August 29, 2014

OUTGOING MAIL: Birthday booklet for Silvia

Something TERRIBLE happened to me last week. Somehow, I forgot my penpal Sylvia's birthday! To make up for it, I made her a happy birthday booklet in pink and teal. Let's have a look!

So, I took a piece A4 cardstock with a teal patterned outside and a blank inside. I folded the paper in half widthwise, there we have our booklet. I decorated the inside of the booklet with paper; on the left page I used light blue blank paper, on the right page I used patterned Flying Tiger paper. I made a pocket from plain white paper for the left page, to put some gifts in, and I stuck a transparent bag for my letter onto the right page.

For my letter, I used a page from a Flow notebook that came with the magazine once. It's naturel colored checked paper, the thin lines are pink. I used pink and teal washi from HEMA to make the writing sheet super happy, and I wrote my letter with a teal fineliner.

A close up look of the way I used the washi tape. And proof of my terrible mistake: writing my penpal a day after her birthday.

As mentioned, on the left page I made a little pocket for gifts. Some time ago, I received gorgeous polaroid-like cards, and those pictures are definitely birthday-worthy! I also made Silvia some personalized address labels on my typewriter.

I went a little overboard with the decorations. Like I mentioned in a previous blog post, I have a thing for bunting. So I made a bunting with Silvia's name and stuck it from one side of the booklet to the other with pink washi tape.

Just to sum up some other things I used for decorating the inside of the booklet: I made fringe out of paper I gave rainbow colors with watercolor paint, there's an overload of washi tape (but hey, what's new about that), some kraft paper flowers, watercolor heart-shaped stickers and a light pink label with an awesome birthday quote: "Keep calm and be crazy, laugh and live it up, because this is the oldest you've been and the youngest you'll ever be."

I kept the outside a little less over the top: just two watercolor heart-shaped stickers and a ribbon. Because, you know, ribbons are just awesome. I reinforced the fold of the booklet with pink polkadot fabric tape.

As I said, ribbons are awesomeballs.

Hope you liked this peek into the booklet I sent Sylvia!


August 25, 2014

OUTGOING MAIL: Happy snailmail folder

On Pinterest and several Instagram accounts I came across some pictures of beautiful folders to send to your penpals. The basic concept is super easy, and the result is just too cute to send. So I decided to give it a try, and one week ago I sent my first snailmail folder off to my Aussie penpal Zoe.

Well, as mentioned, the basic idea is pretty simple! I used a piece of A4 patterned cardstock, and because the paper was pretty thick, I rilled the lines I wanted to fold first. That way, it's easier to fold neatly. I folded the paper in half widthwise and made a lengthwise fold to create a pocket (I made it so that it fitted a regular C5 envelope, but you can size it any way you like). I put washi tape around all the edges for decoration and a little reinforcement. I used the left side of the folder for some goodies, and the right side to put my letter in. For the letter, I used some recycled paper which I decorated with, of course, washi tape from, of course, HEMA.

I answered Zoe's mailtag questions from her last letter, and added a new mailtag. Both on small washi-decorated red writing sheets, written on my typewriter.

In the left side of the pocket I put some goodies in the same colortheme as the folder and decorations. With her last letter, Zoe sent me a very cute small envelope with geometrical bits and pieces on it. I thought it really fitted the theme of my folder, so I decided to reuse it: I put some washi samples and neon highlight stickers in it. Another gift I added is a small envelope I folded from Flow magazine paper. 

I kept the decoration of the folder easy and simple: from scraps of the same paper as the folder I punched some decorations and glued them on the pocket and on the outside of the letter.

I like to add bunting wherever I can, it gives an instant happy and festive look! Easy does the trick: I cut some triangles, glued them into the folder and with my white Signo Uni-ball pen I drew a line. 

I wrapped up the folder with some neutral colored baker's twine and a grey button, I thought it didn't need much more. I like the result, I hope Zoe does too!

I am definitely going to create more of these folders, it's such an easy and fun way to send mail around the world! You can go as crazy as you like with the decorations, the possibilities with this are endless. 


August 22, 2014

OUTGOING MAIL: Squash card

Sometimes you come across a tutorial you want to do over and over and over again. The squash card tutorial below, by Craftinggeek is one of those (subtitles in English are available for this video).

Although I do not speak a word of Spanish at all, the moment I watched this video, I wanted to make this card myself. Again, and again, and again. And so I did.

Although I very much like the idea of a squash card with different segments to decorate, I wanted to write a long letter. I used three squares of green paper, 15cm each side. When you fold the paper, you are left with squares of about 7,5 cm each side. I used washi tape in different pink/green tones and patterns along the sides of the paper, but other than that I did not use any decorations so I had a lot of writing space left.

The folding is SO MUCH FUN! Seriously, when everything fits together, great feeling! Anyone can make this, I have two left hands and managed to get it right at the first try. Now try applauding yourself with two left hands.

Anyway, since I did not have any patterned/colored cardstock that I liked enough for this project, for the squash cards' covers I cut two 9x9cm squares from plain cardboard. When I glued them onto the 7,5x7,5cm letter, I had nice edges of about 1,5cm.

As you can see, I left the inside of the covers blank, just because I like the natural look of brown cardstock. I did decorate the outside though, with cherry-patterned paper. It has the same colors as the inside of the squash card; green and pink.

I finished this cute little project with a light pink label and some bakers twine. This also made me realise I probably need bakers twine in all possible colors. I love how this squash card turned out, and I will definitely make many, many more of these in the (near) future.


August 18, 2014

OUTGOING MAIL: Typically dutch postcard

A few months back I bought some pretty cute typically dutch postcards. I have been wanting to use them for snailmail ever since, but I love writing long letters and postcards don't really have enough space for that. I stitched in some extra writing sheets, and I am quite excited about the result, so I thought I'd share some photos and a little how-to.

So first things first: my lovely postcard! I guess the photo speaks for itself. Looks pretty damn cute right? And I just love the matching envelope.

Since the postcard mostly has blue-ish colors, I used two pieces of thin light blue paper as extra writing sheets (A4). I folded the paper in half, en slipped them into the postcard. I measured 1/4 from both edges of the card and put a needle through. I used dark blue thread to 'stitch' (this really isn't proper stitching, just putting some things together with thread) everything together. Make sure you don't pull too tight, the thread could cut your paper. Lastly, I cut along the edges of the card to make the writing sheets the right size.

I happened to have some paper with a dutch theme lying around as well, which matched my postcard perfectly. I always love sending some little gifts with my letters, so I made a small paper bag out of the patterned paper and put some flower stickers (do I spot a tulip there?!) in it.

I like experimenting with handlettering and different fonts, and I like how the inside of the postcard turned out. The washi tape really helped me writing in a straight line neatly.

I (obviously) decorated every writing sheet with washi tape. I mean, what is a letter without washi really? I couldn't go without! The flower patterned tapes are from HEMA, I'm not sure where I bought the red one. I thought these washi tapes went pretty well together, it gives everything a bit of a 'folklore' touch.

And well, that's pretty much it! A perfect solution for a lack of writing space in your postcards. I am definitely doing this more often!


August 15, 2014

OUTGOING MAIL: I just love my typewriter

As I mentioned in my previous post, I recently bought a typewriter. It cost me a whopping three euros, plus a new ink ribbon (which will probably last a lifetime). I decided to give my 'new' gadget a try in my letter to Mariska, and I can honestly say typewriters are addictive!

Still in love with all of the pretty patterned paper from Flying Tiger, I chose an orange sheet with cute pink hearts to type my letter on. The paper is also quite thin, which works great in a typewriter. I still have to figure some things out (especially the spacing), and I definitely need to get used to not having a backspace! Let's just say I am happy I bought correction fluid a couple of days ago.

Oh, I just love how letters written on a typewriter instantly have this retro charm about them. Finally getting the hang of it, I wanted to get a little more creative. I 'decorated' two kraft labels, which was quite a challenge. It's close to impossible to put tiny pieces of paper into a typewriter, so I used some washi to stick the labels to plain A4 paper. With a little patience (not my best quality) I managed to get this into the typewriter. I typed 'hello' repeatedly (how inspirational, right?) on one label, and the alphabet on the other. I quite like the result!

So far so good. For an extra retro feel, I selected a small postcard from the Flow Book for Paper Lovers. It physically hurts everytime I tear something out of this book. Seriously. Who else experiences this? I used the Postfabriek tutorial on how to make an envelope with a front pocket to make a pink envelope. I found out my spatial ability is not developed that well, it took my quite some time (and paper) to get it right. But I figured it out eventually, so I patted myself on the back for that afterwards. I put my letter and the decorated labels in the envelope, and the postcard in the front pocket.

Last but not least, I put the envelope in a transparent cellophane bag. The bag was a bit oversized, so I used another sheet of the pretty Flying Tiger paper as a background. Sealed the bag, put a stamp and an address label on it, and sent it off to Deventer!


August 14, 2014

TRAVELLING NOTEBOOK: Smash My Mailbox #1 - Off you go

Yay, I'm participating in such a fun project! My dear Finnish penpal Ninni (we have been writing for almost two years!) initiated the idea of a travelling notebook round robin. Me, her, and three other girls (Emilienne from France, Kaylah from the US and Sarah from Canada) will each be sending a notebook around to be filled with nice words and beautiful decorations. We called this round robin Smash My Mailbox, because some mailboxes are definitely going to be smashed with happy notebooks. Yesterday, I sent my own empty notebook on its way to Emilienne. Let's have a look at the first pages...

I bought a plain ruled notebook (A5) with sturdy kraft cardboard cover at HEMA (where else?!) and because I just love the look of kraft paper I decided not to 'overdo' the cover. I used cream colored rub-on stickers with a lace-like/vintage look and wrote the theme of my notebook in fake-calligraphy. 

I would like to send some positivity around the world, and so I asked the other participants to fill my notebook with happiness. Just to give them some inspiration, on the first page I wrote down a couple of questions (kind of like a mailtag), added my likes (long list!) and dislikes (very short list) when it comes to decorations and in case the notebook gets lost I wrote down my address. I used the inside of the cover to explain a little bit about my expectations and why I chose this theme. This was the first time I used my typewriter, and I loved it! 

Hopefully my notebook gets to Emilienne safe in a few days. When everything goes as planned, I should be getting my notebook back from Sarah sometime late December/early January. Fingers crossed it does not get lost in the postal system! I am sooo much looking forward to a beautifully decorated, fully written notebook, can't wait!


August 13, 2014

OUTGOING MAIL: Picture perfect

My penpal Rinske has got an awesome new camera, which she has been kind of addicted to since she received it for her birthday last month. When I saw the black and white photo (by Anton Corbijn) on the cover of NRC Deluxe magazine, I knew I wanted to use it for mail to Rinske. At first, I wasn't sure what I was going to do with it, but since the paper was so beautifully thick and glossy, I decided to use it for an envelope.

I cut the cover in a square and used self-adhesive tape to stick it to a piece of black and white patterned paper from a Flying Tiger notepad. I covered the sides with golden/kraft colored washi tape and used blue washi tape for the address.

I wanted to stay in the black and white/photography theme, so I assembled some postcards that matched this theme, as well as some stickers from Flow magazine with black and white photos. I particularly love the Keri Smith postcard; it depicts an empty parking lot in grey shades and it invites you to decorate it with whatever you like. I thought that to be a fun project for Rinske!

I used decorated kraft paper from Flying Tiger as writing sheets, and pimped them with some washi tape that matched the color scheme of the letter.

And then of course the fun part of letter writing (I LOVE long letters and if I don't stop myself I could ramble on for pages and pages). I also wrote a mailtag with my favorite white pen (Signo Uni-ball) on black cardstock. I put it all together with a fun paperclip.

Hope you enjoyed my first post on my brand new blog! Until next time!