Monday, February 28, 2022

Final Nov envelopes

Card above and envelope below from Sharon. Lovely colors and more deep regrets that I did not buy any of those stamps. I wonder if it is worth driving around town and trying to find some at a sub-station.

More acorns below, from Nanski. More nice fall colors.. and a pretty wreath on the card. I appreciate that the people who exchange cards usually send one to me, too, even though they know they will not be getting one from me. All y'all are the best.

No thankfulness for that blobby cancel in the wrong corner. Troy tends to use really nice paper and it soaks up the ink. Or perhaps the ink was extra juicy. I hope I remember to get that tour of the main USPS plant so that I can get answers to everything that I simply need to know.

OK, once again, we think we are done with the November mailings.
There will be two December mailings as we get into March - and then spring is going to come roaring in.
It's -6 (that's 6-degrees-below-zero) as I write this on Jan 21. I wonder if we ever get sub-zero weather in March? 

complete drivel follows -- unless you want to know the key stroke for degrees and the Apple logo.

I wonder if I can find the secret keystroke to make the little o symbol for degrees?
Well that was easy shift+option+ 8 = °  
So now I could edit the above and type   -6°
I'm so happy (and I know some of you computer people are rolling your eyes.

How about this:
Those are the shift+option+ 1 thourough 0 and none of them look useful except the °


Those are shift+option = the alphabet -- 
the only useful one is shift+option+K = 

 Can we tell that there is some chore-avoidance going on?

Sunday, February 27, 2022

Spelunking Sydney and MaryE

Sydney - I really enjoyed your story about visiting the Luray Caverns and being inspired by both the caverns as well as historical documents with cool lettering. You spent a lot of time on this which I appreciate. I haven’t been to that many caverns - and it’s something I would have done more of if I had had oodles of time to travel.

And speaking of inspiration - I believe I have had a previous post about Mary Engelbreit sharing where she finds her inspiration or - as we call them - steal worthy images. She just posted another one:

So don''t hesitate to surf or spelunk and gather inspiration. Google is underlining spelunk. But, I looked it up and other resources are OK with it.

I think that style of lettering on Sydney's work is called Sickels -- but, I'd have to do some research. 

OK - that took exactly 30 seconds - you will find lots more if you Google *Sickles lettering*


Saturday, February 26, 2022

JeanR - chiggers and bald eagles

I appreciated the enclosed note from JeanR telling me about her inspiration and materials. She has been doing gel (or gelli?) plate mono printing, collage, and silhouettes. She put those together with three silhouettes of faces to represent the  multiple faces we put forward. She wrote: Perhaps we are stern for our business dealings; we are soft for approaching a child; we are wary in unfamiliar places, and so on. The partial quote is the end of an untitled poem by Bloemen. 

I like the part where we *fall back on the grass and be.* But, only in the metaphorical sense. In real life, in grass, in Iowa - there are chiggers living in the grass and WARNING: Do not read further if you are squeamish. Oh, dear. I just Googled to confirm what I think I recall about chiggers - and chiggers live in lots of places - not just Iowa. So this is a public service announcement:

Contrary to common belief, chiggers do not burrow into a host’s skin or suck blood. They pierce the skin with their sharp mouthparts and inject a digestive enzyme, disintegrating skin cells for food. Itching usually begins within 3 to 6 hours after an initial bite.

Full story here:

Dang - the coffee was strong when I wrote that first part. Here's a little tidbit to take the edge off.

This will be old news by the time this pops up, but in January there were a ton of bald eagles hanging out in downtown DSM by the river. It seems the weather in MN, WI, and MI has been too cold and they needed to find some open water. By mid Feb they will head off to build nests. Maybe I can find that website where you can choose from all kinds of video cameras that are set up to watch creatures who are minding their own business - but we get to watch. 


Friday, February 25, 2022

Lauren's Nov env - Austin Kleon on parenting


Another two-leaf design that reminds me of CathyO’s leaves yesterday - this one is from Lauren. Swirling the leaves is a good idea on the envelope - and I love the way the stamp is propped on the little easel. I actually can't tell from the photo if the leaves are real - or paper with embellishment. I could attempt to find the envelope and examine the leaves -- but that would require delving into the boxes of mail that are now highly organized and asking to be left alone.


I've mentioned Austin Kleon a couple times (author of Steal Like an Artist). Today, he popped up in the Daily Stoic email that I read - called The Stoic Dad. I'm still open to suggestions on parenting so that I can send the really good ones to my daughter. I think it should be called The Stoic Parent -- but that's just me.

Anyhow -- Austin has a great tip for parents that is a variation on the standard tool artists and craftsmen use for pricing custom jobs. Quality-Speed-Price. Pick two. You can't have all three. If you want quality at the lowest price, you won't get it as fast as you'd like. If you want it fast and perfect - be prepared to pay extra. If it needs to be fast, but you can't pay extra - you need to simplify the design....and so on.

Here are Austin's two-of-three options for parents:

Work, family, scene. Pick two.

Work—that is your creative output or your profession.

Family—that’s a spouse, kids, or any close personal relationships.

Scene—that’s the fun stuff that comes along with success, the stuff that looks good on Instagram, that you can brag about, that falls into your lap like a wonderful surprise. Parties. Fancy dinners. Important friends. Offers, invitations, perks.

Link to Austin's website

Thursday, February 24, 2022

CathyO's Nov env - Flintstone life


Dreamy, dreamy italics from CathyO. I love the gold floating in the walnut ink. Nicely non-cancelled stamp. Gorgeous leaf prints. I’m looking forward to spring - but, these fall envelopes are really very nice.


This house caught my eye during a morning surf. I was on day 3 of using my hot-spot because MrW is in charge of WiFi - and even if I asked for an update, I would not be able to process his answer. I'm grateful to Apple for providing life with a hot-spot, even though I have no idea how anything works. My lack of practical skills always concerns me because I would be completely inept if there were some monumentally significant disasters - weather, political, aliens - there are so many options. I'd be living at Flintstone level if I did not have all my current creature comforts. I doubt I could even *make fire* if I had to. 

I spent a lot of time looking at the history of the people who build dome structures - which are green nearly tornado/earthquake proof. The company builds everything from houses to massive auditoriums. Then I clicked on the [Projects] and was very happy to be reminded of the Pantheon. During your first college course in art history, you learn that the Pantheon's dome is roughly 2,000 years old. Five decades later - that information resonates differently. 

My minimal survival skills during any disaster are matched by my minimal writing skills - so, I apologize if my train of thought is not making any sense. Here are some links that I enjoyed and maybe the WiFi will be restored soon.

Rock covered dome I enjoyed the owners description of some of her adventures during the building. She did a lot of the work herself. 

Refresher course on the Pantheon

List of projects There are other homes that I like better than the rock covered home - but I like the DIY aspect of her story. 

Wednesday, February 23, 2022

2D restaurant - Extra post today

 On March 3rd - there will be an add-on to the envelope of the day -  about a room that is all black and white and looks like a cartoon.

This is just an extra - scroll down to today's post below -- and don't click on the link if you are trying to cut down on surfing. I don't want to be a bad influence.

I just saw a blurb about a restaurant in Chicago - that is the same thing. Here is a video about it.

Here is a photo of a cafe in Korea.

The restaurant in Chicago is pretty close to where my grandkids live -- maybe we can go there. Although Nanna is not going to stand in line for chicken and donuts -- maybe we can just go in for a photo op.

Here is a link to Pinterest with lots more 2D rooms

Mike's Spencerian - ballpoint video


It amused me to put Mike's envelope with a blurb about ballpoint pens. Clearly, he uses very fine vintage nibs and ink.

I always enjoy finding the teeny-tiny details in Mike’s work. There is a Merry Christmas on the band under the bird. And the addressing is exquisite. I don’t post personal photos. There was one on the enclosed card and I was tempted to just crop out the people and show you the adorable little dog - wearing an ever-so-proper strand of pearls. It takes a very special pup to pull off pearls. Maybe Mike will give me permission to run a photo of Louie. 

I will be happy to run photos of pets if you want to send them to me. The BigHelpful Brother and I have had lengthy discussions about living with non-humans during my two stints as a substitute *parent* to my son’s pet. I don’t know what to call the people who share homes with pets. Is everyone part of the same family? *Owner *doesn’t sound right at all. Feel free to let me know the appropriate term. Parents? Roommates? Housemates? Fellow-inmates? Cellmate? Kindred spirits? Hostages?


Attention all ball point pen aficionados - here is an 8 minute video from JetPens that explains some interesting things about ballpoint pens and the various options in ink. I love ballpoint pens. In the video, many of the loopy test patterns that they show have blobby ink. I can't imagine why they didn't figure out how to make the ink smooth. I have several of the pens that they show and I do not have blobby problems.

The title, How the Ballpoint Pen Changed the Way We Write - caught my eye. It has to do with needing to hold the ballpoint more upright than the fountain pen. It was worth the 8 minutes to learn that. It seems so obvious - I do it intuitively. But, I had not been able to assign that to all the issues with egregiously awful pen grips.

Of course, you can always go to their main channel and view all kinds of videos on pens, markers, and other kinds of highly addictive materials.

Tuesday, February 22, 2022

2/22/22/- Kate's Nov Env - Meticulously distressed

This just in - Christi is teaching in San Francisco - March 9-11.

Warm, cosy fall colors from KateR

 This is one of this times when I would like to hire a ghost writer to punch up the rant of the day. Although I am just ranting at myself and that’s probably a waste of time.

I just spent 2 days doing a massive reorganization of my 6 drawers, 3 shelves, and 2 stacks of *stuff* to Once-And-For-All - get all the envelopes both incoming and outgoing organized. I overloaded my brain and had to take a couple days off to recuperate. And then I discovered that one entire drawer had been overlooked. Grrrrr. There was a stack of exchange mail from Nov and Dec and it was UN-opened. Geesh. 

So - forget what I said about being caught up with all the exchange mail - we will be looking at some more Nov-Dec mail. I guess it’s not that big of a deal. It’s entirely possible that there are no more stacks of mail hiding from me.


The name for this is almost better than the item - meticulously distressed. I love the idea, but, I'd like the jeans to still be wearable instead of just artwork. I'm inspired to do some distressing to some items that are so comfortable, but shabby. It would be fun to turn them into something this lovely.

Acrylic medium is included in the list of materials. Maybe that's to keep the trousers somewhat rigid. 
Link to the artist's work. If you need a lengthy rabbit hole, click on the [artists] tab and there are tons of other pages. Or 63, to be more accurate. There are thumbnails, so you can just click on the ones that look interesting.

Yoo-hoo to the BigHelpfulBrother - are we going to have a little party at 2:22 2day, since it is 2-22-22?

Monday, February 21, 2022

(Christine) Jan-badger style - Cabinland



Imagine this name on an envelope. It is similar to a style that Janet used. Janet's is all caps and I lapsed into lower case. I suggested that it would be a good style for non-calligraphers to try because it would be forgiving. Finnbadger left a comment wondering if there was a full alphabet available. I quickly penciled a full alphabet and sent it to him. Then I thought of posting it and seeing how many people would enjoy taking it for a spin. 

Of course my version is quite different from Janet's. But, that's the fun of it. You don't really need to follow it carefully. You can use the basic shapes and add whatever kind of curly serifs you like. The bottom photo has a bit of *thickening* on the h. The top photo was taken after I thickened all the letters on the down stroke. Janet's version has lots more thickening everywhere.

If I can get all the letters done by Feb 1st, we can invite exchangers to try the style and see what happens.

Well, that didn't happen. I still like the idea of posting a fun and easy style and inviting exchangers to give it a try. Maybe I will get that done for the March exchange. If I included photos of all the projects I have completed at my son's house, it would give a better picture of how I spend my time.

Here is Janet's original:  


This popped up on DesignBoom. Both the article and the video knocked my socks off.
These two people are creating a fairytale life - if your idea of camping and backbreaking work is a fairytale. I'm sure they would be miserable sitting in cubicles.

There are a bunch of links within the article - and it seems like there was a video - which is hiding at the moment - if you surf around - you might find it.

Here is their IG, if you prefer. There are lots more cabins than just this one.

Sunday, February 20, 2022

Patty's Oct coffee - Getty book online


It seemed like I had posted all the October envelopes, but I couldn't find this one. Maybe it is a repeat. Please tell me if it is. Patty has a note on the back that it was inspired by Claes Oldenburg, one of my all time favorites. Patty's artwork on this is wonderful and I think she should revisit this idea. It's so fun and spontaneous. I just love it. The address is nice and legible. The border didn't seem to interfere too much with the bar code. Nice splatters. 


Here is a rabbit hole that could take all day if you wanted a DIY art history lesson. This is just one book (of over 300) that the Getty has put online. I was chore-avoiding and just picked it at random. It features artwork from their collection with easy to read and informative blurbs. Old art and some of the newer art is sometimes rather strange. It's interesting to read the blurbs and see if that helps to make more sense of what's going on. 

Highlights for me were the musicians fighting. Very strange. Also Eros - who may or may not be the same as cupid, I'm hoping someone will clarify that - or maybe I will do a search.

A few with putti, because, seriously, who doesn't love putti. Or maybe that's a grandma thing. 

And then there was a watercolor that caught my eye because it was huge, beautiful, and done on spliced together sheets of paper. If you are interested in it, scroll down to number 20.

The blurb with this painting mentions the muscularity to the blooms and leaves - forcefully pushing their way through the earth. That's not what I see - but that's the fun of artwork - we can see whatever we like.

Many of the blurbs allude to symbolism. Sometimes I see it, sometimes I don't.

There is a wide range of artwork from Renaissance to impressionism. We are a month and 3 days away from spring. Let's hope those spring flowers are muscling their way through the earth.

Saturday, February 19, 2022

Leslie's Dec mailing - David Sedaris

And here it is - the last holiday envelope of 2021. I am tempted to hold it over until Dec of this year. But my ability to resist temptation is getting much stronger. It’s a very pretty design. Grassy greens and minty greens are just as nice as the darker Christmasy greens. 

And to observe the last of the holiday envelopes, here is one of my favorite David Sedaris stories. Even if you do not like David, I can’t imagine anyone not enjoying this story. On second thought, I can imagine all kinds of people not liking it. I should probably warn you that if you do not care for my sense of humor - or his - you might not like it. But, I do think it is tamer than some of his other material.

I meant to run this in December.

Grrr - why don't I make better use of the label feature?


Thanks again to the people who sent birthday mail for Hunter - he really appreciates it. Thanks for the mail that is showing up at 420, too.


Friday, February 18, 2022

J's stacked Jessica

This is another stacked name that is my vertical version of Mike Gold’s horizontal names done with one continuous line. I have no idea if he is emphatic about not lifting the marker. I prefer to allow a lift whenever I feel like it. 

As you may recall, I was pretty specific about 5 or 6 being the optimal number of letters to make this work. I was curious if I could make Jessica work - plus she has the skinny-i to deal with. I’m fine with how it turned out. 

Then I had her long last name to figure out. I placed a folded sheet of paper on the envelope and wrote the whole name in red over the edge of the paper. Dang. The red ink bled under the edge of the paper. I should have used removable tape. I went ahead and added the blue bottoms and outlined it and the bleeding didn’t bother me at all. I always wonder if people look at the *goof-ups* that don’t bother me and wonder why in the world I was OK with the goof up. 

The proportions of the first to last name are a little off. But, Jessica's name is so challenging that I will cut myself some slack.

Now that I am looking at it, I’d like to try doing the same Jessica on a business envelope and then doing her last name at the level of the second S in Jessica. I think that would be very fun. The two styles on this one aren't complementary. It would take some fiddling to find a better way to get them to harmonize.

It was the last one I did - and might be one of the better ones. I like the way the 2 S's worked out in the Jessica.

Thursday, February 17, 2022

hApPy biRtHdAy to Hunter and to the blog

 All y'all know how much I enjoy the stealing of ideas off mail that arrives in DSM. If it were not so hard to scroll through the 5,205 posts, I would check to see whose work I steal most often. I'm guessing Rachael's would be in the running. There are many others who send steal worthy mail -- but - on close inspection, there is a patience-level or skill-level that is beyond me. Rachael's tend to be do-able. I love this one so much. The colors are perfect and I like how it suits Hunter. He's a wiry little guy who would have loved to be a football player - but he's just too small. I'm relieved. 

I wish they would just eliminate the tackle part of professional football and make everyone play flag football. That would open it up to little guys. And here is my bright idea for the week: why don't they ever have the football teams play baseball? Or the baseball teams play soccer? Wouldn't it be fun for the Chicago Bears to challenge the Green Bay Packers to a baseball game at Wrigley Field. I'd love to see how much the tickets would go for. I bet people would love it. 

And here is a little trip down memory lane - as I do some purging of mail. An envelope my daughter sent me when she was a freshman in college. She never had any interest in art - but she did have nice penmanship - entirely on her own - I never coached her. My only two complaints with her penmanship were:

1) she did not make enough of a *counter* on the lower case e. Her tight, flat loops at the top made the e look like a c with a serif and 2) her descenders on g and y were always way too long. Look at the g in Chicago. Grrrr. 

Otherwise, I think it is a perfectly lovely idea for a non-artist. The really sad part is her apology on the back.

It says: Sorry my envelopes aren't very good! I try though! Sorry the stamp doesn't match! I kind of forgot about that part! At least I have cool pens! I'm sorry I'll never be as artsy as you! 💛

OK -- that's just sad. I hope it was just normal insecurities when she was 18 that came out on the back of the envelope. Although, she did end every sentence with an exclamation point. What's with that? 

So, the blog turns 12 today -- next year we become a teenager.

Wednesday, February 16, 2022

To Hunter from Debbie

 I substituted my son, Hunter, for me on some of the February exchange lists because his birthday is the 17th. I forgot to tell him that he would be getting mail. This was the first one that showed up. Luckily, Debbie wrote on the other side of the hand that his mom was behind the mailing. I was impressed that he used an Xacto knife to open the envelope. Then I had to hang out at his house on Thur and Fri of last week while he was at work and there were guys replacing windows - so I was there when the mail came. I'll show one more tomorrow - and then the rest will show up in late March.

Debbie went above and beyond with the beautiful card with the woven heart. Now I will obsess over what I send to her for the Feb exchange. I've already done two envelopes that are not pleasing me. Grrrr. Finding out that I had two empty days has been somewhat disconcerting. Just when I think I have things organized - surprises. Grrrr. 

At least Hunter will have a happy mail box. It's not like I've even thought of sending him something. I did bake chocolate chip cookies and leave them in his freezer. Maybe I should do the old 34 cards for your 34th birthday. I wouldn't have to use stamps. I could just drop them off....

Tuesday, February 15, 2022

Patty's little house and candy canes

I need to check - I know the card is from Patty - and the envelope should be as well. No reason to include the drivel about how I manage to get things mixed up. I love the style of candy canes - but would never actually eat one. Seems like they should be a year-round candy - in different shapes and colors. Maybe they are, but, I just haven't noticed because I do not frequent the candy aisle. I hardly even frequent grocery stores any more.

I love-love-love the little picture of my house.
I love little houses.
This one has a little Eric Carl flavor. 
Love it.


If these posts seem a little off, I agree. My routine every morning is to check that the daily popped up and then check the following day to see if it needs editing. And then... WhatIsGoingOn?? What happened to Feb 16 and 17? They are empty. I guess I can just post something very current. Actually - that's a good idea. The blog was started on Feb 17, 2010 - so it's 12 years old on Thursday.

Monday, February 14, 2022

Happy Mail

If you checked the blog before 6 am CST yesterday - and the blog post did not make sense - I have added the  image of the 2015 envelope from Candy.

I did not get specific permission from Janet to post this but I think she assumes that I love posting stuff like this. I saved the photo and now I can't find the email - but I am 99% sure that the person who received this envelope - found it in their mailbox with the Post-It - from their *Mail Gal, Lesley* - and now I wish we would have sent some mail to Lesley. Actually, I am writing this on Jan 17 - so it is not too late to send surprise happy mail to Lesley. All I need to do is find the address for the 50138 post office.

Maybe I will get it together and inspire other people to send fun mail to fun postal workers. First I have to find out how hard it is to get the address of the stations that deliver to particular ZIP codes. Do you have to  have the full street address? Now that I think about what all I have learned about the DSM post offices. I am pretty sure that one ZIP code might be split into two different stations. But that doesn't make sense. 

Maybe one of my postal worker friends who reads the blog will tell me. Does every single piece of mail, delivered to 50312 (for example) - go through the same station? I know mine goes through the Drake station which is 50311. But there is another station up in Beaverdale which is 50311 - so how does that work?


Smash sent this -- I love it -- there are a few more things I can think of that need smashing -- but, I'll refrain -- for the moment.


Sunday, February 13, 2022

Candy - blast from the past.

Hey, Candy, it's great to hear from you. Candy and I exchanged mail art way back before the exchanges started (maybe). I'd have to do some research on that. It was fun to hear from you.again, Candy

I like the very fine lettering. It will inspire me to find some very fine pens and compatible paper. It seems like I have been on a very heavy handed bold binge - and it is time to lighten up.

Or not.

The 17th marks the 12th birthday of the blog. I'm so happy I started and so happy I have a loyal posse of pen pals to keep me going.


I just. did a search for *Candy* and found this envelope from 2015. I used to relabel all the images so I knew when they arrived. The blurb refers to a blog/website -My Paper Arts- and there is a link, but it appears to be deleted. I can't tell if it is the same Candy. Maybe Candy will let us know if she has a new presence somewhere else.


Shout out to Christine - thank you so much for the first WORDLE themed envelopes. It is sooo clever. I can't wait for it to pop up on the blog. It will be the third week in March. The Feb envelopes that are rolling in are also soooo good. Thanks everyone. 


Saturday, February 12, 2022

JeanR's Dec envelope - squeegee painting

JeanR works in a variety of mediums. This might be gel plate? I'm not sure that is the right word. It looks more like acrylic - and not watercolor. Have we talked about the squeegee painting that is all the rage on social media? I’m getting really close to trying it.

This is just the first one that popped up. It's not even a good one. I like the ones that just start with a whole bunch of polka dots and pull in one direction. IG is another place to see them. They show up on reels.

You don't need a squeegee. You can use a piece of mat board. Cardboard might work if it was stiff enough. A cereal box would be too flimsy, but you could tape it to a ruler and that would work.

I am going to add my 2-cents to the recent articles about Bob Saget's cause of death - a head injury. The articles all suggest that if you bonk your head you might want to have it checked out. They don't mention that if you bonk your head - hard enough to do damage - there is a good chance you don't even realize you have bonked your head. 

When I bonked my head, Mr Wilson was home and he heard a *thud* and he found me sitting on the floor. But, I was able to talk and he had no idea that I had hit my head. The thud might have been from me landing on the floor. We didn't know what was wrong - I just seemed a little *off.* He thought I was having a heart attack.

I never regained any memory of anything at home or riding to the ER. My memory (awareness) didn't kick in until I was walking into the ER. Mr Wilson thought I seemed pretty *normal* as I offered my usual annoying co-piloting directions in the car.

Once they did a scan in the ER and they told me I had a brain injury, we started to piece together what had happened. It took several hours for me to feel any pain in my head. As the person who had no idea what was going on with her head - I would NOT have thought to seek help. If I had been home alone and feeling a  little off - I might have just gone back to bed for a bit. My brain bleeds would not have killed me - I probably would have sought help once the headache kicked in. But, I can see how the head-bonk itself can contribute to some poor choices because the person has no idea that they even sustained the bonk.

It probably bears repeating - we were informed that Mr Wilson should have called 911 and had them give me a ride to the ER. I could have had a seizure or a stroke - and the EMTs are better at managing those kinds of complications. So, let's all be careful, eh? 

Friday, February 11, 2022

Clover's Dec envelope and watercolor

Clover is one of our newer exchangers. She is also interested in learning more about watercolor. I’ve emailed her with some tips on her lettering so she wondered if I had tips on watercolor. My only tip is to watch YouTube videos. 


After reading this myself - this morning - I have an entirely different perspective - but do not have time to rewrite -- so will add the different perspective in a day or two.


My earliest experience with watercolor was simply meeting someone who was masterful and I saw that he worked on numerous pieces at one time. There is a ton of time required for the work to dry before you proceed. And, you have to have the paper *stretched* onto boards - so you need a ton of boards and a ton of space. Some people plan on starting 20 pieces and only a couple will end up in the save pile. Not everyone works that way -- but I would not be interested in wasting that much paper.

Even if you are a watercolorists who can do mostly keepers - there is that component where you can’t paint over any mistakes. So, I simply haven’t done much watercolor. It seems like another medium where it takes tons and tons of time to become very skilled. But, I can’t really think of any medium that is quick and easy. And that’s my humble opinion of watercolor. 

Clover did a nice little watercolor that she thought looked like a tornado. I agree. There is one more tip for any kind of painting. Avoid using the colors straight out of the tubes or pans. All color is made up of all color - so mixing very small amounts of other colors into. your main color gives a more natural appearance to the color.


Thursday, February 10, 2022

Nanski's Dec envelope (Watercolor & Wyeth)

Pointed pen loveliness from Nanski. It is Feb 7 as I write this and I need to start my Feb exchange envelopes. This inspires me to get out the pointed nibs.

Tomorrow I will be talking about watercolor. Since we need more words today, I will talk about Andrew Wyeth. As I pondered watercolor as a medium, I couldn't think of many (any) really well known artists who worked in watercolor and I wondered why I couldn't think of any. I asked a friend of mine and she thought of a couple who did some watercolor work, but not exclusively. We discussed - wondering what is it with watercolor that makes it so popular for wildlife art and illustration - but not *fine* art. Neither of us thought of Andrew Wyeth at the time. 

Andrew Wyeth is the *poster boy* for the endless debate on that *fine line* where artists are considered to have reached that level that seems to defy definition. We did not figure it out why watercolor seems to be a *lesser* medium - or if that is just our imagination. If anyone wants to weigh in on this topic - please do. I feel like I might have forgotten important artists who should not be forgotten.

The only reason I remembered Andrew Wyeth was from an article that popped up in the NYT. Two islands that the Wyeth family has owned have been donated to Colby College in Maine. I surfed around a bit - reading about Andrew Wyeth. The debate over his *standing* has not been settled. It is often said that he was an illustrator, not an artist. Then I wondered if that was because he worked in watercolor most of the time. 

Here is the article:

NYTimes usually lets people have a few articles for free. I get mine free through my library card.

Apologies if you can't read the article - but there is a ton of information about the Wyeth family if you Google.

And when was watercolor invented? Did it come after egg tempera? I recall that egg tempera was very old. I don't even know when oils started. Geesh. I need to go back to school. Maybe there is a well researched website - just waiting for me. 


A couple days ago I had a jazzy K for Kate -- here is Halloween N for Nanski that will be lost by the time October rolls around. Although that is one fine bat and the skulls are very nice. Too much stuff in my files.

Wednesday, February 9, 2022

Chuck's snowman & gnome

This was Chuck’s Jan exchange envelope. The colors pop on the actual envelope better than in this photo. Maybe I could figure out a way to enhance my photos. I’d love to do that, but have reservations about finding the time. I was expecting a S(gnome)man. 

I’m going to allow myself a little rant here about planning on getting ahead of the curve on blog posts and then having the internet decide that it does not want to cooperate. Or, perhaps the internet is trying to help me find a better way to post. What if I wrote all my posts in a Word doc and then I could upload both photos and blurbs at the same time.

Oh.My.Gosh. This might be the equivalent of figuring out how to slice bread. Streamlining. I love it. 

Hopelessly confused, I am running this one - because I was sure I already ran it - but, I sure can't find it and it is way too cute to skip. It was Chuck's Dec exchange envelope.


Tuesday, February 8, 2022

Kate's Dec envelope - jazzy K

For her December envelopes, Kate chose a monoline script that is quite lovely. I’m not sure I have seen her use it. I do know that she has a pretty nice stash of vintage stamps. I noticed that she did not include *Iowa* on the envelope - and that's just fine. The USPS really only needs the ZIP code and the street address. Sometimes it's nice to keep the lines all the same length. Recently, I abbreviated Ridgefield to R'field to make it fit better.

Below is a K I spotted - and thought it would be fun to use on my next envelope to Kate - but, I rather doubt I'll actually get around to doing that.

I liked prewriting my blurbs - but some of them are not long enough. Maybe there will be interesting add-ons by the time we get to Feb 8.

It's Feb 7 - and the previously written blurb isn't very interesting. Feb seems like a month where we just endure the weather. And so it goes. (Seems like that's a Vonnegut line?)


Shout out to Finnbadger/Phillip -- who was enduring some serious winter weather - maybe it's starting to melt.