Sunday, April 30, 2023

To Bill in March - sign painting and Heather Martinez

After I sent this - I found out that Bill is an actual, bona fide, old-school, SIGN PAINTER. I almost shrieked out loud. I would have never sent this piece of utter you-know-what to a sign-painter. Aaaarrrrggghhhh. Don't get me wrong - I am not intimidated -- I'd just do something that was wildly different and reflected something that I do well. 

And I know that Bill didn't look at it and then grab his barf bag - because sign painters are kind and patient people who understand some of the most basic fundamentals of coping with life (and spelling). Sign painters don't get the respect they deserve. I'll spare you my full rant. 

If you Google - letterheads sign painters - there are hits for groups that are keeping the art alive. If Bill wants to steer us towards *the real stuff* he knows how to reach us. But -- from what I know - my readers are more into the ephemeral end of things -- and a little looser than what Bill's tribe practices.

Then there is this site -- with a bunch of *stuff* - 
It includes a quick and easy *sign-painting* lesson. So - if you want to dabble - this is the other end of the spectrum.  I found this through the pangram people....specifically Heather Leavitt Martinez.


Saturday, April 29, 2023

To Irene in March

 This one should probably have been grouped with the two that I posted yesterday. It's not wildly different. It might be the best of the lot because the name and address fill the space nicely.  

Ups and downs - overs and under. The daily posts need more than 3 sentences - but I do not want to generate more drivel. Today will be a day of minimalism. This idea to grow some plants from seeds is nagging at the part of me that anthropomorphizes everything. Each little seedling is like an infant - and I don't want it to die. Grrrr. The thought of *thinning* them just seems brutal. Maybe I should eat them - since I am not opposed to eating anything and everything when it's mealtime. I wonder if there are any plants that are toxic at a seedling level. I guess if I am growing herbs - I shouldn't be too worried.

And then there are the weeds. I'm in an epic battle with weeds. Grrrrrr.

Friday, April 28, 2023

To Ming and Kate in March

 Ming's border might have been the most successful at combining the lettering and the flourishing and a stamp. Running out of those stamps is painful. And now that I look at Kate's I guess I like that combo. Combining a style, a stamp, and something else can be tricky. I'm tempted to pull out the inks and nibs and do some more of these - and I even know who got these - so these people could get my next experiment. That might be the way to go. But that would not be fair to the *test group* - they would always get the ones where I was figuring out what works -- they deserve to get something from the second round - when I've worked out the kinks. 

One wonders what I could accomplish if I put this much thought and energy into other things. Like what? How about gardening. I started seeds indoors this year. I'm trying to grow some herbs to nudge myself into some better cooking. We'll find out if Mother Nature is on my side.

Thursday, April 27, 2023

To Troy in March. -- glue stick rant

While it was fun to get out the nibs and ink - this combination of elements is clunky. I thought Troy would like the stamps. I'm very fond of them - and should think of something more creative to go with them.

Below - I am rerunning Janet's envelope to Peggy because it was one that I tried to schedule ahead - but then clicked the button to post it immediately and did not realize that it was up for half a day. So, I left it there. I am rerunning it for anyone who checks the blog early and would have missed it. The lettering intrigues me - and I keep pondering whether or not I want to try to figure out the whole alphabet.

And because Troy is one of the fans of rants - I will toss in a brief rant about how hard it is to find something as simple as a glue stick. They have packs of 12 in the small size - but I can't for the life of me find a big one - and certainly not a Uhu. Yes, I know I could order them online - but there is something about that whole process (and the packaging) that goes against my grain. Most of this rant is at Michael's. They are 5 minutes away - but so lacking in basics. Grrrrrr. I refrained from grrrrrring at the people with carts overflowing with cheap decorations. The whole point of crafts is to buy the art supplies and make stuff. End of rant.

Wednesday, April 26, 2023

To Emily in March - all get out

This photo is crooked - which bothers me - because I did pencil everything and used a straight edge to get the stamps on correctly. I love the colors of the stamps together -- they don't really go with the lettering. But, I have to be happy about getting my nibs and ink out. The next ones will show some practice flourishing. I had enough fun that I'm going to do some more. 

I can't remember which exemplar I was using when I did this one - it looks like a pointed pen uncial which is a seriously goofy combination - it might have been one of those exemplars I have with no name - so there's no way to track it down -- unless someone sees this and recognizes it.

That A is quirky as all get out.

What does the expression * all get out* mean? Or where did it come from? I do not have time to go down that rabbit hole - but, I know someone who is obsessed with words who might research this for me. I'd be as grateful as all get out.


Tuesday, April 25, 2023

From Lynne to Peggy - Your Brain on Art

We are a bit jealous of anyone who still has some Oscar de la Renta stamps -- they were so pretty - and look beautiful on the kraft paper envelope. Kraft paper is like the *denim* of paper. Humble - but it is happy to mingle with the fancy stuff. I wonder if Lynne bought a large quantity of Kraft envelopes. It's been on my to-do list to get more. Although my disciplined-self is making me use up all my extras from my wedding addressing days. I wonder which wedding was the last one I addressed - it had to have been before covid....

Add-on today is a blurb from an article and a link to the article - about how vital art is to maintaining good health. Seems like preaching to the choir, but we're going to go ahead and do it. The blurb refers to the book, Your Brain on Art by Susan Magsamen. There is a waiting list for the book at my library - so, I have not read it yet - and not recommending it yet. Rather than going to the link, you might want to search for other reviews. Or, you could just go make some art. 

In the book, Magsamen draws on cutting-edge research to show that engaging in 45 minutes of any kind of art – from colouring to dancing or playing music – reduces cortisol (the stress chemical) and can help us live happier, healthier lives.


Monday, April 24, 2023

From Grace to Peggy - Raphael Boguslav

The little dots along the name are raised. Maybe Grace will tell us what she used. It's very pretty. Peggy liked the colors on this and the quilt stamp. She makes non-traditional quilts out of a huge stash of fabrics that she has collected. We have so much fun pondering quilts and backings and bindings. My own first attempt at a quilt is stuck because I had it all figured out and then I changed my mind on whether to make it square or rectangle. Grrrr.

About a month ago I was exchanging emails with someone who had expressed an interest in flourishing. I can always remember Jean Larche as a master - a true master - because it's hard for me to forget his first name - and I met him in real life at a conference. But there is another guy -- I had not thought of him in years and it was driving me crazy. Luckily, there is a group of calligraphers -CyberScribes- that was the first *list serve* for calligraphers - back in the dark ages.

I posted - asking if anyone could remember that guy who - - - and I listed all the random details I could remember. I was soooooo happy that someone knew who I was talking about. Raphael Boguslav. So, I'll label this post with his name and then next time I can't remember it - maybe I will remember that I filed it in the label section on my blog.

If you are interested is some beautiful design work as well as calligraphy - there is a ton of it on his website. Thankfully - someone is keeping it up. 

Don't be misled by the home page -- it looks very commercial. There is plenty of hand lettering under the WORK tab. 

This is the intro on the home page:

Raphael Boguslav (1929-2010) 
This site is being maintained (largely in tact) as a tribute to a talented and accomplished designer. May it serve as a resource and an oasis for all who appreciate well-considered graphic design and exquisite hand lettering.


Sunday, April 23, 2023

From Leslie to Peggy - mail art exhibit - pangram tool

 Super springy envelope from Leslie. It seems like the USPS is aware that flowers are popular because it seems like there is always some kind of flower available. Flowers are so agreeable to any kind of abstraction - so if you are ever struggling to find an idea -- head for the flowers.

Here's an article that CathyO sent back in Feb - and the email has been buried in my stack of emails -- I had not even opened it - or thanked her for the link - so thank you, Cathy. It's always nice to know that there are other people out there who recognize the fun of mail art.

Here is a nifty tool I found through Simonson's website. I had to give it a try - and came up with this one.

the quilters jinxed my pig's black woven fez If anyone does their own pangram, I hope you send us a copy. 

Saturday, April 22, 2023

From Grace in March - pangram haiku

I was deeee-lighted that Grace wanted to give Pickle Pie a try and she sent a bonus envelope rather than waiting for the next exchange. It's really fun to compare all the different interpretations of one idea. Now I want to find another style that will pique some interest in something fun and colorful. 

On one of MrWilson's food pantry days, he was going to be gone for many hours so I had him fire up his scanner and started scanning all my fonts so that I can post more on the blog. I did about a dozen - they were PDFs and then discovered that I can't upload PDFs to the blog. Grrrr. I need JPGs. It took a while to figure out how to do that - but I had used up my energy for that project for the day.

Alternative to scanning - slogging through the ancient files that were on his computer from the olden days (anything prior to 2015) when we shared a computer. At the time - he was still going to the office - so it was easy to share. I need to save whatever I need off that computer - so - the slogging started.

Memory lane. I cannot begin to tell you how much amazing stuff I found. Here's one of the highlights.

Pangram Haiku -  I can't even pick a favorite -- they are so good - and I have no idea where I found them.
Oh - wait - I can Google. 10 seconds later. Bingo

Lost in flight, quiet.

Yellow jacket reproves me.
Vexed, I buzz away.

Mosquito buzzes
around jackal’s furry paw.
So vexing, that bug!

Read ye my haiku!
Strong, living words dazzle. Jump
back, quietly fixed.

Haiku verses flow
like a bad, exacting quiz.
Too jumpy, yet fun.

The ax swerves, tree dies:
Quite a lop job, so crazy.
Man kills for nothing.

Wise raven in tree
Spies sly fox dozing. Gives him
Loud quack. Bejeezus!

Your quick wit doesn’t
Faze me. I can’t help your jive!
Go back to de-tox!


Friday, April 21, 2023

Art museum wall painting.


The newsletters and emails that announce the new exhibits at the museum in my back yard are often filled with exhibits that do not look interesting to me. The latest exhibit is celebrating the 75th anniversary of the museum so there are many pieces that have been in the vault for quite some time.  I was curious if some of my old favorites would be hanging. Happily - there were several favorites.

And then there was this one. The center panel is a screen - like a TV screen - but I don't know if that's what we call them. I didn't even look at that part. What I enjoyed was the very pretty hand painted border painted directly on the wall. It was gold ink (or paint) -- done with a wider brush and then something else - that might have been a marker. Oh.My.Gosh. It was/is so pretty. 

Not to be nit-picky - but I would have chosen to do all four outer edges either straight or wavy. As it is - two are straighter and two are wavier. I suspect I am the only person who even noticed. But - other than that - it is a fine piece of flourishing.

I might do some gold frames on dark envelopes -- if they do not appear - then maybe when this pops up I will get around to trying it. I'd rather paint something on a wall - but we need to keep the house more restrained so that we don't have to cover up a bunch of art projects when we decide to move to the senior living situation....maybe some day I will find photos of when Diane von Arx and I DID paint some flourishing all over my kitchen. It was way before we took photos on our phones.

Thursday, April 20, 2023

From Ming to Peggy + Peggy's afghan

 This is such a sweet design - I know Peggy appreciates nibs and ink.  It was fun to drop in on Peggy and watch her open her mail. Each time I dropped in, she would marvel that people were agreeable to send mail to some random person they did not know. I compared it to the olden days - when people had pen pals. Even though she is an artist - I'm not sure sending random art out into the world was an activity that made much sense to her. 

This is not a revelation - we all recognize that - people are different. Some of us like to putter and make envelopes. Other people do other things. I hope to someday show the afghan that Peggy is working on. She had quite a stash of wool yarn and wanted to use it up. She has also lost interest in complicated knitting - and the only thing she enjoys knitting are the nice dishrags that are knit on the bias and have a border.

This shows how a creative mind works. She remembered a postage stamp with squares - which happens to be an Elsworth Kelly stamp - so she is knitting wool squares (like dishrags) and will have an Elsworth Kelly afghan. I love the idea so much that I want one, too. She was concerned that it is going to be too soft and floppy - and I assured her that it is going to be so perfect. Hopefully I will remember to take a picture of it when it is finished. Maybe she will be so disappointed with it that she will make me take it.

This is the stamp that inspired the design - the grid one. There are several good ideas for afghans or quilts.

Wednesday, April 19, 2023

To Samantha in March

This is a little different -- I wish I had done the name in white. I'm OK with how it all fits together. I have not been talking about all the ways I pondered the names in March. I started by listing all the names according to how many letters were in each name. Samantha was new in March - plus it was longer than Jessica -- so I did this stacking thing -- and hopefully Samantha will sign up again - because I'm sure I can do something better for her.
Trees falling on people update. My caution about trees just falling over without warning is not an overstatement. In case you missed it - 3 trees fell over during play at the Masters golf tournament. Luckily nobody was hurt.

Tuesday, April 18, 2023

To Amy and Chuck in March

It's the spacing that bugs me the most -- now that it has been gone for a while - I realize what I should have done. There is a black line around the rainbow panel on the stamp. I should have drawn some black lines from coast to coast to give it some structure. It still ends up as one of the worst because of too much orange. Imagine Amy's name in blue -- it would have been lovely.

Even though Chuck's is stuck in the wretched category - its saving grace is that it is not top heavy. There is enough white space that I am OK with the amount of color in the name. I do not think a blue name would work. 

I am not posting the worst of the series -- it's that bad. maybe if you email me, I'll let you see it - but it's so bad - I can't bear to see it on the blog. 


Monday, April 17, 2023

To Bill and Nanski in March

Remember how I mentioned proportions yesterday? Well - these two are larger envelopes and that helps a lot. It also helps that these are not the rainbow stamps -- they are the same size - and they are  mostly pink - so they are not as wretched as the rainbow series. I'm OK with Bill's. Sharon put Bill on the list so he'd get a stack of mail for his birthday and she requested 2 lists - and the numbers worked out that I only needed one person on 2 lists--- there will be another one to Bill coming up. Bill's name is challenging. All those straight lines - and B is the only curvy letter. I predict I will keep messing around with his name until I find a good solution.

Nanski's was a hot mess -- goofy white space and her name should have been bolder. Leaving that whole strip of selvage on the stamps was a huge mistake. So -- I added some more MrZIPs - and I can live with it --- once again - when Nanski sees the really bad ones that are coming up -- she'll be glad she got this one instead.


Sunday, April 16, 2023

To Jean and Grace in March

This one is a little wacky. I really liked those stamps - but, I had very mixed results in how they worked out. And that's all I have to say about that. Below, I should probably not say anything because I have nothing nice to say. It is painful to send something wretched to anyone on the list -- but I do not have the luxury of doing endless designs until I get one that I like. 

Maybe it's helpful to be precise about what's wrong with the envelope. Obviously I was not liking the way some of them were so top heavy. Bouncing around did not help at all. I finally stuck MrZIP in there because it was such an awkward space. The letters were done loosely - and then the grid was too confining. I think the bouncing is contrary to the grid.

And 4 stamps - rather than 5 bothers me. But with 5 stamps it would have needed a larger envelope. There are no rules for proportion - it's just something that is either pleasing or barfworthy.  

Saturday, April 15, 2023

To Valerie in March - Dior video

 I think this is the third one with this quote - and it's probably the best one of the three - although I'd have to go back and look at the others to know for sure. I do think that these are nice stamps with the design. I don't have a lot to say - but there is an add-on today that I highly recommend to some of you.

It is a behind the scenes look at the making of the Dior 2023-2024 fall winter collection. I have been losing interest in fashion stuff in general - but I had to kill about 10 minutes - so I clicked on this one. The first 5-6 minutes were not interesting at all - and just as was I about to click somewhere else - they switched to a lovely gray haired lady with a huge collection of (brass?) dies for making leather flowers. Sounds ridiculous. Nobody needs leather flowers. And yet -- they ended up on a lovely garment. Next there was a woman making flowers, lace, etc that went on headbands - again - not anything we would wear - but quite beautiful - because they are made out of straw. Then there was an interesting collar on a coat that was close to something any of us might wear. And then some sleeves that were ho-hum -- and then the grand finale. I don't even know how to describe it. 

A sculptor - who works in fiber, beads, lace, and probably 1,000 other items - and she assembles them into monuments. It's fun to see someone who has a *thing* and they get to do it. Inspirational for those of us who have peculiar ideas that we might want to put together in the assortment of paint brushes (mostly old and useless) is just begging to become some kind of shrine or monument or ?? I have some weird thing about never throwing a paintbrush away - because you might need one that you are willing to sacrifice to a project that will ruin it for good. Or you might have grandkids - and we all know how kids treat brushes.....

So -- warning -- most of this video is in French - with subtitles. And it's not for everyone - but if you have 17 minutes to kill - and you are fascinated by people who make things -- you might enjoy it.

The part about Dior's little sister is an interesting bit of the history. I know it's easy to look at couteur clothing and think it is ridiculous. It is. But, sometimes I think of the people who are obsessed with making things that take a long time -- and they love what they do - and they are happy to have a market for what they love doing. It's pretty much what I always said about addressing fancy wedding invitations. I'd never pay someone to address my envelopes - but, I'm glad that there were enough people that I could enjoy my little career. I'm also glad I taught - that was rewarding -- but the compensation was so modest, I called it my *volunteer* work. I needed the *luxury* clients to backfill the teaching.

Friday, April 14, 2023

To CathyO in March

 This one is odd. I have not posted the truly wretched rainbows. This one is popping up because it illustrates that using less orange was better. You'll be seeing that the strong stamps and strong names just made the whole design top heavy. 

There is also the issue of proportion. It looked better to have the name get closer to the edges. It's a little more balanced. The randomness of the color inside the letters looked like it needed more - and then I said - Nope - leave it alone. I'd been overworking all of them -- so, while it probably didn't look like a good one when it arrived at Cathy's - when she sees the wretched ones - she'll be glad she got this one.

Thursday, April 13, 2023

To Carolyn and Lauren

No matter how many times I think I have used up these stamps - I keep finding more. Remember Jessica's name from yesterday - and how I said I printed out everyone's name in that font - I used it to get the spacing on these two - and they looked promising at first. But - both of them are overworked. They both were looking decent - and then I added one more thing - and tipped them into the so-so range.

I have no idea why I did the right corner placement on Carolyn's. It makes no sense. Maybe at the time I thought it was OK - but it is not - or maybe it is. I'm not sure I can be objective. 

I object to the use of orange on Fraser -- it should have been the yellow gold on the stamp. It's not like the USPS even needs to read the last name. Grrrr at myself.


Wednesday, April 12, 2023

To Jessica and Lynne in March

I printed out every single name on the list in that font and then Jessica's is the only one I used - because it fit so perfectly. I regret that I did not cut off the white on the bottom and write the address with a white gel pen. I really like these stamps on black envelopes - and I'm 50-50 on Lynne's. It was so much fun to do and I had high hopes - but it's just so-so. 

Of course the thing that bugs me the most is that it would have been better to use Jessica's stamp on Lynne's envelope because there is a yellow L-shape around the window. But I needed all that gray to go with the gray tone of Jessica's name. 

Using all the different variations on the sheets that have 5 or 6 different designs can be challenging. They sort of relate - but each one has a detail that can make or break a design.


Tuesday, April 11, 2023

To Janet in March

 OK - here is the next wretched rainbow envelope and you are probably saying - what's wrong with that? I agree - it's not that bad. The way it is not centered is a huge problem for me. There was no planning on where the stamps were going to go. In fact -- it was something I found in a stack that had been penciled - and I just filled it in and thought I could make it work. It does not work because of the space issues - and that big bar across the top is too heavy. When we get to the truly wretched ones with too much orange - you will agree that this one is better because I kept the name blue. 

That's a design option that I've been harping on for 12 years -- use a minor color from the stamp as a major color on the name. Use the major color on the stamp for accent. It's not a rule -- it's an option. And it's an option that often yields some decent results.

Monday, April 10, 2023

To Mary in March

 I had all my vintage stamps figured out and then the rate went up to 63-cents - and then I got tired of cutting down my huge stash of square envelopes -- so I went with a *use them up* motif. I have a lot of leftover square envelopes from wedding invitations - and it's pretty easy to cut them down -- but - l like working with squares, too.

As previously mentioned - I'm behind schedule - so - for the next two weeks - there might not be any add-ons - unless there is something happening that I need to announce. Maybe we will like this option of some more current comments - instead of all this pre-recorded jabbering.

Sunday, April 9, 2023

My Feb to Ming - Peep art

This is probably the final neon envelope - seems like an appropriate pairing with peeps.

 According to my research, today is Easter. It's Jan 31 as I write this Peep related post because I just read that the inventor of Peeps has passed away. As I looked for a good image, I lost the article, so we may not be reading more about him. I guess you could Google *Bob Born obituary Peeps* 

I'm not a big fan of Peeps for the eating, but I have admired some spectacularly creative art projects built out of Peeps. Google *Peep sculpture* or *Peep art* if you would like to see more. 

They fall into two categories: using Peeps as characters in a tableau or a re-creation of something else -or- using them as units to create something much larger. 

Saturday, April 8, 2023

To SMASH in March

 OK - here we go with my March *madness* envelopes. I had a full sheet of those stamps and normally I can have fun and modest success with rainbows. Covering up her address has offered enough visual relief (from orange) that I like the photo better than the actual envelope. You'll see as we slog through this series that too much orange was just too much. 

I will not whine about the margins - but I will mention that I know they are off -- in case you think I would actually be OK with those margins. 

The little grid design on the stamp seemed like the kind of detail that I would like. Spoiler alert....grids did not save any of the ideas.

Friday, April 7, 2023

To Irene in March + USPS tips

The inspiration for this is below. This style might have popped up previously - but, I don't have time to look for it. I'm guessing I did not find and post the inspiration screen shot in any earlier post.  I also did not manage to keep the name of the IG account - so apologies for that - but it does give you a pretty good idea for how to alternate thicks and thins.

The inspiration version is a true script because everything is joined. My version is alternating a wide letter with a skinny letter - unless the upcoming letter has too many strokes and then you combine wide and skinny in one letter. I have no idea if that makes any sense -- Maybe look at the M in Blumenthal - and you can see how it started wide - but it would have been way too distracting to have three wide strokes. 

Or maybe it would have been fine. This is an example where I/we could do all kinds of experimenting to see what works and what doesn't work. 

I can tell you for sure that Irene's envelope was wretched - until I found a fun stamp that gave me some good details to repeat on the name. It's a bit overworked for my liking - but - as a *one-shot* name, it's fine. 

Brace yourselves for a *keep trying* debacle as we wind our way through my March envelopes.

I was down at the main post office mailing all but 4 of my April exchange envelopes - and requesting hand cancelling. Some of mine were conforming to the format that we know the machines can read - but others had a wild assortment of vintage stamps. I asked about the non-conforming placement of stamps and addresses and was told that any time I have an envelope that does not conform, I should just bring it to a clerk and request - non-machine cancelling - which is hand cancelling. 

Exchangers: If you have time - please send me a photo of your envelope - so we can see what they looked like with the cancel. If I decide to run the *after* photos - I will block out your address.

Thursday, April 6, 2023

From Irene to Peggy

 Peggy was wowed by this envelope from Irene. Peggy is not a calligrapher - however she has very nice penmanship and appreciates fine lettering and calligraphy. Her parents insisted she get a degree in art education - even though she never wanted to be an art teacher. She decided to get a masters degree in printmaking. Then she got her first job after college at the art museum in my back yard where I taught. Peggy ended up as the director of the studio program - so technically - she did end up in art education - but avoided being an art teacher in a school. While I know some people who are very well suited for that career - Peggy and I agree that it takes a very particular kind of person to teach K-12 art. I enjoyed the kids classes I taught at the museum -- but - I enjoyed taking early retirement from that age group.

It's not that I didn't like the kids -- they were so interesting. My issue was that they'd sneeze on me - and then I'd catch it. I feel like I just wrote about this - forgive me if I am repeating myself. When I check the blurbs right before they pop up - I sometimes see a comment that needs a bit of clarification - which is what happened when I saw my comment on retiring. I didn't want it to look like it was because of the kids behavior. 

Wednesday, April 5, 2023

From Mary to Peggy - Peggy's gourd

This one really intrigues me. There is a little heart on the back that seems to be a sticker. So I am wondering if that sticker was the inspiration for this design. Maybe not - but I hope I remember to come back and do my own version. I just bought another sheet of those stamps.

Here's the flip side - the heart part is a sticker and she added on the antenna, etc. 

Peggy's house is just full of beautiful things. Every time I visit I see something that I have never noticed before. When I dropped off this envelope (with some others) I noticed this vessel. It is a gourd with a dotted pattern - hand painted. It is so cool. I should have put something next to it that would have shown how small the dots are. They are also a bit raised. The paint seems like an enamel. 

The woven things it is sitting on is the size of a dinner plate - so that gives some idea of the scale. Note to self - plant some gourds. Or maybe see if my tree trimmer has any to spare.....

Note to Mary - or anyone wondering what an ink stick is. Mary left a comment on the post with the link to the video on making ink sticks -- no, an ink stick is not a grease pencil. It is a very hard rectangular piece of mostly carbon - and it is used to make ink. You need a stone - and you put a few drops of water on the stone - and then grind the stick with the water until ink forms. Then you use the ink with either a brush, quill, or metal nib.

Tuesday, April 4, 2023

To Peggy from Amy - Art Dropping


Amy has some of my favorite stamps - or I guess she *had* some. Maybe she has more. I loved-loved-loved those stamps. I often drew a clothesline across the envelope and would *hang* the stamps on the clothesline. Amy used the patterns to fill the lettering - a good idea. 

Search [clothesline] on this blog to see some of them. I'm tempted to search [clothesline envelopes] on Google to see what pops up. 1 minute later: what fun - Google had images from this blog going back to 2011 - and more :-)


Here's an idea for clearing your space of excess artwork. Wrap it up - put a tag on it - and leave it somewhere. These people only do it once a year - I say -- do it whenever you in *sifting* mode.

IMAGINE WHILE ON YOUR MORNING coffee run, you find a package on a bench wrapped in brown paper, with a note saying there’s art inside. Opening the package reveals an original piece of art, a small, acrylic painting with broad brushstrokes resembling the ocean, or maybe it’s a mountain. While it may be surprising, it’s sure to make your day. This is the goal of Toronto contemporary abstract artist Courtney Senior and her International Art and Found Day, the third annual celebration of which will be held on March 12, 2023. So far, 850 artists from 42 countries are scheduled to participate, with each contributing at least one, if not multiple works.

LINK to Art Dropping article

Here is #artandfound where people post photos of where they found things:  LINK to IG art and found

Monday, April 3, 2023

To Peggy from Sharon + Don Young + pumpkins


There are 2 envelopes from Sharon to Peggy because Sharon was on 2 lists. She put her husband's name on the list so that he would get 10 celebratory envelopes for his March birthday. The orange reminds me of Halloween - so I'll pair this one with some off-topic jabbering about a local pumpkin celebrity.

Does everyone remember that Charlie Brown would wait for The Great Pumpkin? I do not recall any other details - but anything related to pumpkins reminds me of my favorite tree trimmer. One of the *joys* of living where we have big trees is that they get old and drop branches on our yards, houses, cars, and the occasional person. We keep our trees trimmed, but they have still totaled one neighbor's car and damaged another. Plus, an oak tree *felled* a mom in our neighborhood. I guess you could call it a freak accident - some parents had gone to stand under some trees at an outdoor swim meet. It wasn't a severe storm -- just rain - but I frequently look up at giant oak trees and feel a bit vulnerable.

On a lighter note, my tree trimmer has a very fun hobby. He raises giant pumpkins. It's a very old article (2010). Since then he has put in a huge greenhouse that is climate controlled with a geothermal system. I forgot to ask him what his current record is. I'm intrigued with the gourds. I've seen just regular gourds that are mighty impressive.

So - here's the link to the full article - followed by some highlights from the article.

LINK to the giant pumpkin article NYTimes (which only allows a couple free articles per month - but I know Don was proud to be featured in a NYTimes)

LINK to 2021 article this article should be free - but when I clicked on it this morning - the site was down for maintenance - but it should be back up at some point - as it is our local *free* newspaper.

Sunday, April 2, 2023

From SMASH to Peggy + ink sticks


It is very disappointing to find the angry slashes on such a pretty envelope. Grrrr. Maybe I should just be happy that the circle didn't tear. It's cut through the envelope and the image is on something inside the envelope. Smash must have cut through the envelope - with a circle punch thing - because the flip side has another opening. Her italics are still A-listers.

Anyone who is new to the list might want to do a search for *bird on head* - Smash got a couple of us off on a binge of ideas involving birds on heads -- a fond memory. 

One of the other exchangers on Smash's list sent me photos of some of the envelopes she received - and hers, from Smash, had the same marks over the stamps. I wonder if people on the origin-end of the mailing are doing some of the slashing. 

I can't remember a lot from the link - except that it's super interesting if you have any interest in ink sticks.  I have ink sticks and a stone and highly recommend stick ink - although I don't know how you know which sticks are the good ones. I'd just buy mine from John Neal. The ones I have were gifts. My mom found them in a consignment store - many moons ago.

Or maybe you don't even know what an ink stick is - you might be interested in a *technology* that has not changed in many, many years. They probably mention that, too.

Saturday, April 1, 2023

To Peggy from Sharon + April exchange sign-up

From the Peggy series, a handmade envelope from Sharon. For a while we had a lot of handmade envelopes. Lately there have been fewer. Maybe they are trending again. 

Time to sign up for the April exchange.

Sign up is April 1-4 and I'll send lists on the 5th. Details for anyone who is new to the exchange are here. LINK to details about the exchange

My email is I send a confirmation that I have your sign-up. If you do not hear from me - send another email.

I need this info in this format please and thank you.

Jane Smith 
123 Oak Street
Town, State ZIP

Include (BIRTHDAY) - if you wish to receive optional birthday themed envelopes. (2 LISTS) means you are willing to be on two lists if I need to even out the lists to 6 names on each list.