Although the car I drove out here was stuffed to the max, I somehow forgot to pack my pop-up canopy for farmers markets and for the Tour of the Arts next weekend. I felt like such an idiot, but luckily Johnny got home on the 16th, so he was able to ship it to me. The only TRUE bonus that came out of this situation was the fact that he was able to add 2 weeks worth of mail art in along with it. What a spoiling, let me tell you!!! It started off with three awesome postcards from Kathy Dahl, Marcus Jackson (@luckyjackpress) & Carol Whitley (@imsilverfeather). Adorable wildlife, maps and plenty of cute stickers… honestly, what’s not to love? The backs are all inscribed with thoughtful messages from these three wonderful friends; the perfect appetizer for the mail feast that was to come. The first envelope I dove into was from Jessica Mack (@brownpaperbunny) which seemed to have no bottom. The treats just kept coming and coming. Some of the gems amidst it all: teddy bear patch, original drawing she made for her blog about getting mail art from me, money to do lists, a glow-in-the-dark casette drawing, temporary tattoos, “jess” / initial themed treats, a photo of her mother amongst the books of her second-hand store, silly stationery and more. However one of my favorite pieces was definitely a secret message written on paper that disolved in water! Emily May Hopgood (@EmilyMayHopgood) sent a magnificent font adroned cardboard cover, thanking me for the owl zine (informing me that it was BANGIN’)! The text-laden cardboard housed two epic illustrated cards – one of which features a tourist couple that are just too good to be true while the other was adorned with two texture-laden kitties. The lovely Katie Whittington (@aspetalsfall) finally found time for a reply! She decorated an envelope with maps as mountains and filled it up with tea, moths, a letter, found/collected ephemera, a paper prayer flags, a fabric key, a beetle drawing and the item that stole my heart: a little clipping that reads “I am kind of a big deal on my blog.” Jaime Madallena (@sendmoremail) loved the wee drawing of mushrooms stamps I did for her (she even featured it on her lovely snail mail blog!) In return she sent me one of her sweet typewritten letters on some fantastic air mail stationery, and as always lovingly arranged beauty vintage stamps on the envelope. My favorite: a moose looking upstream. Sumi Senthi (@sumiart) sent me quite the epic first time package stuffed full of fun goodies. I can tell she reads my tweets and my mail art posts – she included a lot of treats that are right up my alley. First a personal hand written letter on a lovely sheer paper. Two postcards, one of which is hers (the rabbit), magazine clipping of knit taxidermy, stamps inside the cutest wee envelope, a pocket mirror (and case) with a birdy on the back plus home-made stickers made with old sheet music and a sticker machine. what? did I hear Sumi say STICKER MACHINE? gotta get me one of those! I sent a replacement envelope for the pink owl that lost its way, and I am happy to report that it made it, because I recently got a reply envelope from Miss Marissa Falco (@czarcastic). She gifted me yet another of her incredible zines ‘Miss Sequential #4″, this edition all about her mail adventures! She has such a great way with stories, and her matching illustrations make the zine truly the best! Along with it, a set of adorable owl stickers, a lovely note and found ephemera. Michelle Ashton (@zbyshka) is always thanking me for sending her plenty of bear items, but I could honestly do the same thing to her. In this shipment: beach bear stickers, paddington bear pins, moon bear rescue sticker and a mini 3-D shirt-wearing bear “hoping for a better life in Canada” says Michelle. Non-bear items included a mini tourist guide to oslo and a postcard about a book called ‘better handwriting’. Mariana Lobao (@minawolf) made me wait months for a reply but it was worth the wait: she blew my mind completely!!! The painted deer envelope was enough to make start creating a fantastic reply, let alone the many things she generously gifted me: several original drawings/mixed media works, the most amazing zine “Sleeping Beasts,” epic 3-D Bear stickers, DIY or DIE zine, an altered photocopied owl page, a hand bound sketchbook and tons of collected ephemera. SUCH A WIN! A sweet reply came from Crystal Plett (@thehouseofheart) with a nice, long and personal letter, a holga photo print, found ephemera and a collection of lovely deer postcards. They were all wrapped up in a handmade envelope from a vintage map – however it was ripped on a few sides and in a safety postal bag, so I am hoping everything that was packaged arrived safely as intended. I recently sent Crystal a cheer me up postcard because she was a little distraught prior to the mail strike, as her mailbox hadn’t been getting much action. So I fixed up a sexy little catalogue man postcard to perk her up. I heard it was happily received. The other lucky gal was Anna Jane Searle (@annajanesearle) who had sent me the most elaborate artwork in the mail: a hand drawn bear diorama assembled in a box covered in vintage maps. I knew I had to try extra hard to impress her, and judging by her blog post, I can tell she’s one happy camper. Packaged in an incredibly adorable envelope covered in animals was a glorious pile of treats! Phewph. We made it! What a victory!!! After a month of snail mail fails with the postal strike and a couple slow weeks at my pox box, it was nice to experience a mail monsoon.