Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The Art of Writing Letters

There's something to be said for the art of letter writing. I've always been a huge fan of it. I resisted for a long time when email was born. I wrote letters to my faraway friends: my neighbourhood friend that had moved to Malaysia, and my oldest friend in Calgary.

I went treeplanting one summer, and my only means of communication was letter writing. I think it added to the rustic experience of being out in the bush. It was always really exciting to hear that I had received a letter, and I looked so forward to writing them as well.

Having moved around so much, and with all my friends so scattered, I still write them letters. It's such a nice feeling to actually take the time, and write someone something. Something more than a status update on twitter, or a quick post on someone's Facebook wall.

I love sending little bits of surprises in my letters as well: fun stickers, rad pins, cute pictures, little crocheted flowers or hearts! I love adding that bit of extra care that comes with sending a letter. It's truly become an art, even if it isn't the primary means for communication any more.

I write my letters usually all at once, and about once every few months. I belong to Postcrossing as well, which is a network of postcard senders. You get assigned someone to send a postcard to, and you send it! And you receive postcards from others! From all over the world! It's an awesome glimpse into other people's lives.

Bonus points: Business cards as address labels!
I also love making my own envelopes and postcards! These babies were made out of a few maps from Montreal, when Luke and I took a trip there last year. I've also used old calendars as well, for both postcards and envelopes. I love using re-purposed materials for my crafts- it closes the cycle, because you're not just making stuff for the sake of making stuff.

For more awesome stationary inspiration, check out Marmalime's shop on etsy. I've bought several amazing things from her (ahem, luggage tags!!) and I just love what she's doing.

Do you write letters? Do you have a penpal?

Monday, March 5, 2012

To my twelve year old self

Have you ever wondered about what your twelve year old self would think of you now?

Twelve year old Thalia was a really cool chick: she didn't care what anyone else thought, and just did what she did. She wore her hair in little braids for months and wore the same pair of tie dyed shorts far too often. She went through a phase of wearing an outfit of the same colour each day. She was deeply self conscious, but not with her outfits. She played wallball at recess when everyone else played four square. She collected postcards. She created a cubby out of her clothes closet, and spent many afternoons memorizing songs by the Beatles and John Lennon. She was obsessed with tigers, and made a Tyger club (spelled the way William Blake spelled 'tiger') with her friends. She couldn't get enough of Archie Comics. Her favorite colour was orange, and she wore an orange shirt to school every Friday. She dismantled dollar store disco balls and made them into awesome frames. She hot glue-gunned things to other things. Her favorite store was a craft emporium. She made her first quilt in an after school club. She knitted. She was (and still is!!) attracted to all things shiny, bright and sparkly.

It's interesting looking back on your childhood and thinking about all of the things that make you you. Twelve year old me shaped who I am today, and I really appreciate her for it.


Saturday, March 3, 2012

Pet Sounds

I'm just going to come out and say this: I love the Beach Boys! I remember being deeply obsessed with the song Kokomo in grade 4, when everyone else was obsessing over...The Spice Girls? I'm not sure, I was in my own world of sixties music and tie dyed shorts.

Pet Sounds keeps winning Best Albums of Ever titles, and it's no wonder. It's the best combination of sad yet hopeful lyrics with happy music, and I always get this weird mixture of  happiness and longing when I listen to it. It's one of those albums where all the songs flow together, and I still can't pick out a favourite. The entire album is amazing.

The Beatles' album, Rubber Soul, had a great influence on Brian Wilson. Rubber Soul also flows together really well, and Brian Wilson wanted to write an album that had the same flow, with all of the songs being awesome. He accomplished that with Pet Sounds, which in turn influenced The Beatles again with Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. Thanks, Wikipedia!

If I really had to pick a favourite, it would be this song:


I've said that I want all songs ever to sound like this album, and I'm only partially kidding. I had tears in my eyes when I found out that J Dilla put out an album called "Pet Sounds: In the Key of Dee". Here's my favourite song, redone by J Dilla:


This album for me is one of those things that you love so much, that you want to keep listening to it/eating it/wearing it all the time but fear that you'll eventually get sick of it and swear off of it forever. Like how I swore off my rad tie dyed shorts (okay, I wore them out).

Have you been obsessing over anything as of late? What do you think of this album?