Shining with Delight: Mail Call Follow-Up

October 22, 2016 § Leave a comment

Because joy is a thing best shared, I’m passing along a follow-up on the call for cards for Miss Phoebe’s 100th birthday.  Her birthday was a few days ago and, as of yesterday, she had received 99 cards – and not just received them, but received them with delight and appreciation at being made to feel so special.

Cheryl reports that some of the cards decorate the walls and the rest are tucked into a special new box which is brought out for all visitors to admire.  To quote Cheryl, Miss Phoebe is “shining with delight” over the cards.  Thank you to all my readers who took the time to add to her happy glow.

More opportunities to make people glow with the joy of letters are on the Scribbling Good page. Happy letter-writing!

Request: 100 cards for 100th birthday

October 5, 2016 § 3 Comments

I’m signal-boosting a request from my friend Cheryl:

Miss Phoebe is turning 100 in a couple weeks.  She doesn’t want a party, but she would welcome cards.  If you have a few minutes, perhaps you will send her well-wishes as she celebrates a century of life?

Her address is:

Phoebe Anthony
Golden Rule Nursing Home
20806 Bayside Ave.
Rock Hall, MD 21661

For a little more about Miss Phoebe, visit Cheryl’s blog.

Mail Art Dabbling

September 4, 2016 § 10 Comments

There are some truly spectacular mail artists in the world.  Me? I’m more of a creative dabbler.

Recently, I’ve tried my hand at a couple projects inspired by tutorials generously shared by Lindsay at The Postman’s Knock.  Lindsay’s examples are gorgeous and precise.  My creations are rather more wobbly, but it’s such fun to play!

If you look at Lindsay’s How to Draw Lace tutorial, you can see that she has worked with great care and achieved a very balanced design.  In contrast, if you suspect that I did not follow the direction about using a ruler to measure the spacing of the ovals (or anything else), you would be correct.

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My Hand Drawn Frame attempt turned out more true to the original.  I used the ruler this time!  I wasn’t sure how the envelope at hand would take watercolors, so I jumped right into bold color at the start.

TPK2Regardless of whether my attempts look like the original example, when I make mail art, my goal is to create something that didn’t exist before and enjoy the process.  Achievement unlocked!

What about you? Have you dabbled creatively recently?

Banana Love Notes

August 28, 2016 § 6 Comments

Over the past few months, I’ve received a series of love notes written on bananas. They cannot be tucked away and saved, so I have photographed them for continued enjoyment. For you inspiration, here is a small sampling.

I’m all in favor of creative celebrations of love. Have you ever received a love note in a form that delighted you as much as the message? Do you consider good nutrition an act of love? Will you now be writing someone a banana note?

Postal Present and Cati Captioning Kickoff

January 5, 2016 § 6 Comments

The slightly-dented, rusty-around-the-edges mailbox that came with the house sent many letters off into the world and welcomed quite a few to their final destination. But it reached a point where the door regularly ended up dangling from its one good screw on days when a substitute letter carrier tugged it a little too hard. Even on a good day, the door didn’t shut properly and the rust was spreading.

Given the standing tradition of postal presents, perhaps I shouldn’t have been surprised to discover a new mailbox under the tree. But I was genuinely surprised–and delighted.

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Yes, it did come complete with love letters already inside!

It is top of the line, sturdy construction with a door and flag that glide smoothly. It had its inaugural use this morning when I sent off my first batch of letters for the new year.  I can only imagine how impressed the letter carrier must’ve been with the upgrade.

In other news, the Cacti Captioning project is just about to launch into the postal stream.  If you signed up to participate, I’ll be in touch very soon.  If you’re feeling sad because the original post got lost in the whirlwind of the holidays and you didn’t have a chance to sign up–good news!–I still have spaces available for interested letter-writers and artists. If you’d like to join the fun, let me know and I’ll add you to the list of collaborators.

Seeking Collaborators: Cacti Captioning & Creative Alteration Project

December 20, 2015 § 4 Comments

Quite a while ago, I received a package from a friend.  Inside, I found this book:

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It features photographs of saguaro cacti with captions – and space for you to write in your own captions:

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“Hey, don’t go! I know what you saw, but it’s not what you think!”

I recently unearthed this book while going through a pile of Things That Have Potential and thought, The time has come for this to be the centerpiece in a collaborative altered book project!

To accomplish this, collaborators are needed!

If you would like to caption, doodle, collage, or otherwise take part in altering this book, please let me know in the comments or contact me privately by January 1, 2016.  I will kick off the new year by contacting all interested parties with details about this round robin art endeavor and together we will create the Cacti Captioning & Creative Alteration Project.

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On a related note: If the idea of captioning cacti makes you laugh and you’re a fan of quirky romances, you might enjoy the writing and humor of G.G. Andrews, the friend who found this book in the first place.

To Do: Write More Fan Mail

September 2, 2015 § 8 Comments

When I was quite small, I wrote a letter to Oscar the Grouch.*  I made the editorial decision to sign my first piece of fan mail as “Grungetta” (perhaps believing that Oscar would pay more attention to a letter from someone he knew, but more likely just because Playing Pretend is the best game ever).  I ripped up construction paper to include in the envelope, because it seemed only proper to send him some trash.

And I got a reply:

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I was gleeful that the response addressed me as Grungetta — they believed I was the real deal!  (Clearly I didn’t notice the return address…)   For a very long time after receiving this letter, whenever I saw Oscar’s trashcan on Sesame Street, I wondered if the pieces of paper I’d ripped up were still on his floor.

I also wrote to Mr. Rogers whose typewriter was not full of trash:

IMG_2094I was deeply disappointed he wasn’t able to come over for dinner.  He’s still one of my heroes.

Jumping ahead through years that involved only very occasional fan letter writing (mostly to authors), we arrive in the present day where letter writing is one of my nerdoms and I believe in letting people know they’re appreciated.  This combination is clearly a recipe for writing fan mail.  Accordingly, I recently decided to write to the creative minds behind Pretend Wizards.  It became a fairly elaborate production.  Scissors and glue were involved and there were multiple pieces by the time I finished.

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I had a few moments of wondering if I was going overboard.  But I quickly squashed that thought.  I’ve gotten many, many hours of enjoyment thanks to what this group of people has created and I really wanted to let them know in style.  So, I did.  They subsequently talked about receiving and enjoying my fan mail on the “Mail Bag” section of one of their episodes, which was awesome.

Why am I telling you about these letters I’ve written?  To encourage you to write fan mail to people who do the creative things you love and to the people who inspire you in some way.  It’s win-win.  You get to be unabashedly enthusiastic and the recipient gets tangible appreciation.  Try it — write someone a letter of wholehearted admiration.  As appropriate, include ripped up paper, a dinner invitation, or a selection of teas.  If so inspired, report back.  I predict that both you and your recipient will feel better about humanity in general as a result.

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*The idea to write to Oscar and Mr. Rogers originated from my mom who has a genius for proposing simple activities that kids adore.  If you have kids, teach kids, hang out with kids, etc., a letter writing project is an excellent undertaking.