Ok I have a crush on Casey Neistat. Its not a “I want him to be my boyfriend” crush, although he is adorable. Its more of a “I desire to have that combination of energy, creativity, and focus” kind of crush. Like a vampire, I have a crush on his chutzpah. And his studio.
While many of Neistat’s internet movies start stronger than they end, he is still the King of my Youtube. AND! In his video, Do the Right Thing, snail mail pulls rank over email. Adamantly. Now I can add champion of snail mail to Neistat’s attractive qualities. I sent him a SASE and sure enough he mailed me a sticker pack. Well, since I follow him on Instagram I know he was not in NYC, so someone in his studio mailed me a sticker pack.
Let me be clear. I love my husband. And if he took off to make movies for days at a time and stayed up all night editing and drove our car in to a pond, we’d be divorced.
viva internet crushes and real love too!
Are you a fan of Story Corps? I am. And it seems that USPS Stamps is too, as they rolled out something similar called The Love Letters Project, in time for Valentine’s Day. I enjoyed listening to these audio recordings and hearing people’s very personal correspondence stories. I hope the series continues and that the producers of this admirable project cast a wider story net. All 5 stories are about white people and that does not reflect our incredibly diverse citizenry.
Valentine making season has been so much fun! I co-hosted a valentine making event at my son’s school, hosted Make Mail! workshops for kids, had a craft night with friends, made valentine-y pictures with my art students, made a bunch on my own, and assisted my kids in making valentines for their classmates. Whew!
Hope its been fun for you too. Happy Valentine’s Day to you, dear readers.
By now you know that I love valentines. I love opening an envelope and finding hearts glued to paper with a handwritten message. So when I saw this Box Top collection sheet I cringed. Valentines and Box Tops? Those 2 things do NOT go together!
I think I had that reaction because I associate valentines with love, creativity, and generosity and my associations with Box Tops are crankier. I resent that American families are fundraising for our public schools 10 cents at a time. I resent that we are taking time out of our lives to buy, cut, paste, and then tally little pieces of paper from a Fortune 500 company. It feels, uh, humiliating to be grovelling for a dollar. The sensation reminds me of this ubiquitous poster from 1979 by the Women’s International League for Peace & Freedom.
Box Tops are better than nothing but real love for our children, real creativity, real generosity will require an epic re-evaluation of our national priorities.
You tell em Charlotte. This letter from a seven year old girl to Lego made my day. The gender politics of Lego are something I think about. My 7 year old son is a dedicated Lego builder and there is 1 female in his fleet of figurines, Nia from Lego’s Ninjago story/product line. Needless to say, my 4 year old daughter gravitates to Nia whenever she sidles up to her brother’s Lego table. So while I feel a bit repelled by my daughter’s full embrace of My Little Pony, I also get it. Its a story/product line in which the central characters are female. Yes they are also ponies but they do things and say things and have opinions and are you know, there. As Charlotte writes, us girls want to play games where girls “go on adventures and have fun ok!?!”
Despite assertions by my wise grandmother that I should be underwritten by the USPS, I’m not doing all this for them. My devotion is to communication, to paper, to art, to the hand-made. And that can happen without a stamp. This past week my daughter and I were thinking up creative ways to spend a cold, winter afternoon and decided to leave pictures and clementines on our hallway neighbors’ doorsteps.
And we got several responses, including this beautiful letter.
I am gearing up for valentine making season, one of my favorite times of year. I just ordered these valentine stamps on usps.com for upcoming workshops. Designed by USPS art director Antonio Alcalá and illustrated by Q. Cassetti, they were inspired by a form of scherenschnitte, the traditional German art of cut paper illustration, called liebesbriefe. Liebesbriefe are ornately cut and painted love letters. I could not find many examples on the internet. If you know about liebesbriefe, let me know! This one from 1809 was on the site, Free Library of Philadelphia, where you can read more about this intricate love letter.
Scherenschnitte means “scissor cuts” in German and there are so many incredible scherenschitte boards on Pinterest. Take a look! And then perhaps buy some exacto blades and give it a try.
Take a look at the interview with John Waters in the NYT about his Christmas traditions. He’s been making his own Christmas cards since 1964 and sends them to over 2000 addresses. I want on that mailing list!
I have received one holiday card so far (and it was a good one, Hope Roth) and find myself, once again, stuck between the handmade, Gocco printed vision and the reality of other commitments. When will I learn to make my cards in November? But I will rally and get ‘em done because I am partial to my non traditional contributions to the tradition.
Viva Non Traditional Holiday Cards! And traditional ones too…