Tag Archives: snail mail

PBS ‘Pen Pal’ Video

22 Jan

As some of you may know I’m a huge fan of snail-mailing and pen-pals (see some of my snail mail projects here and here).  It’s something I’ve been doing since I was a little girl and something that I got my kids involved in since they could just write (those early letters are almost impossible to understand but man are they cute!).  They started writing letters to their grandparents and slowly over the years started writing to some of my friend’s kids who live in other countries around the world.  For our kids writing to their pen pals was also a great opportunity for them to practice writing English (my kids are schooled in Dutch and French).

Over the years I’ve loved seeing the relationships they’ve formed with their pen pals and hearing about their big plans to all meet in person one day in the future.  In this technologically focused world these little things make a huge impression on our kids.

A few weeks ago Jen and Dave asked me if I would help them with the new episode of their PBS Adventures in Learning series and when I heard the topic was Pen Pals I jumped at the opportunity.  It was so much fun to help make (with lots of help from my better half who has the patience to figure out how the video feature on my dslr works).  Take a peek and let me know what you think!

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Snail Mail Booklet Letters

6 Sep

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It’s Friday and we all survived the first hectic week back to school.  The kids returned home from their first days at secondary school actually relieved.  Which means Mama was relieved.  They love the new schedules and running back and forth between classes and the fact that they are being treated more and more grown up.  It seems as though they’re ready for all this so I guess I have to be too.  Wish me luck.

As you may know my kids and I are big fans of snail-mailing our friends and family from around the world.  Snail-mailing is something that I have been doing for years (you should see my Japanese stationary collection that I started in my teens!) and my kids have definitely adopted my love for writing letters the old fashioned way.

For us it’s also an ideal way for my kids who are schooled in Dutch and French to practice writing English in an interesting and engaging way.  You should see those early letters that they wrote to their grandmother!  Sweet and almost impossible to understand.  Luckily they’ve come a long way since then in the spelling department.

A few months ago we participated in Giova‘s Flat Project with some little handmade fabric embellished cards.  We all loved this project so much that we’ve been busy thinking of new ways to make our own letters and cards for our penpals.  Here’s our latest idea.

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Materials Needed:

Patterned and solid coloured thin cardboard (or even heavy paper)
Scissors
Small hole punch
Brads
shapes for tracing (cookie cutters, bowls, boxes, wooden shapes etc)IMG_0809

One day my daughter and I were rummaging through one of my (beloved) drawers full of crafty goodness and we came across a little box full of brads that I had received from my mother years ago.  We took them out and admired all the little coloured metal and cloth embellished brads and decided we needed to use them immediatly (I love it that my daughter enjoys these things as much as I do).
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So seeing as we had a long list of penpals to write we decided to make little books in various shapes using our favourite patterned and solid coloured papers.  We searched the house for any possible object that we could trace  for interesting shapes (cookie cutters worked the best) and my daughter  hand drew a few shapes that she had in mind as well (unfortunately we don’t have a hot air balloon cookie cutter!).

IMG_0823We made books with anywhere from 3 pages to 8 pages and either alternated with solid and patterned paper or just did a patterned cover with all solid pages.

This is a great and simple paper project to do with kids of just about any age and ability.  My kids (who are 11,11,9 years old) are experimenting with more and more complicated shapes now as well  (airplanes, windmills, various pieces of clothing and maybe even a James Bond gun).

One daughter decided to start a back-and-forth letter with one of her pen-pals using one of the books.  She wrote her letter on the first page and her pen-pal will respond on the second and send it back.  She has dreams of this little book going back and forth over the ocean for years to come.  That’s my kind of dream!

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Happy Week-End!

Snail Mail

3 Jun

Any snail mailers out there?  Turns out it’s becoming the hip thing to do.  My instagram feed is full of photos from serious snail mailers from around the world and their elaborately decorated letters that look like little works of art.  Ever since I was a little girl I’ve loved sending letters and packages to friends and family all over the world – it’s such a nice feeling knowing that someone will open their mailbox to find a sweet little surprise (and will maybe send one back in return!).

So when Giova of the lovely blog One Bunting Away asked me to do a guest post I jumped at the idea to participate in her snail mailing Flat Project (these accordion envelopes are my favourite).  Any project that involves ideas to pretty up your snail mail is a project for me.   I had a lot of fun making up these little fabric embellished note cards with my daughters (we had actually made similar cards for their birthday invitations a few years ag0).  Take a look here.IMG_8468

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