Writing With A Quill Pen

Personal

IMG_2332-(2)

A really long time ago I bought this stationery set. I was really intrigued by it when I bought it, and thought I would use it right away. When I brought it home, I had no desire to use it. Probably because it wasn’t 100% ready out of the box; it required some “work” by mixing the ink. I was also intimidated by the quill pen. I have never, and haven’t since, used a quill pen. Fountain pens? Sure! Quill pens are on a whole different level.

IMG_2334

Finally I decided to throw caution to the wind and mixed that ink with some water. Which happened to be my favorite part of this experience. I loved watching the ink! I feel like I used entirely way too much water but, from what I recall, the package called for way too little water. I don’t know anything about mixing ink.

IMG_2341-(2)

IMG_2344

The quill pen itself was a chore to use and the paper was awful to write on. I felt like I had to get more ink after every letter I wrote. When I got too much ink, it would just pile out in a puddle where I was writing. That’s annoying. The only thing I enjoyed about the pen was the broad tip. It made my handwriting look fabulous. I love thick, bold letters.

IMG_2346

Eventually I got bored and just doodled all over the place. I tried using this blue fountain pen ink I had to see if I could get a better feel for writing with the quill pen but I don’t think it worked. It looked pretty though! I especially love the way the fountain pen ink seeped into the paper.

I thought I would use the remaining paper for writing letters but it was truly the worst paper I have ever used. I tried to write one letter with it and wanted to throw it out the window. Regular pens just did not work on it! It was super scratchy and also had a waxy texture to it.

Advertisements

Let’s Talk About Postage

Mail, Personal

Untitled-6

I’m down to my last 5 first-class postage stamps. Don’t get me wrong, I have a TON of low-denominational stamps but it’s annoying to stick five 10 cent stamps on an envelope. Who has room for that nonsense?! Plus, I love using a variety of stamps on envelopes so that is basically out of the question. If we’re being honest, I pretty much use the low-denominational stamps as envelope decoration.

Luckily, it’s almost February. Which means I have $100 at my disposal to use on whatever I want; and that usually means postage. You see, I budget every cent of my money. It’s almost necessary but it’s also just super helpful. I don’t have a lot of money left over once the bills are paid (one day I’ll pay off that credit card!) but that’s okay! I really dislike shopping anyway.

I went online and ordered a selection of stamps that looked the prettiest, to me. The stamps in the image above are on pre-order and I am so excited to get them. Aren’t they beautiful? I think these will be my favorite for 2015. Can I just say, though, that the designs for anything other than first-class rate are seriously lacking. They are just boring. I’m really hoping 2015 throws some cool postcard rate stamps in our face. Or even some new designs for the 1, 5, and 10-centers. How do we just have one design for postcard rate? What is this? I have a lot of feelings about the USPS.

Have you ordered any of the new designs? The other new one I’m aware of is the “Forever Hearts” design. It’s pretty enough but it doesn’t tickle my fancy like these vintage flowers.

Mail Artist Spotlight: Courtney C

Mail, Mail Artist Spotlight

IMG_6240

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.

IMG_6239

Courtney is a really nice lady from Australia. I’m not sure how we started writing each other; all I remember is receiving a really lovely letter from Courtney a few years ago. She has really pretty, cursive-like handwriting. She signs her letters “yours in writing” which I always thought was really wonderful.

IMG_6241

We had been estranged pen pals for a couple of years but recently reunited via Twitter! She found my Twitter account and added me. I couldn’t believe it! That is a great way the internet aides us letter writers.

IMG_6243

Courtney has an Etsy shop where she sells her handmade envelopes. She has a really awesome selection, check it out!

Portland Correspondence Co-op

Letter Writing Socials, Mail

IMG_6217

On Tuesday, January 20th, I went to the first meeting of PDXCC, or Portland Correspondence Co-op. The meeting was held at the IPRC, and it was basically a letter writing social. It was so much fun! I was completely surprised to see how many people were there; there had to be at least 30 people! To be fair, I haven’t been to a lot of letter writing socials (okay, I’ve been to one) but I never imagined more than 10 people to show up to one. I guess it’s not that surprising, Portland is a city full of creative folks!

IMG_6219

The meeting started out with a little speech by Niko, who started the PDXCC. It was a great introduction for the people who weren’t too familiar with mail art, and he also passed around some great examples of mail art and mail art books. After that, it was a free for all! I did more socializing than letter writing. I grabbed one of the passports to get my first official PDXCC artistamp, as well as a few other artistamps made by some of the attendees.

IMG_6220
I shared a table with several people, most were collaging postcards. I ended up talking to a nice woman named Samantha for most of the evening. She is an avid letter writing but didn’t know much about mail art. I told her about my experience with mail art, and about the kind of things people send along in letters. I showed her the stationery I made, and gave her some suggestions on how to find some cool pen pals.

IMG_6223

I’m so happy I went! I had a really hard time leaving my apartment (I always do) but knew that I was going to have some fun so I forced myself to get on my bike and head down. These will be monthly meetings, and the next one will be on February 17th. I’m hopefully going to have some time to make an artistamp for the event! One of the conditions of taking a passport is a the promise to make a stamp to distribute at a future event.

Outgoing

Mail, Mail Art, Outgoing

IMG_6195

IMG_6196

I have been having so much fun putting together mail lately. I’ve made a point to take more time to dedicate to the whole process, and not just taking the time to write a letter or make a collage. I think it’s been super helpful using paints to create my envelopes and stationery because I can get a lot done at once and it leaves me more time to find bits and pieces I think the recipient might enjoy!

Another really lovely thing about including all sorts of ephemera in the envelope is getting rid of my stash. I tried organizing my paper bits last weekend and it was such a disaster. I just have too much stuff and most of it has been in my stash for over 3 years. It’s absurd! How long can you hold on to something until you realize you need to give it away?

In other news, I’m slowly falling behind in replies! (and I keep getting more pen pals because I can’t stop) 🙂

IMG_6198

Mail Artist Spotlight: Cara G

Mail, Mail Artist Spotlight

IMG_6207

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.

IMG_6206

Cara is a cool lady from New Jersey. I think we met through the blogsphere. If I recall correctly, she sent me the first letter (because I’m really bad at randomly sending letters to people these days). However we met, I’m happy that I get letter from her in my mailbox!

She has a funky style that I love! Cara’s address labels never fail to cheer me up – look at the hipster kitty cat face. There are always fun doodles on the outside of the envelope, and even better ones in the letter.

IMG_6208

Cara has a fun blog and an Etsy shop! You should check them out.

What I’m Working On

Personal

This weekend seemed busier than usual for me! Although most of it was spent indoors, I felt like I was constantly creating or organizing. Did you have a productive weekend?

Book-Suggestions

One super fun thing I worked on this weekend was a zine! The amazingly awesome company I work for puts out a zine for the employees every quarter. I’ve submitted pages to the zine but, this quarter, I’m lucky enough to be part of the team! Everyone in the company are welcome to submit whatever they want to the zine, and the zine team makes the submissions pretty and puts the entire zine together. I had 4 submissions to work on! This is one of them. I decided to do all the pages digitally, as I have my entire collection of images scanned into the computer, and it’s so much easier to work that way. I had a ton of fun doing each page. It inspired me to get started on another zine!

IMG_6203

IMG_6204

Envelopes, envelopes, envelopes! I learned a new trick that makes my lift 1000 times easier when it comes to making envelopes: getting the larger sized envelopes, painting/collaging the entire front, and then folding it in half to make a normal-sized envelope. It’s a bit of a waste but I’ve always had so much trouble coming up with something to put on the back of an envelope. Now they are more cohesive and it saves me so much time!

IMG_6205

ATCs! When I’m waiting for paint to dry on envelopes, I typically start making an ATC. I switch back and forth while I’m waiting for things to dry. Stephanie inspired me to start doing these little guys. When I was active on Swap-bot, I always wanted to make one but, for whatever reason, they always intimidated me. Anything other than an envelope intimidates me, really. I’m starting to branch out a bit! I have a bunch of little images that are perfectly sized for ATCs.