Friday, December 31, 2010

Where outgoing letters await their journey, part 2

mail holding pen

I always love to see where people stack their letters before they hit the mail. You know, the product of a day's or evening's letter-writing, where all the proud mail pieces sit until they begin their postal journey. A while back I posted about how I lined them up on the staircase, a sort of natural resting spot near the front door in my old apartment, but no such architecture presented itself naturally in this new place.

Mail is ready

My husband insisted I should have something special (he is a good egg, that one), and I searched and searched for something just right. I came up with this metal item because it is both mail-evocative, with the envelope design, and because the front flap is a great place to secure/hang something whose glue, glitter or adhesive is still drying, to keep it separate from the other mail piled up in the back. And I can still get a good view of what's in there, and when it's full.

Envelope mail sorter by door

If you don't read my blog all that closely or regularly, you may think the bat is just Halloween decor, but no... my love of bats keeps that little purse-item hanging there year-round. It serves as not only decor but also a catcher for overflow mail, on days when I've been particularly productive.

Door with letter bin

I know someone will ask, so I'll just share that I found this Umbra Lettro Brushed Aluminum Letter Organizer very reasonably priced on Amazon.

Where do your letters await their journey?

Thursday, December 30, 2010

A fancy package

Fancy package

This went out to a special acquaintance who moved on to another phase of her life. She never responded to the letter or gift, but I think she probably appreciated it anyway.

Fancy package 2

Sometimes you just gotta send something really special, even if you think you may never get a response.

On blizzards and mail delivery

My husband and I were among the lucky few travelers who were able to reach our destination (home!) on Sunday, December 26. Our flight from the midwest landed in Baltimore late morning, just before the snow started, but when panic had already set in. Our flight to Providence from Baltimore was the last Providence-bound flight that left that day. (All subsequent Providence-bound flights were canceled, which made our flight a standby zoo. We were so glad to have our seats on that early flight!) We later learned that our flight was one of the last to leave Baltimore (at noon!) and possibly the very last one to touch down in Providence around 1pm.

So we drove home to Newport in a lovely blizzard (all was safe), only to learn that the main bridge onto our island (yes, Newport is on an island) closed later that night due to high winds. The Pell Bridge doesn't close very often! But hey, the NJ turnpike doesn't close very often, either, and it closed that night.

It was still snowing Monday morning, but lightly. This is New England. We are used to snow. So what if there's a foot of it? Roads were plowed, life seemed fairly normal. But when I went to pick up my mail at our local UPS store, I got only one package. What? On a Monday? After Christmas? One package and NO personal mail? Apparently local trucks were delivering, so that package must have made it to the Newport sorting station before Dec. 25. The pros at my UPS store told me that local mail trucks were on the road, but the trucks from Providence didn't make it down to us. (Rhode Island is the tiniest state, as many of you know... mail for the entire state is sorted in our capital city of Providence.)

But here's the kicker: UPS trucks weren't even on the roads that day! I have that from an official UPS employee. Goodness! Our own underdog postal service is more intrepid than UPS! Who knew?

Though the apocryphal post office creed, "Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds," clearly doesn't hold when getting mail from Providence to Newport, they at least moved the mail around on the island. Yay U.S. Postal Service!

Anyone else have any fun blizzard-related mail delivery stories?

Monday, December 27, 2010

The Queen of Soul


I sent this via Postcrossing to a Postcrosser in the Netherlands who said she likes Aretha Franklin. Aretha is one of my very favorite singers, and this postcard was quite dear to me... glad I found someone who would appreciate it.

As a regretful aside, I do wish I could find a good photo postcard of Aretha from this golden era of her career that does NOT include her holding a cigarette. But this is still a great image.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Giant pink snails in Miami Beach

How often do I get to pose with a giant pink snail?

I recognize the connection to snail mail may be tenuous, but hey - it's a giant snail! How could I not share this weird phenomenon with my blog readers?

Pink snails in a line

Check out to learn more about the giant hot pink snails that have flooded Miami Beach, Florida for a few weeks this winter. I was in Miami Beach for a few days, and it was enormous fun to see them sprinkled all over the place in various parks and such. Also, it was great fun to see other people climbing them - and to climb them myself!

Pink snail profile

It's a bummer to be away from my mailbox due to holiday travels, but among all the destinations to keep me away, Miami Beach was pretty darn awesome.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Might you also like? I can't stand it

As an update to this post, I'm making an executive decision. I can't stand it. I'm taking it away. Most of the time it won't even load properly for me (my connection is twitchy), and it slows everything else down.

If you want to browse my blog, use the tags, or browse by month, or just search. I would use the feature if it weren't so sluggish, but it's driving me nuts so it's going away.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Missive Maven stamps, in honor of my 2-year blogoversary

Missive Maven stamps

To celebrate my Blogoversary (Missive Maven is 2 years old today!), I present my new Missive Maven stamps. I designed and ordered these photo stamps through and I'm pretty pleased with how they've turned out. Some of them have already traveled out on letters. The first-class letter rate and postcard rate are represented. They are made from my own photos.

You can take a closer look at the image on Flickr.

I am playing around with the idea of a Zazzle store. I have in fact already started one, but I'm not quite ready to share the link.

Would anyone else be interested in buying stamps like this? Should I sell them on Zazzle or is that too opportunistic? Do be honest. Your reader feedback is invaluable to me.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Might you also like?

I just added a new blog widget that puts the "you might also like" links at the end of each post. I've seen this feature on other blogs and it seems kind of cool, so I added it.

However, it seems to be adding significantly to page load time, and that piffles me. Also, the recommended links seem rather nonsensical. (Do I tag badly?) So you might not also like them at all.

Might I request your feedback once again? Do folks like this feature or think it should take a hike?

(Now I'm curious what will end up suggested after this post.)

Jetoy reindeer cat postcard

Jetoy Choo Choo reindeer cat postcard

I don't know why I find this particular postcard so irresistible, but I do. This was the one that made me cave and finally order the whole damn box of Jetoy Choo Choo postcards from an eBay seller in Korea. (They are not cheap.) So I sent it to a very special friend who will appreciate it in all its adorable weirdness.

(What's with the apple?)

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Almost blogoversary!

It just dawned on me (thanks to my own Blogoversary counter) that this little blog is almost two years old. We'll celebrate that birthday on December 16. That's going to be a very busy day for me -- and it's a very busy week -- so I don't know if I'll think ahead to post it. If I were really organized, I'd schedule the post ahead of time and put a fancy picture with it; and I have a good idea for that, hmmmm.... but things have been so nuts lately that I'd better just put it out there while I'm thinking of it.

I can't believe how many incredible letters I've exchanged with blog readers and pen pals over the past two years. I can't believe how much MORE there seems to be about letter-writing on the internet now... I felt like I was one of the only letter-writing blogs two years ago, and now there are masses of them. (Of course the fabulous Letter Writers Alliance long predates my internet presence.) Hooray for letters! Hooray for connecting on the internet in order to walk away from the computer and put pen to paper!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Happy Hanu-Kat!

Magic + Menorah

My very shy tabby cat Magic would like to join me in wishing a Happy Hanukkah to all my Jewish blog readers.

Our menorah is popular with all three cats - they stare at the flickering candles with odd expressions. Soda has learned the hard way that getting too close to candles results in burned whiskers, but Magic has always kept a wiser distance.

They care

They Care

Anyone who has pulled one of these "We Care" envelopes out of her mailbox knows it is not a good sign. In this case, I thought the postal service did a pretty darn good job of preserving the letter.

Mangled, inside the new envelope

There's the front, with the address and return address still visible through the plastic window.

Mangled plastic envelope

The letter was originally sent in a very thin plastic envelope, which opened and folded up at the corner. I imagine it was too flimsy for the sorting machines.

Holding the mangled plastic envelope closed

That's my hand holding the envelope closed for the photograph. It wouldn't stay closed on its own.

The good news is that it seems everything the sender included did actually make it to me, and she had enclosed all kinds of little stickers and papers and such... so my hat goes off to our postal service in this case. The envelope wasn't strong enough to make it through the sorting machines, but they salvaged it and the contents as well.