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I’m scrambling to write 4,000 words of essay, business case and powerpoint presentation for the 1st Records Management course of my master’s degree by the end of the week… but I had to take a break to post this link to a fabulous 500 Colored Pencils Project that I will be participating in this year. There are 10 spots still open! What a joy and excitement to look for a scrumptiously coloured (<–Canadian, i.e. correct spelling ;) pencil in my mailbox each month. The idea, put forward by one of my favorite entrepreneurs Lea Redmond of Leafcutter Designs, will then take me on an adventure to find a true-life story each month exemplifying the essence of this specially chosen coloured pencil. My mailbox is sooooo excited to start 2010!

Happy New Years everyone!

500 Colored Pencils

500 Colored Pencil Crayons

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Mail To Be Mailed

Oh it’s been a month! I’ve received some incredible mail and have so much to update, but sending mail has been my priority these past few weeks. Here’s what I’ve been up to:

Off to the postbox.

This bundle of 42 pieces went into the red Canada Post box last week… All stamped, addressed, labeled, stickered (some were even scented with pine) and hand written :) I’m now working on batch two, which will go to the USA and contain about 55 more postcards and Christmas envelopes (mostly for my 43 Things friends). So yes, I love all your mail and will respond asap, but my mind won’t let me rest until I get this most noble task of Christmas Cards checked off my to do list.

An Austrian mailbox waiting for some goodies to be ‘plunked’ into it.  I can imagine the sound letters would make as they dropped down into it.

I found this yummy photo on Wikimedia Commons today and began to think of all the inspiration for art and crafts and just thinking…. about life that rummaging through the Commons photos would bring.  I have uploaded a few of my own photos to the Commons when I knew that they would illustrate a Wikipedia article well, and I must say that I think they add nicely (see the article on Standing Stones or The Clearances), but today is the first day that I’ve thought about other uses for the Commons.  For instance, this blog.  Wikimedia Commons makes available over 5,000,000 photos for use under a creative commons license.  Each photograph clearly states what you are allowed or not allowed to do with it.  I think that I just need to mention that a Wikipedian named “Moschitz” took this photo.  Anyhoo, take some time to ramble around on Wikipedia or Wikimedia Commons to learn some stuff, get inspired, get enthralled and add your teensy weensy bit of expertise to the knowledge bank of our global community.

Austrian Mailbox

Today I found a delightful package in the mail that included a handmade book signed by local artists and all kinds of calligraphy goodies and tools inside… some of them I’m not even sure what they’re for! But I’m certain I’ll find out when I attend my first meeting next month. What a surprise… I thought I’d just get a photocopied and perforated membership card. Now I can’t wait to try my hand at some swirls :)

Welcome Package

Welcome Package

Hallelujah! I can’t believe what I found in the mailbox today… an unsolicited, unlookedfor, unimagined piece of mail art from a totally unknown person :D And they even addressed it to Canadian Girl Scout ! I guess that’s me ! WoWzers…. It has beautiful stamps, thick cardboard, a lovely seagreen colour and a picture taped to the other side. I feel so blessed today.

From "Bee" in New York

From "Bee" in New York

Good Mail Day

While walking around Chapters with my tall-nonfat-Tazo-chai, I happened upon this new book, released September 1, 2009. I sat down and became engrossed. Each page brought a new sense of excitement and an invigorated sense that, “I could do this!”, which is the precise aim of authors Jennie Hinchcliff and Carolee Gilligan Wheeler. Hinchcliff and Wheeler entice with images of rough and tumbled envelopes lovingly scored, embossed, decoupaged, dipped, stained and stapled, while meticulously describing how you too can pick up pencil and postcard to create a piece of Mail Art in mere minutes. This is not a project-by-project how to description like a recipe or quilting book, but a “we dare you to try it” double-dare to pick up that scotch tape and scissor and send something unexpected to someone.

My favorite quote from the book is this: ‘To take the effort to write a letter (much less spend time on a piece of mail art) is to send a signal to someone that you want to go the extra mile for that person. It’s wooing your friends, charming strangers, and bringing joy to your acquaintances. Good mail is an affirmation: Yes, you ARE worth it.

Yes, my friends do deserve wooing. And now, I shall woo to my heart’s content; secure in the knowledge that although I can not draw a stick, I am still capable of sending and receiving ART in the mail. Hallelujah.

Good Mail Day by Jennie Hinchcliff & Carolee Gilligan Wheeler

Good Mail Day by Jennie Hinchcliff & Carolee Gilligan Wheeler

Here is an Online pen from Germany that I purchased as a present to myself after being offered a new museum position in Montréal, Québec. My French skills were up to the test, it seems, and though I sweated out numerous interviews in both official Canadian languages, I did get the job offer : ) Always know what you want and what truly makes you happy, so that you can reward yourself at the end of the day for a job well done.
A Special Treat

A Special Treat