Some Christmas love to Poland

This year I was looking forward to sending off some Christmas letters and cards, since I’m usually not the best at it. A combination of moving houses, exams and family obligations all worked against me, but I did manage to get a few small parcels off. One of them was this letter to Maria in Poland.

Since Maria’s birthday is in mid December, the parcel is a mix of Christmassy and Birthday things. I included some balloons and a small birthday card, but kept the rest along a vintage Christmas theme.

I really love the way kraft paper can look when contrasted with white and another focal colour.

This letter included both some ephemera and some labels that I made using the Sizzix BigShot (that thing is amazing). I also found a bare chipboard letter which I coloured green using some stamping ink – using that rather than paint makes it a little more rugged and with slightly more colour shifts. The letter also ends up with a completely different texture than when painted, less smooth.

I wrapped it all up in red and white bakers twine, since thanks to the Christmas spirit all around me it made me think of candy canes.

Hope all of you have had a wonderful Christmas thus far, and get another few days to enjoy it further.

Happy New Year, and may the postman deliver ever in your favour.

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Winter with a Hint of Spring

I got a lovely letter from Valerie a while back, and was very excited to send something off in reply. The temperature had started dropping just a week or so earlier, and I was feeling nostalgic for spring already. Don’t get me wrong, I love Christmas, but I’m just not a giant fan of snow and the inevitable slush that follows it.

So I sent off a letter that combined the icy hues of winter with the slight warmth of spring. I really liked the colour scheme that came out of this.

I really love the phrase roller stamp I got from Dear Lizzy, it’s lovely and so much fun to use all over pretty much everything.

I included a variety of tuck-ins, because I just happened to have mix of things that fit and got quite excited putting it all together – seems like that’s increasingly the norm.

Some washi samples, stickers and post-it notes. And my ever included envelope with some mail tag questions, of course…

Since the actual letter this time around was short, I wrote it on a larder square journalling card from We R Memory Keepers’ Farmer’s Market collection.

I hope she enjoyed it, I know I had a good time putting it together!

Giving orange some credit

There are a few colours that I really like. Most shades of blue, most shades of green, everything red and warm hues of pink. Bright yellow can be lovely too. Other’s I’m less fond of – cold shades of purple come to mind. And while I never disliked orange, I never liked it either. Every time I did, it felt a little like an exception, despite the fact that I’ve seen others do stunning things with the colour. So today I decided to challenge myself and use some of that orange washi tape I’ve got and genuinely do like, but that always get’s neglected.

This letter’s gone out to Amanda, a new penpal from London. I’m hoping she’ll like the cheery bright colours.

In practically all of my letters I include a little mail tag envelope. I don’t know how many of you are familiar with the concept, but I think it’s a great way to get to know things about your penpals life and later help keep things interesting. If you want to find out more about it, have a look here.

I’ve probably said it before, and I’ll probably say it again – I love that cat washi tape so much, it’s just pure fun! I’ve been using it so much recently that I’m wondering if I should get another roll of it while I’m home.

I like how using these paper bags make the letters seem a little like stuffed goodie bags – but maybe that’s just because I’m a very associative person.

Here’s what it looked like being sent off.

Pen pals and popcorn

While I was in the US last year a lot of my friends from my home university graduated. One of those wonderful human beings is Steph. I received an absolutely lovely letter from her, and excited to send off a reply.

Since ‘our thing’ was to go to the cinema or huddle up in my room with a movie, I figured I’d make the letter movie themed. Unfortunately, the pictures aren’t very good, since I took them late at night, but hopefully they’ll give you an idea.

I threw in a variety of small tuck ins – she quite likes to journal, so I threw in some movie night journalling cards. On the back of the SHOUT card are instructions for Mail tag and a few other notes.

I embroidered a small popcorn merit badge – “For excellent cinema companionship” – and put it into the envelope. I’m really enjoying making them.

Finally, it all got tucked into an envelope and sent off.

Outgoing to Poland

Most of the time when I’m making something I’m balancing between two sets of visual styles which both really appeal and inspire me: the vintage/retro sensibility or bright colours and bold lines and patterns. Often, I end up mixing the two.

This letter, which I sent off to Maria in Poland, fell much more on the vintage side of things than many other letters I’ve sent recently. It also arrived super fast, which is why I can share it with you so soon. Yay! A fair warning – I really liked the way this letter turned out, so there are quite a few pictures below because I got crazy with my camera.

The theme for this came from the Puffin postcard. I bought a box of 100 Puffin postcards (which all look like their various vintage book covers) on sale a little while ago and I’m absolutely loving them. They’re a good thick quality to them too, so not flimsy like they are in some other postcard boxes.

It was important to me to include a variety of small goodies – some because they are fun things to get, and others because they pushed the theme or colour scheme.

The vintage definitive stamps are all in colours you can find in other parts of the parcel. The envelope has a note on what mail tag is and a first prompt list. The washi samples are just some of the ones I really like, which also fit the colour scheme. On the back of the retro tag is a note about how I’m not going to be in England over Christmas, so it’s got my Swedish address. Finally, the vintage cigarette card is of Charles Dickens, for those of you who don’t recognise him, and has information about him on the back.

I wrapped it all up in string – opting for a blue bakers twine since it gave a nice contrast to the various red to purple hues.

It was fun figuring out how to place everything within the wrapping so that it could be seen and contribute to the overall feel, while still being fairly set in it’s place so it wouldn’t fall out.

For the envelope, I once more used a paper bag. I think they make for really fun, colourful envelopes. Since I had a bunch of commemorative stamps arrive just a few days ago, I chose to use a bundle of those, picking the ones that where mostly in line with either theme or colour.

All in all this letter was a blast to put together, and I was very glad to hear that Maria enjoyed it!

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