personalized mail

June 5, 2011 § 2 Comments

Whenever I go to look for a card or stationery to send I never feel like I find something that feels truly personal. Especially in the case of cards for any holiday I don’t usually feel like the sentiment is quite right. What I need is a little Miss Pickles Press!

The designs above are just a few of the many great designs my friend Jen has in her creative arsenal. Jen is a good friend of mine from our advertising days in Boston who has since branched off on her own to create a very successful custom design biz, doing everything from weddings to small businesses to whatever else you can imagine putting on paper. I called my talented friend to enlist her in helping me design my own custom stationery and funny enough it just so happens she was already working on it as a wedding gift, doh! Seriously though, check out her stuff. She will take good care of you.

If you want to go the personalized route, something handmade is a pretty great way to go as well. I used to make stuff all the time as a kid but it’s just not something I really do anymore. Before we moved to Boulder, my husband and I did a leaf printing class at one of our favorite stores in LA called Tortoise. An artist visiting from Japan taught us how to use what’s around us to create interesting handmade printed stationery and envelopes. Ours were the product of wandering around Venice and collecting different types of leaves we found. This is something I want to do again since I think it could be cool to create stationery from our garden.

It’s easy just to get caught up in the daily convenience of email. This week has reminded me to stop every now and then and take the time to send something a little more heartfelt to those you love.

a difficult letter

June 4, 2011 § 1 Comment

Letters are not the most convenient way of communicating but sometimes they are still the most appropriate way of communicating something important to someone else. When I went through my divorce I didn’t just lose a marriage; I lost other relationships as well. It’s one of the difficult realities.

There was one person in particular that was very important to me who I still miss a lot. Today I finally wrote her a letter. I’ve wanted to write to her for a long time, but I never knew what to say. I finally decided that I just wanted her to know how much she meant to me, even if things didn’t work out as everyone had hoped.

You can’t change the past, but I think it’s still worth putting pen to paper and letting people know how you feel about them.

fun mail

June 3, 2011 § Leave a comment

Amélie is definitely up there in terms of great films. One of the parts I loved was when Amélie took her father’s garden gnome and had a flight attendant friend photograph it in front of various tourist attractions around the world. She was trying to encourage her father to get out from under his malaise and get out and see the world.

When I was a kid I thought the world was filled with imagination and that’s just the way it was. Now that I’m older I realize imagination was something that was encouraged and fostered in my family and in the neighborhood we spent part of our childhood in in PA. My grandmother played a similar “trick” on me as the gnome when I was about 4 or 5. She told me there was a mouse named Henry that lived under the bathroom in their house. Henry would call me on the phone and squeak talk (which my grandmother would translate) and he would leave me candy and other gifts when I went to visit my grandparent’s house. I would even sit in the bathroom with my head under the sink calling to him under the pipes. There was only one time her plan backfired when their cat, Edith, caught a mouse outside and I started freaking out trying to save it because I thought it was Henry. I can’t remember what her explanation was for that one, but ultimately Henry was a fun thing between the two of us.

This week I thought I’d pay tribute to Henry and introduce my niece and nephew to a new friend, Fred the tree frog.

My sister Amity mentioned they like snakes and frogs, so I opted for a frog. Fred will be sending them something special from Colorado this week. He also might have something to share from NY next week when he’s in the city.

When I was thinking about doing this it dawned on me I never asked my grandma why or how she came up with Henry in the first place. I’m guessing it was initially born out of creating some form of distraction for me but then just became a fun thing between the two of us. Whatever the reason, Henry was a fun part of my childhood imagination.

Let’s hope I can pull it off with my nephew, he’s a smart one!


care package

June 2, 2011 § 2 Comments

It’s hard to argue that care packages are just about one of the best things you could get in the mail. I used to love to get them in college, especially when they were chocolate chip cookies from Home. It’s been awhile since I’ve received a care package but this week I thought it would be nice to send one out to someone who really deserves one, my sister Whitney. Of my 3 sisters and I, Whitney is probably the most thoughtful. She’s always doing things for other people, on top of caring for my niece and nephew. I don’t know where she gets her energy sometimes.

She and her husband are on a serious cleanse right now on a road to living a little healthier. I figured they could use some encouragement and distractions to take their mind off of food. It is Summer and they were brave enough to start this whole thing on Memorial Day, one of the biggest BBQ days in the South.

Care packages were originally initiated in 1945 by an organization called CARE (Cooperative for American Remittances to Europe) following WWII to help those in Europe who were on the verge of starvation. The organization sold “10-in-1” parcels like the one pictured that had been prepared the invasion of Japan. For $10 Americans were able to send one of these packages to friends or relatives in Europe. The first CARE packages contained:

  • one pound of beef in broth
  • one pound of steak and kidneys
  • 8 ounces of liver loaf
  • 8 ounces of corned beef
  • 12 ounces of luncheon loaf (like Spam)
  • 8 ounces of bacon
  • 2 pounds of margarine
  • one pound of lard
  • one pound of fruit preserves
  • one pound of honey
  • one pound of raisins
  • one pound of chocolate
  • 2 pounds of sugar
  • 8 ounces of egg powder
  • 2 pounds of whole-milk powder
  • 2 pounds of coffee
Care packages have since evolved into many other forms, but they all boil down to letting someone know you’re thinking of them. Hopefully mine will do the trick!


family letters

May 31, 2011 § 1 Comment

No one would dispute that family is one of the most important things in life, but most would probably agree we often don’t recognize that importance.

It’s probably why Mother’s Day & Father’s Day were signed into law by Congress, the former in the 1912 by Woodrow Wilson, the latter by Nixon in 1972. Interestingly the Father’s Day bill was introduced in 1913 but was defeated multiple times over the years for fear it would become too commercialized. I suppose their fears were well-founded.

We’re now pretty much right between the two on the calendar, so I thought it appropriate that one of my letters be a letter home to both of my parents.

I’m lucky to have such wonderful parents and I don’t tell them so enough. A large part in what I’m doing now is due to how they raised me. They’ve always encouraged me to broaden my horizons & explore and also taught me the most important part of it…follow through.

I also sent a couple of other letters to family I don’t see very often anymore. As my mailman walked up today I could see he was pleasantly surprised there were actual letters in the mailbox and not just Netflix returns. (We’re catching up on The Wire – it’s awesome)

Hopefully my Mom & Dad will be pleasantly surprised this week (if they happen to not be reading my blog that is).


important letters

May 30, 2011 § 1 Comment

I’ve recently been going through old boxes and came across a bunch of old letters I’ve saved over the years. I’ve always been a bit of a pack rat and have letters all the way back to my childhood when I moved to South Carolina. I also saved all the letters my grandmother wrote to me from that year, 1986, on. When she passed away a few years ago I found she had kept all the ones my sisters & I sent her as well. It’s been a mixture of happiness and sadness to look back at all of those letters. She was an incredible person I was lucky to have as my grandmother.

Email is surely a convenience I could not live without, but it doesn’t compare with getting a note in the mail that someone is thinking of you. It’s something I used to be really good about doing but have slacked off on over the last few years. I’ve never been good about saving emails and have inevitably switched emails over the years, losing a lot of communication that was pretty important to me.

This week I’m going to revitalize my snail mailing. Let some of the people important to me know how important they are, send a few care packages and see what else the week might have in store.


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