Monday, October 31, 2011

Archiving Past Mail

Today I decided to archive my past mail. Everything prior to starting this blog. And then decided to add the larger pieces I've gotten as well. ( Not because I dont want to look at them but because they take up considerable space.)

I placed the postcards and letters wrapped in paper and tied with string into my trunk. And then placed them into the attic. At some point I will add all the letters from this year. Separated by sender of course, into this unseeming time capsule. 


Sunday, October 30, 2011

Not All Mail...


Ellen Stamp

So I decided to make up a sheet of Ellen stamps for her contest. She wants to be the first living person on United States postage. I spent some time today working on this sheet..and I am pretty happy with the results.


Not bad for my first attempt at artist stamps huh? Some of you may see these on letters bound for you!

Now, I challenge you to make your own Ellen stamp and enter it in the contest. You can enter here. Oh and don't forget to share it with us too! I would love to see what you guys come up with!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Large Mail Art

Guess who got some special mail art today...ME! I promise to share pictures but until then...I am pouring over it and trying to figure out how I will ever be able to top this!

Take some time to write a letter to someone special today. I know I am going to. =)

Friday, October 28, 2011

Bat Mail

Leaping lizards Batman...its...bat mail!!


Thursday, October 27, 2011

Postcards To A Good Cause

I copied the following from Bev Sykes' blog The PenPal Project. If you haven't..stop by and have a look at her site. Then send a postcard to the address listed below. =)

"His school is collecting postcards from around the country and around the world for their diversity/international day in the early spring.

It doesn’t matter if they get multiples from each state, they're just trying to rock the class's world with the amount that Hunter can bring in!

So, if you wouldn’t mind sending a postcard to him, that would be great, I know we have people EVERYWHERE!

Before taking them in to the school Kelly plans to put them all out together and take a picture, she says she’ll be sure to share the picture when they’re done. There is no set deadline, but she's thinking if you can do it between now and the end of November that would be best.

Hunter Johnson
8443 Sand Point Drive West
Jacksonville, FL 32244


Feel free to share his address with any friends and family you may have in other parts of the world as well, the more the merrier!"

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Mailbox Sketch For Letters & Journals

There was a giveaway in this months Letters & Journals newsletter. And I decided to take the challenge. It was to photograph or draw a mailbox.

I had been working on some sketches of mailboxes recently so I thought I'd actually finish one for this contest. The mailbox pictured is similar to the one my very first penpal letters arrived in while in middle school. I miss that mailbox.


National Write a Letter Day..November 1, 2011

While reading through my RSS today..I saw a post on 365 Letters about National Write a Letter Day 2011.

NWLD is an idea by a fellow blogger at Natural Selections. You can read all about the project at the link above. Basically you are supposed to write a letter and send it to someone who is 24 and under. That is because many of the people in that demographic have probably never gotten a real letter in the mail. I thought it was a cool idea, so I will definitely be participating. Will you?

Monday, October 24, 2011

More Halloween Nails!

Halloween design number two. These are also Sally Hansen Salon Effects.


I was productive!!

Just a tease of what I accomplished.  I also finished a sketch for Pamela G. She wanted some pics of mail art travel kits. I'll post that once she's gotten it. =)



Halloween Goodies all done!


That is what (roughly) 100 Halloween goodie boxes look like inside a USPS tote. I borrowed the tote for my costume tomorrow. And yes..the box is from the library. We rarely ever use it anymore, so I asked to make it part of my costume. =)

I cannot wait til tomorrow!! Though I am a little bummed that I didn't get the patch I was going to sew onto my shirt today. Oh well..I will improvise. Now..off to write some letters!

Ps. More swap-bot swaps coming soon! I promise!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

How about Mailing a Pumpkin?

This is a short post because I am trying to finish up my treat packages for the kids at work! Our Trick or Treat is on Tuesday and Wednesday and I still have 50 boxes to go!!

Here is an article about mailing actual pumpkins!! Take a look...its no joke! I will have to try and remember that for next year. =)

Friday, October 21, 2011

Every Letter is Special

I have been getting emails about this since I started keeping the blog..er..well...shortly afterwards anyway. People ask if they can write to me even though they aren't artists. My answer is always the same. OF COURSE!! I enjoy writing the letters even more than decorating the envelopes. But that is not to say that I do not enjoy a nice piece of mailart. It just means that I value each piece of mail the same.

Now you may be asking what brought this to mind. I read this post over at Elle's Art of a Letter blog. She words this so very well..that I didn't want to do a long post. Please check out her blog post and know that I share the same feelings on the matter. =)

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Holiday Card Post

I was reading through my RSS feeds today and came across Missive Maven's post about holiday cards. If you haven't taken a look, I recommend that you do. =)

Sometimes people have very good intentions when sending out holiday greetings, but they may not realize that the people they send to do not celebrate the same holidays. This got me thinking that when the time comes (probably last minute) I would like to know who to send cards out to. There are a few of you that I am pretty sure celebrate. But then again, I do not ever (that I can recall) discuss religion with any of my penpals. And then again..I am not sure that religion has anything to do with whether someone decides to celebrate.

SO. Now I am curious..do you celebrate any holidays? If so, which ones? I will be taking note so I do not offend anyone. =)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Greeting Card Books


Do you save greeting cards? Ever wonder what you could do with all of them? Nicole from Three By Sea has a great idea. Instead of posting all the instructions here..I am going to cheat and make you go over to her blog and read about it. I am personally going to attempt something like this and when I do...you loyal followers will be the first to hear about it. =)

How about a small giveaway? I am not sure what the prize will be, but the first person to guess Carter's Halloween costume (or at least what he has told me he wants to be) will win something of my choosing. =)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

2012 Postage Increase

Were you aware that postage next year may cost more here in the US? I knew they were talking about increasing it, and really we get a good deal for what we pay currently. In fact, I wrote a post about that here. The new price changes (if approved) will take affect January 22, 2012.

Some of the postage changes are as follows:

First Class- 45 cents for the first ounce
Postcard- 32 cents for up to 4X6
International - $1.05
Letters/Cards to Mexico or Canada - 85 cents

Other changes were mentioned here, but not detailed as to how much the increase will be.

Some things are getting more expensive, but others aren't that big of a difference. I know for myself, the big difference is in the international mail. I don't send too much internationally (yet) but I can see where I may have to limit myself on how many postcrossing cards I send out each month. Because they could certainly add up quickly!

What do you think of these changes? Are you happy? Angry? Indifferent? Will these changes affect how much mail you send? I would love to hear your opinion on this. =)

Mailbox Bandaids

Is this not one of the coolest things ever? I giggled with delight when I pulled it from the mailbox. How fitting. Not only is it a mailbox with bandaids on it..but it is a book cover! Oh Kelly P. you are amazing!

On a side note, Limner turned me on to this blog and I instantly fell in lust with her sketches! I think I may have to own some by buying one of her zines. It definitely makes me what to create a zine. But then I think..would anyone read it?

Well, I am off to write more letters!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Fun Mail from Limner

I am feeling lazy today. This is probably because we have had more rain in the last few days than I would like. And then today, it is chilly but still nice and sunny! I think I may take Butch out to get some fall pics of him. If they turn out, look for them in a future post.

But today I wanted to share this mail with you:

Limner sent me this cute package with the Snoopy stamp (which some of you will be seeing on your mail from me) and a small packet of Pomegranate Green Tea from Republic of Tea. Well...as you can see, I have a canister of that tea because it is one of my favorites. How did she know?? I swear we have an ESP connection.

Thank you Limner. You are truly a wonderful person!!

What fun mail have you gotten recently?

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Halloween Postmarks

As we are gearing up for the holiday season, I thought I would share a few places you could get Halloween themed postmarks. Granted I do not believe that they are pictorial cancels, but it might be neat to have one stamped from these places.


Hell Gate
153 E 110TH ST
NEW YORK, NY 10029-9998

Pumpkin Center
105 Bridge Street
Beiber,CA 93383

Salem
2 Margin Street
Salem, MA 01970

I am not sure if I will send off for these ones. I prefer the pictorial ones. If you like postmarks, then stay tuned I will release a whole slew of Christmas postmark locations when the time gets close (probably right after Thanksgiving here in the states. Including those that do a nice cachet. =)

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Its a Great Day to be Creative..

With leaves!

Remember the rubbings that we would do when we were little? You place a piece of paper over a fallen leaf and rub it with a crayon? Did you know you can do that on fabric??

This is the proof!
You simply iron a piece of fabric (we used white) and then place you leaf under the fabric as you would with paper. Then carefully rub the crayon (we prefer crayola, but you can use whatever you would like) over the leaf.
If you are really awesome (like my mother) you can do a two or even three toned leaf design. She is going to make something neat with our rubbings. I could feel her creative wheel turning.

She said the inspiration for this project came from me telling her that Limner misses the falling leaves. =) If you haven't already you need to click her name and check out her blog. She it too cool for words!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Outgoing Mail

Are you the lucky recipient of this fun mail?? Check your box to find out!


I am Behind

I am incredibly behind in my mail AGAIN. Haha. I was almost caught up before this week. Remember when I told you that I joined LetterNet? It is a site hosted by the postal service in Germany. Well...I have gotten a few requests for my address and now I have three penpals from Germany!!

Not to mention that I have gotten such lovely mail from lots of you readers! You are all so good to me!!

So anyway, I am going to leave this here with a few fun pictures. I have lots of writing to do!
This is Jack or who I refer to as Jackie. He is a cute cat, but was taken away from his momma too soon.
As promised, this is a picture of Butch that I snapped the other night. He was laying at the foot of my bed. A little blurry, but it wasnt nice enough to take pics outside today. Soon.
Fender sleeping in Carter's old high chair. Haha. How he is comfortable I will never know.
And finally my Halloween nails! I love these Sally Hansen Nail Polish Salon Effects!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Sad Mailbox News..

Look closely at the lower left side of this picture and you will see the post that my mailbox used to be attached to. It had been in the ground since my grandparents bought this house which was over 60 years ago. Today, early this morning, a young girl slammed on her brakes to avoid running through the stop sign on the bus in the opposite lane. With all the rain we have had her brakes locked up and she ran smack into the post/mailbox.

As you can see the mailbox isnt too damaged. A few screws will need to be replaced but overall it held up pretty well. And the brightest part of the news is that the young girl was not hurt at all, though I suspect she will have some whiplash soreness later on. Her car was fine too, and as far as I know she was not sited by the cop. We didn't exchange insurance info (the damage was too insignificant to worry about, plus we were just thankful she was ok) and my brother came and got her car unstuck from the post(which was hung up underneath the car).
You can see that she attempted to stop way before the mailbox, but when her brakes grabbed and stuck it jerked her car. She said all she could think about was that she was going to hit the telephone pole that is just to the left of the picture above. Someone must have been looking down on her, because it could have been much much worse.

This is a good lesson for me to remind Carter of why I tell him NEVER to stand near our mailbox (or near the road in general). It only takes a second for something like this to happen. Even accidents can cause major damage.

Lets end todays post on a happy note shall we?
This is Dozer, my brother's dog. He is HUGE. But how can you not love that face?

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Random Thought

Do I seem standoffish? I have gotten two emails over the course of a few weeks from people asking if it was ok that they send me mail. Perhaps it is just a cautious email?

If I do seem cold, I promise I am very far from it. I welcome all mail, great or small.

AND to make things better...I will say this. Anyone who is interested in corresponding, and are having a hard time being the first to send something. Let me know. I'd be happy to start the ball rolling.

I make a promise in the sidebar of my blog and I take that very seriously. Everyone who writes to me will get a response back. I am definitely not a mail snob. I appreciate all the mail I have gotten and I appreciate everyone who takes time to read my little blog.

Thank you very much! =)

Fall Pictures!

What more can I say about these photos? They are beautiful. I love fall, it is my favorite season!
This is a spider web with dew on it. ( I cannot believe I just had the due vs dew conversation mentally in my head. I think it is time to rest!)
And finally some interesting bugs that I saw. They were so colorful how could I not take their picture?

The hike was wonderful...with exception to being eaten alive by mosquitos. Even after spraying myself down with bugs spray. Oh well...it was worth it. We have had rain all day and the leaves are falling quickly. I am very glad I got those shots. =)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Incoming


So guess who is being too lazy to do the post originally intended for today... This girl. Which means I decided to show you the incoming from today. What makes this crazy is two things, first...I mailed out like 20 things yesterday including to about 8 new people. THEN..the second thing that makes all this mail crazy is that 3 of the new people actually wrote to me. AND at least one of them isn't new. Apparently I had already sent off a hello postcard. Haha

I blame all the meds for this. I still have a lingering cough from the cold I had oh...three weeks ago. Talk about annoying!

Anyway, keep on the lookout tomorrow. I will be posting pics from my last (I think) fall hike. So if pictures of changing trees is something you enjoy, stop back. =)

Monday, October 10, 2011

Make a Postal Worker Smile

Here in the United States the USPS is changing in big ways. Letter writing and sending REAL mail is down, which mean the postal service is now at a huge loss. Which is why I thought today I would post about something that could make a postal worker smile.


How about sending odd object through the mail without putting them in a box?? If I were a letter carrier, I would totally smile when I saw these objects. Then I might wonder what on earth was going on. Haha.

All of those items have been sent to me over the last couple months. There are probably others that aren't pictured. Some items have been moved into a trunk of mine and therefore..I didn't dig them up.

But if you are looking to send objects, here is a really helpful list of some really easy ones.
-Rubber Ducks
-Frisbees
-Plastic Eggs
-Plastic ball
-Flip Flops
-Letter in a Bottle

Now mind you those aren't all the things you can mail, but they are neat ideas right? Most of those items can be mailed for $1.71, however, you may want to double check that at the post office.

AND if you aren't in the mood to send some odd objects how about doing like Emilie did on her mail?

If you have any awesome ideas about weird objects to mail, I would love to hear about it..Or even see it if you are so inclined. I already mailed out an odd object to one lucky reader. Will you be next?

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Cute Fall/Halloween Puzzle Cover Tutorial

Remember the Train Cover I posted a week or so ago? I decided to attempt another one..but this time one that was more like fall or Halloween. Fall is my favorite season and I always enjoy carving pumpkins before Halloween. And so upon completing the first like this, I decided to take pictures to show you all how you too can make your own puzzle covers.

Puzzle covers are basically mail art that takes more than one envelope to make the whole picture. Therefore you have to have all the envelopes or you picture (puzzle) is incomplete. =)

The first step is to sketch the design on the envelopes. You need to take care to line up the design perfectly when laying out the envelopes. This give you a clearer and more professional look when they are all finished. Once you get that finished you need to ink the outline of the design. (Which I forgot to take a picture of...)
Next I always start by inking the design in the spots that are going to be the darkest. In this case, the cat on the pumpkin was the darkest spot. So I started there.
As you can see, I then moved on to the pumpkin. I inked in the eyes and mouth and then did some faint lines to show dimension. While doing this you need to be careful not to smudge the ink that is already down. (That takes some skill!) If you look closely you can see where I messed up on the pumpkin top. I hiccuped and the pen moved across an area I did not mean to.
I then worked on the pumpkin top, because it takes longer than the pumpkin itself. There is a lot of shadow and therefore lots of ink needed. If you look closely, you can see where I attempted to hide the mistake in the shadows. If I don't point it out..it is barely noticeable.
Finally I worked on the pumpkin remembering that pumpkins sometimes have "ripples" in their flesh. So there needed to be slightly darker spots and lighter spots to give a more realistic look.

That is the finished product right there. It is all inked by a Bic Z4 Roller ball. And looking it up just now to verify the name...I just found out that it comes in colors!! Guess what is on my to-buy list now??

Stay tuned next week sometime..I have another cover that will be going out to someone next week. and I want to make sure that I don't spoil the surprise! =)

Swap-Bot Group


Ok. I finally got the Swap-Bot group set up. I think I caught everyone who sent me a message on Swap-bot and sent back an invite for the group. If I missed you please let me know.

You can also find the group by finding my profile and locating my groups on the sidebar (right hand side). Or clicking the link provided here. The group is called Pen-Thief Followers.

If you are not on Swap-Bot yet, you will need to join. The process takes a few minutes, but really isn't that involved. Remember when creating your username that you will not be able to change it. You also want to provide an accurate email address and physical address. That is pretty much all that is needed for the account setup.

Then you will have access to the swaps and groups. As a newbie, you will only be able to join 5 swaps initially (I think). Remember to add a nice profile. Tell people a little about yourself, or about the things you like. This makes it easier for your swap partners to send you things you like.

I will be setting up the first swap for the group shortly. It will be a simple, postcard swap. You will have one partner and I will give some time between joining and sending.

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to ask me through the comments or through email. =)

Hope everyone is having a nice day.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Covered Bridge Capital of Ohio

After mentioning it a few times and finally putting it on the calendar Brad and I took an adventure to see the covered bridges of Ashtabula County. Ashtabula County is in Northeast Ohio and is home to 18 covered bridges, including the United States longest (613ft long) and the shortest (18ft long).

I saw a place on TV that I decided we should eat. And so...

We did! This diner was really quaint and everything was fresh and homemade.
We sat down and while waiting for our food to come we plotted out the trip we would take. Doing the whole tour of 18 would mean driving around 160 miles. And we definitely did not have time for that. So we skipped 10 of them, but the ones we were going to see were beautiful.
Then our food came! Look at that burger! It is called the wimpy burger and weighs approx. 1lb before adding any of the toppings. (I got cheese on mine)
Of course I started strong eating that first section in what seemed like a few minutes.
Then upon finishing my second wedge, I realized there was no way I would finish the whole thing. This half pictured above is still currently in my fridge. =)
This was by far my favorite picture of the bridges that I took. This was the second one we stopped at and by far one of the more rickety ones we saw. But all in all it was still neat.
This is a shot of the inside of the one pictured above. I decided to just share one of the bridges because well...these pics turned out the best!
I kept trying to frame things through the sides of the bridges. I think this was the best shot that I took like that.
I also kept taking Brad's picture, though silhouetted. I like this one. =)

All in all it was a great day. I spent time with Brad, without the nagging of cell phones or internet (we had no service for most of the trip). We decided that perhaps next year we will make the trip to see the other covered bridges in Ashtabula. So perhaps in the spring you will see another post similar to this. =)

**To anyone interested in the Swap-bot group. I will be creating it sometime in the next few days and then posting the information here. So keep an eye out! If you sent me a message on SB I will be sure to message you and let you know that I have created it.**

Have a great rest of your weekend!!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Swap-Bot


How many of you are on Swap-bot??

Swap-bot is a website that allows you to join or create swaps of all types. There are tons of swaps for people with limited funds which makes it nice for those on fixed incomes, or those of us who already spend a TON in stamps each month.

I have been a member now for over a year and have participated in 95 swaps thus far. I primarily do postcard and the occasional stationery swaps. And mostly I have not been disappointed by the items I have gotten back. Now, with that said there are the occasional "flakers" (a term for someone who doesn't send out their swaps). I have been flaked on once that I can recall, but a lot of the time someone with "Angel" the swap (someone who sends out additional items to someone who has been flaked on).

Why am I explaining all of this? Well, I had an idea to host a few swaps for my blog followers only. I thought it would be nice to get some of the lovely people I write to in contact with some of the others. This way, I would know the people who were in the swap and there would be less flaking (I would hope). But in the off chance someone did flake..I would be more than happy to angel it. We could start out with something simple..say a postcard swap?

Does this sound interesting to anyone else? If so, leave me a comment or email me. I would be happy to create a group on Swap-bot for followers only.

Oh also, swapbot is completely free. But be advised it does require you to log an address. Though the only people who would be getting it would be your swap partner. =)

If you are already on SB and want to be my friend..just click the link on the right side of the blog, OR click here.