Tuesday, March 31, 2020

2 pointed pen from GraceE

Mar 30,2020 -- If you read the blog yesterday, before 6 am CST, it probably sounded very strange - because it was written before the pandemic - and I had not yet added an explanation. I usually look at the posts the week before they pop up to make sure that current events have not changed what I would say. I forgot to do that.

GraceE is one of our regular exchangers. You may see lots of her work at her website. She does a lot of traditional envelope work and says she enjoys the exchange because it gives her a chance to splash around a bit. If you are ever in a hurry, Grace, you can always churn out your typical envelopes - and I am pretty sure the exchangers would be uber wowed.

Grace's Website

It just dawned on me to look for her IG -- another peek into her world. It includes dachshunds. And, I think they might be miniatures, too.

Monday, March 30, 2020

One more Ruth - mismatched horses in Dec

Mar 30 - the following post was written before the pandemic - so parts of it are out of synch with current events.

I lost track of things and ended up with 2 envelopes for Ruth in December. I will also add some silliness that I sent inside one of the envelopes.

I do not recall to whom I sent the tree and the note that I would send details. I will not be sending details. I do not even recall why I was on a rampage. I know for sure that nothing that went on in my world held a candle to all the things that were happening to people that I know. Seriously awful stuff. I will not even begin to hint at any of it - except to say that there were no felonies or anything like that.

I pondered a post in late December - sending kind thoughts to everyone who might be having a rough month. But - any month is ripe for rough patches or freaking catastrophes or worse. So feel free to steal this idea and put the doo-dads into whichever monthly shape is appropriate.

I might have added a note on the envelope that held this card explaining that it was for her-eyes-only -- and too snarky to post on the blog --- but, I figure all y'all know me well enough to expect the occasional outburst. I know people who never have outbursts. Admirable, but not anything that I imagine will become part of *me.*

front of a card

inside of the card

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Covid Coping - Kaput

I have run out of steam on doing a second posting each day.
While there are plenty of things to repost off other blogs -- surfing to find something to repost is not an uplifting activity. Hopefully we are all figuring out ways to cope. As we head into tornado season, those of us who live in tornado territory have something else to watch out for. We're under wind advisories today. Normally, I would go walk at the mall during less than lovely weather. Today, I will be assembling an inclement weather outfit.

Below is a nice link from Finnbadger's blog - with a fun envelope download.
His blog (linked on my blog) has a lot of good links to other blogs - and each of those has more links.


Sunday Rabbit Hole - off-topic-ish - Aesemic Writing

Remember last Sunday when I posted the work by Madge Gill? The term asemic writing had slipped my mind. I noted that Pinterest had tossed the image onto my screen, thinking it was similar to other stuff I like. And they were correct. I reposted it and then Oh.My.Gosh. when I went back to Pinterest, I scrolled down and OH.MY.GOSH.GOLLY.GEE.WHIZ....
there were about 50 more things that I loved. I've posted other asemic writing. To some, it may look like scribbling, but, IMHO, there is a difference. Scribbling does not always look like wordless writing. And asemic writing does give one the impression of writing.

So, If you, too, are drawn to asemic writing, here is the link to the Pinterest image of Madge Gill's work and you may scroll down to the dozens of examples of other kinds of asemic writing.

I'm curious how many digits there are in a Pinterest image.


What comes after trillion?
I know I could ask Google, but, I would rather ask you.

I'll post just one more. 
I love it because the person (Christopher Skinner) says he got into asemic writing by way of finding something to do during boring meetings.


Warning: Seriously dangerous rabbit hole - unless you have a lot of free time.

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Covid Coping - puzzle answer

Pick the three letters that, when placed in the same order, complete the following words:
  1. E _ _ _ P
  2. _ _ _ C K
  3. S _ _ _ S H
  4. L I _ _ _ D
  5. T E _ _ _ L A


I don't have a story for today. 
After making 20 masks for a local hospital, I am going to make some for myself and a few other people. There are so many different styles. I might make one of each. I had to go out and buy a new light for my sewing machine and called first to see if they had one in stock. They did - and when I arrived, the door was locked. I guess they are only letting in one customer at a time. I asked if fabric stores were going to be considered essential. The state of Iowa ranked liquor stores as essential and I would think that fabric is as addicting as liquor. She said she did not know, but the fact that she was in the supply chain for hand sewn masks might tip her into the essential category.

CarolC - Teal and gold

CarolC pulled out some pretty gold ink. She also found some nice vintage stamps. In the world of typography, mixing caps and lower case has a name. I think it is bi-form. However, my little brain is not remembering things that go back nearly 50 years and I am too lazy to research the topic. I am just pointing it out because mixing caps and lower case is a really good idea - especially if you have never done it. It gets rid of ascenders and descenders and fits everything into nice stripes. Genius.

Friday, March 27, 2020

Covid Coping -- a puzzle and a polio story

I was excited when I figured this one out.

Pick the three letters that, when placed in the same order, complete the following words:
  1. E _ _ _ P
  2. _ _ _ C K
  3. S _ _ _ S H
  4. L I _ _ _ D
  5. T E _ _ _ L A

Here is a story about polio. My kids 32-35-39 probably don't know much about polio. The 32 year old just heard this story from his girlfriend, Rainbow. Rainbow's mom, Nancy decided two weeks ago that she was going to stay home as long as necessary. She will have Rainbow bring her groceries and necessities but she will not let Rainbow come inside. 

At first, Rainbow thought it was going a little overboard - considering we did not have any covid cases in Des Moines, yet. So Nancy explained something. It is probably a story that Rainbow had heard, but did not connect it to our current situation until Nancy reminded her.

When Nancy was a kid, she lived through the polio epidemic. Her mom had been vigilant about doing every single thing that was recommended to keep her kids safe. Unfortunately, the family decided to go to the Iowa State Fair and Nancy's brother got polio. I have no idea if there had been any recommendation about avoiding the fair -- but the parents felt responsible (and remorseful) for making the choice. I do not know the details of the whole ordeal - other than Nancy reported that a lot of the care and rehab fell to her after he was past the infectious stage. He was able to learn to walk again and is still living, although he has a bit of a limp.

The experience left Nancy with the mindset that her choice will be to follow the most vigilant course of action. This is not an editorial. I'm not judging anyone on what they decide to do. T
he answer to the puzzle will appear tomorrow.

Shapes from Sam and Jessica

Sam and Jessica both sent envelopes with bold colors and shapes. When you are looking for ideas for stamps, you can pull them from the stamps. On both of these - they pulled the color and then came up with other shapes that relate specifically (Jessica's) or not (Sam). Maybe there was something specific in the stamp that Sam used in her shapes. To me - it is just the roundy-ness that relates. If you picture pointy stars - you might be able to see how roundy is probably more pleasing than pointy.

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Covid Coping -- Guess My Word

I do not play a lot of games. I do the NYTimes mini-crossword puzzle daily. Once in a while I play mahjong - less than once a month. But that's about it. Recently, I saw something about word game and gave it a try - and I really like it. It took me a while to figure it out, but it has really grown on me. I've only been playing for about 5 days -- so I guess it grew on me very quickly. I'll post a link to the game and also a screenshot so you have an idea of the progression of guessing. My strategy is to always start with an M-word -- and then work backwards or forwards - generally half way in whichever direction I need to go.


If you get the easy word, you can try a harder word. I have always figured out the easy word and today, I did it in under 1 minute. I have only figured out the hard word half the time. When I give up and click on the answer, it is always a word that I actually thought of, but was inept on how to spell it.

If you are in hibernation with another person who likes word games, you can play this game with two people. You each choose a word and then go back and forth - guessing words - and your partner tells you if your guess is before or after the target word.

Bars from JeanR and SueM

These two from Jean and Sue are two nice examples of how a big chunk of horizontal or even two chunks will make a pleasing design. The way Jean's lettering is done is very interesting. It seems like she lettered and then started filling in spaces between letters, but then maybe something happened on that H - but I totally like that there is one letter that is different. Maybe she intended to make it different because the stamp looks like an H. Either way it's a nice stealworthy idea.

On Susan's, I also wondered if that green tape is covering up a mistake. We'll never know - but it is worth noting that if you do make a mistake - ponder tape before you discard the envelope. On this one, the green bar is a very nice addition.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Covid Coping - in real time

New plan. I will probably add a post around 1 PM every day -- but it might not have a visual. In fact, today, it is 12:32 -- so I have only a half hour to post by 1pm. Finding a visual was too stressful.

A minute ago, I knew what I wanted to talk about and now, I have forgotten. My ancient computer is very slow and it is stressing me that it might die and then it would be hard for me to post. But, I am going to stop stressing. I do have some backup methods for posting.

Inta, one of our exchangers from the Netherlands sent me a lovely email - wishing all of us well. I really appreciated hearing from her. If you do a search for Inta, you can see examples of her work. I have heard from many other exchangers and it is nice to be in touch with pen pals. I have not made any headway on an add&pass exchange.

As I surf a bit every day, I notice that more than a couple people mention how hard it is to focus. I agree. I did some mask sewing yesterday and it was not soothing at all. I have more to do today. Maybe it will be better.

I was thinking that I did not have a visual for today -- but, I guess I could post this: The caption was
Now I won't be touching my face.

From KathyS - horizon

Kathy has a really nice horizon going on here. The proportion of the envelope is a bit unusual. So many of our envelopes are 5x7-ish -- or business sized -- and this is somewhere in between. Sometimes it is called monarch and you mostly find it in high end stationery. The proportion of the envelope lends itself to a horizon. Kathy did a good job of arranging her elements to meander back and forth across the space.

I'm sorry to have to blast the post office on that scrolly-doodle cancel. It's clunky. The barcode at the bottom is a lovely addition to the design.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Covid Coping - Bus and Mar Env to Jean

Here is some very offbeat covid related chattering. Nine years ago, when my daughter had her wedding in Chicago, we rented a lovely tour bus for all the Des Moines guests - so they would not have to bother with Chicago traffic. Plus, the driver was able to provide our shuttle bus service for the rehearsal dinner and reception. It worked out beautifully and every once in a while I get an email from the company reminding me of their services.

Today, they sent an email:

Do you need a mobile office? How about a place to stay? Don't want to fly but have to get somewhere important? Through all of the craziness in our world right now, Arrow Entertainer is here to help out. 

All of our vehicles tackle any need you throw at it. Here are just some of the amenities you will experience, whether parked in a parking lot for an extended period of time, or on the road traveling cross country:

Outlets and USB plugs
8 individual beds
Spacious seating
Plenty of storage
A private driver (if traveling)
Much more

We use a EPA Registered CURIS Decontamination System provides a No-Touch, Whole-Room, Whole-Vehicle delivery system of 7% Hydrogen Peroxide Fog which kills 99.9999% of germs, so you can be confident in your own private bus.

If you have any needs, whether mobile or stationary, please do reach out! We have immediate availability and can travel to all corners of the United States. We have multiple vehicles, so if you have any specific needs, we can accommodate. Reach out if you would like to see more photos/videos of a specific vehicle, or visit our website at arrowentertainer.com.

So, I guess I have options -- if I am not happy with how things are going here at 420. I'm not sure where I would want to park it. Probably in the parking lot of the company. I'd apply for the job of cleaning the bus to discount whatever the daily charge is. Arrow Entertainer is a sister company of the tour bus that we used. Our bus did not have beds and a shower. Just a passenger bus. I didn't even know they had this kind of bus.


This is a March exchange envelope. I hope Jean liked the stamps -- they are uber-favorites of mine -- and Jean is a favorite pen pal of mine, too. She is supposed to head back to Iowa after wintering in a warmer spot. I sure hope her travel plans work out. I wish I had been able to use these two stamps during better times. I think I would have come up with some good thought-bubbles or talk-bubbles - of the two Jean's talking to each other. Or thinking. 

From Lauren - Dr. Seuss

Lauren must be a graphic designer. She is able to find cool fonts and manipulate them into lovely designs to go with the stamps. And then she includes very cool cards. Inside the hat is something about how a piece of paper can become a hat. The envelope is a good example of how nice it is to have two of the same stamp - sometimes. It isn't always perfect, but for something whimsical, like this is is way better to have two. I wish the PO did more square stamps.

Monday, March 23, 2020

Covid Coping -- 2nd post of the day -- from Naomi

Today's regular post is right below.

Here is something to ponder - an update from my postal worker. On Sunday -- they do not handle regular mail they do Amazon delivering. The sheer volume of Amazon orders yesterday made the holiday crunch look like nothing. There was no way to deliver all of it. They literally did not have enough space in the station to proceed with the usual process. In Dec, they would work until 10 pm or later to get everything out of the way - so they could start again the next day. Yesterday, they brought everyone back to the station at 7 pm -- and left many packages for today. I'm hoping they have the foresight to not run the workers into the ground, which is what they do every December. So, with people ordering more and more online - I predict things will get c.o.m.p.l.i.c.a.t.e.d.

on a lighter note

If you go to Naomi Bulgar's website and sign up for her newsletter - you can get 38 templates for her envelopes. I love her style.
Here is a link to the website

These are not the templates - this is just a random sampling of her envelopes on her website.
She is also on InstaGram.

you may email me and I will forward the newsletter - and you can download templates from the newsletter. Send an email to me with *Naomi's Newsletter* in the subject line. My email is jmwilson411 -at- yahoo-dot-com

Naomi's IG

there are new corona based fonts available at dafont.com
Saturday there was one font - by Sunday there were three. I'm guessing there will be more

If you like to look at fonts - click on Woodcutter's name -- he has posted tons of fonts.


Below are just a few of the images -- if you go to his font and scroll down you will see lots more.
Then if you do a search for *virus* in the box at the top-right, others will pop up.

Two from Angie

From Angie - the kitty might be a rubber stamp and she might have used the technique where you make one image with a freshly inked stamp and then make the second image on the envelope without re-inking, so it is shadow-like. It's such a large image - maybe it is not a rubber stamp. It could be that think I never remember the name for - which is used in printmaking. Speedy-cut or Zippy-cut. It's really fun for making your own prints because it cuts like but-tah. Then, you ink it with a brayer and put a piece of paper on top and press down with a clean brayer.

I like the details on the lettering below. The three styles of writing are nice and her line spacing as well as letter spacing is very nice. Each line is a little different, but they all relate to each other beautifully.

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Covid Coping - HB to the BHB

Today's regular post is right below.
HB is Happy Birthday to the BigHelpfulBrother.

I ran across a video that he might like because once upon a time, after he got out of the service, he built a cabin in the woods and lived there for maybe 10 years - something like that. He would come visit me and my wildly entertaining family once in a while and eventually, he either felt sorry for me or didn't want to miss any of the antics - and he moved to Des Moines where he launched his career as a BigHelper. I was so happy that I never had to share him with anyone. He does have an adorable wife who doesn't seem to mind that I syphon off some of the helpfulness that might be in her domain.

Here's the video. A guy who has missed out on being a BigHelpfulBrother. I haven't watched it. Sometimes you can just tell that it's going to be a charming video. Actually, it is in 4 parts - if you want to watch all of it.


This has nothing to do with BHB's birthday. I just require an envelope on each post. It seems like this one might have been posted - but maybe I have just looked at it several times and every time I think I might skip it because it reminds me of a virus. I did it way before the whole virus thing. Now, I guess I'll include it. I can always come back and delete anything that I don't really like.

I also want to thank Leslie for the recent mailing. It's a two-fer.

Sunday Rabbit Hole - off-topic-ish - Madge Gill

Pinterest drops images in front of me and some turn into rabbit holes. This piece is Madge Gill and you may read about here here:

Madge Gill

If you Google her name, there are tons of images online. Many of them link to other articles. There did not seem to be any more that were similar to the very cool writing. All the rest reminded me of Zentangles. Like this one:

I am intrigued with that writing. Less intrigued with all the rest of her drawings. Although, scanning through all of them, I did enjoy the range. And her story fits in with my opinion that obsessive filling of space can be very soothing. Many of the images are postcards. I didn't find any information about whether she mailed the postcards. It did occur to me that the exchange could be a postcard exchange. Or we could include postcards as an option.

Leave a comment or send me an email if you have any thoughts about pros and cons of postcards.

Or you may leave Happy Birthday messages to the BigHelpfulBrother.

H.B.D.K. (I call him DK)

There will be a 1 PM post today - so you may come back BHB. It's mostly for you -- and also for Leslie.

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Travel theme from Lynne + stream of consciouness

A fun travel themed envelope from Lynne arrived in January. The circle cancel looks nice with the circle sticker and even the barcode is a pleasing addition. I could just barely make out the Bandelier National Monument on the stamp. I can't picture which series the stamp is from and I could easily find it on the website -- but, I think I'll have to let that research project go. Although it is a gorgeous stamp. Until I get rid of all my orphans, I am trying to ignore stamps in general. It occurs to me that I should treat myself to a carton of kraft envelopes. Maybe that should be my 10th anniversary of the blog present to myself....which was last month. But, I am writing this on Jan 18 - a day that will live in infamy here at The 420. I used to call our house *The 420* as an homage to the days when teenagers would tease us about having 420 on our house. Apparently, 420 is the police code for pot related crimes. I don't know if that is true. Since the teenagers are all gone -- I think I'll just call us a Ship of Fools. Or maybe I need to research that reference.   This stream of consciousness might get edited.

Friday, March 20, 2020

Covid Coping - Making masks

A friend of mine just emailed and asked if I know how to sew. Apparently there is a need for people to make masks. You can find several articles if you Google the topic.

I found this link:


Ironically, a couple days ago, I was thinking about the ladies during the civil war who needed to roll bandages and wondered if there would be anything similar to that during our current event.


TODAY's regular post right below

We just found out that the local county hospital has kits for people to make masks - they supply all the materials and people who can sew donate their time. So, if you are interested in helping in your area you might call your local hospitals and see if there is something similar going on.

Another article on the topic:

Surprise Mail -- so slow to respond (to Tammy and others)

It disturbs me how long it takes to respond to the lovely people who send snail mail after they find my blog. This is from Tammy in Texas. She included a pretty handmade card and a very nice note. I get 4 or 5 such mailings every year. I always put them on the top of the current stack of things I hope to get done promptly -- and then -- they get buried under other things that I am hoping to get done promptly --- and then the stack gets too high and I organize it into other stacks and they all get lost.

So -- my deepest apologies to Tammy for not responding. I know there is also one from France -- and another one from somewhere east of me, but still midwest -- and a couple more that are slipping my mind.

Hopefully I will get to them soon. Hopefully I will come up with a system to actually respond promptly. Or -- as Tammy has indicated on her card -- I am just dreaming???? Either way, I'm not going to be too annoyed with myself because the whole point of the blog is to squeeze in some art and not be annoyed with yourself.

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Covid Coping No. 2 - New plan

TODAY'S REGULAR POST is right below.

It's not working for me to have a regular second post. I spend too much time looking for a visual and then it's really hard to even know what to say. We are all in different locations and everything changes so fast. I'm still pondering how to run an Add&Pass -- so will keep you posted on that. In the meantime, I'll be hunkered down and will be adding posts if

****phone rings******

See what I mean. I couldn't even finish that sentence without something changing.
It was a robocall from one of the Iowa senators who is having a town hall meeting via the phone, so I was supposed to stay on the line.

So, I might be on the line or I might not.

Note to self: put a coin in my pocket so that every time I have to make a choice, I can just flip a coin.

Maybe I should occupy my time doing this.

That is a link to Pinterest where you can scroll down and see all kinds of other pretty walls.

Finishing the topic of interrupted sentence:
covid-coping posts will be random and unscheduled

Abstract perforated circles from Sam

Sam often has nice titles for her work. I don't think I learned what she calls these. If she leaves a comment, we will find out. I'm pretty sure she did not call them abstract perforated circles. I do know they are hand carved stamps and I do know that the gold and silver has a tendency to rub off. It's a very pretty design.

Did anyone see the NY Public Library's list of the 10 books that had been the most-checked-out?
The Snowy Day was number one. That stamp is an image from the book. I believe half the books (maybe more - like 6) were children's books.

Oh, heck. It will only take 30 seconds to do a search and post the list.
Here it is.
Four are younger kids books.
I'd put Harry Potter and Charlotte's Web in a different category.

1. “The Snowy Day,” by Ezra Jack Keats (485,583 checkouts)
2. “The Cat in the Hat,” by Dr. Seuss (469,650)
3. “1984,” by George Orwell (441,770)
4. “Where the Wild Things Are,” by Maurice Sendak (436,016)
5. “To Kill a Mockingbird,” by Harper Lee (422,912)
6. “Charlotte’s Web,” by E.B. White (337,948)
7. “Fahrenheit 451,” by Ray Bradbury (316,404)
8. “How to Win Friends and Influence People,” by Dale Carnegie (284,524)
9. “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,” by J.K. Rowling (231,022)
10. “The Very Hungry Caterpillar,” by Eric Carle (189,550)

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Covid-Coping No. 1 -- MaryE Coloring Page


At 6 am today it seemed like a good idea to start a second daily post for people who are sequestered and looking for extra entertainment on the internet. So, I left a comment on the regular daily post saying there would be another post today. By 11, I had already gone out once to deliver an envelope to a client who thinks she is having a wedding in May. I did not have the heart to tell her that she should just cut her losses and forget about mailing the envelopes. And now - I am prepared to actually stay home. (famous last words)

Since my daily posts pop up at 1 am, I am going to add a daily 1 pm post (hopefully).

I saw that Mary Engelbreit had posted a free coloring page on her IG account. She said it was available on her website - but I could not find the link. I imagine I will find some better stuff as time goes on.

My first idea is an Add&Pass project. One of our exchangers emailed me this morning suggesting that maybe we can come up with some other options for additional exchanging. Add&Pass is an exchange where there is a list of people and you start something - mail it to the next person on the list -- each recipient adds something and then mails it to the next person. I like the idea and will probably announce the sign-up in the next day or two. If anyone wants to offer other suggestions - that would be fine with me.

The person who emailed suggested that exchangers could just choose a name off an old list and send a random envelope. That's fine with me -- you are all welcome to send random mail to each other -- with the understanding that you might choose someone who is not in the mood to reply.

Here is Mary's coloring page.
The resolution is probably not very good.
I might print it small on a piece of paper and fold it into an envelope.

From Anthea B&W + Going Postal review

Gorgeous stamps that go beautifully with the collage and lettering.

From Anthea - I think it was the Sept exchange. My stacks of mail piled up in Sept, Oct, Nov, and Dec. It is now the middle of Jan and I am racing to get every single piled up envelope photographed. As luck would have it, we have 5-inches of new snow and 50 mph winds are predicted. There is a good chance that I can get a lot done.

Yesterday was brutal, weatherwise. I treated myself to a video through Acorn TV - British films and TV programs. A few people have mentioned to me that I would love Terry Pratchett's book Going Postal. I'm pretty sure that I am better off with the film version. I loved-loved-loved it. I can't imagine anyone not liking it - unless they abhor anything remotely science fiction or fantasy. I honestly can't tell if it falls into one of those categories more than the other.

I loved-loved-loved it -- and hope all y'all can get Acorn TV through your local library. I was rather amazed at the amount of stuff that is available to me through the library. Maybe it is a perk that people in dumpy towns get that people in trendy cool towns don't get.

I suppose the book would be just as wonderful as the film if you like to read sci-fi/fantasy. I'm curious if anyone has read the book? Anyone care to leave a comment?

Tuesday, March 17, 2020


I know I finished this one, but I can't find a finished photo. I need to leave it here, in case I find it.
I will also add the photo that I mentioned in an earlier post. It is a better version of the Woodstock envelope for Natalie that is going to take me a long time to fill in.

Monday, March 16, 2020

To Sam - Gee's Bend

One last envelope from the BigCopic series. As you may recall, it was Sam who inspired me to get out the BigCopic marker and fill it with ink. I also had these two stamps from her. She mailed them to me, requesting I use them on an exchange envelope to her. Of course, it took forever for me to get inspired and then I sent one - but I put it in an outer envelope and did not add the stamps - because I wanted to make sure she liked my idea before I used the stamps. At the time, I thought to myself, "She will probably tell me that she wants an envelope that went through the mail." And that is exactly what happened. So this one went through the mail.

It is much easier to read than the first one - but I like it a lot better.

I even have some wretched mistakes that I whited out -- and I am fine with that. I like the way the 4 is layered over the beginning of a 3. It's very scrappy-quilty to me.

I took this close up and was going to send it to her as a teaser to let her know that the final was on its way But, then I didn't. I like the composition.

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Semi-Off-Topic Sunday - Benoit Furet

This could be an envelope.
Some of my regular readers are calligraphers. I could easily do two blogs, one for calligraphers and one for non-calligraphers, but I rather enjoy the melding of the two.

John Neal, seller of anything you need if you are a calligrapher, featured Benoit Furet in his magazine, Bound and Lettered. It is a wonderful magazine. I see a lot of pins on Pinterest that lead back to Benoit.

Does anyone know how to pronounce his name?

The first two images are from his blog. The third image is from his website. My favorite thing about his work is how he takes traditional designs and morphs them into his own.

the blog post with these images

the current page of his blog - where you can scroll back as far as you like:

Benoit's blog

His website:


Saturday, March 14, 2020

Third wave of BigCopics to Chuck and Sam

The second wave are the four super dry square lettering - and I'm too lazy to figure out if they have posted already or if they are coming up. These were a logical path to take when I was on the BigCopic binge in mid-January.

The second c in Chuck looks like an e because I made the stroke too long and curled it around.
Chuck received a thank you note - for sending me an envelope - even though I was not on his list. I can't/won't promise to send thank yous to everyone who sends me an envelope when I am not on the list -- but I will try.

Sam's thank you (not pictured, but similar) was for wishing that I would do a BigCopic envelope with her name and address. As you may recall, I was not pleased with her Sam -- and this Samantha is a lot better.

Chuck's envelope has some cherished stamps. On Sam's, I was going to add tiny letters in a wavy line across the top that said we are celebrating that I only have one celebrate stamp left - and am looking forward to the new celebrate stamps. But, I did not want to run the risk of messing up the envelope. I wish I had placed her name a little lower on the envelope. I did not have the stamps pulled out -- which is probably the mistake that I make more than any other mistake. Why?

It would have been SOOOOOO much better to stack the address over on the right directly under the stamp.
Grrrrrr. Why do I do such dumb stuff?
Cuz I am always in a hurry.

Friday, March 13, 2020

Snowflakes from Sam to Grace

These are hand carved stamps. I am not sure what kind of paint. Maybe gouache. Sam is so lucky to have some snowflake stamps. I wonder if the PO will ever offer re-runs of their designs. You know how you can order any image you want from Zazzle? What if the PO let us run off any design we liked. That would be so cool. I'd pay extra for some old favorites. Although, I can see how it would be too hard for them to catch people who were putting a less-than-enough stamp on an envelope - hoping it would slip though as a forever. Those barcodes on the Zazzle stamps really detract.

This is similar to the fingerprint snowflakes on another envelope from Sam. I think she said she liked one better than the other - but, I really can't say that I prefer one over the other.

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Sesame Street to Alex

I do not recall this character, but my kids watched very little Sesame Street. They were more into movies. They don't seem all that warped. I wonder if Alex knows who Abby Cadabby is? I do not recall ever seeing her watch Sesame Street. The envelope is in my box of *Names - waiting to be mailed.*

It is Jan 15 and I am pondering a do-or-die mailing in February. All the unfinished envelopes matched with the last few vintage stamps in the hoard -- and then -- clean slate. Would it even be possible to throw unfinished mail away? I suppose I could mail the unfinished envelopes out to the people who sign up for the exchange. It's easier when I let other people recycle my leftovers.

I like these posts where I ponder the future. It is always fun when the middle of March rolls around and I can reflect on progress, regress, or just *gress.*

This is like combining a diary with a schedule. Pondering the future, making plans, and then evaluating how well I did.

Thursday, Mar 12 - update
Well, good news on my little postman after reporting his slump 2 days ago. First - clarification on the person who worked 8 months without a day off. That person might have been a manager who was not putting in full days - but showing up to make sure that things were running smoothly. I'm going to blame it all on Amazon. My little postman had 5 days off to go to a wedding in Florida and he came home rejuvenated. There is a new manager at his station and there are some positive things happening.

Now for the really good news -- spectacularly, marvelous, celebration-worthy news on my stamp hoard: all my stamps lived in a box that was 10x12x2. I reorganized and it is now in a box half that size. I put myself on all the lists for the March exchange. Hoard reduction will be the theme for March. Yay.

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Fashion card and envelope from CaroleV

CaroleV does fun, coordinated cards and envelopes. The JW has a tiny little Sophia princess. The card is pictured below. Carole sends her cards without writing her name inside - or she puts her name on a removable tag so that they can be re-sent.

This one is going to my granddaughter who is 6 and already interested in fashion. I started sewing when I was 8 and have done lots of sewing over the years. I thought it would be fun to sew some clothes for her American Girl doll. When I arrived with the dress - she liked it, but asked if I could remove the sleeves as she thought it would be better as a sleeveless dress. Wha????? And this was a year ago. What kind of 5 year old wants to restyle doll clothes? Did I honor her request? Of course I did. I agreed that it looked better.

Recently, at her house, I was mending a hole in her tights and asked if she wanted to learn how to sew. She was thrilled and did a very good job with a blunt needle so I asked her if she wanted to graduate to a sharp needle. She was thrilled and we had to find some fabric. I grabbed one of my cotton turtlenecks and she proceeded to do her practice stitching. It was avant garde to say the least. I told her I was thrilled with it and that I was going to wear it on the day I flew home. She asked me to be sure to tell her if anyone complimented me on my pretty shirt. She also showed me how to adjust my coat so that her handiwork was not too covered up. There was some crazy stitching on the turtleneck and I was going to just turn the *turtle* to the inside as soon as I got in the Uber. But, of course I forgot. I doubt anyone even noticed. Because crazy stitching is all the rage -- maybe I just looked uber-trendy.


The link shows what Marc Jacobs was sending down the runway in 2016. I imagine he has moved on.  There are some much crazier pins on Pinterest, but I couldn't find them right now.

I noticed yesterday that Martha Stewart's magazine has an article on the trendy mending that is all the rage. You know that a trend is passe by the time Martha is sending it out to the masses. I do not buy her magazine. I look at it once in a while -for free- on the link through my library. If you want to see trendy mending - it is all over Pinterest. Just do a search for mending. And while it has been turned into a trend - it's been around for a long time. I'll refrain from giving a full report. Search sashiko and bojagi - or visible mending.

Enough off-topic.

Carole's cute card and envelope sent me off - as I avoid starting the day.