Monthly Archives: June 2009

The coffin of a document…

…the scabbard of a bill; the husk of a remittance; the bed-gown of a love letter. – Ambrose Bierce

My April envelope, yes that’s right – April, is almost complete. You could say I’m a bit behind, but I’m not giving up. Those waiting will get their envelopes – eventually.


I decided to share a scan of how it’s shaping up before the address gets added. I cut some Arches paper using my own envelope template this time. This is just the front before it’s all folded, sealed and ready to go.

The theme? The famous quote, “April showers bring May flowers.” Hmmmm, perhaps I’ll make May’s envelope with a floral theme then. So what do you think of the envelope so far?

Oh! And happy move day to the MG family, M1,M2,M3,M4,M5. I had my nephews, M3 & M4, stay with me last night and we had a blast playing Wii and building a fort. I will miss you guys, but you’re only three hours away, so not too bad.


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Filed under envelopes, watercolor art/paintings

Gone Too Soon

I’m sure you’ve already heard the news about the sad passing of Farrah Fawcett. You most likely also know she died from anal cancer. Did you have the opportunity to watch her special, Farrah’s Story? If not, Tivo it so you can watch it again the next time it’s on.


M1, does this photo look familiar?

The special is like a documentary. Farrah wanted her fight to be filmed and seen by others. It’s very important for everyone to see. In some ways I wish I had done the same with my father when he battled melanoma cancer and lost his fight a little over a year ago. I kept wanting the world to see what it’s like. Sometimes I feel like cancer, especially certain types of cancer, doesn’t feel real to others unless you are going through it or watching a loved one fight the battle right there in front of you. When you do, you definitely see how precious life can be and how cancer can totally turn your world upside down. After my father passed, can you believe I had a friend who had the audacity to tell me they were going tanning in a tanning bed because they were feeling a little depressed?!!!! What the h-e-double hockey sticks?!!!! Without stating the obvious cancer risk, you can NOT get vitamin D or serotonin from a tanning bed, despite what some tanning salons advertise. Needless to say, she got an earful from me.


Anyway, my point is, when you see Farrah’s special, which she and her close friends filmed, you’ll see a lot of what it’s like. Even times when she was sick and vomiting, Alana Stewart, her friend, felt she should stop recording out of repect, but Farrah insisted she continue to record because that’s a part of cancer and the side effects.

I sit here and wonder what her last couple days were like. Were they like Dad’s? Was she awake? Was she able to speak? Eat or drink even a tiny bit? Was she with the people she loved when she passed? I hope so.

I remember playing “Charlie’s Angels” with my cousin, T, when I was little. I only wanted to play it if I could be Jill Munroe, Farrah’s character. As much as I loved watching that show when I was little, her special about her cancer will be something I’ll never forget. I’m so, so, so glad she made “Farrah’s Story” and was comfortable enough to put it out there for everyone to see to give anal cancer, various other types of cancer and cancer research the attention it truly needs.

In other sad news,


the King of Pop passed away today too. No matter how you feel about him regarding his personal life, he was and will always be a musical great.


Back when I was in high school, during his “Thriller” tour, I was supposed to go see him in concert with my friend, AF. It would have been my very first concert, but he got sick with the flu and never rescheduled. I’m sure it would have been unforgettable.

Two stars “Gone Too Soon“. In the words of Shakespeare, “May flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.”

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Filed under cancer, news

Photog Session

Yesterday after I finished some work I asked my very cool guy to take some pictures of my envelopes.


I told him, “Have fun with it, Babe.” And I think they turned out great! He used my new chandelier (minus the crystals and candles) that I just painted to go above my bathroom tub. Do you see my gnome hanging in the greengage plum tree? I love my gnomes. (No, I’m not some odd gnome collector! I just have two. One for the back and one for the front yard.)


I love the texture on the paper that calligraphy sometimes gives. No matter if I use sumi ink or a gouache mix, they both leave a nice feel on all sorts of different kinds of paper once dry, of course.


I often see color combonations like this, purple, yellow, orange with some pink too. The colors look really great for wedding flowers.


Talk about air mail! This was a really cool shot taken in my backyard.


Here is that same envelope close up. Work done with pointed pen again in a red gouache on a white envelope. I’m not sure if this letterhand has a given name. It sort of reminds me of uncials with the roundness of the letters.


For now I’ll try and think of a fun name for it.


This is a nice photo in the greengage tree. But the next one, the next one I really love!


I love it not just because I love these colors of the envelope and ink together, but I love it because that’s my rhubarb! You should see it!! It’s going crazy this year!!! Maybe this weekend I’ll make something for us with the rhubarb. Mmmmm….

So if you need or would like someone to address envelopes for you for an important event, whether it be a wedding, new baby, a birthday party, moving announcements, holiday cards, just let me know. On top of designing invitations and announcements I offer that too. Soon you’ll see my Etsy shop open just for that.

Have a nice weekend everyone!


Filed under calligraphy, envelopes, gardening, weddings

Envelopes of Blue & Green

I’m working on an envelope project and had to find the right shade of kelly green for the ink. I mixed some gouaches together, added distilled water and then added some gum arabic. I think it turned out really nice on the light blue paper. Actually, it’s the shade bluebell from Paper Source.


Above is the scanned image. It really looks nothing like the true colors! I think I need some serious color correction. So while I wait on my photographer for proper photographs, here are what the colors really look like.


Total difference! Right?! Then again, who knows what it looks like on your monitor because colors can vary from one monitor to the next. I really think I should invest in a color corrector thingymabob. Does anyone use one? Do you recommend any?

Anyway, this style of letterhand is still copperplate, but a more relaxed or less formal version. I’m not sure what to call it. “Relaxed Copperplate” sounds a bit dull. What do you think? Do you have any suggestions? Just send me a comment if you do.

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Filed under calligraphy, envelopes

I’m Going Home

Here is just a very small part of a project I’m working on. I’m hoping this week it will be complete, done, over, out the door, finale and never to be concerned with again. I'mGoingHomeResizedThe final project will likely not appear here, but we’ll see how it goes. It’s really a favor to someone and the rest of the project just isn’t my forte, but this part was fun to do.

Pointed Gothic is the letterhand. I used my Brause 3mm nib. Ever since LOJ, I’ve been using a Brause nib instead of a Speedball when it comes to edged pen work and so far I like it.

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Filed under calligraphy, family

Envelope of Color

I’m very behind on my monthly envelopes. I just finished another last week.


I really debated even sharing this one. Frankly, after blurring and deleting certain identifying details there’s not much of it to appreciate. Nonetheless, here it is anyway.

I found this Ronde letterhand in my files and I think it’s Parisian. If someone out there knows for sure, please feel free to let me know.

I’m thinking umberella’s for the next one because rain sure sounds good right now. The Seattle area has been pretty hot. Yesterday it go up to 93 degrees in my area. Ugh!

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Filed under calligraphy, envelopes

The Artist In The Family

Have I ever mentioned that I have a cousin who’s a fantastically talented artist? Well everyone, meet my cousin Chris Manwaring.

160{image from Mountain Trails Galleries}

Actually, this is Chris’s son, but this painting is a dead ringer for Chris when he was a little boy. I swear, all three of his boys look so much like him.


For a while Chris and the rest of the family lived in the Seattle area, but now he calls Utah home. This really isn’t the best photograph, but this is one of his paintings hanging in the living room of his mom & dad’s home, my aunt & uncle. It’s an area in Utah, perhaps around Vernal, which sadly doesn’t look like that anymore.

158{image from Mountain Trails Galleries}

This painting is of Lake Odessa. I think that’s in Michigan, which is where he served a mission for the LDS church.

manwaring{image from Cache Valley Artists}

I had the chance to visit Chris, his wife and kids while I was on my recent trip and he has the cutest family. As I walked into the living room of his home, off to my right was an empty wooden frame painted gold that stood almost from floor to ceiling! It was almost as wide as the wall it rested against too! A frame made for a museum piece I swear…and that’s where his work will one day be, I’m sure of it.

11si20051149l{image from IMCM}

I thought it had been about 15 years since I’d seen him last, but after thinking more about it, it’s actually been much longer! When Chris was little I remember he loved The Incredible Hulk. I wish I had pictures of the sketches he’d drawn of Hulk.

400px-Incredible-hulk-20060221015639117{image created by Bryan Hitch from here}

I can’t say for sure how old he was, but he was very young. He’d sketch Hulk over and over focusing detail on Hulk’s muscles and the contours of his body, shading all the right areas. It almost feels like that’s where it all began.

162{image from Mountain Trails Galleries}

The above painting is one of my favorites I’ve seen of his. Isn’t it gorgeous? Hey Chris! How much is this one? Probably way out of my budget. I just want to take a blanket, lay it out on the grass and lay down looking up into the trees for a while. It simply reminds me of the grove of aspen trees that were outside my bathroom window before they were chopped down, long story. But they seeded themselves and I planted a couple more and soon there will be no need to paint any color on the walls in my bathroom. When the aspens are tall and full of leaves it will fill the room in green just like before.

164{image from Mountain Trails Galleries}

No, that’s not my Kosmo! But it sure does look like him. His legs are more red coloring like the rest of his fur and his tail curls right up like a husky dog. Other than that, it looks like my Kosmo. He even likes to stand like that on our backyard deck surveying the neighborhood.

761{image from Mountain Trails Galleries}

I’m certainly no professional artist, but from our childhood years you could tell he loved to draw and he just kept developing his talent more and more.

2008-in_october{image from here}

Chris was lucky enough to study under Valoy Eaton. Here’s a painting of Mr. Eaton’s above.

157{image from Mountain Trails Galleries}

The above painting by Chris is of Jenny Lake in Wyoming. He mentioned he loves going to Wyoming to paint, but this totally looks like an area in Western Washington. So Chris, you need to come back home to paint some time with your wife and kids.

760{image from Mountain Trails Galleries}

To read more of Chris’ bio click here. To purchase artwork created by Chris visit the Mountain Trails Gallery in Park City, UT. To commission Chris for work feel free to contact me and I’ll put you in touch with him.

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Filed under family, watercolor art/paintings