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.

Saturday, March 20, 2021

Happy New Year from Leslie (no rant - USPS article)

Cheers is a universal greeting.
The style of lettering is uncial - and it's very old. It was used prior to the invention of upper and lower case. Remember my rant about majuscule and minuscule - the early names for upper and lower case? Well uc and lc refer to typesetting when the typesetters had cases that were one above the other - and that came centuries after uncial. Uncial only has the option of one letter. Some look a little more like capitals and some look a little more like lower case. 

You can see how Leslie stretched the h in cheers a little bit more than you might see in a historical document. That's the fun you can have with hand lettering. And then there are half-uncials. We could delve into all kinds of details - but we won't today. We are just going to admire the loveliness.

And, for now, we are going to have a rant free day.

No rant today - however, one of our faithful exchangers alerted me to this article about the USPS situation.

Friday, March 19, 2021

To CherylG - stamp-stamp no. 4 (MeriMeri parties)


Wow. So sad that the Pueblo stamps are gone. Annoyed with myself that I did not arrange them differently.



On a lighter note - here is a website with a ton of party ideas. I've seen MeriMeri items in stores but did not realize they had a website. If you click on the tab that says [stories] it's like their blog.

The general style leans towards youthful - kid stuff. And obviously, nobody is partying these days. But, there are some cute ideas and maybe someday we'll be back to partying. I actually enjoyed just seeing the list of party themes. Lots of good ideas. They did not have *post office* on their list. Maybe I should nudge them. 

You can do a search for Post Office Party on Pinterest - or this link might work:

Link to Post Office Parties

Thursday, March 18, 2021

Purple flowers from NancyL and Nanski (finger painting cave-kids)

Stitched, from NancyL

Nancy L's envelope

Nanski's card

Nanski's envelope.

It was fun when the two Nancy-envelopes arrived in September and they were both flowery and in the purple family. If I never doubled up on the incoming envelopes, I would not have any dates left for my own envelopes. 

I think that card from Nanski is a Crane's design. It's a good example of less-is-more. I'd be curious to see how it would work to hand letter that design. It is always tricky to be very minimalist with one's lettering.

Nancy's stitching is so pretty. I wonder how she gets the pattern on the paper. Maybe she just does it freehand. That would be fun. Maybe she will leave us a comment and tell us a little about her process.


Here is a link to The History Blog. Apparently, archaeologists have discovered the work of children (on the walls of caves) that is 13,000 years old. These kinds of articles They also make me think of many Far Side cartoons. 

Happy surfing.

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

BOOK REPORT - History of USPS (no rant)

As mentioned in an earlier post, I'm reading How the Post Office Created America. It's interesting, although it is not a page turner. I will attempt an abbreviated Cliff Notes of a book report.

Feel free to send me any corrections if I write something that is garbled or incorrect.

Prior to postal systems, only wealthy people could hire couriers to deliver messages/mail. Illiterate people did not need mail service - and there were plenty of illiterate people. As the colonies grew and realized that they needed to break free from England, they also realized that they needed a unified postal system. There were a few postal options within individual states, but nothing that was going to work long term and if the locals were going to start a revolution, it wouldn't make sense to send messages through postal services that might have connections to the British system. British postal workers would just open the mail and read it.

Ben Franklin ran the first official postal department. Because the states had, as individual entities, already established their own ideas on how governing should work, it was no surprise that it took four years (after the end of the war) for the 13 colonies to agree on how to balance the needs of the individual states with the needs of the united states and figure out the constitution. A federal postal system was one of the essentials for the new system.

The movers and shakers in the young country realized that there was a need for efficient transfer of information. People needed to know what was going on politically and the newspapers were the only source of information. People were more comfortable moving west if they knew they could depend on the post office to stay in touch with others and have the news arrive promptly. 

Originally, the post office was supposed to generate enough income to operate on its own without funds from the government. They tried and almost succeeded but there were complications. Revenue from the remote areas was never going to be enough to cover expenses so they had to depend on the more densely populated areas to make up the difference. As always, city folks resented the country folks. The disputes are endless though out the book. Most of them are the same disputes we are currently hearing about.

Another problem, to get things rolling, the PO had to depend on contract workers which was complicated and opened the door to all kinds of shady dealings. Plus, the law did not prohibit independent mail services which allowed for some stiff competition. And then there was the layering of politics. Loyal postal workers would lose their jobs when a different party took office and chose to give jobs to their people. Layers upon layers of challenges. There were no ATM machines so people had to mail money which necessitated a whole branch of the postal service to deal with the criminals.

While the banking industry was growing, people did not always trust banks and the ATM machine was a long way off - so the postal money order system became a vital part of the organization. There were all kinds of issues that led to unions. Montgomery Wards and Sears & Roebuck were instrumental in getting the Parcel Post off the ground - as there were no shopping centers or malls until halfway into the 20th century. It's ironic that we are returning to mail-order as the primary way to shop.

The chapter about the advent of airplanes was very interesting. In some ways, the perpetual interest in speedy service contributed to all kinds of wild adventures establishing airplanes as an integral part of the mail system. Believe it or not -- people were not wildly excited about personal air travel in the beginning. The number of planes that crashed was alarming.

The idea of commemorative stamps was an immediate success. People loved them and started collecting them and the post office realized the added value of people buying stamps that would never be used. Here is an early commemorative from 1898. If you wanted to buy one today - I saw this one on Etsy for $90.

Link to USPS site with stamp history

I really enjoyed the book.

The following passage jumped out at me. I have some envelopes in the permanent collection of the Smithsonian Postal Museum (assuming they never throw anything out). The words are a bit mushy. But, I think we've all had a warm fuzzy through the mail at one time or another.

Messenger of Sympathy and Love 

Servant of Parted Friends 

Consoler of the Lonely 

Bond of the Scattered Family 

Enlarger of the Common Life 

Carrier of News and Knowledge 

Instrument of Trade and Industry 

Promoter of Mutual Acquaintance 

of Peace and Goodwill 

Among Men and Nations 

“The Letter” by Charles William Eliot, 

as revised by President Woodrow Wilson. Inscription from the façade of the Smithsonian National Postal Museum in Washington, DC, formerly the city’s main post office in the companion building to union station


I deeply regret that I have not kept up on all the opportunities to be active in current USPS issues.

I have a ton of information to share - but have been consumed with house stuff. Hopefully, when I get to my 3 week sabbatical in Chicago, I will be able to devote some serious time to USPS activities.

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

The last of the Nov exchange - to Troy, Jess, Smash, & Nanski (empty nest)

These were in the folder with all the mail I sent in the Nov exchange --
and the whole folder has been driving me crazy because I feel like I already posted them but I can't find them. At least I can mark this folder *blogged* and put it in the archive.

Or, once I know images are blogged, in theory, I could delete them. I am tempted to do that. But, part of me is a little nervous. I think I can get over it. 

 For now - there is no rant. (Written on Jan 19) We certainly hope that two month from now there have been some encouraging events. If not -- we will just keep plugging along. At least we can feel a little spring in the air which means a lot, if you live in a snowy place. I had to wear my ice-gripper shoes today because it was a sheet of ice. 

I am writing this on Friday, Mar 12th. Wow. I do enjoy reading things like this - and seeing that - yes - there is a glimmer of hope. I will be heading over to Hunter's house pretty soon to put the final touches on the kitchen - and then, I think I'm done with painting until I resume the projects at 420. 

My only other bits of wisdom to share are the Marie Kondo organizational skills. It was interesting to me - to watch my 3 kids grow up and see which ones learned how to be organized. CPA daughter, no surprise, she was a Marie Kondo before Marie hit the scene. Her friends in college would ask her to help them organize their closets and drawers. She would tell me things like, "Seriously, mom, they do not even know how to fold. I had to teach them basic folding. Can you believe it?" Older son is a nomad - so he is skilled at keeping belongings to a minimum and knows where everything is. The only thing he might lose - would be himself - as he wanders off the beaten path. Literally. He literally spends a lot of time in the *back country.* 

The entire family agrees that Hunter has the best personality. He has the most friends and we marvel at what a sweetheart he is. But, his organizational skills are pretty sketchy. He even lost his car one time. He thought it had been towed - but the police did not have it. Eventually, it was discovered on a random street in a random neighborhood. Grrrrr. Yes, he had been at a concert and wisely had not driven home - but that does not explain how the car ended up in a random neighborhood. At least he knows how to run a commercial kitchen. Hopefully, the kitchen skills will expand into all the other areas. 

I might have to have some kind of celebration - that my nest is truly empty. It's been 20 years since my oldest flew off. Most of may readers seem to be my age. If there are any youngsters with kids. You have my deepest sympathy. Hang in there. 

Monday, March 15, 2021

Ides of March - No 1

 It is Jan 4th and I've been scheduling some posts. During my breaks, I surf. I have no idea how I managed to stumble across TheHistoryBlog - but it's been a lot of fun. The blogger goes by the name livius and you can Google that name if you are interested. He has been blogging daily (just like me) for longer than I have been blogging. (13 years for livius vs 11 years for jean) I found several interesting posts and I am going to plunk some of the items into some off-topic posts. If you are a huge history buff, you can just read all his posts. Scanning through them month-by-month has been entertaining me as I stay hunkered during this time of the *more virulent strain.*

The images and link is about the possible theft of one of Darwin's notebooks. It is the one that includes his picture of the tree of life. The penmanship is -what- ? I don't know what word to use. We feel sorry for the people who have to figure out what it says. The article includes a *translation* of the chicken-scratching.

You might want to read the whole article. As usual, the parts that I find interesting are the obscure details, like how long the notebook has been missing and how many items they have and how long it will take to complete the search in case they have just misplaced it. Luckily, they had taken high-res images of the book, so at least they have that. Until they put someone like me in charge of maintaining files of images.

I will be posting some additional articles from time to time. I do not get complaints about off-topic posts. And sometimes I get thank yous. So, perhaps we like some variety. Maybe the tree will inspire some envelope art

Link to Darwin's notebook blogpost.  -- a jumping off point if you want to peruse additional articles about artifacts.

Orientation of the tree as he probably drew it.

Orientation if you want to try reading what he wrote.

The 2-page spread of the notebook.

Why did I mention the Ides of March?
No reason. It's just one of those factoids that is stuck in my head, even though I had no idea what Ides of anything means. But, now I do. I did remember that it was the death-date of Julius Caesar. But, it is also the last date of celebrating the new year -- for some people. Not me. Two and a half months is way too long to celebrate anything.

Sunday, March 14, 2021

To Carolyn, Patty, Trish - Shouting series - no 2, 3, 4, (painting with Hunter)

Why do I have an odd feeling that I already posted one of these?
Carolyn's might be a little better because of the white space. But, I like Patty's too.
I could have done better on Trish's - although I'm not sure what. Maybe if her name had been larger.
It bothers me the way the return address is straight and then the following lines are at a slant. 
I guess I like the script on Carolyn's better than the printing on the other two.

This is a very short series. Only two posts. I guess I'm glad I did not do too many of these, although, I do like the idea of sending a message and might look for better ways to do so. At the time, I know I was feeling thankful for my pen pals and exchangers. November does bring out the thankfulness. But, I'm pretty sure I get verclempt every month when the sign-up emails come in and people add notes of appreciation for the exchange.

A couple days ago, there was a post with no additional rant/ponder/comment. I had forgotten to check the posts that were going to pop up. Why? Because I was engrossed in some mothering.

My son, the postal worker, who has always lived with roommates - finally found a house to buy. He started moving in on March 1st and I was eager to move all the items that I had been saving for the house he might have someday. Oh.My.Gosh. The treasures I have discovered as I burrowed into the inner sanctum of all the storage places in the house. Delightful. Then, I really wanted to take my painting supplies over to the new house and give him my tips on painting. Oh.My.Gosh. The house was built in 1922 and while there is still a lot of original oak woodwork - in some places, there are numerous layers of paint and some of the most egregious caulking I have ever seen. I should have taken before and after photos.

Bless his heart, Hunter carved out all the excess caulk. We decided against delving into much of the layered paint problems because of the lead that is probably lurking. Where possible, we decided that the defects give the house character. I have until the18th to impart all of my wisdom on painting.

On the 19th, I head to Chicago to help my CPA daughter during tax season. Once I get to Chicago, I'll have time to add interesting things to the posts. Until then, there might be some skimpy posts. I appreciate that some of the readers are still stuck in the waiting-for-vaccine mode.

Those of us who have had vaccinations are feeling a tiny bit of relief from the whole pandemanical experience. If you are still waiting for your vaccination - hang in there. It is sooooo stressful waiting and trying to figure out how the sign-up system works. IMHO, it is the newness of the situation. Previous global pandemics didn't provide much wisdom on how to handle this pandemic. As the saying goes, hindsight is 20/20. Ironic, eh?

Saturday, March 13, 2021

Leslie to Kit -- Halloween (renovation chit chat)

Why do we have a Halloween envelope in March? Because it is Jan 19th and I am filling up March.
To me, the best part of the envelope is the layout with the two black on white letters. It would be just as lovely without the spider web. Or the spider web could be flowery or birthday or something else. Plus, you can add a spider web to anything - so this is a universal design idea. Thank you, Leslie.

Off-topic jabbering - no rant.

A couple weeks ago I loaded some images and now I am doing a marathon of blurb writing. It is noon-coffee time which is usually a good time to jabber. Except that I am at my house and there is a guy laying new tile in the bathroom. Bathrooms are so complicated. All the different pieces have to fit together. And then all the tile has to come out right. I'd sure like to win a lottery or something as I would love to pay all the guys double for what they are doing. It is a lot of work - and they are all so exacting. It would make me crazy nervous to do this kind of work. 

My caffeine just suggested that I Google - worlds' most expensive bathroom. There was a story with no photos of a gold and bejeweled bathroom in Hong Kong ($3.5 million). Here is a $22,000 tub.

Don't worry, I'm not going to wander off topic any further. There was only one image to pop up when I searched -bathtub envelope.


Friday, March 12, 2021

To Maggie - Stamp-stamp No. 3

 This is one of the last ones I did int he series. I started pushing harder on the edges of the stamp-stamp.

Maggie has a really good name for making patterns. I often find scraps of paper with rough drafts of her name. I might even send them to her. That second N in Manna is a little schmeary. 

Love the actual postage stamp.