Monthly Archives: July 2009

Results Of A Graceful Envelope

Yesterday I received some of the best news!


This arrived in the mail yesterday! I was so stunned! With entries that came from all over the globe, I’m very, very honored to be included. I must admit, for a long time I’ve wondered if my work was really that good compared to so many other calligraphic artists, but this definitely helped me feel more confident in where I’m at with my skill set.

Do you know what’s even cooler? My main calligraphy instructor, the extremely talented Kathy Barker, was selected as one of the 12 winners!!! I’m definitely in very talented company and I can’t wait to see what her envelope looked like. A definite piece of art, I’m sure.

On August 15th you’ll be able to see the artwork on the Washington D.C. Calligraphers Guild web site here. If you’re in the D.C. area in October, stop by the National Association of Letter Carriers Headquarters and the envelopes will be on display there.

Some of the judges of the contest were Sammy Little, whose client list is very impressive, The Supreme Court, the U.S. Capitol and the National Gallery of Art, to name a few.

ml-brown{image from here}

Another judge was the very talented Marta Legeckis. Here is a piece of her beautiful artwork above. Marta works as a freelance calligrapher for The White House and Department of State. Makes me want to move to D.C. just to have the chance to learn from these folks and maybe be lucky enough to address some White House correspondence or invitations.


This is the latest weather forecast for my area. It’s frickin’ hot here in the Puget Sound area folks! Seattle is forecasting 100 degrees tomorrow, which will be setting a record. We may even set an all time high record, and the weather has been recorded in this area since the 1800’s. To those who don’t believe in global warming, come sit in my hot house for the week without A/C and then tell me everything is normal.

The only relief in site is Saturday with temperatures looking to be around 85 degrees. And for the Seattle area, that’s not much relief, but at least it won’t be like it is today for the Urban Craft Uprising. Don’t forget! This weekend, Saturday & Sunday from 11am to 5pm. Hope to see some of you there!

Until then, if you don’t hear from me here it’s due to the heat. Sorry folks it’s much too hot to be sitting with a laptop on! Now it’s time to go sit in a tub of ice water. Ciao for now!



Filed under calligraphy, envelopes

Graduation Gift In An Envelope

Mom’s had a daycare in our home since forever. She’s retired now and focuses on her grandkids, but there are two boys, brothers, that in some ways she’s still tending to or maybe they’re tending to her now. The oldest, Dan, just graduated from high school. The same high school I went to. I can’t believe it! He was the very first baby that fell asleep in my arms. He was such a happy baby too. The perfect first baby for any first time parent to have, if only I can be that lucky some day!


Anyway, his graduation gift is inside this envelope, addressed in Gothic Italic letterhand, with a card I made. It’s not an original design of mine. I know – shock!


But it’s still handmade. All cut and put together by yours truly. I chose an eagle because he also just received his eagle scout honors. I love pop up cards, don’t you? It’s from a local Seattle artist, easycutpopup. I purchased mine on their etsy store. You purchase the card you want and they send you a pdf file for you to open, print, cut and put together. Yes, it’s just that easy.

Congratulations, Dan!


Filed under calligraphy, envelopes

Urban Craft Uprising

If you know me, you know that I love independent artists. There’s a huge movement happening around the globe to support small businesses, especially those selling handmade goods.


I wish I lived closer to Brooklyn so I could always attend this event. This weekend is The Renegade Craft Fair in San Francisco and if I could go anywhere this weekend it would be there.

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I want to go to there (Liz Lemon quote)! However, Seattle has been on this handmade movement for a while now.


Ladies & Gentlemen? I give you the Urban Craft Uprising. The UCU began in 2004 and used to be a winter holiday craft show supporting independent artists, but this year, for the first time, they’ve started a summer event, which will be on August 1st & 2nd. It’s the largest Indie Craft Show in the Pacific Northwest and we need it, because San Francisco is still too far to go for something like this.

Here’s a look at some of the awesome vendors that will be there.


I can’t wait to see the work of A Farmers Daughter up close. She’s got some beautiful pieces that brides would just swoon over.


Just have a look at this bird cage half veil. It’s very reasonably priced. It’s one of those things that make me wish I were a bride every day of the year.


She does boutonnieres too, so definitely worth a look and don’t forget to bring your guy too. There’s plenty for your man to see.


Does your man cycle? Do you? Take a look at Vital Industries. How could you not like this hand screenprint t-shirt? I think my friend K would dig it.


Isn’t this a great hat from Flipside Hats? It looks so Italian to me. What a great alternative to the weekend baseball cap for your guy. Very stylish! And it’s reversible! Awesome (said in a high pitched Will Ferrell voice)!

There’s even soft toys for your kids, nieces or nephews.


How could you resist these adorable mini marshmallows from Scrumptious Delights?!


Or what about this little guy from local Seattle artist Softlife? They’ve got some fun looking creatures.

t_robot_cAnd dude! Do you think I could convince local Seattle artist, LuCoo, to make an adult size t-shirt like this? Kids have the cutest clothes!

Artists coming all the way from NYC to local artists from Seattle, Redmond, Bellingham, Vancouver, CA., etc. and many other artists in between. From jewelry, paintings, clothing for children, men, women…even clothing for the real shape of a woman, hand-spun & hand-dyed yarns, 100% natural skin care products, glass, pottery, soft toys for kids, soap, handmade books…


This necklace from here.

il_fullxfull.66249631This gorgeous pillow from here.

Everything handmade and when I say Indie Crafts, you’ve got to know that it’s going to be unique and one of a kind. There’s gonna be a lot to see and I know it’s going to be loads of fun. You know where I’ll be on August 1st & 2nd and I can hardly wait! Trust me, you do NOT want to miss this.

So mark your calendars. August 1st & 2nd at the Seattle Center Exhibition Hall. Oh! And check out the UCU blog here.

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Filed under book binding/book arts, Fun Stuff, interior design, news, Uncategorized, watercolor art/paintings, weddings

Facebook, Shmacebook, I Hate Facebook!

There, I said it. And it feels darn good. I know it won’t make me popular and I’ll probably be cyberflogged over it, but oh well.

Today there seems to be two different realities. The real world and the virtual one. What is it about virtual reality? Is it a phase? Will we one day look back and say, “Oh that was so 2008”!

In the mean time, we’re in the middle of 2009 and people continue to sign up for these social networking sites. First we have MySpace, which seems to be for those in high school and college. Next we have Facebook. I recently heard on the news that 2/3 of those on Facebook are out of college. 2/3!!!!

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The target market for Facebook was for those ages 15 to 24, but now it’s filled with people that are way too frickin’ old to be on Facebook. Parents and grandparents are hopping on Facebook! They try to become friends with their young adult children and grandchildren and end up being denied. That’s pretty funny. And then there’s Twitter. Every celebrities answer to false reports from paparazzi.

Some of my friends and family ask me often, “Are you on Facebook?”, “You HAVE to get on Facebook!” I don’t need your update that you have to go to the bathroom and I don’t need to know how it went when you’re through. Should we feel obligated to remind you to wash your hands or something? Honestly, do you need to tell everyone that you had pizza for dinner? That your wife is cooking chocolate chip cookies and it smells oh so good? Bob just had the best steak ever. Annie is having brussel sprouts for dinner. Louie is sitting in a boring meeting, pondering the meaning of life. Joe is bored at church. Debbie is tired and going to take a nap. Maggie is done with her shower. Archie’s butt hurts from yoga. Ellen is boarding a flight home to LA. Phil is ready for bed. Oh…my…gosh!!!! Somebody please, please get me an ice-pick to jab into my skull! If your life is an open book on Facebook, please close it!

Here is something I found here which sums up how I feel:

While some of these virtual worlds are a great way to keep in touch with old friends, statistics still show that a huge percentage of people opening accounts on Facebook go inactive after 30 days. Honestly, after you found that old grade school friend, how much are you really “talking” to them? You do your initial catch up and then it’s “so glad to hear from you”. How many meaningful conversations have you had after that? And how is it that your “friends” with the Dalai Lama and 700 other people anyway?! Friends that constantly send you virtual drinks and green chiles and ask you to join their mob. Your what?! If you really wanted to find these old friends, I ask you, wouldn’t you have found them by now? How meaningful is it to tell these people that you’re on hold with the help desk and share a couple pictures of the kids at the county fair? How much have you really caught up with them?

eye-chart{Eye chart for the texting generation.}

Now that the world of spelling and grammar has gone out the window, will the meaning of true friendship too?

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You remember, the true friends that you’ve known for a zillion years, the ones you see all the time, the ones who you actually hang out with outside of cyberspace and have real live actual relationships with, the ones who’ll come over at 2am at the drop of a hat if you need help. Will the younger generation redefine true friendship?

On one site you can even have your very own farm with fruit trees and animals and vegetables. Hmmmm…how ’bout this, get up off your fat butt and grow some real food! Now that’s an idea! You can even play with and take your virtual pet for a walk. Meanwhile, your real dog sits bored on the floor next to you gazing at his toys and leash that haven’t been touched by you since you discovered this new virtual reality.


Someone I know willingly agreed to play the game, “What Swear Word Are You?” on one of these sites. What? As if it’s some sort of Cosmo magazine poll! Knowing the answer would post on her page and knowing her two kids know how to read and often read over her shoulder, she played anyway. So what swear word was she? I’ll give you one guess and one clue, it begins with the letter ‘F’. So now it’s on her page in HUGE font in bright red letters and she “hopes her young kids don’t see it”. Very intelligent, don’t you think?

Although it might be hard to believe based on my above rant, but it has intrigued me a little. I’d love to find some old university friends, but then you also end up finding 3/4 of your 5th grade class! Next thing you know a 5th grade reunion has been planned that you’re all excited about. What’s your reason for going? You wanna reconnect with your first girlfriend, Jennifer Hills? She had the first Atari and an above ground pool. But then, at the reunion you find out your whole life has been a lie. You find out Chris Smith was really the king of recess, Andrew Miller was really the smartest one of the class and everyone thought their first girlfriend was Jennifer Hills.

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Some people use such avenues to meet romantic interests. Okay, now that’s lazy. Before you even meet this person that you’re interested in you already know 25 random things about them, their favorite color and the name of their first pet goldfish, but you don’t even know their last name yet?! That’s a bit backwards.


Off the top of my head I can think of  four benefits of these networking sites, maybe there’s more, but these are the four I can think of right now. First, they really can be a great way of advertising and marketing to drum up business for yourself. Any form of free advertising for a small business owner is fine by me. Second, if you’re planning a family reunion, this would be great to find all the family and have one location to share details for the upcoming event. Third, young people are now using social networking sites so much that they no longer have time to look at adult sites. Seriously!! I heard a study was done saying that surfing for adult sites has dropped 10% in the last year. And finally, we’ve all heard about the recent news regarding the election in Iran and the resulting riots. One way people in Iran could get news and photos out of the country was through Facebook and a little from Twitter too. Bravo to that!

All things, whether good or bad, do come to an end sooner or later. If they don’t evolve into something better they end and fizzle out. All this is just a phase, people.


Man always wins in the end. History proves it. Look at The Terminator, Battle Star Galactica, Terminator 2, The Matrix, and the most recent Terminator Salvation. Well, the only history that matters, that is. 🙂

LWA-hometopperNo seriously, even the ancient art of letter writing is making a come back. I’m a member of the LWA and check out here too if interested.

I guess what I’m trying to say here is that I’m not sure making the world a smaller place is such a good thing. Those addicted to their social networking sites can stick with their virtual friends and I’ll stick with my real ones. For them, they can easily break it off with their virtual friends…but your real friends, you’re stuck with ’em. And that’s the way I like it.


Filed under news