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Thursday, October 2, 2014

karen's mosaic

the second one from karen, although it is showing up first. karen is a new penpal who took time to send me some mail. i always appreciate hearing from readers. it gives me things to talk about. on this one, she lamented a smear on the first stroke of the N. i covered up the smear with a white gel pen. i hope that is OK with karen. i am not opposed to covering up mistakes.... uniball white gel pens are very good. sometimes you need to let it dry and do a second layer.

thank you, karen :-)

bah - to the post office for sending it through a second machine. you didn't need to do that.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

mail art

one more. the stamps are nice. but i'm not completely thrilled with the overall result. i like mixing styles, but these just don't really harmonize.
not doggy enough to ditch.

 there are some new posts at the other blog that will have lessons on writing with nibs and ink.

be sure to check out the books and decide which one you want.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

smash red black row

from smash. i love this font. i don't know if it is something smash found or if she invented it. i hope she leaves a comment and tells us. and i love the way she added the flourish at the end. i don't think of these gothic-y styles as having a lot of flourishing, so it's fun to see some gothic-flourish. and the color scheme is classic.
love it.
thanks, smash.

Monday, September 29, 2014

t.y. jan

big thank you to jan for organizing the envelope exchange. also thanks for making use of some of the items i am discarding. and then also returning the items i have discarded when i realize they would have been useful.

her address will go in between the lines. the purple was made with a galaxy marker. i don't know if you can buy them. they were not reliable and the two places i know that sold them have discontinued them. but i imagine you can find glitter gel markers out there in the land of markers and pens.

luv the earthscape stamps. someday, i might get another sheet of them. because they are so abstract, they are PERFECT in many situations.

Sunday, September 28, 2014


this arrived from someone who has written -do not post- on a previous envelope. this one did not say to not post, so here it is. i'll leave it anonymous in case he or she did not want it blogged.

i really like the idea of abstracting the whole word with the fewest possible strokes - yet still having the word legible. this is like a puzzle

and...i love the stamps.
red and black - classic color combination.

i can see me spending some time on this *puzzle* writing.....need. more. time.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

zazzle bright liquid ink highlighters

back when i was still into buying stuff, i bought a set of highlighters that are pretty fun. they really soak into these bamboo envelopes and the colors are very bright. i didn't pencil, just used a jean-o-matic guideliner. and made up rather geometric shapes that implied letters. the 9 had a blob, so that line has some gel pen on the edges. i think this one would benefit from something else, but there is a good chance i will mess it up by trying. it suffers from being not relaxed on the first line, but then getting more relaxed as i went down the page. if you don't listen to anything else i recommend, listen to this.....before you start an envelope, grab a piece of cheap notebook paper and do one rough draft of at least the first couple lines, just to get your hand and arm loosened up. i am pretty sure that athletes do not just crawl out of bed and pull on the uniform and go directly to the first tee, or the pitching mound. i am am pretty sure they take a few practice swings or pitches. do not be lazy (like me) although, by making this completely avoidable mistake, i have created a need-to-be creative situation and i actually just had an idea that i like, so, maybe my convoluted be-lazy-then-fix-your-mess is a valid avenue. i'm pretty sure it won't be embraced by pitchers and golfers. but then, they are playing to win and we are only playing to avoid our daily chores. so, i have already won. dang, the coffee was just the right strength today. (i went back to proof read this a couple weeks after i posted it and i know what happens with this one and it ended up being one that i rather wanted to keep....)

Friday, September 26, 2014

smash - asemic

from smash-girl.
a peak at the enclosure.
i believe smash has been doing some asemic writing which is the uptown word for scribbling.
you can look it up and get a better definition than that.those colors are so pretty on the dark envelope. i always loved that magnolia stamp.

i wish the p.o. would let us order whatever we wanted, in a new *forever* printing. you can order whatever you want on stamps these days. why don't they allow us to print whatever we want from the old designs?

another splendid idea that will be buried in my blog.
and smash might have suggested not opening the envelope and that paper might have been scrap paper, just for filler, but lots of us like scappy paper :-) 

Thursday, September 25, 2014

jeri's LAR page -

a page out of Letter Arts Review. that's right. jeri is tearing up her Letter Arts Reviews. i've suggested that she pass them along to people who are in the beginning stages of their collecting. my sift and purge is going very well. i guess i am about half done.

but i digress.

jeri also color coordinated the note on the inside. it was the patterned paper on the back and the flip side was a solid color with coordinated ink color. very pretty.

thank you, jeri.

check out if you want more info on LetterArtsReview

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

nib lessons

i guess frankenstein has nothing to do with halloween. that's walnut ink on a william arthur envelope.

i am redirecting the nib lessons to a new blog. i will probably post one lesson a week. i will announce new posts on this blog, so you only need to follow this blog daily to know when there is a new blog post.

so, click on over to the new blog and read through a bunch of rambling suggestions. then dive in.

then, send me some feedback. this is only going to work if i hear from you. i need to know what your problems are. or, if you do not have any problems, just drop me a note telling me that i am the best teacher you have ever had. that will encourage me to post lots more lessons.

and there is a new envelope for today below
and in the comment section, there is a link to the page with the alphabet, in case you want to give it a try.

muster font

i found this font while looking for something else

i did a very hasty attempt at a couple of the letters and they were way off. i hope i have time to work on them a little more. they remind me of the wrought iron letters.

the envelope is covering up a lower case that goes with the caps. at the very least, i will do something where i use them. for some reason, i felt like this envelope needed all caps.

i wish the ashman part of mashman was closer to the M. i didn't want to overlap the details, but, i can see now, it would have been just fine. i used a big bold kids marker on the green and g-tec for the detail and red lettering.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

alex's earth stamp

i like the earth stamp and had a bunch leftover. this is a simple idea, but full of possibilities. i might do some variations. notice that i did not force the letters to be complete. where the Es were overlapping, it was getting congested, so i left out part of the green E. then, i left off the crossbar on the gray A. not sure why. just seemed like it did not need to be there. i see i forgot her last name. maybe i should write it in where the cross bar goes. see...sometimes good ideas happen when you aren't even trying. you just leave some space open because it's getting too congested
and then voila, there was a reason you needed that space.

Monday, September 22, 2014

nib lessons - getting close

i have been doing some pondering and planning on the nib lessons. it is that time of year when quirky lettering is appropriate. so, the first lesson where you actually dip a nib in ink will be along these lines.

that big writing is with a marker. actually the small writing is, too. but, i wanted something that did not have fine hairlines and looked easy for the beginners.

wrought iron with shadow

while i was happy with the one to elizabeth that i posted a couple days ago, i kept looking at the colors on the stamp and decided to add some shading and really liked the addition. so, i did another one to jeri for an excuse to do more shading. any name with an R seems to work out nicely.

i've mentioned to several people that i don't even like the looks of this alphabet, what i love is the feel of making the shapes and then the adventure of writing the name without penciling it first to see if i can make the shapes fit together nicely. looking for interesting spaces and shapes.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

from carol

thank you to carol dubosch for sharing the envelope that she sent to legacies. that was the summer conference for lettering people. it was held in texas. the other lettering gathering, iampeth, was in indiana. both are great places to rub elbows with the BEST lettering teachers in the US and there are several who come from other continents. both are very welcoming to beginners. some day i am going to go to one of them and invite all of you so we can have our own crazy fun gathering within a gathering.

this is way spiffy, carol. thanks for sharing. we are impressed...although, we probably won't be attempting to do such disciplined work. we are lazy. maybe i should just sponsor my own lettering-for-lazy-people conference right here in des moines. that would be fun.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

walsh cancan

i've been trying really hard to stop with this style. i can't. i'm obsessed. sorry.

Friday, September 19, 2014

more blue

i couldn't see the embossed lines on the envelope when i scanned it. i made a border to try to fix the clunky placement of the name and address. this is another warm up with gouache and use up the stamps for little-miss-i-will-chew-on-anything-i-get-my-hands-on. it is acryla gouache, so should be fairly waterproof.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

half-off topic

this image is off-topic, but it's so cool, i wanted to share the link to the video with anyone who has four and a half minutes to look at something quite lovely.

also, i received a very cool paper source envelope with the wrought iron lettering (in gold) and no return address and i can't make out the postmark. i need to post it to the blog, but would prefer to have permission from the person who sent it. so, please email me privately and tell me if it is ok to post it. thanks
my email address is
jmwilson411  (at)  yahoo  (dot)   com


i am a bit behind in responding to mail and everything else....i may catch up...or not.
jan sent out the lists for the envelopes exchange. if you did not receive your list
please contact jan. if you lost her email, please contact me

buncha blue

using up my stamps. warming up with gouache for an actual job. nothing new or interesting about this. but alex seems to like blue, so we'll see if she responds to this one.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

from elizabeth

elizabeth shared this one with us. she was inspired by the grafitti styled lettering that i posted a while back. seeing it made me want to try it again. but, i do not have a very organized stack of exemplars. so, maybe someday.....

thanks for sharing :-)
it is always fun when people send me examples of ideas they saw on the blog and then tried. that's the point of this blog.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

JPPanter's fish

i saw this on jeri's facebook page and asked if i could post it. i am not sure who JPPanter is. maybe a friend from IAMPETH. if i find out more, i will let you know.