Tuesday, May 31, 2022

Mary's monster - embracing the change

One more from Mary - so cute -- and I still have a full sheet of the lovable monsters. The letters look like they might be stickers.

As tempting as it is to steal this idea and use it on the June exchange -- I'll be taking a break from exchanging. I have lost track of how many times I've said this. It might come up again in future posts.

There are three ways to support the blog while I keep the exchange going:
1 - send me photos of your envelopes - thank you to Patty, Leslie, and Maggie who have already done so.
2 - send me a photo of an envelope to someone on your list - and I will blank out the address if you don't feel like covering it up in the photo
3 - send an envelope to me - and I thought of a fun variation on this option

The fun variation is that you do not have to put my name on the envelope. You can write any name you like. As I have mentioned, the USPS only pays attention to the names if there has been a change of address submitted. For example: when your adult kid moves out - and puts in for a change of address - the carrier will have to look at the mail and pull out the items addressed to that person.

I like the idea of unexpected names so much, I might have to send a few things to myself. (Said the person with the brain injury.)

Monday, May 30, 2022

How far off topic are we going to go?

I have no idea how far off topic I will be going. Clearly - this is not an envelope. I can't even remember why I would have saved this. I know that forgetting things is a part of perfectly normal daily life. If I mention that I have *memory issues* - people are quick to tell me that they, too, are forgetting things all the time. 

The best part of brain rehab is that the rehabilitators validate that the memory issues I describe are not those normal ones that we all have. Of course, I have no way of explaining how my current issues are different. I can't even describe the *things* they do that pinpoint the specific difficulties. Well, I could. But it would be really boring.

The other validating part of rehab is that they gave me a *map* of a brain and showed me the two parts. I have renamed them: RegularJean and LizardJean. I think everyone is familiar with that more *lizard* part of the brain that does the Fight or Flight thing. It can also Freeze or Fawn. But, it is comforting to know that the LizardJean has been let out of her cage. It was not my imagination. 

Apparently there are ways to put her back in the cage. But to be honest, I'm ambivalent. I'm not sure if the people in rehab want to have this discussion. So far, RegularJean has been acting like she wants to resume her place in the cockpit as the head pilot - and make LizardJean be co-pilot. I suppose LJ should go sit at the very back of the economy section.

I'll be digging up some more envelopes. Thank you for putting up with an odd detour.

Sunday, May 29, 2022

Mary's big bad wolf - a real time update


One more from Mary. Thank you Mary -- and heads up to everyone that we are going to need more reader participation - or I will have to start posting repeats. I have been filling up blog posts with jabbering and planned on filling in the envelopes later. And then yesterday - anyone who checked the blog earlier than 5:30 am central standard time - saw just jabbering - and no envelope. I had not realized that I had not filled in an envelope.

The jabbering was about my second trip to brain rehab - and it was a lengthy description of how challenging it was(is). Not in a bad way. I think these people know what they are doing. They really know how to hone in on details to determine what exactly isn't working right. 

So - brace yourselves for randomness - as I juggle the blog with real life. I've been reassured by the rehab people that continuing with my normal activities is very good brain exercise. So, the blog will continue to be a priority.

Obviously - this post was written yesterday - and the next three weeks of posts will have been written a while ago - but I imagine all y'all are accustomed to the jumping around of the timeline.

And thanks again, Mary, for the photos of your envelopes. They are sooooo cute.

Saturday, May 28, 2022

Mary's cowboy - Going rogue

Here is another envelope from Mary to her little buddy. I assume the name and address will go inside the lasso or lariat. Are lasso and lariat the same thing? Long time readers will know that I'm a fan of the white space. Perfect stamp. That was such a nice set - and so un-expected - western wear. I wonder if they will ever feature any other genre of apparel. I can't even think of one. I guess people in Nantucket have those red pants. Maybe a set of regional quirks. But, I can't even think of anything comparable to those red pants. What's with trends in dressing? Too many questions.


While I intended for this blog to be a fountain of ideas and encouragement. Coming up with design tips is actually work. Currently, I need to work on other things. I do, however, have a good rant.

*People* think that a career in an art or craft is enjoyable and carefree. They do not understand how much work there is behind the putting out of the product. Sometimes it flows -- and sometimes people churn out tons of work and appear to be blissfully happy. I am not an official researcher -- but, it is fairly common for a carefree career to dovetail with other aspects of life that are less than carefree. It is a rare person who has all the aspects of their life on an even keel 100% of the time.

So don't waste any time thinking that a career in the arts or a craft would have given you a *happier* life. It wouldn't have. It would be different. But if you have not made peace with the path you've been on, you wouldn't have made peace on any other path. Of course, I could be way off on that. I'm the last person you should be listening to.

Friday, May 27, 2022

Welcome to a new exchanger - Mary


Are we all squealing with delight? Mary found the blog through Pinterest - and joined the May exchange. She also sent me some images of envelopes that she has been sending to a little buddy who is struggling with a health issue. This one is so dang cute. I think the name and address are on the stack of cushions and she blurred the info. I like all the white space. 

Mary -- feel free to send more images -- same to everyone else -- I am happy to post whatever people send. If you have sent things that you have not seen yet -- that does not mean anything. Well, it does mean something. It means that my filing system is unreliable. But, I assure you, there is a 50-50 possibility that I will find them and post them.

50-50 is the probability of e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g. Maybe it will happen -- maybe it won't.

That's not right. There are things that are more predictable than just maybe/maybe not. I was going to rant about something that was happening at my house. But, now I can't remember what it is.


Thursday, May 26, 2022

Envelope idea of unknown origin - Off my rocker

I love this image and I did not keep track of where it came from because I fully intended to do my own version. But, I have had a turning over of a new leaf - and I am going to stop collecting things that I think I might do.

LOL - that will never happen. But, I am going to start parking stuff here that is probably not going to get done. Unless Jan is reading the blog and has some rubber stamps that would be somewhat like this. Jan has been helping me with the monthly set of birthday cards that go to the residents in the supportive housing units.


 I had to delete what I had written a couple weeks ago. I was off my rocker. We have our choice of either drivel or shorter blurbs. I'm going to go with a shorter blurb today.

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

A batch from Leslie - (aging)

Thank you Leslie for sharing this whole batch. It really fun to see several that were done at the same time to see the variations on the envelopes and also the coordinating birthday card. Those stamps were so nice. Mine are long gone.


 It's morning, so in theory the posts should be better. But, the coffee is not doing its trick. I guess I will have to resort to random weird topics that flit through my head. This one might qualify as a public service announcement.

How to tell if you need to enlist some help because you are getting too old to manage your meds. Here is my favorite *thing* that prompted a son and daughter-in-law I know to butt in. The son's parents (in their 80s) were so frustrated with all the pill bottles that they just poured all the pills for both of them into one big ziplock bag. And then relied on their memory as to when to take them and how many and which ones. Yikes.

I read The Far Side every day. This one seemed like a good one to re-post:

Additional apologies for this seemingly endless topic.

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

From Jessica - A&B&H gifts

Fun details off the stamp are always a good way to go. The Happy Birthday stamp is growing on me.
Below are the items my grandkids picked out for me. Sticky notes that look like a brick of ramen noodles. Nanna loves ramen noodles even though she doesn't eat them very often. She is perplexed as to why the grandkids do not like them. They also chose a darling eraser - shaped like an ear - so it is an Earaser. And a lovely set of pencils. Nanna likes pencils.

I was impressed with the Mother's Day gift that Hunter brought. Boxed mac and cheese. And it was the Walmart house brand. Even though I prefer homemade food - boxed Mac and cheese works for me when I need something easy. I had told Hunter about reading a review that rated the various brands of boxed Mac and cheese - and it said the Walmart's was actually the *best.* He knows that I will not set foot in a Walmart - so he kindly darkened their door - and brought 3 flavors. We sampled one and it's not remarkable, but it wasn't bad. We will have to sample the other 2 before we decide.

Ironically, one of the most popular items when Hunter was in his food truck/restaurant years was his own recipe for Mac and cheese. As with most restaurant dishes - the secret ingredient was cream. He said he felt really guilty about how much cream was in it. We haven't tried this yet, but we might try making boxed Mac and cheese with cream.

Monday, May 23, 2022

Sharon's other April mailing (boring rant)

 This is the other one from Sharon that I knew would be popping up. Nice combo with the stamp. Grrr at the cancel - it's too bold. I am writing this on Mother's Day. Hunter says he is bringing me something. I wonder what he has in mind. He knows that I object strenuously to setting aside specific days to do something fairly simple that you should do Every.Dang.Day. This isn't a very interesting rant. I think I'll switch it up and rant about the number of cracked eggs there are in the carton. I know they check them at the check out. So, the person who is in charge between the store and our fridge must be a tiny bit careless. Is it worth mentioning - nope. Am I going to allow myself a brief rant amongst my confidants. Yes. 

Let's go back and talk about how pretty those pansies are. I love pansies. Is this the year I plant some flowers. No. This is the year I ponder the possibility of getting ahead of the weeds. That's never happened. But, we can dream.

OK - the blog posts keep flip-flopping between whether I am going to participate in the exchanges or not. I predict endless flip flopping because these either way works. 

Sunday, May 22, 2022

From April -- planning for June

 The inside of the card from April said, "Sending you a paper hug." If that line sticks in my head, it would be a good one to add to my mailings. Yes - I am going to do some mailings. I took a break - but I see a window of opportunity - so, I'm going to try. Then, I know I have to take a break in June - because I will be heading in to Chicago for a week and then bringing the grandkids back to Iowa for their 4th summer excursion. I probably bragged about this - but, I need to mention it again - to explain why the pressure is on to prepare a ton of fun stuff for them to do. In December of 2021, when asked which trip that year had been their favorite - they both shouted, "IOWA!!" This was a big deal because they had spent a week in Door County with a boat on a lake (in a house that was much nicer than Nanna's house) as well as a few days at Disneyland and maybe one other place that I can't remember. 

Wish me luck at competing with the 2022 trips - Hawaii and some beach place in Florida. Although, I suspect that the loosening of the mealtime restrictions might make Nanna's house unbeatable. When Ben was 4, and his mom asked him what he was looking forward to most on his upcoming trip to Iowa - he replied, "Getting away from you." No filter on 4 year olds. Plus that was in June of 2020 - so they were just coming off of that first 4 or 5 months of lock down. 

And movies. Nanna allows more movies. I look for odd vintage movies - like Swiss Family Robinson and Pollyanna. They are almost strange in how dated they are.

Saturday, May 21, 2022

Sharon - twice in April?

Before we get into todays envelope - I need to warn the exchangers that my envelope for May will be really boring. Some will include an odd personal note apologizing for the blah-ness of the envelope. Some might have an additional odd note inside or on the back apologizing for not sending a proper thank you for  the mail I received in April. Then - in a couple weeks there will be a full explanation. It might not make sense. But, I none of this is dramatic or worrisome. It's just the stuff of the day.

I think Sharon must have sent both a regular mailing as well as a birthday card in April. Thank you very much. A paper pony is lovely. As mentioned from time to time, I'm not a house pet person. And, I spent enough time at the ranch in Montana where my mom grew up to know that I would not want to hang with cows, pigs, chickens, geese, guinea fowl, peacocks, horses, or sheep. They did not have sheep - but the neighbors did and sheep might be the worst on the smell-o-meter. As a courtesy, I never order lamb or buy it. I'll eat it if someone serves it at dinner - as if I'm ever invited to dinner.

I suppose if I had to pick an animal as a preferred animal, I'd go with either a milk cow or chickens. I'm fond of beef - so, I suppose I could warm up to a nice little calf if someone else did the conversion-to-dinner process. Not that I would be able to butcher a chicken by myself -- but, dang, I know how to pluck 'em. Is there a compassionate way to *off* chickens?

Oh my gosh - coffee time has my little wheels turning. A summer camp for families where city-folks learn where food comes from - and there is nothing held back. I don't have time to Google - but I have a feeling that someone has already come up with this. If anyone has time to research - please let us know.

Friday, May 20, 2022

From Janet in April

 This envelope from Janet was accurate foreshadowing of the actual weather. Or maybe the word is fore-showering. I am not one to complain about rain - it's water -- and water is essential. It's right up there with sunlight and air. This is still in the string of afternoon writing. It's drivel. And the bad news is -- it will take another 11 posts to fill up the month. Apologies in advance. 

On a brighter note -- this is a very cool card. I'm interesting in trying to replicate the structure.

Top view - there are 4 ways to flatten it.
Below are the 4 views.

These are details of one of the panels - a cute little envelope and inside - a cleverly edited fortune cookie fortune - or at least that's what it looks like - maybe it's from tea or something. So cute.

Here is a new twist on Blogger - I can't leave a comment on my own blog. Grrrr.
CJ left a comment that this looks like a hot dog book - also known as a revolving door book - both made out of one piece of paper. It's different - in that it has a center column - an enclosed space - and 4 panels coming off that column - so it fold flat - but if you look at the top view - you can see that column - as well as overlapping - and plenty of adhesive.
But - thanks for the comment -- I should post directions for the revolving door book - and my variations. I get a lot of use out of that structure. I love comments that give me ideas for future posts.

Thursday, May 19, 2022

what does this say?

 I can't figure it out.

Please help.


Today's regular post is below this one

Jessica Hische's latest t-shirt design.

OK -- I went to the IG page of the company who is selling the shirt and their name is 

Invisible Creature. So Rachael figured it out -- but now I am curious if she figured it out - or went to the IG page? I rather like that it is soooo hard to figure out.

KristineK - The Frailty Syndrome

 I always recognize Kristine's envelopes without checking the return. They are all different - but there is something about them that makes them recognizable. Each time one arrives I think that it would be fun to attempt my own version of her design. Maybe this time I actually will.


I don't want to devolve into too much chatter about aging - but, I know quite a few readers are my age. I figured the younger people would have zero interest in topics on aging. Then I realized, younger people might have some elders - so maybe these elder-care and elder-self-care topics are worthwhile.

I'll be brief - this was a topic that popped up and caught my eye. I've noticed how weak my hands are becoming and was startled to see that that's a sign of frailty. Google led me to this:

In the absence of a gold standard, frailty has been operationally defined by Fried et al. as meeting three out of five phenotypic criteria indicating compromised energetics: low grip strength, low energy, slowed walking speed, low physical activity, and/or unintentional weight loss 

Full report here:


Wednesday, May 18, 2022

From Rachael in Apr - more about the first trip

Oh, Rachael - another design that is begging to be appropriated. Thank you. And the frosting on the cake - a highly steal worthy card. It would have been fun to shoot a video of how this worked. And I would have - except that I'm lazy.

Top view

Front view - closed

Front panel being opened to show a circle opening.
The greeting slides into view on the white panel behind the circle opening


At the brain rehab place, I noticed that everyone who worked there made eye contact and did that reflective thing - trying to get onto whatever my wavelength is. Clearly, I need help because those words are clumsy.

They ran me through questions and some tests involving the copying of things shapes and layered shapes that I saw on the paper. On one, I turned the paper - because that's what I do. Sue was very polite when she told me that for the purposes of the test - I could not turn the paper. I was polite and complied with the request. I gotta tell you -- there is a huge temptation to do zany things - and respond theatrically. But, I'm pretty sure they expect me to take things seriously.

Then - she asked me how I felt about a giant 3' x 4' poster on the wall that was one of those geometric, very detailed drawings that people color in. It was an elephant with all kinds of patterns and designs filling up every square inch. It was so hard to find words to describe that it was aesthetically very unappealing - but I understand that lots of people like to color in things like that - so, they have their place. 

Then I was asked about 4 smaller pictures of owls, framed and colored in. I tried to be tactful about how they were not my cup of tea - but I really wanted to know what's behind talking about them. There were some other pictures - pleasant, stylized nature based things - and we did not discuss them.

Fingers crossed that they don't suggest that coloring in those geometric coloring book pictures would rehab my brain. I'm pretty sure the revulsion of looking at those kinds of images would be counterproductive to whatever the benefit might be of coloring them in. If I really need to do that kind of activity -- I hope they let me color in The Book of Kells.


Tuesday, May 17, 2022

From Leslie - Apr - 1st trip to brain rehab


April was so much fun - having my birthday - and getting all this fun mail. I know I just used the word exuberant yesterday (actually it was 10 minutes ago - because I am trying to fill up May) but, I can't think of another word. SynonymsRus will have some.

ebullient, high-spirited, excessive, extravagant, overweening, lush, luxuriant, profuse, riotous, abundant, spirited, un-restrained.

Thank you Google -- some of those would work. Other are odd.

Apparently, brain injuries are tricky to treat. There are general areas that *control* certain functions. But, there are endless stories about people who *rebuilt* or *restored* all kinds of functions even when it looked like it was impossible. At the other end of the spectrum - there are people who just had one concussion and their *personality* flipped and stayed flipped. I hope I remember to ask if there is a difference in restoring mechanical things as opposed to personality things.

I waited patiently (as advised) to see how much would *restore* on it's own. On May 4th (May the fourth be with you - Star Wars day) I had my first visit to a brain rehab facility. I flunked the first test - by choosing door number 2 as the entrance. But, everyone who works there is geared towards making brain injured people feel OK. Even the guy who was mowing the lawn - stopped - and waved at me - as if someone told him that he had to be *cheerful* because the people who are coming and going will probably benefit from random pleasantness.

Monday, May 16, 2022

From Lynne - Vintage stamps at The Glam Pad

Exuberant is the first word that popped into my head for this one. Fun balloons and polka dots and the USPS added 4 more elements. The lettering is Gwen Weaver's Weaver Writing. This is the first time I have realized that I could come up with Wilson Writing. It doesn't roll off the tongue as well as Weaver Writing - but I think I need to come up with something. I remember naming something Jeanerian - as a spin off of Spencerian - but, I don't remember what it looked like. Probably just my own penmanship.

If you put Jeanerian in the search box - I've only mentioned it twice in 12 years. Both times in 2012. How bizarre to see the stuff I was prattling on about 10 years ago. Being lazy. Clearly there is some redundancy in my postings.

Some day - I hope to shoot a video of the exotic, paper, wind-up creature that came flying out of the card that was in the envelope. Or -- find a tutorial online. It's so cool.


Here's a fun website with some ideas for envelopes - if you have a stash of vintage stamps.


Sunday, May 15, 2022

Leslie's Apr mailing - Layered paper anatomy book

As I recall, Leslie said these were press-on letters. Or maybe it's called rub-on. Neither of those sound right. I've never seen press on lettering that had variation like that. They're very cool. Her white on black penmanship is very pretty, too. Combining the fine white line letters with the chunky colored letters is using another design principle - CONTRAST.  Contrast is one of those tools in your design tool box that is  actually easy - or obvious. It is still late afternoon - and this will not be a well written blurb. Sorry.


This video might make up for the poorly written blurb.

No photo of this - it's a YouTube video - of some very old and very fascinating books. The most spectacular one is in the last 5 minutes. Many many layers of anatomical engravings. Mind boggling.


The channel - Objectivity - might be connected with The Royal Society. I can't figure it out.

I found this blurb -- and it's a lovely rabbit hole if you enjoy these kinds of topics.

Objectivity is a series of videos about science treasures. In each video we uncover amazing objects and manuscripts from the archives, tell you their stories, and discuss them with experts.

Saturday, May 14, 2022

JeanR's Apr env - Housekeeping

Spring green - or maybe it is more of a chartreuse. Auto correct did not correct that spelling so maybe my guess was correct. JeanR is highly organized, so maybe she has some suggestions for the topic of the day. 

 Housekeeping/organizing/hoard reduction might be included in the list or topics that I only allow myself to mention once a month. It's been a topic that has elicited some direct response from readers. I'm not the only one who struggles with sifting and organizing. This item seems like it might hit home with a few of us - and it needs to be updated to 2022:

I've been doing so much better at keeping my download folder in pristine order. There are currently only two items that are waiting to see if they deserve a spot on the blog. The first one is from the IG of Susie Beringer. It looks like she used Bister inks and one of those wedge brushes.

If I had time to be inspired - I would turn it a quarter turn to the right so that the fan was on the left side of the envelope and the letters were flung from right to left - in pale colors - and the name and address would be bolder, darker, and USPS-friendly.

This fun variation of an old favorite was sent to me by someone who is kind enough to send me stuff they know I will enjoy and I wasn't going to run it until I found the original email from whence it came so that I could thank the kind sender. I trust that the kind sender prefers I keep my download folder tidy and will forgive me for not expressing personal thanks.

I have a very creative excuse for why I'm not very good at personal thank yous. It's because I have So. Many. Thoughtful. People -- that it would be a full time job sending personal thank yous and then the blog would suffer - and nobody wants that.

Here's what I found when I searched the game. The details in the description are pretty darn cute.

Friday, May 13, 2022

Chuck's April flower - Duct tape prom dresses

Chuck's flower compliments the flower design on the stamp. It also coordinates with the flowers on the duct tape dress below. I'm tempted to add some subtle shading on the flower using a white *colored* pencil. And technically, you don't *shade* with white - you *highlight* with white.

 I'm writing this during prom season and just saw the winners of the annual contest that DuckBrand Duct Tape sponsors. They give out $20,000 in scholarship money to creative teenagers. It is nice to see that kids continue to turn out spectacular designs.

Link to all the winners and runner-uppers since 2019:


It's 4 pm and my last coffee of the day is at noon - so this is equivalent to talking in my sleep.

Thursday, May 12, 2022

Sunshine from JeanR - Ice age landscape


JeanR spread some very welcome sunshine during the endless (and unusual) dreariness of April. Thank you, Jean. Jean lives within walking distance of my house. Sort of a long walk, but I'm thinking I might try walking over to see her when she returns to *the northlands.* She winters in the south. But, I'll need a ride home. There is a crazy long hill between us - and I'm sure it would be fun to walk downhill - but, I'd need a lot more practice to make it back up that hill. Who knew that there were such big hills in Iowa.

Funny you should mention hills in Iowa. I just ran across this a.m.a.z.i.n.g. video about these little pockets of ancient landscape in Iowa of all places. It blew me away. It will not be interesting to everyone. But, if you are fascinated by ancient plants - you'll like this a lot. Sadly - it is all too fragile to visit in person. But the description is sumthun else - and there is one closeup photo that is cool. I'm going to look for more photos.

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Thank you, Leslie - more valentines (30 add-on topics) reminder to not fall

Leslie left a comment/question yesterday - wondering what Carolyn used on her envelope.
She used food coloring - although she does not recommend it. Her tool for applying the food coloring was a gum seed pod. She liked the built-in *handle* on the gum seed pod - as that made it less messy.

Leslie kindly sent more images of her outgoing mail. It's fun to see several at the same time. I'm pretty sure she left a note on the one I posted (mine) saying that she used a Posca paint marker. These are soooooo cool. Thanks for sharing.


I'm still not doing a very good job of making helpful design based comments on what I post - so I've been working on a list of 30 random topics for the add-ons. In my endless quest to be not-boring and/or redundant I'm thinking I might benefit from a list of 30 topics so that the readers who are tired of any particular topic can be assured that tomorrow will be different. And if any topic is highly annoying, you can be assured it will not pop up more than once a month.

One topic is going to be falling. There has been an epidemic of falling. Small boys just have to accept that part of life is running, jumping, falling, and enduring that first trip to the ER. I'll refrain from sharing a photo of the grandson's gash. Then my sister-in-law recently fell on a new piece of poorly designed pavement that had a difficult to discern change of levels. She's OK. And then a neighbor (my age) just had a bad fall at tennis. She is also OK. But, I figure I'll just have a monthly reminder to be careful. Sidewalks, new and old, are tricky. Staying active is tricky. 


Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Kusama from CarolynE - ChuckS - Chapter 2


CarolynE knows me well enough to know I love all things Yayoi Kusama. If you don't know about her - just Google her. She had a heck of a time getting the recognition she deserved. There is a wonderful documentary about her. https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1893269/

I'm always wildly excited when CarolynE adds artwork to her envelopes.


A week ago, the daily post covered ChuckS and his quest for better penmanship. That post was getting too long, so I figured I would jump down a week in the line up and talk about Chuck's motivation for improving his penmanship. Chuck has to write things by hand at work. I don't know exactly what it is - but he thought that if the penmanship looked more polished - perhaps the words would have greater impact.

IMHO, that's an insightful way to look at handwritten communication. Several years ago I wrote a blog post about a jeweler who had no interest in penmanship and made a comment in passing (as I was painting a beautiful quote on a wall in his house - at the request of his wife). He knew I taught penmanship and his comment was: You could never improve MY penmanship. My response was that I could prove him wrong and I only needed an hour. He accepted the challenge and with his wife joining him - made an appointment for a private lesson at my studio - and I won.

My victory was almost *too much of a good thing.* The wife let me know that I had turned him into a bit of an obsessive and he was spending way too much time at his desk at home with his penmanship. They had small children. I'm not sure he was all that interested in penmanship - I think he might have been hiding from small children because small children are exhausting.

However, I did hear from him a few weeks later that everyone at the jewelry store was thrilled with his new penmanship because in the world of jewelry, people bring things in - orders are handwritten (usually on small envelopes) and they need to keep track of lots of different items - so - legible penmanship is essential. This was especially funny (to me) because prior to hearing this, the jewelry store had in fact - misplaced something that I brought in. They found it (after a couple weeks) - but, I did have first hand experience at the challenges of keeping track of all kinds of items placed in envelopes with handwritten labeling.

My goal with penmanship repair is not to force people into Palmer or some pre-designed style -- but to take the way they write and renovate it - keeping some of the original flavor - but adding some symmetry/consistency/rhythm - ending up with a personal style that is pleasing to the eye as well as fun to write.

Here is what Chuck sent on May 4. I see improvement. He has some very nice loops on the g's and the overall look is getting smoother. I sent him one quick page of capital letter - and will be sending a more helpful set of caps that show how some of them can be joined.

The number one thing I suggested - was to tighten up the word spacing. But, overall, I am so proud of Chuck's progress.

Leslie left a comment below - wondering how Carolyn did her envelope. Answer will be at the top of the post tomorrow. I can't figure out how to leave a comment on my own blog. Grrrrr.