Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Spider on LSD to Leslie

How I did this is a mystery. It looks like I might have slid that favorite Copic inch-wide broad edge marker sideways. I do recall that it needed something more, so I added the regular no. 2 pencil mini-cobwebs in the name.

The lettering bothers me, but I like the look of the pencil. It's always worth mentioning that pencils are unsung heros.

I usually add a spider to a spider web - and have no idea if I added one to this envelope after I photographed it.

second of two part series on PBS
9 pm EST
Story of the Alphabet and Writing
How Writing Changed the World

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Cathy O - bats on black

Cathy O had some of those cool pumpkin stamps from a couple years ago. I still have some that Lynne kindly sent me.
The black on Cathy's envelope is probably gel pen. It must have been tricky for the PO to read it.
The vintage image if fun, too. 

second of two part series on PBS
9 pm EST
Story of the Alphabet and Writing
How Writing Changed the World

Monday, September 28, 2020

Bonus post - Mail art contributes to sale of house

Today's regular post is right below.

Also, around noon on Sunday, I added the last 4 groups of letters to the penmanship lessons. So, if you plan on repairing your penmanship, scroll past today's post and check out the Sunday bonus post.

Earlier in September, Janet sent me a wonderful mail art story. Rather than relate it in my own words, I am going to post it as written. She said it was fine to share the story - so I assume she's OK if I use her words.

The subject line referred to a recent post that included a card I had received referring to me being *awesome.*

Subject: in case you don't think you are awesome enough....

As you know, our townhome in Pleasant Hill is for sale - listed on Monday.
On Thursday, a man and his daughter toured it for the second time.
Our realtor texted on Friday afternoon to say that she hadn't heard anything from the showing yet.
Immediately after that, my NYC daughter texted to say that she had.

The daughter that toured with her dad saw an envelope on my art desk addressed to you.
She took a picture of it and sent it to Andrea in NY.  She wondered if I was her mother because Andrea had posted a similar envelope on IG.  (I practice on Andrea.).  In addition to the envelope art, she recognized our son and daughter-in-law's picture on the wall from her ISU days and sent Andrea a picture of them, too.

The woman thought our home was especially "homey" and wrote a letter, via her realtor, expressing how the wall of family photos AND the artistic envelopes on the desk were such a nice, clever touch.

They made a full price offer and bought this condo yesterday afternoon.

I'm giving you some of the credit, Jean.  Now THAT'S awesome because I can return to normal living and skip the real estate staging for now.  Thank you!



Yes --- it is awesome that your pretty mail made someone want your home. Technically - I'm not sure what part I played -- other than introducing Janet to the world of mail art. It is quite possible that we are both awesome - as are all people who have sense enough to take time to make mail art.

Here is the photo of Janet's desktop that was sent to Janet's daughter:

Oct 2019 to Lauren

One of Jean's variations on Carol's Jubilee. I could do a lot more Jubilee variations. Why doesn't someone offer to do an analysis of all the styles covered in the blog over the decade and make a graph so that we know which styles are over-done and which ones are neglected.

Why not?

Oh. You all have lives. I get it. Well, then we will never know.

I'm secretly hoping that someone is OCD and so curious that they will volunteer to tabulate.

And not-so-secretly knowing that I'm fine with not knowing and not having any volunteer to delve into the inner sanctum of the blog and tabulate.

Sunday, September 27, 2020

Bonus post - temporary penmanship tips

Today's regular post is right below.

Someday --- a better set of penmanship tips will appear. And they might get their own blog. In the meantime, I have a new set of eyes and ears who is working on her penmanship and I wanted to give her the full alphabet before I head out on a trip for a couple weeks.

My first set of tips are here:

Penmanship Lesson 1 

Lessons - tips -- you choose. There are all kinds of formal lessons featuring many different styles of penmanship. My *lessons* are actually tips that you can use as you study any style. My first tip is to leave off the loops, just to get a feel for the 13-14 letters that have no loops or tails. I put the letter t in with the letters without tails or loops (ascenders and descenders) because IMHO, it should only have a tiny bit of extension above the 13 short letters.

I have put together some lines with words to copy. Feel free to add any words that you like that fit into the groups.

Group one - i m n t l h u

Group two - add - k j v w y

k - I usually have a tiny loop on the second stroke, but you could eliminate the loop. I showed one in the top line without the loop. It requires a pen lift.

j - You can have an intro stroke and the tail can be straight. Or you can put a little curve at the end of the tail. You may want to drag a fine line up to the next letter creating a tiny bit of a loop, but for now, try to avoid a full loop.

y - I recommend a straight tail with no curve at the bottom - for now. If you slip, and put a loop on a y, just keep going.

Group three - add - a b d g r

a b d and g are all related and you need to find a shape that you like and make them consistent. A lot of mine have some italic influence with an almond shape. My practice gets *pointy* on the bottom because I am working on the rhythm. The goal is to make shapes that are consistent and that please your eyes. I don't get very good results trying to make copperplate ovals in everyday penmanship. For me, they do not have any natural bounce associated with speed. So - if speed is the goal - then, you might consider letting a little italic sneak in.

b - there are two ways to make the b. Once we add loops, that second one will look better. I tend to use both and choose which one depending on what letter is coming after it.

g - same suggestion as the tail on the j. Put a small curve at the end of the tail or if you want, drag up to the next letter without making a full loop.

r - I am rigid and inflexible about the r. It needs SOMETHING to distinguish it from the *humps* that make up the n and m. Lazy people don't even make a hump - they have points. I will not call out anyone in person - but they are lazy and sloppy and there is no excuse for just going up-then down- and omitting the ear or at the very least - a horizontal bit across the top. At the very least - start your upstroke and pause to make a sharp corner and then continue on across the top and curve down to finish the letter. Ideally, you will put in a proper *ear.* I often have the sweetest little loop, but it is fine, without a loop. Obviously, we will return to r options at some point. Those little pauses I talk about are not long pauses, they are part of the rhythm that you NEED.

Group four - c e o p q

o - most of my o's have a loop at the top. Let your own style flow. If you never have a loop on your o, do not add them now. If you tend to have a loop, keep it. 

q - it does not need that extra upward flick at the bottom - so it is entirely optional. 

p - I often lift the pen after I drop down with the tail - and then start the loop at the top. Do whatever feels right and gives a pleasing consistency with your other letters.

e - if you thought I went overboard on the r -- welcome to the e-tantrum. I wrote an example of a typical e - which is just a loop. It was painful to make myself do that. I pause on every single e to make a proper loop. If you are not willing to do that, you might as well just pack it in right now. Or - perhaps you want to send me a sample of something beautiful with simple loops that are open and legible. I know it is possible. I've seen Spencerian samples that are lovely. But, it is super tricky - and I have yet to find a beginner who can make simple loop e's. It does not take a ridiculous amount of time to do a proper loop and eventually, it becomes the *norm.* 

Here is the one case where a simple loop works -- when there is no slant. Some day I will post a sample. In the meantime, if you write without any slant, just make simple loops - and they will be lovely. It is the slant that complicates the e. If your slant is minimal, you might get away with the simple loop - but it is going to hinge on the consistency of maintaining an actual loop. The more you slant, the harder it is to create a loop in one continuous motion.

Group five - f x s z

f - there are several variations. Pick one that works for you. Try to avoid a loop on both the top and the bottom for now. Eventually, you can do both. 

x - tricky to get the first slanted stroke at the right angle. Because the x occurs so rarely it is hard to get a good one as quickly as you need it. I generally just slow down when I get to an x

z - there are a few options - another tricky letter that doesn't show up very often

So ----

please refrain from zipping through all five groups. You are not ready. It's like going from the bunny hill to the double diamond runs on your first day of skiing. Having said that, I know half of you will have no self control and you will do all the lines on the page. Happily, this obstinance will not cause any broken legs. So, go ahead, be a rebel. Don't listen to me. I appreciate your enthusiasm.

If you are truly committed to creating pretty everyday penmanship - you need to put in the 20 minutes every day. Maybe it will work for you to work on all the letters at the same time. But, you better be figuring out your rhythm. If you have not grasped the importance of rhythm, then you are not a candidate for pretty penmanship. You're like those people out on the dance floor with no rhythm. They are not hurting anyone and I am not criticizing. It's better to dive in and have fun without worrying what you look like. The only danger is that someone will video tape you and post you on YouTube and it will go viral. But, if you seriously want to have pretty penmanship, you have to figure out the rhythm. I'm not the only person who feels this way. Master calligrapher Sheila Waters has it on her list of essentials that she had been teaching for decades - as do all the other people I studied with.

Happy penning.


I will add some quickly scrawled variations of my penmanship so you can see how much fun you can have after you spend enough time on the boring practice.

Here are the words if they are too hard to see in the photo:
Group 2 - k j v w y
kilt kiln junky jilt inky wink vinyl twinkly
thinly milky unity linty win vim hymn whim wilt

Group 3 - a b d g r
adult audit birth blurb bright dirt drag guitar 
girl grab raid rug brutal halibut alright

Group 4 - c e o p q
ache cape cute echo oath ouch pace pouch
quiet quick quip poach opaque teacup utopia

Group 5 - f x x z
foxy system dozen wizards zany exit oxen
fixture fizzy flex exams axiom maze sleazy

Halloween themes from GraceE

Grace E has black magic, witches, spiders, spooky railing and a raven.
A nice collection of images for the season - and some candy corn inspired lettering.

Saturday, September 26, 2020

Bonus post - John Steven's penmanship

 Those envelopes in the regular post below are so lame, I am adding some gorgeous penmanship that is on John Steven's IG today. Hopefully it will inspire people who are going to work on their penmanship.

Since I will be out of town for a couple weeks, I am going to post all of the penmanship tips before I leave and you will be on your honor to not skip ahead until you are ready. 

I also encourage everyone to [Follow] John Stevens on IG because his work is dreamy. If you need a place to surf, check out the people that he follows. There are some heavy hitters there.

Oct 2019 to Grace E and Chuck

Neither of these are fabulous. They are in the experimental category. The style of lettering on Chuck's is a variation of Carol DuBosch's Jubilee. I've had every intention of featuring it and posting a link to her work and that might happen, but, do not hold your breath.

It is an idea that could work for any season.

Grace's was super blah until I added the white. Now it is just medium blah.

Friday, September 25, 2020

Janet - cityscape

Any time you need some inspiration, just put the name Janet in the search box. Of course, you will also get envelopes that I have sent to Janet and you will say to yourself, "Geesh, the ones that Janet receives from Jean are pretty lame compared to the ones she sends."
I guess I should go back and look for myself. Maybe I've done a few for her that I actually like. Or maybe they will have grown on me.

Chicago Calligraphy guild envelope class on Zoom

If you do a search for Karen, you will see all kinds of fun envelopes from when Karen was participating in the exchanges. Karen is a member of the Chicago Calligraphy Collective and asked me to post this link to a class that her guild is offering. 

The class is listed as welcoming to beginners - but that means - someone who had already begun their calligraphy journey. It would not be the right class if you have never taken any calligraphy classes. The list of supplies you need is included and you do not want to sign up for the class unless you already have all those supplies and know how to use them. The envelope pictured above is just one of 4 styles to be presented by 4 instructors. Additional examples are on the link.

CCC Envelope Class

When I was scrolling through all the marvelous envelopes from Karen, this one popped up. I am rerunning it for Leslie because she left a comment on the one that I ran a couple days ago to Rachael. I'm not sure how big the nib was that Karen used. Maybe she will leave a comment. But, this is a really cool envelope.

Thursday, September 24, 2020

Penmanship Lesson No. 1

 For anyone interesting in improving their penmanship, there will be a new series of posts with suggestions. 

Step one:

Find a pen, pencil or marker that you love to write with and paper that feels good. I like lined notebook paper and a pencil or ballpoint. You do not need anything fancy.

Do not write in notebooks. You need loose sheets of paper and you need a stack of 6 sheets so that you have a nice cushion. Do not attempt to write nicely on one sheet of paper on a hard surface. It's a very unpleasant feeling.

Choose a slant that is comfortable for you. If you write with no slant or a back slant, stick with that.

Start with these letters: i t n m u h l

Put these letters together to make words or combinations of letters that are not words. The goal is to fill a page with consistent shapes. Do not put any loops on the h and the l. Do not make the stems too tall. The stems are called ascenders.

The photo shows a sample of random words and combinations of the letters. Start by writing one line and then repeat it right below and see if you can improve each time you write it. If you have patience, a full page would be nice. If you get restless, switch to the word minimum. 

If your strokes and spacing are inconsistent, try doing a solid row of ininimimininimim and see if you can get a very consistent *picket fence.* Then add the u and keep going. And finally add the h and l.

I just eyeballed the x-height on my sample. The x-height is how tall the small letters are - the ones with no ascenders. If you are not able to keep the height of the letters consistent, print out guide sheets with the height you need or use graph paper.

An essential part of pretty penmanship is to establish a rhythm. The video shows that the strokes are rather jerky. There is a bit of speed on the downstroke, followed by a pause, and then the upstrokes have a little speed and another pause. Eventually, this rhythm will even out and be imperceptible. But, it's a good exercise for developing consistency.

Go as slow as necessary to hit the lines and no go over. Gradually speed up, but only if you are hitting the guidelines precisely.

To the person on The Flourish Forum who inspired this series and who is hoping to improve their penmanship over the course of a few weeks, this is entirely possible. Ideally, you will spend 20-30 minutes per day on this drill. We will add the other letters a few at a time. We could add letters every 4 or 5 days, assuming you do the daily practice.

After I posted this, I tried watching the video. I was fine at the size it is in the post. When I clicked on full screen, it got all jumpy and garbled. I might have to switch videos to Vimeo -- but that will take time. Hopefully you can see the *jerky* rhythm in the video.

Bonus post - 2020 holiday stamps

 Today's regular post is below this one.

I just saw the new stamps for this holiday season. You can see all of the USPS stamps here:

USPS Stamps

I've learned to refrain from deciding if I like stamps designs or not. Sometimes I don't get any good ideas from my favorites and then - with some, that I do not care for at all, they end up being perfect. Off the top of my head, I think the Kwanzaa stamp would give me the most ideas. The mid-century inspired red/white/green stamps will be perfect if I decide to use up my red envelopes. 

Blogger is still doing stuff that I have not figured out. Centering and spacing and captions -- all are mysterious and confusing. Maybe it is offering me a relief from alternative confusion.

Gold haunted house to Jessica + re-runs?

The houses were made with the inch-wide Copic marker. For once, the photo of gold looks rather cool. Gold is so hard to photograph. It would be fun to have more copics and do a whole village in fun colors.

Why don't I think of other things to draw using those markers?

I'm adding a few I found in a folder and do not recall if they have been posted.

Scroll tips marker. Fine, but only fine. Not a good green for Xmas.
Another try. Another miss.

FIne -- just barely

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Off topic extra - Anatomy book

Anatomy book 

The BigHelpfulBrother just asked me if I had ever heard of this early book on anatomy illustrated by Titian. I had not -- but one click took me to a link where you can see 40 pages. I do not know if the other 560 pages are available anywhere. If someone else finds out, let me know and I will edit this post.

Scroll down for the regular daily post. I guess this one isn't too far off topic as we head into the season of skeletons.

JeanR - October Exchange

first of two part series on PBS
9 pm EST
Story of the Alphabet and Writing
The First Alphabet


Aug 19th - trying to get myself in the mood to write about October.
It's not working.
Maybe I can't write at 5 pm.
Maybe I'll remember to come back after I have my coffee in the morning.
It is still challenging to figure out what day of the week it is.
I thought of embroidering S M T W T F S on the front of all my shirts - down at the bottom on the hem, upside-down so I could read it. And then putting a paperclip on the correct day. 

The pandemic has dissolved any interest in how I look.
With masks - no need to put makeup on. Not that I wore much, but I did need some color correction so that I did not look ill.
And then with the paint-the-house project - I just wear t-shirts that the boys left here when they moved out. I could just write the letters with a Sharpie, rather than embroidering.
And I don't get my hair cut any more - so I'm looking like the potholder lady.

It's fun to revisit some of my old posts.
Not surprising that my Swedish Death Cleaning is probably not even half done.

Nice collage.

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Gold with black and white floral - to Marja & Paul

I have quite a stack of these gold envelopes and need to find a technique that I just love. I'm not in love with this one, but it certainly has possibilities.

The flowers were inspired by something I saw while surfing. The lettering is my own sloppy penmanship. At first glance it might not seem sloppy -- but if you look closely, it is. The x-heights are way too inconsistent
and it goes up hill
and the bowl of the P is wimpy
and I could go on
but by now, I am sure you are retching
and that is not a good way to start the day.
Or end the day - or middle the day.

Even the flowers are poorly placed.
The two lower ones are too close in height.
The left one needs to be a bit higher.


first of two part series on PBS
9 pm EST
Story of the Alphabet and Writing
The First Alphabet

If you read the blog early yesterday -- I had SMash as the artist on the top envelope. Still waiting to hear from KateR - to confirm that it was from her.

Monday, September 21, 2020

Halloween themes from KateR? and Lynne

Smash Maybe KateR? above and Lynne below with some fun Halloween dingbats. Have you all heard the word dingbat used for little line drawings? Printers used the term for little line bits and pieces they could use in addition to type and borders. Later, when everything turned to photo images, the term was maintained and you can buy entire *fonts* that are all dingbats and no actual letters. I've always wondered how the term originated.
Here is the first description that popped up.
It is from something longer.
I did not follow the trail because it is March as I write this and I need to stay on task and not get sidetracked.

This sense of “dingbat” first appeared in print (as far as we know) in 1915. ... To begin at the shallow end of the pool, the element “ding” in “dingbat” is probably the Dutch word “ding,” meaning “thing.” This “ding” is also the source of our English slang word “dingus,” meaning “gadget, contraption, thingamabob.

Smash left a comment noting that the top envelope was misattributed to her. Seattle usually means KateR. We'll have to wait for the Seattlillians to wake up and confirm or not.

Sunday, September 20, 2020

From Sam to Ellen

I'm not sure if this image is going to have decent resolution.
It was supposed to be the envelope for the August exchange sign up --
and then it disappeared. And then I found it. Blah blah blah.
This is boring chatter.

The envelope is not boring -- it's a lovely one from Sam - sent back in March when I invited people to make envelopes for my daughter's upcoming 40th birthday.
I just love it.
It is steal worthy.

The BigHelpfulBrother left a comment yesterday, politely pointing out that it was not a spider, it was an ant. He knows that I am stuck working off a small screen these days -- not a good excuse, but it's the one I am using. I do appreciate polite corrections. I changed spider to *creepy-crawly.* It's a good term to cover anything that includes bugs/insects/spiders/worms/lizards/larva -- I'm getting squeamish just making the list.

Saturday, September 19, 2020

KathyS - lightening/spider/dracula - not a spider - a creepy crawly

This is really cool - the way the spider creepy-crawly and Dracula are having a stare down. 

There is a bonus post below this post.

It's Aug 31 and I earned a little surfing time. No, I didn't. I just took some because the weirdness of everything was getting to me. And look what I found: It's an opportunity to take a vacation and study with an artist. How cool is that? Of course, I used a calligrapher to illustrate this blurb. This would have been so perfect for me to offer when I had my big studio in the duplex which was a wonderful guest house. But, I rather doubt anyone would want to come to Des Moines. 

Here is the link to the calligraphy option:

You can go to the main page and look at the whole list of artists. 90 artists in 27 different countries. I did not count how many are in the US -- not a lot. Of course, this is not an optimal travel time. But maybe s.o.m.e.d.a.y. people will travel again.

And it is not all applied art - there are some rather alternative choices. The whirling in Turkey actually appealed to me. Although, I would not be able to whirl myself - but, it would be fun to take my adventurous offspring - or maybe the grand offspring and just watch.

Bonus post - giant ball of stamps

Atlas Obscura has been mentioned several times as a source of interesting oddities. You can sign up for a weekly email from them which I enjoy. While I may not be interested in what they send, it does remind me that I can wander around and find other items. Today, I chose to start at their link to oddities in Des Moines to see if there were any that were new to me. Only one, a Bonnie and Clyde campsite only 30 minutes from my house. 

As the list of Iowa oddities dwindled, they started offering things from bordering states and Oh.My.Gosh. this giant ball of stamps (world's largest) - and the strangest part of all - nobody has added to it since 1955. They only started it in 1953. Bizarre. Why would anyone stop?  for the full story.

Unrelated tidbit: Iowa has managed to take only 4 letters and create a 3 syllable word. 

Friday, September 18, 2020

From me to A&B - Oct - USPS Stamp article link

I have a feeling this already ran - but I like it well enough to re-run it. Or maybe I should add a second one. Or did I run all my halloween envelopes in 2019?

I do know that I have too many done with the wide 1-inch Copic marker. Is there anyone other than me who uses them? It's pointless to keep giving ideas for how to use them if nobody has them.

I think Rachael told me that she did not receive this one. That means that I must have posted them last year. But how could I have done that?


I like that little cake.
I like the lettering - but I can't imagine it is inspiration for anyone.

I can't remember if I already posted this.
It's a wonderful article about the designing of USPS stamps.
Submitted by the ineffable Jackie.
(The only reason I know that word is because Jackie used it on an envelope addressed to me)

and don't miss all the links to more articles within this article

Thursday, September 17, 2020

From Leslie - bloody nice.

I'm using bloody the way the British use bloody. Or - the way I hear it in movies. I can't tell if it is actually swearing or just an expression. I avoid swearing on the blog - because it doesn't seem necessary to make my points. It seems that -currently- swearing is not as objectionable as it was 50 years ago. But, I digress.

This is a very fun mailing.
It's getting the stealworthy label.

Real time comment:
This is fun -- reading what I wrote last year and adding things I have discovered since then. 

I chose an eBook from the library: No Time to Spare by Ursula K. Le Guin. It is a book of short essays and one of them is about the dramatic increase in the use of a couple words that were formerly swear words and seldom used in everyday conversation, but are now used abundantly.
She does a perfect job of expressing my observation. When I read the writing of trained writers - it makes me wish I had time to actually take a course in writing, but as the title (No Time to Spare) confirms -- at a certain age, one has to accept that one has run out of time to do any number of things.

If you just want to pick up the book in a book store and read the one chapter - the title is:
Would You Please F***ing Stop?

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Leslie's spider web and Kelly K

Our first Halloween idea.

LOL -- this is a real time comment. Yesterday, I talked about the beginning of the halloween themed mail. Clearly, I thought this was the first one. 
Embrace the chaos.
You can say that again.
Although, it was fun to see that I *dated* the post -- so -yes- a bunch of posts that are coming up were written long before the pandemic hit.

A very clever use of the Kelly artwork. Clever way to add another faux-stamp.

Cute spider.

Interesting spider web ---
I remember last year, I sent Leslie a spider themed envelope and added a note that the spiders must have been on LSD.

Maybe I can find it and post it tomorrow.

Keep in mind, I am writing this on the Friday after 2019 Thanksgiving. 2020 is the year of *get 'er done.*

Embrace the chaos.

Bonus post - reminder - NOVA writing/alphabet 2-part program

 Remember that PBS program I mentioned a while back.

Here is more info from an email that was sent out to the New Mexico guild. I'm not sure how I got on their mailing list -- but - they have the additional information about Passport - which is good to know.

On Wednesday, September 23, PBS-NOVA will air the documentary that Brody Neuenschwander previewed for us at his lecture at the San Francisco Public Library last summer: A to Z: The First Alphabet, Discover how writing—and eventually printing—revolutionized the spread of information. The second part will follow on September 30: A to Z: How Writing Changed the World, Discover how writing—and eventually printing—revolutionized the spread of information.

See the NOVA | PBS website for information. Check your local listing for schedules.


PBS Passport is a member benefit from participating PBS stations that gives eligible donors and supporters extended access to an on-demand library of quality public television programming online. For more information about the Passport membership benefit, check out the PBS Help Site.

This was on Pinterest and I didn't figure out the original source. It looks like Edward Gorey. I love it. 

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Bonus post - Hoard reduction update

Today's scheduled post is right below.

This envelope popped up this morning (Sun, Sept 13) while I was looking on Pinterest for take-it-easy-on-the-USPS ideas. I clicked on it and was amused to see that it was for the May 2019 exchange, posted in July 2019 and my chattering was about how I thought I was getting to the end of my hoard reduction. LOL. Here it is over a year later and I still have quite a few stamps left. Although, I predict I will be done by the end of the year. And this time I think it is a realistic prediction.

And -- I wanted to insert a *YAY* - because after endless confusion on how many days were left for me to fill, I simply set a goal of filling up all the rest of the 2020 days - and I did it. In theory, I could just forget about the blog for the rest of the year. But, I'll be starting on January pretty soon.

Double *YAY* -- I have 15 halloween envelopes started. 

My inspiration to get all this work done was feeling despondent about the multitude of unfortunate situations in the news. I can't always yank myself out of doldrums with envelopes. But this time I did. Hopefully everyone is coping and out of the direct threat of something serious.

From Chuck and Jessica - Pumpkins

Chuck (above) and Jessica (below) both did pumpkins. Part of me wants to compulsively tally which halloween imagery is the most popular - and least popular. But the other part of me asks, "Is that really useful information?"


Real time comment : I scheduled all the halloween mail - a looooong time ago. Probably pre-pandemic. I wanted to run all of them before Oct 1st - in case anyone needed ideas for the exchange. Maybe it seems like I am rushing the season -- but -- we are now in a season-ambiguous-zone. Ambiguous . 

Brace yourself for skeletons, spiders, witches, cauldrons. bats, and the other 25 items that I do not recall. I saw a list of 30 halloween images and wanted to save it - but my hoard-reduction-vow wouldn't let me. I just Googled *30 halloween drawings* and there are a ton of lists -- if you need one.

Monday, September 14, 2020

Mailbox from Alyce

I'm writing this on Aug 1st - and just found this in a stack of mail that arrived in June and then it was buried until today. It arrived while the grandkids were visiting and then I took off for 2 weeks and then I started the big painting project -- and today is the first day I even opened the closet that had all the *stuff to do later.* I would not want anyone to think I did not enjoy my mail promptly.

I love the card. Alyce knew I would. I love the envelope just as much. My obsession with the post office has grown exponentially since my son started working there. It's going to be a real challenge if he doesn't end up loving the post office. I was always vigilant about supporting whatever my kids were interested in. So far -- it's going well.

Sunday, September 13, 2020

Valentine from SueM

I would not have guessed that this was from SueM.
I do not recall seeing any of her work with lots of curls - but I do love it.
Her postmark gave her away when I pulled the envelope out of the mailbox - it might have taken me a minute to figure out who it was from. The italics might have been enough for me to know.
I always play the game where I try to guess who sent the envelope before looking at the postmark or return address.