Thursday, June 24, 2010

Friendship Book Madness!

Friendship books, or FB's, are little paper booklets that people make and send around through
the mail, even internationally, inscribing their information, and if they're looking for penpals, people to swap with, etc. The idea seemed really interesting to me, so I made the mistake of asking a few people on Swap-Bot that said they had spares to send them to me. I got an envelope completely stuffed full, and it's all I can do to reply to them all, and figure out where to forward them! I joined a few FB swaps, and arranged a few private trades to do so, and I know there will be more heading my way. It's really neat to see where they've been though, and I hope to get a few unexpected letters out of it!
I've also been stuffing envelopes for Ikasucon again, and there are 50 finished, stamped and ready to go out in the mail. Now I just need to wait for more stamps and the rest of the forms that need mailing. I did this for the con two years ago as well, and enjoyed it more than any sane person should.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Keeping Busy!

Yesterday I got some wonderful letters, but admit to taking my time to replying. Instead, I worked on a few projects with materials I already had to hand. Budget and all that!

First, I made a few bookmarks for a bookmark chain that came with a swap I recieved. They are decidedly not fancy. Just a piece of ribbon with some beads I already had strung on, held on with knots. Many of the beads overlap, as I only have so many that will fit on a ribbon! I think they came out quite nicely, despite being so simple.

I've also been making magnets. I started doing so with labels and stamps that have come back with the RSVP cards to use as memories, as it were, but I've gotten a little out of hand. Cute images from stationary, various other stamps, the pictures on the back of calendars... for which I find other uses! In this picture, you see some stationary images, that I have sent back to the penpal that sent me the cute stationary, some neat SPCA stamps, and really nice stickers that I liked.

I did a fair bit of beading as well. I made a set of earrings with some beads also on hand. They were hard to photograph, let me tell you! But they came out really well and gave me ideas for new/similar designs.

I also made Faire Favors, for myself and my fiance. Those who go to Renaissance Faires with some frequency might know what I'm talking about. They're little trinkets that you make and give to your friends. Mine were made with seed beads and charms, in the colors that I tend to wear. I made my fiance's along the same basic design. I don't know if I'll make any next year, but it's fun to put them together.

Finally, I got a really amazing swap package today! It was for a fairly simple swap that could have just been a letter, but in this package I got three tea bags, a half dozen postcards, and the awesome swap response on some neat stationary. I was so excited that I thought it deserved to be blogged about!

I spent today writing a lot of letters in response to swaps I've gotten, and doing swaps that I got partners assigned for. I packaged most of them up in envelopes I've made myself from calenders sent by various charities. They look really cool, and it keeps them from going to waste. After this weekend, I'll have a ton of thank you cards to send out as well, due to my first Bridal Shower on Saturday. I'm not that thrilled about the party, but the mail I'll get to send afterward has me all excited!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Baking Crayons

When I was very, very young, my mother took me (and probably the other girlscouts too, but it's been a while so the memory is not crystal clear) to a convention that was based around children. I can't remember what she was presenting at her booth, but she let me wander freely around the area, as this was a younger and more innocent time. A few booths down was a nice lady who had really cool chunky crayons, and I kept coming back to her and talking with her, becuase I thought the crayons were way too cool. Finally, she gave me one as a present for keeping her company, and I was very happy with my prize. What happened to it after that, I could not hope to tell you, but I'm sure it's in a box in the basement somewhere.

Fast forward twenty years or so, and we've got a box of old, broken crayons that sit on my desk and take up space. While browsing around online, I saw suggestions for melting them down, and it reminded me of that childhood memory... so I decided I'd melt them down and turn them into chunky crayons for my cousins.

I took a small muffin tray, (meaning, not making full sized muffins), sprayed the inside of it with Pam, broke about three crayons into each well, and put them in the oven at about 400 degrees. There doesn't seem to be an exact science for this, and that temperature worked really well. I spent some time unwrapping other crayons for the next batch, and when I looked, the wax was melted. And the house smelled like melted wax, but there you go. They took a lot longer to solidify again, and they weren't all that easy to remove. Most popped right out, but about four had to be pryed out with a knife, so they're a bit rough around the bottom edge. I wiped the Pam off of them, an easy task, and voila! A nice dozen new crayons!

One Note- silver metalic crayons will melt to a green.

Exciting Mail Day!

It's probably a little sad that the highlight of my
day is when the mail arrives. I love hearing the chink of the slot opening, the thud of the mail falling within. It usually makes the cat go a little bit crazy too.

Today I had a lot to send out! Swaps, mostly, and a few replies to swaps already recieved. I like replying to every swap I get that has a return address on it. Not necessary, perhaps, but fun, and I figure that those on the recieving end won't mind as they wouldn't be on Swap-Bot if they didn't like getting mail! I sent out a few replies in home made envelopes, and Haiku postcards. The haikus are terrible, but the postcards are pretty nice.
I got a great return in the inbox too! Two poem swaps, two postcards, and a pen pal letter with a lot of extra goodies, and a list of 25 random things about the sender. It was a lot of fun to read through! This is why I get excited about the mail.

Sunday, June 20, 2010


I've just finished a Masters Degree in Literature, and so I find I am effectively underqualified to do anything in my chosen field, and overqualified to do anything else. I am also facing the joy that is marriage, and life with a husband who isn't always the cleanest guy in the world. In fact, it sometimes seems to me that the only way for me to live in a really clean environment would be to stay home and clean at all times. However, two degrees seems to make me a bit overqualified for that too!

For the moment, however, I get the pleasure of playing at housewife, as I stay home during the summer vacation. I've always been interested in mail, and so I've been sending an awful lot of it! And learning new arts and crafts to use up things I already had around, to keep my creativity up, and my spending down. This journal is to document my mail, my projects, and whatever else it seems likely an aspiring housewife might focus on.

Please, read and enjoy!