My first ever LetterMo challenge is complete. 26 pieces in, and 43 pieces out for the month of February. Yay! This includes correspondents outside of LetterMo. So what did I learn? Many things, but overall I have learned that I prefer a more natural pace to writing letters.
Outside of the letter writing I actually put myself to a greater personal challenge during this month. Working from home and life being an isolated introverted task, my personal goal was to use the challenge as a platform to be extraverted and social through the challenge's site. I dare say, I achieved my goal.
I made myself a bloody nuisance
to my grand satisfaction!
It enforces that I am an introvert because being an extravert for a month
The lovely Ella serenades
our very own Moon stamp.
As promised, I now present to you the source of my most recent acquisition of FV MNH stamps. I thought it merited an interview to which he kindly obliged me. His name is Murph, the force behind "Murph's Stamps". He has a military and law enforcement background. Now retired, lives with his wife in Texas. I hope the interview below will answer any questions you have about his stamps and services.
FV = Face Value
MNH = Minted Never Hinged (they haven’t been cancelled and are still good to use on postage today)
Some time back I purchased vintage postage stamps through someone who knew "a guy". Moving further along my letter writing journey I wanted a bit more control over my purchase, as what I received was nice but pretty random.
I had no clue about their inventory
or about the acquisition of the stamps.
I did some digging. Ebay seemed to have a world of resource but honestly
I'm inspired by all I experience. I believe most of us are like this. We all respond to what is around us in one form or another. In this world of letter writing I'm also inspired by those I correspond with. It can be something they say or do in their letters that can start the wheels in my head turning.
"When this happens I let it stew for
a bit to see what will develop."
In this case I already had Steampunk bubbling on the brain for weeks. (Google "Steampunk" images if you've never heard of it.) My creative imagination paired that with my correspondent. Then it stewed for a few more weeks until I had to put pencil to paper...
Let's get straight to it. If you purchase ink in small containers that are ready for use at the get-go, you spend more money. If you purchase a larger quantity of ink you save money. The thing is, you'll have to transfer your ink to a ready-for-use container. Below, on the left is a large quantity of Yasutomo Sumi ink for $13 (6oz), on the right Speedball ink for $3 (.4oz). You can fit 15 of them in the 6oz bottle. $3 X 15 = $45.
Let me say that Sumi Ink is a different animal then Speedball Calligraphy Ink. So 15 small Sumi bottles would be EVEN MORE! But I've never seen Yasutomo Sumi Ink in less than 2oz anyway. You get the point though. Enough math. Let's move on.
"Hands down, glass is best to work from
and for long term storage."
So, what and where do you get small glass containers? I started by looking around what I already had. As a re-purposer, I prefer this. If you have it, use it! I had quite a time searching round my house. Come along with me and avoid the pit-falls...
Happy Valentine's Day to all. Just a reminder that some of the most memorable tokens of affection are the written word.
Put pen to paper and let your heart do the talking. Smooches!
Letters, Letter, Letters! That's why we're all here right? No wait, it's about
MailArt, MailArt, MailArt! Right? See the thing is I'm not quite sure actually. Is it all that or is it the "POST" part? Hmmm...
I think it might be several things combined that has us all addicted to this art of correspondence. The fact that something was miles away in someone else's hands and now in yours... there is something so palpable about that. When was the last time you held a Gigabit and felt all giggly?
The time it takes to write and create mail, that too is heartwarming— to have someone invest towards you. And it's a little more singularly focused than your average internet post. So then, it's not so much what goes through the post, but just so that it does.
"This month is the birthday of someone
very dear to my heart. So dear, ONE piece
of mail alone just wouldn't do."
I KNOW YOU HAVE OCCASIONS LIKE THIS. So maybe you want to do what I TRY to do, and that is to add an element of surprise to my mail....
I have discovered that like Tea, knitting/crocheting/tatting seems to be a common thread among letter lovers. These disciplines are all different in their own right as those that practice them will tell you. Whether crochet, sewing, knitting, or stitching— they have all inspired my latest stationery release here. Enjoy!
A quick thank you to Illustrator Kyle Hilton for providing some of his paper dolls for free. In the world of letter writing and Tea... Downton has come into play, and what better way to pay tribute to all these combined then to send some of these paper dolls via Post.
As a MailArt addict I have to make these part of my....
This post comes from my "Guest Post" on the LetterMo Blog.
As a creative person I have always subscribed to the belief that anyone can create. Yes, for some it’s a forté, but it doesn’t discount my belief. The levels may differ but you too can create art for your penpals. (They will appreciate this little extra something.) It’s Easy, Budget Friendly, and QUICK!
"And to prove it I’d like to introduce....
wait for it... as if you didn't know...."
I thought it would be nice to feature someone else's MailArt for a switch. Specifically some of my very own penpals. This particular MailArt popped out at me for several reasons. I wanted to share them with you so you might be inspired to try one of them.
"The simplest of things
can make your letter special."
Here are six suggestions to add some pep to your post:
Paolo is a plant. I recently featured him in one of my letters, to which a portrait or likeness was needed to carry off the little witty banter I had going. I wanted something three dimensional but needed it to lay flat to send through the post. This was my solution.
"You can apply this to anything you'd like to make three dimensional for your penpal."
The basic supply list is as follows:
Keeping track of what comes In and what goes Out in my letterbox has become a task. I think the elements we keep track of varies greatly from scribbler to scribbler. What I choose to document may not be of concern to someone else, and vise versa. On the whole I’m usually more detailed.
"I created a sort of Letter Log with the specifics that are important to me to remember."
I think any number of scribblers could be looking for a log to document their letter traffic. So I have simplified what I use and have provided it for you here.
Do note that the right and left sides are exactly the same except one thing. One starts with “Received” at the top for those who write to you first. The other stars with “Sent” at the top for those whom you write to first. Enjoy!
A trip to the letterbox that holds a letter or two means there is a "read" up ahead. What is your ritual? Where do you go to read them? If you have PO Box, do the letters survive the trip home?
"My secret place of letter revelry is the library."
Today's library is quite different then from my day. There were no "devices" in our midst. No USB ports to hunt for either. In fact, when you were at the
I'm super excited! While navigating the internet with some like-minded letter friends the subject of "child penpalling" came up. One thing lead to another and I reached out to a neighbor of mine who has children that I thought might be interested.
It turns out they might be. So I put out a call to get them a penpal and to my wonderful delight there are two lovely girls, one it Germany, the other in New Zealand who are up for my young neighbor friends, Clara and Jeanette.
"I couldn't possibly just hand over
an address now could I ?"
No no no...
As the last season of Downton Abbey is forging ahead at full throttle, I would be remiss not to mention all the LETTER WRITING that took place to the delight of scribblers everywhere.
I mean, their importance is unmistakable as they played a real supporting role, even holding a SILENT appearance right there in the beginning credits!
Ahhh, so beautiful, regal,
and yet subtle in their (supposedly)
I'd like to point out however, that these wax sealed, messengered, and folded-mounds-of-importance spoke boldly in their supporting role for the last 5 seasons.
Let's take a look at some key moments in front of the camera, shall we?
You have power. Did you know that? We all do. We are born with it and it never leaves us. We can choose to use it for good or evil. We can ruin someone's day or bless someone's day.
"We can lift a soul.
We can create a moment that will be remembered through a lifetime."
Maybe a bit of a grand thought but it is true and possible for all of us. And
Hello, I’m Nina, the maven behind the
IQS blog. I’m all about creativity (ya think?).
I work in several disciplines. So it's no surprise that the Art of Letter Writing would come knocking on my door. Smitten!
However, I did not want to simply add MailArt as a discipline to my website. Thus it became the IQS Blog within my site. And that is why there are TWO navigation menus. *Here’s a Tip: stick with the BLOG Menu in this Column. The main site menu will lead you astray into dark places where you will be screaming for help and no one will hear you.
• More Love Letters
• Letter Writers
• A Month of Letters
• Post Card Exchange
• Snail Mail Ideas
Remember paper planes?
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