New Wildflower correspondence cards and stationery


I love writing letters but part of the fun for me is creating my stationery.  I come up with all sorts of designs for my letter papers. Some of my designs are quite simple while others are a bit more involved. Whatever kind of art,  the activity is always fun.  It’s a sort of therapy, relaxing, and I can get lost in the creative process.  While concentrating on colors and lines all other concerns temporarily melt away. Hopefully the end result is pleasing but whatever the end result the process is always most pleasing to me.  My letter friends often receive my floral letters.

This is because I love flowers, don’t you? I love growing flowers in my garden.  I love placing flowers in vases on my dining tables and night stand and I love drawing flowers to decorate my letter papers.  I’d love to send fresh flowers to my friends regularly as a way to brighten their days and sometimes I do, but more often I simply send off cards and letters with my floral designs.  I created a line of wildflower correspondence cards in past days and recently I’ve added new designs to that collection.

And because I enjoy writing letters on large sheets of paper as well as on cards I decided to create some wildflower stationery on paper measuring 11 by 8 and a half inches.  Here are three sample designs.

Dense Blazing star
Horn poppy
Whorled Pagonia

The educator in me likes to write a little information about each flower presented, either on the back of the correspondence card or around the edges of the stationery.  For example, did you know the strange long sepals of the Whorled Pagonia are reddish purple and the petals are greenish yellow, except for the lip.  This is a wild orchid usually found in the woods.  There are a number of wild orchids in existence.

So you see besides the enjoyment of writing letters to friends and family the art of letter writing gives me  the opportunity to look closely at a flower and enjoy the artful activity of drawing that flower. It also encourages me to learn about the flowers I draw.  As if that’s not enough, then, by sending my floral stationery to others I’m sharing my joy, and as you know, sharing doubles the joy.  It really does.

With all this going on in my life a walk in the park becomes a special delight for when I spot a wildflower I not only take notice, but I feel like I’ve run into an old friend. I’ve heard you can’t really love what you don’t know so studying flowers, drawing them, and learning about them helps me love flowers even more.

It’s all such fun.

I draw flowers and create all this stationery for my own pleasure but the stationery is available for sale because once again, Sharing truly Doubles the Joy. If interested . . .

Stationery -10 assorted floral designs with an extra blank sheet of paper for each design plus 10 envelopes cost  $20.00 plus $2 for shipping and packaging.

Packages of 10 assorted wildflower correspondence cards – each card containing extra blank pages for long juicy letters and 20 envelopes cost $20.00 plus $2 for shipping and packaging.

To order send check to

But whether you order my papers or not I encourage you to write letters and try creating your own stationery. Letter writing and art play are two very wonderful activities.  You just might enjoy both as much as I do.

Be happy and live abundantly


I’ve got Mail


Yes, I’ve got mail.  I’ve got letters.  I’ve got lots and lots of letters –  letters that come in the mail every day, letters to answer, letters reaching out to new people encouraging friendship,  letters all set to go just waiting for the postman to pick them up and carry them off to places far and near.

It’s funny, but whenever I tell people I’m a letter writer the first thing most of them say is, “Oh, letter writing.  Nobody writes letters anymore.”  Of course they’re wrong.  Lots of people are still writing letters.  They’re just not talking about them.  I’m talking about them because letters and letter writing brings me joy and sharing doubles that joy.


There’s nothing like making a cup of something delicious (for me it’s a cup of dark roast coffee or Earl Grey tea) and getting all cozy with paper and pen.  I’ve been told I must be an introvert for introverts receive energy from solitude, and letter writing is a solitude-type thing, but I must also be an extrovert for I enjoy people very much.. . so  it’s no wonder that I love letter writing.  In letter writing we have solitude and society simultaneously.  We sit quietly relaxing in our house or in a pleasant coffee shop while at the same time we’re sharing with others.


But it’s not just the writing and sharing I love.  I also love the art play involved in creating my own stationery. Some papers turn out pretty, while others are just playful.   But all art play is fun.  I’m not the only one enjoying art play either.  Have you been to a bookstore lately to see all the many adult coloring books?  Adults must really be enjoying coloring by the looks of all those books for sale and why not?  Kids mustn’t have all the fun, but letter writers have a purpose for their art play.  They can share their art as well as their words – a double sharing proposition.


Creating  letter papers and writing letters are  wonderful activities, but only half the fun.  The other half of the fun comes when we go out to our mail box and find more than junk mail. Finding personal letters addressed just to us is wonderful fun!  Heartfelt messages just for us.


The best of these letters share the personal life and the unique spirit of another.  How often do you have chats through the day with people who reach deep into themselves to share the good, the bad, and that which is the essential essence of themselves?  Well, most every day I have these sharing sessions because I’m blessed to have a great number of wonderful pen friends.  You can have wonderful pen friends too.  All you have to do is write letters for good things come back to those who share –  good things in the form of more letters.


Today I got a letter from my penfriend A.J. who lives in Arizona.  This dear man is hurting because he lost his wife two years ago but he still misses her terribly.  He told me he thinks of her every day because  she was a wonderful woman and a wonderful wife.  A.J. truly was a lucky man to not only have a good companion, but also a wife who cooked delicious meals every day and  took great care of their house. My heart goes out to him.  A lot of people are hurting in this world, but sharing in letters , (and sharing in other ways too) not only doubles the joy, but also divides any sorrow.  I care how A.J. feels. Wouldn’t you care too?  I plan to write him soon and encourage him to tell me more about his wife.  I’m sure he’d like that.   It’s not just A.J.’s spirit that came through in his letter.  I also got a sense of his wife’s spirit as he shared a list she kept on their fridge, and now I’m sharing that list with you.  Here it is.


Ingredients for a Happy Life

Develop a spiritual outlook on life – Matt. 5: 3

Be content and avoid “the love of money”  1 Tim, 6: 6-10

Keep pleasures in their place 2 Tim,3: 1,4

Be generous and work for the happiness of others Acts 20:  35

Be thankful and count your blessings Col. 3:  15

Have a forgiving spirit Matt. 6:  14

Choose your associates wisely Prov. 13:20

Take care of your body and avoid bad habits 2 Cor.7:  1

Rejoice in the hope set out for you in the Bible Rom. 12:  12

This list is good advice for all of us and it gives me something good to think about today as I’m thinking about A.J. and his wife.

Thinking and caring about people is not a frivolous, unimportant thing and therefore letter writing is more than just a fun hobby. It’s an excellent way to reach out to others in love.  Our letters can make a big difference in someone’s life if we’re thoughtful and careful to address their feelings.  It’s not always easy, but well worth the effort.  Besides, when we take the focus off our own life and focus our attention on other people we often feel all the better for it.


The next letter that comes to me may be full of joy, or it may come from some far off place and introduce me to  new and  unusual things.  Every letter is different just as every letter writer is different. My life is richer for having lots of pen friends. I hope you have lots of pen friends too.

“Sir, more than kisses, letters mingle souls.  For, thus friends absent speak. —John Donne

I Simply Remember my Favorite Things

Today’s letter
I simply remember my favorite things and then… I bet you thought I was going to say, and then I don’t feel so bad, but no.  I was going to say, then I feel wonderful! I guess it all depends just how much we love those favorite things we’re remembering.  Well, I have a lot of favorite things and I hope you do too, but as you might imagine, a lot of my very favorite things have to do with The Art of Letter Writing.

Do you realize how hard it is, if not impossible, to focus on two things at the same time?  There could be dirt all over the floor along with other things not so pretty, but in that same room there could also be beautiful objects- flowers, gorgeous paintings, pretty fabrics… If we focus our attention on the lovely things, we will feel one way – probably lovely, but if we focus our attention on the dirt and mess, we just might feel quite differently.

My point here is simple.  We should train ourselves to focus on those things which make us feel wonderful, unless of course we’re in the process of working on those other more dreary items in order to improve or eliminate them.   Of course, that’s if we want to be happy, but I rather like to be happy myself, don’t you?


Not all my favorite things are of a material nature, but we do live in a material world after all, so many are.  I love and live in an old house.  I love antique china, linen, crystal, and I love using these things daily.  I love country inns and elegant old hotels and try to visit them often.  I love cities oozing with charm and I love nature in all its glory.  There’s also puppy dogs and girl friends, afternoon tea and intimate candlelit dinners. music, art, books, cooking and baking… the list goes on and on.

Yes, I must be a real material girl for I love all sorts of material things, and just as Oscar Hammerstein II suggested, simply remembering  these favorite things can prevent dreary thoughts from taking hold.  Cultivating rituals around these things   is even better, for then these favorite things develop into passions and living with passion is wonderful.  Do you live with passion?


Because The Art of Letter Writing has become a passion with me I am also quite passionate about the physical materials used in creating my letters. As some might feel a thrill of excitement when discovering a shoe or sporting goods shop I feel that excitement  at a stationery store.  Sealing wax in all its colors of the rainbow enchants  me.


I love particular pens and inks, paper in all sizes and colors.  I love stickers and ribbon, water color pencils and paper punches that stamp out tiny little leaves for autumn tree designs for my stationery.  What we have to say in a letter is important of course, perhaps the most important thing, but the look of our letter adds an element of fun and put the two together and we have ART!

I know not everyone gets as carried away with the “art”  aspect of letters as I do.  I had a correspondent, a Scottish lady in Canada, who cleaned offices after hours. Her stationery consisted of the half-used paper she’d find in the wastebaskets there.  This paper  worked for her and maybe that would work for you too, but for me and a lot of my penfriends the art aspect of letters is at least 50% of the fun.

Kathy’s artful letter envelope

I would never tell anyone how their letter must look or what materials they should use in writing it because this reminds me of a certain interior designer I know who preaches individualism and yet has a list of do’s and don’ts for her customers that totally erases all their individuality.  “Don’t cover your windows”, she says.  “Let the light pour in.”  “Don’t choose dark colors.  They’re depressing and dreary.”  Ha! Says who? Says this decorator.  But maybe her customers like dark colors and drapery.


Maybe you like typing black words onto white paper for your letters and if that makes you happy, that’s great!  I mean it, but if you’re looking for a creative outlet consider the art play involved in The Art of Letter Writing.  Lots of people don’t think they’re very artistic until they give art a try.  You might discover an undiscovered pleasure which just could grow into a delightful passion.  That’s what happened for me.

Jean Renoir said, “True art is in the doing of it.”  He didn’t say anything about qualifications, training or end product.  Just have fun doing it.

You are a physical being. Letter writing is a physical activity using physical materials so –

Let’s Get Physical!

Write some letters

Talk about Art Play

An Art Show in Hudson

This weekend Hudson was the scene of an art show at the edge of town.  At least a hundred tents were set up and all sorts of artists were displaying their work.  It’s always nice to see what people can come up with and they certainly come up with a lot.


Many people were displaying pictures and paintings, serious and silly ones, using all sorts of methods – water color, pen and ink, oil, photography, computer generated designs…  Some work was framed and some work was not.  There were cards galore for those of us who write letters.


I love to watch each artist talking to perspective customers.  This is just as interesting to me as checking out the art they’ve created.  I like to imagine them at work in their studio, lost in their craft.  What fun they must have and what satisfaction if their work is not only appreciated by the public, but also purchased.


And it’s not only paintings I saw at the art show in Hudson.  There was plenty of  jewelry, ceramics, dried flower designs, lamps made out of bottles, sweaters made out of alpaca yarn.  People don’t just sit around.  They get busy exercising their creativity.  Do you?  But so much to pack and set up for display at shows like the one I attended today and some of the art is  very fragile, like these glass ornaments.  You know it’s a labor of love making these things, but an even greater labor of love  getting them to market.


I’m always most enchanted with the unusual items I see, like this wall hanging above.  Talk about using creativity to make something fun and new out of old rejected material.


Would you have thought to collect outdated license plates in order to cut them apart, reassemble them, and turn them into fun and artful hangings?  This artist was using his imagination all right, and he was exercising his creativity.  His work seemed to be a big hit with many shoppers too. I know I liked it a lot!  Seeing art like this makes me wonder what treasures I’m throwing away, treasures that could be recycled and turned into art.


Art shows are not about buying things we need.  They’re about buying things that strike our fancy.  How about a snazzy hat?  In a perfect world we should all have a budget set up to provide us with plenty of spending money for spontaneous purchases.  I’m sure all the vendors at today’s art show would agree with me.  If this were the case, whenever we’d spot an item that we appreciated we could buy it and make ourselves happy and make the artist responsible pretty happy too.


If I had  a ‘fru fru’ budget set up I would’ve purchased these two copper frogs to be of service around  my garden. If you look closely you can see one is holding a tray for drinks and the other is holding an ice bucket. How much would you pay for these little fellas?  You know they must have been a lot of work to make, and talk about the skill involved.  Well the two little frogs (really not so little) were selling for $1000 – that’s for the pair of them, and you’d have to buy both.  How could you split them up? They’re a team.

I give all the artists I saw today a lot of credit and that goes for all artists everywhere.  It’s wonderful to have “your thing”, something you love to do, and will do, even if there’s little money in it.  Do you have such a thing?  Letter writers like me enjoy creative work with paper.  This may be small scale art compared to copper frogs serving cocktails, but whatever our creative work – it’s all good!

So hurrah for art play and for artists everywhere.   No matter what form that art play takes, large or small, complicated or simple, practical or playful, lucrative or not, art play is an activity of joy, and art shows are a place where that joy is shared, and you know what I always say about sharing…

Sharing doubles the joy

I wonder if you enjoy Art Play

I wonder …
Whether writing a post or a letter, I always start with a blank piece of paper and  a period of wonderment – What shall I write about today?  This sweet little Victorian boy seems to be wondering  too.


Because I’m fortunate to have lots of various interests, it doesn’t take me long  to find things to write about in letters.  Do you have lots of interests too?  Years ago one of my  college professors gave me a little advice.  She said, “Develop many interests and cultivate them into passions. These passions will serve you well.  They will act as legs for you to stand on.  If one fails you, there will be others to support you.”  I never forgot that advice and I worked hard to cultivate my interests into passions.  I’m happy to say I succeeded, and you probably guessed by now that the Art of letter writing is a passion at the top of my list.

There are so many different aspects to letters.  Today let’s talk more about one of the artful aspects – Stationary.  I wonder if you have a favorite type of stationary.  Some people prefer to have a trademark paper which they use for all their letters.  I think that can be very nice indeed, but I like so many different papers, and in addition to what I can purchase, I really love to create a lot of my own stationary too.   It’s Art Play!


 I hope the stationary I create amuses my letter friends half as much as it amuse me.  It’s important to  keep my eyes open everywhere I go in search of  materials to use for my stationary designs. The page of Victorian  children seen above was one of my  great finds.  It is one sheet of about 30 which I purchased at an antique shop. These old-time pictures are part of a series reproduced and called The Gretna Collection.  Historic images such as these are great fun to scan and use in creating letter papers and cards. Drawing  just a little background, or perhaps putting words in the mouths of the characters, creates a lot of fun for me and my letter friends… at least fun for me!

When I began writing letters years back I never thought of art play as part of letter writing fun, but one thing often leads to another and some of my creative pen friends put one, then two, then 200 ideas in my head, and now I’m off and running.


I keep finding books that inspire art play. This book, “The Great Thumbprint Drawing Book” by Ed Emberley, gave me all sorts of ideas.  Sometimes  creativity  just needs a jump.


Ed not only suggested all sorts of facial expressions for his thumbprints, but he also created a variety of thumbprint creatures.  What a riot!  I dreamed-up all sorts of ways to elaborate on his basic ideas, and if you get a copy of his book, you would too.

In my last letter I was telling Amy in Pennsylvania about Ed’s thumbprint book

And this morning I wrote my friend Barbara in Rhode Island.  I  created  for her a type of letter gift.  I often speak of ‘the gift of a letter‘, so why not wrap the letter up with ribbon.  Then it really looks like the gift of a letter.


I’ll decorate the outer packaging of the letter in various ways – with polka dots, abstract designs, or in this case, by cutting out little butterflies, chalking them, and letting them tumble out of the envelope when opened.  (Here’s a tip though:  If you’re making a seashore picture I wouldn’t use sand, for I tried that once when I lived in Boston and frequented the beaches there.  The sand  didn’t go over very well. My sister had just washed her kitchen floor, opened my envelope, and she had to wash part of her floor again.  Oops!)

But back to my letter gift… can you see how the letter is placed within the outer packaging  and then tied with a ribbon? I saw something similar in a card shop, but it cost a lot more money than my design, and besides the cost, buying that card would have deprived me of art play.


I find materials for art play in all sorts of places.  The other day I was strolling around the  charming town of Chagrin Falls and I popped into a very fun shop.  Not only did I buy a wonderful music cd (Carla Bruni singing sexy Little French Songs), but I found the most delightful decorative papers.  There were at least 30 different designs and though temped to buy one of each I mustered up some self control and purchased only four.  Take a look!





Pretty snazzy, huh?

Nothing like a day shopping where you’re not looking for anything in particular but things  just pop out at you.

When you have lots of interests and passions something is always popping up saying “Buy me!”  And that’s why I limit my outings and shopping trips, but because we’re living in the material world we’re bound to discover things which delight us, and a little delight now and then – or a lot – makes life all the sweeter.


So, although the very best part of writing letters is the sharing of ideas, art play is  great  fun too.  If you’ve never tried it, if  you’re still typing black letters onto white paper with no color, design, or creative touches, it’s my opinion that you’re missing out on a lot of fun.

Maybe you’re having lots of fun, just different fun from me.  If that’s the case, do share! You know what I always say.

Sharing doubles the Joy 

The Art of Letter Writing + Nature = A Heavenly morning

My little bit of heaven
It’s a beautiful late August day here in Hudson and I decided to write my daily letter (today to Joy who lives in South Carolina) on the patio.  It won’t be long before Hudson days get cool and wet and the patio will be off limits, only enjoyed through the ‘looking glass’ so to speak.  (By that I mean the sliding glass door of the music room).



So the first thing I had to do was create some stationary for Joy’s letter.  This is always a fun task.  I decided to create a “fashionable”-looking letter ( Get it? ) using  pictures of  clothes found in a cute little book I own called “Doodle Dolls” by Jessie Eckel.


And here it is


Jessie’s book has lots of fun pictures of clothes.  They inspire all sorts of my stationary designs.


Letters to Joy seem to write themselves because Joy and I have a lot in common.  One such thing is Motherhood, and both of us are currently dealing with one of our children off and away.  We know they have to go and we’re happy for them, but that doesn’t mean we don’t miss them terribly.  Joy’s daughter is off to her first year of college (Hi Estelle, hope you’re having fun)  and my son is backpacking in Europe (follow his travels at: (

Letters are great for us, for everyone really, because sharing not only doubles the joy, it also divides any sorrow, and as Joy and I discuss our feelings about our children moving on we feel better for the sharing.  Of course we have many joys to discuss in our letters too.  House and garden are two of our favorite subjects.  Joy sent me a picture of a bedroom in her last letter which I loved!  I will keep that picture handy and let it inspire a guest room I’m decorating.


How do you like this room?  As you may know, I live in an 1853 house so period wallpaper really appeals to me, and don’t you just love the bedding?  I want to  hop right in that bed.  The bedding looks like fluffy, white whipping cream, another of my favorite things.

My work setting

So after a delightful visit with Joy via paper and pen, I am now ready to write to you using my laptop here on the patio.


and I have some wonderful Brazilian music ( a cd called Brazilian Cafe) to keep me company

IMG_4733[1]along with my fuzzy furry companion, Alexander



Don’t forget the beauty of nature all around me.




So after this very long introduction to today’s post, maybe it will be enough to share just a few points from the book of letters I recently  wrote.  My book has no title yet.  Have you any ideas for me?

Pages from my book of letters

Notes regarding The Art of Letter Writing

1.  The Art of Letter Writing is not dead and gone.  It’s  simply forgotten or undiscovered by many.

2.  If you’re a letter writer spread the word by writing a beautiful letter to a friend or relative unfamiliar    with the pleasures of letter writing.  Give compliments to make your friend happy and ask questions      so they want to write back.

3.  If you know someone who is having a birthday, anniversary, or could use a get well card, send that      card, but include a letter.

4.  Write to the elderly and/or others who may need company even if they can’t write back to you.  It’s    very nice to go visiting,  bringing a bouquet of flowers along, but sending a letter full of cheerful                  thoughts is very nice too, and your thoughtfulness is a sort of ‘spiritual  bouquet’ which will be                  equally, or maybe more,  appreciated.

and one more thought for today’s post

5.  If you love letters and feel someone should do something to spread the word about their beauty       and value in the modern world (besides me)  then say to yourself – “Hey!  I’m a someone  too”.  And       tell everyone you meet about the joys of letter writing… and while you’re at it, tell them about this           blog  for I’ve decided to devote it to this, my favorite subject …

The beautiful Art of Letter Writing

A letter of Joy

One of Joy’s letters

I’m a lucky girl.  I have some wonderful pen friends, and wonderful pen friends are essential  to the full enjoyment of  the Art of Letter Writing.  This could be part of the reason why some people never fall in love with letters.   They lack quality correspondents, quality correspondents like my friend Joy.  Joy is a treasure.  She shares my love and appreciation for beauty so each of her letters is a feast for the eyes and a feast for the spirit.   Even before I read what Joy has to say I’m delighted by the sheer look of her letters.


Joy’s letters always contain some visual surprises.  Take the envelope above.  When was the last time you received a letter addressed  to you with the individual letters of your name cut out from a magazine? Now there’s a fun idea I may have to copy in one of my next letters.  Creative pen friends give each other all sorts of fun, artistic ideas.

 I’m always saying “sharing doubles the joy’, but as you can see, sharing also doubles,  or at least stimulates, our creativity.


Joy had been living in Switzerland until recently so she  subscribes to a Swiss magazine and she shares it with me in bits and pieces.  The above picture posted at the start of her letter, with the inviting table setting, ( which inspired me to create my own pretty table) bears the inscription – Life is beautiful,  See what I mean?  Joy is always sharing beauty in her letters – literally!


Joy and I both enjoy cooking and baking so we’ll often exchange recipes in our letters, recipes we’ve tried and liked.  The salad above was one of Joy’s favorites.  Don’t you love cookbooks with pictures?  I sure do, so I appreciated the picture of this salad  every bit as much as its recipe –  and now I share both with you.  Why?  You know.  Sharing doubles the joy!


You’ll need: 3 red onions, 4 small tomatoes, 1 yellow bell pepper, 1-2 zucchini, olive oil, 2 mozzarella balls, lemon juice (fresh), freshly ground pepper, salt, fresh basil

To Prepare: Peel onion.  Wash veggies.  Wash basil and dry.  Slice tomatoes and onion into halves.  Slice the peppers into quarters.  Slice the zucchini.  Brush the veggies with olive oil and grill.  Leave the tomatoes off for last.  Cut up the mozzarella into small chucks.  Mix veggies, cheese and basil together on a plate.  Sprinkle olive oil and lemon juice over top and salt and pepper to your liking.  ENJOY!

Naturally a great pen friend like Joy deserves good letters in return, so I try my best to reciprocate with pizzazz.  I’ll sometimes look through my collection of art books to inspire my stationery designs for Joy’s letters.  Children’s books are especially delightful sources for inspiration.  Take this one:


“The Little Hands Art Book” by  Judy Press.  This book may have been designed for 2 to 6 year olds, but it has lots of wonderful art ideas for those of us who happen to be a wee bit older.  Consider paper dolls.  Have you ever made paper dolls?  I hadn’t.  Somehow this skill escaped me till I recently came upon this great little book.


Once you learn the technique of making paper dolls you can make paper anything to decorate your personal stationery – paper snowflakes, paper music notes, paper houses, or how about my paper flowers?


These flowers were so fun and easy to make – I drew them, cut them out, painted them and then affixed them to my paper using a glue stick, allowing their petals to flutter freely in the breeze.  A little  grass drawn beneath the flowers and voilá!


 one- of -a- kind art work for my special penfriend’s letter


And before I seal the envelope on the letter I’m sending off to Joy I just may tuck in one of my new tested recipes.  After all, one good recipe shared deserves another, and I discovered  a great recipe for baked yeast doughnuts recently.  Here you see the donuts raising on parchment paper.  Maybe you’d like the recipe too. I’ll add it to this post.  It comes from  a wonderful blog called Maggiesonebuttkitchen or was it Poppy’s Patisserie?  Both blogs have great recipes.  If you visit either one tell them Carol Ann says hello.

IMG_4645[1]No Fry Doughnuts

Ingredients:  2 pkg. active yeast, 1/4 cup warm water, 1 and a half cups whole milk, 2 eggs at room temperature, 1/2 cup sugar, 1 tsp. salt, 1 tsp. nutmeg, 1/4 tsp. cinnamon, 1/3 cup shortening, 4 1/2 cups flour, 1/4 cup melted butter

process:  Dissolve yeast in warm water and mix, add milk, sugar, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon, eggs, shortening and 2 cups of flour.  Mix at low speed i minute scraping bowl.  Beat 2 minutes at medium speed scraping bowl.  Stir in remaining flour and mix till smooth.  Cover.  Let rise till double.

Turn dough onto floured board.  Roll dough around to coat with flour.  The dough is soft.  Roll to 1/2 inch thickness.  Cut with floured doughnut cutter. (2 1/2 inch with 1/2 inch hole in center.)

Place two inches apart on parchment paper, cover and double in size.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Bake 8 to 10 minutes till golden.  Brush with butter and then glaze as you wish.


Cinnamon sugar:  1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 tsp. cinnamon (toss in bag)

Chocolate glaze:  4 oz. semisweet chocolate chips, 1/3 cup butter, 2 cups powdered sugar, 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla, hot water (Melt butter and chocolate, add sugar and vanilla and stir.  Add enough hot water to make glaze.

Vanilla Glaze:  1/3 cup butter, 2 cups powdered sugar, 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla, hot water

Note:  The chocolate glaze is nice with sprinkles and the vanilla glaze is nice with coconut

Happy Baking!

And so I come to the end of another visit with you.  It’s been a pleasure sharing my joy – my friend Joy, the joy I receive from her letters, and the joy I find every day in The beautiful Art of Letter Writing.

Till we meet again


More on the subject of The Art of Letter Writing


This morning I had the pleasure of writing  a new old  friend.  Let me explain.  My letter will be going off to Barbara in Rhode Island.  I was quite excited to be writing her because Barbara and I had lost touch for many years and only recently did we reconnect.  If you’re like me you love making new friends, but your old friends are very precious.  Only with old friends do our old memories come back to life and sharing  old memories, sharing anything,  doubles the joy.

I first met Barbara years ago in Boston where we both were  teachers and newlyweds.  That was an exciting time for both of us so it will be fun to not only catch up on our current lives, but also to revisit those great old times we shared together.


My first letter to friends is always written on stationery I create by assembling decorative papers in the form of floral bouquets.  Do you have a ritual for choosing  your letter papers?  There are so many possibilities: store-bought papers, greeting cards made into letter books, photo note cards, watercolor drawings … the choices are endless.  So that I don’t get waylaid by the decision-making process of what stationery to use I’ve created a list of my options.  Now, at letter writing time, that list helps me decide who gets what papers.  Creating rituals –  who to write,  when, where, how, and with what,  helps make letter writing almost automatic and definitely more fun!


And it’s not only the letter paper, but also the envelope that can be decorated many different ways.  This week my letter friends are getting a cup of coffee or tea, whatever they prefer.  Most of my pen friends have great fun designing their letter envelopes.


Here’s one from my pen friend Janet.  In this  letter envelope she’s playing with rubber stamps


and here’s another of Janet’s envelopes where she’s in the mood for some Summer fun.


Janet loves to take pictures.  Do you?   She shares these pictures in her letters.  You know what they say – one picture is worth a thousand words.  Pictures really make letters come to life.

In this summery letter Janet created a collage of many of the images she saw and photographed in recent days. She put the images  together, even drawing a “Happy Summer” sign for the airplane to pull through the sky.  You may also notice she was writing on stationery that looked like a real sky, a nice touch for her airplane.  The hot air balloon says “FUN” and that’s what Janet’s letters are – real fun to see!


In many of Janet’s letters there are little fold-out pages (little booklets) attached to the letter’s page.  These fold-outs contain even more pictures.  When I get a letter from Janet I feel like I’m carried away to wherever she wants to take me.  Good letters will do that you know.


In her most recent letter she shared  a series of performances she attended relating to the American Revolution.  Janet lives in Virginia and this program entitled “The Road to Revolution Heritage Trail”  linked historic sites and institutions in Virginia interpreting the life of Patrick Henry, orator of the Revolution and Virginia’s first governor.  Reading about this program was good, but seeing her photographs of the men playing the parts of George Washington, Patrick Henry and the French marquis, Lafayette was even better.


Janet has so many pictures to share in her letters. They’re everywhere – in the letter, on the front of the envelope and even on the envelope’s back. Her letters are a visual treat besides being full of interesting commentary and thanks to her interesting envelopes the postal workers who handle her letters get a little treat too.  I bet you wish Janet was one of your letter friends.


Well, I love to include photographs in my letters just as Janet does. Last week I was in Chicago enjoying an architecture river cruise through the city and you know how I feel about sharing my joy – so I took a million pictures all along the ride in order to have the fun of sharing that experience via pictures with my pen friends in future letters.

Two of my many photographs of the Chicago river cruise.

If you have a camera I hope you’re using it not only to capture images for your own pleasure, but also for the  pleasure of your letter friends.

But of course the best things about letters are all the thoughtful ideas they convey.  More than in-person conversations letters seem to draw ideas out of us and they are a marvelous vehicle for sharing, sharing our own ideas and sharing the ideas we come upon while reading.  When writing a letter  we have time to find that book we’re enjoying and copy the lines we love.  Yes, it’s slow-going, but this helps us not only focus on those ideas but also remember them.

 In Janet’s last letter she talked about creativity.  She wrote:

 “In the beginning God created … that was God’s first action and I think God created us to be creative creatures.  One quote I recently came upon was a statement by Frank Lloyd Wright.  He said ‘The longer I live the more beautiful life becomes.  If you… ignore beauty, you will soon find yourself without it.  Your life will be impoverished.  But if you invest in beauty, it will remain with you all the days of your life.’  So if we keep trying  to convey creativity and beauty in our letters I think we’ll be using our time wisely, don’t you?”

I agree.

And what do you think?

What beauty and creativity have you shared with someone today?  It’s not too late.  You can write a letter any hour of the day or night.  Go ahead.  Make someone’s day!

Write a letter!