There have been some lovely things arriving in my mailbox this month (birthday treats to me!) I couldn't resist snapping a few pictures to share with you.
First, the anniversary edition of Q&A Letterbox. Such a gorgeous selection of cards this month!
If you don't know Q&A Letterbox, it's a monthly subscription service which delivers a curated selection of 3 greeting cards from independent designers and a stationery goodie (stickers / washi tape / pens /etc) right to your mailbox.
A couple of Toofifteen tyvek pouches and a set of Jonesy paper pens. Really clever Canadian products!
I've had my eye on the pouches since Toofifteen launched last year. I think they're a wonderful blank canvas to create a little useable art on - if it turns out, I'll definitely report back! Toofifteen also makes incredible tyvek bins and poufs - clean and modern design for your home.
And the Jonesy paper pens are really fantastic - and made out of recycled paper. I love having them around the house for making lists, jotting down messages or doing the morning puzzles in the newspaper. (Quite analogue around here - paper & pen rule the roost!)
And finally, a copy of Marie Maglaque's first book - roughly translated "French Style Accessories".
Marie is French living in Tokyo and creates the prettiest sparkly embroidered accessories under the name Etincelle Creative Studio. I've started dipping my toes into embroidery but am excited to learn how to incorporate sequins and beads.
The nice thing about Japanese craft books (and craft books in general, usually) is that the step by step photos are so good that if you can't read the text, you can still get the gist. Kind of like video stills!
Want to peek inside the book? Click here. And if you'd like a copy and are not in Japan, you can buy from Marie directly.
Have you ever joined a mail swap or parcel swap?
If yes, bear with a moment (or skip ahead). If not, let me tell you all about the joy of the mail swap!
Someone picks a theme and sets some guidelines (number of partners, mailing deadlines, mail or parcel, type of contents, value of contents, surprise or not...) then welcomes sign-ups and assigns partners. You create beautiful mail and send it off to your partner(s) and in return, you receive mail from your partner(s). In the case of a parcel swap, this is usually a single parcel with a set value. With a mail swap, you send cards/letters to multiple partners and in return your mailbox fills with beautiful mail from here, there and everywhere.
I love a good mail swap! It's a fun way to bring cheer to your mailbox, inspires you to try something new while stretching your artistic muscles, and broadens your world a little bit by connecting you to likeminded strangers across the globe.
Sounds like fun, right? So, when I got the itch to send a little pretty mail, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to organize a mail swap. So, I've teamed up with fellow snail mail lovers Andrea of Q&A Letterbox and Ashley of The Anthropology of Giving for The Pretty Postal Floral Swap...
The Pretty Postal Floral Swap is for snail mail lovers and flower lovers alike!
This May, we're inviting you to create a beautiful bouquet of mail! Send out a bundle of pretty floral post then watch as your mailbox fills with beautiful blooms from other mail artists.
The key to this swap is the envelope - we want to spread cheer all along the postal route. Use your favourite materials and techniques to create unique floral envelopes - calligraphy, pretty paper, embellishments, paint, collage, hand drawn details, etc etc. Add a handmade floral card (or a store-bought one if you prefer) and little goodie of some kind (stickers, washi tape sampler, tea...) and send them off!
Sign-ups are from May 8-15th.
Partners will be assigned May 17-18th.
Mailing deadline is May 31st.
You will be grouped with 3-5 partners and must send a piece of pretty mail to each partner by the deadline.
Swap is open worldwide to anyone over the age of 18 and is free to join.
Full details and rules can be found here.
To sign-up, you can email your name and postal address to: email@example.com
Can't wait to see your pretty floral mail!
I'm trying to get back into the habit of sending mail.
I told myself back in January that I'd send one great package or piece of mail each month in 2016 - a small challenge. But, as is the way, life gets in the way, and suddenly it's May... and I haven't sent a parcel since that first one in January.
So this month, I'm re-challenging myself to actually start sending mail again. It must be all that fabulous snail mail inspiration over on Instagram! First, I put together a couple of bold black, white and pink parcels to send to creative friends... here's a peek...
Whenever I put together a snail mail package, I like to have a jumping off point - a particular card, theme or colour scheme that I then build the various components around. In this case, I was inspired by a set of envelopes I had crafted out of uncoloured colouring book pages. The bold black and white patterns were the perfect place to start.
But then, of course, I couldn't resist adding a bit of colour. And, when in doubt, pink is always the answer!
So I gathered up all my black, white, gold and pink materials and supplies and set about putting together a package I thought anyone would love to receive in the mail.
An assortment of stickers and buttons and washi tape samples is always fun!
Then added some fun stationery treats - an adorable notebook, a lovely postcard and those aforementioned envelopes.
Finally a hand drawn card to write my message in - because I can't resist an opportunity to doodle flowers!
And then, time to make the outside of the mail as fun as the inside.
Washi tape, stickers. doodles and collage elements. I love the final look...
So I had to try it on the back too!
How about you? Where do you find inspiration when sending pretty mail?