Pocket Letters

On one of those random trips through Pinterest, I came across an example of what the pin called a pocket letter. I did a little bit of searching within the site and came across many other examples and, at some point, finally found their creator. Janette Lane created the concept and gave it a real, trademarked name a few years back, far as I can tell. The concept is easy: take a 9-pocket protector (like little kids use for baseball or Pokemon cards), fill it with goodies and a letter, then fold it up and mail it off to the recipient in a standard envelope (Janetter’s summay is here). If you’re an overachiever, you include things the recipient can use for future pocket and/or standard letters in each pocket and even have a theme.

Needless to say, it was love at first site. I already had a giant pile of those protectors from a failed attempt a few years ago to participate in One Little Word and pocket letters – which I refuse to capitalize – combine two loves: letter writing and scrapbooking.

I’ve sent about a dozen of them so far and have plans to, when I have more time and energy, send many more to both new and existing pen pals. Of course, in my fervor to send them, I only ever snapped photos of one of them – one of three nearly identical ones sent to three brand new pen pals I got set up with from Ravelry.

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From the top-left and continuing across then down, I included the following:

  • Scrapbooking paper with to/from information
  • Robot stickers I picked up from Target. They were actually designed to be a non-candy option for Valetine’s Day. I got like 20 sets of them for $3.
  • A little bit about me, this time focused on my job. Yeah, I have no idea why I decided to write about that at length to a stranger, but I did.
  • Six random things that I do as hobbies.
  • Washi tape samples, before I realized attaching them to paper was not a great idea. (Now I attach them to a small piece of plastic, so the recipient can actually use it later.)
  • Little rectangular pieces of paper the recipient can use for future pages
  • Paper circles for the same
  • An actual letter to the recipient, written on graph paper because it was close at hand and I am a nerd who loves graph paper.
  • An introduction to pocket letters. (Oddly enough, the recipient of this particular letter is a fellow aficionado of the paper letter concept.

I can’t wait to make more letters like this. The setup I described earlier is mostly for letters of this type, as it allows me to have everything super close at hand.

And, before we go, a few shots of the first (and, so far, only) pocket letter I’ve received, from the lovely (but blogless, far as I know) Tina P.

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One of the goodies were these really neat pinwheel paper clips. I hvae no idea what I’m going to use them for, but they sure are neat to look at.
Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug  Another was a penguin paperclip, though I don’t think she realized that’s my sorority’s (Phi Sigma Rho) mascott.

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And, last but not least, that little blue pocket had stickers inside!Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

Have my fellow letter and/or scrapbook nerds ever made (or even heard of) a pocket letter? Interesting in setting up a swap?

Filling the Hours

There’s only so many hours in the day and not quite enough to do all of those things I want to do. (We’ll ignore my to do list. That just sort of sits without anything done until a hard deadline – like taxes being due April 15th.)

Don’t get me wrong, I’m lucky enough to have a good two to three hours free most evenings after Squirms has gone to bed. Most nights, Matt and I hang out together (we watch TV, he plays on his phone, I write letter or knit or play on my phone) but sometimes, like tonight, he’s off in his office, playing video games so I’m left to my own devices. And, yet, what am I doing? Watching tons of episodes of Scrubs and attempting to write up a few blog posts to catch folks up on what’s been going on in my life.

What would i do if I had unlimited time? And, somehow, could focus enough to do them?

  • Write that memoir I have made zero progress on.
  • Learn to write calligraphy or in a cool hand-written font.
  • Make a cross stitch sampler of all of the Dr. Who’s.
  • Sew myself some awesome skirts. (Requires actually learning how to sew, for real.)
  • Watch through all of the seasons of Friends, X-Files, Sex in the City
  • Catch up on Squirm’s scrapbook (do have photos from Jan – March printed but have yet to make the pages)
  • Write here, you know, more than once every two months
  • Make a sweater for myself I actually like
  • Take some programming classes online
  • Write letters to the rest of the people on my list (which is down to 8 from the 90+ I had in January)
  • Make some sort of a collage
  • Write to Squirms daily about what she’s done that day and things I want her to know about me
  • Make a few books by hand, especially journals
  • Make a bunch of dishcloths

Scrapbook for Squirms – Process

(This is going to be a really long post with some big photos embedded in it so skip it entirely if you’re not into scrapbooking and, if you are, come back when you’ve got some time to read. If you’re here to read my Writing 101 prompt responses, I’m skipping today’s prompt, having responded to it earlier.)

I wrote earlier¬†about the supplies and what not I use to put together her scrapbook of her first year. Now, we’ll move on to the process I use. It’s nothing super fancy and I really have no idea what I’m doing but, hey, it gets me pretty good results and doesn’t take forever so I see that as a win. Everything’s behind the jump.

Continue reading “Scrapbook for Squirms – Process”

Scrapbook for Squirms – An Introduction

Before Squirms was born, I decided that I wanted to make a scrapbook to record the first year of her life. I’m pretty forgetful and, while I know I’d be taking a ton of photos, I wasn’t so sure I’d be good about keeping track of everything as it happened. Sure, her glasses showing up in photos in May show she had them then, but when did we first take her to the eye doctor? I’d have no idea if it weren’t for her scrapbook.

(More about how the pages are made and the supplies I use are below the jump.)

Continue reading “Scrapbook for Squirms – An Introduction”