Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Washi Tape Addiction

Much like pen pal letters, washi tape tends to grow like weeds. I feel like sometimes they grow like bunnies. I swear I don't go to the Dollar Tree, or to Michaels or any other store that carries it and blindly put it in the cart because "it's on sale" or "I have a coupon for that". They have their own little cute babies.

Being a pen pal most likely involves a bit of mail art, even if it's only through a bit of washi .I've gotten some mail that makes my mail art look like a kindergarten school kid made it.
My envelopes will sometimes have the washi tape on the bottom, or in times of real inspiration, I'll go diagonally. You can see that these envelopes have address windows on them. When I get a bill in the mail I take the envelope that comes with it and put it in a pile. Supplies for this hobby can get expensive, so I save as many envelopes that I can so I don't have to buy them for as long as possible. When I get them I make sure to cover any barcode that happens to be on there (you can see this on both tops of the envelopes) so they won't go through the mail and get to the recipient looking too much like a bill coming in. 

Now back to the point at hand, washi tape! 

Some of the places that I find the best washi tape are:


I do quite a few swaps on a website called Swap-Bot. And in these swaps people will send along wonderful little extras. Some of those extras are washi tape samples. Most of the samples that are sent are about 18" long so that you're able to get a few good uses out of them. Many people place these samples on playing cards or other forms of study material in which the tape won't stick and peel the delivery method.

I enjoy putting them on:
  • Playing cards
  • Fake credit cards that are sent to you when credit card companies want you to apply for their cards. I put packing tape on them if the card is not made of a plastic material.
  • Or washi sample templates that I get from blogs that I follow. Check out this one: Click Here I will take these templates and put them on heavy cardstock and then laminate them.

I've found that there are two types of washi tape. There is the type that is very much like masking tape and the one that is more plastic like. My favorite is the masking tape kind, I'm just not quite a fan of the plastic kind, just makes washi seem "off".

How much washi do you have? Which is your favorite? Give me a link to where you buy your washi tape. I'd really love to know. You can never have enough.







Tuesday, December 27, 2016

My beginning to pen pals began with Swap-Bot

My beginnings to pen palling (paling?) began with my Swap-Bot membership. It's a great place to get to know people and to swap things that mean things to you. I'm learning about people's music "ear bugs" by hosting a swap there entitled It's Stuck in My Head. I thought you might be interested in hearing what's stuck in my head this month.





Saturday, August 20, 2016

I Have Pen Envy

I have a horrible problem. It's a true but sad story. I didn't want to burden you with my issues, but since you are reading my blog, I figured you'd want to know.

*stands up*

Hello, my name is Tami - and I have pen envy. I want all the pens, pencils, and markers. If you happen to give me one, likely I will steal it. If I go to doctor's offices, vets, hotels etc. if they have a pen with their name on it, I want it. And I'll be honest, I'm not be too proud to beg ask for it. Here's the collection of writing instruments that I have.

Excess/Gel Pens/Zentangle Project

What I Pulled From End Table
In Bedroom
On Bedroom Dresser
In this picture you have the blue tote which carries all of my excess pens, pencils, and highlighters. On top of that is my baggie of red white and blue instruments that are for a zentangle swap I am doing for the Facebook group Zentangle Artist Trading Card Swap. I'm doing a red/white/blue patriotic swap now, and a black and white one soon. The thing in front is a 48 pack of gel pens that I received for review from a site called Tomoson.

When I cleaned out my end table next to the sofa to see how many things were in there, I came out with the next picture's worth of pens/pencils/highlighters/grease pencils (used to draw objects on the window so I can paint them)/markers. I honestly didn't realize how many things were in that drawer. So after I took the pictures I took my end table drawer and my nightstand drawers out and cleaned them up a bit and made sure all of my pen pal supplies were in the end table drawer. The end table is about to collapse under the weight of all the things I have in it. Crochet books and tons of recipe books and clippings, now add to it pen pal things and you are full of things that I have in my life.

The next picture shows you (on the left) all the markers, paint pens, and Sharpies that I own. I don't know if you can see how deep that container is, but it's quite full. And with my OCD all of the different types of writing utensils are in their own quart sized baggie. On the right you see my coloring markers, or letter writing markers if you only want to use one side of the paper (but Mother Earth will frown upon the waste of a beautiful tree, but don't think I haven't done it - because look at those colors how could you not?) and last but not least my Micron pens for my Zentangle. I have to have different thicknesses for the tangles to get the right depth of character.

The last picture (and aren't you glad) is the two containers I have on my other dresser of  things I just wanted to keep out. Some of them are things from my late husband and I just couldn't bear to keep them in a drawer and besides, I didn't have anything in my OCD scheme to put them in. And should you wonder, "Self, I wonder if all of Tami's pens and pencils actually work." The answer to your query is YES, they all work. I test them all once a year to make sure that the ink hasn't dried up, though this year I haven't quite gotten to it yet and have found a few that have dried up.

I'd like to know what you use for pens/pencils, and which are your favorites. My favorite of all times is the Champ Pentel pencil. And for the longest time I had to talk to my friend Robin (HI Rose - there's an inside joke about that - I love you!) and have her get them from the Nash Community College (shout out to the Accounting department) bookstore. So, like I said, it's time for you to share - what is your favorite?



Friday, August 5, 2016

Places to Find a Great Pen Pal

It's been about two years since I started my pen pal journey, and I swear I am not addicted to it at all. It started out so innocently, 5 pen pals here, add another 5 there, until today I have 35 pen pals.

Yes, I do write to them all, and mostly I remember what it is that we are talking about.

Many people ask me, "Tami, where do you find your pen pals?" And when I tell them, they look at me with this look of complete bewilderment because they have never heard of the places that I am talking about. So I thought for the addicts out there that want more, or want to start pen palling (doesn't that word look silly?) I'd help you out with a few links.


The first place I got my pen pals was on Swap-Bot. When you're on this site you are able to find interesting swaps that are not pen pal related, and also swaps that will have you swap a letter with one person. Hopefully this person and you will click and they will write you back. You will send a letter to one person, and another person will send a letter to you. So you have the opportunity to have two pen pals if you'd like. The only downside is that you must search the listings for pen pal related swaps, but when you find them, it's well worth it.

Another site you can find great pen pals is Lettersets.com. You place an ad describing yourself and people inbox you with responses. It's a great system. While you're there, you can go to their main page and order some stationary to start writing your letters. The only downside I've found on this site is that if you want to keep your ad going and get some results on a regular basis you need to place your ad again. It's tedious, but it's doable.

There are plenty of Facebook groups that you can find and join. My favorites are Snail Mail Pen Pals Ladies Only which you have to join and be approved. The approval status is relatively quick. You can do one of two things:


  1. Sit around a lurk to see if you find someone that posts for a pen friend that seems interesting to you.
  2. Do a quick intro right away and ask for pen friends.

The only thing that bugs me a bit, but I have learned to get over it, is the fact that most pen friends want to be your "friend" on Facebook. I've been trying to weed my list down for a while, and adding pen friends immediately after they've asked if they want to be pals is a little daunting, especially if you are one to post things that may be not quite PC.

My other favorite Facebook group is Lots of Crazy Pen Pals (No Men). They are a group of very active pen pals. If you're not one for a LOT of notifications, you may want to turn them off for this group. It is very well managed and one person a day runs the show by keeping the girls talking about things like, "Did you get mail today?" or "What's for dinner?" and other topics that keep the group talking. I think my favorite thing that they do are the word games. You'll have to join to find out what games they play, I can't give you all the information first.

This group also has people that want to be your Facebook friend right off the bat, but like I said, I've gotten used to it. Could I hit the decline button - of course, But I've always had a problem with saying no to people. So another Facebook friend it is.

How do you find your pen pals? Please leave a comment below, I'd love to find some more places to look.

Huggles to all, 

Tami