Tuesday, February 28, 2023

Greeting cards

Instead of an envelope we will look at these four greeting cards - but do not look too closely - because some of the lettering is too wonky. A while back I ran some photos of birthday cards that I make that I donate to a supportive housing program. It provides support and housing for people who are working their way out of situations where they do not have any place to live. [Formerly called homeless - but that term has been falling out of favor - and houseless isn't any better.] 

Anyhow - I enjoy making the cards - and will be inviting people to send me scraps of decorative paper - or scraps of gel plate images or anything else that could be used for cards that have a decorative element layered onto them. I have enough of those two papers in the photo to do a hundred cards - but I do not want to give them 100 cards with the same two papers. I need some variety.

I also like donating because the director of the program is intent on each resident getting a handmade card instead of just buying cards.
80% of the people living in this community are men (75% of them are veterans) so - I try to make cards that are not overly pink/flowery/frilly/etc. Tomorrow is sign up time for the March exchange - and I will send a reminder with the lists to send decorative scraps.

Maybe I should think of a way to turn the card ideas into envelope designs.

Monday, February 27, 2023

Jan from Troy - originality

I have a couple questions for Troy on this one. I like the image being large and cropped. And I like the colors and the whole idea - and the stamp placement. I'm curious about how the zip code ended up where it is. In the little thumbnail size that I clicked on to insert it - the zip code made it look like a furrowed brow. Did you have that in mind? Those are really nice stamps. They look so good on the paper - which is a super nice watercolor paper. Here's the other question - did you make the envelope? I've never seen anything like it - and all the edges seem like actual deckle edges - so if you are making them - where do you get paper that is exactly the right size? Maybe they are Twinrocker?

And then - Troy enclosed this adorable little accordion book. Each pocket has a letter. 


Here is a 5 minute video on one of my favorite topics - originality - and how nearly impossible it is to create something that is 100% original. 

LINK to video

I read the article first - which will add to the 5 minutes, but I recommend it. One of the characters is really hard to understand because he talks so fast and it was helpful to know that what he was saying was available elsewhere if one really wanted to ponder what was said.


Sunday, February 26, 2023

Jan from Ming - thank you Jennifer and Peggy

I love the way the USPS put the cancel in the opposite corner.

I just love this card and envelope from Ming. As previously mentioned, when I put the January lists together, I was bogged down with pet-sitting and a pending trip and figured I should only put myself on one list. I had been hoping to be on all the lists and get 20 envelopes for John Hancock - maybe next year. I especially like that Ming even made a very sweet birthday card for John. Thank you, Ming.

On the February exchange, I put the name Jennifer on the list (instead of mine) because there is a Jennifer who has been so helpful to my son at work. She goes out of her way to do nice things for other workers - and since it is mostly *guys* - I imagine they don't always think of ways to do nice things for her. I'm guessing she will be very happy with her stack of mail. I'm going to have it sent to my house - and then have my son deliver it.

In March, I am going to put my friend Peggy on the list. She was a grad student when I was an undergrad at Drake - 1969-1972. A few years later, our paths crossed because she ran the education program at the art museum that is a block from my house. I'd see her when I signed my kids up for classes. Then one day, she was in need of a substitute for a kids class and called me. That launched my career in teaching and in many ways - my teaching has probably been my greatest contribution to -- to what? 

Obviously, it was a contribution to my little community - that I taught both the lettering classes as well as Art for the Intimidated. But - this whole blog never would have happened but for the students who were wishing they had something else - after the classes had ended.

So, the March exchange is going to be *thank you Peggy* mail. I'll mention this again - when I send out the lists in case anyone else wants to send a thank you to Peggy for the blog.

Saturday, February 25, 2023

Jan from CathyO - Punkpost


I can't figure out why some envelopes look so ho-hum when I see the Informed Delivery images on the USPS email that shows me what's going to be arriving in my mail. This one was so *ho-hum* when I saw it in the email - that I wondered if there was going to be some bad news from Cathy that she was a bit *off* because of something that was going on. Instead - when it arrived - it was(is) soooo pretty. 

To be honest - I think it looks even better in person than in the color photo - so maybe it is the subtlety of black on gray that doesn't come through very well in scanning or photography. Anyhow - it is lovely -- and the card is so fun. Cathy is taking a class with John Stevens so we might be seeing more blackletter from Cathy.


Here is an idea if anyone wants to observe National Card & Letter Writing Month - which is April. Personally, I'm not gung-ho on any of the National Days of Whatever or National Month of Whatever - but, if they provide a nudge or an inspiration to others - that's a good thing.

This is a screen shot - I couldn't get the whole image - so you may access all 30 ideas at the link or you may want to come up with your own. Once again - I thought I had posted about Punkpost - but did not find anything in a search. They are the people who executed an idea that I had many years ago - to offer hand addressed mail on the internet. I loved the idea - but had no way of getting the idea off the ground. 

It is so much easier to set up an eCommerce site these days. There was a little bit of wistfulness that someone else is getting all the joy of this concept. But, the list of things and ideas that I've had to let go of gets longer every day - and I am quite content with my little corner that did grow organically - and has zero pressure to make sure that the value of the product equals the amount charged. 

LINK to Punkpost website

I like their IG account a lot - LINK to punkpost IG  "Youth" warning. You will see language and perhaps topics that were things that the youngsters use that used to be not-mainstream. 

Friday, February 24, 2023

Jan from Sharon - 2 obsessions + that other thing


Sharon's sentiment on the card that came in this envelope mentioned the possibility of 2023 being *out of this world.* OK - that might be a little further out than I was imagining - but if it involves circles, I'm all in. There was also a note enclosed explaining that her design was supposed to go with the blue and turquoise sun stamp - but she needed more postage for the square envelope. I think the butterfly is very pretty with the design.

The flip side of the envelope is nice, too. That's the front of the card that was enclosed.

And here is the lining in the envelope - a very nicely done ensemble. 


I just noticed that in 2012, I do not have 366 posts. I can even see which months are short. It seems bizarre that I would have skipped days. Of all the things I am compulsive about, not missing a day on the blog might just be the top obsession. I recall that I did delete some posts from time to time -- so maybe that's what happened in 2012. It will just have to be one of those mysteries. 

In 2013, I posted 517 times. That's crazy. But, I'm guessing that I was channeling a lot of *anticipation* into the blog. It was the year that my daughter was pregnant with her first kid and she was in Australia. So, the blog provided a place to babble about other things to take my mind off of all the *whatever-you-call-it* that happens when the first grandchild is on the way. I guess anticipation works. Let me know if there is a better word that I am forgetting.

There is only one other thing that I think I truly obsess over - and it's more of an addiction thing. I do not go to sleep -ever- unless I know where I will be finding my morning coffee. I even travel with caffeine pills - in case there is some kind of natural disaster. I probably shouldn't be outing myself.

Thursday, February 23, 2023

Jan from Patty - Newberry (Old Letters)


I like to show the envelope both ways when the design wraps around onto the flap. Why don't I remember to wrap around more often?

And a big thank you, Patty, for sending a shot of your other envelopes.
It is really fun to see the other versions. These are really pretty stamps - hopefully they will be available for a while.


Since I signed up for the newsletters from the Newberry Library - I'll probably be posting more links from time to time. This article caught my eye because someone found 50 banker's boxes of old family letters. Yikes. That's a lotta letters. It made me think of the handful of letters that my mom and grandma saved. They're interesting - but very random bits of information. I keep thinking I should print out some random emails from my daughter and leave them for my grandkids to find somewhere down the road.

In case you are wondering how to delve into your own *history* via old emails - just click the button on your email that flips the order of the emails to *Oldest first* and voila - memory lane appears. It's pretty crazy to read old emails. Sometimes it is just an arrow that points down and you click on it to point up.

Here's the article - if anyone is interested - and there are other articles at the bottom. 

LINK to Newberry newsletter

Wednesday, February 22, 2023

From Smash in Jan - Knitting School


When I saw this image in my Informed Delivery email from the USPS I knew it was from Smash and I was wildly excited about it - even though it was in black and white. I was only on one list in January and I put John Hancock's name on the list at my address because his birthday is Jan 23rd. It was fun that it arrived on the 23rd. And here is the envelope - in color. Gorgeous. Even MrWilson stopped and admired it. This is a highly steal-worthy layout. Thanks, Smash.


This place popped up in an NYT article and may be of interest to anyone who is inspired by people who have used their extreme difficulties to turn things around and then build something for the community. Her description of how it helps to be part of a herd reminded me of the help I get from my connections through the blog and exchange. 

LINK to the home page. or LINK to the story with links to several articles at the bottom. There is a link to the NYTimes article - but, they limit the number of free articles. 

Quick add-on. I am opposed to both Walmart and Amazon because of the number of smaller businesses that they have crushed - so I only shop at either one when I have no other choice. MrWilson is not bothered by Amazon and even has AmazonPrime - and I feel like such a hypocrite when I watch movies on Amazon - but - I do it from time to time.

Recently, I watch a very unusual movie - Brian and Charles. If you watched After Life - and enjoyed the character who was the mailman - that actor is in this movie and he is essentially the same guy - only he lives in a rural area and invents things. I love quirky stories about quirky people - and this one was plodding along - for most of the movie - and then towards the end - there was finally a moment - where I thought to myself - someone had the idea to make a movie that only has one punchline. I was impressed with that aspect and it reminded me of a shaggy dog story. I am not recommending this movie for everyone - it's very ?? quirky is the only word I can think of. Maybe look for some other reviews if you are contemplating watching it. Don't come back and tell me I am off my rocker for liking it - I already know that. 

OK -- I checked Rotten Tomatoes - and there are many critics who have better ways of describing what kind of movie it is.

Tuesday, February 21, 2023

Holiday mail from Ruth - common name

This is my holiday mailing from Ruth. The postmark shows that she heeded my advice to mail early and I remember photographing it right after it arrived - because I thought it would be fun to post it at the very beginning of the holiday season. But, I cannot for the life of me find the original photos and I can't find a post on the blog - so - this might be a repeat - but maybe not.

The envelope is lovely - and the cover of the little accordion is beautifully understated - and then TA-DA - 
it unfolds into a very cool layered design. I do not know how many Ruth made - but however much time she put into the project - I applaud her. It was time well spent.

I am hoping to do a version of this using HAPPY BIRTHDAY - although the only nib I have that is that wide is a black super-wide Copic marker and I'm not sure it will be lovely in black. We'll see. I need to allow myself a second color of ink because I have a second dried up Copic - but deciding what color will be a challenge. 

And now, here is a really good tip. When I was searching for this image to see if I had already posted and did a search for *Ruth* I discovered a plethora of fantastic ideas from Ruth. While covid has been brutal in so many ways - this is going to sound a little wacko - the combination of being home bound as well as all the people who started online teaching gave Ruth so many opportunities - that her work has grown by leaps and bounds. I'm so happy that we are pen pals. 



When I wondered yesterday what the most common name for places in the US is - did anyone say: Washington? There are a lot of different ways to calculate how often a name is used. Springfield is high on the list - but first comes Washington, Franklin, Clinton, Arlington, Centerville, Lebanon, Georgetown and then we get to Springfield. 

The Clinton surprised me. I'm not interested enough to do more research about why Clinton pops up so much - are all of them for DeWitt Clinton of Erie Canal fame? He's never been on a USPS postage stamp. 

Monday, February 20, 2023

Jan mail from Stella - More from the Electric Pen guy


I was wildly excited to get this in the mail. It is from Stella, Smash's granddaughter. It's been 8 or 9 years since she sent me an award winning set of envelopes that are highlighted here: LINK to Stella's award winner

I think of Stella from time to time and have wondered where she is and what she's up to. The Charleston SC postmark makes me think that she was on a visit to her grandparents - which reminds me of the very cool envelope that they sent when they were on a trip to London. Happy memories. 

And while the lettering is understated when viewed in a photograph - in real life it is a knock-your-socks-off amount of teeny tiny dotting. I almost thought it might have been done on a computer - but there are a couple dots with very faint smears that verify it's all hand done.

So cool - thanks, Stella.

Or maybe she has an Edison Electric Pen????


I wasn't expecting this to be a two day topic - until I went on my search for a good photo of one of the pens. Not only did I find a good photo - I found a comprehensive website run by Bill Burns. Tons of information. Sometimes it's easier to just walk away when there is soooo much information. But before I take off, I click backwards to see whether Bill Burns has only this one passion in life - or perhaps he is into other things.....

You guessed it. Bill covers a lot of territory - under the umbrella of History of Technology. You probably know that I'm talking to the BigHelpfulTechnoBrother. He's a tech guy. But I know there are a few other techie people who read the blog - so here you go:


There are 30 topics. I didn't click on all of them - but the one named *Springfield* has a map to take you to all the towns in the US named Springfield. You will travel through 35 states. 

My next quest is to find out if there is another name that is used in more than 35 states.

Sunday, February 19, 2023

From Eduardo - Edison's electric pen


This arrived in January - with a highly unusual cancel - just the wavy lines - It is from Eduardo who lives in Ames which is a half-hour north of Des Moines. I have not seen him in years. We used to belong to a group that made hand made books. And he shared an interest in fonts and penmanship styles. So he thought of me when he saw this one. Thank you, Eduardo (and everyone else who sent me mail in Dec) I'm still hoping to respond to all my mail - s.o.m.e.d.a.y.

This exemplar will be in my stack of ideas to try. I'm very drawn to anything based on grids. 


My wandering mind drifted past those machines that printed off copies when we were in our mid-century schools called mimeographs. I wondered if that was the first *copying* machine and now that I have brought this up, I can tell that there is at least one other person who is curious. Lucky for you I can condense it all into a couple sentences. Thomas Edison is given credit for the first copying machine which he called an Electric Pencil. You wrote onto a stencil that poked holes and then the stencil was used to print additional copies of the original. The patents were in 1875 and 1875. (Oops - there is a typo on those dates - I'm not sure I will have time to correct it.)

By 1880 there were other similar inventions doing well and he sold the rights to the A.B. Dick Company and they called their copier the Edison Mimeograph. Interestingly, that first electric pencil invention was modified and became the first electric tattoo needle.

And the part we enjoy - how much do those original $30 electric pens sell for today? According to Wiki - $15,000 - $20,000 

Saturday, February 18, 2023

Bonus post 2023 Graceful Envelope Contest

Scroll down to see today's regular post.

This one is by Kathy Barker. If you do a search on my blog for *Graceful Envelope* you will see many lovely examples from over the years.

Reminder for anyone who enjoys the Graceful Envelope Contest -- the deadline is coming up. It's a really fun theme this year. I would write a fan letter to the USPS. It will be fun to see if anyone else has that idea.  

Here is the info from the person who reminds us:

The Washington Calligraphers Guild urges artists and students everywhere to enter this year's Graceful Envelope Contest. Postmark deadline: Monday, March 20. Only one envelope per participant; there is no entry fee. Entries are judged in 4 age divisions: Adult; Grades 9-12; 5-8; 1-4. 

This year's theme: Fan Mail
While the term “fan mail” is about a century old, folks have been addressing personal messages to their heroes and idols for as long as there have been famous people and a postal service. Fans want their mail to stand out. So, use your creativity to design an envelope that would capture the attention of an actor, artist, athlete, politician, singer, writer or other public figure, living or dead. Address your fan mail to your choice of celebrity c/o the Graceful Envelope Contest—and try to make the postage part of the design.

Address your envelope/entry to:
Your celebrity (optional)
The Graceful Envelope
P.O. Box 3688
Merrifield, VA 22116

Thanks for your support. The WCG is having difficulty with its newly designed website appearing live on some internet providers. Our domain registrar is working on the problem. So frustrating!

Warm regards to all,
Lorraine Swerdloff

Pompano Beach, FL 

Jan exchange from Mary - Public Service Announcement

This lovely nest with eggs came from Mary. The feather border thing and bird stamp coordinate nicely. The feathers must be some kind of press on something. They are too perfect to be hand drawn. The nest is definitely hand drawn. I forgot to photograph the back of the envelope - there was a nice feather - under a big piece of packing tape.


Here is the PSA for anyone who has kids or anyone who may be called upon to stay with grandkids while the parents leave town for some R&R. I've done that several times. The most recent time, one of the kids woke up with a very sore throat and bad stomach ache on a Sunday. We did home remedies and hoped it was a minor 24-bug. Nope - on Monday it was still bad. My daughter (while out of town - but still phone-connected) was able to schedule an appointment at a CVS walk-in clinic one block from their home. 

When we arrived, the very kind PA said she was very sorry, but that Illinois state law requires *legal authorization* from parents to treat a child. A text or email from the parent was not *legal authorization.* It was disappointing to not get into the appointment - but I was glad to have the information. Plan B - my daughter called the pediatrician - and luckily we were able to get in and - she did have strep throat - so it all worked out. I was already listed as an authorized person at the doctor's office - which was good. 

I researched this a bit - because I realized that when the grandkids come to Iowa for a week in the summer - we probably need some legal authorization if they get sick here. What I found out is that you need to find out what's required in your state. As I said, I'm glad I found out about this and figured other grandparents might want to know. It's always better to be prepared for these types of things.

I also asked about more serious injuries, etc - and I was assured that people in ERs will not hesitate to treat a child who needs emergency care. I wonder if they have a specific list of things that are urgent as opposed to emergency. 

Well - I might as well tell the rest of the story - there is currently a shortage of amoxycillin so they are prescribing penicillin. And they are even running short on penicillin. We had to drive to a different CVS to fill our prescription. The good news is - penicillin is cheap. Less than $2. 

Friday, February 17, 2023

Moon mailing from Valerie - Texting


This was a fun surprise from Valerie in California. We've exchanged a couple times and I am honored that she takes time to include me her mailings. I will do my best to share enthusiasm for the great beyond with my granddaughter. 

That's really interesting that there is a monthly lunar event. This does interest me a lot - and wonder why I am so *uneducated* about moon stuff. I know the blue moon and the harvest moon - but that's it. I guess there have been some others that I went out of my way to view ----

We used to call my youngest kid *Moon Man.* He was fascinated by the moon when he was very young and because he was one of those surprise offspring who defied birth control - we always suspected that he might have been *sent.* The speculation got pretty *out there* - I'll just leave it to this much - lest you think I'm off my rocker.


Happy Birthday to the youngest offspring. He turns 35 today. I asked him when *middle age* starts and he said, "35." So, it's official. He is lounging on a beach in St. Martin. I suppose lots of people think that sounds like fun. Not me. But, to each their own. 

Yesterday when I was writing about the two generations of people who do not know the joys of USPS correspondence - I mentioned how texting has really caught on as the preferred method of communication. Talking on the phone seems to be waning. (That word never looks right to me - I always want to spell it wane-ing.)

I've gone along with the texting thing and use it a lot. I prefer to text and ask when we can talk if I need to communicate. I've noticed that I hardly ever just pick up the phone and call someone. That's usually reserved for when there is something urgent going on. Sometimes I send a text that says *Read your email* if I had to send a longer message that is mildly urgent.


Here is one more part of Valerie's mailing. It's nice to hear from you Val. That's her telescope. I cut off the part that shows her - since I'm not sure she wants her picture blasted into the internet-o-sphere. And I do intend to respond - one of these days.....

Thursday, February 16, 2023

Dec mail from Candy and Patty - Betty & Veronica


It is always nice to hear from pen pals from the past - this one is from Candy. We go way back - although we have never met in person. I suspect that anyone who know that there is a George at my address reads the blog fairly often. It's hard to know what percentage of posts mention him.

Here's another one from Patty - it wasn't her exchange envelope - but I am including it because it's another nice layout with the elf stamp. Putting two small first names on top of a chunky last name is a very good *formula* to address a whole stack of envelopes -- and one I should consider if I actually get myself to respond to all the fun holiday mail that we received.


I saw this while I was reading articles from the U of Iowa Special Collections - and it struck me that there are now 2 generations of people who do not know the joy of USPS communication. There are quite a few people of my generation who read and exchange - and I bet a bunch of you know exactly what I am talking about. There are certain moments that feel like yesterday - as I recall some significant notes and letters that arrived way-back-when. And then --- those few letters that get saved for a really long time.

Of course our emails are probably lodged permanently in some random place in the ozone -- but who will ever slog through them. Which makes me wonder -- how many emails do I write per year? Do any of my techie readers know if there is a *counting tool* on email? I sorta wanna know and I sorta don't wanna know. And so many people have just switched to texting as the preferred method of communication. 

LINK to article about that comic book it's about the marketing (advertisements) that were in comic books - way off topic.

Wednesday, February 15, 2023

From Kate - Dec 2022 - another font from the same place


The 2022 elf stamps didn't strike either Kate or myself as stellar when we first saw them - but, I think she came up with a really good design. I love both the large and small scripts styles of writing. Her card below is very nice and does not photograph very well because it is *low volume.* Do people use that term on things other than fabrics? I know the quilters talk about low volume quilts when they use very light colors and nothing dark or contrasty. I'm not sure they call them low volume if they are all dark tones - with no contrast. Do any of our quilters want to clarify?


Here's something to try where precision is not essential. It's from a blog that is not in English and it only ran from 2006-2013. Hopefully it is OK to post random items that IMHO are orphans and will be happy if they get any attention at all.

LINK if you want to poke around on your own. It's the same place that I featured yesterday.

Tuesday, February 14, 2023

From Janet - Dec 2022 --- Curly fonts

Here is an exuberant holiday envelope from Janet. It could be morphed into other kinds of seasonal designs. Those are interesting Gs. And I like the spiral doo-dad on the J -- I wonder if this sprang forth from her imagination or was inspired by something else. The tipped over and is nice, too.


Here is something extra curly if you need to make a quick last minute valentine. There are 3 curly fonts at the link - 

LINK to 3 curly fonts

This one caught my eye when I saw that line of loops that comes off the C and connects to the F. There is also an interesting row of loops where the M connects to the L - and so many more interesting connections. It looks so natural - but I have a sneaking suspicion that it took a lot of time to create the piece. I might do some penciling of exchanger's names and see if it is deceptively easy. That would be an unexpected treat.

Monday, February 13, 2023

January exchange envelope to Patty - Deadhead's house and sweaters


This is tilted to catch the light and make Patty's name show up. It's a bit of a train wreck - design-wise. But, I love the feel of writing with gel pens and markers on vellum. My new plan is to use up the vintage stamps on my grandkids. The exchangers all deserve better than this. 


Another house. Houses - two days in a row. Don't worry, I will not allow myself a house binge. This one seems like the opposite end of the bell curve from the Flintstone house yesterday. This lovely lady is a Deadhead. As mentioned previously, MrWilson is a Deadhead and it's been a long strange trip - which is a line from one of the songs. 

I don't think she mentions her Deadhead roots in the video - but there is a ton of it if you go to her website. And a lot of her video includes her patchwork sweaters. She got in on the ground floor of Etsy and has ridden a marvelous wave. If the video holds your attention you will get to a really nice ending where she describes her level-headed balance between a maximalist life/house/career - but no worries if it were all to evaporate.

LINK to a rainbow house and a whole lot more

Sunday, February 12, 2023

January to Ming - 2023 Flintstone house


I saw that saying, in that style and layout somewhere - and made a rough pencil sketch - but didn't keep the original so I can't give anyone credit. I have no idea how faithfully I appropriated whatever it was I was looking at. I wrote in gold gel pen first and then layered that with light colored markers. The space that was left for a name seemed like a good fit with Ming's name. I didn't have any stamp in mind and because the rates were going up - I figured I would just use an international stamp. 

This envelope really needed one more thing - but, I was running out of time and had to send it along looking like this. It's OK. As I keep saying -- maybe I'll find my groove next month.


One of those things I pondered that is not going to happen was having a list of 30 different add-on topics so that I maintained appropriate variety. I still love that idea - and now I'm thinking that I could keep a log and review which topics might be popping up too often. I know that I gravitate towards a lot of house/home images and videos - so I make sure to not put an endless stream of *OhMyGoshLookAtThisHouse.* 

But this one is in Ohio - and it sorta knocked my socks off. A while ago I shared a *Flintstone* house that was on a British Isle -- and was ancient. This is a modern *Flintstone* house (although the Flintstones did not live in a cave. IMHO - the gothic touches are a strange combination with all the rock. But the way they integrated contemporary features with your basic rocks seems nice.

And -- it's an AirBNB - so our dear pen-pal-friend Finnbadger could go check it out and report back. There are lots of places to hike, too.

LINK to cave-house

The guy's channel has a lot of tiny house tours - if you are into tiny houses.

Saturday, February 11, 2023

Dismal work from Jean to Jessica, Lauren and SMash - Hell's Canyon postal delivery

Grab your barf bags - my January envelopes are wretched. I hesitate to even post them - but for some bizarre reason I feel like I should at least share so you know I am trying. These three are just boring - because I needed so many stamps - and it is really hard to get that many stamps affixed in a centered and level manner

I will show two others tomorrow - that are slightly better. I was only on one list in January. Maybe February will be better. Clearly there are no inspirational features on any of these. I guess you can draw a gremlin saying *Grrr* if you are not happy with your design. 

 And I guess the way Susan's name varied the wide and narrow letter is something to try if you have never done it - or to remember it - if you have done it before. It's a really fun technique.


This article is from 2021 - so we won't know if anything has changed - but it's a fun article about a couple who delivers mail (and more) in a very remote part of the country - a canyon on the Snake River - between Idaho and Oregon.

I looked for a map - but did not find a good one. Picture the area on the west border of Idaho - that is pretty straight up and down - and then think of the mid-point - right where the Oregon-Washington border runs into Idaho and the Hell's Canyon area is probably towards the Oregon portion. It's a huge area and pretty remote. Maybe my Idaho pen pal who has a name that starts with M will augment my sketchy information. Apologies for not remembering your name -- or maybe I'll do a quick search. <pause> Well that was interesting. I did a search for *Idaho* and found an envelope from her offspring, Jesse. There was another envelope to someone named Bug in Boise. Mejaka is the only thing I can find.

Dang -- I knew there would be an envelope to the Idaho pen pal - and I could not extract myself from looking - and came up with Janna M. H. - So - I'm not sure - but maybe we will hear from her. I think she still had 3 or 4 boys at home - so, it's possible she's just curled up under a blanket. That's where I would be if I had 3 or 4 boys.

Friday, February 10, 2023

Dec 2023 from Lynne - essay on using creativity


There were at least 3 of us who were in the mood for light on dark poinsettias in December. These are from Lynne. The PO sent it through without any barcodes or cancels. Or - there might have been a sticker barcode. Peeling off stickers is not something I would ever recall doing. My own version ran way back in Dec and the third one (from Smash ran a week ago. As fun as it would be to save the Dec envelopes and run them in Dec 2023 - we're going to have to put up with out of season ideas - and just think of ways to imagine that these are hearts.


This post is way out of order - it got lost in the drafts folder. Feel free to ignore the add-on unless you need to fill/kill some time.


I ran across this essay that is much denser than what I usually put on the blog - but - it resonated with me in a very interesting way. I am 100% on board with what it talks about - but streamlining it into an edited version probably won't work. 

On the surface it talks about coping with loss - specifically death of loved ones - and that is not a topic that needs more attention on this blog - but I am including it because everything it says about coping with loss of loved ones correlates to my adjusting to the changes in my brain. So, I am linking to the essay - with the warning that it isn't light and fluffy - but - it might be interesting. 

Here's the one liner that probably explains why this essay struck me as share-worthy: 

"...to better understand why learning to live with loss is a creative pursuit."

LINK to essay