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.

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.

201512_mailbox_present

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:

saguaro1

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

saguaro2

“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.

Champion of Postal Cheer, Acts 2, 3 & 4

December 3, 2013 § 10 Comments

I have a collection of things that are waiting to be glued.  Not broken items waiting to be fixed, but bits and pieces waiting to be cobbled into something new.  More accurately, I have several collections of such things: canceled stamps, old photos, quotations cut from magazines, pages from books that have fallen apart, scraps of colorful paper, fabric remnants, buttons.

Sometime in October, I covered the floor with several of these collections (there is, again, a sewing machine on my desk) and plunked myself down in the middle of all the possibilities with glue stick in hand.  Over the course of several days, I made about two dozen cards.  I used a couple to write to friends, but most I bundled into sets to be given as gifts.

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cards1

cards3

cards4

This weekend I put the sewing machine to good use and made a scarf.

scarf

Between the cards and the scarf, I’ve checked off nearly everyone on my Champion of Postal Cheer project list — hooray!  What’s my next project?  I’m not certain.  Janice MacLeod, the artist behind Paris Letters, recently wrote about her November Nurture project and it sparked a couple possibilities that I’m considering.  What creative projects–letter-writing or otherwise–are you enjoying these days?

BYOPOB

October 27, 2013 § 14 Comments

This is Sanzi.

Sanzi
I met her last month at the Chestertown Book Festival.

As you can see, she brought her own mailbox with her.

Sanzi's POB

Next to the mailbox, she had a basket full of self-addressed postcards.  She was inviting people to take them and write to her as part of an ongoing postal project she’s been running for the past decade.  Did you notice the large and wonderfully folded creations at the front of the table in the first picture?  They are collapsible books composed of series of postcards she has received.  When the postcards arrive, she sorts, scans, arranges, and finally prints the compiled collections.  For more information about this project, take a look at the Installations section of Sanzi’s online galleries.

Sanzi said that when she was living in England she had many more people participate in the project than she does now that she’s in the U.S.  I asked if I could take a few extra postcards and give them to people who would be interested in dropping her a note (or sketch or painting or poem or piece of mail art…).  I have three left and want to share!  If you’re interested, leave a comment by Friday, November 1st.  If more than three people are interested, I’ll toss the names into a hat.  If your name is drawn, I’ll mail you one of the postcards, along with some mystery postal goodies from my own collection.  You will then complete the circle by sending Sanzi’s postcard home.  Deal?  Excellent — let the creative collaboration begin!

Champion of Postal Cheer, Act 1

March 20, 2013 § 6 Comments

In the first few days of January, several of my friends posted similar status updates on Facebook.  They ran something like this:

The first 5 people to comment on this status will, sometime in this calendar year, receive a handmade/homemade gift from me. I will send it out when the mood strikes me and, with luck, it will reach you at the perfect time.

The catch is, you have to make the same offer to all your friends.

The first time I saw it, I thought, Interesting, but I’m not a fan of chain-letter-esque stuff. 

The second time I saw it, I thought, I really like the idea of making and sending out-of-the-blue gifts.

The third time I saw it, I thought, Wait a minute, there’s no reason I can’t make this offer to send gifts without a you-must-do-this-too stipulation.

So, I rewrote it a bit–changing the stipulation to an invitation–and posted it.

HomemadeGift copy

The response was enthusiastic and I quickly found myself committed to make and send things to a variety of people.

Last week I finished my first gift.

TeaWalletBalance

Then I filled it up with small goodies.

TeaWalletGoodies

And I packaged it in an envelope made from a poster I’d plucked out of the recycling bin at work.  (The back of the envelope shows Frankenstein reading Gone with the Wind.)

TeaWalletEnvelopeFront

I was rather gleeful when I posted it off.  Sending mail is as much fun as receiving it, don’t you think?  If you’ve been looking for the perfect way to be a Champion of Postal Cheer, I highly recommend committing to send random gifts to random friends throughout the year.

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