mail art #2

by rae on May 11, 2015


More Mail Art! This time it is for Crystal of Tart Workshop  so I had to bring my “A” game. These note cards are not hand printed. But these letters are from my as yet unnamed, new, big, script font. I created a few note cards, had them printed and mailed them off.


Again this is not handlettered, but I did use 3 of my fonts to address.


And I collaged the back of the envelope with things I had in my office. It was probably over kill. But fun to do.


This little package of goodies went to my friend Laurie.


And it appears I forgot to photo the actual Mail Art lettering piece that is in the envelope, which was Laurie’s horoscope.

Mail Art… fun to do, even more fun to get.



what are you reading?

by rae on May 4, 2015

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I just worked my way through a large stack of books. I enjoyed these two. These are 3rd and 4th in a series and I just put the first two on my library list. I liked the forensics, archeology and history and that it took place in Ireland.

False Mermaid…  Gavin remains haunted by a cold case that nearly cost her sanity five years ago: her sister Tríona’s brutal murder. After failing to bring the killer to justice, Nora fled to Ireland, throwing herself into her work and taking the first tentative steps in a new relationship with Irish archaeologist Cormac Maguire. She’s driven home by unwelcome news: Tríona’s husband—and the prime suspect in her murder—is about to remarry. Nora is determined to succeed this time, even if it means confronting unsettling secrets. As she digs ever closer to the truth, the killer zeroes in on Tríona’s young daughter, Elizabeth.

The Book of Killowen… After a year away from working in the field, archaeologist Cormac Maguire and pathologist Nora Gavin are back in the bogs, investigating a ninth-century body found buried in the trunk of a car. They discover that the ancient corpse is not alone—pinned beneath it is the body of Benedict Kavanagh, missing for mere months and familiar to television viewers as a philosopher who enjoyed destroying his opponents in debate. Both men were viciously murdered, but centuries apart—so how did they end up buried together in the bog?

(Thanks Linda!)

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After reading my stack of books I am now on to the my hold list at the library which is also a lovely long list… here are some favorites.

Lydia is dead. But they don’t know this yet . . .

So begins the story of this exquisite debut novel, about a Chinese American family living in 1970s small-town Ohio. Lydia is the favorite child of Marilyn and James Lee; their middle daughter, a girl who inherited her mother’s bright blue eyes and her father’s jet-black hair. Her parents are determined that Lydia will fulfill the dreams they were unable to pursue—in Marilyn’s case that her daughter become a doctor rather than a homemaker, in James’s case that Lydia be popular at school, a girl with a busy social life and the center of every party.

When Lydia’s body is found in the local lake, the delicate balancing act that has been keeping the Lee family together is destroyed, tumbling them into chaos. Screen Shot 2015-05-04 at 11.19.30 AM

“Jenny Offill’s Dept. of Speculation resembles no book I’ve read before. If I tell you that it’s funny, and moving, and true; that it’s as compact and mysterious as a neutron; that it tells a profound story of love and parenthood while invoking (among others) Keats, Kafka, Einstein, Russian cosmonauts, and advice for the housewife of 1896, will you please simply believe me, and read it?”— Michael Cunningham

It’s short and funny and absorbing, an effortless-seeming downhill ride that picks up astonishing narrative speed as it goes. What’s remarkable is that Offill achieves this effect using what you might call an experimental or avant-garde style of narration, one that we associate with difficulty and disorientation rather than speed and easy pleasure.— New York Review of Books

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Imagine this: It’s your birthday. The doorbell rings: No one is there. But a book is there wrapped with ribbon silvery as London’s Thames River at teatime in April. Alexander McQueen might well have tied the bouffant bow.

Kathleen Tessaro’s new novel, The Perfume Collector (Harper), is a mystery, a journey, which takes us from Paris in 1955, to spring in London the same year. Then we’re in New York, and it’s 1927! We visit Monte Carlo, England, and ah, back to Paris.

The Perfume Collector, Tessaro’s striking fifth novel, is fragrant with suspense. You will learn astonishing secrets about perfumes: classic, forbidden, long lost, as memorable as this story.

Tessaro is the rare writer who defines the exact place we are. She is a fine host; you can feel her fascination as her characters arrive in each perfectly detailed scene. We first meet Eva d’ Orsay in Paris. She is not having a good day. Her life has been, as we learn, a puzzle. But then Eva never showed anyone what she could do with numbers. (If she’d lived in America now she’d be running Apple). But this talent “was secret…she couldn’t recall a time when numbers hadn’t carved through the chaos…bringing order.” – The Huffington Post

 Soooooo, what are you reading that I should put on my list? Do share.


flash sale & giveaway!

by rae on April 28, 2015

Thought I would welcome Spring with a Flash Sale and a Giveaway! It actually may be Spring in Wisconsin and that is something to celebrate.

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3 fonts… Woof, Vibrant Women and Yoga Studio all for what would be the price of one font. Designed by Nancy. All for $29.

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Lake Vacation Doodles, House Doodles, Farm Doodles and Woodland Doodles. 4 for $39 by Rae.

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Crowns, Just Animals, Just People, Just Flower Pots and Just Frames. Just 5 fonts from Justine for $49.

All for a limited time. To receive Flash Sale pricing plz use the links on this page.


This month’s giveaway will be my whimsical alphabet sampler. I designed it and it is produced and sold by Ann of Stitch Supply Co. To enter the giveaway go to my Facebook page and either Like, Comment or Share. If you do all 3 you are entered 3 times, or 2 times for 2…




art + socks = bliss

by rae on April 24, 2015


When I was in grade school I knew who Charley Harper was. I certainly did not learn about him in my Catholic grade school art class. My uncle was a printer and each Winter on a Sunday at grandma’s house we would pour over the big books of Christmas cards. Those cards were then ordered and would have our names already printed on them. I loved those books. My favorite cards were any with Charley Harper art on it. I do remember an iconic red cardinal card that I do think we sent one year. I was mesmerized by how he drew.



I rarely shop. I am hard to buy for. I have what I need. I do like nice things though. And I really like toasty, warm socks. I almost always wear hand-knit socks or Smartwool socks. I even darned my favorite pair of Smartwool striped black socks. I know I do obsess over some things.

And this week I came home to this package of bliss on my doorstep. Not sure it gets much better than this. Charley Harper Smartwool socks. They are a wear now weight and a limited collection. So if you want some art for your feet check out the collection.

Disclaimer: These socks were a gift from a friend (thanks Sarah!). I have no arrangement with Smartwool. I just wish I did.



breakfast smoothie

by rae on April 20, 2015

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Time for a cold smoothie instead of a warm morning drink.

The day before….
1. Brew coffee and put in the refrigerator.
2. Peel bananas and wrap individually in saran wrap and freeze.

To make:

I use my little Cusinart smoothie marker. (Thanks again Jen!)

In the tumbler I put…
1 c skim or 2% milk
3/4 c cold coffee
1 frozen banana chopped in pieces
1 scoop chocolate protein powder

If you want it a little sweeter add a little sugar or stevia.

If you want it a little more chocolately add a bit of Trader Joe’s sipping chocolate.

Blend and enjoy!



the lucky platter

by rae on April 14, 2015


Easter weekend we went to Chicago to babysit the grand kids and see their parents too. Jackson wants to be a  train engineer when he grows up. He LOVES trains. So we took the train from Highland Park to Evanston for brunch.

And ended up at the Lucky Platter on Main St.


Oh yes, this place had Rae written all over it. (Lower left has little Alex peeking out the window.)



And the art… total kitsch. I am a total sucker for paint-by-number paintings. If I lived in a loft I would cover a wall from floor to ceiling in them. Also many interesting portraits. Some that looked like things I painted in high school, as a freshman.



And hanging art… and oh, the colander chandeliers. So much to look at.


And the food is pretty and tasty too. I had the Crab Cake Benedict. Homemade crab cake with garlic aioli, spinach, hollandaise on toasted cornbread. Yum. If you are in the area I recommend it.



mail art

by rae on April 10, 2015


What is mail art you ask. Well Wikipedia says… Mail art (also known as Postal art and Correspondence art) is a populist artistic movement centered on sending small scale works through the postal service. It initially developed out of the Fluxus movement in the 1950s and 60s, though it has since developed into a global movement that continues to the present. The American artist Ray Johnson is considered to be the first mail artist, and the New York Correspondence School that he developed is considered the first self-conscious network of mail artists.


Crystal Kluge’s calligraphy class I took in January had people wishing they got nice things in the mail. That developed into 9 of us starting  a Mail Art group.


In February I had Susan and it was Valentine’s Day. So I made a little hand sewn paper Valentine. I put it in a nice little box and added some office supplies. My personal goal for the Mail Art is to make it all out of things I have in my office or my gift drawer.

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And the idea is also to send it in an interesting envelope. I think that most people will showcase their calligraphy skills. Since I don’t have any I am just doing my own thing and creating something interesting. It is art after all, there should no be rules.


March’s Mail Art went to A. Yes that is the name she uses. Since I did not receive anything in February or March from my group I decided to be less elaborate that month. So I did an “A is for….” piece of lettering.

While it would be nice to receive something from someone I do enjoy thinking about my April Mail Art. It is a good creative exercise.

An interesting aside is that my friend’s 80-something Mom has every single thing I have ever written to her over the years. Every single thing. She now has bulletin boards and has them all up. She moved from her big house to living with my friend and that is what she brought with her. I now write to her weekly. Generally it is a postcard, nicely lettered. Or I share with her whatever font I am working on and pictures of the grand kids. Real mail does change lives. It is an connection like no other.

Do any of you do Mail Art? Or make and send your own postcards? Or send interesting mail to the elderly or sick? If so, plz share.


new font, dickybird doodles!

by rae on March 24, 2015







This illustration font has 32 dickybirds. Birds in a cage, on a wire, in a nest. A flamingo, toucan, sandpiper, cardinal, penguin, heron, chicken & rooster, hummingbird, swan. Some line, some reverse and one with polka dots.

For a very limited time this new font is $21. This price is only available on this site.

Sign up for the newsletter. Next month may include another giveaway, a BOGO and a few other things.



by rae on March 23, 2015


As predicted, we woke up to snow. Snow always makes me think soup. Yesterday anticipating the snow I make a pot of Spicy Tuscan Soup. A hearty, Winter snow day kind of soup.


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This is a new recipe for me. Decided to try one of the many, many recipes I have pinned on Pinterest.

This soup is much like one of the soups at Olive Garden. And perfect for a snowy Winter day. I did add more kale because I like kale.



what are you reading?

by rae on February 23, 2015

I like to read real books. I like to see the typeface used, the type of paper, if they do any special illustrations for each chapter. But I was on vacation a couple weeks ago and decided to load my iPad with books. This was my first one.



At first glance Harold Fry is a sad, lonely English milquetoast, the human equivalent of a potted geranium. “The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry,” Rachel Joyce’s first novel, contrives a way to shake him out of his monotonous life and send him on a voyage of self-discovery. Harold will learn that there is more to life than mowing one’s lawn. Readers will learn that one man’s quiet timidity should not be taken at face value. Potted geraniums have feelings too.

Ms. Joyce’s novel, a sentimental nominee for this year’s Man Booker Prize, has a premise that is simple and twee. One day Harold receives a letter from an old acquaintance, Queenie Hennessy. Queenie is dying at a hospice that is 627 miles north of Harold’s home near the English Channel. When Harold reads the letter, he responds with a tearful “I um. Gosh.” Then he writes her a postcard and walks down his road to mail it. Then he keeps on going. – The New York Times

I did enjoy this book. But then I got to read most of it in sunny Oak Creek, AZ in the back yard of a nice house with the sun warming me.

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The clock is always ticking in Andrew Sean Greer’s “Impossible Lives of Greta Wells.” Elegiac in tone, this tale of time travel, loss and compromise is as precisely engineered as a Swiss watch. The premise is deceptively simple. It is 1985, and Greta Wells, a photographer living in Greenwich Village, has just suffered two devastating losses: Her twin brother, Felix, has died of AIDS and her lover, Nathan, has left her for another woman. Thrown into a deep depression, she consults a psychiatrist, who in turn sends her to Dr. Cerletti, an advocate of electroconvulsive therapy. “Will it change me?” Greta asks, before her first session. “Not at all, Miss Wells,” he replies. “What has changed you is your depression. What we’re trying to do is bring you back.”

Instead the treatment takes Greta away. The next day she wakes up in her own room — but not in her own time. “Instead of my white walls, I saw pale lilac wallpaper patterned in ball and thistle. Gold-framed paintings placed along it, and sooty gaslight back plates.” Not only that, she’s a different Greta. “I marveled at the long red hair falling in waves over the delicate yellow nightgown I had never owned before, trimmed with little useless ribbons. I touched my face and wondered: What trick was this? How could this be me?”-New York Times

OK, maybe I choose these two book in part because of their interesting titles. Both were good vacation reads.

Almost done reading this nice, heavy coffee table book on 100 years of Hallmark. I always wanted to work at Hallmark. Now that I am reading this book I really wish I had a chance to work there. This book is borrowed and I need to finish it and return it.

I have a big stack of books that I have been given or have somehow have just appeared. I did receive the 3 volume set of The 50 Shades of Grey. I think I’ll read 100 pages just to see what all the hoop-la is all about.

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Another gift and it is the next book I am going to read…

The ordeal of the whaleship Essex was an event as mythic in the nineteenth century as the sinking of the Titanic was in the twentieth. In 1819, the Essex left Nantucket for the South Pacific with twenty crew members aboard. In the middle of the South Pacific the ship was rammed and sunk by an angry sperm whale. The crew drifted for more than ninety days in three tiny whaleboats, succumbing to weather, hunger, disease, and ultimately turning to drastic measures in the fight for survival. Nathaniel Philbrick uses little–known documents-including a long–lost account written by the ship’s cabin boy-and penetrating details about whaling and the Nantucket community to reveal the chilling events surrounding this epic maritime disaster. An intense and mesmerizing read, In the Heart of the Sea is a monumental work of history forever placing the Essex tragedy in the American historical canon.-Nathaniel Philbrick

This appears to be a rather eclectic list, but then I think my reading always is.

So what are you reading?

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