• 9 Inspiring Pieces of Happy Mail

    In today’s article, I’m sharing my collection of “happy mail”. These are all pieces that I’ve received from talented artists and calligraphers across the world! I feel inspired every time I look at these works of art, and I hope that you enjoy them, too.

    9 Inspiring Pieces of Happy Mail

    Throughout the years, I’ve received quite a bit of “happy mail”: lovely envelopes that make me do a double-take. In looking through my happy mail box the other day, I realized that I’ve got some real treasures! Today, I’d like to showcase some of the gorgeous stuff that I’ve received from others. I hope that you find as much inspiration in this collection as I do!

    1. Holiday Goodies Happy Mail

    These lovely holiday goodies from calligrapher Maureen Vickery (Pen Dance Studio) welcomed 2019 with playfulness and joy! I love Maureen’s style because she’s not afraid to switch from traditional to playful and back again. That shows a confidence that makes her work especially magnetic.

    Assorted Goodies from Maureen Vickery
    I’m guessing that Maureen used Bleed Proof White ink to write on the red and green papers. The flourished pig was scanned and reprinted in bulk on heavy white cardstock.

    2. “Truck Art” Mail Art

    Tülin Khalid introduced me to the fabulous world of Pakistani truck art with this envelope! Like this piece of mail, truck art is eye-catching and features vibrant colors. I love the contrast between the playful peacock and the intricate, serious postage stamps.

    "Truck Art" Mail Art by Tülin Khalid
    I believe that Tülin used gouache to paint this opaque peacock.

    3. Holiday Tree Card

    Lori C. in Fresno, CA, sent this glittery and delightful holiday card a few Christmases ago. The thick gold branches and holly leaves/berries make the piece come to life! Every time I look at this tree, I wish the holidays would come sooner so I can have an excuse to make something similar (though I suppose it’s never too early to start making holiday mail).

    I suspect that Lori used Finetec Arabic Gold to write my address/paint the branches. Then, she used colors from the Pearl Colors palette to draw the holly!

    4. Dramatic Envelope

    You might not be able to tell from the picture, but this envelope from Molly Suber Thorpe is BIG! She decided to match up the size of the envelope with large, sweeping calligraphy. I believe that most downstrokes were reinforced at least twice to help the calligraphy stand out on such a large surface!

    Envelope by Molly Suber Thorpe | The Postman's Knock
    Knowing Molly’s preferences, the ink she used here is probably Bleed Proof White. I’d be surprised if she didn’t use a Brause Rose nib to achieve that gorgeous, big stroke contrast.

    5. Bold Envelope

    TPK reader Véronique G. pulled inspiration from Dinara Mirtalipova‘s whimsical motifs to make this simple but bold envelope. My very favorite part of this envelope is the “PAR AVION” in the bottom left corner. Those postage stamps are also marvelous!

    Fabulous TPK Reader Snail Mail Creations
    Judging by the vibrancy of these colors, Véronique used colored inks to create the flowers and leaves shown here.

    6. Etegami

    Etegami is the Japanese tradition of sketching simple, everyday objects and sending them as a postcard. TPK reader Liz N. introduced me to this concept with a lively pomegranate-themed piece! I have yet to send my own etegami, but can’t wait to give it a go when I have a moment. (I’d probably choose to draw an avocado … because who doesn’t love an avocado?)

    Fabulous TPK Reader Snail Mail Creations
    Liz made this postcard from a 4″x6″ piece of 140 lb. watercolor paper.

    7. Fox & Quills Happy Mail

    In 2015, I ordered a pair of beautiful Italian paper scissors from Fox & Quills. I still use the scissors to this day, and I’ll never forget the package they came in because it had such a lovely presentation! Owner Suzie had taken the time to write out my name in large, lovely letters — which was a finishing touch that I really appreciated.

    Mail Art from Suzie of Fox & Quills
    I was lucky enough to meet Suzie in person in 2016 when I taught a calligraphy workshop at her shop — Fig and Twig (now closed) — in Berkeley. Her attention to detail is absolutely astounding!

    7. Macaluso Mail

    I remember when I first came across Phyllis Macaluso’s work on Instagram. I fell in love with her delicate florals and lovely script! Now, I’ve been lucky enough to be the recipient of “Macaluso mail” several times over. I treasure every single piece.

    Macaluso Mail
    The TPK website is lucky enough to host a couple of tutorials written by Phyllis Macaluso. Phyllis is already gearing up to write one for Halloween, too!

    8. Precious Delight Calligraphy Art

    Kate Watson of Olive & Reid sent me this calligraphy art back in 2015 or so. If I’m remembering correctly, it was one of her very first pieces … and it was one of the first pieces I ever received from a reader in the mail. It’s still on display on my wall!

    Precious Delight Calligraphy Quote Art by Kate of Olive & Reid
    The motif in this TPK tutorial inspired Kate to make this lovely art.

    9. The TPK Haunted Mansion

    Though this haunted mansion doesn’t look like any of the other pieces on this list, I had to include it! It came in the mail from reader Jami H. as a lovely little Halloween surprise last year. She even included a battery-operated flickering candle to up the spooky factor! The candle is long out of batteries, but the mansion lives on and will make an appearance in my living room again this October.

    The TPK Haunted Mansion! | The Postman's Knock
    I think this is just fabulous!

    There are other pieces of happy mail that I’m sure have slipped through the cracks here. I still haven’t found a fantastic way to organize all of my cool snail mail, unfortunately! Despite the incomplete collection, there’s still quite a bit of inspiration to be drawn from the pieces showcased in this article, and I hope you enjoyed taking a look at them! Thanks very much for reading, and write on. 🙂


    Lindsey's Signature | The Postman's Knock