I'm so glad you like my Etsy shop! I do love this listserv. In any case, you haven't missed an email. I just got back from mailing the painting (Yay!!!) and only now have time to tell the final story.
First I tried scraping with new #16 exacto blades which worked pretty well but the brown ink had seeped in so far and there 2 main spots and 2 areas with bleeding on paper that had been erased. The areas still looked just dirty even after any definite brown spots were gone. So off I went to my local art store for supplies. They were out of methyl cellulose and carageenen, and only had black watercolor ground. I thought about trying some aquapasto but one of the guys at the store told me his trick for dealing with holes and spots without having to mix paint to match the paper ( which I tried at some point and did find quite hard even though I think of myself as good at color mixing). Anyways, his trick is to use an exacto to pick out bits of fiber from a piece of scrap paper of the same sort and then use Ph neutral book binders glue to stick them down. On my practice run it worked perfectly. You can't see I scraped out a letter and replaced it at all! On the actual painting it didn't work so well. Maybe because i didn't thin the glue like he told me, maybe because I hadn't scraped deep enough, or perhaps had scraped too deep. I don't know but it just didn't look good, the color and texture both looked bad.
So, time for thinking completely out of the box! The painting is to commemorate a capital campaign for a wilderness camp and the mistake was in the name of the camp at the top of the piece. The camp used to have a wooden sign with the name carved in - kind of like a forest service sign - so I found a scrap of paper with 3 nice hand cast edges and hand tore the 4th edge. I painted on the camp name using the same typeface and color as on the old sign, glued it on the painting with the book binding glue and voila - a placard with the name of the camp! It actually looks really good and perhaps even intentional. A happy mistake as it turns out. And a lesson in not getting careless during the last 5 minutes of a painting! Phew I'm done after working on this for a really long time!