Friday, November 30

Good Haul!

I do not know why my internet was so confuddled these last few days, but today it was all fine and dandy.  Good thing, I was getting ready to call and "play" dumb till they fixed it.  But instead I was rewarded for ignoring the problem all together, hmm, maybe not the best precedence.
Anyway, onward and upward to some exciting finds.  I have to make a long drive to visit the family in Ohio for the holidays.  When I do, I always make a point to stop at the different travel plazas along Interstate 80.  Each of them has different postcards for sale!  And while many of you were pushing and shoving for pole position on Black Friday, I talked my Mom into going to thrift stores and scored the Ohio book of postcards.
I also found this interesting set of wooden postcards.
I will let you know how they mail as I sent one out today and asked the recipient to let me know the condition of the card!
Tomorrow I expect to be up to my old shenanigans so beware!

Wednesday, November 28

Stay Tuned . . .

Technical difficulties are preventing me from posting much again.  And I have lots of ideas!  Awesomeness awaits.  .  .  . or at least delusions of grandeur.  You'll be the judge.

Meanwhile, when do you all start sending holiday cards?  Does anybody have a timeline?  Mine is anything after Thanksgiving.  Until we cross that time threshold, I have no interest in hearing about anything that has to do with Christmas.

Saturday, November 24

Update on my Staionery Addiction

Awhile back I had said I would stop buying all the cheap stationery up.  There is no reason to be greedy, but so much of what I find/ found is at second hand shops and the money goes to good causes, so its extra hard to say no. 
But no is what I have said on countless times, still these are the most recent items I have added to the stash. 
My Mom got these for me.  I have to tell her to resist the urge to buy thrifty items for me as well! 
These 3 I purchased in a local thrift store.  All were 50cents each and the middle is a really cool tablet of travel stationery that looks like it came from the 1960's.
This was from the same place.  Much more recent, but each sheet has a different image and saying on it! 
So far, I am keeping my paper addiction to a minimum.  Hopefully as I whittle done my stash, I will be able to start making more and more of my own creations!

But just because I have limited myself on buying does not mean you should!  Make sure to shop at your local stationery and thrift stores!

Happy Paper!

Thursday, November 22

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hello world!
For those in the USA, I want to wish you a happy Thanksgiving.  This is my favorite holiday because it kicks off the holiday season, and its a holiday about being thankful for what you have and who you have in your life. 
If anybody wants to read about the "typical" foods most eat this day, check here.
I can tell you I always buck the system and this year I will be contributing a delicious potato and pea dish with Indian spices.  YUM!
But before all the festivities start, I am hoping to put pen to paper and send out a few letters! 
Happy Thanksgiving to all!  And tomorrow is Black Friday - the hunt is on.

Monday, November 19

{In}to my Mail

Another week of pretty mail! 
This post is going to be a bit of a photo dump.
 A postcrossing from "the Devil in the White City"
 Taiwanese postcrossing
 Monkey-ing around with postcrossing
 Yay - Mary sent this back.  I picked it up on my travels through CT.
 My niece - second letter.  Now if only I can get her to create, my master plan for corruption will be complete!
 A beautiful necklace from a beautiful lady - the Piccadilly Post.  Aw you shouldn't have . .blush
 the PostMuse on la Paperie stationery.
 It was a dickens of a time when I opened this from Malyss
 Oh Guiliana, I found somebody worthy of your art challenge.
 Taiwanese puppy.  The stamp was a yorkie pup.  I like simple themes.
 The bus goes round and round and all over the globe.  From Germany.
 Iowa, oh how I am glad I no longer live there in winter.
 Polish Postcrossing of a museum
 Portugal and a rant.  If you are on postcrossing and can, please write more than happy postcrossing on the back of your card!
 Pretty winter themed card from Lapland, Finland
 Mendy, hello!  I got it, now I hope my letter arrives this time!
 KH from Finland.  I like the irregular stamps the Finnish use!
 Melissa of Craftgasm sent me this.  She designed it for the Washington DC letter social from back in April.
A new contributor Jarie Lyn sent me this.  The postcard is Versace!

And so it goes.  Until our next meeting, keep those pens writing and the stamps a sticking!

Sunday, November 18

Meeting Pen Pals

Well it was a busy weekend for me.  I got to meet my pen pal Ciara and her husband Jamie this weekend!  We had a brief but good visit where I drug them all over the Lehigh Valley.
At the Ringing Rocks Boulder field

Ciara and Jamie are on a road trip across the USA to visit family and friends.  You can read more about their journey here.  I volunteered to host them for a few days to help break up their drive and to meet another person with the common hobby of letter writing.
While she was here, I had to let her shuffle through the stationery that I keep in my office and of course I gave her a box to fill!  At least I know I will be getting some of that papery goodness back my way in the form of letters!

Keep the Mailboxes Full and Your Heart Open!

Tuesday, November 13

Meeting Pen Friends

Dear friends and readers of this little blog,

I have always been a letter writer, but I stuck to people I knew or had already met. When I started the journey of pen palling with people I did not know, I had no plan or path.  I was not even sure how long I would be able to keep up with it.  My plans were simple, trade some letters, learn a few things, and enjoy it!  I was hoping for a few life time friendships, but none expected.

What have I found?  A connection that goes deeper in some cases and lesser in others, but it's been interesting. One thing I never expected was the chance that my letter writing would spell more events in my social life.  October and November has been months of new friends and hopefully the start of a good trend.

Last month I met up with the fabulous Tara in Newport, RI.  This month started with the Letter Writing Social in Harrisburg and meeting up with fellow letter writers some for a second time and a few for the first time!  A nice warm creative atmosphere and camaraderie was created by the mix.  And now I am on the eve of meeting another friend.  I will write more about that later.  I do not want to jinx anything! 

But alas as one aspect of my life busies, another has to give so please expect some time between posts till after Thanksgiving!  I hope this finds you all happy and well!
And please leave comments on your own experiences thus far!  I would love to hear what drives others in this hobby.

Sunday, November 11

Envelope Rehash: Other Options and Ways to Waste Time

This is it folks.  The final post for the week of envelopes.  Sorry it took me an extra day or so, you saw the reason on the last post. 

Here are a few more options for fairly easy envelopes.
 A cheater way is to have a box of pre-fab envelopes ready and waiting.  I liked the bright colors of this neon set.
 When inspiration hits, pull out a pre-fab and collage it.  One word on woven designs, they are fun, but have everything ready to go as the glue dries quickly!
 I like subway tile and thought this was a nice way to draw that design into envelopes.  A repeated theme is often a great way to achieve a look.
 Have a sticker sheet you just finished and an envelope that you weren't thrilled with.  (I did silver ink swirls on the envelope prior, it was alright but not great)
Combine them for a more interesting effect.
I've often thought of fabric envelopes which several people do.  Instead I found this cool little tool that allows you to punch little holes in paper.  By itself, you could easily emboss a design.
Add some embroidery thread and go to town.  This envelope only took 10 minutes.  I suspect I will be quicker and more refined after a few more.

Or take a punch and weave ribbon through.  One word on the ribbon - make sure you cut it on a slant for easier weaving.  I used fabric tape and some kitties to embellish.  This was a very easy project and a good use of ribbon!  Only wish I had used more contrasting materials.
Just because I didn't show it, doesn't mean you shouldn't try it!  I have used plastic baggies, fast food bags, duck tape, truvia packages, can labels, and more to create envelopes.  I have seen others use water bottles and ping pong balls for message holders.  Literally the list is as long as your imagination!

I truly wanted to make more for you all, but I lacked the time this week.  I sure hope you have enjoyed the theme and ideas.  I am always happy to post other creative projects and ideas, just leave me some feedback.  If I am not capable of doing it, I have a few other pen pals and talented crafters who I could have guest post their materials!
Happy Writing, Gluing, and Imagining!

Friday, November 9

Envelope Rehash: Just Fold It!

An easy option, almost too easy and I think people overlook it!
If you are not wanting to make a big fuss and have a sheet of paper you are not sure what to do with, well
 just fold it!  Try to make sure it seems like it is a fairly normal size for an envelope as the USPS may charge more if its "too weird"  a shape/ size.  Too small and it will not be sent!  So get familiar with the basic sizes and be close to that.
 Then tape the edges
 And add a tag/ label and you are done!
If you are feeling lazy, you could stop at the folding, write on the back and then use it as a fold over by using a single piece of tape to close the back!  Just an idea for the low budget mail enthusiast!

Another way of wrapping that I often use with abnormally shaped cards is literally taking them and fitting an envelope to them.
One of my favorite square petal cards.
Find a piece of paper big enough to fit it.  Hopefully you too will have help holding things open.
Mr Alphonse is part of the reason this post was late and I will be late with my final post.  Somebody ate something they shouldn't have, so it had to be cut out.  He seems to be recovering well but the whole incident has dropped my mail related productivity!

 The final product above and below.  Do not forget the extra postage on the square cards.
Tomorrow or the next day I'll put up the final in the series!  Then you will have all my envelope go- to's and secrets!

Thursday, November 8

Envelope Rehash Week: Repurpose and let it go on!

Some of my all time favorite ways to make envelopes is to up-cycle packages and other materials!
On occasion, especially after a vacation, I will use brochures to make envelopes.
this is from the National Whaling Museum
 Have a cool box? Just tape the sides and top.  Address, Stamp, and send!
Sorry I didn't get a final picture, it was really cute!

 An example - I like me some tofurky!  And it's fun to share.
 Add Washi (from Target - just saying), Label, Stamp, Address, and Send!
These are fun for the people who receive them and an easy way to feel creative while not really doing much but seeing what others do not see.
More to come!

Wednesday, November 7

Envelope Rehash: Need Some Security?

Another quick and easy trick I have picked up along the way is reusing security envelopes.  They have beautiful patterns that add texture to your mail.
1) Gently open your bills

 2) Reverse fold it
 3) Either add your label or collage the window.  I recommend doing this BEFORE you glue/ tape the edges.
 I often like to trace hand and cut it out as a design element.  Look at how it pops on the patterned but neutral background.
 Don't forget the back!  You can use the bits and edges of sticker sheets to add interest.  Post Muse told me that the asterisk means kiss on Twitter - who knew!  Probably cool people who twitter.
Get funky with it.  Take 2 envelopes of different design, but similar in size. Open and cut them while overlapping. 

Then tape them together.
Nice visual impact, but still free! 
Something to think about and play with.  Have fun, but remember, no running with scissors!