Sunday, April 11, 2021

Happy Mail from NancyH.

It was a treat to receive this back in December.
Front and inside of card pictured below.
Envelope is original art, the card looks like she had her art printed - but she assembled them and that little gold border is steal-worthy.

You too could learn to write like this if you devoted your entire life to lessons in art. Technically, Nancy has a lot of other stuff going on, but, she's put in a ton of hours studying art. More than I have. As I recall, she has only one step-son, so my excuse for being a lesser artist was my devotion to raising the offspring.

In Dec or Jan I ran across The Daily Stoic, and signed up for a daily blurb on coping. Half the time, I just delete them without reading because I have enough to read. The other half the time, chore-avoidance allows me the time to read them. The Feb 2 message was a real ah-ha moment for me. It was a simple reminder that we are all riding waves. Situations repeat themselves. Some of us ride longer waves than others. But we will all wipe out at some point. Unless an alien spaceship stops by and offers an alternative trip.

The stoic blurb of the day triggered thoughts on why I get so much out of the blog. It occurred to me that my time spent on the blog and my interaction with the readers who leave comments or send emails is a magical connection that balances out the things that are in-my-face. I get along just fine with the people in my bubble. But, those of you who are out there - are contributing just as much as the people in my bubble. 

So, thank you. And treat yourself to something fun today. New art supplies. A favorite food. An entire day of doing nothing. Do whatever you want -- guilt free. If anyone objects, tell them with conviction that it was not your choice. Tell them that you were just following instructions that are beyond your control. You only have my permission to do this once a year. It's my birthday. I have not decided what I am going to do yet - but I'll keep you posted. It will probably involve coconut. I'm pretty wild.


Saturday, April 10, 2021

3rd LOVE stamp - to KateR

It is so helpful when the USPS designs stamps that work in both portrait as well as landscape orientation. This would have been better with a portrait oriented stamp. It might look fine to just use it in that orientation. The design is a bit abstract. While there are a number of things that I like about this stamp, it's not a favorite. But, it's fine.

I think the stamp is growing on me. Several people have sent me envelopes with very good ideas. 


Friday, April 9, 2021

To RachaelT, CathyO, Christi - stamp-stamps no. 2, 9, 10

This one ran before, but, I thought it would be interesting to see the variations in intensity of color and stamp choice.

It is still head cold day.
I'll find something more interesting to fill in since I'm not coming up with anything interesting to say.

Mary Engelbreit has a granddaughter now - so she makes things like this when Lola is coming over. If you go to her IG account, there is a darling little corner in Mary's kitchen with play house furniture. It's all really adorable. Although, it seems odd that she would plaster photos of the little girl all over social media.  And she just posted that she has all kinds of fabric designs and can't find anyone who wants to license them. That seems really odd, too. She's been the queen of licensing for 40 years.

Link to Mary's IG account


Thursday, April 8, 2021

Blue LOVE to Jess and Lynne (squeaking rant)

 It would have been fun to have a photo of Jessica's before I added the hearts. It was barf-worthy. I was dee-lighted when something as simple as those hearts turned it into something that was happy and would not give the USPS fits.

I'm medium happy with Lynne's although it might be a bit too much blue. I do find her name challenging because of the length of her last name. Same with Jessica's - although I'm getting a lot better at anticipating her two names. The more I letter a name, the more I learn about what looks good. I've done Lynne's name enough times that I could get it to fit p.e.r.f.e.c.t.l.y without penciling. And you know how rarely I even aim for perfection. Technically - never. I only aim for precision - so when I hit perfection, it's a little ray of sunshine.

Fingers crossed I don't mess up when I do the street, etc. I've pondered making mailing labels for the addresses on exchanges. The Flourish Forum has had a discussion going about how people who do traditional copperplate addressing have had the USPS return them as unreadable. I find that a bit hard to believe. Although, it was said by people who I've corresponded with and I do believe them.

I have not taken time to delve into it. One person said they went in to the post office to see what the problem was - and the clerk just shrugged. I know the USPS has a few employees who are sorta *out there.* I wish they would hire me to recruit employees. My son and I are always identifying people who would be stellar USPS workers -- they just don't know it. I think they need some cool spokes-people. The only time they had any positive publicity from a spokesperson was Lance Armstrong and that sorta blew up. 

My new project: find some cool spokespeople for the USPS. Lemmekno if you have any good ideas.

I did hear a segment on NPR about some of the new things that the USPS could offer to nudge them into some other categories. They might have been good ideas. The only one I can remember is ATM machines. Seems odd that they didn't jump on that one a long time ago.


Small rant - in late Feb - the painter is here as we near the end of our massive renovation project at the 420 -- and his roller is squeaking. Intermittently. Oh.My.Gosh. I thought some of those other construction noises were bothersome. This one is at a frequency that is hitting somewhere in the inner sanctum of my brain. My apologies -- there is no reason to whine about something as insignificant as a squeaky roller.


Lynne's envelope rode to the PO with the other envelopes, but, I held it back so that I could make that blue a little darker with colored pencil. It is not dramatically better. But at least it is not worse.

Actually, there is a legitimate disorder and I probably have it. Misophonia. And for some people there is just one noise that makes them upset. Like fingernails on blackboard. That is a common one. My daughter has one that we think is very interesting. It started when she was a kid and it still makes her very unsettled if she hears it. It is the sound that a ball of cotton makes when you pull it out of a pill bottle. Isn't that odd? We were talking about it and wondered if other people have any similar sounds that they are really sensitive to. Feel free to tell us about it in the comment section or if you prefer to remain anonymous, tell me about it in an email.

Misophonia is a disorder in which certain sounds trigger emotional or physiological responses that some might perceive as unreasonable given the circumstance.

A friend of mine tells me that the sound of a pizza box opening causes her distress - and she likes the pizza. That inspired me to look for more unique sounds that are bothersome. So far, I have only found lists of the most common bothersome noises.

Here is just one of several articles (from The Google) that lists some of the most common troublesome noises.

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Paperclips to Smash, GraceE, & RachaelT

Back in January, I ran an envelope from RachaelT with this style of lettering. See how I avoid calling it a font or a hand. It is based on a font. So I feel like calling it a font. But, I know that some of you think it should be a hand if it is done my hand. But, I digress.

Below, the one I did for Rachael is the most careful and precise one. I got looser on Grace's and then I pulled out a big bullet tip marker to do Susan's. I went over the gray marker with a copper pencil and I am happy with how it looks with that stamp. Sadly, I only had a few of those stamps. Same with the stamps on the two below. It is a nice combination. Not swoon-worthy. Just nice. It was a fun style to try. 

There might be some more coming up.

And just to remind everyone that I can turn out a dud from time to time. But, I still post my duds. Here's a dud.

I'm writing this on Feb 1.
Any chance there has been any improvement anywhere involving anything?
Feb 1 is a lotta same-ole-same-ole.

I actually feel good about a couple developments - in the midst of all the stuff that is not exactly encouraging.


Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Jean's January exchange envelopes - No 4

The third of four posts on this style. I liked this one and was very happy with the stamp. In this series, the blue jay and cardinal stamps were both very nice. I liked the barns and owls. The misty trees were nice, too. I guess the rest of them did not appeal to me as much. I hope people don't think my stamp choice is any reflection on how I feel about them personally. I never think about the person when I am making the envelopes. The only time I think about the people is when their name starts with C. For some reason, I struggle with C's and you C-people deserve better.

Compare Amy and Troy. If I were to do these over, I would make Amy much larger and Garten smaller.

I did not plan on putting the same stamp on the two Grace envelopes. Obviously, there was an ooops on the GraceE envelope - so I double stroked it. If I ever do more of this style, I would do more double stroking. GraceE's probably would have looked better with a larger last name. Or maybe it just needs more space between the letters 

This style would look good on Halloween envelopes. Oh -- I do not have an exemplar to post. I'm writing this on Jan 10 -- so I have time to add it. Jan 10th. Remember what was going on that week? It was always interesting back in 2020, when I would make remarks about current events and then see what I had written when the post popped up. It will be 3 months into the future when I read this. If I have learned nothing else from the past year - it is to not even ponder what the future holds. 


Monday, April 5, 2021

J's version - LOVE stamp No 2


On the Chuck, I went over it a second time. The MYRICK is just one layer. I can't decide which one is better. This idea is another one from Kristina Werner (Star of May) posted on Mar 21st. My version is too tight. It might be time for me to stop doing anything even slightly geometric. This is another post written when I am in my head cold quarantine with my bad mood. 

On top of the bad mood - I lost some really good stuff I was going to post. TJ, our computer tech, warned me that hackers are now coming into your computer while you sleep through ads - if you leave your browser open. So, I have to close my browser every night and I ended up losing some good stuff. Normally this would be a good time to go surfing and find some new good stuff. But, I have so few posts loaded that I have to stick to that mission.

Sunday, April 4, 2021

To Leslie - from Janet?

 This was written almost two weeks ago and I am fully recovered - and did not infect anyone else.
Additional thank yous to Leslie for sharing images of her envelope. She kindly send images and included information like -- who sent this one. Sadly, I am unable to generate the energy to find the email because Mr Wilson caught a cold and passed it along to me and I feel like I have bricks in my sinuses. I'm here in Chicago and he is in DSM so he is missing out on my pitifulness. And I have to keep myself seriously quarantined so that I do not infect my daughter and her family. So, I am working on the blog. I'm sure these will be completely worthless blog posts to read. But, the envelopes will be wonderful.

I'm guessing this is from Janet - because of the postmark. If I am wrong (or right) please let me know.



Writing this on Sat AM - there are quite a few posts coming up with whining. My apologies. Things are much better in real life. My daughter and her husband are getting vaccinations today. Spring weather seems to be winning - only one day at 29-degrees in the past week. Nanna knows to have her Icebreakers whenever she's in Chicago. That is the brandname of my new favorite long underwear that are miraculously made of non-itchy wool.

Saturday, April 3, 2021

Jean's Jan envelopes - No 3

Four more from the January exchange - the style that might not appeal to everyone. I'll cram them all into 4 or 5 posts and spare you a 30 day ordeal of obsessing about each and every one of them.

First obsession: that J in Jean. It's wonky. Plus the line is wimpy. I was using a fine line Sharpie. I needed to remember that each time I set the pen down, with the cap on -- when I took the cap off, it would be dry and I would have to write something to get it going again. I suspect that Chuck's was the only one with pencil lines. I never did decide which direction I liked better.

That C in Coop is bad. The serifs are too long. And Susan's n looks like  an R


Friday, April 2, 2021

To Lauren, Lynne, JackieM - Stamp-stamps - No 6, 7, 8 (no rant)

These are super redundant - so I'll gang them.
Lauren's is probably my favorite of the three.
Lynne's last name is long and I like finding ways to tuck it in.
I think I lean away from having last names being the focus.
Jackie has the McC thing going on which can be challenging.

That S on FRASER isn't quite right. S is often the hardest letter to fit in when you are constructing an alphabet out of straight lines. The way to work around the S - is to figure out the S before you do all the other letters and let it determine the height.


It is Jan 24. I'm wondering if the general need for ranting will have subsided.
It's safe to say the loveliness of spring might be contributing to some optimism.
Fingers crossed.

Thursday, April 1, 2021

Exchange sign-up is below. A couple rants. A wonderful rabbit hole.

Scroll down past this one to sign up for April exchange

 It is 6:33 a.m. I am up with the grandkids while their parents sleep a bit longer. Kids do not appreciate sleep. They are excited to get up because Nanna is here. Sadly, Nanna is just a guest and she can't break the rules. 

First rant of the day -- Blogger is hiding ALL of the comments in the Spam. Grrr. However, Blogger is still free, so I can't complain too much. 

Second rant of the day - not so much of a rant -- just a reminder to MsM who did not find all of her kid's names (or her own name) on the name day website - that anyone who needs a name day and does not find one on the website is authorized to set up their own name day. It would be fun to figure out some kind of formula for choosing the day.

Here is one method: Count up the number of letters in the name. If it is more than 12, divide by 2. That will give you the month. Then, could up the number of vowels and that will give you the day of the month. Voila, you have your name day. 

Here is an envelope that I think is lovely:


I just went looking for a random image and found this:

We are too late to participate in a cal for entries for an exhibit on mail art.

Within the article is a link to the Smithsonian Postal Museum.

I have not figured out how to view the envelopes in the exhibit. If anyone can figure it out, please let me know. I have several envelopes in their permanent collection and would be very curious to know if any of them made the exhibit.

Nice rabbit hole (I'm guessing) as I do not have time to explore. Must prepare for day 3 of spring break with two kids who have previously experienced some wildly exciting trips - and staycations (even with Nanna) are a bit of a let down. Although, Nanna could make it more fun if they had an actual space where we could do messy art. <sigh>

Link to Rebecca Gibbon's Flickr account

Keep scrolling to sign up for April Exchange

April Exchange - Sign-up

Are the sign-up envelopes getting redundant? I'll be doing 6 of them in a row using envelopes I addressed back in late Sept. It is a dismal, dismal time as I write this in mid-Oct. Are we doing better now that it is spring?


To participate in the April exchange email me by the 4th and the lists will be sent on April 5th (or 6th at the latest)

Please send your info - in the following format. 
It is so helpful when I can copy and paste, rather than reformat your information, or find your email.

Add (CARDS) after your name if you wish to exchange handmade cards.
Add (Birthday) at the bottom, if April is your birthday month.
Add (2 Lists) at the bottom, if you are willing to be on 2 lists - if I need to add people to make the lists come out even.

Jane Smith (CARDS)
123 Oak Street
Ames, Iowa 50010
(Birthday) (2 Lists)

Send the above info to me at:

Additional information about how the exchange works is on the tab that says *envelope EXCHANGE rules*
Or if you have questions - just email.

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Jill's coat - no envelope today

 I didn't want to say anything right after the inauguration because I don't like to come across as critical. But, I did want to toss this out because it reminded me of how I often have a rough sketch that I like and then when I do the final, I don't always relax and keep the spontaneity.

I love florals and there was a time that I had a ton of flowery stuff in my closet. So, my first impression of Jill's coat was, "I love it." Then when I looked more closely - the spaces between the flowers bothered me. It felt like they had a set of rubber stamps and tried to fit them together - but the white spaces did not flow. The placement of the flowers seems a little awkward. 

I was not going to even say anything on the blog - until I happened across this article that shows a sketch of the design. The sketch is so pretty. I wish they had maintained that look when they went to the embroidery. 

I'll put a couple photos here and link to the article if anyone is interested.

Link to article about Jill's coat

There is some overlap on the sketch. 
It would have been cool to let the flowers touch or overlap - but someone must have chickened out.

Maybe they used clip art. It sure looks like it in this photo.
I know it's hard to find people who can draw these days.

If I run out of things to do -- I'll make my own version.
The USPS kindly printed up that sheet of stamps with the 50 state flowers
for reference and I know how to draw.

I could just draw on fabric. I don't think I need a white winter coat.
It would be pretty on a tunic styled shirt.
And then I could embroider the drawing in my spare time.

I wrote this back in January - it is now the end of March and when I look at the white spaces now, they bother me even more. I do not have time to find an example of a floral border where the leaves and stems are done in a way that everything relates. I'm not finding the right words to describe what it is that bothers me. Maybe someone else will.

And here is an article confirming that Jill commenting on fashion is not something that she's going to be doing. 

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

J's version - new Love stamp

This is a very specific lifting of an envelope that appeared on March 21st by Star of May (Kristin Werner?). This was my first envelope using this stamp. I am cringing at the details on this - the poor planning. It would have been so easy to use chalk and make guide lines.

A couple weeks ago I was babbling about my upcoming trip to Chicago. I only have 29 posts scheduled so I really need to start loading and writing some blurbs. But, I have noticed that my writing over the past couple weeks has been *off.* Maybe I'm the only one who feels that way. We are clearly in a different phase of the pandemic. 

There might not be many added rants. That does not mean that I have nothing to rant about. I have a ton of stuff to rant about. But, I am going to spare you. It's springtime and we can stop obsessing about falling on the ice. I just had a phone call from my doctor saying it was time for my check up and they were just doing them over the phone. Wow. In my book -- that's a silver lining to the pandemic. There were a series of questions that were clearly meant to assess my mental health - like, "Do you have people you can talk to?" or something like that. I almost laughed out loud and said, "Yeah, I have about 300-400 people who check in every day." But, I figured that would make me sound a bit less than lucid.

As I've said before, I sure hope this is not a case where there are only 10 readers and they each check the blog 30 times a day. That does not sound like a good use of anyones time.

Monday, March 29, 2021

Jean's Jan Exchange - No 2

This was the second style of lettering that I tried for the January envelopes. I had a ton of fun figuring out how to do the letters in a more gestural style. We do not know if I will be able to post the inspiration image. It's on Pinterest. These two photos show the difference between winging it (no pencil guide lines) and pencil guide lines. 

Then I did the thing I do way too often, I do all the lettering without thinking about the stamps. In the back of my mind, I was thinking that black goes with everything. When I pulled out the stamps, I discovered these winter scene stamps. I remember the day I bought them. The clerk at the Post Office was one of my favorites. The actual station has been my least favorite for a really long time. But, they have two new clerks who are so nice. One of them was so excited about the winter scene stamps and how much she loved them that I bought them knowing full well that I thought they were uber-blah. There was something about her enthusiasm that I just felt better buying into her sales pitch. I could always put them in Mr Wilson's little stash of stamps.

In some ways, they solved my problem - because I had quite a few black stamps and did not want to use them up with this lettering. I'm always thinking I can post inspirational lettering. Even though I had a lot of fun figuring this one out -- I doubt it will appeal to many of you.


Sunday, March 28, 2021

To Grace - orange dragon (Name Days)

 Ho hum.

I loaded a bunch of envelopes and left the comment-writing for later. And I have nothing to say about this one. However, I have a wildly exciting new pastime. Name Days.

It started with an article in the NYTimes about Name Days. I think there are kindred spirits at the NYTimes who sit around looking for content since that is their job. I will link to the article if you are interested - but the second link is where you go if you just want to find your name and when/where to celebrate it.

There are probably other websites with Name Days - but this will get you started if you want to celebrate your name. There is a purple bar at the top - and you just type in your name - but then you have to go over to the right - and click on the word [Names] and choose Name Days from the drop down menu.

For some names, just one date or just a few will pop up. For other names (like George) you have to choose which country or which month - since the Name Day for George happens on many different days in many different countries.

There are several options on the site - if you want all kinds of other information about names - like famous people with your name. Jean is just chock full of fun people with that name. 

There are 8 links on this page. I honestly don't know how I refrained from going to all of them. So tempting.

Anagram names:
Oh, wow -- this is fun

Jean > Jane > Jena > Anej > Neja
Who knew how versatile those 4 letters could be.

Saturday, March 27, 2021

Jean's Jan exchange envelopes No 1

One of my ideas for the new year was to choose a new style each month and post an exemplar for anyone who wanted to download it and try it. This was the first style I tried. I also knew that if I made myself to the 25-30 envelopes that I do each month, I would get a better idea of whether or not I liked doing the style. It has been my observation that when you try a style on 5 or 6 envelopes you don't really give it a chance. So, I had a lot of fun with these but they seemed a little blah. I did not even bother photographing all of them. 

There was a smudge on the one to Smash, so I filled in the grid. That didn't cover it up, so I filled in some squares. I ended up liking that one the best but it was not going to be fun to use that texture on all of them. I thought of making myself come up with 20 different ideas - but that was a huge risk. It seemed like it would be a better idea to just use these as inserts and start over.

These envelopes do give a lot of different options for address placement. Some of them have fake addresses because I knew they were not going to be mailed. Another reason to not mail these - I had not considered what stamp I would use. It was fun doing the little rubber stamp stamps.

Here is your exemplar if you want to try it.

I like the names centered better than flush left - but I can never center very well on an envelope which is why I went with the flush left on the envelopes.
I was too lazy to find a ruler, so I did the wavy lines, which I like a lot. But I was not that happy with the wavy lined addresses.

I might revisit this style with a ruler and see what happens.


Friday, March 26, 2021

To KateR. stamp-stamp no. 5 (USPS cakes)

oops - this one did not pop up at 1 am. I forgot to set the time.

 Yikes. The I and Y are dreadful. I'm not sure how I even let this one out the door. The white space pleases me. I thought I would find more interesting things to do with the stamp. So far, all I have done is use it when I did not have a stamp in mind. I bought the new LOVE stamp on a Wednesday (two months ago). I also mailed a box with some jigsaw puzzles to my daughter in Chicago. Apparently the 7 and 5 year old kids are into jigsaw puzzles. She texted me the following day at noon - saying they had arrived.

Way to go USPS -- that was amazingly fast. I guess you were all caught up by the end of January. 

Now I have to see if I can create something splendid with these stamps and the new LOVE stamps. 
I will try really hard to stop surfing Pinterest and looking at all the USPS cake and cookie ideas.

Thursday, March 25, 2021

Christi - scripsit & pinxit - off-topic unless I add an envelope (no rant)


This is a detail from a blog post on EyesWideShut - a blog that has been in my list of recommended blogs for a couple years (at least). Christi's blog is in the category of quality over quantity. I always have to click on her images and enlarge them to see the details. This one caught my eye because I had never seen the word -pinxit. It was fun to Google it and learn all about it. How can I be 69 and just learning something as important as this? Better late than never, eh? Did all of you already know about it?

I included Christi's image of the easier-to-draw-faces *up-side* to the pandemic. It's seems odd to be looking for or even finding any kind of *up-side* to a pandemic - but there are quite a few (according to articles I've read). For me, hiding behind a mask has been a wee bit comforting. I'm not naturally very outgoing. My cheerfulness is a bit random. 

You might want to check on other posts that have appeared since this one.

I hope I get around to trying my hand at some lettering inspired by Christi's. It reminds me of the Worms Bible lettering that I posted a while back. Those middy-people liked their red lettering. Does everyone know the origin of the expression: a red letter day?

I bumped this post to Mar 25th - since that is a red letter day -- Lady Day --
and what, you may be asking, is Lady Day - something else I have never heard of?
You may check Wiki for that, too. You can click on it at the above link.
It's the day that the angel came to Mary with the shocking news.
Wow -- that takes me back.
When I was expecting my offspring we still had to stop in at a lab for a blood test. When they called me with the results, they gave me some results for some other kind of test. 
I said -- "Uh, I don't think that's right. I had a pregnancy test."
The person on the phone said, "Oooops. There were two Jean Wilson's here today."
I asked how old the other Jean Wilson was and as I recall -- she was close to 50.
We agreed that it was a good thing that the mix-up was discovered on the call to me -- as the older Jean Wilson might have been pretty upset to hear that she was pregnant.


One more thing about pinxit - 
in case you like Latin
pinxit is the third-person singular perfect active indicative of pingō, with the meanings: I decorate or embellish; I painttintor colour; I portray.

Pingo would be a good word to remember for people who want to be evasive about what they do for a living.
When asked "What do you do?"
they could reply "I pingo."
I wonder what the word would be to fill in under the line for occupation:

pingoer or pinger ?

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Leslie to Nele + Gross motor activity - Diggerland.

Happy card and envelope from Leslie to Nele. I wonder how that name is pronounced. 
I have not been able to find any more of the succulent plant stamps. Now that I am in Chicago for a few weeks, maybe I should try some of the Chicago post offices. My past visits to stations in this city have been less than warm and cozy. Des Moines is soooo dull - but the upside is that there is a little less urban *edge.* I just saw a bit of humor said that if Duh Moines was a color it would be beige and if it were a spice it would be flour. 


This is a what I would have planned for a birthday party for the BigHelpfulBrother. A trip to Diggerland. 99% of the time, my blog is about fine motor activities. I can' think of a single gross motor activity that has ever appealed to me - except building the occasional snowman. I could have just sent this link to the BHB directly, but, I decided to share it, in case anyone has a yearning to move some earth. Or perhaps you need an idea for a birthday gift for someone who is an earth-mover type.

Link to Diggerland in Kent, UK

It is an amusement park with all kinds of vehicles and earth moving equipment. If you don't want to travel to Kent, UK, you can Google Diggerland - and there are some locations in the US. I found Diggerland because I was delving into the author Jacqueline Winspear. I downloaded her book (a memoir), This Time Next Year We'll Be Laughing. She is a couple years younger than I am - so there are a number of things that parallel with my memories of growing up in the 50s, 60s, and beyond. But, -wow- rural England was still a very challenging place to live while many of us were enjoying the mid-century life here in the US. Her description of working on the farms in Kent County sounded more like unpleasant (abusive) child labor that compared with our turn of the century life. Pulling the stems off the imperfect strawberries that were headed to the jam makers - until her finger tips bled. I am tempted to email the author and ask about leaving blood mixed in with the strawberries - but, I have too much to do.

The title of the book was something her dad would say whenever the family was faced with a challenge. We've all been muttering - for the past year - that we'll be looking forward to things being better *next year.* Here we are - not sure we are laughing yet, but there are a couple bright spots here and there.

I was curious to see what was going on in Kent County currently and there are tons of historical sites to visit. Also Diggerland. Kent is the southeast corner of England and includes the white cliffs of Dover. 

As luck would have it, I have some lovely mail from exchanger Rebecca who lives in Berkshire, UK. I used Google maps to determine that she is 1.5 hrs from Diggerland. We will be very interested to find out if Rebecca has been to Diggerland.

This is just one of 20 different activities pictures on the link. Some are scaled down for very young kids.

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Barf Font (Handwritten Letter Appreciation Society)

 Have I lost my mind?

Not that I know of. I am sifting through my big fat binder of fonts that I have saved. I had a fuzzy copy of this font and did a search to see if it would pop up - bingo - I was happy to find who designed the font.

Bernard “Hap” Kliban (1935–1990) offered Barf Bold, a Decorative Typeface in one of his hilarious cartoon collections in the early ’80s. Kliban created the cartoon genre that consisted of a single panel with a droll, third person narration (e.g., “Houdini escaping from New Jersey”), a style which Gary Larson of “The Far Side” later became famous for.

Kliban’s correct use of the term “decorative typeface” (he could have also used “display face”) is especially notable now that most people use the term “font” broadly to mean a printed face, a typographic family, a specific typeface, or (correctly) the licensed software that allows us to reproduce type on our computers.

Link to carsonparkdesign  where I found this.
I have not had time to surf around that site. It might be full of goodies.

I did a little surfing so that we would have an envelope idea today.
I do not have time to go to the link and see if the society is still up and running.
Maybe later?

It only took a minute to confirm that it is up and running - and based in the UK.

Monday, March 22, 2021

BHB Birthday (Meow Wolf article)

This is a cute idea from Jeri. In some ways a birthday celebration is like a new year. The person is observing the new year that begins as they launch their next trip around the sun.

The cute little envelope contained some confetti-type 2021s.
I'm writing this on Jan 18. It is sunny and snowy and I am waiting for the tile artist to arrive with the new tile for the bathroom renovation. For 42 years, we have called our bathrooms the pink bathroom and the green bathroom - because they had 1949 pink/black and green tile. BHB (BigHelpfulBrother) was also built in 1949. He's lasted longer than the pink bathroom - but the green bathroom may outlive him.

I imagine we will still call the new neutral bathroom, the *pink bathroom.* I wonder if anyone chooses colors for bathrooms any more. I will refrain from surfing. A while back, I surfed through the Sherwin Williams site and they have a page with *colors thru the decades.* It was so much fun to revisit all the familiar palettes. From 2010-2020 -- there has been nothing but gray. I suppose the new bathroom will look very dated someday. 


One of the most memorable things I have ever seen is Meow Wolf in Santa Fe NM. It's hard to describe. Various artists have created an environment (that changes) and it takes a couple hours to wander through and experience everything. They have opened a second space in Las Vegas. This article talks about the several art installations/spaces that are beyond the scope of a picture or a sculpture.

Link to art article

Sunday, March 21, 2021

To JeanR - Nov tennis ball and trees (Star of May)

 While this is a very odd combination, I rather like it. That might be an over-statement. I guess I could say that it doesn't make me go grrrrrr.

Not much to say about this, so I headed over to Pinterest to find something green - bingo.

I am a big fan of mixing letters.
This image seemed like it was going to lead to a blog or website with more envelopes - but it lead to a Kristina Werner who is into nail art. She does have some very detailed designs on nails. 
Then I clicked on something that took me to Star of May - and that seems to be her envelopes. Somehow, Star of May rings a bell. I probably linked to some of her work previously.

[insert -- I did a search and - yes - I had a link to her envelopes back in 2013. Wow. Why can I remember things like that - but not the things that I really should remember?]

There is a ton of stuff - not all of it is stuff I would do - but this one caught my eye.

OK -- I did a little more clicking.
She is on YouTube -- so she is still active in designing and all things paper.
So, if you find yourself inspired by her ideas, just make sure you are only making your own things for your own personal use and not selling anything.