Sunday, October 12, 2014

World Post Day: Mail Social Club at the National Postal Museum

Celebrate: Neon sign at National Postal Museum

I celebrated World Post Day at the National Postal Museum with their fabulous Mail Social Club, coordinated by Melissa of Craftgasm. It was one heck of an awesome way to celebrate World Post Day, and I found myself wondering, why haven't I been to one of these before?!? Circumstances in my life conspired against me, but the event is now monthly, and I am sure this was only the first of many I shall attend.

Freebie covers at the National Postal Museum

The evening began with a tour of the stamp gallery with the head Philatelist, which included a very interesting lecture on "covers," aka envelopes. Unfortunately none of my photos of that bit turned out very well, except the photo above of the table of freebie covers - one lovely cover for everyone. I took an aerogramme, because hey, why not? (Canceled stamps don't excite me nearly as much as ones I can use and send.)

Work tables at Mail Social Club

Then, the real fun began! We headed to a lovely education space upstairs, which was a phenomenal workspace for our mail social. The theme of the evening was envelope making, and every table had scissors and envelope templates already set up, including the fabulous 2014 postal rates graphic by Donovan of the LWA. The event was held in a private room, part of the Byrne Education Loft.

Mail Social Club in action

Here you can see the front of the room. Not the greatest photo, I know, but you can sort of get the idea. What you can't see is all the AMAZING FREE MATERIALS that were provided! I knew I would love any mail social, and that it would be a grand event, but I had no idea how very generous Melissa and The National Postal Museum would be. Not only did they provide scissors, envelope templates, glue sticks, and all kinds of awesome envelope-making paper, but they also provided washi tape, used stamps and other embellishments, pens and pencils - more than everything you'd need to make gorgeous envelopes. You could have arrived completely empty-handed and still come away with awesome goodies. Thank you, Melissa and the Postal Museum, for your generosity!

Melissa teaches us about envelope-making

Here is Melissa teaching us how to make envelopes. Check out the very awesome George Washington stamp design on the window behind her! Yes, this is a place for mail geeks to get all nerd-tastic over details such as these.

Making mail

Above, my table at work. Another amazing benefit: meeting other mail geeks, some of whom were already pen pals! I got to meet and share a table with Allison of OMG Crafties and Mary of Uncustomary Art. I am good with candids and casual background photos but very bad with engineering poses, so I'm sorry I don't get to share their smiling lovely faces with you (d'oh! We all should have posed for a photo together! Damn my shy social introversion...), but sharing a table and mail-making with them was beyond fabulous. Mary and Allison were veterans of the Mail Social Club scene, and they knew to bring a lovely array of supplies. Mary also wrote lots of mail while there, which I thought was a pretty neat trick. You don't have to participate in the planned activity, you can just do your own mail thing. I'll have to keep this in mind as it's now getting into the season for people to make (and freak out about) holiday cards, and, well... y'all know how I feel about that scene. But now I know I can just participate in mail camaraderie and ignore the holiday hubbub when the time comes.

I made a short little Vine video of my envelope-making; this is my first time trying to embed a Vine video so we'll see how this goes. (Feedback, anyone? Like the video or is it distracting? I could do more of these in the future, or consider it a novelty. I'm undecided.)

Envelope made at Mail Social Club

Here's one of the envelopes I made at the event. I'd like to note that all these materials - envelope paper, glue stick, washi tape, Canadian butterfly stamp embellishment - were provided at the event!

Making mail at the Mail Social Club

The event was well-attended, with many happy folks making mail and envelopes. The room was alive with chatter, and the organizers even played some good tunes for our working inspiration. I commented to Mary that the only thing that was missing was wine! (I understand well why the National Postal Museum can't provide THAT for free.)

National Postal Museum

I had to leave a bit early and unfortunately couldn't stay for the whole event, but on my way out I snapped this photo of the stamp gallery, alone and quiet at night, with the reflection of the neon "Celebrate" stamp sign. It was certainly a cause for celebration.

From the National Postal Museum

Finally, here's my haul from the event. I was able to get there a bit early and just make it to the post office (within the Postal Museum, of course!) before it closed, and not only was it World Post Day, but it was also the date of release for the brand-new Batman stamps, so even though I pre-ordered them online, I bought myself a couple of sheets right there. (Good thing, too - my pre-order still hasn't arrived yet.) I also picked up these fabulous $2 bobcat stamps, which I'd not seen before, and thought were too awesome to pass up.

So, the final verdict -- the Mail Social Club was utterly marvelous! I am already excited to attend another one. Mark your calendars: the next Mail Social Club is on Thursday, November 13!