Friday, April 30, 2021

From JeanR in Sept - Ben-style (Cryptic Quote game)

 I think JeanR sent one other envelope with the Ben Shahn style lettering. Google has underlined Ben's last name, but I'm pretty sure that is correct. Is this the year I actually get around to doing my own version of Ben's lettering. I know that I have an envelope for Jean that is made out of a security envelope. It was made in the summer of 2020 and pops up on my desk every once in a while. Little by little, I am finishing my stack of unfinished envelopes. Soon, I will be free of the flotsam and jetsam and detritus. Maybe I have so much of that stuff because it is all fodder for art. Maybe, I will deteriorate once it is all gone. We shall see.

Above written a long, long, long time ago.
This written - Jan 1, 2021 -- 
Drinking coffee - reading the NYTimes.
I found a new game in an article about how some elderly people have been coping with the pandemic and the isolation. 
My morning routine is always: NYTimes Mini Crossword - usually takes around 1 minute - never more than two. Same time frame for the GuessMyWord puzzles - I can usually get both the easy one and the hard one. Under 5 minutes.
I am not going to add this game to the morning routine. I am going to put it in a folder labeled Desperate - for when I am in desperate need of a change of pace.

I do not know if there are different sources for the game.
I've done Sudoku and Mahjong.
If anyone has any other games they enjoy - feel free to leave a comment - or if the comment feature doesn't work, send it to me in an email at:

By the way - when I mentioned that my granddaughter and I sneak off and watch videos - lest you think we are wasting time - she often has questions that Nanna can't answer - like where in the world is the biggest volcano. Sometimes we research how to build little houses out of cardboard. We ran across a whole channel full of fanciful houses that are her skill level. Hopefully I can post our version when she is here this summer.
If you are curious -- here's the channel.

Thursday, April 29, 2021

To Leslie from someone? - (Ink from exhaust)

I had a guest author (granddaughter) sitting here (in early April) who was going to write a post for me, but she is 7 years old and I was unable to make writing a post into something that interested her. She wanted to show me Chrome Music Lab. It is somewhat interesting but over my head. Kids have all kinds of new things to explore and they are comfortable with buttons and screens and whatever. Happily, for me, she is still interested in paper and pencils and glue so we are able to have some shared creative experience. Her parents limit screen time - so, they are not a big fan of the rabbit holes that I can find. Sometimes we sneak off and surf by ourselves. I feel sooooo guilty. I hope I am not warping her or undermining her parent's authority. 

Long ago, ink was made from soot. 
This company figured out a way to make ink from exhaust - or air pollution.


Alexandrite Woman left a comment a couple days ago referring to my inertia. I had not used that word to describe the slump I am in - but it is perfect. She mentioned losing interest in writing letters and sending cards. Me, too. And I know we are not the only two who are experiencing this inertia. IMHO, we've all been dealing with the pandemic, which was not an ordinary bump in the road. But our entire lives have been bumpy roads, or choppy waters, or turbulent airstreams. 

That's just the way it always is. Ups and downs. There is no way that I can add anything more profound to what people have been talking about since they learned to write. Once again, it is comforting (validating) to hear from someone who just stumbled across my blog - and can relate to my pondering (whining). It seems like my jabbering combined with reader comments can be a little nod to the daily situation - (or whatever) - and then we get on with our days.

Except on those days that we stay in bed. Yes, you are allowed to do that on occasion. Don't let it get out of hand.

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Leslie to Steve (NH USPS) - wheat runway

Another envelope from Leslie to one of our NH USPS pen pals.

Off topic - 
I was reading the weekly newsletter from Naomi Bulger and she mentioned Ethical Clothing Australia - since she lives in Oz - which directs people to earth friendly clothing that also protects the rights of garment workers. It reminded me that after I watched the PBS program on the people in China who make our beloved blue jeans I vowed that I would never buy another pair of jeans. That will not be hard since I had/have enough to last and I'm not even that fond of them.

And then, I remembered that in 2011, after my daughter's wedding, I looked at all the cute clothes I had and made a plan to wear the cute ones I had been saving and only replace essentials for the next 10 years. I If I was replacing something like a coat, it had to be at least 30% off. Sierra Trading Post and local sale racks have made it easy to stick with that plan. After my decade of austerity I was going to treat myself to a complete closet makeover in 2021. You know where this is going, right?

Yup. I no longer have any reason to care about what I look like since I hardly go anywhere. And even though I was wildly interested in clothing during my teens and 20s - once I had offspring, I lost interest in clothes - unless they were comfortable, durable, and easy to launder. 

Sorry - I am rambling - Naomi's newsletter led me to this - which reminded me of how much I loved walking out in wheat fields when I visited my dear uncles in Montana. If they were to see this image, they would be calculating how many bushels of wheat were wasted making that runway. But, it's a cool photo. And there are more if you go to the link.

Warning: if you are on the conservative end of the spectrum, you will not want to surf around any further than the wheat runway. It is more avant-garde (shall we say) than the typical images that I link to. 


Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Maggie's paper clips with hearts (crab dinner conclusion)

 This might have been my favorite of the series. Even though I did not do a very good job on the GG I like the whispy feel of the lettering. And the heart confetti pleases me.

5:30  grrrrr -- but at least one of the adults has returned to the kitchen. I offered to help. Declined. Was reassured that everything is prepped. I certainly hope that I can add a P.S. that it was delicious - and served well before 9 pm.


The past 4 weeks of blog posts have been somewhat chaotic - as if you need me to make that observation. I do recall that the dinner just mentioned was delicious. The commentaries on the various blog posts are jumping around. During my morning coffee, I do some editing to see if I can give some structure. Nope. I think there is a Law of Thermodynamics at work here. I have no idea how many of those laws there are. 

That envelope has grown on me.

Monday, April 26, 2021

Mixed Neu-ish to Janet with navy LOVE stamp (mid crab update)

 This one is so-so. as I recall, I was having fun trying a bunch of different things. While the actual colors on the stamp are not neon, the neon gel pen details go pretty well. I will not bore you with the details on which letters are the worst. And I will keep my whining about the up-hill baseline on the last name to a minimum. 

And, I will mention that it is now 5:18 and I am fading - as I try to distract myself - while the crab is not being prepared. I didn't mention this in the post that appeared yesterday because these real time whine-a-thons are probably really boring.

Oooooh -- this just in. At 5:20 my daughter texts me that they will be heading home in 5 minutes. Her idea of 5 minutes is wildly different from my idea of 5 minutes. But, it is a very good sign that she contacted me as it indicates that she is aware that I am fading. 

I used to try to talk to her about the concept that I would not be living forever and she'd shut down the conversation, forcefully. I finally gave up. Lately, with so many peers falling ill with serious illnesses I realized that I should maybe talk to her about the reality that I could fall ill. So when I brought it up and said, "I know you made it clear that you do not want to hear anything about the topic of me not living forever.." and she interrupted me and said, "Oh.My.Gosh. That is one thing that covid really helped me to face - I finally realize what you were saying and why." 

It's always comforting when offspring get a whiff of reality.

It is 5:25. No sounds of small children returning from the neighbors. It's rather funny how I can hear them as they exit the house next door. They seem to be louder than average kids. But, I guess I am not around average kids. 

Gee, I was thinking that this was the last post I would get in today - as they would be back. Guess I should start another post.

Sunday, April 25, 2021

Neuland with navy love stamp to CarolynC (crab chat)

 This might have been the only one where I tried Neuland with this stamp and then added the neon hearts. I struggle with Carolyn's name. I struggle with any name that starts with C - and she has two of them. 

No update on that crab dinner story because the way I post is chaotic. I keep having a weird feeling that all these posts are repeats. There has been an ominous haze hanging over my head. As I write this, I am starting the last week of the mercy mission to Chicago. It is possible that all the good food is clouding my thinking - but, I feel like I have no interest in making art. That seems really odd. It's not upsetting and I suppose it will change when I get back to my own stash of art supplies. I might be having a reaction to this  situation here where the art supplies are not exactly what I prefer. 

I'm back in Duh Moines - and have zero interest in getting into my own art supplies. This is very strange.

Saturday, April 24, 2021

Paperclip font from RachaelT

 I might find the original envelope with this font. It is from RachaelT. I loved it and had a ton of fun playing around with it. It will be tempting to go back to it someday.

It is now 5:08 on the day before Easter when I am trying to stay awake to enjoy that crab dinner. Luckily for me, I found a folder with my Feb exchange envelopes. I do not recall posting them and I sure hope they are not repeats. That fool proof system for knowing which images have been posted was not fool proof at all. I'm beginning to think that there is nothing that is absolutely fool-proof.

As a side note, we will see how really quick and easy it is for me to schedule these posts. 

Friday, April 23, 2021

Stealing from myself (start of crab story)

I do not recall how this one popped up. It might have been on Pinterest when I was surfing and looking for ideas for the Feb exchange. The envelope I posted yesterday had the same basic outline as these. I do the basic black lines with a big, fat, bullet tip marker. Then I spend a ton of time squaring off all the strokes. When I am not feeling very creative, it is good to choose something that is labor intensive but also a tried and true technique. Squaring off takes time and it is mindless - but at least I know I won't have any fits of regret.

(I'll explain later why I crossed out the first two lines.)

If I figure out a way to remind myself, I could post an exemplar for this style, but I will only do so if I get a request from someone who wants it. 

This is an odd post. I hardly ever write at 4:58 pm. Normally, I eat my last meal of the day at 4 pm and by 5 I am enjoying my *evening* and pre-bedtime activities. But as I write this, I am smack dab in the middle of my 4 weeks of helping in Chicago where their dinner time is usually 6 pm. They bump it up to 5 for me. It is also the day before Easter and the neighbors just called to invite the kids over to make nests. The neighbors are known for cooking fabulous meals that they serve around 9 pm. I know that my daughter has some delicious looking crab and some to-die-for homemade pasta - and they were running a little late on the 5 pm dinner because they finally got appointments for covid vaccinations. 

So here I sit -- knowing that the ingredients are all laid out for something really delicious - and I am really hungry -- and they are all next door making nests with people who have no idea that Nanna is over here quietly starving and falling asleep. 

Nanski's is cuter because of the heart shaped dots over the i's.


Thursday, April 22, 2021

HB G3 from GraceE (DebL's pollen rant comment)

Yup. That's a piece of faux-cake that came in the mail for Mr Wilson's birthday from GraceE.

It is Apr 20th. The days are ticking past at an alarming rate and I'm a bit concerned about my jibber-jabber that goes with the posts.  It was such a good idea to load a bunch of photos while I was in Chicago - but now I need to add words. Today - DebL left a comment on the Apr 19th post and it is a classic. I doubt anyone scrolls back to look for comments so, I am going to post part of it here.

The April 19th post was the one with the link to the article about how *they* planted only male trees for decades and we are all subjected to an unbalanced amount of pollen causing allergies and asthma. I was glad to hear that the link offered some other topics to help calm DebL down. Thanks, Deb, for the fun rant. I always enjoy a good rant - or co-rant.

That is infuriating! Once again, males ruin everything! Just kidding, my husband and sons only ruin some things. But, how did they think using only male plants was a good idea? I have had allergies for many years (probably since the '80s, come-to-think-of-it), and to know that it was done purposefully makes my blood boil. Thanks for the link, which I used to read about dolphins and the universe as a way to calm down after the tree stuff :) 

...and later that day
Patty sent me this 12 second video - and there was another one right after it - and I noticed a bunch more.
They all show clouds of pollen.

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

To Lana from Leslie (languishing)

This is a fun idea for translucent envelopes. It might have been a valentine. Maybe I can find the email from Leslie that tells me more about this. 

I'm filling posts in late March, still waiting to find out how long I will stay in Chicago. I know I have a huge stack of mail at home to post. But, I also have a stack here. So, no matter where I am I will be able to line up posts. 

Each day, when I wake up, make my coffee and then check the blog, I get a little twinge of disappointment that the blog is not as inspiring as it used to be. But, I am not bothered because I do not think I can be objective at all. This has been such a strange year followed by additional months of strangeness.


This article on languishing seems to have gone viral. I try to avoid reposting viral topics, but, I'm going to leave this one in - because I don't have time to find something different -- and it might be helpful to anyone who is struggling at the moment.

To be honest - even though the article seemed to hit the nail on the head - I found all the suggestions to be highly annoying. I hesitated to even post the link - and I sure don't want to sound like I am a whiny wimp. I imagine there will be fun stuff popping up in the future. I just wanted to let anyone who is not feeling that great to know that they are not alone.

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Our New Hampshire pen pals + trip report

Remember our new pen pals in New Hampshire - the nice people at the post office in NH where our dear pen pal, Sam Price, had her dad buy stamps and have mail postmarked? I have a folder with images that are waiting to be posted and realized that it's been a year since Sam passed away. I still have a folder of emails from Sam and will still get around to sharing some of the profound things that she wrote to me. 

It was nice of Sam's postal workers to track down the exchange - and I hope that things are fine in NH. Leslie sent envelopes to all the clerks when I put out the call for extra envelopes to postal workers. And Leslie also shared photos with me. This is a friendly reminder that I am always happy to get photos from any of you who are willing to share.

If you are new to the blog - do a search for Sam or Samantha and there will be quite a few envelopes that pop up. Also a search for *Leslie* will provide lots more.


I forgot to add the trip report yesterday. My daughter and SIL did some pretty exotic traveling prior to having kids. They have scaled back since having kids, but they still do things with the kids that I have never done - so, to me, the kids have been to some pretty fun places. Charlevoix, MI, Door County, WI and Disneyland. The kids really enjoyed the first two because they were at really nice AirBNBs with boats and beaches. Obviously kids like Disneyland. And for the past two summers, they have spent a week at my house in Duh Moines while their parents have a stay-cation. So, I asked them which vacation has been the best - Disneyland, Michigan, Wisconsin or Nanna's house - and they exclaimed with enthusiasm, Nanna's house. I didn't think I would beat out Disneyland. So that was fun.

We actually have an amusement park in Duh Moines. I wonder if I can tolerate going. I wonder if it will be considered safe this year. Something to ponder. I am not an amusement park aficionado. 

and last but not least -- WOW -- fabulous mail arrived while I was gone. I am looking forward to posting it. Thank you SOOOOOO much.

Monday, April 19, 2021

HB to G3 + pollen rant + trip report

 The gnome standing on the cancel is just cuter than heck. These are from Chuck and arrived for Mr Wilson's birthday. I still haven't cornered him to open the rest of his birthday cards. But, every time I return from one of my extended mercy-missions to Chicago, I am rejuvenated and energized to complete the hoard reduction project. So, I imagine we will get them opened and posted pretty soon.

Here comes the rant.

One of the saddest parts of the trip was watching my poor granddaughter struggling with seasonal allergies. I happened across an article about why scientists blundered us into the current situation. I did a little more research and found this article which is better and older.

If you don't want to read the article - in a nutshell - many trees have males and females - and the females produce seeds and fruits so they are messy - and in the case of ginkgo trees - super smelly. So *they* started planting only male trees which produce the pollen. And now there are mostly male trees everywhere - in cities and towns where they are planted. (not forests). And the abundance of pollen has caused a rise in allergies and asthma.
It's too late to do anything about it - and considering all the other problems we are facing - it is probably not anything that is going to get any attention at all. But, thank you for letting me rant. 

Allergies are like migraines. If you have not had one - you have no way of understanding how awful they are. So, even if you think people who are suffering with allergies or migraines are just whining, try really hard to empathize with them. My allergies were so bad that I went through the whole shot thing for about 5 years - which helped a lot. But, it is a pretty challenging treatment to buy into.

Sunday, April 18, 2021

From L.S.Leslie to Janet

 This is very clever - and pretty. What does the L.S.Leslie mean? LifeSaverLeslie. I think I had a series of lifesaver posts a while back when people had sent in enough extra envelopes to tide me over while I was in one of my dry spells. 

March 1st, Hunter (the local son) closed on his house. I spent a couple weeks finding all the stuff that was squirreled away at my house that belonged to him. I also took time to teach him some very helpful tips for restoring walls and woodwork that was the victim of sloppy painting and caulking. Then I took off for Chicago to help during tax time. I'm scheduled to be back in Duh Moines when this pops up. I wonder if that will happen. The IRS extended the deadline to May 17th. Maybe they will need me to stay longer. 

I do not have the heart to tell my daughter that during the long haul when I was not able to come help her, she has turned into an organizational powerhouse and that she really doesn't need me at all. But, I'm sure having an extra pair of hands is helpful. And as my 5-yr old grandson literally said to her, "We need Nanna to come because we are tired of you." He has also made the observation that Nanna is *crinkled.*

Saturday, April 17, 2021

Two from Leslie

I'm still in the *fill up April* mode and have not found the email that goes with these. Above we have a fun celebratory envelope with the dotty stamp. It's going to end up being an all time favorite stamp  because it is so versatile. 

The envelope below looks like it went to a call for mail art - to Canada. I have not even mentioned participating in mail art exhibits for quite a while. I didn't get around to mentioning the annual Graceful Envelope contest. Too many other things going on. 

IUOMA is the place to go to find mail art exhibits who would like you to send an envelope. If there are other places, Leslie can tell us -- and hopefully, I will find the comment and not let it hide out in the spam folder.

 This is a very fun idea. A little challenging for the postal workers.

Friday, April 16, 2021

To Leslie and GraceE - Stamp-stamps - no. 11-12 (The Artist's Toolbox)

Neither of these jump out as being better than the other one. 
The S in LESLIE is what I should have done on the S in FRASER that I mentioned a week ago.
It is possible that we are done with this series. 
While it was enjoyable for me and I imagine I will return to my rubber stamping some day - I'm guessing it's not that interesting to the readers.

On Mar 26th, I finally felt better (after the head cold) and remembered to check my spam. Oh.My.Gosh. There were 4 or 5 comments that people had left on the blog that I did not see. So, they are now posted. But, I get mad at myself for forgetting to check spam every day. I appreciate the comments that are sent and feel bad when I look like I am ignoring them.

Here is a nice rabbit hole - I have only watched one. It is the one where the host of the series interviews his father who died recently. The father, Hugh Newell Jacobsen, was an architect with a very strict design sense. Many of his homes had roof lines that were based on a 45-degree angle. So in some ways, they looked like the most generic style of house that a kid would draw. And yet, he was able to bring a beautiful understated elegance to the very basic shapes. I imagine his style is a bit too severe for a lot of people - but I like it. I hope I remember to go back and watch the other interviews. 

I'm guessing they are pretty good because they include people from everywhere on the artistic spectrum.


Thursday, April 15, 2021

From Janet to Jason -flowers and letters (AUOMA)

If you had any interest in the exemplar yesterday - it's missing a Z. I added some junky ones and will try to add a better one when I get back to Duh Moines.


 I love this one. I love the combination of the flowers and letters. I really need to remember to use envelopes as design elements more often. So many good ideas on the blog - but, I get overwhelmed when I flip through looking for ideas. I do have a ton of fun when I try to replicate envelopes from other people. Maybe that's the secret -- to do a full-blown steal -- rather than just take some inspiration. 

Note to self: try that.

I started a new blog a couple months ago - and have been dragging my feet on announcing it because I'm not sure where to go with it. 

I have some lizard brained urge to start a tribe or clan. A calligraphy guild would have filled the need, except the one that existed here in Duh Moines withered on the vine. Club is too generic.

Many years ago I pondered starting a university. There are currently no universities offering a PhD in penmanship. Maybe it was going to be a college. I did have some very dear pen pals who offered to fill positions. Deans, provosts, etc. I suppose I was the president? Clearly, I am too lazy to do the research to start an institution of higher learning. Although, if I heard from enough of you, we could get it going.

Then there was the faux-religious order that I launched: The Sisters of Perpechual Missspelling. I never found a noun to cover both genders. I certainly wanted it to be open to men as well. This was waaaay before gender identification became complicated. (I have heard that there are currently 7 options when you fill out the forms at college dorms in California. I believe the seventh one is the option to not declare - but I could be wrong.) I could use the word -People- but, that sounds like a cult. Plus, I do not want to be disrespectful to religions - so it was easy to let this idea whither on the vine.

I have one more idea from the past, but I am going to bump it to another post - because this one is long enough. (This post got bumped - so you already heard the story of my MomGang.)

Which brings me to my latest idea - the American Union of Mail Artists. AUOMA
The International Union of Mail Artists (IUOMA) has been around for quite a while.
I have high hopes that I will actually turn this one into something real. Considering I have over a million hits on this blog without even trying -- imagine what I could do if I did something that was actually important.

Here is my new blog:

Feel free to nominate yourself for a position on the staff.
Or if you just want to submit ideas, please do.
There will be membership cards.
There might even be conventions.
We can certainly use a coordinator for each state - so get those applications in.
This could keep us occupied until our offspring get court orders and have us committed. 

You do not need to check AUOMA for new posts. If I add anything to that blog - 
I will post a link on my daily blog.
I'm still in Chicago - and will need to re-combobulate myself when I get back to Duh Moines on Saturday..

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Jean's Jan exchange envelopes - No 5 (includes exemplar)

This is the last group.
After I ran out of winter scene stamps, I switched to these basic black stamps.
I'll refrain from pointing out all the little flaws.

Those odd + things on Patty's are unfortunate. The original font had them - and I didn't ponder how they would pile up on the west coast of her name. Grrrr.

It was just a fluke when I put the stamp on Lynne's that a stray piece of edging came with the stamp. That was the only reason I even thought to add stamp selvedges to the envelope. It felt like the sheet of stamps was alive and that the selvedges were feeling left behind and wanted to join the party. 

I do not talk about my seriously odd habit of anthropomorphizing inanimate object. It's just plain silly. Also probably harmless.

Anyhow, this concludes the January envelopes.

I forgot the Z.
I'll try to do a better one when I get back to Duh Moines.


Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Memory Lane - Jackie's clothesline - returned (rabbit hole)

This one first ran on June 28, 2010 which was only 5 months into the blog. Finnbadger left a comment in 2013 and I added a comment that it was one of my favorite envelopes. What's not to love about some postal worker not recognizing USPS stamps. My carrier at the time, Dave, thought it was pretty funny. He is the one who wrote Postage Stamps with the arrows.

And it was nice of Jackie to return it to me. In the 2010 post, I say that I might return it to her, but, I dunno. I might not. Jackie and I will have to determine if any of our offspring or grand-offspring will ever want any of our mail. Sometimes I think it would be fun to put some of our correspondence into books that could reside at some library or museum that collects mail art. Or maybe there is no such thing. Something else to research as I slog through the flotsam and jetsam. 


Jaina Bee - there are a number of articles - lots of photos - of a house turned into an art project. 185,000 pencils cover a stairwell, like mosaic. 

one article:

or the Google list of many articles

Monday, April 12, 2021

To Leslie from Janet?? (princess cake)

*** Written almost 3 weeks ago***

 Once again, I am filling up posts while I am in my head cold quarantine and lacking the energy to find the email that tells me who sent this to Leslie. It might be another one from Janet. While Santa and the colors makes it very December themed - I do think the idea would work beautifully with other stamps and color combinations.

I apologize for the brevity and blah-ness of this post. In addition to being sick, now I am hungry and it can be difficult to find the right food. Cream of Wheat is what I want - and it has to be the cooked kind. But, I know that's not going to happen. Maybe I can go make egg custard. That sounds good. I'm really sorry to be subjecting you to this drivel. I promise to replace this with something better if possible. But, I'm thinking it's not going to happen since I have to engage the grandkids in worthwhile activities while my daughter does taxes and we are at their house. I can't just do all the forbidden things that we get to do at my house. And by forbidden -- I'm talking about things like sprinkles. Eye rolling.


So, yesterday I gave you the assignment to do something just for yourself. Did anyone follow my directions? I had done my coconut binge back in March when I brought an Italian Cream Cake to Chicago. Mr Wilson and I drove over - and it's a fabulous cake. Someone. where my daughter works had a Princess Cake for a birthday and my daughter thought I would like one, so that is what we ordered for my birthday. I would have been happy to bake my own cake. I'm not a big fan of bakery items. Although there were so many layers to the Princess Cake that I would not have been interested in trying it out myself.

Link to Chicago bakery

It's a good cake - super sweet. All the different layers go together nicely. Perfect with my morning cup of coffee.

Sunday, April 11, 2021

Happy Mail from NancyH.

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

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

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

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

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


Saturday, April 10, 2021

3rd LOVE stamp - to KateR

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

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


Friday, April 9, 2021

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

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

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

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

Link to Mary's IG account


Thursday, April 8, 2021

Smash's March envelopes

 These are the cards that Smash sent in March. I've been asking people to send me photos of the envelopes that they send in the exchanges. Very few people have been doing that. Or maybe I only asked that one time and I have not actually asked. I'm going to try harder to ask for photos. It is wonderful to see what people send. It's fun to see them in a group, too. Thank you, Smash!

Blue LOVE to Jess and Lynne (squeaking rant)

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Paperclips to Smash, GraceE, & RachaelT

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

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

There might be some more coming up.

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

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

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