Tuesday, February 26

More Mail In the Box

This is a big visual post.  A big thank you to all who contributed especially the unexpected surprise ones!
Postcrossing from Germany.  They helped invent the radar.
Latoya sent me an ATC - only my second one ever.
A nice envelope pot luck from Georgette on Send Something. 
Juli with a Valentine sweet and pretty vintage stamps.
Melissa of craftgasm sent me an invite to the National Postal Museum's Valentine making party.  I was unable to attend due to work, but I would have loved it!
A fun postcrossing out of Canada.
TMC from Return to Rural sent me a nice note.  Look there's Mr Zip!
Jarielyn sent me a letter and vintage stamps!
Toast sprinkles- who knew!  Nora and I exchanged some goodies and challenged each other's taste buds.
This postcrossing comes from Dawn who is unsure of who rescued who when Bailey came into her life.  She sent a nice note advocating rescue and how much the dog's appreciate it.  Dawn is also a reader of the blog! 
Postcrossing from Spain recieved the same day from Spain advocating the end of bull fighting.
This card is from the Save the Vermont Post Office Post , Jane Davies sent out the plea and the Missive Maven let the rest of us know.  This was her reply to my hand made card as part of the project. 

My lovely friend does Valentine's greeting cards like most people do Christmas.  I always love getting them every year!
A lovely letter from the Piccadilly post.  Always filled with beautiful stamps.  I unfortunately am a stamp hoarder.  I have some vintage stamps that I am holding on to.
From Anne, she made me a Valentine!
Ciara did the above and below.  She started a new paper company and etsy shop.  The eels where part of her amazing Valentine collection!  It' even better in person.  Look right to find a link to her blog.

Above are 2 postcards from my youngest supporters!  One just turned 5 and the other is a big boy half way through first grade.  Thanks guys!

Until next time, Write, stamp, and send lots of mail!

Monday, February 25

Make Something Monday - Fold and Send

If you have been following this blog for awhile, you are probably aware of my love/ hate, on again/ off again relationships with fold and send notes.  They are very uncomplicated to make and really are ecologic in that there is either no envelope or the envelope is the letter.  I like them when I know the note will be short, but I do not like them if I want to send some bits along.

Gather the usual suspects:
Glue, Scissors, washi or deco tape, paper punches, rubber stamps, ink, and pretty paper

First, a very very basic one
Standard piece of pink paper trifolded.  I punched out the small flower and then glued the hydrangeas to the back of them to make the white and on the inside the green hydrangeas.  I repeated them on the front, but got ahead of myself so no images of the completed.  And this image doesn't due it justice.  It has a real 3-D look to it.
Then you address and stamp it and off it goes with a little washi or stickers to seal.

Second, the envelope version

Use your envelope template and trace the pattern.   If you are unsure about how to make your own envelopes, check out my week of envelope tutorials from November.

Cut and fold, then unfold and write your letter on the inside.
This is where washi or deco becomes useful as it can easily be removed.  Make sure to include opening instructions so all your hard work is not destroyed.

I was going to include a few more options but I ran out of time, so I will save them for a future post.  And before I go I want to thank Jeanne for inspiring this post.  I knew I would cover fold and send's eventually but they are kind of a yawn usually.
Jeanne created her own image out of scanned old letters and then folded and mailed the results.  Nice work! Ideas are always appreciated.

Until we meet again, try and make something!  It can be as simple as these or as extravagant as you want.
Just try!


Saturday, February 23

The Letter Pile - Incoming

I have been a bit behind in posting the incoming letters.  There was a fair bit so I will be breaking this down into smaller posts.  Thank you to all who contributed to my mailbox!
 From the travels of Matthew!
 A nice German Postcrossing - but the image I think is US because the mailboxes say Postmaster General on them.  Still awesome.
 Thank you from a dear friend and she offered to buy me a coffee - LOL
 A nice note from a new sendsomething friend in Belgium.
 A new edition to the state's card collection.  Rick on postcrossing sent it my way!
 Somebody is a grandmother!  Congrats WD!  And thanks for the article.  The un-dieting is going great.
A nice note from Troy.
 A handcrafted card from Nancy.  If you are a blossoming card maker, stop by her blog and ask questions.
 A Postcrossing from Germany.  Vintage hotel card
 I adore this card.  I like things that revolve around heritage.  This is a Russian Postcrossing.
 Lucas wrote me.  Check out his blog.
A nice letter from Tara.  She was the author of the guest post this last Monday.  I love the washi detail she used up in the corner.  I have to say this year has been a creative bloom for her.  Check her blog and scroll through the images of her decorated letters for more ideas to steal, I mean borrow.  And send her a postcard of thanks if you enjoyed the collaging post she put together!  I suspect that is the mail equivalent of applause.

That's it for now!

Friday, February 22

Ask and You Shall Receive

Today is one of my few days that I can stop in to the post office during window hours.  We chatted about a few things and the one lady behind the counter was interested in Postcrossing so I showed her a few I had just received and explained the how-to's.  Hopefully she jumps in!  And I am pretty sure if she had not asked, she would never have looked at it further. 
I also asked the status on the new Muscle car stamp series.  Just so happened they had them in the safe and were unsure whether they could sell them.  A quick double check revealed the stamps were up for sale!  If I had not asked. it may have been next week before the beauties were unveiled!  I love my little post office even if they do run out of stamps from time to time.

I guess it never hurts to just ask a question every now and again!

Wednesday, February 20

My Facebook Experiment

Previously I wrote about posting on Facebook to see which of my friends would like a letter and I got ten takers, and 2 replies!  I got a few thank you's and felt it was a decent success, but then I have low expectations on letter writing from many of my old friends.  My new endeavor  was to offer out postcards.  I am always behind in my letters to my pen friends, so this was easier. I intend to continue to offer postcards once monthly to as all who sign up for them with a comment.  And just to let you know I only had 4 takers this time even though the number was unlimited.  I guess the postcard may not be as valued or coveted as a letter, but I will try again and see what happens.
Tara over at Hello Life wrote about a similar experience recently.  Are any of you trying this?

Keep your stamps a stickin' and the mail a moving!

Monday, February 18

Make Something Monday- Guest Post from Taradactyl on Collaging

Hello to the fabulous followers of Becky's blog! My name is Tara (the pterodactyl) and I blog about mail over at Hello, Life. Becky emailed me not too long ago to see if I was interested in doing a guest post for her "Make Something Monday" series and how could I say no? Big thanks to Becky for letting me invade her personal space. This dactyl is going to show you how she collages envelopes today.

I often read on a blog (or in a letter!) that someone is scared to try their hand at collaging an envelope. I understand that not everyone wants to make mail art, which is fine, but if you are interested I hope this post will help! Decorating an envelope is a lot of fun and anyone can do it. There are a variety of ways to decorate an envelope, doodling, collaging, stamping, and taping just to name a few. As I have no drawing capabilities, I stick to everything that doesn't involve a pen or pencil.

First, gather your favorite things. What are you doing with those magazine cut-outs or scraps of paper that you are saving for a rainy day? Do you have a favorite rubber stamp or washi tape? My most favorite things to use are the scallop scissors, rubber stamps and a variety of paper bits. All of the paper bits pictured are from an awesome mail friend of mine. Don't forget glue!

I don't typically plan collages out in advance but I thought these bits went together especially well and had to figure out a way to use them all at once! It is always nice to have a rubber stamp that can be used as an interesting background. The diamond stamp I used here was a purchase from one of the dollar bins at Michael's. I loved the yellow hexagons and was very happy to find they fit perfectly in with the diamonds!

Collaging is all about glue. In the past week I have used 6 glue sticks to make 30 envelopes. I made sure to use my rubber stamp on the envelope first as I wanted it to be in the background. Then I cut a scallop edge on the paper and glued it to the top of the envelope.

One thing to always consider when decorating your envelope is knowing where you want the address to go. I knew I wanted the used postage to be the main focus of the envelope so I made sure to keep it on the outer edges, giving me enough room to place an address label in the middle area of the envelope & still keep the postage visible.  

Oh, more gluing. To me, the back of an envelope is the hardest to decorate. I tend to use small elements from the front side; maybe a color, paper, washi tape, or a scalloped edge. I had that picture of a bird that I really wanted to use on the front of the envelope but ended up not having room so I pasted it to the back. You can always leave the back blank! After you're finished, step back & admire your work.

If you find your workspace ends up looking like this:

Another super easy way to collage envelopes is the messy version, this is the best way to declutter. This requires no thought and is a great way to get rid of all the scraps you have been hoarding.

Easy enough!

All of the gluing. There is no rhyme or reason to pasting bits down. Just keep pasting, just keep pasting.

Your finished product should look similar to this. You should think "what the" when it is finished.

Repeat on the back of the envelope! Washi tape adds class.

Cut off excess!

How pretty is it when it all comes together? Slap an address and mail that puppy out! Feel free to send any mail art my way. My address can be found on my blog.

Thank you Tara!  I always enjoy receiving your colorful mail!  Everybody who enjoyed this make sure to stop by her blog and thank her for helping out!