July 15, 2012

Around Town: Postal Modern Handi-Hour at the Renwick

HandiHour 3

I never thought I'd be asked to prove my age in order to attend a letter writing event. And I still would, but for a postcard I received from Melissa, of Craftgasm, inviting me to attend a Handi-Hour, hosted by the Smithsonian American Art Museum at the Renwick Gallery, across the street from the White House. The event, which changes themes, costs $20 and gets you two craft beers, a souvenir glass, hors d'oeuvres, and all the crafting you can handle for two and a half hours. The July event was co-hosted by the National Postal Museum and the theme was "postal modern" so, of course, I had to attend. 

I really didn't know what to expect. I thought maybe there would be 10-12 people with a few cold brews around a large conference table. I was wrong. 

HandiHour 5

The event filled a ballroom sized space within the gallery, called the Grand Salon, and the crowd spanned all demographics. Beer flowed, a musician played, and crafting was had by all. Between the Renwick and the Postal Museum, the crafting supply table overflowed with quality supplies: colorful calendars, fabric swatches, cool first day covers, canceled stamps, envelopes, stationery, and more. They really brought their A game. 

I made several envelopes from cool calendar pages, and wrote a letter (while somewhat under the influence) to the Missive Maven. All letters placed into a box at the event were then posted for free by the Postal Museum!

HandiHour 1

I would have crafted more, but I ran into awesome people from the internet. Melissa stopped by to say hello, and Erin, from the Postal Museum, introduced herself. They were two of the masterminds behind the July Handi-Hour. Turns out, we read and adore many of the same letter writing blogs. 

HandiHour 6

In meeting other people from the internet, I was pleased to meet Ashley, an intern at the Postal Museum, who shared her fantastic tattoo. By the time I'd crafted, chatted, and used both my drink tickets, it was eight o'clock and the event was over. So, I packed my bag with a few extra craft items and my commemorative Handi-Hour glass, and called it a night. Just like that, the Handi-Hour came and went, a whirlwind of crafting and creativity in a town otherwise known for its buttoned up demeanor.

Letter writing is almost always solitary activity, its a warm feeling to do write with others. Our community would do well to have more letter writing events. While the Handi-Hour was a good time, this collaboration with the Postal Museum was a one time event. I know other communities have letter writing socials, but I haven't heard of any in my area. I feel a project coming on.  Are any of you, dear readers, in the Washington, D.C. and interested in moving forward the idea of setting up a writing social in our area?