Lots of changes going on around here, hence the absence...sorry. Complicated company structures, growing business and new products have led me to change my company name to "Eighty Days" derived from the famous book by Jules Verne and my desire to traverse the world in search of fabric! My continued blog can now be viewed at www.eightydaysdesign.blogspot.com
Sunday, March 29, 2009
A very clever and talented young lady over at A Pink Canary's Nest has designed some gorgeous little notecards and even included a free download. Well related to my previous post, print them out and send a note to a friend, pop one in your child's lunch box, or invite a neighbour around for a coffee. Start handwriting again!
Saturday, March 28, 2009
I've always been a letter writer, thank you note, greeting card person (although I have to admit the letter writing has dropped off) and really find it so special if I receive a handwritten note. It was this idea that was the foundation of my business, creating a greeting card that is special as a keepsake and encourages the sender to sit down and pen a note. How thoughtful!
This article was in The Age today......
Suzy Freeman-Greene puts pen to paper on the endangered art of handwriting.
J, Y AND G are monkey tails. They swing below the line in joyful curves. L, d and k are giraffes. They stand tall. The preps are learning handwriting and it's slow, hard work. So many letters in confusing shapes, all to be anchored to the line. Turning them into animals makes the job more fun.
Most of the year3s at our local school can already write well. I read a note from one girl ("you are one of my best friends") and am struck by its careful script. The letters stand upright: o's perfectly rounded, y's looping effusively. The words are well spaced; the full stop firm and round. This pencilled note, written in lower-case, italic, brings back memories of my own schoolgirl penmanship: from extravagant signatures practised under the desk to feverish entries in a diary that locked.
I sneak a peek at my daughter's writing exercises and marvel at the effort involved: there are rows of snakelike s's and wobbly w's, some anchored, others floating in that dread, white space. A subversive thought occurs: will kids even use this skill in the digitised future? Surely as teenagers they'll be tapping their schoolwork and every waking thought into some permanently attached electronic device.
In this texting, blogging, twittering world, handwriting has already diminished in usage. Once I wrote letters. Now I email. Once I took notes at the library. Now I take a laptop. Once, doctors' handwriting was a health hazard. Now my GP prints scripts with a mouse click. Even the carpenter sends typed quotes (though our electrician still writes his in a fetching, slightly ornate script).
But here I am, writing these words on a page. They'll be typed on a keyboard later, emerging on screen in Times New Roman 14point, but for this first draft I feel freer scrawling with a pen. Thoughts can flow uncensored. I get a truer sense of what I mean to say. Even though this piece will eventually be published, I feel as if I'm scribbling to please myself rather than others.
Clearly, I'm not a blogger. Maybe I'm a dinosaur. I'm also, I confess, a list-maker who finds something cathartic about scribbling "to do" notes on old envelopes. Still there are some seriously impressive people who are also said to write first drafts by hand, including J.K. Rowling, Toni Morrison, John Irving and Joyce Carol Oates. (It is not known how they feel about lists.)
Paul Auster is another who writes in longhand. He likes to type up his paragraphs immediately, to ensure he can still decipher his crabbed script. And Stephen King tells stories with a pen. As Kitty Burns Florey writes in her book Script and Scribble: The Rise and Fall of Handwriting: "He was forced to do so when sitting at the computer became painful after he was struck by a car in 1999, and continues to prefer it."
Florey, an American author, believes handwriting is in crisis. It's often illegible, she told ABC radio, and in some US schools, kids are being taught something known as "keyboarding". Studies have shown that kids master reading more easily when they write some of the words at the same time. There is, she says, a direct connection from brain to hand. But beyond fourth or fifth grade, US schools pay little attention to the quality of handwriting.
After hearing Florey, I'm mighty glad that Victorian prep students are straining over their giraffes and monkeys (though I'm not sure what they're doing at secondary schools). But you have to wonder what this penmanship will be used for, other than filling out forms and signing credit-card receipts. Will the next generation write in diaries? (Who needs to when you can record every moment on the web?) If they no longer send love letters, will they save those heartfelt emails and flirty texts for posterity?
Handwriting began as a specialised enterprise. (Think of those medieval monks bent over illuminated manuscripts.) And maybe it will again become a rarefied activity, closer to calligraphy than a daily necessity. Today, a handwritten letter already has a rare, intimate quality.
Still, there's one area where the written script flourishes. In the graffiti world, the "tag" rules. A tag is a signature, often in felt pen, and part of its appeal is said to be the visual possibilities of the lettering. No matter how hard authorities try to stamp out these scrawls, they pop up everywhere. It's as if they exemplify a primal need for self-expression: I write, therefore I am
Friday, March 20, 2009
Thursday, March 19, 2009
Monday, March 16, 2009
I've been on the hunt for some fabric places around Melbourne for some inspiration and ideas for new greeting cards. There are many, but they are in all corners requiring lots of driving and patient children. I've managed to get to a few and thought I would share them with you. Most are places stocking end of lines, remnants, one off samples and the like. The prices are very reasonable, however be prepared for rummaging, climbing shelves, digging deep to find the treasures you are looking for.
Saturday, March 14, 2009
Thursday, March 12, 2009
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Monday, March 09, 2009
Saturday, March 07, 2009
Friday, March 06, 2009
Sunday, March 01, 2009
Does anyone else have this problem? I spend almost every waking moment in the house, stepping on lego, sweeping up lego, packing up lego, trying to work out how to make a tow bar attach to a trailer in lego, or "build a tough truck with smoke and chimney stacks, bull bar, winch, side steps, tray, rear lights, spotties, steering wheel, tail gate and spare tyre" in lego (verbatim from my 5 yr old)..... This is a good evening when the boys have gone to bed and I sweep it into a neat pile, usually it's all over the room. I'm trying to teach them to pack it away themselves, encouraging with a little brush and pan, small broom, but the response is always "I'm too tired, it takes too long, you do it mum" And given that as soon as they wake up its back all over the floor again, I think, what's the point?................