Tuesday, February 21, 2017

A Best Kept Secret Shared


There's bookmaking, and there's book making; both end up at the same depot. And we can have just as much fun getting there no matter the route we choose. This post is a sure fire simple dimple way with no stress or mess. My little bag of naked booklets is shrinking. Translation:  Time to order more!


I ordered several in each color; I'm down to these now. Moleskins calls them note cards. I call them two page letters--four if you write front and back. They become little epistolary books! They're ideal for little letters, mail art, and lovely little cells for drawings or simple cartoons. The covers are fine plain or prettified.  And, no matter how you choose to use them, they offer just enough space for you to communicate! If you have a dedicated pen friend, buy the same size Moleskins with many pages, and write back and forth until it's chock full. The last recipient gets to keep it. Then start again. Just take your time, make it special, do it once a month or for special occasions, and make someone happy. 



Here's a closer view. See how easy it is? 


The envelope is beautiful. It takes ink well, and the paper invites your touch. You'll address it in your prettiest hand, since it deserves nothing less than. 


I made this one for another pen friend. Hmm. How to send it without crushing the little flower is the hard part. And sorry for the imperfect photos! The colors are much prettier. Natural light slips away just as I sit down to prepare a post. You'd think I'd remember to take pictures earlier by now. No matter. 

Hey! But don't take my word about all the fun you'll find in creating your own epistolary booklets as gospel! Buy the petite Moleskine and see for yourself. Perhaps you will remember me, and send one of your lovelies my way? 








Monday, February 20, 2017

Our Postman Always Rings Once


"You've Got Mail!" used to give my heart wings! Good old AOL. They knew how we feel when there's mail for us, 'cos everyone likes mail. No one gives a hot hoorah for dust bunnies in a mail box. Getting a box on President's Day shot my Happy Meter's needle through the stratosphere! Good old Amazon Prime knows how to do it right. And, the postman rang on cue. Once. JC retrieved the package and redelivered the goods. Oh, happy! 




Revlon's current campaign, #LoveIn3Words had me confused. Thinking Amazon was trying to use up their overstock of Valentine's Day boxes, I saw but didn't see the hearts and words. It wasn't until an hour later, when I was ready to evict the box that I paid attention. Then it was time to go to #LoveIn3Words. Well I'll be! Simply write . . . I'm being redundant aren't I? You're quite capable of reading it for yourself. So what I'll do it this: I'll send a lovely gift to a lovely someone in my #LoveIn3Words box; they will do the same in turn, and pass it on. I've bookmarked where I need to return, but here's what I discovered:  Women's Heart Alliance. Enough said.

What another lovely way to write on.

Love your heart!

P.S.  Um, I dropped the ball again, huh? I was right. I'm still a day late and a dollar short. It was their VD campaign. *sigh* But Love never fails!

Sunday, February 19, 2017

To Sir, with Love

It does not matter how many times I watch it, "To Sir, with Love" causes my heart to ache and fill with love for human race, every single time. I'm already weeping before Lulu begins to sing the title. And when I read the news that she'd passed on, I wanted to weep, but didn't. I just teared up a little and then belted out what I recalled of her song. Lulu'd had her moment when the world knew her. We remember her. I'm wet eyed, and then all too soon I see a much younger Hyacinth aka Patricia Routledge, on screen talking with Sir, and I'm laughing.  

I just glanced up yet again, and really had to laugh hard at Sir's dancing. I'd have taken his CP membership card had I been on set to witness that ostrich-stepping he called dancing. We can't all be perfect though, so I'm forgiving-and-listening-and-typing again as Peggs is given a hand-up onto the bandstand and . . . Aw, gee! She's singing to sir again! "If you wanted the moon I would try to make a start." The song is like a love letter. To sir. That's what it is to me:  A love letter, to sir, with the best kind of love. Not the love is blind sort of love, but the eyes wide open sort of love. That's the best kind because it sees and loves everything all the while. That gift is really a box filled with a whole lot of Love. "Love, love is strange. Lot of people take it for a game. Once you get it, you never want to quit."

Movie and television teachers are so very different from the real thing. I cannot imagine being as composed as Sir in the face of such ignorance, not even from students who are always given passes for such . . . Goodness. Now it's "Carmen Jones!" It's Harry Belafonte's turn. And Dorothy Dandridge has to strut her bad girl self across the screen. Oh, my! I Googled Harry's full name in case I misspelled it, which I did, and discovered this quote:  "What does it mean to be an artist? Legendary entertainer and activist, Harry Belafonte, says artists are 'gatekeepers to the truth' and it is this principle that is at the heart of his social justice organization Sankofa." I watched "Seventeen," and it cast me into a dark place filled with pain. And understanding. I learn. I am learning. I have learned. And now I know.


Oh, heck! There's always tomorrow for Sir. Watch this instead:  Notes. Don't be like me though. Don't cry! But do write on. And, Happy Black Heritage Month!


Friday, February 17, 2017

Poison Pen Letters


Last night's letter looks written with a poison pen, which got me thinking about poison pen letters. A little research netted more results than imagined. Agatha Christie wrote at least one story about the power of the poison pen, as did an ocean liner load of writers over the years. Who doesn't like a who-done-it with a pen and paper? Would such letters work with today's technology? Burner phones seem to get the job done without leaving easily solved clues beyond tracking cell tower ping maps. Envelopes would have too many traceable clues, including telltale DNA. Besides, tabloids do the work for the sender, and pays them for the privilege of poisoning the intended target. Are poison pen letters the things of old fashioned mystery plots for the likes of Agatha Christie and Perry Mason? Hmm. 

"A poison pen letter is a letter or note containing unpleasant, abusive or malicious statements or accusations about the recipient or a third party. It is usually sent anonymously. In the term "poison pen," the word poison is used figuratively, rather than literally. Poison pen letters are usually composed and sent to upset the recipient. They differ from blackmail, which is intended to obtain something from the recipient. In contrast, poison pen letters are purely malicious."

In the United Kingdom, Section 1 of the Malicious Communications Act 1988 covers most cases of poison pen letters.[1]  (Wikipedia)


Poison Pen Letter:


adjective

1.
composed or sent maliciously, as a letter, usually anonymously andfor the purpose of damaging another's reputation or happiness:
The newspaper received a poison-pen letter alleging that the mayorwas misusing city funds.

2.
characterized by or given to the sending of poison-pen letters:
a poison-pen campaign; a poison-pen writer.

There's at least one song about the poison pen letter:
Lyrics from a song, "Poison Pen Letter:"

"Poison Pen Letters"

Dying alone would be a privilege 
if all my friends were like you. 
Dying would be a privilege. 
if all my friends were like you.


You can buy a poison pen letter kit from Amazon here: Poison-pen-Letter-Writing-Set. It has "Everything you need to let someone know how you really feel." (About the Author:  Anon, the author, remains anonymous but lives in London and keeps busy writing malicious missives.)



Books about the poison pen letter:

The Moving Finger
Gaudy Night
The Skull Beneath the Skin
The Duchess of Malfi
A Dog's Ransom
The Human Stain 
The Mystery of the Spiteful Letters


Then there's blackmail . . .

. . . to be continued

Thursday, February 16, 2017

A "Flash" Mob, ca. 1910


Today's out-going mail is a single oversized postcard featuring Arthur Bedou, "Photographer in a crowd, ca. 1910," also a co-founder of the People's Life Insurance Company of New Orleans. I dubbed it "Flash" Mob, ca. 1910." All puns intended. Best known for his working documenting the life of Booker T. Washington, he was also an active artist and journalist. 


I've held on to it for awhile, so why didn't I note the photographer's presence? I looked at everything without giving his camera more than a passing glance, never imagining him hiding in plain sight among the crowd, when that's where photographers always hide! Behind the camera! I imagined him in the foreground, taking the photo! Or did he? How could I have viewed that fine camera as a mere prop? Such a handsome crowd is why. And there are at least two Anglos hiding in plain sight--perfectly camouflaged. 

I wish I knew something about each individual. Everyone has a story. Why were they there that day? Did Bedou call out in advance? So many different expressions vie for attention without deliberation. Such style. A veritable palette of skin tones! Such hats! I wonder if it was "National Hat Day." Could the photograph have been taken on a Sunday? How many shots did it take to get the one? A very lovely "flash" mob!

P.S.  2/17/2017  I read this minutes ago. Postcard Redux. I finally freed it.



Correction:  JC mailed two letters today! Bedou's postcard sets out tomorrow. A handful of mail was mine this day. Since I couldn't decide which envelope to open first . . .  Happy mail to you!

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Full Transparency



I remembered the envelope! Sometimes goodness comes together just in the nick of time. And every day is Valentine's Day. Or, what I just said is a good excuse for missing VD while needing to use up some of your VD stuff. 

Address label by Flow. Hearts in a row by Fancy Pants Design. They're actually called "Love Note Tape Stickers." I bought them a long while back. Hmm. This is beginning to feel like a letter a day thing. And two posts a day time! Wow.

Too Many Irons In the Fire?


So this is what happened:  I wrote another letter last night while glue dried on the current book in progress. Nothing was planned; inspiration comes when it will, bumping and shoving for elbow room. Used to be I could write a letter, read three pages between sentences, and stir two pots on the stove while cooking dinner. Now I do creative things like spritzing a little water on a desk top surface because I need to wet an envelope flap while  I'm on the phone with my aunt. Thinking I'm so clever all the while, I flip the envelope over and guess what. Undeterred, I put the lovely little letter in the out-going-mail space on the stair rail for JC last night. Nosy J saw, investigated, and asked if I'd lost a little piece of common sense for thinking what I thought. We'll see. 

A Side Note:  I finally used my Chinese New Year stamps. Hoorah!


Now. While the envelope flap dried, I wrote an "epistolary booklet." Four pages. Both sides. Eight actual pages. The pretty pink tissue paper was leftover from a quick gift wrap in the car. It matches the plaid paper to a T. My one regret is not using a matching ink.


The little button needs cleaning as soon as it's dry but it's the perfect size. Nothing was planned, but you can bet I learned what not to do the next time.


Here's a shot of the back.


The front. Or as it is known in Studio Limner, "Le Pink Piece de Resistance." 


Sorting out dreaming dragons takes time too. I cannot bring myself to use the last sheets just yet. This guy has been hidden away since the eighties. Poor old thing.



Right on, Helen!

I'm loving on a box of rocks. You know who your friends are when they know at least one of your favorite things, and give it to you when you least expect it. These beauties are within reach in a drawer of my nightstand; they've been there since the arrived in the mail. The one wrapped in paper has sweet fossils frozen forever in time. I get a kick out of poring over each one; they never fail to fascinate. I have 12 x 12 sheets of paper covered in rocks. Someday. I've thought of a book a day" challenge, but giving in might lose the charm that comes with spontaneity. Too many irons in the fire? Ha! No. Just a little careless enthusiasm? Maybe. On to envelopes!