Holy mail! I’ve been drowning, in the best way possible, in letters. It’s been crazy! I’ve been getting mail from strangers or people I haven’t heard of, in addition to my regular pen pals. I don’t know where everyone came from! I blame Letter Writing Month 😉 It has been really hard to keep on top of everything and it certainly didn’t help that I basically took all of January off from writing letters. After my bike accident, I was in a super weird place and I had a really hard time putting pen to paper. Things are way better now and I’ve been slowly replying to everyone. As of this post, I only have about 7 replies left!
One thing that has been incredibly helpful for me in staying on top of my replies is my bullet journal. For February, I created a little spread to keep track of all the letters I had to write. It was a little daunting at first! When I created the page, I had about 15 people to write back. Seeing that on paper was like, “whoaaa, how am I ever going to write everyone back!?” but it proved to be really motivating for me. I find that I am really motivated by crossing things off. Also in my bullet journal, I create a task in my daily spreads that is “write a letter”. Just having that task there, and knowing that I want to cross it off, will motivate me to write at least one letter.
I was really hoping to complete all of my replies by the end of February but last weekend kind of got away from me and I just couldn’t do it. I was so close! But it shouldn’t be long before I get all caught up. I really hope I can do it this weekend.
The majority of my pen pals are letter writing pals but Steph fits in a different category: mail art pal. I think she’s the only one (hmph! I need more). I received this amazing package awhile ago but it’s too good not to share. Steph has serious style. Like I-wish-I-could-be-her-style. Ok, maybe not that creepy. Specifically, her use of neon paints and bright colors is fantastic! She pulls everything together flawlessly. I don’t know how she does it! If you’re looking for eye-candy or inspiration, I definitely suggest giving her instagram a peek.
I can only imagine what her collection of images, ephemera, bits and bobs, scraps, and art supplies looks like. The various peeks she shares on instagram look overwhelming in the best way possible. Steph always sends a really great selection of papers and images. It’s always a treat getting mail from her!
Yesterday I posted a little bit about the missive mission I went on last month. As I mentioned, I was sent on a top secret mission through the post. I thought this was such a cool idea and I was so excited to see what was in store for me. The only thing I found out ahead of time was that the lady, Marissa, who sent me on the mission was going to send me a postcard with the briefing.
The postcard itself was a blurry picture of some buildings. It could’ve been any city, but it was probably Portland since it was from the UFO museum after all. The building’s name and address was listed on the back of the postcard. Marissa wrote that she was more interested in the surrounding neighborhood than she was of the museum itself. That worked out well since the museum is no longer operating! I was kind of stoked to go visit a UFO museum but, you know, you can’t always get what you want.
I completely lucked out on the location — I was instructed to explore my neighborhood! The museum was in an area that is just a few blocks from my apartment, an area I know very well and used to walk by every day on my way to work. It was exciting to think about my neighborhood in a different way, see it in a different light. I was anxious to get working on my reply to Marissa. I decided to send my reply in some sort of zine-y format.
My first order of business was drawing a map of the neighborhood. I love maps! You should know that I drew the goose and soccer ball all by myself.
I wrote a little description of the neighborhood, what the area was like, how it’s like living there, and my thoughts about my home. I also included prints of the photos I took while exploring.
I stole some soil from a near by tree as well as some leaves and flowers to share with Marissa. I felt like the dude from Everything Is Illuminated when I was carrying around the little baggie of soil!
As I’m not one to check in to see if people receive my mail, I have no idea if Marissa received my report; I haven’t heard anything from her since the original postcard she sent. I sure hope she received it! I’m also considering sending out these little missions to anyone who might be interested. I have tons of postcards of places I’ll never visit and need to do something with them.
I get a lot of amazing mail from my dear pen pal, Emilie. Not only does she send me really cool things, she also writes me the best letters. She is one of those people that I totally relate to (which is super hard for me to find these days!). Her letters always cheer me up and her thoughtfulness is just downright amazing.
Emilie and I have also met quite a few times. That seems to be a pretty common occurrence these days with pen pals. I can probably thank social media for that as well as just being an adult and being able to do things. Then again, even when I was a kid my mom drove me to California to meet a pen pal/online friend. Thanks, Mom! Anyway, I first met Emilie when I moved out to Rhode Island and she was living in Massachusetts. I think our first meeting was at an event at a local typewriter store in a suburb of Boston. I think! Correct me if I’m wrong, Emilie 🙂 After that, we met up once more when she hosted a letter writing social at a Boston bookstore. Now THAT was fun; it was just a few of us hanging out, cracking jokes, eating cookies and pretending like we were going to write letters. Emilie also opened up her home to me and my boyfriend when we drove across the country from Rhode Island to Oregon. Simply put, she is the best.
One of my favorite things about receiving mail from Emilie is how creative she is! I feel like she doesn’t use traditional envelopes often. She puts things in boxes, photo sleeves, chocolate wrappers, and bags. This package was no different! In addition to a very awesome letter, she sent me some rubber stamps, tree bark, stamps, washi tape, ephemera, and a pterodactyl! I’m pretty lucky, guys. Maybe one day I’ll convince her to send me one of her pies.
This is a letter I sent to another person I met at the Portland Correspondence Co-op, Leslie. I didn’t get a chance to talk to her for too long but she gave me one of her artistamps. In return, she received some mail art from me!
I wasn’t too sure of her mail art style so I included some staples of mine in the envelope. I feel like she was more into the rubber stamping mail art style, and not so big on collage so I didn’t want to send too many images!
Phew! I received a lot of mail within the last week. I tackled all but 1 of the replies on Friday night. Now I just have to put them in envelopes.
In this batch of incoming mail, I received mail from 3 new people! One of them I exchanged mail with a few years ago, but it didn’t stick. She is doing LetterMo this month and decided to send me a postcard. It’s so fun to reconnect with mail friends. The other are from two people I met at PDXCC. I sent them both mail first but this is my first time receiving mail from them!