Monday, October 16, 2017

learn to write polite excuses...

       Letters of excuse should be frank and graceful. They must be written promptly, as soon as the occasion that calls for them admits. If delayed, they become insulting. If such a letter is called forth by an act of negligence on your own part, apologize for it frankly, and show by your tone that you sincerely desire to regain the confidence your carelessness has periled. If you have been obliged by positive inability to neglect the fulfillment of any promise you have given, or any commission you have undertaken, then state the reason for your delay, and solicit the indulgence of your friend. Do not write in such stiff, formal language that the apology will seem forced from you, but offer your excuse frankly, as if with a sincere desire to atone for an act of negligence, or remove a ground of offense.

"The Juliet Letters" by Elvis Costello and 
the Brodsky Quartet, a very polite missive.

More Polite Excuses:

never write indiscreet letters...

"Never regret what you don't write." Abraham Lincoln
       Indiscreet letters have sent both men and women to the gallows; driven them to suicide; made them pay exorbitant damages; wrested from them their reputation and covered them with ridicule and shame.
       And yet every day the most indiscreet letters are written and the most foolish thoughts are put on paper.
       A letter tells much more than the news it contains-- it is a revelation of the character and culture of the writer, and although the matter contained depends on the mental and moral qualities of the one who writes it, yet the correct manner of writing a letter can be acquired by anyone. 
       No woman of taste will use perfumed stationery!
       A postal card is only for your intimates and should only hold a brief message. Neither salutation nor complimentary close is used on a postal card, and it is better form to sign them with initials where you are sure they will be understood.
       The date should be written out in full. One may say "the sixth of May" or May Six--never May the Sixth. We say Louis the Fourteenth, meaning that thirteen kings have passed before him. We do not mean that six Mays have already passed.
       Any sign of haste is a discourtesy. So don't sign your letters, "Hastily yours."
       Never begin your letter with an apology for not writing before. Remember such an apology means I do not care enough for you to take time to write you.
       See that you write carefully, legibly, without flourishes or affectations.
       Fore some inscrutable reason "My dear ______" is considered more ceremonious than "Dear _____"
       Remember to be careful of your spelling and punctuation, and even if you are a proficient typist do not send typewritten letters except when the communication is on business.
       The word "To" is used preceding an official title or when one wished to be distinctly formal. Business letters begin with Sir or Madam, Dear Sir or Dear Madam.
       Business letters should be brief and specific. A gentleman will always answer a lady's letter instantly, but a woman must write to a man who is only an acquaintance if she can avoid it, and then she should make her note very formal.
       If you wish to be very formal write your notes in the third person, but do not begin in the third person and end in the first by signing the letter.
       These suggestions are for the manner in which your notes are written. -- Billie Burke, 1913

what is postcrossing all about?

       Postcrossing is an online project that allows its members to send and receive postcards from all over the world. The project's tag line is "send a postcard and receive a postcard back from a random person somewhere in the world!” Its members, also known as postcrossers, send postcards to other members and receive postcards back from other random postcrossers. Where the postcards come from is always a surprise.
       Postcrossing is the union of the words "postcard" and "crossing" and its origin "is loosely based on the Bookcrossing site". However, the "crossing" or exchange of postcards works in a different way. A member sends a postcard to another postcrosser and receives a postcard back from a random postcrosser. Exchanges between the same two members only occur once; although direct swaps between members happen, they are not part of the official happenings on the site. The project is completely free and anyone with an address can create an account. However, the postcards themselves and postage fees to mail them are the responsibility of each user.
       By June 2015 postcrossing had more than 554,570 members in 213 different countries who had registered and exchanged over 30 million postcards that have traveled over 151 billion kilometers.
        The highest concentration of postcrossing members reside (in order) in the United States, Russia, China, Taiwan, the Netherlands, Germany, Poland, Finland, Belarus, Ukraine and Brazil. Globally, most postcrossers reside in North America, Europe, and East Asia. Of particular note, postcrossing is popular in eastern European and former-Soviet states. As of January 2012, more than a quarter of the combined total of postcards were sent from Finland, Russia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Belarus and Ukraine.

6th graders give directions for postcrossing!

write a refugee child...

       The experiences children go through during times of armed conflict can impede their ability to learn in an educational setting. Schools experience drop-outs of refugee and immigrant students from an array of factors such as: rejection by peers, low self-esteem, antisocial behavior, negative perceptions of their academic ability, and lack of support from school staff and parents. Because refugees come from various regions globally with their own cultural, religious, linguistic, and home practices, the new school culture can conflict with the home culture, causing tension between the student and their family.
       Aside from students, teachers and school staff also face their own obstacles in working with refugee students. They have concerns about their ability to meet the mental, physical, emotional, and educational needs of students. One study of newly arrived Somali Bantu students in a Chicago school questioned whether schools were equipped to provide them with a quality education that met the needs of the refugee students. Teachers may even see refugee students as "different" from other immigrant groups, as was the case with the refugee students from Somalia. Teachers may sometimes feel that their work is made harder because of the pressures to meet state requirements for testing. With refugee children falling behind or struggling to catch up, it can overwhelm teachers and administrators.
       Not all students adjust the same way to their new setting. One student may take only three months, while others may take four years. One study found that even in their fourth year of schooling, Lao and Vietnamese refugee students in the US were still in a transitional status. Refugee students will continue to encounter difficulties throughout their years in schools that can hinder their ability to learn. Furthermore, educators must consider the experiences of students pre-settlement in the US in order to provide them with the proper support.
       In their first settlement countries, refugee students may encounter negative experiences with education that they can carry with them post settlement. For example:
  • Frequent disruption in their education as they move from place to place
  • Limited access to schooling
  • Language barriers
  • Little resources to support language development and learning, and more
       Statistics found that in places such as Uganda and Kenya, there were gaps in refugee students attending schools. It found that 80% of refugees in Uganda were attending schools, whereas only 46% of students were attending schools in Kenya. Furthermore, for secondary levels, the numbers were much lower. There was only 1.4% of refugee students attending schools in Malaysia. This trend is evident across several first settlement countries and carry negative impacts on students once they arrive to their permanent settlement homes, such as the US, and have to navigate a new education system. Unfortunately, some refugees do not have a chance to attend schools in their first settlement countries because they are considered undocumented immigrants in places like Malaysia for Rohingya refugees. (Wikipedia)

travel the world with flat stanley...

The original "Flat Stanley" by Jeff Brown
       The Flat Stanley Project was started in 1995 by Dale Hubert, a third grade school teacher in London, Ontario, Canada. It is meant to facilitate letter-writing by schoolchildren to each other as they document where Flat Stanley has accompanied them. Dale Hubert received the Prime Minister's Award for Teaching Excellence in 2001 for the Flat Stanley Project.
       The Project provides an opportunity for students to make connections with students of other member schools who have signed up with the project. Students begin by reading the book and becoming acquainted with the story. They create paper "Flat Stanleys" (representative drawings of the Stanley Lambchop character) and keep a journal for a few days, documenting the places and activities in which Flat Stanley is involved. Each student's Flat Stanley and its respective journal are mailed to other people who are asked to treat the figure as a visiting guest and add to his journal, then return them both after a period of time. The project has many similarities to the traveling gnome prank except, of course, for the Flat Stanley Project's focus on literacy.
       Students may find it fun to plot Flat Stanley's travels on maps and share the contents of the journal. Often, a Flat Stanley returns with a photo or postcard from his visit. Some teachers prefer to use e-mail for its quicker travel time.
       In 2005, more than 6,500 classes from 48 countries took part in the Flat Stanley Project.
       The project was featured in a 2004 episode of the animated TV series King of the Hill, in which Nancy Gribble receives a Flat Stanley in the mail. Peggy Hill and Luanne Platter photograph it in a number of dangerous situations, resulting in the school's Flat Stanley Project being cancelled.
       According to the February 26, 2009 broadcast of Countdown with Keith Olbermann, Flat Stanley was on board US Airways Flight 1549 which landed safely in the Hudson River. He was carried to safety in the briefcase of his traveling companion.
       In early 2010, Darren Haas, a huge Flat Stanley advocate and applications architect, approached Dale Hubert with the idea of turning the Flat Stanley Project concept into an app for the iPhone.
       Also in 2010, fans of the baseball team the St. Louis Cardinals were asked (via the team website) to petition US President Barack Obama to award the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Baseball Hall of Famer Stan Musial. A "Flat Stan" downloadable cutout figure was made available to encourage Cardinals fans to take a photo with Musial's caricature and send them in as petitions.
 a project by Micah Gray

more lovely japanese papers . . .

Gentleman observing nature and contemplating
       Lovely Japanese papers for your cards and letters. I've left the lettering that bleeds through the original printed pages for those of you who love this look as much as I do. These pages unlike the older versions have very little yellow in them... just considering the options, folks. 
Ladies play a game
Nobleman with his servants visit the beach
Japanese fishermen
Large Japanese text including decorative motif
small text in Japanese

Friday, October 13, 2017

kunstkammer or cabinets of curiosities

The world's many curios displayed in cabinets, boxes, frames, etc...
  1. Explore the Display Cabinet
  2. Rate Oddities in a cabinet by Diane Shaw
  3. work by mike bennion (slide show)
  4. treasures from enchanted places by Von Pappell
  5. Wanderlust - Joseph Cornell Fernweh 1, 2 & 3
  6. Trausnitz Castle
  7. box by LaBlanche Stamps
  8. moments by BeULaH Bee
  9. Habsburg Wunderkammern
  10. Wayne Bertola - Life and Light (slide show)
  11. time heals all wounds assemblage by Beckie Holso
  12. Salvadoriana
  13. Art21 - Mark Dion
  14. Shadow Boxes & Dioramas 
  15. the midnight party 
  16. IMAGINARY WORLD - by karolin felix
  17. The Cabinet of Curiosities at Warrington Museum
  18. Sandra Evertson  
  19. julie liger-belair 
  20. Tim Holtz configurations box made from chipboard 
  21. found objects by joseph bennett
  22. The Chamber of Wonders 
  23. Mr. Emilton's Cabinet of Curiosities
  24. Tim Holtz Altered Printer's Tray
  25. Rosalie Koldan - creating art with found objects
  26. Professor Lynkhart's Cabinet of Curiosities
  27. nymphlight
  28. g. hanson makes a joseph cornell box
  29. Alice in Wonderland Card House
  30. Kass Copeland
  31. circus junk & stuff by K. Batsel
  32. Richard James
  33. portable museum of curiosity by robert dick
  34. Wondrous Obsessions I & II
  35. ray papka artwork
  36. kunstkammer or cabinets of curiosities
  37. patti harris has a few kustkammer
  38. The Medieval Bestiary
  39. providence by lori vrba
  40. The Wassmann Foundation 
  41. The Private Life of a Doll's House I & II
  42. Paul J. Flick  
  43. sainted mother 
  44. A Small Wunderkammer
  45. Chamber of Curiosities in Paris 
  46. working birds studio
  47. Idols of the Cave 
  48. altered altoid tins 
  49. David Nicholls - Cabinet of Curiosities
  50. gabrielle pollacco - mixed media nature canvas tutorial 
  51. encaustic assemblage by Tracy-Mae Chambers

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

print and stitch cards old and new

A mother carries her baby in a basket over her shoulder. She is dressed in a folk costume from a region of Cantabria Spain.
Print and stitch cards come in and out of fashion. 

        This greeting card was perhaps made in the 1940s or 1950s? It came from Cantabria Spain. Made for the tourist trade; there are many versions of it. The skirt is a pleated ribbon, the blouse is hand-stitched with black threads and the cap with red threads. The mother and baby are hand-painted with watercolors and so are her shoes and also the tiny farmer with oxen and cart in the background. Usually cards such as these illustrated the customary folk costume of the local people who crafted them for visitors to their village. There is a tiny drawing of the arms of Cantabria in the top right hand corner of the greeting card.

Left, a detail of her ribbon skirt. Center, all of her facial features are painted with watercolors. Right, the current coat of arms of Cantabria Spain.
       Below is a video illustrating a modern variation of the same craft. Click on their youtube video to visit the company's web pages for free patterns and ideas.

Video tutorial showing how to make a note card that 
you can hand stitch with embroidery floss. 
Visit downloadandprint for a free sample.

a lenten card featuring palm sunday

Lenten cards in the traditional season's colors: purple and green.
        These cards for Lent feature simple, palm leaf motifs cut from green papers layered on top of both purple and beige patterned, acid free papers. The scripture and palm leaf graphic may be downloaded and printed from The Christian Clip Art Review for this card. Use the illustrations at this blog for non-profit, personal crafts only, if you are not fund raising for your church.
       The scripture reference reads, "And all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of Man shall be accomplished. ....And they understood none of these things." Luke 18: 31-34

More Palm Sunday Card Designs:
The following poem may be included with the card, it is in the public domain:

by S. D. Gardner
And this is life -- to-day we here abide,
Perchance to-morrow we must step aside,
We master not our own; no vain regret
Can change the path for us which God has 

Then let our footsteps be toward the light,
With loving words and deeds make each day
Let charity progress to wider plan,
Lend gracious ear to creed of every man. 

A close-up look at the Palm Sunday themed card.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

the mechanics of head gear...

Wear the conformateur to measure your head.
 For your steampunk card designs, personal use only folks. Read the Terms of Use.
This is for an exact fit, so your hat won't be too tight or too loose.

An electric adjustable hat cleaning machine.

The perfect end product.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

antique flag frame

Send a charming, nostalgic letter home this fourth of July. What parent or grandparent wouldn't love to receive a handwritten sentiment inside the restored frame below? You could possibly take a picture of a child in a parade or a patriotic poem written in calligraphy. Use your imagination.
This patriotic frame includes American flags, shields with stars and stripes, a gold eagle, and striped banners.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

tree peonies for card crafts

Tree peony is the vernacular name for the section Moutan of the plant genus Paeonia, or one of the species or cultivars belonging to this section. It consists of shrubs that have perennial aereal woody stems. Other peonies do not have perennial woody stems, but their stems die back after the growing season, to emerge again from buds just below the surface early in the following year. Tree peonies have been in culture in China for millennia, and it is likely that hybrids came into being in gardens, where different wild tree peony species were planted closely together. They are used in China both for medicine and as an ornamental, particularly the hybrids called Paeonia suffruticosa. These hybrids in particular, but other tree peonies too are called 牡丹 (mu dan) in China.

There are two images below of tree peonies thus far. One in color the other in black and white. Read the Terms of Use before including them in your card crafts.