Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Snailmail: Batlady and treats

I've been on holiday. Letters have been sent. Letters have been received. My first Philatelink order has arrived and I am already saving up for my next one. I opted for the 26p and under mixed bag and will go for the 68p and under option next time as I send letters abroad and would have no space left for an address if I used the smaller denominations for those. Also, I love making groovy envelopes and don't want them too buried under postage.

With some of my leftover holiday spends I have purchased my first Sheaffer fountain pen, my first bottle of Quink to use with a refillable calligraphy pen recently given to me as a gift, and a set of Indian Orange J Herbin ink cartridges as I love the colour orange and fancy having a whirl with it as a fountain pen choice.

But on to the snailmail!

Batlady card
Batgirl's predesessor? But in a corset and possibly needing to be rescued more regularly? I love this little illustration. The black gloves, the hat with it's bat ears and nose, the dainty cloak - lovely.

Washi tape

Peacock feathers, ghosts and cats - the ghosts from a US penpal who adores Hallowe'en and is already counting down the days.

A week of relatively plain stamps, with this trio as the highlight.

Writing Paper

The ducks are from a lady who tends to start her letter with one sheet of standard writing paper or a card, and continues on slim shopping pad paper. Am I making sense there? You know the long, thin notepads you get, often with a magnetic strip on the back for fixing to your fridge door? That's what I'm talking about. As someone who likes to adapt paper not intended for letters for that purpose, it's always a pleasure to receive a letter from someone doing the same thing.

Monday, 24 July 2017

Monday Mishmash

Space Cats! Thank you Pinterest!
Can't lie - I fully intend to invest in a cheapie notebook and print a copy of this to go on the cover!

Photography Goal Achieved!
A clear picture of a butterfly - a peacock butterfly in case you wanted to know the name. Maybe you take photographs and have never had problems taking pictures of butterflies. I have so this is an achievement for me.

Indulging the Hormones
Had my yearly ovary scan on Saturday (ah, the joys of BRCA1) and to thank them for being so well behaved I decided to reward them with The Legend of Tarzan. Emily Writes wrote a hilarious review of this film when it came out last year, and I would recommend a read. It definitely enhanced my viewing pleasure 😉

A National Trust property I visited during my recent sojourn to Devon. It was commissioned by and for two ladies in the 1790s who had the wealth to dodge the husband/child bullet of the time and live entirely for their creativity. They went on the Grand Tour, something I don't recall much women doing from my knowledge of history, and they returned to England with lots of art and lots of ideas. The house is literally covered in their creations, the most incredible of which being the shell galleries at the top of the house, made from natural 'ingredients' like shells, feathers, sand and so on. You can't view the shell gallery in person but you can have a virtual tour of the place which is more than enough to recognise the sheer scale of the thing. It must have taken decades.

Thursday, 13 July 2017

Snailmail: Poodles and Frobisher

I've had some luscious snailmail this week. So much that there's no space on this post for my outgoing mail - picture home made cat envelopes and a couple of from standard sets and you have it covered.

I was pleased to get the Faulker stamp as he's one of the authors listed in my Favourite Short Stories post. I've mentioned Philatelink in another post, and it's been my intention for a while to buy one of their mixed bags of stamps. When I received the envelope with the Frobisher and Inigo Jones stamps on it I realised I could wait no longer! Paypal was raided and I now have my first order placed.

Writing Paper:
It was difficult to get a picture of the poodles that wasn't grainy but as you can see the border of this writing paper incorporated two poodles walking/ dancing and showing off their flashy new Marie Antoinette inspired haircuts. Cute.
The one with the bear in the corner came from a UK penpal - I spy with my little eye something that came from Paperchase! I know because I almost bought the same notepad with the intention of using it as writing paper.
Speaking of which, I saw a wide NOTES pad in Poundland the other day and got it for letters because of the two ladies sharing a pot of tea. It's about A5 sized so will make some satisfyingly big letters.

New penpal:
I got a packed first letter from a new penpal which included this postcard and a description of the Museum of Everyday Life in Vermont, which sounds charming.
The letter was finished off with this Edward Gorey cat stamp - a battered but cheerful looking tuxedo cat.
There was also this mini handmade book. I've been umming and ahhing about starting an art journal but it seems like a big time commitment - this book could be perfect for that project as the size of the pages wouldn't daunt me at all!
She has a cat called Smedley who looks like this. Smedley. Genius name. Makes me think of the character Lord Smedley in Blackadder Third thanks to my recent listening.
This I received from a different penpal and LOVED IT - that typewriter!

Monday, 10 July 2017

Monday Mishmash

Letter writing LUST!
La Papierre offers a stationery subscription service sending out letter writing sheets and envelopes. They aren't based in the UK but will ship here, and feedback I have seen on the subscription service is good. I'm not intending to sign up to this anytime soon as I have lots of writing paper and need to save my pennies for other things but it's lovely to know that such a service exists.

Miles Jupp on plotting 
There's an interesting 30 minute programme on BBC Radio 4 which references a book called Plotto that might be of interest to my writing friends. Written by William Cook, it is full of scenarious a budding scribbler can use. It is allegedly the master book of all plots - some of the examples Miles Jupp references in the show are quite random.
Example: A ventriloquist, is captured by savages and threatened with death, makes an animal talk and is consequently given his freedom and loaded with honours.

A podcast about the books you've been meaning to read
If you're a book lover and enjoy listening to irreverent people chat about books, I'd recommend the Overdue podcasts. Andrew Cunningham and Craig Getting discuss a variety of books, one a week, which are books you should have read by now. Or books that lots of other people have read by now. The most amusing listen I've come across on Overdue is The Mummy by Anne Rice. They have also discussed Of Mice and Men, The Da Vinci Code, Fifty Shades of Grey, Outlander, Jane Eyre, The Secret Garden, Kushiel's Dart - they're up to 248 now so you're bound to have read something they have done a podcast on.

Pinterest Cute
A baby crow - IT'S SO FLUFFY!

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Snailmail: Cats and peacocks

An altered postcard for an altered postcard swap. The envelope is one of my favourite homemades and has headed out to an ailurophile in Sweden. 

Very please to send out the Gothic art envelope. I do enjoy posting unusual ones out in the mail. Some of the staff at my local post office don't pay any attention to what I send but some are interested in the envelopes, so it's nice to have something fun to show them.

Stamps - Swedish, American and Irish stamps. If I had to pick favourites, it would be Sweden who got the points. Note the 'Non Machineable Surcharge' comment on the American stamps? Apparently if you post anything in the states which is outside standard envelope sizes you have to pay extra as they need to be sorted by hand and won't fit through the machines.
Other stamps - envelope decoration.
Washi tape - love the cool cats! I've never been a fan of the narrow washi tape you can get - frankly, I don't see the point in it - but these dainty little seahorses used as embellishment on letter paper enable me to see why some people would like the thinner style of tape.
Writing paper. Beaufitul peacocks on one letter - fun sneakers on the other.

Monday, 3 July 2017

Monday Mishmash

Pinterest Crafty
As this post is going to descend in tone considerably by the end, I will begin with something beautiful.

I spent a large amount of my holiday time as a child at the seaside, and gathering up precious items from the beach was a common pastime. Seaglass was fascinating to me. Judging by the amount of seaglass jewellery you can find on Etsy and similar websites nowadays I am not the only one attracted by it. This suggested pin from Pinterest takes this to another level, using seaglass as a canvas. 
Found here on Pinterest
I've tried to track down the source of the original picture without success but if you think something like this would complete your own ornament collection or be a fab gift for someone else, this is currently an active link with similar items for sale. 

More classic BBC Comedy
Carrying on from my recent nostalgic listening of last week . . .
Still entertaining, still witty. The first episode, Dish and Dishonesty, feels especially relevant what with all the political toing and froing of late. Still find it fascinating that Hugh Laurie is now a 'serious' actor in America.

Cinema and Cereal
Last week my brother-in-law sent me a copy of Spider Bunny by Carlton Mellick III to read. When I was doing a reading challenge earlier in the year, I used bizarro fiction for a genre I'd not heard of. That book was another Carlton Mellick III book, and a lot more enjoyable than SB, where the past and present tense mingled paragraph to paragraph, the main character was a vexing doormat of a man, and it didn't feel like a decent proofreader had ever got their hands on the text. Anyway, the one interesting thing I learned from reading SB was that Cinefamily theatres in America do a regular Animation Breakdown event where you can go to the cinema in your pyjamas and watch old school Saturday morning cartoons while stuffing cereal. Simple pleasures.

Linden Trees
There is a part of my local park I am avoiding walking in at the present. Don't understand why? I suggest you look at this Mitchell and Webb sketch for enlightenment.

Saturday, 1 July 2017

Something New: A Timely Project

I found these watch-themed brooches on Pinterest a couple of years ago and loved the idea of them. They were duly pinned to a board . . . and then nothing was done. This was one of the first projects that went into my Something New jar and I'm glad I pulled them out on my recent pick. I don't wear brooches really so it's more the look than the product I'm after.

As the weather is relatively pleasant now, my pocket-wearing days are few and far between so I need a little pouch to carry my MP3 in to and from work. I could just create something quickly out of patterned fabric but it's nice to make an item a bit more special if the opportunity is there. 
A ramble through my stash yielded this Andover fabric. You can't see too much of the panel from the picture above but there are a few different clocks to choose from and I really like the one with Roman numerals. I'm going to use the colour palette suggested by the print, so my final piece will be a tad less colourful than the Hensteeth offerings but that doesn't fuss me.

The current plan is to cut out the watch face I want and embroider it on to another piece of fabric that will then be embellished. I'm considering using some fleece interfacing on the back of the watch face so that it adds to the 3-D effect.
Another example from