Mail, Mail Art, Outgoing



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!


Incoming, Mail


Hooray for incoming mail! I kinda felt like I was drowning in mail this week, even though I only received a few letters. I didn’t have any motivation to reply to letters. I’m pretty sure my goal to reply to letters within a week of receiving them got thrown out the window. It’s not a huge thing, of course, because I am still replying in a fairly timely matter!

As of today, I am caught up on all replies! Although I haven’t checked the mail yet, so that could be a different story in a few hours. I hope to paint and collage few envelopes before I have any more letters to write! I always have a hard time being motivated to write a letter when I know I don’t have anything to send it off in. I have a pretty bad habit of writing letters and then not sending them for weeks. Oops!


Mail Artist Spotlight: Courtney C

Mail, Mail Artist Spotlight


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.


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.


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.


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

Mail Artist Spotlight: Cara G

Mail, Mail Artist Spotlight


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.


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.


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


Mail, Outgoing



I put together some nice little envelopes for some great pen pals! In addition to making some mixed media stationery, I also painted and collaged some envelopes! These are probably my favorite envelopes. I’m so happy with how they turned out. It’s so great to be inspired by my envelopes to include all sorts of goodies for the recipients. I’m diggin’ these painted backgrounds so much!

I love going through my stash to find the perfect things to send out. It’s also great for making room for new things! I have so much stuff saved for the day I think I am going to use it, and then I just don’t use it for years and years. Time to send it off to someone else! I’ve bought a lot of little baggies to put small paper bits in, and they are so perfect to send along with letters. Nothing too big or spectacular but nice enough, I think!





Mail Artist Spotlight: Miss Polly

Mail, Mail Artist Spotlight


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.


I just met Miss Polly in the post but I can already tell she is a super rad lady. I mean, she did send me a dinosaur envelope after all! Polly commented on a blog post awhile back and that’s how we ended up writing each other! I sent off my first letter to her a few weeks ago and she sent me this lovely letter in return. She sent a really fun letter, complete with beautiful handwriting and fun bits and bobs. I’m excited to exchange more mail with her!


We may even have the chance to meet in person soon! I’m hoping to make an appearance at the Portland Correspondence Co-Op, which has it’s first meeting next Tuesday, and Miss Polly might be there.


I don’t believe Miss Polly has a blog but she is welcome to correct me if I’m wrong!


Mail, Outgoing

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.

The First Letter

Mail, Personal

One of my favorite things about sending mail is sending that first letter to someone. It’s so much fun to introduce yourself and your style to a stranger. I also love the first letter because I can send all these little odds and ends, and know that the person is receiving them for the first time. I often feel like I send a lot of the same things to the same people; not on purpose but because I don’t keep a very detailed log of the little things I include with letters.

The only thing I don’t really like doing in a first letter is describing myself. Like most of the population, I’m not too fond of talking about myself. Which is kind of funny because I learning things about other people. You gotta share to get that in return! I’ll get better at it, I promise. I often find that it is easier for me to describe myself using fun lists instead of the typical “My name is Tara, I’m 26 years old. Blah blah blah” description.

I inevitably always end up talking about mail in the first letter to. One of my favorite things to know about my pen pals is their mail story. I want to know how and why you first started sending letters, what your favorite type of letter to send or receive is, and how long they have been sending mail. We all have such different stories when it comes to our involvement with mail!

What is your favorite thing about sending, or receiving, the first letter?


Snail Mail Tips: How To Find Pen Pals

Advice, Snail Mail Tips

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!



→ 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.




→ 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.




→ 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!