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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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.

Fish, Pigs and Coffee

It’s time for an update on those Ilustrated Letters.

For those just joining us, I am attempting to revive the lost art of letter writing by penning a letter a day in 2013. That’s 365 of them. And not just words, each one is illustrated with an original Ziggy Elf. I can’t show the contents of each letter as that would spoil the surprise for the recipient but each letter has an illustrated envelope.

Number 22 is going to Penland, USA and is for Laura creator of Soul Survivor a very compelling blog about living with Bipolar Disorder. Laura used to write a lot of letters and hopes that joining in with this challenge will inspire her to dust off her fountain pen.  She gets a be-hatted elf who I think is inspired by the cold snowy weather I’ve been experiencing.

Illustrated letter 22

Letter 23 is staying in Newcastle and is for Lauren who is another Seven Stories colleague. She is part of the hardworking marketing team and very kindly asked to join in with my ridiculous challenge. As well as having the cutest spaniel puppy on the planet, Lauren also has a little guinea pig. Again, a first for Ziggy; drawing a piggy.

Illustrated letter 23

Number 24 is heading off to Ontario, Canada to Claudia creator of  Summer Solstice Girl, a wonderful vibrant blog full of swing dance and Columbian Coffee. So a cup of coffee and a coffee bean elf seemed appropriate.

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Letter 25 is the first letter heading to the Philippines and is for Melody, creator of the blog 30 Minute Art. She is a full time teacher but allows herself 30 minutes a day to paint and draw. So I couldn’t resist a little messy artist elf.

Illustrated Letter 25

Number 26 goes to another Seven Stories colleague, Hannah, who works with me Front of House. Hannah can be found all over the building, rocking out story times, on reception and in the bookshop. She also delivers birthday parties and the most popular theme is Damsels and Dragons, for which, Hannah wears a beautiful dragon coat. So it had to be my favourite mythical creature.

Illustrated letter 27

Number 27 is for my very lovely sister-in-law Clare. She is the sort of person who never wastes time, always doing something, knitting, playing the piano, the flute, photography and tending to her vast allotment. So she gets a Fruit and Veg elf.

Illustrated Letter 26

And finally today, letter 28 is the first one to go to Poland and is for Jess creator of JNiggelArt an Art Photoblog. Jess is a dab hand with pencil or paint and I love her portraits. She also has a few fish on there so I thought I would join in the fishy fun.

Illustrated letter 28

In order to complete my challenge of 365 letters I need people to send them to. Would you like to receive a letter with an original Ziggy Elf? Then you’ll find all the details here.