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MY FIRST POSTCARD FROM POSTCROSSING

I signed up for Postcrossing back in April during National Letter Writing Month and I just got my first postcard through it!

The premise of Postcrossing is: you send a postcard and receive one back from someone in the Postcrossing community. The recipients are all randomly assigned and I love connecting with a stranger in this way, not knowing when you will get a postcard, who has sent you one, or where it’s coming from!

Each postcard is given a unique ID that you write on it so that the recipients can log it in and Postcrossing can keep track of all the postcards that have been a part of this project. It also allows you to send a note to the sender to thank them and view their profile to learn a little bit more about them.

It’s easy to join and so much fun to participate–especially if you love receiving snail mail! I hope you will join in on it!

Here’s a look at my first postcard from Aya in Japan:

Postcrossing Postcard
Postcrossing Postcard

I love the beautiful postcard Aya sent me! The meaning behind it is so lovely, her handwriting is so nice, and I love the stamps and stickers she added to it.

I can’t wait to send another postcard and see what ends up in my mailbox! :)


SOUTH COAST BOTANIC GARDENS

I had the BEST time with Valentine and Jenna on our girls day to South Coast Botanic Gardens! Thanks to my friend Sara, I found out that they have dog walking hours once a month so I could bring Valentine!

It’s pretty close to where I grew up and the last time I went was probably in high school on a field trip–it was SO much better than I remember it to be! Probably because I have more appreciation for it now lol.

I love how big the space was and how some parts felt like walking through the woods while others like a garden. Valentine had an AMAZING time and even met some doggy friends including the cutest corgi puppy! Our favorite part was probably when we came across a bunny who didn’t care 2 strangers and a dog were staring at them lol. They just went along their business–grooming, dozing off, and even eating a leaf! It was so cute :)

Here are more photos. If you plan on being in the area or are looking for a dog friendly activity, I highly recommend visiting these gardens!

PS: The next dog walking hours day is June 27th!

PPS: Can you find the bunny we met in one of the photos below?

South Coast Botanic Garden May 2021
South Coast Botanic Garden May 2021
South Coast Botanic Garden May 2021
South Coast Botanic Garden May 2021
South Coast Botanic Garden May 2021
South Coast Botanic Garden May 2021
South Coast Botanic Garden May 2021
South Coast Botanic Garden May 2021
South Coast Botanic Garden May 2021
South Coast Botanic Garden May 2021
South Coast Botanic Garden May 2021
South Coast Botanic Garden May 2021
South Coast Botanic Garden May 2021
South Coast Botanic Garden May 2021
South Coast Botanic Garden May 2021
South Coast Botanic Garden May 2021
South Coast Botanic Garden May 2021
South Coast Botanic Garden May 2021
South Coast Botanic Garden May 2021
South Coast Botanic Garden May 2021
South Coast Botanic Garden May 2021South Coast Botanic Garden May 2021

DIY THANK YOU BOUQUET

DIY Thank You Bouquet Atiliay.com

I made this DIY thank you bouquet for a kind neighbor and wanted to share since it’s quick, easy, and perfect for all kinds of thank yous and celebrations! You can use this for Teacher Appreciation Week, Mother’s Day, birthdays, and so much more.

All you need is:

  • A bouquet of flowers of your choice–I LOVE seeing what Trader Joe’s has available! They are always so beautiful and affordable! I picked up this lovely bunch of ranunculus.
  • Kraft paper
  • Sharpie or Crayola Marker
  • Scissors
  • Wooden clip / gift card / greeting card (optional)

I created the calligraphy kraft paper first using this DIY Calligraphy Wrapping Paper Tutorial. It includes all the materials you’ll need and step by step instructions. I wrote “thank you” on my paper but you can use whatever phrase or message you’d like.

Then I referred to this post on Inheritco.com which taught me how to wrap the bouquet in paper–the photos make it really easy to follow along! (I tied the flowers with string first to keep it all together.)

The last step was to attach the gift card to the bouquet with a wooden clip. You can skip this step or attach a mini card or gift tag instead.

And that’s it–it’s ready to gift to your recipient!

I hope this DIY Thank You Bouquet gives you an easy, quick, and sweet way to show your gratitude and appreciation!

DIY Thank You Bouquet Atiliay.com

30 SNAIL MAIL IDEAS TO TRY FOR NATIONAL CARD + LETTER WRITING MONTH

Snail Mail Ideas by Atiliay.com

April is National Card and Lettering Writing Month! This is the perfect time to connect with friends and family and share the simple yet impactful joy of snail mail. It’s such a fun and easy way to brighten up someone’s day–I don’t know about you but I totally appreciate mail that isn’t a bill or junk :) Here is a list I put together of 30 snail mail ideas for you to try out (and a few tips)–they range from topic ideas to a global postcard project and more! I hope they inspire you to send a card or letter (or lots of cards and letters!) this month. Happy snail mailing!

30 SNAIL MAIL IDEAS TO TRY

1. Get to know someone better by asking them 10 questions.

I think there’s something extra special about reading answers to questions vs a spoken conversation–you can really pay attention to them, re-read them, and think about them. It’s also a special piece of someone you get to keep in letter form. Not sure what to ask? Find some ideas here: Fun Questions To Ask, 200 (Not Boring) Questions To Ask To Get To Know Someone, 36 Questions To Fall In Love (I don’t think these questions have to be just for falling in love!), We’re Not Really Strangers Instagram.

2. Share a word and its definition.

It could be a word from another language you speak (I think it’s really interesting to learn words that don’t exist in your native language!), a word you love the sound of, a word you love the meaning of, a new one you recently learned.

3. Let someone know you are rooting for them and cheering them on!

4. Share a smile.

Send a postcard and fill it with things that have made you smile recently–ask your recipient to send you the same! I have been doing this with my friend and pen pal Andrea and it’s something I always look forward to reading–everything she shares and imagining her reaction makes me smile too!

5. Don’t forget the envelope.

Get creative and decorate the envelope to make it stand out and even more fun to receive! Add washi tape, stickers, use rubber stamps, get creative with your lettering. And don’t forget the back of the envelope! For ideas check out my friend Andrea’s Instagram and look for snail mail and envelope decorating hashtags too.

You can also make your own envelope as well, using magazine or catalog pages, brown paper grocery bags, scrapbook paper, and more! I am including a template for A1 and A2 envelopes in an email to my newsletter subscribers!

One last envelope idea is to pick a food, color, movie, animal, or theme your recipient would really enjoy–use that to make the envelope special!

Snail Mail by Atiliay.com

6. Send a sweet treat.

I recommend Maya’s Cookies (they are delicious and all vegan plus gluten free options are available!), Karma Baker (another yummy vegan bakery), and Old Time Candy for some retro and nostalgic treats!

7. Write for good:

Folks in the service, a nursing home, a children’s hospital. There are also organizations who coordinate mail for people who would like them such as More Love Letters.

8. Make someone laugh.

Share the last thing you found hilarious, a meme, a joke, a situation you were in, describe in detail a video you just watched or include the link.

9. Tell someone you are proud of them–

And why.

10. Participate in Postcrossing.

Send a postcard and receive a postcard through Postcrossing –it’s such a great idea!

Snail Mail by Atiliay.com

11. Write to yourself.

Seal it up and open it a year from now (I send out a letter to self template at the end of every month–just sign up for my newsletter to receive it!)

12. Send your favorite piece of stationery or greeting card for your recipient to use.

Leave it blank/in its original packaging. This is a good one for us stationery hoarders :)

13. Share a list of your 10 favorite songs.

Extra points for making and adding a link to a playlist at the end of your list! (Does anyone remember mix CDs or better yet mix cassette tapes!?)

14. If you could go anywhere in the world, where would it be?

Send a letter there!

15. Send a note just to say hello!

Snail Mail by Atiliay.com

16. Make it a game.

Turn your letter into a puzzle by cutting it up into pieces, send a quiz or word search, create a crossword puzzle or trivia questions, etc.

17. Send a photograph.

18. Write to a stranger.

Write your favorite uplifting quote and leave it in a public place for a stranger to find.

19. Send mail to the person who lives the furthest away from you.

20. Write to someone under the age of 10.

And don’t forget to ask them to write back–it’ll be one of the best letters you ever receive!

Snail mail fun Atiliay.com

21. Say thank you.

22. List 5 things you love about your recipient.

Here’s a postcard I made that can help you do that :)

23. Encourage snail mailing.

Include an envelope and postage so that your recipient can send a letter of their own.

24. Fold it up.

Incorporate paper folding into your snail mail: here are some ideas from Pinterest, easy origami to try, or see if you remember the ways you used to fold notes back in high school (if you are old enough to have had to write notes then because texting, DMs, and emails didn’t exist yet lol :))

25. Send a secret.

Send a secret (anonymously) to Post Secret. It’s an amazing project, blog, and book series. These are real secrets from real people–some are serious, some are funny, some have truly touched me, some made me cry, and some have made me smile.

Snail Mail Ideas and Tips Atiliay.com

26. Write a letter that you will never mail.

It can be to yourself or to someone. Never sending it may seem counter productive but it can be cathartic to get your thoughts on paper, identify your feelings, help you process it, and maybe bring you some closure.

27. Send a poem, your favorite passage from a book, a line from an article, or another form of the written word.

Send something that really resonated with you that you feel the recipient may enjoy or relate to as well.

28. Share your favorite memory of your recipient.

It can be an experience you shared together, the first time you met, something that always reminds them of you.

29. Tell someone you appreciate them–

and why. You can never say it enough.

30. Send a book.

Instruct the recipient to send it to someone else after they finish reading it.

Snail Mail Ideas and Tips Atiliay.com

A FEW SNAIL MAILING TIPS

  • Gather all your supplies and put them in a basket! It’ll make it easier to access the entire month and easy to clean up.
  • Need cards, postcards, or stationery? I got you covered! :) I also love searching on Etsy for local artists, illustrators, and card makers to support and buy snail mail supplies from.
  • Remember to leave room on your envelope for stamps. If I am lettering on an envelope, I always pencil in the box where the stamp(s) will go.
  • If mailing anything thick, heavy, or non-bendable, be sure to include the correct amount of postage.
  • You can purchase stamps at usps.com, they have some really beautiful designs.
  • Double check the recipient’s address!
  • If using fancy fonts, I recommend lettering in pencil first to avoid any errors. Be sure to let the ink COMPLETELY dry before erasing to avoid smearing!
  • To make sure addresses are clear and legible, I like to write the recipients name in calligraphy/cursive but print the address. 
  • If you are posting envelopes on social media, be sure that the address is not visible! Take a photo before adding the address or use something to cover it up, blur it out, or remove it.
Snail Mail by Atiliay.com

THE 100 DAY PROJECT 2021 | MEDITATE + PAINT | DAY 50!

100 Day Project - Meditate + Paint - Atiliay.com
100 Day Project - Meditate + Paint - Atiliay.com

We are at the halfway point of The 100 Day Project! Today is day 50! It’s crazy to see what the canvas looked like on day 1 and what it looks like now–and imagining what the next 50 days will add to it!

If you’re curious or would like to see more, I’ve been posting each day’s stroke on my personal Instagram. You can also find video and more details in my stories highlights too! You can also click here to read a post about the project and my personal project, here’s the first 3 days, and here’s a recap of days 1-10.

Adding reading, meditation, and painting to my routine has been a wonderful way to start each day–it’s exactly what I need, especially now with everything happening in this world. It gives me time to be quiet, calm, and peaceful. It has also been such a big lesson in letting go, embracing the unexpected (literally none of the strokes have turned out how I thought they would lol), and letting things unfold.

I have absolutely NO idea what the next 50 days will hold, but I am so excited to see what will happen next!


ART & FOUND DAY 2021

Art and Found Day 2021
Art and Found Day 2021

WHAT IS ART & FOUND DAY?

Art & Found Day was created by artist Courtney Senior and the premise is to bring joy and creativity into our communities by leaving an original piece of artwork in a public place for somebody to find. I love everything about this and knew I had to participate!

The first ever International Art & Found Day happened on March 12th, 2021! I launched the Connect I Collection that day and thought joining in on A&FD would be an awesome way to celebrate and share!

So I decided to take canvas #7, wrap it up, and give it away. Here’s a little more about my experience and what happened to the piece of art I left :)

ART

Art and Found Day 2021

After debating on a few places, I decided to leave my canvas somewhere in Redondo Beach! It’s one of my favorite places to take Valentine and I thought I would be able to find a spot somewhere between Miramar Park and Ave H. It’s a little tricky because there are lots of joggers, people out walking their dogs, surfers, etc. in that area and I didn’t want to get caught in the act! But we finally found a bench overlooking the beach in a less crowded area of the park:

Art and Found Day 2021
Art and Found Day 2021

After waiting for a few people to pass by, I left the package, snapped a pic, and got outta there! lol So it’s not the best photo but that’s OK :) Valentine and I left the scene and didn’t look back.

After that, it was just waiting to see if I’d find out what happened to this art I left on the bench! I wasn’t sure if I would get a response, when it’d get picked up, or if anyone would pick it up!

…AND FOUND!

Lucky for me I didn’t have to wait too long! I got a notification for an email with the title “Connect”. This is what it said:

I felt happy, excited, curious, amazed, and EXCITED as I read this email! It’s just so crazy to think of all the things that had to happen on my end and on Randy’s end for this canvas to end up in front of him at that exact place and moment when he was taking his walk.

This whole thing felt very magical! It feels like a huge sign and validation from the universe to continue with my art, that I am on the right path.

Randy was very kind to have reached out and sent me photos! I found out that not only does he manage all types of artists from photographers to actors, but he is also an entrepreneur, owned his own business, consultant and dedicates his time to different causes and the arts! What are the chances that this was the person to have found my canvas?? Since then we have exchanged a few emails and connected on social media.

Art and Found Day 2021

UNTIL NEXT YEAR

I thought A&FD would be fun, but this whole experience surpassed my expectations! It was even better than I could have imagined! Thank you Courtney for organizing this event and all her hard work putting it together as well ass sharing everyone’s posts! Here’s a picture of Courtney and her pieces of art that she left:

It was SO much fun to check out the the Art & Found Instagram and see all the art drops and reactions in the stories! 478 artists across 33 countries participated which is so amazing!

I can’t wait for next year and really hope that if you are a creator or maker, that you join in next time as well!