Snail Mail

May 2016 – Outgoing Snail Mail

     You know, I feel I should be doing my snail mail posts on a Saturday or Sunday to make use of alliteration. Doesn’t ‘Snail Mail Sundays’ sound good? But I like my Monday, Wednesday and Friday schedule. ‘Mail Mondays’ could work but that’s my planner post day…maybe I’m just over thinking this. Let’s just get to the actual snail mail part!

Photo - May 2016 - Outgoing - Postcards     I mentioned my Postcrossing stats last week and them being out of whack. Well, they’re almost back in order. I sent out 7 postcards at the start of May! These went off to France, America, Japan, Germany, Czech Republic, Taiwan and Russia. Most of these were tourist postcards. They’re the easiest to send when people say they like landscapes and such…or when they just don’t have anything written on their profile at all. A bit annoying that. I do my best to send cards I think a person will like but I need some information to help my decision!

     Anyway, the last postcard I sent was a very, very simple watercolour drawing but I forgot to picture it. Whoops!

     I sent all seven postcards out on the same day and they all had the same stamp so I had a bit of an otter army!

Photo - May 2016 - Outgoing - Otter Army

     Onto Swap-bot now. I mentioned the chocolate swap I was involved in last week. I got chocolate from Sweden and I sent a box full off to New Zealand, with of course a tea bag or two as little extras because really, a nice cuppa is needed when enjoying some chocolate as the weather gets cooler as it is on that side of the world.

Photo - May 2016 - Outgoing -  Chocolate Swap

     But it’s time now to take a look at my pen pal letters and mail art! I tried to up my game in making nice looking envelopes to send out in May. My favourites by far are the colouring book envelopes. I sent this snake off to Keely as it was the closest I could get to a dragon and I know she likes dragons! I would have liked to have had a stamp to go with the envelope but Ireland doesn’t have snakes so of course we don’t have snake stamps. An eel was the closest looking thing I could get!

Photo - May 2016 - Outgoing - Snake Envelope

Photo - May 2016 - Outgoing - Rhino Envelope     I’m also quite fond of this somewhat grumpy looking rhino (I’m sure he’s just guarding carefully the letter inside). I sent him off to my friend in the Netherlands and I have no doubts it got there safely with him on watch!

     For my third colouring book based envelope of the month I went for something a little different. Rather than make a full page into an envelope, I cut out an image, in this case a panda, and stuck it onto a brown envelope. I decided to keep it a very simple black and white…and brown, theme so I found a stamp that’s mostly black and kept my lettering very simple. If I have to pick, I think this is my favourite envelope of the month – shows that sometimes less is more!

Photo - May 2016 - Outgoing -  Panda

     Sometimes I like to use pretty notecards when I write letters to my pen pals but I have a habit of waffling on and I end up with some pretty long letters that definitely won’t fit into a single card! My solution for this is to get a few sheets of decorative paper that are white on one side, fold them in half and stick them inside using some washi tape. It’s a simple solution but it works for when you need to make more space in those cards – just turn them into booklets!

     This next envelope is a page from a free promotional magazine about Limerick City. It’s a picture of one of the bridges at night. I thought it would be fun to use the seal stamp I had as the blue was the same so it looks a bit like he’s swimming in the sky!

Photo - May 2016 - Outgoing -  Limerick Envelope

Photo - May 2016 - Outgoing -  Floral Envelope     Again, this was a really simple envelope to decorate. It was just a standard white envelope that I glued a piece of floral patterned paper to. I used a small strip to different patterned paper at the bottom to cover up the rest of the white envelope and stuck the address label over the part where they meet. Simple but effective.

     You may remember my last giveaway a few weeks back. Well, these are the two envelopes I sent the goodies off in:

Photo - May 2016 - Outgoing -  Giveaway Envelopes

     These are pretty large envelopes. I made them using my envelope bunch board. The paper was 11.5×11.5 inches it made the largest envelopes that punch board can make. I love the paper – they’re from a paper pack I got in Tiger a few months ago. Most of the images in the paper pack are winter related but these too had enough colour in them to be used for the spring. Gotta love paper designed to look like cross-stitch!

     And finally, these last two envelopes were made using some pages from a dream journal:

     So there are my highlights from the month of May. I’m gonna have to figure out how to top myself for June’s outgoing mail!

     And oh yes before I go, stamp time! Take a look at a few more of the Irish stamps I used for the month of May:

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44 thoughts on “May 2016 – Outgoing Snail Mail

  1. I’m so jealous of your stamps. I can only buy the bog-standard ones. I don’t know if that’s because I get my shopping delivered or if the UK just doesn’t have nice stamps (except at Christmas).

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    1. The UK has loads of lovely stamps! I love the stamps my UK pen pal uses – Harry Potter and Star Wars ones to begin with!
      I get nice stamps because I buy them online from An Post. GPOs might have a big selection but my local post office is just a smaller one so if I bought them there I think they’d only have the few standard ones. Buying online allows me to select exactly what I want from all the stamps on offer so I can get some of the ones released a few years ago rather than just this years. 🙂

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    2. Ooh. I’ll have to check out Royal Mail’s website, then. The few times I’ve been on there, I was looking for specific denominations and didn’t even realise you could get “fancy” ones. 😮

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    1. I’m so happy to hear that! You might find making envelopes can get a little addictive, at least it has for me! I love finding pages that suit the personality and likes of my different pen pals to really personalise my mail.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. i have TONS of different papers to use. i was really into planners for a while and went crazy with papers for making dividers, but now since i mostly snail mail, i can actually put them to good use again! i found this really amazing map with such bright colors i’m going to turn into an envelop at some point. just waiting for the perfect chance. and that’s such a good idea about matching papers/patterns to the pen pal. i only have two at the moment, but i’m excited to personalize their letters even more. :3

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    3. It’s so easy to build up a paper collection, isn’t it?
      A map envelope sounds lovely, I absolutely love map themed stationery. I’m sure that perfect chance will come to make it and send it to someone. 🙂

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  2. Beautiful handmade envelopes! I eapecially like that with the bridge and that with the bed 🙂
    And for stamps, my favourite is that with the orchid but if I had to pick one I’d choose that with Dracula because I am lazily collecting stamps with fictional characters. Ireland issues nice stamps, indeed.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I was a bit worried about my bridge envelope because it was made from flimsy paper but I just got a reply letter from my pen pal so obviously it made it safely to it’s destination!
      Ireland does have some nice stamps, my only problem with them is that the nice ones are often ones from a year years ago worth awkward amounts because the cost of sending letters has changed a lot since then. I end up using a lot of low value stamps trying to make up the amount!

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  3. I was always taught to put the persons name you are sending the envelope to in the middle and your name in the top left corner. But, with mail art I guess you do what you want. Somehow it makes it to your friend not back to you!!
    Your envelopes are so much fun.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha, yes, with mail art it goes where you want! Sometimes I put my name and address in the top left corner, other times on the back – that way I have more space to decorate. Plus, if there’s only one address on the front, even if it’s not in the middle…well it’s obvious where it needs to go so just put it wherever the design leaves space for! 🙂

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    2. Just gotta take that risk sometimes to make pretty mail – if it helps, any problems I’ve had of mail going missing hasn’t been because of my mail art because the ones that went missing weren’t even decorated, or at least the only decoration was the address written clearly on a nice label, so decorating doesn’t seem to impact my mail getting somewhere!

      Liked by 1 person

    3. Bahaha! I was taught to put the return address on the back, and the recipient’s address left-aligned in the middle. My dad caught me doing that once and said “you’re supposed to put the recipient’s address centre-aligned in the middle” (paraphrasing). I wonder if address style is just another trend or our generation are just doing it “wrong”?

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    4. I think it has something to do with the machines that sort the mail. I have a p.o. box and the lady who puts my mail in my box always loves to see the art work that comes in for me. She always tells me how she loves to see my mail!

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    5. Probably! Well, for sure I could never get addresses to look good if I centre-aligned them, though, so maybe I just took the initiative and forgot later that it wasn’t standard format. xD

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  4. Ooh–I love the river otters…and the seal…and your panda & bridge envelopes!

    Don’t let reality box you in: if you want to entitle something “Mail Monday,” or “Snail Mail Saturday,” or what have you, just do it & ignore what that day’s calendar is screaming out! This has been a Missive from Mars (written from Earth), a Thursday Thought (written on Wednesday).

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    1. Definitely a favourite of mine that panda is. To start with it’s a panda and who doesn’t think those are adorable, but also the simple kraft envelope works so well with it!

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  5. Those are some lovely notes going out. 😀

    I’ve had the same issue with my own blog, trying to design an editorial calendar that works for basically everything I want to post. I think I’ve mostly sorted it out now, but it’s a pain when you’ve got an awesome alliteration you can’t make work! 😄

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    1. I know, sucks when I can’t use alliteration! I mean, ‘Mail Time Mondays’ would be awesome, or ‘Maker / Making Mondays’ for crafts…maybe it’s just a Monday thing xD And instead of having either of those two things on a Monday, I have Planners…there’s sadly no days of the week beginning with ‘p’ in English, or Dutch or Japanese (so sad, I even considered putting titles in the languages I’m learning just or alliteration :D)

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    2. It’s the same for Instagram, have you noticed? Lots of ways to use Mondays, but barely anything for Tuesdays or Thursdays.

      You could go with Monday Mail, too! Or Monday Makes. But yeah, not much for Planning. I just kinda went with Planner Monday (though my stats tell me that Saturdays are the most popular day for me, so I’m considering moving and that will be even harder. Mondays at least alliterate with Musings and Muse!)

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    3. Alliteration, very popular on instagram! Follow Fridays, Washi Wednesday…
      Monday mail could really work for me, especially because I tend to send my mail out on a monday…but I’ve already filled my blog schedule in with planner posts on mondays till the end of the summer so I guess I won’t changing anything around until then! xD
      Really? Mondays tend to be my most popular day. I post on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays so it’s not just because I post something, unless maybe it’s just that my planner posts are most popular but I don’t think they are…maybe it’s just everyone catching up after the weekend. I know I’ve started taking the weekend off major blog reading and commenting so I catch up with replies and reading on a Monday.

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    4. Yeah, I thought it was a bit weird because I don’t normally post on Saturdays, but WordPress says that 21% of folks read my blog then. I think I might stick to posting on Mondays, but my schedule seems kind of top-heavy (Mondays for most posts so it works out each category is once a month despite posting weekly lol, Fridays for freebies, Sundays for weekly spreads, and Saturdays for my monthly spreads. Uh. Yeah, I hadn’t really considered that all my posts go out over the weekend. Oops!)

      I love that I’ve managed to find cat-related hashtags for most of the week, too: meowmonday, whiskerswednesday, purrsday, caturday. I can’t remember the ones for the rest of the week but they’re not as cute and I really struggled for Tuesdays again!

      If you’ve got planner posts that aren’t specific to a time (like a review of a product that’s not urgent) you could reschedule a couple to slot in two or three months’ worth of mail. That’s why I’ve stopped trying to use a paper blog planner: I keep changing my mind on what should go where. I used to schedule the posts in WordPress then also in Trello, but now I just leave them sitting in my “ready to schedule” list until I know for sure they’re actually going out. Unless it’s a timely post, in which case I’ll schedule it asap.

      Out of curiosity, what sort of system do you have for scheduling and planning your blog? I’ve tried all kinds but nothing quite fits my tendency to batch-write months in advance (I’ve got posts for my writing category well up to the end of next year!)

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    5. Haha, ya, maybe that explains your Saturday popularity! Actually, I just checked and apparently my current most popular day is Friday with 20% of views. Sure that only changed recently though because last time I had checked it had been Monday. And 8% of views are at 12pm – well that makes sense, that’s when I schedule my posts to go out.
      I outline my blog planning method here in this post: https://puddlesidemusings.wordpress.com/2016/04/18/planning-with-geo-2-a-tour-of-my-planner/
      Basically I use a week per page view to keep track the posts to go out for that week and another section for my ideas that I can reference when trying to think of topics for that week. I fill in the time sensitive stuff (like obviously my year of planners post needed to be roughly a year after I started!) and then I work from there. I tend to plan topics a few weeks in advance so I have an idea of what I have, if I need to take photos or in some situations, if I need to get of my ass and make something! I don’t write posts for the next week on the Saturday or Sunday but I like to have them planned before that. It’s currently working well for my as a blog planning system!

      Liked by 1 person

    6. Sounds like a good system to have if it works for you. 🙂 I think I’m slowly settling into one that works for me, too. Mostly digital, in my case, since I do change my mind so much.

      Thanks for the link! I’ll check that out. I’m always interested to know how other “casual” bloggers do it compared to the #girlbosses who have to be much stricter about what they do when. I’ve read so many tips and blogging advice articles, I get kind of bogged down and forget I’m doing it for fun! But I can only write on good days with my ME so I spend a lot of “down” time picking up tidbits and taking care of the mindless tasks that can be fun but not too demanding (like making graphics and editing photos).

      I wonder if it’s just something about our particular niche that makes readers most active at 12pm. My posts have been going out at 10am and I’m still getting better stats two hours later, so it must be something in the water. ;D My best day used to be Thursdays, which was very strange given that the bulk of my posts go out on Monday. o_O

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    7. Yes, try not to get bogged down about it! Planning it too much can sometimes just ruin the enjoyment you get out of something. 🙂
      I don’t know what it is about 12pm, because that’s 12pm my time but I know from the rest of my stats that a large portion of my readers are American so surely that would mean their reading at 4 or 5 in the morning.
      Maybe we’re thing too much about this, I think we’re getting bogged down with these stats!

      Liked by 1 person

    8. You’re right. I gotta admit I find it fascinating, though! My readership seems mostly British with a few across the world, probably because I’m targeting mostly UK planners in my posts (by accident, really, just because that’s who I am). It is weird that your American readers are apparently up so late (or early?) I guess it depends on their time zone, though. The east coast is, what, eight hours behind us, and the west is another four behind them, I think? So it might actually be more like 11-midnight. ;D

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    9. Haha, no, I’m also fascinated by stats so I understand! It can get addictive though checking on them and then trying to figure out patterns!
      I guess maybe because I write about general things that aren’t location specific sometimes, like reviews can be, I have more of an American audience…although I have a decent enough European audience also, I think. Not much of an Irish presence on my blog though – I’ve only come across two other Irish craft, planner and snail mail bloggers!

      Liked by 1 person

    10. Mhm. I only check my stats on Mondays for that reason. Bit of a rabbit hole, otherwise! And I’ll admit I don’t really understand metrics so it’s kind of like trying to figure out how a time machine works when you aren’t a physicist. 😄

      The UK planner community seems tiny in comparison to the American one, so I’m not surprised that Ireland, a smaller country, has an even smaller community. xD Or maybe you just haven’t found them yet!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. You always write such funny mail posts 😀 That seal really looks like he IS swimming in the sky! Here’s something that I’ve always wondered about UK/European mail (going to sound like an American fool here): are you guys required to put on the Par Avion stickers? Are there official ones sold? Because the ones you use always look so cute and not like any I’ve ever seen before!

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    1. Imagine a world where seals swam in the sky, wouldn’t that be fun! xD
      Not a foolish question at all! To be honest, I’m not entirely sure what the deal with airmail stickers is. Each country obviously has their own but I’m not sure it matters what you use, as long as it has ‘par avion – by airmail’ or to that extent, and is noticeable. I know UK Royal Mail airmail stickers don’t cost anything and you can get away with just writing ‘par avion’ big and clearly so if that’s the case, I imagine using any noticeable sticker that informs the postal worker the letter is for airmail should work.
      I only get the Irish ‘priority aerphost’ stickers when I get a booklet of international stamps as they come with it but I don’t get booklets often because I like to use lots of different stamps, so I just found a picture online of some airmail stickers someone had designed, printed them out on sticker paper and started using them. Seems to work just the same!
      I’m not even entirely sure I need to use them. I mean, Ireland’s and island so I imagine most mail leaves here by plane anyway, at least if it’s going to the states. Maybe it just goes by boat to mainland Europe.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. This is actually so informative; I love learning things about the quirks of the postal system 😀 I’m surprised we use them more infrequently in the US! You’d think that Hawai’i in particular would need some air mail stamps (maybe some cool ones with a lava/ocean design! OR A SKY-SEAL) but…then we couldn’t make jokes about the fact that all mail to/from Hawai’i ends up on the “slow boat” 🙂

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    3. That must be it, don’t want to ruin a perfectly good joke!
      But maybe there’s just not a need for airmail stickers now. I don’t actually know but I imagine most international mail is sent by mail plane unless a train is just as quick like it might be in parts of Europe. Maybe I should do an experiment – send two letters out at the same time, to the same place, one with an airmail sticker one without and see if they get there at the same time.

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