Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Sam's BigCopic

It might have been better with just the black and no outline. The first outline looked lonely, so I did a second outline and it did not help, so I colored purple over the inner line to look like the lettering on the stamp. Not resolved - but mailed.

At least I had the perfect color envelope for those stamps.

Wednesday's Time Killer:

My 25% Finnish DNA is wildly crazy about this restaurant.

Tiny Restaurant

Years ago, there was a restaurant in Chicago called, Minnie's - and everything was miniature. Tiny sandwiches, etc on small plates. Tiny beverages. A happy memory - glad I got to visit that one time.

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Leslie - pink & green & versals

Very clever - hellO - using the stamp as the O.

The name and address are covered up. I'm guessing the name is Liz - although when I first read it - it looked like Lil.

Pink and green and versals - it would be hard to mess up that combination.


Tuesday Time Killing Option.
A delightful house in Sweden.
More than just a house. Studio space, guest house, workshop.

Swedish house, etc

Monday, January 20, 2020

Bonus Post - Monday morning time killing opportunity

Today's regular post is right below.

I found a website where you can create faux-logos. They only have a few - but it was fun to plug in a few names. Above is the Converse logo. If you don't want to get going with your Monday chores, you might want to surf through the site. They would be fun to use on envelopes if you are a digital artist.






More Horses - green ink

Lynne, Kate and Jessica received Dec envelopes that are similar to the other horse-stamped envelopes - using green ink, which I think I might like better. Although, black might have been a better choice.

They are a little ho-hum. It's a shame that I did not have a better idea. Maybe I lose my inspiration when I know there is no chance of getting any more of the particular stamp.

I will add the letter that went with Ruth's envelope that I forgot to put on her post. It's a fun style of writing using a big fat brush marker and adding shade on the right and highlights on the left. Then outlining the whole thing and then gray shadow. Takes a bit of time. I tried it on lined paper just for practice, but then never did any more of it on a finished envelope.

The U is too wide.

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Leslie - Lucy and the Football

Ahhhh, Lucy. That ornery little voice in our head that has a filter, most of the time. I imagine there are books with educated analysis of what's going on with her. No time to research.

Since Leslie's photo of this one is before it went through the postal system, we don't know what it looked like on the other end.

What we do know - Leslie did a fabulous job with the Have a Ball stamps.

Thanks again, Leslie, for sharing these with us. As I write this, it is the day after Thanksgiving, 2019 -- and I have to gear up with blog posts.

Friendly reminder -- any time you want to send me images of your mail - going to other people - I will be happy to have it on file and use it to fill the blog. Your participation has been wonderful for me and I have had numerous personal emails and notes from people who let me know how much they enjoy our little 3 minutes of escape each day.

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Carousel Horses to Jeri, et al

I was beyond flattered when Jeri told me she thought this envelope
was done by Cheryl Jacobson.
I have nothing to say about these. Just using up the stamps. My apologies to Susan, Grace, Jeri, Janet.

Time to share another tidbit that I have learned about the Post Office. Their system has evolved and a lot of it makes sense. As customers, we think it should be simple, look at the address and then deliver it.

Technically, that is simple. It would work if we could get rid of Christmas. They can't hire temps for one month because it takes too long to learn the system. Plus, the people who know the system are faced with a tsunami of mail every single day in Dec.  They do not have a clue as to exactly how big each tsunami is, they have to just wait and see - and deal with it daily. On Sundays, they just deliver packages. But that makes every Monday even worse. And double worse, if you deliver to businesses that are closed on Saturday.

I am writing this on Dec 19th. My son has been working 80 hours per week since Thanksgiving. He starts at 5 am. He has been getting one day off per week - so 80 hours divided by 6 days is 13.3 hours per day. Some days he works until 8 or 9 pm. Yesterday, the amount of mail was just slightly less - and at 12 hours, everyone was standing around at the station - amazed that they were done for the day. Then they got all giddy-- to be getting off at 5 pm. Can you imagine being all giddy-happy that you only had to work 12 hours.

So, come December, if you run into a postal worker who is less than cheerful, don't take it personally. They are just tired.

Jan 14
If you live in a climate with snow and ice, don't expect your mailman to be cheerful, yet. December was fairly mild - but the next 8 weeks will dish some real winter weather. My little postman has not bounced back completely.

I tried some gold gel pen designs from the horse.

I tried red and green designs from the horse.

I tried random black stuff. I like the last name.

Friday, January 17, 2020

Leslie's String Art

This is done by dipping string in paint or ink, placing the string on an envelope, placing another envelope face down over the first envelope, figuring out a way to apply the right amount of pressure to the stack to allow the string to be pulled out, leaving a pretty design.

If you want to Google and see more examples, be sure to put the word *pull* in the search. String art is something else. Pulled string art is this.

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Dec Cartouche to Ruth

I was stealing ideas. This one was not going well at all. I hesitate to even post what it looked like when I started with the fine tip markers. But, if you do not see it, you will not believe me. I thought I was going to have to throw it out. So, I tried a really fat tip - to see what would happen and I actually liked it. It does need some white gel pen highlight.

I'm posting all my Dec envelopes in Jan. I think any of them could be done in red - for valentine's day -- and I will not have time to do any valentine ideas.

The other problem - in addition to the lines being too wimpy is that the shade of green was/is super icky.
I'm not happy with the extra dots around the box around the G - but had to let it go. I would have liked it better if the W in Wernli was larger. I love the R. I do not recall which stamp I used. I hope I had one of the red and green wreaths. Or I suppose a Santa would have looked nice.

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Leslie - License Plates

This idea is pretty genius.

Use license plates. I wonder which stamps she chose. There are quite a few car themed stamps. Or anything with colors that compliment. The light blue Love stamp that looks like skywriting would have been perfect.

Here is another one. I do not recall seeing any actual license plates that look like this. In 2019, the DOT started offering an option that looked like this only it is a black plate with white lettering. They have been wildly popular. I've never understood vanity plates. But then, I am sure there are millions of people who would never in a million years understand mail art or even nicely addressed envelopes. The number of people who tell me that pretty wedding envelopes are a complete waste because they ALL end up in the trash is UH-MAZE-ING. Seriously - people say that to me. It's fine. I get it. I too have my days when I feel a little guilty that I have not chosen a more responsible use of my free time.

Link to the new 2020 stamp designs in case you missed the bonus post yesterday.

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Bonus Post - 2020 stamps

Jean is celebrating, fur sure. The old black, neon celebrate stamp was one of my all-time least favorites. All y'all know how addicted I am to dots.

You may see the rest of the new stamps here:

The new wedding invitation 1 oz and 2 oz stamps are not going to please a lot of brides.

Ship+ Copic to Mireille, Kathleen, Marie

Phillip's was posted last week before I mailed them,  These should have arrived by now. They were from the group where I was using the BigCopic at Sam's request.

They are really different from the super chunky style that Sam likes.
I'm not sure they have anything special going on. The stamps are the best part of the envelope. So pretty.

The black and white needed to be integrated. Drop shadows seemed too obvious.

I like the texture on Kathleen's. I liked the Y that I came up with on the rough draft for Marie - and then the marker did not cooperate when I did the envelope. It annoys me when people blame the tool. The Y inspired the M - which I rather like. As usual, if I spent a few weeks just exploring this style, I would probably find all kinds of fun things that I really liked.


Two days later. I ended up adding some white to these the next day. Then, on the following day, I did some more envelopes that ended up being my favorites. I'll post everything in March. I was tempted to bump the posts that I have lined up, but the disciplinarian that lives in my head won't let me. I'm reading a book about how we do not have one voice in our head, we have several. It's like the way we keep learning that the previously recommended foods are bad for us and the *bad* foods are now good for us. Multiple personalities used to be mental illness and now it's the norm. Whew. Good to know. Reminder: do not take any information from this blog and assume that it is accurate. Unless you want it to be.

Monday, January 13, 2020

Leslie's Ruling Writer to Holly

Leslie is a big fan of the ruling writer. It's that fun tool in the picture that is not the paint brush. There are several different kinds and there is a bit of a learning curve on how to use them - but once you figure it out, they are loads of fun.

I can tell that this is from an exchange. We don't know what stamp Leslie used - but it was probably fun finding one. Or perhaps she made her color choices from the stamp she knew she would be using.

Sunday, January 12, 2020

Trees to Fatima - Dec exchange

I am not SHOUTING. I just want to CATCH your EYES. If you did not get an envelope from me in December, please let me know and I will send one promptly. (Except for you Gloria - I already warned you that yours was going to be late.) My fool proof system for keeping track of what I have mailed did not work.

Normally, I would post this in November. But, I do not think it is an idea that is worth stealing. It seemed like it had possibilities, but I was cranking out the Dec envelopes while working on all those surprise rush jobs and had to let this one go as is. I'm pretty sure if I devoted a month to tree-writing - I could come up with something that I really liked.

Once again, my favorite part -- dry marker. I used to have some markers that were more like paint pens which would have been better on the dots. The red would have been nicer if it was more opaque.


A bonus post popped up yesterday. Scroll down if you have any interest in a Peter Thornton exemplar that he meant for people to share.

Saturday, January 11, 2020

Bonus Post - Peter Thornton's Italics

Bonus post - regular post is right below.

As I continue the endless job of organizing and sifting through all my exemplars, I am going to scan and post the ones that are copyright-free.

I met Peter Thornton more than 20 years ago and some of his exemplars have a little Y in a circle. It is like the c in the circle, except Y means "Yes, it is OK to copy this and pass it on." Peter recognized the need to circulate some italics with finesse because there are so many clunky italic exemplars out there. This is a copy of a copy. Someday I will run across the original and rescan and repost.

In the meantime, if you are working on your italics - this exemplar shows how beautifully versatile italics are.

Leslie's Button Alphabet / Soccer Ball Stamp

This is a wonderful design. The button alphabet is perfect with the soccer ball.

It looks like - Dana - but I can't figure out the a-b-c before it.
Maybe it is just a decorative element. Maybe Dana needed a button alphabet exemplar and Leslie mailed one to Dana.

If anyone needs a button alphabet exemplar - here is the first one I found when I did a search on Pinterest. There is a better one if you do the search on Google, but, I couldn't snag an image that had decent resolution. You have to search * button alphabet peter thornton * - or you get literal buttons that we have on our clothing.

Friday, January 10, 2020

Dec to CathyO and Carolyn - Frog stamps

This one isn't spectacular. But, I will mention for the ump-teenth time how much I like dry markers.

I also like the very light shade of gray for a drop shadow.

Maybe I should add another frog envelope.

Carolyn's is nice - except the o-l looks like a d. It seems strange that I can usually make Carolyn look nice - but I struggle with Cathy. Somehow - certain combinations of letters just flow better than others.

Thursday, January 9, 2020

Leslie - to the Netherlands

It took me a while to figure out the name on this. At first I was not paying attention to the dot over the i.  Once i said *i* -- I knew right away that it was to Inta and this was an exchange envelope. We have not heard from Inta in a while. I loved her tiny penmanship.

This is really pretty and I love the colors. Pink and green have always been a combination that is pleasing to me. I know it sometimes gets a bad rap for being too preppy. Does anyone even use the word preppy any more?

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Copic + ships to Phillip - Jan PTEX

I wish the black lettering was white.
The two squares in OhiO would have looked
better in white as a repeat of the stamp shapes.
Hopefully Phillip will not be disappointed to see his envelope before it arrives. Sam's request for her name in BIG COPIC led me down a rabbit hole. Or maybe it inspired me to do some pondering of the process of creating envelopes for an exchange.

Some people fret over the exchange, myself included. It seems like a full 50% of the problem is deciding what style to use. It is helpful when people make requests. Although, it is very hit or miss as to whether or not I can fulfill any requests.

So - here is my tip if you spend too much time deciding what to do:
When you get your list - do some rough drafts of the various names on the list - using a variety of styles.

I thought about doing everyone on Sam's list in BigCopic, but a couple people on that list have already received that style. So I went with Phillips list. I will show my rough drafts so you get the idea of how to rough out some names before you commit to the style or design. There were more rough drafts than this -- but it gives you an idea of how you can work out the way the names might look. Which ones to stack and which ones to put in one line.

Don't miss the goofy *phillip* to the right of Huey in the second line.
Mireille Djenno might be amused at how inept I am at spelling her name.
Let's hope I get it right on the actual envelope.

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Leslie - Love stamp to Lisa (Giant Copic for Sam)

A name with an initial L is perfect with this stamp. Leslie did a good job of choosing colors that did not get muddy. Colored envelopes can be challenging. The muted tones on the stamp are forgiving.

There is a solution to muddy colors on colored envelopes. Gouache. But mixing up a full pallet of colors would be so much work. Not that I would not want to do it -- I really want to do. The sad reality is that most of us do not have time to putter all day.

Sam wondered why she had not seen her name in giant Copic lettering.
Here is why.

S and M are two of the hardest letters to do with such a bold line.

The marker was completely dry so I had to fill it. It will take a while for it to return to that semi-dry state with the cool concentric circles.

After I looked at the Salierno - I realized that I actually could do a decent S and M.

Monday, January 6, 2020

Aug PTEX to GraceE, GraceH, and Lynne


I am writing this on Aug 10th.


The original post was drivel so I deleted it.

Flash forward. It is Jan 2, 2020.
I just woke up and discovered that I had not sent the Jan 2 post to appear at 1 AM - CST.

Nothing like a missing post to get Nanna's blood circulating. I'm in Chicago until the 5th. Then, back to DSM to send out the lists. Remember, I reserve the option of sending them on the 6th. So if they did not arrive yesterday - they should be arriving later today.

** Jan 5 - 3:30 pm - The lists just went out. Nanna has jet lag. I only made one mistake (so far) But, I did want to commend all the exchangers for following the sign-up format beautifully. It really makes everything run more smoothly when I don't have to think too hard. Thanks so much.

Now back to the comments I made in August.


Today we have all the envelopes I did in August using the Copic WIDE marker. I love it. I still only have 2 of them and one is dry. It would be so cool to have a complete set of them. To buy all 358 colors would only be $3,222. I bet I could get free shipping. And I could probably get by with a third of the colors. Imagine how beautiful the envelopes would be. I'm tempted to start a GoFundMe page.

Sunday, January 5, 2020

Leslie - Chunky Birthday

Leslie kindly sent me a number of images to post on the blog. She did some exchanging in 2019 and her envelopes were very well received.

Since I am only seeing images and not the actual envelopes - it will be harder for me to guess how she did the lettering.

This one was driving me crazy  because the edges of the letters are so crisp, yet there is a design on each letter.

My guess is that she has a set of hand carved rubber stamps.

Maybe Leslie will leave a comment.

Saturday, January 4, 2020

Inspired by Smash (Confirm that it is Smash's)

The inspiration for these came from Smash on Pinterest. As mentioned previously, I do love to surf around on Pinterest. I find new things and it is also a trip down memory lane. It is especially fun to find mail that was probably part of the exchange but it did not cross my desk.

I've lost the link, but I am pretty sure the inspiration envelope was done by Smash and sent to Rehj. Maybe one of them will contact me to confirm or clarify.  Found it.

Anyhow, I had fun doing these designs. As mentioned back in September, even thought I love the stamps - I did not feel that my ideas were anything other than average.

As you can see, at first I tried all the elements that Smash had done. Later, I left out some of the tendrils. I regret forgetting the tendrils - they add a lot.
Meh. Although I had so much fun doing my versions of Smash's envelope.
I should have made more square or rectangular details.
Arf.  A perfect example of how I was not very inspired by the Kelly stamps.
Arf. Arf. There was a better envelope inside this one. I had been trying to figure out some neon lettering for some party invitations.
Looks like Smash's penmanship to me. Do you remember it, Smash?