Posts Tagged With: mailing

An Octopus And A Gentleman

In Which Our Heroine Discovers That Things Do Not Always Go As Planned

Sometimes, I like to provide art to my pen pals when I write to them. (Sometimes, I like to provide brightly-colored hamster stickers. But I digress.) For my most recent letter, I decided that I would do a sketch of myself reading a letter and then write the actual letter in a giant speech bubble so it would look as though I was reading the letter to my pen pal. (I may still do this someday. I may also develop a line of stationery of random things reading letters to people. It would be fun.)

I started drawing. My drawing of humans is a bit rusty, so my first sketch didn’t turn out too well. (I did discover, however, that Clairefontaine Triomphe paper is delightful to draw on.) I tried a different pose, and that was worse. After a good deal of erasing and sketching and erasing and sketching and erasing and generally being dissatisfied, I gave up and drew this:

Yes. I drew an octopus in a top hat and a monocle. Sometimes, that just happens.

I am totally going to clean him up and put him on my calling cards. Can you imagine anything more elegant?

(My pen pal letter wound up being decorated with the hamster stickers. What can I say? Art next time.)

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Categories: Confessions, Mailings | Tags: , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Virtual Letter-Writing Social!

In Which Our Heroine Participates!

Greetings, Everyone!

The Letter Writers Alliance and Hippie Artsy Pen Pal (Tea and Letters) are hosting a Virtual Letter-Writing Social tomorrow, June 9! Write letters, take photos of them, and post them to Twitter/FB/Your Blog! Please note: Both of those links lead to the respective blogs’ entries on the Virtual Letter Writers Social. The Twitter Hashtag is #showandmail.

See you tomorrow!

Categories: Mailings | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Some Notes on Notebooks (and Notepaper)

In Which Our Heroine Confesses To An Addiction Or Two

I love notebooks. Each bundle of paper is a work of art, brimming with beautiful potential, waiting to be filled with thoughts. Some of those thoughts may develop into stories, finished drawings, or letters. Others may be complete in themselves, inky records of a passing inspiration or reminder.

Imagine, if you will, a mind like mine, confronted with a display of notebooks. These notebooks may be physically in front of me, or they may be attractively ranged across my computer screen. My mind is already planning what I would write in each one, whether it would reside on my desk or be carried in my purse, how just owning this notebook would encourage me to write, make my writing better, make my life more organized.

Before I know it, I’ve fallen for one (or more) of the beautiful covers and promises of perfect paper, traipsed over to the checkout counter (or clicked my way to my Virtual Shopping Cart), and voila! I am the proud owner of yet another attractively-bound package of paper potential.

This is why I have a closet drawer full of notebooks, lined and blank, large and small. Some of them have one page filled with a sketch or a few notes, which is a pity. If they were still completely blank, I could give them away to friends who would use them.

The trouble is that tastes change with the times. I used to carry a backpack practically everywhere, so carrying a large notebook or sketchbook with me at all times seemed more reasonable. (I was a student, so carrying a lot of heavy books was less of an issue back then.) Nowadays, my pack is much smaller, both for space and health reasons. It turns out that carrying a large backpack with everything in it you might need if you had the attention span of a concussed goldfish about with you at all times is not precisely good for your back, your knees, your ankles, or any of your other joints. Thus, the notebook I carry with me everywhere (more on this in a future blog entry) is considerably smaller and more of a combination notebook and sketchbook. Not only that, but I have become quite fond of writing with fountain pens, which means I have been forced to become much, much pickier about paper and ink.

Thus, many of my older notebooks have been deemed “unsuitable” for daily carry and left in the drawer. (I really should pull them out for drawing at home. I hate waste.)

In any case, on to the True Confession: Not only did I purchase two notebooks during my recent trip to New York, but I have also ordered ink and stationery. Remember how I said that part of the reason for me to start this whole letter-and-art-sending habit was to try to use up my stationery supplies? Well…that’s been rather a failure so far. On the bright side, it means that I can soon do some reviews of the new paper and inks, once I’ve started using them.

To be fair, I sent my first LWA Pen Pal Letter on paper that I already had in my drawer. I was very proud of myself–old paper, written nicely, with hand-drawn art (snails) on both letter and envelope. However, did I remember to scan, or even photograph, my work before I sent it off? I did not. I may have gotten a little overexcited. Still, we shall see what comes of it. I hope she writes back soon.

I also received my first letter from my second LWA Pen Pal! I wrote back to her the same day (no photos of that, either–I am sorry), and that went in the mail yesterday. I’m very excited about her–we have so many interests in common! I hope she writes back soon.

Today’s mail included a small note to an Aunt with whom I had lost touch. We used to send mail art to one another long, long ago, and I am hoping to rekindle that tradition with her.

At this point, all of my stationery has arrived, and also more ink from J. Herbin. I just can’t resist those little canisters!

What have you been writing lately? Have you bought anything fun? Have you written to a friend? Have you made a new one?

Categories: Confessions, Mailings | Tags: , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Joining The Alliance

In Which Our Heroine Receives Her First Assignment

Guess what came in the mail today?

My first Pen Pal Assignment from the Letter Writers Alliance!

I am rather excited. Her address is in New York, not far from where I visited in April. I can’t wait to start writing–but how do I introduce myself? Should I send a resume’? A biography? A list of interests? A drawing of a cat? I know nothing of her, and she knows nothing of me. What would create the best first impression? Is there an etiquette manual about this?

Perhaps I should simply hope to impress her with my penmanship. Perhaps I am overthinking this, as usual.

In other news, Mailing #4 is winging its way to a friend in need!

My friend is going through a tough time–I hope that receiving this in the mail will bring a smile to her face.

Time to write!

Categories: Introductions, Mailings, Pondering | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Happy Response

In Which Our Heroine Takes Joy In Other People’s Happiness

This arrived in my Twitter Feed today:

(Click on the link to see the photo.)

Mailing #3 has landed, and I have that warm fuzzy feeling that comes from a Random Act of Art.

This is encouraging. Remember, Dear Reader–something like this, a little drawing with a short note on the back, can mean a good deal to a friend who is having a hard day (or is having a great day, for that matter).

I declare this Experiment a Success!

Categories: Mailings | Tags: , | 1 Comment

O Frabjous Day! Calloo! Callay!

In Which Our Heroine Contemplates An Excellent Mail Day

Today’s visit to the mailbox yielded a particularly delightful harvest:

Pictured: Membership Kit from Letter Writers Alliance, J. Herbin ink cartridges and Ohto Tasche fountain pen from JetPens.com.

Not Pictured: Letter Writers Alliance Membership Card

I finally received my Membership Kit from Letter Writers Alliance! I am so excited! I cannot wait to sign up for the Pen Pal Swap and start sending and receiving more letters! (I think I have to send in a letter in order to make that happen. I should get writing!)

I also received my latest JetPens order: My second Tasche Ohto fountain pen (my first real fountain pen was the same one but with a blue body), plus some very pretty tins full of J. Herbin ink cartridges in “Eclat de Saphir,” “Larmes de Cassis,” and “Ambre de Birmanie.” I may have to get more fountain pens so that I have one for each color. I adore these tiny tins. I have such a vulnerability to excellent packaging.

Have you received something wonderful in the mail recently? Tell me about it in the comments!

Time to get writing!

Categories: Mailings | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

Writing Anxiety

In Which Our Heroine is Already Concerned About Her Blogging Powers

I should probably warn you, Dear Reader, that I am embarking on this new Blog with a certain amount of trepidation. I want–very badly–for this to be a good and useful Blog, not only to myself, but also to you. At the same time, this Blog needs to be for me to use as I wish. I do not want to lock myself down and, above all, I do not want to build up expectations that will surely doom all of us to disappointment. That Way Lies Madness. I worry about neglecting The Other Blog in my excitement over this New Shiny Blog. I worry about Not Being Able To Persist–about starting things I will not be able or willing to finish. (This is a Known Flaw in my Character.)

However, as I ponder these things, I realize the following:
1) The more I practice writing, the better my writing will be. Therefore, writing here can only benefit The Other Blog.
2) Each entry I write here will boost my Self-Discipline and Persistence. Practice is the key. This will, obviously, Build Character.
3) This is my Blog, where I should write what I like. Your expectations, Dear Reader, are your own to look after. I do hope that this Blog will be Educational, Entertaining, and Enjoyable for all of us, but I certainly cannot promise to be spot-on every time. That is what this Blog is about, ultimately: Improvement.

So, since Improvement requires Practice, I can also post here as often as I like without feeling guilty. It seems odd to feel guilt for posting too often, but there it is. Further Self-Analysis may be required to figure out that particular puzzle.

Mailing #1 finally made it into the mailbox yesterday and is winging its way to its Intended Recipient. Mailing #2, “This Is Your Chicken,” is going out today.

I do not usually attempt anything close to this kind of realism, but this was done in the spirit of Challenging Myself. It is, at least, recognizable as a chicken. I used the same materials as Mailing #1: 3×5 “Window” card, pencil, Sharpie pen, and really cheap “Colorific” colored pencils. I have to say that I really prefer the Sharpie pen over many other art pens–I can run my eraser over the lines without them greying out. The message on the back of the card is rather silly. I feel that I need to work on being clever and pithy instead. That’s another challenge. “Pithy” is not my middle name, to be frank.

How are you challenging yourself?

Categories: Mailings, Pondering | Tags: , | 2 Comments

The Well-Lettered Lady: An Introduction

In which Our Heroine begins her Great Experiment/Adventure and, Just Possibly, is Already In Over Her Head

This morning, I joined the Letter Writers Alliance in an effort to write more often, improve my writing thereby, and learn to loosen up a bit with my art.  By recording my experiences/attempts/failures here, I hope to keep a record of this Ephemera, even as I send it out into the world.  The idea is freeing–once a letter or drawing (or both) is sent, it is out of my hands.  It may spur a conversation, inspire a friend, or just provide a bright spot when it is needed most.  It may be utterly ignored.  I may never know.

I also plan to use this Blog as a place to record general thoughts about Writing, Drawing, and the Artistic Process (at least through my eyes and experiences).

I believe one should start as one means to go on, so this is Mailing #1:

The photo is a bit blurry, I’m afraid, but it will have to do.  I hope to get a scanner hooked up for future postings.  In any case, this is “The First Flower of Spring,” a quick sketch in pencil, inked with Sharpie pen, and colored with some very cheap colored pencils I picked up a while ago.  It was fun to just sit down and draw–I haven’t done that in a long time.

The card is a 3 x 5 “window” card from Levenger, which is a place that can suck you down into a wonderful, expensive pit of stationery.

Mailing #1 goes in the post today or tomorrow, depending on when I can get to the Post Office.

Let the Adventure Begin!

Categories: Introductions, Mailings | Tags: , , | 3 Comments

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