Apr 23, 2014

National Letter Writing Month

After joining The Documented Planner Project on FB I started hearing of other fun groups that were available too.  I ventured out, to see what was out there and to see if it was fun and would keep me busy.  Boy did I ever discover fun.  

I've written letters since I was old enough to understand what they were.  My Mom worked for the U.S. Postal Service for as long as I can remember.  She's retired now.  When a new stamp came out she bought me a book home.  I had many stamp collections.  I had first run collections of the stamped envelopes for each state and they were in collectors albums.  I can't even remember now what all I had amassed on my bedroom bookshelves.  It interested me and she provided it to me.  I have had a pen pal in Japan since I was 14 years old, we still write.  We have been through graduation, marriage, children, my divorce and remarriage and her having to return to work and leave her children.  Language is no barrier, she knew enough English to read my letters.  When she didn't remember she would get someone who did to read them to her.  So we continued to write for 30 years this year.  She copied my first letter I sent her and sent it to me.  How awesome if was to see that letter in my 14 year old hand, my favorite music, my hopes and dreams at that age.  I still have it.  Most of her first letters that I had kept and all of my stamp collection among everything you can imagine were lost in our house fire when I was 19.  You don't know what all you depend on everyday of your life until you have to go and repurchase it all again.  It's amazing how much we amass in our life time.  What's amazing to me know is how much I get rid of, how much I don't want, I don't get attached to material good anymore.  That house fire taught me that lesson.

In late February of this year I found a group on FB called NLWM.  I joined not knowing what it was and started reading the post.  I learned that something big was happening in April and was everyone ready.  It was going to be a BIG deal.  I posted to ask what it was all about.  I wanted to do something big too.  The sweet ladies there explained it to me and I kinda got it but not really at first.  So I started following the board.  I started seeing photos of all of these piles of cards on some of their feeds.  I thought Wow that's a lot of cards.  I don't know if I can commit to this.  At the time I was still doing crochet because it was still a little cold.  I thought I'll crochet everyone a face cloth.  Well I got about 1/4 into that and my right hand locked up.  I started having the nerve pain in my ring finger that comes along with my Fibromyalgia and Arthritis.  So I got back on the board and started reading some more.  I thought I'm over thinking this.  So I started thinking of another idea.  Then I saw that some people sent to everyone in the group.  And I thought well I could make a card with watercolors and send it to everyone.  I've got 2.5 weeks, I think I can do that.  I set a goal and got started.  I drew the design and started painting.  I've never used an entire half pan in 2.5 weeks in my life.  I have now learned that you can do that. HA!  I had so much fun doing it though.

Then I got sick.  Allergies, yellow pollen everywhere.  I had no energy.  My Mom started helping me address the envelopes while I was still working on the cards.  I didn't think I could write something in every card so I typed it up and printed it out, stuffed every letter.  I taped every card and taped the back with washi tape so it wouldn't unseal and they not get their card.  I met my goal and mailed them out on March 31.  We couldn't receive mail before April 1st.  In this group you get 1 pen friend and the only thing you have to do is write one letter to that pen friend.  You also have to send a thank you note for the card the pen friend sends to you.  I'm a big stickler on sending thank you notes.  As of yesterday I mailed 130+ cards out, I've received over 100 cards and mailed over 90 thank you cards out with about 8 or 9 more to write today.  This only goes on for the month of April but I've already found a couple of pen pals to write to.  It is so much fun.

If this sounds fun to you go on over to Lindsay Ostrom's blog and read about it.  The best part is you'll have an entire year to get ready for next April.  I'm excited about that for sure.  I'm going to start making my cards next month and buying my stamps then too.  Here are some photos of the cards I've received this year.

my card from Lindsay telling me who my pen friend was going to be.

all of my cards done and ready to go

The first two days this is what I received.  So many talented people in this group.

And they just kept on coming.  I looked forward to the mail delivery everyday because I wanted to see what beautiful cards I would get to open that day.

I loved the tea cup at the top, it had a tea bag in it and a little tag with who it was from and a greeting on the other side.  So cute.  The black red and white is a fabric post card that is quilted.  I never would have thought to do that.  They are all just so talented.  I learned so much from this group of ladies.  I'm joining next year for sure.

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