Happy Birthday, Mom!

mom & naoto at our wedding…and many more!

P.S. The fact that I had to dig out an old wedding photo just shows that I don’t have enough pictures of you!

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31 Postcards in 31 Days…So Far

Katie Licht, mail a mooseI wish I could say that those postcards pictured above were just a few I’ve sent out this month, but truthfully…I’ve only written one (which still needs to be dropped in the mail!) The three postcards above are from Yuki, Katie and Lisa. Yuki and I have been exchanging postcards since this summer. Her card has fantastic postage stamps–you can see it here on Instagram. Katie is using 31 Postcards to practice her monster drawings. I dig this monster-girl’s tiny earrings and her toothy smile. And Lisa is mailing random animals to her friends, family and pen pals this month. As much as I’d love to keep the postcard in tact, I’m afraid I can’t resist cutting out the sweet moose. (I think he might make a nice addition to this paper play set.)

I’m trying to finish decorating for Halloween this week. Do you decorate for Halloween? I know it’s kind of silly, but I really enjoy it. Hopefully you don’t mind if I share some pictures of our apartment as soon as I figure out how to take them without the sun. It’s so gloomy and rainy here this week–perfect fall weather if you ask me. The only thing I regret is that I didn’t have very many days to crunch through the leaves before they got all wet.

Jackie Lakely at Gather

Jackie LakelyMy artist-friend Jackie is showing her latest series of paintings at Gather, an arts and crafts studio/children’s play place in Evanston. On Saturday, Peggy, Naoto and I drove up for Jackie’s opening. Jackie LakelyJackie combines painting and mixed media collage in most of her work. This particular series is The Alphabet Series–twenty-six pieces that incorporate objects and animals representing each letter. With few exceptions, Jackie’s work is bright and vibrant and layered with paints, papers, patterns, textures and colors. Jackie LakelyJackie LakelyWe had such a fun time walking through the alphabet and finding all of the bits and pieces within each painting to represent the letter. For instance, Party Cat above has carrot cake, candles, cups of coffee, cookies, cupcake, cat…Jackie LakelyMany of the pieces had a bit of phone book, the Periodic Table of Elements and postage stamps (!!!) worked into them. Hillside House is a great example of these tiny details. The elements of hydrogen and helium are there, plus a tiny map of the hemispheres, some H phone book pages (including  the number for my favorite place, Hala Kahiki tiki bar!!), and the best part….Jackie Lakely…the vintage cancelled HOMEMAKERS postage stamp!! It was so much fun looking for these tiny details. Jackie LakelyMy pictures really don’t do justice to Jackie’s work. The layers and textures get a little lost on a computer screen. But if you’re in Evanston, go see it in person! Kids or no kids, Gather is a really neat space, and obviously I think Jackie’s work is worth the trip.

From top to bottom: Garden Friends (starring Jackie’s greyhound, Alex), Night Lights, Bluebird & Bear, Party Cat, Hillside House and Red Tent. Jackie has a post on her blog where she shares some details about the paintings and you can see more of the paintings.

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Cocktail Perfected: The Negroni

Negroni cocktailI tried a Negroni for the first time at a restaurant a couple of summers ago. It was okay, but not so great that I wanted to buy the ingredients to make one at home. But somehow a bottle of Campari made it into our bar and I haven’t stopped drinking them since. I’m convinced that the restaurant that served me my original Negroni didn’t use good booze. There is no other reason I wouldn’t have liked this drink. With the right gin and vermouth, the Negroni sings a bitter break-up tune that wins my heart.

The Negroni

1 oz gin (I like North Shore No 6.)

1 oz sweet vermouth (Carpano Antica is my favorite.)

1 oz Campari

Add ingredients to a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake and pour into a cocktail glass.


Pour ingredients into an old fashioned glass with ice and stir.

Garnish with an orange peel.

Enjoy while catching up on your mail for World Post Day.

October Paper Parcel

Saturday Morning Vintage October Paper Parcel I know it’s been awhile since I’ve shared my paper parcels from Saturday Morning Vintage. It’s not because they haven’t been wonderful, they have! I just got a little bit tired of writing about them. (Is it okay to admit that?) But i figured, since Halloween is fast approaching and this months paper parcel is right on theme, I would share some quick pictures of all the amazing vintage bits! Saturday Morning Vintage October Paper Parcel The parcel came wrapped in a kraft paper bag with a sweet vintage bat cupcake topper taped on the front. Saturday Morning Vintage October Paper Parcel Most of the paper parcel was orange and black (obviously!) but there were hints of purple too. Some of the larger pieces included patterned papers and a page from a vintage insect book. There were also tickets, price tags, milk caps, game board money and a Sleepy Hollow stamp (one of my favorites!) Saturday Morning Vintage October Paper Parcel I loved the Halloween Charade cards. Saturday Morning Vintage October Paper Parcel Some of my favorite pieces were the horoscope card complete with bats, owls and cats and the vintage pharmacy labels. Saturday Morning Vintage October Paper Parcel And, last but not least, the array of playing cards completed the paper parcel. The witch and the jack-o-lanterns are my Halloween favorites! Oh and the round scalloped leaf is a vintage paper coaster–cute right?

I’m excited to use some of the pieces for mail art this month. I just started decorating for Halloween yesterday and it’s gotten me in the mood for the season. I’ll share more soon!

To see the other Paper Parcel posts, go here.

From the Attic: Vintage Game Birds Shot Glasses

Anchor Hocking Bird Shot Glasses When my parents visited, they brought me an attic treasure–these vintage Anchor Hocking shot glasses. The glasses were wedding gifts from 1972! Anchor Hocking Bird Shot Glasses They still have their original box, and aside from being a little dusty from the attic, they are in tip top shape. Anchor Hocking Bird Shot Glasses Even their gilded rims are perfect! (Seriously, Dad. Did you even use these?)

Naoto and I aren’t big shot drinkers (well, not since the crazy days of our youth anyway.) And I use this Anchor Hocking measuring glass for my cocktail mixing. (It’s practically the perfect size for measuring the ingredients for one or a batch of cocktails.) But I’m thinking we could use these for after-dinner limoncellos or sips of other liqueurs. I’m excited to have them as part of the bar collection.

Thanks Mom & Dad!

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So Long, John the Mailman

John the Mailman's retirement bannerJohn the Mailman delivered his last piece of mail on Saturday. Karen and I hung a simple banner in his honor. (I made it using these Paper Source labels on these Paper Source circle cards strung on this Air Mail twine.)  gift for john the mailmanWe left a little gift for John in our mailbox, but we also went down to the lobby to say goodbye. (There may have been tears.)

So far our new letter carrier is doing a commendable job.

It’s been kind of a slow mail week around here. I have a few letters to return and some Halloween mail to plan and some postcards to write. It’s supposed to rain later, so it just might be the perfect night to make some mail.

31 Postcards in 31 Days

Presley and my address book You all know that I love a good month-long challenge. So of course when I heard about the 31 Postcards in 31 Days, I had to jump in. (Thanks for tweeting about it, Marissa!) The “challenge” was started by zine-makers but anyone can participate. The most exciting thing to me about 31 Postcards in 31 Days is that you can send the postcards whenever you want. No need to do one per day and feel guilty when you get behind. As long as you’ve sent thirty-one cards by the end of the month, you’ve completed the challenge. Easy enough, right?

I had wild dreams of making all my postcards, but I think I will lower the bar for myself and just try to send thirty-one cards to thirty-one different people. I have a lot of postcards from Japan, from Oak Park, from sets I’ve bought over the years and this will be a good time to spend out.

Are you participating?

(And can you believe it’s October already?! Presley is really excited for this.)

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Rural King Popcorn Bag Becomes Envelope

Rural King popcornThe last time I visited Rural King with my parents, I accidentally dropped an unused popcorn bag on the floor. Instead of adding it back to the stack for another person to use, I kept it for mail art. One of my pen pals, Shannan visits the LaSalle/Peru area from time to time, so I thought maybe she’d get a kick out of some Rural King mail. Rural King popcorn bag mail art, 2I wrote my note on a 5×7 inch card and taped the bag closed with a couple of layers of washi tape. I think the actual “envelope” ended up being around 5×8 inches. (Maximum dimensions for a letter are 6 1/8 x 11 1/2 inches, according to the USPS website.)

Simple and quick, and full of Central Illinois charm, right?

Have a good weekend! Speaking of my parents, they are coming up tomorrow and my dad is going to help us hang a cabinet in our bathroom. Yay!

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John-the-Mailman Retires

Save the Post letterpress cardA quick post today…

I know I blathered on about my letter carrier, affectionately know as John the Mailman, in this post, but he’s retiring this week after forty years of delivering mail.

The Forest Park Review featured a really sweet article about John this week. Our new letter carrier has some big shoes to fill…


P.S. Pictured is a card that Donovan made during her letterpress class with Rar Rar Press. I’m going to give it to John as a retirement card.

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