Monday, December 28, 2009

Wrapped to perfection

Lynn and I have decided to deviate from our normal posting so as to document our brief holiday meet-up in Michigan. Although we had dreamed about working on various projects and could have chatted for days, busy schedules meant that we only had a few hours together on Sunday. (I will happily take what time I can get, especially considering my imminent move to Africa.)

It was a good day. Lynn came over early and I made a breakfast of coffee, scrambled eggs and toasted homemade rolls (the picture is a shout-out to my favorite foodies). We then traded Christmas presents. Inspired by a post on the blog In this Instance, the original scheme had been to spend time creatively wrapping presents. Lynn succeeded and, despite an elaborate plan, I failed miserably. The mug I made Lynn was pathetically wrapped. Lynn, however, surprised me by making me a beautiful bathroom set that matched each other as well as the wrapping - even the bag she carried them in matched the set. The picture below show the presents wrapped and unwrapped.

I really liked how grey, black and white color scheme as well as
the simple lined designs matched the relaxation theme Lynn had set. And, yes, lets be honest. I have needed a bit more relaxation in my life. Thank you Lynn!

Lynn and I spent the rest of the day visiting each others family, wandering around downtown and hanging out at Morsels in downtown Traverse City. A nice visit - but oh so short. My fingers are crossed that my plan to stop by Lake Orion as I drive back to Michigan from DC in a few weeks to drop off my things before flying to Ghana will work out. It would be so nice to meet up one more time before my big move. Fingers crossed!

Friday, December 18, 2009

An owl and polka dots

Sorry this post is a couple days late. It has been a crazy week. I resigned from my work today and announced that I am moving to Ghana in a month. So exciting. So unreal. This blog is going global once again....
So Lynn sent this card last December after having been home to visit her family in Minnesota. While there she went with her mom to the Paper Source in Minneapolis to buy more book making materials. I remember being really pleased to hear this since I had been the one to get her started on her bookmaking/Paper Source kick. She also wrote that, inspired by my black and white tree card, she sat down thinking polka dots and owls and ended up with this card. I love that we were riffing off one another.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

For you!

Here is a card Jessica drew around the holiday's last year. To help with our challenge to readers to use the post more- I am including a download for you. Simply print the file via the link at the bottom of this blog post, and you'll have 4 postcards to send using just a 25 cent stamp each! You can even try to squeeze on your holiday letter.

Before this blog started up, I scanned all Jessica's postcards. Now I find that the originals of one or two have gone missing from my stack. I am perplexed as to what Jessica might have wrote me last year. Because I don't know, I'll keep with my theme of this week and share from a postcard Jessica sent to me in August 2003- likely one of the first pieces of mail I got in Japan. People, the US postal service got it to me but it was a tad wrinkled in the corner and they stamped "Please accept our Apology" on it. How can you not like them?! Anyways, that was the important stuff. In her card, she wrote how anxious she was to hear about my new digs and job in Japan, and about her time in Pancake Bay Canada before she left for the Peace Corps. Also- this proves we have been at this for more than 7 years :-)

Enjoy the download but please remember it is for personal use only. This art is not for re-sale or re-distribution. Send it to your friends, share the holiday spirit and help the U.S. Post Office.

Sunday, December 6, 2009


Friends, in the magazine The Week I recently read our dear post office is operating in the red and things aren't looking up. They're down $3.8 billion this year so far. Overall mail volume is declining and has been for three years. Now if you are like me, you get a lot of junk mail and you may begin to feel this big, bulky government system is just pushing around lots of worthless ads. You might even start to feel that we don't need the U.S. Postal serices.

But as you can tell, on this blog we are fans of the post office, postal system, and most postal workers! BIG FANS in fact. They have helped us to stay in touch for years. (In fact I believe Jessica and I once pondered which country's Post Office was shipping our letters between Japan and Samoa. Who was paying for them we wondered? But in the end we were just glad Air Mail existed as it allowed us to continue our communication.) So I'd like to encourage people to see the good in this service.

In the very informative article I read, a Post Office rep is quoted as saying, what would help is to "urge the public to mail a letter to a loved one and do it weekly." That's exactly what I'm doing-- people send some mail! I'll do you one better- take your Christmas and other Holiday gifts there to ship rather than the other guys. Stay tuned for this weeks coming blog post, it will help spring you to action on behalf of our shrinking postal services.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Winter wonderland

I took a picture of this card, rather than scanning it, in hopes of capturing that window is cut out and the fireplace scene is drawn on the inside of the card. It is neat, because when you open it you can see a more complete fireplace scene. I like the concept, and thought she did a good job lining up what she had drawn on the inside of the house so that it can be seen through the window. Lynn, did you draw the inside or the outside first? Or did you slowly sketch both simultaneously?

Inside the card, she stated that she felt this card had tested her drawing skills and that she was glad this project would give her a reason to practice regularly. She also mentioned that the card had been inspired by the enormous amount of snow they had received. As I think about this, I realize that it seems comparatively warm this year, which, lets be honest, makes me very happy.