Monday, November 30, 2009
This rainbow kawaii stationery is the bomb. I love the various weird phrases...
"Happy?? This is new style."
"Cute!! Love Rock!"
Unfortunately for my friend who sent it, it got returned to him and he sent it again to me in a plain envelope... these foreign envelopes with different positioning of address and name, and return address, can be confusing - I always try to address them closer to USA convention, and hope that will make delivery less problematic.
My favorite sweet color... wtf??
And of course we mustn't forget the inside pages.
Forgive my clumsy swirling... it's not as elegant now that I'm using Gimp instead of Photoshop, but... it does the trick.
Saturday, November 28, 2009
Okay, I really hope I'm not being too annoying with this Swap-Bot Cat Postcard Swap thing, but here's a little reminder that tomorrow, Sunday Nov. 29, is the last day to sign up for round #2 of the cat postcard swaps on Swap-Bot: the USA only swap for those of you that live in the USA and don't want to pay international postage, and the International swap open to any country.
Friday, November 27, 2009
It is entirely possible that my love-fest for Good Mail Day may never end. It certainly won't, if they keep sending me such lovelies!
In this fabulous meta mail art envelope, they sent me a zine about the making of the book.
It was delicious, and I probably should have taken more photos of it before I filed it away in the place where happy mail goes.
Of course it was chock-full of meta-mail goodness. Those PodPost Goddesses rock.
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
When I saw this post on the Good Mail Day blog, I fell in love with the "special delivery every day" faux postage. And those awesome gals, they said they had a few to give away if you sent them a SASE! So I did, but of course I had to pretty up the envelope for them. We've seen this goatmail stamp recently, but I don't know if I've shown off this combination of vintage postage stamps yet.
On the back I used a vintage air mail POD label from 1957.
On another note, thanks to my laptop, I can blog from the road! I'm not at home to get my mail right now, but I'm with family in the Midwest for Thanksgiving. In fact, I'm writing this blog entry from a hotel lobby.
Happy Thanksgiving to all my American blog readers!
Monday, November 23, 2009
Tonight I'll share a few views of some of my favorite vintage stationery (a la eBay): the WWII-era Laff Letters.
As the box says, "letter and envelope in one," so pretty much a postalette or fold-and-mail concept.
The back of each design has a joke that tends to be racist or sexist or both... I guess they are a product of their time.
I love the return address space in this "bulletin from" design, and the "atoms for peace" vintage stamp is one of my favorites.
I sent the above "last minute news" design to my late grandfather about a year ago - I tried to use a WWII/veterans theme in the stamps, or at least stamps that made sense for his lifetime.
Sunday, November 22, 2009
A dear friend sent me this wonderful bat card from She's Batty Designs. You know I love that name! The skull-embossed paper was really fun, and of course the sparklebat was my favorite part.
It came in a black envelope.
My first Cat Postcard Swap on Swap-Bot was such a hit that I've immediately started two more. (I know, some of you must be sick of hearing about this...) This time, by popular demand, I separated it into two swaps: one USA only swap for those of you that live in the USA and don't want to pay international postage, and one International swap open to any country. If you're in the USA and want to join both, go for it!
For both the International and the USA-only swaps, the deadline to sign up is next Sunday, November 29. I'll assign partners Monday, November 30, and postcards must be sent by Monday, December 7. Each swap has two partners, and the rules are the same as last time - you need to write something about a cat or cats on the back of the postcard.
Thanks to all my blog readers who joined up the last one. If you enjoyed it, go for more! If you're like me, you have a LOT of cat postcards lurking in your stash...
Saturday, November 21, 2009
Because I've already gotten a couple of "holiday" cards (can you believe it??!? so early) and one query from a young writer about pen pal Christmas gifts, I feel it's most timely to reiterate this on me blog.
I don't do Christmas.
In any way, shape or form.
No, we don't have a Hannukkah bush, or any other such substitution. And Hanukkah isn't even a major Jewish holiday, it's just kind of become the Christmas substitute in our modern culture. (My family lights candles on Hanukkah, but we don't believe in the obligatory gift-giving that's been tacked on to the holiday in a Christmas imitation. If you do the Hanukkah-gift routine, more power to you, but it's not my thing.)
I will never tell someone not to send me a card with any good wishes or warm sentiments. If you feel compelled to put my name on your holiday card list, by all means, knock yourself out. But please don't be offended when I don't send a card back. I don't do holiday cards, of any sort. If you write an actual letter with the card, then of course I will respond to the letter. But if you're tight on postage, or making decisions on who does or doesn't get a holiday card from you this year - by all means, cross me off the list!
And please know that anything heavily religious will just kind of creep me out.
Thanks for bearing with me through this pre-emptive rant.
Here's another fantastic handmade envelope from a blog reader. I like the floral background with the address name right at the bottom in a skinny strip. It arrived totally intact, though I got another handmade envelope in the mail today, also made from the pages of a magazine, that was not at all intact. One never knows if magazine pages will survive the mail or not, I suppose. Anyhoo, I am totally in love with this ostrich sticker!
My favorite part of the back is the quote: "the future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams." I know I've heard this before, but I'm not sure who said it. I bet one of my readers will know.
It's finally time! I've been talking about this Swap-bot Cat postcard swap for quite a while now, and now it's game on! I just assigned partners for the swap. Thanks to all my blog readers who are participating! The final tally is 72 participants sending cat postcards to each other.
I figured this had a pretty high chance of happening, but I'm kind of tickled that one of my two partners is one of my own pen pals. Tee hee. She'll get an extra special cat postcard.
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Okay, so tomorrow is really the last day, but I doubt I'll be doing much blog posting between now and then, so better early than late.
To recap...I'm hosting a Cat Postcard Swap on Swap-Bot. There's a little more info in a recent blog post, too, but the last day to sign up for the swap is TOMORROW (Friday), November 20. I'll assign partners on Saturday, November 21, sometime in the morning or early afternoon, and then the mailing deadline is the following Saturday, November 28.
The front of the postcard must include a cat or cats as its prominent focus. Also - equally important - on the back you must write a little bit about a cat or cats. You can write about your cat or cats you own now, ones you owned before or grew up with, copy a short poem about a cat, or talk about the awesome cat that hangs out in your favorite bookstore. Any cat-related prose will do! I'm just looking to "double" the cat theme, and also ensure that no one gets a postcard with no writing on it.
I hope you'll join up - lots of kitty postcards pawing through the mail should be great fun!
I am exceedingly excited that this is one of the top 10 swaps on swap-bot right now - as I write this, it's at #3. Since it's been in the top 10, numbers have risen dramatically - wow! Way cool.
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Here is a simple little envelope on which I used a few of my favorite rubber stamps.
I adore the mail-eating goat, and of course that's an Edward Gorey bat.
Below the awesomeness of a disembodied hand holding a placard, that's a moo.com sticker featuring my cat Soda in a box.
I've gotta keep it simple on posting for a while, folks, and I apologize for missing a post yesterday. I didn't even read my mail yesterday until midnight - no joke. And now I'm dead tired, and it's my busy season which sees me dead tired a lot of the time. So thanks for your patience with fewer entries, and hang in there with me for a while!
Monday, November 16, 2009
I wrote my Halloweeny decorated letter in response to this beauty from the Goodnight Little Spoon lady. What an envelope!! It came printed this way, Cavallini has some tres gorgeous envelopes, and it was so delightful to pull this baby out of my mailbox. The way she addressed it is so artistic and creative in the letter formation, too.
I love the 3-D pop-up HI, and am kind of amazed it arrived unscathed from so far away.
Sunday, November 15, 2009
My amazing little package full of mailbox postcards from Carolee of PodPost begged a mail-art-licious thank-you response, so I had fun putting this puppy together, with all the meta-postal goodness I could muster. Only the Shakespeare stamp doesn't really fit the theme, but he's the bard and I love him, so he gets to join the party.
The envelope is vintage 1971, from my grandfather's days in the post office, commemorating the official change of name from "post office" to "U.S. Postal Service," complete with new logo. I love that this envelope shows both the old and the new logos.
I am feeling rather clever for putting my return address in the wavy lines of the "please hand cancel" rubber stamp image.
As is typical, I don't think the glimmer mist spray glitter is really showing up very well in this photo, but I tried to showcase it here.
On the back is a vintage air mail label (I found it on eBay, for anyone who's wondering), whose glue tastes so awful I have to prepare myself to lick it. But that's part of the fun, saying pTOOey and swishing around a tasty beverage as I affix the label... which is cool enough to merit the distaste, in my book.
I feel rather some pressure to make something quite amazing, these times I have sent mail/mail art to the fine authors of the fabulous Good Mail Day book, but it's a fun challenge.
Saturday, November 14, 2009
Just a reminder that I'm hosting a Cat Postcard Swap on Swap-Bot. There's a little more info in a recent blog post, too, but the last day to sign up for the swap is Friday, November 20. I'll assign partners on Saturday, November 21, and then the mailing deadline is the following Saturday, November 28. I hope you'll join up - lots of kitty postcards pawing through the mail should be great fun! And hey, I'm just a few committed swappers away from being one of the top 10 swaps right now... (as if I need anything else to nourish my competitive instincts.)
UPDATE on 11/15/2009: This swap is now one of the top 10 swaps on swap-bot! WOW! My first swap and all! I just looked at the participant list, and am so absolutely tickled to see so many of my own pen pals and blog readers on there. (It DOES seem that a disproportionate number of us are cat lovers, doesn't it?) Thanks so much for your support - I think this will be really fun!
This one went to Bianca of Goodnight Little Spoon, who got extra Halloween decorations to help compensate for the fact that they don't get Halloween in Australia.
Of course she blogged about it already, and she scanned the back of the envelope, too, which I didn't think to photograph before sending.
Oh - and I'll mention this because she is my cat who appears on this blog least - the tabby cat on the far right postage stamp is my kitty Magic. She enjoys pumpkins and often manages to get herself photographed near them. I'll leave you with the original photo (taken in October 2007) from whence that photo stamp was made:
(Magic is so named partly because of the M on her forehead, which I gather is quite common for tabby cats, but she's super-special because she's Magic. But she's also very shy and doesn't hang out on top of my letters like Soda and Memo do, so that's why she doesn't pop up on this blog very often.)
Thursday, November 12, 2009
How awesome are the PodPost princesses? They saw my blog post salivating over this wonderful postcard I received from PostMuse, and as a way of thanking me for the mini-review I did of their book Good Mail Day, Carolee sent me this little envelope...
...full of those fine postcards!
I was kvelling and plotzing all at once, I tell you, to get such a rich and lovely gift. More eye candy:
Now I have mailbox postcards, to fill mailboxes...
...with this awesome and uplifting quote.
Make every day a good mail day!
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
A friend gave me a gift of some autumn-themed paper punches last year. There's a cat, two different leaf shapes, and a bat (my favorite, of course). I like to use them on envelope flaps and color underneath for effect. I photographed this process for you...
...and Soda helped oversee the procedure. (The punch, with the envelope, is at her feet.)
First, I colored underneath the punch area with a silver gel pen.
Then I closed the flap without sealing it just to make sure I had the whole area covered.
Here's a photo of the punch itself on top of the envelope, before sealing - with Soda's paws in the upper right-hand corner. (See how helpful she is??)
Then, voila! A silvery bat window. (Alas, it's not quite centered, but hey, that adds to the charm, right?)
Soda thinks so.
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
This stamp came on the package that contained that fine Bic Easy Clic fountain pen, and I liked the stamp a lot... so I photographed it to share with you. I don't get a lot of stamps from Turkey...
On another note, please applaud Sirpa for letting me know about GIMP, an open-source photo-editing software that I think will allow me to do the sort of photo touchup I was doing previously with Photoshop... so I can crop, edit colors and levels and blur out personal info and such. Hopefully I'll get back into the swing of more regular blog entries now - thanks for your patience!
Saturday, November 7, 2009
One of my very generous blog readers - in Turkey, no less! (I didn't even know I had regular blog readers in Turkey!) - sent me this Bic Easy Clic fountain pen. I had previously admired it when it was mentioned on The Fountain Pen Network, and bemoaned the fact that it was not available in the USA. So, he just sent me one!
Although pink is my least favorite color, this is a fantastic little pen. It differentiates itself on how simple it is to refill the cartridges, and this is indeed the case. It takes a short international cartridge (in the spirit of Halloween - I received this in mid-October - I decided to use a Diamine orange cartridge instead of the generic color - dark blue, maybe? - that was included with the pen) and once you can figure out how to pull the pen open (requires a specific sort of grip and pull), it's quite simple.
So you just drop the cartridge in, and then close the pen. It all fits beautifully, and seems quite leak-proof.
This is a small pen - here it is in my small hands for size comparison. I rather like that aspect of it; I prefer small pens.
I wish I had photographed a writing sample - this pen has a simple, medium line. It writes exceedingly smoothly for the price point, and starts up immediately. All in all, I'm incredibly pleased with this pen and absolutely tickled to have received it as a gift.
It's a little boring, but here's the back of the package. We now know it was made in France.
Whew! Nice to have done a real blog entry post-computer-crash. If the photos aren't as nice as my normal ones, I apologize - I'm editing with Picasa, and haven't figured out a good way to blur out personal info there, so for the time being I'll have to use photos that just don't contain any personal info that needs to be blurred out.
...and now it's time to write some letters...