Thursday, April 30, 2009

A mailbox in my mailbox

mailbox in my mailbox

My, what a marvelous mailbox motif! I was just totally tickled by this one, both the theme and the execution. ('Twas a lovely letter, too.) How amazingly meta (meta-mazing?) to pull a mailbox out of my mailbox.

Border harmony

border harmony

I am so charmed by this envelope/stamp combination, from Donovan of the Letter Writers Alliance. Josephine Baker of Vintage Black Cinema stamps, meet air mail border! Harmony ensues.

special delivery: good mail day

And she's got the LWA seal with its Latin imperative embossed on the back, with an official good mail day sticker.


Postal happiness.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Wax seal: quill pen and inkwell

wax seal: quill pen and inkwell

Here is a charming wax seal for you all: a quill pen and an inkwell. Lovely little detail in it. It came on the letter of a fountain pen user, of course!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Lovely label

lovely label

Though I am not, as a rule, a great fan of pink, I'm really taken with this fabulous label. I'm not sure if it was intended as an address label, but in my response to this correspondent, I've already asked her where she got it. It's slightly raised (and fortunately didn't have any trouble going through the mail), with the white teardrop parts cut out of the die-cut pattern.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Some day we will all be ghosts

Some day we will all be ghosts

While I greatly prefer letters and am not a big postcard sender, I do have a few postcards that I send every now and again. With a couple of correspondents, we have a habit of sending both letters and postcards, and that's kind of a fun string. This was a special postcard that I knew would wait and tell me when the time was right to send it, and to whom. It reads:

Some day we will all be ghosts.
Let's live now before we can't anymore.
Let's knit a scarf and eat strawberries.
Let's ride the bus and think of the beauty of the lonely.
Let's go now, before we are ghosts.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Evan Harris Birds of a Letter envelope

Evan Harris Birds of a Letter envelope

This is the envelope of the letter I sent in response to the artistic letter featured in yesterday's post. A pretty envelope someone else drew, gussified with some stickles glitter glue, is just about the best I can do to try to offer some merit of visual artistic value.

The stationery is Evan Harris Birds of a Letter from Dark Horse stationery. I didn't take a photo myself of the inner pages, which have FANTASTIC designs plus the added perk of a white writing space (all the better for showing off those pretty fountain pen ink colors, my dear), but I lifted the promo photo from the Dark Horse site just so I should share the pretty goodness:


Saturday, April 25, 2009

Letter from an artist, with mascot

letter folded with wax seal and border

This fantastic letter, from a new correspondent I met through the Fountain Pen Network (FPN), was so full of interesting beauty that I'm going to have to feature a bunch of photos.

What you see above is what met me when I pulled the letter out of the envelope - sealing wax INSIDE the letter (with her cute note that she doesn't have a seal yet -- but she's got the wax), on the fold, with a beautiful hand-drawn border.

Then there was this fantastic artwork inside:

letter artwork

Wow! What a detailed and interesting character! My photo, taken in light far too low, doesn't do this justice. There were also all sorts of little spider doodles, which I tried to photograph, but just didn't come out.

back of envelope with Nemo

The envelope featured a fun Nemo sticker (I don't think it's dumb! though I've still yet to see the movie) on the back.

return address label art

On the front, her return address label had this really quirky-cute witch-cat on broomstick with bat. This one made my day for sure! Oh, and I should mention that it was a really great letter, too. Coming soon, photos of the letter I back sent to her.

Please be patient

I have to take a quick, photo-less moment to apologize for the delay in response letters, to anyone to whom I owe one. I am in the absolutely marvelous situation of being a tad bit overwhelmed by correspondence. I love having this problem, it just means it will take me more than my customary few days to get back to folks. Right now there are 28 letters in my pile (for those not in the know, "my pile" is the pile of letters I've received that are still awaiting responses) and today's mail hasn't even come yet. I've got a busy few days ahead of me with various commitments, but by next weekend I hope to be back in the groove of sending out more letters than I receive.

SO MANY blog readers have written me letters in the past month, I'm just verklempt. I love it. Thank you all so much! Please don't take this "please be patient" post as any sort of discouragement to writing, just as a caveat for what it is: be patient, and you'll definitely hear back from me!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Handmade envelopes aplenty!

Calendar page envelope

Apparently my post on my own handmade envelope has inspired a slew of blog readers to send me theirs, with letters, too - what a treat!

nice folds

This one is from someone who really has a quality template: dig those folds and classy corners! Much better than my own "just tape it on the sides" method.

Dig those corners

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Sexy stamps

Sexy stamps

This one is cheer-up letter to a friend who needed a smile. The envelope is a blue-purple, and I lined the edges with red glitter glue dots.

The rubber stamp is called "sexy French lady reading," and I always imagine she's reading a letter. I don't think it comes through in the photo (though maybe you can see it if you view large), but I also used "diamond" glitter glue on the French lady's ring, garter belt and ankle strap.

A Jospehine Baker/Vintage Black Cinema stamp seemed the right complement to the theme.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Hand-bordered paper

hand-bordered letter with stamps

More from one of my very artistic correspondents who always makes her own cards or stationery. I love the borders. This makes use of a great pattern stamp, and the crow at the top is a marvelous touch.


I still can't believe she does this with a ball-point pen. I'm having artistic envy.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Star wars, gel pens and glitter, oh my!

Star wars, gel pens and glitter, oh my!

This has a marvelous vintage Miss Piggy card inside, which I forgot to photograph before I sealed the envelope. I used the sparkly green gel pen on the envelope because something about the paper coating made it sadly impossible for fountain pen ink to behave there. So, a chance to use the oft-neglected metallic gel pens.

Best viewed large

The stamp is from the Star Wars 41-cent issue.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Alligator doodle

alligator doodle

A conversation about Florida and alligators inspired this wonderful alligator doodle from one of my California correspondents.

Letter doodles are such a treat!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Inspired handmade envelope

Lovely handmade envelope

Here's a lovely handmade envelope from a new correspondent, another Missive Maven reader. Hooray! Double extra kudo points for including a fountain pen on letters... and she said I inspired her to make the envelope after she saw one of my handmade creations here. Love it!

handmade envelope inspiration

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Contains valuable document

Valuable document, guarded by dragon

This is made from an envelope template PDF download available to members of the Letter Writers Alliance. I used a translucent blue vellum-type paper, printed from my trusty laser printer. Glue stick wouldn't hold the flaps closed properly, so of course I used glitter glue. A dragon sticker guards the contents.

Contains Valuable Document

I stamped the back of the letter, inside the envelope, so it would show through the vellum paper. The owl says "A note for you."

Friday, April 17, 2009

I sent that envelope

cat calendar envelope, complete with letter

So remember that post a while back where I showed you the envelope I made? I finally sent a letter in it. Here's the finished product.

Homemade envelope, complete

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Purple Elvis olympics glitter

purple Elvis olympics glitter

This is kind of a similar theme to yesterday's post - yes, I've been enjoying my frame stamps enhanced with stickles glitter glue - but I was particularly excited about this Elvis stamp. I've been watching them on eBay for a while, and finally picked up a whole sheet below face value. Woo hoo!

(Again, possibly more fun viewed large.)

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Really slow hand-decorated envelope

Envelope with stamps and embellishments

I call this one slow because I took a long time with it. I used colored pencils and Stickles glitter glue on the address frame rubber stamp. I'm quite pleased with how this one turned out! To see all the glitter glue dots, it's best viewed large.

I wish I knew a way to optimize photographing glittery things. The light never seems right, but if it's in direct sunlight, it's just too too bright. I'll have to experiment more, I suppose...

The "Letters Preserve Memories" stamps are among my favorites, by the way.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Simpsons stamps are coming!!!

It is really kind of crazy that I just learned about this release this morning from a UK blog, but there you have it. I troll the awful USPS website for mention of new releases, but I guess I've been looking in the wrong section. My crazy-logical brain tells me to look in the stamps area, under Forthcoming issues of the stamp release schedule, where of course absolutely nothing is posted. Silly me.

In any case, I've long since given up trying to make sense of the nutty United States Postal Service website, since whatever info I need flows to me eventually... including from foreign blogs.

So, here's the full skinny on the Simpsons stamp release, due out on May 7 -- just in time for the rate increase to 44 cents on May 11.

I'm a huge Simpsons fan, so of course I'm all atwitter about these new stamps and can't wait to get my paws on' em.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Another charming reader letter

handmade autumn leaves envelope

This, along with the previous post, is one of two surprise blog-reader letters I received on the SAME DAY. Wow. I am rich in blog-inspired postal goodness! I especially love the typed address label on the autumn leaves envelope, but that's only the beginning...

stamp border stationery

The letter was typed (really, typewriter typed!) on this stamp-border stationery. The author told me the very charming story of its origins, involving creative family members, but in the interest of his privacy I've smudged that bit out. He included a very pretty Monet bookmark, too, correctly surmising that I am a reader and book-lover. (Well, I DO post my LibraryThing library in the sidebar. Incidentally, that's not really my whole library, I just use it as a reading log.)

I'll close with the lovely birdcage sticker on the back of the envelope.

birdcage sticker

Sunday, April 12, 2009

polka dots and plaid

polka dots and plaid

Another surprise lovely from a blog reader. She used some delightful stickers on this pretty butterfly plaid stationery, and the envelope has glitter glue in every one of the white polka dots!

This doesn't do the sparklies justice, but maybe you get a better idea from this closeup shot of the envelope:
glitter glue on polka dots

It was a really lovely letter, too. What a pleasant surprise! That day I received TWO surprise blog-reader letters. Photos of the second one coming soon.

My thanks also to Post Letters; this blog reader found me through them, and I get a lot of hits coming from their wonderful site. If you haven't visited them yet, do check them out! They are full of fine postal goodness.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Red Tango Horse

Decorated Red Tango horse envelope

Here's another lovely from Dark Horse Stationery: the Red Tango set. It's a little girly-looking for me, but I like the sass and the shape of the horse.

I used Stickles glitter glue (silver and purple) to make the front sparkle a little bit. And I couldn't resist drawing a flower on my first letter to Flower Mound, TX.

Red Tango horse envelope, back

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Lovely spring card

Lovely spring card

I received this lovely, springy card from one of my new LEX (LEX=The Letter Exchange) correspondents. I really like the vintage feel of the birds and flowers, and I admit I'm also a sucker for die-cuts.

It really does feel like spring now - for me the true sign is when the little leaves and leaf-buds start appearing on the trees. Daffodils and crocus don't do it for me - I need to have trees stop being naked for the feeling of spring to seem real.

Chag Sameach! Happy Passover. That also makes it feel like spring. I went to a wonderful seder last night and now I'm really in the spring mood! I'm Jewish, so I don't do Easter, but I wish everyone a happy spring in whatever way they celebrate it.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


Duck folding postcard, folded back

A sendsomething correspondent (also a fountain pen user) sent me this charming folding duck postcard. Above is the back, folded. Here is the front, folded:

Duck folding postcard, folded front

I love the underneath paddling views!

Now the unfolded panels in the front:

Duck folding postcard, open front

And finally the unfolded panels, revealing the writing on the back:

Duck folding postcard, open

The colors are great on this one, too, and I just love that little duck tail. (I'm pretty big into ducks.)

To eerily continue the duck theme, I got a duck card from a LEX correspondent on the same day!

Duck in tub card

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Another blog reader writes

Kuromi + tea

This delightful cat-bat letter arrived recently, and it even included a cup of organic black cherry tea! (Which, by the way, was absolutely delicious.)

Blog reader writes!

I don't even know how to describe how delightful it is to get a surprise letter from a blog reader. The first sentence of the letter reads "You don't know me, but I've been following your blog for some time and finally decided to write you a letter."

Bat-cat surprise

Warmfuzzies. Such fun. And I love the cat-bat bat-cats, too.

I made an envelope!

Handmade envelope

I have this fun 2008 Warren Kimble cats calendar that my MIL gave me, and until a few days ago it was still hanging on the wall because it was so cute I couldn't bear to throw it away. I was looking at this page and realized it would make a really fun envelope, so I gave it a shot.

Handmade envelope

No fancy folds or anything for me - the sides are just taped closed. But it preserves the artwork, I think. Maybe I'll photograph it again once it's actually stamped and addressed and ready to go. Right now I can't figure out whether I should send it to my MIL (who gave the calendar), or send it to one of my cat-loving correspondents.