Happy Valentine’s Day

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In honor of this day commemorating love, I wanted to share the images on these cards I have from the 70s.  They have that fun plastic covering on them that makes them shiny!

I hope you all spend this day and every day feeling loved!

 

Snail Mail Birthday Presents

I met a friend during my recent trip to London and after a delicious meal of tapas at Navarro’s (highly recommended if you find yourself in London), she gave me the most perfect birthday gift.  Well, perfect for me, a lover of snail mail, because she gave me a letter opener!

Of course, this isn’t just any letter opener.  First, it is brassy, simple and elegant, with ruler markings to help with mail- and paper-art measurements.  Second  it came in a cool package that said “Long Live Snail Mail”!

wpid-20140201_125854.jpgThe best part is that on one side it says (as you see above) “Follow The Rules,” but on the other side it says:

wpid-20140201_125908.jpgSo now I can decide if I feel prim or saucy before I open my correspondence. Thank you so much Eileen!

P.S. For those of you who’d like one for yourself, she bought it at Anthropologie.  It looks like it is no longer available. But they have other divine letter openers if you have a hankering for one.

P.P.S.  As I have done with other travel-related posts, I’m going to share a touristy photo at the end of my posts.  Here is one of the London Eye from the Westminster Bridge.

wpid-20140121_153832.jpgIt was a beautiful day and my sister and I took a ride up inside the Eye.  Wow! What a way to see the city!

 

InCoWriMo

It’s International Correspondence Writing Month (according to these folks who call letter writing “vintage social media”), so participate if you’d like!  InCoWriMo simply encourages people to post at least one letter or postcard a day for each day in February.

You can do that, right?

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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Cat hates mail?

I know that letter carriers face a lot of difficulties in their daily rounds. This video shows that, though dogs have a storied reputation for bothering our postal workers, cats can prove a formidable foe to timely letter delivery!

 

 

My Birthday

Look what my darling love gave me for my birthday:

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It is a delightfully tiny metal envelope on a necklace. As if that wasn’t perfect enough, look at how beautifully decorated the wrapping was!

Of course the first thing I did was see of it opened…and it does!

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Now what should I write on the letter I will put inside?

Ex Postal Facto

 

ex postal factoHave you heard of Ex Postal Facto?  It’s “a weekend event celebrating correspondence art, faux philatelics and postal modernism” which translates to mail art fun!

Events include:

  • A mail art show and reception at the San Francisco Center for the Book on the 14th
  • A vendor expo at the SF Elks Lodge #3 on the 15th, and
  • An afternoon of mail art & postal modernism lectures at the SF Public Library on the 16th.

I wish I could go!  I believe some fellow bloggers, and my pen pals, from The Well Appointed Desk and Craftgasm are going (Thanks, Melissa, for cluing me in.  I have been out of the loop!).

Save Snail Mail will be there in spirit! Please share stories with me if you go!

 

 

Graceful Envelope Contest

Calling all mail artists and calligraphers!

The Graceful Envelope contest is coming around again.  The contest is a combined effort of The Washington Calligraphers Guild and the National Association of Letter Carriers.  Your job is to beautifully decorate and address the front of an envelope based on this year’s contest theme: The Superlative Letter ‘S’.

They said that the S could stand for U.S. Postal Service Six days a week, including Saturday!  Huzzah!  But you can make the S stand for anything you’d like–the solar system, snakes, silliness, statues, whatever you can come up with.  Check out last year’s winners for the theme “A World of Change.”  Feeling uninspired by a letter?  Be sure to see all the fantastic winning entries for 2012 when the theme was the letter D.  My favorite was the Dragon by Tina Lee-Cronkhite!

Tina Lee Cronkhite

Here are the rules:

Artistically (and by hand!) decorate the front of the envelope and address all entries to:

The Graceful Envelope Contest
100 Indiana Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20001

Legibly print your name, mailing address and e-mail address on the BACK of the envelope.

Students must also indicate their grade to allow judging in the following categories:

  • Adult
  • Grades 9-12
  • Grades 5-8
  • Grades 1-4

For full contest details, see www.caligraphersguild.org

Entries must be postmarked by March 24, 2014–so start designing now!

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.

My Childhood Post Office Closed

My childhood post office, a nondescript, cinder-block building on the side of Route 16 in Orma, WV, was shuttered on November 20, 2013 after 108 years of operation.

Orma WV Post Office

 

My parents–knowing my love for all things postal–were thoughtful enough to send me a note that day with the last day’s postmark!

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I am sad to hear that it closed.  The post office was already 5 miles from my parents’ house, and their new post office is 10 miles away. On curvy West Virginia roads, that’s a 20-minute drive.  The post office connected their rural community to the outside world for more than a century and now it’s gone.  Makes me wonder what the future holds for the community and for the postal service.