Saturday, May 31, 2014

Magic in my Mailbox

"And none will hear the postman's knock
Without a quickening of the heart.
For who can bear to feel himself forgotten?"  ~W.H. Auden

I wanted to share some of the snail mail magic I received in my mailbox this month! Thank you to all my pen pals. I truly appreciate all of the wonderful words and sentiments you sent through the post from your hearts to mine. Good mail brightens any day!

"Letter writing is the only device for combining solitude with good company."  ~Lord Byron

Monday, May 26, 2014

Surprise! and Thank You!!

I'll admit it. I am horrible at sending "expected" mail. "What!?" You may ask incredulously. It's true. I, Mrs. Murphy, the lover of all things postal, probably won't send you a birthday or anniversary card. And you're not likely to receive a timely thank you note from me. Sorry. Don't be too disappointed. Snail mail is my creative outlet. I want my letters to be an unexpected source of delight in the recipient's mailbox.  I want mail from Mrs. Murphy to be clever, unique and magical! Therefore, I must wait for inspiration to strike.  And it usually doesn't strike on or near my recipient's birthday. (sigh)

I will send thank you notes, of course, I don't want to be rude. But I have been known to send a thank you email or text! And yes, I've completely forgotten to send them, too! (I'm SO sorry!!)

Sending unexpected thank you notes is a true source of joy and inspiration for me, however, something I am always in the mood to do!! I recently read a wonderful book, A Simple Act of Gratitude  by John Kralik. This book is a touching memoir of a man's journey from desperation to joy through the writing of thank you notes. This book was so motivating!!

The thank you notes were a blessing to the recipients, of course, but what was most incredible was the dramatic change in the author's perspective and subsequent change in his life!!  Mr. Kralik set a goal of writing 365 thank you notes over the course of a year. I haven't set a specific goal, but hope to write as many surprise thank you notes as I can.  The author kept track of his thank you notes on a spreadsheet. I prefer my Snail Mail Notebook - more fun to decorate!

Join me in spreading some joy! Write some unexpected thank you notes to people in your life today!  

"I can no other answer make, but thanks and thanks." William Shakespeare

Thank you!
XOXO Mrs. Murphy

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Make Mom Proud! Write a Real Letter!

I recently read an interesting article on Mental Floss about Anna Jarvis, the founder of Mother's Day. It seems that Miss Jarvis loved her mother dearly and wanted to honor her by creating a national holiday to pay tribute to all mothers. Her Mother's Day idea caught on quickly due in large part to her massive letter writing campaign. (Hooray for the power of snail mail!)  She faced opposition from a few politicians, but Mother's Day was officially observed as a national holiday in 1914.  Unfortunately Miss Davis would later come to disdain the commercialism associated with Mother's Day.

My favorite quote attributed to Miss Jarvis reflects her contempt for the greeting card company...

"A printed card means nothing except that you're too lazy to write a letter to the woman who did more for you than anyone in the world!"

A little heavy on the guilt, Miss Jarvis, but I am in favor of writing more letters!! 

I know Mother's Day is over but it's always a good time to send your mother a handwritten letter. (Especially if you, like me, sent one of those dreadful purchased greeting cards!!) Try making a list of all the things that you appreciate about your mother. Include her qualities and traits you admire.  Is she hospitable? An excellent cook? Did she take you to 15 million practices and games during your childhood? Now's the time to thank her!!

Go Postal, people! 
And for goodness sake, write your mother!

XOXO Mrs. Murphy 

Anna Jarvis

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Creative Snail Mail That Really Puts You On The Map!

I'm always on a quest to create and send quirky, clever snail mail. Today's outgoing post is one of my all-time favorite creations...mail based on a map! I dubbed this creation "The Map of Our Friendship." I drew a simple island shape and added small icons depicting special moments from our friendship. I numbered each symbol and created a corresponding legend.

My friend tells me that she loved this letter and even put it on her fridge! (A true place of honor!) You can make a "map" of anything! Here are a few suggestions...
  • A memory
  • A vacation 
  • School day/year
  • A day with your child or special someone
  • Your hometown
  • A day in the life of your dog
  • Your heart
  • Your garden
  • Your childhood
  • Your future
  • A negative shared experience (this can be a therapeutic way to handle a very bad day)
Some standard parts of a map I included in my creation were...
  • Cartouche - an ornamental frame on a map. It often contains the name of the map or the mapmaker. 
  • Legend - the map's key. It explains the symbols on a map.
  • Paths and Places - These can be cities, states, ideas, zones, sections, roads, highways and trails.
I hope you are motivated to make some map mail of your own! (I'm a fool for alliteration!) 

Go Postal, Everybody!! 
XOXO Mrs. Murphy

Friday, May 16, 2014

Letters - A Legacy of Love

I have a few items that one might consider "family heirlooms."  I was given my great grandmother's china and my grandmother's wedding band.  I love having these items but no matter how much I look at, touch or use them I don't know what the day to day life of their owners was like. I don't know what their thoughts, joys and fears were when they were my age.  Saving special items for your loved ones is wonderful, but this post is about encouraging you to write (and save) letters!! Wouldn't you love to read the words of your great-great grandmother?  Wouldn't it be great to pass on a collection of correspondence between you and your sweetheart for future generations to read?

My cousin recently shared some letters that her father wrote to her mother when they were separated during WWII.  They had been recently married when my great uncle was stationed overseas. He wrote to my great aunt everyday, sometimes twice!  This collection of letters is an invaluable treasure to my cousin and a definite family heirloom!!


I hope this encourages you to write more letters! Your letters will bring much joy and happiness to the recipient today and be a wonderful and unique look into your life for generations to come!!

Let's Go Postal!! 
XOXO Mrs. Murphy

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

See You in the Funny Pages

Today's outgoing post is inspired by the "funny pages" or comics!  When I was in college I enjoyed reading the daily comic strip,  Jim's Journal in my school newspaper.  Created by Scott Dikkers, Jim's Journal was sort of an "anti-comic." Jim was a somewhat passive hero who simply recorded his daily life, no context or punch line was necessary. The more mundane the funnier. As a college student myself, I supplied the context. It was brilliant and hilarious!

Taking a page (hee hee) from Jim's Journal, I decided to create some snail mail comics.  I recorded my day in a three panel strip.  In the last panel I jotted a note to my recipient. I hope it brings a smile to her face!!

Let's Go Postal!!

XOXO  Mrs. Murphy