Monday, 22 May 2017

A Little Setback

Well my dears, it's been a while, hasn't it?  About two months ago I had a bad fall and a nasty bang on the head which has made life slow down considerably.  I'm still having a little trouble with motion but on the whole I'm feeling a bit more like my old self.  That being said, I have so much to catch up on.  All the progress I made in a month of letters went by the wayside and I completely missed the Write On Challenge I'm afraid, so I will have to begin again answering all the lovely letters I have received.  I hope to get back to blogging soon too, so watch this space.

Monday, 6 March 2017

Via Brown girl Post

I haven't shared incoming for a while so I thought I would show some of the mail goodness I've received. Limner's distinct style is always a welcome sight in my letter box. Her berds and bugs are favourites but I love the new addition of Brown Girl. To me, she epitomises the fun of getting and sending letters. Inside this lovely envelope was a treasure carefully wrapped in a stunning sheet of embossed tissue/velum and secured with a length of butterscotch satin ribbon. The colours are warm and the book just invites you to take a peek inside. The paper has a gorgeous texture to it and inside there are pockets and pages for me to fill. I adore nature themed stationery and this is among my all-time favourites. I have gone back again and again to admire this beautifully crafted book.

Another book from Limner is this intricately folded little keepsake book. I've been examining it for quite some time now, which is probably why I'm so late in showing it here, but oh, it is lovely. I've tried to make one of these, that is how impressed I was with it but so far my attempts have not been as fluid and eye catching to look at as my little snowflake book from Limner. Little pockets inside hold thoughtful things to discover as you page through and you are compelled to just keep turning the pages to see what the next leaves hold.

 I've always loved books of all kinds but a book made just for me has to be the best of all. These are so personal and pretty and even better, they are from a dear friend and I cherish them. My books are on my desk now, I keep them there so that  I can admire and take inspiration from them. Thank you dear Limner.

Thursday, 2 March 2017

Keeping in touch

Things keep blocking my path when I'm on my way to blog, preventing me from posting. So many things to say and never enough time to say them, sigh. I have a list of topics I want to share but must needs, work before pleasure.

That being said, Lettermo has come to an end and I did okay this year. I had a brief period while I was ill that mail did not get written but on the whole, I managed to send out a good deal of post. It's gotten me back in the swing of my daily morning missives and that in turn gets the mind going when I put down my pen and my attention turns back to the daily renovations.

I think while I work: I mentally compose letters, come up with new ideas for crafts and daydream a lot. My mind is always occupied with these thoughts as I toil away. It wanders and things occur to me and as the task I am doing can be monotonous, like sanding or filling in cracks, I drift away mentally and elaborate on those things. Since we live rather rustically while the house gets it's makeover, I often wonder how Jane Austen made time for writing when there were so many more mundane things to do. She and her sister Cassandra had to make their own ink, for example. I don't have to do that, but one of my mind's favourite jaunts is on making different types of ink I've read about. I have made ink from oak gauls or oak apples as some call them. There is also the walnut shell method and even birch bark to be tried. Who knows how many other things are lurking in my garden just begging for a chance to d├ębut on my blog and in my letters? But those are posts for other days, right now they are just errant thoughts while I work.

Today I just wanted to keep in touch, a little postcard if you will, and promise there are posts in the thinking about such subjects. Things I find fascinating and hope you will too, so stay tuned!  

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

A Little Project

One of the things on my to do list this year was to clear off my desk and reorganize it so that it was a better fit. I use my desk to write and to craft and it isn't as big as I'd like so things have to be stored but also be handy. Not an easy task when you are a hoarder like me. I save everything and that causes a mountain to erupt on my desk. In an effort to make my desk more efficient, everything must have a place, and be put in its place so that order is maintained. This is my weak area and I tend to stack things, not only that I have a habit of jotting notes and clipping them to things on my desk. To try to combat notes getting lost or forgotten until it's too late, I thought it was about time I made a small bulletin board to pin my notes to so they stay in view and I can actually remember the things I make notes about.

I bought some gorgeous postal themed fabric a while ago for just this purpose but, it too, got lost in the shuffle. During my massive clear out, and I mean massive...I have taken bags to the charity shops and sent envelopes of things to unsuspecting people on desk is now emerging from the wreckage it had become and I have the perfect place to put my little notice board.

It wasn't difficult at all to make. Here is a short tutorial for you in case you'd like to make one too.  All you need are a few basic things which you probably have around the house: A bit of corrugated cardboard, a large piece of fabric, a few yards of ribbon, a stapler and a few fancy pins.  If you want you can do like I did and use some acrylic dots to add a little something extra.

First, I layered the cardboard.  You want to make it thick enough so that when you push a pin through it the pin won't poke out the other side. I ended up having three layers, just to give you a guide to work with.  I lined the pieces of cardboard up and glued them all together. Once the glue was dry I decided on the size I wanted and cut the cardboard but you might want to cut the cardboard first and then glue it together.  It wasn't too difficult to cut it with my x-acto knife but cutting first makes more sense.  

Next, I cut the fabric.  Make sure you have enough extra so you can wrap it around to the back of the cardboard and have enough space to staple it in place.  I added eight  inches to the length and width so that I had an extra four inches of fabric to work with on each side. I ironed the fabric before I started so that it would lay flat, then I smoothed it over the cardboard so there were no bulges  or folds and then stapled it onto the board. Next I criss-crossed ribbon on the board, pulling it taut and stapling it on the back.  

I finished it off with the pretty pins on the places where the fabric crossed to hold them in place.  You don't havfe to pin the ribbon or glue it anywhere else, this is so you can slide your notes under it. 

 I used upholstery pins to hold my ribbon in place, but you can use thumb tacks or even glue dots or glue to hold it down.  Once the pins were in position, I added a few acrylic dots just to give it a nice finishing touch. 

I think it turned out very nice and now I can just tuck my notes under the ribbons and don't even have to worry about pins. It's just the right size to sit on my desk and leans up against the mountain of containers which house things like brads, buttons, charms and other bits and bobs for embellishing my crafts.


Wednesday, 1 February 2017

It's that Time Again!

February is here already and that means A Month of Letters, or as we veterans say: Lettermo.  It's a fun challenge to get your creative writing juices flowing with goals to aim for and a lot of eager participants to correspond with.  After the holidays, Lettermo helps me get back on course with my letter writing, urging me to write a little every day. I usually have quite a stack of letters right around now that need responses and this year is no different. It's nice to get back into a habit.  The holidays always serve to through me off course and Lettermo is just the tonic to help me get back into the swing of my letter writing.  Why not head over to the Month of Letters home page and sign up for a great month of writing interaction.

Monday, 16 January 2017

Stamp Release
Image from the Royal Mail web site.

One of the things I love most about Great Britain is its history.  The many historic sites scattered throughout this small island are humbling to see and some of the artifacts found are simply stunning, showing that those who came before us had talents to be revered.  

The Ancient Britain stamps, on sale, Tuesday, 17th January are like a visual timeline across the millennia of Great Britain's historic past.  Designed by True North they include: 

Battersea Shield, London, England, c350 - 50 BC 1st Class

Skara Brea Village, Orkney Islands, Scotland c3100-2055 BC  1st Class

Star Carr Headdress, Yorkshire, England c9000 BC £1.05

Maiden Castle Hill Fort, Dorset, England c400 BC £1.05

Avebury Stone Circles, Wiltshire, England c2500 BC  £1.33

Drumbest Horns, County Antrim, Northern Ireland, c800 BC  £1.33

Grimes Graves Flint Mines, Norfolk, England c2500 BC £1.52

Mold Cape, Flintshire, Wales c1900 - 1600 BC £1.52

I've been to the Avebury Stone Circles in Wiltshire a few times and each time is a different experience.  On one occasion a fog rolled in, modern life was obscured and sound muted.  All we could see were the stones looming and for a moment you could almost believe it was a long ago time.  It is truly a place of wonder.  

I am fascinated with history so I will be buying a ton of these stamps when I go into town tomorrow.  I'm sure I'll be using these stamps often.

Wednesday, 11 January 2017


January. The first month of the year and much maligned. I was reading an article the other day but before I got to the actual topic the author was discussing, a tirade about the awfulness of January ensued. Even berating T. S. Eliot for claiming April is the cruellest month, when he felt January was the most heinous. He said it like it was a dirty word...January.

I don't feel that way about the first month. To me, January is quiet, reflective and a time for me to re-centre myself after the tumult of the holidays. It's like the stillness following a snow storm, when you pause just to listen to the silence. It's a time when I get back to my writing and reading; my craft supplies are surveyed and updated and I begin the peaceful process of regaining my flow. January is not hectic, its meandering and allows you to go at your own pace. I can sit down and write in a leisurely way and not feel like I have to fit it in.

Those who know me, are aware I have a lot of difficulty with my hands and writing has become a slow process especially when the weather is cold and damp. So I embrace January's calm which enables me to go at my own speed and enjoy my paper conversations. Letters have always been a big part of my life and as a result of my hand problems I have had to cut down, something that still gives me great sadness. It's like telling a friend you never want to speak to them again, the guilt that goes hand and hand with the process of writing a last letter to someone is boundless.

Today I'm revelling in my January state of mind and writing thank you notes, sending a postcard or two and getting my desk in order. Slow and sure wins the race.

Happy January!