Monday, May 31, 2010

Happy Mail Day

I had a quiet little goal of writing 10 pieces of mail today, and I did it! Granted, 7 are postcards and 3 are letters, but still... and it's not even midnight yet.

I hope everyone had a great, mail-filled weekend! And for those of us in the USA, Tuesday's incoming mail should be extra-bulky because of the Monday holiday.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Dancing Lemur's letter

Dancing Lemur pink envelope

I was pretty taken with this artfully addressed pink envelope from the mail artist who calls herself, charmingly, Dancing Lemur...

Dancing Lemur, Sayin' Thanx

...and I was even more charmed by the artwork!

Is this a Dancing Lemur in boogie action?

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Slow owl post from the Philippines

Owl postcard from the Philippines

I exchange postcards occasionally with The Archer in the Philippines, but it ends up being very occasionally, as her postcards arrive incredibly slowly. I don't know which end has the sluggishness, but it's often rather amazing. I had one sent in August arrive in October, and this lovely Philippine owl sent in December arrived in March!

Philippines stamps

Check out these incredible stamps, though - I am in love with the cartoon mailman!

Sunday, May 23, 2010


Envaccordion 1

This is truly one of the most incredible handmade envelopes, letters, and pieces of mail art I have ever received. Ever. The lovely Bianca of Goodnight Little Spoon sent me this amazing "envaccordion" a while back, and I absolutely cannot believe how much energy and creativity she put into it. She did a very fascinating blog post about how she put the whole thing together - I highly recommend a visit if you're plotzing over this beauty as much as I still am. (Warning: extremely photo-heavy post!)

Envaccordion 2

I am so glad she included clear "how to open" instructions, complete with easy-to-remove tape. I made sure to photograph this before I sullied anything by opening... but it was actually quite easy to open and unfurl.

Envaccordion 3

Here's the view inside the first opened flap.

Envaccordion 4

It's a bunch of envelopes glued together by the flaps, and each one flips down to reveal the next one.

Envaccordion 5

So of course I photographed every step of the unfolding process.

Envaccordion 6

The details! The colors! The harmonious patterns!

Envaccordion 7

Each envelope had one page of a letter, one ad postcard (they were all quite beautiful), and one bit of extra - a tag, a teabag, a sticker...

Envaccordion 8

So here you see the whole long thing, from the envelope-open side.

Envaccordion 9

And here are descending bits...

Envaccordion 10

...of the incredibly fascinating...

Envaccordion 11

...backs of the envelopes!

Envaccordion 12

And finally, the whole long chain of the backs of the envelopes.


If you had fun reading this and looking at the pretty pictures, and especially if you're wondering how the heck she made this, do have a look at her blog post about it. It is nearly as fun and illuminating as the envelope itself.

(Wombat stamp! Can you see the wombat stamp in the first photo? Squee!)

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

New Letters & Journals website and newsletter (and I won a contest!!)

The Letters & Journals blog recently launched their new website, This has been a long-term goal, and the website is really lovely with a lot of great content and many sections to explore. It is the next big step towards starting the magazine. I recommend you have a look at it - I had a lot of fun there, and I haven't even read all the bits about the National Stationery Show yet...

And, in a really exceptional stroke of luck, my one single entry won the contest to name the Letters & Journals newsletter. I suggested LetterNews, and that's now their new newsletter name! Jackie, founder and maven of the Letters & Journals enterprise, offered me the $50 gift card from Amazon or Jetpens, and of course I chose JetPens because they are not only one of my very favorite pen and ink retailers, but also because they are a fantastic and plucky small business, and I like to support them.

Reconstructing the blog list

Okay, so now I know I have to reconstruct my blog lists. (Anyone who's thinking of taking their blog to a direct URL, be warned!)

If your blog used to be listed here and isn't any more, let me know. If there's a blog you think should be listed here, let me know. I reserve the right to decide whether or not to list it, of course, and the truth of the matter is that the blog lists were always in flux anyway...

I'm just trying to view this as an opportunity for spring cleaning.

Tra la la...

Monday, May 17, 2010


Oh my gravy, this morning on a whim I registered the domain Blogger now makes this very easy to do under settings.

But tonight I noticed I don't have the "edit" link below my blog posts, and -- much worse -- I've lost all my blog lists!!! AAAARGH!!!! I have no idea how to reconstruct these, and no idea where they went.

Any sage advice??


Postcrossing surprise

Recently I vented about some Postcrossing woes, so I thought I'd just note that I just got word that one of my two postcards traveling to Russia actually arrived - this one after 53 days! I had sworn it was going to expire. Wow. Also, it recently took a postcard to Florida (right here in the USA, on the same coast and everything) 23 days to arrive. My postcard to Canada is still traveling - 35 days. (That user hasn't been spotted in as long - I have a feeling she's disappeared.) I've also recently sent postcards to Poland, Finland and Switzerland that were registered in a mere 4 days, so some international mail DOES move really quickly!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

April Benevolent Postcard Society offering

Final sent BPS postcard

This was my final item sent in the Benevolent Postcard Society project. I sent 8 - one each month, dutifully sent on or very close to - the first of the month, and was supposed to receive one each month, too, but I have only received 3. I suppose April's could still yet come. In May the organizer suspended for a month to re-evaluate membership, and I decided not to continue. I had requested for months that a reminder that the postcard should be marked Benevolent Postcard Society (or BPS) be included with the address info email each month, but that didn't happen. I suppose I could have received more BPS postcards, and would not have known, if they hadn't been designated as such - I get a lot of postcards and all.

Anyhoo, I had fun with this one. I used a vintage cat postcard that a pen pal had sent, and altered it with some glitter, metallic gel pen ink and rubber stamps.

altered postcard for April BPS

Perhaps you can see the glitter, and the blue metallic gel pen ink making the kitty eyes sparkly blue, a little better in this ultra-bright-sunlight shot.

April BPS

Meta-mail post stamps

Hand-carved mail stamps

Just a closer look at the fabulous hand-carved stamps from DumpsterDiver, included on the card in this previously-blogged-about Tin of Wonders. I think the red and blue ink make a nice touch.

I love the mailbox so much!!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Crossed Tusk Narwhal-velope

Crossed Tusks Narwhal envelope

A dear friend and I have some running jokes about Narwhal. (Don't ask.) So when I found this photo in a wildlife photography book, I knew I had to make him an envelope.

I highlighted the tusk tips with Stickles glitter glue, and used a sea critter stamp to continue the theme.

Crossed Tusks Narwhal envelope, back

Narwhal are real, of course, but I thought a unicorn and a mermaid would be good company.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Kermit the Frog postcard + stamp


I had the good fortune recently to get a Postcrossing address from someone else who loved the Muppets, especially Kermit the Frog. So I sent her this postcard. It came from the U.S. Postal service, from a set of postcards to match the Jim Henson/Muppets commemorative stamps.

Back of Kermit postcard

Of course I had to incorporate the matching 37-cent Kermit stamp into the postage to Poland.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

DumpsterDiver's Tin of Wonders

Tin of Wonders

Mail artist and exceptionally generous pen pal DumpsterDiver sent me this Mail Tin of Wonders. It is a tin that looks like an air mail letter, which she then further decorated with stickers and wonderful stamps.

Tin of Wonders, back

The back/bottom of the tin looks like the back of an envelope. So meta! So love it!

See? It's really a tin!

Here you can see how thick it is, plus its essential metal nature. Not a light thing to begin with, it was packed chock-full of amazing-mail-ness.

Inside the Tin of Wonders

The postcard featured a letter on the back, but those awesome rubber stamps are her own hand-carved handiwork. I am PLOTZING over all of them, most especially the mailbox.

Mail tin contents

Here are all the goodies spread out (except the letter opener - that's mine, it just crept into the photo). Stickers, labels, and even a fountain pen + cartridges! The pen is called Riviere, and although the sender rescued most of her items from a dumpster, the pen came from a Daiso, a west-coast Japanese stationery store. Nowhere does it say it is a Platinum pen, but those cartridges look like Platinums to me, and indeed my Platinum converter fits the pen. I guess I should do a full review elsewhere, but all things considered, this is a mighty fine pen. My only complaint is that the clip keeps coming off when I remove the cap, but it's very easy to click back into place. Good writer, if a bit on the dry side.

EDIT: Update from sender
She says:
"The Riviere fountain pen, ink cartridges, letter tin, and address labels are from the Japanese dollar store- Daiso. The Moleskine calendar letter started out as dumpster. Japanese stickers and San Francisco faux-postage sticker came from Pod Post and their lovely Mailart Bento box. I won the bento box at the raffle during the Good Mail Day Book Launch party!"

So WOW! I felt so spoiled when I opened this, and I still do... totally enjoying the labels, stickers, and pen... and I haven't figured out how to properly re-use the tin, but it's sitting on an embellishments shelf and I admire it occasionally.


Saturday, May 8, 2010


Bollywood glory postcard

This absolutely glorious Bollywood postcard came to me from Belen. She has amazing taste on postcards, and this one just made my day. It still lives on my fridge. Friends who come over often admire it.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Ice cream valentine

Ice cream valentine blog reader letter

This February blog reader letter included some great paper and mail art, a lovely little letter, and even a handmade valentine!

Ice cream valentine blog reader letter contents 1

The silver feather card really captured my fancy, and she also included a handmade Edward Gorey bookmark. The smaller envelope sealed by the rose sticker is the valentine.

Ice cream valentine blog reader letter contents 2

Here's another view of the contents, where you can see the front of the valentine.

Blog reader handmade valentine

More valentine, complete with - ooh la la - red glitter!

Blog reader handmade valentine

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

April stats

April's over! Here are the final April stats:



Total out

March was 122: 71 letters, 51 postcards - but I did my March Madness experiment over 5 weeks, not 4.

Since enough folks commented that they like my monthly mail-sent stats after my March Madness experiment, I'm continuing this montly stats system indefinitely. I am kinda curious to see how it adds up over a year...

May 2010 stats

Monday, May 3, 2010

Postcrossing woes

I am just venting here, really.

But I'm totally frustrated with Postcrossing right now. I love the quick mystery of sending a postcard to someone else, anyone, somewhere in the world - and love the surprise of pulling the received postcards out of my mailbox.

...but sometimes I get fed up. And I'm just feeling like sharing that right now.

For a while I felt like being magnanimous, and I checked the box in my profile that said "I prefer to send to repeat countries" or something like that, to offset the huuuuge numbers of people signing up from a certain unnamed very huuuuge country. But my postcards to that country either take forever to arrive or inevitably expire. Honestly, I just dread seeing that unnamed country come up on an address, because it means I am sending a postcard out into the void and it's unlikely ever to arrive. Also, a neighboring huge country - Russia. I have had postcards arrive to and from Russia, but something is going on over there lately that is waaaay slowing down mail delivery there (though I receive postcards from Russia in about 2 weeks lately).

Due to the number of postcards I've sent through postcrossing, I'm allowed to have 10 traveling at any one time. I've got 2 traveling to Russia right now - one for 34 days and one for 39, one to the huuuuge unnamed country (had 2, but the second one expired) for 35 days... and here is the frustrating part much closer to home. I've got one traveling to Canada - our neighbor to the north - for 21 days! That user hasn't logged in for 20 days, though, so I'm betting it's arrived and they just haven't registered it. And another to the USA, still here on the Eastern seaboard, that's taken 14 days!

Good gravy. Harrumph.

(Of note: Postcrossing's own blog recently noted the volcano effect on postcard delivery. I noticed this in my own mail, nice to see them mentioning it all official-like.)

And then I remind myself how many awesome postcards I've received and wonderful people I've connected with via Postcrossing... and I get happy when I see an address in Finland or Germany or the Netherlands, because those always arrive (and get registered!) right quick. And in the spirit of balance, I'll mention that I sent my first postcard to Switzerland recently, and it arrived in FOUR DAYS. I can't even get a card to my family in the midwestern USA that quickly!

Anyone have any other Postcrossing stories to share?

Sunday, May 2, 2010



This blog reader picked a great theme for her letter to me! I am very impressed with all the batty-ness. The envelope is quite beautiful - I don't know if all the subtle colors really come through in this photo. What a treat!

On another note, my apologies for fewer posts (and fewer letters and postcards written) lately. Sometimes, life just gets in the way... I've had some unexpected twists and turns at work that have been time-consuming in the short term and may continue to make things a little different, so as always, I'll keep plugging away and write when I can; it just may be a little less than I'd want to.

I will update my letter stats for a new May chart shortly, too.