Chilly knuckled-bike rides to the post boxes yielded more mail art for me this week than it did for my pen pals. Six goodies arrived here in BC, while three envelopes I created, showed up for friends elsewhere in the world. It’s so fun to find treats in the post box… an envelope never fails to make me feel extra special and I hope my recipients feel the same way. The first to spoil me rotten was the lovely Carol Whitley (@imsilverfeather) who went way above and beyond her call of duty! The deer sticker and stamp emblazoned envelope was stuffed full of generous gifts. A beautiful hand written letter, stickers, postcards & greeting cards, magnets, pin back buttons, scrapbook papers, a feather, a zine, collected ephemera & tiny trinkets! All nature, Canadian or ‘J’ themed. Incredible amounts of awesomeness in this one, eh? I was stoked to get my first package from Sarah Hutchinson Burke (@thesecondmagpie) that had a squirrel stamp on it! She gifted me one of her awesome hand bound tea books, a project that chronicles cups of tea enjoyed with friends. So sincere and unique! Sent with the book was plenty of other fun treats: lettraset, tons of pressed flowers, seeds, beads, fabric, a mini collage, postcards, prints and some of my favorite little things: optimistic mini “Half Full” tags and matching “Half Full, Half Empty” postcard. A long-awaited envelope from my dear friend Caren Gibb blew me away as usual. First and foremost, I got the final set of pages from the Bear & Dog SEASONS book that she has been gifting me throughout the year as the weather changed. I’m excited to look for her old envelopes and read the story in full, from start to finish. Also inside was a super sweet engagement card for John & I, adorable photos of her grandchildren, illustrated postcards, animal stickers and bookmark. But wait… the most unbelievable piece of all? A screenprinted beaver pennant from 100 Mile House, BC – THE TOWN I’M LIVING IN! This piece was amazing – where the heck did she find it, and did she know I had just thrifted a similar Victoria, BC pennant at a vintage sale the other week? Love it. The Australian wonder known as Jessica Mack (@brownpaperbunny) knows I’m love drunk from my engagement, so she sent a love-themed reply including a paper back book about true love stories. A sincere congratulatory note accompanied a monogram watercolor drawing, a plethora of love themed stationery (some of which is just so adorable I can’t get over it), an oragami heart and a handcut heart paper chain. win! The sweet Katie Whittington (@aspetalsfall) replied to me and in her letter she admitted that she is struggling to keep up with mail art now that she has 8 pen pals and confessed she couldn’t understand how I do it all. To best honest, the biggest thing I like to stress when people feel intimidated or overwhelmed by mail art is that the only rule for mail art is that if you get something you must send something back. I then go on to remind them that no where in there does is list WHAT you must send, nor does it detail WHEN you must send something. I think pen pals often forget that a reply can honestly be something simple or be sent months later! Plus, Katie shouldn’t be concerned, as the mail art she sent to me was lovely: a delicate doily, fabric swatches, buttons, a hilarious crochet fashion shot, owl ephemera and a postcard of Lake Windermere in the UK. Jaime Madallena (@sendmoremail) is the perfect example to show how a simple handwritten letter in a pretty envelope can be just as exciting as a giant pile of goodies. As always some gorgeous vintage stamps (ALL ANIMALS!!!) guided this lovely letter to me, which was written on adorable blue & cream stationery with the word hello repeated. It was a nice change to recieve a letter written in Jaime’s hand instead of by her typewriter, as I find her ‘script’ quite unique and interesting. The first person to be greeted by a special envelope created by me was Marcus Jackson (@luckyjackpress)! This one was made from a dust jacket of a book called “The Man Game” with a wicked illustration of a cowboy boxing a bull/human hybrid and I plastered it with giant stickers, washi tape, rad stamps and our addresses. A big part of the contents was hunting ephemera like a fishing postcard, magazine picture of a cowboy with a big catch, an illustrated vintage add for fishing gear, a special section of a 1970′s Oudoor Life “101 Ideas for Smoother Sports” all about hunting, fishing and camping. There was a sad article about coyote killings, but Marcus’s work investigates human-caused deaths of wild creatures… plus his totem animal is the coyote. I sent him some other fun treats, stickers, a moose print and a letter written on ‘M’ index cards. I sent Jill Griffin (@jillgriffinart) two awesome found falcon illustrations in an envelope with a falcon stamp. The bird themed continued, only more tropical with a parrot flash card and a plethora of awesome Jungle stickers! I also included a large sticker, illustrated postcards, nature colored paint sample and an autumnal leaf. Marissa Falco (@czarcastic) loves penguins, so I had one guard her envelope along with a royal couple stamp. The coolest thing I sent miss Marissa was an ESP test book (lol) to see if she has a 6th sense!!! Also included was a Mercury ’67 Cruiser Boat add and random drawing inspired by it, a tiger beat gaga poster (cause we love her) a moose print, circular king playing card, a red maple leaf, seasame street’s BERT, a waldo postcard, I can has chezburger cat and a wicked narwhale stamp! I hope my friends enjoyed their treats because in my opinion it’s such a privilege to be treated almost daily at the post box with something beautiful instead of bills. I am a very lucky girl. But as the saying goes: with great privilege comes great responsibility… and thus I ought to start conquering my list of owed replies. Until next week, happy mailing!