playing with paper

Monday, October 31, 2011

Trick or Treat!

No tricks here--just Real Mail treats!

If you are celebrating, have a spook-tacular time!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

A Frightfully Good Mail Day

A spooky mail art card from Angie & Snooky via IUOMA

Happy Hauntings from Luna in Japan via Postcrossing reply

Fun and fabulous mail in my box yesterday! Now I am curious about how Halloween is celebrated in Japan.

I am behind in answering letters. I am constantly being distracted these days (though sometimes I have only myself to blame.) I think I need to try a new system. I must not allow myself to open and read a received letters until I make time to sit down and respond immediately. The few times I have done this, I feel my response was more heartfelt and interesting to the recipient. Otherwise, it is all too easy to put an opened letter on my pile until I have time to reply, and then my writing feels stale when I finally write back. I think the suspense will be a great motivator!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

'Tis the Season?

I actually wrote this post over a week ago, but I have been debating whether or not to post it without further editing. I was raised with the motto, "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all." Perhaps this is why I am so quiet/shy? Anyway, I decided that this is my little space on web to share my thoughts, and I should do just that, as long as they are well-written and not posted hastily.

Yes, it's that time again, time to start worrying about who will be offended by the holiday mail you send, or don't send.
My kids' Halloween--I mean Harvest--Parade is coming up and their costumes must be related to a book to be worn on school time. Not too hard with a witch and a zombie, but that's not the point. Oh, we are so fragile these days. In our efforts to not get sued and be all-inclusive, we are afraid to expose our children and ourselves to things outside our beliefs. Wouldn't want to Learn something New, especially at school, you know. Wouldn't want to Think or Question; that only leads to confusion.

I have lived in Pennsylvania my entire life, mainly in this small city, but for a time near Philadelphia, and a few summers in the state capital. Chartered by William Penn, it seems those who yell the loudest here these days have forgotten the state was founded on religious freedom, early democracy, and fair treatment of natives and immigrants. I do not wish to impose my beliefs on anyone, nor do I wish to have others' beliefs imposed on me, but whatever happened to open and honest dialogue and education?

I would love to travel the world and learn about as many different cultures and belief systems as I can. Alas, I am a homebody, with family responsibilities. So if you wish, send me mail, mail that challenges me to think outside these four walls and this sometimes-oppresive town/state/country. Open up new worlds for me, share old and new ideas. In return, please consider any mail I send to you an expression of who I am, a sharing of my ideas and beliefs with you, no strings attached.
Thank you to superhero for reminding me that the art we chose to view is not always what we need to see to grow.

I just researched one of my all-time favorite quotes, a perfect conclusion to my editorial. “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” Attributed to Voltaire but written by Evelyn Beatrice Hall from The Friends of Voltaire, inspired by a 1770 Voltaire letter to an Abbot le Roche, in which he was reported to have said, “I detest what you write, but I would give my life to make it possible for you to continue to write.” Coming full circle, Voltaire, a prolific letter-writer, praised Pennsylvania as the only government in the world responsible to the people and respectful of minority rights.

So, without further rants from yours truly, the post office brings us four lovely new issues with which to post our winter holiday greetings.

Madonna of the Candelabra by Raphael and Holiday Baubles, released 13 October 2011

Kwanzaa and Hanukkah, released 14 October 2011
I love how the colors and designs of these three work together! I will definitely be putting one of each on some of my bulkier mail this holiday season.

Truly, the more I learn, the more I understand there is so much more for me to learn. What did you learn today? What can you teach me?

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

For Sale: Fun Mail!

I walked into my local educational supply and toy store last week, and I was greeted by this fabulous display just inside the door!

I could hardly believe my eyes, and it took all my willpower not to buy a Animail on the spot (I think they were priced at $10.) I already have plenty of cool stuff I want to send, but for anyone looking for something new and fun to mail, this is great!

Is mail art going mainstream? After seeing these Animails, "Write on, collectible mailers, making mail fun," and my recent encounter with a cut-out "Cheer" postcard on my cereal box, I am beginning to feel hopeful. Send more Real Mail!

CPS 239 Holiday Season Joy

Today I broke my own rule that I made a few years back about no Christmas music before Halloween. I figured maybe it didn't count if no one else was around to hear it!

I wanted to try this week's sketch from CPS, and I wanted to try using some of the holiday card-making goodies I collected recently. Not a rubber stamp inked for this one, but I went a little crazy with the die cuts and textures! That music paper rosette adds quite a bit of dimension; it will require a larger envelope (and extra postage) if it travels by mail.

The ribbons with the little banner-cut ends are vintage, recently cleared out of my mom's basement. The ribbon is fairly stiff, so I used one corner of my 3/4-inch-square paper punch to make those V-cuts--so quick and easy! I cut the rosette from old sheet music with a Tim Holtz Sizzix die and spritzed it with walnut stain. The glittered flourish and "Joy" are also Sizzix die cuts. The main image is a small re-purposed card front with Cuttlebug embossing folder swirl texture added and layered on a paper doily and circle of DCWV Christmas paper. The finished card is 5x7 inches, larger than my usual A2 sized cards.

No matter what you might be making or mailing today, I wish you joy!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

My Cereal Box Came with MAIL!

My Tuesday or Wednesday morning is usually spent at the grocery store. Cheerios wasn't on the list today, but when I saw this box, I had to buy it!
(OK, it was also on sale, and we all like Cheerios.)

But look at this! A postcard to cut out and send through the postal system to support our nation's military families! The USO will distribute the postcards, and Cheerios will make a donation (based on the number of postcards received) to the USO to support several important programs. You can read more at Hooray for Real Mail; now in your cereal aisle!

If you prefer to make your own cards, try Operation Write Home, recommended to me by Becky thesnailmailer. I have yet to ship some of my handmade cards, but I hope to get some Christmas cards sent off this week to beat the October 31 deadline.
Happy mailing!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Mail Art Project: October

"Surely two could play at this game,
if only someone would explain the rules."
Sent to Danny via Jaime B's Mail Art Project

Jaime B contacted me through IUOMA to participate in this project. A senior in college, Jaime is creating a mail-art network of participants as part of a final project. If I had known about mail art in college, I would have done the same! (I was sending it then, I just didn't know it had a name, and others were doing it too!) A little Anne Taintor flavor to this one, using some fun vintage supplies, mailed off in a popcorn bag envelope.

Postcrossing Outgoing Handmade

Happy October Birthday
Sent to Turkey

For the love Pink & Girlie + October
Sent to North Carolina, USA

Moon + Halloween
Sent to Japan

The last few handmade postcards from my stash were mailed out via Postcrossing this week, after I jazzed them up a bit. I guess I'll have to make some more! I spent yesterday afternoon trying to clean up my work space, and I finally stored away my die cutting items from small, curious hands. Will I ever have the time and space to use all the supplies I've collected and turn all my ideas into tangible pieces? When I'm not completely exhausted, I dream of storage space and completed projects. . .

Friday, October 7, 2011

Postcrossing Outgoing International

Vintage Lancaster County "Bountiful Harvest"
(A request for a multiview card and this was the only one in my collection!)
Sent to Korea

The month of May from my Papersource postcard calendar
A request for swans by a new member
Sent to Germany

Lancaster Country Amish farm harvest scene
Sent to Germany

Vintage line card of the Lancaster Post Office
(on the Retail Access Optimization Initiative list for possible closure)
Sent to Belgium

Anne Taintor card for a funny card request
(I hope she shares my sense of humor!)
Sent to Russia

I wrote about my love of autumn on most of these cards. The cooler weather gives me the energy to do some serious cleaning and some real cooking, two things I really dislike doing over the summer! I also like to be cozy and drink hot tea, both much more enjoyable in the fall.
Snuggle in and send some mail!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Postcrossing Outgoing to USA

Vintage linen card of the Lancaster Public Library
Sent to Texas

Lancaster County Amish corn harvest
Sent to Washington

Dining room at Wheatland, home of James Buchanan, with added stamps
Sent to Minnesota

I thought I would have a little more time for making and sending mail since two of the three kiddos are in school, but for some reason it hasn't worked out that way yet. I finally got back to sending some Postcrossing cards. I tend to wait until I can send four or five at a time, and the last batch of addresses I received were all new members. It was fun to choose cards to welcome them to Postcrossing. I hope they continue to send Real Mail and enjoy many happy mail days!