Monday, November 18, 2019

Candy Cane and Santa to Chuck

This was my first idea for the holiday envelopes - but I ended up with a bunch of bird stamps and only a few Santas - so ditched the idea. Maybe the Santas will be available again this year and I can do more of this style.

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Four Holiday Envelopes with Trees

There were four envelopes in the Dec exchange with trees and I have to gang the December mailings - so this seemed like a fun way to compare a few different ways to represent trees.

Fatima's trees are on the back - and there were a couple with holly - so I guess I could gang hers with the holly themes, too.

And then there were a couple with groupings of vintage stamps....

OK - no trees - but they are on the back.
Fatima's trees.
Heidi's trees
Jessica's trees

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Parallel Trees with Poinsettia

I like the way these trees go off the bottom of the envelope and the stamp is fabulous. In a perfect world, I'd have a stamp budget that would allow me to spend over a dollar on each outgoing holiday envelope.... I think the international stamps were $1.15.

I think there are fewer dots, too, which I prefer.

PS - today --
I'm sorry for all these trees that are too similar.
This is the last one.
There will be more variety starting tomorrow. I should not have given the trees so many days....

Friday, November 15, 2019

Red and Green from Finn and Patty

These two are so pretty together. The simplicity. The tidy lettering. The *white* space - not that it is literally white - but it is space.

Finn's might have come in November...but took forever to show up.

Pretty little lettering is always nice to see. I hope it inspires those of you who have never thought about your plain printing. It's not rocket science. If anyone wants a refresher course....le'me-know.

Thursday, November 14, 2019

HoHum Tree to GraceE

I was not crazy about this tree - but it was not bad enough to toss. The problem is not just the tree - it is the hodge podge of styles. The tree wants to be somewhat traditional - then the decorations are scribbly - then the presents are too small.

But - that is an exact representation of how I bumble through the month of December.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Holiday mail from Chuck, Finn and KathyS

Nice envelopes from three long-timers. People who have been exchanging since the very beginning.

Once again, I am so proud of Finnbadger's lettering. Chuck and Kathy have both taken formal classes - but Finn's completely self taught.

KathyS's doesn't show up very well in the photo - but it was one of my favorites with those stamps that I never warmed up to. They are so murky. guess they need a murky envelope.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Copic Trees to Holly

Another variation on the triangle trees. Again - letting them be a little looser. I tend to like anything that gets looser and more playful.


Nov 4th - add on.
I review posts right before they are ready to pop up to see if they need editing - or additions. I think my series of Copic trees is really boring. But, I do not have time to insert more art - so if you need something else to look at today - here is a link to all kinds of information about penmanship. I have no idea if any of it is true. I found it fascinating. But it's a pretty obscure topic.

Atlas Obscura did a very good job with their name. What kind of people are drawn to useless, obscure topics? I have to stop thinking about that - as it tends towards implying that we are fairly useless members of society. Or perhaps we are just super careful about making contributions that will only backfire.

Monday, November 11, 2019

Tina's Armistice Day Card and Envelope

Tina sent this envelope and card for the November exchange last year. There was also a nice note explaining that she had pondered doing a Thanksgiving card, but since she has never participated in that holiday was not sure where to start.

Armistice Day is the holiday that resonates with people in England in November. The silhouette is called "Tommy" and there are life sized silhouettes along their roadsides.

Tina did not get to the PO in time to get any of their poppy stamps, but the one she did get is a meaningful. There aren't that many stamps that feature quotes.

What passing-bells for these who die as cattle? Only the monstrous anger of the guns.  A line from Anthem for Doomed Youth, by W. Owen

Anthem for Doomed Youth

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Parallel Copic Trees

These were made by doing a tap-tap-tap with the green marker. The trunks are silver Sharpie.

After I did Phillip's, I thought they were a little tight - so I loosened up and left more space between the branches.

I'm undecided on whether or not the trees are better with the dots at the baseline.

Love the birds

Saturday, November 9, 2019

Delicate Holly from Miss Cathy

Cathy is a frequent member of the let's steal her idea list. I love the delicate little holly and plan on stealing it.

The card - not going to get put on my let's-steal-it list. I love it - but it's way more complicated than anything I could manage in the time I allow myself. The whole thing was a self mailer. I would need to shoot a video for you to see how it all goes together.

I am writing this on Jan 15, 2019. Yup. I figured I would just get 'er done. One goal for 2019 was to get back in the groove on shooting videos - wonder how that's going??

What I found when I slit the *envelope* open.
What I found when I opened the house panels.
Detail of the greeting. Dang - she's got that figured out....

Friday, November 8, 2019

Copic Trees - to Lynne and ??

The trees were made with the widest Copic marker. I bought a refill of green ink. There are so many ways to decorate trees. These are not done on the icky shimmer envelopes. I had a stash of nice envelopes that I knew would be friendlier with the Copics.

I was tempted to do all 25 exchange envelopes like this - but then I wouldn't have enough variety for the blog.

Which do you like better? The more traditional stars or the more graphic dots?

I definitely like the dots better. But do not be offended if I sent you the star one. I like it, too. And there is no calculation on my part about who gets the best envelopes. It is completely random.
Often times the length of a name will determine which envelope goes to which exchanger.

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Holiday mail from Alyce and Carole

I always enjoy the unexpected colors - like green snowflakes.
Alyce's is on the top and below is Carole's. Both have used some rubber stamps and other techniques and materials.

I love the horse through the window. My relatives are mostly (all) in Montana and I guarantee you, none of them are sipping wine in a slinky little cocktail dress. It's a very fun juxtaposition.

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Rachaels' Winning Envelope (Gorey) Bonus Post

Isn't this fabulous.

RachaelT's winning entry in the annual Edward Gorey contest.

You may view winners and runner-uppers in all the age categories here:

Regular daily post below.

My Silver Sharpie on Shimmer

Some fun - very quick - ideas for the holidays.  I made peace with the shimmer envelopes. I also recall that last December I was in a tiz because I had finally made peace with the shimmer envelopes and then lost the last box of 250. They turned up exactly where I thought I had put them. My stuff is playing tricks with me. It's always right where I think it should be - but the first five times I look in those places - the stuff is not there. Curiously, I am not troubled at all.

The three cards to the right are samples that I did to give my daughter her choice for how I would address her envelopes. She chose the *Tom* style - the two below are on her list. I liked how the stripes on her cards showed through the envelope.

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

2018 Holiday from Angie

Angie is a long time calligrapher who sends me a spontaneous envelope every once in a while. This one arrived during the holidays and has an uber-stealworthy border. I assume Angie checks the blog from time to time - so, I am assuming she is aware of my policy on stealing really good ideas.

November will have a ton of good ideas to get us all started on our holiday mailings.

Tomorrow - we will have one last spooky themed envelope. A contest winner. I'm so excited for one of our exchangers.

Monday, November 4, 2019

Santa from Jean and Cardinal from KateR

This was how I addressed my own holiday cards. They are Sharpie on shimmer.

I had completely forgotten that I used Santa stamps. I've written about 30 posts in the past two days and I recall saying that I had not bought any Santa stamps - and then -bam- there they are.

Teflon-Colander Syndrome

Another envelope that was hiding when I posted all the incoming mail - this nice versal from KateR.

I love the bird stamps - especially the cardinal.

Love-love-love the white space.

Sunday, November 3, 2019

Brenda's 2017 Packet of Goodies

I don't know if everyone who exchanged with Brenda received a packet of goodies or if she just sent this to me because I'm the organizer.

It is an elaborate series of pockets - and there is even a pocket on the back. In addition to the hot chocolate, there is a pencil, a mini ornament, and a candy cane. The candy cane was smashed by the PO, but Mr. Wilson is a big fan of candy cane shards, so, he was happy to see a throwback to his youth.

This is way over-achieving for our humble little exchange - but a good idea for people who do other kids of mailings besides the PTE-Exchange.

This is the beginning of the holiday ideas that arrived in 2017. Hard to believe we're heading into the holidays. Unless you have been in a store recently....

Saturday, November 2, 2019

Re-run to Grace + Leslie's Tree

There will be a lot of Dec-themed mail in November in case anyone needs some inspiration for the upcoming holidays.

Generally, the days alternate between my envelopes and exchangers' envelopes. I have/had such mixed feelings about this one. On top of that, I might have already posted it. I don't have anything more to say than that I have mixed feelings.

I also ended up with way more envelopes from exchangers than I needed to fill the month, so I am going to double up some of the posts.

This cool tree idea came from Leslie in November. I guess the card is abstract rather than a tree. The pale green is very nice with the red.

Friday, November 1, 2019

Nov PTEX Exchange Sign-up

A fun envelope from Janet.
This is a good example of letting the stamp inspire your envelope design.

In the past, if I have late sign-ups, I figure out a way to include those people. This month, I am heading out of town right after the lists go out - so I will not be able to include anyone who misses the sign-up. You'll have to wait for the Dec sign-up.

Sign-up for the Nov exchange is Nov 1 - thru Monday, Nov 4th. I will send the lists on the 5th.
Please send the following information to me at:
jmwilson411 - at - yahoo - dot - com

Jane Doe (CARDS) 
123 Oak Street
Ames, Iowa 50110
[Birthday] / [2 lists]

Add (CARDS) - if you would like to exchange handmade cards.
Add [Birthday] - if you have a November birthday
Add [2 lists] - if you are willing to be on 2 lists.
I only add you to a second list if I need to make the lists come out even.

If you are new to the exchange - you will find details at the tab  - or- at this link
New people are always welcome.

Envelope EXCHANGE *rules*

Thursday, October 31, 2019

GraceH's Purple Dragon

There are so many nice features to this one. Grace pulled a lot of fun details off the stamps.

In some ways, that orange rectangle looks like it might be covering up a mistake -- but it is such a nice chunk of color. It livens up the composition.

I would be tempted to steal all of these ideas - but I also know I would not have the patience to be really precise - and it would not be effective at all if it was sloppy.

Dang -- those dragon stamps were so good.
We're gonna miss them when they're gone.

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Gee's to RachaelT, Lovie & A&B

Here's another version of the Gee's style. It's the first one with no bold strokes. The street address is inside the O in Thomas. And the city-state-zip is to the left of the 2. I deeply regret the 8 - but am letting it go. (I appropriated the line *deeply regret* from something Rachael wrote on one of her envelopes.) The 8 should have been two squares, stacked without the *neck.*

Lovie's envelope has only one bold stroke. Lovie works for the USPS - so that address is the main post office. I did Lovie's before I refilled the marker. I actually like it better with the streaky lines.

The eclipse stamp would be perfect, but I do not have one. The caterpillar is not affixed. I'll give it to her without a stamp and hope she can get an eclipse stamp.

I only did a few halloween envelopes this year. I didn't spend much time on this one - because Alex and Ben are just turning 6 and 4 - and are pleased with anything. I should have taken a picture of the card I sent inside. I drew masks on a picture of the 4 of them. My daughter and son-in-law are not savers of ephemera. It's fine with me. One envelope hoarder in the family is quite enough.

Oh -- what the heck. I forgot to make my noon coffee because I was being so productive - I can take a minute and make another card. Alex, the nearly 6 year old already told me that the one I sent needed a stem on the pumpkin. Ben the 4 yr old said he did not like it. Sweet little filter-less munchkins.

I had a friend help me with the birth announcements and she had them printed at a place that sends 250 whether you need that many or not - for a base price of $30. So, 4 years later I have about 100 left - I use them as stuffers in my *empty* exchange envelopes. I'm thinking I can come up with a bunch more holiday ideas for future mailings.

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Gee's Style to Jean and Lynne

Remember that style I started on Sam's envelopes a couple days ago? Well, I actually started with these. And technically, there were some that came prior to these.

I have been caught up in some projects where people made requests and sometimes the requests are super easy. Other times, it takes a while to get the idea that I like best.

Previously, when I have made scathing remarks about my envelopes, there have been some comments telling me that I should not make scathing remarks.

Conversations follow where I explain that I often see places that I would like to fix - but time does not permit. It is a subtle point - but an important point. Trust me - if I make something that is ugly and you like it, that does not make you right and me wrong. You are welcome to like ugly stuff.

Both of these have problems. I messed up the spider web on the top one and the lowercase Birthday on the bottom one was a huge mistake. But -- Jean and Lynne are both honor roll members and they know that I have to keep up the pace -- and drop the problems in the mail.

I'm calling this style Gee's style.

Monday, October 28, 2019

Display at the Post Office

There were some job-shifts at the main post office, so I needed to update my envelopes. I can't remember if I ever ran the photos of the displays. Natalie tells me that they are getting a lot of comments. It would be nice if I could get two different boards done for holiday mailings.

I have to redo that lavender one on the bottom. It is addressed to the postmaster general and I hear she is retiring.

These are all pretty tame. If people are going to try their hand at mail art, they should make the addresses very clear.

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Heidi - Trish missing + possible re-runs

Heidi - top
Trish - below

I loaded a bunch of scans onto the blog and was going to come back and write the blurbs. By the time I got back - I found that some of the images were missing and I can't find them.

This is why I have drawn a line - and will just start over. If you sent mail that never appears on the blog, I apologize. It's been chaotic here. Urgent matters like putting in railings on the steps so that I can get in and out of my house when the steps are covered with ice.

One would think you just hire someone to do it. No. That is not how it works. I will not bore you with the details of how (excuse my couthfree language) frickin' hard it is to get railings. But, the blog has to compete with other activities. If I fall and break something, it would be very bad for the blog.

From now until Jan 1st, I will be inserting photos that may or may not have already run.

Like these. I feel like I have blogged them, but can't exactly find them.

from JeanR

JeanR's card

from Leslie

from Jolene

from GraceE