Tuesday, April 30, 2024

MAR to Paula - St. Joseph's saw

Liked the border, liked the flowers, liked the lettering - freaked out when I put the stamp on and could see the flowers through the stamp. I don't think I have ever seen stamp-paper so thin that you could see through them. Very unusual. I love that stamp and was sad to see it paired with a design that overpowers it. Happily, I did end up doing something different and nearly perfect with it which we will see in a couple days.

Paula is the clerk at the post office in Hudson NH who exchanges which is why her address is not blocked.

The 4th topic I flagged in Troy's letter was this one:

There is also the St. Joseph's Day pasta. It has breadcrumbs to be like sawdust since he was a carpenter. I'm not sure if he had a saw, but never let the truth get in the way of a good story. (4)

I am endlessly fascinated with learning about the origins of things like beads and saws. It's hard to know how tools evolved. Is evolved the right word? I don't think so. Once in a while I get interested in how words evolved - but not enough to go looking for a better word for this blurb because I'm more curious about the origin of saws.

Here's the information or misinformation that popped up when I searched:

The first flint saws appeared during the early Paleolithic Era, between 60,000 and 10,000 b.c. Stone saws and composite saws made of stone bladelets or "microliths" set into a bone handle also were made during this time. The first metal blades were made possible by the discovery of copper about 4,000 years ago.

So, St. Joseph probably had a pretty nice saw. 

Topic no 4 will have a Part 2.

Monday, April 29, 2024

MAR to Sharon - third point from Troy's letter

This one came fairly close to being just fine. I had to find something to go with the last three 15-cent stamps - and the flag was perfect. I was happy with the green-E. It seems like it needed one more *something* but I couldn't think of anything - and while writing this after it's long gone - I'm still drawing a blank.


Imagine Andy of Mayberry wagging his head back and forth and saying, with a drawl - Troy, Troy, Troy - although it would sound better with a two-syllable name like Barney-Barney-Barney - or Gomer-Gomer-Gomer.

I'll give Troy the benefit of the doubt and assume that it was intended as a joke when he wrote:

...and I am running out of time before someone catches me allegedly not working.  (2) Then I would have to explain PTEX and how do you do that to a normal person? (3) 

Troy -- we ARE normal. It IS normal to have connections with fellow humans through things like mail art. My favorite part of the blog and exchange is that a bunch of us have a connection and we are all very normal. Being involved with something creative is a component of normalcy. Without any connection to creativity people have empty spaces and feel a little lost. When you have a creative outlet - it fills a need.

Of course - we have to keep this to ourselves. If we suggest it to *those other people* they will get fired up and crush us with their misguided energy...the energy that should be channeled into something creative. Duh. 

In a perfect world, creative outlets would be seen as essentials. Sadly - they've been re-framed as *pass-times.*  So sad. I'm too old to launch a campaign to address this issue - but, maybe the younger readers will embrace the concept and find ways to advocate for creative expression as an absolute essential.

Which reminds me.....

Sunday, April 28, 2024

MAR to Troy and Sharen - beads

More of those favorite stamps - ho-hum on Troy's - Sharen's is OK - 

Second topic from Troy's letter:

Troy said he thought there was a reason that New Orleans has such a *thing* for beads. I didn't find anything other than the meaning behind the green/gold/purple - which didn't stick long enough for me to switch windows and type. Everything else had to do with the dangerous chemicals involved in the bead making as well as in the actual beads. 

My suggestion is to start a new cult of making beads the old fashioned way. Find some mud and then fire them and maybe find some safe glazes - if they even exist. It's pretty hard to find anything without harmful side effects any more.

Or glass beads - or beads in general. Anyone needing a rabbit hole today --Google *earliest beads* -- 150,000 years ago -- or 13,000 years ago -- the info is all over the place -- as are the beads.


Saturday, April 27, 2024

MAR to Kristine and Lynne - allegedly working

Favorite stamps - in the coulda-woulda-shoulda zone. So much potential - but then we needed to use 5 of them. The ancient Pantone markers were still calling to me. Deep regrets on how the lettering turned out. Cautiously optimistic that we'll do better on the April exchange.

The first topic from Troy's letter is an important one. Troy, you are youngish, I am oldish, if you only find one wisdom-like nugget in my blog - I hope it is this one. Worrying that the time you spend on 5 envelopes per month is somehow eating into time that would be better spent *working* is misguided worrying. This is addressing your *allegedly working* comment.

Having a creative outlet - especially one that is so easy to insert for a few minutes here and there is like vitamins or essential amino acids. I would say as vital as air and water - but that might be an overstatement. E.v.e.r.y.o.n.e. benefits from having something to counterbalance the type of work one does to earn one's keep. 

People who do not understand that (I'm talking about people in manager roles) and expect all work and no breaks are very dangerous people. The details to the following story don't matter - but recently, a friend told me about an incident where a manager/director level person was let go suddenly because of a matter that nobody knew about - and when the announcement was made - there was spontaneous clapping. Not that there had been overt displeasure with the guy -- everyone had been lulled into the same perspective that we all put up with bosses because they are what they are -- but obviously, everyone's intuition was saying the same thing about the guy. Good riddance. 

So, if you have an artsy side that you like to *feed* from time to time -- keep doing it. Don't ever feel like the moments you steal to doodle or hum or stare into space are wasted moments. 

This is just my opinion - but I am right.


Friday, April 26, 2024

MAR to Juliana - PTEX cult

This was the page view tally yesterday at 6 am - I wonder if we are going to hit 2-million today.
Update: At 5:22 am today - it was 2,000,250.


This is the last (probably) Lichtenstein stamp and it seems like it needed something else. It is distracting to have both outlined and not-outlined - now that it is gone -- I think the solution would have been to outline the top name and then fill in the background so that there was a stronger dark band across the top.
Grrrr that I didn't think of that before I put the stamp on.

As mentioned yesterday, Troy gave me 4 topics. Maybe 5 - because I should address his designation of PTEX as a cult. That's one of those bell curve/spectrum words. Having a cult following in the art/music/theater/film world is a pinnacle of sorts. I could go on and on and on - but, a good cult leader would never do that....and if we have learned nothing else --- we should all feel very relieved and confident that my cult and I are on the end of the spectrum where things are kind and nurturing. 

Although that sounds braggy - and I might be deeply unhinged.. 

That was the coffee speaking. 

Did anyone appreciate that I wrote: My cult and I  - and not - me and my cult. 


Thursday, April 25, 2024

MAR to Janet and Susan - Troy's March letter

This one is a tiny bit better than the others that appeared on these envelopes. A looser interpretation is often a more successful direction. It is hard to part with the abstract expressionist stamps - but we're mustering every bit of *whatever* to do it.

I feel like I already posted this one and discussed how ho-hum it is - so, apologies if I am making you look at it again. 

Troy's envelopes for March included this fun letter. I didn't ask for permission to post - assuming he sent it to 5 of us - I know that at least 4 others have a copy and any of the 20+ would have gotten it - and we want to make the non-exchangers feel included in the chuckles. Cult-leader Jean has added her comments in green. 

March 16, 2024

Dear Fellow PTEX Cult Members. LOL

Unfortunately, you will get your envelopes after St. Patrick's Day. You will likely receive this after St. Joseph's Day. So, that of which I write will be in the past.

I'm here in my office working away (allegedly). (1) This weekend we have a couple of interesting festivities. 

First there is St. Patrick's Day and the corresponding parade. Of course, there will be beads. Whatever the occasion, there are always beads in this town. Beads hang from power lines, trees, bushes, whatever else for months after a parade. After Fat Tuesday, there are trees covered with them as if it snowed beads.

There's a source to the bead thing.....but, I don't recall it at the moment and I am running out of time before someone catches me allegedly not working.  (2) Then I would have to explain PTEX and how do you do that to a normal person? (3) So, I'll just type faster and get through this....

So....in addition to the beads, there will be cabbages. That is one of the features of the St. Patrick's Day Parades (yes, plural).

Second, there is the St. Joseph's Day Parade (I think there is only one). All around the city in various places there are elaborate altars with food.

There is a large Sicilian population in New Orleans. My short version of the origin of the significance of the day is: Drought in Sicily, prayers to St. Joseph, rain, let's have a parade.

There is also the St. Joseph's Day pasta. It has breadcrumbs to be like sawdust since he was a carpenter. I'm not sure if he had a saw, but never let the truth get in the way of a good story. (4)

Please don't ask if there will be beads.......you should know the answer by now.

Thank you, Troy, I have 4 topics to research and add to the next 4 days of posts. I might have to add a 5th post if I find out what it is about New Orleans that cultivated the party culture. Although, it probably doesn't matter - on any bell curve - someone has to be at the far end of the curve. I'll keep using the term bell curve even though everyone is calling it a spectrum these days.

Non-exchangers are welcome to join the cult.

Wednesday, April 24, 2024

MAR to Irene and Ben - Timbertop School

Troy coined the phrase - FOJ - Fear of Jean - which my Mean Jean persona rather enjoys - but Mean Jean is such a minor character. Kind and Nurturing Jean would like anyone who has a project on the back burner to know that sometimes the best way to finish up a project is to just pitch it. I was so intent on finding lovely designs to go with the Lichtenstein stamps. These two were left - and now they are gone - and having them gone has lightened my load. It's entirely possible that my April envelopes will be so much better - with my *clean slate* so to speak.

While we are on the topic of study-on-a-ship opportunities - an article from the NYTimes caught my eye. Here is a quote from the article referring to the author's daughter ... she is hundreds of miles away at a uniquely Australian school in the bush, where she is running and hiking dozens of miles a week, sharing chores with classmates, studying only from books and, most miraculously, spending her whole ninth-grade school year without the internet, a phone, a computer or even a camera with a screen.

This is partly on topic - because, yes, the students get to have a year of snail mail. If you want to read the article - do a search at the NYTimes - *Timbertop* will take you to the article.

Or - you might want to look at the website for the school:

Tuesday, April 23, 2024

MAR to Cathy - Semester at Sea

Oh oh. Is that how you spell it? When you say it, it sounds more like oht-oh. The lettering is done with some Pantone markers from when you could buy one at a time - used to augment the ZIGs - and they are 30 years old - and I should just toss them - but that does not seem like something I could ever do ---- although - I'm almost thinking I could...... 
Brace yourselves for quite a few that are ho-hum or even worse.

It is still the same afternoon when I wrote yesterday's blurb. Wondering about stories caused a few to pop up - including one that is about mail

When I first met him - in 1976 his World Campus Afloat experiences were fun to listen to. I searched and did not find this story on the blog - so it's a good space filler - and not entirely off-topic.

WCA is still around - it is now called Semester at Sea - easy to find through Google. It's a big cruise-type ship offering college credit for classes taught by legitimate instructors/professors who are on board. It is not a fancy ship - but sea-worthy. MrWilson chose an itinerary that started in Florida and had a couple stops in Africa and then India - then some other places - maybe Phillipines, Hong Kong, Japan - then Hawaii - ending in California. 

Trips are approximately 110 days and 10 stops - so that's a lot of time on the ship and in 1973 the only communication with family was writing letters. Families had addresses and a timeline so they could send mail that would be waiting at the various ports. Phone calls were available for emergencies only. 

In one of MrWilson's classes - the assignment was to come up with some kind of rumor to start on the ship to track the flow of rumors. The rumor they started was that there had been a problem and there would be no mail at the next port. Enough of the students were so traumatized by the news that they had to call off the project. As I recall, he said the women were a little more upset about not getting their mail - not that it matters - but just think of what it would have been like to send your kid off - and having only snail mail for updates. Or perhaps it was a welcome break?


Monday, April 22, 2024

MAR to Hudson USPS - Background issues

These three are to the clerks at the post office in Hudson NH and I left an N out of Christanna's name so I will be sending three more. The JO in Jordan is way off. I have some better ideas for when I do a correction for Christina. Anyone with lots of time to fill may send some happy mail to Hudson if you like these names. Am I the only one who has preferences for certain kinds of names? I put these three in a larger envelope - addressed to Paula - the clerk who sent the names of her co-workers. The stamps on these envelopes are *used.*


And the black borders are where I used the tool to remove the background - but on Allison's - the tool worked and did not leave the black border. It will not be hard to remember that I do not want to try any photo modification options - because they have minds of their own.

Our new POV for everything is going to be KIS - Keep it simple. 
It is 2:30 pm and this is super boring blurb writing - apologies - I will refrain from writing blurbs in the PM.
Blurb writing should happen right after the morning coffee. 
Serial posts -- stories that go on for a few days - seem to be better.
I have 14 days to fill - I wonder if I can think of some stories?

Sunday, April 21, 2024

MAR to Susan - 2 items from Amy

I used the tool to remove the background from the photo and then when I inserted the photo of the envelope into the blog post - the background I had removed turned black and to be honest - it might have helped the design which was a resounding dud. I was using up my Pantone markers on some envelopes that were super nice paper. Poor planning on the spacing. 

Susan deserves something much better than this. The only reason I sent it without doing it over was that out of 20-22 envelopes for the month - at least half of them needed to be redone. Perhaps I am doing Susan a favor by sending things that she is happy to toss - because she might be running out of space. I penciled in her zip code and I have no idea how I finished this envelope. 
Apologies sent along with the deep regrets.

Amy sent a couple items - first a link to USPS podcasts. I have not listened to anything yet as I am on a majorly disciplined mission to resolve some hoard issues.

Amy also sent this link to something on TikTok - and I don't think I have ever been on TikTok. She says that you do not have to *join* - but, disciplined-Jean is doing the least amount of surfing possible - and trying a whole new platform sounds very counter productive to my mission.

Amy says it is a dad who does a daily drawing on his son's lunch bag
@popteez  -- if you know how TikTok works - I guess that's the address??

Thanks, Amy for helping fill the blog. 


Saturday, April 20, 2024

FEB from Sharon - POV


As a dragon-year-person - I like dragons - and this is a very nice one. The gold envelope is perfect. The address is nice and legible. Hopefully the scanners could read it with ease. 
There was a bonus inside - this very pretty valentine. 

OK, we've been wandering around with multiple topics for 10 days. This is day 11. That means I have a third of those 30 blog posts written and there's no time to do re-writes.

I keep seeing POV everywhere and I assume it means point of view. I don't see how a person can be devoid of a point of view. What would that be? 100% wishy-washy? Is wishy-washy the opposite of POV?

I'm not sure I know how POV is being used. Since it is a trending term it's entirely possible that I am not up on that particular trend. I might *put a pin in it* and come back to the topic. It's March 20th as I write this and the blog is filled up for a month - so - I can put it on the back burner until some new topics pop up.

Friday, April 19, 2024

FEB from Sharen

I usually show the envelope first - but I can't get the photos to move. There was a charming little card with a thank you for the exchange - and another flower enclosure. I like those rounded corners.

And here is the envelope with Sharen's pretty pointed pen addressing.

The adjective I was needing a few days ago had to do with identifying the qualities of my writing that made the words blog-worthy. Since I have the utmost respect for good writing and I've often wished I had time (or had taken the time a while back) to hone those skills - I've made peace with the fact that I am a conversational writer and my audience is what it is - and I don't need to dig any deeper than that.

Whenever thank yous arrive in emails or in the envelopes like this one from Sharen - it's the perfect reminder that it is nice to make connections - and the thanks goes both ways.

We might sum this topic up tomorrow.

Thursday, April 18, 2024

FEB from Patty - Happy Big Number

While we are talking about *vibes* we should note that this has a similar vibe to the envelopes from a couple days ago from Kate and Sam. It even makes me wonder if I should toss out ideas like this and have everyone do their version.

Below is another tried and true layout. that would work in countless ways.

I like the way Patty wrapped the design around to the flap, too.

I'm putting the *feeling* search to rest. It get the same feeling every time I am making/creating anything. Every blog post is a blank page just as every envelope is a blank page. We know there will be an image and some words - that's our mission - coming up with the words and images.

So, there's a feeling that comes when we start something new. Even if we have done it more than 5,000 times. (Referring to how many times I have started a new post)

Oh, wait, I just checked - as of March 20, I have posted 6,004 blog posts. We missed the rollover to 6,000. That's a lot of posts. I'm through pondering what the feeling is when I pop open a blank screen. Now we have to figure out that adjective. Don't worry, you don't have to scroll back - I'll refresh your memory tomorrow.


Wednesday, April 17, 2024

FEB from Lynne - Jean's vibe

Lovely pointed pen work from Lynne and some watercolor flowers -- they look a little bit like cherry blossoms. Apologies that I keep using the word *lovely* on all the February envelopes....

A bit more pondering about the origin of the blog.

 I only had a vague notion of what the students were asking for. I, too, had taken many classes/workshops that were sooooo good and I've known the feeling of wishing there was more after the class/workshop was over. So, it seemed like a no-brainer to start a blog. 

At first it was just my own envelopes on the blog. Pretty soon, I started posting envelopes from others. And then the exchanges blossomed and we've morphed into a 50-50 situation. 

Chore avoidance has been a huge component of this whole experience. That coupled with the generous feedback I get is really all I need. People think I put in a lot of hours and I really don't. 

So - did we get our word for the feeling I have about reflecting on what I am doing and wondering if I am maintaining the *vibe*? 

Technically, I don't have a clear idea of what my *vibe* is. Maybe we can talk about that.

Tuesday, April 16, 2024

FEB from Leslie

Loving the loveliness from Leslie.

Never mind what I wrote yesterday - the word search topic is alive and well. 

<snipped out a paragraph> too many words about finding words - which led to....


This is turning into an existential question. What am I doing? What are we doing? What do we want? 

Is the act of asking those questions just complete drivel?

OK - you need to know right now - there's no way that any of us are going to find answers to these questions. The blog was this thing I started because I had students who were wishing they could get *more* of something after the session of classes had ended.

More what? I don't think they were specific -- but, I interpreted it as a wish that they could get more of whatever they had gotten out of the class. What started out as an extension of a class is now just an abstract and virtual *gathering.* Or maybe it's something different for each person.


Monday, April 15, 2024

From Kate and Jessica - Red markers/craft stores

I forgot to put this bookmark in the post yesterday. Kate made it and it had something to do with tea bags. My self discipline is not allowing me to go search in the hard copies.

Below is the envelope from Jessica. Sticking with just red and white has me interested in doing something along those lines -- although I know that I have very few red markers. Here's a topic I could rant about.

Troy likes my rants and I know there is an email from him with a very good rant topic that I will have to dig out.

I was going to rant about not being able to buy red markers - but I realized that I need to look at a couple stores that I avoid. We no longer have an actual art supply store and the scrapbooking store has a very limited supply - so I need to figure out a way to enter a craft store. Do I need to explain why?

Also - the whole grammar thing and looking for words has drifted into the ozone. 


Sunday, April 14, 2024

FEB from Kate - Kate and I

When this arrived - I was struck by how much it resembled the envelope that I chosen as my own inspiration that I intended to use for some of my Feb envelopes. I did not end up doing that - but, since I had saved the image to my downloads - I could at least pull it out and add it to this post for fun.

 The inspiration envelope is from a couple (or 3) years ago when Sam found us and exchanged. Sadly, she passed away - but if anyone is new to the blog and you have not seen Sam's envelopes - put her name into the search box - there's some really good stuff. Search both Sam and Samantha.

Grammar - what was I going to say about grammar?

I loved grammar but was woefully inept at spelling and I still am. The grammar *rule* that I thought was one of the iron-clad ones was. Putting the other name first. It was ALWAYS:

Kate and I are going to eat lunch. NEVER: Me and Kate are going to eat lunch.

During the years my kids were growing up ( 80s and 90s ) - I noticed that sooooo many kids would use *me and Kate....* and it drove me crazy. I'd ask other parents if it bothered them - and they all noticed it - but it didn't bother them as much as it bothered me.

Little by little - it has taken over -- and it seems like it's perfectly fine to say *me and Kate....*

I don't know how to word the question to Google about how this change occurred - so if any of you know how it happened or can find out, please send me a link. It still sounds so weird to me.

Tomorrow we will return to the search for the noun and the adjective.....as if we can even remember what we were looking for.

7 am CST - and alert reader Scarlet from the UK has left a link for us - in the comments - that explains it has nothing to do with grammar - it's all about being polite. Thank you -- I am currently working on early June posts - so we will return to this topic on June 10. Thank you Scarlet.

Saturday, April 13, 2024

FEB from Kristine - noun/adjective/grammar

Red on pink. And touches of green. When I was a kid - I thought pink and red was a seriously clashing combination. Over the years it grew on me. I'm not sure I would have thought to add green - and Kristine really lucked out because green on pink could have been seriously muddy.

So yesterday I couldn't find a word for the feeling I was having about having 30 posts to fill with words. I have cut back dramatically on my surfing and I always loved the wide variety of things that I used to find. But, somewhere along the line I realized that there were some urgent matters to take care of...like clearing out the Legos before I check into my retirement community.

On top of it - I get some lovely messages from readers who like the blog - so there is the hope that I can continue to keep the posts (insert adjective) - something other than a waste of time.

Great -- now we need two words - a feeling and an adjective. I guess feelings are nouns? I was always a high scoring student in grammar. This will become a topic to fill tomorrow's post.


Friday, April 12, 2024

FEB from Janet - progress report

I guess later in the month Janet decided to drop another envelope in the mail. This one had a vintage postcard. That Mediocrates sticker from yesterday might have been on this envelope. 

Disciplining myself enough to transfer all the images onto the blog without stopping in the middle was a big deal. Once it was done, it felt like a leaf had been turned. But, the next step is writing the posts. When I have 30 posts to fill with words I feel ______. How's this: It is an ineffable feeling to have 30 posts to fill with words.

I think the good enough postcard arrived in the envelope with the good enough sticker....

And this cracked me up - on the back - Janet noted that my name was too close to the hearts. There is a little sad face at the end - but not a deep regret. I wonder if there are more than 2 designations for *not-what-we-would-have-preferred*? Maybe *Good enough* is at the least problematic end of the spectrum.
The opposite end would be - so bad I started over - but, if we do not get to see it - should it even get a rating. Is the rating system worth spending any time on?


Thursday, April 11, 2024

FEB from Janet

Janet had already done this one before she received her exchange list - so she sent it along. The rubber stamp on the back cracked me up. It's sooooo me. Not that I don't try to make things 100% pleasing - it seems like at least half of my envelopes have problems that annoy me - not enough to do them over - but enough to be disappointing.

Before I get to that progress report, I might ruminate on why it seems like I am in a slump regarding the quality of the envelopes. It's because my ability to multi-task is impaired. This is boring jibber-jabber. 

Here is what's really going on - this is the progress report. I did manage to photograph all the incoming and outgoing envelopes and put them in properly labeled folders. And then - this was the hard part. I managed to upload all of them to the blog in one sitting. So now I have 30 posts with photos - and have to go back and write the words. 

Tomorrow I will explain whether this is progress or not.


Wednesday, April 10, 2024

FEB from Susan

Susan has more raven stamps. Or maybe that was the last one. Either way, I am a little jealous. Or am I envious? What's the difference between jealousy and envy? I heard something one time that stuck with me. Jealous rhymes with zealous and so it's OK to be jealous - because it's not a deep feeling - it's just noting that there is something that one likes a lot and maybe wishes it was theirs. Envy, on the other hand is deeper and more problematic. I have no idea who comes up with these things. It is also a mystery how some of this stuff sticks in my head. What if it's wrong?

Tomorrow we will have a progress report on my system that was going to be foolproof - to keep track of my postings.

The way Susan has put the name and address on a *label* is quite nice - and I'm tempted to do this - but once again - it will only work (for me) if the address fits nicely under the name. 

I wonder what kind of tool she used to apply the white paint - the photograph does not show the texture which is very nice.


Tuesday, April 9, 2024

FEB from Irene + Matt part 3 + Jeremy Workman

Irene is another one of our pointed pen experts. Once again - what does she do with the long addresses?
Irene included a pretty card. I thought I would love the dragon stamps - especially since I was born in a dragon year and I have my dragonesque characteristics - but the colors seemed like they would be challenging. I might rethink that.....

The final thing I have to say about Matt Green, the guy who has turned walking into a *career* of sorts is that his parents reminded me that it was OK to be supportive of some of the alternative things my kids got into. He has a brother and both of the boys have had those kinds of experiences that could have gone into the zone of catastrophe and the experiences gave them some valuable perspective. 

While my own near-catastrophe adjusted my perspective on quite a few things - I generally don't complain - but, it's helpful to see reminders from others who have made adjustments. 

I ended up with a bunch of questions about the person who made the film - and his website is pretty interesting. He has several more films that I shall be watching. I will refrain from making this into a movie-review blog.

Even if you have zero interest in Jeremy -  what you see when his website pops up is very clever. Sometimes the most obvious thing is the right design element to use.


Monday, April 8, 2024

FEB from Cathy + Matt part 2

 Lovely pointed pen work from Cathy. I wonder if she does the same idea on all 5 of her envelopes and if she does - how does she handle the really long street names. In case I've been in a boringly perpetual positive attitude, I'll toss in a little whining here about long street names. Or maybe they aren't ever going to be an issue because I am steering myself towards layouts that block off the bottom inch of the envelope.


For those who thought that a film about a guy walking 8,000 miles would be boring - I don't really want to oversell the film. You have to trust your intuition. As I mentioned, I thought it was a bit slow in the beginning. Gradually, some themes pop up. Some of them surprise even Matt as they were just things that he noticed as he walked. They include things about people and about nature and about some man-made things. As I said, I don't want to spoil any of the themes - but there's one that was right up my alley. No - not postage stamps - that other thing that occupies every corner of my life.

There is a portion of the film that covers his walk across the US - from Rockaway Beach NY to Rockaway Beach OR. I really enjoyed that part and recommend sticking with the film until you get to that part - or maybe forwarding until you get to it - as I think it sets the tome for the rest of the film.

I guess I'll stretch this into a third day....

Sunday, April 7, 2024

FEB from Ming + Matt Green

Ming has been working on her pointed pen - also her legible penmanship that has a feel of script, but the letters are not joined so technically it is not a script. I guess we could call it italic monoline. (Monoline means it does not have thicks and thins) I love that border. And the frosting on the cake is the flourishing. Her card on the inside is also a very nice example of how a grid will never let you down as a framework for balance.

My off-topic for today and tomorrow is a movie that I thoroughly enjoyed. But, I only recommend it to people with a lot of a patience. I think we all find that patience is variable. We have a lot, for things that interest us.  And not so much for things that do not interest us.

This movie is about a man who decided to get a map of NYC and keep track of his walks so that he could say that he had walked along every single street, including parks and cemeteries. A rough estimate is that it is 8,000 miles. A little way into the movie we find out that prior to this walk, he walked from Rockaway Beach NY to Rockaway Beach OR. 

If you are already wildly interested - Google - Matt Green walking and pick any article. The documentary is currently free to view on Amazon Prime video.

The film starts out pretty slow and I came close to ditching it - but was so glad that I settled into the pace. Tomorrow I will talk about some of the things that I think make it worthwhile - without spoiling any of the delight in some of the things he discovered.


Saturday, April 6, 2024

Feb from Juliana - brain jabber

Juliana has enough patience to figure out a pleasing arrangement of vintage stamps. I'm not going to tally the non-valentine envelopes. There are obviously more than 2 or 3 and I'm trying to reform my *thing* about counting. 

I read too many books and articles about how our brains work. I just read another one confirming, for the umpteenth time, that we get nervous/anxious/fearful because that was old lizard-brain activity that kept us on our toes so that we survived back in the *cave* days. And now we don't really need as much of it - but it's there - and we have to work at reminding ourselves that we are not in perpetual danger. [although, we sorta are - but let's not think about it]

But what about that annoying other lobe that makes some of us count and put things into categories. It seems like that must have been a survival skill at some point. Maybe it's in the observational category. Clearly, there were people who spent all their free time looking at the stars and planets and figuring out seasons and all that stuff. 

Once again, this train of thought has no destination  <sigh>. What I should be pondering is getting my exchange envelopes in the mail.........


Friday, April 5, 2024

FEB from Diana - vellum envelopes

We can see the postmark of Feb 12 and it arrived on March 9. Last month Lynne told me her clerk at her post office had suggested that the clear plastic envelopes did not conform to regulations. This is a vellum envelope - which is not the same as the clear plastic envelopes. It has the feel of paper but I really don't know if they are entirely paper or some kind of hybrid. I'm resisting the temptation to research.

LOL - I can't even type the word *temptation* before I know I am going to click - and allow myself one chance to find the answer. Of course - with the internet - we all know *for a fact* that no matter which *fact* you search - you will find it - along with the opposite of that fact - also purporting to be the fact - but, I digress. Apologies for not coming up with a more succinct way of saying that.

I found one place where it said that vellum envelopes were made out of Tyvek. That seems wrong. Maybe some day I will find the answer - but not today. 

Diana's flower/leaf patterns look like rubber stamping - which looks really nice on the vellum. I have about 100 vellum envelopes - so we might get to the bottom of this.


Thursday, April 4, 2024

FEB from Mary - Legos Part 2

 Please note: Mary used a non-machineable stamp on her non-machineable envelope which is non-machineable because she stitched a button onto the envelope. Mary also fills her envelopes with adorable goodies. What are we up to - 3 non-valentines?

The photo does not really replicate the magnitude of the Lego project. That is not a normal desk. It is the size of a table that would easily seat 8 people. I did not take a photo of the pirate and castle sets and they have moved on to their new home. I am working on the space sets and will take a photo of them once they are all done. I started with smaller, easier sets to see if I could get into a groove and that did happen. Why am I getting verklempt over Legos? 

And this does not even show the floor - this is only a third of the Legos - the rest are on the floor.