All posts by Sorrow Grey

You’ve Found Some Pen Pals, but Now What?

This is my second year doing the LetterMo challenge. I have to tell you, last year I was so excited! The idea of writing to a bunch of new individuals from new places was really compelling to me. I have friends and family all over the globe, but new people? A chance to say “hey” to someone I might never meet? I can tell you, it appealed to my introvert soul like all get out!

Then I ran into the hump,

the snag,

the wall,

after sending out about 10 letters to folks I had never met, my brain got tired. I had yet to receive a letter back — heck we were only ten days in, what did I expect? However, the creative fire was more like an ember and I was flat out tired of trying to be interesting and engaging.

So what to put in the post when you get to the struggle point? Here are a few of my suggestions

Recipes!

Food is a great connecter and even though some of us have strange diets or food allergies a recipe for a family favorite is always fun to get. If you want to spice it up, tell about where it came from, how old it is or what happened the first time you tried it. Anything anecdotal that makes it even more fun for the soul your sending it to!

Poetry! While not all of us love John Donne like I do, a sampling of some poetry you like gives the person you’re writing an opportunity to learn about an author they may or may not have heard of before. If you feel adventurous write about why you like that poem, what it means to you. Or consider a more creative outlet, and make your own black out poetry.

Comic strips! I don’t get the paper on Sunday anymore, but I love reading comics online. It’s easy to find a funny one to print out and tuck in the envelope. I confess my sense of humor is dry and warped, so sometimes the strips I choose really showcase my nutty side.

Seeds! My local garden center already has their seeds out for 2019, and even a package of butterfly mix is fun to sprinkle in a pot for the window. But be careful, sending seeds internationally can be tricky.

Tea! Tea bags, the sealed kind is best, and it doesn’t have to be something fancy. I have a dear friend who sends me oolong from Japan in every letter. One pen pal to whom I sent tea informed me she was NOT a tea drinker, but that she had saved it, so was able to offer it to a visitor who was delighted to try it. Don’t worry whether or not someone will like the tea. if they don’t, maybe they will just tuck it in their next outgoing piece of mail!

I should also point out that if you are packing an envelope with tea, seeds, or other fun extras, you will need to weigh your final packaged letter to see how heavy your missive is. If you live in the US, anything over an ounce requires additional postage. Your friendly neighborhood postal worker can help you make sure your letters won’t be returned for insufficient postage!

Postal Calculator, US
(who knew that mailing chicks could be so complicated?)

Research the SnailMail Blogosphere

Now if you are the creative type, which admittedly not all of us are, here are a few additional resources to spark your imagination for cards and envelopes to make

from The Postman’s Knock: Folded Heart Handmade Card Tutorial

from Homespun Seasonal Living: How to Make Upcycled Calendar Envelopes

from the blog at I Love to Create.com: Homemade Valentine’s Day Cards

Inspiring Things I’ve Received…

Candy Bar Wrapper!
I had an international pen pal from Russia send me a wrapper from a candy bar. The illustrations on it where amazing!

Coffee Sleeve as Stationery!

Imagine my surprise when I got a letter written on the paper that goes around a coffee cup with the coffee shops logo on it! How unique was that?

Coffee Cup Sleeve Scrap album from Rita Hutcheson-Cobbs

Mickeedos Creations

Don’t drink coffee but want to try sleeve stationery? Ben Franklin printable coffee cup sleeve from Deviant Art

Lyrics on Fabric!

One inventive lady wrote me out a verse from her favorite song on a scrap of fabric in a colorfast marker! Tips from bydawnnicole

No matter if your letter is long and rambling or just something short and sweet with a bit of whimsy tucked in, there is someone on the other end who will be delighted to hear from you!

Happy Month of Letters!

Banner Image Credit and Enclosure Inspiration Video from Mei-Ying Chow


Contributing Editor: Carrye De Mers