Tuesday, May 27, 2014

snail mail

my first attempt at sewing patterns on envies

About six months ago I filled out my first form to be matched with a pen pal on the International Geek Girls Pen Pal Club.  I was matched up with another Geek Girl who loves Batman & comics and we've exchanged a couple of letters.  While I was on one of the boards there I joined the reading group (shocker) and another member told me I should check out the League of Extraordinary Pen Pals if I wanted to write/receive more letters.

On the outside the main difference between the two is that the IGGPPC is free and LEP exists on a monthly subscription, but really, that's not all.  On IGGPPC, you get paired based on your interests.  Every month they have an open round and when it's over you're paired, they send each of you an email and you take it from there.  Easy, peasy.

With LEP you decide if you want to pay month by month, or from three months, six months or a whole year.  After you've paid you fill out a form that has your pertinent info and interests and you're directed to join the Facebook page, a closed group page for LEPeeps.  After a day or two you are sent an email with the database.  The database contains all the info you will need to start sending letters.  

my workstation.  hello mr. fillion!

LEP has their main FB group, a reading group, a fountain pen lovers group, a yarn crafters group and a flea market group where members can trade or sell stuff.  There are also off shoots.  One member is doing a project for school and started a group with LEP members for research and another member started a group for her traveling Wreck This Journal project.  The group is very close, very active and it's almost as much fun as writing and receiving letters!

my first batch of envies with the envelope punch board

When I first started I was amazed by everyone's beautiful envelopes and stationery art work.  Washi tape, stickers, envelope punch boards are must-haves when you start your snail mail journey.  Well, they're not must-haves, but you will find yourself coveting them and soon enough you'll have a ridiculous collection and you won't really know how it happened!  

washi tape & stickers, your unnecessary must-haves

I really do love writing letters and getting to know people through written word.  It's nice to keep in touch with friends through Facebook, texts and emails, but there is something sweeter about snail mail.  The time it takes someone to write their letter and mail it makes things more precious.

some postcards to send out random happy mail

Every day that you find a pretty piece of mail in your mailbox you feel like a kid on Christmas Day.  You'll find yourself thinking of new ways to decorate your letters & envelopes and just sending random postcards or greeting cards just because.  I have around 36 pen pals.  It sounds crazy, but surprisingly easy to keep up with.  Of course, at times I get behind and my reply pile will be 20+ deep, but when the writing bug hits you get those letters out and a few more surprise happy mail packets.
 a thank you card i made

The best part about all of this is that it's brought out a crafty side I really didn't think I had!  I'm addicted to watching tutorials on youtube and checking out the picture of the mail other LEPeeps post of mail they're sending out to get inspiration.  In addition to writing letters I've been rubber stamping and my Mother's Day present this year was a Big Shot die cutter and embossing machine that has been so much fun to play with!  I also learned to knit this year which was/is so exciting to me!

my first knitting project

With all these new found hobbies I now have I've decided to bow out of a portion of my reading challenges.  It bums me out to do it, but I want to enjoy everything I'm doing and not be stressed about books I need to read.  While I am bummed, I'm also not because I know I had signed up for way too many challenges this year!  So I'll go through and figure out which challenges I'm still going to attempt.  I'm going to lower my overall goal to 200.

So that's what I've been up to lately, which explains the lack of book reviews.  Hopefully, I'll keep up with blogging and go back to doing more non-book posts.  A pen pal has convinced me to try the #100HappyDays project so maybe I'll post about that too, but we all know how well I do with consecutive day photo challenges!

 If you're interested in getting your own pen pal IGGPPC is currently in open round 14 so check them out!

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