In Memory of Andrea Jay, Hilarious Assistant Principal (Retired)

Andrea Jay sent me a postcard about 3 years ago when she found my name on Mail Me Some Art. It was the beginning of a very interesting and entertaining exchange! I’m going to show you all the postcards she sent me that I could find. If you click on the picture, it should enlarge so you can read them easily.


Her collages are fun, but her drawn figures are even better! I felt kind of intimidated when I first saw how talented she was.

A close friend of hers wrote to me recently, enclosing my postcards to her, and letting me know that she passed away last March.


Most of the cards here don’t show the year, but I arranged them by season to put some kind of order on them.


I was aware fairly early on that she was getting treatment for cancer, but it never seemed to make her depressed…at least, not in the mail.


She signed hers “best fishes,” and I started responding with “best dishes,” and magazine cut-outs of stacks of dishes.


“Learn to laugh at your problems, everyone else does.”


She was a die-hard vegan, and I found a site that said she was a judge for a cookbook. There’s a nice photo of her on that page.


She REALLY hated winter!


Although my mail art style is very different from hers, she really inspired me to do my best to send something original back to her.

I love it when people can draw like this… always wished I could.







I know there is another one from her, because I distinctly remember her saying her wig made her look like Dolly Parton, but I can’t find that one…I have it somewhere, though.

IMG_0034She also wrote her own obituary.  Doesn’t she sound like someone you’d like to be around? I’m very lucky to have known her through the mail. She had many mail art friends who will miss her.



In Between “Real” Posts

IMG_0436Here’s a nice sunset picture I took when I was on Marrowstone Island in Washington last summer.
I’m not able to spend time on my next post just yet because Old Jules, from the So Far From Heaven blog (, is in a hospital here being treated for GBS (Guillain-Barre Syndrome) and I’m spending a lot of time going there after work as well as making sure his apartment is in order (40 minutes the other direction). So this week I’ve learned far more about this auto-immune condition than I ever wanted to know. For those of you who were following his blog and “know” him, he’s incrementally better from the first treatment (plasma exchange) but they expect it to be some time before he’s strong enough to go back to his own apartment. I have his latest cat, Miss Say What? (she’s deaf) staying with me and she’s okay with the change so far. My plate is full.
I do have some rather nice art work to show you from a mail-art pen pal of mine for the next time I post, so I hope it won’t be long.

A Summer Mandala


I realized that having taken such a long break from blogging has given me a backlog of art works to post. Here’s one from last summer. It’s about 12 inches across. The following photo is a detail of the center.  The center symbol is for Reiki healing. I don’t usually incorporate specific meanings to these designs, but I also knew not many people would recognize it anyway.

The advantage to not having matted and framed anything recently is that I can still take good photos to post without the added glare from the glass! So while I’m working on other projects, I’ll go back and find some things that I haven’t shown here before.

Weston Bend, Tobacco Barn

There was one day with pleasant weather during spring break last month, and I had a chance to get out of town with my granddaughter to visit Jack at the VA complex in Leavenworth for a day out.  For lunch, we brought a picnic to Weston Bend, a state park in Missouri. I didn’t get good photos of the view over the Missouri River  (you can also see the federal penitentiary at Leavenworth, KS from the overlook), but we ate lunch by this old tobacco barn and explored a bit. There are 5 tobacco barns in the area and evidently people still grow tobacco here.

I’m not supposed to put photos of my granddaughter on the internet, but I’m sneaking this one in so you can see the size of the building. I don’t know now why I didn’t try to get a full view of it, but probably the light was wrong.


We couldn’t actually get in, but there were plenty of ways to peek inside and through.









There’s a lovely camping area there, and plenty of walking trails, so I hope I get back soon before the oak mites and ticks make it unpleasant to be outdoors. The town of Weston is also worth exploring, as it dates to pre-Civil War, but I’ll save that post for another time.

Layouts, Handwriting style, Size? Oh, dear.


I’ve been playing around with layouts and what kind of handwriting I want to use on these recipe pages. I’m trying for something not too formal, a little bit elegant, and still very legible. I’m not sure yet about the sizing on them, the one on the right looks like it’s harder to read, so I may go with a smaller size. I’m trying to leave space for some embellishments, too.
Feedback is welcome. I’d like to resolve some of the basic issues before I commit to a huge project!

Vintage Scrapbook Art, Recycled

While going through the discards at our nearby auction house, I found a scrapbook that was made as a gift for the president of a woman’s club. It narrowly escaped the dumpster. The pages were falling to bits, but I thought the content was worth keeping… the hand-decorated photos and collaged captions from 1953 were strangely appealing. Maybe because those old ladies don’t look so awfully old to me now… just a group of women trying to do good works and have some fun at the same time. And with hats! Someone put a lot of work into it originally, and I hate to see this kind of thing get trashed. So I salvaged what I could and made  ATCs and postcards. I used the inside cover paper from another old book for backgrounds.

“Matchbox” trade, Tiny Collage Art

I was following a French  artist on Facebook who initiated a matchbox exchange. The photos of the ones he had received showed them filled with tiny items, pictures, charms,etc.  I decided to accept the challenge,  but instead of a matchbox, I  used an old box for reinforcements. (As it turned out, that wasn’t the best choice).
I found an old Conoco trip log from the 1930’s with various graphics that I liked and superimposed them on an old map, then added images to the back and sides. I intended to glue in an old race car from a Monopoly game, but I couldn’t find one without spending money, so I had to skip it.
When I packaged it up in a padded envelope to mail, the Post Office told me it would cost almost $14 to mail it first class! They said it was over 3/4 of an inch thick, and was not uniform in size (it made a lump in the packet, not a smooth item that filled the envelope space). To send it as a small package would have cost even more and involved a customs form as well. I could have saved some thickness by using a regular matchbox, but I didn’t feel like starting over and it still wouldn’t have had the dimensions they expected for a first class letter.
So I told him I couldn’t send it, after all.