Saturday, August 23, 2014

Moving Picture Mailbox Magic ~ Postal Box Office

My love of mail and all things postal goes beyond just sending and receiving letters. Finding a book, movie or television show that has an epistolary element is a special joy for me!  I thought I would periodically share some of my favorites on the Mrs. Murphy's Mailbox Magic blog! I am always a bit nervous about making any book or movie recommendations to others as we all have unique tastes and preferences.  Just consider this a peek into my favorites...not necessarily something you will love. 

The first film I want to share is "Amelie" (2001). This French film tells the tale of a super shy waitress who decides to change the lives of the people around her for the better. There are a couple "mail" elements in this film that are quite fun. Amelie reads an article in the newspaper about a mail bag that was lost due to a plane crash and is eventually found by hikers years later.  The news story gives Amelie the idea of creating a "lost" letter for a widow from her estranged husband, who died shortly after leaving her. The letter is a success and helps soothe the widow's pain. 

My favorite postal element in the film, however is Amelie's father's garden gnome.  In an effort to encourage her father to follow his dream of traveling the world,  Amelie steals his garden gnome and has a flight attendant friend airmail pictures of the gnome posing with landmarks from all over the world to Amelie's father!  He is humorously nonplussed but eventually is encouraged to pack his suitcases!!

"Amelie" is one of my all time favorite films and is a wonderful example of using post to bring joy and encouragement to others!! Yay! Mailbox Magic!!

*(This film is rated R for nudity and sexual content, so please read the film info and reviews for yourself. It is also subtitled...some folks don't like that. Be warned.)

Go postal, everybody!!
XOXO Mrs. Murphy

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Frog and Toad Love Mail!!

One of my all time favorite books is "Frog and Toad are Friends" by Arnold Lobel. I remember reading this great book when I was a child and laughing with my mom at the silly antics of Toad. I also remember reading it to my own sons.  The Murphy Bros. laughed just as much as I did! My favorite part of the story, of course, is the bit about mail!!  I especially like Frog and Toad's postman!! (This book was first published in 1970. This is definitely the original  "snail mail"! He's so cute!!)

In honor of such a wonderful book I decided to make a Frog and Toad snail mail package for one of my young pen pals! I included a copy of the book, a frog themed letter, a plush frog (or is it a toad?) and some candy!!  I got word that she loved it! Yay!!

Frog and Toad Mailbox Magic!!

Go postal, people! 
XOXO Mrs. Murphy

Saturday, August 16, 2014

It's No Secret ~ Puzzle Post is Awesome!!

When I was a kid I loved spies, codes and secret messages. I would write encrypted letters to my cousins and anxiously await their secretive replies! Nothing like breaking a code to get to the good stuff of a letter! It just adds to the excitement! The memories of sending and receiving these coded messages from my youth inspired me to make and send some puzzle mail today!  For a sure fire success send your puzzle letter to a kid, but I think adult pen pals would enjoy some mail like this, too! I would, anyway!

Here are a few ideas I added to my Snail Mail idea book:

  • Picture Puzzle ~ An easy, but fun puzzle letter to send is a picture or image puzzle. Write your letter on the back of a printed or handcrafted image. After your letter is completed, cut up the image into puzzle pieces and place into an envelope to mail to your puzzle loving pen pal. Your recipient will have to piece the image together to read your letter! 

  • Rebus ~ Nothing says "fun" like a rebus!! I used to love these as a kid. Figuring out a rebus puzzle is most amusing and making one takes a lot of creativity!! A rebus is a representation of a word by pictures or symbols. To write a rebus letter simply replace some words (or partial words) with pictures. You don't have to be a world class artist to make a rebus. Simple figures are best.  Here's an example:

  • Cipher ~ Create a cipher wheel for you and your pen pal.  A cipher wheel is basically two concentric circles divided into segments. Each segment is assigned a letter. To encode something one simply turns the wheel. Each letter on the outer circle is paired up with a replacement letter on the inner circle. Write your message using the replacement letters. Be sure your recipient has an identical wheel and knows the key letter combination. (Ex: A=K The recipient turns his wheel so A on the outer wheel lines up with K on the inner wheel and uses that wheel alignment to break the rest of the code.) Here's an awesome wheel I got from Top Spy Secrets (A fun website for kids...and those who are young at heart!)

It's not puzzling...snail mail is magic! Send some today!!

Go Postal, people!!

XOXO Mrs. Murphy

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Mailbox Warming!

Moving stinks. Oh sure, there is the excitement of living in a new place, but the packing and unpacking, the cleaning and sorting through your stuff, the deciding where to put everything but getting tired so you end up chucking it in a drawer...that part of moving sucks. I know some folks that moved this summer so I thought I would send them a mailbox warming care package! Everyday is better when you receive some good mail! 
I purchased a few small items every home owner could use, packaged them into a cute glass jar, added a fun letter and headed off to the post office! My small town post office is the best! No lines, the staff helped package up my gift and we chatted about our kids. (Good mail makes everyone happy!)

My awesome package only cost a few dollars to send at the standard shipping rate and that includes tracking. (Bargain!) This little bit of mailbox magic should arrive in a few days! Now hopefully that's a box my recipient will want to unpack!! 

Go postal, people!! 
XOXO Mrs. Murphy

Monday, August 4, 2014

The Question Letter! Why not?

"Judge a man by his questions rather than his answers." ~ Voltaire

When the Murphy Bros. were young whippersnappers they were full of energy. Their exuberant life force was wonderful on the playground, but not so great in the doctor's office, at a restaurant, or worst of all, on an airplane! In an effort to keep some semblance of order (and to hang on to my own sanity) I created "The Question Game!"  Basically I came up with a zillion questions that I would ask the boys whenever we were waiting.  They enjoyed it because some of the questions were silly and got them laughing. Others were more thought provoking and I loved listening to their "deep" little boy answers!
The Question Game is not just for kids. I've played it with many different people, family members, old friends, new acquaintances, co-workers, friends of the Murphy Bros. It's always fun!

Recently I sent a Question Game inspired letter to one of my pen pals.  I composed a letter around one question. I wrote my answer making sure to give lots of details and I included a few illustrations! It was great fun! I can't wait to receive my pen pal's reply!

Here are a few questions to get your creative juices flowing...

  • If, with your safety guaranteed, you could experience something considered very dangerous, what would you want to experience most of all?
  • If your name were given as the description for any one word in the dictionary, behind what word would people find your name? 
  • If you had to choose your own epitaph of eight words or fewer (besides name and dates), what would it say?
  • If you could be the editor-in-chief of any magazine in circulation, having significant input as to the style and content of the publication, which magazine would you choose?
  • What season best describes you? Why?
  • Of all the rooms in all the homes you've ever lived, which was your favorite?
  • If you could enter a racehorse in the Kentucky Derby, what would you name your horse?

Now I have a question for you... Why not go postal?! Send more mail, people.

XOXO Mrs. Murphy