December 6, 2013

Monthly Mail~November 2013

Last month was a very good month for mail for us.  As far as receiving, for me it was my birthday and probably the best year in some time for cards:
Not only in volume, but a couple were really a perfect fit.  Sometimes one wonders how much effort went into picking the card, did they really like what it said about you , or did they just get it?  Well there were a couple this year that  I could really tell why they picked it.  It was a good inspiration/encouragement for me to try harder myself in the future to get perfect cards. 

And then there was Thanksgiving which we also got more than normal:
For sending it was good as we sent both Thanksgiving and most of our Christmas cards sent. 

For November of 2013 the final numbers were:

With my family, I:
Sent:          61 -Cards/notes
Received:    6 -Cards

Personally, I:
Sent:        4  -Cards/notes
2 –Letters
Received:   8 -Cards

November 16, 2013

Smiles Sent Saturday~November 16

This week’s a little different.  In stead of something I mailed through the Postal Service.  This is about the shoeboxes I sent through Operation Christmas Child.
Operation Christmas Child
Our family packed  nearly a dozen boxes and we’ll be packing 100+ more with our church.  My mom is posting on her blog Simply Shoe Boxes about our “Spur of the Moment OCC Packing Party”.  But I thought I’d share photos of the 4 I packed.
The first one was for a 2 to 4 year old boy:IMG_9609
I hope he likes dinosaurs!

November 9, 2013

Smiles Sent Saturday~November 9

Thanksgiving cardsWe got the last of our Thanksgiving cards out today.  We sent a total of 15.  This is something of an increase over past years.  We are trying to send cards to all seven of my parents’ aunts.  In the past we’d just sent cards to the one or two we were closest to.  My grandmother lives with us and it always seems to brighten her day when she gets a card from one of her nieces or nephews.  So, we decided to try to do that for our aunts (now, just to be clear, we’re not leaving the uncles out, it’s just that, sadly, there are no uncles left).  I’d like to encourage my readers to think of a couple elderly family members or friends they could add to their mailing list, or even if you don’t send many holiday cards, do it for them.  They can be quite lonely, and I’m sure it would brighten their day to be remembered, especially as with their age, mail may mean more to them.  Well, now I’ll get off my soap box and share some of the envelopes I sent (and hope none of the recipients stumble across them here, first.)
Envelope decorated with stamp
A number of the envelopes this year were colored
Or brown (which I guess is a color) which I found nice as a simple rubber stamp…
Envelope decorated with lable
…or label was enough to make it look special.
Pumpkin Envelope
On some others plain ones I used a marker to draw either my old, standby, pumpkin…
Fall barries envelope
and some fall branches.

If you’d like to see more, you can see my old posts Thanksgiving Envelopes 1 & Thanksgiving Envelopes 2

The name “Smiles Sent Saturday” denotes my hope these things I mailed cause the people who receive them to smile.

November 2, 2013

Smiles Sent Saturday~November 2

Since it’s fall, and I’m working on this year’s Thanksgiving cards, and I thought I’d post some of the ones I did last year for inspiration for me now.
This one was just a colored line and some scallops.
Just some colored lines and a sticker, it’s amazing how even a small thing can really dress up an envelope.
This may be one of my favorites: my impression of a fence with cornstalk stack and a pumpkin.  I also like the fall/turkey/West Virginia stamp. I find it hard to find stamps that work well for Thanksgiving cards, but this one worked out well!
Just a simple pumpkin, thought it turned out pretty well.
And, finally this one, that I just added a little stenciled feather to.
Here’s a link if you’d like to see more of my decorated Thanksgiving envelopes.
The name “Smiles Sent Saturday” denotes my hope these things I mailed made the people who got them smile.

October 31, 2013

Monthly Mail~October 2013

I keep track of ever piece of mail I or my family sends.  I like to be able to refer back to see how recently I wrote someone (it tends to either be longer, or not as long as I think!).  I decided to do a monthly post of the numbers, in part so I can look back and see how I've done.  For October of 2013 the final numbers were:

With my family, I:
Sent:           2-Cards/notes
Personally, I:
Sent:        2-Cards/notes
Received:    1-Cards/notes
(including USPS, and other carriers)
So, a total of 9 sent and 3 received.  Not great numbers for sending-half as much as last month, but hopefully I’ll do better next month with Thanksgiving cards.  And, I should get more, too, as my birthday is next month!

October 26, 2013

Smiles Sent Saturday~October 26

One way I like to embellish envelopes is to use sticky notes as address labels.  Now,  obviously, one can’t just stick it on there, it will come off in the mail long before it safely arrives at one’s recipient!  What I do is squeeze a little Elmer’s Glue-All ® on a scrap piece of paper than apply a thin layer to the back of the note with a cotton swab.  I’ve heard some people use glue sticks to apply paper embellishments to envelopes, so that may work, too, but I haven’t really tried it yet, and with it being the address, I hate to take any chances!  Well, enough explanations, on to a couple examples:Sunflower label
This one you can’t see too well with blurring out the address, but it went with a sunflower card, so I thought it was a great way to customize the envelope.  The stamp was one of the “Nature of America” stamp series, miss that series, it was really pretty and unique!
Pink label 
This one looked like it had stitching around the edge, so I thought it went well with this paper that looked like material (I actually made the envelope, too. Probably the first I made).
The name “Smiles Sent Saturday” denotes my hope these things I mailed made the people who got them smile.

October 19, 2013

Smiles Sent Saturday~October 19

Operation Christmas Child
This week’s post is a little different. It’s not about mail I send someone, but sending someone the tools to write for themselves.   For years my family has enjoyed sending shoeboxes to needy children world wide through Operation Christmas Child.  We always include school supplies: paper, pens, etc.  This year, for the plain paper (I always like to put in plain paper for then to draw) I used free paper and cheap report covers from Office Max to make a booklet.  I got thinking, maybe I should put in some of my extra sheets of stationery paper in the front and back pockets for them to use:IMG_9430
I looked through my stash and was able to find quite a few kinds of paper from my stash that I had enough to share, plus some envelopes, each of the three boxes I did this for got something a little different.
I even had stickers to put in this one:
I think it turned out well, and is a gift I’d enjoy getting!  I was really glad I thought of doing it as my mom had read a story somewhere about kids in an orphanage being really happy about the paper in their shoeboxes as they could then write their siblings in another orphanage!
EDIT:  Added these photos to show how it fit in the shoebox.   The first is how it is when the shoebox is open, the second is how it fits with the lid down and rubber banded.  I found it bent better when the open side was up.  If the shoebox was a little shorter the long way I guess you could cut it down some.
The name “Smiles Sent Saturday” denotes my hope these things I mailed made the people who got them smile.

October 12, 2013

Smiles Sent Saturday~October 12

So, I decided for today to share some envelopes I’ve decorated for male family members.  If you’re like me you probably find it harder to find cards for men, let alone decorate envelopes.  It’s not like they’d really appreciate you drawing flowers on the envelopes!
This one actually had a package attached (hence the tape around the edges).  I did the snow scene by making a stencil from a piece of paper:  cutting out the slope + some hole punches, then spray painted it.
This was for the London Olympics, I had some Olympic paper, so I used it..  The stamp was surprise, I found it in some childhood paper stuff, must have been saving it, but was really glad to be able to make use of it.  I glued on a paper clock and drew “Big Ben” around it.
This is a simpler one I did-just cut a label with zigzag scissors and paired it with a seal and tried to dress up the name font a little.
This final one may be one of my favorites.  I got this wrapping paper on clearance a few years ago, I just traced an envelope and taped/glued it.
The name “Smiles Sent Saturday” denotes my hope these things I mailed made the people who got them smile.

September 30, 2013

Monthly Mail~September 2013

I keep track of ever piece of mail I or my family sends.  I like to be able to refer back to see how recently I wrote someone (it tends to either be longer, or not as long as I think!).  I decided to do a monthly post of the numbers, in part so I can look back and see how I've done.  For September of 2013 the final numbers were:
With my family, I: 
Sent:          3-Cards
Personally, I: 
Sent:         9 -Cards/notes
Received:     1-Card/letter

That represents 12 different people we sent mail to.  It maybe not the greatest numbers, but all in all I think it's pretty good, and hopefully it encouraged and/or brought enjoyment to some people's lives!  

September 28, 2013

Smiles Sent Saturday~September 29

I’m not personally very good at drawing, but I have managed to decorate some mail with hand drawn flowers that turned out pretty good.


This an envelope I send this spring with bulb flowers-my favorite kind!


This was for a letter near Saint Patrick’s Day


I was trying to match the card with this pen drawing, didn’t turn out too great, but a nice addition I thought.


And finally, this package that I wrapped in paper I’d drawn sunflowers on.

The name “Smiles Sent Saturday” denotes my hope these things I mailed made the people who got them smile.

September 21, 2013

Smiles Sent Saturday-September 21

IMG_9376So, today’s Smiles Sent Saturday is a little different.  Rather than having sent something to someone I know, this is going to an organization and then to a complete stranger.  You see, I cut my hair recently and am donating it to Pantene Beautiful Lengths.  That organization makes wigs from donated hair for women fighting cancer.  Since family members of mine have had cancer, it seemed like the perfect fit, and hopefully it makes someone struggling with it feel better.

September 19, 2013

Good mail month

I came back from my summer vacation visiting family one month ago today.  On the way back I made list of all the mail I needed to send: photos of the visit to those I saw, birthday cards, someone I write regularly, etc.  About a dozen pieces of mail in all.  As the month went by, other things came up, too.  So in all, either personally or with my family, I sent 20 pieces of mail, and got everything  done on the list!  That was really a lot of mail for me, and I got two pieces of mail, too.  So, all in all, a good month mail wise-almost as much as the Month of Letters.

September 14, 2013

Smiles Sent Saturday~September 14

Today I thought I’d show how I decorated the back of some envelopes:


Some I just put a sticker on


Once, to match a get well card, I used a Band-Aid ® as a sticker


During the month of letters I decorated the flap to coordinate with the sticker


Sometimes I continue the front design over to the back


And this time the main design was on the back to coordinate with a purse on the card it contained.


The name “Smiles Sent Saturday” denotes my hope these things I mailed made the people who got them smile.

September 7, 2013

First of "Smiles Sent" Saturday

I’ve been wanted to post on here more, but I haven’t had much time between life & taking over the SimplyCVS blog.  So, I decided to try to start this new weekly post to share either recent or older envelopes I’ve sent with very little explanation.  I picked the name “Smiles Sent Saturday” because I hope these things I mailed made the people who got them smile.

Today's to envelopes feature marker drawings.

Lighthouse envelope

Retro Road Signs (the little ones on top of the yellow and teal one were the name while the address went in the oval)
I had the idea of vintage road signs, but was having a hard time coming up with an idea.  I ended up finding inspiration here:  As well as here (which also offers images free to use)

May 25, 2013

Outgoing Mail

I’ve been meaning to post photos of some of my decorated envelopes/outgoing mail, maybe with some instructions or commentary.  But I never seem to get time to write it up, so I decided to just post some them without much text as I get a chance, as time goes on I may post some older ones mixed in with more recent ones. At the left is the front and back of an envelope I made featuring some old stamps I received as a gift.

March 14, 2013

A Month of Letters Wrap-up

Well, I’m a little late posting, but I successfully finished my first time of doing the A Month of Letters. My final numbers for the month were: 
Sent:          20-Cards/notes
Received:     4-Cards
While I did send a lot more than I received I’m not really surprised at that as I wrote entirely to people I knew-family or friends-so I didn’t really expect to hear back from them all, plus I sent more than one to some people.
I sent a total of 27 items in February. That’s an increase over sending 22 things in January and

February 19, 2013

Valentines envelopes

IMG_1168With the inspiration of a Month of Letters, I’ve sent a number of Valentines cards this year to family members, etc.  I decorated (or made/wrapped) a number of the of the envelopes.  I thought I’d share photos of a few on here:

January 31, 2013

Month of Letters kick off


I’ve addressed my first card for A Month of Letters, and am in the middle of writing it.  Since I recently started keeping a record of everything I mail, I know my numbers for January.  I sent:

Personally:          6-Letters


With my family:     3-Cards


I’m interested to see what my numbers end up being with LetterMo. Sending 22 things last month seems pretty high for me, and it’s almost as many as I’m hoping to for LetterMo. The last two months for me/us were (not counting holiday cards) November:  9 & December: 16.

January 30, 2013

Preparing for the Month of Letters


This year I decided to take part in the month of letters challenge on  The challenge is to try to mail something every day the post runs.  I do probably write more than most people especially as I have out of state family, so I have most of my cards/stationary in my desk, so it’s handy, but I thought it’d be easier if I didn’t have to try to find a card each day as I don’t have a lot of free time, am an over-planner/organizer, and enjoy looking at the things I’ve picked out ahead of time, thinking about how I hope the recipients will enjoy them.  So, as I’ve had time, I’ve been

January 20, 2013

Organizing Postal Stamps

IMG_0745Different stamps always interested me, but with changing postage prices, it was hard to get them, because than you needed extra stamps, etc.  Well, now that there are forever stamps, one can buy stamps that will last-more or less-forever.  Plus, the last few years, I’ve been writing more plus with rebates, bills, etc., our family has been using enough stamps to keep a small stash.  It’s no more costly than keeping a little extra stationary, cards, etc. on hand-but ones that won’t lose value, even if they go out of style(actually, if we ever wanted to get rid of