Lagniappe Collection DIY Postcard

Today two quick things I really enjoy: Looking up a new to me word and some very late happy mail in the inbox! All this because a very bulky and quite interesting looking envelope arrived…

By the way, do you know what the word “lagniappe” means? I sure did’t know until just now, when I googled it.

Envelope with postal sticker that say Return to sender because proper customs form is missing.
Envelope with postal sticker that say Return to sender because proper customs form is missing.

Lagniappe (pronounced lan-yap) is a noun that is used mostly in north America and it means “something given as a bonus or gratuity” (tip), a little extra. noun: lagniappe; plural noun: lagniappes.

It is not at all weird that I hadn’t heard the word, lagniappe, before, and it is not too weird if you haven’t either, because as it turns out it is a Cajun-French inspired noun pronounced as a French word meaning “a small gift given by way of compliment or for good measure; bonus.”

The words origin is a fun fact to me because the bulky envelope that arrived the other day was from a swap participant in New Orleans, so my guess is that to her that word is not strange at all even if it is dialectical.

I will get to where I found the word in a bit, let me just adress the reason this envelope was “late”…

Purple non machinable envelope sent by Karen M in New Orleans, US for the iHanna DIY Postcard Swap

The bulky purple envelope, sealed with duct tape, was inside a small bubble mailer that was stuffed into a bigger white bubble mailer with a new address label. This is me guessing now, but I think it was returned to sender, Karen in New Orleans, due to being bulky and missing the “proper customs form”. I really hope this does not happen to most envelopes containing handmade postcards for the DIY Postcard Swap – that would be very annoying and silly.

I understand that customs form is needed when you send parcels, but for letters and postcards, I do hope they’re not gonna implement a customs form for all that. But like I said, this was overly bulky so I guess the customs were wondering what was inside. And so was I! LOL.

Envelope with postal sticker that say Return to sender because proper customs form is missing.

Item number one inside the envelope was a DIY Christmas Card with glitter stars and ornamental book corners in metal:

Bulky and thick DIY Christmas Postcard made by HappyHour Kitty Art
Glitter drenched DIY Christmas Card made by Karen of Happy Hour Kitty Art, 2023.
Detail of a DIY Christmas Postcard by Karen M. Shiny, beautiful but also very heavy.
DIY Christmas Card close-up.

Then a Thank you Card to me, for hosting the DIY Postcard Swap spring 2023 (!), yes, it must have taken this postcard a while to get here at the end of the year…

A fun DIY Greeting Card with Thank you made by Karen of HappyHour Kitty Art
Hvala, Obrigado, Merci, Grazie, Thank you, Danke! Tack sĂĄ mycket, tack!

On the back of the thank you-card was this note: “Hi Hanna, a lagniappe collection from me to you!” and I was like: a whatyoumacallit? Wait, what is this?

A Lagniappe Collection

I am so glad she wrote “all can be removed and repurposed” at the bottom there, because that is how I discovered the secret of this postcard! The lagniappes that I got as a gift, and that is stored here like a little paper bit collection, are attached only with tack (poster putty) and they can be removed and used as embellishments in a journal or notebook (or wherever). So fun! Even the fleur-de-lis card in ATC-size from the front can be removed. And all of these decorated paper bits:

A lagniappe collection from Karen in New Orleans to swap hostess iHanna
A lagniappe collection from Karen M in New Orleans to swap hostess Hanna in Sweden.

Each of the bits are decorated and glitter excessivly. I love it so much!

From the lagniappe collection made by Karen M. in the DIY Postcard Swap that I host.

I have never seen or gotten anything like this, but now that I understand what it is I am intrigued. It brings me back to happy mail days of my blogging past and makes me so grateful that the post service managed to get this to me in Sweden all the way from New Orleans – in spite of the hiccups on the way!

Have you heard of lagniappes? Have you made any? Have you sent any out? Are you getting any happy mail these days?

Wishing you a merry December from a very snowy Sweden.

4 Responses

  1. Hanna, thank you so much for this very nice presentation of my little “thank you” gift to you! It did take a long time to get to you. There is a saying “third time is the charm” – this was actually the 3rd time I tried mailing the Christmas card to you. So happy it was finally delivered to you!! I am very impressed with all that you do.

    Coming from a very French background, here in New Orleans, we learned very young the meaning of lagniappe – as a source of giving back in a small way. It is similar to a RAK (random act of kindness).

    Thank you! And, looking forward to future swaps.

    Karen Miller
    New Orleans, Louisiana

    • Wow, three times. That postcard has traveled a lot more than we have in the last couple of years, right? LOL. In any case, thanks again for the thought and the effort put into sending it again and again. And yes, RAK, I so love that idea / expression as well and I have even written about it many years ago on the blog: Random Act of Kindness – thanks for the reminder. :-)

  2. Oh what a lovely story and thoughtful mail art. And I have heard the word lagniappe but didn’t know the meaning!

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