Have you heard about the 30 day happy mail challenge that is going on at Illustrated Faith? If not check out this video by Shanna Noel, Founder of Illustrated Faith where she talks about the challenge as well as the brand new Cards she designed that are available through DaySpring. *She starts talking about the details of the challenge at the 5:50 mark*
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I love what Illustrated Faith has brought to Christian Creatives, and I have grown deeper in knowledge and in my faith since beginning to create in and outside of my bible. I believe that Faith based art and papercraft is more than just for the pages of my bible , so when I saw that Shanna Noel (that incredibly inspiring and kind-hearted woman) was kicking off a 30 day happy mail challenge, I got very excited and knew I had to participate. I also think this challenge can be different for everyone….. you can customize it to fit YOU. That being said I will share what I have in mind for the challenge (as I see it) and how I will be approaching it! The basic idea is that you send some old-fashioned snail mail to a different person every day for 30 days. That’s it in a nutshell. This doesn’t have to be super time-consuming or cost more than a postage stamp and paper. Email is quick and convenient and pretty much the norm when communicating with our family and friends. So when you actually receive a letter or card in the mail, it just FEELS special. Can you remember the last time you received a letter or card or gift in the mail? Did it bring you joy? I am betting it did. Who wouldn’t want to be apart of something fulfilling and FUN like that! We definitely need more Joy, more Kindness, and more encouraging and lifting each other up.
To make things easy on yourself, you might want to gather a few things and keep them organized by your desk or a designated spot. The supplies you will want to pull together will really depend on how elaborate or simple you want your happy mail to be (BOTH are good!). I am going to list a few basic things and optional things that I am setting aside for myself, maybe that will help you figure out what you want to pull together.
I encourage you to use whatever you have on hand and try to think of new ways to use the supplies you already own. I am linking my favorite things that are tried and true and that I really do love, but again, you do not need to spend anything to make this challenge work for you! Another option is to get together with friends and share supplies! Any excuse for crafting and fellowship sounds great to me!
Paper Trimmer: THIS one is my favorite and is by Tonic. I also really love THIS one by Fiskars.
Scoreboard: (only if you already have one, a trimmer can do the job just fine if you don’t) I am using THIS mini one which is by Martha Stewart. There is a number of them on the market though.
Bone Folder: I recommend THIS teflon bone folder, It’s a little pricey but it will last you forever and it will be the only one you ever use! The reason for the teflon is that when you use it to crease your paper you will not get that shiny streak on your cardstock that other bone folders leave behind.
Scissors: THESE Fiskars one’s are my favorite.
Cards and envelopes: (unless you are making your own of both) You can pick these up anywhere but THESE envelopes are my current favorite , and some of them have a slight shimmer. I also like THESE that are made of vellum. As far as card bases, I prefer to use this heavy weight cardstock HERE and cut and fold my own. This pack of 25 will make 50 A-2 size card bases. They also sell it in 250 count reams HERE. I find they are more sturdy and I like top fold cards better.
Your favorite writing pens: I really like my Illustrated faith pens because they dry fast and are permanent. I also like the Pigma Micron pens.
Envelope template or tool: (if you are making your own envelopes) HERE is the one that I use and love!
Adhesive: (wet, dry, or both, whatever your preference is) My prefered Wet Adhesive Currently is THIS ONE by Nuvo and for dry adhesives I am liking THIS one by Tombow since my old favorite has been discontinued. For a very strong dry adhesive I love THIS tape, and it comes in lots of different widths. It is great for applying glitter and foil to as well.
Coloring Medium(s) of choice: (paints, colored pencils, water-soluble crayons, markers, etc…) Right now my color mediums of choice are my Daniel Smith Watercolors, THESE pearlescent watercolors from Prima, These Water Soluble permanent-when-dry pencils by Derwent, and my Zig Clean Color real Brush Markers that you can find HERE. all of these are available in various packages and some even come singularly.
Stamps: (clear, rubber, digital stamps work great too) Some of my current Favorites are by Honey Bee Stamps (especially the Sentiment builders), Lawn Fawn, Penny Black, Concord and 9th, Stamping Bella, Neat and Tangled, and the Creative Worship line of stamps by Sweet n’ Sassy Stamps.
Black ink pad: (and other colors if you wish) My favorite is THIS black ink pad for crisp lines which is also waterproof when dry. For copic coloring or any alcohol based ink I like using THIS particular Hero Arts ink pad. For colored ink I really love the distress inks and especially the Distress Oxide ink pads. There is a great deal HERE If you are looking for them.
Die cuts: (Ephemera, Die cut packs, Digital cut apart, Die cuts you cut from your Cricut or Silhouette) I love the die cut packs from Illustrated Faith and Bella Blvd., Doodlebug is another company I buy ephemera or die cuts from often.
Embellishments: sequins, enamel dots, Stickles or Nuvo drops, Ribbon/Twine, Glitter, washi tape, etc… I also Love my Glitter brush pen that you can find HERE.
So you got your supplies all set, now what?
Some people are choosing to swap addresses with their online friends and do the 30 day challenge that way, some are randomly sending out happy mail to various people they know, Some are sending cards to friends and family. You don’t have to know who you are sending to for the whole challenge, Like Shanna said, you could decide that day who you’re sending to or you can make a list one week at a time if that works better for you. The HOW you approach this challenge is whatever works for YOU, and the great thing is, you can figure that out as you go along the 30 days, or you can plan it all out now. That being said I will go ahead and share my ideas and plans for my 30 Days of sending HAPPY MAIL!
Every day I will be sending out some kind of Happy mail to someone. (basic idea, right? right! but read on!)
Some days it will be a handmade card that I have already made, or will make that will be going to friends, family, or even people like my mailman, or the grocery store clerk that always seems to remember my name, Maybe even my favorite barista at Starbucks (who does not get enough credit for making my coffee PERFECT every time!) I really like the idea of surprising people who go about doing their jobs but don’t just do their job, they do it with a smile, detail, pride, and kindness… that should be acknowledged more I think, Even if it’s just a card saying, Hey! I think you are AWESOME!
I might also sent some postcards. Like THESE postcards from the Illustrated Faith Collection. You can even embellish those premade postcards or you can make your own postcards! See my post HERE where I show ideas for making your own postcards. How nice to make the people who handle your card along its journey, smile as it travels to its destination. If you’re sending a traditional card, you can decorate your envelope as well. It may even encourage some one that sees your happy mail to send some happy mail of their own!
I love giving little unexpected gifts so some of my happy mail will include some DIY gifts that are fun to make and fun to send to some unsuspecting friends or family! Care packages are always a great surprise and can really make someone’s day.
A few cards of mine will make their way to some people I do not know personally, but who I am aware are struggling with something, They need to know they are loved and are being prayed for.
And maybe along the way there will be mini cards left on a windshield, in with a bill that has to be paid, or handed to a mom who looks like she’s had a rough day, a simple card with a note of encouragement. I definitely think little acts of Card Kindness can be apart of this challenge, Not everything has to have a stamp on it. You may also consider writing your message on a removable paper inside the card with another note that encourages the recipient to write their own message inside and send to someone they want to encourage! Simon Says Stamp actually sells THIS post-it style pad just for that reason! Look for a post coming soon that has directions on how to create your own!
At the end of the month I want to know that I made 30+ people smile, feel special, be encouraged, and know THEY MATTER enough that I will take the time to create and send them (or hand deliver) a paper hug!
I do plan on documenting my Happy Mail Month on my blog as well as social media. Sometime during the month I might just do a video as well. Make sure to subscribe to my blog for updates or follow me on Instagram ( @taniesa ) where I will update as well!
SO How about you? Want to jump into the challenge with me? You don’t need anything fancy, Just use what you got, grab some stamps if you need to, and send some love for 30 days (and if you can only commit to a week, then that is ok, make it your 7 days of happy mail challenge!) I think that in the end, the person it will benefit the most, is really those of us doing the sending!
The fun starts Tomorrow , July 1st and wraps up on the 30th (but if you want to be the overachiever and go to the 31st, then you go, girl! I will cheer you on and may even do that extra day with you!)
As a special bonus I am going to do a random giveaway to one of my readers that participates in the Illustrated Faith 30 day Happy Mail Challenge too! A bundle of new paper crafting items that will be useful no matter what type of papercrafter you are….a Scrapbooker, Bible / Art Journaler, Cardmaker, Planner girl, or any other artistic papercrafter, There will be things in this bundle anyone would be able to use and enjoy! There was no way to photograph EVERYTHING but there will be stamps and dies, washi tape, stickers, ink, embossing powder, embossing folder, roller stamp, sequins, and so much more stuffed into a large padded envelope! This giveaway is open to anyone (Yes even international!)
If you are participating in the challenge and you want to be entered to win my giveaway, Link up one of your cards between July 1 and July 31st using the blue Link up button below and on August 1 I will randomly draw someone to win! *Edited to note that you may link up as many times/projects as you would like during the challenge duration! I hope that it will add even more inspiration to others participating in the project.*
Stay tuned for more ideas for this happy mail challenge as well as what I am doing for my 30 days of Happy Mail!
Until then! Have a fantastic weekend!!!
*All supplies mentioned are linked within the blog post are in BOLD font. To enter TheCraftyPickle Happy Mail giveaway click the blue button below and link up one of your cards that is for the 30 Day Happy Mail Challenge hosted by Illustrated Faith.
How to add your project to the link-up : Click the blue button with the frog below. Add the URL link to where your project is located (blog, Instagram, Flickr, other) add the required info and enter! You should see the photo of your project below. I created a Flickr group for those of you that don’t have a blog or don’t want to blog but you do want to upload your projects and share. You can find that group HERE! If you have any problems or questions please leave a comment in this post or email me at Taniesa@thecraftypickle.com.