Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Dec 2022 from Sharon - Alleluia or Hallelujah?

This is a splendid piece of pointed pen work from Sharon. Those stamps are so nice. I might post her block printing again when I get back to that topic. It's taking a lot of self control to not pull out some nibs and ink and make some of those sprigs of pine needles. I will post the card the day after tomorrow. She said this envelope was inspired by Phyllis Macaluso. Here is a link to Phyllis's IG. LINK to Phyllis's IG

On Nov 16th, I was on a huge *up swing* because I had finished my Nov mailings, I had resolved to skip the Dec exchange and those two accomplishments were boosting me. Then, the proverbial frosting on the cake arrived when I found a video that is so wonderful on so many levels. I have no idea if anyone else will enjoy it. I INSIST that my BigHelpfulBrother watch it because there is some information that is essential to us maintaining our cosy sibling relationship. 

It has a lot to do with fonts - and even if you skip through the first part - I think it is around minute 19 when he explains why we use the word font - when, technically, it is not the correct word.

LINK to the story of fonts - 30 minutes

I started this blog post thinking *Hallelujah* but autocorrect changed it to Alleluia. I had a brief dip in my good mood because I did not want to research and figure out if one of those words was better than the other in this situation. And then ReasonableJean spoke up and said: It doesn't matter. 

I don't even know why I thought that was a good title. I don't really feel like it is - but, I do not want to take time and energy to come up with a better title. 

Monday, January 30, 2023

Dec 2022 from Leslie - Troy and rambling


I love the subtle green dots - to complement the stamp. If I were to use those stamps, I'd definitely use that much red in proportion to the green.

Below - is an impressive envelope with stitching and sparkle. Very festive.

And the frosting on the cake -- another scribble tree.

Yesterday's post was getting long - so I didn't say anything about his closing remark that he had rambled on enough. I'd have to say it was just the right amount of rambling. These are stressful times. I'm having a burst of energy with these conversations with readers. I've always had some personal chit-chat going on with people - but it's never gotten to be too much. 

As I have mentioned previously - it's been an adjustment to switch from teaching and running the studio to  whatever it is I am doing now. Little by little - there are a ton of styles that will get posted - and if I forget to cross post them on a separate blog - PUH-LEEEZE remind me. It will be so much easier for all of us - if we can just go to one place and search for something fun.


Eye-rolling add-on.  It's been a while since I wrote that previous paragraph. There's no way I'll remember to cross post or label anything. Entropy wins.

Sunday, January 29, 2023

Dec 2022 from Mike - Troy and stamp selection/pondering

I met Mike through the Flourish Forum and we've corresponded a bit. He has been to IAMPETH and I keep forgetting to ask him if he is going to IAMPETH in Chicago in 2024. Obviously, that is a ways into the future and none of us can predict what might happen within the next 30 seconds to possibly prevent travel. I could have (would have) met up with him in person in Omaha - except I had that close encounter with the edge of my kitchen countertop which has altered quite a few things. I am going to pencil in IAMPETH in Chicago - since it is easy for me to get there. Even if I only attended that one Round Robin event in the evening - it would be worth it to sign up and show up. 

I'll jabber more about it - when it gets closer. When they meet in Chicago - it is often times at some college campus that is way the heck out in the suburbs. The thought of being that older lady who is all about penmanship appeals to me. There used to be the sweetest older lady - and it annoys the heck out of me that I can't remember her name. She was sooooo sweet. Not that I am anything like her in terms of sweetness - but, it would be nice to be one of the *elders* in attendance. [quick edit - her name was Irene Calendo]


Troy was keeping an eye on the new stamps and was only interested in half of the cat/dog love stamps - and wondering if I might be interested in whichever one he was less interested in. I was sad to report that while I love cats and dogs equally - I found those particular cats and dogs a little creepy. They remind me of the Keene big-eye portraits. I suggested that even when I do not like an image on a stamp - if the colors are fun to work with - I am oblivious to the subject matter.

He went ahead and ordered some dog/cat/love stamps and was considering more of the George Morrison stamps - which I agree are fabulous. Great colors - and abstract. It doesn't get better than that. 

I have to copy/paste his exact words about letting the colors guide the design because he chose one of my favorite words - and wondered if there was a better one. Nope. That word is perfecto.


I’m starting to adhere to your admonition (I couldn’t think of a better word. If you have one let me know) of matching color with color. That may be the saving point with the Love stamp. 

One question I’m becoming more and more curious about- how many of us spend 5 minutes or more at times debating on what stamps to send to a particular person. 

I think there are ways to do polls online. I’ll look into it. 

Anyway, enough rambling for now. 

BACK TO JEAN'S WORDS: I think it would be fun to poll the readers about how much time is spent deciding who gets which stamp. Oh.My.Gosh. You can't imagine what I go through -- trying to guess - and sometimes I get feedback - for some very random reason -- and it's always fun to find out when there was some serendipity going on. 

I actually think about emailing people to ask about stamp preferences - but - they are fleeting thoughts - and I doubt I would ever go that far. 

Feel free to forward stories about yourselves and the gyrations you go through with stamp decisions.

Saturday, January 28, 2023

From Patty - Oct 2022 - Lettuce incident

I guess my new *thing* is to have every post goofed up.
This one is very late.....

 Patty took advantage of that really good idea of doing a block of art (in this case collage) along the left border and then respecting the USPS's request for a clear address and a properly placed stamp. I'm writing this on Dec 13 - during the week where there were several emails with pen pals about the USPS and I said I would be tracking down a live postal worker (other than my son) to get to the facts about how much conformity is required vs requested. If I am reading this - and have not done anything towards tracking down this info - this is a reminder. 

I will refrain from extending this discussion into all the other areas where we are emphatically preserving our *freedoms.* The whole concept of freedom can get complicated. Nuf said.

Here is a quirky little article that I found in a pile of emails that I had let pile up. It's well written even though it addresses that topic that I probably bring up too often. It probably wouldn't come up that often if I would stop looking at the obituaries every day and seeing so many familiar faces. But - if I stopped reading them, I would be in the awkward situation that a friend of mine told me about -- running into a mutual friend of ours - and having no idea that she has been widowed for two years. The widowed friend was quick to reassure her that it has been pretty normal to run into people who were oblivious to the death of her husband because it happened right when covid hit - which was at a time when a lot of people were very distracted.

I do like how the article reminds us that covid is not the only threat hanging over our heads.

Also - I do not know if these links work indefinitely -- I guess we will find out.

Friday, January 27, 2023

Dec 2022 from JeanR --- Library story

If you read the blog really early yesterday (prior to 7 am CST)- there was a huge mix-up - so you might want to scroll back to see if you missed anything. I'm on the verge of grrrring at myself - but, saw some -12 weather in the forecast. That's 12 degrees below zero. Heading into survival mode here on the prairie.

Something about this design says *mid-century modern.* Maybe the shapes or the colors or both.
The envelope has the barcode but no cancel on the stamp. And I think I said something about scribbling - and that's a nice scribble-tree.

 Here's a little 3 minute, feel-good, video about a boy who literally grew up in a library.



It's Dec 20 - I'm close to getting January filled up - and GRRRRR - I have managed to skip some dates and get confused. So - the new plan is to be on track starting in February. LOL.

Thursday, January 26, 2023

3 for Ellen - 5 pricey fabrics

I did it again. Messed up the post -- and there was an earlier one today that has been bumped back to where it was supposed to be. Eye-rolling at myself (instead of grrr) 
There was also a new one -- so this was a double mess up -- 
so scroll down to see the pretty in pink triangle trees.

 These were three that arrived for my daughter's birthday in November - and didn't get photographed with the others - so I ganged them in a hurry as I was getting them sent off. The top one is from Kate - and the leafy one is postmarked Sacramento - so that must be Sharon? But the flowery one - from Capitol District is a bit of a mystery. She enjoyed all her mail very much. Thanks to everyone. 

My folder with bookmarked items to use for add-ons has 165 items. I'm going to slog through all of them and then delete them as I go, so that hopefully, I will not repeat things. Of course the first one is a fairly recent finding and I don't think I posted it, but my memory is so sketchy. Apologies if this has already been posted. 

There are a number of readers who are interested in textiles - and this is 50 minutes - but you can flip past any of the ones that are not interesting. I enjoyed all of them - but my favorite was the vicuña. I had heard of vicuña but did not know anything about it. It is the last 10 minutes of the video. 

Muga silk, Japanese denim, lace, hand-painted silk kimonos, vicuña. Those are all 5 fabrics - in case lace, silk, or denim are more your *thing.* 

It seems that both pricy and pricey are OK with the gods of spelling.

ooops -

 I messed up again --

today's post will be up shortly

Dec 2022 from Paula - Dull Men's Club

It was so much fun to hear from pen pal Paula - in NH. A nicely coordinated envelope design and card - and they go with the stamp. Paula's message on the back cracked me up. She claims she can only draw triangles. I'm guessing she could do perfectly proportioned rectangle or square. But, even if a person stuck to triangles - there are infinite options with any shape. And - there are small circles and one larger circle -- so she's got plenty to work with. Little by little - I am enjoying simple shapes in place of more complicated motifs.

Ed Emberley has certainly spent an entire lifetime on basic shapes with some extra doo-dads. So, if it's good enough for Ed, it's good enough for anyone. Finding cards like this one are a perfect way to spin an idea.


This just in from the BigHelpfulBrother - a 15 minute video about men who live in England and have declared themselves *dull.* Not in the intellectual sense - in the simplify your life sense. There is an impressive collection of milk bottles, a so-so collection of old style bricks, and the one that he knew I would enjoy - someone who wanders around collecting photos of the red British mail boxes.

LINK to Dull Men's video

IMHO - anyone who is keen on stamps and mail art would fit in very nicely. 

Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Mia's Oct 2022 - Jurgen Vercaemst

Mia sent the top envelope inside the bottom envelope - and there was probably a note with the reason - but, it is one of those stacks that be-devil me. Is 2023 the year that I get my stacks ordered? Or is 2023 the year that I stop thinking about AND stop talking about the stacks? I vote *yes* on both of those. I started talking about all the good conversations that would be coming up in January and here it is - the 25th - and they are still in a folder. Yikes. What if I can't find that folder? I promise I will look for it today (which is Dec 10) which is a Saturday - a good day to stay home and work on the blog.

I like your clothesline caps, Mia. It's nice to have one dangling letter in each name.

It is always fun to find a new calligrapher - especially one with contemporary leanings that allow for all kinds of looseness and wonkiness. Not that being loose and wonky is the secret - he still has a skill level that is beyond most of us. But there's some good stuff on his IG. It was hard to choose just one image - so I chose two - but they are just the tip of the iceberg.


Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Oct 2022 from Leslie - Jessie Chorley

Leslie had this to say about the card below:
Ugh, this insert didn't turn out. It was an attempt with resist and my folded pen. Still need practice with it, I guess. 

Back to Jean's comments: I have a jar of resist that I've had for a really long time -- I wonder if it has expired. <sigh> It might have to move to the *Maybe Never* box of art supplies. <double sigh>

While I am on my wistful, sighing loop - pondering all the things I either can't/won't/shouldn't be doing - here is a younger person who is doing exactly what I would be doing if I were in my 20s. Since my work on paper/envelopes is not turning out as I would like it - I'm leaning towards more textile based stuff.

https://www.jessiechorley.com.  Jessie graduated from university in 2005 - so she is way out of her 20s. 

https://www.instagram.com/jessiechorley/. A quick scan through her instagram does not reveal any spouse or kids - so - that might be a clue. 

I spent too much time looking for an image - and they were so varied - I couldn't settle on just one - so if you like stitching/collage/Welsh countryside/charming studios/and more -- maybe peek at the IG first - and if you like her vibe - the website is very nice.


Monday, January 23, 2023

Oct 2022 from Maggie - dreams

 We see many floral designs done with pointed nibs from Maggie. This is a lovely side trip into illustration - a dream catcher. I wonder if I need a dream catcher because I have some pretty wacky dreams. Some of them are on the verge of nightmares. A recurring theme is that I am driving and the brakes don't work. 

We do not need to do a search on Google for dream interpretation - because we will find the obvious suggestions that I am feeling out of control, like a failure, stressed, or angry about something.

But this one (which I found when I Googled to validate my guesses)  is a little different than anything I would have come up with:

5. Out of Focus

If in the dream the car brakes are not working, it could be a sign of misdirection or focusing on the wrong things in life. Chances are, the dreamer is stressing over small details instead of enjoying the big picture.

If you feel like you are constantly struggling to keep up with the demands of work, school, or your personal life, this dream may be a sign that you need to take a step back and reassess your priorities.

Maybe we’re worried about an upcoming deadline at work, or a looming family disagreement. Whatever the case may be, these dreams are a way for our subconscious to tell us that we need to get a handle on things.It is important to remember that you cannot do everything on your own; sometimes it is necessary to ask for help. This dream can be a powerful tool for self-reflection.


Well -- staying focused is a fairly obvious thing we need to do - as we proceed through the day to day distractions. Note to self: stay away from dreams as an add-on topic.

Sunday, January 22, 2023

Oct 2022 from Mary

Here's another nice raven design. I like how Mary's raven is eying the stamp. Her little double line block printing is worth noting, too. Below is a card - and I can never tell which part is done by hand and which is digitally printed. I miss the days when I had a color printer right next to my desk. Although those days contributed to the backlog of things that I should have been doing - resulting in the difficult game of catch-up that plagues me daily. <sigh>

I'm not allowing myself time to dig into the stacks and find this - but, as I recall, the patterned part was collaged on top. If you imagined this rectangle with the lion a bit smaller, leaving room for a stamp and an address - it's a steal worthy idea for an envelope.
As I do a quick review of this on Jan 17 - a week before this is to pop up - I see that I do not have an add-on. I need to get my Jan envelopes in the mail - and keep having the idea of reposting inspiration pieces that have arrived with my own versions - so maybe that will happen....

Mary and Chuck both provided a very nice add-on - a picture of that Babylonian clay tablet that I mentioned. Here is a link to an article about it. 

It is being held by a hand that is wearing a white cotton glove - so you can see that it is as wide as three fingers. The photo that I have somewhere - of my own hand holding it - does not have the glove. I think I know which computer it is on -- I might do another search...

Saturday, January 21, 2023

Jan 2023 from Mia to Chuck


This post is different in that it is a January exchange envelope popping up in January (of the same year). I woke up at 5 am on Thursday and there was no new post - so, I quickly moved the Fri and Sat posts into Thur and Fri -- and then grabbed the first image I could find to fill Saturday. So here I am writing a brand new post only two days before it will pop up.

Sometimes people send me images of envelopes that they figure I will like - when I am not on their list -- which is what Chuck did. And -yes- I like this a lot - I'm intrigued with the lettering and I have quite a few  circle templates - so I am thinking I'll be taking them out for a spin. It's always fun to see the Canadian stamps on Mia's envelopes.


I'm not going to get myself all worked up about how I have missed the *time slot* on two posts in January. I'll just make a note to be more conscientious about scheduling and proofing posts. In 10 days I will be returning to brain rehab to talk with people about how I have done on my 6 month DIY rehabbing. They do not call it DIY - but that's pretty much what it is.

They had given me about a hundred different things (exercise-ish activities) over 3 months - and then gave me the assignment of implementing these things (on my own) for 6 months. I just read an article (a.n.o.t.h.e.r..a.r.t.i.c.l.e) about treating brains as well as the people who are hauling their brains around in a body that is connected to the brain and e.v.e.r.y.d.a.m.n.a.r.t.i.c.l.e is very thorough about explaining that the people who deal in these issues 
1 - don't really understand how a lot of it works
2 - often disagree on any *findings*

Not to worry - I am not disturbed by any of this -- I continue to believe that the brain work that goes into the blog is maintaining my good attitude and certain kinds of functioning. Thank you to readers and exchangers who are my virtual-re-habbers.

Friday, January 20, 2023

Oct 2022 from Sharon - MCEscher (2nd of 2)

That is one fine layout. It reminds me that several years ago I ran an envelope with an alligator and the name was inside the mouth. I was going to do a whole series of animals and never did. I love the stamp in the mouth. Maybe there should be (will be) a series with stamps getting chomped.


If you read yesterday's post super early - you might have missed a couple comments and some links provided by Mary. So, feel free to back-track if you are a fan of Escher.

Here is someone who was inspired to build a 3D version of a famous Escher piece. It boggled my mind. I wasn't all that interested in the actual 3D piece - I was more interested in seeing the techniques the guy used to build it.

It was hard finding a shot that gave a good impression of what he was building. I think this was the inspiration. I'm not sure if there are variations of this image - or if this is the only one he did like this. Sorry - no time to do thorough research.


Thursday, January 19, 2023

Oct 2022 from Susan - MCEscher

Sorry this is late - again -- same excuse as usual.

Apologies to people (Chuck, Sydney, and Mary) who have left comments - that I did not get OKed to appear on the blog. Every once in a while the comment approval emails go into the Spam folder and I forget to check that folder. Chuck knew the clues were for Winona Ryder - but did he know on the first clue? Sydney does not have a name for that cool font. And Mary had lots of nice things to say on a variety of topics.

 Susan has several things going on here that contribute to a charming envelope. The simplicity of the name and address are very nice. The basic black stamp reminds me to stock up on basic black stamps the next time the USPS issues a basic black design. Plopping the pumpkin in the pie shell is so cute. All the detail in the drawing is something else that adds to the charm.

How many of us know anything about MC Escher? People from my *era* saw his work everywhere when we were in our teens and 20s - and it's had some real staying power. I started watching the documentary and then flipped over to read the Wiki article about him and it was very interesting.

The documentary had a very early reference to him stating that he was not an artist - he was a mathematician. 

There is no way to find out - but I'd be curious to know if there is a single person reading this who does not recognize his work. Maybe people can't come up with his name - but they recognize the style. And here is another question (I'm guessing Chuck will know) were there any other artists who worked in this style at the same time? 

Gosh, I'm full of questions. I know that those *puzzle* pieces are called tessellation's. But are there tother names for other kinds of puzzle/math/geometric features in his work? 

Don't miss the valuable information that Mary has left in the comment below. Thanks, Mary. I appreciate readers who do the research before 9am CST - so that I can provide these prompt updates.

Wednesday, January 18, 2023

Oct 2022 from Rachael - answer to quiz

 Answer to yesterday's quiz: Winona Ryder. I lived in Winona, Minnesota for 5 years. It is a charming little town on the Mississippi River. 

I like the style of Rachael's lettering and the arrangement of the elements. The hand and spider make it a halloween theme - but, I think the overall design would work for any number of themes - including valentine's day. I have not even started my Jan exchange envelopes - so maybe I will. I only ended up on one list this month.

And then there is the card. It is soooooo cute. The little skull on the string can be *wound up* so that when you open the card, it spins. Cute to the nth degree. Again -- it could be a whole valentine theme with a spinning heart. Or there are probably a gazillion other things to attach to the thread that would look cute spinning.

And I mustn't forget to mention the splatters on the envelope - very nice detail.

Here is a reminder - requesting exchangers to send me photos of the envelopes they make before they send them - to insure that I have a good supply of images for the blog. I'm getting less and less optimistic that I will ever return to the original volume of creative output. And we all know -- this blog would be worthless without an envelope every day. Thank you to the people who have sent photos -- all 3 of you --- out of how many? Well -- I don't know he exact number off the top of my head - but it's definitely in the double digits. 

Tuesday, January 17, 2023

Oct 2022 from Kristine - NameDrop update


Kristine was inspired to do her take on a clothesline -- I like it a lot - especially the way the stamp is dangling. Outlining stickers is also a good idea.


I hesitate to jabber about this - but, there are a few readers who enjoy the morning puzzles and games that some of us do. I really enjoy Name Drop - 6 clues/chances to guess who the mystery person is. I do not do very well at all. Half of them I don't know or get wrong. Of the ones I get - it is usually on the very last clue - or once in a while the second to the last clue. I kept wonder if I would e.v.e.r. know who the person was on the very first clue. Bingo. On Dec 2, I knew who it was on the first clue.

For those of you who do not play the game - I will post the answer tomorrow.

Here are the clues:

  • CLUE 6

    I’m named for my birthplace in southeastern Minnesota, and I returned there to film a 2020 Super Bowl ad for Squarespace, in which I wear a trapper hat and recline in a snowbank.

  • CLUE 5

    A 1994 movie opens with my character giving a commencement speech, in which she reflects on her generation’s refusal “to work an eighty-hour week just so we can afford to buy their BMWs.”

  • CLUE 4

    Other memorable lines I’ve delivered include “Dear diary, my teen-angst bullshit has a body count” and “My whole life is a darkroom. One big, dark room.”

  • CLUE 3

    Literary characters I’ve portrayed onscreen include May Welland, in “The Age of Innocence”; Abigail Williams, in “The Crucible”; and Jo March, in 1994’s “Little Women.”

  • CLUE 2

    After stepping back from acting for nearly a decade, I experienced a career renaissance in the twenty-tens, when I played an aging ballerina, in “Black Swan,” and Joyce Byers, in “Stranger Things.”

  • CLUE 1

    After landing my breakout role as a teen-ager, in the dark comedy “Beetlejuice,” I went on to star in such films as “Heathers,” “Reality Bites,” and “Girl, Interrupted.”

Monday, January 16, 2023

Oct 2022 from JeanR - Troy's mail art links

Pretty stamp - inspired a cool design - and JeanR included a card that needs to be seen in person to be appreciated. I have no idea what all she used. It reminds me of some of the things people do with things that rust. I love the sentiment on the inside of the card - with the map collage:

Feeling Frazzled: even the map doesn't know where I'm going.

Troy sent the following links and asked me if I knew about them. Yes, I have known about both for quite a while. The top one is the one for people who like international mail art exhibits. Anyone can post a call for entries. Sometimes they want actual mail sent - other times they are fine if you just send something digital. Lots of fun themes. I responded to a few back in the olden days when I had my studio. I used the activity as a way to de-stress after working on jobs.

I never participated in the second one - but you can read through and see how it works. you can choose an individual and just exchange between the two of you. Or you can sign up for what they call *swaps* where you send a stack of mail art to the hostess - and she collects from a bunch of people and then she divvies up the postcards and you get a stack in return. I don't think the postcards go in the mail - but I could be wrong about that. I don't think that the lettering is a feature at all - which is why I was never interested in participating. But - it's a perfect exchange opportunity for people who like collage or drawing and painting or mixed mediums.




Thank you Troy for reminding me about these.

Sunday, January 15, 2023

Oct 2022 from Kate - Tip 5 - shoot it


Perfect layout and colors -- using a very versatile stamp. I'd say more about what Kate might have used on this - but, I would have to take a break from blurb writing - and that's not allowed while I am enforcing my new system. The main thing is to type - halloween - so that this will pop up when we are searching for ideas in Oct. I think it is a rubber stamp and embossing powder.


Tip 5 in how to manage your hoard is to *shoot it.* Take a picture of all the random scraps, layouts, ideas, fonts, whatever - that are cluttering up your drawers, files, life - and post them on a blog. I might crosspost these so that I can find them all in one spot rather than searching on the blog. I think I can organize them by creating categories - which might be helpful. At the very least - this is allowing me to throw away scraps of paper that have been following me around for years.

The first item was something other than what is posted here - I contacted the person who made the item requesting permission to post it and they regretfully declined. So - this alternative item is not something that has been in my hoard for a long time - but, it was a fun little project and I tend to forget these things - so it will be fun to have it in my digital folder of fun little projects.

My son stopped over with a rough draft of a get well card that someone had done at work. He asked if I could make an actual card. They wanted it to look like an eye chart. I said I could do it on the computer. He said -- No -- they wanted it to look hand done. OK - so I printed out an eye chart for reference and made the card. A few days later - he related all of the comments from people who had seen the card at work - who were amazed that someone could do something like that by hand.

Here is the rough draft. I'm actually impressed with the person's understanding of fonts. He knew that eye charts have those big square serifs. This was about 2"x3"

And here is my 5"x7" card.
The person to whom the card was sent had some kind of eye surgery - and his name is Kabongo Kabongo. I didn't get his first name centered on the envelope - so wrote the second name, stacked - to even it out.
I am sooooo rusty.

Everyone liked the fine print at the top - Official USPS Vision Test.

And this is the inside

Saturday, January 14, 2023

Oct 2022 from Janet - Tip 4 - what if?

 Once again, Janet's envelope gets the stealworthy tag. This would work beautifully for Valentine's Day which is a month away. I generally forget to post valentine ideas ahead of time. I wish I were organized enough to do a valentine variation of this - but, I am on a blurb writing binge and must keep myself focused. 


Tip 4

This tip speaks to the motivation to get this stuff done. It asks: what if I die and someone else has to go through this stuff. Unless you already have someone lined up who is excited to go through your stuff - it's likely that you would be leaving a difficult chore to someone who will not appreciate it. Having all the like-items together will be a huge help. If that's the only step you get around to - it will probably be very helpful. Not to mention that you, too, will have a better idea of where your stuff is. 

Fabrics are one of my items that are getting consolidated. I simply chose the largest container of all - a Rubbermaid trash can - new and clean. It is not that convenient if I want something at the bottom - but, it works - and if I die before I finish those projects - it will be super easy for my heirs to list it on CraigsList - under the Free category. I have no doubt that any number of people will be racing over to collect a *treasure chest* for their own hoard.

Then there are the large pieces hanging in closets. Soon they will all be together - and that will be so helpful. 

Friday, January 13, 2023

Oct 2022 from Diana - Tip 3 - don't touch it


I really like this arrangement of rubber stamping and stickers. It's very cute - and I like cute. The careful coloring in so that there is a little pop of red adds a lot. The candy corn and stars are whimsical. It is also a fairly small envelope and there is just something very sweet about the tiny envelopes.

And Chuck sent me a photo of the one he received. Thank you Chuck. 


OK - here is a tip that was new to me - but so helpful. It came from an episode of Hoarders. I had not seen that program in quite some time - but the studio-fairy conked me on the head one evening when I was too tired to do anything and needed something to keep me awake so I didn't fall asleep too early. If you ever feel hopeless - just tune in to Hoarders - and I'm pretty sure you'll feel like you can pull yourself together.

Tip 3. 

This new tip helped me understand why I have trouble pitching things that are really not important - but can't quite *let go.* Here is what's going on: when you actually touch something, it makes it harder to let go of it.

The woman on the episode of Hoarders where I learned this was very different from the usual people who are living in complete and utter squalor. This woman had everything in a nicely labeled plastic bins. Her house was tidy - but it was so full of organized boxes that there was no room left to actually do anything. 

The person helping her pointed out that it would be easier for her to say goodby to her stuff if she just sat in a chair and helpers held the things up in front of her and asked her if she was OK with donating the stuff. She had been a school teacher and most of her stuff could be donated to people who could use it. There is something that happens when people touch their things that make is more difficult to let them go.

So - I do not need to get someone to come over and do this with me. It was just super helpful to realize that I needed to ignore the emotional tugging as I pitched the stuff.

Thursday, January 12, 2023

Oct 2022 from Chuck - Tip 2 - smaller chunks

 Ooops - late post again - need to proof the clock.

Welcome to the beginning of the Oct 2022 envelope. In a perfect world, I would run them in Oct of 2023 - but, I've had so many years of losing both the images as well as the actual envelopes - or to be more accurate - misfiling. I don't lose things - I misfile them. I've spent nearly 13 years thinking I would get a handle on a system. That dream is gone. You're going to get things in random order - and if you want to complain - go right ahead. I do not recommend complaining. It won't change anything. If I remember to use the word halloween in every blurb - and all y'all learn how to use the search feature -- you can pull these up next time you are looking for halloween ideas.

Cool lettering, Chuck.


Tip 2. 

Another tip that we have all heard before - handle the mail once - don't leave it in a pile to be dealt with later. Toss the junk mail - put the bills in the bill folder - put the correspondence in the correspondence folder - etc. Finding ways to extend this concept beyond the mail is helpful. I've found myself with way too many piles or boxes of items that I sorta want to keep, but I sorta don't, and indecision keeps me in gridlock.

I know Marie Kondo is pretty emphatic about attacking everything at once - but some of us have to break the process down into smaller parts. I can see that her method would be better - but, if you simply can't do it all at once - at the very least - choose an area to *fix* and once you have one area *fixed* make sure you sustain that area. If you turn over that new leaf and maintain order in that one place that you *fixed* - you will gain a lot of confidence that you can extend that order to broader areas. 

Once you get one room *fixed* - maintain it. And if for any reason - there is slippage - don't let it go too far - just pull yourself together - and restore it to where it is supposed to be - pat yourself on the back - and move forward.

Wednesday, January 11, 2023

Nov 2022 from Sydney - Tip one - like items

Well, this is going to drive me crazy. I know I have seen this lettering somewhere. But where? Maybe Sydney will tell us. Or maybe someone else recognizes it. I love it. I hope to try it -- it's so lovely. 


We are finally getting to the tips for restoring order - or if there has never been order -- adopting an exciting new and orderly lifestyle.

Tip 1.

 Keep like items (ALL of them) in the same place. It's so easy to fill a space and have some leftovers and then look for a place to tuck them - but it's impossible to remember where all your paper is if it is spread around in 5 different places. Granted - there are different sizes of paper - so you need to factor that in -- but - figuring out a way to keep all the like items together is essential. This is why Marie Kondo insists that you never buy your storage containers until you have figured out what size container you need for whatever LIKE ITEMS you have decided to keep.

This is not exactly easy - but I'm here to tell you that it is helpful and also IMHO essential. And don't forget to keep lists of where you are putting your stuff. I've had a heck of a time trying to remember where things are. But, that might be a side effect of my brain issues.

The only exception would be when you need to store the large sheets of 24x36 paper in a different place from all the 8.5x11 and 9x12 paper. You are allowed two places for things that are wildly different sizes.

There is a second level advantage to doing this. You allot a certain amount of space to each item and if you start over-collecting and a space is full, you are required to edit. You may not put the overflow into a space that is not an official space for that item.

Tuesday, January 10, 2023

Nov 2022 from Susan - The hoarding/organization topic (digression)

I ran a photo - previously - that Susan was kind enough to send - of all her November envelopes - but it's fun to see these two a little bigger. I still have a full sheet -- and hope to think of something as good as this - but it's going to be hard.

Even though I digressed yesterday, I didn't want to delete anything because I figured it might make sense to a couple readers who grew up in a house with people who didn't really understand their art (and art supply hoarding). Even though, as an adult, I indulged myself in some serious collecting of art supplies - I knew a ton of people who were much further out on the bell curve than I was/am. By the time I had a studio and a free lance business - I was pretty good about keeping things organized.

And here is another digression - while I have some art clutter out in the open, I certainly enjoy having drawers and closets very orderly. MrWilson is the opposite. Zero clutter - but IMHO - the inner sanctum is embarrassing. To each their own.

Sorry to be off track again. I promise that tomorrow I will get to the point. In the meantime - be thinking about whether you have chaos everywhere or are there some places that are harder than others to keep organized.

Monday, January 9, 2023

Nov 2022 from Patty - hoard reduction

This is pretty and you are all expecting me to rave about the white space - yup - I love it. I like the colors, too. The add-on topic today is about being organized -and since Patty is a local - I have seen how organized she is. Maybe she would like to tell us some stories about where she thinks her organizational skills came from. Or maybe she will divulge some little corner - out of sight - which is a *mess.*


The topic of hoard reduction has been popping up for years now and I won't go back and look for them, but I am fairly certain that some of my readers (fellow hoarders) have asked me to pass along any tips that I might have. I have a really good one. Actually, it is a combination of two or three. 

This topic will be with us for a few days. Apologies to those of you who were blessed with an organizational gene. I know you are out there. I grew up with one who was 99% (mom) and a dad who was about 90% and a BigHelpfulBrother who was about 100%. Technically you can't put numbers on things like this. Suffice it to say, my brother and I played a game one time when we needed to pick something up from our mom's house and she was not there. We laughed at how easy it was to find anything in her house because for our entire lives everything was in a place and we knew her *filing system.*

I only gave mom a score of 99% because the BigHelpful Brother is a 100% and I can't really say what it is that makes me feel like he deserves to score higher than Mom. Dad only got 90% because he would hang onto scraps of wood, etc. DK and I got a little misty when we tossed some of the carefully labeled cans and boxes of miscellaneous items in his shop. Several had come from Dad's - so - I guess all three of them get 100%.

And what kind of score do you think they gave me? Without going too deep - we'll just say that there is no resentment, but, my artsy side was not popular. They put up with me. But, I knew I was odd-man-out. Grrrr - this is getting to be too long. Sorry.