Wednesday, 27 February 2013

A Month of Letters

I know February isn't quite over yet, but I thought I'd give you an update on how I've been faring in the A Month of Letters challenge. I'll do a proper round-up post in a couple of days, but I really wanted to share some pictures and thoughts about the project now. Guys, it's been so so much fun! And I'm proud to report, that so far, I've sent a letter or card every day of the month!

When I first decided to take part in LetterMo, I printed off a calendar and highlighted all upcoming birthdays and holidays (Valentine's!). Then, I made a list of people I wanted to write to and soon realised that I needed to find some more in order to be able to send a piece of mail every day. I had a few pen pal projects in mind that I'd been wanting to try out for a while and I thought I'd tell you a bit more about them:

First up: Postcrossing. I've written about this postcard exchange project before here. With almost 400 000 members, it's probably the biggest pen pal site out there and it's free! I'm a big fan, because you can write as many cards as you want at any one time and for every card written you'll always receive one in return!

Next, I became a member of the Letter Writers Alliance which is an organisation dedicated to encouraging and promoting letter writing. They charge a tiny membership fee, but you become a member for life and can benefit from their free pen pal swap service. They also have a blog where you can download stationery and stay up-to-date with letter writing events.

Swap-bot is a platform for all kinds of swaps. It's popular with both collectors and crafters alike and I promise - whatever you're into - there will be a swap for you there. I initially checked out the site because they had an address swap for LetterMo participants, but seriously, I'm hooked! I've taken part in three swaps already and love the fact that you get in touch with people who have the same interests as you - and because you get rated - people put a lot of effort into the swaps.

Last, but not least, the Postcard Happiness Project which was initiated by Tatjana Buisson, who also invented the Postick, an adhesive label which you can stick on almost anything to transform it into a postcard (I think it's genious!) But anyway, every month, Tatjana posts a profile and address on the PHP website of someone who is going through a rough time and could do with a postcard to cheer them up. Isn't that sweet?

How about you? Did you participate in LetterMo? If yes, how has it been for you so far? Did you try out anything new for the challenge?

If you are interested you can follow along, or check out other people's mail on twitter (@lettermo)

Friday, 22 February 2013

A poem for the weekend

Porridge by Spike Milligan

Where is the monument
To Porridge in our land?
If it's good enough to eat,
It's good enough to stand!

On a plinth in London
A statue we should see
Of Porridge made in Scotland
Signed, "Oatmeal, O.B.E"
(By a young dog of three).
Porridge Pot Alley can be found in Guildford, UK

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Books of 2012

Do you remember my 4 goals challenge? I actually managed to read all the four books I wanted to read before the end of 2013. They were:

Brooklyn by Colm Toibin
A Little History of the World by E.H. Gombrich
Blogging for Creatives by Robin Houghton
Hearts and Minds by Amanda Craig

You can read my feedback on the first three books here. This is what I thought about Amanda Craig's 'Hearts and Minds':

Some books are so good you never want them to end and this was definitely one of those books for me. It tells the story of various people living in London: An Australian expat, a divorced Mum, an illegal immigrant, a young Ukrainian sex worker - not the kind of people who usually star in a story set in the glamorous British capital. In fact it's quite a dark account of what live in London can be like for the less fortunate and how immigration shapes modern day Britain. The book asks the question of what we owe each other and I liked that although dark, it has an optimistic ending.

I read quite a few more books over Christmas - my Mum works in printing, so our house in Germany is stacked with books. However, none of them was particularly spectacular. I did end 2012 with a bang though when I read The Hunger Games trilogy! Have you read the books or seen the film? I think they were tremendous!

These were my top 5 reads of 2012:

A Short History of the World
The Help
The Hunger Games Trilogy
Winter's Bones

What were yours and what are you reading at the moment?