I recently sent a little package over to my mail art pal, Steph. I always try to pull out all the stops for this pal as we mainly exchange mail for the art. It’s actually kind of a relief, I know I don’t have to write a long letter if I want to send her some mail. It’s also fun to experiment with my techniques and mail art when I’m sending her a letter. I know that nothing is too weird for her, which is awesome! Steph is also incredibly creative and sends gorgeous mail so I have to keep up with her.
For this piece of mail, I re-purposed a photo album sleeve. It was about an 8 1/2×11 plastic sleeve with 4 pockets. I decided to fold the plastic sleeve in half, so two pockets were on the front and two on the back. I created and decorated little cards to fit inside each pocket. I ended up with a red, blue, black, and white color combo and I’m seriously in love with it. I don’t exactly know how it happened as I definitely wasn’t planning on it!
While I didn’t include much of a letter, I made sure to include some extras for Steph. I know she has an incredible stash of ephemera but it’s always fun to include some bits and bobs! For Steph, I always browse through my stash to find the unusual things.
I sent some first time mail to a new mail friend. I really enjoy putting together mail for new people. It’s so much fun to me to introduce myself to someone and share myself with them. It’s just the perfect opportunity! I kind of go all out for the introduction letters because I find that there is so much to share. I don’t know how to control myself!
I really love the way the envelope turned out. The blue and green combination with a pop of white is so pretty to me! I end up using that color combination often.
I made a little flipbook to send to Selin. When you first open it, there is a postcard of Portland with a sticker that says “my home”. I really love that detail and it’s a fun way to show a new mail friend your city. Postcards don’t always have to be mailed! On the opposite side, I made a little pocket with two different papers and stuffed a bunch of paper goodies into it. You have to send some goodies to your new pen pals! 🙂
When the flipbook is fully open, it’s a little crowded! Ha. On the top left flap, I included a little list of my favorite bands. Music is super important to me and I love sharing music with folks. On the bottom left flap, I included some more goodies; a sample of some of my washi tape as well as some punch-outs. I used my hexagon and scallop punch for those! The top right flap is just a decorated page with a shaker pocket. Or, at least, my attempt at a shaker pocket! The bottom right flap is where I put my letter.
Do you like to go all out when sending first time mail to someone? What do you like to include and how do you introduce yourself?
I recently participated in a little ATC swap with Carolyn from Instagram. It was more of an ATC collab, as she sent me two ATCs that she had already started and I was to finish them. I’ve never done anything like that! I never thought I would be a fan of working with someone else to create a finished piece of art. Maybe I’m selfish? After I received Carolyn’s ATCs, I knew I was in for a treat! She is super talented!
I sent her the ATCs back once I completed them. The completed ones are the two with faces on them. I also sent her two ATCs that I started and asked her to finish them. It certainly was a lot of fun and a great experience! I would totally do it again.
Ever since I made the little booklet for my missive mission mail, I’ve been into making little mail booklets for everyone. It’s so much fun! I like that it’s kind of like mail art within mail art. I do like to include bits and things in the stuff that I do send out, although not all the time, but the booklet is kind of it’s own thing. They are a little more time consuming though.
I put this together for Supa’flous, or Sam. She sends me really unique mail so I thought I should return the favor. After she received it, she praised it on her instagram, which made me feel nice! I’m happy that it was well received. She deserves the best mail!
Currently, however, I’m sitting on 7+ letters. I can never seem to keep up! I had a nice momentum going at the beginning of the year but I quickly crashed and burned due to other life happenings and laziness. I think I really need to start making to-do lists! I can never remember all the things I’m trying to accomplish or complete when I don’t write them down.
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.
This was dino-themed envelope for my pal, Emilie. She loves dinosaurs and, since I’m a pterodactyl, I have a lot of dino things. Emilie and I have been pals for a long time now and I absolutely love exchanging mail with her. Although it can be hard to try and find new things to include in my letters. I’m sure she has received her fair share of duplicate items from me!
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!
Here is a little something I put together for a new mail friend, Samantha. This seems to be the year of me sending out mail to new folks. I’m diggin’ it! I haven’t had much of a chance to look for any new pen pals for awhile. Mostly due to my own lack of motivation, but I also thought I’d hit my max pen pal limit. Turns out, if you respond to all of your letters in a fairly timely matter, you are able to write to more people! I’m sure I’ll be singing a different tune once I get bogged down by replies.
I met Samantha at the PDXCC. Although she regularly sent letters to her friends and family, she was new to the mail art world. We talked for most of the meeting, and I shared my experience in the snail mail community with her. She seemed super intrigued by receiving mail that was more than just a letter so I wanted to send her something special; a nice introduction to the world of mail art.
I hope she enjoyed receiving this!
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) 🙂
My, my! I’ve had these envelopes ready to go for over a week now but I was waiting on postage stamps! I run out of stamps all the time, mostly because I spend all of my fun money for the month before I realize I need stamps. Whoops!
In addition to these 4 letters, I also put together 11 more to be sent out tomorrow. I am officially caught up on all of the mail I received in 2014! I’m still hanging on to my goal of replying to every letter I receive within a week. I’ve already received 3 pieces of mail this week! Do you have specific days you write letters? I usually reserve the weekend to catch up on mail as my weekdays are filled with working, lifting weights, and rock climbing.
Oh, remember how I always run out of stamps? After getting 15 pieces of mail together, I now only have 10 stamps left out of the 36 I ordered last month. Yikes! Time to order some more.