U.S.Air Bag 2012 Made it on the tour poster. Yeah!

Sunday Summary - Jan. 29

I had a very good mail day yesterday.  A various mix of pen-pals from the FPN, the LWA, and readers of this blog.  I also got a letter from someone who had heard about my efforts on th FP Geeks podcast.  It surprises me where some people discover my blog, but it's awesome to find mail from places I've never thought of before.

The internet was off at my house for a couple of days.  I'm still not entirely sure why it was off, but it came back on today.  Not that I'm complaining, mind you.  I had plenty to do and was glad to have a weekend of very few distractions.  And as the return mail pile continues to grow, I'll need to learn to manage my time even more efficiently.

I plan on spending some time in the postage store at USPS.com very soon.  I know I want the Year of The Dragon stamps, as well as some international rate and postcard rate postage.  I would love to get some of the Spectrum Eagle postage, but I really don't think getting required minimum amount would be a good idea.  I love the simplicity of those stamps, as well as the ability to match it easily to the envelope I'm using at the time.  I also want to get my own digital postage scale to alleviate some of the guesswork that I've encountered.  I have access to a postage scale at work, but I'd really like one for home use.

I've been pacing myself.  I had hoped to answer a majority of the letters I have received this weekend, but realistically, I can't do it.  During Letter Writing Week, I cranked out a -ton- of letters.  I think I sent out at least 35 letters that week, and to be honest, I don't want to do that again for a long time.  The quality of those letters was very much a result of the amount I wanted to send.  If I ever do that again, I will start well in advance to add some sort of substance to the letters.

This is my outgoing mail for tomorrow's post.  Two Postcrossing postcards - one to Joyce in the Netherlands, and one to Grant from Oregon.  Four letters are going out as well - an intro letter to a pen-pal selected for me by the LWA, a letter to a pen-pal that the LWA gave my address to, one to a new blog reader that sent a beautifully calligraphic letter, and the last one goes to PostMuse.

One thing that I can't always promise is promptness of replying.  I've been doing fairly well apart from the few international letters I've received.  But I do want to reply to everyone, especially those that I have never written.

I can only imagine how bloggers that get tons and tons of mail each day manage.  One day, maybe that will be me.  But as all of you so graciously said - the words will come eventually.  All I have to do is give them time!

I also passed an awesome milestone this week.  The first two of my original 5 postcards to PostCrossing finally made it to their destinations.  Delays, lack of finding a good source of postcards, and debating with myself over handmade/printed cards, I'm glad I finally got it all sorted out.

So this has been my week!  How was yours?!

While not yoga related this video is absolutely amazing

My two pet birds and I just watched in wonder! Enjoy.

Who? What? When? Where? Why? HOW!

Sometimes, writing is a process that doesn't happen for me.  Take last night, for instance.  I had recorded and edited a YouTube video for one of my other hobbies, got out the Triomphe paper, inked up a pen... and nothing.  Not a single syllable would find it's way through my mind and into my fingers. 

I received a letter from Limner.  In it, she writes about mail art and how self expression is art.  I wanted to respond, as well as to respond to the other letters I have anxiously waiting for my reply, but as I said... there were no words.

So I started doodling on an envelope.  I will photograph it when it's addressed and ready to go out, but I came up with a theme that I like and plan to use in the future.  It was refreshing to just stop thinking about it and just going with the flow.  Ink was hitting the paper, but it wasn't words.

The creative process always intrigues me.  I watch YouTube videos of various people making everything from collages to paintings, operas to weird techno music.  I am fascinated with the method, and always ask how.  How did you choose this texture.  How did this melody play into this song.  How did you combine this and that to make that?  I'm exactly the same with words.  How do I convey this thought?  How did you learn that italic script?  How did the events of your day inspire this passage?

Today, Friday afternoon at 2:43pm.  How is your day going?  How do you plan on spending the weekend?  How is your mailbox treating you?  How's the weather?  


Another commission to http://www.khajj.com/

Interior book illustration

Illustrations for the book of http://www.darkharvestbooks.com/

Pregnant? if you have been coming to my classes you already know this but...

My friends at Utopia Academy (right across the street from Tinseltown) are welcoming those in their 2nd and 3rd trimesters a special treat!

2 one-hour massage sessions with their senior students, for $28 (inc HST).

The dates and times are:
Thursday Jan 26 (thats today) and Thursday, Feb 2, 9, 16 and 23.
Appointments available at: 9:15am, 10:30am, and 11:45am.

Please call Utopia Academy, 604-681-4450 & press "1" for clinic

Utopia Academy's faculty of massage therapy trains students to qualify for the College of Massage Therapists of B.C.'s registration exams. Their students are preparing to be RMT's.
They are located downtown, next to Stadium skytrain, near Rogers Arena.


we've had a few really good days.
and today was no exception.
...but it started too early.
and by four o'clock it had lost it's happy-go-lucky.

i was a tired and burnt out mom.

they were one-and-nearly-three-and-five-and-a-half-year-old boys.
they were c-razy.

and i got grumpy at lucas.
enough so that i felt i owed him an apology before bed tonight.
all he was today - was a wiley little boy - cooped up in january.
and i forgot that for a minute.
tonight i am grateful that he accepted my whispered i'm sorry.
with a simple i know. 

tonight i am grateful that i'll get to try again with him tomorrow.

tonight i am grateful for this journal of my thoughts.
the ones i've kept here on this blog consistently for all these years... because tonight i found this.

and he's five. already.

Handwriting Day... only slightly late!

And my desk at work shows this... with the letter from PostMuse on the top of the left hand (incoming) pile.

Finally! So revitalized to have powder in my life!

I am feeling very blessed after the last three days of amazing snow. Shredding up in Washington with a couple of friends for the past week, which I will have a belated blog about soon. Coming home to the white stuff that purifies the soul, was a topper to an already epic week. Kirkwood is such an incredible mountain! Check out the Kirkwood video shot this morning which is just a taste of how amazing the quality of snow and good times my friends and I have been experiencing.

Also I just have to share these two views...My two offices! Feeling very lucky, for some reason everything looks better with snow on it.

the daily:

I for one shall be walking to work today. Check this out :)

If you've got 9 minutes and 19 seconds to spare you really want to watch this. And, show it to your loved ones too!

Incoming Mail 1-21-2012

Working from left to right :

- A letter from someone that found my address on sendsomething.net.  They included the smiley face stickers, and a typewritten note.  It's been so long since I've seen something typed by an older hammer style typewriter, I was surprised to see it.  At least I think that's what those typewriters are called.  I should look that up...

- A letter from Troy

- A card and postcard from Pen Thief.  I believe these were sent on different days, but they arrived on the same day.  I love the quote on the card - "The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams." -Elanor Roosevelt.  Thanks to Misty for including the stickers and stamps as well!  I am jealous of her art skills!  The cup of tea on the envelope was hand drawn.  In celebration, I'm having a cuppa!

I've also learned an important lesson in the past week.  I over complicate things.  Instead of diving right in and trying something, I think about it.  In fact, I think about it too much.  Who cares if the mail art I produce is something someone might call bad or ugly?  Who cares if something I write isn't perfect?  It's the thought that counts.  And it's all a learning experience - I can't expect to be good or 'perfect' right from the start.  

I shall see you all again on Sunday for the summary :)  I have lots to do before the mail goes out on Monday!  Write on!

Ink Drop turned Ink River

This month's Ink Drop was a random assortment of the Rohrer & Klingner line of inks.  When writing my letters last week, I had trouble choosing which color to start with.  I eventually ended up putting all 5 of my samples into a bowl, mixing it up with my eyes closed, and pulling one out.  That sample was R&K's Verdigris, and has since become one of my top ink colors to use.  I enjoyed it so much, actually, that I bought a bottle of it straight away.  The R&K inks perform beautifully in the cheaper fountain pens.  I almost exclusively use Platinum Preppys, and these inks flow very well and don't experience any issues in them.  The Goulet Pen Company had a sale on ink samples, and I couldn't help myself.  I bought samples of every other R&K color that I didn't receive in this month's Ink Drop.  I suspect I'll be buying another bottle or two of the more unusual colors soon.. While I love my fountain pens, I am fascinated with ink.  The search for the right shade of ink to reflect the right mood is something I could spend hours on.

 In incoming mail so far this week, I have 3 letters from my FPN pen-pals.  I also have a letter from Stephanie, which opens like a book and includes a postcard from a store in San Francisco that caters to left-handed people.  I didn't even know this store existed, but I would love to get more postcards from it.  Perhaps a trip to San Francisco is in order?  I also received my first letter from the UK! Jim from A miscellany of sense and nonsense sent a card with an awesome photo of Lincoln Cathedral on the front.  The stamp that he used was very insteresting - from one angle, it's a profile of the Queen.  From another?  It's printed with the text "Royal Mail" over and over again.  I haven't seen a stamp like that before. Not pictured is a postcard from someone named Linsey who got my address from Sendsomething.net.. but I think I received it last week.  I honestly can't remember.

I don't have anything outgoing just yet - I have been completely brain dead after work for much of this week, and a proper response requires my full attention.  I will be starting to reply this evening as I wait for the new episode of Grey's Anatomy to come on.  Write on, friends!

morning snow.

january finally decided to get real.
we got snow last night. 
big snow. 
the magic kind. 
the boys went to bed with clear skies and silly talk of a big storm. 
they woke up to a blanket of happy white stuff. 
it's still falling fast. 
as much as i hate this kind - i can't help but giggle at their excitement. 
they've already been out twice. thirty minutes to get ready. ten minutes out. 
and charlie! his first real snow!
he snuck out for a minute, too. 
and he was a shivering little silly - in love. 

Cat Yoga

Did you know that yoga actually makes your brain more flexible as well as your body?

I think we all know by now thanks to fMRI's etc. that we can continue to mold and change our brains as we age and there's not much better news than that!

There has just been so much research on the plasticity "changeability" of the brain in recent years and there is absolutely no denying it. It is just so thrilling that we can continue to expand pathways in our brain, and adapt and learn as we age. And many folks are living sooo much longer these days (interestingly, I just read that there are "48,000" centenarians living in the United States alone right now surprisingly).

And although none of us knows how long we are going to live I do know one thing for sure... as long as I live I really hope and pray I can take care of myself and "think" up until the end whenever that may be.

Yoga is brilliant in so many ways:
Did you know that stem cells that form new neurons in the brain come from the bone? (the marrow of our bones)
When we practice yoga we are "literally" creating the stem cells that form new neurons in our brains. We are stimulating the brain to grow so we can have more available pathways.
Its truly fascinating, and too amazing for words.
And combine that with all the other brain benefits of meditation? Its just so incredibly huge. (Almost too much to wrap my brain around haha)

So remember, even if/when we're elderly our brains can keep rewiring themselves protecting against cognitive decline both structurally AND functionally, and thats wonderful news!

See you on the mat friends! Namaste.


Portfolio piece - Huge monster in the desert.


Imaginary unification

Letter Writing Week Summary

National Letter Writing week has come to an end, and this picture represents a large part of my participation.  I gathered as many addresses as I could find, some bloggers, some real life friends, and even the European Paper Company (in thanks for linking to my blog), and I wrote letters.  Lots and lots of letters.  I forget the final count, but there were many.

On the receiving side, I got a couple of things from random people who visited SendSomething.  I didn't expect to get many letters or cards this week, as I have come to live by the motto "Send some to get some."  I hope that my letters sent out this week spark conversation with interesting people from all over the country.  If not?  I hope the recipients enjoyed them, at least.

I also learned a valuable lesson.  Yes, I might receive mail, but I don't have to respond right away.  I wrote myself out of ideas and topics to talk about.  By the last letter I mailed out yesterday, I had nothing left to say, and was scraping the bottom of the barrel for topics to discuss.  So, my letters to respond to pile has grown, but in the end, my replies to them will be much more meaningful and interesting.

On the mail art front, I'm sort of conflicted.  I read a forum post somewhere that collages don't count as mail art.  But, I have to ponder the definition of art.  To me, art is a creative expression of an idea, thought, emotion, or event.  Be it text, painting, knitting, videos on youtube, whatever.  I would venture to say that anything that an individual thinks is art is actually art.  Would I call myself an artist?  No, at least not in the terms of mail art.  I have a long way to go before I create something that I view as art.  But the fun is all in the journey!

be more.

this is perfect.

Do you drip dry your sloths before you blot them with a towel?

Awwwww.....extreme cuteness!

Recent Mail

The letter on the top is from PostMuse that I received yesterday.  The three behind it were responses to previous letters that I put in the post today.

These two are the pieces I received today.  One from someone who only gives the name "Abs", and one from my first international pen-pal, Helene in Austria.

Not a very long post today, as I am very busy writing letters to many of you.  I have written 8 so far today, and I have 6 more to go before I post them on Friday.  How are you coming with your letters this week?

three years

Happy 3rd Hearing Birthday, Lucas!

It's been three years since Lucas's hearing journey began. We were told that day to keep our hopes high and our expectations low, but we learned quickly that he would far exceed our expectations. We did, however, have no idea that we'd be where we are today... with a little boy who never stops talking, who is ahead of his hearing peers in terms of language, who very successfully attends a mainstream preschool, who is very social and makes friends easily, and who is just a typical kid. 

Life is so normal, and easy (ok, minus the newborn...) right now, that sometimes I forget how far we've come. Today I sat down with Lucas and watched all of his youtube videos from his first year of life. I'm so thankful that I chronicled his listening/speaking/communicating milestones in this way, because I forget about the baby steps and the joy in the little things that first hearing year. Lucas got a kick out of the videos, and I cried a lot. He kept wanting to know why I was crying. My response? "It's complicated." It's tough to explain to a 4-year-old the sorrow, joy and relief that those videos evoked. 

I forget sometimes that he went from beeps and buzzes to coherent receptive language in less than 3 months... that by 6 months he had 11 words/approximations... that by 12 months he was caught up to his hearing peers. I forget sometimes how incredibly hard we worked that year. The messy house you see in all of his videos? Totally worth it in exchange for more mommy therapy. That 7 month hiatus I took from my job to teach Lucas to listen and speak? It was worth every moment spent and every penny lost. 

We have been incredibly blessed by this journey. We are forever grateful to Graeme Clark, the inventor of the cochlear implant, Dr. K. for his skillful implantation, and all of his therapists, who have helped teach him to listen and speak. We can't wait to see what this next year will bring for him. Enjoy the video from his activation day!

Thanks Riot Kayaks

Well it's been a long time since I post an update on the blog.I Have been back home in NZ since start of October trying to work and save some $ for the next mission.

Here is a sweet pic of me in my new Riot Magnum 80,trout Pools Kaituna River
Pic-Greg Clark

I have also made the switch to Riot kayaks what I am so stoked about.Riot were nice enough to hook me up with a brand new Magnum 80.I am loving this boat,it stays on top of everything and boof's like a dream.Bring on the stouts!!!!!!!

Stand by for a kaimai Creekin update coming at ya soon!!!!!


The Start of National Letter Writing Week!

Today marks the start of National Letter Writing Week.  My hope is to write one letter every day this week.  I also want to send a letter to everyone that follows this blog... that is, if I have or can find an address for you!  It's a busy week, I tell ya.

After a day of sitting in the dull, grey cubicle at work, and fighting through rain and fog on both commutes, I arrived to the post office to see this inside the PO Box.  The letter on the left with beautiful penmanship comes from Troy, who runs the blog Penpal from Northeastern Colorado.  He used a wax seal, and this is only the second or third seal I've seen in person.  And I'm even more interested in getting one of my own. He also included two sheets of paper that I was looking at today. Thank you so much for the letter, you asked a lot of questions and I will be replying soon!  (I just have to choose which ink to use LOL)

The giant yellow envelope was stuffed full of goodies!  Tons of paper and cards to play with, and some awesome stickers too!  This comes from Becky at Leaving a Paper Trail.  I must admit, I was taken back by the generosity!  I never would have expected anything like to come in, and I'm honestly a little lost for words.  I especially love the cards!

I am a very tactile person - I have to touch and feel everything.  That's part of my fascination with fountain pens.  Yeah, roller ball and gel pens are alright, but with fountain pens... you can actually feel the paper through the pen.  It's as if the pen is your instrument and the paper your ears.  Use them both together, and you can create beautiful music.  I've always loved writing, but it rose to a new level when I introduced fountain pens.

And the gifts of paper, cards and stationery from the two people mentioned here, along with the envelopes from Patty... it's so much of an encouragement.  I really wish I could describe it.  The best thing you can do for an artist is inspire them, and right now?  I am completely inspired!  Thank you all so much... it means a lot to me!  So, in honor of this year's National Letter Writing Week, I promise this... comment on this entry, send me an email, or @ me on twitter, and I will write you a letter.  What are you going to do to celebrate this week?

add color.

my personal theme for twenty-twelve is to be more. 
be more of a mother. be more of a wife. be more of a friend. be more of lindsay.
it's an easy enough mantra. 
quick to come to mind when i feel more like sneaking off quietly.
and back into my shell. 
this is what being more looked like last week. 
it was colorful and so very sweet. 
he hummed while he painted. 
and my heart sang. 
be more.
be more.
be more.

Sunday Summary

Good day, Friends!

I received this piece of mail from Marian.  She included a nice little note, as well as an awesome tip on where to find magazines and materials to use in mail art.  Thanks for the tip, Marian, and be on the lookout for a reply from me soon!

Today has been a rather quiet day in the North Georgia Mountains.  Waves of storms have blown through all day, leaving it rather foggy and damp.  We even lost power sometime in the night, which allowed me to sleep in a couple of hours as my alarm clock was reset.

Yesterday, I began experimenting with different papers and techniques in envelope making.  I don't really have anything to show you just yet, but I have had a lot of fun playing around with it.  My desk, normally a glossy black surface, is littered with remnants of glue and graphite.  I think a big majority of what I will produce are collages to practice with first.  I am fascinated with all the different techniques and styles there are to look at!

I spent most of Saturday writing replies to people.  As you can see here, I have letters going out to Ryan, D, Marian, Patty, and a pen-pal from the Fountain Pen Network, Jade.  I also have a post card going to a blogger that I found and really enjoy, wishing her well!

I also spent some time setting up my PostCrossing Album.  I'm glad I found a bunch of blank cards to use, as one person was asking for recipes!  The first 5 cards will be in the mail tomorrow, after a helpful tip from a blog reader here that I can use Forever stamps for international mailings.

I plan on hand drawing/coloring a lot of my PostCrossing cards.  I have looked -everywhere- locally to find some cards on the local tourist attractions, but haven't been able to find any.  As soon as we get a weekend without rain, I'll go take some photographs of some of the scenes and have some postcards printed from that.

What are your plans for the upcoming week?  Apart from work, I hope to make a few interesting envelopes I'm not too embarrassed to send out.  I'll also be stopping at the thrift stores and shops between home and work looking for ideas/supplies.  I stopped at a thrift store on Friday and managed to get something I had been looking for for about two months.  Brand new it would have costed me about $45, but I only had to pay $3!  I love a good bargain!

Until next time... Write on!

Titles Don't Write Themselves!

I finally made it to the PO Box today.  I missed yesterday because I was honestly far too exhausted to do anything after work.  I might only be 27, but I was in bed at 8:30pm.  Yeah, tons of partying for me last night hah hah hah.  Anyway, Finally made it to the PO Box today.

Tadaa!  Two fresh bright shiney new letters for me to open!  Woohoo!  One letter was from a real life friend, Ryan, and the other was a rather large envelope from someone I didn't know.  Awesome!

The large letter was from Patty @ Just Letter Rip.  I love mail surprises!  Inside it, Patty sent a letter offering encouragement, and also some advice on using "whatever is lying around" in my mail.  I am all for recycling and reusing anything and everything I have on hand.  What I was not ready for, however, were the AWESOME hand made envelopes she included.

Thank you so much, Patty!  I definitely will be using these sometime in the future!  And, I must say, you served as inspiration, as I made my first envelope today.  I found an old Game Informer magazine in my car (I should dig deeper, there's a lot of old junk mail in there... long story, that), and the inside front cover was an advertisement for a game printed on this really awesome marbled lime green background.  Green is my favorite color, so it was a perfect choice for my first attempt at an envelope!  

It's a little rough around the edges, and my OCD is kicking in with the less than straight folds, but guess what?  It's an envelope that I made, and I will use it!  That makes it pretty much perfect if you ask me.  With the ideas I've been getting from Patty and the many other people I've discovered through this blog, I can't wait to start looking for more things to use.

My outgoing mail today included a reply to Stephanie, a quick thank you note to The Missive Maven (no need to respond, I know you're dreadfully behind on mail!), and one to the Letter Writers Alliance.  I would have included my first postcards for PostCrossing, but my $1 stamps haven't arrived yet.  Those will go out as soon as I get the stamps in.  I would take them to my local post office, but it's a very -very- small local post office, and the only stamps Post Mistress Holbrook can carry are books of forever stamps.  Everything else she does is printed with a postage meter.

My final goal for tonight is to transfer over my make-shift correspondence log to a more suitable application. I've decided on a 3-ring binder (seems like that's all I use, a force of habit I suppose), and a simple, but adaptable logging technique.  My thoughts are to keep track of who has sent me what, and what I need to send out.  Anything else is up in the air.  The binder will also allow me to remove and replace pages, and reorganize them as necessary.  I guess it doesn't hurt that I'm a huge office supply nerd, and a trip to Staples or Office Depot is always welcome.  Plus, if I don't have a way to organize the log at will, I'll be less likely to keep up with it.  My brain is a very weird place sometimes.

Write on, friends!