Monday, February 18, 2019

Dec to GraceEd + Janet's B'day mail to MrW

There are things going on here that I would do again. The concept is something that has plenty of options. The problem was being near the end of the vintage stamp hoard project.

That baby clashes with everything. It would have been better to have two of the lavender stamps.

The idea of the trees would actually go very well with some vintage red stamps that have white trees. So, we might see another version of this one.

I'll type the word possibilities and then if I remember to do a search for that word - maybe I will find all kinds of good ideas.

Here is the fun card and envelope from Janet to Mr Wilson
He was so impressed with the tiny little drawing on the tiny card. Janet spends most of the year in Iowa, but escapes to Florida in the winter - so she has limited art supplies, she says. I think she illustrates beautifully that you do not need a whole room full of supplies to make fun cards and envelopes.

Cool design on the flap

Itty-bitty envelope 3x4-in

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Oct 2018 PTEX from KathyS and BethC - 2 blue

Further exploration using the Royal Copenhagen motifs. Note-to-self - pull out your McCaffrey's indigo and try some.

Below - another blue envelope -
from Beth C. I'd have lots of fun with this idea - layering the first name in script over the bold, blocky last name.

I love that happy face :-)

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Nov 2018 PTEX to Carolyn (Smash's idea) + Exchange History

Yup, I was surfing for ideas and saw one of Smash's that I liked. I might have been surfing through my own blog.

Below is how it looked after I added the address. I think this ida would have been better with a name that allowed for larger boxes. Technically, a shape around a word or letter is called a cartouche.

Getting rid of the vintage stamps has been monumentally helpful to my peace of mind.

One of the exchangers mentioned how long the exchange has been going - which I have researched - but never manage to record my findings - so I re-researched and found a blog post on Nov 22, 2013 that referred to an exchange. They were not monthly in the beginning.   At some point, I will find the first monthly post. Maybe, by labeling this *history* I will find the info next time I have time to re-research.

Whenever I go back and look at old posts, I am A.M.A.Z.E.D at how many ideas there are on the blog. And some of them are decent.

Friday, February 15, 2019

A Pair of Pairs - June Exchange

These are all fun examples of flowers.
Gerri on top, Maggie below.
Both went through the cancelling process upright, while, below, the cancels are upside-down and sideways - just for fun.

Jessica on top
and Suzanne below.
And below that is the card that Suzanne made to go with the envelope.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Nov 2018 PTEX to Janna + Finn's B'day mail for MrW

I knew the rates were going up. But I forgot exactly when. It is 55-cents now. I mostly had over-payment on the envelopes I just sent - but if your envelope came postage due -- let me know. Thanks.


A while back - maybe August - I did several like these. Janna took a break from the exchange , so I left this one in a stack, in case she came back, which she did. So, it was nice to have a back-up when her shimmer-Sharpie envelope was not going well.

Here is the fun year of the boar card and envelope from Phillip for Mr Wilson.

Mr Wilson wondered how he did it.
We had a brief tutorial on how exciting these new fangled computers are. Keep in mind, Mr Wilson just bought a new computer with a screen and stylus so that I can make art on it. So far, I have resisted the temptation to even try it - as I suspect I would become addicted and the rest of my life would grind to a halt.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Bonus Post - I (heart) my penpals

This is a quick shout out to all the people who sent birthday greetings to Mr. Wilson - and the people who have sent fabulous February exchange envelopes. I am overwhelmed with gratitude.

To the right is the envelope from Ruth. I'll post the card and talk about that lettering when I do the entire Mr.Wilson B'day series

I'm wondering -- have I forgotten to send proper thank yous in the mail to people who sent me non-exchange envelopes?

The thank yous for Mr. Wilson's bonus cards from non-exchangers have not been sent. But, there might be people who sent things in the past and did not hear from me. Please let me know if I owe you an envelope. Please let me know right now - because it is cold and snowy and I have lots of indoor time with no distractions.

Also, I have had a few conversations with people about how long the exchange has been happenin'
I knew I had started a list of important blog dates -- and I just found it. So, I will put it on a page, on the blog, and hopefully, that will help when we start wondering, gee, how long has this been going on.

Here is an excerpt as well as a link to the whole post:

Nov 15, 2013

i am thinking about doing an exchange, since this is the season of mailings.
if anyone is interested, send me an email jmwilson 411 [at] yahoo . com  [but don't leave spaces]
and i will see what kind of response i get.
let me know a rough idea of how many envelopes you would like to send and receive.

The post also mentions that I had just hit 200,000 page views.

Today's regular post is right below.

Four June Brown Kraft Envelopes Received

As a big fan of brown kraft paper it was fun to receive 4 brown kraft paper envelopes in June.

I'm 99% sure that Belinda used walnut ink and a ruling writer on her brown kraft paper envelope. Curse you, postal worker, who used the big fat grease pencil on the incorrect zip code.

Below is Chuck's June exchange envelope. It is quite a departure for Chuck to be working in circles. He's usually a line-guy.

Followed by Lynne who found some adorable bumble bees that go nicely with the Superman stamp.

And finally, Jackie sent some kraft paper and I'm pretty sure this one has already been blogged - but maybe not.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Nov 2018 PTEX to Trish + Scribal Article

When it came time to add the address and stamps I realized that I did not need the Pueblo pot. So, this one ended up with the doll gazing at the fireworks.

The lettering was strange. It felt like steampunk. I rather liked it and was not crazy about those stamps. The lettering needs something else - but without a perfect stamp - I figured it was fine to send. Everyone is going to benefit from me getting unhitched from my millstone.

I can't think of an expression for this situation. Shackles seems too dramatic. And yet, a cartoon of me - with the ball and chain thing - but instead of a ball, there are postage stamps... I hope I can restrain myself from doing an image search and finding a really good cartoon that I can morph into me.

Two minutes later - tons of cute cartoons. The ball and chain is not the same as shackles.

There seems to be no end to the fascinating articles on the internet.
This one is even scribal-related

Monday, February 11, 2019

Bonus Post - BIG STUFF

Today's regular post is right below.

That photo needs something to illustrate that the envelope is 2-feet x 3-feet. Mr. Wilson has been lured into helping at a food pantry at one of the neediest elementary schools in Des Moines. I'll reshoot it and add another photo at the bottom.

Someone else has been picking up nearly expired food from a grocery store and rushing it to the food pantry on the day that people pick up their food.

Mr. Wilson volunteered me to write out the card and envelope to thank the people at the grocery store. Kids at the school will sign their names. Most people would get all nervous about writing so big and with no opportunity to make an error.

I made a very light, light-gray pencil base line for the name on the envelope. Then I eyeballed the rest of it. It would have been prettier with the name in white - but I did not have time to go buy a nice new white PITT marker. Besides, half the time I try to buy something locally it is out of stock. I used metallic Sharpies for the rest of it.

As you may recall, I frequently recommend writing things once or twice on scratch paper...and below is an example of how I followed my own advice.

With a regular coffee cup

With an A7 envelope

By the way -- Mr. Wilson was thrilled with his birthday cards. That's one of them in the photo. As soon as all of them arrive, I will post them. He kept asking me how he was supposed to thank the senders. I told him I would take care of it. His food pantry work is pretty demanding. Besides - nobody would be able to read his handwriting. I'll look for a sample to prove my point. Sometimes he brings me his hand-written to-do lists and asks me if I can figure them out.....

Postcard from Carolyn - Card and Env from Trish

While this is not an envelope - it is so *me* that I had to include it. It is a postcard from Carolyn who uses the word *sifting* for that process I call hoard reduction. I sometimes say sifting, too.

I'm pairing the postcard with Trish's nicely lettered quote because the sentiment is so appropriate to the topic of sifting. This image might be posted twice - it popped up out of nowhere. But, as long as there is at least one new item per post, I don't think anyone objects to a repeat.

I was reading an article on how to build your internet empire and it recommended repeating content. Articles about building internet empires fascinate me because these youngsters write about how they are making hundreds of thousands of dollars and you can too if you just buy a spot in their online class. It reminds me of snake oil salesmen. Maybe I am being old and cranky. It just seems like a trend.

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Bonus Post and Off-topic Video - Lauren's B'day Mail for MrW

Lauren was inspired by my whiny story about Mr Wilson letting his Cheerios fall on the floor by his desk and sent this fun envelope and coordinating card.

He was thrilled with this card and envelope as well as all the others which will be popping up over the next few days.

See clever card below my rambling on about ski stuff.

The off topic video is about the guy who's done most of the watercolor illustrations for ski resorts for the past 30 years. It has nothing to do with mail - but I always enjoy interviews with people who have been fortunate enough to find the most perfect line of work. It reminds me of my *thing* about envelopes.

The frosting on the cake is that he needed to raise $8,000 to publish a coffee table book of his maps. The skiing community has pledged $590,000 - WOW.  I've often pondered doing a book of envelopes. Not that I have as many followers as there are skiers. But, it's always fun to read about someone who's followed their passion and and it's working out nicely.

Later, noting that I had left that link open, I clicked to see who the other *powder people* are and found George, the guy who skied on his 100th birthday. Way to go George. My skier son, Skip, is also a George - 4th in the string of Mr. Wilsons. I won't be around to see if he's still skiing when he's 100. At the end of this link are links to videos of 100-year old George skiing on his last 6 birthdays. Birthday 95 shows a life-time pass they gave him. It is entirely lettered with calligraphy markers or pens. Not the most skilled calligraphy - but heart-warming that someone cared enough to do it by hand . On his 100th, the people at Snowbird groomed a patch of snow up in the mountains - in July - so he could ski. It's only a minute and a half video - really inspirational.

Nov 2018 PTEX to Lauren, Kate, and Lynne

Lauren had left a comment on a post back in November that had an envelope with the cursing symbols indication she'd be fine with being on the receiving end of some cursing. I thought I should keep them to a minimum as I did not want the PO workers to take anything personally. Then, I ended up putting this one inside a larger envelope.

I did not use the stamp. I think Lauren would like that stamp. I need to find an add-on stamp that compliments it.

I think these two have been on the blog previously.
Maybe not.
They were in the stack that I found - and decided to use - which allowed me to dump some of the shimmer ideas. There were some real ugg-mos.

Saturday, February 9, 2019

Aug Exchange to Mr. Wiiiillllllson from Lauren

Neither of us like to choose favorites - but George was just thrilled with this one - and of course, I loved it, too.

Not everyone remembers that the neighbor on Dennis the Menace was George Wilson. Sometimes people will know George for years and then one day they'll smack their forehead and say, "George Wilson, Mr. Wilson. You're the neighbor on Dennis the Menace."

So this one was just perfect. Plus it has a fun vintage feeling note inside. And the frosting on the cake has to be the S&H Green Stamps. A real blast from the past.

Oh, this is creepy. I just realized that as George ages, he really is starting to look like the guy on the TV program. I hope we never get invited to a costume party. I would have to cut my hair and get a Mrs. Wilson perm so we could go as the Wilsons.

(Time out for research)

I guess I could go for this look (see below). I had forgotten that Mr. Wilson's hair was not gray. My Mr. Wilson is nearly white. Guess we will have to think up something else.

Friday, February 8, 2019

Nov 2018 PTEX to Susan and Jessica

I can't be objective about Susan's. In person, there was a lot that I liked about it. But on the screen it looks a little goofy. I ended up embossing a vertical line to the right of the purple stamp. I would have liked it a lot more with just the purple stamp. So if she cuts off the right side of the envelope or folds it under, it might be more pleasing.

Jessica's is an idea that pops up all the time on Pinterest. I had to try it to get it out of my system. It's fine.
I'm sure I would like it better if it was done with something *finer* than Sharpies.

I'm finally articulating my problem. How do I do something I like with only big bold lines? I need to get a little more creative with Jessica's name. I featured all the esses -- but there must be some better options.

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Aug Exch from Lynne and Jean R - solid darks

Sadly I do not get around to buying all the stamps and these sea creature ones were fabulous. They were made with some kind of magic paper. The day-glo gel pens are so perfect. I think the stamps sold out in about 20-minutes.* You can buy a sheet for $15 online - which is $5 more than the face value.

I paired the black envelope with the only other solid color envelope - a nice turquoise with a monogram on a watercolor background from Jean R. Very nicely coordinated stamp.

One more August envelope to George - on the 9th...and it's a doozy.

* Here's what the PO says about the stamps:
Although these stamps do not glow in the dark, they do incorporate a special effect. The stamp pane was produced using a proprietary rainbow holographic material that is highly reflective in white light. The stamps were produced using special techniques to enhance the reflective qualities of the material while maintaining the depth of color and detail of the individual images. The rainbow pattern imparts a sense of movement and light to the stamp pane.

There is a ton more to read

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Nov 2018 PTEX to Holly and Patty

These two were towards the end of the first round. I think I did about 15 in one sitting and then called it a day. I always like things that are quick and easy - and then I worry that I should spend more time on the quick and easy envelopes. But, it doesn't work that way.

If I like it, I like it.
I have no idea if Holly will like it.
Would any of us really like to know the true and honest feelings about our work? I must say - I would be curious to know.
It would not hurt my feelings at all if someone grumbled about an envelope - I've had interesting conversations with people about how different our preferences are. Plus, I have the added advantage that I am the hostess - so I get a by. Is it a by or a buy or a bye? I think it's a sports term. Maybe someone will enlighten me.

Patty might be getting tired of me making spelling errors on her name. I had several stamp choices and in the end - she got two of the purple Spencerian style birds. I photographed another stamp option and then didn't use either of them.

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Aug Exch from Janet

Well this one is just cuter than heck. I don't know if Janet knows what George looked like as a kid - but that could be a photo of him. I'm not sure when he started wearing glasses but he wore that style.

Janet's designs always wrap around which is so much fun. Maybe someday I'll have time to do both sides. If I do anything on the back it is usually some kind of rant about something that doesn't please me about what I did on the front.

Monday, February 4, 2019

Nov 2018 PTEX to Janet - gator+ ornament (video)

There are any number of animals with names in their mouths on Pinterest. I didn't choose specific people to get some of the zanier ideas. I went straight through the list as fast as I could just churning out the first layers.

Breaking my rule - to choose your stamps first - I remembered to do a stamp search before I finalized anything. Obviously this stamp was perfect and I had a nice gold Sharpie to add some dots.

I actually remembered to re-shoot some of the envelopes.

I try to keep the links to time wasting to a minimum. But, this one is so much fun - just a bit over a minute. Two postal workers who have been sending the same Xmas card back and forth for decades.

Xmas card

Of course, the punchline is that they hand deliver it so it won't get lost. And they are postal workers. in England. OK - now you don't have to watch the video - unless you are curious about the cleverness of what they write in the card each year.