Tag Archives: pen palling

Hail the Snail 2.26

15 Apr

Although this may be the first time I have “hailed the snail” since January, I assure you what I’ve gotten from Manolo and Pablo over the past couple months has still very much been “happy mail.” Below you’ll find everything I’ve received so far this month.

April 1st: The month started with a letter from my most consistent pen pal, Jody.

April 3rd: And then last week started with a letter from Kari and a random intro letter from someone in Germany. For the record, I only responded to the former since I’m not in the market for new pen pals.

April 4th: Thanks to Jenn, I had all of the Little Cards per my Enchanted theme.

April 5th: Pardon the bra strap, but the “perfect T” was a perfect mystery, hehe. It came in the mail along with a letter from Sarah:

April 6th: Not only did I get letters from Justine and Kayla, I got a “friendly reminder” it’s time to schedule another OB/GYN exam– joy!

April 7th: Joining the little reply pile I had was a letter from Ashley.

April 8th: Thanks to Sarah, the reply pile grew even bigger yet.

April 10th: This week started with another letter from Sarah, and one from Kristy, too.

April 12th: Though the hooks failed to come with it, I got a shoe organizer in the mail so I can store/ display my LulaRoe leggings, hehe.

April 13th: The more I got caught up on letters, the more happy I was to get the one from Jody. Also happy? Logan because he got a couple books in the mail.

April 14th: More books came for the Loganator, and a batch of Little Cards came per my current theme.

Whether there’s any mail today or not, it should be a good day between seeing my mom’s side of the family, and then seeing some animals per the MembersFest at the Children’s Zoo. Plus our plans this weekend don’t end there! I hope your Easter is a happy one!

Sincerely, Kate ~!~


Highlights from the Hiatus

7 Apr

In another week I’m planning to resume my Hail the Snail posts where I log my incoming mail, but for now I thought I’d log some of my happiest mail from during the hiatus, along with some of my happiest times, too.

February 8th: This was the 3rd day in a row Logan got books from my mom, and I got to listen to him almost read ’em by himself, hehe.

February 12th: For a little Valentine-friendly outing, Gabe and I took Logan pottery painting for the first time. Here he is painting his “calico cat.”

February 21st: Manolo had two packages for me. One had a rather belated letter from Allison, and the other had early birthday presents from Sarah.

February 24th: The weekend before my 30th birthday, my mom and I went to the Troy area for a bit of a pre-party where the main objections were to go to the charming Mad Hatter Bistro, and make a celebratory stuffed animal at Build-a-Bear Workshop. Not only did those endeavors not disappoint, my mom made sure the rest of the weekend was awesome, too. The quilt included in the pictures was just one of many surprises!

March 1st: My first letter as a 30-year-old was from Jody, and my first postcard was from Sarah.

March 3rd: Today was the day I got my new journal from Wonderland 😉

March 6th: Not only did I get some fun birthday presents from Nicole, both the Inchies and Boy Bands sets of Little Cards came from Jenn along with her Hearts batch per my February theme.

March 15th: I should preface this chunk by saying that having to have a tooth pulled was not a happy experience. What made me happy, though, was 1) saying goodbye to a month of agonizing mouth pain and 2) no longer stressing over the procedure and taking valium for the first time. In fact, I quite liked my sole valium experience since it made me feel nothing but content. I feel like it “calmed the waters” more that day than the weeks I tried Prozac and Zoloft years ago. I don’t know; I guess I was just thankful for the temporary peace of mind.

March 16th: Sarah went to Florida for a large chunk of March, and though I got postcards from her while she was gone, I was so excited to get a letter from her upon her return!

March 18th: Though Gabe had presents for me back on March 1st, he knew what I really wanted for my birthday was to see Beauty and the Beast. Though the movie was not without its faults, overall I was so incredibly pleased with it. I’ve been telling my pen pals how I believe the movie was not made for kids, but rather people like us who grew up with the animated classic. I feel as though that is why they stayed so loyal to the original, mainly only fixing what was broken and giving the characters more depth.

March 28th: For reasons irrelevant to this blog, a young lady from Sweden was visiting my mom. And when I say young, I mean she’s a young adult into things like Glee and Disney movies like me. It’s because of this my mom had the brilliant idea for us to go back to Mad Hatter’s– the bistro in Troy we liked, this time for afternoon tea. Though the tea party is not something I’d do again, I am glad for the memories and for the fact I found a tea I actually enjoy (hot cinnamon spice). And icing on the cake? I came home to leggings in the mail, hehe. Here’s a group picture, by the way, though those leggings are a more older pair 😉

March 31st: The last thing I got in the mail last March? This adorable ATC! Fitting, since this is the last ATC I will get via private trades.

More happy mail to be posted about next Saturday, and maybe some more happy times, too. Thanks for reading this if you are, in fact, still reading this, and for tuning in this week at all.

Sincerely, Kate ~!~


Even Slower than a Snail

3 Apr

It’s a trivial pet peeve, but I have often been annoyed when pan pals will apologize for taking so long to write. Here I am, though, wanting to apologize for not writing here since January. I wish I could say the hiatus has been because I’ve been too busy living life to write about it, but the truth is that I fell into a depression. Like, if you thought this blog suffered, you should have seen my house.

In my last post I said that blogging just hadn’t been a priority, and honestly writing letters and making ATCs weren’t much of ones either. I only made Little Cards per my theme group, and letters were tended to over a week or two rather than a day or two like my pen pals have come to expect. I know no one but me actually minded, but when it comes to depression (with a side of anxiety), you just feel like you’re letting everyone down.

Thankfully over the past week or so, I’ve been feeling like I’m getting my mojo back. I’ve been staying caught up on letters, I’ve been making things for ATC the Change again, and I have more blog posts planned for the duration of the week (mainly Postcards from Wonderland ones 😉 ). A few things have changed to make this change possible. First, I dropped someone I didn’t enjoy corresponding with even before my depression, and second, I disbanded my Postcard Posse since despite starting over after some drama, my heart just wasn’t it. I think with any hobby there just comes a time where you feel like you’re doing it more out of obligation than enjoyment, and in my case, saying goodbye to what felt more like chores has helped reinvigorate me. I still have a ways to go, but I’m glad about how far I’ve come. In the meantime, I appreciate your patience.

Until tomorrow!
Sincerely, Kate ~!~

A Mid-Vacation Modification

5 Jul

gooseWelcome to the second half of the year, Bleaders! This is a pretty exciting time for me for a handful of reasons. 1) I got to go to Wisconsin last weekend. 2) The boys and I celebrated the 4th of July yesterday. 3) My Christmas in July Secret Santa is happening in my group again. 4) There’s a new mail art contest theme to be announced. 5) It’s an opportune time to shake things up here.

Because this is a pen pal-friendly blog, I decided I wanted to start sharing my incoming mail, like that postcard above, more often. Because today is the 5th, you’ll find my recent haul below, and on the 15th and 25th of each month you’ll find my mail here as well. At least until 2016 rolls around, haha.

June 30th: I was able to see Pablo one last time before June was over, and it was worth the wait. There were letters from Jen E. and Laura, and postcards from three other LEP members.

July 2nd: I got a little note from Kära via Manolo, and when I saw Pablo, a letter from Whitney came too.

I’m still responding to some of the mail I mentioned above. I’d be further along if I didn’t send my pen pals postcards from my recent travels 😉 . Last weekend there was a family reunion on my dad’s side in Hayward, Wisconsin, and I joined my dad there. We drove through most of Michigan on Friday so on Saturday morning we could just focus on finding the resort. Below is a picture of the room we shared with my Aunt Ruth and Uncle Randy, and another from behind the cabin where we spent most of our time. It was a nice place to spend the weekend, and the company was even nicer yet.

THIS REMINDS ME! I need to announce a new theme should anyone want to make me any mail art via my latest contest. In honor of my travels, the new theme is Vacation! There are so many directions someone could take with a theme like Vacation. You could, for example, take the map you used to find your destination and make an envelope out of it. You could also make your own postcard from the place you visited (Note: store-bought postcards DO NOT count as mail art!).

Take the envelope or postcard you make– however you made them– and send it to me by September 25th. My address, should you need it, is.

addressI find it a bit funny that my new mail call technique looks a bit more like an “If we were having coffee post,” but now that we have our first pancake, the following posts will hopefully look a bit nicer. Thanks for hanging in there, and thanks in advance to my contest’s participants for whatever you’re about to send me.

Sincerely, Kate ~!~

Vari-Kate-ions: 37-40

5 Mar

In May of last year I got the crazy idea to take this list of 100 themes and make some random mail out of each of them. This is still very much a work in progress, mainly, I think, because the novelty wore off. I went from stopping myself from doing more than 10 projects in a month to being lucky if I did more than five over a couple months. Because of this, I decided Vari-Kate-ions would no longer be a monthly post here on Sincerely Kate, but something I’ll do when I have 5 projects to share. Yes, I know this post only has 4, but A) I’ll easily be able to keep track of when I’ve done 5 projects after these 4, and B) I just had a birthday so roll with it.

The themes I tackled over the past couple of months have been Eyes, Abandoned, Dreams, and Rated.

DSCF7762With a theme like Eyes the decision to draw something for Allison came easily. I immediately started thinking about a three-eyed monster I could doodle, only to then think “I could make a monster on each page, using the number of eyes to number the pages!” With the exception of four-eyes, I couldn’t be happier about how they turned out.

DSCF7785Though I still want Othella to pick most of the postcards she uses for me via the March of Postcards, we also decided to send each other our own blank postcards that we wanted to keep for ourselves. When I sent mine for her to fill out, I also told her why I liked each of them, “abandoning” the stories before they were finished.

DSCF7875One morning I had this dream that woke me up because I had to write it all down– there was dialogue I remembered and everything. If a story ever comes out of it that would be fantastic, but for right now I’m glad I had those notes because I shared them with Allison in one of my letters to her.

DSCF7913My project for Rated also went to Allison. In our twisted way she challenged me to ask her 60 questions when I wrote her, and I decided that a chunk of them would be about stuff that’s rated. One question was “What’s your favorite G rated movie?” and “If your life was a movie what would it be rated?” was another.

In case anyone is interested in the 36 projects that were last year’s news, I put together an archive of sorts for you here:

You may be wondering why all my Vari-Kate-ions go to Allison and Othella these days, and the answer is simple: they’ve been the two people to consistently want them. I have sent things to other pen pals in the past per their one-time requests, but Allison and Othella were my “monthly subscribers.” Now that Vari-Kate-ions are on the back burner, it has been nice not having to ask who wants a project of mine, but to just do projects when I’m already sending something to Allison and Othella. If someone– like you!– were to ever want something though, all you have to do is ask.

All the best with whatever projects you’re working on!
Sincerely, Kate ~!~

Vari-Kate-ions: December

30 Dec

This is going to be a rather anti-climactic post for the end of 2014, especially since I’m over at my aunt-in-laws’ house because our at&t uverse isn’t cooperating at mine. To be honest though, the internet’s hardly at fault for this particular post as I only have two projects from this month to share: Expectations and Precious Treasure.

DSCF7743When I started Expectations for Othella, I expected to add to a letter between every couple chapters of The Thirteenth Tale about what I wanted to happen, but once I got into the story enough I just wanted to keep going. It was such a relief to tell Othella that the book she sent me wound up exceeding my expectations.

20141221_150932I knew I wanted to use Precious Treasure for Allison, but it wasn’t until I was responding to her last letter that I knew what I wanted to do. I decided to take a few of the odds and ends from my desk and send them to her, as they aren’t necessarily special yet something kept me from throwing them away. There are tickets from the arcade Gabe and I went to since we had time to kill before seeing The Book of Life back in October, a sticker and random card people enclosed in their letters to me, and another card– “The world is made of stories…” one– that I just realized never made it into that blue envelope. Whoops. I guess that piece of treasure is staying with me.

I have every intention of continuing to make things from this list for Othella and Allison next year, though I won’t be showing them off monthly. My game plan is to use one of the theme’s every time I write my two consistent guinea pigs, though maybe not when I sent Othella daily postcards in March like we’ve done before 😉 . I’ll likely do these Vari-Kate-ion posts whenever I have five projects to share.

Until next year!
Sincerely, Kate ~!~

Putting the Ass in Assumptions

15 Dec

I’m beating myself up a bit at the moment. I recently ordered a few things from three Etsy shops and was convinced I’d be showing the loot off today, only for none of the packages to arrive yet– Whoops! Tis the season, I guess!

So what to post about instead? Christmas wishlists? Or holiday plans? Eh, I have another post in the works for that stuff, not to mention a tea party planned for next Monday. Hmm.

I keep thinking about assumptions… Recently a pen friend told me how she was surprised she didn’t hear from me yet, and though she’s been the only person to say something, I know she hasn’t been the only person who didn’t get a timely response from me. Those who have been writing me consistently for a couple months or more, you see, know that I respond to letters about as soon as I get them, so if someone doesn’t hear from me as quickly as they normally do, then it IS safe to assume something has happened to one of our letters.

For blog fodder, I asked pen pals, both mine and people in the LEP, what assumptions they have made about this hobby prior to ever writing a letter, and here is what a handful of people were nice enough to confide for me/us:

I thought I’d always write back to everyone who wrote to me, and there would never be a reason not to.

I thought it would be easy to find time to write just one letter…I was a bit wrong. I should be a postcard pal.

It is a lot harder than I expected. Self doubt impacts even just casual writing.

That I wouldn’t get overwhelmed so easily and have no clue what to say!

I never thought I’d write to people who also write to my same pen pals. I’m actually bummed that isn’t the case.

I assumed that I’d hit it off with everyone I thought I’d hit it off with. I’ve been pleasantly surprised by A) being bored with penpals I assumed I’d have lots to write with and B) enjoying the letters of penpals I thought I’d have nothing in common with.

In my innocence, I thought that I would only hear back from a fraction of those to whom I sent an intro, then eventually only have one or two ongoing pen friendships, maybe. So far, wrong and wrong and I am more than okay with that.

I thought I would be prompt with replies. Yeah, not so much.

I thought I would keep it up for maybe 2 weeks and then get bored of it (as I often do with new hobbies, there aren’t many that stick) but a couple of months on I still want to write all the time and feel disappointed when I have no replies left to send.

My incorrect assumption was that nothing would get in the way of my writing.

As much as I would have liked to show you the goodies that are en route, if you assumed I found what I consider silver lining you’d be right. I actually wish I would have thought of THIS post sooner so I could have acquired even more assumptions, but there’s one more I’ll leave you with…

I was really optimistic about finding a pen pal from every state right off the bat, and that I’d have at least one piece of mail to respond to every day once I did.

That one was mine! Ciao!
Sincerely, Kate ~!~

Note: I’m not implying anyone is an ass, at least other than myself– I just couldn’t resist the title 😛