Friday, September 4, 2015

jan's shattered glass

i saw an ampersand on pinterest that looked like shattered glass. so i did the name and thought both of the G-Tec inks would bleed. Only the lighter blue bled. so it turned into an unsuccessful experiment, but, i'm tossing it on the blog because i like the idea of the lettering and layout.

i did not intend to put a bow at the front of the h, but the curl looked like a c so i had to add a bow. it also looked better to pull the red over to the width of the n and i would have liked it even better if the red went as far left as the n is to line up with the red address.

does anyone have one of the love/globe stamps?
if so, email me, please
 jmwilson411[at]yahoo [dot] com        

{and scroll down to the post below for Sept exchange sign-up}

Thursday, September 3, 2015

september envelope exchange

sorry this image is so tiny and blurry. i just love the idea of the stair stepped stamps.

it's time to sign up for the september exchange.

if you participate you might see your envelope on the blog. i will blur the street address. i've been asking permission to post images of envelopes, but, it's taking up too much time, so, i'm just going to warn you ahead of time, that you might see your work on the blog. i trust everyone is fine with that. the whole point of the blog is to share ideas. i will just use first names. if you are a regular reader, you will know who's who.

1. beginners are welcome.
2. calligraphy is fine, but not required.
3. digital art and rubber stamping is fine.
4. you get 5 names and you mail a decorated envelope to each of those people.
5. you receive 5 envelopes, but they might be different from the people to whom you send.
6. you may sign up for 10 names, and if there are enough participants, you will get a list of 10
7. envelopes may be empty. just write *empty* on the back. if you want to enclose a note or something, go right ahead - but write *open* on the back.

sign up by Thur, Sept 10th
jan will send you a list by Tues, Sept 15th
mail your envelopes by Wed, Sept 30th

to participate send your info to
janhardt [at]mchsi [dot] com

your name
your address
your city-state-zip-country
your email

tolkien's xmas letter

this is not an envelope, but i just had to share it.
J.R.R. Tolkien's xmas letter to his kids.

and a ton of links on this site to other interesting things.

exciting news on the display case at the main post office. natalie says we can display our mail. she was so happy with the mail she received from my readers. she might even write some thank yous.

i was not able to take a photo of my envelopes under the glass at her window, because she was training a new employee and i thought it would be way too distracting. plus there was a long line of people. so, i might try later. but, the better photo will be the entire display case.

details to follow.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

carolyn's circle alphabet

carolyn is on my list of people to lure into the lettering arts. we were once neighbors with toddlers and we were soooooo creative.

anyhow, here is a way to make circles into flowers.
i had a piece of paper with ruled lines left over from a carl rohrs workshop. then i added a quote. then i found some flowers then i made some flowers. the whole thing is a hot mess.....but, i still like the idea of circles transformed into letters transformed into flowers and s-o-m-e-d-a-y i might do a better version. or better yet, one of you can make a better version and send me a scan.

i do not remember where that quote came from.
i googled it and found this:
allow yourself to be a beginner. nobody starts out being excellent. wendy flynn

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

bonus post

scroll down to see today's regular post below this one.
i am putting in a bonus post because it is the 1st of September and i said we would start a new exchange every month.
hopefully everyone in the august exchange has mailed their envelopes.
i will announce the sept exchange on thur or friday.
if you are having trouble getting your august envelopes done - just let me know.
or if you are not receiving the number of envelopes you signed up for, please let me know.
so far, everyone is keeping up.

in the mean time, here is one more bit of inspiration from ssfelix
pinterest sent me to her flickr account
47 examples of mail art
most of it is way too labor intensive for me, but it sorta screams *christy robb*
so, maybe christy has a lot of time to make more mail art

pickle pie script

after a couple tries at the standard pickle pie, i figured i needed to see if it could be morphed into a script. i like this a lot. there aren't many stamps that go with it. or maybe i am not looking hard enough.

i'll be interested to see if anyone tries pickle pie

Monday, August 31, 2015

french blog

a fun french blog with mail art. i can't read any of it, but i am tossing it into the mix because it is quite different from a lot of the fun, flowery stuff i do.

i did not back track on the address of the site to see if there are tons more artists. i'll leave that to those of you who have many hours to kill.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

lilli and natalie loopy

lilli's name looks better. but i don't care for the combination of stamps. natalie's stamp looks better, but the lettering doesn't thrill me.

it's always hit or miss when i decide to use up stamps and envelopes. but, i'm OK with turning out some clunkers because you never know when you are going to hit on something fabulous that is a complete surprise.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

ssfelix's flickr account

if ssfelix finds this image and does not want it on my blog, please let me know and i will take it down. i don't know why people put all their images out on the internet and think that they won't get reposted. i found this on pinterest which led to her flickr account. she makes all kinds of things so you have to flip through to find the mail. but, there are tons of very nice designs for those of you who prefer designs to lettering. some of her block lettering has some fun ideas but the scripts are IMHO not as interesting as the designs.

there are only 6 pages of images.

Friday, August 28, 2015

more pickle pie

another version of the font that elizabeth sent to me. i have no idea why i redid e-l-i-z-a
or maybe i started with that and then started over.
it sat around and then fell into the vortex of desk cleaning that happened in late july.

these are the Dotta-Riffic markers that are discontinued. i love them, but it is always hard to find a good stamp to go with them.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

killing time

 i ran across this board on Pinterest.
1,891 pins and many of them are drop dead gorgeous. she has some of jackie davis' work pinned and some of my wacky envelopes and then there are links to some of the serious rock stars in the world of calligraphy. a very wide range of pins. i could have easily spent a day or two following pins. instead, i blogged it and might come back someday if i am ever sitting around with nothing to do. i have a new label called *killing time*

 i like the envelope.
it was done by this calligrapher.
very nice penmanship - a tiny bit casual and just the right amount of flourishing.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

kate riley's batman

wish i had erased the pencil prior to scanning, but it is probably a good lesson to see it. i did not pencil the kate. it's hard to know if anyone likes this big loopy stuff. i love it. i can see using colored pencil on the enclosed spaces (called counters in the world of lettering and typography)

but these are very textured envelopes and i am just using them all up to get them out of the way.

the address will go in one straight line across the bottom.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

air mail envelope

here is a website with templates to print and make your own airmail envelopes

Monday, August 24, 2015

At the park

natalie's mail truck photo

fun day at the p.o. yesterday. i was standing in a long line and someone noticed the two envelopes that are on display. natalie pointed to me and said, "the artist is here today." everyone turned and looked. i did my very best princess wave. then i eyed the empty display case at the end of the lobby and wondered, "do you suppose they would let me put up a display of envelopes?" now i am pondering *flooding* them with mail. i suppose if all y'all want to join in the fun, you could send mail to

natalie @ the front desk
1165 2nd street
des moines, ia 50318

and when i say, yesterday - it was actually july 23rd. i am cranking out my posts ahead of time because the humidity is unbearable and i bought a one way ticket to toronto. any scribes in toronto want to meet me at the park on victoria memorial park on wellington and portland? i'll have sidewalk chalk.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

house of illustration

i do not recall if i have mentioned the house of illustration and their mail art exhibit. this link goes to a twitter account and if you know how twitter works, you can probably see more.

this is their website, but i do not see any mention of the exhibit. a while back they had many nice envelopes posted, but they seem to be gone. maybe you can find them on twitter...
the internet options are way too complicated for me.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

can this one be saved?

this one has been in my stack of unfinished. i thought if i put one of my favorite stamps on it, i would suddenly like it. wrong. now i am just annoyed that i wasted such a pretty stamp. i've been making quite a few duds lately. but they are useful in that i can use them to mail uber-favorites that i have been liking too much to even mail. as long as the uber-favorite is smaller than the dud.

a few days later i added the pitcher, cut out of the edge of the joplin stamps. i also added that pencil line and will ink it if i find a 005 pen. it didn't reach favorite status, but it's not my least favorite.

Friday, August 21, 2015

pinterest link

once again, i found something on pinterest that is beyond stealworthy. if you had to mail a large envelope, you could draw a small one and then fill up the space with additional thoughts.

this seems to be something about privacy - maybe something that should concern me. but i am old. i'll be dust before any of these issues get sorted out.

here is the link to the original. hope it's ok to repost it. if anyone wants me to remove it, i will be happy to do so.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

from me to you - smash

these markers do not scan.
original looks better than scan.
only up side to being a pen and marker hoarder is that you can easily make any envelope fun, just by using a bunch of colors.
you don't have to have pretty penmanship.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

kill some hours

this is a lousy image - once again from pinterest and claims to be from - which is black hope of wonderfulness.

i'm just posting it because it gives the general idea for how to make animals into alphabets. mostly the 4 legged animals....they are not really literal, but they work

and getta-loada-this, smash...remember your kitchen utensil envelope?

you can see them better at the link

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

jack's zig zag

using up stamps and envelopes.
picking idea off stamp at random.
in a hurry.

Monday, August 17, 2015

public domain lettering books

a mother lode of vintage alphabets. i could probably spend a month pulling ideas out of this book.

the 16th edition of the speedball textbook is also available.

in addition to many fonts, it has how-to-draw-a-turkey and great vintage layouts.

if you want to surf around, you can find all kinds of great stuff. or you may go back to your envelopes.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

papered thoughts blog

this was on pinterest and it led to this blog

the blogger, rin dawson, clearly states that she wants written permission before reposting anything from her blog, so i tried to email, but you had to go through outlook and i don't know how to do that, so, hey, rin, is it ok if i give my peeps a link to your blog? if not, i will happily delete this image.

it is a clever idea. i did not take time to look further on her blog for other ideas. if you search paperedthoughts on pinterest, you'll find a few more.

make an envelope

a while back, someone asked for instructions on how to make envelopes. here is one way, starting with a square.

if you are handy with scissors or a craft knife, you can remove the tiny triangles on either side of the top flap.

this is where i found the directions

it is for mini envelopes, but you can make them any size you want and add glue where you think it needs to be glued. or use narrow double face tape.

another way to make envelopes is to carefully pull an envelope apart and use it for a pattern.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

smash's flower exchange

this would make the top ten list of favorites for this year.
love it!!!!

i borrowed it (along with a whole stack of exchange envelopes) from jan to scan
do you think she will miss it if i don't return it?

Friday, August 14, 2015

chuck k. and finnbadger

i like the little black borders with silver rivets on chuck k's envelope and the black edging. i always like that edging and always forget to do it.

and the bottom envelope is from finnbadger. there was a previous post with this design used on envelope for jan and jean. wilma has great letters for this style. i love how the L and M curl together.

thanks guys for participating in the exchanges.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

jack and chuck exchange

another nice pair of exchange envelopes.
from guys.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

jan's two squares

jan has a nice chuckle when she laughs and i got to hear it when i was telling her all the things i liked about the top envelope...including the way she handlettered the *To*

*chuckle-chuckle* she thought i was aware that she did not do hand lettering. it is a rubber stamp.

then i picked up the other one

jan and i were having show and tell. we really should start video taping our conversations.

ok - next post is the one that is not chatty.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

carol and carroll - exchangers

i thought these two would be fun to pair because they are both summery and painterly and they are done by carol and carroll.

thanks to both of you for participating in the exchange.

please excuse the brevity of my remarks. i am trying to post 3 or 4 weeks all in one sitting and i'm running out of words. it's been a wild summer and i have some trips coming up so i have to get all the posts lined up.

please note....i am going on trips. they are not vacations and there will be nothing leisurely about them. if i ever get a vacation i'll be sure to let all y'all know. i suspect my spa time doesn't start until lucifer and st. peter are debating over who gets me...or more likely, who gets stuck with me.

ok, these remarks aren't exactly brief, but the next one will be because it is after 8 pm (that's 2am in jean-time)

Monday, August 10, 2015

cindy's peacock

cindy said she is a flannery o'connor fanatic. i enjoyed reading all about o'connor's love of peacocks on the wiki-site.

this scan shows the envelope with the flap open so you can see the stamp that is on the back. it is from thailand. and there was a gorgeous peacock feather patterned lining inside the envelope.

thanks so much for participating in the exchange - and contributing to the peacock series. 

Sunday, August 9, 2015

rehj's exchange envelope

i always liked this stamp and this is a nice interpretation of the design. the scan may not show the detail enough to see that it is made with some kind of cutting machine, like a Cricuit (sp?) you can program images and fonts and the machine will cut them out. i'm not sure how you go about adhering them. maybe they will cut on adhesive paper. but, this would have been about an 8 hour envelope if someone had tried to draw those letters and then fill it all in. and it would have been beyond challenging to make the painted surface even. i suppose there are some markers that would work, but then you have the problem of the detail. markers that fill nicely are usually bleedy.

thanks for participating in the exchange, rehj.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

exchanges envelopes from karen

it's fun to see these two together. karen has the essential information right-reading, and the city and state sideways. on wilmas, the upsidedown apt number threw them for a loop. i like the variation in how they are arranged and where the stamp fit in. i imagine this was a fun series to do.

thanks for participating in the exchange, karen.

Friday, August 7, 2015

smash's exchange envelopes

these were for the july exchange. notice the way she stair-stepped the addresses. on jan's, the lines indent and on wilma's the lines *out*dent.

they both fit very nicely with the larger lettering. so, beginners, take note....subtle details on how you arrange the elements on the envelope are important.

of course, if you just want to fling things carelessly, i'm fine with that. i don't want anyone stressing over details. it's just nice to be aware of your options. trust me, i nitpick the envelopes...and then the rest of my life is a whole lotta careless flinging.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

jill and kate exchange

i grouped these two because one fills up all the space and the other leaves a lot of open space. it's nice to see that both ends of the spectrum are good choices.

also, note the way the top one went through the  canceller and missed all the stamps - but really added nicely to the design. then a postal worker decided on fairly neat, diagonal lines.

thanks to jill and kate for participating in the exchanges.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

russian mail art

this is not exactly an envelope, but, it made the blog because i love the colors and the overall design.CON-trast.
big stuff/little stuff.
a winning combination.

Homage to Ray Johnson is the title. he is the father of modern mail art. there is a film about his life called How to Draw a Bunny. this is what his bunnies looked like.

i like the postal cancellation whiskers. stealworthy.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

janet's cherries

these are really pretty. janet participated in the exchange. it's fun to see the envelope both ways. one with more white space, the other with some fun rubber stamping. i like both equally. that's the fun of doing exchanges. you can experiment with variations on a theme.

thank you for participating, janet.

Monday, August 3, 2015

a blog + miss cathy's 3 birds
 i have been thoroughly enjoying the blog posts from the postal blog. you might want to check it out

and i thoroughly enjoyed seeing this 3 bird exchange envelope from cathy to jan. i love those stamps. the lettering is very interesting...maybe cathy will tell us where it came from.

thanks for participating in the exchange.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

august exchange

jan has settled into a well organized routine of running a monthly mail art exchange. she is getting good feedback from the participants, so our plan for now is to continue with a monthly exchange. the next sign up starts today.

Sign up by August 12
Jan will send lists by August 15
Mail your envelopes by August 31

Beginners are welcome. Don't be intimidated. Calligraphy, including wonky unusual lettering is welcome,  but not required. Rubber stampers are welcome. Digital art and collage is welcome.

You do not need to enclose anything. A note is optional. If you prefer, just write *empty* on the back of the envelope.

You send to 5 people, and receive from 5 people, but maybe not the same 5. She mixes it up a little.
You may request 10 names, and if enough people sign up, you will send 10 and receive 10.

Send the following to Jan at  janhardt (at) mchsi  (dot) com

city-state-zip code- country
your email

barney google - kathy

i forgot what i called this style of writing. currently, i am just using up stamps as fast as possible. i need a grief counselor to help me when i part with stamps like this. luckily, they are going to a good home. this one, will go in a larger envelope as the stamp is insufficient.

i used a silver gel pen to mimic some of the cool tiny lines on the cartoon. dang. i wish they had gone to forever a long time ago.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

smashing opportunities

on a rainy staurday in april, i was getting a lot done, then during a break i decided to surf through the new font section on
i found
DK Dortmunder Ecke

the designer is david kerkfoff
from the netherlands and has a ton of fonts. i wrote all the characters in the pangram sentence
so, you can give them a try.
i forgot to finish the K, so it is after the word quickly.

there are a gazillion ways to finish this envelope....when i finish it, i will probably do a phone posting.

are these repeats?

 my filing system is a little hit-or-miss and i can't figure out why these are not in their folder. maybe i forgot to post them. if not, my apologies.

if anyone wants to tell me which ones are repeats, i will delete them.


well, i know the top one is scheduled to appear tomorrow. my schedule of blog posting is a complete mess. sorry. my excuses are stellar, but also boring, so i will spare you. making envelopes is my antidote to chaos, so the chaos of daily life is the inspiration. hopefully all y'all are using ideas to do your own puttering about as an antidote to either chaos or boredom.

i read a great article about how having everything in balance might sound like a good idea but you actually get better ideas when you are unbalanced. that was a comforting thought.

the next article was how being mindless was just as rewarding as being mindful. once again, i was very comforted, since i am a solid 50-50 on my mindfulness.

Friday, July 31, 2015

memory lane - outlined dubosch

i have not done any DuBosch Jubilee in a while. but, thanks to all my organizing, i know exactly where the exemplars are. this was in the stack of unfinished. it is probably the only time i have laboriously outlined jubilee. and probably the last time too. very fussy work. but, if you have way too much time on your hands, it will keep you occupied. pick a name like elizabeth wellington walsh. i don't know what her middle name is, just pick something long. now i am wondering which of my penpals has the longest name. probably stella papadopoulos. too bad she lives in canada. the extra postage puts a damper on the mail.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

this just in - bonus coffeetime post

having noon coffee

saw this whilst surfing

yikes, there's a ton of stuff

then i saw this on pinterest

100 envelope template ideas

and now i have to go back to a rush job i agreed to do. it is the 4th wedding for this family. they deserve a blue ribbon.