Friday, October 17, 2014

Happy Birthday Slayer of Popcorn!



Michael AKA The Slayer of Popcorn is LEP's resident newsletter columnist and observer of things correspondish. Today is his birthday and the members of the LEP wanted to express their love and gratitude for Michael's support and witty contributions.


Ah, Michael, I still remember the first letter you wrote to me. You asked great questions and urged me to dig deeper for things to share. I enjoy your letters so much. You are a true friend and I shudder to think I might have missed you on this great journey of life. I hope your birthday is exactly what you want it to be. Enjoy every moment celebrating YOU. And many happy returns of the day.   
-Sherri M.


Hey Michael, just wanted to wish you an a very happy birthday! I hope the year brings you an abundance of wonderful things and blessings. I'm pretty new to the LEP, but I always eagerly await the monthly newsletter and pounce on anything Slayer of Popcorn has to say LOL. Seriously, I'm sure you know you're awesome, but if you don't - here you go: You are awesome, and entertaining as all get out. Thanks for bringing joy to my inbox each month. I raise my glass to you, sir! Happy Birthday and many happy returns! 
-Lala (aka Gaseous Maximus) 


Michael, you have always been there for people in the LEP, providing a listening ear, reaching out, making us feel loved and worthy and welcome. As someone that struggles with depression and anxiety and bounces back and forth feeling welcome or a shut-in, you have reached out to me when needed, and it is very much appreciated.
I love that you are always there for people, you SEE them.
Have a wonderful birthday, and keep on letting your true gorgeous self shine!
With great love,

West Coast Princess


Where would we be without the Slayer of Popcorn?! Lost for sure! Happy birthday!!!! 
-Reg E.



Hope you have a wonderful birthday!! I love your contributions to the newsletter and your positivity in the FB group! Have a fun day, you deserve it! Xxx 
-Debbie M.



Happy Birthday! Sending you wishes of joy, health, wonder and fun! 
-Amysue



Wishing you a happy birthday! Have a great day Slayer of Popcorn! 
-Joe P.



Michael! Wishing you a spectacular birthday, and a wonderful year ahead. It’s always a delight to open the newsletter, and your articles contribute significantly to that. Thank you for your words. 
-Beth S.



Happy Birthday! Herzlichen Gl├╝ckwunsch zum Geburtstag! I love your quirky contributions in the newsletter that are so much fun to read and I am so glad you introduced me to the awesome world of travelling notebooks. Lots of hugs and love on your birthday!!!! 
-Nadine



Happy Birthday, Michael. I hope you have a great day and enjoy whatever it is you choose to do to celebrate. Of course, letters should be involved somewhere!
All the best to you and yours.


-Duncan



Slayer of Popcorn, happy birthday! I hope your day is awesome.
When I read the newsletter I always look forward to your contribution. I always make sure I'm not drinking anything as it might come out my nose.
I love your pieces on the newsletter!
Many happy returns! 
-Le Sauvage Grognon aka Andronic



Wishing you a super LEPtastic birthday! May your mail box and your day be a happy one :-) 
-Emma Pea P. 



Have a wonderful birthday and many more! 
-Chaya C.



Have a wonderful birthday!
Thanks for all you do to make the LEP Newsletter so great. <3 
-Shelia C.



Happy Birthday Slayer of Popcorn! Thank you for all your interesting columns in the LEP newsletter. They keep me sane for at least one day a month at work.
Eat, drink and be merry! And watch out because I think I could slay more popcorn than you.
;-) 
-Melanie D. x 



Hi Michael! Penblwydd hapus, as we say in Wales! (It literally means "happy head day"!). I love the things you write for the newsletter. Thank you so much! (And I can't wait to see what you'll write for the next one!)
Lots of love on your special day,

The Postmistress (a.k.a. Eunice)



Hi Michael, Happy Birthday! Thanks for the great articles in the LEP newsletter - I always enjoy reading them and love your sense of humour! I hope you enjoy this LEP surprise and wish you an awesome day! 
-Rachel M-J x



For the person who has the most awesome and amazing superhero name - you rock. I love your posts in the newsletter and on the FB page. Why are we not writing each other?! hehe Have a wonderful day! 
-Millie



Happy Birthday Michael! Have an extraordinary day!!!  
-Megan F.



I was struggling a few months back, and got a random post card from Michael just saying he hoped I was doing well. We've not spoken much in the LEP, so the gesture was so appreciated. 
-Victoria




Hi Michael, I haven't had the pleasure of meeting you but I'm sure you are one cool dude. I mean you must be since you're a member of LEP. I'm dropping in to say I hope you have a very special birthday full of fun, laughter and good times. All the best to you now and always. 
-JarieLyn 



I am new to the LEP but it didn't take long for me to discover your awesome handiwork for the League. I am looking forward to getting to know you better from this and wish you a most fabulous birthday! 
-Diana aka secondhandrose 



Dearest Darling Michael,
Thanks for being born. Not like you had a choice. Thanks for sticking around. I appreciate the universe throwing us together into its zany blender.
You are one of the few penpals I don't care about writing out of turn to. At first your list of questions format confused me, but now I love the everloving fuck out of it. You are a loyal penpal, a talented writer, a gracious flirt, and an amazing person. Happiest of birthdays to you, sir.

-Kimmie



For reading my short story and ALWAYS offering a really cool perspective on every topic that challenges the way I think (despite my super-huge ego)... Have a very Happy Birthday!
-Lisa "Kha-Lisa" P.



Happiest birthday, Micheal - Wittiest LEP columnist and exemplary pen pal. Watch out popcorn!

-Laurel G.



Hi Slayer! Happy Birthday Mate. We don't know each other but the first piece of your writing that I've read is the article in LEP October Monthly. Put simply, it made me think (and I mean really think) about compassion and that, in the end, the need to give & receive compassion is what drew me to this group. So, for all the love & effort you put into this group - thanks! I trust your birthday will be a special day & I'd like to wish you the very best for the year ahead too. Best Regards,
-Ravi K. a.k.a. MechDude



Hi Michael!
All the best wishes to you on your birthday! I always love reading your contributions to the LEP newsletter. It would not be the same without them.
I hope you will have a super day filled with lots of fun and happiness!
Love and hugs, 
-Kathrin 



Roses are red, Violets are blue, How to come up with something clever to write for your birthday, I sure wish I knew! Happy Birthday, Michael!
Hope you have a wonderful day!!!!!

-Alethea



Dear Michael, 
I hope you have a spectacularly fantastic birthday! Thank you for making me laugh and ponder thoughtful thoughts every month with your LEP newsletter contributions!
Cheers! 
-Kari 



I hope you have a wonderful birthday! Your letters always inspire, make me giggle, think, turn my frowns upside down, and I end up wishing we were neighbors, or at least lived on the same coast :) I'm truly grateful to call you my friend and wish you all the best! *hugs* 
-JVB 



Happy birthday Michael! I hope that you have an awesome day :D Thanks for all your fun and interesting letters. Not to forget the nicknames too :D You're an awesome penpal! 
-Louise 



Your wise and witty messages on the monthly newsletter are always full of such positivity that I find myself going back and re-reading your words - thank you for sharing your thoughts with us. I also really appreciate how kind your comments are to those who are suffering, and we have many among us who are dealing with really difficult situations - you find a positive comment to make to help lift their spirits. Your sense of humor appeals to many, Slayer of Popcorn, because it never is at the expense of others. All these things are just part of what makes you awesome. Enjoy your special day knowing that your fellow LEPeeps love you lots. 
-Cheryl D.



Happy Birthday to you, wishing you happiness and love every day! 
-Lisa S.



Happy Natal Anniversary, Michael! I hope you have a wonderful day and get spoilt rotten. Thank you for all you do for the group and for your always-entertaining contributions to the thread. I'm really glad I found this group and that is in no small part because of you!
-Paula xo 



There's not enough words in the world to describe how amazing you really are. You've pulled me out of the pits of despair more than one person ever should have to and you continue to do it all the time. There's no doubt that I wouldn't be here today if you weren't my friend. You always give the best advice on boys and life AND you're always very funny on top of all that. Um, so yeah. Happy Birthday! 
-Remi 



We are truly grateful, Michael! May you be reminded of how loved you are! Happy Birthday! 
-Denise & Julie xox

Thursday, October 2, 2014

A Michigan Meet Up - by Othella AKA The Thellie Kitty


Imagine that you have over a week of leave time saved up from work, and not only do you get to take a mostly free roadtrip across country with your best friend to visit your close college friends for a weekend, but you also get to detour on the way back to spend most of a week back in your hometown, seeing the family and friends and locations you've not seen in at least three years. Sounds pretty great, huh? Well, do you know how to make it even better? You add in an LEP Meet Up!




That's exactly what happened on the first of September to me and fellow LEPer Amethyst. The spectacular Kate put us up for the night in her home, and the three of us drove out to Frankenmuth, MI, on Labor Day. We met up with the Easter Michigan area LEPeeps, Brittney, Andronic, Kyleigh, and Amelia, who also brought her boyfriend Kevin along.

Lunch at a Chinese buffet was our first order of business. We started off a bit quiet as we all glanced around a bit nervously at each other and tucked into our food, but soon we were all chit chatting and laughing like the friends we are and hadn't quite experienced yet. After we finished our food, we wrote letters to our fearless leaders, Julie and Denise, which Kate sent off to Canada for us.




Next stop was The River Place where we wandered around in the fun shops of the outdoor mall. While it took everything within me to stay out of Bead Haven (much to the thrill of my wallet), I did splurge on a Claddagh car magnet at an Irish themed shop called the Funky Skunk, and a whole bunch of postcards in The Michigan Shoppe. Some of our number went to check out the Sugar High Bakery, while others went to Grand Traverse Distillery. One shop I'd love to visit again was Charlin's Book Nook which had quite the lovely variety of used books to browse through.





After we were all shopped out, we headed to Tim Hortons for treats and some penpal activities. I quite enjoyed the frozen hot chocolate that Kate had talked up to me back in March, when we'd begun writing in my March of Postcards experiment. While we sugared up, we passed around some postcards to “wreck” together and sign to send out to other LEPers. When we'd finished, we passed around yearbook sheets that Kate, Amethyst and I had made out for everyone that morning. Each of us wrote a short note to each of the others on their sheets. (Unfortunately mine never got unpacked, so it's still in Amethyst's care... oops!) We'd been together from around 11am and now it was 5pm and time to go on our various ways. Of course that would be the time for a torrential rain shower. While everyone else had left, Amethyst, Kate, her hubby Gabe and I were stuck in the Tim Hortons for most of another hour, enjoying each other's company a wee bit longer until the rain passed and it was our turns to go.





I do believe we all had a grand time and really enjoyed each other's company. I know for sure that I did. It was a delight to meet everyone, and I have added a few people to my penpal list. I hope that the others continue to meet up from time to time, even if Amethyst and I won't get to be there for them. Meeting my penpals and my fellow LEPeeps is always an honor and a joy. I can't wait to meet more in the future!

Friday, September 5, 2014

What? You're not a LEP member?


Wait. We need to talk.

So you're reading this, but you're not a LEP member.

(If you are, please give yourself a pat on the back, a gold star and a piece of chocolate. You can go back to the Facebook group to talk about boobs with Michael, or start working on your coded letter.)

Alright, we're alone now. The LEP members are gone, so no one will attack you with washi tape. (Some LEPeeps can be rather enthusiastic with the washi. I promise they're not trying to hurt you, they just want to share.)

So let me ask you... *whispering* Why aren't you a member yet? (Oh, why am I whispering? Well, I don't want to embarrass you. Someone might be listening. I don't want people to judge you for your lack of LEPness or LEPtitude, that's all.)

You know all the cool kids are LEP members, right?

You know we're all having fun in our private Facebook group?

You know we'll be celebrating 400 members this month?

Would you like to be one of them? One of us?

Well you can! It's not too late! You can still turn to the light! We have cookies... and free stationery!

Yes, you read that right. We have FREE STATIONERY!

The next 34 (my age!) people who subscribe for a 12 month LEP membership will receive a free pack of stationery (we have lined and unlined sheets), as well as a personalized membership card. You pay $30, you get to be a LEP member for a full year, and you receive 25 sheets of writing paper. It doesn't get better than that! Purchase your subscription below:


LEP membership + free stationery!
Stationery
Name
Email


And if you're not quite ready to take the plunge yet, and you'd prefer to test the waters first, good news! The next 38 (Denise's age!) people who subscribe for a 1 month LEP membership will receive a free pack of postcards as well as a personalized membership card. You pay $5, you get 5 postcards, and you get to see if the LEP is for you. You can cancel at any time, so there's no risk at all! Subscribe here:


LEP membership + free postcards!
Name
Email


So you too can be a LEP member now. Bravo!

Julie,
AKA Super Sushi
xox

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

ABC Letter Swap

We hosted an ABC Letter swap this month and it's been a lot of fun for our members. The swappers listed the ABC's (From A to Z) and then wrote things that they like or that they're thankful for that start with each letter.

Here's a sneak peak of a few of the outgoing swaps.









This swap prompted a conversation between Julie and I, things we love and are thankful for within the LEP. There are so many things we could list, but the most important one is the members.














































We love you guys, thank you for making the LEP a great place to be!

Peace,

Denise (AKA Washipocalypse)

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Mail Art Supply Swap

Our wonderful friend Belinda in Australia hosted a swap for us and we asked her to tell us about it. Thanks so much for writing this blog post, Bel. We love all the photos of the mail art goodies!


As part of the July newsletter, our extraordinary penpals were given the opportunity to sign up for a mail art supplies swap. The brief was to package up at least 10 to 15 items that could be used to create mail  art – ie. those gorgeously colourful, collaged, calligraphied envelopes you may have found in your mailbox on occasion. Things such as deco papers, washi tapes, confetti and ephemera were suggested but the creativity was not limited.

At the time of signing up, swappers were asked to note any particular themes or colours they would prefer to receive as well as things they would not like so much, just to give their partner a bit of a guide when gathering supplies. The answers were as diverse and interesting as the wonderful people who make up our League. Some participants wanted to receive items with a vintage or retro theme, others requested steampunk items or zombie gore, while others gently suggested they’d prefer not to receive anything holiday related or religious paraphernalia and one participant advised that she absolutely, categorically did not want anything to do with tomatoes!! =)

Partners were assigned, taking into account the similarities between the 32 participants as well as their location. Where possible I wanted folks to be partnered with someone outside of their country to increase the possibility of receiving items they hadn’t already encountered in their local craft stores.

Here is a snippet of what lovely, colourful, wonderful mail art supplies were mailed across the world.

Bel (swap host, AUS) sent to Victoria (USA)


Victoria sent to Bel


Deborah-Anne (CAN) sent to Rebecca (UK)


Michelle (USA) sent to Jemima (AUS)


Samantha (AUS) sent to Caron (USA)


Teri-Ann (UK) sent to Amber (USA)


Heleen (NETHERLANDS) sent to Penelope (USA)


Amysue (USA) sent to Emma (UK)


Emma (UK) sent to Amysue (USA)


There is no limit to what fabulous creations the LEPeeps will dream up with such an abundance of supplies so stay tuned and we’ll see what wonderful, artistic mail has been sent across the world.

Thanks again for hosting this great swap, Belinda!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Facebook Clubs

You’ve heard about our Facebook group, right? But did you know that within our Facebook group we have Facebook Clubs?! Each club has a theme and they are their own little colony within the bigger community of our Facebook group. 

Each club is run by 1 or 2 LEP members and they do a really great job of facilitating the club participation. I talked with the admins and asked them to share with me about their clubs.


The LEP Flea Market is a place to buy, sell, swap and trade snail mail and craft related supplies. I asked Catrin in the United States about what was coming up in the club and she said,  
"We will have "flea market item gather events". They will motivate us to find those things that need to be re-homed. We will also be posting some tips and tricks on how to take great pictures of your items."



Who loves to read? I know, silly question. We all love to read! And that's why we have the LEP Reading Lair. This is an active club, members read books together as a group. The LEP Reading Lair also posts semimonthly short stories, selected by club members. I asked Claire AKA Tofu Girl from the UK about the process of choosing which books the club reads and she said,
"I post suggestion threads and once we have a few I put up a vote. We have just started reading The Ocean at the End of The Lane by Neil Gaiman and are currently discussing themes for the next suggestion thread. 
As well as the structured reads, people generally post about what they are reading, or want to read, and ask for opinions and suggestions. We also have links and articles posted and a few funny pictures or cartoons as well. If it in any way relates to books, reading, libraries, bookshops or Tom Hiddleston bound in leather, you will find it on the wall."


The LEP Tea and Treats is filled with lots of lovely imagery. This club is for those who are passionate about all things related to tea, cakes, pastries and any other sweet treat you can think of. When I asked Meredith AKA Super Space Princess from the United States about what was currently going on in the club, she said, 
"We have some swaps in the planning stages, and already have some fun discussions, and photo sharing going on."


So many letter writers enjoy decorating their snail mail and that's what the Mail Art Heroes club is all about. This club is dedicated to paper, stationery and envelopes. It doesn't matter if you stamp, paint, draw, glue or tape; no matter what kind of tools you use, everything the Mail Art Heroes create is a piece of art. When I asked Tina AKA TTT (TimeTravelTina) in Germany about her favorite part of the club, she said,
 "It's great that our members from all over the world share their ideas & creations of mail art. They paint, they doodle, they glue... they never stop to amaze us with new ideas & projects. Besides that, everyone is really supportive & appreciates the work of others."



Needles and Nonsense is a group for knitters, crocheters, sewers and needle pointers alike! The members of this club post photos of their current projects. I asked Kat AKA Wonder Kitty in the United States to tell me about this club and she said,

"We frequently geek out over awesome yarn finds, help each other through tough patterns, or share the glorious victory brought about our needles (aka finished projects!). We also have a healthy dose of nonsense and fun. It's like being part of a virtual stitch n' bitch with all your besties."


There are many who share a passion for the fountain pen, and its many accompanying inks, and that is who the LEP Fountaineers is for. Within this club, members share ink samples, photograph new pen related acquisitions and give tips to fountain pen users. They occasionally host swaps as well. Arjen AKA Juliette has a gun from Belgium shared her favorite part of the group,
  
"Our members are enablers and never cease to encourage others to buy pens and inks they would never have thought of.  Purchases and favourites are raved about and photographed from different angles, which makes them difficult to resist."


As a member of the League of Extraordinary Penpals, not only do you have access to an active and diverse group of amazing pen friends, you can also take advantage of these lifestyle-related clubs.

Click to join:







If you're not already a member of the LEP and you are interested in these clubs, then what are you waiting for? Become a member today!


Peace,

Denise AKA Washipocalypse in Canada