dad- Postcard is from him via a Speck give away : )
Rachel from Letter Writer
Nancy at the StampTramps

A letter and postcard from Wolfey at No Post on Sunday
Last but definitely not least!
A 3 pager from a dear old friend!  She never writes, so this is a gem!
Another postcrossing from Russia and a sendsomething contribution from Ruth to my states collection
A nice note from Jen.  The Traverse City letter mark is always so nice.

I hope this helps you put pen to paper and pull out all the stops on your mailing!
My Best,

Friday, September 23

Recycle Challenge

Hello all,
I had a few previous post on recycling random materials into mail.  Then I had the brilliant idea to hold a contest for my 1 year blogoversary on upcycling (recycling).  Link here for details.
So far I have received one entry.  I will give you a Clue on the inspiration.

The hard part is the writing paper.  The letter is on the back of the Clue tally forms! 
Only one thus I have concluded you all need more inspiration, so here it is.
I decided to recycle this stationery box.  I really liked the information on the inside and I did not want to disturb the integrity of the images.

I did an easy approach and just opened and trimmed the flaps.
I wrote the letter on the back of the packaging.  Fold-overs have been the bane of my existence, but I like this one!
Here it is all folded and this is the back of the package.  I hope the recipient enjoys the colorful package!
Here are another interesting packaging idea:

Great to send some extra goodies in!
If that's not enough for inspiration, check out Patty's blog!  She is terrific at reuse, reduce, and recycle! 
I hope this inspires you to purge the recycling bin and send it out!
Happy Creating,

Thursday, September 22

My French Love

Hello folks,
I thought I'd throw up some pic of a few random boxes of stationery that have been added to the stash.

I still love Paris and Paris themed stationery.  I recently added this box to my collection!  As the Pen Thief posted tonight, remember to check out Marshalls and TJ Maxx for close out prices on boxes of stationery like this one!

I also love arty stuff.  This was a cute box and has a French connection.  (Matisse was part of an art movement that occured in Paris).

These are 3 great cards I got for $1 from a thrift store.  I think I'll be saving them for Valentines Day!

And finally, I love the vintage Halloween themed cards!  With the recent cool in the air, fall is around the corner!  My favorite season!
I hope this finds you all inspired to pull out your pens and write!
My Best,

Tuesday, September 20

Yearning for Yesterday

Hello all,
I have been recently thinking about the days gone by, and the years before this world were dramatically changed by technology.  Part of the look back was due to me leafing through my photos of Sauder's Village in Ohio.  It's a living history museum built by Erie Sauder to commemorate the days he grew up and the times before then. 
Back then a letter or postcard was the main way to keep in touch, with written language being a skill that required no more than a pen and paper and a fluidity of words.  If you have ever heard any of the Ken Burns PBS Civil War documentaries, you realize that today's letters lack a lot of the descriptive and emotional undertonings of yester year.  We get to the point quickly nowadays.  Sometimes I wonder if its too quickly.  Maybe we should explore the point a bit longer and really try to understand it before moving on.  With our postal service in trouble, it is nice to remember where they came from.
Hopefully they can move along with the times, but meanwhile here's a look back. If you are ever in NW Ohio maybe think about stepping back in time and taking a look around Sauder's Village.
Thoughtfully yours,

Monday, September 19

It's a Conspiracy

Well Friday started out like any other.  I slowly got myself around and headed out on errands.  In my running around town, I stopped in and picked up mail at the P.O. Box.  I was expecting a package, but what I found was a bit surprising. 
I did find a package but not the one I was expecting.  Instead there was this envelope from Speck at the PurplePenhead Blog stuffed with goodies.

In a recent note to her, I believe that I complained my stationery was taking over.  Well in her lack of pity, she decided to unloaded her surplus on me! 

Look at all the gorgeous stuff.  Although I wasn't really looking for any new items, I did almost pee myself when I saw the Nancy Drew fold and seals!  I have long admired, mentally fondled, and drooled over them on line.  Sigh- so love the package I did, though I didn't want to.  Whispers of the word "hoarder" float in my brain.

Then my darling Malyss sent me a colorful and wonderful surprise!  I can read Spanish at a beginners level but not French.  So these are even more exotic not knowing what they say!  Love them!!! -stationery hoarder- I need help!

So 2 wonderful and unexpected surprises!  But then I opened one more.  Wanda and I have been writing for awhile to each other and more than not she includes some fun pictures! 

The royals are an elegant couple, aren't they!  I always love getting things like this and she even put them in a hurricane themed envelope- chuckle- after hearing about Irene's trek through my area.

Thank you ladies! I appreciate the fun packages and mail very much!

I hope you all are taking this opportunity to write many letters and postcards and support the USPS in its time of crisis!
Don't hoard, send mail!

Sunday, September 18

Amazon- not great news

Hello all,
I was getting around to reading the local paper this morning when my eye caught site of an article about the mega on-line retailer  I have recently made a few purchases through them largely to support our local economy.  We have a huge Amazon warehouse in located in the Lehigh Valley (where I live currently). 
The news was not great- (check out story).  They apparently are very abusive of their workers. I'm sure there are 2 sides to every story, but until I hear more, I think I'll be buying off Etsy.  At least most of Etsy supports small businesses and artisans. 
Not that I need much because my books are from exchanges or garage sales and I have stationery stuck everywhere throughout this apartment!
I hope this finds you all well and happy!

Saturday, September 17

Replied to . . . .

Hello all,
I thought I'd get my replied to pile up.  I have no doubt I'll find more time this weekend to reply to more folks, but here's whose sent me mail and received a reply!
Fellow Bloggers,
From Pen palling Dad
Misty - the Pen Thief
A nice letter from Tara at Hello Life
Sabrina at Your Items Delivered
From the Postmuse
From the sisters at 365 Mail

From the wonderful Piccadilly Post!
My dears at Send Something!

A nice vintage find from KC
Another postcard for my state's collection!  Thanks Angela and a fun card from Girl-on-a-Glide from SendSomething.
From my youngest fan!
Actually from Postcrossing
From Matthew
A nice note from a new writer!
The last is a note from Crane.  I saw the Missive had posted a comment that Crane the stationery makers were looking for pen pals, so I sent a note and got one back already!  Just goes to show that you need to send mail to get mail!
I hope this finds you all well and happy!

Wednesday, September 14

Trinidad and Tobago

Hello all!
I know I usually post the letters I have received/ responded to on weekends but I got a postcrossing the other day from Trinidad and Tobago!!!

top is from China and bottom is Trinidad and Tobago
And here's the stamp!

I have a feeling this country is not very involved in postcrossing because the number was still in the hundreds.  To better explain for those not involved with the site, each card has a registration number based on country of origin and the number sent.  So if I sent a card to China it would be US-111111 (actually I think the US has surpassed this!).  My Tobago card is only TT-800- ish.  Meaning I got a great present!
Currently dreaming of tropical seas and tropical breezes!
Yours Truly,


Hello All,
I was looking around this morning on the Internet.  My eye was drawn to a post about thrifty mail finds and on the sidebar, I saw this gem of a blog.
Life in a Typewriter Shop
After my recent late birthday gift from my mother, I find my heart has grown more fond of the clickety clack of the old typewriter.  Is it nostalgia?  Our desire for simplification?  Or something more tactile that is bringing back the old typewriters? 
I was told by an antique dealer that we are in a trend right now.  Ten years ago he could not sell a typewriter, now he can not find them to sell them!
Anyway, I hope this finds you all well and no matter whether you type, hand write, or make art - just send something!
My Best,

Monday, September 12

Idea for a Blogoversary Give Away

Hello all,
My one year blogoversary is coming up and I have been thinking about releasing some more of my stationery out into the world.  After my recent purchases at Goshen, the boxes are now overflowing with goodness.  So much goodness that if I stopped buying materials and just used what I have, I could write for the next 5 years without any issues.  Yes, it's that out of control- the first step is admitting you have a problem.

    Anyway, I was pondering a contest of sorts.  In light of my recent post on recycling- I was considering a recycling or upcycling contest.  I would have my fellow coworkers judge it and pick out what they considered the most inventive use of materials.  Entrants are open to all sections of the world.  They must include the following contact information: A name (pen names are fine), address, and email.  And if it's hard to guess what you used as your materials- please enlighten me! )  It may mean the difference between winning and not. 
  A note on email- part of the reason I would like that is to tailor the package to your tastes.  I have a wide variety of postcards and premade stationery but I could also send raw materials like paper, rubber stamps in my collection, used postage stamps, and so on.
  If this sounds good to all of you, let the give away begin!  Mail entrants must be received by October 8th. 
Please have fun and be creative in your recycling efforts!

Sunday, September 11

Let's Recycle! Mailart for less!

Hello All,
I know that we all get wrapped up in our own heads that we NEED the latest and greatest NEWEST gadget to create.  But deep down, I know we all know that is not true.  It may be buried really deep down- but its there!  So here is some free or cheap ways to make an impact.
I like textured or shiny paper so here is some free stuff from the paint aisle.
Of course other inspiration can come from trash - can labels and old food boxes are fun to use as envelopes.  In an effort to challenge myself and create something for free I did the following:
My writing paper came from a chopped up security envelope

The envelope came from some jewelry ads

Here's the final package with a paint chip serving as a label

Good times and all I have in it is some tape, glue and postage!  Even the ink was free (a promotional pen given out by a hotel).  Remember mail can be fun and cheap!  I gaurantee it will be enjoyed by the recipient!
Thriftily yours,