See Ya Later, Autumn…

“Autumn, the year’s last, loveliest smile.”–William Cullen Bryant

Autumn is my favorite season and when winter rushed in a week ago, I felt every bit of it.  The first day of winter here was dreary, rainy and cold–just plain yucky.  I captured lots of photos from October to November just as the leaves were changing colors and before the complete browning and/or falling of the leaves. They remind me that winter can be bitter and cold, but it is temporary.  While the earth slumbers beneath the cold, we are preparing for spring and renewal.  Seasons change and life requires death and rebirth.

While I await the arrival of spring, I’ll just enjoy my little tribute to autumn–



I’ve Been Nominated–Very Inspiring Blogger Award!

Very Inspiring Blog AwardThanks to Noor Gharbo, I’ve been nominated for a “Very Inspiring Blogger Award.”  How cool is that?  There are a few things the award requires.

  1. I love children’s art.  If it weren’t for the pesky issue of time, I would cut and paste and doodle with my son all day just to have loads of his work to mount and post and place in our journals and scrapbooks.
  2. I can hardly draw a stick figure, but my son thinks I’m a good artist. I appreciate that.
  3. I enjoy cooking, but haven’t found (or created) my dream kitchen, the one I actually enjoy cooking in.  While we’re on the subject of cooking, I am looking forward to my six-year-old developing more sophisticated tastes.  How much longer will I have to endure rice and pasta?!
  4. I admire my parents probably more than anyone else in the world.  I seek to emulate their courage, strength, faith and integrity in parenting and in life in general.
  5. I really can live without chocolate, but I don’t want to.  I lived without it (and did not miss it) for about 8-10 years (from pre-teen years to maybe early twenties) and then later all throughout my pregnancy and the first 10 or so months of my son’s life. I just like it and it helps me get through the emotional rough spots.  Do I sound like an addict?
  6. I write and decorate postcards when I’m feeling the crafty urge, but don’t really have time to create.  When I have “even less” time, I just pick up my camera and snap whatever is around me.
  7. I really like people and, in spite of the few not-so-good people I’ve encountered directly or indirectly, I believe people are generally good and want to “do good.” I typically give people the benefit of the doubt–unless the issues of domestic violence, molestation and/or rape come up.   Then, I assume guilt first and ask questions later.
  • Nominate 15 other bloggers for the award.  My choices are varied. I’m sure you expect mail, art, and photography.  Other blogs I’m nominating (and I’m inspired by) comment on academia (teaching, writing, research), feature creative writing and artistry, shed light on (seriously and humorously)  parenting and womanhood and  inspire self and spiritual awareness and growth.  And the nominees are…(drum roll, please):
  1. Mictlantecuhtli
  2. Wacky Womanhood
  3. Writing for Daisies
  4. Studio Mothers: Creative Practice and Life Design
  5. Unbound Boxes, Limping Gods
  6. Friperee(n)
  7. Small Matters: Taking Time to Notice
  8. Cakers & Co.
  9. Brent’s iPhone 4s and Japan
  10. Stillness of Heart
  11. Jo’s Little Pictures
  12. Scott Fillmer: Life in Faith and Photos
  13. Glenrosa Journeys
  14. Edith Levy Photography
  15. Leanne Cole Photography
  • Now, I must inform the bloggers of the nomination.  I will do that as soon as soon as I click “publish.”

Please take some time to peruse the blogs listed.  Maybe, you’ll find them very inspiring too!

Here’s a quick review of the rules (just in case you missed something).

  • Display the award logo on your blog 
  • Link back to the person who nominated you
  • Post 7 things about yourself not listed on your About Me page
  • Nominate 15 other bloggers for this award and link to them 
  • Notify those bloggers of the nomination and the award’s requirements

Happy Reading!

“Make Mail Pretty!”

I love, love, love pulling decorated envelopes out of the mailbox, and I can’t remember if I’ve ever used a plain white envelope for personal mail.  I have two bins filled with stickers and a hard drive filled with photographs and other digital art to make sure no one receives a plain envelope from me!   I even make my own envelopes sometimes–thanks to my Cricut and my Martha Stewart Scorer and Envelope Maker.   (I find envelope-making very relaxing when I’ve had a really stressful week).  Even postal workers compliment my decorated envelopes. I secretly hope I’m adding a little sunshine to their day as well.

I receive LOTS of decorated envelopes–and mail art–from swappers.   I admire those who can take a bunch of miscellaneous scraps, cutouts, rubber stamps, postage stamps and stickers and use them to transform a plain envelope into art–into something I want to preserve just as much as what’s on the inside.  Here are some of the decorated envies I’ve received within the last year or two.  Some are recent. Some are not so recent.  They represent the range of decorated envelopes–simple to full blown “mail art.”

“Love Snail Mail”
This is a simple one. The sender used a rubber stamp (or two) and a 3.5 inch floppy label. Do you see how it makes the plain craft envelope pop? Props to swapper Castlequeen for using Romare Bearden postage. I “heart” his work!

Simple. Buggy. Cute.

“Children’s Art”
If I remember correctly, the sender used a sheet of kid art and transformed it into this envelope. This is the front. The next image shows the back. My only “regret” is the label covers the brightly colored girl’s face.


This is the back of the envelope, AKA the girl’s bottom half.

Isn’t this adorable? I have no idea what the penguins are saying! Translation, please.

The back of the penguins envelope. This is also a handmade envelope.


“Paris Airmail”
This is one of my favorites. I appreciate the elegant arrangement of the elements.


This is the back. Love, love, love the texture!

“Purple Cloud and Music Notes”
Even a purple sharpie and deco tape can be used to make a plain envelope beautiful!

“Doodles and Design”
SFreer sent this one. She doodles, stamps and zentangles a beautiful envelope.

Doodles and Design Part 2. This is the back of SFreer’s envelope. Isn’t it charming???

“Dream and Inspire”
SFreer sent this one for me to share with someone else. I doubt I’ll be able to part with it. Believe it or not, she used napkins, word stamps and bling to make this envelope. Beautiful work!

The back of “Dream and Inspire” by SFreer.

“Inspired Elements”
As with most of the mail art I’ve received, I can’t remember who sent this envelope. I recall that the swapper said she used pieces of wallpaper in her design. I also recall that I raided this mail art and used some of the elements in other projects. Oops! Isn’t the literary postage wonderful?

Inspired Elements–the back.

“Autumn Blessings”
This one was designed by swapper Tami. Even the inside of a security envelope becomes a tool for a mail artist.  Gotta love Garfield and Odie!

“Make Mail Pretty”
This envelope, designed by swapper Smmarrty, inspired the blog post. I love the textures and the arrangement of the elements.

The back of “Make Mail Pretty.” Surprisingly, I haven’t peeled off the stickers and used them in something else!

If you’re interested in mail art, do a google search and you’ll find TONS of inspiration.  Don’t be intimidated by the super-duper complicated mail art.  Just do something to make your mail pretty.  Add a sticker.  Use colored pens for the address.  Doodle a flower or a tree. Make the postal workers smile AND brighten someone’s mailbox.

While you’re searching around for mail art inspiration, check out this blog: Friperee(n):Purveyor of Nonsense, Adornments and Other Frivolities.

Happy 12.12.12!