Sunday, September 6, 2015

What Inspires One to Write a Letter

This is one of the most beautiful journals I have ever touched. I picked it up, removed it from its protective cellophane sleeve, and finished falling in love with this painted animal hide bound book of pale olive ruled pages at first touch. I almost bought it. Instead I returned it to its place on the table with a promise of "Soon," although I am not fond of ruled journals. Imagining all the secrets that will hide behind such a lovely cover excites me beyond measure. I'll use a colored ink rainbow when I tell all, after it becomes mine.

Junk mail inspires mail art, postcards, letters, and even posts. It makes me wonder too. I wonder why our daughter got an invite to attend this bang up grand opening and not us. Me, more specifically. 

If it comes in the mail, it can be talked about in a mail kind of way. Right?

I wonder what's in the swag bag? Free ammo? A promise of one pro bono defense from a fresh-out-of-law-school attorney if needed? I know! A free gun cleaning kit, free training sessions at the shooting range, and a free ER visit if you accidentally shoot yourself in the foot!  Hold your bullets! You can rent guns now??? Oh, the images that just conjured up! 

Guess which comes first. The idea or the drawing. Wrong! The idea of a drawing was first! Then the theme after I picked up the a cue. 

No, this is not a letter. This is the front of a Strathmore Drawing Card. The paper will blow your mind. It's just that good. It's meant for ink but Copic markers do well too if you don't lay on the colors with a heavy hand. 

Imagine using a business envelope for a note. In reality this is what you get. 

Breaking up the length makes it less intimidating. I used three different wishi-washi tapes here after deciding to use the three quarter rule. I actually like it.

The envelope is rather simple, as in KISS (keep it simple sister!). The majority of the tension is inside. The blue stamp is meant to match the blue ink and make it pop, since the writing is rather thin. I do like a thin line at times.

Some of the full writer's dozen of mail that spilled from Friday's mail bag. I took the photos in the parking lot of the medical plaza after my appointment. Not all doctor visits are unpleasant. See? Twelve pieces of mail! This is why I promised myself a letter-free weekend. Notes don't count, okay?

Some of you may recall my talk of oak and cedar galls in previous posts. I thought you were my friends! Why didn't you tell me cedars do not produce galls? They produce fruit!!!  I worked out elaborate plans to harvest galls from cedar trees in parking lots with the idea of making ink. Lord, have mercy.

One oak gall. Note the difference and similarity?

One cedar "gall" that's really a fruit. I thought I'd make ink from this and a a bag of its cousins. I've been saving it for more than seven years.

I discovered my mistake yesterday after I Googled "cedar galls" and there were no results. Being smarter than I seem, I then Googled "cedar fruit." Doing so taught me I'd need a ladder, someone to hold the ladder, and a sheet to catch the fruit after I'd shaken it from the tree. The ladder holder is necessary to keep me from shaking myself off the ladder. Looks like those clouds are laughing at me.

Surely there is an easier way to harvest this fruit. And must I get permission from Barnes & Noble before harvesting? The fruit ladened trees are in the parking lot just past, but in front of the store. And why won't the fruit simply fall on its own? How will I get such a tall ladder into the Honda? Is the fruit edible? You'd think I'd have checked Google for that little fact while I was fact-finding, yes? See how tall that cedar is in the picture? It's so high it almost touches the sky. Should I climb on top of the Honda and happen to fall, would you hear me scream? Perhaps I should simply stick to pens and paper? 

See? It doesn't take much to write a letter. My world teems with letter fodder, but is it worth writing? If I could adopt a Native American name, it might be "She Who Writes Many Words Instead of Owning Many Hhorses." I wonder how that sounds in say, Lakota. Or Cherokee. No matter. Limner will do for now.

See you tomorrow.


  1. You might just be able to use the cedar fruit. It wouldn't hurt to try.

    1. Thank you! I followed the link and believe you are on to something. I finally discovered the name of the strange berries I've watched with a curious eye. They are poke berries. They are poisonous but suitable for ink and dyes. So is all that saffron I bought strictly for the bottles. Letter writers are smart people, as are ink makers. :)

  2. oh my goodness I am laughing so hard right now I'm almost crying . You are a doll and ever so funny . Have a great day and take care and thanks for the gut busting laugh I needed that .

    1. Hahaha! You got me! I had to scroll up to see what you were talking about. I need a sense of humor transplant. So few of my posse get my humor. :) Or I'm funny without meaning to be. For instance, I told my cousin how I missed reading our hometown obituaries over the phone on Wednesdays to let my little mama know who had died. I'd tell her who'd been arrested too, if we knew the surname of the perpetrator. Cousin thought I was mentally defective. :)

  3. I'm just not used to seeing "firearm giveaways" on a flyer!! There's something a tad wrong with that whole business.
    I had no idea you could make ink from galls! I will head on over to my Google library to check it out as I know where there are quite a few...and not to high up either!

    1. You're a member of my club then but then again the giveaways might be items like cleaning kits, paper targets, rags for cleaning up crime scenes, or silencers. Fire arms are far too expensive to give away. The rent-a-gun idea is what floors me quickest. What's even weirder is the invite was sent to my daughter.Texas is a curious place these days.

      Goodness yes to galls! I've never seen the actual fruit like that before. It might be ripe already! Goodness me. We used to throw our shoes up in trees to knock down certain fruits when we were kids. Hmm.

      Lucky you! You do live in a wonderful place. I cannot say it enough, but you know that. :) I read how a rusty nail is good for the iron, then read just last night that rusty Brillo pads are good. Here's hoping you make iron gall ink soon! :)