Frogs, Trolls and Amigurumi

My challenge to revive the lost art of the handwritten letter continues to be, well, challenging. I am writing a letter a day, but also illustrating each one with an original Ziggy Elf. I wanted to post up what I was doing, but quickly realized that I couldn’t show the contents of the letters. That would spoil the surprise for the recipient. So, ingeniously, I decided to illustrate the envelopes. So far I’ve come up with something that has meaning to each person, but it’s taxing my drawing skills. Just check out the latest batch.

Number 34 is going all the way to CHINA! I was so excited to hear from Chenchen who is creator of Pure Sketch and Comics. This is a young man who is so talented. His ink sketches are fabulous. He lives in Nanjing which is famous for its salted duck….nom nom.

illustrated letter 34

Letter 35 is going to somewhere equally exciting…Hawaii. Well it’s exciting to someone who lives in the North of England. It is for Paul who is a ceramicist and is the creator of Paper, Mud and Me. Like the letter that went to Hansi in California, this one is adorned with Sunny the Campervan. How wonderful to tootle around Hawaii in a VDub bus.

illustrated letter 35

Letter 36 goes to Virginia who hails from Eldersburg, Maryland, USA. She is another 3D artist, a sculptor and you can find out more about her at Muse-ings. Virginia made some lovely frogs, so I thought I’d have a go too.


Letter 37 is staying in the UK and heading south to Dorset. Now this may not be the exotica of Hawaii but I can tell you this is one of England’s most beautiful counties, and pretty cool for a campervan adventure. The coast is known as the Jurassic Coast and is a World Heritage Site. Ha! Who needs palm trees now? It is home to Joanna who is creator of Pippin Run Wild, a veritable feast of all things vintage and crafty. Joanna made a beautiful bluebird pin cushion that inspired her envelope illustration.


Letter 38 is the first to go to Sweden and is for Janna. She is the creator of Janna’s Whimsies. This blog is packed with lovely images and creative stories. The envelope illustration is inspired by a post about an ancient forest and it’s trolls.


Letter 39 is going just up the coast to Amble in Northumberland, another breath- takingly beautiful county. It is for Jean Rafferty, an award winning journalist and author. You can find out more about this very talented lady at her website here. One of my favourite walks with the Skinny Dogs is from Warkworth, along the beach to Amble and back up by the estuary. You can always spot a magnificent heron or two, and here’s mine.


The penultimate letter in this batch is going to Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. I actually have relatives in Vancouver going back two generations. I would love to visit. Maybe one day. This is for Caroline who is the creator of the very stylish blog The Girl in the Yellow Dress. The subtitle is Yellow Bird Dreams, so it had to be a little Tweetie Pie.


And finally, letter 41 is going to the Illustrated Letter projects favourite destination; Australia. In particular Melbourne. This envelope is adorned with the strangest thing I have ever dreamt up and it is especially for Sharon at Gentle Stiches. She is all about the stitchery and the “gentle art of repair.” But Sharon is particularly fond of amigurumi, the Japanese art of knitting cute mini animals. So I’ve had a go at an Amigurumi Elf. What do you think?


Phew! Around the world in eight illustrations.

Well, I still need help if I am to complete my challenge of a letter a day. I need 365 people to send letters to. Would you like to recieve an original Ziggy Elf? If so you’ll find all the details here.

Another Batch of Letter Elves Hatched

My quest to rekindle the art of the hand written letter continues. Another six letters have set off on their journey around the world; Boston USA, Tasmania Australia, Victoria Australia, Newcastle UK and two have headed to British Columbia Canada.

I can’t show the illustrations inside the letters, it would spoil the surprise for those receiving, but I have illustrated the envelopes.

Letter number 12 has set off to Jen Ross the creator of Winter Owls a delightful blog full of thrifty creations and of course Owls. Not surprisingly Jen gets an owl.

illustrated letter 12

Letter 13 is full of good luck and is off to Jade in Canada. Her Dad is the creator of Drawings for Jade. Each morning before he sets of to work he makes a drawing for Jade…how cool is that. Jade loves her ladybug boots so I thought a little spotty insect or two wouldn’t go amiss.

illustrated letter 13

Letter 14 is for Harini who is the creator of The Madras Designery. Harini, like me, uses fine liner pens for many of her drawings but takes the art to a whole different level.

illustrated letter 14

Letter 15 hasn’t gone very far at all, it’s stayed in Newcastle. It is for Erin who works alongside me at Seven Stories. Erin has given a home to some ex-battery hens who produce the most delicious eggs. So it had to be chickens.

illustrated letter 15

Number 16 is for Owlissa who is also doing a letter writing challenge. She has been far more sensible and is sending off one a week. Check out her blog Mum in the Woods   The little elf on the envelope is an homage to Owlissa who has a very cool hairstyle.

illustrated letter 16

And finally letter 17 has gone all the way to Canada to Shelley who lives in Honeymoon Bay. I hope that is as romantic as it sounds. Shelly popped by my blog and offered to help me out with my challenge by asking me to send her a letter.

illustrated letter 17

If I am to complete my challenge of sending a letter a day through 2013 I really need some help. I need 365 people to send to. If you would like to receive a Letter Elf from me you’ll find all the details here.

Illustrated Letter 7; For Little Miss Emma

I can’t tell you how delighted I am with the response to my challenge to revive the art of letter writing. And nothing makes me happier than to hear that the younger generation, those born into the world of texting and emails, enjoy writing letters too. This letter, containing a very chic elf, is for Jared’s 8-year-old daughter Emma. Jared is the creator of Lunch Sketch a fabulous blog inspired by his lunch time drawing. Now, if you want to see some fine pencil wielding head over and take a look. I understand that Emma is a brilliant elf creator too, and will be sending an illustrated letter back. I’m really looking forward to seeing it. And guess what part of the world Emma lives in? Australia! Yes this is letter number 3 off to Oz.

I can’t show you the contents of Emma’s letter, it will spoil the surprise for her, but I have illustrated the envelope.

You can see the letters so far here.


illustrated letter 7 Emma

I need lots of people to send letters to if I am to complete my challenge of a letter a day for 2013. If you would like to be a recipient of a Ziggy Illustrated Letter details are here.

Illustrated Letter 4; Down Under…Again

Well, I’ve never sent a letter to Australia before, and now I’ve sent two in one week! Two Ziggy Elves winging their way to Victoria and now New South Wales.

Letter number 4 has gone to Joyce at Joyful Art Stuff, a wonderful creative blog full of whimsical portraits and handmade jewellery. Didn’t want to spoil the surprise for Joyce by revealing the elf contained in the letter, but here is the illustrated envelope.

If you want to receive an illustrated letter as part of my challenge to revive the art of letter writing take a look here.

illustrated letter 4 Joyce

Illustrated Letter Day 3; Off to Australia

I have set myself a challenge; to revive the art of letter writing by composing a letter every day through 2013. But more than words, each letter will be illustrated. Letter number 3 is going all the way to Australia. So my initial question of “How far will a Ziggy Elf travel?” has probably been answered. You can’t get much further than little old England to The Land Down Under.

This letter is going to Katherine who is the creator of the fabulous blog Photobooth Journal. In order not to spoil the surprise for Katherine I can’t show you the content. But I have illustrated the envelope.

If you would like to join in the fun and receive a letter from me email me your postal address. All the details are here.


letter 3 Katherine