Edinburgh, Scotland

I just returned from a trip to the U.K.  I visited London, England and Edinburgh, Scotland.  While in Edinburgh, I stayed on the Royal Mile–a stretch of cobblestone street between the Edinburgh Castle and the Palace of Holyroodhouse (the official residence of the British monarch in Scotland).

wpid-20140126_134456.jpgWhile visiting the shops on the Royal Mile, I found Bonnie Blue–a delightful little gift shop with woolen tea cozies and purses and, my favorite, cards and notebooks!  The shop carried a line of items by Wrendale Designs called The Country Set.  I fell in love with the disheveled look of these woodland creatures!

I picked up note books with the hedgehog and the owl.  Take a look:

wpid-storageextSdCardDCIMCamera2014-02-01-12.25.08.jpg.jpgwpid-20140201_121945.jpgMy favorite feature is the back of the books that has another picture, usually of the animal running away and showing off its tush:

wpid-20140201_122055.jpgThen, I saw this delightful tea cup that had this crazy hare, with a little surprise inside as I sip my tea:

wpid-20140201_192904.jpgwpid-20140201_192950.jpgHa!

 

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Making Digital into Physical

Looking for something fun to do with all those pictures you took over the holidays?

You can keep the holiday festivities alive by turning your photos into postcards.  Postcardly offers a fun and easy service.  You create email addresses in your account for each of your recipients (one for your mom, another for your sister, etc.).  Then, whenever you send a picture and message to that email, Postcardly turns it into a postcard and mails it!

If you’re looking for more than just postal options and you use Instagram, you can head over to StickyGram and turn your pics into magnets, phone cases or tablet covers!

I like this process of taking something digital and making it something physical.  Too many of our memories are now hiding away in our computers to be forgotten.

Happy New Year!

I hope this post finds you celebrating a fresh start to a new year!  I spent some time yesterday writing a few new year post cards with a wine theme and Baby New Year stamps from 2000.  The stamps have a face value of 33 cents–the going rate for a postcard until the increase on January 26th.

wpid-IMG_20140102_113145_437.jpgI have been continuing to correspond, even in my absence from this blog. I had avoided the blog for a while because I had so many spam comments and my efforts at installing a capcha tool had apparently failed. So I shut off comments entirely and the spam ones sat there.  This meant that none of you dear readers could leave a note.  And, really, isn’t blogging about the conversations that happen as a result of what is written?  Without comments–or at least the possibility of comments–the blog felt one-sided and sterile.

I’m not a techie.  At times I avoid technology altogether (there’s a reason why I am such an avid letter writer!).  So I got really frustrated when WordPress froze every time I tried to delete the spam comments in batches of more than a 100.  It was easier to just avoid the 42,000 spam comments than to try to figure out how to delete them so I could get the comment process back up and running.   Recently, in the midst of my Christmas vacation, I had the energy and focus to sit and go through the cumbersome delete process 420 times!  I did it!  And I think I installed a capcha.  So you should be able to leave comments and I hope the little math problem it asks doesn’t cause you too much trouble!

It feels like I’m getting a fresh start on this blog as I approach its third blogaversary!  So I’m making a New Year’s resolution to post more often, to share exciting news from the postal world and to effusively express my love of the handwritten and artful letter.  If there is anyone out there who still reads this, I hope you’ll stop by once in a while and see what’s up here.

Drop me a comment, it will only cost you an easy math problem to leave it!

Dana

 

1910 Postcards Predict the Future

My Dad sent me a great link to 1910 postcards featuring illustrations by French artist Villemard.  They depict how he imagined Paris in the year 2000. Some of his predictions were spot on (audiobooks, Skype, and email) but others are laughable now. Best of all, I love how they all  involve demure clothing. No futuristic silver space suits here.

These lovely images were found by someone at the University of North Carolina.  I wonder if they were in an archive or some old family member’s collection.  What a find!

You can see all of the images in this Flickr stream. Wouldn’t it be great to have these images on postcards now?

Minesweeper Postcards!

Do you have fond memories of playing Minesweeper? You know, that game that came pre-loaded on PCs back in the day? Personally, I spent way too much time on that game (and solitaire and Tetris, too).  Now I can play again, but in a new format–a post card!

(Photo from Connect design)

The postcards come with a scratchoff cover and you scratch off each square, trying to avoid the mines.  The postcards come in easy and hard versions and each one comes with fun stickers to mark the bombs you want to avoid! I suppose if you want to get the card and the stickers to your recipient, you’d need to mail it in an envelope.  That would also come with the added bonus of protecting the scratch-off surface during transit.

You can see more photos of these postcards and order them here.   I’ve not ordered these, so I can’t say what the quality is like, but I just love the idea. If you order these, let me know how they turn out!

An Odd Postcard for an Odd Day

It’s Leap Year, so we get to enjoy an odd, extra day in February 29th.  To help celebrate the weirdness that is an extra-day-every-four-years, I thought I’d share this strange postcard a friend sent me recently:

Happy Leap Day! (or whatever this day is called!)

Like, Totally 80s!

I celebrated my birthday 80s style this year, with a themed-party, 80s music and a decade-long mashup of decorations. From Boy George tapestries, Motley Crue posters and PacMan mobiles to neon jelly bracelets, banana clips, and Pop Rocks, it covered the gamut.

I was particularly proud of my Pac Man ghosts hanging from the ceiling. After the party, I just couldn’t throw them away, so I kept some for my junk book and I gave one a new life as a post card:

To keep the theme going, I sent out thank you cards on these mix-tape notes from HeatherJeany at Etsy. I bought them ages ago, and knew exactly what I wanted to do with them.  I just needed to get around to having an 80s party!

And, uncharacteristically, I will share a photo of myself, dressed as the 80s rocker chick I clearly was born to be:

Yours in mail art and blue eyeshadow,

Dana

Cereal Box Postcards

This weekend I was browsing some local shops and one gem features handmade and local items where I saw stacks of postcards cut out of cereal and cracker boxes. I thought the bright colors and designs on the boxes made for some awesome abstract postcards and (if you don’t buy them at this shop), they save you some cash in your efforts to send more mail.  And whether you make them yourself or buy them pre-made, this “up-cycling” leaves a bit of space free in the landfill.

Then, just this morning, I saw an ad online from Cheerios about “Sending some Cheer” to military families.

(Picture from Cheerios.com)

They have pre-printed the inside of Cheerios cereal boxes to have a postcard design and address near the “Cheer” part of the cereal name.  Cut out the “Cheer” and mail it to military families who are making sacrifices this holiday season by not having their loved one at home with them.  What a great idea! You can read more about the program here.

This makes me look at breakfast in a whole new light!