Category Archives: snail mail

In My Mailbox: Jaarsma Bakery

Back in May, we received a huge box of treats from Jaarsma Bakery in Oskaloosa, Iowa. My friend Tremaine grew up nearby and she sent us all of her favorites.

I sadly did not capture everything in pictures, but we enjoyed the cinnamon bread (which was amazing toasted,) the almond poppy seed creme cakes (melt-in-your-mouth delicious, pictured above) and the almond blanket (mmmmmm, pictured below) right away in May and June. It was so fun looking forward to opening new treats while we were still in the throes of staying at home! 

The pastries freeze well, so we put a few things in the freezer to enjoy later. The Stroopwaffel (pictured at the top, warming on my mug of tea) were a favorite for sure! I’ve had prepackaged ones before that were fine, but homemade are amazing. The caramel hits the spot with a cup of strong tea! 

Last week, we broke out Andre’s Almond Filled Butter Cookies (pictured above.) They were incredible! Such a perfect chewy consistency.

We still have Apple Rings in the freezer, which I’m saving for September, which (in my opinion) is apple season (followed by pumpkin season, which is in October…not a moment sooner.)

And last night I opened the last mystery package and it was St. Nick cookies! I could have put them back in the freezer for December, but we’re going to eat them now and make another order later this year.

Have you received any food treats in the mail? I love that these were tastes of my friend’s childhood…I have such good food memories from growing up and I always love learning about these tiny hometown gems.

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Madison Street Art Stroll

This weekend, I’ll be participating (from a distance!) in the Madison Street Art Stroll here in Forest Park. Because of Covid, Garage Galleries was canceled and the wonderful organizers decided to try this instead. Several local businesses opened their windows to artists who will be displaying their work over the next week. My work is in the window of Local Yoga at 7234 Madison, a yoga studio right down the block from us.

Saturday, Naoto and I will be walking along Madison (wearing our masks!) to see the art and to wave to some friends we haven’t seen all summer. It’s funny how “normal” it feels to make some plans, even though it won’t be normal.

I’ve been working on setting up an online shop for my cards, something that is long overdue… It’s been a slow project listing everything…it’s fun work though! And I’ve made some new cards that I’ll be sharing on Instagram (@adamihasegawa) over the weekend and all next week.

I’ll share my window set-up next week, too. It was fun to put some of my window display skills to work again…though my display is much simpler than some of the concoctions I had to hang at my old job!

I hope you have a good weekend! Take care!

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In My Mailbox: Bread Mail Returned

Nic replied to my Bread Mail with her own bread mail! Doesn’t it just make you want to eat a giant baguette? She included a postcard and some extra baguette paper so someone else is getting some #breadmail soon! (Also, how cute are those fabric “stamps”?)

Tucked in the little bag was a letter and some extra sheets of baguette paper. This reminds me that I have some donut cards that some in little waxed paper bags…I need to find them so I can send out some more carby mail!

I hope things are happy in your home and in your mailbox! We’ve been doing a lot, well, a lot of stay-at-home activities so I’ll be back this week to share some more! In the meantime, I encourage you to send some theme mail–bread or otherwise!

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In My Mailbox: Treats From Hawaii

Naoto’s host family in Hawaii sent us a care package last week and it was so full of Aloha goodness! I got some new flip flops (or slippahs) for lounging on the lanai, a wallet that I can use for my cash at craft shows, and some very kawaii face masks! Naoto is going to wear the blue one to Trader Joe’s! There was also this sweet little wallet made from Japanese fabric. It will make a nice stamp or business card holder. (One cannot have too many traveling stamp options!) And there were these fun handmade cards and a Japanese bookmark. And…my favorite–this Japanese clutch. Isn’t it so fun? It has a large pocket behind the kiss clasp section and is more than big enough for my phone. I am so excited to leave my home again someday just so I can carry this. Along with those treats, they sent all sorts of Hawaiian snacks. (And some Japanese snacks for Naoto, including baby clam instant miso soup.) I have mixed feelings about mochi, but we are really enjoying this sakura mochi this weekend.

Naoto is so excited to have a little taste of Hawaii at home and as always, I love a good surprise in the mail.

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Bread Mail

sandwich letter set, japanese stationeryI ate a lot of sandwiches in Japan during our last visit. Sandwiches in Japan are among my favorite things. (This should be a #JDIB post…I need to look through my pictures.) To commemorate the many sandwiches, I bought this “sando” letter set while we were in Okinawa.

Last week on Instagram, Assembly of Text did a little challenge for writing a letter about your relationship with bread. My pen pal, Nic, and I had a little online chat about the challenge but I decided to write her a bread love letter, too. bread stickersThen I remembered that I have a little collection of bread stickers to share. I bought these at Loft a couple years ago and found them tucked away in my Japan hoard drawer. They have a really nice texture and really pretty, soft illustrations of Japanese bakery items, including strawberry bread, which I regret to say I’ve never tried.Japanese bread stickers, croissant, Japan bakeryAren’t they so cute and carby? I had these little cats with cakes envelopes so I figured they are on-theme enough. The silver foil fork and the tiny paw reaching for the cake slay me. The sandwich letter set isn’t made for a verbose letter, but it was enough room to tell Nic all about my love of sandwiches in Japan. Japanese bread stickers, washi stickers, watercolor stickersAlso found in my Japanese hoard drawer…these washi bread stickers! Japanese bread stickers, washi stickers, watercolor stickersThey’re made of washi, so they have a really pretty transparency. It’s hard to tell from my pictures, but the colors are almost neon, which makes the browns of the bread much more fun. I used these to decorate the envelope.hightide washi tape, pancake washi tape, japanese pancakeThen I remembered this Japanese pancake washi tape I bought in Tokyo that would fit in with the carb theme. hightide washi tape, pancake washi tape, japanese pancakeI stuck a little piece on the envelope flap and wrote #carbmail on the envelope, though I really like #breadmail better.

This was a fun little morning activity that made me look through my stash to see what could fit. It also reminded me (yet again) that not every letter needs to be long and in detail about my day or about staying home or pandemic fears. As a matter of fact, it was a nice break NOT to talk about the weirdness of now.

 

 

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Dispatches from Home Part 6

peonies April showers bring May blog posts…eventually. May has been so busy! April flew by, and May is doing the same. Everything is kind of nuts right now. At work, we are finally moving back to our building. It’s still all kind of in flux because permits are taking longer since many offices are still shut down in Illinois, but most likely, we’ll be all moved into our office by the end of the month. It’s SO exciting. We went furniture shopping this week and I got to see the office today! I’m not sure what June will look like, since I’m sure we’ll still be doing a combination of working from home and going into the office, but it will feel so good to finally get settled into my space. National Card & Letter Writing Month went out with a bang–I sent out 37 cards and letters and I am still going strong with letter writing in May. Still poking through my vintage postage collection. These strong women ones are some of my favorites. Naoto brought home two bouquets of peonies this week. The pink ones at the top are just now opening and the coral ones turned white and are almost spent. They motivated me to clean my desk and to work there more so I could enjoy the flowers. It really is the little things… The first weekend in May was so perfect! (It frosted and snowed the following weekend, but we don’t have to talk about that!) We were able to shop for flowers for our lanai and we spent almost all day Saturday outside planting, reading, and playing cards until we couldn’t see anymore. Naoto learned Uno and proceeded to beat me at it all night. Beginner’s luck!

I hope you are doing well! I feel like the longer this goes on, the more lax people are getting… I am happy to stay home because it’s so tiring being out, remembering a mask, remembering not to touch your face, remembering to stay 6 feet away… Plus with Naoto’s job, I still feel like we’re both at risk, or at risk of being carriers, so it’s just best that I stay tucked away for awhile longer.

 

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Write On Check-In

write_on, national card and letter writing month, vintage postageHow is everyone’s letter writing coming along? As of today, I’m ahead of the curve and hoping to finish strong. The last week is always the hardest because I’m either behind or desperately losing steam. (But it’s not like I don’t have extra time right now!) I’ve been having a lot of fun with rubber stamps and vintage postage this month. I love a good stamp collage, themed or not.

In a huge mail fail, I was in a rush to get a birthday card out to my coworker on Saturday morning and I forgot to put a stamp on it. Oops. write_on, national card and letter writing month, vintage postage, easter mailwrite_on, national card and letter writing month, vintage postagewrite_on, national card and letter writing month, vintage postageDear Hancock, quarantine mail, write_on, national card and letter writing month, vintage postageI couldn’t resist ordering some pandemic cards from Dear Hancock earlier this month, even though I’m still making my way through my greeting card collection. Does anyone have enough self-control to not buy more cards and stamps even though you have plenty at home?

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In My Mailbox: Masks

My pen pal Nic is at it again! If you remember, she sent me these fantastic mail coasters last year and this mail folder before that.

She and her mom have been making masks for their friends and family since they became a requirement in California and a “strong recommendation” everyplace else. She offered to make some for Naoto and me, which is amazing because Trader Joe’s finally allowed the staff to wear masks and we didn’t have time to come up with a good solution for him. On Monday, a package arrived full of these masks! They are the kind that tie for a perfect fit, and they have a little metal piece over the nose bridge so you can customize the fit on your face. They also have a pocket where you can pop in another layer for extra protection. She used fabric that reminded her of us. Above is a Japanese food and Hawaiian-inspired design. Of course Naoto chose to wear that one yesterday. Today he wore this cocktail one. cocktail face maskWe’re trying to save at least one for me to use if I have to leave the apartment for something before we wash the masks. postage stamp maskIt’s a toss up between postage stamps and Elvis! Elvis maskI really don’t leave the apartment much these days. I have to go into the office early next week, so I think I’ll save Elvis for that trip. In the meantime, Naoto will rotate these with his one store-issued mask and we’ll wash them as we go. Have you been making masks? I love seeing so many friends using up their fabric stashes for new masks. It’s been a tiny bright spot in this weird, new reality.

P.S. Nic also sent a book sleeve, which I will share when I do a long-overdue book post!

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National Card & Letter Writing Month

Is it really April? Is anyone sure about what day it is anymore?

Well, it IS April, and that means it’s National Card and Letter Writing Month!  This is usually one of my favorite months! I had so many plans! I was going to host a letter writing party! I was going to decorate with alllll my good postal finds! I was going to start a little letter writing meet-up! (More on that later!) I had so many blog posts planned!

Because of social distancing and stay-at-home orders, I can’t have a party or host a meet-up, but I can do the rest, so I think I’d better get started.

I hope you’re doing well and finding things that bring you joy while you’re at home.

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Pen Pal Stationery Tour Part Two

Sublo 36Our next stop (after lunch) in the Pen Pal Stationery Tour was Sublo 36. It’s a tiny shop and it was verrry crowded. And like, Yamada, there are so many products in little cubbies and drawers, it was kind of a challenge to shop when you’re basically on top of the next person. I’d love to go back on a quieter day because I’m having regrets about not buying some things! I didn’t get many pictures inside Sublo (which is up these quirky stairs by the way) because it was too crowded for my photographer and I was too busy shopping and trying to stay out of other shoppers’ ways. They have a lot of original products (you can see them here) that I totally didn’t take advantage of buying when I was there. After this, Naoto had discovered that we were a short walk away from Karel Capek tea shop so we took a stationery break. I’ll write about Karel Capek in another post–it’s the cutest. On the way to the train for our next stop, we bought some gyoza from a very busy gyoza shop in the neighborhood. Delicious! (Oh and that’s April’s partner Geof. He and Naoto were the best sports about stationery shopping all day!)Hachimakura, vintage paper store JapanAt the end of the tour was Hachimakura, which we’ve visited before. April and I delighted in the vintage papers in this tiny shop. We finished the tour with dinner at a little izakaya near Hachimakura. We ate cabbage with yuzu dressing, bacon with grain mustard, tomago, fried mozzarella dipped in honey (It was soooo good I need to try this in America,) wasabi chicken, cucumber dipped in miso, and we drank beers and yuzu drinks. It was the perfect meal to end a really fun day. Until next time, April & Geof!

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