16 April 2011

Arcana Via Magical Mail

One aspect of this Summer's Wizarding Event will be a Post Office.  Since the cost and training of a bunch of owls a la Hogwarts is out of our pay grade ;-) we've modified the notion.  Our new wizarding school is located in the Middle Midwest of Upper North America, a region with a storied tradition of mail delivery by animal post: the Pony Express, for instance, and carrier pigeons.

World War I carrier pidgeon transport vehicle
Image source

So the notion of an owl post shall be retained in the post mark and design of the Portable Post Office (on a wheeled cart we're hoping!).

The narrative for the day is still being worked on, but we know that at least once, and possibly twice, the kids, er, new students, will be receiving packets of mail.  The mail, which I have the honor and great pleasure of creating, will consist of flyers, postcards, letters, and - most importantly - packages.

This is where I am hoping that you, Dear Readers, can assist in this grand and creatively silly adventure.  The idea is that each young person will receive a fancily wrapped package that contains some Perfect Thing.  It needs to be on the smallish side - say no larger than 6x6 inches (though something 4x8 inches or 3x10 inches would be ok as well).  I've collected a few items so far, but cool, small, arcane objects are not always easy to come by.  Can you help me?

So far I have an antique magnifying glass similar to this (though no where near as valuable!):

A handheld abacus very like this one:

(p.s. This link includes good info on how to use an abacus!)

A handful of keys - both modern and old-style (which I am thinking of spray painting in all sorts of colors and putting on very large rings).  I could use more of the antique kind, the odder the better.

The kinds of things I am on the hunt for are similarly familiar and yet not something the average 21st-century kid is likely to have seen but would think is "totally cool."  Things made of metal, things that have mechanical workings, things that come in cool little wooden or decorated boxes, things with lenses or gears, etc.  Perhaps you have some odd or obscure object that you really like but don't want to just recycle or give to Goodwill.  It doesn't even have to be old - just unusual in some way.

Nothing valuable or expensive, please.  And smaller treasures are welcome too - in that case, we would create a package containing more than one item. (We want to be sure each child's package is approximately the same in size and contents.)

I cannot pay you (this is the first year we are putting on the event, though we hope it turns into something regular and looked forward to in the community).  What I will do is send you a hand-written -- or typed on an old manual typewriter -- thank you note in a decorated envelope and, as the items are made ready as Perfect Postal Packages for the day itself, I will take photos and post them here in my ongoing reports.

If you think you have something you think would amaze and amuse a young wizarding student, please email me at dantes_wardrobe (at) yahoo (dot) com (be sure to include the underscore "_" in the name as I've typed it here).

Ideas for cool stuff (but certainly not limited to this).

(p.s. This link includes info on how to use read a compass 
and use it with a map.)

Small spyglass/telescope in a box (not in a box would be nice too)

Navigational Tools

Wooden Boxes
They can be new, old, painted or unpainted. We'll put cool stuff inside them!
Our "Props People" love to play with this kind of thing!

Thank you!

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