May 13, 2008

Heartfelt thanks & a fantastic tip for sending pins in the mail

When I last posted here the snow was still heavy on the ground, creating massive banks and rising high enough to entirely cover our bottom floor windows. In the weeks since mid-March I've had many ups and downs, come through surgery and seen a new season blossom without me even getting a chance to officially say good-bye to that (sometimes insipid, sometimes elegantly beautiful) snow.

As I type these words I still have a period of recovery before me, but I hope to be able to post from time-to-time as I work my way through these weeks of rest and healing.

I've long believed that healing comes not just from a pill or a doctor, it can also come from (or be fostered by) our own outlook on a given situation and from the care and support offered to us by the dear and special people in our lives. And on that note, I would truly like to thank everyone who sent me emails and cards, enquired as to how I was doing, offered kind thoughts and healing vibes, and even – in the case of one GSUSA member from California, whom I'd never had any prior contact with – sent an envelope full of delightful event and fun patches, which they insisted were a gift, not a trade. In these acts and words I cannot help but see the naturally caring spirit of Girl Guiding and Scouting at its finest.

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To usher in my 'return' to posting, I'd love to share a wonderful tip with you on how to securely send (GG/GS) pins in the mail. Not too long ago I received about eight pins which came wrapped so ingeniously that I knew the moment I saw how they were presented, I'd be blogging it here.

Pop (Soda) Bottle Lid Pin Protectors

What you'll need:

-1 plastic bottle lid (cap/top) for each pin that you wish to send, cleaned and dried (you can use the lids from water bottles, soda/pop cans, juice bottles – whatever works)

-(Approximately) 3”x1” long stripes of bubble wrap (or adjust to the size that you need, just ensure that you have enough bubble wrap to go around each pin at least once), 1 strip per pin

-Scotch tape (aka, sticky tape)

How to:

One at time, place a pin on a strip of bubble wrap so that the puffy bubble side is what the pin is resting on. Wrap the pin – fairly tightly – with the rest of the strip of bubble wrap so that it's entirely covered/protected and secure the bubble wrap with piece of tape so that it can't come unwrapped.

Place the bubble wrapped pin into a pop bottle lid (it's fine if some of the bubble wrap sticks out over the sides a little, just so long as the pin itself is nestled into the bottle lid). Wrap the lid (with pin inside) with a piece of tape, securing it so that the pin cannot fall out of the lid.

Repeat with as many pins as you plan to send/store/trade/etc. For added protection send pins in a bubble lined mailer (envelope), placed all together in a plastic bag or good sized paper envelope. Not only does this method do a great job of keeping pins safe and secure when travelling through the mail, it provides the receiver with fun little gifts to open.

If you wanted to send bigger sized pins (or even buttons or sturdy homemade swaps), you could implement this same technique and use lids/tops from products such as 4 litre (1 gallon) milk containers, plastic yogurt container (the kind that have lids with rims), jam jars, baby food jars, and the twist-on tops from vitamin bottles. Be creative and resourceful, while recycling – and protecting your traders – all at the same time.