Monday, September 15, 2014

How to Satisfy a Hankering for Hanx

How does one satisfy a hankering for Hanx Writer? You buy the app of course! Can't wait long enough to finish this little post? Well, grab your patience and go the the Apple Apps Store. Do a search for Hanx Writer, pay for the privilege, then write on!

I bought Hanx Writer before we went on vacation then forgot all about it until tonight, although I absolutely enjoyed it. So why did I continuously overlook the cute little gold icon? Read on; therein lies a possible answer.

I typed it all out but it saves as a PDF or as rich text, which sounds like a deal breaker since the charm is lost in translation. Not to worry. I might not be an expert at using this simple little charmer yet, but I will persevere while I hope you will discover its charm for yourself. Here we go:

September 15, 2014 

Dear Friends, 

How are you? Fine, I hope. I am good. Thank you for wondering. 

This little note is about a wonderful little app that has the power to take you back in time to typing class. Remember how it felt trying to type without looking at the keys? Did you master the challenge, or were you like me, a faster hunt and pecker? Do you ever hear the clatter of a room full of keys, and carriages dinging so sweetly, even in your sleep? I hated typing. I was going to be an artist! Not someone's secretary! 

I became proficient enough to earn a B in the class, and graduated high school with the basic skills anyone needed to get through college classes that demanded term papers and reports as proof of having learned something, as well as writing business letters and resumes later? (That sentence makes little sense, but who's counting?) I never mastered the word processor either, and I spent a small fortune in typing paper because I worked out my frustrations by erasing unsightly holes in page after page after page of almost-perfect papers. I was just as bad, or even worse with White Out. My clothes bore smudges of carbon no matter how hard I tried to be secretarial or professional. I managed to finish beginners typing in college with the same speed I burnt up the paper with in high school. It was a whopping 42 wpm! Smirk if you will, but I was often hired  as a clerical temp years before I landed in art school. 

Now. Try to imagine my jubilation and darn near over-Jupiter-joy I felt when I bought my first Mac, and pressed the first key on a keyboard! Hallelujah! I was on cloud nine! Those keys were as soft as down. And I "deleted" instead of erasing! I have not looked back since, no, not even once. My wrists thanked me.

Decades later, Tom comes along, at a saunter. Tom Hanks, that is. He couldn't be satisfied and content with just being an actor. No-o-o! He had to come up with an idea and an app that whisks people like me back to that sweatshop cum typing class, where I used to sweat like the first woman to ever sit in an electric chair. He made me pay for the pleasure of being tortured all over again. He practically forced me buy this app! And so I did. I could not rest until I knew . . . 

So. If you, too, need to know if you no longer suffer from 
Typewriter Phobia, or if you simply miss the sights and sounds from typing class, but not the gritty, rigid typing erasers with those stiff plastic quills sticking out the other end, and if  you kinda  do miss the smell of White Out and that fear-reeking sweat from the classmates I remind you of (There's always one or two.), then go! Buy “Hanx Writer” quick-quick! Enjoy the different typewriters, lovingly stroke the keys as you are whisked back to those pre-keyboard days, and thank me! Thank me! And when you are sated, type and tell Mr. Hanks, "Limner sent me." Then, write on. 

Sincerely sincere, 


This is how it actually looks. 

Just like the real deal, huh? And the sounds? Oh, the sounds!!!

See? Didn't I tell you??? Or did I? Well, there are three styles to choose from. I think I am impartial. Okay, I use which ever one suits my mood. Tonight I tried all three. Tomorrow I will print at least two letters instead of being as lazy as I am now. Sometimes fun should just be fun, and demonstrations have to be enough. Anyway, the actor, Tom Hanks takes credit for this gem of an app,  hence the name "Hanx Writer." Buy the app, read his fun letter and laugh. He explains the hows and whys of it all, and there's a nice photo of him with typewriters and . . . Oh! Enough! Go! Go buy it and try it. It's the only way to satisfy a hankering for Hanx Writer. Then type me a letter!

Write on, write on!

Sincerely sincere,


Sunday, September 14, 2014

Love Letters

September 14, 2014


I was telling Cynthia how it seems there's something about letters and mail everywhere I look lately. Magazines and newspapers are on the mail bandwagon almost as much as we are. In light of the upward swing, one would think Hallmark and bookstores would note the trend and get serious about offering more honest to goodness stationery. Texas Art Supply has a better selection than these two. Aaron Bros. beats them hands down when it comes to notecards. Well, almost. I'm favoring them because I bought a box of these little gems yesterday when I stopped by for a mat and frame. They are for a postcard I bought at the Chicago Institute of Art. More on that later.

I enjoy a monthly read of "My Day in Cups of Tea." It's a simple read, yet it allows me to eavesdrop on someone else's typical tea day day. Now I want to share my typical day in tea. Ha, ha, and ha! Mine is brief seeing as how I do only one cup of English breakfast tea per day. Today, I sipped while I read the Sunday Times. Mine consists of one cuppa, with water chasers throughout the day. Oops. Yesterday I substituted the usual for a white chocolate mocha frappe with no whip, and enjoyed a third of it as I warmed a seat at a table for two. I didn't want to wait until I came home to thumb through "Landscape Magazine."

I enjoy quotable quotes. You do too, don't you? This clip from Mama Mia's bears witness and evidence to this day's cup. See that stain on the lower left? Well, how on Earth did it miss the front of my t-shirt? *tsk* Sipping, and scanning, and reading, and clipping my way through the paper, this is where I discovered Mia and et al.  

"A Kiss, a Sigh . . . and a Postage Stamp." A play! "On Thursday, the Broadway revival of A. R. Gurney's 1999 play, "Love Letters," directed by Gregory Mosher, opens . . . " The cast reads "aloud from five decades of correspondence: mash notes, party invitations, the record of a disastrous coupling at the Harvard-Yale game." Actors include Stacy Keach, Carol Burnett, Mia Farrow, Diana Rigg, Alan Alda, Anjelica Huston, Candice Bergen and Martin Sheen. 

The article begins with a question posed to Stacy Keach. "What makes a great love letter?" Oh! I missed Brian Dennehy. He's asked, "Has something been lost in the move away from handwritten letters?" What a silly Billy kind of question, huh? Carol Burnett answers to, "Is there a love letter that's especially important to you?" Follow the link, read the whole thing and tell me what you think. The article has a place in my current journal instead of my morgue, because I deem it a keeper.

Write on.

Sincerely sincere,


P.S. Do you know what a mash note is? I had to look up the word in a dictionary. 

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Another Saturday Evening Post

Here it is, another Saturday night, and I'm still going nuts over a subject for this post. There's so much to share, and I need to settle down. So here goes . . .

I'm sure it's no secret that I am fond of certain magazines. Not the digital 'zines. I *heart* the smell of ink on slick paper. I want more than stock photos. I want the real deal! And I get it with The Simple Things. I like the appeal of "taking time to live well." Don't you? So, living well is a good thing; we should do more of it; we need to take more frequent-longer vacations; we need to chart our day in cups of tea, or better yet, in water. Filtered tap. Not bottled. And, we need to write more postcards.

"Remember the Moment." Remember the moments you capture! Or not. I'm remembering mine even as I write this. Ah-h-h, Chicago! That's what postcards are for. (And beautiful photos for your own!) Right? The copy below the caption reads, "This month, in our campaign to savor holiday memories, we consider the trip snapshot that is the postcard." It is an "Amen" statement if ever there was one. And, the article opens with this, "There's always a moment on holiday when postcards must be considered. 'Can I be bothered to send any?' the internal monologue goes. "I'll have to find them, write them, buy stamps and post them. That's hours out of my holiday when I could be on the beach at Beatrix's. And who cares if they receive one anyway?' 

Ha. Ha. And, ha! Surely someone on staff eavesdropped and quoted me? My protestations were weak since I'd packed a documents pouch with everything I needed to send a "Hey!" I had everything but postcards. No problem. They're everywhere. Besides, who doesn't like mail? Who doesn't like being reminded that the sender thought of them when she was supposed to be thinking only of herself? 

Here's a learning moment: The postcard has an interesting history. Postcards are as necessary as stationery. They do in a pinch, when time is short, and you won't go broke on postage. They're also perfect for journal jots of your perfect getaway. "Postcards first became popular in Britain in the 19th century." You do know that postcards are different from postal cards, right? And, the study and collecting of postcards is called deltiology. This is fromWikipedia: 'In the United States, a picture or blank card stock that held a message and (was) sent through the mail at letter rate first began when a card postmarked in December 1848 contained printed advertising on it. The first commercially produced card was created in 1861 by John P. Charlton of Philadelphia, who patented a postal card, selling the rights to Hymen Lipman, whose postcards, complete with a decorated border, were labeled "Lipman's postal card." These cards had no imagesRead about it on wikipedia, then send a bunch! The article I've quoted from is in a British magazine, so . . .

Want to know who's "A Postcard Hero?" The answer is a click away.

"Time spent writing and sending a postcard is always time well spent."

"Remember the Moment" is an excellent article with valuable links, and if you aren't too lazy, there's a bit of mail gold near the end of the piece. It's a Lazy-gram! Download it and let's have some fun. I'll send you one if you send me one. Huh? You get the idea. Right? I have four!

The Simple Things asked for postcards! Yea! They want to know about your vacation! Their address is: 

Remember the Moment
The Simple Things
Future Publishing
2 Balcombe Street
London NW1 6NW

They will publish the best ones on their blog. Go! Buy the magazine, and read all the stuff I left out! But don't forget to tell them that Limner sent you! And write on!

Sincerely sincere,


Thursday, September 11, 2014

All's Mail that Ends Up Mail

(Westin Chicago River North lobby)

September 11, 2014

Dear Friends,

I never noticed it until day three. No, it was day four because JC, Erin and Shin mellowed out at the Green Mill that night, while I stayed in and wrote postcards. Eighteen all together, and one more the next morning! No way could I pass up an opportunity to use this lovely. Well, I meant to use it but first JC, and then Erin handed off my two stacks of cards to the desk clerk on our way out, but I would have given another chance. Okay. Backing up . . . I wrote nine postcards two nights in a row. The first batch happened while my daughter slept hard after completing The Women's Half Marathon and 5K. The second batch came into being on my one night alone. The last, written to Alex, was mailed after our return home. *sigh* Thanks, Erin.

We have been back for almost a week now. The vacation/birthday trip glow is fading quite slowly and gently. I try hard not to clutch the memories lest I crush them, or they scatter beyond my recollection. Our time in Chicago has been the best leisure time we've ever given ourselves over to. The most difficult part was trying to decide what to do, and in what order. 

I felt like a stranger in a strange land yet oddly at home. How can that be? Texas is known for it's cowboy hospitality and southern charm. I have never been a cowgirl, and I am not very hospitable. I want to be, hospitable not a cowgirl, yet lack the necessary sustainable social graces required to fit the definition. I am good at being semi-hospitable. Translation: I am friendly and generously receptive and entertaining for a few hours. Then I begin to wind down and withdraw. Well, Chicago was on twenty-four seven. Chicago wins. No matter. We had two moments that cast a shadow on an otherwise special time. I was accosted once but the doorman took care of everything since I didn't know what to say in response. Besides, I didn't understand what the poor thing was saying anyway; the last incident happened on our way to the Art Institute, but by then I didn't even care. I was one of the seasoned citizens. I felt that way anyway, as I walked right on by without blinking an eye. 

(Masked Limner falling for Chicago.)

So. I fell in love with a city. It did not matter that I engaged in some of the very touristy things I swore I wouldn't be caught dead doing. I bought postcards!  We passed the postoffice and photos were taken, along with a promise that I'd get to go inside. It never happened. A plot to lure me back by dangling such carrots before me, then snatching them away! We ate dined our way across the city though. It certainly felt that way!  I have many pictures to share, posts to write, and return visits to plot. I took 535 photos with my iPhone! Erin took 600 with her Nikon. I don't know how many she took with her iPhone, but JC was too cool. He used his phone maybe six times since he's done Chicago so many times and lived worked there once. And yes, I was on v-a-c-a-t-i-o-n, but I thought of you almost every day. I did not get past nineteen postcards because my family needed me. They needed me to go out and have as much fun. as I could stand. And so I did. I even bought too many t-shirts!

Be well.

Sincerely sincere,


Saturday, June 21, 2014

Saturday's Evening Post

Are you having a "could-be-better day?" We've all had them, and we wouldn't wish them on our best enemy. We wouldn't even wish one on our worst enemy, if we had one. Right? Well, Patty, over at Just Letter Rip had surgery again. She's in rehab and she's thriving, but since we all know mail is the best medicine that comes in paper form--second only to written prescriptions for pain and discharge papers--she can use as many doses as we can manage. You don't even have to run to her blog for to get an address. I have it right here:

Patty Davidson
158 Greek Miller Road
Crockett, VA 24323

Let's make it rain! Thanks in advance! Be well, Patty.

Pamela, thanks for the yums! Fun mail is better than a cupcake. It's delicious and doesn't settle on the hips. I've been craving yellow batter cupcakes with buttercream frosting! Katy being too hot for  an oven at 350 degrees is a good thing. Langston Hughes stamps? How nice! He reminds me of William Powell in that fedora. 

I have not figured out how The Mangler managed to tear a hole in a vellum envelope. It's a head-scratcher for sure. The back bears scars as well although the internal goodness remained intact. Does the USPS have a complaint department? As if it matters. No matter.   I enjoyed what lay beyond the flap. Sure wish I could fold like that. It's better than knowing how to play Texas Hold 'em. Because it rhymes with fold 'em. (groan) There's something in each little fold! How clever-clever! I intend to learn how you do that.

If I still had a Bucket List, attending one of your workshops and this, would be near the top. I found my Sun Print kit Erin gave me, made plans to make prints with Alex this weekend, but even best-laid-plans often go the same way as good intentions. There's always tomorrow or "some other time." Good ideas never die, they simply wait for their resurrection. (Big grin with tongue in cheek.)

This yellow fellow (the sun) permanently shines on a page in FLOW, the phantom magazine for paper lovers. His message feels appropriate somehow. Summer is a great time to cultivate new, burgeoning, and mature pen friendships. So, write on! Happy Summer!  

P.S. There's more than one way to skin a fish! More mail goes out on Monday. Making envelopes is a surefire way to prime a letter-writing pump.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014




A clue or warning?

Looking for a distracting summer read? Are you crazy for mysteries? Maybe you like scary? Maybe you're drawn to a title, thinking you'll figure out the drama of your choice at the end of the story? The title got me this time. The excerpt from Amazon did nothing to sway me either way, as in yea or nay. So I took a chance.

Does it ever rain just on your house? Okay, maybe a little bounces off your roof and lands on the house next door but the cloud feels like yours. Does a great big cloud hover overhead and opens up just on your head and yours alone? It's happened twice recently, and I remember a third such personal watering last year-ish.  I love it! Erin's take on the whole thing was rather typical. Did you immediately think of Pig Pen from Peanuts? Joe Btfsplk from Lil' Abner? Aha! My rain cloud always comes when it will, but I try to take advantage when it does. Do you invent reasons to hunker down away from distractions because you might need to recharge, work on a project you're wrapped up in, or need to just unplug long enough to let negative energy empty out, or quite possibly need to simply exhale. Some exhalations take more time than everyday huffs. Today's need for cover was all about a secret project I'm working on. Another sleepless night yielded great results, so I needed to carve out a little time to play. I can do housework any time. Creativity needs no appointments, it shows up at will. It should have a herald announcing its arrival, Make way! Let the art come through! Let the art come through! My summer fun has begun. It took off like a rocket! Penpal had better be worth my time. Is it? Have you read it? 

(A single sheet of stationery.)

Here's my backup plan. Stationery! My accidental experiment yielded a design that's taken on a life of its own. 

A medium size envelope looks like this.

A smaller envelope is just as much fun.

This is my first. My seed, if you will. I created it as a test and it turned out so well. You know it's special. I used the newish envelope punch board, and made a rich textured envelope from a sheet of drawing paper. No two designs are alike, and that's part of the beauty of my little design. It's stamped, addressed, and in the bag. Mail might go out tomorrow. What's on your art desk? 

Tuesday, June 17, 2014


Look! A new discovery aka compensation for my FLOW disappointment, (Local booksellers have not seen page nor cover of it since April.) a reward for looking, a thump on the back of my pate for not moving on sooner. I never imagined bringing home a copy of Cloth Paper Scissors, but look! So never think never.

Had I noticed it last month I like to think I'd have answered their call for a stamp swap. Out of nine pages worth of carvings, narry a one was carved by a Texan. How sad is that? 

Personal favorites were created by Leah Kiley in Pierre, SD --Indira Govindan from Summit, NJ -- Pattie Fulton in Royal Palm Beach, FL -- Debra Almanza in Rio Rancho, NM -- Michelle Schroder in Lancaster, NY. I like them all but it's not fair to show the full article or photos. The magazine is worth the price of admission. There's "a look at . . . Stamp Carving Supplies" on pages 16 through 18, with a nod to "CARVE STAMP PLAY" and Stamp-Making Adventures Workshop DVD. I quote: "Good instruction is essential when learning a new skill, especially when special tools are involved." Spceial tools? DVDs take too long. I'm a dive right in kind of woman but, "one never knows, do one?" said Fats Waller. 

I cannot resist sharing my new favorite stamp, although it might read better without the underscore. What was I thinking? Right? One good letter deserves another! The green stamped bits were made with a cork half and a pretty green ink pad. I got a little carried away but only because the creepy old man in "Never Take Candy from a Stranger" is to blame. I wanted to stamp him out! TCM hosted a late night creep-athon last night! Such awful movies! But they kept me company through the night's bout with insomnia. 

Wait until you see what I'm working on now. I live and learn! Live and learn! I wait and see! Wait and see! And, I write on.