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)