Saturday, January 5, 2019

Mountain Musings...And Letter Writing

What is your source of inspiration?

These pictures are from a vacation a year and a half ago. I had been meaning to write a blog post using them but never did.  But looking at these pictures (in my draft file) got me thinking about a subject that writers often talk about.  What is the source of your writing inspiration?  If you are a letter writer, you are a writer. And letter writers, like book,or magazine writers, get into slumps.  What do you do?  Well, whenever there is a vacation planned, I take the opportunity to use that time to "recharge" .  I try to  reflect a bit and see what is new in my life or maybe what I have learned.  Even a change of scene is invigorating! Maybe that will get you thinking in a new direction!  Maybe it will slow you down enough to actually spend some quality time  to write letters!  Look at that view we had EVERY DAY!  This was just a breath-taking view and plain awe-inspiring.  If you are curious, this was in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.    It was a family vacation, and the house was HUGE!  It slept something like 40 people, but we "only" had 27 of us, I believe.  That included I think 11 or so grand kids, so just imagine Legos and all sorts of kid toys scattered everywhere on this carpet.  Ha, ha, I swept them away temporarily for the purpose of this photo.  :-)

This was the summer that was just after  the Pigeon Forge fire...literally 5 months.  Up the treacherously steep and narrow road (which gave me a near panic attack--no kidding!) there were countless slabs of cement where recently stood majestic cabins.   The above photo shows how  the fire had nearly  surrounded this house.  This mountain top was just to the left of our house for the week.  I wanted to shout, "HALOOOO" to our mountain neighbors....

I took along my tea stash and literally just enjoyed sipping my tea and gazing at God's glorious creation. It's nearly impossible to see this site and not think about God and his goodness and mercies.  I also took my mobile writing kit and did pen a few letters.    What about you?  What keeps you focused and writing?

Give Your Brain A Vacation
Go visit a friend
take your tea


Saturday, December 29, 2018

How Does Your Creative Process Work?

My Journey  Exploring the Creative Process

I have decided that I want to work on my (lack of )  watercolor skills!  I thought simple projects would fit the bill....and so the humble postcard it is.   I mainly get my ideas for watercolors from what's around me...or good ol' Pinterest!  Until I learn the techniques...I will need to study other works and then go from there.

These are my favorite from the last bunch that I did.  I did spray them with a water color sealer. Warning:  It takes a few weeks before the odor evaporates,  These were painted on Cotton Arches and credit goes to Pinterest.

I'm trying not to waste my watercolor paper and so I "practice up" first.  My first attempt at the study  is in my  mixed-media sketchbook.  After sketching the picture,  I work on painting it.

I do another run of the same painting in my Traveler's notebook.  

Haha...I make mistakes everywhere!   Seems I don't know how to spell "December"!
But, three attempts is not always a charm!  My post cards of my winter catus...turned out to be quite disappointing.  I totally forgot what perspective I was working on...haha!   I even  tried covering up my mistake with a label!  It's all good...I send them to my twin sister and ya know what?  She doesn't care!!! ;-)

I thought I would share with you some of the books that I find helpful for learning to sketch and watercolor techniques.  This book is definitely a keeper!  You won't waste a cent on this book.  It's also a great primer on plein air painting as well.  I am not in the practice of carrying around a sketchbook, or doing a "sketch-a-day" but I would love to start getting into that habit. What about you?  Do you add watercolor or other medium to your snailmail?  

A Sketch A Day
Will Keep


Wednesday, December 26, 2018

A little Christmas Holiday Cheer!

Christmassy Outgoing Postcards....

Hi EVERYONE!!!!!  Just sharing a little bit of what I just sent out to all of my local yokel friends and family (stateside, not international!)  I normally send postcards out to my international  postcrossing community...but instead I sent locally...why not?  So, in addition to the  "real" Christmas token family picture card...I thought I'd send out some fun stuff!  YAY for me!  :-)

I thought I'd do a flat lay , so you could see the different stamps I used.  Some of them are such cute vintage ones...that I hated saying goodbye to them.   But, I do hope they bring a bit of a smile on the receiver's face! Some of the stamps are not Christmas stamps (like the West Virginia and Alabama. state stamps, and the traffic light!) , but have a prominent red and or green.   

Hoping your Holidays are
Bright and Cheery
Love to you

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Merry Christmas...and look at these cards!

Merry Christmas 2018!!

I recently attended a wonderful card making workshop.  This was open to all ages at my church and we had some that were as young as 3 and 4.  I was stationed at this particular styled card.  The more "advanced" card making was at a different table.  We had so much fun, and the children did an amazing job!  The cards were destined to be delivered to a local nursing home.

We signed each card...

I just adore the work that Rachel (6) did on her Christmas trees...and her older sister Lydia decided she wanted to do a different tree altogether.  So creative!

One thing I wanted to share with you is the dual tip brush pen I found at the Dollar Tree which  I saw  on my last trip.  They had a good supply with various colors but  I only purchased one so I could "test it" and not waste money.  I was hugely surprised!  These are  made from a Japanese company
"Marvy"...and let me tell you...they are MARVELOUS!  They have a nice firm tip and are "juicy" so they allow for different levels of color. The marker tip is very fine and works well too.  When I was at the check out, the cashier was gushing about the pen.  He said he did calligraphy and they were great. I should have run back and swiped all of them, but I didn't.  

Here is a closer look...

Needless to say, I went back and bought several more in various colors of what was left.  Evidently the word got out about this product...I hope they get more in!  Moral of the your Dollar Tree cashier...they know what they are talking about!

Merry, Merry, Merry Christmas
and a Happy New


Sunday, December 23, 2018

Incoming Autumn mail (late post)

My Happy Mail Box!

I am sorry to be so behind on posting incoming mail.  But here are two of my most recent.

This cute little Halloween Letter made it to me rather late because it was sent to my old address.
But, because we live in the most efficient  postal  country in the was delivered to me after a little visit at my former home in the country.   Laura is a Pinterest folllower, and if my stats tell me ANYTHING....there are a lot of you out there! ;-)   Laura is a calligrapher...and her work is beautiful! Thank you so much, Laura, I will be writing you soon!

The beautiful autumn themed envelope was from my dear friend , Elaine!  She is one of my super talented card making whizzes!  I absolutely love to be on the receiving end of one of her beautiful cards.  She has recently started selling her cards locally at a local book shop.  She should do very well!

My Incoming Mail Pile
Is in sorry need of
me to start

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Incoming Snail Mail!!!


Can y'all tell that I am getting ready to go to TEXAS?  That means working on all my TEXAS lingo. And I am ready and rarin' to go!  Hmmmm....that gets me thinking!  I should get some penpals in the general area so I can do a penpal meet up with my Texan snailmail lovin' community! I am able to wrangle out a few letters from kinfolk...,but bless their hearts, its like they get fixin to write...but lose heart.  Anyway...if any of you kind hearted Texan folk want to write me, leave a comment.  Especially if you live in the Dallas, or Sherman area....I'd like that more than you could shake a stick at!
Oh, but back to my blog post.  Above is my recent  postcrossing incoming.  Two are not shown...they got left on a counter somehow.  I love the stamps, and all the nice little notes.   It really does make a sad mailbox happy to get all of these.  So now, it is time for me to go on and get my next batch of addresses. I think I will be doing about 10 or 20 a month.  The above picture gives you a hint of where I live!  This was a  record snowfall that we received here in the "gateway to the south"!  It was great fun getting snowed in...drinking hot chocolate by the gallon, sitting by the fireplace...

And admiring my incoming mail on my nice cleaned up desk.  

Hope you are enjoying this day
where ever you may be
Go and make /send 
some good mail

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Envelope Watercolors...Autumn

The air is cold and crisp.  The trees are losing their leaves faster than I can rake them up, and I find myself drinking hot tea by the gallons... It's time to get out the paints and start dabbling away.  First, I must caution you.  I am a complete amateur, I really don't know what I am doing...but hey!  Watercolor is a friend to all.  I must warn you also, that trying to do any blending on regular paper is next to impossible.  If you try your hand at watercolor (and I completely urge you to do so...) you might find yourself a bit frustrated because if you work on anything but watercolor  paper you will have a big puddle of wavy paper.  So, this is about the best I could do with the paper envelopes I had.  I did find a link to watercolor envelopes, but they were outside of my budget for now.  If anyone wants to go in halvsies let me know!  :-)  

Here is one going out to Sheryl!  The nice thing about pumpkins...they are so naturally irregular that they are very forgiving to budding artists. :) I love the postage on this letter!


 This particular study.... I'm pretty sure that I overworked it a bit.  Ah...there is always next time!

I love this sweet little watercolor birdie with its cauliflower bloom  on it's breast!  haha.  Oh the joys of watercolor!  I think that the postage on the birdie envelope is my favorite!

Here is some of my top pics of  washi tape that I am using right now on outgoing snailmail!

 I do almost all of my work at my desk.  It's not usually so neat and clean, I think I dumped everything onto the floor for this picture  so you wouldn't see how messy I really am.  

Well, I think that wraps up the autumn themed snail mail that I sent out this week.   What are you sending out?

Happy Snail Mailing,


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