• creative spotlight: snail mail [book] by michelle mackintosh

    Snail mail coverLast year Michelle Mackintosh put a callout on Instagram asking for people to decorate an envelope and send it to her specially set up PO Box. It was called the #PObox26 project and if you look up the hashtag on Instagram you will see some of the crafty submissions which were sent in from all over the world. HG_Snail Mail_12982

    I knew from the outset that ‘Snail Mail‘ would be a book that I wanted to own – being an enthusiast of snail mail and stationery it was definitely a topic of great interest. I submitted one envelope from me personally and one from Unleash Creative for the project.



    ‘Rediscovering the art and craft of handmade correspondence’ is the synopsis of the book and it does nothing short of delivering on this promise; and more.

    I honestly expected the book to just be full of people’s decorated envelopes, but it is so much more than that and the envelopes from the #POBox26 project only form a fraction of the books’ 226 solid pages. The book takes you on a mindful journey into analogue mail, it’s significance into your emotional well being, what impact it has on both the writer and recipient and the power it has to unburden you, convey feelings of love and appreciation.

    Not to mention the fact that when any of us receive a real letter (not a bill) in our mail box, the general warm-fuzzies feeling associated with a friend or loved one taking the time to write is heart-filling. In a society which is quickly overcome with the trappings of a digital era and time-poor people yearning for more hours in the day, a letter, even if just a note to say “I’m thinking about you” is a real treat and an honour to receive.

    HG_Snail Mail_15341‘The Lost Art of Manners’ is a section of the book I think EVERYONE in today’s society should be forced to read. It should be mandatory alongside filing taxes. When I watch period shows such as ‘Downton Abbey‘ or ‘Boardwalk Empire‘ my heart longs for a time when everything was simpler, people were eloquent and conversations weren’t full of “umm”, “it’s like, you know like”, “youse guys”, “OMG” and “totes”. When conversations were full of witty extended banter with hidden implied undertones very much out in the open. Why don’t we converse like that anymore? Because we are time poor. And lazy. It’s a real tragedy in my opinion (or “IMO” if you love to shorten the heck outta everything”).

    ‘Snail Mail’ also covers how to construct different types of letters such as thank you’s, apologies, condolences, reconciliations and a letter of congratulations just to name a few. HG_Snail Mail_15349

    There’s some incredible correspondence between well-known people included in the book. Robert Browning‘s (a Poet of the 1800’s) letter to his future wife is absolute magic and a real privilege to read the words which were penned in such thoughtfulness and meaning so many decades ago.

    Once you get past the formalities of how to construct letters, why and when you should write one and the etiquette associated with sending and receiving a letter, Michelle gets down to the fun stuff. The book then gets into how to make your own stationery including different methods for decorating envelopes, hand-lettering, templates for constructing your own envelopes. There are plenty of examples of creative envelopes and the many treasures which you can stuff into their papery walls to make the intended recipient feel loved.HG_Snail Mail_15357

    And did I mention that the book edges cleverly resemble the iconic blue and white striped envelopes of the past!? So much thought, care and complete cleverness has gone into creating ‘Snail Mail‘. Michelle is one clever and super talented lady.

    We’ve got two neato prize packs up for grabs thanks to the folks at Hardie Grant Books. Each prize pack consists of:

    1. A copy of Snail Mail
    2. ‘Buttons’ A5 Journal designed by Michelle
    3. ‘Buttons’ 3 pack Mini Notebooks designed by Michelle
    4. ‘Buttons’ Boxed Notecards designed by Michelle

    All you have to do to enter is leave a comment on this post and tell us what most appeals to you about Michelle Mackintosh’s ‘Snail Mail’ book.

    The small important stuff…

    • Each prize pack is valued at RRP $70.80. Total prize value RRP $141.60.
    • Entries open to Australian residents only. Sorry if you’re overseas. You can still get your own copy of the book here
    • Entries open 8am Wednesday 8 April 2015 and close 4pm Friday 10 April 2015.
    • Winners will be drawn randomly and notified via email.
    • Prizes will be despatched directly from Hardie Grant Books, the publishers of ‘Snail Mail’.
    • To enter, you must leave a comment on this post (not any other post) telling us what most appeals to you about Michelle’s book ‘Snail Mail’.

    If you don’t want to take your chances or simply can’t wait any longer, you can get your mitts on a copy of Snail Mail by Michelle Mackintosh, published by Hardie Grant Books RRP $29.95 HERE

30 Responsesso far.

  1. Kate says:

    I am the most excited person whenever I receive snail mail (other than bills of course). Nothing beats an envelope with the address handwritten and something exciting inside. It makes checking the letterbox so much fun and when unexpected, the surprise is invaluable.

  2. Erica says:

    Such a lovely idea, I really do miss receiving handwritten letters. I haven’t had one since my Nana died last year, we used to write to each other regularly and it helped this gypsy stay in touch with home as I’ve moved around so much. She would have loved this book!

  3. Michelle W says:

    Hooray! to the resurgence of good old fashion snail mail. Michelle’s book is pure inspo!

  4. Nicola Emanuel says:

    Amazing! I actually was so inspired while M.M’s #PObox26 project was running. People created some amazing envelopes and letters. I think the thing that appeals to me most about ‘Snail Mail’ is the crafty resourcefulness and combination of colour and kookiness! I also enjoy sending letters to friends and am constantly looking for new ways to jazz up my mail.

  5. Eda S says:

    I just love the idea of the time and effort someone had put in to brighten up your day with a piece of snail mail. No one sends letters these days and it’s sad, you don’t get the same excited felling of an envelope in between your fingers as you do with an email.

  6. Katherine Ward says:

    I find any excuse to send some lovely old fashioned snail mail. Text messages, instagram posts, tags and friend requests are nice, but nothing will compare to the personal touch of a hand written letter.

  7. Mich says:

    Your review of Michelle Mackintosh’s ‘Snail Mail’ book held me hook line and sinker. All I could think whilst reading it was “Yes, that’s what I’ve been saying!”, and a number of “Oh my god yes” or ‘OMG yes’ for those alphabetically challenged.
    This book clearly spoke to your soul in the beautiful heartfelt way you wrote about it. Which in turn spoke to mine.
    Of course I’d love to win this amazing prize pack. But for now I want to say thankyou for letting me know about this amazing book, I can’t wait to read it.
    (Sorry about the mamouth comment!)

  8. Inger Flathaug says:

    This is the kind of book I would just devour and then keep coming back to. It’s so colourful and upbeat and positive. I remember as a kid my sister had a Penpal in the UK and I was so jealous of the letters she received. I tried desperately to claim this Penpal as my own to no avail! I’d love to get my kids on board with letter writing to their cousins in NZ. This gorgeous book would provide the most amazing inspiration!

  9. Bel says:

    My son has just got his first OS PenPal’s so I think this book would be lovely to share with him and give him some inspiration to make his letters that bit extra special!

  10. Jodie O says:

    What a great idea! The good intentions are always there to send a handwritten note, this book would certainly give me lots of inspiration and motivation to do so. I also struggle with condolences, I look forward to reading Michelle’s tips on this subject.

  11. Anna F says:

    I love the thought, imagination, time and love everyone has put into their snail mail envelopes. I just imagine how excited each person was to complete their entry knowing others were soon going to enjoy looking at them too, such a special and thoughtful project :)

  12. Rebekka says:

    The most appealing thing about “snail mail” is the inspiration! Last Christmas, I decided ecards or even just ordinary Christmas cards weren’t personal enough and that really personalised snail mail Christmas cards needed to be revived. I had cards printed up featuring our pets in Christmas outfits, which didn’t cost any more than buying pre-made cards would have and came with matching envelopes and address stickers, and we wrote personal messages to everyone on our list.

    I’d love to keep the snail mail efforts going, and the inspiration from the book would be just what I need!

  13. Marta says:

    Love the idea & ‘resurrection’ of snail mail movement that I have seen making a come back & it is becoming more popular these days with additional crafty, arty creativity added to the letter writing & envelopes decoration.

    I used to write plenty of letters to my mum & friends back then when I studied overseas. Of course this was pre digital email era that now has dominated our world as well as social media communication& chat apps. It is always a delight to everytime I receive a card from an older generation friends, since my friends no longer write cards or letters, which is unfortunate as they all choose email or social media. Even for birthday or event invitation.

    Michelle’s book definitely will be great to learn more about the art of traditional mail & letter writing & how to improve creativity to join in the snail mail movement.

  14. Matt Devine says:

    I despise the term ‘snail mail’: this describes what we should just be describing as mail – every other form came later!
    Nonetheless, I love getting letters, cards and parcels in the post….
    And we always send thank you notes too!

  15. Katrina Higham says:

    I am obsessed with stationary, sending out letters and snail mailing away! I would love to win this book pretty please with stamps on top? :)

  16. Jasmine says:

    I love these kinds of books, ones that have lots to read but even more to look at. I’m looking forward to checking it out!

  17. Avril says:

    I love that feeling when the mail man delivers me a special letter from a far away friend. I encourage my girls to write letters… May snail mail live on!

  18. Emily says:

    The first thing that came to mind when I saw Snail Mail was my favorite childhood book- Letters to Felix. I love how creative this book is; I’m so excited to read it and to be inspired!

  19. Jane Millard says:

    I love everything about this book, it’s wonderful that a project like Michelle’s brought so many creative people together. My other favourite thing is seeing my British Shorthair Marcus & all the other cat inspired pieces in this fabulous book!

  20. Shelby says:

    The art of the handwritten letter has always been appealing to me. I found my first pen friend when I was eight years old and now have 12 that I correspond with regularly. What attracts me most to “Snail Mail” is the creativity and imagination put into each envelope. This is something that can ve enjoyed by everyone!

  21. Pianica says:

    Lovely book – also if you love snail mail, check out another book about nail art called Good Mail Day. It’s nice to know that something you’re sending out will brighten someone’s day.

  22. Morgan Wills says:

    I am inspired by Michelle’s own creativity and the fact that she has created a book to showcase the creative work of others in one of her favourite mediums. Makes me want to have a go myself!

  23. Hayley says:

    I love that it became something so much bigger than just an idea. She united people from all across the globe and they each contributed to the making of the project. Little pieces of everyone who contributed are built into the book which creates so much love and warm fuzzies.
    I really love that!

  24. Claire says:

    Michelle’s book looks deliciously jam-packed full of creative ideas – share the stationery & share the love!

  25. CJ Jones says:

    I love the idea of this book as it shows there are still lovely things out there and beautiful people.

  26. Anne says:

    I briefly found out about this on instagram a while ago and couldn’t wait for the book to maks an appearance :) so exciting!!
    I love sending snail mail and am a big believer in ‘more love letter’ :)

  27. The Colours. The Creativity. Reviving papercraft.
    Less time online, more time crafting!

  28. Thanks for all of your entries. The competition is now closed and prize winners will be contacted in the next few days.