Hail the Snail 2.33

1 Aug

July 17th: This mail call is starting with happy mail from two of my favorite Michiganders. I got a postcard from Krista, and a letter from Sarah.

July 18th: My favorite bear got some happy mail next because #ThisIsHowWeRoll 😛

Logan thought Buster should also be in the picture 😛

July 19th: I heard from Sarah again, and got the first of the two letters from Jody this mail call, too.

July 20th: There might not have been any letters to respond to today, but thanks to the Queen concert, I got tons of letter fodder, hehe.

July 24th: Still no letters, but my dad sent me and the Loganator postcards.

July 26th: The second letter of Jody’s in this mail call? That came today.

July 27th: As if they did it on purpose, I got letters from both Krista and Kristy.

July 28th: And last, but not least, was a letter from Ashley.

In my last mail call, I said that “all in all, it’s been a pretty good month so far,” and the second half was very good, too! The highlight was definitely seeing Queen and Adam Lambert in concert, so much so Gabe and I would see them again if they opportunity presented itself and Logan would want to come with, hehe. Speaking of the boys, I have been getting much more quality time with them now that wheat harvest is over. This past Sunday, for example, we met my mom and Dave over at Pizza Hut before heading over to the Children’s Zoo, ensuring our 7th wedding anniversary was very much a happy one.

I’m looking forward to seeing what August has in store for us, especially since Logan starts first grade in just two more weeks! And of course, I’m also looking forward to what I/we will get in the mail. Ciao!

Sincerely, Kate ~!~

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Two Cents: An ATC the Change Series

26 Jul

ATC the Change turned 1 yesterday, and over the past few months it has turned into my second favorite hobby. When I first got into making traditional Artist Trading Cards (ATCs) over three years ago, I instantly loved how a little bit went a long way as each canvas is just 3.5 x 2.5 inches. Creating Change Cards has made my feelings grow even deeper because now ATCs aren’t just small pieces of artwork, but something with big meaning. I’ll think of a phrase (or stumble upon it somehow), and then pick out scrapbook paper and embellishments like stamps &/or washi tape that play off it well. For example, when I wanted to make Change Cards with Queen lyrics (or mild variations of them), I knew a sheet of scrapbook paper I had would be perfect…

Why did I make ATCs with Queen lyrics? Because Gabe and I saw them in concert with Adam Lamber last Thursday(!), and I wanted Change Cards to leave to and from and maybe even there. I didn’t manage to leave any at the Palace of Auburn Hills, but I still left ’em in that neck of the woods, mainly in and around our hotel room like in these pictures:

In between making those ATCs and then seeing Queen and Adam Lambert in concert, highlights from the cause this past month included…

1. These snail mail-friendly ATCs I made:

2. Putting my scraps from the past several months to use to make over 20 more Change Cards.

And 3. Starting to make a handful of sets I’m going to sell for $5 a pop. The hope is that more people will leave ATCs as RAOKs if they didn’t have to make ’em themselves. *Fingers crossed*

With Logan starting first grade in a few weeks, I imagine I’ll be even more productive in August yet! My plan for this new series is to use it as my place for Show & Tell on the last Wednesday of every month, so tune in on August 30th for more of my Two Cents about ATC the Change.

Sincerely, Kate ~!~

Hail the Snail 2.32

17 Jul

July 4th: The holiday meant no mail, and in the meantime I decided 8 of my pen pals would each get one of these to fill in for me, hehe:

July 6th: The first mail I actually got since the first was a letter from Kristy.

July 10th: And the first letter I got last week was one from Jody.

July 11th: I got a postcard from Kira over at Letters, Postcards and a Cup of Tea.

July 12th: Did you notice that I didn’t get a letter from Jody until the 10th this month? Well, we thought it was missing so her rewrite came today, lol.

July 14th: Manolo not only hooked me up with letters from Ashley and Justine, but with this adorable purse “from Gabe” for our anniversary (that’s on the 30th, FYI!):

July 15th: As for Pablo, so far my one and only piece of mail from my P.O. box has been a thank you card (and ATC) from a member of ATC the Change.

All in all, it’s been a pretty good month so far, both in the mail department and out of it. Sure, Gabe has been rather busy with wheat harvest (and sometimes Logan’s rather busy with it too if he’s not with his grandparents, hehe), but I’ve been busying myself with many a Change Card along with chores and hobbies like pen palling. The second half of this month should be even better yet. Gabe and I are seeing Queen with Adam Lambert in concert this week, our 7th wedding anniversary happens 10 days later, and I’m sure when Gabe’s not working, the boys and I will find other fun things to do before Logan starts school in another month.

Hope you’re enjoying your summer!
Sincerely, Kate ~!~

A Year of Change

5 Jul

If you came to this blog post eager to find out what changes I’ve been making in my life, this isn’t a post about resolutions, but rather a revolution.

You see, ATC the Change turns 1 this month. If you’re new to this blog of mine, last July I shared the “origin story” about how one night Sarah wanted to start a movement where people told each other words of encouragement, and I suggested people do so on ATCs. Since then, we’ve taken that inch of an idea and ran a mile with it. This old blog post showed you what all I accomplished during the first month or so, and it’s about time I catch you up on this endeavor again… at least my side of it.

September:

Sarah, the cofounder and my pen pal, visited me over Labor Day weekend. Among our festivities we not only made a couple dozen Change cards, but we left a bunch, too! Sharon also started making/ leaving ATCs for the cause– remember her, she’ll be important.

October:

I started the month with a goal to use 10 phrases by the 10th (that I met!). By the 25th I sent a lot of ATCs to Sarah and still had all of these to abandon with love:

November:

The election and its aftermath had us feeling pretty low, so much so I wanted to make daily Change Cards, but only made a couple batches. My favorite quote from that time? “Worry is like a rocking chair. It’ll give you something to do, but it won’t get you anywhere.”

December:

Though I made ATCs with a 2016 calendar and an old notebook cover (see below), the lull seemed to continue.

January:

Despite the new year, things were rather anticlimactic with one neat exception: a waitress received two ATCs that Sarah had and joined our group the following morning, hehe.

February:

Still a lot of crickets, but I did have a couple ATCS to take with me when my mom and I went to celebrate my 30th birthday!

March:

It was on the 23rd that I posted that the desire to make ATCs was (slowly) coming back, because until this I was only making Little Cards anymore. By the 28th I had 13 Change Cards to abandon like this Alice one I left at Mad Hatter Bistro:

April:

It was in this month that I found that when I knew I’d be going somewhere– like Barnes & Noble with my mom– it was so much easier to make ATCs with those outings in mind.

May:

With that epiphany in mind, I turned 1 piece of scrapbook paper into 9 Change Cards to take with me to Saginaw, posting my progress as I made them. Seeing this mot only renewed Sharon’s interest, but inspired her to talk to the administrator of a regular ATC group about me advertising ATC the Change. I did so, and we successfully breathed new life into the group.

June:

I brought back the weekly phrases for those who wanted the inspiration. Meanwhile I was inspired to A) make a plethora of kid-friendly cards to take places like VBS, B) break in my Zodiac pad of scrapbook paper and dust off my stash of washi tape, C) turn ATCs that never traded into Change Cards (see picture), and I even D) made a printable for participants to attach to the backs of cards if they wanted to include information about the cause. I should mention I left about 30 cards 😉

July:

We may only be 5 days in, but so far I’ve left 11 ATCs, gave my mom 12 to take to Philly with her soon, and have 8 to give to the family who recently found one of my cards and joined the group!

The past year of ATC the Change summed up in a phrase: “Success is not a straight line, but a wild ride.” 😉

I am so grateful to have been a part of this from the ground up, and I know now it will only keep going up from here! When July is closer to an end and ATC the Change is officially 1, I will tell you (and show you) more of what I’ve been up to. Of course in the meantime you can follow me on Instagram– sincerelykaterz– or even join our Facebook group, ATC the Change.

It may not be easy to change the world or even just your town, but it can be easy to throw love like confetti. And with a lot of luck and determination– just like actual confetti– that stuff will get everywhere.

Sincerely, Kate ~!~

 

Hail the Snail 2.31

2 Jul

June 17th: This entry is starting with something from my last one: the second to last batch of Little Cards per my Childhood Memories theme.

June 19th: The rest of the Childhood Memories cards came in plus a batch of Summer ones, and I got a couple postcards from Krista, too.

June 21st: All of the Pirate cards came in next, and so did these awesome goodies from Sarah (left) and my mom (right):

June 22nd: Finally some letters to mention, brought to you by the letter J since they were from Jody and Justine 😉

June 23rd: Joining my little reply pile were letters from Kayla and Sarah.

June 26th: And then came a letter from Ashley plus her Little Cards– the last of what I needed to make the Summer sets!

June 29th: I got another two postcards from Krista, this time from Vegas.

And since I didn’t post this on the 30th like I meant to…

July 1st: Another postcard came from Krista… that was sent with the ones from the 19th, lol. Better late than never, right?

I’m looking forward to what July has in store for me and the boys (both in the mail and out of it), because June was pretty good to us. When Logan hasn’t been busy camping or with things like the Summer Reading Program, for example, we’ve been to the movies, played putt putt, ate a LOT of ice cream, and even made stuffed animals.

Well, the boys are up (from their slumber party, hehe) now so I’m going to go. Remember, though: it’s always the small pieces that make the big picture!

Sincerely, Kate ~!~

Little Cards: May

22 Jun

Oh, you have no idea how happy and flat-out RELIEVED I am that I can finally share these Little Cards with you! Not one, but TWO batches from the Childhood Memory theme went MIA, so not only did their makers make new batches, I had to wait for them to arrive, hoping they wouldn’t get lost, too. Good news: they didn’t!

Childhood Memory:

Pirates:

I hope my fellow adventurers also feel like May’s Little Cards were worth their wait! I’m pleased to report that June’s themes have been going much more smoothly on my end– I should have the last batch of Summer ATCs any day now. With any luck I’ll be sharing those and the ATCs from Jenn’s Wizard of Oz theme with you very soon, and I’ll be announcing July’s sole theme in our Facebook group, ATCs: Little Cards on Big Adventures, even sooner!

Bon Voyage 😉
Sincerely, Kate ~!~

 

Hail the Snail 2.30

15 Jun

June 5th: This post is starting not with a bang but a whisper, though I’m grateful for the postcard from Justine all the same.

June 6th: An actual letter came from Justine now, and one from Kristy came, too.

June 7th: After Jody’s letter joined my little reply pile, the Loganator received a rather special piece of paper…

June 8th: I heard from both of my fellow Michiganders today.

June 9th: The Manolo Love streak came to an end, but Pablo had a letter from Charmaine.

June 12th: This week started with something in both boxes– Kayla’s letter was in one and a batch of Little Cards was in the other.

June 13th: Logan got a dose of happy mail thanks to Papa Halvorson.

Then today, June 15th, I got a letter from Jody, while our Build-a-Bear friends got some new clothes.

It’s been a pretty good month for letters, and for books, too! I’ve finished Furiously Happy and The Book Jumper, and am well on my way through Everything, Everything. With any luck the rest of this summer will continue to be full of good things and good times– and not just for me! 😉

Sincerely, Kate ~!~