Monday, December 31, 2012

Organization Obsession

Some of you know that I am about to start my final semester as an undergraduate student. I plan on going to graduate school for Creative Writing, which means I will have to move to a new city. A new city means I will have a cool new place of residence, a wonderful new job, and a wealth of new inspiration.

For someone like me, this great opportunity is, more accurately, a bunch of opportunities under the general label of a single decision. What that really means is the one decision I make (where I decide to go to grad school) will open up a million doors for me.

Interior design. Art. Music. Writing. Food. Love. Snail mail. Organization.

I can't begin to describe how excited I am to implement all the latest organizational tips and tricks I've picked up over the past few days. I am an organization fiend. I love to organize. I manage to trick myself into cleaning by calling it organizing.

The last two hours of my time divided itself into making a list of paper file categories for when I move, and organizing my laptop files (but not cleaning them out, as that is a task for another day when I have hours upon hours to read, track changes, and merge the many stories I have on my computer).

I wanted to share my plans with you.

Plan Number One: 

The Plan: 
I will get a large hanging file for my pen pals, one for each grouping of letters. Inside this file I will place one manila folder for each pen pal I have. On each folder I can then write their name and tape or glue down their information card for easy access. Inside the folder I can include some sort of manual log for the last letter I received from that person, and the last letter I sent out to them. With their card right on the front, I can drop little gifts, articles, or items they might enjoy into their file (probably in a baggie to prevent damage), based on their likes.

Alphabetically ordered in manageable sections.
Easy access to logs, information, and gifts.

Takes up a lot of space.

Plan Number Two:

The Plan:
I already use several binders to organize my pen pal information. However, this isn't particularly helpful when I only have their name to go by. The new plan is to use the alphabetical tabbed cardstock I have to organize each pen pal in order. Then I will place clear page protectors in each section. Within each protective sheet I will have an information card, a manual log of exchanges, and a baggie that includes any interesting items I find or want to send. 

Takes up less space.
Papers are better protected.

Would become bulky if I had too many dimensional gifts.
If each section held two or more pen pals, I'd have to sift through to find one.
Would need to add more binders if I cannot close the first one.

So what do you think? Which method would you opt for? I'm leaning towards the filing system (Plan One) because it has fewer cons. It might be a larger system, but it seems more efficient. Are there any suggestions you would make to improve either of these systems?

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Sunday to Sunday Haul: 12/24/12-12/30/12


Letters from Michele and Sydney! =)

A letter from Mia, Charmaine, and Allison.


A letter heading out to Winslow.

A letter inside a letter. Letterception! But no, seriously, a letter to Suzanne with a letter to her son within.

A letter to my swap partner, Susan, for the Decorate an Envie Yellow swap.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

The Goodies We Find

I was at T.J. Maxx the other day with my mom, getting some last minute Christmas shopping done, when I stumbled upon the connected HomeGoods section near the check-out lane. In cardboard boxes, spaced out every five feet, stood upright tubes of wrapping paper in all different patterns and colors. We're talking dozens of treasures. Being that I am an exceptionally awful hoarder of crafting supplies, I simply could not resist.

Snail Mail; Birds; Houndstooth; Metallic Snakeskin.

I've been on a blue kick recently, so when I discovered three rolls of various shades of blue, I was quite content. To make the day even better, I found, in the very last box, one roll of wrapping paper that had a snail mail letter pattern! So I snatched that right up. It's covered in hand-writing, stamps, and post card signs. WIN.

Now, what to do with these? I considered making envelopes from them, but a part of me is very interested in keeping them until I move to a new apartment in another city for grad school. Home decorating is another passion of mine! What I'd actually do is unknown at this moment in time.

So, any suggestions? =)

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Sunday to Sunday Haul: 12/17/12-12/23/12

I wasn't home for several days so all my mail piled up. I didn't manage to get anything sent out, but I am in the process of replying to all the following mail love! Next week will be full of outgoing goodies!


A few letters from Suzanne, Svetlana, and Moira, plus a package from Theresa! =)

A letter from Shayla and a wonderful package from Naiche!

I hope everyone has a splendid holiday! 

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Sunday to Sunday Haul: 12/10/12-12/16/12


Two of the five letters that arrived Monday

Three of the five letters that arrived Monday! =)

I found a sunny spot to take some better photos. A package and a letter!

A letter from Miri! =)


Hot pink package with cupcake labels! This one is for Svetlana. =)

A package for Naiche!

A package for my Desk De-Clutter #7 swap partner. =)

I hope Suzanne will be super happy to receive this! Her favorite color is red! =)

Three outgoing letters to Moira, Michele, and Dena.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Sunday to Sunday Haul: 12/3/12-12/9/12

A big hug to everyone who participated in the giveaway! I hope to do more of them in the future.

This week was pretty slow in terms of incoming and outgoing mail. I keep thinking I have tons of letters to respond to, but in reality, I just have three packages to send out next week that include letters. Anyway, onward!


My final Etsy package!

A swap package from my "De-clutter" swap partner! =)

A package from Pick Your Plum!


The only letter of the week.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Winner of the Giveaway!

Congratulations to Kim Covell-Campbell! 

You won the following goodies:

A set of doilies!
One roll of washi tape!
Several cute & colorful paper bags!
Two tags wrapped in two colors of twine!
An assortment of handmade stickers from Etsy!
And, perhaps more! (More being some extra goodies!)

I am sending you an e-mail today! Remember, if you do not respond by noon on Saturday, December 8th, 2012, I will have to pick a new winner.

Thank you to everyone who participated! I'll see you all Sunday for the Sunday to Sunday Haul!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Sunday to Sunday Haul: 11/26/12-12/2/12

The giveaway is still ongoing! Don't forget to participate!

I apologize for the quality and backwardness of these photos. I'm still working on cleaning up my craft room after the flood. I had to rush some of these photos in before sending the packages off since a few days this past week were late night school days.


Naiche always sends me the most interesting envelopes. She puts in so much effort in designing them and filling them with joy. I need to start making mail art like she does. =)

A postcard from Miri, my NaNoWriMo pen pal! I can't believe it's over, Miri!

A letter from Carolina and Theresa. Nice, bright, colorful envelopes make me quite happy! Erm, well, ANY mail love I receive from my pen pals makes me quite happy, but color tends to help. 

Package one of many from Etsy! =)

Two more packages from Etsy!

One more from Etsy.

Two more from Etsy. Oooo I am so excited! =)

Three more packages from Etsy! This is going to be a splendid holiday.

Another Etsy package.

Bet you thought I was going to say another Etsy package, huh? Nope! A pen pal letter!

And the last Etsy package of the week. =)


I have hot pink bubble mailers and vertical cupcake address labels. Go ahead. Be jealous. 

Three outgoing letters with goodies! =)

For those of you who are my pen pals, you should expect something coming your way this holiday season. Some of you will get an unpcycled magazine envelope with your letter and a goodie. Others will receive one of these bubble mailers. 

Wednesday, November 28, 2012


Okay everyone, listen up! I know it's the holiday season, and we're all tight for money, but I felt it would be cool to do some sort of giveaway for you. So here's the scoop!

Wednesday 11/28/12

A set of doilies!
One roll of washi tape!
Several cute & colorful paper bags!
Two tags wrapped in two colors of twine!
An assortment of handmade stickers from Etsy!
And, perhaps more!

You must be a follower of this blog.
In a comment below, leave:
Your Name
Your E-mail Address
 Your Favorite Snail Mail Item Listed On Etsy

Wednesday 12/5/12 @ noon

The winner will be chosen at random. I will post the winner's name on this blog. I will contact the winner by midnight on Wednesday, 12/5/12, via e-mail. If I have not received a response that includes an address from the winner by noon on Saturday, 12/8/12, I will contact the runner-up.

Now, hop to it, folks! I want to give out some mail love this month! =)

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Obsessing Over Etsy & Pinterest

It may come as no surprise to you that I am obsessed with Etsy and Pinterest. The past few weeks I have been searching Pinterest and Etsy for incredible ways to package up gifts, which I can translate into wrapping for snail mail.

I honestly had no idea what incredibly fascinating items could be used for gift-wrapping. Everything from garlands made from baker's twine and hand-punched book pages, to colorful layers of intertwined washi and fabric tape. Beautiful tags made from recycled cards. Lovely printed names cut from pretty paper. Fabric scraps to hold everything together.

Can you picture all the phenomenal possibilities? Can you see how much gift-wrapping has grown over the years? Can you imagine how much more it can grow?

I ordered lots of items from Etsy over the past several weeks. Here is my list of artisans from the U.S.A. whose work and products I truly adore (and yes, they're ALL worth checking out!):

PinkiesPalace (lots of cute stickers)

PaperDozen (fun tags, cards, envelopes, stickers, and die cuts)

greenearthgoodies (gorgeous stickers)

chickydoddle (washi tape)

ThePackageHouse (everything from washi tape and stickers to bags and boxes, and more!)

inkkit (beautiful wrapping supplies, stickers, and clothespins)

PaperAndPresent (everything from washi tape and stickers to bags and boxes, and more!)

frogfeathers (lace and ribbon and flowers)

LuckyLadyPaperCrafts (ribbon, embellishments, and much more!)

kawaiigoodies (stamps, ink, bags, washi tape, and so much more!)

matdi123 (garlands)

smileywileys (garlands)

KatiesScrapNSupplies (tags and fibers)

Now, as much as I would encourage you all to support these artisans, I do have to bring up the negative side, which is the fact that the holidays are coming up! Negative? Yes, because it means you need to order from them sooner than later to get their epic goodies before the holiday rush!

But no, seriously. Negatively speaking, the problem with this whole gift-wrapping snail mail idea is I have to double package everything to protect what is inside, and now to protect what is outside. This means more weight (not a big deal if it's less than thirteen ounces), more bulky bits (the post office near me is notorious for tearing apart items that aren't bubble-wrapped), and more time spent wrapping (which to some like me isn't a big deal, but I know not everyone works well under pressure like I do).

Okay, I've rambled on long enough. Expect a follow-up post in a few weeks with a bunch of photos of the goodies I've ordered!

(Feel free to follow my snail mail board on Pinterest here.)

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Sunday to Sunday Haul: 11/19/12-11/25/12

Some sad news. My craft room, which is in the basement, flooded Friday. I had to move a lot of items to higher ground, and unplug everything. Thankfully, nothing was damaged beyond repair. This means that I have to be extra careful with writing letters as I no longer have an area I can do so without interruption.


A lovely package from a swap! I adore all the cute pages and die cuts! Plus, two wonderful letters from pen pals. =)

An adorable selection of envelopes full of letters from some cool people.

This letter snuck in after I took photos! Glad I found it before the week ended.


Only two letters made it out this week. I have plenty more to send out tomorrow! =)

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Sunday to Sunday Haul: 11/12/12-11/18/12


A package from Etsy and a letter from a NaNoWriMo pen pal!

Letters from my two buddies! =)

Two packages and two letters. Epic!


Some of the new envelopes I ordered, heading out to some pen pals!

Some of the other new envies I ordered that included a Torchwood envie. Guess what isn't being used...

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Sunday to Sunday Haul: 10/29/12-11/11/12

Not a lot of mail coming in for some reason...


Two packages full of some lovely envelopes.

Two letters from pen pals. These two were the first to return my special cards to me! =)


Two late letters.

I covered this with Hello Kitty stickers just before sending it. I felt it was way too ominous.

Some of the new envies I just received!

Some more of the new envies I just received.