Sunday, April 13, 2014

Stationery Sunday

It's that time again! Here is a mail-themed stationery set for you!

Have you been celebrating this month by writing tons of letters & sending lots of postcards? I have managed to catch up on all of my letter replies! Except I haven't put them into envelopes to send them out. Oops. I need to go print some of these envelopes for myself.

Over my last weekend I turned all of my handmade rubber stamps into Photoshop brushes so they will be turning up in a lot of these digital collages. Yes!

I'm pretty in love with all the bits & pieces that put this collage together. Hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

Click here to download

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Stationery Sunday

Through various sources on the internet I have been reminded that April is National Card & Letter Writing Month. I don't know who decides these things or even how you're supposed to celebrate them. Sometimes you have to make things up as you go along so I decided to celebrate this "holiday" (holimonth?) by creating a small stationery set to share with you lovely readers. I'll be putting up a set each Sunday in April for you to download and print out. All for free!

Welcome to...

We will now only refer to Sundays as Stationery Sunday.

Celebrate National Letter Writing Month in style with this fountain pen themed stationery! Maybe you can even use a fountain pen to write your letter. The envelope should print out to measure around 6"x5", big enough to hold a sweet mix CD! The paper is 5.5"x8.5", make sure to set your printer setting to "landscape" to print this properly!

Fountain pens and security envelope patterns are the best!

Click here to download this stationery set

Let me know if you have any questions or problems downloading/printing!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Workin Messy

Making my zine left my workspace a bit messy. OK, maybe a lot messy. I wasn't my usual lazy self once I finished the zine; papers, washi, bits and pieces found their way back to their respective homes. Even the trash bits ended up in the trash instead of saved for a possible later use. I'm really, really, really good at making messes but not as good as cleaning them up.

Most days my desk looks like this:

Mail received? Toss it in the corner. Need something? Don't put it back. I have a hard time finding basically anything in this messy workspace and it's pretty uninspiring to work in. I love making messes while I'm working but I don't want to start working on a messy surface!

Now that is a space I want to use to write a letter or collage an envelope. Yay. Considering I have such a large reply-to pile (20 letters! Yikes), I should keep my desk this tidy more often.

I like to keep most of my supplies out & in my face, mostly so I don't forget about them. The ones I use the most are also kept out for obvious reasons. This is how I've organized my desk. It works for me!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Zine Scene

I've had a thing for zines since I was about 13. An online friend first introduced me to zinester Jane Boston and things just blossomed from there. I used to spend hours searching through distros online. I would fill out my paper order form, total it up & send it out, along with concealed cash of course. It was always so much fun receiving my order a week or so later, after forgetting about half the zines I ordered. I'll always remember one zine that was sent to me that arrived in a glass bottle. I smashed the bottle against a rock in my driveway to get to the zine!

As much as I love zines, I never really set out to make one of my own. As much as I wanted to write one, I've only put them together for zine swaps on Swap-bot. I do not consider myself a writer and I don't do anything too interesting that would warrant a zine!

I have been toying around with making a zine about my move to Rhode Island and time spent there. I've been writing things for it and brainstorming ideas for a month or so but didn't really find the inspiration to actually start it. A few weeks ago I signed up for a zine swap on Swap-bot, mostly to give me the push to start, and finish, this zine. Which I did! I started cutting and pasting last Monday and finished it the next day. I'm really happy with the way it turned out and I think I may put it up for sale soon!

Friday, March 14, 2014

Postal Modernism

If you don't subscribe to get updates from the USPS (um, you should!), you may have missed this wonderful article about mail art. Jennie Hinchcliff, of Good Mail Day fame, was interviewed by the USPS!

I'm not sure if there is anything more exciting than the USPS recognizing mail artists, and how awesome for Jennie to be featured. I absolutely love the phrase Postal Modernism, it is a neat way to describe our work! I've never seen mail art described that way and it makes it seem so legit. Not that it wasn't legit before but whenever I say that I'm a mail artist out loud, people look at me like I have 2 heads. I think their first thought when hearing mail artist is male, not mail. I might just start referring to myself as a postal modernist!

Today was a Good News Day. In addition to the USPS Stamps article, there was another article featuring letter writing and the LEP (fondly referred to as the "LEPP" in the article).

I love that both of these pieces reached out to actual mail artists & letter writers. Most articles you read regarding letter writing tend to focus on how it's a "lost art" and make no mention of the hundreds, probably thousands, of people out there sending letters.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014


Emilie sent me a little traveling postcard for artistamps a few months back. It's from Friend & Faux. I've never made an artistamp before but I've always been super interested in them! I started working on one a few days ago and went down to Kinko's to print it today.

I scanned in the pterodactyl image & the diamond shape. To celebrate my upcoming 26th birthday, I decided to make the stamp worth 26 cents! I wish I had pre-gummed paper to print these stamps on.

I've read about using a sewing machine to make faux-perforations so I attempted to do that with a bad print batch. After a few attempts, I gave up. I have no idea how people sew in a straight line. No clue.

I have a some "paper shapers" scissors and tried a few out to see what would come closest to a faux-perforation. This was the closest I could get!

My artistamp on the postcard!

Is anyone interested in receiving this to add their own stamp? I don't want to send it out to someone who doesn't want to participate!

I also finished my zine today! Copies & all. Except I don't own a stapler.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Little Treasures

I collected a lot of things as a kid; ticket stubs, rocks, receipts, cameras and typewriters. As an adult, I still keep anything that could be remotely considered memorable or a keepsake. My collections these days are more function-based, things that I can use in my collages. Books to cut up, washi tape to stick down. That sort of thing. I find a lot of interesting books and I don't have any reservations taking scissors to their pages. Except for this treasure. I've always wanted to find an abandoned yearbook so imagine my delight when I found this yearbook from 1923.

The cover is just gorgeous and the students are as well!

Old sports uniforms are kind of my favorite. The girls' basketball team picture is just too much. I'm hoping that what they are pictured in wasn't their actual uniform but holy cow if so. Could you imagine running around in that? Yikes. I imagine their arm-mobility would be a bit limited for basketball with those long-sleeved shirts!

Um... how is it that we didn't have super cool clubs like this when I was in school? Office Dogs?! A club to learn about all things clerical?!

This yearbook is full of lovely people with perfect hair. And handwriting. I wonder when signing a yearbook switched from just signing your name to writing a message to the yearbook holder.

Needless to say, scissors will never find their way near this yearbook. I've scanned in my favorite pages to use in future digital collages though! I'll probably end up scanning the entire thing soon.

PS: I've started working on an artistamp!

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Stationery Set Printable

I have been hanging out on my bed or couch for just shy of a week due to walking pneumonia. Thankfully I don't get sick too often and my employer was nice enough to give me 5 days off while I recovered. I wish I could say I was productive and didn't watch Netflix all day for five days but I was sick! Not being able to take a full breath makes it kind of difficult to move around. Or just function.

Making up for lost time, I put together a pretty cute stationery set for you guys to download & print out. I hope you guys will like it as much as I do! I'd love to hear your thoughts if you use it! The scallop design was inspired by the wonderful Snail Mailer. Thanks, Becky!

Here is a little step-by-step for making your envelope:

  •  step one: Print it out! I stopped by my local Kinko's to print these out (hi, I need a printer ASAP). I opted for a 32lb paper stock! The self-serve machines made some pretty terrible color prints but they got the job done!

  •  step two: Cut it out!

  •  step three: Fold the flaps!

  •  step four: Lay down some glue to secure the bottom flap!

  •  step five: Put your letter + goodies inside! The envelope prints out so it is just big enough to hold a CD. Nothing is more frustrating than a tiny envelope! 

  •  step six: Address your envelope & add some flair! Don't forget to put it in the mail!

Ready to download? Click here!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Rad Apps

I got my first smartphone at the end of last year. I never really had any sort of desire for one before. I was born and raised in Las Vegas, so I knew my way around the city like the back of my hand, I wasn't much into social media outside of Facebook, and I've never been one to constantly text or call my friends. I carried a simple phone that I could use for text messages or emergencies.

The only reason I even have a smartphone now is because of my mom! She decided to upgrade all of our phones for Christmas. Now that I get around Portland by bus or foot, this little phone comes in super handy when I need to find the nearest bus stop in an unfamiliar area. I have started using Instagram, which I love, and I'm constantly on the lookout for fun, new apps to try.

I found Heyday on the App Store and decided to give it a go. I was big on journaling as a teenager and kept it up into my twenties. I have kind of given up on keeping a paper journal, probably because writing letters serves the same purpose for me. My favorite thing about keeping a paper journal is being able to look back and see what sorts of things I was up to but forgot about. Heyday is a wonderful app that accomplishes that very well.

When you take a picture, Heyday saves that and tags it with a location (which you can edit, as it's not always spot on). You can add text for each day/picture and tag anyone you were with. If you didn't use your phone to take pictures, you have the option of adding a new moment; you pick the date, add a description of what you did/felt/thought and tag a location.

I think my favorite thing about this app is that it's completely hassle free. It chronicles my life for me and I have the option of adding descriptions to complete the memory. I'm constantly trying to remember where I was or what I was doing on a specific day (did I go to the gym last week? when was the snowpocalypse?) and that is why this app is my current favorite!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Work In Progress

There are a lot of things I'm hoping to accomplish this year. A goal that I've had for quite a long time is to expand this blog, my space, in to something more than just pictures of incoming & outgoing mail. I've never really been sure how to make the transition, or what else I would write about. I've lacked the motivation or inspiration to make any sort of change. Mail is a huge part of my life and I think that this blog will still definitely reflect that, just in different ways.

I'm inspired. I don't know if it's because I'm living in the city of my dreams and I'm surrounded by lovely things and lovely people or maybe I'm finally settling into life. Probably both. It doesn't really matter! I'm finally in a place where I can focus on the things that I'm passionate about and that feels great.

The past few days, I've been creating some envelope templates, scanning my envelope collages and trying to make digital collages. It's been a lot of fun and also kind of frustrating. I want to make postcards, envelopes and stationery of my collages. Here it goes! Unfortunately I don't have a printer at home so it's hard to know if the templates I have will work yet. I have my fingers crossed though. Pretty convenient that I live a few blocks away from a FedEx Office!

I'm also working on a zine! I found a beginner zine swap on Swap-Bot which I think I'm signing up for to give me a bit of motivation to finish my zine.