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Received this envelope from Audrey K in Tampa, Florida. I thought it colorful and cheering. Here in Northern, Michigan, everyone needs cheer. Yesterday sleeting rain changing to ice… today snow.

Letter insert

Letter insert


Cheery envelope! Beautiful lettering.

Cheery envelope! Beautiful lettering.

“O” was the letter for the March letter exchange.

"O"de to Spring

“O”de to Spring


February's N

February’s N


On a snowy day in January this is what became of M

On a snowy day in January this is what became of M

This year I combined a bit of calligraphy with a doodle colored with pencils to make my ‘Hearts’ cards.
hearts 13

One of the things I enjoy doing is calligraphy, so I joined the Yahoo group ‘Calligraphy Exchange’ and participate in envelope exchanges. This helps keep me in practice. Receiving the envelopes is a treat, also. Between two to five members exchange envelopes they have designed and lettered.

Last year I took part in a year of letters with A, of course, assigned to January. During the year I forgot to get copies of H, I, and L. This exchange continues through 2013 and I have already sent out M and N. Each letter is sent on a 4″ square of paper inserted in a decorated and hand letter envelope. Looking back I can see E and J were both the same Italic style. Oops!

Even my local post office employees are enjoying the exchanges I participate in. Some of the envelopes have been absolutely spectacular.
alphabet12

paper ornaments 12
One of my favorite ways to recycle paper, especially good, acid-free paper, is to use it to create new objects. These Christmas ornaments are made from a combination of drawing paper and other scrap paper using clay form cookie molds. The paper is shredded, placed in a blender with water and whirled until it returns to pulp. The pulp is drained in a strainer and then pressed into the molds. When the paper is dry, they pop out of the mold. Then they are trimmed (or not) and painted. Some in the photo are gilded and then painted. A final coat of urethane is painted on. The ornaments last many years. They are very light and make great tree ornaments — simple and effective recycling.

My large family decided years ago rather than spend tons of money on everyone or draw names, we would do a make it, bake it, or grow it Christmas gift. This is my this year’s effort (and my Santa’s helper, who sanded and primed the gourds, and the cut holes). My sister Jewel grew the gourds. I painted them. They haven’t the final coat of polyurethane on yet, but I thought they turned out pretty good. Hopefully wrens will like them for homes this coming summer. Outdoors I think they should last one or two seasons. By then, Jewel will have grown more gourds (season is too short were I am), they’ll have cured long enough to shed their outer skin and I can then make more birdhouses! Hope everyone liked them as much as I liked painting them.

Birdhouse Gourds

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