Category Archives: In My Mailbox

I Failed Letter Month…

Whale Valentines, Paper Source, Valentine kitYou guys, I failed at Letter Month this year. I didn’t even send my usual stack of Valentines! (Sorry grammas!) I assembled a few whales (from a Paper Source kit) and then just didn’t feel like making more. And instead of just writing letters, I did nothing. (Well, I visited my parents and I got sick, but that’s only an excuse for a few of the days!) dessert postcards, letter monthSo, this is all the mail I sent in the month of February. (#worstpenpalever) Thirteen pieces. I’m going to try to be better in March, while also looking forward to Write_On in April for National Card and Letter Writing Month. I ordered a party pack, so I’ll be planning a letter writing party and it would be just shameful if I wasn’t writing letters! analog bag, Mt Nasty sticker, Raygun, Obama Biden love buttonIn happier news, my friend Tremaine sent me this fantastic Valentine: a bag that she screenprinted herself, a Raygun sticker, and an Obama/Biden button that I wore almost every day last month. I need to work hard this month and next to put my mail karma back into balance!

 

How did you do during Letter Month this year?

Tagged , , , , ,

Letter Month 2017

GalaxieSafari hand-typed vintage postage card, zip code stamp, send more mail Well, hello there! It’s been a little quiet around here, but I wanted to pop back in because it’s that time of year again–Letter Month! I’ve been a dreadful pen pal since I got home from Japan last spring (yes, that long ago) so I’m hoping this will get me back in the mail spirit again.

I’m planning to use this month to reconnect with my pen pals and my representatives. I’ll be posting my daily missives on Instagram. (Maybe I’ll share a few here, too!)

P.S. If you need cards for letter month, the shop is open.

Tagged , , , , , ,

Petite Boutique 2016

craft show table, Petite Boutique, Pleasant Home Oak Park, 2016Ahhh…we survived our first craft show!

Petite Boutique was last weekend and I think for the first show, we did pretty well! People were generally really nice about my cards and I loved talking to everyone about old postage stamps and typewriters! I felt “in my element” for the first time in quite awhile. I loved telling people about the first USPS Christmas stamp and listening to customer’s stories about learning to type on a typewriter. (I, too, learned to type on a typewriter.)craft show table 2, Petite Boutique, Pleasant Home Oak Park, 2016All of the artists showing at Petite Boutique were spread throughout the home. Shoppers went from room to room looking at each little “shop.” We lucked out and got the sunroom, which ended up being really beautiful, both on Friday night and sunny Saturday. The windows look out on Mills Park and some great fall leaf and people watching. artist statement, craft show table, Petite Boutique, Pleasant Home Oak Park, 2016I had such a good time planning my merchandising. It wasn’t perfect by any means, but I think it’s a good start for future shows. I made a simple banner out of airmail envelopes and twine and added my name with some chipboard stickers that I found at Michaels. I pinned the banner on my (very wrinkly) tablecloth. The banner held up well, though sometimes it got disturbed by shoppers. Ideally, it would be hanging high behind me so shoppers could see it, even if my booth was busy.

I displayed my “artist statement” on one of my typewriters. (I didn’t actually type it on the typewriter because I thought the type might be too small.) Only a few people read it, but it was nice to have out there so people could learn a little bit about how my cards are made. holiday card display, craft show table 2, Petite Boutique, Pleasant Home Oak Park, 2016I displayed all of my holiday cards (boxes and singles) in old wooden boxes from my dad’s basement. I liked that they gave some height to the display. greeting card display, craft show table 2, Petite Boutique, Pleasant Home Oak Park, 2016Single non-holiday cards were all in another wooden box in the center of the table. I don’t really have enough card categories to require dividers. But if I keep doing craft shows, I’ll probably invest in a tabletop spinner or try to think of a better way to display these. Customers didn’t seem to mind sifting through them, but for a busier show, I think better visibility would make it easier.  stickers and stationery sets, craft show table 2, Petite Boutique, Pleasant Home Oak Park, 2016I had two options each of letter sets and sticker sets. And I offered the Japanese New Year cards like the ones I sent out for 2016. I made a sample so people could see that they could add a creative touch to the cards, or just write a new year message. The letter sets did not sell at all, but the stickers and postcards were pretty popular. framed quotes with postage stamps, craft show table, Petite Boutique, Pleasant Home Oak Park, 2016I also had a small display of framed and unframed quotes adorned with postage stamps. These sold really well, so I’m looking forward to adding some more to my shop soon. one whale, craft show table, Petite Boutique, Pleasant Home Oak Park, 2016And last but not least, I had a wooden whale holding white and silver gel pens for sale. I sold a few cards with dark envelopes, so it was a good way to give people an easy option for addressing those envelopes. shoppers at Kimberly AH, craft show table, Petite Boutique, Pleasant Home Oak Park, 2016Naoto was an amazing help! He learned the details about my cards (he loved telling people about the unique encyclopedia page envelope liners!) so he could talk to people while I was finishing up with another customer or chatting with friends. I know lots of people do craft shows alone, but it was perfect to have moral support and help for my first show. (I secretly think Naoto enjoyed it as much as I did, too!)

Thanks to everyone who shared their craft show advice in the comments, in letters, and in person (Sean!) And I have to send out a heartfelt thanks to friends near and far who came to say hi and to support the show. You all made my day and I loved being surprised when I saw your faces in the crowd. And a huge thanks to our shoppers who all seemed genuinely excited about buying handmade and to Pleasant Home for organizing the event. THANK YOU!!

 

 

P.S. I’ve begun listing my greeting cards in my Etsy shop and will continue to add more over the weekend. (All of my greeting cards are listed, but I’d like to add boxed options and mix & match savings.) Stay tuned.

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

I’m Doing a Craft Show!

Petite Boutique Holiday Market, Pleasant Home, Oak ParkIt’s exciting! (And slightly terrifying…)

For the past few months, I’ve been making greeting cards using my Royal Safari typewriter and featuring vintage cancelled postage stamps from my collection. I recently got my act together to open a little shop and I applied for a local juried craft show at Pleasant Home. And, I got in! So over the next month, I’ll be busy typing at my typewriter and sifting through my stamp collection and cutting envelope liners out of Karen’s grandparents’ encyclopedia collection. (Thanks, Karen!) I am very excited and nervous. What if no one buys anything? What if I forget how to count money? What if I run out of products? (None of these scenarios are likely. I’m very good at math. But seriously…how do you even know how much to make?) Thankfully Naoto has agreed to be my customer service associate so he can help me manage small talk and sales.

I’ll share more as I get into a good production groove around here. If you’ve ever done a craft show -big or small- I’d love to hear your advice!

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Happy Hauntings with Parcel Ghost

Parcel Ghost at the Japan Post museumDo you know Parcel Ghost? He is a former postal worker who is now a ghost, kindly haunting the world, sharing his travels and postal expertise with children and adults alike. Parcel Ghost, zines, cinderella stampsParcel Ghost (with the help of Marissa) has published three zines, stickersartistamps, a postcard, and a button. Quite accomplished for a ghost, no? His first zine, Parcel Ghost’s Guide to Post is a great primer for making mail art, buying stamps, pen pals, and thinking outside the box when sending mail. (Like, sending a pigeon!) Parcel Ghost visits a post office in TokyoI’ve been a Parcel Ghost fan for quite awhile, reading his zines and using his stickers on my mail. (Santa often leaves zines and Parcel Ghost treats in my stocking each year.) And, I was honored to travel for a spell with Parcel Ghost in Japan two years ago! We visited the Japan Post Museum together, Naoto helped him buy some postage stamps, and I took him to my favorite place in Japan, Mister Donut! Parcel Ghost visits Mister Donut in Tokyo (He really liked the strawberry donut.)

You can send Parcel Ghost a postcard from your own travels (address here on his blog) and you can see more of Parcel Ghost’s adventures on his Instagram (@parcelghost).

And, because I have two copies (I got one for Christmas on its own, and another the following year in a little Parcel Ghost pack), I thought I’d do a little giveaway of Parcel Ghost’s Guide to Post. To enter, just leave a comment on this post telling me your favorite thing about mail. I’ll close the comments on Sunday night around 7PM and I’ll draw a name…out of a hat, old-school style. I’ll announce the winner on Monday, right here on this post. Open to U.S. and international readers alike. Happy haunting!

The usual disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post. 🙂
Update! Sorry for the delay. I let Presley pick the winner and she wasn’t in the mood yesterday. I put all the names on my kitchen island and the first one she knocked down was the winner. She LOVES knocking things off tables. I figured I’d make use of her skills. 

 
Amy!!! Send me your address please and I’ll mail the zine out this week. (Adamihasegawa@gmail.com) 

Tagged , , , ,

Mail Totals for 2015

2016 mail so far,How is January almost over? Before we move too far into 2016, and before we get into Letter Month, I wanted to share my mail totals for 2015. Last year was the first year I’ve kept track of what I sent and how much I spent on postage.

daily mail trackingEach day I write on my daily calendar page what I sent out and how much the postage cost. On this particular day, I sent out three letters, four international postcards (for a postcard swap I participated in), and one U.S. postcard. tracking mail sent each monthThroughout the month, I tally up the total number of U.S. letters, international mail (letters and postcards cost the same, so I lumped them into the same category), U.S. postcards, and packages I sent that month.tracking mail sent each month, tracking mail spendingThen, at the end of the month, I total up the number of pieces sent and the cost for the month and write it on the monthly page of my calendar.

My totals for 2015:

$231.41*

U.S. Letters: 213

International (Postcards & Letters): 31

U.S. Postcards: 63

Packages: 9

Letters & Postcards Sent from Japan: 26

Total Mail: 342

Not too shabby, right? My best month was December (no surprise) with fifty-six, but February wasn’t far behind with fifty-one. And September was the worst with a piddly FIVE pieces of mail leaving my mailbox. Womp, womp!

This week, I’m trying to respond to all of the mail I’ve received since the start of 2016 (some is pictured at the top) so I can start Letter Month on a clean slate. Wish me luck!

How’s your mailbox so far this year?

 

*This total does not include the cost of postage of mail sent from Japan.

Tagged , , ,

Elvis In My Mailbox!

Elvis stocking, made by Marissa Flaco, Elvis Christmas fabricToday would have been Elvis’s 81st birthday so I’m sharing a couple of Elvis treats I’ve received in the mail lately. Marissa sent this incredible Elvis stocking. She expertly sewed it herself and I’m in love with the striped accent and the starry lining. It came as a total surprise and when I opened the envelope and saw Elvis, I fell over laughing with joy. Elvis stocking, made by Marissa Flaco, Elvis Christmas fabricThe Elvis fabric is the perfect marriage of Elvis and envelopes, my two favorite things! I know the stocking whispers Christmas, but I’m going to leave it out just a liiiiiiiittle longer, maybe through Valentine’s Day…maybe all year next to some other Elvis cards that live on my desk. (Confession: The tree is still up anyway.)Elvis mail from Nic, Elvis postage stamp, Elvis postcardsAnd Nic, fellow Elvis-lover from California, sent along this Elvis care package that included an Elvis notecard, two postcards from Elvis’s Palm Springs home, and Elvis STAMPS! (The old 29-cent ones!) I am so excited to finally have some real, uncancelled Elvis stamps in my collection! And I had no idea Elvis even had a Palm Springs home, so it’s exciting to know that I have another Elvis destination to visit.

Thank you, Marissa and Nic for making my day! There’s no Return to Sender when it comes to Elvis mail! (Sorry for the bad joke.)

Tonight we are hosting a little birthday party for Naoto…which is slowly morphing into an Elvis-themed party. I’m trying to sneak some Elvis into the Peter, Paul & Mary playlist. (They are Naoto’s favorite!) Happy weekend!

Tagged ,

KimBOOly HAUNTSegawa’s Mailbox

Paper Pastries Halloween MailMy mailbox was filled with a steady stream of Halloween mail last month. Margaret sent the package above, adorned with all of the fabulous spooky stamps of the post office’s history! Inside, there was a Halloween card and a tiny wooden casket filled with candy. I LOVE the creative use of the wax seals! Margaret wrote a blog post about creating the little candy caskets. Such a fun postal treat! I’m going to use the little casket in my Halloween decorating next year and I’m hoarding the envelope too. candy corn postcardSarah sent this fun see-through candy corn postcard. It was laminated into the postcard size, like the corn was floating. Japan Post Halloween postcardYuki sent this amazing Japan Post Halloween postcard. These seasonal cards are coveted by me and many other Japan Post lovers…I screamed with delight when I saw it in my mailbox! Japan Post Halloween postcardYuki sent the postcard in an envelope, but still used vintage stamps with special postmarks on the postcard. I’m sure the postcard will make a reappearance next year in my Halloween decorating. It’s too good to file away with my other mail. Halloween cardsAnd, above are the other sweet, charming, funny Halloween cards I received. punny addressesDanielle, who sent me two Halloween cards, addressed them in the BEST way! KimBOOOly Adami- HAUNTSegawa and KimberlEEK! ADOOMi-HAUNTED HOUSEegawa made me laugh for days. And that Parcel Ghost sticker–so good!

Thanks to everyone for making it a great mail month! Anyone else receive anything spooky in your mailbox?

Tagged , , , , , , ,

My Heart Belongs to Presley…and Mail

Elvis Presley, Elvis sticker, Presley Patch, mail from MargaretMargaret sent me the best mail last month–a Presley patch in a Midori Kraft Window Envelope adorned with an Elvis sticker!! She hit all of my favorite things!! My Heart Belongs to Presley patch by Tuesday BassenMargaret loooooves Presley. (Presley loves Margaret, too!) Margaret said she couldn’t resist getting this custom patch from Tuesday Bassen (Link is to a similar one because the “My Heart Belongs to” version was a limited edition, see Margaret’s comment below.) at the Whurl & Friends Shop ‘n Pop. I love this patch! Think of the possibilities! You could get your own pet’s name, or your partner’s name, or your favorite snack. (“My Heart Belongs to Hot Dogs.”) Perhaps mail lovers need a “My Heart Belongs to Letters” or “My Heart Belongs to the USPS.” mail from MargaretAnd in true Margaret fashion, the patch came in the sweetest package. She addressed it on the flap side so that the patch could be seen clearly through the window. The label is letterpressed with the turquoise design and Margaret hand-stamped my name. Thin washi tape sealed it all up. I was delighted to find it in my mailbox. Thanks, Margaret.

P.S. Did you know today is World Post Day?

Tagged , , , , ,