postcard avalanche


Today I am participating in a snail mail action called #postcard avalanche! If you find Stephen Bannon a troubling Chief White House Strategist for President Elect Donald Trump, then put pen to postcard too! If you are not familiar with Bannon, here is an article in The Washington Post about him. And if you choose to participate, send out those postcards by Monday November 28th and share your paper mail on social media with the hashtags #postcardavalanche and #stopbannon.

I must say it was very strange to go through the familiar ritual of hand addressing a postcard but this time I was writing Trump’s mailing address. And it was not a good strange.

white house mail

These days I would not wish President Obama’s job on anyone, including President Obama. What an intense and awful summer it has been for the guy. Ukraine, Gaza, Iraq, Furguson, MO, Washington, DC. Oy vey. That’s why I found it particularly sweet when 2 participants in one of my summer Make Mail! workshops made beautiful and elaborate letter collages for the President. While we know that Obama has a committed paper correspondence practice and excellent handwriting, he did not personally write back this time. However a package from the White House with photos of the First Family was still a thrill to receive. Viva Snail Mail!


johnny cash forever!

This past weekend Greenpoint Hand Skills and Viva Snail Mail! co-hosted Johnny Cash Forever, a mail making workshop inspired by the 2013 Johnny Cash postage stamps. Participants were invited to make a card inspired by Cash’s lyrics, write a letter to a favorite Johnny Cash fan, or simply send a missive to a like minded friend. Craft supplies, black envelopes, and postage stamps were provided.

cash letter

One woman made a card for her college age son and planned to include some Johnny Cash cash in the envelope. Smart phones made excellent devices for retrieving lyrics and the black envelopes looked great with white pencil and metallic sharpies.

cash mail

This guy just happened to be walking by and saw the sign. He felt compelled to come in and make mail since he was wearing a Johnny Cash t-shirt.jc tee

So go buy Johnny Cash stamps and send mail to the Johnny Cash fans in your life. Or better yet, buy them a sheet of stamps as a gift.


Johnny Cash Forever!



Snail Mail My Email

Did you hear about Snail Mail My Email a few years back? A gentleman named Ivan Cash proposed that people send email messages for volunteers to convert into paper missives, to be sent around the world. And it worked! Hundreds of people participated and thousands of pieces of mail were sent.  The fruits of that fun project have been published in a book. What a perfect gift for uh, Easter? Tax Day? Or maybe just cuz.

Yet another example of the creative potential in using the scope of the internet to foster the handmade.

Viva Snail Mail!




Paris Letters

Who wouldn’t want handmade mail from Paris?  I think no one. Do double negatives make a positive in French? I digress.

With The Paris Letters Project, Janice MacLeod is providing us all the opportunity to receive some Parisian mail. Here’s how it works. Subscribe to Paris Letters: The Haute Couture of Snail Mail for yourself or as a gift. MacLeod paints a watercolor scene of Paris, writes a letter on it, copies it and then personalizes it for you or your recipient. Then she mails it from Paris with pretty postage. She sometimes even tucks a lil Parisian ephemera in there too.


Bunny Mail

One of the pleasures of this VSM hobby/passion/practice is that some of the adults in my life send very creative mail to my children. Our mailbox is a fun place where paper surprises appear.

Gifted illustrator and nature observer, Beatrix Potter, began many of her now famous children’s books as fun mail. She wrote and drew picture letters to children of friends and family members. Later she borrowed back these letters and used them as the inspiration for books like The Tale of Peter Rabbit, which was published in 1902.

Beatrix Potter: The Picture Letters is on exhibit at the Morgan Library in Manhattan until January 27, 2013. There is a reading area of Potter’s books so bring a kid along! You can view examples on the Morgan Library’s online exhibition.



I was so moved by the NOLA TO NEW YORK blog. People in New Orleans who survived Hurricane Katrina submit photos of themselves with handwritten messages to people in NY/NJ where we are immersed, in some cases literally, in recovery efforts. Such an excellent fusion of the personalized use of human handwriting and the connective power of the internet.