Success

Saturday’s valentine making workshops for kids at Hootenanny Art House were fantastic!

 

Cute shorties, aka participants, made 37 pieces of mail! Plus the previous weekend’s workshop produced 6 pieces for a total of 43 valentines that will be sent out next week.

Viva Valentines!

Viva Valentines!

My favorite mail related holiday is just a few weeks away. So get out your scissors and glue stick and start cutting some paper hearts.

Your Grandma/neighbor/dentist/cousin/son/BFF/girlfriend will be so grateful to receive a little love in the mail.

Here’s one I made last year.

 

Postage

Postage rates have gone up. The new domestic rate for a one ounce letter is 45 cents and 32 cents for a postcard. I can hear your thoughts. You’re grumbling something about “Didn’t they just raise the rates? Now I have to go buy more stamps at the post office? Why are they making this hard for me?” Right? Does that sound about right?

Well I agree with you in some ways. The incremental increases ARE annoying. For me its not because I don’t want to pay more money. I would gladly pay more to send paper mail. I mean the new rate to send a letter to Mexico is 85 cents! Orbitz.com claims that for me to bring my letter to Mexico City myself would cost a little over $600.00. What annoys me is having to keep track of the rates so I don’t send mail with too little postage on it.  And for that annoyance I have two words for you. Or for me. Or for whoever is annoyed. Forever Stamps. They are good for, well, Forever. And no, they’re not really meant for International mail. But they’re super convenient for domestic letters. And here’s a VSM tip that I stand by. Buy your stamps on USPS.com. Its convenient and the selection is excellent. Those new Birds of Prey stamps look good!

And how’s this for a strategy for streamlining the sending of paper mail?

I think Hallmark’s Postage Paid Greetings idea is brilliant, although their presentation is lacking. Stamps are way more beautiful to look at but I am interested to see if this concept could be used by smaller purveyers of cards and stationary.

 

 

 

Subscription mail

We subscribe to magazines that arrive in the mail right? But what about subscribing for actual mail?

This past summer I subscribed to Abe’s Penny, a literary and art micro-magazine that arrives in the form of weekly postcards. While I was at it, I bought my children a subscription to Abe’s Peanut, the same idea but for kids. The postcard magazines are consistent treats in our mailbox. We love receiving them and following the serialized content from week to week. Here is an example of an Abe’s Penny postcard front and back.

Last week my friend Randi alerted me to Rumpus’s Letters in the Mail. For five dollars a month ($10 for international subscriptions) you will receive letters from writers on topics of their choosing. I signed up immediately!

So what do you think of the mail subscription model? A great use of your mailbox as a cultural receptacle? Kind of like hiring a prostitute? A bit of both? I for one, am inspired. I’ll let you know when I get my first Letters in the Mail letter.

 

Birthday mail

A while back I had a birthday. And it was just fine. One of the highlights was that my stepfather, Biskit, sent me a whole bunch of postcards. In fact he sent me one postcard for every year that I have been alive and THAT is apparently quite alot of postcards! I love this idea and encourage you to shower someone with postcard love in 2012.

 

Thank you notes

Obligatory, yes. But potentially fun too? Possibly. I have been asking my son to draw pictures of his toys in action and am sending those out as thank you notes. Its a slow process but the results will be appreciated, I think.

And my mom sent us this winter scene postcard as a thank you note. Postcards always make me happy. Thanks Mom.

Happy New Year!

This day symbolically bridges the old and the new, however arbitrary that may be. Spring buds and back to school are much more useful indicators of the new for me. In any case FOUR friends alerted me to Roger Angell’s “Life and Letters” piece in this week’s New Yorker that nostalgically looks back at the importance of paper mail. A lovely companion piece is Pico Iyer’s “The Joy of Quiet” in today’s New York Times, about the future and how we just might adjust our screen time to better serve our selves.

So in with the old, out with the new? Not quite. I stand by my belief that we can make room in our electronic lives for paper mail. We can aspire for balance between the best of then and now. And whatever will be next.

Viva Snail Mail!