Monday, December 31, 2012

BANG!, POP, WHIZ!! Winner!!

Well it has been a great year.  I and all of my family members are still vertical.  Missing a few parts but still breathing.

Christmas will exit our house tomorrow.  We have made the annual let's get our christmas ornaments for next year at 50% off pilgrimage.

But more importantly I have made some really nice pen-pals.  Had some fun with my blog and hopefully you guys did as well.

You find out how well you are doing when you send out  over 158 postcards for one giveaway (globally) and see what kind of response you get.  All in all not bad.

As of this writing I am at 12934 views on my little corner of the internet.

Now down to business.  I had 20 entrants in the "Derrick Dun Lost It" giveaway.  I had to reject one or more due to not replying/entering within the rules. (I had to make it fair to those who read the instructions)

The rules read as follows:

"All entries MUST be received by Dec 24th (edit - I have extended this until Jan 1st, due to interest from new folks) .  This "should" be more than enough time to put something in the mail.  You MUST reference the giveaway "Derrick Dun Lost It" see, it's that whole reading thingy and you must be following the site.  Did they just enter or did they actually read the instructions."

All entries were numbered as they were received. 

So with that the winner is..

So, what did Laura receive?

Tell em what she's won Don Pardo. 

Well Laura, You've won a NEW CAR  (yea right!).  A Trip to the South of L.A. (nope)

Ok, O.J. You've won.. Get ready for it... PAPER!!  That's right you've won stuff to write on and send out to unsuspecting recipients.  But really what you've won is some REALLY nice stationery.

First you get this nice box of Original Crown Mill Laid paper (Cream)

Containing 50 envelopes and 100 sheets of paper.

In addition you will receive some beautiful ARPA handmade paper in our choice of color.  Either Salmon or Pink (yea the photos upside down and I got lazy)

So with that folks, I bid you a Happy New year and look forward to writing/receiving more great mail and such in the future.  I am already working on the next "themed" run in April.  This coincides with 2 dates in history taking place on the 26th.  Bonus item to anyone who knows.

If ANYONE has ideas or suggestions on types of giveaway items or content please let me know.  


Friday, December 28, 2012

When your loved one is taken down..

Got ya with that one huh.

No I haven't had Kim bumped off.  She recently had some surgery that has put her in suspend mode for a bit.  She is not supposed to lift anything (and if she does I'm gonna rat her out to her doctor).  She is supposed to be walking as much as possible and resting when not.  

So here we have some interesting turns.  We have her set up in our room with everything you could need.  Our electric kettle (tea/coffee) every vitamin know to man it seems as well as her mobile pharmacy and my MacBook.  According to her "this is a little slice of heaven"  (as I hear her now chomping on sunflower seeds).

I am off work for another couple of weeks making sure she doesn't do anything to set her back and end up BACK in surgery to fix something she shouldn't have been doing.  You know.  That little voice in your head telling you "hey, it'll be fine.  It's only a load of laundry"  Next thing you know, your screaming could you please take me to the ER.

Now the BIGGEST challenge is convincing Kaylee to let mama be.  You need to watch mommies tummy.  NO you can't jump on the bed.  Yes, you need to let her sleep.  I think your coughing, here have some Nyquil (JUST KIDDING).  She did get some alone time tonight when Kim's mom came and kidnapped her to the movies.  Good relaxing time.  

So while Kim catches up on every single Lifetime/Hallmark movie available on Netflix, I have managed to almost get caught up on my letters.  So all in all a productive time off.  I however am having fits forcing myself to NOT answer emails from work.  I've been pretty good so far.  Still had to drive to the office to check my incoming mail and check tapes (yes I'm compulsive that way). 

It's funny though.  I write to Limner probably the most and with Kim down and laid out.  I have these visions of limner stuck in bed writing and have this visual of all the crap I have Kim surrounded in :) (Sorry Limner, couldn't resist).


A request.. from a fellow blogger

I received a request from LadyKayy, actually very close to me (goegraphically anyway) that she is in the middle of a little project and is in the hunt for some participants.

I am always one to be in for helping spread the word to something that has merit.

So with that, please check out her Deep Letters Correspondence Project

Not to be confused with Deep Thoughts.. by Jack Handy..


Movie Time winner (oops)

Sorry folks, with stuff going on at the house holidays and all.  Kim had surgery on the 19th so lost in the shuffle.

Anyway - only 2 entrants (hmm)

Caddi (1)  and Katie (2)

So there you have it.

Caddi, please send me an email so I can send you the codes for the downloads.

Thanks all.  Have a great new year.


Sunday, December 23, 2012

Twas the night before the night before Christmas..

One of Kaylee's favorite books.  We have bee reading it nightly for the past few weeks and OH how it hits home.

Now onto the Santa letter I had done by Sarah Hanna.  This was one of the best $25 purchases I have made.

Kaylee will be getting this little gem in the morning.

Yes there is another she will have waiting for her later in the day/evening when I can hide it from her or  Kim can get her out of the house.  As many of you know, those of you who have been reading for awhile.  Kaylee has a bit of an issue with animals stuffed or otherwise. Her favorites are the squishy bugs/lizards/dragons you can find in the $1.00 area at walmart or CVS type places.

What I like about Sarah's letters is you have free reign of the letter (there is a word count limit, I really, you're not going to get a 4 page letter in here).  I have 2 versions for Kaylee. This one and the normal "Hi Kaylee, I'm going to be in your neck of the woods" type of letter.  The gold seal was a winner for me as well.  No sticky seal here.  Pure waxy like substance on a nice watermarked linen paper.

So for those of you who might want to prod your kid into cleaning out the closet (not trapped in the closet), give one of these a shot.  Heck you might want to have some laying around throughout the year for a little attitude cleaning adjustment.  Get em while you can with what you can :)


Monday, December 17, 2012

A Case for Cool Whip

Alright, you may be wondering "huh?"  Cool Whip? Que??

Now that we are in the Holiday seasons (well almost to the end of them at this point) we had an incident at the house yesterday that made me rethink the case for Cool Whip.

Flavors and other..

COOL WHIP Extra Creamy
COOL WHIP Sugar Free
COOL WHIP Season’s Delight Creamy Chocolate
COOL WHIP Season’s Delight French Vanilla
COOL WHIP Season’s Delight Sweet Cinnamon
COOL WHIP Frosting Vanilla
COOL WHIP Frosting Chocolate
COOL WHIP Frosting Cream Cheese

Sugar free could be a good one for our daughter as we are trying to cut down on Kaylee's sugar intake.  Bad enough handing her a piece of pie or a scoop of ice cream and topping it off with another helping of diabetes to boot.

Now wen I was a kid I would put Cool Whip in between 2 Graham Crackers and that would be just fine.  

And when you can make neat stuff like this for Thanksgiving.

Mmm.. Chocolatyish  More sugar please.   See you bring these to the relatives house and pass them out to the kids there BEFORE dinner.  Helps with the crash on the way home.  and HEY  they aren't at your house.

Now what lead to this case for Cool Whip. Back to the "incident" yesterday and the Whip Cream CAN OF DEATH!!

Kim and Kaylee were making some hot chocolate yesterday morning.  All was well with the world.  A calm Sunday morning, women type folk in the kitchen, daddy still attempting to wake up when a blood curdling scream comes from the kitchen.  So what happened?  While holding the can of whipped cream and taking off the cap, the can slipped and landed on Kaylee's foot.

After calming her down, Kim decided they should take a bath.  In hind site this was not a good idea as the hot water raises your blood pressure and makes the problem worse by putting more pressure on the blood clot under the nail making it look like this (see parental handbook on what not to do).

This was taken at the urgent care.  Why? Because Kim wanted to go that's why.  Luckily Kaylee knows what's going on.

See, she points to mommy and said "you did this to me!" (OK not really, but it looks incriminating doesn't it.)

Now the reason for the "Case for Cool Whip"  IF we had been using Cool Whip instead of the can of cream, the tub of cool whip would have bounced off of her foot leaving lots of goodness for the 2 dogs that worship every move she makes.  Yes having dogs in the house make for the ultimate clean up crew.

That's all for now.  Off to procure stock in Cool Whip.


Friday, December 14, 2012

KA, KA, KA.. Hairball!!

I just received my order from Catslife Press.  Rubber Stamp producers extraordinaire. Noo, really I love their stuff. 

Here is some of the stamps I have procured for your enjoyment.

OK, not the ones at the bottom cause they kind of freak me out.  Especially the baby face. (shiver). And not the a Note from your mother.  Cause I'm not one (that's not nice to talk about me that way) and that would be just wrong.

Now "some" of you that have been reading this blog for awhile (I KNOW YOUR OUT THERE.. I CAN HEAR YOU BREATHING!) saw the post on envelope and embellishments.  I mentioned I would be giving one of these stamps away.  I "will" be, I have received another of the snail mail stamps for that purpose.

I need to figure out something cool for this one and frankly I have 2 giveaways going on right now I need to get finished up with first.  This is one prize that is definitively mail related and usable by everyone (stamp pad not included).  Need to think snail related, slug like, hmm something will come to me.  Anyway be looking for this one coming to a theater near you.  Will think of something neat to pair with it.  Escargot??


Free from Poppin

Poppin.  Those Work Happy folks are giving away a free notebook with your order of $10 or more.

Free Notebooks-2

Now I don't know about you folks but I could blow $10 in ANY online store with a single click.

Poppin has some very reasonably priced items that come in a lovely color range. I bought quite a few of these notebooks last year intending to do a review.  That will be happening in the next 2 weeks as I will be home tending to Kim while recovering from surgery.

Some possible gift ideas:

The index binders
The Design a Desk collection
The Red Metal Pen
The Pink Wine + Beer Opener (always a hit around the office this time of year)

Give them a shot if you haven't been by there before.  Kim has of the large pink notebooks and really likes it.  More so than the Moleskine I bought her.


Wednesday, December 12, 2012


Just in time for Christmas viewing.  I have 2 (two) movies available for a digital giveaway.

Simple enough.

1. Follow the site.
2. Leave a comment

Now comes the part where you have to read.  Come on you didn't really think it would be that easy.  You folks have read this site enough to know it could never be that easy.  So somewhere in this diatribe you will find some kind of phrase to put in the comment area like "squirty tushy thing"  or maybe " no not the reindeer poo, I've been good".

I am truly hoping to get my Santa letters today so I can post them for you all to see.  Remember there is still time to have Sarah Hanna make them and still have them received before the day of doom with your little ones.

Don't forget the stationery giveaway I'm hosting for hitting my first year on the air.  You have until January 1st to get entered.  Make sure to READ the instructions.  I had to sent in that missed the instructions.  Can't say who they were, but I have to play fair.  So up for grabs a box of Original Crown Mill (50 envelopes and 100 sheets of Laid paper in Cream)

"The crisp laid finish paper, known as the Original Crown Mill, replicates a 17th century handmade writing sheet, commissioned by Charles II and made by the monks of La Hulpe Monastery in Belgium. Since 1870, the venerable Belgian company, Pelletier, has replicated this sheet in a classic line of cards, sheets, and lined envelopes. While remaining faithful to their classic stationery line, Pelletier has recently introduced several innovative, contemporary lines. They are made with the same quality, elegance, and attention to packaging detail that has made Original Crown Mill stationery the staple of every fine paper department in Europe and beyond."
and as a second prize a package of Arpa handmade paper (4.25" x 6.5" larger note size in either salmon or pink).

"What is unique to Arpa papermaking is a commitment to producing a consistent, quality handmade paper of beauty in reliable stocking quantities. Special attention has been taken to ensure the reliability of the lovely natural colors, surface texture and archival purity of the papers from one batch to the next.

Arpa handmade papers are made of pure cotton and linen. The labor intensive process of preparing, pressing and drying the pulp to make the papers is done with the same traditional tools that papermakers have used in Spain for hundreds of years. "

Now back to that phrase to put into the comments thing go with the second one.  Where you paying attention?  

Up for grabs, the digital downloads for TED, and The Bourne Legacy.

Thanks for playing.  Winner selected on Friday the 21st. So watch for the announcement next Friday when I will announce and request your email address so I can send you the codes to download from the Universal site.



Monday, December 10, 2012

FN Colors (Heroic)

Here is their post

As always, this is a note to let our email subscribers know about a new product before we offer it up for sale to everyone else.
For our seventeenth seasonal release, we've created a memo book that will hold up to extreme conditions: wind, rain, sleet and abuse of all kinds. For the winter of 2012, we're proud to present THE EXPEDITION EDITION.

"Antarctic Log, Day 67: It's flippin' freezing here."


The EXPEDITION EDITION sports a hi-visibility "Antarctic Survey Orange" front cover and "Polar Night Black" back cover, with a subtle varnish effect featuring a topographic map of Antarctica. The body pages feature our always popular 'dot grid' graph paper, printed in light gray.
The real innovation here is the paper. It's maybe not even fair to call it paper. The whole book is printed on Yupo Synthetic, a water- and tear-proof, high-tech paper manufactured in Chesapeake, Virginia. Each 3-Pack is belly-banded in gray and shrink-wrapped, and ready for pretty much whatever you throw at it. For reference, check the films of a series of extreme tests we performed on the EXPEDITION EDITION at F.N. Labs recently.
These indestructible memo books are the perfect place to plan a winter sojourn, record a dream from a long, dark, cold night, or most anything else you have planned for the season:
Snowmobile Trails Marked
Black Diamond Runs Made
Life List : 46 Adirondack High Peaks
Last Will & Testament
Real New Year Resolutions
Ice Shanty Euchre Scores
Diary of Your Slow Descent Into Madness
Small Mammal Paw Print Reference
Pond Hockey Scores
How Much Dad Owes You for Shoveling
Harnessed-Pair Sled Dog Combinations
The winter edition is priced the same as all of our 3-Packs, at just $9.95 each. They're on sale now and starting with COLORS subscriptions, they're shipping today. Order this week to make sure you have them for Christmas.
Limit 3 per household please.

Now my take.
These were developed for the Antarctic trip coming up next October by Ben Saunders  He and his team are going to WALK to the south pole and back.  I don't know if he was just bored one day and thought "hey I know..."  The last time someone tried this, it didn't turn out to well.  But then again they didn't have wag bags back then either.
Now this time I "actually" have uses for these.  Do I collect them? DUH! I have a compulsion to grab these when available and do use them on a daily basis.  Carry one on my person at all times.  Especially during work when I can barely remember where I'm going let alone that router I logged into 9 months ago and need to reconfigure.
You need to check out the "ballistics" test, careful kid you'll shoot your eye out.  Didn't pass the Flame Resistance test though (who would have guessed)
Alright, so in my OCD kind of way I have ordered 6 sets of these books.  I will be parting out 2 of them to my readers.  Leave a comment below with what you would do with the EPIC/Heroic version of this edition of the Field Notes Colors.  You must mention FNC in the comment (see that whole following directions/I paid attention in school thingy).  You Must be a follower of the blog (yes I verify all of them).
Now if you read the list above you'll find I will probably have to write down in one of these item #4 if Kim finds out I keep buying these things.  So help me get rid of a few :)
And GO!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Should I Eat or.. Naaa, I'll buy this instead

So I'm sitting here surfing for "stuff". Because that's what I do on my down time while I wait to pass out after wrestling with my daughter who stayed up WAY to late because we went to a movie (which was really good by the way) and all she ate was "theater fair" (bad daddy).

So after shooting her full of elephant tranquilizers (ok, Kim's in there laying in bed with her), I'm searching for stuff. I come upon this little gem.

I know, whoppdy doo. It's a pencil Derrick. Who gives a flying reindeer pellet. OOOO But wait. This is no ordinary pencil. It's the Graf von Faber-Castell Perfect Pencil (big type for effect). The Graf von Faber-Castell Perfect Pencil can leap tall buildings in a single bound, rescue kittens from burning buildings, cure global warming, replace that warm water tushy squirty thing (on my bucket list).

But Derrick, how is this all possible. How can the Graf von Faber-Castell Perfect Pencil do all these wondrous things. It can't. Sheesh. It's a FREAKING PENCIL. However the folks that are trying to sell this 8th wonder of the world are trying to get YOU to part with $260 bucks.

Here is their schpiel, schtick, con.

"The culmination of the history of the pencil is the "Perfect Pencil" from Graf von Faber-Castell. Enjoyment in writing and sketching with the classic pencil means that it should always be sharp. But where to keep the sharpener? The best place, of course, is there where you need it - on the pencil, integrated in the extender, which protects it while making it suitable to keep in your pocket. The pencil extender with integrated sharpener occupies a special position in our collection. Together with the replaceable eraser under the pencil's cap, everything is always quickly accessible within the smallest space - for writing, correcting and sharping. A premium pencil in precious Californian cedar with fine fluting and replaceable eraser. Extender with integrated sharpener and multi-part spring-clip. Finished in silver, platinum or Sterling silver plating. Pencils also available in black-dyed cedar wood. The "perfect" pencil = the Perfect Pencil. From Faber Castell."

Now it may be the bee's knees for someone. Someone who has more money than common sense. I looked this little tidbit up.

Good old Ticonderoga #2 - 96 Pencils/box - $15 (amazon) - that's 17.33 Boxes or 1664 pencils. Now I don't think in my lifetime I could go through 1664 pencils. I would be luck to go through 1 box in what, 10 years.

Just curious, I wonder how much the refills are??

Remember that Forrest Gump line "life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what your gonna get". Buy a freakin box of Whitman Samplers, they come with a map! Just like this pencil. It's a pencil. Go buy a REALLY nice fountain pen instead. Hell, you can even change the color of the ink if you like.


Santa Clause is coming to...

OK, I want one.  For Kaylee.  and I'm going to order one today.

So what am I talking about.  SANTA LETTERS.

This one however comes from the very adept hand of Sarah Hanna of Winter Park (see Christmasyy -ish) Florida.

So what is so special about Sarah's letters.  Well for one, while they may not carry the "north pole" postmark they carry something much more to me than that.  They carry CRAFTSMANSHIP.

All of her letters are a one off, all personalized and HAND DONE.

Not sure about you folks, but last year we ordered one for Kaylee and I was really disappointed in the "churned out" pre-typed, on standard letterhead I could have picked up at the local Michael's.

Sure I could have "added" some reindeer poo, or a hoof stamp (I have one of those).  Pretty sure I could even come up with my own North Pole meter stamp if I looked.

What I would rather have sitting in the tree is this lovely letter in the RED envelope she couldn't possibly miss on Christmas morning.

So.. What do you get?  Glad you asked.

Contact Sarah.  Click -> Here <-  She will send you out 2 PDF files with the order form and some "suggestions" for the CRS/SMH (stole that last one from Limner) old folks who may need some creative inspiration. She Charges $20 + $5 for shipping.  I would have paid more than that for the Crap Fest I received last year..  Ooo  But it came with a on the "Nice List" certificate.

She will also send you some photos of the possibles.

Allow for some custom tweaks

Place the Seal of Happiness

And package it for you to stash until your spawn is passed out from the sugar high she has been on all Christmas Eve pounding hot chocolate and whip cream like some junkie that's going to be cut off before going to jail only to wake up in the morning feeling like crap and finding out the Governor has granted a pardon and find this hanging in the tree.

So for the parents that want a touch of elegance and something you will WANT to keep in the family Christmas scrapbook.  Check out Sarah's site.  You won't be disappointed.


Thursday, December 6, 2012

A Season of Giveaways (iHanna)

So this came third party.  Another blog I ready A Penchant for Paper told me of someone else doing a giveaway for a book.  Market Yourself (A Marketing System for Smart and Creative Business Owners).

The folks over at iHanna are giving away a copy for December (a season of giving:)

Give em a look see..  And don't forget my giveaway on the 25th.. Only 18 more days to enter

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

When the kids start writing..

Kaylee is now in kindergarten.  5yrs old and now that she has started to spell, write and draw everything she can think of, I am trying to find some ways of not only encouraging this behavior (monkey see monkey do) I am trying to find some great pencils pens that will promote good penmanship.

I thought about a Lamy student fountain pen and might be getting her a few next year (hey it's less than a month away and mommy and daddy have already blown their wad on Santa).  I have been looking for some good pencils.  She has a heavy hand and the regular #2s are snapping like dry twigs.

She is a perfectionist in that she gets frustrated when she sees my handwriting (No comments from the peanut gallery) and wants it to be like mine (PRINTING!!  not the scribble I send you folks :).

Numbers are getting better the 5s still tend to look like S's. and the 3's look like E's  b and d get confused.  But over all she's doing great.  Papa couldn't be prouder.  Letters/Cards written by her are starting to go out.  Some may have already received a few.

So, here is my question to you folks.  Do you have little ones (preferably under 8)? Do THEY like getting mail, small trinkets?  Are they interested in letters?  How/Do you encourage their stories/writing?

She is now writing books with stories/drawings, so I have been assembling a few pages and stapling them together, a cover and 3-4 interior pages.  She is getting a sketch book and some colored pencils for Christmas.  The crayons are just not holding up, and she wants to use what I'm using.

On the other end, I have Kims nephews who have taken an interest in letter writing.  What did "they" want for Christmas?  STATIONERY!!

So I went online to one of my accounts and let them both pick what they wanted.  They chose this.

With matching envelopes. and what would stationery be without something to write with??

What can I saw they want what I use.  This was my first fountain pen and I now have a few of these loaded with different inks.  This is a habit this Uncle will happily support.

With that, don't forget the giveaway I'm doing for December.  A Very nice box of Original Crown Mill and Arpa Handmade letter set.  Only 19 days left to enter!!

Till next time..


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Return Labels and such

You have probably received some of the seasonal return address labels from (insert charity here) looking for various donations this time of year.  Be it St. Judes (i do give to this one) or Ducks Unlimited (yep they got me as well - Hey I have hunting dogs that like a duck dinner every now and then, but only if they get it themselves).

Have any of you had stamps made?

I was using some for awhile that I had done at shutterfly.  Needed to use up some free money there and "thought" I would have gone through them before moving.  That didn't work out. But now that we are home owners and will DIE in this house.  I figured I needed something more permanent to go with the house.  So I ordered one from 2impress, they are on Etsy.  I prefer Etsy to many others as they cater to vintage and handmade goods.  Feels good to support the small businesses.

I have been looking for various stamp makers online and just kind of liked their run of stuff..

I do believe I will be ordering a few more of these in different flavors.  The pricing was right and the product received is very high quality.

So how do you folks tag the return.  Handwrite? Stamp? Sticker? Front or back?


Monday, November 26, 2012


In the words of the brain trust that is Mr. Homer J Simpson.  Oh My God, Oh My God, Oh My God, Oh My God!!!

I have just hit 10357 blog views.

I started this little project on Dec 25, 2011.  Over 10,000 views and 30 pounds later ( I really need to start walking again) I seem to be writing something a few people (all 5 of you that keep hitting refresh) want to peruse occasionally.

SO, being that I actually made it a year and seem to still have something to write to you folks about (hey I have a 5year old kid and a wife, there is ALWAYS material) I have decided to close out 2012 with a bang.

There are a few of you who have stated they like the stationery I send out.  It comes in 2 flavors.  Pure Cotton or Laid Paper and 6 colors from Original Crown Mill.  I am a fan.

I have decided to bite the bullet and am trying a little side venture here and will be selling some different papers at GREAT prices.  Not trying to get rich, just provide some neato paper to folks who like REALLY good paper without getting gouged in the process.

So with that I am going to give away for Christmas (the day of launch on my blog) one of these.

This is a "correspondence" set from Original Crown Mill - 100 Sheets of Laid paper (2 pads) and 50 envelopes in cream color.

and This,  4.25" x 6.5" larger note size. This set would make an lovely invitation or announcement too. Subtle deckle on all edges of the flat cards and on the 4.75" x 7" envelopes. wrapped in string and sealed with wax. Handmade in Spain in pale blue color.

So, interested?  But where is the catch?  There must be something?

I need 3 dozen krispy kreme donuts on my doorstep by 6am or the milk jug gets it.  

No really, they closed the one by our house and now I need to drive forever to see that lovely flashing neon sign "HOT DONUTS".  

Ok not really, what I need is mail.  You want to be entered you have to send me something.  The site is called i Still Write, so write something.  

All entries MUST be received by Dec 24th (edit - I have extended this until Jan 1st, due to interest from new folks) .  This "should" be more than enough time to put something in the mail.  You MUST reference the giveaway "Derrick Dun Lost It" see, it's that whole reading thingy and you must be following the site.  Did they just enter or did they actually read the instructions.

So no mass mailing this time.  I sunk the funds into good stuff.

So go, write me something.  I have some fun stuff to send out on a random basis as well... 

Thanks for the support.. 


Monday, November 5, 2012

Of Envelopes and Embelishments

Question of the day,

When sending out your correspondence, do you add that little bit of flair?

I'm not taking Office Spaces Chotchkie’s (well Brian over there is wearing 37 pieces..).  I'm talking about that little touch you put on your envelopes or letters that make it yours.

For me it's stamps.  Some of you have asked where I get mine.  This one in particular.

Am I a "stamper"?  No, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.

When I first started letter writing, I thought I should get something to say this is me. Something other than sending out just plain envelopes.  Now this doesn't work so well with made envelopes from maps and such, but for the  nice laid or cotton paper stuff I use they are really nice.

I tend to color with pencils, massage them (you guide me, you guide me.. OOooooo  right there..)

This weekend while taking a card making class, I discovered embossing powder (see the leaves on the picture above).  So I went and bought a heat gun and some various powders in assorted shades.  Makes for a really nice effect and unique textures.  Really works nice when coloring as there is no ink to smear (you can't help but color in the lines).  Where this comes in handy is when working with brush pens, you wont run your color over your stamp and trash you nice brush colors.


Some of you have received by Pot Brownie stickers (don't judge me), or station logos, or homer variants.  I try to limit these to hold them things closed uses.  Mainly because I don't have a large selection of them.

Lastly, I know some of you are mail artists and I REALLY like getting those in the mail from my favs.. (to many to list and I don't want to forget anyone (see ~cop out))

Now, for those of you who like the snail mail stamp.  I will be giving away 2 of them for the holiday season.  The stamps ( I just placed a LARGE order from them) are from Cat's Life Press.

So how do YOU dress em up.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

There was no joy in Mudville that night..

Well, the season is officially over.  The bats are being put away, the fields covered up for the winter.

We turn our thoughts to spring and the season that may be.  What will happen in the off season.  What trades will be made.  What new diamond in the rough will be found by the scouts to Ooohh and Awww us.

Alas for me the Tigers have gone down in defeat after a stunning sweep of the Yankees.  Only to have it returned by the Giants.  I have ties to both teams, but a Tigers fan first.  So I left with who brought me.

So what I would like from you class is something baseball related.  Something that says Summer is officially over and Fall is now upon us.

For your work I have this.

This little package (including the book) can no longer be had from the fine folks at Field Notes Brand.  I have however ordered a few of these gems for this giveaway.  

Are they free..  Kinda..  No random number pull here.  You have to send me something for it.  I will let you folks pick the winner.  First and Second and Third.  SO..  What else could I toss in....

First - The set (notebooks and A Drive into the Gap)
Second - The Notebooks
Third - The Book (A Drive into the Gap)

So there ya have it.  I will post anything you guys send in baseball related.  Something special going out to Bean for the most unique card I've gotten to date.

Thanks.  Now go take a bat to a Pumpkin.. and serve up some Diabetes to the neighborhood kids

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Of Kaylee and the Dr. Visit... Dum Dum Dum!!

So this post has absolutely nothing to do with mail.  It does have to do with my spawn that lives with me.  Kaylee.  And her visit to the doctor (ie: merchant of pain and death).

For the past few weeks, we have apparently been getting these letters from the school nurse, informing us that our lack of parenting was jeopardizing the entire welfare of the school and surrounding community at large.

So while digging through her backpack I came upon the actual letter that had somehow gotten buried under the extra set of clothes, the happy napper and the folder crammed in there for her friday take home.

"It has come to our attention that the small alien unit you call Kalyee is remise in her vaccination schedule and shall be excised if your cooperation in remedying this situation is not handled post haste." (so forth and so on and such)

This was followed up by a letter from the school nurse (sent through the mail.. see a mail tie in after all) stating the same thing.  That our child would be excommunicated from the likes of Frontier Elementary Home of the Frontier Firebirds if our transgressions were not corrected and this would happen on forth coming Monday.  Holy carpal tunnel Batman!!

So being the super daddy that I am, I inform the school principal, her teacher and the school nurse that I will take care of the child they deem Typhoid Mary immediately. (and that I would be taking her out of class in the middle of the day to get her shot up)

OFF TO THE DOCTOR!! (badda badda bum)  (hey you try typing out batman sounds)

So we get to the pediatricians office only to discover that we are early and we didn't know that because the hours for the office had fallen on the floor and I was standing on the sign.

We get in there and I have a question as to whether she actually needs the vaccines in question (I was in there 3 weeks ago and asked if we needed any shots).  It turns out that I needed to wait another half hour for her previous doctor to be back from lunch to check his records.  (insert girl from iponema here)

2 O'Clock..  Yes Mr. Dodson she is due for her under 4 shots.  OK how many is that?  4.  Oh CRAP!

So I have been telling Kaylee this should be 2 at the most.  Now for those of you with small children you know what is coming.  For those of you without children, may you get pregnant soon.. We shouldn't have to go through this alone..

While we are there though I ask to add on her flu shot (nasal) for good measure.  Hey, were here.

Kaylee and I are joking, she's in a good mood.  I'm taking her out for a nice helping of Diabetes after the inquisition that I know is coming.

So nurse Jackie comes in with the tray.  Flu vaccine in the nose first.  No problem, daddy says just like the flonase we get every day.  Then comes the first needle.  My calm and happy child BOLTS off the table.. It was just one smooth move from sitting into my lap with a look of terror I will never forget.  You would have thought that the nurse pulled out a Stihl Chainsaw and fired it up and was looking to add some more human skin to her collection.

I have to tell nurse Jackie that I got this and picked up Kaylee, put her back on the table and held her tight while the injections took place.  3 in one arm and 1 in the other.  The nurse put the bandaids on and asked if she was OK.  Kaylee looked at her arm and the bandaid that was showing some air space and said "Do I look OK.  Look at the bandaid.. It's bulging up!!"

I pealed it up and put it back down.  See all better.  Now lets go and get some stickers.. (cause that will make it all better..  uh huh..)

We leave the office and get into the truck, buckle in, and I ask her  "what happened??  You knew you were going to get some shots.."  She look straight at me and said "I thought she was going to put all of those shots in my nose."

More to come folks, back in the mail business shortly.  Just a short pause in our day to day called life.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Neener, Neerer, We Have a Weener..

Now that I have your attention.  See how a title can just suck you in..

We had our Gold Rush Days this past weekend and I was able to secure almost everything I needed to complete the giveaway.  Almost.  I was unable to get any maps.  Turns out the rights to the map belong to the National Archive and are not allowing willy nilly reproductions.  :P

You know that mass mailing thingy I did 2 months ago, that thing you probably though was never going to happen.  Oh yea sure, he mails this stuff out and asks for me to send in my box tops and my ovaltine lids in a self addressed stamped envelope along with 25 cents.  What do I get BUPKUS that's what.  I waited outside my mailbox for the last 2 months and I got SQUAT.  I'm calling my post master and filing a fraud complaint.

Hold on there sparky!!  I told you I was moving.  I had to allow time for everyone to have a chance to send something in.  They may have been away, attacked by a plague of locust, ran out of gas, they didn't have enough money for cab fair, the tux didn't come back from the cleaners, a old friend came in from out of town. someone stole their car, there was an earthquake, a terrible flood, you know the usual stuff.

Anyway..  Here we go..  And this one time at band camp..

Oh yea, the WINNER(S).  I had quite a few responses (surprised).  This one actually made you send me something.  Not as easy as just "please reply to this post".  For those of you that made the effort, BRAVO.

So here is the list, name and what I will be sending out.

Becky Preston - Wild West postcards, Pony Express Penny

Cal Kitson - Wild West postcards, Pony Express Penny, Pony Express Recruitment poster, Pony Express Coin

Karen Isaacson - Wild West postcards, Pony Express Penny, Pony Express Recruitment poster

Dori Singh - Wild West postcards, Pony Express Penny, Pony Express Recruitment poster, Pony Express Coin

Patty Davidson - Wild West postcards, Pony Express Penny, Pony Express Recruitment poster

PostMuse - Wild West postcards, Pony Express Penny

And the big Winner is..

Jackie Parkins - Wild West postcards, Pony Express Penny, Pony Express Recruitment poster, Pony Express Coin, Pony Express Magnet, Wild West post cards (First Day Issue), The West (Hard bound book from the postal service) 1 Sheet of Wild West Stamps.

So there ya have it.  I will be sending all of these out next week.

You now have the choice to make the call or suggestion for something YOU might want in a giveaway.

Upcoming mailings (Hey I've haven't been getting this stuff to look at).

Movie Monsters (I have some neat stuff for this one)
Civil War (including the book)
Field Notes sets
Christmas (postal postcard set, I don't care if you are not christian IT's A CARD, SEASONAL)

Till next time..

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Of Daisies and Little Girls

So we are mov-ed.  We are living in the new place.

I can now walk through my garage on 3 different axis.  Much like an H pattern.

Progress has been had.  My office not so much.  I can see my desk.  I can see my paper and writing stuff.  What I can't find is my sanity.

So I managed to get the mailing done and have received a TON of responses.  Mainly US.  I will be doing the drawing for that at the end of next week when I have everything for the package.  We are having "Gold Rush Days" in Sacramento over the weekend and I need to acquire some things from that event.

I have only received a few responses from overseas (kind of disappointed there so some goodies going out to everyone that did reply (it pays to reply :).

On to the Daisies thing.

Kaylee is in school now.  Real school.  You know home work and stuff.

We bought the back pack, lunch pail (she picked it out) the Happy Napper Unicorn (pillow).

Now comes the "fun"stuff.  This is the part where Mommy and Daddy get hit up by every organization with their hand out to "fund" activities and make her time at school "fun and enjoyable".

Folks if you need money JUST ASK FOR IT.  Don't try to sell me something you are going to get 20% back on.  I would rather just give you a flat donation where all of the funds actually go to the organization.  I really don't want my soon to be 5 year old pedaling your wares.

See this is the part that makes me feel REALLY OLD.  I am turning 44 on Friday.  I drop Kaylee off at school every morning and stand there with the 20 something parents whom honestly look more like they just got our of high school themselves. Dressed like they are in high school (YES PULL UP YOUR DAMN PANTS AND TURN YOUR HAT STRAIGHT).. See crabby old man..

Now I know there are other parents out there who I believe are still reading my blog (yea yea.. I've been busy.  Not Tammy Orr busy but busy).  When you are dropping off your kids for school, how many times have you seen parents pulling up while talking on the cell phone and almost taking someone out in the process.  This has happened to ME TWICE in the past 2 weeks.

Oh yea the Daisies thing..

Kaylee has/will be joining the Daisies (Girl Scouts).  She seems very interested in this one as there are a bunch of her class mates in the Daisies as well.  So Daddy, will be taking his little sweetheart to the Girl Scout store next week to gear her up.  I am TRYING to not get her bogged down in after school activities.  You know them well..

Let's see... Suzy has soccer on Wed and Friday.  Gymanstics on Monday, Thursday and Sat.  Macrame class on Tuesday.  Hog tying on Sunday..  When do your kids get to be KIDS.

We did a REALLY good thing when we moved.  There is a swim club across the street from the house.  We joined that.  Our little fish called Kaylee LOVES it.  She finally got the nerve to go down the water slide and hit the diving board in the deep pool.

Well I got my old fart monologue out of the way for awhile.  Promise to start sending some stuff out soon.  I mean hey, Halloween is just around the corner and I have another mailing to do.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Game on.. A drive into the gap

Some of you may know I have a penchant for Field Notes Brand notebooks.  I truly love these little books.  I carry one around in my shirt pocket daily for keeping my notes for work related stuffs.  Network settings, application install instructions, phone lists and such.  You know, things that the 43+ year old mind has a tendency to forget if not used on a daily basis.

Note: don't leave your notebooks laying around a 2 year old..

For the uninitiated, Field Notes Brand started out as a little project with Aaron Draplin and Jim Coudal.  Now I don't know the whole sordid tale of how these two met, what they had for dinner, who was on top, nothing.  What I know is that the continual flow of what they are calling the "color subscriptions" are worth the price of admission alone in checking out their site.

I have infrequent emails/conversations with Aaron mainly asking where my freakin' shirt I want him to put together is (and he came through - Thanks Big Guy!).  I have emails bouncing with the folks at coudal as well (asking to set some stuff aside for me - And they always come through).

So what is it about these little books made of 24 folded pieces of paper and a cover that make me desire them and collect them?  Am I just one of the many sheeple?  Not so much.

As many of the people that read this blog and others like it.  We long for a simpler time, a return of tactile feel.  In other words. PEN/PENCIL TO PAPER.  That in a nutshell is it.  I have these little notebooks everywhere.  I carry them on my person, have one in my truck, I keep one in my packs.  WHY so many?  The folks at Field Notes said it best. (lifted the logo guys..) 

That's right - I'm not writing it down to remember it later, I'm writing it down to remember it now. (their tag line).  Mine goes more like this " I'm writing it down now because I'm getting to many cases of CRS and can barely remember what day it is let alone what I may have to recall this crap later.  Who are you again?  I'm scared..  Do you know where I live?  Dad says I'm a good driver.. Yea..  K-Mart sucks.."

So where was I, oh yea the notebooks, subscriptions, colors thing. They came out with a NEW colors one for late/mid summer that has me all giddy.

So this one comes in 3 colors in the collection.  Outfield Green, Infield Brown and Hardball White.

Along with the normal 3 pack of notebooks you get a copy of a Drive into the Gap.  A great little story published by Field Notes Brand Books.  A first from them as far as I know.

I will be sending off one of these sets to one of my readers and another to someone who sent me something special during my baseball mailing.  I need to try and get a hold of a few more.

Disclaimer.  The folks at Field Notes or Draplin Designs have never given me anything for review.  I purchase their products because of the simplicity and great design of an american made and designed product.  They put a lot of effort into the design and use of the product.  I really like the sense of humor  they put in them as well.

If you would like to know what I'm talking about and have never put your hands on one drop me a line and If I have some spares laying around, I'll send you one.  They (the regular craft paper) come in lined, graph and blank.  The colors come in various graph or dot patterns (my favorite).

They include goodies in every shipment.  Could be a button, pencil, pen (also a big favorite), sticker or notebook.  If you catch them on a special day you get a free 3 pack (subscribe to their e-mail listing).

Till next time..

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Rules, rules, rules, rules..

OK, some of you have started receiving the postcards...

But Derrick, what do I do with the amazing old west postcard that you have mailed me?

What does the number mean?

Why is Martha staring at her reflection in the sliding glass door?

Well dear mail recipient/reader/frequent mail buddy.. Reply to the postcard.  With the number.. And she heard something on the other side of the glass door and then became entranced with her own reflection.  Why else would she do that sheesh..

Don't toss the card with the junk mail.  It's not..

The way you were chosen as a recipient of my largest mailing to date was you are either have a posting on Good Mail Day, a reader of this blog, or someone I have been bouncing stuff back and forth with for a while.

I have started moving into the house in earnest this week.  a long and not pleasant process with the lovely triple digit temps here in Sacramento this past week.  When it hits 103 while driving back and forth between houses, you start to contemplate just leaving it and sending the landlord a check for disposal.

I'm probably 3 days from a finish though.  Had to pull my laptop out tonight and get this post done as I should have had this done the night I sent out all of the cards.

I NEED to get this move done soon though.  It has been a whole week and my office is still not setup.  That has NEVER happened before.  Trying to have everything in there before getting it setup.

So with that, here is the final instructions for the giveaway.  I need to go and take something for my aching ankle and rusty knees before tomorrows trial again.

1. Receive post card.
2. Read postcard.
3. Marvel in all it's glory
4. Admire the fine artwork
5. Wonder if you can extract some of my DNA from the back of that stamp. YES I licked every one.  Do these stamps make me loo fat??
6. Reply to the postcard with your number or without, but you must send me something and mention the mailing.  Just lets me know your paying attention.

Address (new.. and the peasants rejoice.. yea)

Derrick Dodson
6325 Matterhorn Drive
Sacramento, CA 95842

All of the items included in the giveaway are on this post A Call for printers and Giveaways

Thanks to all for reading and playing along with me.  Hoping to get back to writing and posting in the next few weeks when I have my room put together and not in pin every night from this moving thing.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

And they're out of the gate!

The cards are on their way. 

158 cards
5 sheets of 29 cent stamps
2 sheets of 85 cent stamps
2 sheets of 1 cent stamps.

The post cards were pre-stamped with 19 cent per.  So to make the 1.05, a single and an 85 worked well.  Wondering how long it will take to get to some of the further reaches.

Cards went out to Brazil, Poland, Germany, Australia, England/UK/Great Britain, Russia, India, Canada and the Philippines for the international portion of the giveaway.


I will eventually be sending out change of address cards when I recover from actually getting in the house.  Of course it had to be 100+ all week with no end in sight to get this done.

I said it before and I'll say it again.  I WILL DIE IN THIS HOUSE.. I am NEVER MOVING AGAIN.  We have learned one really cool thing during the move.  The term I don't want to move this has become the mantra of the day.  The only place those things are moved to is the end of the driveway where the local vultures are circling wondering what we will drop out there next.  We have started to see regulars pop up when we return to make another load.

Remember when I did the "Crap Fest Mailing", think that on a much grander scale.  Instead of office garbage, I'm finding homes for some of my antiques.  Old Pie Safes, shelving (NO, I'm not putting that stuff on the street).

I'm writing this from work because I have yet to put my office back together.  Until I have everything that will go in the room there, I don't want to start setting things up knowing they will be moved.  The book cases are just to heavy when loaded.

Question..   Do any of you folks have hard wood floors.  and if so do you use a moving office chair?

I really don't want to jack up the floors rolling all over it with the chair.  Trying to figure out if I should put down a rug and a office mat on top of that to protect the floors.

So with that, back to the grind tomorrow.  I'm taking the rest of the week off from work the get the move complete.  The temps at 8am in the morning are much better than at 5pm after work.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

It's Official, for sure, maybe, OH HELL I GIVE UP!

OK!  So the slow wheels of lending institutions being what they are, I FINALLY signed the papers for the new Casa de Dodson.  I won't bore you with the details here.  I mean if I did that what would I have to write about in 5-6 pages to wear your already shot peepers with.  HUH??

SO.. I am getting ready to start moving, packing (OH MY GOD NOT PACKING!!).

See this is the part where we start thinking..  How much insurance do I have on my stuff?  If I left the windows and front door open and conveniently left for a few hours, just think of how little I would have left to pack.  INGENIOUS!!

This is the start of the Dodson Moving Method (trademark).  you to can have State Farm/Farmers/Bobs Insurance Shack pay for your move.  Why move your old crap when you can have a newly furnished home!!

And after 3-5 years, you can enjoy it with your spouse after you get out for good behavior and say good bye to Bubba who has been just like your spouse for those lonely years.

Where was I??   Oh yea, back to that moving thingy.

So here is the new address.

Derrick Dodson (and clan)
6325 Matterhorn Drive
Sacramento, Ca 95842

Please update your address book/contact list/piece of paper you dropped and is now stuck to the bottom of your shoe because you walked over some gum and now every time you take a step you hear this crunching noise under your foot that you can't really tell where it's coming from until your kid says daddy what is that on your foot.

This way your letter/postcard/packages/small children don't get lost in the mail because they would get hungry and possibly die and I really don't need that kind of pressure on my head wondering if I made it down to the post office in time before the oxygen runs out in their box.

OH, almost forgot.  I'm doing this little giveaway thing.  If you have a chance and would like to get in on the action.  The cut off is on July 4.

Just leave a comment here with your address.  or email to me as it will never reach me before the 4th.  The email address is on the Aboot Me page.

If you run a blog, I would appreciate the kind mention of the goodies on yours, if you don't mind.

Well, I'm off to figure out if I can legally run a fire sale.  I mean hey, it's the 4th of July.  I have plenty of fire extinguishers  what could possibly go wrong.

Friday, June 1, 2012

A Call for Printers and Giveaway announcement

So, the slow wheels of the real estate market grind on.

Through this lovely process I have discovered a few things.

A. I am 43 years old.
B. I will DIE in this house.

I never want to go through this process again. Being that I will "hopefully" have this thing paid off before Kaylee is out of high school we shouldn't have to move.  I know, I know never say never.  or die for that matter.  Or pull my finger in mixed company after a trip to Taco Bell.

We almost lost the house yesterday when the appraisal came back 10k under our offer.  Remember kiddies, the bank won't let you pay more for the house than it's worth.  So my awesome agent got to work and saved the house for us.  The owner was going to pull the house and wait out the 6 months for the appraisal to run out and ask for a conventional loan (they can ask for what ever they want with that type of loan - see dinner and a show - you learned something today - you can now go home).  So with a bump in the interest rate and a cut in commission fro our agent (can't believe she did that for us) we are now on the path to home ownership.

Kaylee is enrolled in kindergarten and starts Aug. 9.  We are really excited about the school and Kaylee likes the teachers.  She met them at orientation. and it's only a few blocks from the new house :)

I have managed to get a few letters out and have everything I need for the giveaway, but I need to wait until I am clear to move in so I can get the change of address cards out and have a definitive place to have stuff sent.  I really don't like to have mail forwarded.

So with that..  I need some ideas on change of address cards.  Here is a chance for someone out there to get some printing business from me.  I would like letterpress if possible.  The order would be for around 120 cards.  Yes I have a bunch to send out.  Like you guys didn't know that.  How long have you been hanging out here??

IF you could send me a sample (email would be fine) and some pricing for quantity, you to could be the next contestant on The Price is Right!!

Now for the fun stuff.  The July giveaway.  You will be receiving in the mail a postcard with a number on it (I'm getting my stamping hand limbered up).  I have over 100 cards going out on this one and the prize it pretty good.  So here is a sample of the goods.

So tell em what they could win Chuck.

Well Derrick, if they call back within the next 10 minutes they can get this:

This lovely hard bound Legends of the West book with cover to keep those nasty dust bunnies off of your treasured collection (bad bunnies).

But wait there's more.  As you are one of the callers in the next 10 minutes you will also receive this:

This absolutely lovely collection of stamps all un licked by the house Chesapeake Bay Retriever (you can find your own dog - or I'm calling PETA)

And if that's not enough we'll throw in this:

A full set of first day release of The Legends of The West postcards.

Now our offer would be an istillwrite giveaway with out an added bonus..

But Derrick, you've already provided so much in this amazing offer.. what else could you throw in??

I'm so glad you asked.  I've been searching high and low and I've found something unique.  something made from the finest fuax bronze that could be had from some third world country. (sorry no pics - yet) a Pony Express commemorative coin.

Oh MY.. you can offer all of that can you for that price!!

YES, I' Can and yet I'm not done.  I'll also include a pony express advertisement and a pony express route map!!

But Derrick, How much are you selling it for?? $800?

NO, not $800.. Not even $400.. Not even $100


I'm offering you all this for the low, low price of a stamp (well that and some paper, you gotta stick that thing to something).

So hope that wet's the appetite.  All of the pieces are there, I just need a permanent address.

So what do you folks think?

I get almost ALL of my addresses from Good Mail Day.  So if you would like to be included in the mailing leave your address there by July 4th.  I will begin the mailing after that.  There are over 100 addresses in that listing.  I have my own  as well, so this will be the largest mailing I have done to date.

There may be some other goodness included as the prize mailing will be around Sept 1st (allowing for respondents) which coincides with Gold Rush Days in Old Sacramento.  So I will be picking up some more goodies at that time.

There will be some secondary prizes, I have a bunch of coins and posters of the pony express to spread around and some pressed pennies.

Bear with me folks.  I just need to get settled in the new house and get caught up.  Remember if you send me something I will write back.  Just might take a bit longer than normal.