Saturday, January 3, 2015

Missive Maven round-up: 2014 in review

Outgoing mail, Dec 15

Happy 2015, readers and letter writers! A lot of momentous stuff happened in Missive-Maven-land in 2014. I just had fun perusing through some old blog posts, and thought I'd share some of the year's highlights here. (The photo above shows some of the mail I wrote for the Letter Writers Alliance virtual social on December 13, which was an absolute blast!)

Revolutionary, in boxes

One of the most exciting events of 2014 was personal in our family, but I blogged about it a fair bit: the January 2014 publication of "Revolutionary," my best beloved Alex Myers' first novel. It is "a fascinating retelling of the story of America’s first female soldier, Deborah Samson Gannett, who ran away from home in 1782, successfully disguised herself as a man, and fought valiantly in the Revolutionary War." The novel does have a significant epistolary element, so it does fit into the letter-writing theme of my blog! After the release of the novel, Alex did quite a bit of speaking and book touring, and in a later blog post, I gave an update on some excellent press and thanked you all for your support. On another note, "Revolutionary" will be released in paperback later this month, on January 20, 2015.

Sleepy Magic, Sleepy Soda

There was much heartbreak in the summer of 2014, when we lost our deeply beloved 17-year-old cats, Soda and Magic, within roughly two weeks of each other.

In Memory of Soda: April 1997 - July 7, 2014

In Memory of Magic: March 1997 - July 25, 2014

The move from Rhode Island to DC was a very difficult one for them, but they lived good lives of joy and mostly good health, and I'm so thankful for all the years we shared.

Oberon and Stella on the couch, New Year's Eve

We could not live without cats, and later that summer we adopted two kittens who we named Oberon and Stella. They brought us much joy in our grief, and it has been sweet beyond words to watch them grow up. The photo above was taken on New Year's Eve 2014, where Stella and Oberon and I spent a lot of time hanging out on the couch together. (Truthfully, Stella and Oberon spend a lot of time hanging out on the couch together in general, with or without me.) They are now 9 months old, but still very much acting like kittens!

Oberon likes my stationery shelves

And now back to more blog-appropriate news. I completed a project I'd been meaning to do for a long time: adding a page to my blog called Stationery Sources. I'm often asked where I buy my stationery, and this page lists links to all my favorite vendors, and each link has a little blurb about why I like their wares.

Melissa teaches us about envelope-making

Another wonderful mail milestone in 2014: I finally went to a mail social! I wrote a huge blog post about The October Mail Social Club at the National Postal Museum, which took place on World Post Day! These Mail Social Club events are coordinated by Melissa of Craftgasm (pictured above, showing us how to make handmade envelopes), and she does a really fine job with these events. I hope to attend at least one more in 2015! If you are able to attend one of them, held monthly at the National Postal Museum, I highly recommend it.

Letter log sent: ink used in letter

Also in the department of "blog posts I meant to write for ages," I shared a post called Habits: How I keep my letter log, about my system for recording incoming and outgoing mail. That's one of my more popular posts, and I'm glad letter-writers have enjoyed reading it.

Outgoing mail pile, Dec 15

And finally, a round-up of some of my favorite posts of 2014:

  • Fabulous mail to kick off 2014
  • Legal tender sender
  • Postcard signed by Inge Löök
  • 3D Dinosaur Stamp from South Africa
  • Essay by Alex Myers on this week
  • Postcrossing stamp from Belarus
  • Meeting a pen pal + mobile Letterpress
  • Mozart stamp from the Czech Republic
  • October 11 is National Coming Out Day
  • Who's excited for Halloween?!?
  • Russian Rainbow Circus Stamp
  • Best Hanukkah Card EVER
  • Happy New Year, in a Russian winter postcard

    One of my resolutions for 2015: more blog posts! My blogging was a bit more sparse than I'd like in 2014, and I hope to be more regular in 2015. Thanks to all my readers for your continued readership and comments, and Happy New Year!
  • Friday, January 2, 2015

    Mail art call: What's Your View?

    Since many of my blog readers are also mail artists, I'm sharing with you a Mail Art Call from Mary of Uncustomary Art for her upcoming exhibit, "What's Your View?" All the guidelines are on her blog post, but I'll tip you off that the deadline is coming up pretty soon (January 24, 2015) so make sure not to delay!

    I met Mary this fall at the Mail Social Club at the National Postal Museum, and she is one of the most awesome mail enthusiasts around. She and a friend are curating this exhibit that will be on display in Baltimore, and it sounds pretty exciting. Since Baltimore is only an hour(ish) away from where I live, I'm going to try to both participate in the mail art call and check out the exhibit when it opens. (Anyone else interested in going? :-) Mail trip!)

    And mail art aside, if you haven't visited Mary's blog, Uncustomary Art, I highly recommend you check it out. She blogs about more than just mail, and a lot about life and her wonderful and inspiring art projects, but more than that, Mary has an incredibly positive and uplifting view of life and her way of living it. I always feel inspired, and often a little more warm-fuzzy about humanity in general, after I visit her blog. So go check it out and uplift yourself, and maybe make some mail art, too.

    Here's that link one more time:
    "What's Your View?" Mail Art Call

    Any questions about the project, please direct to Mary on her blog, as I can't answer 'em.

    And finally... Happy New Year 2015! As I type this post, I'm waiting for the first mail of 2015 to arrive. New Year's Day is fun, but as a holiday and no-mail day, I'm eager to see what my mailbox brings today!