Monday, August 25, 2014

Monday Mail

Happy Monday everyone!

I had a whirlwind of a few weeks and looks like I've hit a calm before the invariable storm. I am hoping things calm down a bit soon, but I am busy with fun things, so I'm not really complaining. 

I thought I felt a hint of fall in the air the other day, but it's still looking full-blown summer here. I love fall, but I'm in no real hurry to get there. Does it look like fall where you are?

This week was exceptionally colorful when it came to mail. See for yourself:


Vintage look, outgoing The first one is a vintage-inspired one. I tried several new things on it. I like how the address worked out on several small stickers. I also wrote the name with a sharpie and tried a quick collage again. Even the stamp is new, it's from the new photography series from Canada Post.

Icecream and dogs, outgoing August This colorful mail went out to Mary, who's had a couple of crappy weeks. I figured this would be a good time to send out silly colorful mail, with scratch and sniff ice-cream stickers. Obviously. If you follow my instagram, you've also seen a peek of the inside, the silliness continues.

Colorful to Florida, Outgoing And finally there's the colorful letter going to Marie in Florida. This also has some ice-cream scented stickers and a overly-colorful envelope. It just felt right this week.

What do you have planned for this week?

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Evening at the fair

I've been waiting for this for a long time! It's one of those events that everyone has told me about as soon as I moved to Toronto. All I knew about "the Ex"* was that it's a huge fair with a lot of deep fried food. Despite it's name, it was a lot of fun. I was not disappointed!

The ex, toronto
The ex, toronto
Gotta love a good food pun! 
 The ex, toronto

I didn't go on any rides, just walked around, ate some tacos and tried some carnival games. I am proud to say I am now the owner of a rainbow colored slinky. So, yeah, that's pretty cool. I'm thinking if I go again, I might have to try a deep fried Mars bar...

What's your favorite activity at a carnival or amusement park? I'm partial to the carnival games, especially Skee Ball.

*) Also known as CNE or Canadian National Exhibition

Monday, August 18, 2014

Mail Monday

Happy new week, you guys! Did you have a good weekend?

I was extremely productive last week. I sent out several pieces of mail and was able to finish a whole lot of products for my shop. My sister came to town with two of her friends, so I've kept busy with them perusing (comic) book stores and yard sales.

All the following outgoing envelopes are orders from my shop! I like to add something extra to all my outgoing mail.


Airmail to BC, outgoing
Airmail to AB, outgoing It's been a while since I made these crazy airmail envelopes. Since finding the airmail tape, I was itching to make them again. Let's see if it's out of my system now...

Tan and orange, outgoing Orange and tan combo going to Texas.

Silver and mint, outgoing Silver and mint off to the UK. This one is quite simple, but I really like it! The mint and the silver work really well together. I think I'll need to experiment with the combination again.

Orange, outgoing Another take on the tan and orange theme.

I had a few personal letters going out as well, but I only mailed them out yesterday. I'll share those on the next Monday Mail post* so they'll have time to arrive first!

Do you prefer to know you have a letter coming your way or do you prefer it a secret? Do you mind either way? Do you like to keep the ones you send a secret up until arrival?

Please share your thoughts on the topic in the comments!

*) See all the mail related blog posts by clicking the link or using the 'Mail Love' tag. 

For all mail mail photos, check my Mail Love album on Flickr

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Vintage paper awesomeness - discount code for -20%

- Scroll down for 20% off discount code -

Some of my long-time followers might remember that I have a second shop focusing on craft supplies. I've always been drawn to vintage paper and stationery, and if you combine that with my pack-rat type qualities, you can imagine how much stuff accumulates.

Brinner Supplies, Sale I don't usually buy things to resell, only to use myself. That of course backfires when I don't have time to use the majority of things I find.

Brinner Supplies, Sale Since moving to Toronto in December I had to give up quite a bit of storage space. I have great plans for new products, especially for the holiday season* so I need to clear some space. I've added some vintage paper, some stickers and other paper goodies in the shop at significantly reduced prices. And as a reader of this blog, you'll get an additional 20% off on all the items**!

CLICK HERE for the shop!

Use the code: blogbuddy20 to apply the discount to your offer.

No minimum order, valid while supplies last or until end of August.

Brinner Supplies, Sale *) I'm not saying it's practically Christmas, but I need to start now to get things done in time.

**)The discount only applies to Brinner Supplies shop! (Not my regular shop)

Monday, August 11, 2014

Monday Mail

First, let me welcome our new-comers to this blog! Welcome, welcome! How are you doing? Did you find your way here through the David's Tea Facebook page?

My brochures into gift tags post got some love from the company and they featured the tutorial on Facebook. I have to say, it's pretty exciting!

Even though it was a busy week, I've upped my outgoing mail a bit. Here's four things that went out:


Map letter, outgoing The first one is a very airmail-y, travel-y one going to my favorite librarian! If you follow me on Instagram, you've already seen a peek of this one!

 I've been looking for that airmail striped washitape for a long while, but only recently I found it from The Paper Place here in Toronto. I used some of my special vintage stamps and added some of the vintage stamp stickers too. The envelope is made from an old map.

Green and blue, outgoing Next up we have a green and blue envelope heading to a place to leave-your-wallet-in, California. The envelope is made using the envelope template tutorial and lined with washitape like in this tutorial.

(See, I really make tutorials for things I use all the time!)

Green patterned, outgoing Another green patterned one, this time with some yellow accents.

airmail, outgoing And finally another airmail letter. I tried to write the address all fancy with a nib and ink, but the paper was not having any of that! So, not quite so fancy lettering on this one...

Happy Monday everyone! What do you have planned for the week?

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Repurpose - Brochures and Magazines to gift tags

Magazines, brochures and other printed materials accumulate so easily. Sometimes you come across visually beautiful things you want to keep, but after a while they take up so much space... I've been making a point to use those materials up and making gift tags is one of the easiest ways to put those pretty papers to good use. This tutorial works with practically any paper you might have lying around at home, magazines, catalogs, gift wrap, etc...

DIY gift tags from brochuresI've made gift tags myself for a very long time. After a while you figure out the best way to do them and realize how fun and versatile this little project is. Again, this is super simple, easy to do and doesn't need complicated materials or tools to make. This is also a good project to do ahead of time, just to have a few tags in stock in case you need one for a quick present.

I recently bought some of the new flavors from the Carnival Collection from David's Tea. I know a few tea enthusiasts who I thought would appreciate something different, so I wanted to send them a small bag of the tea. The tea menu got a new look for the summer and I used the brochure to make some cute tags to attach to the tea as I sent it out.

DIY gift tags from brochures To make the tags you'll need

- Scissors
- Hole punch (I have a handheld one, but the regular offic-y one works just as well)
- Glue
- Paper/cardstock *
- Brochures/Magazines/Wrapping paper/etc

*) Choose the paper/cardboard depending on the thickness of your material. Cardboard for magazine, paper for sturdier brochures. Use household packaging for the cardboard, I find cereal boxes awesome for this purpose!

DIY gift tags from brochures I started by cutting out the parts of the brochure I liked. I chose some of the larger illustrations as well as the details of the specific tea I bought. Don't toss the rest of the material yet, you can use some of it for decoration! Check the materials again to see if there are any other interesting things to use: small pictures, text, etc.

DIY gift tags from brochures Cut the material in the shapes you want. I had some gift tags already, so I used them as a template to make the more traditional tag shapes. I really don't see why they would need to be actual tag shapes though, if you don't have any at hand, squares and rectangles work just as well. I cut various different shapes out of the brochure. If you have paper punches, those are really handy, but not at all necessary.

If you have a nicely shaped tag you like, make a template out of it for future use. You can follow the envelope tutorial for help to make the template.

Glue the paper or cardstock on the back of the tags for writing surface. I only put white paper behind the large ones I used for writing, the small ones have no paper on the back.

DIY gift tags from brochures Punch holes in the tags.

I really like the layered look, so I combined several different shapes and sizes. This is especially effective if you cut out basic shapes like squares or rectangles.

To add a little extra, I packed the tea in a small paper bag. I had a few extra bags, so I cut one up to add the little banner shape in the pile-o-tags as well. And, let's not forget confetti! Punch a bunch of holes into the remaining material to make coordinating confetti! Stuff that shit everywhere!!!*

DIY gift tags from brochures *) Unless the recipient has cats or toddlers. In that case don't be a dick and just leave the confetti out. Same goes for glitter by the way.

So, what do you think of these repurpose posts so far? Useful or not? I'm also thinking of posting variations of these tutorials later, just to show what you can do once you know the basics.

Any requests for future tutorials?

Monday, August 4, 2014

Monday mail

Oooh! It's a day off today! How awesome is that? Don't ask me why we get today off, I don't know. Civic holiday? Well, it's a day off, that's what counts.

Last week was a slower week for mail, but busy in other ways. I apparently only sent one letter. I'm pretty sure I sent out something else too, but I don't seem to have a photo. So, it's possible I'm imagining things or forgot to take a photo.


Collage letter, outgoing

As said, only one documented letter going out this week. It's something else though... I started collaging and this is what came out in the end. I continued what I started last week and it was so much fun! I'm definitely going to keep doing this!

Collage letter, back, outgoing The front it the crazier one, but I added some fun stuff on the back too! 

I've been wanting to get more into making collages, but somehow I just haven't been able to get it going. I've tried a few separate times, but every time I feel like it's more stressful than fun. The results have not been interesting either. I guess this is the perfect medium for me for now. An envelope is small enough and you can make a huge impact quickly. I also feel it's easier when making it for someone else than myself. 

Have you done collaging? What inspires you? Oh, and can I see photos?

Friday, August 1, 2014

Mail Love - a letter from a hotel

I was recently in Montreal and stayed at the Marriott Ch√Ęteau Champlain hotel downtown. I was traveling light, so I only brought with me a pared down craft kit. I also wanted to try out making something with the limited supplies available, just to see what I can come up with.

I scoured the room for things I could use* and this is what I found:

Hotel mail Montreal guide book, a hotel notepad, some brochures and paper coasters.

Many hotels still provide paper and a few envelopes, so those are often available as well. I wanted to be creative and was genuinely curious what I could come up with without resorting to the hotel stationery.

Hotel letter The letter part was pretty straightforward, I just wrote the letter on the pad. I flipped through the guide book and found a few pages I liked. I folded one to make the band around the letter.

I used a folded map from a brochure to make the envelope. (There are a few ways I've used smaller pieces of paper to make envelopes in a pinch. I can write a tutorial if anyone's interested)

Hotel mail
The page I chose for the band around the letter was just long enough to barely touch on the other side, so I had to improvise a bit. I folded a paper coaster and glued it on the back of the decorative band.

The back of the envelope is secured with a bit of the tape I brought with me.

Hotel mail I tried a few different things for the address label. The coasters had a plastic coating on one side, so I wasn't sure the glue would stick on it. I also tried to find a page from the guide book to use, but in the end I felt i might as well go with the simplest solution. I ended up ripping a sheet from the notepad and using that for the address. At least that would be securely glued on the envelope.

Here's the final look at the envelope:

Hotel mail, front
Hotel mail, back Pretty simple DIY letter, but it's genuinely made from what I had at hand. It was actually pretty fun! This definitely started a whole train of thought on what kind of other things I could make. I think I'll try them out soon...

I challenge you to try it out, just try using simple things you have at home like flyers or ads you get in the mail. Please let me know if you try it out. I'd love to see what you come up with!

*) Remember, don't be a dick. Just use things that are legitimately there for your use or would be tossed after you leave. Brochures and disposable paper products such paper coasters or cardboard packaging are ok, anything in the hotel binder is probably not. Use your best judgement.