Monday, September 28, 2009

Ecstacy: we go to stamp exchange (Postcards) & go to see squirrel friends

As the last weekends had been the 10K and the breakwater, I needed to catch up on postcards from the postcard project to make sure all the people who had requested a postcard or hadn’t gotten anything but bills lately got something nice! Plus, Linda had found a ‘stamp exchange’ starting at 10:00 am at a local hotel, where those who do stamping, using the rubber stamps we use on the postcards were going to do an exchange. So we worked until 4 a.m. matching the names from the list ‘just the right’ postcard: everything from WWII pin-up girls to exotic music instruments made in New Zealand.

We only got a few hours sleep but wanted to be there when it opened at 10 a.m.. We didn’t know what to expect, as it could be people asking huge prices or only a few stamps. We wheeled into a room to find myself in heaven: Tables everywhere stacked with wood blocked stamps and I couldn’t decide where to wheel to first! Ahhh! What if others got ahead of me? The collecting bug was on me. Cheryl and I went to the first table and I immediately found a Coronado Tiger. We only use about four companies: Coronado (they do animals, large blocks of wood and deep cuts!), PSX (out of print and expensive! One woman there said she paid $75 for a single wood blocked stamp) as they make unique series and images, Hero arts (top quality and deep cut), and Stamp Oasis (out of print as is Our Lady of Rubber and Magenta). There was a Tiger for $5 (if I use it 100 times on postcards, that is only 5 cents a use!). It normally goes for $30. Do I look happy holding it and a PSX complex farm yard that I found for $7?
So I went to each table, finding PSX, Hero Arts, (that was the only Coronado I was to find), and other companies, looking at the stamps and building a stack, then paying and leaving Cheryl to put them in the bag or putting them in my backpack (I got a compliment as someone noticed how cool it looked when I came in!). I hit a table every 2 minutes on average. All Linda said was, “You should have seen her at the book sales”. I got a set of Hero Arts flowers for $4 (that is 4 stamps for $4), I found another set of 4 at another table, and 2 mini's. These are the kind of Stamps we order five of, and pay $40. It was like a giant boost to the diversity of stamps I have and can send out, one section mostly botanical, and then other was cars and people. Some of the really obscure stuff wasn't there but there was a lot of really good things like borders and a few animals. But yes, after I did the rounds ONCE, Linda came and looked for child appropriate stamps and then I looked at other stamps I had missed.
And so at the end, this is what we got, in terms of ink and stamps. We FINALLY got some dark green (deep forest green) as well as a good purple. Ahhhh, I needed that. I even managed to find a Stamp Oasis Japanese stamp of a Lady doing her hair in her kimono in front of a lacquer table. Go Stamp Exchange!

So, then it was back to matching and after a nap, we started stamping. Well we didn’t start, first we had to choose ONLY a few of the stamps we had bought that day for what turned out to be the 81-84 postcards for the postcard project we were about to stamp. It was hard but of course the TIGER had to come. (I love that tiger, he looks good in black and white but he looks LOVELY in green for some reason). All the stamps but one are new ones we just got at the stamp exchange. Cool, yes? Linda found the mini monkey stamped in the corner.

So we had the stamps then we spent and hour trying them out with different colors to find out what the right color for each stamp was. Because of the neuropathy I can’t paint in the different colors, I have to find one color, or at best two (press on one side with one color and on the other side with the other) to stamp with. Linda can do a few ‘special’ ones with her secret practice, like the cat and chasing the butterfly and I can, after 30 minutes of work, could do the thatched roof farm, with the watering can and lettuce, the greenhouse, the stone wall, the ivy, trees, door and wood bench so it looked somewhat natural – it was hard, hard work. I also did the red berries, but only once or twice and then my hands couldn't anymore. Also with the different textures, it meant a slick texture postcard came out mushy looking while a different paper might absorb all the color. As has happened here with my lady doing her hair in the Kimono, but I was still very proud to see these Stamps, from the ‘Exchange’ (our money for their stamps!) in use. It was great to know these postcards were going to New Zealand, Australia, UK, Canada, US, Africa and other islands and hopefully people would like the images (who could not love the tiger?).

We didn’t finished until 6:20 a.m. and went to bed and slept. Then it was up and writing for me, writing and writing, all the US and overseas postcards, plus any post stamping stickers. Hour after hour, I sit in a room and think about a person, then write a message, and notes about my life, then on to the next card. 68 postcards went out today (already moving by van and airplane!), and the rest will be ready tomorrow. But after three hours it was time for a break: Squirrels.

The sun was going down but it turned out that there were a FEW squirrels that wanted to see a wheelchair (with peanuts)!
Cheryl met with her disability friendly squirrel who climbed her leg to get the peanut so she didn’t have to bend over and hurt her back. Here we wait to see if it can figure out to climb.

Ahhhh, it found it!
Yes, it turns out with winter coming, the squirrels had overcome the earlier shyness from weeks ago and were up, DETERMINED to have peanuts!
Even Linda who was sitting and taking pictures had squirrels sneaking up on her around the tree to investigate the ‘bag of goodies’ on her lap. Once it found the ‘Mother Lode of Peanuts’ it was rewarded with a peanut and stayed close by while eating it (Good rule that: once you know the source of food, stay close by!).
Here I am with a squirrel who seemed to recognize me in my lap, it just keep looking at me, with a peanut in the mouth, so I got out another and gave it. But it still sat there with two peanuts in the mouth. So I pet it, just a little, because, hey, it already has the peanuts, and was hanging around. A very pleasurable break.

Then back to the room and to finish the last of the postcards. I hope many people get postcards this week. I tried to find anyone we had forgotten or overlooked for a while. That was my weekend, how about yours?


One Sick Mother said...

wow! Those stamps are great! I love the tiger and the geisha and the leopard, the bamboo, the orca, the butterfly and that a Celtic pattern I see in the corner? Awesome!

I love that the squirrel, having already gotten his nuts, stayed around for some love, too. Many men could learn from that little squirrel...



Lene Andersen said...

WOW! Those stamps are amazing! (the tiger... drool...) Up until dawn both days? May I introduce you to the concept of moderation? A-hem.

Love the pics of the three of you with squirrels. My favourite is you and Mr. Greedy bonding. Lovely slanting light and interspecies communing.

My weekend? Pretty good. Worked a lot, was very productive, may have to take today off to compensate. (perhaps I should introduce myself to the concept of moderation?)

Neil said...

Your weekend was much better than mine; we spent Saturday cutting caragana bushes, and Sunday recuperating.

I did hear a squirrel jump from the garage to a tree less than 6 feet above my head; it didn't seem to be afraid of me, but I had no food for it.

The stamps look amazing, dears. I hope you don't pay too much for all the fun you had.

Love and zen hugs,

Tom P. said...

The squirrels in our neighborhood are a little too nervous to come that close. Michel dumped some seeds on our deck and they came up but the instant they heard someone at the door, they took off. One of the little guys had his tail damaged - the fur is gone from the middle of the tail. It looks like he either got it caught somewhere or got into a fight, perhaps with a cat.

wendryn said...

Wow, that's a lot of stamps! I always love the pictures of you with squirrels, too. :) I'm glad you got to go out and have some fun this weekend!

I spent the weekend with kids - we went swimming and made lasagna and bread. Pretty good weekend, overall.

Anna said...

Sounds like a really busy case of being productive, as making postcards, I have achieved nothing:)

Vacuumed, doing the laundry, cleaned up as usual.....

Books read: zero
Postcards written: zero
Other great achievements: zero
Noses hit by a bar: one
Sciencefiction dvd watched: 4
Drinks: 3
Laughs: too many to count
Unhealthy snacks eaten: tooo much
Time on dance floor: hours
Hours slept: a lot
Creative thoughts: few

all in all a very relaxing weekend but

Take care

David said...

That's awesome, Beth. I hope to see some of your hard work in my mailbox at some point soon! Obsessive hobbies can be so much fun. Your description of coming into the room for the first time really resonated with me.

Namibia always shuts down on the weekends, so I spent my time hanging out with a friend, drinking a couple beers and watching DVD episodes of The Wire. I also managed to organize some of my research files so it wasn't entirely unproductive.

SharonMV said...

Oh Beth! What fun! And what a treasury of stamps! It makes me so happy to share your joy. Stamping is hard work, but so much fun. I like the same companies you do. When I first started stamping I entered a card contest on the Hero Arts website & won a bunch of stamps. i have some of the flower stamps you got at the Exchange. My sister gave me the stamp of the 2 kitties with tails entwined when she was here last weekend.

And we get squirrel pictures too. Thank you.

PS: there are some good stamp pads that have several colors. I really like the Big & Juicy pads - they come in several nice color combinations.


Devi said...

So nice to see "your" squirrels again; it made me smile.

cheryl g said...

What a great weekend... the stamp exchange was great and we got such treasures. I am really looking forward to using them.

It was fun feeding the squirrels. They did seem more frantic than usual as they gathered food like furry little maniacs.

cheryl g said...

After using the stamps a bit I love the tiger and I am impressed with how cool the English cottage looks after you do all the work getting the right colors. It was fun having such a variety that I could stamp images to create little stories and vignettes.

JaneB said...

Squirrels AND new stamps, sounds like a good weekend. I went to work for mine... dull. Thanks for sharing the pictures!

Kate J said...

(My third attempt at posting this comment...)

Wow, I'm really jealous that you got so many squirrels; when there were hardly any the day I came to visit you, and they were all keeping their distance! Maybe it was the hot weather that day.

The stamps are really lovely. I guess there must be stamp fairs etc over here (UK) as well... I'll have to look out for some. In the meantime, my postcards are just the plain, unadorned kind... tho' I do try to buy interesting ones; I have a friend in Belgium so I go there about once a year for a short visit, and they have some really quirky and interesting cards over there, with images from comic books and the like.

Glad you had a good weekend!
Love & peace

Abi said...

Were you pleased with the stamps, then? Because it was hard to tell by your facial expression! ;-)

I love the effects you have managed to achieve with the different colours. I also love the ones which are just a single colour - very effective. I am slightly jealous of your collection. I would be significantly more jealous if I could justify using any storage space at all for stamps! (But if I started I would never stop, just like you, and for me that would be very bad!)

Yay for autumn making the squirrels hungry and biddable. (Down with equality for squirrels - they are minions to be fed.)

My weekend was quite good. Played a successful introit at church, much to my surprise, and, erm, chatted on the phone a lot. Didn't get birthday presents or cards bought, which will probably lead to a bit of a panic tonight and tomorrow! Methinks somebody will be getting a lot of soap...

Defying gravity said...

Great stamps and a good weekend. Hope you're not paying for it now. I like the idea of Linda as the mother lode of peanuts!

My weekend? Busy but good and productive. Caught up on paperwork, went to a work BBQ, went to a friend's house to recover from the BBQ, then I worked Sunday - church service, hanging out with some young people, a Carribbean singalong, then a meeting about supporting asylum seekers. Next weekend I intend to have some time off!

FridaWrites said...

Green and purple ink--wow, yes! The stamps are beautiful--I love seeing the pictures of how they look imprinted.

Saturday I took a shower but then was too tired to go to the gardens we wanted to visit--I did get to go to my grandmother's for a few hours and meet my second cousin again--she's also a wheelie. That was wonderful, though I'm sad she's in awful, awful pain all the time. We were able to go to the gardens Sunday--hot but mission accomplished. There were some nice new playhouses set up there. Yesterday I was sick (allergies from garden?) but am mostly okay now.

Stephanie said...

Tiger! Tiger! TIGER!!!

(Yes, I like tigers. ;))

This Stamp Exchange idea? Very very good one. I'm glad you got new stamps! I tried to get into stamping earlier this summer but I decided it was not the best idea. I don't have enough money to spend, I'd rather spend it on stamps and postcards and stationery...

Elizabeth McClung said...

I love the Tiger too! And yes, that seems to be a Celtic pattern, all from those 4 companies! Woot!

I loved the squirrels, they didn't come quickly but if we waited, when they came back, they hung around. I really like the two pictures of Linda. She looks happy.

Neil: I always pay too much for the fun I had - or was that I always max out my fun?

Stephanie: I started with 4 stamps off ebay and 3 colors. But having a sister who has a large collection - it is like borrowing clothes, what she doesn't miss, she won't catch me and throttle me for! Right?

Everyone did so much work - I worked but I have to do 'fun' stuff or Linda and Cheryl have an 'intervention' And I have to spend an entire day sans postcards.

e said...

Hi Beth,

Those stamps are gorgeous! I hope you have a safe trip and make many happy memories in Hawaii.

Inga said...

I hope this post works....just not the brightest candle in the church so to speak....this blog thing is new to me.

I have AAN, AAG actually, same thing. I am being treated, however, with IVIG. There are treatments. Check out the research by Vernio from Mayo.

I know you are from Canada, and I am not sure if you can get your IVIG paid for. It is hideously expensive. Insurance pays for mine here in the states, and they keep knocking me off, but, so far, I have prevailed.

If you want more info, you can email me.

At least you know some one else with this damn disease.

Elizabeth McClung said...

Inga, I do want more info - how do I email you? I am authorized for IVIG - 6 months to see what effect it has and another drug but no one in this town I live in has seen this disease (no surprise) and so they won't risk giving and expensive treatment for something they aren't familiar with - except no one in the province is familiar with it. I have vascular AAN - is that what you have - strokes, heart erratics with electrical signals and the lack of oxygen conversion as the blood only circulates to one lung at best?

I looked at Mayo early on, which is how I controlled the blood pressure spikes, I will look up that researcher, thanks!

FridaWrites said...

Beautiful new stamps! I would like some of the roses on one of mine sometime. You scored some awesome finds.

You know, you did choose the most awesome backpack ever. I know you originally wanted a different one that sold, but I think the one you found is even better and just you entirely.

Good to see those hungry squirrels getting fattened up for cold days ahead--I'll bet they loved the treats.