Monday, July 31, 2023

To Amy in July - Bill Bryson


The first fruit stamp was to Irene and it was mostly OK. It had too many bananas. I think this one is a little better. In a perfect world I would have put about a half hour into a very nice rendering of the compote. Is that what you call a dish on a pedestal? It could have been darling. I am very happy with using it for a Y. Now I have to decide which people get the last two fruit bowl stamps. They have to be people with a Y in their name - Patty, Mary. Myrick, Troy, Lynne, Cathy and Carolyn. And Kelly, if she signs up again. 


I could not remember if I had ever recommended any Bill Bryson books - and the search feature on the blog could not find any.

Once in a while I am asked by pen pals if I have ever read any Bill Bryson books because they've read his book about growing up in Des Moines. Yes, I have read and enjoyed several of his books. My husband knew him in high school - not a friend - but knew who he was. Back in the day everyone knew everyone in our neighborhood - and Bill still shows up from time to time for local literary events. While I have really enjoyed several of his books, A Walk in the Woods is probably my favorite. It was made into a movie - but I enjoyed the book so much I am not interested in seeing a visual interpretation. 

My second favorite book is In a Sunburned Country. His writing is laced with humor and if you ever want to get a feel for what a trip to Australia would be like, I think he does an excellent job of describing how varied it is and how interesting the people are. His books are a good distraction if current events are becoming a drag.

If you have read and enjoyed A Walk in the Woods (or the movie) here is the obit of the person who was with Bill on his Walk in the Woods. I thought it was interesting that being that character made it into his obit and I only include the obit because it is what brought Bill Bryson's books to mind.

A Walk in the Woods is number 3 on this list that ranks his books.

It's interesting that Matt was a gifted storyteller, too. 

Matthew "Matt" Angerer, 71, died June 22nd, 2023 in Centerville, Iowa. Matt was born in Des Moines, Iowa in 1952. He graduated from Roosevelt High in Des Moines and earned an AA degree as a legal assistant from DMACC.

Matt's talents were many and varied. He worked as a legal assistant, a radio announcer, in construction, and as a processing tech at Mercy Hospital. Matt was known for his massive record collection and his encyclopedic knowledge of reggae, funk, soul, and all things James Brown. Matt was a brilliant story-teller and was always the funniest person in the room. He was perhaps best known as the comedic (and sometimes sagely) foil, Stephen Katz, in three books written by Bill Bryson and was portrayed by Nick Nolte in the movie adaptation of "A Walk In The Woods". 


Sunday, July 30, 2023

To JeanR in July

 This one needs black. Or maybe it needs some bolder lines. Once again, I have two more of these stamps - so I'll keep working with the concept. The first one was pretty good - and this one had potential. I forgot to mention the Lichtenstein stamp on Grace's envelope a couple days ago. It was the one with the face. The first one I did turned out much better than Grace's - so I shall return to the first idea when I use up the other two face stamps.

I doubt that I will buy any more Lichtenstein stamps. I should have trusted my gut when I saw them. They didn't look like they had much potential. But - sometimes - all you need to use is the color. Maybe they want to be on black envelopes. Or red. Do we think I will remember to try black and red when I use up the stamps in August? It seems like something I would remember - and it is only 3 weeks away. Geesh the time flies. 

Saturday, July 29, 2023

To Sharon in July

 This is the second time I have used this stamp and I like this one better. The first one was too literal. I wrote Amy using fish and put it in a container of water. I don't remember what else I did. I like this a lot better because I just used the elements and let the shapes influence the writing.

I could have done a lot better job on the greenery. I started out with loopy lettering - which was fine. But the numbers are way too angular. I might try this one more time. I liked the lemons turned into the zip code. It would have been more fun to have them varied in size and not so evenly spaced - but I am hesitant to make the addresses too hard to read.

I have two more fish stamps - so will probably try this idea again. I can see drawing some lines with a ruler to indicate the table top. 

Friday, July 28, 2023

To Irene and Grace in July.

This was one of my favorites from a series. Rachael did something like this using wavy lines and I just loved it. She sent me a page with lots of writing in this style so I had a steal-a-thon. If you are doing several lines, they look better if they are wavy. But, I wanted to see if I could do something I liked with straight lines. 

Below is the last one I did - where I wondered how it would be to do very few letters in that style but with several colors. It might have been fine if I had not tilted the g and if the E had been a lower case e. 

Summer is chaotic. I was heading out of town so I had to get my 20 exchange envelopes done fast. One thing I think uses up extra time is when I just write the names - then I go back and write the addresses and put the stamps on. Then I go through the stack and write the return address on the back - and insert something to give the envelope some support. 

This time - I used all the self control I cold muster to do the entire envelope - name/address/stamp/insert/seal it - before I allowed myself to start the next envelope. I did 11 in the first sitting. That is very unusual. Then I did the last 9 in one sitting. Also unusual. I'm going to try this system  again in August to see if it is truly an efficient system. 

The verdict is still out on whether or not the envelopes are getting better.

 This is the tail end of a series and it has a couple *deeply regrets.* The e should have been lower case and the g should have been upright. 
I put a light gray drop shadow on this one after I photographed it - so here is the improved version.

Thursday, July 27, 2023

From Kate to Ben - hearing aid info

Grrrr - at the postal worker who needed to slash this very fun and colorful envelope. It made me wonder what kids born in 2013 and 2015 would think of Tweety and Sylvester cartoons. Or Roadrunner. Or all the rest of the cartoons that the boomers grew up on. We can remember how *ancient* Steamboat Willie seemed. Maybe I can find some old cartoons and see what they have to say about them. Of course - that will depend on figuring out how to watch them. Watching has become very complicated when I am at their house - which is where I will be seeing them. I think their devices respond to voice commands. I guess we can try that. This whole voice command stuff does not set well with me.

And if someone suggests that blue-tooth hearing aids are a good idea - be prepared for some chaos. MrWilson has them - and they synch with his phone - which synchs with his vehicle - and they synch with the TV in the house - so when I call him - I can never get through. He has to call me - after he figures out what kind of message is entering his head and where it is coming from -  and that he has missed a call. He can tell there are *voices* talking to him - but he is not sure where they are coming from. And the voices can come through walls. After hearing voices in the garage - he figured out he was hearing the sound from the TV.

Wednesday, July 26, 2023

From Patty to Ben

This is from Patty - in May - when I put my grandkids on the exchange list. I know Ben is going to love it. He lives a mile from Wrigley Field and boy, do those Chicago people take their baseball seriously. I suppose lots of places do. My older boy played T-ball - and maybe one additional year - but he had already bonded with skates (roller and ice) and baseball has a whole different tempo. He would have enjoyed baseball if everyone carried their bat around all the time - and everyone was trying to hit the ball into a goal - but that's not baseball. Or maybe I should invent a new game -----

No - I should stay in my lane. Buy some kraft envelopes because they are so pretty. I love the scale of her baseball - and also how she put the bats going different directions -- very cute.

One more thing about my daily readers going from 300 to over 1,000 - if one of you works for Google or Blogger - would you please contact me. I'd love to know how I can go back to old posts and edit them without scrolling through all them (and were are in the thousands) in the order they have appeared. There used to be a feature where I could jump back - but it is gone ---- if you know how Blogger works - plz email me at:



Tuesday, July 25, 2023

From Chuck in May and June (blog stats)

Real time note: I wrote *troll* when I meant *gnome* - which seems to be a common mistake that I keep making.

Chuck - who has his November troll gnome designed -- sent this in June - and there was one to Jan, too - maybe I already ran it. Yes, I did. So here is another envelope for today.

I need to go back and just look at which fonts Chuck uses with his trolls gnomes. And now I want to re-run all 12 of them in December -- maybe I'll remember to do that ----

Yesterday I mentioned that there were about 300 people checking the blog daily. And then I thought - Gee, I have not looked at my stats lately. Maybe my readers have moved on to other rabbit holes.

HOLY COW! The daily count is well over 1,000 per day. Who are you people? I'm so flattered that you are checking the blog. Once in a while I kick myself for not moving to a different platform - back when I first got going (2010) -- I could have built this into a side hustle. But, part of me is thinking that I am better off - over here - in the jurassic zone. My only concern is that Blogger decides to shut down all this free space. I suppose I could deal with that. Mostly - I'm not going to think about any of this. The whole point is to just make and send some fun mail. 


Monday, July 24, 2023

From Jessica to Jan and Wrigley (The Best Minds)

The rest of the Jan and Wrigley envelopes will pop up as they show up. Jessica drew a train track to go with the train station stamps - good idea - which I plan to appropriate because I still have several of those stamps.

I'm confused about Kate's envelope for Jan  - it was in the folder of *has been posted* but now I can't find it - so here it is. Those two vertical bands are nice *bookends* for the name and address

Here was the silver lining to me forgetting to give Alex and Ben their happy mail while they were visiting. I had completely forgotten to take any photos of all that fun mail. It can be concerning when I forget things like that. Almost concerning enough that if I were being evaluated about my competency and someone asked if I had memory problems - I would say - "Yes. I completely forgot to take photos of my May envelopes that were not actually mine - I have mail sent to me that is for other people." At which point the person evaluating my competency would probably be checking off some boxes that we don't want checked.

Speaking of brain stuff - I listened to a book, The Best Minds by Jonathan Rosen. I have no idea how to describe it -- and hesitate to say I recommend it - but of the 300 people who seem to be reading the blog every day - it might appeal to some of you. This review gives a good overview of the story plus all the other information that is interesting to note.

Sunday, July 23, 2023

From Janet in May

 This is a very fun idea to go with the skateboard stamp. The shape of the envelope and the color is a really good combination because it repeats the long horizontal shape and color on the stamp. Using the design on the skateboard to decorate the letters - perfect. Janet does it again -- and thank you to Janet and all the other people who send me an envelope even when I am not on the list. For May, I put my grandkids on the exchange list - and my plan was to go to the mailbox each day - and exclaim - Oh, wow, look at this - mail for Alex and Ben. Good idea, Nanna - for the grandkids to get at least 10 letters while they were visiting. Having them sent in May - and ready to go in June -- doesn't seem complicated.

No surprise - there was a tsunami of unexpected events and changes of scheduling and even though the grandkids did get to come to Iowa for an abbreviated visit - Nanna was too distracted - and completely forgot about the stack of mail. So - plan B - I am sending a few that fit in larger envelopes - which they will enjoy - and then when I go for the annual July trip - while the parents get to spend some time with other adults at a beach -- I will take the mail - and distribute it while I am there.

Silver lining to all the chaos - will be discussed tomorrow.

Saturday, July 22, 2023

From Maggie to Wrigley+Jan

 Maggie's envelope for Wrigley and Jan is so cute. Her rendering of the puppy is so cute. It's effective that she flipped the direction that her drawing is facing. She also put this one inside a plain envelope to avoid the issues with the scanners not reading her beautiful script. So, technically, she did not need all 3 stamps, since it did not go through the mail. But, I think it looks a lot cuter with the 3 stamps.

A couple weeks ago I was wondering if you could get a PhD in art. As I recall there is a university where you can propose your own idea for a PhD and one of the best designers of crossword puzzles wrote a proposal and was granted a PhD in crossword puzzle design. (I hope I am remembering that correctly.)

I seem to recall conversations when I first got into calligraphy in the 90s - where I pondered getting a PhD in penmanship. At the time, it seems like people thought that the only art related area that offered PhDs was in art history.

Flash forward to me finding the guy in Poland who had a PhD in art - and then finding a website that listed places to consider if one wanted a PhD in art -- and I found this website:

If you are really interested, look at the whole list - it is not that long. If you want my quick impression - most of the PhD programs are in other countries - several in England. In the US - there is one in Texas that dovetails art with technology - so that doesn't count (in my world.) And there are a couple others that look like those online universities.

I'm am a consummate fence-sitter on the topic of degree programs in art. I'm not against them, as are some people. But, I do not think they are essential. Whether you study at the college level - or just go straight to work - as an artist - you have an equal chance of success. And that definition of success is deeply personal. 

This will be discussed further in late August.
“glimmers” refers to small, ordinary moments that spark feelings of happiness and joy — and, consequently, an inner sense of peace. 

“glimmers” refers to small, ordinary moments that spark feelings of happiness and joy — and, consequently, an inner sense of peace. 

Friday, July 21, 2023

From Janet to Jan+Wrigley

]anet - an outline aficionado - sent this fun envelope for Jan and Wrigley. I need to examine it closely and determine if she lets the ink touch the edge of the stamp. It makes me nervous to get ink on a stamp because of something I heard when I was on jury duty a long time ago. There was another juror who was a postal worker. He said it was his job to examine mail and make sure that people were not trying to re-use stamps. I do not recall the exact conversation - but it included something about any stray bit of ink on a stamp rendering it unusable. He made it sound like it was a serious offense to get ink on stamps.

He was an unusual guy. The case was vehicular homicide. The postal worker was the last juror to join the rest of the jurors in voting to convict. And here was the strangest thing. For some reason he decided to share with us that he had always had very long hair and a beard but he shaved and cut his hair for jury duty - because if he ever had to appear before the same judge - he wanted to disguise his normal appearance. That's very strange. 

Nice envelope, Janet - I know Jan and Wrigley will love it.

Thursday, July 20, 2023

From Rachael to Wrigley and Carolyn to Tracy

This just in - although I have not listened to any of them yet - the USPS has a podcast - interesting info about the postal system.

This one (from Rachael) got a little chewed up in the mail -- but nothing compared to the one below - from Carolyn - that spent a month wandering around - it was mailed way back in the April envelopes that I gave to Tracy in May.

I need to try that style that Rachael used - even though I only have 6 letters - and Tracy will love the topiary. I need to invite myself over to see her garden - and photograph her topiaries. My gardening has not gotten any further than pulling weeds. Although I did the research on planting garlic last fall and played a role in getting some planted at my son's house - and he just harvested it.

I was just listening to a book that had an aside story about growing vegetables and they said that the food one grows on their own is more *precious* than what one buys. You feel obligated to eat it. 

Wednesday, July 19, 2023

From Lynne to Wrigley

 Lynne remembers to use Weaver Writing - that's the style of lettering. It's one that I have done - but always forget to use. Gwen Weaver came to Des Moines - many years ago - and taught both Weaver Writing and her Rascally Romans - two very fun styles. I'm tempted to get my nibs and ink out right now - and practice so I'm ready for the August exchange....

The followup to yesterday - when I was talking about *glimmer* being a new buzz word that we might be hearing.... was that I had sifted through all my handmade books and gotten rid of half of them. I got rid of the blank ones and kept the ones I have written in. When I was taking all the book making classes, I was the only one who wrote in my books - and I mostly wrote a series of quotes. 

There were so many that I had forgotten about and there was one in particular that I wanted to put on the blog. Of course, I might not be able to find it - but if I do - the whole point is that people have been saying the same thing f.o.r.e.v.e.r.  

I'm in one of my existential quandaries. I don't want to just dish out drivel every day - but, I still love doing the blog as well as the exchanges. So -- hopefully I'll find the book of quotes - maybe they would be a good series.

Tuesday, July 18, 2023

From Irene to Jan+Wrigley

Thank you to Mary for answering all my questions about yesterday's envelope. 
They are at the end of yesterday's post.

This lovely envelope is from Irene - and there was a nice card inside. The ink has a lot of shimmer to it. Another note-to-self to pull out the shimmery pans of something that I have in my stash. I tend to grab the white envelopes first - and need to grab some dark ones instead. I should also count my envelopes so that I have an accurate idea of just how many there are. It might make me less stingy about using the dark envelopes. I probably send around 300 envelopes per year. Now I'm curious - how many envelopes do I have?

Remember back during covid when someone tossed out the word *withering* to describe the doldrums that so many people were in? I think that term has faded. Or maybe my memory is glitchy and that wasn't the word. There is a new term I just saw that I'm guessing will be trending. It's a cousin to *gratitude* which I think is suffering from over-use. 

The new word is *glimmer* and it comes to us from licensed clinical social worker, Deb Dana - via The Daily Skim - one of those emails that converts all the news to bullet points for people who want someone to reduce the amount of news that comes in.

Deb says that *glimmers* are those small, ordinary moments that spark joy which in turns brings some inner peace. I suppose you could Google her name and find more than that. We'll see if there is a big trend urging us to notice glimmers. What jumped out at me was that the words *spark* and *joy* were in the sentence. Very *Marie Kondo.*  

I'm going somewhere with this. I'll get there tomorrow.

Monday, July 17, 2023

From Mary to Jean in May/June

This is a cute design from Mary. There were no postal markings on the back - I see no bar code - so I can't figure out what's going on.

It looks like she took it in for a hand cancel - that red circle on the stamp - but why is the stamp slashed and why is there a sloppy *To* and *From* with a sloppy arrow. And one *To* was not enough - there are two of them. 

The handwritten *From* is pointing to something that looks a bit postal-ish Glenbeulah, WI - a gateway to a state forest. My guess is that Mary mailed the envelope in Glenbeulah - and then it went by truck to a larger community with a USPS plant that has the big machines with scanners and the machine sent it back to Glenbeulah - and someone at that post office wrote on the envelope and put it back on the truck.

Let's see what we can find out about Glenbeulah. It is near Sheboygan. I love saying Sheboygan. 

Glenbeulah is a small, family-oriented and moderately growing village with a mix of residences and small businesses that projects a positive aesthetic appearance. Glenbeulah residents value a small community atmosphere that is quiet and secure. We consider the Mill Pond and the surrounding natural enviroment to be great assets.
Population - 463

I bet it's a lovely little town.

Sunday, July 16, 2023

From JeanR to Jan and Jean

JeanR sent this for Jan and I dropped off some of the June mail for Jan in the middle of the month. She did not open it while I was there - so I will be getting photos of the enclosures when I take the rest of her mail to her. 

But - JeanR is one of several people who add me to the list - even when I am not on it - which I appreciate so much - so I can show you what was inside my June envelope from JeanR. It is very pretty and a steal worthy way to take something long and fold it into something that fits in the envelope. Or maybe it was done in 4 pieces. Or 2. It probably required a bit of planning - and I do not have it right in front of me to examine and figure out. 

Sometimes it's fun to see a picture and figure out your own version. Sometimes that works - and sometimes it doesn't - but either way - you did some mental exercise - which is worthwhile.


Rats - I loaded them out of order - It is a quote by Vivian Greene.

Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass but it's learning to dance in the rain.

Saturday, July 15, 2023

From Chuck to Jan+Wrigley (Titivillus)

Here is Chuck's June troll.  No - it's a gnome. I wonder how many times I have called them trolls. Geesh. Apologies to Chuck as well as gnomes and trolls. Or maybe they are kindred spirits.

OK. Here is someone who is definitely NOT a kindred spirit. Titivillus. And good luck with pronouncing that name. I've heard it pronounced at least three different ways. So - if anyone knows -shoot me an email. 

Or we can see what Wiki says. We have to go to Wiki for the story. 

Well, that's odd. I do not see a pronunciation guide. What's with that?

I love the story - and I love it so much I am not going to give a brief overview. It is not a long story - check it out:

His cousin is the Printer's Devil. There is a link at Wiki.

Did any readers take Latin? I'd like to know which pronunciation works with the Latin rules.
Or is Latin full of exceptions?

By Filip Ciślak
I like that spelling of Philip.
I like that I know how to put in this version of ś.
You just hold down the key and your options pop up.

This cute card was inside the envelope from Amy to Jan - that I posted yesterday


Friday, July 14, 2023

From Amy to Wrigley (scribe on IG)

 Amy went with a fun patriotic theme. I like how she put a description of Wrigley in the banner that goes over he's name. 

 Additional apology today for the jabbering that went on yesterday. I am only two weeks ahead on filling my posts - and that is living a bit closer to the edge than normal. Living on the edge is not my preference. I lean towards a little more planning, pacing, and precautions. So - we'll not put any energy into pondering this - but there might be a few ho-hum posts. Maybe that's a good thing. Maybe it will encourage all of us to get some stuff done. 

There is some lovely work on IG - by a man in Poland - working on a PhD. Does everyone know what PhD stands for. I was amazed to find out that it stands for a Doctor of Philosophy. I felt like a dolt when I realized I had never even wondered what PhD stood for. I felt like that person who was a grown up and said - Oh, look at the blue cardinal - when he was looking at a blue jay. I suppose many of us have some of those tidbits that are common knowledge - but somehow we didn't get the memo. I love that expression.

I'm such a dolt I wasn't even sure that dolt was the right word to be using. It is:

  1. A stupid person; a dunce.
  2. A dull, stupid fellow; a blockhead; a numskull.
  3. A heavy, stupid fellow; a blockhead; a numskull; an ignoramus; a dunce; a dullard.
  4. But I digress. I don't think you can get a PhD in applied art in the US - maybe you can. Does anyone know? 
  5. Oh - I guess I wandered over to his website - and I am on the Titivillus page - we will talk about Titilvillus tomorrow.
  6.  his website
  7. From his website: In 2022 I earned my Ph.D. for the work on methodology and visual systems for teaching calligraphy to graphic design students.
  8. His IG seems to have more examples than his website. I need to find out which college in his university issued the PhD. Sometimes art gets lumped in with other disciplines that seem more PhD-ish. I did find a website that listed places offering PhDs in art. I think I'll bump this information to another post.

  10. I object to labeling anyone dull or stupid. We all have different areas where we are more (or less) adept. Maybe dolt is a better word - If anyone has a really polite word for those areas where we are *less* - let me know. 

Thursday, July 13, 2023

From Kristine to Jan [Japanese manhole covers]

 This is a nice variation on Kristine's signature style. It's that style I keep intending to try. I know I have a whole stack of *try this* - but somehow, when I start my monthly envelopes - the stack goes into hiding. I have an idea for a sci-fi movie that plays on a loop in my head. All my stuff is not stuff. It is all alien-morphic stuff that messes with me. Alien-morphic is like anthropomorphic - except it's from some other realm. Warning: do NOT do a Google search - for alien-morphic. I was curious if it was already a thing - and the hits were all over the place. Some of them confirm my theory - others look like sites we should avoid. They might be those unsavory sites - or they might be actual aliens - luring us into places we should not go. I don't even like sci-fi stuff. Apologies for this jabbering.  

Chuck sent me a short email on the day I posted the pretty t-shirts from Berlin that were imprinted with manhole covers. It said, -- just search *Japanese manhole covers* -- Yes, sir. Chuck is a trusted source of interesting internet material. 

Wow. Here are just two examples -- and you really should check them out. These two do not even begin to illustrate the range --

Wednesday, July 12, 2023

From Patty to Wrigley

 Patty went with a Cubs theme - because Jan grew up in Chicago and is a Cubs fan. I forgot to mention yesterday that Wrigley is her sweet little puppy. Technically, he is a full grown dog - but he has the enthusiasm of a puppy. I wonder if anyone has ever named their human child, Wrigley? Surely there are lots of pets with that name.

Oh, dear - 839 people - currently living in the US with the name Wrigley - and it is a minor *trend* these days.... There is just no end to the rabbit holes on the internet.

I dropped the first batch of envelopes off last month after about half of them had arrived. Then I dropped the rest of them off a couple days ago. Jan really enjoyed the envelopes. Wrigley exuded joy as well. As I was leaving, Jan asked if she needed to send a thank you to each person. I said - no - they had each received an exchange envelope from me and they would not be expecting thank yous. So she told me to be sure to let you all know how much she enjoyed her envelopes - and all the ephemera. I had mentioned that she does nice collage work - so exchangers were welcome to include ephemera - which they did. Thank you - from all three of us.

Tuesday, July 11, 2023

From Mary to Jan


Today starts a series of envelopes to Jan - or Jan and Wrigley - or Wrigley. I gave the exchangers options. Jan is a friend from my teaching years. Most teachers agree that they learn a lot from students - and I have most definitely learned more from Jan than she could have ever learned from me. She helps me out with some of the projects I need help with. There was a crazy one that involved a huge mailing - not only the addressing - but also the stuffing and stamping. Oh.My.Gosh. It had enough layers of drama to fill several posts. Maybe I'll run it - if I run out of current stories.

Mary's layout is lovely -- and I like the variety of lettering and script - plus the outlining. Grrr to the person who decided to slash a stamp that was clearly cancelled. Note to self - draw some people. This style looks very doable.

Monday, July 10, 2023

Best cartoon ever

 This was the inspiration for that envelope to Mia that did not turn out as I had hoped. I left too much white space. I shall try again (maybe).

There is no envelope today. There must be something spectacular for me to forgo / forego an envelope. 

Spell check seems to be fine with both of those spellings. I do not wish to use my time researching definitions.

Here is the item that is as special as an envelope. If you know me, you can tell why I love this. If you don't know me - it's no great loss. I'm just some random person in the Midwest who jabbers daily and offers random tidbits that she finds (or that people send her) from the internet.

Thank you to the BigHelpfulBrother who sent this one.

Here is a link to where it came from (XKCD):

For what it's worth - if you go to the website and hover your cursor over the cartoon, another blurb will pop up - sometimes the extra blurb is funny - other times I can't figure it out (as with this one) - probably because humor is pretty subjective.

Sunday, July 9, 2023

To Maggie and Kristine in June

***Real time edit -- see what I mean - I'm completely inept at any predictions. Note to self: stop talking about what's happening *tomorrow.* You have no idea what's coming up.

These are such weird colors - I started to enjoy the Ben Shahn lettering with markers - but when I look at them a few weeks after they are gone - they are officially blah+weird. And forgetting to resolve them with colored pencil was such a lapse. 

But - we'll just pull ourselves together and move on. Life is full of ups and downs - and grumbling is not going to accomplish anything. I have the week in Iowa with the grandkids coming up - and each year they are older - so - we will try some new things. Things that require helmets. What could go wrong?

By the way - last year, one of MrWilson's associates fell out of her Birkenstocks and broke her hip. A couple weeks ago, one of my friends fell out of her Birkenstocks and broke her wrist. So beware of falling out of your shoes. 

I like to think that these two looked a little better in person - and it was just the lighting that made them look so muddy. But they probably looked this bad in person. 


Saturday, July 8, 2023

To JeanR, Chuck and Jessica - in June

In theory, this should have worked. But the curl on the J is too bold and the second stroke of the N is too wimpy. Getting the colors right seemed like a no brainer. Although, it was this one that reminded me that a minor color off a stamp is often times a better choice than the main color. In this case - I started with purple and it was not pleasing. I posted it - and then I removed it. You'll just have to take my word for it that chunky purple lettering does not look good.

OK - here it is. I think I'll remove the photo after a day or two. That's how disappointed I am in how this one came out. Another issue is that the purple ink in the marker and the absorbency of the envelope made the name too intense. Too much ink. If it had been less juicy, it might have been fine.

This one is better - by not using purple - 
and I like the bouncy stamp arrangement better.
Tomorrow will be the end of the June envelopes. Do I keep saying that? 
Talking about what's coming up is not a good use of our time - although I do like a good series that keeps people curious about what's coming. Has anyone ever stayed up until 1 a.m. (my time) to see something that I had promised? I sure hope not. 


Friday, July 7, 2023

To Amy and Sharon in June

The F in Fox is messed up - but, I liked the AMY. I guess the X is ghastly - but, I had fun with the doo-dads. We will be done with my outgoing June envelopes tomorrow - and then move on to about 20 that arrived at my house. Apologies if you are tired of me thanking the exchangers for participating - but, without 20+ envelopes arriving each month I'm not sure the blog would survive. Or if it did - it would not have enough variety to keep people interested.

 The arrangement of blue-ish stamps worked out nicely - and then I smeared the name. I'd run out of time for any redoing - so it had to go. I didn't even have time to take them inside a post office and get them hand cancelled - so hopefully they all made it to their destinations.

Thursday, July 6, 2023

To Irene and Leslie in June

A few days ago I ran three envelopes that had the skateboard stamps - the lettering was outlined with no fill-in.  Those stamps seem like they have plenty of ideas - so I'm expecting something better than these two when I get to the July or Aug envelopes. 

The design on Leslie's is a very specific stealing situation. Hopefully I can find a link to the original one. Mine has some problems - poor planning on her last name is one of them. Irene's last name was a better fit -- but I choked on her first name. The names should be centered - since the skateboards are centered. 

When I get to the envelopes that arrived at my house, over-achiever-Janet did a spectacular skateboard themed envelope. 


Wednesday, July 5, 2023

To Rachael in June + Parallel pens


This post is being re-written on Monday of this week. I had re-posted the pitiful envelope to Kate and was using them as examples of problems. I'm glad I am taking time to do my last minute edit. 

Rachael's has a fun approach to making the letters - but the whole color situation is not working at all. The railroad stamps have some nice colors - and I missed the opportunity to salvage all the June envelopes by forgetting to add colored pencils. Apologies if I say that every time I run one of the June envelopes.

*** This PP is from the original post:
Once again - June was full of distractions and complications. Followed by the trip to Chicago - which is where I am as I write this - furtively checking the calendar as the days whiz by. I like that word furtively - even though I do not have the slightest idea what a definition would be. Sly, sneaky, stealthy. I guess that's not the word I'm looking for. What's a word for the un-ease as one watches the days pass faster than one is equipped to handle?

Someone sent me this link - I'm not sure I will ever find the time to spend time with my Pilot Parallel Pens. They are a little bit like heroin. Addictive. So - for the PPP-junkies - here you go. For those of you who have not *gone there* - it's entirely possible that they are not an addiction at all.  They might be the healthiest thing a person could explore.

Pilot Parallel Pens