Sunday, October 31, 2010

Best. Halloween Card. Ever.

Happy Halloween: anything can happen

I don't usually blog about mail before I respond to it, but this one must be an exception. This lovely Halloween card came on Friday, and I squee'd and squee'd and squee'd. Like a stuck little pig. This is the most amazing Halloween card ever! It's got everything: a bat, some wine, little silver dots, the bat is wearing a bowler hat...

spooky sleepy hollow stamps

..AND the envelope had a glow-in-the-dark spider secured in the corner! There was transparent tape over it which I removed for photographic, but I am amazed and delighted that the spider made its journey intact and unmangled. And how much do I love those Legend of Sleepy Hollow stamps? They are pretty amazing. The sender of this fantastic card, one of the amazing gals behind The Letter Writers Alliance, even wrote a great blog entry about these stamps; if you're itching to know more about them, this is the place to start.

washi + running moon

The back of the envelope is graced with some pretty silver-tinged washi tape and a marvelous paper sticker of a running moon-man pumpkin-head man. You can see the legs of the spider on the front poking out from the corner there.

The letterpress on this card is particularly well-done; it comes from Greenwich Letterpress in NYC, a shop that I've actually visited in person on one of my Big City ventures, and I can attest that all of their work I've seen is really fine. I am sore tempted to order a set of cards now.

Anyway, I wish a Happy Halloween to those who celebrate this spooky holiday! Remember: anything can happen.

(Don't let a bat steal your wine.)

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Because it is a good pen

I just came across a wonderful thread on The Fountain Pen Network showing old Parker Pen advertisements. This is but one of them. They are priceless! For anyone who likes vintage advertisements, pens, or writing paraphernalia, I do recommend a peek:
Old Parker Advertisements

Tsar Nicholas II postcard... and stamp?

Tsar Nicholas II postcard

This excellent postcard of Tsar Nicholas II came to me from a Swap-bot swap for a famous person postcard. I really love the mood of this image, and of course we know that Nicholas II had a very bloody history, as the postcard sender noted in what she wrote to me. Here, he appears aboard the yacht "Polar Star" in the early 1900s. I love the dog next to him.

Russian postcard stamps

I'm also quite taken with the stamps... is that oval also showing Tsar Nicholas II? I can't really tell, there's no name, but they certainly look similar. Anyone know?

**UPDATE:** Thank you, educated blog readers - it is Chekhov, a stamp commemorating the 150th anniversary of his birth.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Siamese Batcat!

FI-790942: Siamese Batcats!

This has to be one of the best Postcrossing postcards I've ever received. It's a Siamese Batcat! Wow. I was pretty amazed by this one, which came from Finland. The artist is Linda Peltola, and though I've perused her site and her Zazzle shop, I can't find this particular wonderful design.

Linda Peltola's "Siamese Batcat" postcard

It's so cool when someone reads your profile and sends you something really fantastic. I mean, we all know the Siamese Batcat would not be for everyone, but it certainly made my day!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Cat drawings from Germany

Cat from the top

One of my pen pals from the German pen pal site Letternet is also a cat lover, and an excellent artist! I love the perspective of the cat whimsically batting from above.

Closing cat

Another cat said goodbye at the closing. The use of white on the brown paper is really cool, I think, and I was thoroughly charmed by her feline artwork on this letter.

Cat envelope from Germany

It even had a cat to hold my address on the envelope! Note the cat is holding down the Luftpost sticker... good move, as we all know air mail is prone to flying away.

Speaking of flying away... I've removed my sent statistics. They served their purpose as an interesting experiment and examination, but I feel they've taken the focus away from the letters themselves. It doesn't matter how many letters we write, just that we are writing them... don't you think?

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

A bevy of wild west girls

A bevy of wild west girls

This most excellent postcard, a reprint of an old rodeo-type poster, came to me from my favorite sendsomething user in Wyoming.

Cowboy stamps for a cowboy postcard

She even kept the stamps all-cowboy: traces of Buffalo Bill Cody on both sides. Yee-haw!

Friday, October 15, 2010

...a little behind...

Tee hee... Just came across this on the Good Mail Day tumblr and had to share.

As for myself, I've gotten a BIG behind in my letter writing!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Since there's Christmas crap in the stores already...

'Tis the season: I wasn't enough ahead of the curve last year, so even though it's only mid-October, I'll go ahead and direct folks to my "A word on holiday cards, or, why I don't do Christmas" post.

If you're really interested, there's some fairly in-depth dialogue in the comments section.

Glorious glittering bird

hand-painted quetzal stationery

Wow, was this ever a sight to behold! This fine pen pal is (obviously) a fabulous artist, and I've been treated to her wonderful artwork before. The explosion of color on this hand-painted stationery is so exciting!

quetzal closeup

I hope I am not misremembering, but I believe she called this bird a quetzal, a tropical bird with brilliantly colored plumage.


I know you wanted a closer look at those glittering feathers! Her use of glitter accents is ever so masterful.

Quetzal stationery + rose envelope

This beauty came packaged in a handmade rose envelope. I could almost smell it...

Monday, October 11, 2010

Watercolor Soda by Sirpa

Watercolor Soda by Sirpa

This amazing watercolor of my cat Soda came to me from Sirpa, a wonderful pen pal and mail artist from Finland. Sirpa's letters are always a work of art, with frequent hand-painted details, but this one captured my heart like no other!

Using a photo that I posted on this blog of Soda in a box, she painted this watercolor image of Soda! I need to get this framed.

The entire letter was beautiful, and she detailed it on her own blog - you should check it out, especially the whole sheet of fairy stamps used on the package!

Also after my own heart, the card that featured the watercolor of Soda was written TO Soda. Of course Soda appreciates that. (She is purring on the couch next to me as I type, of course.)

Sunday, October 3, 2010

September stats

Compared to my usual output, September was pretty pathetic. But I was busier than I ever imagined... for two weeks in a row, I saved all my mail 'til the end of the week and didn't even READ it for days, let alone write any.

So, the paltry roundup:



Total output

Yep, that was less than half of my August output. C'est la vie, I do my best.

I received 75 items in September. 18 of them were Postcrossing postcards, and 15 of the items I sent were Postcrossing postcards. (For once, I received more than I sent on Postcrossing, though I've still sent my usual 13 more than received.) There was only one day - a Tuesday - where I received no personal mail at all. At least, I think that is the case... there were multiple days when I didn't make it to my mailbox (that super-busy thing), and picked up many days' mail at once. So it's possible that there were more days when no new mail accumulated, but I don't have any way of knowing that.

My average - that's average, not guaranteed - response time is now 4 months. I'm still making it through some May items in my piles, and I'm well aware that it's now October. Oh well. Haven't I said before that I no longer have any pretense of catching up? I just write letters, as I can.

Prior monthly stats and commentary:
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April and March 2010

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Finnish funny vegetable stamps

Finnish stamp

I have fallen in love with Finland because of its mail enthusiasm. So many Finnish postcrossers, great love of and dedication to mail there... am I generalizing? Probably, but one cannot deny that Finland releases some incredibly cool stamps! This one came from the Funny vegetable series, a set of blank vegetable stamps that comes with little face stickers to be attached separately, so you can make faces on your stamps. What a sense of humor! I was delighted to see this one in my mailbox, on an envelope from a postcrosser. (Please forgive the little red wine stain there. I am dangerous around my own mail.)