Wednesday, January 23, 2019

More Pen and Marker Storage (Bonus Post)

There will be a third and final chapter tomorrow.

A few penpals emailed that they enjoyed seeing the storage photos. So I thought I would add a couple more. Figuring out how to draw on the photos was fun. Although very difficult to use my finger as the pencil. I couldn't find any kind of stylus that would work. Can anyone tell me if such a thing exists - where I could write with a pointed object on an iPhone.

The arrow points to the 5 boxes (plus one lid) of ZIG markers. Having sets of 48 markers was a luxury - but they are more than 10 years old - probably 15. I've replaced some of the colors - but they have given me years of fun.

Jan gifted me about 30 Copics - and it's been a fabulous gift. Someday I might treat myself to some more.

Below, you can see two of the lids I use to keep current supplies corralled. The one on the left is the December lid. All the things I pulled out during the December and January mailings. It's time to put them away with their brothers and sisters. To the right are the items I pulled out to go with the new Love stamps.  I'll keep ading to that lid as I do the Feb exchange envelopes.

Below the lids is the bottom desk drawer. I forgot that my colored Pigmas are down there. Under the Pigmas are all the tools for cutting, scoring, etc. Since there is that one open space in the plastic drawers, I can probably move the colored Pigmas over there.

I have my name on a lot of the supplies. I use those free return address stickers. I needed to mark things so that I wouldn't lose them during classes.

Below is a stack of lids. Some of them are candy boxes. Any kind of flat box or lid will work. These are nesting - so they do not take up much space when not in use.

Below I have them stacked criss-cross.
If there are several projects going on at one time, each project can be in a lid and it is easy to find the one you want because you can see what's in each lid. It's a stack of stuff - but has dividers vertically - so it less likely that anything will get lost in a big pile.
Also - if the stack is getting too tall, I know it is time to buckle down and finish some of the projects.

Criss-cross stack

And last, but not least - the two giant under-the-bed storage units - I put my shoes in the corner for scale. That's a lotta stuff. But I've visited other scribes who have way more than what I have.

One more post on this topic tomorrow.

Aug Exch from Carroll and Nanski

Two auto themed envelopes for George in August. It was interesting how people came up with designs that might appeal to a guy. Not that guys don't like flowers, rainbows , etc.

The top one is from Carroll and the bottom one is from Nanski. George enjoyed all of his mail and did not make any comments about the flowery ones being too girly. But, to be perfectly honest, Geo and I have some atypical gender characteristics. He is much more of a chatty, keep in touch with people and actually care about feelings. I'm way more, OK, fine, nuf said, leave me alone, I'm busy.

But we both like flowers. Except I get sad at cut flowers. They would have had a longer life if left alone.

Nanski has some fun stencils and art supplies. Not sure how all this came together - but it looks like it was fun.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Sept PTEX - Thomas - Winter Sports

There is BONUS post right after this one.

My apologies to Thomas if I have sent him winter sports previously. I assure everyone that these are the end of the winter sports. Of course, I was saving these to use on an envelope to my son - the skier/hockey player --- so there was some grumbling at myself when I realized that I had used up stamps on the wrong person - but - the part of me that is excited about getting the hoard abated is winning the battle of the two Jeannies. Soon I will be all sweetness and light.

Anyone who knows me personally just fell off their chair laughing. Hope you didn't hurt yourself-selves.

Shout out to Amy -- I am writing this on the day after we saw the film about the guy in Greece who spent his entire life collecting mid-century modern items - household items and chairs and lamps - but not large furniture. It's a long story - but in the end - the entire collection is sold at auction and he does not realize his lifelong dream of having it put in a museum. The son of one of his best friends heard about the sale and dashed off to Greece to film the sad ending to a life of collecting. The film was about $50,000 worth of therapy for me to see the lunacy of collecting things. I will be interested to see if this nudge became a full fledged shove - when this post pops up in January - 2 months after I have written it.

Pen and Marker Storage

Long-time penpal Beth asked me how I stored all my pens and markers. Rather than send her an email, I will post here, in case others are interested.

I inherited this handy drawer unit from my daughter. The drawers are 11" wide by 14" deep.

I have labels in the front to help me remember what's in each drawer - as I do tend to move things from time to time. The unlabeled drawer has nibs and ink that get used most often. There is another box of nibs and ink -huge- in an under-the-bed storage unit.

The top drawer is divided - front row, back row. I make my dividers out of card stock and leave them floppy - so that as groups come and go, they can wedge inwards and outwards to accomodate more or fewer.
Right now we are heavy on the silver and white sections and light on the gold. I like that they are flexible.

There is another lid on top of the drawers. I use lids to keep things that I have pulled out and will be using for a few days. Once a project is complete - I put everything back.

Recently, I bought one of those over-the-door shoe hangers and I love it. Mr.Wilson buys large coffees in styrofoam (judgy glare) and brings them home. I have one hard plastic watermelon cup that is the same size and if anyone knows where I can get more of those, I would love to find some. The size of the large red Solo cup - but a harder plastic. The Solo cups do not work.

Sharpies are the only markers that are OK to store point down. All other markers need to be stored flat. Once they are getting pretty dry, then you can stand them on end to get the last bit of ink out of them. You can see that pocket - at about two-o'clock from the doorknob.

Colored pencils are also in these pockets. Glasses, glue, paint brushes. My yellow Mont Blanc pen that was a gift from my daughter - from back in the day when she spent way too much time downtown Chicago.

Don't miss the skeleton in my closet. It is a maquette for a life size paper skeleton that I constructed for a Day of the Dead celebration at the local art museum - back in the day when I did things that were completely nuts and I wish I had taken more photos. Shout out to the people I roped into some of those projects. Sorry.

Here is one more box - a bit larger than a shoe box. I get a lot of nice boxes from wedding invitations. I made dividers - the floppy kind - and most of my gel pens are in this box because I ran out of room in the 6-drawer unit. This box is on a shelf in the closet.

All the ZIGS are in matching boxes - in the closet. I'm allowing one shelf for pens and markers in the closet. And there are two huge under-the-bed storage boxes with stuff I don't use very often. They could easily get dumped on my grandkids some day. Or maybe go to the garage in marked BankerBoxes. I still have too much. But, little by little I am doing the Kon-Mari method of sifting, sorting, and storing in logical fashion. Obviously - if we ask - "Does this spark joy?" The answer is almost always yes. There are a few really nasty cheap pens that I can toss with ease. But most of the time, if it writes, it sparks joy.

Back to the drawer unit: the 5 bottom drawers have mostly markers and pens, stored in lids that nest.

G-Tecs are in the front row. Colors on top and black on the bottom.

There is an empty box in the back - looking for something logical to be assigned to that spot.

I did not intend to do all the drawers - but here they are.
Nibs and ink - if I need something quickly.

Copics are big, so they are just in the drawer. One floppy divider keeps grays in the front. For some reason it is nice to have all the grays together.

Miscellaneous in the back - Tombo in the front. They are long.

Random in the back. Small blacks in the front.
I need to go through and test and pitch some that are dried up. Notice how I am currently putting a date on each pen or marker when it is new. Very helpful for grabbing the fresh ones.

Here is a video of my floppy dividers, in case the still shots do not make sense.
Now that I have discovered how easy it is to upload videos, I will probably be doing more. 
I might even talk. The thought of listening to me rant in person scares even me.

Monday, January 21, 2019

Bonus Post - 2019 Love stamp - to Angie, Rushi, and SuzanneE

When I took the exchange envelopes to the PO, I was unable to resist the temptation to buy some new stamps. These colors are so much fun and I have plenty of markers and pens in those colors.

The top one to Angie shows it after I added the gray shadow. Below is the before shot.

Angie sent me a Dec exchange envelope pictured below. Rushi sent me a postcard so I did a return envelope to him. Suzanne signed up to be on two exchange lists and I forgot to tell her that when people are on two lists - I only send one envelope. So she gets a second one because she sent me two. It seemed like a good idea to show all the *love* ideas together.

I probably won't use these stamps on the February exchange. I was doing some sifting and found an alarming number of orphan envelopes. So I'll probably continue the hoard reduction project and know that I have these in my back pocket if I need a quick and foolproof idea.

August Exchange from Carole - Cows

Carole kindly sent to both George and me even though I indicated that exchangers only needed to send to him. I was gone for more than half the month and figured he would enjoy getting some fun mail.

Carole enclosed cow-themed book marks and George was very happy with his. He reads more than one book at a time and can always use a nice bookmark.

I love how the three cows are focusing on the address. I have such fond memories of being around cows (beef cows) when I was a kid and spent some time at the ranch where my mom grew up. These are dairy cows and when I was very young, they had a milk cow. Really memorable - trying to milk a cow. The smell of the cow barn is one of those smells that i can conjure up even though I have not smelled it in about 60 years.

For the postal junkies looking for places to surf:

A lot of documentation of a lot of visits to post offices.

Or if you just want to hit the Iowa post offices:

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Aug 2018 PTEX to CathyO - Pinterest border

Once again - I was drawn to copying borders off Pinterest. I feel like I'm doing the AA thing where you stand up and admit what you have done. Then I think you have to admit you are powerless. I think in the case of Pinterest border copying - I can just stop doing it and not go through the 12 step program.

On the other hand - I have written a book - Obsessive Calligraphy Disorder and it has a 10 step program for managing the situation. I really need to revise it and re-publish it. Note to self: get that done.

It does not mention Pinterest copying - it's more about spelling problems. We all know that my interest in proper spelling is dwindling. Plus - there is so much *text-speak* that I'm thinking that the concept of proper spelling may truly be headed for extinction (along with our species). It sorta makes up for all the things that have gone wrong in the past 2000 years. And I do not expect a single person to agree with me. I'm just saying that the issue of spelling was torture from the time I learned to read and write and has been a ghastly ordeal for over 6 decades. And I am not exaggerating. It's an issue of the highest order. Private commiseration is welcome.

The rest of this post is a caffeine induce rant that is a complete waste of time if you have things you should be doing. Don't let your curiosity get the best of you. Just stop now - and get on with your day. Or, if you have too many hours to fill - you can read it and at the end, say to yourself - Oh, good grief. At least I'm not like that. I assure you, at least half the time I am surfing and reading blogs or even IG posts - I come away feeling grateful that I do not inhabit some of the heads that are babbling on the internet.
The number of people who burn out on blogging is quite high. I do not know why. And now I am wondering - what is the longest running blog on the internet?

I wrote this at least three months ago. As I have been reviewing posts that will be popping up shortly, I was surprised to see what I had written considering what has gone on in the past three months. First, I figured out the app on my phone that allows me to download books and read them. This has turned my world upside down. I now kill way too much time reading. Plus, I can find people who are way-more educated about things that are just randomly popping up in my head. So - the latest book that validates everything I have been observing and thinking since I was a kid is: Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari. Oh.My.Gosh.  I was right. We are animals. Babysitting (as a teenager) and then observing my own feral offspring (and grand-offspring) - I have been thinking since 1965 - those are animals. I was right.  And not that many adults impressed me as being significantly improved in a variety of ways.

And then all the things that really annoyed me because I thought that *people-just-make-that-stuff-up* is actually fiction and they did just make it up. My intuition was right all along. Of course, there's nothing we can do about it now. But, it has given me such peace of mind to know that my intuition was correct. Or - I might be looney and Yuval is looney in the same direction. I should probably send him an envelope and a thank you.

One of the things he says is still a complete mystery is - why has the male gender had such an *upper hand* and seems to maintain it. Here is where I really do want to have a conversation with him. As a male, he has not had the *job* of bearing and nurturing offspring. He simply can't fathom what a person goes through. It is seriously difficult and exhausting - and yet - women keep doing it and offspring keep surviving. Sure, we networked in the caves and shared some of the chores with the other women - but a lot of what we do doesn't look like hard work. We make it look easy because we are caring for consummate whiners. Therefore, we have ceased to whine (or keep it to a minimum). If males had to go through the childbearing and nurturing I suspect there would be some world class whining. Instead, they just see us as weak and needy and easy to dominate. Our battle to keep the young 'uns alive depleted our energy and we gave up the battle to be *equals.* Deep down, we do wield some pretty awesome power. I'll get into those powers in another post.

I also invite people who think I am completely nuts or missing some important facts to weigh in. You may do it in the comment section or shoot me an email at the jmwilson 411 -at- yahoo -dot- com with your thoughts. And do not be afraid of hurting my feelings. I've actually been honing my skills at debate and would welcome a spirited discussion.

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Happy New Year from Carroll and Trish (Bonus Post)

Both Carroll and Trish chose Happy New Year themes for exchange envelopes.

Carol's on top has some lovely hand carved rubber stamps.
I enjoyed the card, too. Thank you to the PO for not putting an ugly cancel on the envelope.

Trish mailed hers, had it returned - crossed out all the info on the back and reset it and it arrived.

Scroll down to the regular post for today.

The card that was inside Carroll's envelope
Back of card form Carroll.

August Exchange - from Anthea

Blue and Yellow is one of my favorite color combinations. It might be some weird Swedish DNA thing.

Anthea usually fills up all of her space and does some fun hand lettering on a panel that is applied to the envelope. Whenever I see collage, I think, "You should do more collage." And then I forget.

What's wrong with blogger that they do not recognize the word collage - and want to make it into college?

Friday, January 18, 2019

Aug 2018 PTEX to Jessica - birthday candles

This one is fairly simple. Any name with a J and a C is going to be challenging. Jessica has been a pretty regular exchanger - so I need to do a better job of finding fonts where I am happy with the J and C.

Or, I could do a search for *Jessica* on the blog and see what I have already done. Maybe I've done a bunch that I actually like...but have forgotten about.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

July Exchange from Christine - watercolor - two sided

Christine came up with a very clever way to send a watercolor without the stamp being part of the design. It was done on a sheet of fairly heavy watercolor paper, then folded into an envelope and the flip side had the stamp as well as the address and return address - which is covered up by the origami heart.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Aug 2018 PTEX to Fatima - quote on the left

A third one in the series where I like the style of lettering but am not pleased with the random bold words because they are not meaningful words. This one has more of the blue colored pencil which seems to distract a bit from the fact that less important words are emboldened.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Bonus post - NovPTEX - Shimmery-mess

While the new 2019 method for organizing the mail and posting is going very well, I am still finding some random items.

These 4 are not worthy of their own posts. They are here because I'll never know if the original post for today (below) has a repeat.

Obviously these are Sharpie on shimmer and using up vintage as well as orphan Forever stamps. They are gone and that is all that matters.

Some of them might have appeared in a group shot where I took a preliminary photo. I'm always wishing I could show the steps involved but I'm not going to do it with still photos Once I have the hoard cleared out, I will go back to videos. Yup. I have my own YouTube channel and if all goes as planned, I'll be the next internet sensation. Not.

Second daily post right below.

July Exchange from Kate R and Sherri (Possible repeats)

These might be repeats.
Kate above
Sherri below

Monday, January 14, 2019

Aug 2018 PTEX to HeidiH - border doodads

This is another envelope that was in an ancient stack. The designs were lightly penciled and I am pretty sure they were from a book that I gave away and really regretted giving it away. But, I'm getting over it. I don't know why I am so drawn to copying really old designs. Sometimes I think my creativity is drying up. It doesn't even bother me. It's like my brain is tired and mindless tasks are more satisfying. Or maybe this is a cycle - and things will change. Either way - I'm not going to obsess over it.

Sunday, January 13, 2019

July Exchange from Nanski

Nanski's July envelope featured red-white-blue --- stars and the Queen of Hearts -- a fun combination.

This design could easily become a Valentine theme. Hearts instead of stars.

Somewhere in the archive is a valentine I made in green and black. I loved it - and especially loved the non-traditional colors.

Yesterday, I found the font that had inspired the envelope. I found it about 7:30 am CST. I checked the stats - and by that time, there had been 100 views of the page.

So - for anyone who checks the blog early - and missed the update yesterday - scroll down.

Also - If I am getting around 300-400 views per day
that is roughly 130,000 views per year
1-million divided by 130,000 is 7.69 years
which is how long it took me to get to a million.
Random useless information.

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Aug 2018 PTEX to Janet - whole font

This envelope had been in my stack for a long long time. I'm sure it would not take long to find the font on Pinterest and I hope I can add a link.

I'm 99% sure that Janet used the font on a return envelope. She's been doing a good job of spinning ideas back and forth with me. I'd steal a ton more stuff from her, but she spends a lot of time on each envelope - more than I am currently allowing myself. But - that might change. Certain things on the to-do list are officially done.

Saturday morning - surf time.
I found it

Friday, January 11, 2019

Bonus Post - Re-run - Note to exchangers

Reminder to everyone: don't fall down
unless you are making snow angels.
A re-run from 2015. Hard to believe those stamps have been around for 3 years. I'm wondering how old Stella is - and what she is up to these days. I met her 5 years ago. I need to catch up with Janet, too.

I'm back from my trip that started on Dec 23rd. After I get settled, I will start my January envelopes. It's always fun to get home and find the stack of mail from the current exchange. Tons of gorgeous mail that you will be seeing in November.

As usual, half the people prefer to send empty envelopes and half like to do cards or letters. I enjoy reading notes and letters - and apologize that I never have time to write.

When I send the lists I ask exchangers to hit reply to let me know they received their list. I usually have one person per list who does not respond. What's with that? At least I am getting a good response to my request for the format in which you send the info. I do appreciate it when you give me the info in an easy to copy block.

Shout out to the BigHelpfulBrother who did all the actual work on the list making and list sending for January. It went smoothly with only a couple blips. I keep telling him that if he would just do it every month, it would be easier - but he's not buying it.

July Exchange from Lauren - Colors

A colorful envelope and card from Lauren. It looks like a rubber stamp. The colors look like watercolor.

Below is the card which had a humorous note on the inside lamenting the humidity - which was making a mess of the note written in white ink on black paper.