Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Sent with Love No. 41

I receive many wonderful packages and post from my pen pals. Every one of them spoil me!
Emma sent me an amazingly overflowing package filled with vintage match labels, ink, candy, badges and more. 
Kate's mail always brings a smile to my face, especially when it includes delicious british treats! 
It was very hard to resist breaking into these long enough for me to photograph. 
Andreia has a knack for finding great vintage postcards. I also got a delicious hazelnut chocolate bar. These were Christmas packages...yes I am very behind! Better late than never? ;)

Monday, April 7, 2014

Gramr Gratitude Co

I pledged to the Gramr Kickstarter and this is my reward. I got the "I say thank you, very much" package. Included- 4 cards a month, for three months, a custom wax seal, two wax sticks, a gramr wooden box, and a thank you note from the founders. I got to pick what photo cards I wanted, these are the first four.
The gramr lockr is very heavy duty,  and hand crafted with copper nails.
My custom wax press, with my initials MH.
A personalized thank you note from the founders. 
This "thank you to do" list inspired me to write the cards as soon as I got them.
 Pretty soon, all four cards were ready to go.
 Each envelope is lined with special gramr paper.
 After the cards were securely in their envelopes, it was time for the wax seal.
 This pool of white was so pleasing, I almost didn't want to change it.
 But then I did ;)
 The variety of wax blobs are so pleasing. 
 This green wax is so pretty, I've never seen another sealing wax like it.
 Since these are square cards they are a bit more to send, but as the envelope says, it's worth it.
Last time I was at the p.o. I got some of the new square postage with this beautiful butterfly.
Even if you didn't fund the kickstarter, you can still purchase any of the rewards from gramr.us
Even though I wasn't in a rush to get it, I appreciated that they shipped when they said they were going to. This is the best kickstarter I've ever funded.

Monday, March 31, 2014

MM - A tribute to a friend

On Tuesday, March 25, 2014 we lost our friend Martha Mata.
Martha was so athletic and  loved the outdoors.  As her cancer progressed, her treatment was very draining. However, she didn't allow it to stop her from doing the things she loved.
First Descents is one of the few programs for young people with cancer. There, she met a strong group of friends. They nicknamed her Cupcake. These outings were something she really looked forward to. Though she had the love and support of friends and family, it was very meaningful to spend time with people who were going through exactly what she was. As much as we felt for her, we could never understand or relate to the her experience.
Looking through her photos was so inspiring. When talking about weekend plans, usually our answers dulled in comparison. "I think maybe I'll go to a movie"— nope, Martha had kayaking, rock climbing, snow boarding, or surfing.
When I am sad, it's very easy for me to hole up and lose a whole day. I know she wouldn't like that. So I wanted to think of something worthwhile to do, something that would make her happy. Because I am not good at surfing, rock climbing or snow boarding, I tried to think of my own way to honor her.
A line of products in is the works, made up of things that she would love. Every product in the line will have the symbol “MM" on it.  MM for Martha Mata and MM for Martha Matters. Because her life matters to us, and we will never forget her.
100% of the proceeds from this line of products will be donated to First Descents, in memory of our friend.
If you'd like to donate directly, visit First Descents here.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Martha

Today, we lost our beautiful friend Martha Mata. 
Her and I  became friends through my sister and brother-in-law. During the early stages of Paper Pastries, I was a part-time substitute teacher. This school where she, my brother-in-law, and other friends worked was such an amazing environment, I considered being a teacher. That was, until around noon when I was so exhausted I thought 3 o'clock would never come. Being a teacher is one of the hardest jobs I can think of. Every day I had more and more respect for them. 
I almost exclusively subbed at her school, often sharing lunch breaks and weekend plans. Then came the day when she needed to take more time off for treatment and sick days. I was her requested sub. I am fully aware that being a sub is in no way "teaching." But the fact that I was going to be there in her classroom more than one day a week made me very nervous. These kids had an amazingly smart, patient, teacher who knew what she was talking about. I had barely passed algebra! She went over all the various types of math problems I would encounter and didn't stop explaining them until I got it. If she could teach me, I know she had a gift. 
Green Dot sent an email out today-
"It is with a heavy heart that I write to inform you of the passing of Martha Mata - one of the founding teachers at ÁPB -  following a hard-fought battle with cancer.

Ms. Mata set an example for all of us to follow in her 12 years teaching math.  Martha began her teaching career with LAUSD at Locke High School and has dedicated the past eight years to the students and families of Green Dot.  In her recent Golden Dot nomination video, her principal characterized her as “not only pushing herself and her students to achieve, but making everyone else around her better.”

Martha was a true and passionate teacher leader, expanding the sphere of her impact well beyond her classroom and school.  The name Martha Mata became synonymous with highly effective, rigorous and innovative practice.  As an Ánimo Data Fellow, Professional Development Leader, Demonstration Classroom Teacher, and formal mentor for student teachers, she partnered with many Dotters in realizing our mission - to prepare all students for college, leadership and life. In truth, she embodied the spirit of Ánimo and will be remembered and missed deeply by her friends and colleagues.

Please join me in offering our deepest sympathies to her family. We will be speaking with Martha’s family and pass along any information they wish to share regarding arrangements. "
When I close my eyes, I don't want to see her in pain.  I am looking at photo albums because I want to see her when she was most radiant. This photo is my favorite of her- two closest friends on either arm, smiling and joking about how short she is, even in heels.
Martha - 
It is impossible for us to imagine a party without your dance moves + requests for more booty jamz.  We will love you and miss you forever.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Fieldtrip - The Carlsbad Flower Fields

This weekend we had family visiting so we took a trip the flower fields.  We went early in the morning, it was pretty empty. I took my digital camera and I brought home 286 pictures. Here are my favorites.
This is my favorite flower picture that I've ever taken, and I've taken thousands. 
I also took a ton of pictures with my phone. This is what my camera roll looked like ;) 
Tony snapped this picture of me so now I have a new profile pic. A visit to the flower files practically demands a new profile pic.
I've been before but I really enjoy it. I like going so much, I got a season pass. It's really a beautiful place. If you're ever in the area (in march, april, or early may) I highly recommend a visit.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Shop Update - New Pet Shapes

Some of you may have been wondering where I've been. Right after my computer got repaired, I took off for Seattle. I had a bit of a toothache, and when I returned I went to the dentist. Turns out, I had to get my wisdom teeth removed, but there weren't any appointments for a week. Because the pain was pretty bad, I was on pain killers. Just this week, I had my teeth pulled. So now I am on even more serious pain killers! At least now I can sit up and be on my computer, as opposed to just my phone. I have missed my computer if you can believe it ;)
So, while I wasn't blogging I still was working. Since they have debuted back in 2012,  I have made many different pet return address stamps. It turns out, that people have a hard time getting an in focus photo of their energetic animal. I am now offering more shapes to choose from.
This way, if you're not able to get a clear photo, you can choose from one of the shapes I've made for others before.
 I reshot these product photos but just this week was able to edit and post them. It's the worst when all you can do is lay on the couch and think about all the work you could be doing.
Sure, I am still a bit delirious but Otto and Milchy are keeping me company :)
You can find the updated shapes in the shop here.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Gramr Kickstarter


I have been without a working computer for almost 2 weeks. Long story, thought it was fixed three times, but we are finally reunited. I've been spending a lot of time catching up on work and my eyes are blood shot from all the screen time. Whenever I spend a lot of time on my computer, I always wish I was writing letters instead.
Do you want to start sending mail? I think the best motivation is the ability to make someone feel special when they open their mailbox. Another motivator is fun stationery. I just backed this kickstarter campaign for photo thank you notes. The cards look very beautifully made and the images are from some of my favorite instagram photographers. I am very excited about this :)
Want to join in? There's only 60 hours left to pledge.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Ex Postal Facto this weekend!

XPF 

The following venues will be hosting Ex Postal Facto events on the weekend of February 14th – 16th. All events are free and open to the public, unless otherwise noted.

Friday, February 14th, 2014: opening reception for “mail/art/book”
Location: the San Francisco Center for the Book (http://sfcb.org/)
375 Rhode Island Street, between 16th and 17th
Time: 6:00pm – 9:00pm
  • mail art “creation station”
  • special postal cancellation and passport stamping station
  • “will call” pick up for Ex Postal Facto passports
Saturday, February 15th, 2014: vendor expo (see below)
Location: the San Francisco Elks Lodge (http://www.sfelks.org/)
450 Post Street, between Powell and Mason (Powell Street BART/Muni station)
Time: 11:00am – 5:00pm
  • vendor/exhibitor tables
  • passport stamping station
Sunday, February 16th, 2014: a day of lectures at the Koret Auditorium
Location: the San Francisco Public Library (http://sfpl.org/),  lower level, Koret Auditorium
Time: 1:00pm – 3:30pm (please note: SFPL opens at noon on Sundays)
100 Larkin Street, at Market (Civic Center BART/Muni station)
  • 1:00pm – 2:00pm: round table discussion moderated by John Held, Jr. : “The History of West Coast Mail Art” featuring Lowell Darling, Jas Felter, Carl Chew, and other west coast mail artists/artistamp makers.
  • 2:30pm – 3:30pm: lecture and slideshow TBA
  • 3:45pm – 4:30pm: reception for speakers and attendees 

We'll have a table of PP products Saturday, come see us!

Sent with Love No. 40 - Valentine's Day Mailing

This is a two part post, see yesterday's post for information about their photoshoot.
There I was, with totally adorable wallet size prints, but I didn't know what I was going to do with them. I have a ton of love/valentine's cards but they just didn't seem special enough for this. Tony said I just needed to make a specific card for them, I wanted their photos to be the focus...this is what we came up with. 
 Tony figured out exactly where the slits needed to go to slip the pictures in, and I figured out exactly where the hearts should be. 
I embossed "happy valentine's day" on the front in gold ink and included a message on the inside.
This is what the back of the card looked like, when all the photos were in. 
 It turns out that I was mailing a lot more than I thought so I had to dive into my whole paper stock- blues, greens, pastels, everything was up for grabs. 
 When all the cards were written I tucked them into glassine envelopes and sealed with my new favorite floral tape.
 I found these heart stickers at typo but I didn't think they felt right on these. Maybe I can incorporate them next year.
Then came time to address all the packages. I don't believe it's a valentine without chocolate, so I included some with the card and stuck it all in a padded envelope. I took it down to the post office so I could figure out exactly how much postage it needed. 
 I used a mix of modern and vintage postage.
When I dropped off my packages at the post office, my usual helper called a few people from the back to look at them. They look at mail all day, and they took a minute or two to look at mine :) Another successful mailing! 
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