Vari-Kate-ions: September

30 Sep

If you’re new to this blog of mine, Vari-Kate-ions are when I take a theme from this list and build some fun mail around it. Whether you’re new or a regular here, you should know that I bit off a bit more than I could chew last month, and though I didn’t complete everything that I had yet to get around to, I did do three more projects: Mother Nature, Trouble Lurking, and Foreign.

DSCF7404As I was thinking of Mother Nature I was reminded of this craft project my mom and I did where we ironed leaves between two sheets of wax paper. I used some leaves from my yard to make two postcards– one for each of the LEP members who sent me blank postcards for a Nerd in the Brain endeavor.

DSCF7402Though this project didn’t involve any ironing, Trouble Lurking was much more tricky. I decided I would just decorate Ashley’s letter with some appropriate washi tape and send her a bit of each kind as well. Whoever originally thought to wrap samples around old playing cards is a smart cookie.

DSCF7398I have a postcard pen pal from The Netherlands, named Frida, so anytime I send her a local postcard that’s already pretty Foreign. Well, I decided to use one of the postcards my mom gave me from Taiwan on one of her trips home for Frida to really make this postcard go around the world. I was a bit worried that the odd shape of this postcard wouldn’t be big enough for the international stamp, address, and a little note, but I wound up getting everything to fit on the back quite nicely. Hopefully it doesn’t cause too many issues in the postal system!

I am just about all caught up on my letters from last week– I just have one more to respond to– so I think I may start planning and plotting some Vari-Kate-ions for October. Sure, I still have two themes from August I need to tackle, but I am feeling much more optimistic now that I got some bigger projects out of the way.

Sincerely, Kate ~!~


Hail the Snail #11

29 Sep

With the exception of Tuesday, last week was an ideal mail week. I got two letters on Monday, two on Wednesday, two on– you get the idea. As much as I love the days where I get 4+ pieces of mail, I like having things spread out so (almost) every day can be a good mail day.


I actually got something besides letters last week. Meet the newest gnome in my collection!


He’s cute, right? Gabe and I are also now the proud owners of the 7th season of The Big Bang Theory– we watched the first disc yesterday when we weren’t busy with my dad.

DSCF7346Speaking of, as of today my dad’s leaving Michigan. The boys and I are going to miss him. I can see the Loganator asking if we’re going to go out for lunch with “Papa Havasan” and being upset that the answer is no. I can also see him, several months from now, still saying “I went there with Papa Havasan!” whenever he sees a Big Boy and “that’s where Papa Havasan stayed!” when we pass his motel.

With all that said, I still have several letters to respond to from last week since I haven’t had as much time for writing as I normally do. Though I still bought stamps– one book for each time I went to the post office, hehe. Some great stuff will be going out this week!

Have a good one!
Sincerely, Kate ~!~

The Back Attack

25 Sep

Not going to lie, this post is going to be a bit half-assed. My focus this week has been on my dad as I rarely get to see him. I’ve made the guy proud on several occasions, like when I made chocolate chip/ M&M cookies from scratch and when he saw how clean the back room was compared to his visit last year. Unfortunately I have no “before” pictures for you– I’m way too ashamed of how it looked before– but here is the room where most of my pen pal-friendly supplies are stored.


One day the wall with the window will be a much nicer color, even if that’s just white. Something that will never change: that the bulk of my stationery is in the bottom left drawer where my file folders hang.


Ignore the diaper box; that has books that will be donated. As for the bookshelf, that has all sorts of books, movies, and CDs of mine, as well as a few binders full of letters. The rolling drawer contraption is definitely reserved for my pen palling hobby, holding everything from envelopes to blank labels– stuff that would go everywhere if not reigned in somewhere. My postcard stash almost fits on top.


In addition to the bulky wedding dress and just as bulky computer monitor, there’s some fun stuff in this closet. Towards the tip top of the picture are blank note cards, colored printer paper, my confetti container, padded envelopes, and two stuffed toys I can’t bear to part with. The shelf in the middle holds containers that hold manila envelopes and things like glue and crayons. Then on the floor there are five binders to the left of those totes– my letters are in those! The bottom tote has the bulk of my craft supplies (scrapbook paper, hot glue gun, etc.) and the top one mainly has notebooks.

In addition to painting, I also have high hopes to put a huge collage on one of the walls using some fun artwork I’ve made and received over the years, but for now I like this room quite a bit. Will I actually write letters back there? Probably not. Will I make sure it stays in a state where both my dad and I can be proud of it? Absotively posilutely.

All the best!
Sincerely, Kate ~!~

My Second Not-so-Mad Tea Party

22 Sep

Like I said at my first tea party I’m not much of a tea drinker, but I am a fan of the “if we were having coffee” posts and even more so Alice in Wonderland so just roll with it :-D

The first thing I’d tell you is that my dad’s in Michigan, and that when this little party is over Logan and I will be spending time with him. We saw him for the first time yesterday. Logan was a bit shy at first, yet still seemed to steal the show both in my dad’s motel room and later at Big Boy. I showed my dad where he could stock up on Faygo during his stay in the thumb, and I see us getting even more of it today. That and a little shopping at JCPenney seems to be a tradition of ours each time my dad comes.

DSCF7327Oh, you noticed my purse. Or at least the pins on it. A little over a week ago I had a different purse, but for gross cat-related reasons it needed to be replaced. I knew that I wanted something this size and since the price was right I went for it, thinking the pins I had and wanted would cater to it well. I’m hoping to add to it over-time, but this works for now, don’t you think?

I recently had an epiphany regarding Vari-Kate-ions. Three out of the 5 projects I have put off doing since last month aren’t for pen pals but LEP members I feel like I owe something to. While I do still want to do something nice for the people who have done something nice for me, making something so specific for someone I don’t know is definitely an obstacle. Once I overcome this, I will start only doing these projects for pen pals. I also think I’m going to do no more than 5 a month since I feel like I bit off more than I could chew before.

I have not lost hope on crafty pursuits though! With Halloween around the corner, I see a lot of mail art on the horizon, and I am hoping to receive quite a bit of it at well. I already told my pen pals how I’m going to give them a theme to build an envelope around next month if/when they’re able. Should enough people participate I may put them all in a blog post, and maybe voting for a favorite will even be involved if I do.

I finally started reading something else since Gone Girl. Back in July Othella sent me a copy of The Thirteenth Tale and I read a couple chapters the other day. It’s hardly a dent, but considering how little I have read as of late it’s still very much an improvement as far as I’m concerned. But back to Gone Girl! I told Kyleigh about the book and it’s possible that she may start reading it and that we may see the movie together when it comes out next month. *Throws confetti*

I’ll actually be watching a lot of stuff soon as some of my favorite shows like Once Upon a Time and The Big Bang Theory are coming back this fall. Several other shows recently ended and that makes me a bit of a sad panda. I really didn’t want Courtney to win on MasterChef. Every time she’d mention how she worked at a gentlemen’s club two thoughts would come to mind: 1) that she wanted everyone and their grandmother to think she somehow deserves the win more than everybody, and 2) that she wanted to keep reminding the producers and whatnot that she’s comfortable with her clothes off. Perhaps that’s not a fair judgment, but with as often as she’d mention it I don’t think playing fair was a big concern of hers. As for the Finding Carter finale, I hate that I have to wait until next year to find out what happens next, especially since it seems like the woman who kidnapped her was once involved with Carter’s biological father prior to him meeting his wife. Witches of East End will be ending soon, and I think I’m going to hate waiting around for the next season just as much, especially if the finale ends anything like last week’s episode did.

All these shows aside, I’m still taking care of the family and the messes they make, haha. Fall harvest has begun for Gabe and Logan has already been along for the ride. The husband’s feeling a bit rough, but he likes what he does and once he sees the paychecks he’ll be liking it even more.

Well, I’m afraid I must get going, but have a great week!
Sincerely, Kate ~!~

A Scrapbook on Steroids: A Fourth Dose

20 Sep

I have good news and bad news. The good news is that this little series of mine hasn’t gone on a complete hiatus after all. The bad news, besides the fact that I only have two pictures from it this time around, is that after the fifth dose come November I am no longer going to share pictures from this scrapbook on steroids. Well… at least not until the smashbook is full.

You see, I still love collecting things to smash into the book and showing the finished pages off, but giving myself a deadline– even one that’s two months apart– seems to have zapped a lot of the fun out of it. The obsessive part of me wants to see this series through until the end of the year so that’s why you’ll still see it in November. That and so we can end on five doses. I may not be diagnosed with OCD (and consider myself very fortunate because of that!), but I do think I still have a mild case. But I digress!

This page is a bit of a work in progress as I want to try to add things from Panda King Buffet, The RiverPlace, and Tim Hortons. The three places we went to for the meet-up. Inside the envelope is one of the invitations I filled out.

This page is a bit of a work in progress as I want to try to add things from Panda King Buffet, The RiverPlace, and Tim Hortons– the three places we went to for the meet-up. Inside the envelope is one of the invitations I filled out for the event.

Some washi was salvaged and some stationery sacrificed. I also held onto some cool envelopes from two cool ladies.

Some washi was salvaged and some stationery sacrificed. I also held onto some cool envelopes from two cool ladies and procured the “f**king urgent” thing from another one, hehe.

I have more things I could have smashed into my book, but the next few pages seem to be meant for something else and I didn’t want to skip around too much. I’m probably worrying about it way too much, but this is my vice and I’ll binge how and when I want to, haha. If you’re reading this blog you know how important pen palling is to me, and I just want this project to be a reflection of that and not seem like I half-assed it. There may only be two pages, but I think they lived up to the ones who came before it.

Want to see for yourself?
Click me for the first dose!
And me for the second!
Hit me for a third fix!

Enjoy the highs ;-)
Sincerely, Kate ~!~

Crossing T’s and Dotting I’s

15 Sep

I have a bit of unfinished business to tend to so I figured this shall be the time and place.

The first order of business is to announce the winner of my little giveaway, though is it really a win if you’re the only one to play along? Regardless, my 2nd copy of Flat Stanley is going to my lovely pen pal Kyleigh. If you’re reading this, young cardinal, I will send your book along with the next letter I write you unless I go to the post office before then.

My next order of business is to list ten books that have stuck with me over the years as well as fifteen movies. I know that the norm is to post this stuff on Facebook, but this seemed like a better place to do so, especially considering that those who challenged me have exchanged letters with yours truly.

So dear Justine, here are ten books I know and love:

  • He’s Just Not That Into You- Greg Behrendt
  • The Boy Next Door- Meg Cabot
  • The Guardian- Nicholas Sparks
  • The Catcher in the Rye- J.D. Sallinger
  • Of Mice and Men- Jhn Steinbeck
  • Alice in Wonderland- Lewis Carroll
  • 13 Little Blue Envelopes- Maureen Johnson
  • The Infernal Devices trilogy- Cassandra Clare
  • Gone Girl- Gillian Flynn
  • Fifty Shades of Grey series- E.L. James

And Missie and Stephanie, these are the movies that are near and dear to my heart:

  • Alice in Wonderland
  • Peter Pan
  • Meet the Robinsons
  • The Princess Bride
  • The Wizard of Oz
  • Hairspray
  • Rent
  • Moulin Rouge
  • The Phantom of the Opera
  • Rocky Horror Picture Show
  • Repo! The Genetic Opera
  • Labyrinth
  • The Witches
  • Donnie Darko
  • Star Wars

In other news, it has been decided that my pen pals and I will do Secret Santa this December instead of the Christmas Exchange, though a small group of us may still try the latter to see if that works a bit better than last year. If I had to make my wishlist for my Secret Santa right now it would include funky pins, silly refrigerator magnets, and colorful note cards. I am on such a note card kick! I recently unearthed several partially used notebooks and have been using them for a lot of my letters since, enclosing them in the cards as only so much of a letter can actually fit on a note card. I finished one notebook up already. Below you’ll see me modeling with my latest favorite card.


My last loose end to wrap up is my crafts. If I follow suit I should be posting both a “Vari-Kate-ions” post and a “Scrapbook on Steroids” one in the not-so-distant future, but I haven’t felt motivated to tinker with either project. I’m hoping this is not the announcement of a hiatus but if you don’t see those posts this month yet then that’s the way the cookie crumbled.

Well, I think that’s everything that’s been rattling around my head, at least at the moment. Take care and thanks for reading!

Sincerely, Kate ~!~

It Comes with Love from Me to You

10 Sep

It was exactly two years ago that I put up my first blog post here on Sincerely Kate. PHEW! I would have thought my interest in this would have fizzled out some time ago, but I’m still here and already have a bunch of ideas as we enter into my 3rd year of blogging. For now though, let’s talk about my ideas for celebrating today!

Idea #1: A Giveaway!

I seem to have wound up with two copies of the book Flat Stanley and am willing to give one to one of my faithful bleaders, likely with some other flat things enclosed. How can you sign up? Simply leave a comment on this blog entry telling me about your favorite post here over the past two years. It doesn’t matter where you live or if you only found this blog recently. If you’d like my second copy of Flat Stanley, I’d like to help make that happen! You have until Sunday (the 14th) to enter, and on Monday morning I will announce the winner of this little raffle. Note: If you’d just like to comment but aren’t interested in receiving the book, please mention that while you’re typing your little love note, please!

Idea #2: Flat Kate!

You know that Stanley kid from above? He was a normal little boy until a huge bulletin board landed on him in bed resulting in him being so flat he could be mailed. I have no intention of becoming flatter than a pancake, but I still wanted to make a version of myself I could send to six of my pen pals. Why six? Because that’s how many of the things I could get onto two pieces of paper. Why were there two sheets? Because it’s my 2nd blogiversary and I am a dork. I didn’t color Flat Kate (any of them) because I thought my pen pals would enjoy doing that… and that I’d enjoy seeing how they made me over.

Othella received her Flat Kate in person– The 31st and 1st on the calendar were very significant for Othella and the not-so-flat Kate :-)

Kate via Othella

Two others were also sent to their new homes as even my flat self tries to make letters worth their postage ;-) Jody’s Flat Kate is modeling next to one of the letters I have written her.

Kate via Jody

These three will be on their way to their owners today. I hope they have as much fun with her as I have coming up with this little idea!


You better believe I’m hoping that more of my mini alter-ego(s) will have adventures to share here during our third year! Even if (*knock on wood*) she doesn’t, I think this upcoming year of blog posts is going to be such a fun one. If there are pen pal-friendly posts you’d like to see here I’d like to hear your suggestions. Thanks to all of the bleaders who have made the past two years such a rewarding experience for me!

Sincerely, Kate ~!~


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