Saturday, November 26, 2011

Is it time for a new look?

I have had the same blog design since I started up The Missive Maven nearly three years ago. At the time, it was a blogger template, but it is now so antiquated that a lot of doo-dads don't work with it, or I have to go into the html code to tweak it so that they do.

I am thinking it might be time for a new look. I am not a creature who takes kindly to visual change, so this is a big deal for me. I don't even know what the new look may be yet, but I'm just thinking out loud here. (Is that a weird thing to say on a blog? Probably.) I would keep the features but things would look different.

Any strong opinions either way from readers? Inquiring Missive Mavens want to know.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Looking for a pen pal? Here's a Twitter option...

I just saw that one of my fine tweeps (that's Twitter users I follow, for those unfamiliar with that lingo), @LetterSets of has offered to help with pen pal searches on Twitter. If you tweet that you're looking for a pen pal, they'll retweet it to all their followers for you.

Seems rather instantaneous, but for all those people who are looking for a pen pal RIGHT NOW, it could be a fun option.

If you've read this blog for a while, you know that the last thing I am seeking is more pen pals... but I do know a lot of folks who land here are looking for more pen pals and letter writers, so I hope this is useful to someone.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Critical thinking = survival


This is a wonderful Postcrossing postcard I sent a while back, if I do say so myself. It is US-1235446 to Pihka in Finland, and is the work of the fabulous Stella Marrs. Whenever I see Stella Marrs postcards in a store, usually an independent bookstore (funny affinity, that), I generally snatch up a bunch of them. This went to a woman who enjoys women on postcards, particularly those depicting feminism and women's rights. She was quite pleased with it, and I was glad to send it along to someone else who would love it as much as I do.

On a completely unrelated note, it's about to be Thanksgiving here in the USA, a lovely secular American holiday. I have a bit of holiday travel planned myself, and I've been a whirlwind of busy the past month. I have officially entered my daunting "BUSY SEASON," and I'm not even going to admit how many days in the past two weeks went by without me writing a single postcard or letter... there were even a few days when I didn't read my mail. *sigh*

So don't worry about me, I'm still here but I'm hunkered down, sending mail when I can. I'll try to get at least one blog post a week up just to share the mail joy.

To all my American readers - Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 21, 2011

'Tis nearly the season...

It's the appropriate time of year to go ahead and direct folks to my oft-viewed "A word on holiday cards, or, why I don't do Christmas" post. (It's in my top 10 most-viewed posts, wow!)

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

The short bit: don't send me a Christmas card, please.

The long bit: read why.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Want a hand-drawn letter?

Want your own hand-drawn letter by the creator of this fantastic painting? You might have time to get one.

Bop on over to yourhandwrittenletters tumblr and check out her offer. The artist will draw you a letter from the alphabet and mail it to you like the letter it is, and all you have to do is fill out her handy-dandy form.

I've admired her artwork before, and this seems like a lovely little project that will brighten people's mail days and encourage more letter-writing along the way. And yes, it's the newest blog linked among my letter blogs now. I'll be following her progress regularly.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The amazing cat pouch letter

Cat pouch envelope back

The fabulous Donovan of the Letter Writers Alliance has outdone herself again with breathtakingly cool mail. She sent one of her latest letters to me in this sweet little cat pouch!

Cat pouch envelope front

I can't believe it arrived so unblemished, postally perfect. Even the postmarks are carefully done.

Cat pouch envelope: sewn zipper

She knows her mailing rules; to avoid any issues with a dangling zipper, she sewed the zipper pull into the zipper itself! It was very easy to open with one snip of the scissors.

Cat pouch envelope: contents before removal

Inside, the letter awaits...

Cat pouch envelope's little letter tied with string

...and even the inner presentation is awesome, with the letter tied up with red and white string.

Lest I focus too much on the packaging, I must say the contents were up to her usual stellar standards, with it being one of the loveliest letters I've received this season. Some people think this blog is only about mail art and the way mail looks, but I just keep the contents of letters private. Our postal conversation is between us, but let's just say Donovan's letters read just as beautifully as they look.

I received this quite a while ago, and I had to follow my own rule of not blogging about the letter until I had responded... but I finally put a long letter of my own in the mail to Donovan, so I'm excited to share this pulchritudinous postal tidbit with you all. Surely this kitty pouch is an honorary member of the Feline Postal Brigade!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

A clean desk encourages letter writing

I cleaned my desk today!

It seems like everything has been a mess in my life lately. The last two weeks of October were just incredibly rough, with mostly unexpected things... the latter of which was that I've gotten a nasty flu and have been sick for nearly two weeks, sicker than I've been in years. So things piled up, including letters and mail, and I barely had the energy to get anything done. My desk got messier than it's been in ages! I'm not a neat freak, but I firmly believe that a clean and organized desktop makes for a more inviting workspace... and it was such a mess before that I didn't even want to look at it, let alone write letters at it!

Freshly cleaned desk

Tonight I sort of started to get my energy back, and I cheered myself up considerably by cleaning my desk. The piles are still daunting, but at least the writing space is cleared and all my tools are organized.

Soda's desk job: postcard duty

Naturally, moments after I settled into writing a Postcrossing postcard to Japan, Soda had to jump on up to be a part of the action.

Soda in the limelight

She appreciates the clean desk, too - now there's room for her to stretch out there again!

Sorry for my lack of posts, and my severe lack of mail output... it's been a bad month, but I think I am on the upswing. I did manage a lot of postcards in October - 50! - but only wrote 12 letters. I'm hoping to do a little better in November.