Sunday, January 31, 2010

Aeroplanes with eyeballs

Aeroplanes with eyeballs

Here's another design from International Girl aerogrammes: it's charmingly called aeroplanes with eyeballs. Yes, I just did another International Girl aerogramme order - I really had gone through all the ones I ordered before, and I got a couple of new designs - or designs new to me, anyway. (I've blogged about these a lot before, if you want to see other designs.) I think the little eyeballs on the airplanes are pretty adorable, and this set has narrow-ruled lines which I really like. Someday I'll photograph those, too.

aerogramme portuguese

Here's the back, which shows our eyeballed-aeroplane from a different angle. As is customary with the Int't Girl aerogrammes, each one has directions in a different language - this one is Portuguese.

Hmm... if these are aeroplanes with eyeballs, does that make them airmail with vision? Heh heh...

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Black lace deco tape

black lace deco tape

Generally I am not a fan of pink, but I do like this pink and black combination. You can see I've been playing with my new deco tape. (Because I know people will ask, I got it orientalflea on etsy. It shipped from Hong Kong but was reasonable, especially since I got it on sale.) I colored in some of the hearts... the lace design deco tape does lend itself to such fun. I chose the Marge Simpson stamp because hey, if you're gonna go pink, you might as well go all the way.

hello darling!

This particular letterset came from a Swap-Bot swap, so I don't know the brand name, but I like the scalloped edge on the envelope flap. In keeping with the pink theme, I went with a lady cat sticker I got from Janetstore.

I guess this is the overseas shipping theme post - Janetstore is in Taiwan.

Telegraphic message


Another gem from the trusty LWA headmistress in Chicago.

Mr. Postman with the stars

I think the envelope was made of a topographic map. The green sparkly star stickers contrast nicely with the postman in the corner.

Mr. Postman

Incidentally, I am SO taken with this postman. He made me squee. It is a cutout, but did it come from a rubber stamp? I would love to know.

Typed telegraphic message

More vintage squee-able goodness: the first page was typed on an official "telegraphic message" form. CONFIDENTIAL!

Telegraphic message

I got a chuckle out of the "return letter overdue" classification. Official business, US Government, March 15, 1957. Love it!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Handmade Edward Gorey fold-and-mail

I hadn't anything to do, And so I'm sending this to you.

If you read this blog much, you know how much I love fold and mails. And you know I love Edward Gorey. Well, this fountain-pen-using letter-writer got creative and sent me a handmade Edward Gorey fold-and-mail! Not only that, but dig the metalicious mailness going on in the quote: "I hadn't anything to do, And so I'm sending this to you." (Extra credit points for any blog reader who can tell me from which Gorey book that comes - I don't actually know the answer myself.)

I love how the woman sort of blends in with the wallpaper (can you tell her hand is raised?) and of course I am exceedingly fond of any Gorey cats. This one is very smug on his cushion.

Sealed with wax on the front

Here's what the front of the envelope looks like - so groovy that he used white sealing wax on the front of the envelope! The fold is very debonair coming over the top of the front at a jaunty angle like that.


Here we have the first layer of unfolding; anyone who wants to copy this awesome fold should be able to do so from these photos.

Unfolded letter

Voila: the letter side unfolded. He has very artsy handwriting, no?

Handmade Gorey fold and mail

Finally we have the front/back, depending on how you look at it - the non-letter side, shall we say. This was very well-executed, with the Gorey panel printed (looks to be laser printed, is my guess) just so on the paper.

Deco tape on Hammerpress envelope

Orange Hammerpress envelope

I got some new deco tape lately, and I've been having fun with it. This is an envelope from the Hammerpress Correspondence Cards set from Chronicle Books.

Marie sticker over deco tape

On the back I put a very large Marie the cat (Disney) sticker over the deco tape. The Marie stickers came to me in a Swap-Bot swap, so I can't tell you from whence they came, but I do think they're kinda cute, if possibly on the border of cutesy.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

When puppets are outlawed

When puppets are outlawed only outlaws will have puppets

I fell in love with this postcard when I saw it in the very charming Bear Pond Books in Montpelier, VT. (If you visit Montpelier, I have a list of wonderful places to recommend - and Bear Pond Books is definitely on it. What a postcard selection!!!)

Dancing Frogs

I took a photo of the back of the postcard just so the curious could see it's a photo of the Bread & Puppet Theatre, of Glover, VT, and the photo is by Paul O. Boisvert. You can order this image as a notecard or a postcard from the Syracuse Cultural Workers website.

Incidentally, the lovely recipient of this postcard just blogged about it today -- I guess she got the postcard I sent her AND the package at the same time, though they were sent a few days apart.

Peoples, I had 15 minutes now before I thought I must collapse into bed, so I spent it making this blog entry instead of reading the letters that came today. I have been so busy that I haven't had time to read my mail, let alone write it. Tomorrow night I shall have some time, and I will savor all those letters and hopefully even actually (GASP) write some.

Thanks to everyone for your patience in my busy season.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Montpelier, VT post office

Montpelier, VT post office

Here's the post office in Montpelier, Vermont. I recently sent PostMuse a postcard from here, for her Orphaned Postcard Project.

It's kind of a boring photo, I know, but I find post offices a little thrilling, so I wanted to share.

Montpelier, VT post office

Here's a closer view, where maybe you can even read the writing on the wall.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Gorey glitter fairy envelope

Gorey glitter fairy, no flash

I got some brown paper envelopes to go with my photo postcards, and I really dig the look. This one got some decorative touches from my Edward Gorey rubber stamps, a Stickles glitter glue dot border, and Glimmer Mist glitter spray. Above is the photo taken without a flash...

Gorey glitter fairy with flash

... and here's a photo with the flash. I think I prefer without, but that glitter can be mighty persnickety to photograph well.

Incidentally, I realize my blog postings have been very heavy on the received and lacking on the sent, so I'm trying to even that out.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Bobberdilly's mail art envelope

Bobberdilly's mail art envelope

Another of my new pen pals is also an artist! This is first-class mail art, and I was in awe when I pulled it out of my mailbox. It's like my own piece of original artwork! The letter was really special, too. It took me waaaay too long to finally write back, but I finally did.

You can see more by this artist at

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Happy National Handwriting Day!

I've seen in bandied about the blogosphere that today is National Handwriting Day, but only just now have I found a source. (And I really need a source, people.) Find out more about National Handwriting Day on the Writing Instruments Manufacturers Association (WIMA) website, but the skinny is that it is tied to John Hancock's birthday.

Go celebrate National Handwriting Day by putting your own John Hancock on a handwritten letter!

Dyed in the Wool wine label card

Dyed-in-the-Wool wine label card

The lovely PostMuse, who does far more than just postcards, send me this crafty card made from a wine bottle label. She said the wine wasn't anything fantastic, but I think the label makes a mighty fine card!

lady label

I'm most taken with the label on the envelope, though - I've never seen anything like this before but I love it.

Australian flying fox bat postcard with postage

And, because she is awesome and she knew I would love it, she enclosed this large Australian postcard of a flying fox, a large fruit bat, with the matching postage on the front. It's used, and someone else sent it to her, but of course I adore the bat image. Flying foxes are the COOLEST of bats. Aren't they just gorgeous creatures? I certainly think so.

Friday, January 22, 2010

When you give a hoot, we deliver

Halloweeny Mail Art

This spooky envelope came to me from Carla of 365 letters. It looks like all these decorations were printed right on the envelope. My favorite is the Owl Post: When you give a hoot, we deliver. Love it! (Have I mentioned I'm a huge Harry Potter fan?)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Dreams of the Hungry Ghost

Art envelope

How's this for some fine envelope art? This sender printed this and affixed it to the back of the envelope. Of course I am quite taken with the bat wings.

Dreams of the Hungry Ghost

Here's a closer look at the artwork. The painting is called Dreams of the Hungry Ghost; the artist is Colette Calascione. Her website is not for the faint of heart, and some of her paintings are very... graphic, so be warned. I find her combination of magic, symbolism and realism to be riveting.

V-mail stamp and other vintages

I mustn't neglect to share the excellent vintage stamps on the front; I love the v-mail dearly and the sleepy hollow and bill of rights are fine offerings, too.

Monday, January 18, 2010

A shockingly muppet-licious letter


So I apparently have at least one blog reader who's more deeply a Muppet nut than I am! He sent me this incredible letter back in October. He is more into the Sesame Street side of Henson, but is still probably more knowledgeable about the Muppet Show side than I am.

Original Muppet-esque artwork

First, you must take a closer look at his wonderful original artwork, inspired by Henson. I thought as soon as I saw them that they looked very Henson-esque.

Dr. Teeth stamp

He used a stamp featuring Dr. Teeth, the bandleader on The Muppet Show. Coooool.


I wouldn't have grasped the significance of the Hyattsville, MD postmark, but he kindly pointed out that the letter was sent from the town where Jim Henson grew up.

The Great Seal of Disapproval

The stamp, which I believe he had custom-made, features Sam the Eagle in his Great Seal of Disapproval. Muppet Show insiders will know that Sam the Eagle scoffed in disapproval of most acts on the Muppet Show, often deeming them "shocking."

The letter was excellent, and he also very kindly sent me some wonderful postcards featuring the Sesame Street Muppet crew. I forgot to take a picture of them, but I haven't used any yet, so I will be sure to feature them separately. He has also since sent me some other fabulousness, to be blogged in the future...

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Shy little kitten envelope

Shy Little Kitten envelope

Here's another handmade envelope from the pages of the book. I made this one with a page from The Shy Little Kitten by Cathleen Schurr.

I found this illustration nearly unbearably adorable.

Operatic envelope

Operatic envelope

This has to be one of the cutest handmade envelopes I've received, from a blog reader in Texas.

operatic envelope, back

Can you believe it's her very first handmade envelope? She certainly starts on a high note!

On another high note, I have been slammed with work lately, it's my crazy busy season - but today I am TOTALLY OFF. No work to do whatsoever! This means I can actually dig back into that growing letter pile. Dare I post my own letter-writing goal today? Probably not, but maybe I'll report some positive results later.

Go write a letter! Sundays are great for that!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Parcel post toddler

Parcel post toddler postcard

This fantastic postcard came to me via a Sendsomething correspondent. I've seen and admired the image before; it is in the collection of the National Postal Museum at the Smithsonian. You can find out more about the original image here, but here's the gist:

"This city letter carrier posed for a humorous photograph with a young boy in his mailbag. After parcel post service was introduced in 1913, at least two children were sent by the service. With stamps attached to their clothing, the children rode with railway and city carriers to their destination. The Postmaster General quickly issued a regulation forbidding the sending of children in the mail after hearing of those examples."

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Post Office on ice

No letter photos today, but I just had to share with you this wonderful post I just read on the Letter Writers Alliance blog: Ice Shanty Post Office! Yes, folks, in the hinterlands of suburban Minneapolis, there is an ice shanty post office on a frozen lake. Of course it's sort of an art project, but that kind of makes it even cooler, no?

As for me, work is busy busy busy. I am just now relaxing into free time (and yeah, it's 10pm here), and I'm only just now about to read the letters I received in the mail today, let alone write any. My apologies for the sparse posts... it's just gonna be insane for me until March, so please bear with me and all my delinquent posts and overdue letters.

Express package meets with fowl play

I've really been enjoying this postal blog lately - great inside look at our mail service - and just HAD to share with you this story that I just read:

Express package meets with fowl play, but employees flock to save contents

Oooh! Look at the chicken in the box!!!

If you were a chicken in the mail, wouldn't you want to be cared for this well?

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

She calls them flower bats

Flower bat corner

I wonder, with Florida's recent weather... is Frostproof, Florida really still frost-proof?

She calls them Flower Bats

Flower Bats

Cat tussle

Cat Tussle

In a delightfully ironic twist, one of my swap partners for the Cat Postcard Swap #2: USA only swap that I hosted was one of my own pen pals. So I was already familiar with stories and a couple of photos of his two fine kitties, Jasper and Bootsie. He sent me this excellent photo postcard (great action shot, oui?) of his two kitties in a tussle.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Postcrossing faith renewed: Rascal Grannies

Just when I start to lose faith in Postcrossing (get crappy, sloppy postcards where people don't write a message at all), I get something fantastic.

This is artwork by Inge Look, who has the most marvelous happy old ladies (I fancy that I shall be an old lady like this myself, and am probably well on the way now) having great fun.

This postcrosser wrote in a crystallized kind of English, of the sort I find so articulate from non-native English speakers (Lord, don't get me started on us Americans, who are so darn spoiled assuming the rest of the world just speaks our language):
"Snow and thereby real winter came to southern Finland before Christmas. Now weather prophet from village I was born has forecasted that brisk, freezing winter will not end before April. Apparently rascal grannies are jolly victims of winter. Herbs hanging above and kettle of hot water for breathing tincture that opens airways. Happy postcrossing and keep yourself warm!"

*Sigh* Mail bliss. I shall keep Postcrossing wholeheartedly...



I'll start this post with the back of this envelope, because it charmed me so. This writer does fine ink drawings with her fountain pens.

Letterbird closeup

Here's a closer view of this lovely letterbird...

Letterbird closer-up

...and an even closer view.

Flora corner

The front of the envelope had a flora corner.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Postal art for Darwin Day

Although I am wary of touting every little mail art call that comes along, given my proclivity for letter-writing for communication's sake and not simply for mailing art (I am more of a writer than an artist, so I'll leave the aforementioned latter to the latter), but I did just see one that tickles me.

Have a gander at Postal art for Darwin Day. The idea is to "send evolution-themed envelopes and postcards to your friends and family on or around February 12th, Charles Darwin’s birthday." I like this theme, and it should be rich with interesting possibilities. The blog post author also welcomes cards to himself, and provides his address, in case you haven't the recipients to which to send them. (Of course MY blog readers have no shortage of a correspondence network, but hey - it should always be expanding... or dare I say, evolving!)

It simply baffles me that there are folks today who don't believe in evolution - to each his own, I suppose, just like it flummoxes me that there are folks who think that gay marriage somehow threatens straight marriage or the fabric of society or any of that stuff. We all have minds and the right to make them up as we see fit, so tra la la. But I for one support the evolution mail art project, and think it's a fun idea.

(The Missive Maven stares thoughtfully out the window and wonders what kind of comments this uncharacteristically political post will garner...)

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Menu-inspired decoration

Menu-inspired envelope

Here's some more artwork by the lovely Sirpa in Finland. She said the decorative theme for this envelope was inspired by a menu she saw in Brussels (Belgium - home of the famous sprouts), where the meal sections were hand-drawn and surrounded by fun borders.

hand-painted border

She hand-painted the border and background for the letter, and I didn't blur out the part where she described her design inspiration for the letter. She said she copied out the design in her memory book, and she included a scan of her diagram:

memory book copy

Very cool! (I wish I could keep a visual memory book like this. Maybe I should try, even though I'm an awful artist.) What a neat idea to draw it and then send me the copy of the drawing to show the envelope process.

She also blogged about this letter back when she wrote it.