Monday, October 31, 2022

Oct to Janet/Leslie/JeanR

 Janet probably gets more apologies than anyone else - for the dud envelopes that I make for her. I usually send a second one inside. But, this time, I had 20 envelopes prepared and I could pick my favorite for her so that I didn't feel like she was getting a dud. The lettering isn't anything special - but there was something about that creature that pleased me. Well, not *something* as if I didn't know what it was. It's something very specific that thrilled me to no end. 

The envelope is translucent so I could trace the little creature. Yup. Tracing. Not having to think too hard about the shapes and proportions. Correction: Not having to think AT ALL - was a real treat. Such a nice treat that I treated myself to two more. Does this mean I am going to start tracing? I don't know. Will I get fired for tracing? Probably not.

I loved the way I did Leslie's name on this one. I loved that I did not have to think at all on the witch.
I loved filling up the space on JeanR's. I was tempted to add some white highlight to the lettering - but, chickened out and did a little shading with a white pencil.

I'll add in the rest of the Oct envelopes over the next couple days so that they are all in one place. I still haven't found the 2021 envelopes -- grrr

Sunday, October 30, 2022

Clothesline Caps - Carol Pallesen


Back in Aug and Sept I posted some examples of Clothesline Caps. The top envelope is the inspiration one from CJ. I had a lot of fun doing my own variations. Eventually, I pulled out CJs and did a version that was closer to hers. I also decided to track down Carol Pallesen and ask her how that style got its name  - and clarify where the style (and the name) came from.

Apologies for the poor quality of this photo. As you can see, I forgot to photograph it at home and shot it in the car at the post office. In real life it was white. And the lettering is on paper inside a translucent vellum envelope which is why the lettering seems a little blurry.

Thank you, Carol, for sharing the history of this very fun style. As with so many styles - people morph it in many different directions - which is exactly what Carol recommends.

*** the following is from Carol Pallesen:

I heard through the grapevine that people are wondering about Clothesline Caps. Please allow me to share with you a little history:

At the 2001 calligraphy conference called Odyssey in Massachusetts, Michael Jacobs and I taught a new class, Tiny Books Tiny Writing. It was a great success and joy (both for us and the participants). So we decided we’d like to teach it again jointly and separately. My “half” is Tiny Writing. In this weekend workshop, I teach three monoline alphabets and projects to go with each. The three hands are Italic, Clothesline Caps, and Willow by Hand. 

Each hand is based on my experiences as a calligrapher: Italic on the teachings of Lloyd Reynolds in Cannon Beach, Oregon during the summer of 1977; Clothesline Caps on a multitude of things; and Willow by Hand on some lettering Michael showed me which lead me to study the work of Charles Rennie Mackintosh, a Scottish architect and watercolor artist. 

Clothesline Caps inspirations include:

—When I took Lloyd’s class, as a teaching aid about letter spacing, he suggested we use colored pencils to color in similar counter spaces in the letters. It was helpful to see if we were getting regular shapes and areas, but I thought it had a visually pleasing look as well.

—Many years ago, I went to Offenbach, Germany to see the Klingspor, a book and typography museum which houses many great works of calligraphy by Rudolf Koch, Karlgeorg Hoefer, Rudo Speman and many, many other fine lettering artists. Several pieces by Koch had words which had paint in between the letters. I loved the way they looked!

—Since childhood, I’ve been a “museum maniac” and always wanted to find the work of Paul Klee. Several of his paintings have words with paint between and within the letters.

—Also years ago I went to Dublin, Ireland to see the Book of Kells at the Library of Trinity College. Again, I saw words with paint between the letters!

—The work of many contemporary calligraphers contain words with  painted letters. One of the finest is Sherri Kissel. She taught a workshop in Red Deer, Alberta, Canada. 

I had a Lettering Arts Guild newsletter (issue 46) which contained a write-up of Sherri’s Contemporary Decorated Letters and a monoline alphabet to accompany those letters. Lines were drawn top and bottom of her lovely letters, and color was applied. I called Sherri and told her about my inspirations and the alphabet I wanted to teach, and she gave me her blessing. 

My alphabet is based on Roman proportions first, then “tweaked.” And if they so desire, I encourage students to alter the letters further and make them their own. A waterproof ink with a Speedball B-series nib or waterproof pens such as Sakura Pigma pens are used for the letters and the lines. Then lines are drawn top and bottom of the inter-letter spaces and watercolor pencils are used for the color, with small flat brushes dipped in water to spread the color.

And why, you ask, are they called clothesline? Well, the letters almost “look like” they’re hanging from a clothesline (the top line) to the ground (the bottom line). And they are majuscule or capital letters only (no minuscules). And my initials are CAP! So there you go. They’re 21 years old now. Thanks for reading and letting me reminisce. 

Happy holidays!
With all best wishes, Carol Pallesen

Here are some examples from Carol:

Saturday, October 29, 2022

Oct to Rachael and Susan - New word from Mary


These were super fun to do. I might do some more and make the houses a little larger. The details are a lot of fun - but when they get too small - they lose any definition. I did the stars and dots around the stamps at the last minute - and reined myself in - before I started adding details to all of the other envelopes. Is that the right *rein*. Rain, reign, rein. Thank you for letting me just ponder. I know I could look it up - but, I am not in the mood to look things up. [I had reign at first - then edited to rein during my final edit. It's mildly disturbing how many mistakes I make.]


Mary left a comment on that envelope with the hand-stitching. She did manage to embroider a paper envelope without taking the envelope apart. She went on to say that the gel pen was *agernoying.* That's a very fun word that ranks right up there with insickinating. I hope I can remember it. Words like rain/rein/reign are agernoying to me. Or is it aggernoying?

I also had a nice comment from Catherine - thanking me for that one post that included the copy in French. It was a computer generated translation. 

This is my second attempt to translate my blog post into French. I wonder if Google does a good job of translating. Sometimes when I read things that have been translated into English they end up with some humorous words. I do have a favorite French word: le petite dejuner. I have no idea how to spell it. It was supposed to be the French word for breakfast.

Ceci est ma deuxième tentative de traduction de mon article de blog en français. Je me demande si Google fait un bon travail de traduction. Parfois, quand je lis des choses qui ont été traduites en anglais, elles se terminent par des mots humoristiques. J'ai un mot français préféré : le petite dejuner. Je n'ai aucune idée de comment l'épeler. C'était censé être le mot français pour le petit-déjeuner. 

I see that I did not get the spelling of le petit-déjeuner quite right. I like that word because I love to have leftovers from dinner for breakfast.

Friday, October 28, 2022

Oct to Kate and Lynne - traditional mending


Filling in colors is so challenging when using markers. The layers show and they get muddy. I'm not thrilled with the noses on either witch - same issue with stamp placement. Could have used some bats flying around, but, I do like the white space.


During a noon coffee break, I stumbled across a video on mending that was not the fun and creative trend in mending that took off a couple years ago. It does not seem to be a trend that caught on at all. It is not surprising at all. First you have to enjoy sewing by hand - tedious with a significant learning curve. And then it still looks like you are wearing old clothes that are patched. Unless you spend an insane amount of time making it into something spectacular - and that takes time - and it might still look weird.

A tutorial on how to do traditional mending on things like jeans and shirts caught my eye. I have only watched how to mend a hole in a striped shirt and how to make a very well hidden patch on jeans. The person has soooo many videos - and I'm trying to hold back on watching more -- but, at some point, I'll probably go back.

In a perfect world, I would require readers to click a button to let me know if they have ever mended anything - to see if there are any other menders out there. I know there are quilters - but, I do not know if quilters ever mend. 

Enough jabbering - apologies if every single reader thinks this topic is absurd.

Genius repair of jeans video

And if you want more -- here is the channel:

Channel with mending videos

Thursday, October 27, 2022

Oct to Chuck and Patty-- recycled clothing video


My 2022 Oct exchange envelopes will appear in groups - because they are mostly Ed Emberley designs. I was not wildly excited about these two because the lettering is nothing more than basic printing. But, I do love the colors and had fun. Having fun can be hard - so I appreciate that I got over that hump. Another shout out to Chuck for the inspiration to do all the designs ahead of time and then put the names on later. 

While I like the white space - I wish I had put some colorful bubbles on the witches brew and maybe a bat or two with the monster-guy. I prefer the stamp placement on Patty's. Nothing like obsessing over every little detail, eh?


Here is a video that I really enjoyed on multiple levels. As I recall, I have mentioned being on a campaign since May of 2011, right after my daughter's wedding to minimize the purchase of any new clothes and be creative with repairs and alterations. It's been a fun project. This video is about the *boat loads* of clothing that are shipped to India and the people who re-cycle the clothing. The glimpse into the people who do the work is very interesting. It is 15 minutes - 

Video about recycled clothing

Tomorrow we will delve into mending [again].

Wednesday, October 26, 2022

From Rachael in July - flying

Add this to the list of envelope ideas that I intend to appropriate some day. It has a lovely art nouveau quality. Of all the various styles that one can find in actual fonts - they seem to be the most friendly to doing by hand. Somehow they are a perfect blend of shapes that seem natural or hand-drawn - but with a certain amount of precision. I'm not happy with the words that I just strung together. Maybe I'll figure out a way to say it better when I review it right before it pops up.


It's incredible how fast the time goes. No time to come up with serious design and lettering posts - resulting in an off-topic add-on. My brother sent a video that he thought I might like. To be honest - the description did not intrigue me at all - but, I clicked. The first couple minutes didn't look like it was going to hold my attention and then - wham - it became interesting. I think the thing that grabs me is when something has been around for a long time - and people care enough to keep it going.

Obviously, the thing that interests people like my brother - is the part where the guy is *flying* without an airplane. I have ZERO interest in flying without an airplane. But, I have a sibling and offspring who are thrilled to fly through the air - so I understand *flying* has appeal to quite a few people. For me, not falling down during daily activity is enough of a challenge.

So - here is a person flying with the aid of just one helium balloon strapped to his back. At the very least, you are probably curious as to just how large that balloon needs to be. Also, how much does it cost to take a spin with a helium balloon strapped to your back?


Tuesday, October 25, 2022

From Sharon in August - silly sitting


Sharon does some lovely illustration - sometimes in full color - this time in black ink. It's lovely and she included a card. We always appreciate the extras - and we think about producing some extras ourselves - so far, that hasn't happened - even the splatters make me want to get out some paint or ink and splatter. S.o.m.e.d.a.y.

OK, here it is - a video that caused me to laugh out loud. Being caffeinated probably helped. The first couple minutes were set up. Not LOL. Just odd. But then it gets good and silly.

Link to sitting video


After filling a few posts without photos - I am now filling in the photos and find this somewhat short blurb. Please excuse the drivel. I'm writing this on October 2 and October is traditionally a chaotic month for me - so, I better just stick to my plan and get everything all filled up - and then launch my holiday season.


This just in - a link to the new stamps coming in 2023. Some are swoon-worthy. Others - not so much. But, it's all subjective. I found out that today was the day they announced the new designs through their FB page.

LINK to 2023 stamps. at the USPS website.

LINK to USPS on Instagram

Monday, October 24, 2022

From Maggie in August - Silly sitting

It will be a long haul until we have flowers like this popping up in our yards. I spotted some of Maggie's recent work on IG and she just keeps getting better and better at her flowers. That's what happens when you take a class or two and then put in some hours. Soooo pretty. And how cute is the ladybug on top of the J.

More gorgeousness on the back. LINK to Maggie's IG account


Thank you for putting up with me while I fill up the October post with silliness. Remember Monty Python's Ministry of Silly Walks? There are a lot of people who think silliness is an important part of life. I'm not going to argue with them because the news seems to be a daily tsunami of debilitating information.  Whenever I use that word - tsunami - I think: I grew up without that word in my vocabulary. That last century was blissfully ignorant.

What is the opposite of blissful ignorance? 

I didn't come up with that question on my own. It was part of an explanation by a comedian in a video I watched. I don't have the exact words that came after the question - but the gist of it is -- if you are going to be not-ignorant - it is not going to be blissful. 

Well, this is not silly. I'm having one of those conversations and speed writing this immediately after the morning coffee. So, the silly sitting video will pop up tomorrow.

Sunday, October 23, 2022

From Rachael in Aug - serious pencil sharpening

Rachael's envelopes get the steal worthy tag quite often. She wasn't thrilled with this one - but, I knew the minute I saw it that I loved the idea and would want to try it. I was surprised at the note inside that she wasn't all that fond of how it turned out. On second look - I can see one thing that might have tipped the scale just a bit. Using black instead of gray might be too much contrast. If I try this idea - I'll use gray and see how it works out. I can think of a number of stamps that would work beautifully. 


Once again, I think I have talked about this already but could not find it - and it would have been quite some time ago. In a workshop with Peter Thornton, we were taught how to sharpen our pencils with knives and create a tool that afforded the user a lot more *sensitivity.* 

If the *lead* is about an inch long, you have to moderate your pressure or it will break. However, if you get good at applying the right amount of pressure you can create some lovely lines with the humble pencil. This is probably something that is easier to learn in person than by DIY - so I will not spend too much time on it. Tomorrow we will indulge in some more silliness.


I Googled - pencil sharpening with knife - and there are lots of hits. This was the first one. I did not watch all of them to compare.

This is what Peter had in mind. Sometimes - the lead is even longer than pictured here.

Saturday, October 22, 2022

From Leslie in August (to George) - Serendipity (pencils)


Ruling writers, AKA folded pens, are the complete opposite of pencils. Wish I had bought more of those stamps. I wonder if they are gone.

It was pure serendipity (or being tracked by my computer) that a video from 9 years ago popped up on the same day I wrote about the pencil heiress. I feel like this video has already been posted on my blog but I am unable to find it. Either way - it will tickle your funny bone, if you have one. It is also true that a hand sharpened pencil has qualities not found in pencils sharpened by handheld or electric sharpeners. I will delve into that tomorrow. 

Warning: David does use the f-word once. It is a slow paced video (9+ minutes) so if you only have 3 to 5 minutes of *silly time* allotted - you might want to save it for a time when you can indulge in a full 9-10 minutes of silliness. 

Link to pencil sharpening video

His website is still up, but I do not have time to look at it and figure out if he is still in business. He also wrote a book which must be out of print. New copies are going for $50 - used copies are $8.

Friday, October 21, 2022

Neon from Leslie- Pencil heiress

Here is the other neon envelope from Leslie - made out of notebook paper. The colors are so fun - the accent colors on my name. The stamp goes beautifully. It's too bad the cancel over-printed on my name. I've submitted a bunch of questions to the USPS and am awaiting answers. My friend Natalie has moved on from Customer Service - I guess I should send some mail to the person who replaced her. Several years ago, when Natalie was a clerk at the counter, I had my pen pals send mail to her. She displayed it under the glass (or plexiglas) cover on the counter. I think you can see all of it if you do a search for Natalie.

And this was inside. I love those colors and the dots -- very cool.


This might be silly or absurd - to include this in my off topic portion. I have 10 posts to fill up promptly - so, forgive me.

I was surfing through some articles online and fell into one that was about a trend in NYC. Private clubs. There have always been private clubs, but one very handsome and charming fellow has opened Casa Cruz which charges between $250,000 and $500,000 to join. Mosts private clubs are in the range of $4,000 - 5,000. I was not expecting to find anything blog-worthy in the article until I read this...

Then there were the people — a fizzy cocktail of the international elite. They admired each other and snatched foie gras canapés from silver trays. <Jean snipped the mention of a couple people> Victoria von Faber-Castell, a young pencil heiress, lounged with Isabella Massenet, the Net-a-Porter scion, and Flynn Busson, the son of Elle Macpherson.

Imagine that, a pencil heiress. In case you are wondering what makes these private clubs so special -- brace yourself -- the main thing seems to be that they allow smoking. <eye-rolling>  That tidbit leaves me speechless. Although as a lapsed member of IAMPETH, I totally understand the draw of membership in exclusive organizations. International Association of Master Penman, Engrossers, and Teachers of Handwriting - for anyone new to the blog.

I Googled Ms Victoria. Lots of pictures -- but it was more fun to search the history of the Faber-Castell company. It is still a family business and Victoria is 9th generation. There is a main website which features a lot more history - as well as a US based website that doesn't bother with all the details about the family, etc - but has some interesting info. They do seem very forward thinking on things like sustainability, art therapy, etc. 

They buried the link to their [History] down at the very bottom of the main link - if anyone is interested in 9 generations of pencil makers. LINK to Faber-Castell website

Thursday, October 20, 2022

Aug clothesline to Leslie - End of series, for real.

This one popped up by accident in Sept when I was scheduling posts and I deleted it. I was too lazy to put it back in the order that I was talking about this series. It's fine as a wrapping-up-the-topic image. I can't remember why I wrote Leslie's name on sticker paper. It must have been to cover up a mistake. But why didn't I make it into something that I could have hung on the clothesline? It's an odd composition, but, I like the angle of the straight clothesline and I like the white space. 

Did anyone do a search for *clothesline* on this blog and see all the others? I really like some of the old ones. It was mildly disappointing that I did not knock my socks of with another round of clotheslines. But my pondering and the wild ride down into the pits and then back up ended up being a good lesson for me.

Will I learn from that lesson? Probably not. However, it did inspire me to collect and post as many lessons as I can recall. What are the chances I remember that I had this new idea?

Go have fun. Make something. Turn off your computer.

Wednesday, October 19, 2022

Stickers to Maggie + Sharon.

These were my two favorites from the sticker series. Things started out very routine - just figuring out good combinations of colors. Then the challenge to see how many of the stickers I could use turned into a fun game. As is often the case, layering a challenge onto a series makes things more interesting. Not always. But, in this case, I really had fun. Maggie's was the very last one and I love the stamp and love the parentheses.

Sharon's was second to the last and I like it just as much as Maggie's. Amazingly - I ended up liking the ruled border on the rectangle hanging on the clothesline. It was a complete surprise, after slogging through about 10 envelopes where I was so mad at myself for using a ruler on those rectangles - that I finally came to one that looked better with straight edges. 

Good lesson - don't make up your mind about what's *right.* Pretty much anything might work.

I do not recall who received these extra stickers on the back of their envelope.

I had a vague recollection that someone asked to see the coffee pot stamps. Here they are.

And here we are - the unused stickers. I just noticed that I know someone who has fx in their email address. And I could use the S on something to Smashman and tip the Z over so that it is an N - which would be a nice bookend on a SmashmaN - but, I am 99% sure that I threw this away after I took the photo.


Tuesday, October 18, 2022

Aug 3 flowers - to Carolyn, Jean and Kristine

There isn't much to say about these. They aren't awful but they aren't splendid. Once again, I think all of the shimmer envelopes have been used up. Or perhaps there are envelope gremlins who sneak in and hide a few - here and there. This is a drivel blurb. I'm not going to let it bother me. My loyal readers are so kind to ride these waves with me. We all know that at any moment I could burst forth with something wildly exciting. And so could you. Be comforted in knowing that exchangers have filled my mailbox with wonderful examples - coming soon. 

So, go forth and get your day started. Or if you read the blog at the end of the day - congrats on getting through the day. When the kids were little, I only needed for two things to happen to declare the day a success: 1) Nobody needed to go to the ER  2) There were no issues with heating/AC/plumbing/electricity.

Set your bars correctly and every day is magnificent.


Monday, October 17, 2022

Aug clothesline to Troy (font to maybe fix & repost)

Filling in the wretched, ruled rectangle was such an obvious fix. Surprising that I did not think of it sooner. These stamps look a lot like laundry - abstract laundry. The R is too wimpy. Although - there's a lot to *like* about this one. Maybe *like* is an over statement - I'll give it a B+.

During my morning surf, I found this exemplar (link to where I saw it is below - there is a ton of fun lettering stuff at the link)

For those of you who want more exemplars, this would be a good one to print out. However, you need to make some adjustments. The F is horrible. The two crossbars should be the same length, as the three on the E are. And the pink crossbar on the F is wimpy and a little too high - the orange is way too long. The M is wonky. The black stroke should not flair so much and it should touch the baseline. The orange and pink strokes should open up and be a little more like the V. The black stroke on the T is a tiny bit too wide for my eye - but it will depend on what letters fall on either side of a T. The pink stroke on the Z is too thin.

I hope Mike ? doesn't mind my harsh words. I get just a tad feisty when people who are soooo good at lettering lapse into the scribbled signature. One would think they cared enough to come up with a lovely signature.

The letters that I did not talk about are all very good and some of them are masterful. Pay attention readers, to the B-C-D-G-J-K-L-O-P-Q and that is a fabulous S. If time permits, I will redo the letters that I think need correction and repost this. 

If Mike contacts me, and asks me to delete this, I will. 
Here is where I found it:

It's from 2017 - so maybe nobody pays attention to the dusty old pages on the internet.


Sunday, October 16, 2022

Aug flowers to Cathy and Patty (drivel)

You thought you were going to see the sticker envelopes that I actually liked. You were, but then I thought I should get 5 more out of the way. They are some flowers that I penciled in - ahead of time. The plan was to be prepared so that I could get the envelopes done promptly. I liked the flowers - but did not have a stamp in mind. My oldest, most repeated mistake.

Cathy's is a dud because it is a shimmer envelope. Patty's is a little blah and the stamp is only so-so.


I have announced the new blog where I will be parking stories. And whenever I review all my blogs, I cringe. I need to Swedish Death Clean my blogs. One of my favorites was the American Union of Mail Artists. I was sooooo wishing that I could grow that one. Instead, it has been gathering dust after 2 lonely posts in 2021. 

Maybe I should just be happy that I am still coming up with ideas. Sitting around without ideas would probably be my worst nightmare. 

Forging ahead. We are nearing the end of this group of envelopes - so, I see a light at the end of the tunnel. Hopefully it is not a locomotive that is going to smash me to smithereens. 

Saturday, October 15, 2022

Aug stickers to Mia

 OK. Flipping back to stickers - and I had finished up all the clotheslines - so the new challenge was to see how many of the stickers I could use up. I was very happy with the way the front came out, although I would have liked a pink asterisk. 

Then on the back, I had fun cutting out the parts I needed from other letters and composing the rest of her last name which I have misspelled on occasion. Mia says that lots of people misspell her name.

Did anyone notice that the ss is actually two question marks without the dots? I think the c and e are also constructed out of leftovers. This envelope was the tipping point - and I was out of the woods, coming up for air, regaining my balance -- all those things that the surfers and bikers experience.

Spoiler alert -- the *victories* I show tomorrow are not really victorious. They are just fun and didn't make me go GRRRRRR. In my world, not Grrrring is a victory.

Friday, October 14, 2022

Aug clotheslines to Lynne, Jessica, and Mary (De Stijl font)

These three are too similar to rate individual posts - plus I don't have much to say about them. It was a shame to use up kraft envelopes on ideas that did not thrill me. I like Lynne's the best - but, only because I like white space. I like Jessica's almost as much. That white and the stamp edging really helps.

Mary's is a deeply regret because of the colors. Regular colors get so muddy on kraft paper. And neon colors are even worse. What was I thinking? I was still in the flailing about phase with these three - I knew I was in a bad place. But, just like the wildly adventurous skiers and downhill bikers - I have to just dig deep and hang on and figure a way out of the situation without hurting myself.

Here is a quick add-on for today.
I couldn't get a screen shot of the whole font - so if you like it, you will have to go to the link and snag the rest of it.
I loved the quote:

"curves are so emotional"-Piet Mondrian- 

If you ever have time - search for some images of Mondrians early work - it's fascinating to see how his style evolved from representational things - like trees - into lines that were clearly trees - but getting straighter and straighter - and eventually, the lines were abstract.

Link to full alphabet   although, it would be fun to just do your own alphabet without even looking at this one.

Thursday, October 13, 2022

Aug clothesline to Smash - drivel

 Let's jump back and forth between sticker envelopes and hand lettered envelopes. I have no idea at what point I decided to put two rectangles on the clothesline. Once again - they would have been so much cuter if I had not used a ruler. I also wish I had done the first S in red. 

Grrrrr. Some of these posts are mixed up. Nobody wants to read about me being mixed up. It was 95° yesterday (back in Sept). The only good thing about that event was that today I thought about how to find the key stroke to put in that little ° -- what are the chances that I will remember?

How do we find a balance between remembering - re-learning old stuff -and- learning new stuff? 

How do you find the balance between 3 things? Is that a thing? I guess it's called juggling. What is the greatest number of things that a person has juggled at once? 

I am so proud of myself that I have no interest in Googling that. If you, dear reader, are curious and you find out - please let us know. 

Wednesday, October 12, 2022

Aug clothesline to Janet -- drivel

Janet's was the first one where I had to do something creative since I would be running out of letters. Again, the colors were not working with any stamps and I deeply regret this stamp. Although I do like the a being sideways and deeply regret that I did not hang more letters upside-down or sideways. Deeply. How cute would it have been to have the j upside-down and the dot, fallen to the ground? Or maybe the dot could have fallen down and been one of the zeros in the zip code.

I double deeply regret the rulered rectangle with that stamp.  Wait. It's 5:30 am (today) and I realized that I like the straight line outline because the lettering is not hand-done. Duh. 


So, I announced that there would be stories - with synopses on the blog and links to another blog full of stories. And I have started writing the stories - but, I am not going to put in any links here because I've had some major glitches. I deeply regret talking about the chaos and glitches on this end. I'd rather find fascinating things to share. 

Or, I could rant about shopping in actual stores. Oh.My.Gosh. I needed some refills for my little glue-tape device. I went to the OfficeMaxDepot and almost took a picture of the wall of adhesives - it was virtually empty. I asked if they could order the item. The clerk was friendly enough - but - Oh.My.Gosh - the computer system was so uncooperative. I wanted to walk 5 steps to the right and pull a new computer off the shelf and invite her to try a new computer. It was dismal. It looks like I am going to have to just accept that there are no good options for shopping local anymore and I will just have to order everything online. 

At a certain point - I said something to the clerk about trying to shop local (because I was thinking that my loyalty to shopping local was evaporating) - and she said that she did all her shopping online. I don't think she cares about people trying to keep local jobs. 

Tuesday, October 11, 2022

Aug clothesline to Chuck (Alt blog)

Obviously, I should have planned out the color options before I decided to see how many of the letters I could use off the page of stickers. I like these colors - but the stamp has pink. Maybe I should have found a better stamp. I like the overlapping.
I have crossed paths with 3 different people who wanted to improve their penmanship. One on the east coast, one on the west coast, and one in Indiana. Because I miss teaching, it was fun to find people who were eager to learn and welcomed my lessons and pontification.

The first two were willing to send me examples of their work in the mail. It is so much easier to help people when I can see the actual writing on paper and not a photograph. I could not figure out why the third one was not sending anything in the mail. I figured he was one of those people who couldn't wrap his head around the concept of letting the instructor see the penmanship. 

So, I wrote him an email rant and was able to choose words that made sense and -voila- he says he has written me a letter. Part of our email exchange reminded me of things I learned and things I taught that I wanted to share with him to reinforce my *lessons.* 

And then I thought - gee - why not share them with the blog? I don't like to write really long posts, so, I am going to post them on one of my other blogs and just include a short blurb with the lesson that is posted on this blog. 
Answer to Leslie - since I still can't comment on my own blog -- I think I picked those stickers up from Michael's a loooong time ago - off their sale rack. They were supposed to be suitable for sticking on walls.

Monday, October 10, 2022

Aug vellum+sticker to Kate - biking/surfing

 In my hoard reduction, I found a page of stick on letters. I should have given them to Jan but, I liked the colors. Since it was the first one - I didn't get very creative. The stickers are on white paper and inside a translucent vellum envelope. The stamp is nice. It would have been fun to put the address in one tiny line between the names, but I went ahead and parked it in the white space to the right of the y - and then didn't take a photo because I liked it better with the white space.

If I was going to do more envelopes with the stickers, I knew I'd need to get more experimental. I guess it takes a serious downhill slide to actually come up with something better than adequate.

As I was mentioning in the jabbering about riding bikes downhill on the expert level trails and knowing that you can't stop - I was reminded of the world class surfers who admit that they are sometimes scared. Scared - but they can't stop doing what they do. There is something magical about diving into this wildly unpredictable unknown that provides some kind of ultimate fulfillment.

I guess, in a weird way - that's what it's like when I set off on an idea. Maybe I should appreciate the problems more than I do.

If you have AppleTV - the series about professional surfers (Make or Break) - is where I gathered the insight about diving into precarious situations. 

Sunday, October 9, 2022

Aug monster to Rachael - downhilling

This could have been better. I think I have used up the ridged envelopes. The outline around the stamp is very close to the edge of the stamp which looks better than all the others. The idea to use a ruler to draw the outlines was a terrible idea. I remembered that Mary's clothesline was done with a ruler and all my previous clotheslines were done free-hand and were a bit slack. But Mary hand-drew all the rectangles on hers and I wish I had looked at hers before I drew all mine with a ruler.

As I said yesterday - the downhill portion of this process gave me some momentum. It reminded me of something I learned about something my son does. He lives in Whistler BC where they have extensive trails for people to ride bikes down the mountains (with ski runs) when there is no snow. It looks very dangerous to me. Like ski runs, the bike trails have different levels of difficulty. As I recall - it is green for beginners. Blue for intermediate. And then I think it is black diamond for the hardest trails.

Apparently, on the black diamond trails there is a rule that you can't stop. You have to keep going because there might be someone behind you and you can't expect them to stop. Sounds scary to me. But, I have also been watching a series on world class surfing and it's very similar. Once you choose your wave - you have to ride it out. 

Is there a parallel to penmanship? Stay tuned.


Sometimes I try something on scratch paper before I do the envelope. I spent so much time on this one that I ended up sending the rough idea along - even though I ditched the idea. It would have needed to be done with gouache. And it would have needed better proportions. More light blue with mouths. It woulda been so cute.

This just in:
Photo of my son on one of those bike trails. Professional photographers park themselves out in the trees and take pictures - just like they do at other touristy places.