Sunday, December 26, 2010

Post # 100 - Celebrating with a Give-Away

This is it!

The milestone 100th post for 2010 is up and as promised in an earlier post, there will be a give-away, albeit a modest one.

Leave a comment following this post and you will be entered into a drawing to win a set of postcards designed by me and suitable for mailing. In order to encourage snail-mail art, I will include postage with each card.

Most of the postcards will consist of color copies on heavy paper, but I will include one or two original postcards, more if we get some snow days off work. A winner will be selected by random drawing in one week on January 2, 2011 and will be one of my earliest posts in the new year.

So, in your comment tell me something having to do with snail mail. Tell me what you still send or about something cool that came recently or a pen pal you had as a kid. Tell me about the terrors of the post office (lost and damaged items) or about your mail carrier. Good tales, bad tales - all are acceptable.

I look forward to hearing from you.
Good Luck
as the French say
Bonne Chance
the Swedes
Lycka Till!


Thursday, December 23, 2010

Wallace, Grommet and I have been trolling the internet, searching for an appropriate Christmas eve post and after some discussion settled on this one.

Hope you like it.
Merry Christmas
or as they say in Swedish
God Jul!


P.S. Grommet apologizes that the video starts out with a 15 second commercial. Hang in there, we think the video is worth it.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Highway Ponderings

The pilgrimage from Virginia to Wisconsin covers over 700 miles and allows plenty of time for stray observations. Gazing at billboards, it occurs to you that once again they have changed Colonel Saunder's image. With every re-imagining he becomes younger and slimmer. Perhaps if I live long enough, the Colonel will morph into a skateboarding 20 some-year-old lad that likes eating chicken.

A recent survey of Americans, ages 18-25 (the key chicken eating demographic apparently) reveals that 61% of these Americans couldn’t identify the man in the KFC logo. In fact, 31% of Americans aren’t familiar with the founder of the largest global chicken chain at all and 52% believe he is simply KFC's corporate creation, another version of Betty Crocker.

1986 Betty 1936

Betty Crocker is an image as well as a brand name and trademark of General Mills. Her name was developed in 1921 by one of the companies that would merge to become General Mills. It was thought that consumers would feel a more a personal connection to the company when they received answers to their mailed product questions signed by Betty Crocker. The name Betty was selected because it sounded cheery and All-American.

Betty's image has been updated 8 times since the first was created in 1936. These portraits were always painted, with no real person ever having posed as a model, and they have never shown the character from the shoulders down.

By comparison Harlan David Saunders was a real person. At the age of 40, Sanders cooked chicken dishes and other meals for people who stopped at his service station in Corbin, Kentucky. Since he did not have a restaurant, he served customers in his living quarters located at the service station. His local popularity grew, and Sanders moved to a motel and restaurant (seated 142 people) where he worked as the chef. Over the next nine years, he developed his "secret recipe" for frying chicken. He made use of a pressure fryer that allowed the chicken to be cooked much faster than the 30 minutes required by pan frying.

He was given the honorary title "Kentucky Colonel" in 1935 by Governor Ruby Laffoon. He was "re-commissioned" as such in 1950 by Governor Lawreence Wetherby.

It wasn't until 1950 that Sanders began developing his distinctive appearance, growing his trademark mustache and goatee and donning a white suit and string tie. He never wore anything else in public during the last 20 years of his life, using a heavy wool suit in the winter and a light cotton suit in the summer.

The route that I follow from my corner of southwestern Virginia to Wisconsin takes me through Corbin, Kentucky, not far from where the Colonel got his start before franchising the whole chicken frying concept. One of these days I do need to stop at his restaurant that is now a museum.

Fun to contemplate an image that has been changed enough times that consumers now believe he is the creation of marketers, while there were once people that thought Betty Crocker was a genuine and real person.


Friday, December 17, 2010

Facial Reconstructive Surgery and Millinery

Ice, Slush and snow coupled with freezing and near freezing temperatures yielded an unexpected day off this past Thursday.

It was such a bonus and perhaps a deserved one, as the weekend had been evaporated by continuing education. The class was a wonderful and added to my skill set, but also left laundry undone and Christmas cards unwritten.

Back in September, while visiting Wisconsin I surely overpaid for this garland of 3 snowmen found at the thrift store, St. Vincent de Paul. I mean paying like $3.50.

That may not seem too awful until you look closely. Akin to the three little kittens that lost their mittens, these fellows had lost their noses; had shiny little glue craters right smack dab in the middle of their faces where their noses ought to be! What kind of foolhardy adventures result in a lost nose, not just for one , but for everybody, I do not even want to know. Then of course these gents only have snow for brains.

So on this bonus day off I engaged in facial reconstructive surgery, rhinoplasty to be specific. Three noses were constructed out Paperclay with drying enhanced via a slow oven. The appendages were painted a pleasing shade of carrot orange and affixed to their faces.

With noses in place, these guys begged for a wee bit of sartorial spiffying. Using a lone orphan sock as the knit material donor, each snowman got a hat and their scarves were refashioned to have more heft and body.

And should you wonder about the lack of gender neutrality in the term snowmen, may I remind you that these gents had some unspecified adventure that resulted in a need for reconstructive surgery.

I find my results esthetically pleasing and the gents appear to be smiling too.



Sunday, December 12, 2010

December Mailboxes

December seems to be the month in which mailboxes rise in prominence. Anticipations of Christmas cards and packages tied up in string, but wait, the post office will not allow string, only packing tape.

And if it seems like you're getting fewer holiday cards this year, don't worry. Chances are it has nothing to do with your popularity.

The practice of sending Christmas cards is fading, collateral damage of the digital age.

The practice of sending Christmas cards is a victim of our time crunched lifestyles and the instant communication to which we have become accustomed.

Each of us must decide whether this is an antiquated waste of time or a cherished holiday ritual. As I have a documented love affair with paper and postage, a few cards will issue forth from my mailbox this year, but not as many in the past.


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

This little piggy went to market

Actually she looks better prepared for a ballet recital, but perhaps she will go to market if the shoppes are posh enough.

This lovely and somewhat anthropomorphic pig caught my eye while passing an art gallery in Asheville.

I must have been smitten as several pictures were taken.

To close this post I will quote a little Shel Silverstein

Said the pig to his pop,
“There’s the candy shop.
Oh, please let’s go inside.
And I promise I won’t
Make a kid of myself
If you give me a people-back ride.”


Wednesday, December 1, 2010



I've been thinking about blogging and this blog in particular. With this post the blog will be six posts shy of 100 entries for the year. Having noted that, it has become my intention to reach that goalpost by the end of the month and upon attainment to celebrate with a drawing for a give away.

What shall be the prize? That would be simple and natural for a blog entitled Frost Giant Postcard studios, it will be a set of postcards, so you can send art snail-mail to your friends.One of the designs to be included would be the postcard above.

So tune in later this month, to post a comment and have a chance at winning some distinctively odd postcards.