I have had a renewed interest in sending snail mail of late. To that end, I ordered...
...beautiful cards from Knitter's Review. They are absolutely gorgeous, on lovely paper stock. Owner Clara also enclosed a sweet handwritten note, the pink pencil with "Knit Happens" (my favorite quote!) on it, and even an extra single card with my order of the boxed "Peace" cards and assorted gift tags - wow!
They all came beautifully wrapped in a tissue with a seal - what a wonderful holiday gift for a fiber artist friend! Be sure to check out Clara's wonderful designs (including Christmas cards) and other items... I'll certainly order again soon!
Even my awful handwriting becomes legible when I slow down and write with a dip pen. But my old nibs were in sad order (you mean you're supposed to clean them? Oops!), so off I went to find some new writing accoutrements.
Sam at Pendemonium was a pleasure to do business with. In addition to a purple glass pen, I ordered an inexpensive but great "cigar" style wood pen with a gold nib, as well as some Ziller ink. I've been trying different inks lately (including "that fancy French brand") and none are as smooth, or fully-pigmented, as the Ziller. It even worked on some very uneven paper - the kind with bits of flowers and colored fibers in it.
My color of choice is Wild Viola Violet - because, you know, I'm a purple kind of girl! (Orange, too...)
Smoke & Fire also has some neat pens, including feather quills, and interesting inks... not to mention a whole lot of cool period reenactment goodies! They have a very nice staff as well.
Speaking of textured stationery, you can get some, and have it personalized, at As You Wish. Mine came nicely tied with a ribbon bow and is adorable, and was very reasonable.
But skip their French, orange-scented ink - it doesn't smell of anything, and you can scent your own ink with a few drops of essential oil - I like Lavender (goes with my purple theme, don't'cha know...)
Looking for other writing papers to express yourself? Try Crane's, the famous stationers. Be sure to see their dog breed note cards, but don't look at the personalized letter sheets unless you are Donald Trump.
I ordered some sheets in... you guessed it, purple. (Claudia is saying, "What, not orange?)
My friend Kary turned me on to Lu-Lu cards, by artist Anne Keenan Higgins. Only trouble is, they are a dickens to find! I searched out some really funny Halloween Lu-Lus at O'Galleria - check them out and you'll see why they make us chuckle!
If you're a die-hard fan, you can also find Anne Keenan Higgins-designed stickers at Scrapbook Supply House.
If you're going to go to all the trouble of writing a fancy letter, why not use some sealing wax? The Attic offers Waterstons, made in Scotland using a 300 year old recipe. It is supposed to be mailable - I'll let you know how it does! To ensure that it doesn't crack, fall off, and damage an expensive piece of USPS mail equipment, it's best to use it on your pages inside the envelope, rather than the envelope itself.
I decided to make an old-fashioned pen-wiper - you really need one when writing with a dip pen, especially if you're using textured paper, as the tip tends to get fuzzly after a while.
My pal Elizabeth reminded me to look in my copy of The American Girls Handy Book for a pattern. Sure enough, I found one.
The glove-shaped pen-wiper from the book is on the right. I decided I wanted a larger one, so I then made the one on the left. Jeff suggested I bead around the edge, so that it wouldn't slip out of my hand when I was using it.
Well, guess what? After beading it, I thought it too pretty to wipe ink on! So I made it into a needle case. Below is a photo of the inside of it, with the needles in place, and the pen wiper with the new Pendemonium "cigar" pen:
These were super easy to make - they are just four layers of commercial felt fabric, cut out all in the same shape, and attached at one end with a ribbon. You can decorate them any way you'd like. I think the round one would make a neat eyeglasses-wiper for a friend who was into Victoriana. Yes, they really did use stuff like this in Ye Olden Days!
Wonder why snail mail letters have such appeal?
Want to learn how to enrich your life by the fine art of correspondence, and through appreciation of beautiful pens and stationery? (They don't have to be expensive, you know!)
Take a peek at Alexandra Stoddard's "Gift Of A Letter". Full of suggestions on how to make the most of personal correspondence, and containing quotes from the letters of famous people, it will help you appreciate how rewarding it is to share a bit of yourself through a handwritten card or note.
It was honey harvest day today! There is nothing more tasty than a piece of raw honeycomb, fresh off the hot knife after the caps have been sliced off, stuffed into your mouth, wax and all. As you chew the wax, all the leftover honey squoozles out, still warm from being in the hive in the sun... ambrosia!
This year's honey is the best we've ever had, tasting mostly of clover. Unfortunately, there is less than half a bucket of it, since we have had a drought all summer and very few plants produced any nectar! I think we'll be hoarding this batch...
Jeff completed the honey harvest in less than two hours! He is shown above using the hot knife to uncap the comb in the frame.
Here, Jeff is putting the frames into the extruder. He will turn the crank and the honey will spin out of the uncapped comb. The honey will come out of a spigot at the bottom of the extruder, to be kept in sealed, sanitized food buckets until we have time to bottle it. (Not tonight - he's reffing hockey, as usual!)
I hope you'll slow down this weekend, spending some time putting pen to paper (whether in a letter or a journal), and noticing the boutiful harvest taking place at this time of year!
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