I love long term creative projects - it's so interesting to see what people will devote themselves to for a year or longer and what they learn or how their skills evolve over the course of the project. This is (hopefully) the first instalment in a series on creative projects.
Since pretty mail is near to my heart, it seemed appropriate to start with a 365 project all about snail mail. Andrea Raymond-Wong sends a lovingly assembled piece of mail every day and shares her adventures on Instagram. It's a daily delight to see what she's sending and I've discovered quite a few fantastic greeting card brands through her project.
Here's Andrea's story:
Could you tell us a little bit about your project?
I started 365 days of letter writing on January 1, 2014 and continued to write letters and cards each day until December 31, 2014. I sent mail to family and friends, and met penpals along the way. On January 1, 2015, I felt I couldn't just stop writing letters daily, so I decided to continue.
What inspired you to start your 365 project?
I've always loved to send cards and letters via snail mail. I enjoy taking the time to put pen to paper and send a note to someone I am thinking about. The 365 days of letter writing was inspired by a stationery company called Fawnsberg. They make these lovely floral cards (I am such a sucker for florals), and back in December 2013 had invited people to join them in 60 days of letter writing. I decided to take on the challenge, and to post my progress on Instagram (I thought that would keep me motivated). As the 60 days progressed, I 'met' two gals who were also taking on the challenge, and the three of us decided to turn it in to a 365 day challenge. I managed to complete the year - and since January of this year, have continued to send mail each day (but I've stopped counting the number of days).
Who are your favourite stationery designers?
There are so many fantastic stationery designers - it's tough to choose!
I love Rifle Paper Co. Anna Bond's florals are simply gorgeous.
I discovered Hooray Today during my 365 adventure, and I think their cards are way cute (especially 'You're a Peach!')
Sapling Press is basically hilarious all of the time, with great text-based cards. I adore letterpress.
Shout out to some local Canadian faves: Gotamago, Flakes Paperie, Sea & Lake, Made in BV, Queenie's Cards and Xenia Taler (to name but a few).
What's the best thing you've ever received in the mail?
Hard to choose! I think I'd say a hand carved stamp with my name on it that one of my penpals made for me. Over the last year, I've met a lot of awesome people, and have penpals again (which I haven't had since I was about 10-years-old). Penpals send really thoughtful, awesome mail. I did a happy dance after I received a pair of scissors shaped like the Eiffel Tower.
What's your favourite extra to include when sending pretty mail?
Washi tape! And stickers. I also like to include tea, or chocolate. 365 days of letter writing gave me the chance to expand my ever growing washi collection. I find that paper-obsessed people love washi. It's definitely common practice among penpals to send washi samples with each note that goes out. I also like to send mini notebooks and notepads.
Why is snail mail so important to you?
It's a piece of love delivered to your mailbox. I love that in our technology-filled world, we can still reach out to people in an old-fashioned way. It's really quite amazing that you can get to know someone through exchanging letters, and that you can send someone warmth through the mail. Writing letters also allows me to take some time and reflect on the day, to slow down and to get creative.
For anyone interested in snail mailing:
Are you tackling a 365 project or year-long creative project you'd like to share? We'd love to hear about it in the comments!