Monday, December 19, 2011

Handwritten Letter Service?

I had an odd idea this morning. I wonder if people would pay to have a letter handwritten and mailed for them? Do you know of anyone who might be interested in something like that?

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

European Paper Company Give-away Winner!

I am a planner geek. I started back in 1982 with a pocket daytimer. So, when I had the opportunity to enter the Eureopean Paper give-away for a Moleskine planner, I jumped at it. And I won!!!! So here we go.
The mailbox revealed a package that held...
another envelope! Which was opened to reveal cardboard!
So I tossed that crap aside to find a shrink-wrapped book!
Being the subtle guy that I am, I pulled my pocket knife out (freshly sharpened) and gingerly sliced my way into the package.
It is little (small) but I think it will work to help me keep me on task
it has stickers that will let me tell myself to do something important!
The best part, it seems to be fountain pen friendly! I will be so organized that I won't be able to stand myself and neither will you. I will be scheduling penpal letters, journal writing and ink changes! Well,...I probably won't, but dang, this is a cool little notebook. Get yourself over to European Paper over in Boulder, Colorado and see what they have to offer. Check out the blog, you might win too!!!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, October 29, 2011


I wrote to Clive Cussler last month. For those who don't know, Clive is a modern writer of adventure fiction. I have been reading his books for years. Check out his stuff at his website Well, this week I received a HANDWRITTEN RESPONSE from the pen of Clive Cussler. How much fun is that? Here ya go!
A handwritten letter and an autograph. I am sorta geeked out by this. I bought and read one of his books just this past week and then donated the read book to our school library. Who have you written to lately?

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Settling On A Brand...for now

I've noticed that I enjoy writing on Rhodia paper. I seem to have several versions of their products. So, I post these photos for you.
To heighten the interest in Rhodia products, Stephanie at Rhodia Drive has a huge Rhodia Give-Away going on right now! Enter to win a pack of 3 Rhodia items (technically 4) and discover for yourself how nice this paper really is!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

I won

Yesterday I discovered a suspicious brown envelope in the mail. Apparently I entered this over at Rhodia Drive and I won a Rhodia Bloc pad. Rhodia is great paper.
So now I have 70 sheets of creme smooth writing ahead of me. Thanks to Stephanie at Rhodia Drive and Karen at Exaclair USA for providing this awesome prize. I think the notepad has a retail price of around $12.50.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Writing to an author and having them write back!

I purchased this book
about a month ago at a little bookstore in Ogallalla, Nebraska. It is a collection of 30 western short stories written by Elmore Leonard in the 1950's and 1960's. I like reading short stories and like Elmore Leonard's style. In the years since, he has been a very successful author and screen writer. As I read the stories, I felt like I wanted to write Elmore Leonard a letter. So I did and ended up mailing it to him in care of his publisher in New York City. Imagine my surprise today when the mail revealed a return letter from Elmore Leonard!
I've covered the return address in order to respect Mr. Leonard's privacy, but I can say that it definitely did not come from his publisher in New York. He answered the only question I asked in the letter and signed it with what quite possibly could have been a fountain pen! Have you ever written to anyone famous?

Monday, August 8, 2011

Imagine receiving this letter! Imagine how much it made me smile! Imagine if you realized that the envelope was drawn and painted by hand! Fantastic isn't it? The Purple Penhead strikes again! Thanks Speck.

Edit to add: I think I might want to frame this envelope. It is just fantastic!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Doodling with a flexy nibbed fountain pen

Here is a little doodling I did with the flex nib pen that Speck sent to me.

This is the chorus to one of my favorite songs to sing.
Jesus Hold My Hand

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Generous Gift from Speck!

Speck, one of my crazy fountain pen friends, just sent me an incredible box of goodies. I feel bad for the poor postal carrier, this little box was just slam packed full of cool stuff!
I couldn't believe how much stuff she fit in there, so let me just post a few pictures so you get the idea.
first was a short letter in a handmade envelope!
Next was a handmade notebook and some sparkly frog stickers. Carla took one look at the notebook and said, "Give me that! I could alter the hell out it! How did Speck make it so perfectly?!"

Next I dug deeper in the box to find all sorts of little ink samples.
The I ran to my writing area and grabbed the previous ink samples that Speck had sent and I lined them all up.

See, Speck is crazily generous! But wait, there's more. Not only did she send me all of those great ink samples in the cool little vials, she also...wait for it...sent along a fountain pen!

And she included some paper to practice writing on! (I didn't take a picture of the paper, well, because that would just be overkill) Thank you Speck, you are a gem!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Type-written letter!

Some of us goofy handwritten letter types bemoan the impending demise of the US Postal Service.

But...there is another tool of written communication that is almost completely gone from our civilization.
The humble typewriter. I don't recall when I last saw one in actual use. I have seen them in antique shops and flea markets and have actually tried to blot from my memory all of the hours spent in Avis Young's typing class, learning to touch type on a GIANT machine, with no letters on the keys and a return carriage that had to have weighed 3000 pounds! I think the return carriage was bigger than my arm when I was in 8th grade and learned to type at 15 words per minute and used correction fluid by the gallon and those horrible paper removers called erasers with the brush that made you feel like you were trying to deal with a miniature Roman gladiator!
They actually were like a gladiator in that they were very efficient at destroying the paper when, for the 3rd time, you had to correct "thr wuokc groqn goz" into "the quick brown fox" or a;sldkfjgh while trying to use 100# psi onto a hard metal key with a finger pad that was half the size of your tender adolescent fingers that were driven by toothpick arms and "keeping a light touch" and trying to push the shift key with a pinky finger the size of a toothpick, lest the nasty old business teacher come by and whack you with a ruler, first on the top of the head for looking at your fingers (and why, there were no freakin letters on the keys, it was all about that $#$#O(&&& positioning!) and secondly on your hands because, well, she was just an angry old lady! ;)

Well, never fear about the demise of the "charm" of the typewritten page. My pen buddy Rachel, The Letter Writer has found computer fonts that reproduce the sketchy nature of drying out typewriter ribbons. I received this letter yesterday.

If you look really close, you can see how the letters fade, just like those blinkety blankety typewriters used to.

She didn't tell me where to find those typewriter fonts, but surely, my tech savvy readers can find a way to reproduce an old technology, electronically!

Thank you Rachel for bringing this cool approach to my attention. It looks like a fun way to keep on snail-mailing!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

My other passion - mandolin music

I am a pretty rank amateur mandolin player, but I love to make noise with it. Here is a video of me practicing. Most of my penpals have read about my musical endeavors.
Blogger is not letting me link, so if you are completely bored and have nothing else better to do, copy and paste the above link to your favorite browser and endure.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

First Ghost Letter off!

Well, the first letter is off. Elle of Art Of A Letter and I are exchanging fictitious letters between a brother and sister, yet trying to incorporate actual events in the dialogue. I am deliberately not posting pictures of what I sent. I will leave that up to Elle, plus I don't want to ruin the surprise.

The picture above is a sample of what I used to create the letter. That's right, pen and ink, faithfully dipped and written. I did pick up a 9X12 sketch pad with 90# creme colored paper to have something to fold up old-style. I did discover that the paper has two sides! One side takes liquid ink very well. The backside, however, looks like a spider is sitting behind each letter. Oh well, live and learn.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Ghost Letters

I've heard about an idea in correspondence called "ghost" letters. Correspondents write as a historical character and write about actual events that occurred in history. Imagine correspondence between FDR and Winston Churchill.

What might they have said? How would they express what they feel? What might their penmanship look like?

Anyone want to play?

I can envision this being not only fun, but educational. Imagine the research possibilities! Imagine the reading needed.

I hope someone takes me up on this idea.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Outgoing Mail

I am back and writing a little. It seems I still have a mountain of letters to respond to, but I was able to write to 4 penpals this weekend. So, for your viewing pleasure - here is today's outgoing - in all of it's non-art glory! Elle, Rachel, Speck and Rosie all are getting a letter.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

How I Spent A Big Chunk of My Summer Vacation

I spent two weeks of June at Manhattan, Kansas - the Little Apple - attending a CASE (Curriculum for Agricultural Science Education) Animal Science Institute. I left Holyoke on Father's Day and proceeded to have some of the most amazing educational times of my life. I think this will help me be a better teacher.

So, if you were wondering why you have not seen a letter from me, this is the cause.

I have quite a few more photos of what I learned. You can see some of them in previous posts. I won't post them all because I am photo challenged.

And no, I am not in any of those pictures because I was behind the camera. But I am in this silly little posed thing at Kites Sports bar (99c sliders - a really small burger)

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Writing contest entry

In my uber geeky world of fountain pen use, I cruise the Fountain Pen Network for conversations about using this archaic instrument of written mayhem. The Penmanship section can be inspiring. This thread A Contest Worth Writing For peaked my interest so I scrawled off an entry. I stand no chance at all in winning, but it was a fun diversion.

If you want to see some fantastic writing, read that thread. It just might encourage you to slow down your writing, grab a fountain pen and play around a little bit.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Labeling the parts

Here I am with the appropriate safety gear, having just labeled all of the parts of a porcine female reproductive tract.

This will explain why I have not been writing back to my pen friends. I will get back to it next week when I am home.

Fw: Reproductive dissection

Not letter related, but here is a group of my colleagues examining a sheep reproductive tract- the male type. Later I will be dissecting a female sheep reproductive tract. This is the start of week 2 of my class on animal science curriculum

Monday, June 20, 2011

#1 Son is home from college for a week or so but before he left New Orleans, he visited The Papier Plume and picked up a couple of nibs and two uber cool notebooks for his dad! Thanks Ross.

In the meantime, I am in Manhattan, Kansas for a two week course on a revolutionary Animal Science curriculum. It is good stuff, but geeze, I miss my family.