playing with paper

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Thrift Thursday: Daisy Stationery

A lovely unopened box of vintage Whiting's daisy stationery and cards with cheery yellow-lined envelopes from last month's visit to Goodwill, complete with miniature address book.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Wednesday In Writing: The Postmistress

The Postmistress by Sarah Blake caught my eye from the clearance bin at the local Barnes & Noble store. Of course, with a cover photo and title like that, I knew it was going home with me. I began reading almost immediately, unusual for me, but I am making an effort to "do it now." At first, I just read a few pages or maybe a chapter before bed, but I was lucky to have a large block of quiet time on Mother's Day, and I finished it in one fell swoop. 

I loved it. It is a beautifully written story of life, love, and loss set during World War II. As the title and cover art suggest, the local post office and postmaster as well as letters have a starring role in the narrative. I have always been fascinated by personal stories from that era; as I read The Postmistress, I sometimes had to remind myself I was reading fiction. I enjoyed reading the author's notes and The Story Behind the Story at the end of the novel. I was sorry to see it end.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Tuesday Treasure: Vintage Security Envelopes

As I was soaking some of my grandma's postage stamps to remove the envelope paper, I was able to salvage a few lovely bits of security patterns circa 1960. So many of the security envelopes I receive these days are black or grey, so  I love the variety of blues and aquas I found.

There were a few in tact security envelopes in the stamp box as well, and this one is by far my favorite.

When I first pulled it out, I immediately heard A Christmas Story quote in my head: "A can of Simoniz." I watch it every holiday season without fail. Last year, I finally read the book by Jean Shepherd, In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash, upon which the movie was based.  I highly recommend it if you love the movie.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Mailart Monday: Tattooed Map Tag

 The Tattooed Map Thank You to Angie & Snooky
15 February 2012
4 x 6 inch collaged cardboard tag

 Reverse of The Tattooed Map to Angie & Snooky

The Tattooed Map 2 for me
16 February 2012
4 x 6 inch collaged cardboard tag
Currently decorating our interior front door window

Friday, May 25, 2012

Found Friday: Philosateleian Post

Mucking about the interwebs a week or two again, I stumbled upon the Philosateleian Post, "from hither to thither," a private local post operated by Kevin Blackston. I forget now for what I was originally searching, but I knew this was a find worth sharing.

From the website:

 (Duck Stamps coming June 1)

Philosateleian Post is a private local post in Jacksonville, Florida, United States of America. Operated solely for the enjoyment of the proprietor and other individuals interested in local posts, the Post carries mail to nearby USPS receptacles and post offices.

Philosateleian Post gives special attention to philatelic interests, and offers several services to stamp collectors.

I have not yet mailed anything though the Philosateleian Post, but I can't wait to give it a try!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Thrift Thursday: Salvaged Embroidery

Another box from my grandma's house brought bits and pieces of stained and half-finished embroidery work. She probably collected most of them from yard sales. I washed and pressed all that I thought I could recycle into mail art. I created this card from a portion of an unfinished buffet set, adding old thread labels and some tape handmade from a vintage dictionary page.

I hope this card has a safe journey to Katerina in Greece.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Wednesday In Writing: Frog and Toad

My initial inspiration for Wednesday In Writing came when I retrieved The Frog and Toad Treasury from the attic for my youngest daughter. Like her two sisters before her, she thoroughly enjoys hearing the stories over and over again. (I believe the oldest actually requested it for the youngest.)

The Treasury is made up of three Frog and Toad books by Arnold Lobel: Frog and Toad are Friends (1970), Frog and Toad Together (1971, 1972), and Frog and Toad All Year (1976). Each book contains five stories, usually one for each season of the year, plus an extra. The last story of the first book is titled "The Letter."

Toad was sitting on his front porch. 
Frog came along and said, 
"What is the matter, Toad? 
You are looking sad."
(click image to improve readability)

It is only a twelve-page, easy-reader story, but it made me realize how many children's books we have that feature mail. I suppose I am drawn to them, but sometimes I am pleasantly surprised to find letters and postcards playing an important role in the stories I read aloud.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Tuesday Treasure: Mysterious Marguerite

This is one of the first items I pulled out of the stamp box from my grandma: a postcard mailed from Trevorton, dated 16 January 1963, addressed to my grandma, and signed Marguerite.

Dear Dot, Just got the flag stamp in this morning. So I have taken care of your needs. Glad you wrote as Eileen had given me 4.00 so I assumed that was what you wanted. Thanks. Marguerite 

Very curious, since all the other postcards in the box were from her brothers and sisters, and I knew of no maternal relatives or family friends with my name.  (I was named after my paternal grandmother.)

I finally had the chance this past weekend to show the card to my mom, hoping she could shed some light on the mysterious Marguerite who sent this card. My mom knows my grandma purchased many of her stamps through her hometown post office, so this Marguerite was probably a postal employee. I am always intrigued to find something with my name it, as it happens so rarely!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Mailart Monday: March Birthdays

 Birthday card for my oldest 
March 2012

Birthday card for my middlin' 
March 2012

Friday, May 18, 2012

Found Friday: Yarn Bombing

This is the first yarn bombing I've been lucky enough to find in Lancaster City. 

Found it right in front of my favorite boutiques, Mommalicious and My Aunt Debbie, and just across the street from my favorite eatery, Rachel's Cafe & Creperie.

Check out this yarn bombing by my pen pal Mary Has Sound. 

(Thank you to my husband for snapping photos for me!)

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Thrift Thursday: Flash Cards

These Milton Bradley Division Flash Cards were my favorite find on my most recent visit to our local Goodwill Store, which happens to be conveniently located in the same shopping center as my favorite Post Office.  This complete set of 55 cards set me back 97 cents.  They are are copyrighted 1975 and 1963, so they are older than me and therefore vintage!  I love flash cards, though not for their intended purpose, of course.  These measure approximately 5-3/4 inches by 3-1/2 inches: the perfect size for some mail art postcards.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Wednesday In Writing: Letters from a Nut

 My sixth-grader brought this home from her classroom library. 
Of course, I was excited to see a book of letters in her reading pile!

She is a fast reader and finished it the day she brought it home. 
I had time to read about halfway through before it went back to school. 
An absurd, fun read, especially if you enjoy "Seinfeld" humor.

You can find more here at the Ted L. Nancy Official Website.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Tuesday Treasure: Collector's Handbooks

A few more fun items from the box of postal ephemera I inherited.
The 50-page catalogs from stamp dealer Elmer R. Long 
are 1960 and 1961 editions and measure 3-3/8 x 5-7/8 inches.
I particularly like the mailbox graphic on the 44th edition.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Mailart Monday: Tabbed Butterfly Card

"Specialty" Tabbed Butterfly Themed Thank You
Sent to Valentine Mark Herman in France
14 May 2012

"Specialty" Tabbed Butterfly Themed Thank You Reverse

Friday, May 11, 2012

Found Friday: Posted Drawing

 Pencil and crayon on paper found behind Queen Street Station,
Downtown Lancaster.

Titled in lower corner "Kim Kardashian"

(Thank you to my husband for snapping photos for me!)

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Thrift Thursday: Lancaster Creative Reuse

I know I featured Lancaster Creative Reuse before, but I wanted to mention them again after hearing an interview with the project director on our local public radio station yesterday. Lancaster Creative Reuse has expanded! I can't wait to visit again, but after doing a little spring cleaning in my overcrowded craft space, I hope to donate more than I buy! Check this directory to find out if there is a Creative Reuse Center near you.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Wednesday In Writing: Outside Over There

Outside Over There, a Caldecott Honor Book published in 1981, has always been my favorite Maurice Sendak book. It is the final book in the trilogy that began with Where the Wild Things Are (1963) and continued with In the Night Kitchen (1970). This book features a heroine named Ida, and the illustrations are softer and more detailed. The story itself reads like a poem and ends with a letter.
"...and up the ringed-round hill to her Mama 
in the arbor with a letter from Papa, saying:
'I'll be home one day,
and my brave, bright little Ida
must watch the baby and her Mama
for her Papa, who loves her always.'"

Thank you to Bianca for sharing this quote last week. 
I laughed so hard I cried.
"Once a little boy sent me a charming card with a little drawing on it. I loved it. I answer all my children’s letters — sometimes very hastily — but this one I lingered over. I sent him a card and I drew a picture of a Wild Thing on it. I wrote, “Dear Jim: I loved your card.” Then I got a letter back from his mother and she said, “Jim loved your card so much he ate it.” That to me was one of the highest compliments I’ve ever received. He didn’t care that it was an original Maurice Sendak drawing or anything. He saw it, he loved it, he ate it."

The Pen Thief posted a lovely example of an envelope (cover) illustrated by Sendak in 1966, as well as an image of the 2006 USPS Favorite Children's Book Animals postage stamp featuring a Wild Thing.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Tuesday Treasure: Special Handling

1925-1955 Special Handling 10 cents
The Postal Service Act of 1925 provided for a special handling stamp on 4th class mail (packages) that would allow for the expeditious handling of that parcel similar to 1st class service.
I love back-of-the-book postage stamps: airmail, special delivery, postage due. My parents are cleaning house and gifted me with a large box of used stamps on paper, originally from my grandma's house. I spent all my spare moments last week sorting, and this is one of the treasures I discovered. Until I saw this, I was not aware of the existence of Special Handling postage stamps. These appear to have a Washington D.C. cancel but no date included on the snippet of packaging.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Mailart Monday: Large Envelope

 Large envelope collaged with stamp selvages
Sent to Superhero
1 May 2012

Reverse of large envelope stamp selvage collage

Friday, May 4, 2012

Add & Pass #4

Occupy Wall Street
Add & Pass from Mike
26 April 2012

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Add & Pass #3

Occupy Wall Street
Add & Pass from Mike
26 April 2012

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Add & Pass #2

Occupy Wall Street
Add & Pass from Marcia
26 April 2012

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Add & Pass #1

Occupy Wall Street
Add & Pass from Georgia
26 April 2012