Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Postcards are Traveling

More computer troubles. Thank goodness I have a laptop to help out in the void left by my sick desktop. I have been sending out postcards for my Postcrossing adventure. So far I have sent out 14 cards. Eight of them have arrived at their intended homes. The other 6 are still traveling.

A map showing where my cards have traveled to.

NOW I am beginning to receive cards in return. So far we (my class and I) have received 6 postcards from Malaysia, Germany, the Netherlands, Finland, the UK and one from around the corner (well kind of) San Diego. 

Map of where my postcards came from.

Here are a few of the cards we have received.

Hope your mailboxes are smiling as much as mine is.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Zentangle Therapy

As I said in one my recent posts, I am really glad I had picked up my pen and begun to play with Zentangles and a Visual Journal during all the craziness that was my life the first 3 months of this year. It became a major outlet for my desire to be creative on an not so energy intensive scale. Waiting in a dentist office, sitting on the couch, or even sipping my chicken noodle soup at the dining room table became a place to pull out a journal, a Zentangle Tile or my new Tangle A Day Calendar, and begin to sketch or "Tangle". It really helped to keep me focused on something other than needles, drills, and their resultant discomfort. There is a lot to be said for "zoning out" in something creative. Here are some of my calendar pages.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Easter!

Good Morning! Just wanted to say Happy Easter, and Happy Passover to all my followers. I hope you are getting to celebrate the season with laughter, and good food.

As is tradition in my family, I will be sharing Portuguese Sweet Bread with friends and family today. This is my Great Grandmother's Recipe. It is a huge recipe, which guarantees you will have to share it with others. This year I formed 12 loaves and 24 rolls.

Can you smell it?

Happy Easter to everyone!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Postcrossing Around the Globe

In my search for pens that led me to letter writing, I also came across Postcrossing. This is a website that is dedicated to the sending of postcards around the world. You are given a member's address to send a postcard. Then someone different sends you one. Kind of like a large pool of pen pals. You never know where you will be sending a card, or where your next one will arrive from. I joined a few weeks ago. As a result, I have been hunting for postcards to send to Postcrossing Members. You would think in an area like So Cal, within 5 miles of two large amusement/theme parks, I could find a bunch. But not really.

As much as I like getting mail, I love to send it too. I thought this would be a fun way to see more of the world. I also hope to share the cards I send and receive with my students. I think they will get a kick out of seeing the pictures and finding the countries of origin on a map.

The first cards I have sent off to Postcross Members.
I see this as an sign of how little we write any more. I have sent 5 cards to Lithuania, Finland, the US and Austria so far.  I know that one of the cards headed to Finland has arrived, as well as one to Austria! Can't believe they showed up before the one to Nebraska.Oh well. Now that one has arrived, one will be sent to me. I am excited to see where my first card will come from. Will it have a map on it? or a picture of a monument? a photo of a beautiful scenic area or interesting architecture? hmmmm.
Until it arrives, I will be waiting (not so patiently) at my mailbox. Maybe I will look around for some goodies to MAKE my own post cards. I know some members would prefer not to receive them, but others would like "mail art." I think I will try my had at a few....Now what should I use? Paper? or Fabric?"

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Is Your Mailbox Smiling?

I have fond memories of receiving mail throughout my childhood. I cannot forget how excited I was to find a card or letter in the mailbox addressed to me. There was mystery in that envelope. What would I find when I opened it. I did not know what I would find when I opened it, but I knew that I was special. Someone thought enough of me to write a letter, send me a note... When I moved to college and later when I moved to Japan, I looked forward to mail delivery even more. It was my connection to friend and family.

It saddens me that children these days do not know that connected feeling that comes from getting mail, now known as "Snail Mail." Such a derogatory name for such a wonderful thing. Don't get me wrong, I use email as much as the next guy. It serves a purpose; quick answers, delivered anytime, anywhere, and saves on paper...But I find myself disappointed when I open the mailbox day after day, only to find the usual bills, advertisements, and catalogs. It just isn't the same.
Letters I need to answer.

Over the past few months I have been thinking about this topic more and more. I came to the conclusion that I needed to get out my stationary, pens, and stamps, and begin writing letters more often. (If you are like me, you love paper, stationary and cards... but don't use it often.) I also started poking around in the Internet about writing... That part started when I wanted to get a fountain pen, and tried researching them. "Writing" sent me to many sites about letter writing and correspondence. It is really remarkable how many people/bloggers there are out there who are all trying to keep the art of letter writing alive.

So I have started my own "crusade" to write letters at least once a week. I have done pretty good so far. One letter I sent was to my best friend, whom I am in email contact with daily. When she received the note, she immediately sent me a text to say thank you. It brightened both our days. I encourage you to make a mailbox smile by thinking of someone, even a neighbor or coworker that could benefit from a personal note.

Love this saying....from

Leave a comment telling us how you have made a mailbox smile lately.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Garden, Garden How Will You Grow?

I am taking a departure from crafting this weekend to focus on my veggie garden. I am a bit slow starting it this year, but that is ok. I think waiting was a good thing. Our city trash system includes separating items for recycling. They also compost as much of the yard waste as possible. Yesterday, they gave away one huge semi trailer full of compost to residents. We just had to come out with our containers to collect our share.

The line to get into the give away, 15 minutes prior to the start.

We are almost there.

Yeah, we get our share of the wonderful compost.

I have to say, right here and now, that my hubby is the best!!! He has been cleaning out my veggie boxes and getting them ready for me to plant. He puts in a lot of hard work so that I can do the easy part, plant seeds and water the plants...

Today, the left bed was ready for me. He worked on the right hand bed, and I got to plant my first seeds. It has been about 4 years since I have had a garden, so I am really excited. I use the Square Foot Gardening method. SFG is a way of planting vegetables in a small garden to maximize space. You can learn more in the book Square Foot Gardening by Mel Bartholomew.

I planted carrots, radishes, beets, cabbage, kale, and spinach this afternoon. I used a ruler to eyeball my square foot and the handle of my hand rake to make holes according to the SFG spacing guide. Each seed is now nestled in its bed, with a big drink of water.

I got 6 x 2 squares planted today. Tomorrow I will try to get a few more done. And now the hard part comes, waiting for the plants to show above ground.