Monday, March 19, 2018

National Letter Writing Month and Fairy Rings

April is National Card and Letter Writing Month 

I like to send and receive personal mail and have participated in several challenges in the past, but now my goal is simply to send as much mail as I feel like--no more, no less.  The "feel like" varies from week to week and month to month.  :)   April may see more mail making its journey, although I won't participate in a challenge.

If you don't usually send personal mail and want to get involved with snail mail in April, 
here are a few things you can do to prepare:

*Create a stash of new stationery, cards, postcards to make things easier.  So much beautiful stationery is available in stores or online, so many funny cards.  You can buy or DIY.  Over the years, I have collected many cards and postcards I couldn't resist.  Sometimes, I couldn't commit to sending them because I liked them so much. 

*Check out pretty stamps and purchase enough to send a few letters or a lot of letters.

*Make a list of who you might write--with their addresses.  Parents, children, siblings, friends.  A niece or nephew or friend's kid.  Someone who has a birthday, graduation, or new baby.  Teacher, co-worker.  Senator, Congressman.  And you can always write me!

*Letters don't have to be long; a note that lets someone know you are thinking about them will be appreciated.  Include a cartoon or a joke, a quote, a funny list if you like.  Suggest a recent movie or book you enjoyed.  Sometimes all I do on a postcard is include a quote or a stamped image on the address side and a "Hi!"

One of my favorite sources of mail art inspiration, Jacki Long, sends "thank you" postcards with a collage on the back to folks who take her classes, which eliminates having to think of anything to say!  I've done this several times with postcards to the grands.  (A picture, a stamped image, or a cartoon or a joke work as well.)

I owe some mail to folks and have been working on some postcards, just to let them know I haven't forgotten them and to have some extras for later.

I like DIY.  I have a kindergarten mentality.  

Here are some postcard backs I played with yesterday.  I cut cardstock to postcard size or use index cards and then tear up junk mail, those catalogs that keep arriving each month before making their way into the trash, and other bits and bobs of pretty paper, maps, etc.  I apply some stamps and leave room for the address.

DIY postcard backs

I'd like to say this is quick and easy.  And it is, if you don't count the time cleaning sticky fingers!  How so much of my glue stick ends up on me is a curious thing.

And look what I found in the garden this morning:  a fairy ring!

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Sunday, March 11, 2018


I do not like DST.  Especially when I lose an hour in the spring.  Just sayin'.
Image result for daylight savings quotes

Have to get on the mat quickly or this happens...

Something cool arrived in the mail from PB!
Thank you, Penny!

Just because I love it...

Thursday, March 08, 2018

This and That

Books and Reading

I really liked Minette Walters' The Last Hours (not due out until August), Joy Ellis' The Guilty Ones, and the strange Imperfect Memories by Jody Wenner, although I haven't reviewed them on my book blog yet.   


Still working on mushrooms when I feel like it.  


Do you have an affinity for crows?  

Snail Mail

The Write-On Campaign is gearing up for National Card and Letter Writing Month in  April.  They are offering a Write-On Individual Kit for $10.  

  • 6 cards (designed by Egg Press and Hello!Lucky) + envelopes
  • 1 Sticker Sheet
  • 1 Challenge Log Sheet
  • 1 Sakura of America Gelly Roll Pen

Incoming Mail
Another lovely view from Singapore!


After a spurt of answering letters last month, I've been a bit lax so far in March and have to spend little time responding to mail.   Need to get busy...

Tuesday, March 06, 2018

More Mushrooms and the Medieval Attitude Toward Cats

More mushrooms in progress.  Which means that I've been watching more Netflix.

I've altered patterns multiple times, experimenting with various sizes and shapes.
Many don't work very well, and some are quite fiddly because they are so mall. Nevertheless, I've enjoyed the process and have several more ideas to try. :)

 I recently finished a novel by Minette Walters called The Last Hours.  Although Walters is best known for her dark, psychological crime novels, The Last Hours is a historical novel set in 1348 during the first onset of the plague.  Like many others, I've always been fascinated by the Black Death, and Walters explores an avenue that intrigues me.  

An interesting side-note:  The plague has devastated the countryside, entire villages dead or fled.  The Dorset countryside is largely bereft of the living when a character investigates an abandoned building that, unaccountably, has no evidence of rats.  He is initially terrified when a strange creature jumps out at him. A demon with strange eyes?  The young man had heard of cats, but never seen one because the Church considered them familiars of witches. 

When I read the section about the Church associating cats with evil, I was surprised.  I'd never heard that before--which is when I did a little research and found plenty of authentication.   The Church at the time preached against cats, which were associated with witches and the devil and were often killed.  In some areas, cats were essentially unknown.  Some authorities believe that the prejudice against cats was one of the reasons the plague was so devastating in certain areas--the rat population had no predators.

Our cats, however, eat and sleep, confident that their needs will be taken care of by their humans.    

Monday, February 26, 2018

"Nature alone is antique, and the oldest art a mushroom" Thomas Carlyle

During last week's rainy days, I needed something to keep my hands busy as I binge watched Netflix.  In December, when I was trying to make round heads for the snowmen, some of the patterns I made did not work--too pointy, too fat, just wrong.  I stuffed two of them, and they didn't work at all--one way too big, the other too squatty.  (They will make satisfactory pumpkins in the fall.)  

One pattern that I pieced, however, I didn't even bother to stuff.  I pulled it out and turned it into something else entirely.

Folding it it inside itself and adding a bit of stuffing made a neat mushroom cap.  Now I was set to get back to Netflix with floss and needle ready!  The neon green floss did not give the bioluminescent look hoped for, so I switched to other colors.  A rectangle made a simple stem, and I now have the first mushroom for my imaginary forest floor.  

Pinterest has so many beautiful fabric mushrooms and so many ideas!  I have some tiny 'shrooms in progress and will probably continue making them and experimenting until I get tired of it.  Real mushrooms are amazingly diverse in appearance, but fabric mushrooms on Pinterest are varied, too.  :)

The sudden appearance of mushrooms after a summer rain 

is one of the more impressive spectacles of the plant world.  --John Tyler Bonner

The sun is out today, but the rains return tomorrow.

Clearly, the light is bothering Edgrrr.

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Rainy Days--Letters, Netflix, Emroidery

It has been a rainy week here in North Louisiana.  We needed some rain, but not day after day.  After day.  I didn't want to get soaked going to the grocery store,  and I had letters to answer and books to read so the first two days weren't a problem.  The next day, some household chores received a bit more energy than normal.  Yesterday, I indulged in some Netflix and embroidery.  

 Monday is predicted to be clear, but then the rains come again on Tuesday.  Aaargh!  

February Incoming Mail

Melody's letter (below) in September went astray, 
but was eventually returned to her.
The address was correct, so don't know why it was returned.
She included the returned letter with a new one.
Bonus:  two letters in one!
Love the stamps from Singapore.  :)
From Connie :)
from Teresa

Outgoing Mail

to Penny B

to Katie S.

How do you spent rainy days? 

Sunday, February 18, 2018

A Few Links

I have drawn a lot of little mushrooms along with my cartoon figures lately.  I looked for mushrooms on Pinterest and found...the most amazing photographs.  Each one more beautiful than the last... 
via Pinterest

I had no idea that mushrooms could be so gorgeous, so mysterious, or of such variety.  All we have around here are the white kind that spring up after a warm rain. I've spent a lot of time going back to  Pinterest pages to marvel at these beauties.  More here.

I know I've mentioned James Preller before, but I love this author for his wonderful responses to fan mail from young readers.   This letter from a young blind fan and  Preller's response makes my all-time favorites list.

Illustrations in children's books are often more fascinating than the stories themselves.  I've found a new favorite illustrator:  Chris Dun.  :)

Hope you've had a great weekend!

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Be My Valentine

I'm not a fan of "romantic" Valentine's, but I love funny ones or personal ones.

Prim Paws loves mockingbirds, 
but they have dive-bombed her frequently.
I gave Prim Paws a hat to protect her head.

 I don't know where I found this quote, but it had no acknowledged author.
Nevertheless, the idea of the "stubborn heart" resonated with me.  :)

  Another quote I really liked.

A birthday postcard to a friend.

My handwriting is lacking, and I really wish 
I could do a better job because beautiful handwriting
can make a card or envelope shine.
I console myself by remembering that it isn't about perfection.

One rule of Mail Art is:
  • No judgments are made about the artwork or its quality.  
  • via: Go Make Something
Since playing with watercolor and pen and ink,
collage, paper and paste,  rubber stamps, 
and drawing and cutting out
the strange little cartoon characters is fun,
I just hope they make the recipient smile.

Are you sending any Valentine's? 

Wednesday, February 07, 2018

Mail Art

February offers two letter writing challenges:

I'm not doing either one this year, but I do seem to be in the snail mail mode.  February is a good month for getting things in the mail because February 14 is Valentine's Day.

Other things to celebrate:
Mardi Gras
Chinese New Year

There are some really strange days available to whet the curiosity:
Stuffed Mushroom Day
Wave All Five Fingers at Your Neighbor Day
Toothache Day
National Lost Penny Day
Do a Grouch a Favor Day

I will send some mail to celebrate Valentine's Day and may use some of the other ideas for decorating envelopes and postcards as well.  :)  


to Erin

to Iliana (who is participating a letter challenge)
(another Jacki Long inspiration--because they are fun)

 to Bryce Eleanor

  I got in a hurry to put Max & Mila's postcards in the mail yesterday and didn't scan them.   

Monday, February 05, 2018

Baton Rouge Visit

We went to Baton Rouge this weekend to see Erin, and boy, were we surprised to see the lay-out she'd prepared!  All kinds of snacks--prosciutto, goat cheese stuffed croissants, a beautiful lemon bundt cake topped with blackberries, and more!  I was so impressed and thought maybe we'd disrupted a party.   Fee took a few pictures while I was busy moving from thing to another gorging on everything.

Later, we sat outside and visited. 

Eric brought Max and Mila home, then left came back later with Katerina and Emil so we could see him. Emil was so smiley and happy, busy showing off his walking skills and his delight in digging the potting soil out of pots.   Below, he was not happy with having had all the dirt brushed off clothes and shoes.  :)
 Max adores him!

It was a lovely visit in so many ways!