Saturday, February 10, 2018

Craftnesia and #lettersforHenry

I had a lot of deadlines before Creativation, which required me to abandon my normal procrastination style, and complete a LOT of projects before I left, which left me with a craft-less week at the show in Arizona, and a craft-less week of recovery after.

I'm also doing a really energetic belongings purge - I've moved most of the way through my house since my craft room remodel, but I still have half the kitchen and garage to go.

I've asked some friends to please explain to me why there's a tradition of giving young married couples full sets of china and every day plates, cups, glasses etc. when the only other thing you actually own when you get married is a futon and a shower caddy? It makes no sense. We have enough dishes to smash our way through 80 Greek weddings and still not make a dent. But not for long. We are slowly getting to where the only things in our house are things we actually use daily - which is not a lot of "things" and it's incredibly liberating. I've been selling a lot of things on Facebook garage sale pages, which is good because someone gets a great bargain, and I have fewer things. I also give a lot of things away when I can, and donate as a last resort.

The process goes like this - set up two folding tables in our front living room and empty the kitchen cabinets completely onto table #1. Then we "shop" and take back anything we want to keep. (Not much, and nothing from China comes into my kitchen, so that makes for a pretty minimal kitchen anyway. I cook a LOT, and all you really need is a sharp knife, an oven and a stove. I'm not an appliance/gadget chef at all.) Then, as I list the items on FB, they move to table #2, and as that empties out, I list more. Anything not sold in a week is donated - so today I went to the Goodwill with the glass stuff we purged from our upper cabinets. As you'd expect - games and electronics sell well. Also, on our Facebook garage sale group - used baby pants go like hotcakes, but I don't have any used baby pants.

I sold a bunch of stemless wine glasses to a local artist who puts them on hand-thrown pottery stems. It's fun to see what people are doing with your stuff that you just want gone.

So that has meant a little less creative time anyway, and combined with Creativation and some life events, I had a bit of a drought. I wanted to see if I still knew how to make a card the other day - and I think I still do, but I'm rusty. I chose a very limited palette of Daniel Smith watercolor as a challenge - they are listed below, and I chose a brown ink (one of my new favorites from Creativation) for sort of a vintage look instead of black. Even thought my photo makes it look black, it's a pretty, warm brown in real life. You also can't see the lovely shimmer from the Wink of Stella - but it's there. These gorgeous flowers are from this Gina K kit. The ink is a brand new ink I'm in love with. It's not in stores yet, but you can bookmark the link below and get it as soon as it's in. It's from Tsukineko and it's magical. It has the quality we love of Versafine - full coverage of even solid images the first time, WITH faster drying time (although you can emboss with it), and GORGEOUS colors that are waterproof. If stained stamps freak you out - you'll love how this ink comes off your stamps right away.

Gina K Hearts & Flowers Kit with the new Versafine Clair Ink and Daniel Smith watercolor
Hearts & Flowers Kit - Gina K Designs.
[ GNK ]
Daniel Smith Extra Fine Watercolors
[ BLIC ]
01767-6550 - Daniel Smith Extra Fine...
[ BLIC | ELH ]
01767-2150 - Daniel Smith Extra Fine...
[ BLIC | SSS | ELH | ART ]
01767-7070 - Daniel Smith Extra Fine...
[ BLIC | ELH | SSS ]
01767-4160 - Daniel Smith Extra Fine...
[ BLIC ]
Daniel Smith INDIAN YELLOW 5ML Extra...
[ SSS | ELH | ART ]
Tsukineko VersaFine Clair PINECONE...
[ SSS ]
Fabriano Extra White Cold Press...
[ BLIC ]
Whisper White Cardstock - Thick
[ SUP ]
Strathmore? 300 Series 9" x 12"...
[ ART ]
Clear Wink Of Stella Glitter Brush...
[ SUP ]
MISTI Stamping Tool
[ MSW | SSS ]
Absorber - Synthetic Cleaning Cloth
Multipurpose Liquid Glue by Stampin' Up!
[ SUP ]
Rotatrim Professional Series Cutter -...
[ BLIC ]

I had a lot of thank you notes to send after Creativation so I actually made a pile of these. It was relaxing. I bought the kit before I left and it was delivered while I was away, so it was waiting for me on my desk during the crafty drought. It was totally worth the wait.

Now, on another note - you know I'm a true crime addict, and if you click on the My Favorite Things tab at the top of my blog (on mobile - hit the menu option to see this), you can see a list of the podcasts I love. One of them is called Vanished, and the host, Marissa, looks into missing person cases that haven't had a spotlight shined on them. She does a great job, and she does it with a lot of compassion and empathy, and respect for the victims of crime.

Recently - an episode really touched my heart. It was the story of Henry Groeneveld, a mail carrier for the US Postal service, who vanished before Christmas last year. Sadly, last month they found his body. He seemed like such a kind, sweet man - and his daughter said since he was 8 years old, he wanted to be a mailman and that he loved his job. As a kid, he'd make his parents stop at every post office in every town they traveled through. He was someone who had found his calling, and that's so rare and such a treasure. And the fact that his calling is something I love dearly just connected me to the story in a very personal way. I had really hoped for a different ending.

There's a discussion group for the podcast, and his story more than all the others really touched people and generated a lot of conversation. His daughter is in the group and she asked me if I'd share a request with you. Since Henry's passion lines up so much with mine - I couldn't help but ask you if you could do something kind for his family the next time you go to send a card to someone. She would love to see the photos on the hashtag below - Instagram, Twitter or Facebook.

It would honor my dad if you mailed a letter to somebody
 you love. It would be beautiful to see a picture of your 
letters posted with the hashtag #lettersforhenry

We can do that, right? I know we can. Thank you in advance.



  1. You always say what you say so well! You also seem to accomplish so much. That's such a neat idea to send a card in Henry's honor. Thank you for your inspiration always.

  2. You always say what you say so well! You also seem to accomplish so much. That's such a neat idea to send a card in Henry's honor. Thank you for your inspiration always.

  3. Lovely. The card, your always, thanks.

  4. What a touching story. It's too bad it turned out the way it did, but it does make me want to honor those who are living by telling them I love them.

  5. What wonderful colors you used on your flowers and the blending/shading is so very pretty.

  6. This made me totally veklempt. So going to do this. Can’t wait to try Gina K’s new ink!

  7. Beautiful card, this story really hit home for me.

  8. I certainly will use that hashtag. I hope to find my Henry passion.

  9. Having the same awesome career as Henry this touches so close to home. I will definitely honor Henry with the hashtag. I now have to check into this podcast series,I love true crime mysteries. My other career path I desired was forensics.
    I love your gorgeous card and have the Versafine Claire colours on order for the shop.

  10. I sent him a card, Lydia :) And thank you for this one -- it is incredibly done. I didn't know you used Daniel Smith WCs on it -- stunner!!!

  11. This makes me cry. I just sent out several before I read this but I will do my best to remember the next time I head to the post office.

    Your card is really beautiful! You most definitely haven't forgotten how!

  12. This makes me cry. I just sent out several before I read this but I will do my best to remember the next time I head to the post office.

    Your card is really beautiful! You most definitely haven't forgotten how!

  13. What an inspiring post--the clearing out of "stuff," which, at 76, I absolutely need to do! And also the story of Henry (which is my older son's name). I grew up in a small town when the postman walked his route and was known by name. I also remember when there was so much mail at Christmas there were sometimes 2 deliveries a day!


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