Little Delights

Personal

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► Getting my new stationery sets posted on Etsy
► Plans to hang out with my pen pal tomorrow
► Nachos
► Getting caught up on replies
► Getting cans of Surge for Christmas

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Mail Artist Spotlight: Emilie

Mail, Mail Artist Spotlight

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I receive a lot of amazing things in my mailbox almost daily. I thought it would be nice to feature some beautiful mail art here and there.

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Emilie has been my pen pal since 2011. Our first letter exchanges were kind of funny — we decided to send each other a letter around the same time. I received a letter from her almost immediately after I sent something to her, and I thought it was a letter replying to my letter! My first thought was, “Damn! This girl is fast at replying.” Turns out, it was her first letter to me!

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She is such an awesome pen pal, and so considerate. I’ve met her a few times in real life, when she was living in Massachusetts and I was in Rhode Island. We attended a type-out together, and shortly after that, she organized a letter writing social! Then, when I was driving across the country to move to Oregon, she invited my boyfriend & I to stay a night at her house in Illinois. I don’t think you could find a more welcoming person. To top it off, she always sends me the best things; like postage stamps! I literally gasped when I saw what she included in this letter.

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Emilie has a fun blog that you should check out! On top of posting about mail, you can peek her pie adventures.

Let’s Talk About Stationery: Crest

Advice, Let's Talk About Stationery

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Let’s talk about stationery! I’ve been on the hunt for the best paper for the stationery I sell. I recently ordered some paper samples from a company called Neenah Paper. I’ve been trying to find paper samples for ages and somehow came across their website. I saw that you could order samples of the paper they carry, and went a bit overboard. The catalog itself is completely free, you just have to pay for shipping.

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I was so anxious to receive the package full of samples. I love stationery; love it. I love finding the perfect paper to write on even more. I felt like it took forever for the samples to arrive but it really only took a few days. It was totally worth the wait though, the sample catalogs are gorgeous. They have a selection of every color that is offered for the specific paper type, the different weights they come in, and they just look awesome.

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Choosing the weight of paper is so important! I decided to write on the weight I thought would be best, with four different pens: Pentax EnerGel, Pilot Precise V7, Sharpie, and a fountain pen. I wanted to see how each pen felt writing on the paper, how much bleed there would be, and smudge-factor.

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Crest is similar in texture to regular copy paper you would buy. It’s smooth like butter and super nice to write on. There is no texture to speak of for this paper but maybe that is part of its appeal! It would be a great paper to use for printing envelopes. It can be pretty smeary to write on although it’s not so bad if you let the ink settle a bit. There isn’t much bleed-through, which is really nice!


Crest

► Pens used: Pentax EnerGel, Pilot Precise V7, Sharpie, and fountain pen.
► Bleed-through: Low
► Smudge-factor: High.
► Writability: Excellent.

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Snail Mail Tips: How To Find Pen Pals

Advice, Snail Mail Tips

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I recently received a comment that asked, “How do you find pen pals?” so I thought I would address that here!

The internet is kind of a funny tool for people who love to write letters. Some like to blame it for the decline in letter writing, and I would argue that it is probably the easiest thing to use to find people to write to. All of my pen pal relationships have started because of the internet. My first pals were people that I would talk to on a daily basis online! I don’t know how we found things to write about in letters but we sure did; we would send each other 5+ page letters. Then I found mail friends through various websites. Here are a few that I have used or still use!


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Sendsomething

→ This website is my go-to for finding strangers to send mail to. Sendsomething has a great search feature, which I use whenever I have something random to mail out (like, a postcard for the band Aqua). I love searching for people’s interests to better find a way to make their day through the mail! Plus, they have a “random address” button that takes the thought out of who you should mail to. The majority of my pen pals have started through Sendsomething.

 

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Swap-bot

→ I’ve been a member on Swap-bot since 2007 although I’m not too active there anymore. They have great swaps specifically for finding pen pals but they are also a bit hit or miss. I really enjoy swaps that are more art-focused, zines, mail art, ATCs, etc. Those types of swaps seem to be in decline these days. This is a really great website for starting out in the snail mail world, I think! You see a variety of styles when participating in swaps, which is awesome.

 

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Postcrossing

→ Although I really wouldn’t suggest this website for finding pen pals, it is a great resource for sending, and receiving, postcards. I’ve heard tales of people finding great pen pals through Postcrossing but, in the 6 years that I’ve been using it, I’ve only found 1 person that I exchanged mail with on a semi-regular basis. This is a great website to get your toes wet in the snail mail world.


Of course, there are so many places on the internet to find like-minded folks. There are so many blogs that offer mail swaps, little organizations specifically for people who write letters, and plenty of people on Instagram, Twitter, or Tumblr that are interested in finding new pen pals.

I think the most important advice I can give to anyone looking for new mail friends is, don’t get discouraged! Try not to expect a reply from every letter your send out. There will be plenty of occasions where you will send a letter to someone and never get a response, or it will take, what feels like, ages for them to get back to you. The most important part of being a letter writer is sending mail, but the best thing about sending mail is receiving it!

Mail Artist Spotlight: Kimmie D

Mail, Mail Artist Spotlight

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I receive a lot of amazing things in my mailbox almost daily. I thought it would be nice to feature some beautiful mail art here and there.

Kimmie is a rad lady from New York. I met her through the League of Extraordinary Penpals when I used to be a member. If we were giving out awards, I would give her the “best addressed envelopes”. She is very talented in the handwriting category!

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How adorable is the stamp of her dog? I love that I know it’s a letter from Kimmie the second I see the envelope. I think she is one of my only mail friends that does beautifully lettered addresses. I know I always try to do it but end up failing. Tell us your secrets, Kimmie!

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Kimmie doesn’t have a blog but you can check out her profile on Sendsomething!

Let’s Talk About Stationery: Linen

Advice, Let's Talk About Stationery

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Let’s talk about stationery! I’ve been on the hunt for the best paper for the stationery I sell. I recently ordered some paper samples from a company called Neenah Paper. I’ve been trying to find paper samples for ages and somehow came across their website. I saw that you could order samples of the paper they carry, and went a bit overboard. The catalog itself is completely free, you just have to pay for shipping.

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I was so anxious to receive the package full of samples. I love stationery; love it. I love finding the perfect paper to write on even more. I felt like it took forever for the samples to arrive but it really only took a few days. It was totally worth the wait though, the sample catalogs are gorgeous. They have a selection of every color that is offered for the specific paper type, the different weights they come in, and they just look awesome.

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Choosing the weight of paper is so important! I decided to write on the weight I thought would be best, with four different pens: Pentax EnerGel, Pilot Precise V7 Sharpie, and a fountain pen. I wanted to see how each pen felt writing on the paper, how much bleed there would be, and smudge-factor.

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I really enjoyed the linen paper. It has a texture similar to the laid paper but it is a subtle texture and it is way smoother to write on. The laid paper is a bit smeary to the touch but I think the quality of it makes up for that. This paper seems to be a bit more thin feeling than others. I typically prefer a 120 gsm paper but, with the linen, I chose 148 gsm sample to write on. All the other weights were very see-through. All in all, this is really lovely stationery!


Linen

Pens used: Pentax EnerGel, Pilot Precise V7, Sharpie, and fountain pen.
Bleed-through: Heavy.
Smudge-factor: Moderate. Not a great paper to use if you are in a rush!
Writability: Excellent. Linen has a really lovely, subtle texture.

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Making Mail Art — How I Collage

Mail, Mail Art, Personal

I’ve always wanted to do a video like this! Watching people create is one of my favorite things. I finally busted out my tripod and set my camera to record. As usual, I was watching something on Netflix while doing this, which is why I keep looking to the right. Haha.

This shows a typical process for me when I am creating mail art. I don’t often (ever) set out to make anything in particular. I pick a paper that appeals to me and then set out on finding other things to paste on top of it. I like making one thing be the focal point of the collage, and I love layering papers. I’m often not satisfied with straight edges, which is why I rip a paper’s edge or use those scrapbooking scissors before pasting a paper down.

This is actually really fun for me to watch, too. I do things without even thinking about them, and I fidget a lot more than I thought! Surprisingly, this collage took me about 50 minutes to complete! Thank god for time-lapse to condense it down to 8 minutes.

I really want to do more of these! Maybe of something other than collage; carving rubber stamps?? Do you have any suggestions? Anything in particular you would want to see?

Here is the finished envelope, all ready to be sent out!

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Sneak Peek: My Workspace

Personal

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You guys, my desk is basically always messy. I have no clue how to keep it organized or clean. The top photo is what it looks like after I get done doing collages. I’m usually too lazy to put everything away once I’m done, and then I just keep piling different things on top of it. When it’s messy, I have no desire to do anything because I hate looking at it!

I clean it when I have a good bout of inspiration and really want to make collages. A clean slate for creating! The after picture doesn’t last for too long, unfortunately. One day I will learn to pick up after myself and keep things clean. Clean spaces make for a clear mind.