click on images

click on images and they will pop up in a new window, larger, so that you can see more detail

Monday, October 20, 2014

from jan

this one is adorable plus the p.o. was nice enough to not mess it up. it is ironic that they would forgo the cancel on a design that is actually anticipating a pretty cancel.  oh well, i guess i can always put a faux-cancel on it.

it is very 3D - layered and makes me want to take a trip.

Sunday, October 19, 2014


i feel like this one has already been blogged, but i can't find it in the archive. it's one where you might be able to see her name in red and then i tried to cover up all the flaws with flowers. not sure what i think about this one. not stellar, but not the worst i've done. i don't think i did a single envelope that i liked that looked good with that stamp. i like the stamp and wish i had found something perfect to go with it, but sadly, i have not. maybe a purple envelope would have been nice.

exchange update

i was hoping to use up all the winter flower stamps because they had given me fits. after doing these 9 names, i decided they were not blog worthy, but the stamps were on them, so i had to mail them. i will be doing another mailing to these well as the other 4 participants. i am so stuck on the wrought iron lettering.

i will mail the exchange envelopes today. thanks to everyone who participated and big thanks to jan for organizing it. :-)

on a side note, i will be doing a blog post on flourishing that will be on the nibs and ink blog. maybe that will jolt me out of my wrought iron rut.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

from smash

thank you smash girl for this pretty envelope featuring those beautiful stamps. i have a full sheet and have been hoarding them, but with this as inspiration, i think i will launch them.

design lesson:
grids rock

Friday, October 17, 2014

pastel janis

after all those neon markers with the janis stamp, i tried a pastel to go with the sunglasses. i don't remember which marker i used. it might be a tombo. i like the mixed fonts. i should probably do the navy shadow on all the letters, but i am running out of time. so...imagine it, please  :-)

Thursday, October 16, 2014

karen's carlish tan

love the notecard too. this was inside the first envelope from karen which is why there is no postmark. she noted, inside the notecard that she was not happy with the EA space. i can see why it bothered her. but it doesn't bother me at all. her solution to fill up the spaces with some color is a very good remedy. loose lettering is always lots of fun...but, you have to be prepared to manage the consequences of just diving in.

love that notecard. wonder what kind of tool she used?

thank you, karen.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

neon janis for cathy

i tried the neon highlighters on bamboo paper. some of my pencil lines won't erase. i should have used colored pencil for the pencil lines. i've gone back and forth on posting this one. it has a multitude of problems. but, i think it would be fun to do some envelopes with the name on the top, the zip on the bottom and the rest of the info in a neat line through the middle. i even repeated the zip code for the p.o.
so, i'm ok with that portion of the idea. maybe one day i will redo the idea and make it more lovable.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

karen carlish

this is the first one from karen. i called it *carlish* because it looks like something one would do in a carl rohrs class.

perfect with the stamp.

thank you , karen.

Monday, October 13, 2014

new stamps

be sure to check out all the fun new stamps at

Celebrity ChefsWinter Fun
one of 4 winter designs

there is an envelope below - in the daily post. this is an extra post for today.

potter rant no. 4

the top one looks ok in real life. the writing is in silver gel pen, so it will not show up in the scan. i like the idea of the guy standing in a window.

the bottom one...i could rant about how ugly it is (because the creature is some kind of mutant)...but we can just look on the bright side...i only have 6 harry potter stamps left.

maybe i will have some crazy wonderful brainstorm.
or maybe i can find something heavy to mail to miss cathy ...  anybody have any good ideas?

p.s. i pondered several ways to make these two into envelopes that i would just love. since i had left the street addresses as the last element to add, i had basically painted myself into a corner. sometimes, i love the challenge of being in the corner and figuring out a solution. with these two, and with the knowledge that there are 6 to go, i decided to just leave them very simple. there is nothing wrong with simple. and then i pondered how the whole set will look together. my gut tells me that if cathy ever decides to put all of them in a grid - and make a pleasing arrangement of the entire group, these two will have a purpose. somehow they will fit in with all their siblings. they will be the two quiet ones that offer some visual relief. i will refrain from pontificating about the value of having a variety of personalities in any given family or group. (unless someone really wants to hear it - hahaha)

Sunday, October 12, 2014

smash's cherry blossoms


i'm thinking she dipped an ear of corn in her ink or paint to make those very cool marks.

love it.

thank you smash-girl :-)

Saturday, October 11, 2014

potter rant no. 3

i really don't need to rant about this one. it's an adequate example of multi-tasking. checking all your white pens to see which ones are dried up. and it is a pretty stamp.

p.s. since i am on a roll with the design tips, i will mention that on this one, i used contrast in size to tuck the address in - under the stamp - and it looked very nice. very tiny white lettering that became the third element.

i only used contrast in size. i knew that i would not like to include contrast in color. the stamp has contrast in color.
i want to make it perfectly clear that i am not suggesting that the ways i chose to make my design decisions are in a any way the only choices or the best choices. there is no right or wrong or cookie cutter formula. things like contrast are simply vocabulary words that you utilize when you make decisions about where you are going with your composition. i frequently put 3 elements on an envelope. but not always. looking at this again, i can see that a big bold black address (rather than tiny and white) could have worked out just fine.

Friday, October 10, 2014

miss cathy's spectacles

love the spectacles. they might have been inspired by the harry potter glasses.

but this is so perfect. i might have to do some more spectacle envelopes. the i in wilson is so much fun.

of the people currently exchanging mail with me...finnbadger phil and elizabeth are the only two who have an i in their name

amy, jan, cathy, karen, jack, alex, - none of you have an i --- although a double cracked x for alex would be fun. i shall be stealing this idea. thank you very much.

i have been LOVING the janis joplin stamps. once again, they did not appeal to me at first glance, but they evolved into favorites. (yes, jeri, i just remembered that you are a frequent exchanger with an i in your name :-)

Thursday, October 9, 2014

potter rant no. 2

i'll spare you the rant on this one. there's just nothing nice to say about it. normally i would have a lot of fun with a witch hat. it should have been the A in o'reAr or cAthy.

i have no idea where i am going to put the street address.....

p.s. once again, i used *contrast* to solve my problem and i was very pleased with the results. i used a tiny .25 G-Tec pen and stacked the number and name of her street, flush right, up against the stamp. the witch looked like she was staring at the address, which was just the element that made me very satisfied with the results.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

8th of the month - folon envelopes

this blog has 4 images from the best envelope book ever. quite a while ago, i posted an image from this book.

kathy actually has the book...and i forgot all about the blog post. the blog above only has 4 images

but if you google
Jean-Michel Folon Lettres a Giorgio
you will see a bunch more

sometimes when i google that, i see items from my blog, too....not sure why, but i am delighted to be lumped in with him.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

potter rant no. 1

o.k.  all y'all know that i have been having a heck of a time getting this harry potter series done for miss cathy. at least she helped me along when she sent me a bunch of brown envelopes. they solved my color problem. but, i just can't get my goofy little drawings to compliment the stamps which are photos. this idea is plum-pitiful. but, i just have to get harry potter off my desk. and brace yourselves, the next three are just as pitiful. the part of me that likes naive and outsider art is OK with this one. but sadly, i would not be eligible for true outsider art status. apologies to anyone who is offended by the use of the term outsider. i remember that it has been updated, but, the new term has not been sticking in my memory.

p.s. as you know, i write these posts a few weeks in advance and have them scheduled to pop up every morning. when i filled in the space with the rest of the address, i actually liked it a lot better. i actually *fixed* it. so the tip for today is to pick out one thing that does not bother you, ask what you like about it and then use that answer to insert more of what you like. in this case, i liked the contrast of the x-height of the lettering, so i used that contrast to finish the envelope - instead of trying to add another element. peter thornton teaches a whole weekend workshop on contrast. if you ever have a chance to take that workshop you will probably find it chock full of very useful information.

Monday, October 6, 2014

karen's elephant

karen has sent two envelopes and each one had a second envelope inside. this was the inner one. that j has a marvelous trunk. and the stack of jeans is a very nice element to unify the composition. very nice. thank you, karen.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

neon janis for smash and alex

 these are both done with ink highlighters on bamboo paper which is very nice paper. i feel like i already posted the top one, let me know if it is a repeat. i am going to add some navy to the top one and i might ruin it. the bottom one needs something else, but i am going to let it go so that i can make some headway with my endless decluttering project.

after i did the chunky easy blocky lettering, i did some outlining with gel pens.

i don't think the scans do a very good job of capturing the neon-bright quality of the ink.

the brand of highlighter is zazzle. they are very old. i remember buying them back when i did travel teaching gigs. wow, that was a long time ago.

i added a navy shade to the top one and then took a phone photo to see if i could get a better impression of the color. the navy shade helps. it is still a little blah, but might get sent just to keep up my de-clutter-momentum.

[several days later - i put two more stamps on the envelope to smash-girl and like it so much better. wish the scanner did a better job with the colors]

also, there is a new post on the other blog
for anyone who is trying the nibs and ink

Saturday, October 4, 2014

smash - ode to ingmire

smash called this one *ode to ingmire* - thomas ingmire is a very well known calligrapher who teaches. i have never studied with him, so, i do not see exactly what is ingmire-esque about this one. but, i like the melange of it. i hope melange is the right word. i'm still scrambling to meet deadlines and don't have time to research.....

thank you, smash ---

Friday, October 3, 2014

elizabeth inspired

the top image is the top of an invitation to an exhibit. elizabeth sent it as an insert in an envelope that will appear in november. i was immediately inspired to make an envelope with the neuland outline and textured background. the janis stamp seemed like a good fit. fun idea. i'll keep it in my stack to do again when i have more time.

thanks elizabeth