Monday, May 23, 2011

Unpick to open

Unpick to open

I warn you this is going to be a photo-heavy post - quite possibly my most photo-heavy post ever, but I must share all the details with you, as this is quite possibly the most amazing piece of mail I've ever received.

Amazing hand-sewn mail art!

This came from a woman who is clearly a talented seamstress, as the entire envelope was hand-sewn. I picture it being hand-delivered gingerly and with reverence from one postman to the next, because it arrived in absolutely pristine condition; had I packed this in my luggage in an international flight, it would not have arrived any more perfectly. (In fact, it probably would have been considerably more smooshed!)

Air mail & stamp fabric

I have to zoom in on all these little details, because they just blow me away. Embroidered air mail! Multiple different kinds of stamp fabric! Meta mail to make me swoon!

Vintage stamps from England

Check out those vintage stamps! Shillings, people! (I am one of those Anglophile Americans who can get a thrill just by whispering "shilling" to myself. Don't ask.)

By air mail with postbox stamps

And postbox stamps! Glorious red postbox stamps! Does it get any better than this? I don't think so.

Embroidered address

I don't sew myself, not anything, not ever, not even a button - so I am even more impressed by this. Does this sort of hand-embroidering of every single letter not take a ridiculous amount of time? It seems to me it must.

Unpicked, opened

Now, on to the back. It had that "Unpick to open" embroidery with which I started this post, plus a hand-embroidered return address. And opened - there's even DIFFERENT liner fabric! You can see a bit of the letter peeking out here.

Fabric of old letters

Now check out the fabric of the envelope lining: old letters and postcards! Gaaaa! (Clearly I am at a loss for words now, just making sounds and happy mail drool.)

Embroidered air mail

Also, because two is better than one - another hand-embroidered air mail label, this one complete with hearts.

Very well made in England

Lest you think it couldn't get any better - as I did, after I'd unpicked the stitching on this envelope (which I did very, very carefully, having no idea of the proper unpicking technique) - here's what was inside the envelope. This is like the "stationery," the fabric with all the vintage-esque cursive writing on it.

The amazing embroidered letter

And last but certainly not least, the entire embroidered letter! What handiwork! I seriously cannot even imagine the hours this took her. I suggested to her that people would pay big bucks for this sort of thing if she sold it on etsy or the like, so if she opens a shop, I will refresh this post and link it here for sure.

Aside from all this kvelling, I must say this letter really touched my heart. It is now hanging over my writing desk, where I look at it every single day and smile. I don't even think I deserve a gift this wonderful, but I knew I had to share it with you all, my mail-loving readers, who could share my joy in such an incredible creation.

19 comments:

  1. This is truly incredible! It's like something out of a fairy tale!

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  2. WOW! This is just amazing.What a lot of detail work. and BEAUTIFUL fabric.

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  3. oh my! what a talent! thank you for sharing!

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  4. Ooh! What a joy is hand-writ art! Pure art, Ilona! It is yours because you deserve it. :) Thanks for sharing.

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  5. AMAZING! I can't begin to image how long this missive too. I'm in awe!

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  6. I'm sure this letter touched your heart. It touched mine and I wasn't even the recipient. The fact that there is a human being in the world who can (and does!) create such a wonderful thing, fills me with hope for all of us.

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  7. Not to take anything away, but the lettering is machined and then the joining threads are unpicked and tidied-up. Everything else is hand sewn. I put the stamps on, which is why they are so badly spaced. I miscalculated the postage as well, causing her to have to make another little blotting-paper-window thing for the additional stamps. :-)

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  8. Oh my I am in awe really anyone who can sew has my upmost respect because I dont sew at all . What a wonderful package to receive . I would have been in la la land .

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  9. This is incredible -- what an amazing and wonderful thing to receive in the mail. Lovely work. Do you think she bought all that postal fabric or screened it herself? I ask because I haven't seen any fabric like that ever and wondered if she did that as well...
    I would look at it every day too. Enjoy...

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  10. The "Very well made in England" label is very correct! How cool!

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  11. You get the prettiest mails! Even with a machine, it is still amazing!

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  12. Truly amazing and unbelievable. What a talent!

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  13. I too am speechless -- the effort and time and the clever use of materials! !!!!!!!!!!!!! What a delightful treat to receive -- I can't even imagine!

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  14. What an amazing envelope and letter..

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  15. WOW!This would make my whole year!! :)

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  16. I am bowled over by your appreciation of this letter. It makes me feel all warm inside. It was a lot of fun to make, and I got to practice with my new sewing machine. I really enjoy the way you commented on the little details. Fabric is a slippery slope!

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  17. Ilona -- this is an incredible piece; the time and effort put into this stitched piece must have rendered you speechless! And a little aside for Thimble (comment above): your work with that new sewing machine looks fantastic! :-)

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