Sunday, June 16, 2013

Fun and Educational.......

Lately, as you probably know, I have had a passion for fun mail.  I have sent many envelopes, but a few weeks ago, I got my best idea yet!!!  You see, my family has always had a love of books.  From little on, we read to our kids, and as they grow they continue to love their own books.  As an adult, I even have my own collection of children's books!  (I'm thinking sometimes it might be the darling drawings in them which attracted me to them in the first place though.  lol)

I have a great niece who turned 5 in February.  Her mom is a former K-3 teacher who has taught Audrey to read.  I was amazed when I heard her read a few weeks ago and she hasn't even stepped into kindergarten yet.  

This whole idea started when I decorated and sent my niece a decorated envelope for her birthday.  When I saw Audrey (her daughter), she asked if I would make a cool envelope for her.  Naturally, I said yes and sent her one within a day or two which she loved.  Then, I thought.......wouldn't it be cool to send Audrey an early reader book every week in a decorated envelope?  She would discover the joy of fun mail as well as getting quite a collection of books throughout the summer and really improve her reading skills in the process.  I threw the idea out to my niece and she loved it!

So, I went to town........took out my bunch of 6 1/2 x 9 1/2 white envelopes and started decorating.  Then, went to Target and Barnes and Noble for some cool and fun early readers.  (Amazon is also a source.)  Soon, I had quite a collection.  Here are just a few:


Some are easier than others, so I read them all to determine which was which so I could send the easiest ones first.  I'm sending the pre 1 ones first!  This week we are on #3.  Let me show you the envelopes so far.  My niece is not a girly-girl so you won't see any ballerinas in this group, let me warn you!

Audrey's Mail Art #1

Audrey's Easy Reader Envelope #2

Audrey's Easy Reader envelope #3

You'll note that I only have two "forever" stamps on most of the envelopes.  I did these prior to having one weighed.......so HAD TO ADD AN ADDITIONAL STAMP to each of my pre-made envelopes.  Most of the books (without anything more in the envelope) require $1.32 postage.......which is 3 - forever stamps.  (Just in case you want to do it too!)

Yesterday, I noticed that I only had four white 6 1/2 x 9 1/2 envelopes left so sent my hubby to the office supply store for more.  He came home later all proud telling me that the office supply store was no longer selling that size, but they located one box in the home office storeroom and it would be shipped to me this week.  When I asked him how much, he told me $55.  What??  Then, I asked him how many......and he said, "500".  YES, you read that right, folks............500!!!  E-gads!!!  So, my friends, IF you need any envelopes to do this with some youngster you love, you know where to get them.  Ah-huh!!!  You betcha!  You pay for shipping and I'll send you enough to supply YOU for all summer too!  If you need any ideas on easy ways to decorate them, e-mail me and we can talk.  You will be loved by your youngster............just like me!  From what I hear, Audrey is counting the days until the next book arrives.


25 comments:

Annie said...

These envies to her already are so cute! She must be ecstatic when they arrive in the mail. You can send me some of those gazillion envies when you get them.

Annie said...

Me again.....I bet you get some drawing ideas out of the book you are sending. They look like they have some awfully cute characters in them.

Colleen said...

I am laughing so hard over your husbands 'thriftiness"! BTW as an elementary librarian you picked some good books. I love Splat the Cat especially his first picture book. I also reccomend any of the Pete the Cat books. There are easy readers but the picture books are awesome! And author/entertainer Eric Litwin has audio recordings of each you can listen to for free that are priceless! You really should illustrate children's books, your drawings are perfect

Createology said...

Brilliant and Genius. What a wonderful Auntie you are!! I absolutely love your fun mail art envelopes. How sweet of your husband to get them for you and not even grouse. Draw on dear...

Mary on Lake Pulaski said...

What a sweet great aunt are you!!! I'm sure Audrey is thrilled!

whimziequiltz said...

Would you be interested in making some of your 500 envelopes decorated in sets (to sell)? We write our nieces and nephews every month and I'm always looking for cute stationery sets to send them. Fair warning, though - we write to 9 kids, so I'd need a lot!

Amy Friend said...

Oh, you will use all those envelopes soon enough! They are so much fun and the recipients must love them. We love Splat the Cat books here too! Good choice!

Sheila said...

Another brilliant idea to file away for the future.

Susan said...

Carol - I've been thinking for a while that you should just turn this into a mini business too - to get a variation on the "ladies", so maybe your hubby had considered this too and was just easing you in...and obviously someone else had the same idea!

Grammasheri said...

Such wonderful designs and ideas! I'd be waiting eagerly for the next installment, too!

beachiesews said...

That is beyond wonderful Carol! You might want to write and design your own book! I think you should!

Mary said...

What a wonderful idea for a child. The envelopes are wonderful as well!
You are so talented.

Dianne said...

OMG your envelopes are too cute for words!! Great idea with the readers too. Lucky little girl to have you for an aunty!

Sue said...

Great idea, you envelopes are so cute x

Cindy Sharp said...

What a brilliant idea. I can't wait until there are little ones in our family again.

patchouli moon studio said...

Carol those are the cutest envelopes I have ever seen! You should illustrate a children's book yourself! Really!!!

Michelle said...

That's such a creative, wonderful idea -- I love it! :-)

booboomac said...

You are so amazingly talented! You bring smiles to lots of faces with your drawings!

Beezus said...

I love everything about this idea. :)

As for the box of 500 envelopes … men just don't seem to know the basics sometimes! I'll never forget when I passed the torch over to my husband to start paying the bills. This meant that he had to order checks, and instead of asking me where I got them or how much I paid for them, he proudly got them himself. From the bank. In a BOOK, a 3-ring binder - you know, the ones that cost an arm and a leg, and are usually only used by businesses? I couldn't believe it! And you know what, years passed before we used them all, and then he ordered the AGAIN. This time to justify that binder, I think - he told me how much cheaper it was since he only had to get the checks that time. We will be using those checks for who knows how long, and they don't even have the correct address on them anymore. :)

I think your envelopes sound way more fun than these checks …. lol

Karen said...

Oh, what a wonderful idea, Carol! You are such a wonderful and creative Auntie. You know, Carol, Eric Carle (The Very Hungry Caterpillar, The Grouchy Ladybug, etc., etc.) has a line of fabric for a couple of his books. You could make a dress or capri set and send the book, too. So glad that you are having fun, dear friend!!

suz said...

what a wonderful idea! As she gets a bit bigger, look for books written by/illustrated by Steven Kellogg-The Day Jimmy's Boa Ate the Wash and Ralph's Secret Weapon are truly fun and his illustrations are fantastic.

Diana said...

Love your idea to decorate the envelop. I also love to send the grandkids fun things in the mail...Have sent a frisbee, ball, and helium balloon in a box. Just put the stamps right on the item. The kids love them. When they were here last they found the old Little Critter books...by mercer Mayer..They love them also.

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onlinephduk said...

That’s so sweet of you! I bet your niece loves you very much for being so supportive and concerned of her. Actually, I really love all the envelopes you have decorated. It’s really cool, colorful and vibrant. I think the idea is so clever and awesome. Hope to see more of your creatively designed envelopes. Ciao!

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vscharp said...

I obviously don't read your blog daily, but every so often, I need to 'catch up'. I LOVE your quilting, you photos of quilters, and your envelopes. You are one talented lady! I usually don't comment, I just 'stalk', but I just had to let you know how much I enjoy all your art. Do these ideas just come to you or where do you get your ideas. I am just blown away by your talent. And, I love this idea of books for your niece.
Your admirer from afar! Vicki
vscharp@qwestoffice.net