Amnesty Envelopes! A delightful little swap!

Spring is finally sprouting here where I live! How about with you?

I enjoy springtime for many reasons, and one is perhaps an odd tradition I have kept since just a little kindergartener that has evolved in to something so much more than as it started. I’d like to share that with you today and invite you to join in on a swap that stems from it.

As a child in NYC I had a delightful teacher, Ingrid Sassoon, who was wise and kind and interesting! Once the weather warmed a bit we had to clean out our desks. We had the most wonderful desks then, heavy wooden desks with very dark sturdy iron attaching the seat to the desktop that was hinged and lifted up! We stored our work, some books, a few belongings under this “lid.” I always stored “treasures” as well; I think most of us did.FullSizeRender 3

When the time approached our wise and creative teacher would have us clean out our desks, encouraging us to throw out all the unnecessary things we had collected. Knowing there were special collections under each desktop she allowed us an amnesty envelopeShe explained to us we could keep whatever special findings and treats as long as they would fit in the envelope. For the things that would not fit, but we could not bear to throw in the trash we could fashion an envelope of treasured gifts to be given to someone. I remember lovingly tucking in a school girls menagerie of valuables in to this envelope: butcher’s twine, red and white twists found in the cafeteria, a shiny silver nut that seemed as if it would be the perfect paperweight or necklace charm depending on your need, a few stickers and the softest feather the colour of fog. There were things we had that could not fit in our amnesty envelope or envelope of treasured gifts, but they were collected in a shoebox as treasures to be shared after reading or quiet time and were not lost. Our envelopes to share were collected and traded with another class down the corridor, but not until closer to the end of term.

When we lifted the lid now the belly of our desk seemed so perfectly fresh and beautiful, a clean slate for a new season! Our amnesty envelope was tucked in the corner, filled with magical treats we could keep! Our other envelope of delights en route to become fodder for a new imagination!

FullSizeRender 2As I grew up my desks changed, as did the trinkets I collected…yet there have always been things in the drawer where my letter opener, pencil and paperclips reside. No matter what my age, there always seems to be butchers twine, fasteners and quite often a feather, shell or rock (or two or three!). They have a menagerie of other things alongside them I had intended to use this year, and last year, and the year before… I tuck away some I can’t bear to part with into my amnesty tin (as one grows, so does one’s storage container) but I always create a few envelopes of treats. Sometimes there is a theme: nature, colors, textures, quotes…  I curate an envelope that I really, really want to keep– and then I mail it to someone, oftentimes a person I haven’t written to in years. Every single time I have sent one I get in return the most treasured letter, one delighted and stunned, awed and surprised, all gladdened by the contents and inspired to do something with them. It is always, always a bigger treat for me. I have fun creating these envelopes and I have a sense of satisfaction knowing that my little treasures are off to encourage someone else daydreams and more importantly to fill their desk with possibilities!

FullSizeRender 3I am eager to do this Amnesty Envelope with You! We included this fun swap with our Outlandish Clan and folks loved it! This is not a swap where you have to purchase or knit anything. You simply curate a collection of things, useful, interesting or themed items that you have on your desk, in your drawer, tucked away…

If you are interested here are the guidelines:

l. You will need an envelope approx. 9 x 5 (by approx. if you have 9.5 x 4.5 or 8.5 x 6, those work! 10 x 12…too big…5×5 too small. I am not policing anyone on this, just use your best judgement =)  You can make one or buy one whatever you choose!

2. Head to your desk (or drawer, or cabinet) where you collect odds and ends wonderful treasures, and sift through. Decide if you see a theme or pattern and run with it! Make it as much fun to curate the collection as it will be to receive it!

3. Write about what you have included, perhaps as a letter or just a list.

That is all there is to it!

We will mail our treasured envelopes the last week of May. Interested in joining in? Simply email me {connectingwithmel at gmail dot com} Be sure to include Amnesty Envelope in the subject line. Partners will be paired and emailed May 19th – 22nd.

I am very excited about the fun this will be! Good times together. Simple. Easy. SNAIL MAIL!

Serious details: Sign up means follow through. Enough said =)

5 thoughts on “Amnesty Envelopes! A delightful little swap!

  1. Pingback: 5 Shares to brighten your day! | WITH∞MEL

  2. OffToExplore says:

    I feel like my house is one giant amnesty envelope right now! So many boxes to unpack. I am sure I have plenty for an envelope, but I don’t know that I will find it all in a timely fashion. I will decide in a day or two whether I can jump into this swap. 🙂


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