January 31, 2015

Smiles Sent Saturday~January 31, 2015

I recently decorated this envelope recently for a birthday card, it had a leaf/tree theme and a hand drawn look, so this is what I came up with:

And this is one I made last year to about this time for a relative in a colder climate-spring winds pushing out the wither temps.

For January, 2015  the final numbers of what I mailed was:

With my family, I: 
Sent:          2 - Cards/notes
1 - Package 
Received:     1 - Card
Personally, I: 
Sent:         4 - Cards/notes
6 - Letters 
Received:  1 - Letter

The numbers for the sent next month should be higher as I'm taking part in the Month of Letters Challenge.

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

January 30, 2015

Final preparations for LetterMo

So, it's the home stretch of preparing for A Month of Letters Challenge.  Today I finished up my "LetterMo packet".

First I made a list of everyone I wanted to write during the month.  (Unlike many who take part in the challenge and find new pen-pals, I write only people I know and use it as a chance to keep in touch and/or catch up).  I divided it between those I want to write weekly, those I want to write before the 14th (mainly sending Valentines cards, for instance to great aunts), and those I want to write after the 14th.

Then I printed off a master address list and seals for letters.  The LetterMo calendar I printed off then took the names from my wanting to write to list and scheduled out a plan so everyone should get their cards in time, but spread out the writing for me.  I also gathered some stickers Valentines stickers and stamps to have handy.

I discovered that the cards I was planning to send for Valentines Day had square envelopes; which requires extra postage and the upcoming pretty tulip 2oz stamps don't come out until the 14th...  Thankfully I have a stash of extra envelopes I've picked up over the years and was able to find rectangular envelopes that they fit in well and would qualify for Forever stamps, which as you saw from the first photo, I have a nice set of heart stamps that will work great! 

I got my postcard set and put some postcard stamps with it.  That way if the plan doesn't work for some day, I can just pull out a postcard, write/address it, and stick a stamp on real quick.

Then I put everything in this pretty expanding file.  Front has the items in the first photo, back slot the postcards.  And in the middle each slot has like 3 days worth of cards for the first two weeks, and each of the next weeks has their own slot it will be split up as it gets closer.

So, are you doing LetterMo?

January 29, 2015

Pretty stamps coming

Have you checked out the United State's Postal Services upcoming stamp page lately?  If not you should!  There are some very pretty ones scheduled for this year! Here's some I'm really looking forward to getting my hands on:

Water Lilies:  These are just so pretty!  Plus purple doesn't seem to be a favorite stamp color, so that helps too!

Doesn't this just say it all?   Mail is "From Me to You"

Then, now available for pre-order, is a set of vintage flowers, one a forever stamp and one a 2 oz.  I'm really excited about these, both because they're so pretty and because I have family members who like both the flowers included-so they'll be very helpful in making mail special.

The rose is forever (pre-order here)  and the tulip is 2 oz (pre-order here).  One part I really love about these is they come in sheets, not books, so the pretty perforation or scallops go all the way around!

Remember, if your local post office doesn't have a stamp you'd like, you can always order them online at the USPS's Postal Store.

Do you have a favorite past, current, or upcoming stamp?

January 24, 2015

Smiles Sent Saturday~January 24, 2015

Thought I'd share some info on how I've used foam shapes to decorate envelopes.  Foam shapes seem to be everywhere and it's quite easy and cheap to get a variety of different shapes.

I had this rose stamp that was quite similar in texture to the foam shapes.

I found that I could dip them the stamp pad

Or color them with a marker then use as stamp

I even traced some and used them as stencils

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

January 17, 2015

Smiles Sent Saturday ~ January 17, 2015

I haven't sent much mail this month; I just sent mail to most of my contacts over the holidays and  am keeping busy getting ready for LetterMo! But I have a little to share.

This is one I sent this month, it was mirroring an image on the card.

I sent this last January with a train card.  I thought it turned out cool with the stamps I had.

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

January 15, 2015

Starting to prepare for "A Month of Letters" 2015

So, we're half way through January which means February is fast approaching, and with it "A Month of Letters" Challenge, or as I normally refer to it due to the website address "LetterMo". The challenge, put out by Mary Robinette Kowal, is to send a piece of mail every day the post office picks up, or every day except Sundays & President's day.   This will be, I think, the third year I've participated in this great project.  Last year I put mail in the box all those days, but they didn't get picked up a day or two due to weather!

So, I'm trying to get ready.  So far I've succeeded in printing out a calendar for the month and started making notes of whom I wish to write and when and started to see cards I have, and which I may still need to get.  Today's project is updating our family's address list, so I have the info I need.

So, are in for LetterMo this year?  If so, have you started your preparations?

January 10, 2015

Smiles Sent Saturday~January 10, 2014

I have for sometime been fascinated by the idea of mailing things without a box.  One place I've enjoyed reading is The Giver's Log's Happy Mail.  She shares a number of things she's mailed just with first class postage as they were under 13 oz.  I haven't done much of that yet, but to celebrate the start of the year I mailed to some family members calendars that reminded me of them.  I doubted that the thing plastic film that held them would make it through the mail, so I taped around all the edges with packing tape, and for the full sized one I also wrapped a strip of tape around it both ways in a + pattern.  These didn't cost too much to mail as they were thing so qualified as non-machinable envelopes as opposed to packages.

I got this decorative tape for Christmas, and thought it went great with the hot-air balloon, so I used to tape on the card that held the postage and address (then reinforced it with packing tape)

The fronts of the smaller calendars after being reinforced with tape. 

The card I sent with this one pretty much covered the whole back, this new tape also went well with calendar and was covered with packing tape as well.

The card for the car one was a little smaller, but the car stamps coordinated well with the back

I have tried to mail a couple other things in the past, just attached to the back of a card I was already sending.  They were thicker, so it cost package prices, but still under 13 oz, so I could just check to see how much the postage would be on USPS.com and then attach stamps and mail

This was a Hot Wheels car that I just left in the package and securely taped around the edges with packing tape to attach it to the card as you can see from this photo below I share before.

Decorated with snow to match the snowmobile Hot Wheel.

This was an ornament if I recall correctly.  We just wrapped the box then attached to the envelope with a good deal of packing tape.

I believe that for all of these I heard that the safely arrived.  It just seems like a funner way to mail things then a boring box or envelope...although I find all mail fun!

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

January 8, 2015

Decorated for the Championship Game!

We were all quite excited...and after all that's happened this season a little surprised when our Ohio State Buckeyes made it to the National Championship game next week.  So, spare time this week was spent making Buckeye candy and decorating for the game. I made the traditional ones as no one watching with us, but I do have a recipe for No Sugar Added/Sugar Free Buckeyes posted on another family blog: Nurturing Cuisine, if you're interested in thtaDidn't have too many decorations, but I did the TV screen area.  Due to our opponents being the Oregon "Ducks" I went with a combination of Ohio State Buckeyes & duck hunting

The Buckeye part of the decorations, Buckeye football, cheerleader bear, and, of course, actual Buckeyes nuts.

This is the lights on in the photo above, they are shotgun shells.  We got them on clearance one year, but moved to from the country into a suburb, so haven't got to use them as I'd like, so was excited to get to use them now.

And this is probably my favorite part: the" duck hunting license" I made up.  I put a photo of it below in-case there are any fellow Buckeyes who'd like to use it

#GoBucks National Championship Football game Jan 12, 2015

8x10 photo:
License for Buckeyes to hunt ducks
If you'd prefer, here's a PDF of the Duck Hunting License  

Go Bucks!!!  Hunt Ducks!!!  O-H-

January 3, 2015

Smiles Sent Saturday~January 3, 2015

A new year, means New Years cards, here's how some of my envelopes turned out this year, I tried to match them to the theme of the cards enclosed.  I thought it was interesting how I ended up using stamps of 5 different designs!

This card had a group of animals around a tree, so this is their tracks in the snow getting to the tree.

The card a pocket watch-super easy to make with a round stencil

This is how trees were depicted in the winter scene on the card

I especially liked how this one came out!  The card had trees and a house on a hill in the background.  I'm really loving using the silver Sharpie for snow!  

This ribbon was also on the card

A sunset scene mirroring the card.  In addition to black and silver markers I used highlighters to make the sky.

A stenciled and slightly added to snowflake.

This was for the same card as the first envelope, but to a different recipient, I did the tree I figured out how to draw easily this year.  To see a tutorial on how to easily draw a pine tree.

Be sure to check back next week when I hope to have a report on a fun way I mailed something to celebrate the new year...

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