Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Birds of a Feather...Write Letters Together!

I am in love with letter writing, envelopes, stamps, mailboxes and all things postal.  Sending and receiving snail mail is a simple thing but it's one of my greatest joys! I would be remiss, however, if I didn't also express my love of social media. Without the wonderful, world wide web I would never have connected with other like minded snail mail enthusiasts and pen pals! I'm excited to tell you about a fun, simple way to do just that!! Communicate with other snail mail supporters and share your awesome postal hobby via the magic of the internet with a...

 Postal Challenge! 

Postal challenges are limited only by your imagination! I've read about monthly and yearly challenges, mail art challenges, postcard challenges, love letter challenges, you name it! I'm super excited to join a recent postal challenge I read about on Barb's blog RiteWhileUCan.  #Thankfulmail is a postal challenge for the month of October. My Canadian friends celebrate Thanksgiving in October and Barb and a few of her fellow Canadians have created this challenge. (They've even included an awesome printable!) Simply send some snailmail every week in October and share how thankful you are. If you use the hash-tag #Thankfulmail you can share your outgoing post and get inspired by other letter lovers on social media!  I think I'll continue my thankful mail throughout November and American Thanksgiving! What a great idea!

Sounds magical, doesn't it? Count me in!!

Go postal, everybody! 
XOXO Mrs. Murphy

Friday, September 26, 2014

Round Robin Mail...It's Rockin'

"He rocks in the tree tops all day long. Hoppin' and a-boppin' and a-singin' his song!"

And writing snail mail, of course!!

 A "round robin" letter is traditionally a collection of letters written by and mailed amongst a group of people.  The first person writes a letter and mails it to the second person on the list. Number two receives the letter with great joy, reads the letter and then writes his/her own letter.  Number two then mails both letters on to Number Three and so on.  In order for this type of letter to be successful you really need to have a group of committed snail mailers.  Round Robin Mail is great to do with a pen pal group!!

I'm going to try this with my family, however.  So I'm going to do everything I can to encourage participation.  My lovely grandmother, the matriarch of our family, recently passed away.  She was a wonderful person and I have so many cherished memories of her. I know my sister, parents, cousins, aunts and uncles do, too! I would love to share these in a round robin mail adventure.  I've created sort of a fill-in-the-blank letter form with some prompts to get my recipients motivated to write! 

You could start a round robin postal adventure with any group of friends. How about passing along your favorite recipes?  Book reviews and recommendations? You could always ask a deep (or silly) question and ask your recipients to answer it. (Remember my Question Letter idea?) Most of my "non-postal" friends tell me that they don't write letters because they can never think of what to talk about. Making a prompt sheet for your recipients increases the likelihood of them completing their portion of the round robin snail mail!! Yay! It's also helpful to make a list of the people in the group with their addresses and include several copies with the letters. Another idea might be to write the list of participants and addresses directly on the back of the prompt sheets. (No more excuses, people!!)

I'm hopeful that this round robin postal celebration of my grandmother's life will bring great joy to everyone in the group. I'll keep you posted!! (HaHa...See what I did there?)

Go Postal, Everybody!!
XOXO Mrs. Murphy

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Be A (Paper) Doll ~ Send Fun Mail!

Do you remember the book "Flat Stanley"? 

First published in 1964, "Flat Stanley" tells the tale of Stanley Lambchop, a boy who is flattened in his sleep in a freak bulletin board accident. Fear not! Stanley survives and makes the best of his situation.  The Murphy Bros. and I thoroughly enjoyed this book when they were young.  I, of course, think the best part of Flat Stanley's adventure is his new ability to travel by post! Just stick Stanley in an envelope, put him in the mailbox and off he goes! Fun!

I adopted this idea and made a "Mailable Mrs. Murphy" to send to one of my pen friends! I made a paper doll body out of card stock and pasted my face on it! I challenged my friend to take "Mailable Mrs. Murphy" (aka Paper Kate) around their city and to document the tour with photos.  I also asked my pen friend to mail me a souvenir from Paper Kate's trip to the city! 

Who doesn't want to travel by mail? Sounds like magic to me?!

Let's go postal, everybody!

~XOXO Mrs. Murphy

Saturday, September 13, 2014

It Really Is Magic!!!

From the name of my blog, one can deduce that I believe snail mail is magical.  Mail can lift one's spirit on a down day.  Mail can make one laugh when a cartoon or silly pun (my favorite) is enclosed. Letters can connect long separated friends and forge new relationships with strangers from other lands.  There is no end to the joy it can bring!

Today I was on the receiving end of some of that snail mail magic!  I was visiting my sweet mother-in-law in the memory care unit where she lives when a staff member brought in the day's post. My mother-in-law had received a lovely package of shells and a beautiful handmade card. I was admiring her mail when we realized that there was a letter for me included in the parcel!! This wonderful correspondent, Miss Patti, has been reading my blog and sent along a letter for me with the mail for my in-laws!!

Thanks for the wonderful surprise and bit of postal magic to brighten up my day, Patti!! I loved it.

Start sending mail, people! You never know what magic awaits!!

Let's go postal, everybody!!

XOXO Mrs. Murphy

Sunday, September 7, 2014

As Easy As 123...ABC Snail Mail

I recently learned a new word..."abecedary." Isn't that totally fun to say? I love it!! It means "of or pertaining to the alphabet."
Duh!! Why didn't I know that? Well, anywho...now that I learned what it is, I'm super excited to add this word to Mrs. Murphy's Big Snail Mail Idea Book!! I thought I could compose an abecedary letter around a specific theme and send it to one of my pen friends. Here a few ideas to get us started!

1. An abecedary of me! This idea would work great as an introduction letter to a new pen pal. In lieu of the usual, "I'm an alligator wrestler. It's a tough job but somebody's got to do it. I also really enjoy banana and peanut butter sandwiches." Your letter could be a little more like...
A is for alligators! I wrestle them from 9 to 5 Monday through Saturday. (I give them a break on Sunday)
B is for banana and peanut butter sandwiches. It's my favorite snack after a hard day of alligator wrestling!"
I think a letter like this would be fun for an old pen pal, too!! Who wouldn't want to get a quirky, fun letter like this?!

2. An abecedary about a holiday or season. Are you prepping for some special holiday, season or event in your life? Why not write about it ABC-style? "A is for apple crisp! I'm baking a lot of these as it's starting to turn into fall - my favorite season!!"

Abecedaries work for almost any subject. I found a great example of a "gaming" abecedary. (I know the Murphy Bros. would get a chuckle out of that.)
Abecedary snail mail is fun and gets those creative juices flowing. Try it with me! Let's see how creative we can be! Magic!!

Go postal, everybody!! 
XOXO Mrs. Murphy

Thursday, September 4, 2014

My First "O-fish-al" College Care Package

The Murphy Home has forever changed. Our first little sparrow has left the nest. We shipped the elder Murphy Brother off to university a few weeks ago. (sniff) While I admit that I miss him terribly, I am super excited to create and send him creative, encouraging snail mail!! Woo Hoo!! I slipped a post card into the mail a few days after we dropped him off, but I couldn't wait to send him his first official college care package!!

Since he is officially a college student now and this was my first official care package I decided to go with a "fish" theme! You know how I love a good play on words! I started by picking up as many fish-themed items as I could think of from the dollar store...Goldfish Crackers, Swedish Fish Candy, Gummy Worms, a stuffed animal fish toy, etc. I even put a pack of playing cards in the package. I wrote "Go Fish" on the front. I threw in a few non-fishy snacks that I thought my college boy would enjoy. I wrote a letter (including a fish pun) and decorated the inside of a shoe box with fun fishy festooning!!

I loaded up my care package and sealed up the box.  I had asked my friendly postal staff earlier in the week, "What is the most economical way to ship a care package?" I had heard of those flat rate boxes and thought that might be the way to go.  As usual, the USPS staff was very helpful.  Turns out those boxes are most economical if your package is heavier than four pounds or if it is traveling far away.  My care package was lighter than that and was only traveling about 150 miles so priority mail was the way to go. For about $3.50 my first "O-fish-al" college care package was on it's way!! Magic!

Go postal, people!! 
(It's definitely magic!)

XOXO Mrs. Murphy