A blog for anyone who understands the joy of writing and receiving handwritten letters.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

101 things I love about letters: #5 Getting creative, sharing ideas

I used to think letter writing involved just that: writing letters, but I have been on a steep learning curve over the past couple of months. I have discovered mail art - envelopes that land in my post office box all bright and beautiful, often made from recycled materials, paper peppered with stamps and doodles, and all sorts of eclectic finds tucked in with the letter. I received a gorgeous letter from Stephanie in New York today, with a butterfly hugging the back of the envelope and the words: 'Hello there... flying across the ocean is tiring but fun". It also came with lots of exxtra paper goodies tucked in. I really should scan or photograph it for best affect... I might do that and put it up in the next few days.

I feel like I am a babe in the woods when it comes to this particular artistic medium. I am much more comfortable with words... but I have been exercising my mail art muscles, thanks to the inspiring examples from other letter-loving bloggers.

The photos below are of my version of an 'envaccordian'. It was inspired by a fabulous piece of mail art by Bianca of Goodnight Little Spoon, who sent it to Ilona of the Missive Maven. In turn, Bianca was inspired by a Paper Source tutorial. I had so much fun making this. It was for a friend who has been having a bit of a hard time lately so I tried to fill it with beautiful and inspiring things, including a few quotes that I love.

I apologise in advance for the absolutely terrible photo quality. Until yesterday, my only camera was the crap one in my mobile... aargh... and unfortunately I can't re-take the photos as the letter was sent a while ago. But, for what it's worth, here they are...

... but just one last thing. I want to say that I love all letters and to me the written word is still supreme. I don't want anyone who writes to me to feel pressured to go all creative. The best letters, to me, are the ones that reflect the author... in whatever way that is.

The envaccordion made from three envelopes glued together - and the cards that went into each envelope.

And now with the cards tucked into their pockets.

The front of the envelope... I loved these little paper dolls.

A quote that you can only read when you take the card out of the envelop, as I continued the writing onto the inside. The quote is from Anais Nin, and because it's so hard to read, here it is again:
"And the day came when the risk it took to remain tight in the bud 
was more painful than the risk it took to blossum."

The card that was tucked into that pocket. The colour didn't come out very well but it is hot pink. I've featured this previously on my blog as a piece of stationery I love.

The back. I told you I loved those paper dolls.

The middle section. The dragonflies trail is decorated with a famous quote from Eleanor Roosevelt:
"The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams."

The cards in the second and third envelopes. The grey and white pic is of a famous Australian artist (though I don't remember who) but I just love the look of the smock and the paintbrushes... it kind of epitomises the creative process to me.
I used the postcard with the bird pic as I had a particular bird-referencing quote I wanted to use.

This is the back of the artist card. The quote from Carrie Fisher says:
"I don't want life to imitate art. I want life to be art."

The back of the bird card, a quote by Maya Angelou:
"A bird doesn't sing because it has an answer;
it sings because it has a song."

The third envelope: my best creations ever, my kids :-).
I have forgotten the exact wording on the magazine clipping I stuck inside this envelope, but it is something like:
"At night she would become a magnificent bird."

And finally, the back of the envelope (when it is closed).

Love from Kaz.


  1. Oh, and I forgot to say thank-you to the Missive Maven, Ilona, for helping me track-back where I got this idea from. I had stolen the inspiration and forgotten the source - until Ilona helped me out.

  2. This is gorgeous, Kaz! I received your letter this morning, so thank you! I shall be reading it later when my kids are in bed - I just wanted to let you know I have it, and I love the decorated envelope!!!!

  3. Just lovely, thanks for sharing - and thanks for the credits and the link!

  4. I had a wonderful evening making envacordions with my daughter in June, and guess what? she sent one to me... It was wonderful.

  5. Es - glad to hear my letter made it safe and sound.

    MM - no worries!

    Sue - my daughter made one, too. She sent it to her Grandma. :-)

  6. I love the butterfly hugging envelope! That's fantastic!