Last weekend I hosted a Make Mail table at a Hanukkah Art Fair for kids ages 2 to 10 at Hannah Senesh Community Day School in Brooklyn. It was alot of fun. The Hanukkah postage stamps were a hit!
I loved that some parents felt inspired to make mail of their own and again, big ups to smart phones as mailing address retrieval devices!
Apparently Viva Snail Mail got a shout out on Oprah Winfrey’s blog, Life Lift. Who knew? From one media empire builder to another!
VSM hosted another fantastic Make Mail! event this week. Some very enthusiastic kids at our local playground made pictures and letters, picked out either a bicycle or cartoon postage stamp, stuck them on envelopes, carefully wrote out addresses, and sent them off to friends and family. One kid even wrote to the President! And since we know that Obama is a stellar correspondent, he might just get a reply. If not, we’ll cut him some slack. I mean, there are just a few things on the POTUS’s plate right now.
I love hosting free mail making events for kids. And I am so grateful that supplies have been covered by small donations from people who like what I am doing. Please consider making a donation so that I can continue this fun mission. Thanks and Viva Snail Mail!
Some highlights from this month’s Make Mail! table at The Green-Woodstock Spring event in Brooklyn:
A letter to Katy Perry written by a Kindergartener, with hardly any spelling help.
The first time I had seen the keyboard heart symbol written by hand.
Visits from creative friends and neighbors.
And almost 50 pieces of mail made and sent!
I am thrilled to announce that there is a new after school program in Brooklyn called Inventgenuity Workshops with many fantastic offerings, including a Mail Art class that I will be teaching for children in grades 2-5. Here’s a description:
Remember paper mail? How fun it was? Well, in this workshop kids will get to experience that fun by creating handmade mail for friends and family! We’ll draw pictures, write letters, create mystery notes, make collages, design stickers, adorn envelopes, and potato print stationery. Then we’ll apply postage stamps and send our mail-able art by post. Viva Snail Mail!
Spread the word! Thanks for your support.
Yours truly is quoted in an article in today’s USA Today by Bob Minzesheimer. He wrote a great article about Rumpus’ “Letters in the Mail” subscription. I think airport terminals and hotel lobbies are the only places I have read USA Today. Local newspapers dominate the news stands around here. But thanks to the internet you can read the article right here. Viva Snail Mail!
On Saturday I hosted a MAKE MAIL! workshop with kids at our local playground in Brooklyn and it was great! While my friend Dari was teaching that perennial camp craft, lanyard tying to bigger kids, I provided art supplies, paper, envelopes, and postage for children 3 and up. It was fun and free for kids who weren’t on vacation or at camp and they made some beautiful mail. Quite a few cousins and dads and moms and grandmas will be feeling the postal love this week.
Special thanks to my Grandma Pat, whose donated stamps were adeptly applied to colorful envelopes by small hands. Please consider making a donation to VSM too.
My son made these envelopes for a dinosaur art envelope contest that was hosted by the dinosaur illustrator James Gurney. They were fun to make and mail and Gurney returned the favor by sending my son a package that contained some self promoting material and a dinosaur doorknob hanger. It reads, “Do not enter. Violators will be eaten.” and is currently hanging on my son’s bedroom doorknob but I just ignore it.
This has got me thinking about hosting a Viva Snail Mail envelope art contest. Wanna? I am imagining envelopes adorned with hand written praise for postal workers, watercolor illustrations of mailboxes, love letters drawn on the outside. First 20 submissions win a pony? Or some envelopes? Please hit me with some suggestions of how to actually do this. And if you work at an art space, can we hang our envelope art show on your walls in 2012?
Hey guess what? Viva Snail Mail was included in a round up of analog love in New York City in this week’s New York Magazine. I loved reading about the other users and enthusiasts of pre-digital technologies, because my analog appreciation extends beyond paper mail. I am also a fan of film cameras, vinyl records, letterpress, bookbinding, pinball, and typewriters. Let’s face facts. I kind of want to be this lady, but with fluffier hair.
Analog love from 1947. I found it at the New York City Public Library Picture Collection but don’t know who the photographer was.
After Bloomberg Business Week’s cover story, The End of Mail, the popular website Freakonomics is asking readers to vote on ways to save the USPS from complete economic collapse. After reading these articles, I watched my cheerful and lovely mailman roll his mail cart up to my building with a better understanding of just how bad things are. And then when I opened my mailbox to retrieve some completely not interesting bills and junk, my heart sank knowing that this crap is what’s paying my mailman’s salary. According to Bloomberg Business Week, in 2005 junk mail surpassed first class mail in volume. The USPS needs 3 pieces of junk mail to replace the profit made from one piece of real mail with a first class stamp. Blech.
In more adorable news, remember the World’s Smallest Post Service? Lea from Leafcutter Designs has joined forces with Chronicle Books to sell a World’s Smallest Post Service home kit! How great is that? Maybe we can all buy them and send mail with 44 dollar postage stamps, no 444 dollar postage stamps, and turn this thing around! What da ya say?