Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Chuck's process

Here is another item from one of my folders. Chuck sent an example of how/where he gets some of his ideas. This is what he wrote:

This is a finished one with the source. I checked & I've had that picture a a hard drive since Jan 2015 there was no credit as to who did it. I just took an envelope & pencil  and worked it out. 

***

Part of me wants to print out the image and find some other things to use. Chuck usually starts on his ideas as soon as he has sent his exchange envelopes. He'll spend some time on the idea and then he prepares the 5 envelopes for the exchange. Once he gets the list, he fills in the names and addresses. So, he gets his envelopes out promptly. Pretty much every month, I tell myself to do this. And I never have. Maybe 2022 is the year I actually do it. 

The Dec sign up starts tomorrow. As we all know, I already sent my Dec exchange envelopes inside my Nov exchange envelopes. A few of you might be able to tell if I followed the Chuck-process. 

***

Alexandrite Woman is interested in my tips for hoard reduction and motivating one's self to reduce the hoard. It's nice to get requests like this and I will be adding them to the last two weeks of posts in Dec. 


 

Monday, November 29, 2021

Nanski's mummy - and nurturing story


 Nanski went with the mummy theme. I've always wanted to make a mummy costume. I wonder if my grandkids would be interested in being mummies.

From time to time I mention books I have enjoyed. I recently stumbled across one that I am only recommending to people who have an interest in child development. This is an email I sent to a friend who literally grew up across the street from the orphanage in Davenport - which is one of the things that made me even check it out. If it had been The Orphans of St. Louis, it probably wouldn't have caught my eye.

The Orphans of Davenport
by Marilyn Brookwood

Up until these two people in Davenport made an unanticipated discovery, it was thought that a person was born with an IQ and that it was fixed. Nobody thought that nurturing had any influence whatsoever on intellectual growth.
During the depression, orphanages were over flowing - and a couple people at an orphanage in Davenport had two babies who came from mom's with very low IQs and they figured the babies were doomed -- which meant they would end up in life-long institutions for the lowest functioning adults.

They shipped the two babies off to one of the state institution where they mostly likely were going to spend their lives. The babies were placed in wards of adult women who were functionally - 5 to 10 yrs old. The staff was delighted to have some babies around and supervised their care. The residents were delighted to have little ones to love and were capable of providing the care they needed. The babies thrived. As they grew into toddlers, and the two people who had placed them there did IQ tests - they were amazed to see that the little girls had blossomed and had IQs in the normal range. They were able to place them for adoption. Following up with them, it was documented that they had very normal lives.

The child service workers decided to see if they could replicate the situation - and chose 11 very unfortunate babies and toddlers. They placed them in  institutions with women who could care for them under supervision -- and discovered that - yes -- all but one of them grew intellectually (got to normal range of IQ) just from the care and attention. The younger the kids were at the beginning, the greater the growth.

So they started publishing papers and presenting at conferences -- and the hard core *experts* who were convinced that IQs were fixed - did everything possible to discredit the Iowans and launched smear campaigns. It took 30 years for the pendulum to swing and the Head Start program (from the 60s) was the first program that reflected a turning of  the tide.

Parts of the book are very dry with endless detail about research, statistics, testing, etc. It is thorough with regard to the scientific end of the topic. The parts that tell the story about people who discovered something and persevered to correct scientific *knowledge* is very good. It is also a bit depressing to see how difficult it is to open up the closed minds - but gratifying to know that there are people who will fight the good fight.

If this topic is of interest - here is a review of the book that is much better than mine:

Sunday, November 28, 2021

Lauren's Oct - (Lion King Cake)


Another classic from Lauren. Fun stamps -- and I like the use of Missus.
I need to find the photo of what was inside.
Although, I can't promise that will happen. 

I shot a video of it - but this morning, it was just a non-working gray square.
I'll re-try.



***
Our add on today is a really funny birthday cake.
A three year old who:
asked for a Lion King cake but specifically the moment where Mufasa dies, because
 “everyone will be too sad to eat the cake & it will be all for me.” 

Click on the > at the link to see the 3-yr old.


In the comments, someone suggested that a three year old would not have the verbal skills to make such a request. I disagree. Not all three year olds talk like that. Some kids are very verbal at a very early age. For example, my daughter was an early talker. Even as a toddler, people would hear her very clear comments or questions, then pause, and ask, "How OLD is she?"

Three years behind her, my older son spoke only gibberish for quite some time and if a stranger asked him a question, he refused to talk at all. Recently (at 37) he had to take a test to assess his skill at speaking English to get a permanent visa in Canada. The person administering the test said that this was only the third time he had given the test to someone who was English-as-first-language. Most of the people applying for visa's in Canada are from India.






 

Saturday, November 27, 2021

Troy's Oct Envelope (jabbering/balance/video)


 There is a whole list of stuff I can access online through my library. The NYTimes had been the only thing I bothered looking at -- until I needed to see something at the Wall Street Journal. Because I am a glorified housewife in Duh Moines, I had the impression that the WSJ was just financial news and would be of little interest to me. What a treat to find out that WSJ people have all kinds of other interests. Who knew.

Anyhow -- I've spent way too much time catching up on the WSJ and clicked on an article about Toxic Positivity. That's right. According to the article inept people who try to Pollyanna their way through everything are often times rubbing other people the wrong way. (shout out to all the Hallmark Maxine-lovers)

It's easy for me to not choose either side in this debate. I think I flip flop between being wildly empathetic and justifiably outraged. A bonus to reading articles in the NYT or the WSJ is the comment section. I try to anticipate both ends of any perspective that has been presented. And then I see how well I have done at seeing both sides by reading. It's always fun if there is a third view that I had not considered. Once in a great while - there is something with no opposing points of view. Usually it is the obit of a beloved person like Mr Rogers. Typically, there is a complete spectrum. 

Here is the reason I am even mentioning this article. Someone in the comment section referenced a viral video from several years ago. I had not seen it and I literally laughed out loud. And then I snickered a few more times after it was over. Remember -- my sense of humor may be too wacky for you. If you generally do not like my sense of humor, just look at the pretty envelope. Or - you may look at the video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-4EDhdAHrOg

Friday, November 26, 2021

Finnbadger - Oct (Baking tip)


Sorry about the post being late yesterday.
Thanks to the BigHelpfulBrother alerting me - by about 7 am CST.


Finnbadger signed up for the October exchange. He's a whiz at making envelopes. I love the relationship of the stamp and the image. I was impressed that the PO was able to figure out the address which is on a clear sticker. It did not arrive until early November - and there is no cancel - so, it might have spent some time with the *figure-this-out* team.


Vertical shot above - detail with address below.

If you are new to the blog, do a search for Finnbadger and you will see all kinds of lovely hand made envelopes. For a while, I lured Finn into some lettering -- which was fun. I am equally fond of the handmade envelopes. It takes work to find pretty images and figure out the stamps and colors.



And now for a baking tip:



Here's a baking tip I hope nobody ever needs. If you forget to stir the lemon zest into the pie filling and if you have already put the pie in the oven to bake the meringue, and if it has been there for less than a minute, you can quickly remove the pie, scrape off the meringue, stir the zest into the pie filling, replace the meringue and pop it right back in the oven. This will not be a reasonable solution if you are entering your pie in the state fair baking contest. But, it is just fine for people who actually appreciate a homemade lemon meringue pie.

I should have taken a picture of the finished pie - it looked fine. Tasted even better.

 

Thursday, November 25, 2021

LEGO Flowers - Bridget's black envelope

 LEGO Flowers

That link goes to an article in Architectural Digest - which shows some LEGO kits for adults.

I love-love-love LEGOS -- and figured I wasn't the only one. Thank you to the people I heard from when I posted about Legos not too long ago. Normally, I post the envelopes first and then I do add-ons. I am trying an alternative where I do the add-ons first and then post the envelopes. Sorry for this useless drivel. It is Nov 3 - I am swamped with stuff like covid-booster, dental appt, helping BigHelpfulBrother downsize, cat sitting, and probably some other things that I am forgetting.



Here is the first of the mail that arrived in October. While black is a popular color in October, Bridget sent this several months ago. Mail between the US and Australia has been taking a very, very long time.
It's a very fun idea. Also a bit daring to trust the postal workers to read the address. At least the writing is very clear and easy to read.
Bridget signed up for the Nov exchange. Perhaps I should send her a valentine in my Nov-Dec envelopes.





Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Janet to Leslie (train of thought)


 Lovely colors on this one - I'm not sure how she did it. Looks like she might have done a black marker on black envelope - and then filled in the spaces. Or, maybe chalk? Maybe she'll tell us. Maybe she tries so many different things that she doesn't remember what she did.

Today is the 9th. November is filled. Except this one was sitting quietly - empty. Until I discovered it. I waste far too much time leaving blanks, going back and filling them in, jabbering, going back and editing the jabbering. 

One of my favorite things that I really did not want to edit was a comment about how my train of thoughts had gone off the tracks. In some ways, that is my new baseline. A locomotive barreling into the unknown - and not on the tracks.

Sounds very dangerous. Although -- it's just words and pictures. It might be OK. At least it gives me something to do. 

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Two more from Janet to Leslie



More loveliness from Janet.
I guess the reason I struggle with what to say about Janet's work is that I know the secret to its loveliness. She spends a LOT of time on her work. Of course, I have no way of knowing that for sure. However, I have met her in person and gathered that she does spend a lot of time on artwork. She also does a ton of other stuff - so I don't really see how she packs it all in. Sometimes people just have a knack for things. Often times - spending a ridiculous amount of time on something will yield fabulous results. For some people, it does not. So, I have just wasted your time with a bunch of words that are probably not useful at all.

****
And then on Monday, when I checked to see if I had written drivel for the following day, I remembered that tother thing that explains why some people have a ton of lovely work pouring forth. Janet can integrate all the different things she does. I will delve into this topic further in another post.




Monday, November 22, 2021

Janet to Leslie


Leslie says: Hard to see the pretty metallic greens on the one, as my photography skills aren't the best, esp. when it comes to metallics and black paper. But it's really lovely.

Jean says: I can detect the loveliness even without seeing the metallics. I need to appropriate this one. And, as I recall, Janet sent me something similar in green and I attempted a pretty straight forward appropriation, using different colors.

****

My plan to get my holiday mail out the door before T-day has gone up in a poof of smoke. Nothing bad happened, details will pop up on a later post. I had to adjust this post because it was boring and tedious. That implies that these new words will be better which I can't guarantee. I can however let you know that two of Lovejoy's cronies have been replaced - so we are one step closer to replacing Lovejoy. My stomach churns just writing his name. Love and Joy should be reserved for things that are truly lovely and joyful. 

Ups and downs. The opposite would be a flat line -- and that sounds a bit omimous.

 

Sunday, November 21, 2021

Janet to Leslie - (cheese)


Leslie's comment:
So, this env. prodded me to buying some of those stamps, as I LOVE how it goes with the the bright green paper (how there is a hint of the same color in the stamp). Love it.

Jean's comment:
This reminds me of the Mike Gold envelope that is covered with flourishing that may have run or might be coming up. The stamp placement was fortuitous - because the wavy lines look nice flying off to the right.

***
 This add-on has nothing to do with envelopes. It does, however, settle a debate. There are foodies who claim that certain cheesy dishes must have a bit of Velveeta to turn out right. Others will recoil in horror at the mention of Velveeta. Velveeta does not offend me - but I understand why some people do not want to consider it food. I get it. But, I have never found a way to make good nachos without some Velveeta. 

The NYTimes food writer, Eric Kim had this to say in his column on Nov 4th. He's talking about the problem of cheese sauces that turn grainy, especially if they are put in the oven. I like the punchline. If anyone has a secret for making good nachos without Velveeta, I'd love to hear about it. Actually, I need to talk to my food-truck-son. His mac and cheese is superb. Although he says he  feels guilty about how much cream is involved. 

But there is one method that works. Paul Adams, the senior science research editor at Cook’s Illustrated, has written about the stabilizing powers of sodium citrate, an ingredient found in processed cheeses like Velveeta. “It’s fun to see it in action,” he said, “because it opens up a whole world of otherwise ineligible cheeses that you can melt smoothly into a sauce.” Though you could go out and buy sodium citrate, using a smidgen of Velveeta in your sauce does wonders for keeping it indelibly smooth and bound, like movie-theater nacho cheese.

In fact, as Mr. Adams points out, the chemical formula for sodium citrate even spells out “nacho”: Na₃C₆H₅O₇.


Saturday, November 20, 2021

Grid ideas - no envelopes today - unless I add one


Jeffrey Gibson, 'When Fire Is Applied to a Stone It Cracks' (2019).

These letters would be fun to try on envelopes if a person had self adhesive paper or one of those little gadgets that added adhesive to paper or if one had a tremendous amount of patience.

To read the article:

****

And here is a an alphabet that looks like it was made to go with the More Than Meets The Eye stamps.

It is from VREM Design in 2012.
They seem to be very keen on grids.


If anyone gets stressed when there is no envelope, please let me know. 
***
At the last minute, I checked my folder of images of the exchange envelopes that have been mailed and noticed this one. It has not been mailed. Tome has to wait for her Nov-Dec exchange. I was intrigued by this combination of letters but not sure where to go from here. It's begging to have the MoreThanMeetsTheEye stamp - but colorwise it would be a mistake. That isn't even a real stamp. Leaving the space at the bottom for the bar code messes with everything. I might try squishing it all together so that there is a full half-inch border all the way around.





 

Friday, November 19, 2021

To Leslie from Janet - (stylish paint by number)


Words from Leslie:
Frog env. -- Janet said she didn't like this, but gave it to me anyway (in another env., which is why it's folded). I can't remember why she didn't like it, but I think it's SUPER FUN! The lettering is fun and perfect with it too. And I love how she did the lone frog on the flap.


 I agree with Leslie -- super fun - and I bet she had some of those frog stamps.

***
I have previously mentioned the high-end paint by number kits that are available. My granddaughter has some *sticker by number* books that are fun - and less messy than paint - which reminded me of these.

There are several companies - this link takes you to a list of them (I think) And there is another link below. I did this part of the post a while ago. And have something else to add on below it.





The *sticker by number* books are actually called Paint by Sticker. 

**** 

This is for the readers who like science-y stuff. As previously mentioned, science and art are pretty much the same thing - except science starts on the more tangible end of things - but they always run into intangibility. The arts often start with the intangible and then seeks to express the intangible in a more tangible way. 

So, here's a series of three videos for people who have Amazon Prime (even though I refuse to order off Amazon) MrW is happy to support that particular evil empire, so I watch the videos. 

If you ever wondered how electricity works or how in the world people figured everything out - these videos are very watchable for those of us who are non-scientists. Just finding out that you can taste electricity was interesting to me. Not that I want to taste it -- but *who knew?* And that's not the only odd thing they tried.

Thursday, November 18, 2021

J2L - Janet to Leslie - pink flowers (my NOV-DEC mailing)



Holy cow, this is beautiful.
The close up is to show the pretty sparkles.
Note to self: appropriate this.

***
OK - I managed to put my NOV-DEC envelopes in the mail on Wednesday. It was painful. The whole experience was wretched. The worst part was figuring out *WHY????.* I was happy with all my ideas. so what went wrong? 

Too many ideas.

I will not bore you with the details. I will just say that I deeply regret -DEEPLY- 
1.
the designs on the envelopes
2.
my stamp choices
3.
the stuff I put inside
4.
the crazy notes I wrote
5.
everything else that I can't remember at the moment.

However -- I have pulled myself together.
I have turned this into a learning experience.
After I fill up the month of December with all the dreck that I just produced --
I will share with you how I have resolved this miserable situation.

I hesitated to use the word dreck - because I thought I might offend some people - but I Googled it and it seems like it is just another word. It certainly describes my Nov-Dec mailing. I think the pronunciation should have that *throat-clearing* sound on the ck that we learned in German. It probably has a name - if anyone knows what it is - feel free to share.

dreck
dr─Ľk

noun

  1. Worthless, distasteful, or nonsensical material.
  2. Rubbish; trash.
  3. trashjunkworthless merchandise, crap.

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Legos (my Dec to Patty - needs fixing)



I get very distracted by grandkid topics swhenever I am in Chicago and the kids are in school. Roughly 6 hours every day to either be productive or not. When my kids were Lego-aged, we amassed quite a collection and little by little, I became very annoyed with the  Lego company because they seemed to be steering kids towards very specialized building and taking away the creativity. The specialization has just gotten worse and worse. As my grandkids started collecting them, their accountant parents started keeping each set together. I cautiously suggested that there was no play value unless you could mix all the pieces from all the sets. I never imagined that they would ever change course. 

Imagine my surprise when my daughter threw open the door to the Lego closet and said, "Nanna is going to be soooo happy." Yes, Nanna is thrilled. And the frosting on the cake, mom reports that Ben spends a lot more time playing with Legos - now that he can mix them to his heart's content.

Now I have to decide what I am going to do with the huge stash of legos at my house. There are tons of good ideas on Pinterest. 

I Googled *Lego envelope* and this is all I found.





*****
Here is an actual envelope because I try to stay on topic.
There's something wrong with it.
I will rerun this one after I take a photo of the improvement.

Alternating colors is one of my favorite, super easy, ideas for envelopes.




 

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Random item - lettering after a stroke


This is not an envelope, but it has lettering and art - so we will allow it.

Back in August, when I needed my medical records after my brain injury and requesting them online was not going well because the website was requesting a fax and I decided to just find the office and make the request in person. MrW took me to the hospital and we ventured into the subterranean level and made the request. The subterranean level was very drab - except for these paintings that had been done by stroke patients. 


The plaque says: JOYFULLY MADE BY OUR STOKE PATIENTS & STAFF
Mercy Stroke Center

The top line says:
LIFE IS WHY
and under that it says
CELEBRATE

The words don't exactly make sense to me - but I really like the idea that someone launched the project and it found a home.

If anyone wants to explain why they might have chosen those words, please do. Maybe it is very obvious. Sometimes I can miss things that are obvious.
Of course, I'd love to know more about how they planned and executed the project. I'm a big fan of collaborative projects and have participated in quite a few over the years. If I ever think of a way to do a PTEX collaboration, we will do one. 

Our dear departed pen pal, Sam Price had asked me to figure out an Add-and-Pass option for the exchange. Maybe I should try that. Note to self - try it in January. 

***

In reviewing this topic right before it pops up, the enthusiasm for collaborating or adding-and-passing has dwindled. 



 

Monday, November 15, 2021

Mike Gold (mail jumpers)




Thank you, CathyO for alerting me to Mike Gold's IG account. He has a ton of great stuff. I love these scribble-versals. IMHO these have more of the characteristics that make them versals - especially that A. Spell check never likes the word versal. They always change it to verbal. Anyhow -- the flourishing is so fun. I plan on trying to do something similar and I already know the hard part will be running off the edge of the envelope and then back onto the envelope and keeping it smooth. The easy solution is to create the envelope on a piece of paper and then fold it. But, that won't help me get on with using up my envelopes.

*****

Let's dive into the folder and see if we can find some better inspiration. Then we will have a little celebration because I filled up the posts all the way to Nov 15th, 5 days before I leave on my trip. 

Oh - this is fantastic - from Atlas Obscura.
Highly recommend clicking on the link that takes you to the full story - fun and interesting.


THE TEENAGER STRADDLES THE WINDOW’S edge, calculating the distance to the dock. Dressed in a casual uniform of blue shorts and a red polo shirt, he is poised and athletic, his hand gripping a newspaper with mail nestled inside. The double-decker boat—large enough to seat 160 passengers—slows as it navigates toward the pier, but it never stops. The teenager rises and leaps from the window, right foot landing on the dock, then it’s a mad dash to the mailbox, a pivot, and another leap, left foot landing on the runner of the moving boat. The crowd cheers and the teen smiles and returns to the front, preparing for the next jump as the Walworth II delivers the U.S. mail to the waterfront residents of Lake Geneva, Wisconsin.

The town is the first and only one in the United States where jumpers deliver mail from a passenger-carrying mailboat, a tradition that began in 1916 when the primitive roads were too difficult to traverse. It has continued uninterrupted, May through September, for the last 105 years.

Link to mail-jumper story

Lake Geneva is a playground for people from Chicago - maybe someday I can go up there with my grandkids and see the mail jumpers in person. Oh.My.Gosh. I just checked the map and it is only 2 hours from where my grandkids live. I had no idea it was that close. We might actually make this happen.




 

Sunday, November 14, 2021

Sharon and Jessica (Fiona)


Sharon, above - Jessica, below
Lots of drawing -or- a very quick sketch -
equally welcome in the exchanges.
Some people have lots of time - 
others do not.


Let's see what I can find in that other folder that says it is  full of ideas for the blog.

Oh, this is good. It is from Fiona - of Paper Ponderings. She called them Modern Versals. I don't think they are chunky enough to be called versals - but, that's just my opinion. I do not have a better name to suggest.

It's so cool - the way the cap and the lower case are melded.

Of course we do not have the full alphabet, so we would have to figure it out.








 

Saturday, November 13, 2021

Remembering Sam - Unrest film

An envelope for Phillip from Sam.
Phillip does not need to have his address blocked
because he has it on his own blog. I think I need to start
appropriating ideas from Sam.

Newer readers won't know about Sam unless you scroll back to 2019 and early 2020. She participated in the exchanges for a little over a year and then sadly passed away. She had ME-CFS (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) The ME part is a medical term. There has been a lengthy and complicated history to figuring out what is going on with people who become incapacitated with a difficult constellation of symptoms. Sadly, it is frequently considered a mental illness and there have been only a handful of people who even care to do actual scientific research. NIH gives it the least amount of money for research of any of the conditions that ask for funding.

Before she died, Sam had asked me to cover this topic. I fully intended to do so because I have known two people who had the condition/disease. But, I was never sure where to even start. Then, I saw a film on Netflix that explains it better than I can. It's not light entertainment - but the patient has done a remarkable job of portraying her situation and sharing gut wrenching information about how difficult it is to navigate through the various options for patients. Her husband is an amazing person. If you want to be more informed about a disease/condition that is not all that uncommon, it's a very good film.

****

There was a comment left this morning that I might have meant to say - that ME/CFS is not common - but, I actually think it is more common that people might think.

I'm including some additional info:

Myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS)

According to an Institute of Medicine (IOM) reportexternal icon, an estimated 836,000 to 2.5 million Americans suffer from ME/CFS. However, most of them have not been diagnosed.

********

The film came out in 2017, so I wonder if Sam had seen it. She died in May of 2020. I do not recall her mentioning it - but I feel confident that she would approve of the film. When the film was over, I was curious about what had happened to the woman who made the film which came out in 2017. Oh.My.Gosh. This is where it gets really interesting. 

She has a website with a ton of information. It turns out that after suffering for many years with the chronic fatigue, she went through thyroid cancer treatment and then --- two unbelievably complicated surgeries for craniocervical instability and tethered cord syndrome. And those two surgeries appear to have resolved the CFS entirely. There are other patients who have experienced relief - but it does not appear to be just one cause of CFS. At least there is some progress being made.

Link to the film:

Unrest on Netflix

Below is a link to Jennifer's website. The link goes to the [My Story] page -- there are a lot of links to other pages with a lot more information.

Jennifer Brea's website

To see more of Sam's work, you may do a search on this blog for *Sam* - although, you will get a lot of posts that are not her work. The search function just pulls up anything where I mentioned Sam. Someday I should go back and assign labels so that we can just pull up her work. s.o.m.e.d.a.y.

And someday, I will share the emails from Sam telling us exactly how much the blog and envelope exchange contributed to her well-being in her last 18 months.

*****

That additional info that I stuck in - is from the CDC. The estimate of how many people have it is quite broad. As with many mysterious diseases/conditions - it's hard to know the numbers. IMHO - it has been hard to know people who suffer - and are told that *it is a mental issue.* 

I'll stay off the soapbox. This post appeared because I did tell Sam that I would talk about it. Anyone who is interested can delve into it. There is a lot of info out there. The film is a good starting point.

Friday, November 12, 2021

Mia and Nanski (penmanship contest)


This was my first envelope from Mia. I liked her very simple folded paper instead of an envelope. I also like the way she worked a simple flourish into a linking together of the names. And then colored in the loops. I am tempted to try this. 

I already mentioned the idea of sending my practice pages inside the envelopes. I could go through the blog and try all the ideas I like on all the different names and see which ones work. The more I look at this one, the more I think it only works because it starts with a j and then the ean is compact. But, I won't know until I try.






 Nanski's flowers are another option for the Nov-Dec combined mailing. I know I have several of the small holiday cards to use up and it would be easy to go in a red-green theme with a floral corner.

Oh -- I just noticed that there is no zip.

***
Penmanship contest:


This looks like fun and the deadline is Jan 16, 2022
which seems like a very long way off.

***
I was wondering if it would be possible to turn the fairly traditional T-day foods into a *one dish meal.* So, I Googled and found a couple suggestions. The NYT had a whole meal, prepared in just two pots - one on top the stove and the other in the oven. It looked very complicated.

Another site had one that looks like it would actually be good. Sheet pan version. Easier to control so that you did not overcook the vegetables. Kitchn has a layered option in a LeCruset Dutch oven. That one looks like a recipe for mushy, overcooked vegetables.




Thursday, November 11, 2021

Meg's frog (greeting card 2)


Lettering is done with a parallel pen. This one is quite lovely. I emailed to ask what tool she had used. She said she dips the parallel pen to get the variation of colors. I have a couple parallel pens. Maybe I will get them out one of these days. (Dream on, Jeannie)


This is a card she had printed at Snapfish.
I think the quality is quite good.
As you can see - you may add your own information on the back.


 Less jabbering to day - still getting mixed up - finding places with pictures and no words.
I've been helping the BigHelpfulBrother and MrsBHSIL with a massive down-sizing and moving project. 
I'm taking notes in case I ever have to downsize. 

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Maggie and Lynne (greeting cards 1)


My Connecticut pen pals, Maggie above and Lynne below.
MrWilson couldn't figure out the white ink. He asked how it was done.


Five blurbs to go and then I have half of November filled up. I'll be in Chicago until Nov 1st. When I get back, I'll do the lists for the Nov exchange and then do my double-mailing. That's where I put a Dec envelope inside a Nov envelope because I am not going to mail anything in Dec. It will be a very strange mailing. I have a box of leftover holiday cards as well as other cards that are mostly humorous. Although, they are my own personal taste in humor and every time I think I am going to mail one, I consider the person - and I don't actually know anyone whose sense of humor is a strange as mine. But it's time for them to go. 

****
OK - I am back, November is full and I am starting on Dec. I'll be running all the October envelopes in Dec. 
 I had to rethink the double mailing and using up the old greeting cards. It's fine to use up the holiday cards. But the weirdly humorous cards are very tricky. 

Layer that with all my issues with finding designs and stamps for the envelopes - and I pretty much had one of those old exploding head scenarios. Warning to Janet - the Nov-Dec mailing to you is bizarre. Thankfully, I have known Janet, in person, for long enough that she will probably give me a by on her mailing.

Thankfully - I figured out how to use up the cards - as filler - and will not pay attention to who gets which one. I'll just focus on the envelopes.

Newer readers will not know what I am talking about - when I mention the exploding head series. You may review exploding heads and exploding Pyrex at this link. You might want to check out the tips from 2019 on the post with Patty's cranberry artwork. I was delighted to see the cranberry art again. I forget how much fun stuff has been posted.



 

Tuesday, November 9, 2021

2 from Leslie -


This style of writing is a new-to-me variation with the ruling pen AKA a folded pen.
Below, Leslie did a series of snail shaped names for snail mail.



 Leslie includes fun notes in most of her mail - as do several other people and big shout out to GINA - who wrote an amazing letter in copperplate. I always think that I would love to write longer notes - and respond to people but somehow, I get very scattered when I try to write these days. I'm not sure why. I do like to practice my penmanship. But, somehow, gathering my thoughts doesn't seem to happen. So - if you write to me - I want you to know that I truly enjoy hearing from you. 

If you send empty envelopes, I totally appreciate the envelopes and it's just fine that they are empty. I tend to be an empty envelope person myself. Sometimes I send my practice paper inside the envelope and I've been thinking that maybe I should do some more of that. As Leslie and I have noted -- sometimes the lettering on the practice sheet turns out better than the final one done on the envelope.

Pondering. 
Watching the clock
3 pm - too early for my last meal of the day.

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It's strange to read my entries from before the Oct trip. As I already mentioned, the Oct exchange mail is fabulous - and there were some wonderful notes enclosed. Thank you so much.

Monday, November 8, 2021

Red Cross to MrW from Lauren -


A clever card from Lauren that arrived when I asked exchangers to send a thank you to MrW.
So cute --
and the Red Cross motif goes very nicely with the abstract impressionist stamp.



 This is written on the same day as yesterday and I am not even tempted to whine because I am very happy to see that the blogs posts are filled up to the 8th. I still don't have anything wildly exciting to talk about but the sun broke through the clouds just a tiny bit, just a moment ago. There is nothing like a little sunshine to perk things up. And a perfectly ripe avocado in the fridge. 

Simple pleasures.

Last week I made the annual apple pie. I should probably think of another dessert for Mr Wilson. I still owe him a flourless chocolate cake from his Feb birthday. I did get the other 6 desserts made and left the hardest one til last. And then we forgot to put eclairs on the list. They are hard  time consuming, too. 

Apologies for the drivel.

Sunday, November 7, 2021

KateR and JeanR (Uncle Fremmis)


Kittens  and collage.
KateR (above) with vintage kitten stamps.
JeanR (below) with collage and a frog.


and zen-ish-tangles - with a hint of Benoit, eh?



How long has it been since I've had a good whine? It is Oct 11 and I woke up with a kink in my hip and then it got worse and I currently can't go up stairs normally. I can go down stairs OK. I'm trying to not panic and just taking it easy today. But it is 2:30 pm and I've run out of sedentary things to do. Maybe turning my garage into a studio is not a good idea. I think I can make it work - just leaving it the way it is.

I started transcribing the entire story of Uncle Fremmis so that I can read it whenever I like. I mentioned the story one time - in 2019. I also said I would relate the story and I promise I will do that. I have not read it in a while and the first few pages are not interesting at all. If you know how it ends, it's not interesting to read all the background on what kind of person Uncle Fremmis is. I won't give away the ending just yet. I'll just repeat that it's a very good motivational story for how to snap yourself out of whining. 

I promise I will refrain from further whining. 

Or not.

For curious people, Uncle Fremmis is a short story by Theodore Sturgeon.