Monday, May 28, 2012

Paper Cranes and Introduction Letters

Hi guys! (And girls!) Random fact: Did you know that "guys" in the sense of "Hi, guys" like that is foul language in my household? It is frowned upon and will  get you called out by my mother in a heartbeat.

Anyway, that's beside the point.

As it's been a holiday weekened there isn't much incoming mail to talk about, with the exception of a lovely letter from my penpal Almantë (hah, I have the alt code memorized! Finally!) which came with an awesome candy bar and a set of coins! 8D No pictures again because I fail at life. Hopefully I'll have a reply out sometime this week!

As for outgoing, the only reply I've written lately will be on its way to Bri tomorrow, the letter being just one part of a parcel I hope she'll enjoy! :)

In addition to that, I have two postcrossing cards going out and six introduction letters: To Tiina in Estonia, Karli, Kandy, Katharina, Laura and Gabby. I've been writing first letters all weekend, but I can't complain because I volunteered to do so in the penpal ad I posted. However, I won't be doing any more for a while x_x

The other thing I wanted to talk about is The Paper Cranes Project. In case you didn't see my previous post about the two snail-mail related projects I'm working on, this is one I've started recently, the goal of which is to receive 1,000 origami cranes from all over the world via snail mail. As it's nearly midnight and I'm going to have a hard enough time getting up tomorrow after a three day weekend I won't go into details here, but if you're interested in the blog see the link above. And if you'd like to contribute, click here for a direct link to the guidelines/information.

Also, if anyone wants to be a dear and help spread the word about the project, I'd really appreciate it! I'm bad with publicity. :(

Take care! Here's hoping there will be lots of mail to blog about tomorrow.

-Shelby

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The Day Before

Hi, everyone. Today's post has a little to do with this week's incoming mail and a lot to do with one of the biggest days of my life so far- graduation day!

Technically, I'm going to start by sharing a bit of today- the day before graduation- with you. Between these stupid, sudden allergies of unknown origin and the aftermath of an argument within my house Monday night, I started the morning off in a pretty bad mood. However, that changed pretty quickly when all the people in my office approached me shortly after my morning break, carrying a big basket full of goodies for graduation. I figured they might do something like bring food and maybe some spare change when I go back on Friday, but I definitely was not expecting anything so amazing. The five of them had apparently been planning this for weeks, and instead of telling you the amazing project, I'll show you!

The Basket!
The basket's contents!
 And now, for a closer look!

Stickers and colored pencils! The alphabet set is actually a series of pages with about
360 ABC/Number stickers in all- I definitely needed those! And there are 48 owls,
which I assume they picked because I've been talking about the owl quilt my mother
is making me for my dorm room. The things they catch on to that I never would have expected!


200 stationery sheets and a matching pen! This is probably my favorite item of the whole set!


Yarn! When I first started back in January, I was in the middle of my huge crochet kick.
I haven't crocheted in a while after finishing an exhausting rainbow blanket for my little cousin,
but my inspiration came back with these awesome Buzz Lightyear shades!

And second-to-last-but-not-least, the food! They've apparently caught on to all my favorites
from our daily conversations. Chocolate fudge poptarts, a Coke and a Dr. Pepper, Frank's Red
Hot Sauce (which I'm slightly obsessive about; they often tease me that I need to bring a bottle
to keep in the office- looks like I can, now!), soy sauce, which I'm equally obsessed with (I had a
drawer full of the individual packets until yesterday! My stock is replenished!) and finally, Salt and
Vinegar pringles. I was so surprised that they remembered my choice of flavors that I didn't even realize
there were $20 taped onto the Pringles can until they said "Did you see what elsewas on there?" as I moved
on to the next item! Shows how unobservant I am.
All in all, I thought it was a sweet gesture from all of them. I almost cried, but I managed to control myself and instead of gushing, I settled for hugs for everybody. Thanks so much, everyone! Everything was so neatly wrapped that I almost didn't want to break into it, but I wated to share my day's highlight with my followers.

I also received $100 from one of my dad's closest work friends today! Also completely unexpected and appreciated more than I can put into words or write on any Thank You card. People amaze me! Also in my home mailbox was a $20 Target gift card. I have a feeling I'll have a hard time spending this on something school-related instead of 20 items from the dollar bins!

And as if that wasn't enough, as I'm typing this post, the doorbell rings, and it's our next door neighbor with a check for another $50. ;-; I'm sooooo overwhelmed! I can't thank everyone enough!

For those of you who don't know, tomorrow evening I'll walk the stage and become an official high school graduate. With my stage fright, I'm already a nervous wreck- I bet I'll be in hysterics throughout practice tomorrow morning (which I'm told will take at least two hours! Eek.) I don't know for sure who all is coming yet, but I'm excited to find out. Then again, as I don't want to be there myself, I don't blame the ones who are opting to come to the graduation party at my house Saturday instead of sitting through the ceremony tomorrow.

In conclusion to this part of the post, I just wanted to share how much gratitude I was feeling and rave about some of the amazing gifts I've received today. And now, for my penpals, the part you're probably more interested in  hearing about:

Yesterday I received an amazing package from my penpal Bri. In it was the return of the latest book I sent her- Eon: Dragoneye Reborn, an entire season of a TV show called Pushing Daisies for me to watch (I hope to sit down and get started on it as soon as I'm finished here!), another long letter, an ATC, and a ton of pictures of her, her house, her family, and her room. She's the first of my penpals to have sent pictures, and I must say I find them incredibly special. I've been going around my house taking pictures on a disposable camera. I hope they turn out well and can be developed soon enough that I won't have to keep her waiting for the response too long! Also included was a lot of star confetti in honor of graduation/getting into college!

Today I received some Chinese coins and two nifty bookmarks for a tag on the Postcrossing Forums, as well as something from the "Offering a Lot, at least 20 little items" tag game. In this one came 3 tiny keys, 5 kawaii dragon stickers, a bag of caramel! tea which I haven't made yet, and two lettersets- Rilakkuma and Hello Kitty!

Lastly, I received a letter from my new penpal Cazzie. With it she included a kawaii key cover!

Sorry for the lack of pictures on the incoming mail. I haven't been at the top of my game when it comes to that, lately. D:

I can't wait to sit down and reply to everyone on my new stationery! And while drinking a cup of caramel tea!

Hope everyone has a fantastic, less-nerve-wracking-than-mine-will-be day tomorrow!

-Shelby

Sunday, May 20, 2012

A Few Projects of My Own

Hi, everyone! How's it going?

I keep getting all these nifty new ideas for penpal related projects but they don't seem to be making it very far just posting on my Facebook group, so I thought I'd blog about it and see if any of my lovely followers would be willing to lend a hand in either of these two projects.

#1. 1,000 Paper CranesYup, that's right! I've always been a big fan of the tale of Sadako and the Thousand Cranes, and I've been folding them since International Cultures and Languages, a wonderful class I took back in sixth grade. I've probably folded a thousand altogether, but I've never kept them in one group, so there's no way to know for sure. Anyway, I got to thinking, and I realized that it would be really cool to receive 1,000 paper cranes from all the snail mail lovers out there! I haven't received any of these yet, but if you're interested in it, I'd appreciate the thought! You can make them special by writing your name and location on one of the wings or on a tag around the crane's neck, or you can simply send them. They can be on origami paper, regular paper, whatever you want! Any size is fine as well. I'd just love to see what you all come up with.

#2. A Book of "About Me" Penpal Ad type things.So, if you don't already know, I'm an avid follower of the blog Penpal of the Week. I'm almost 100% sure that all of my current followers are as well, but in case you're just dropping by and haven't been there before, I insist that you go look now. Anyway, there are a lot of snail mail blogs but I've only seen one quite like PotW, with the penpal ads and quirks and watnot. So what I would like to do is have as many people as possible send in a page or two (or more) "About Me". Your name, age, birthday, hobbies, interests, favorites (movies, quotes, characters, TV shows, colors, musicians, so on and so forth). It doesn't matter how big the paper is or if it's lined or unlined, but my intention is to clip these all into a big binder (if your paper doesn't have holes, don't worry, I'll slip it into page protectors- which is why size doesn't matter). My only request is that you please write on only one side of the paper.

You can comment here or email (adinosaursaysrawr@yahoo.com) if you're interested in doing either of these, or if you want to surprise me -which I would love-, you can send one of them (or both) to:

Shelby Anne
P.O. Box 455
Bauxite, AR 72011
USA

Thanks in advance!

-Shelby

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

New Penpals!

Between swaps, postcards and letters I've had a full mail week so far! I can't even remember all of the packages that have come in, but my absolute favorite was the package of candy and other goodies from my penpal Lizzie in the U.K. I finally have Crispy M&Ms!

Letter-wise, I've received three so far, all of which are from new penpals!

First off, I got an introduction letter from my new penpal through NaNoWriMo.org, Beth!

Letter from Beth. Status: In Queue

 Second is a new penpal that found me through my old penpal ad on Penpal of the Week! This was the only random letter I received in reply to the ad, and as I wasn't expecting it, it made Monday a very great afternoon indeed.

Letter from Kay. Status: Replied on 5/11.
And last but certainly not least, today I received a letter from Abbye, who I wrote to after reading her awesome penpal on Penpal of the Week a few weeks back. Along with the letter, she sent me some postcards! Much appreciated, Abbye!

Letter from Abbye. Status: In queue.
Sorry for a short, not-so-detailed post, but I only decided to sit down and post a blog entry a few minutes ago, and I'm already on the verge of passing out. It's been a long week and I'm looking forward to a 4-day week next week and a three-day week following that! Yay for graduation, registration and Memorial Day!

On 5/15/2012 I mailed a whole freezer-size Ziploc bag completely full of letters and packages. I was careless and forgot to write down what all went out, though. I know there's a package on its way to Destiny, as well as a letter to my new penpal Eri in Japan, six postcrossing PCs, a "Pick and Choose" tag to Russia, notecards with matching envies to Slovenia... That's all I remember!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

A Tiny Rant

So, we went and saw The Avengers today, and I've just got to say to say this:

What the hell!

How have I never seen anything Marvel or ever cared to before? I don't understand. I've been so caught up in all the Asian comics and animation since I was little, I've never even bothered to become acquainted with the Marvel heroes or villains. And then today.... With Chris Evans and Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Hemsworth... ;-;

How did that happen? I feel like my entire childhood was a complete waste! -depressed- Now I'm going to go bankrupt buying anything and everything Marvel I can get my hands on. Luckily we already own Iron Man and Iron Man 2, so that saves me about $30 and gives me something to do tonight!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Of Scottish Sweets and a Letter From Germany

08 May 2012

I've been stalking pen pal blogs like crazy lately, and I have to say that they've definitely inspired me to better keep up with my own. I went through a bit of a lull in not posting about my incoming mail, and I've never really talked much about the outgoing, but from now on I'm making a goal to post a new blog entry at least once a week. Starting with tonight's entry, which is full of swapped goodies and a couple of letters! :)

First off, the Scottish sweets! I received them today from the "Something... Tag" on Swap-bot.com. Who could resist speaking up at the promise of "something to eat"?! I was so excited about trying my first foreign food that I forgot to take a picture before opening it, though. ._.  Luckily, I remembered eventually!

Tunnock's Caramel Wafer Biscuits. I love the package they came in!
And for anyone who's curious, they taste a bit like Star Crunches.
I also received a newspaper and a couple of entertainment magazines from the "International Local Newspaper" swap on SB.com, but I haven't taken a picture of it yet. Funnily enough, even though it was an international swap, my partner ended up being from the same state! :)
 
Next up is what I received from a private swap there on SB. The exchange was supposed to be two ATCs by me in exchange for a few packets of stickers, but I ended up getting a lovely hand-drawn envelope and two amazing ATCs out of the deal.

Panda envelope, stickers, and two ATCs- "Turtle on a Log" and "Sleeping Fox."
Both were hand-drawn. Aren't they pretty?
Finally, I've had a few incoming letters since the last update!

A letter from Destiny, and my first received ATC- "Within the Red Queen's Gaze"!
Also hand-drawn. <3 I envy all these peoples' artistic abilities.
Working on your reply, Nee!
A very long letter from Bri! In it she included a pack of buttons
and a picture of a striped elephant. Everything's better with stripes!
Your reply and the next book are on their way to you, Bri!
And last, but certainly not least, is a letter from my new penpal Caddi in Germany (who I met through Sendsomething.net, which arrived so much faster than I could have expected. Thank you, Caddi, for the speedy reply! Everyone else, go check out her blog here!

The Envelope, which is beautiful! Made from a newspaper, I think?
I like it very much! 
The letter, which was written on beautiful stationery!
And the stamps! I've never posted a picture of the stamps before,
but they're very pretty as well, so I decided to start doing so!
 Hopefully soon I'll be able to blog about an incoming box of candy from England and a surprise someone bought me in an Etsy Faves swap!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Postage is Outrageous

All I have to say for this week is this: WOW.

This week I received two letters and five postcards. The first letter was from Destiny, and with it she sent an awesome new pen and a handmade ATC. My very first ATC exchange. >w< Anyone else want to make me some? Today I received a very long letter from Bri, with an awesome pictured of a striped elephant AND a pack of beautiful buttons! The five postcards were from the Netherlands, the Netherlands, Belarus, Germany and somewhere else I can't remember right now because it's 11:00 p.m. and I need sleep after a full work week. xD; -fail- One of these days I'm going to scan all of my postcards and share them with all of my followers.

What I really felt like ranting about today, though, was the fact that I spent at LEAST $65 on shipping this week. A big part of that was a $25 box I shipped to my new friend Lizzie over in the UK- we're exchanging boxes of candy, and boy am I excited! <3 So that explains a little bit of it.

Other than that, I sent:

-Three sets of American coins. Two to China, one to Ukraine.

-Something Mickey Mouse for the "Something Tag" on the postcrossing forums.

-Quick pick 5 flat mail swap for Swap-Bot (regional)

-An $8 + shipping Etsy Faves swap (Swap-Bot)

-A travelling notebook to Australia

-A local newspaper and a few magazines (Swap-Bot)

So needless to say, I'm feeling pretty poor right now. I did receive my end of the local newspaper swap, and was excited to see it was from a fellow Arkansan. <3

Some things I'm still awaiting include:

-A set of Ukrainian coins (Postcrossing forums)

-A set of Chinese coins (Postcrossing forums)

-Something to put on my keys (Postcrossing forums) - Did I mention I'm collecting keychains now?

-My end of the Etsy Faves swap, though that could take a few weeks. (Swapbot)

-A travelling notebook from Japan (Postcrossing forums)

-A quick pick 5 flat mail swap. (Swapbot)

And I think that's it. As you can see I'm pretty crazy for my new hobby, swapping, but this week has showed me that I might have to space it out a little, or at least keep to flat mail swaps...