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.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

A Saturday Evening Post or Quid Pro Quo

(From Susan, who's grandmother was a postmistress.)

When you get mail what's the first thing you do? You check the address, you check the return address, and you check the back, right? If you're like me it's automatic. Are you ever caught off guard? I am! I laughed out loud when I saw this and turned a few heads in the lobby. A week had gone buy since my last visit to the post office and surprise! I had mail. Good mail, as usual. How often do you add a little extra to the back of your own mail? All that blank space! It's not just for flaps any more.

(From dear Anna who reads me well.)

Flaps and backs are way cool. Designers know it, too. No more plain backs! Baby's got back? Confession: I Googled Baby's Got Back, boy oh boy, was I taken aback. Well, a letter's got back too! Let's really use it! (Still laughing!)

(Cynthia! Thank you for the dose of humor.)

I laughed hard. I laughed loud. Unexpected humor, the kind that really catches you off guard is good for what ails you. Too bad our mail isn't sorted by hand these days. It's not the underwear that winds up the funny bone, so it has to be the "underwire," huh? I almost wondered out loud if those garments belong to Wendy W. then didn't. Humor often comes at the expense of someone's feelings, right? But the very idea of underwear . . . Wait a minute. Would it be funny if they were men's underwear? Cross dressers are a dime a dozen these days. But it's funny! What if it's Mrs. Sasquatch's undies? Oh, never mind! I like this postcard. 

I like this, too! I tore it from The Sun Magazine over a year ago because I couldn't see it as anything but a great postcard. Each caption that came to mind was at the expense of the woman. Shame on me, huh? But the joke is always, always, always on the old man. I laugh just as hard each and every time I come across it in my paper hoard, and I'm willing to bet someone out there thought the same thing I did when I first saw it. They're Italian, aren't they? They're sitting on a bench beneath her kitchen window. She's a spinster? A widow? He's a widower. Why do you think he's grinning? Is she pulling her dress up? She let him see her knees?Down? She's extremely modest? The wind blew her dress a little more than gently? Stories, stories, stories! A picture is worth a thousand tales. At least. They're like the Naked City. 

(Dear, dear, dear Kathleen! Thank you.)

I grin each time I look at this. Aussies are so much like Texans! Uniformity does not conformists make. Individuality is the backbone of humanity. Okay, I might not be right but I'm pretty darn close. I'd be proud to have such creative neighbors, wouldn't you? I mean, even the birds get mail. (wink, wink)

(See? And, what a sweet-sweet bird. Thank you, dear Angela.) 

(From Davia and Lynda. Elephants having a tea party. Such magic!)

There's always magic and imaginations at play in the mail. Lovely illustrations are special. Tea. Teapots. I want to make a teapot stamp! A teacup and sugar cube stamp. Lynda read my mind! (Yes, I'm still carving and stamping.)  The cute little white and blue pot is made of foam. Davia made it! She's as sweet as a sugar cube. Thank you, Davia. Thank you, Lynda. Oh! I forgot to give credit where credit is due. Time to backtrack. (Backtracking done.) Yes, the back is dressed up, too. "A Tale of Two Teas!" Clever, Lynda! Cookies too! Thanks!

And, there's this. What a peaceful way to end the day. Thank you again, good Angela. If wishes were bicycles . . . 

The End.

Well, not quite! The scanner works again. 

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

One Good Letter Deserves Another

"The proof is in the pudding. What's done in the dark soon comes to light. Show me the money! Every day I be hustling' hustlin! Ya' got me workin' workin day and night!" You know where this is going. Right? Make it rain!" Huh? Well, I made it rain! "I been makin paper," too. I am on a roll. I am having fun. I've almost caught up to my runaway mail backlog. I am canceling letter debt from last year! 

I actually used a handful of The Women of Waterhouse Art Cards I bought last year. They make the sweetest postcards. Here's a favorite, "The Magic Circle." She looks a little masculine above the neck but I'm convinced she worked some powerful magic in her day. In fact, I am so convinced that I've created a magic circle of my own. It's the "one good letter deserves another" circle that remains unbroken because we write. One good letter deserves another. So, write on, right? 

Then there's my special little reward. There is always a reward, and I deserve a this one, don't I? I mean, I write until my poor fingers blister. Bandages are made for intense letter writers like moi and yoi! I might not be a Thor fan, the movie was embarrassing, but I liked the first two Iron Man movies. Cannot bring myself to watch the third. It's just that bad. Okay. I like a man in uniform. 

Note: It took three of these little men to cover my last cut! Nexcare should make these in adult sizes, right? All right then. 

Here's a poser: Mail cast upon the waters comes back _______________________. (fill in the blank)

Hint: Bread cast upon the waters comes back toast.
Hint 2: Buttered bread cast upon the waters comes back fattening toast!

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Another Saturday Evening Post

Remember ESOPUS 16 Spring 2011? I think this is one of my most favorite images out of all the fantastic images therein. I never put my copy away. I came across it the other day in the middle of a marathon cleaning session, stacked with other "keepers." Where's yours? When's the last time someone asked, "Ma'am, did you pack your own bag?" If a questioner of limners asked me that today. Okay. I'd have to be checking my bag first, but let's pretend, okay? 

If the questioner, whose job it is to ask foolish questions were to ask, Ma'am, did you pack your own bag?" "You know I did." Is what I'd reply. Then I'd open my suitcase and insist on showing my mail. The End. Because some of us know that the only time my mail is this orderly is when it's being archived. Right? Once upon a time this sweet little suitcase kept my letter-writing paraphernalia at the ready. It never ever complained. But I did. I complained that,  Everything has Paris or the Eiffel Tower on it! I'm not even French! This is America!" And, "Art imitates life? Ha!" So what if the French had suitcases first? And maybe they had a postal system before Americans were even a glimmer in their forefathers' eyes. This is still America. So I tucked the case under my long gray bench and forgot it until I'd tripped over a corner that reached out to grab me, or I'd banged an ankle as I tried to walk past and watch Manu Genobli or Tony Parker score at the same time. Today is D Day. Destination Day. A day when art imitates art. And here we have it. Mama's repurposed an offensive new old bag! 

Here we have seven letters waiting! For what, you might wonder? Why, they are waiting for the mail bag, of course! I've developed a habit of waiting for a stack to rise like my mama's biscuits used to rise in a warm spot, under a tea towel, before I trek to the post office. Am behind as usual but I am on a roll. It's too hot to do much of anything outside after 10 AM. So cleaning, doing laundry and playing with paper trumps heatstroke any day.

Write on!

Friday, June 6, 2014

Larking About!

I have a young character who looks a lot like this one. I'll share her some day. She has a glowing future. This sweet face graces a magazine I court often but only recently took out.

Do you ever buy a magazine and save the best pages for envelopes? Do you ever cave and cannot bring yourself to use them? This page makes me cave. But some day . . . Soon, I hope.

Take a close look and tell me how magical all this is. I want to use it for a special envelope, but you know that I cannot. One close-up and you want to pore over it until your eyes dry out. You blink, then you look some more. 

There's this bit of magic! Sorry for the glare. 

Oh, the fantasy, the fantasy! The fantasy is often captured on the pages of Juxtapose Magazine. And it spills out-and-up a

juxtapose |ˈjəkstəˌpōzˌjəkstəˈpōz|verb [ with obj. ]place or deal with close together for contrasting effect: black-and-white photos of slums were starkly juxtaposed withcolor images.ORIGIN mid 19th cent.: from French juxtaposer, from Latin juxta next +French poser to place.

I've been five days absent, because I have been on a lark. 

lark 2 |lärkinformalnounsomething done for fun, esp. something mischievous or daring; an amusing adventure or escapade: I only went along for a lark.• usu. with modifier ] chiefly Brit.used to suggest that an activity is foolish or a waste of time: he's serious about this music lark.
I've written two tens worth of letters, notes, notecards, postcards and such, and I'm still behind. Larking about gives me many topics to write about. Carving cork is addictive. My thumb is well but the cork monkey wants to ride my back through Hell and out. Oh, the fun one has with an addiction! The backyard is a den for clover seekers. I pluck bunches from the soil, plop them in little jars, glasses and vases filled with water. I've pressed them and undressed them. I've stamped them all over paper! In progressive shades of green that preen and dance like they're real. Until you look closely. Oh, that darn cork! 

I do get a heady charge from the vapors attached to purple-bottomed plugs! Why doesn't the fermented juice of the grape taste as sweet? Intoxicated, I draw and cut and ink and stamp-stamp-stamp. You'd think I'd be tired by now, but no, it isn't so. 

No more stab-slice-and-bleed for me. I'm as cautious as the turtle I saw crossing Barker Cypress this afternoon. Cars braked, people prayed, and on my way home--no blood. I ordered a thumb and finger guard though. I bought new blades during a visit to my favorite art supply store. I restocked the pantry, freezer and fridge. I bribed JC with barbecue. I needed creative time and who wants to cook every single day when cork wants to play with Limner? Okay, I larked because no one wanted to eat what I cooked with an oozing, bloody thumb. 

Cat lovers beware! I have an anecdote for you about the book I bought for Erin and Chloe. See? There's always something to write about if you go out and let letters happen. The cat on the cover looks nothing like Chloe but almost exactly like Minuet. Have you read this? Dog lovers outnumber cat lovers but cats are smarter.

I've had fun galore in my gardens, larking about with vegetables. Someone is bound to be bored to tears with letters about my green thumbs. Not the one I sliced! Alex came over just before the sun set, and we harvested cukes old enough to be eaten. He insisted that I keep this one just for me. Oh, the letters that grow on a vine!

This is FLOW's "RADIANT SUNNY YELLOW." It's a mellow yellow that makes you wonder how sunny the sun is over there. I am quite taken with the name though. And FLOW does have a lovely way with words! No, there hasn't been a new issue in over two months. 

I think I saved the best for last. The Zoo Mail. Zoo Mail? It's a game for children. Have you played? It's a retro game. Someone thinks children who write letters are retro! Aha! Recognize my bag? Name it, just for giggles, and win one! 

(Limner returns to larking.)
P.S. I will never carve another potato. It's a major waste of time.