Monday, April 24, 2017

Nearing the End of National Letter Writing Month and...

I'm barely keeping up.  Just barely.  If I'd had all the postcards and envelopes made before hand, it wouldn't have been as difficult.  


Sending a pc a week to each of the 3 grands
takes care a third of challenge.  :)
So 3 more to the grands--Mila, Max, and Bryce Eleanor
The answers are on the back,
but I'm sure Max already knows these riddles.

I made these last year when I was busy making a bunch of fabric postcards.  
I put them in a box with a bunch of scraps 
I intended to use to make some more...but went on 
to another project and forgot. 
Great timing, I needed something to put in the mail,
 but didn't have anything ready to go.  
So I addressed them and took them to the P.O. 
to have them hand-canceled.  
Two went overseas, so they will take 2-3 weeks to arrive.

The expression on the cat's face says it all!

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Day Trip and Mail Art

We took a day trip to Blue Moon Gardens and Edom, TX.
Located fifteen miles west of Tyler, Edom is a tiny, tiny town,
but full of exuberance and art!

How tiny is Edom, TX?
370 souls in 2016

The small pics are the one I took,
but I cadged two pics from Arbor Castle

About 6 miles out of Edom,
 you can find Blue Moon Gardens,
a delightful nursery that has plants 
I can't always find locally.

Here is what I went for--
a pygmy Japanese maple.
pic is from Blue Moon Gardens FB page
Incoming Mail
Sometimes the back of an envelope
is just as interesting as the front!

Another cool back!


Sunday, April 16, 2017

small talk and mail art

Sometimes we disregard the importance of small talk, look down on it as trivial.  But is it?  I just read a post by Felice Cohen, who gives a great example of small talk lightening the mood.  People who are good at small talk are a blessing for introverts (like me) who often stand rigid and uncomfortable in a crowded room.  A really good small-talker can take the tension out of a situation, leading the way to the discovery of common interests.  It doesn't have to earth-shaking to make a conversation fun and interesting.

Letters are mostly small talk; written conversations that don't go into depth about philosophical, controversial, or specialized topics.  They can cover everything from daily chores, to books you've read or films you've seen, to funny incidents in the line at the grocery store, to what's happening in the garden (the tomatoes are ripe or the milkweed is blooming, look out for Monarchs!).  

If nothing else, there is always the weather, which is always good or bad, expected or unexpected.

Conversations don't have to be profound and neither do letters. Letters don't need to be essays about art, culture, customs, science, or politics, etc.  That doesn't mean that important or intriguing topics don't come up in one way or another; they may be touched on without being dissected.  

Sometimes a comment in a letter will create a great deal of "post-thought" for me, and I love it when someone writes something that makes me curious, makes me think, causes me to consider a different perspective, gives me a subject to research and ponder.

Postcards are the epitome of small talk.  Small talk made even smaller, more concise, a few lines only--crisp little "thinking of you" messages.  

Outgoing Postcards

and letters

Happy Easter!
Hope you gather some gorgeous
eggs in your baskets!

Thursday, April 13, 2017


The mailboxes in our neighborhood are uniform in appearance and placement.  They are dull until you open them, and hopefully, find a personal letter or mailart postcard inside. 

 There are, however, some unique, artful, 
tacky, and unusual mailboxes 
around the world that 
draw attention and smiles regardless of the contents.  


I Need This One!
Advertisements separated from real mail.


My favorite is this tiny Valentine of a maibox:

Sunday, April 09, 2017

Mail Art and Other Stuff

I've been watching a little K Drama, 
and playing with various threads.
This one is 2 x 2 inches
and kept my hands occupied while watching 
episodes of Hwrang.

Gardening has also been a daytime activity this week.  Weeding, planting.
Getting dirt under the fingernails despite wearing gloves.
Temperatures have varied--a lot.
April 1 was 86 degrees, April 2 was 69 degrees.

Outgoing Mail for National Letter Writing Month
April 1-9:

and six postcards

Incoming from Melody in Singapore
I'd love to visit some day.  :)

Thursday, April 06, 2017

National Poetry Month

Last year, I combined National Letter Writing Month with National Poetry Month.  It started out a bit accidentally when I found a copy of a poem I wanted to share with a friend, but it was great timing, because I could include little excerpts or entire poems, in letters or on postcards, that I wanted to share with other friends and with my grands.

My first items in the mail so far this April have not included poetry, but I've been dragging out some of my anthologies and looking through them for possibilities.

I have several books of children's poems as well, and this morning, I got stuck reading some of them.  You know how sometimes you are looking for one particular poem, but ended up reading one after another.  It can happen with recipe books, too!

Reading some favorite children's poems  reminded me of Natalie Merchant's CD Leave Your Sleep.  Merchant collected the poems she shared with her young daughter and put them to music.  It is a beautiful album, full of delightful poems and melodies from famous and not so famous poets.  

The King of China's Daughter
The King of China’s daughter,
She never would love me
Though I hung my cap and bells upon
Her nutmeg tree.

For oranges and lemons,
The stars in bright blue air,
(I stole them long ago, my dear)
Were dangling there.

The Moon did give me silver pence,
The sun did give me gold,
And both together softly blew
And made my porridge cold;

But the King of China’s daughter
Pretended not to see
When I hung my cap and bells upon
Her nutmeg tree.

The King of China’s daughter
So beautiful to see
With her face like yellow water, left
Her nutmeg tree.

Her little rope for skipping
She kissed and gave to me –
Made of painted notes of singing-birds
Among the fields of tea

I skipped across the nutmeg grove, –
I skipped across the sea;
But neither sun nor moon, my dear,
Has yet caught me.

-Edith Sitwell.

Another favorite is Bleezer's Ice-Cream by Jack Prelutsky.  Merchant put it to music as well, and back in 2010, I made a papier mache eccentric figure inspired by Prelutsky's poem.

It starts out:

I am Ebenezer Bleezer, I run BLEEZER’S ICE-CREAM STORE, there are flavors in my freezer you have never seen before, twenty-eight divine creations too delicious to resist, why not do yourself a favor, try the flavors on my list:
 I just included the 28 flavors on the list
Yep, it should be Prelutsky with a t

Don't get me wrong, I'm still excessively fond of John Donne and T.S. Eliot, and I have no problem switching from serious to playful, from scholarly to absurd, from William Butler Yeats to Shel Silverstein.  The difference is that Jack Prelutsky and Shel Silverstein make me smile in almost every case.  

Who are some of your favorite poets?  

Tuesday, April 04, 2017

There Is Always an Alternate Path

Does your blogging impulse wax and wane?  I have periods when my desire to post is almost non-existent and other times when I feel like Chatty Cathy.  This is one of those feeling chatty periods.  

  I wanted to share this Ted Talk because I found it interesting that Daniel Quercia and his collaborators created an app for "happy maps" of London "that take into account not only the route you want to take, but how you want to feel along the way."  Check it out it is  only a little over 7 minutes long.  Instead of showing only the shortest and most efficient route, his group plotted alternate paths:  a happy path, a beautiful path, and a quiet path.  

Here is an article about the work Quercia and others are doing:  Happy Maps.  There are actually several interesting articles about Quercia's work, but this one caught my attention because of the first paragraph:
"When I was a kid, I loved to draw (fake) maps. I spent hours making up own country, usually going by the name of Jasperland. I’d draw cities, rivers, mountains, and desserts. I imagined coastlines and fields of far-away places. And beyond that, I could spend hours going through the atlas or starting at the map of Europe on my wall." (source)
I did this, too!  I designed maps and houses when I was a kid, content for long lengths of time as I worked on them.  My homes (about as far as you could get from reality) all contained a huge library with dark paneling and a fireplace and a dance studio with mirrors and bars because I was going to be either an archaeologist or a dancer.  

My maps were usually concerned with some kind of adventure from a fiction book I'd read or from a nonfiction book about ancient Rome or an Egyptian archaeological find.  (When I was in the fourth grade, my father put his foot down, I couldn't check out any more Nancy Drew if I didn't bring home something nonfiction.)  Thank you, Dad!

And I still love maps both real and fictional--and adore finding them in books.  Hogwarts, Narnia, Middle Earth, the Hundred Acre Wood.  Deborah Crombie's police procedurals always include maps in the frontispiece that keep me entranced.  

Did you do this?  Create maps made up of your own unique details and preferences?  What were your imaginary creations?  And do you sometimes choose to travel a route because it is more beautiful or interesting, rather than faster? 

Friday, March 31, 2017

Last of the March Mail


 Love the St. Patrick's Day postmark!

Outgoing postcards

Outgoing letters
 Another deli paper envelope that evidently had trouble in the mail.

I had fun finding flowers to copy onto this envelope.

I saved these from Radonica's blog a while back.
You can also find them in her Etsy shop.
LOVE them!

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Mail, Reading, and Dragons!

April is National Letter Writing Month
I love Maggie Rudy's mice and her blog MousesHouses.  Since I was a child, I've been fascinated with books and stories with tiny animals and their anthropomorphic lives, and I have never outgrown the charm and enchantment of seeing these miniature worlds.  Of course, there is the iconic British mailbox to give this scene even more flavor!

 Odille Bailloeul's mice receive mail.  

I have a problem with time. Or scheduling.  Or both.  My good intentions of being prepared for National Letter Writing Month are up in smoke, once again.  :)  I already have addresses for several of you, so at some point in April, you will get a little something in the mail!

If I don't have your address, and you would like a postcard in your mailbox during April, leave a comment, and I will email you to get your address.  :)  

A recent letter from Connie gave me a surge of enthusiasm for trying to post a letter a day in April.  Except for Sunday.  Thank goodness for Sundays.  You might check out the Write_On Challenge, but the important thing is to send a surprise missive to make someone's mailbox happy, not to pressure yourself with a particular number. 

The letter I sent to Melody at the first of March came back to me in sad shape.  I'm really glad the return address was intact.  I stuck an address label and an additional stamp on the plastic bag the P.O. used to return it, and sent it on its way again--with fingers crossed!  

Books and Reading
Nonfiction.  I finished Margo Lee Shetterly's Hidden Figures.  I loved the film, and I loved the book which was, of course, more accurate and more detailed. Would I have discovered the book without having seen the film? Would I have been interested?  I'm not sure, but I am certainly glad I had the opportunity to experience both.  You know how much I loved the movie from the previous post, but the book tackles so much more!

Fiction.  Have you ever read a trilogy or a series and then been heartbroken that it eventually came to an end?  I've been reading Robin Hobb for over 20 years.  Hobb writes some of the best epic fantasy around, and she just completed the last trilogy concerning Fitz and the Fool.  I read it in February but it won't be released until May, so I've held off on the review on my book blog and have it scheduled for April 5. 

It is really difficult to let go of these characters and this world that I've inhabited through so many books.  The first trilogy is the Farseer Trilogy: Assassin's ApprenticeRoyal Assassin, and Assassin's Quest that introduces Fitzchivalry and the Fool.  And "there be dragons" aplenty in most of these books.  :)

More on Dragons  
I love dragons in myth, and in fantasy, and in Bozena Wojtaszek's quilts!  Check out Textile Cuisine for more of Bozena's enchanting dragons.  Fairy tales come to life!