Tuesday, 26 June 2012

A real message in a bottle?

As I live on the coast I thought it would be a cool idea to send a real message in a bottle to mark the success of this website :D

I will send a message in a bottle out each time we reach a milestone! 

2500 views
5000 views
10000 views
20000 views
40000 views
80000 views
160000 views 
etc.

I couldn't just send a boring message out though! Oh no, I want you to Email me a short message along with your first name and country and I shall print all the messages off and put them in the bottle to send :)

Want to take part? 

Email your message, along with your first name and country to: messagesfrombottles@gmail.com

Or if you would prefer, leave the message in the comments section below ^.^

Or you could even send it to our Tumblr page below \/ 

As always if there are any questions ask via one of the methods above or anonymously via our tumblr page: http://messagesfrombottles.tumblr.com/

I'll update you weekly on the amount of views we have so far!

Today's letters

Today I got letters from Iceland and the USA.

(Iceland Left, USA Right)

I love getting letters from my Icelandic pen pal, she always sends really cool things! She didn't send me a letter as such this time but instead she sent me loads of little things she had found.


I love receiving unusual things like this. Especially as I've never seen things like this before! She sent a letter with these things telling me what they all are. It includes a treasure map she and her friend made, a joker playing card and a temporary tattoo she found at an art gallery.

(Hræddur flýr þó enginn elti - Afraid flees although no one follows)





Monday, 25 June 2012

Kawaii Delivery

Today I got my letter sets that I ordered through the post from Japan! Woo!
(I have no idea what it says!)

I ordered a pack of magical world sticker flakes, a caramel time letter set, a doughnuts paradise letter set, a we love sweets letter set and a picot teddy letter set.


I was worried about ordering things from Japan because people have told me that if you order the cheap stuff you usually just get copies. I have no idea if these are copies but they look good to me! I'm not sure if it's because I live in the UK but I find it really hard to find cool paper anywhere. I actually found this stuff on eBay.com.

(Cute tape on the parcel)

If you find it hard to find cool paper as well I really recommend eBay.com. I live in the UK but I usually use the American site because there is a much larger range to choose from (and it's cheaper!). As long as you check that they deliver to your country, you can buy from eBay.com wherever you live.

(They even sent me a free cat eraser!)

My friend lives in the USA and she has a large collection of papers and stuff so she gave me the links to the websites she uses. So I thought I'd share them with you! I haven't used any of these so I can't personally recommend them yet, but I hopefully will use them in the near future! 


This is the eBay shop I got this stationary from! http://stores.ebay.co.uk/glenns2634?_trksid=p4340.l2563

Enjoy shopping! :)



Saturday, 23 June 2012

Wishes for the future...

Earlier today I was researching Snail Mail on the internet to find some cool facts for you guys. But, as always, I got distracted and started thinking about something totally different.

I started to think about the future and if I'd carry on doing Snail Mail. Then I started to think what other countries I would like to write to.

And that's when I thought, I wonder if its possible to write to children around the world who are living in poverty? I've always sent things to children in Europe who are living in poverty at Christmas, through the shoe box appeal, but is it possible to write to them on a more regular basis?

I have no idea if this is possible but I'd love to do it. I just think such a small thing can bring so much hope to children who currently have nothing and I'd love to be part of it.

So I wanted to ask if anyone knew if this was possible?

You can sponsor a child through www.worldvision.org and write to them that way. However I just don't have enough money to sponsor someone each month sadly.

I will keep searching to see if it is possible but any suggestions are greatly appreciated.

Thank you

www.operationchristmaschild.org.uk - More information about the shoebox appeal.

(The shoebox appeal)


Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Snail Mail for guys

So a few guys now have seen my blog and started being interested in Snail Mail! Thanks so much! However it's hard for guys to get into Snail Mail, especially with girls, as a lot of girls believe the guys want err... more than friendship.



So here's what I would recommend you do to get started!

Okay so to start with you need to find people to Snail Mail with! I (as always) recommend Interpals.net.

I find that usually I will message a girl and within about 2 messages we are exchanging addresses. However guys I recommend you talk to them first, trust is important to make friends with anyone and after all, you are giving your address to a random person you just met!

Another thing you could try is letting them write first. By doing this they will set the tone for the rest of the letters and pretty much tell you what's acceptable! It will also make it easier for you to write to them.

My last tip is simple. A lot of girls don't think guys are very reliable when it comes to sending letters quickly and there for avoid asking them to Snail Mail. So prove them wrong! If you are serious enough about it, anyone can be an amazing Pen Pal.

I hope that helps anyone who is looking to start Snail Mail. Thanks to the people who requested this! Keep your requests coming!



New post coming soon!

I haven't been able to post much the last few days as I have been revising for my final Textiles exam tomorrow.

Sorry!

Here's some pretty pictures from our Tumblr page!







Monday, 18 June 2012

Treasures from Thailand

A few months ago I received my first letter from Nampueng in Thailand. It was so exciting! I came home to find a large brown envelope with the most beautiful hand writing on it and instantly, I was reminded why I love Snail Mail so much.
(This beautiful stamp was the first thing I noticed)

(Such perfect handwriting)

She added in her letter a really pretty postcard, a photo of where she lives and an unusual figurine. I was really excited when I saw the figurine I had never seen anything quite like it! It really shows you that the littlest things can be the most enchanting.

(The little figurine Nampueng sent me)

Her handwriting took my breath away. I had never seen anything so perfect in my life (and I consider my hand writing to be pretty good). I was so jealous! Considering the Thai language is made up of a totally different letter format to the English I was extremely impressed.

(Wow)

I also loved her Lilo and Stitch paper! It was interesting to see how someone from such a different culture can share the same interests as someone in the UK. 

(Nampuengs letter)

I can't wait to receive more letters from Thailand in the future! Thank you so much Nampueng :)






Sunday, 17 June 2012

Competition time!

Yes you read it right! I'm starting a competition on this very blog!

How would you like to be the designer of the very first logo for Messages From Bottles?

Well now you can!

Here are the details:

The competition is to design a logo for this blog and everything associated with it (Tumblr etc.). It can look however you want it to and the more creative the better! You can draw it by hand, take a photo, make it on photoshop or even use ms paint! The point is it's totally up to you!

The deadline is 18/07/2012 so you have a whole month to perfect your beautiful logo. (If by the deadline I haven't got many (or any) entries I will extend it until a time when I have at least 5 to choose from)

How does one submit an entry? It's simple! Just Email your entry to messagesfrombottles@gmail.com in the form of a photo or a link.


I hope I added everything! As always if you have any queries or questions feel free to leave a comment below or, if you would rather, send it to messagesfrombottles@gmail.com.


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Messages From Bottles has joined Tumblr!

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Snail Mail for beginners

After starting this blog a few days ago, I have received a lot of questions from people who have never really considered Snail Mail before and are now interested. It's an amazing response and exactly what I hoped would come from this blog so thank you so much for that.

So to help all of you who don't really know where to start here are some tips.

Once you have decided you are interested in Snail Mail there are a few things that you need to consider. First of all if you are under 16 I highly recommend you ask your parents first. You are giving your address out to people who are almost complete strangers and it's always best to get them on side.

Secondly you need to consider the costs. Snail Mail is a fairly cheap hobby compared to other activities however, it does have a lot of hidden costs. Decide how many Pen Pals you would like based on how much you are willing to spend bearing in mind the average letter costs about £1 to send air mail ( 1.10 euro or $1.10).

Thirdly sign up to a reliable website. I use http://www.interpals.net and I highly recommend it. I wouldn't go anywhere else! Also in this step you should decide if you want to incorporate a language exchange. If you speak a second language it's really helpful to write letters in your second language, to a native, to build confidence in the language.

Fourthly contact people from the country you wish to write to. If you use interpals it will tell you if that person is interested in Snail Mail or not. Because you haven't Snail Mailed before people may want to talk to you a bit before they give you their address to make sure you are who you say you are.

Fifthly, here's the fun part! Either write to your new Pen Pal or wait for the letter! When you are waiting for your first letter it does feel like every second is an hour long, but never fear it will arrive before you know it!

Finally, when you receive your first letter reply back promptly! The best Pen Pals are the ones that reply quickly and are never boring so keep that in mind. Don't feel pressurised to write back that day though nothing is compulsory!

I hope these steps help! If anyone one has any further questions please feel free to leave a comment here or email your comment to messagesfrombottles@gmail.com and I shall reply as soon as possible! 

Jessica xx

American Tea Challenge with Rachel!

I know what your thinking, I thought tea was English :O Well I guess that's not always the case.

A couple of weeks ago a new Pen Pal of mine (Rachel) sent me a few packets of tea from the USA. So I thought, I'd share my american tea experience on here. I couldn't just make it boring though, definitely not, so I decided to make it into an American Tea Challenge! I can already feel the excitement ;)
(Sugar Free Crystal Light On The Go Lemonade Tea)

So here's the tea. While I was making it I couldn't help but think that it reminded me of something else. If you are from the UK you will know what I'm talking about. Lemsip cold and flu drinks. I assure you that even though this looks like the exact same stuff, it doesn't taste like it... I promise.
(While waiting for the tea to cool I admired Rachels beautiful envelope)

I found the tea very sweet and artificial (I guess I'm just very used to the bland stuff we drink here!). I'm not sure if made the tea right either! All the instructions were in fluid ounces and well I'm more of a litres kind of girl. None the less! The tea was really quite interesting and very refreshing, so I decided it was worth about a score of 3 out of 5.
Thank you Rachel for the lovely tea! 
Find her on interpals: http://www.interpals.net/MekaKawaii
And check out her blog (it has music and everything!): http://snailmai.blogspot.co.uk/

Jessica xx

Saturday, 16 June 2012

Subscribe?

Would you like Email updates on the blog and all the latest gossip?

Well send and Email saying "Subscribe" to messagesfrombottles@gmail.com and all your wishes will come true!

Thanks for your support :)

Jessica xx

My first Pen-Pal

My first Pen-Pal was a girl called Charla from the USA. She still writes to me now. Charla's personality is as vibrant as her paper and her letters are never boring. I love the way she sends me something random every letter, even if it is a can top, it still makes the letter far more interesting. It takes about a week to send and receive letters from the USA, so we haven't sent many letters of yet, but hopefully there will be many more in the future!

Charla's can top taking pride of place on my Pen Pal wall.

Check Charla out here! http://www.interpals.net/chubsters95

Jessica xx

Friday, 15 June 2012

Snail Mail and exams

Now is the season of exams and I've personally found it really hard to keep up with letters, while revising for exams and going to school on an irregular time table. As a lot of snail mailers are people my own age, who go through the same thing. So I thought I would give some tips that I found useful to keep up with letters during this stressful time.

Here they are:

  1. Contact your pen pals -  Tell them that you are very busy at the moment and that your letter may be slightly delayed. They really wont mind and it gives them peace of mind knowing you haven't just forgotten them.
  2. Prioritise - Yes keeping contact and writing letters regularly is important for keeping a good relation with your pen pal, but its not the be all and end all. Getting your exams right is the most important thing at the moment. Don't forget that after summer exams comes a long summer where you can write letters as frequently as you wish.
  3. Shorten your letters - If you really can't go without replying to your pen pals ASAP then just make your letters a little bit shorter. They will appreciate any letter long or short... Promise.
  4. Relax - Snail Mail shouldn't stress you out, after all it is just a bit of fun. Your exams will be over before you know it and then you can get back to long interesting letters.
I hope that helps! If you have any more tips add them in a comment :)

Jessica xx

Let me introduce myself

So I feel like my blog's all a bit formal at the moment so I thought I should give you some quick facts about me :)
This is me ^.^
What is your name? Jessica Bennett
How old are you? 16 years old
Where do you live? United Kingdom
How many Pen-Pals do you have? Most of the population of Europe
How did you get into Snail Mailing? It's something I've always wanted to do but never had the time (or effort) to do. Now I have more time and am more interested in how other people live in different parts of the world.
What country are you most interested in? Sweden
Why? I don't really know... that country has always enchanted me somehow!
What was the last country you visited? Gibraltar
What are your main interests? Snail Mailing, Travelling, Shopping, Playing the piano, being nosey, Photography
Do you speak any other languages? Of course ;) French and Spanish
Are you learning other languages? Yes always! Swedish and German


So I hope you know more now! If you have anything else you wish to know please leave a comment :)

Jessica xx

Welcome

Oh, Hi there!

My name is Jessica and I love Snail Mail! 

It's the beginning of summer, so I thought I would have enough time to make something like this (I've always wanted to, but always been too shy :S) 

I haven't been snail mailing for long, but I somehow feel like I've been doing this for ages. I actually started Snail Mailing around February this year (2012) and I've loved it ever since.

A lot of people ask me why I like Snail Mail seeing as its slow and you have to pay when you could just Email instantly for free. Well I usually describe it as that feeling you get as a child when you receive a card for your birthday, through the post, from a relative a few days early. Its like a gift in itself. You have no idea what to expect, which makes it even more exciting. From the Err... Improvised English to the precious papers, every letter is special in its own way.

If you've never tried Snail Mail I highly recommend it and I hope my blog convinces you to go ahead and try it! 

I hope to update this regularly and keep it interesting :)

Love Jessica xx

P.S. http://www.interpals.net/jessicaalice that's my Interpals username if you are interested in Snail Mailing me <3