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

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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?

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Alice Through the Pillar-Box and What She Found There

July 8, 2013 § Leave a comment

Oh, oh, oh!  Have you ever had the good fortune to come across Alice Through the Pillar-Box and What She Found There: A Philatelic Phantasy by Gerald M. King?  If you appreciate either Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland or the world of letter-writing, letter-sending, and philatelic pursuits, it’s worth tracking down a copy.

In 1965, Gerald M. King decided that since the G.P.O. was not celebrating the centennial anniversary of the publication of Alice in Wonderland with a commemorative stamp, he would create his own set of fantasy stamp designs.  This idea grew until it evolved into a book brimming with clever references to the story and showcasing Mr. King’s clear love of philately.  In it Wonderland stamps and envelopes sent through the Wonderland post to and from various characters are paired with relevant quotes from the books and various notes about the fantasy artifacts and their origins.  The detail and cleverness are a treat!  The scan below is not of superior quality (I had to be gentle with the spine of the book), but it should be enough to pique your interest.

AliceThroughPillarBox

Scribbling Glue’s Guide to USPS Postal Rates

January 26, 2013 § 14 Comments

One of the fun little takeaways that I made for December’s Letter Writing Social was a postal rate sheet.  I figured that people who aren’t currently avid letter writers might like a handy reference to help sort out the mysteries of proper postage.  Since we were making envelopes that weren’t standard sizes, it was especially helpful to have a quick guide to double-check how much postage a particular mailpiece was going to need.

To my delight, the Letter Writers Alliance later featured a photo of my rate sheet as one of their Letter Writing Days of December posts.  I got some lovely feedback, which encouraged me to follow through and create a revised version to reflect the 2013 rate changes.

And now–ta-da!–just in time for the changes that go into effect tomorrow, here it is!

SGRates2013edited

I enjoy writing things out by hand and I do a fair amount of computer-based design layout for posters and brochures at work, but the combination of creating by hand and designing a layout placed me outside of the realm where things come easily.  I’m so accustomed to (and spoiled by) being able to tweak, align, re-size, and move elements on a whim.  This project required making rough drafts and marshaling my spacial reasoning skills.  In short, it was an excellent challenge for my brain.  I am pleased with the end result since this is only the second time that I’ve attempted designing something along these lines, but my eraser definitely got a good workout along the way!

If you are so inclined–and I do hope you are–you are welcome to download a copy.

The Swift Completion of Their Appointed Rounds

October 29, 2012 § 4 Comments

Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.

~modified quotation from Book 8, Paragraph 98, of The Persian Wars by Herodotus

There is no official USPS motto, but these words of tribute, inscribed on the New York City Post Office on 8th Street, are often invoked in description of the dedication letter carriers bring to their work.  Despite warnings that Hurricane Sandy might disrupt mail service on the East Coast of the United States, the unofficial motto held true today!

Hooray for the USPS!  Despite the looming hurricane, the mail was not only delivered, but arrived early at my house today.

Because there was a package for me, the letter carrier brought the mail to the porch where I met him and told him that he deserved extra gold stars for his work today.  I wished him a safe rest of the day and came inside dancing with glee because the package was from the Letter Writers Alliance!  I’d ordered it, so I knew what was inside, but opening it was still a treat.

Cheerful packaging…

…covering a lovely brown paper package tied up with string.

With a message for me…

…and a really neat artistamp designed by Donovan. (Visit the LWA’s blog to learn more about postal camels or to learn how you can join the LWA ranks.)

After admiring the packaging, I peeked inside where I found one thing to share…

One more detail in place for the upcoming Type In & Letter Writing Social. Sweet.

Join us on December 7th and you might find yourself putting together a letter with these very same goodies. So much fun!

…and one thing all for me.

I’ve had my eye on this since I became a member of the LWA over a year ago. Having reached Scribbling Glue’s first blogiversary, I celebrated by indulging myself.

I’ve put it to the test and give it full marks for a satisfying cup of tea while letter writing.

And now I will go back to letter writing and making things while I wait out the rest of Hurricane Sandy.  At present, the wind is really picking up, but all is well and the power is still on.  I’m counting myself very fortunate so far.

Stamps by the Pound

September 13, 2012 § 2 Comments

Recently, because of the upcoming type-in and letter writing social, I’ve been searching for information and browsing for inspiration.  Somewhere along the way, while thinking that collage would probably be the best approach for offering a mail art activity, I discovered that you can buy canceled stamps on eBay.  By the pound.  Since I have a weakness for ephemera, I placed a bid.  I now have a bag containing hundreds (thousands?) of stamps from all over the world spanning decades of postal delivery.

With the more unique and interesting designs, I can see a single stamp becoming the central element of a work of art.  The more monochrome stamps with run of the mill designs give me ideas for color themes.  I am so excited to see what people do with them!  And I have a feeling I’ll be using a few in projects of my own before December 7th.

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