Saturday, June 23, 2018

Scratch and Sniff Stamps

I just heard on the radio that the PO had their unveiling party for the ice cream stamps in LeMars Iowa because they think they are the ice cream capitol of the world. It's the head quarters for Blue Bunny ice cream - a very generic grocery store brand. I'm surprised they were chosen.

The scents are awful. The stamps are really small - so you can't really smell anything individually. But, I like the artwork.

I did not have the stamps when I did this envelope and forgot to take a picture after I put the stamp on it.

I have a couple more envelopes left to do for this month's exchange so I will post some more envelope with stamps.

Oh, I see that the images are not ice cream - they are frozen treats. Even more reason why it was silly to have the unveiling in LeMars. ON the other hand - maybe the PO can't get anyone else interested in unveiling their stamps. Why am I so cranky?

Friday, June 22, 2018

April Exchange from Angie + Warning + Diary

Pretty scroll tip marker lettering from Angie.

Don't miss the tiny little signature next to the n in Jean. It is her initials.

This one makes me want to pull out my scroll tip markers. Another thing I like about this one is how the address fits so neatly under the name. It bugs me when the street or city/state is really long. I like the shape that the five lines create.

Real time P.S.
Maybe this will work - whenever I have something to add, I just add it to the next previous scheduled post. Regular readers will know that they can skip anything beyond the ***** line.

Plus, I can add labels to indicate whether it is a [Diary] entry or a [Warning]

New WARNING today: buy one of those lanyards with the attached phone case so that your phone is on you at all times. You do not have to check Snopes, this really happened. My BigHelpfulBrother (BHB) was at home and heard someone pounding on a door. He investigated and found his wife, stuck in a room without her phone and the doorknob was broken. Apparently he needed some tools and had to dismantle some molding to rescue her. I guess you should have an emergency handyman service phone number in your phone. I have doubts that Mr. Wilson could help me if I needed help with a doorknob....because...

DIARY entry: For several years we had a simple screen door latch between the garage and laundry room that was broken. Recently my husband bought a replacement knob and planned on fixing it. First he asked me how I wanted it installed. One side had a knob and the other had a lever type handle. He wanted me to choose which side had the doorknob. I pointed out that the lever type handle had to go on the side of the door with a latch. He said, Duh.

Then he asked where the drill was and we reminded ourselves that it was loaned to the son who is the sweetest person on the face of the earth but keeping track of things is a bit beyond his skill set. I offered to take the door knob to my BHB and borrow his drill and the right size drill bit. BHB looks at the doorknob and points out that there are two sets of *thingies* that will fit through the holes in the door and you can move the *thingies* to adapt the doorknob to your door. Thank you BHB. I return to my house armed with knowledge and have the doorknob replaced in about a minute and a half. Something made me pick up the packaging from the doorknob. That something is called common sense. I am a big fan of reading instructions. On the back of the package is Step 1. Yes, let's make sure we note: THE FIRST STEP.... No. 1 - Determine the spacing of the holes on your door (or words to that effect). Step 2 - explains how to adjust your thingies.

Did I take the instructions in and wave them at the husband? No I did not. He does a ton of things that are really helpful and require his brand of intelligence and education. We know for a fact that every time there was a household catastrophe his dad suddenly had to go to a meeting. And that time that my husband had flames shooting out of the engine of his car his dad also took off muttering something about being late for an appointment. So, it's a genetic thing. And without getting into really disgusting things - Mr. Wilson deserves an award for the amount of child related discharges that he was willing to swoop in and clean up.

This story in not in the list of diary entries to pass judgement on anyone. It is a simple reminder to read instructions.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Sneak Peek at June Exchange Envelope

A few days ago I wrote about going to the Beaverdale branch post office and finding a wonderful, helpful lady and pondered going back. My June exchange envelopes are chaotic and giving me fits. Mostly, I just want to be done with my vintage stamps - but I can't quite make myself not care what the envelopes look like. With some of them, I thought that creative cancelling would help them out. So, I ventured back to Beaverdale. The lady was not there. There were two men. One seemed 20-ish. The other seemed big, 40s or 50s - and all business. Talked fast - didn't seem like he would be into mail art. I had a package to mail. He reached over to grab my envelopes and I asked in a timid voice if he was OK with doing some cancels by hand. He said OK. And was reasonably interested in honoring my requests - as long as we did everything really fast. There was nobody else waiting behind me. I forgot to ask when the lady would be working. But, he might have gotten the wrong impression if I had asked about her. In some ways - it was an interesting experience to collaborate with someone who was a take-charge kind of guy. I'll probably be going back from time to time to see if I can run into the lady.

These envelopes aren't very interesting. Once again, I'd do a whole lot better if I pulled out the stamps first.

Chuck's would have been fine if I had left enough room at the top.
Faye's needs one more element. I thought a flurry of cancelations would be enough, but it  isn't.
Phillip's --- such beautiful stamps. I have enough for two more envelopes and I think I have an idea that I will like. Stay tuned.

I really like talking to all y'all in real time. But there is no way I can switch the blog to writing daily. I might have to just add bonus posts every time I have something to say that I want to say right away.....

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

AprPTEX - Cari's Idea to Angie

Angie decided to give the exchange a try in April. Thomas (who has exchanged previously) belongs to a guild in Texas and alerted his fellow guild members to my exchange. There were 7 new people from Texas in April. I recognized Angies's name. We were both part of CyberScribes - 20-some years ago. I saw this idea on Cari Ferarro's blog. Cari is in my list of blogs that I follow. Cari was probably on CyberScribes, too. Anyhow - I loved this idea and thought it looked easy - but it was much harder than I was expecting. It's on my list of ideas to keep working on.

See that dangling preposition. I just read an article about how the rule about not dangling your prepositions is bogus. So now, I am awaiting an apology from all my English teachers. I wonder if any of them are even alive. Probably spinning in their graves at the sorry state of writing/texting/emojing/communicating. The thought that we are incorporating pictures into our written words makes me very happy. I'm not good at it - I don't know how to find the good ones. But, I love that you can speak volumes with a little yellow dot that has eyes squinting shut with a tear on the outer corner of each eye. 😹😹😹
See - I could not find a regular dot.
This time it only offered me a cat.
But, I'm fine with the cat.
You get my point.

*There is nothing relating to envelopes or lettering or art beyond this point. You have been warned. Unless you are looking to kill time, just move on with your regularly scheduled day and skip the rest of this post. Seriously. Move along.

Also, this post seems to be the first mention of my diary - even though I mentioned it yesterday. The way I add things is random. I make no effort for the blog to be orderly. I think the racoon incident was back in April.


You might be asking - what's up?
Why such a long post today?
Coffee too strong?
Yes - I make cold brew and on the day that I drink the first batch, while waiting for the second half-strength batch to brew, which when combined will make normal brew - I am wired to a dangerous level.
Plus - I discovered that this blog is a secret diary.
I went back looking for something and found information that I was happy to discover because it had slipped my mind. So, while the blog has been very strict about not mentioning anything personal - today is the day that I start mentioning things that I might want to remember.
Starting with ---
my husband asking me -about a week ago- if I had noticed a funny smell in the garage - and I don't even want to ask him how long he had been noticing it ---- and his solution was to leave the door open so it could *air out.* What a dreamer.
Anybody want to make a guess?

When my intuition tells me that an animal decided that our garage was a hospice and I say things like, "I suppose some animal decided to crawl up there on that nice cozy shelf and have a litter of babies and then all of them died,"I actually do not want to be right. I would prefer to find something that is just moldy. And I would rather clean up every single piece of exploded Pyrex in my house than deal with another raccoon hospice situation. That's right -- another. I live in a regular neighborhood in a small city and this is not the first incident.
Large vermin.
So, the only advantage to being the non-dreamer who says out loud - "Hey, check that shelf. I bet some vermin climbed up there, had babies and then they all died," is that then I can be the one who just retrieves the plastic bags and researches proper disposal of animal carcasses online and the *dreamer* has to do the actual dirty work.

Today is the first day that I am using the label [diary] - just for my own aid in finding the diary entries. I'm not sure how this is going to work....but you have been warned. If you see a warning that you are at the end of the envelope portion of the post - just skip the rest of the post.

If you are still reading, you might be wondering, "What kind of people choose to remember stories about dead animals?' It's the *Be Prepared* people. Some of us like to warn our kids about everything that has ever happened. I know that's pointless - but we do it anyway.

WARNING: If you smell something really awful, don't just open the garage door and think that, "It needs to air out." If it smells really awful, it is a dead animal and you better deal with it sooner, rather than later. The only place where you might avoid wildlife invading your living quarters (this includes insects) is really tall high-rise building. Otherwise, be prepared. There are more of them than there are *us.* And they do not have jobs. They only have one job. Survive and try to wipe out humans. We do not provide anything that they need - except maybe being an actual meal. They want us gone.

Plants are equally intent on wiping out humans.

And if you are wondering what it says online about dead animals - it says double bag it and then make an appointment to bring it to one of two inconveniently located locations. Should I turn this into a filming expedition. I've had some pretty exciting trips to dispose of *items.* Note to self - write out the story about disposing of fireworks. Several of these stories are for my kids. I'll be leaving them directions to find my stories. They currently have minimal interest in my writings. Except for the recipes. And -yes- I am putting all of them online, too.

Add the trip to the dump story

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

AprPTEX - Nevelson to Lauren

There are still a few Louise Nevelson stamps left. Louise's artwork always spoke to me. The using up of random stuff and the minimalism in her choices of colors. It would be great to have time to read more about her. The hat caught my eye because I am at war with my hair. We can't find a way to work together and I have been threatening it with a hat. I did find time to Google head covering - and
I did not realize how many options there are.
I don't even know where to begin.

Remember when I said I was going to start putting diary entries on my blog? Below is a diary entry. It has nothing to do with art or envelopes. If you like the blog for its brevity - exit now.

P.S. added in real time.
There are other people who are posting words of caution on their blogs. I am really annoyed with myself because someone on my blog roll (or maybe on Finn's) had a half-funny-half-sobering warning about being at an event - and there was dancing - and she thought, it looked like fun - joined in the dancing - but fell - and i do not recall the extent of her injuries - but it was enough that she was posting a warning about being realistic about whether or not your balance is in good shape. Does anyone recall reading that?

I have another warning. If you are young enough to travel and use Uber - figure out how to change your pin so that the GPS will have you in the right spot. If you do not do that and the Uber driver goes to the place where you were last dropped off - you might have a lapse in judgment and start moving too fast across streets that are too busy. Luckily, we made it. But...Oh.My.Gosh. I need to find out how to delete the location of my last drop off.

This is a diary entry. Note to self: Do something with the customized map for kids on trips idea.

Monday, June 18, 2018

MarPTEX - from Jeanette (and JanetW)

A clever idea from Jeanette - to put a volleyball player on the envelope with a volleyball.

Below is an envelope from my friend JanetW -(not exchanger-Janet) I'm including it as an example of faux calligraphy - to remind everyone that if you do not have time to dig out your nibs and ink - you can *faux* it.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

MarPTEX - from Jessica and Tina

These two are cute together. The fox is from Jessica and the puppy is from Tina.

What about The Limner?

Regular readers will probably remember that I have exchanged quite a bit of mail with The Limner. She participated in a couple exchanges. I also exchanged some actual letters with her. She had a couple fantastic blogs. And then one day >poof< they were gone. I had a postcard from her in December. I sent her a letter in January, asking if she was OK and it just came back as undeliverable. I remember a ways back she had pondered shutting down her blogs and closing out her Post Office Box.

If you put [Limner] into the search box under my [About me] section, you can see at least 20 examples of her work.

I know Limner's daughter's name and it was super easy to find her on FaceBook and Google. Now I am wondering if it would be OK to contact The Limner's daughter and ask how The Limner is doing. (I have checked the obituaries and there does not seem to be one.) It's hard to know if it is OK to just randomly contact someone. Part of me is fine with it since The Limner is definitely one of the *many* people who ran across my blog and contacted me.

I put many in asterisks because to me it seems like I have many wonderful contacts through the blog. I can't really say how many - but more than 3 is -to me- *many.*

So, I am asking my readers to either post a comment or send an email directly to me (at that email that is listed in the *About me* section.) Please give me your opinions on whether or not it would be OK to contact The Limner's daughter. Or should I just let this go. I will also mention that a couple readers have asked me if I know what has happened to The Limner. So, I am not the only person who feels like she is a friend who has disappeared.

And....I want all y'all to know that I will never just disappear on you. I plan to leave someone in charge of the blog who can answer questions or at the very least, leave a final note.

And.....this piece of writing by The Limner appeared in a Google search. It is a good example of her writing. She is a very talented artist as well as talented writer. I think she is a good cook, too.

This book review by The Limner makes me want to learn how to be a better writer. I shall put it on my list of things to do as soon as I complete the Swedish death cleaning.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

MarPTEX - from Inta, Kathy and Kate

Clearly, my filing system (stacking system) is pitiful. This one from Inta is from Feb. The other two are from Kathy and below that from Kate. One of them didn't write the month - so we'll just say these are pretty exchange envelope that look springy. Many of us will recall that it took forever for spring to arrive this year. Hopefully - we are having a nice summer.

I am writing this on April 22 - and while it is sunny and 60 in Des Moines, I heard that it is snowing in Montana today.

Kathy noted that she was not crazy about this one - and I would agree that it's not her most inspired work, but the red lettering is very nice. There was a time when your little lettering was not as lovely as this particular example.
Another nice arrangement of elements and colors. From Kate.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Woof-woof-woof -- Circles to Jeri (BONUS post)

OK - this is a bonus - because I think the one below - which was scheduled is a re-run.

The past 6 weeks have been a blur - and I just got home....and -yikes-
etc--- {}{}{} While this post was written a while ago - it is an accurate representation of my inner voice.

This envelope would not have made it onto the blog because it is such a dog - but, it has a nice story to go along with it.

Jeri always sends me the prettiest birthday cards in lovely envelopes. I always intend to do something Jeri-worthy for her. Mostly, I forget her birthday. But this year during my Swedish death cleaning, I found an orange Hermes box that I had been saving to send to her. Jeri loves orange and I wanted to fill it with a spectacular orange inspired birthday diorama. It would have been breathtakingly gorgeous. But, my art history teacher (from 1969-71) had just died suddenly and unexpectedly (mid 70's) and I thought to myself: You are going to die one day and there is no way you will get around to all the fun little projects that are piled up. So, I filled the box with more random paper items that were in my hoard. Then I pulled the paper out of the sack of paper that was heading for recycling and wrapped it. I was kicking myself for not doing a spectacular job on the addressing - and then it sat in the back seat of the car for a couple days as I kept forgetting to mail it. Finally, I was on the last errand of the day and was headed in the direction of two post offices. The easiest thing would have been to just mail it at the grocery store - but those clerks are usually not happy to work with people on aesthetics - and I knew Jeri deserved actual stamps. But, then I obsessed - maybe the stamp choices would just make it uglier.

Then I was annoyed that I had not done a better job on the faces. The transcript of what goes on in my head as I create and then attempt to mail things would be a one way ticket to the funny farm if it were recordable. Luckily we have our other Jean who can smack some sense into ocd-Jean. What's the name for the non-ocd-Jean? Wabi-sabi-Jean.

I like the Drake post office, but I recently had my second encounter with a person (a customer) who seemed to be off his meds and volatile, so while I adore the ladies who work there - I figured I would try the Beaverdale post office. Yes, Des Moines has a neighborhood called Beaverdale. Their post office is tucked into an out of the way place and usually a good option. I walked in and there were two people working, and only one customer. So, I went to the counter and told the lady that I would like to use actual stamps and not a meter strip. I asked if she had stamps that were higher denominations than Forevers and she started pondering options. We needed something like $3.75. I told her that I would not want anything with flags. She was OK with that and pulled out the Love stamps - then I thought of the international stamps. When she pulled them out - and I saw that they were $1.15 - I was very excited - for both the color and the shape.

Here is where the story gets good. She pulls off a stamp - heads towards the package - then stops and asks, "Does placement matter?" WOO-HOO. A kindred spirit. Yes, placement matters. Then she apologized and said, "I'm sorry, I have to cancel it." I assured her that cancelling is expected and welcomed. She offered to scan it and give me a tracking number. I declined. Then she held it and said, "Well that turned out very pretty." I was so happy that there was nobody waiting in line. It was a very happy detour on a day that had been medium bumpy. I resisted the urge to whip out my phone and show her my blog. I also regret that I did not look at her name. I really should have sent her a thank you note. Now I can obsess about going back and seeing if I can find her working there - to get her name....but that would take away from the death cleaning.

I am tempted to say that this Swedish death cleaning is going to be the death of me. I hope not. I do hope that my kids have nothing but fun as they clear out my belongings. And I hope that I have another 20 years to add to this topic and hopefully chuckle at how silly I was in my 60s. I feel a lot better knowing that I probably have a good 10 years to get the job done.

MarPTEX - from Janet

Another exchanger who tucks goodies into the envelopes.
These are vintage and sooooo sweet.

Since I am not allowed to buy any current stamps until I use up the hoard - I have not had any of these ---- and they are soooooo pretty.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

MarPTEX - from Inta

Inta likes to tuck little goodies into her envelopes.

And I keep forgetting to ask her to send me a page with all the capitals done in her handwriting. I love her J.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

MarPTEX - from Patty

I met Patty in classes last year. Patty had recently retired and finally had time to explore her own interests. She was tricked into filling in for someone on maternity leave - so missed the early 2018 classes. But, she did keep up with the exchange. I'm guessing it was an antidote to the exhaustion of returning to work.

This one makes me want to visit a cherry blossom festival someday - somewhere...

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

MarPTEX - from Jane

Jane was a new exchanger in March. It looks like rubber stamped borders with colored pencil shading.

The penmanship is lovely.
I like addresses that fit into a nice rectangle - and am a big fan of the zip code being spaced out.

On second look - this might have been a template where the border was printed from a template and then she constructed the envelope. Either way - it's very nice.

Monday, June 11, 2018

MarPTEX - from Chuck

Psychedelic Chuck.

Chuck found this scrapbooking paper which seemed like a good idea until he started making the envelopes. It did not fold nicely.

But, the border/lettering/stamp are a nice combination.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

March PTEX - from Bug

Bug used some kind of white ink that is very opaque. After it dried she colored in with metallic gel pens. Nice stamp placement.

For the past couple years, I have alternated -daily- between my envelopes and exchange envelopes that I receive. It's too confusing for me  to do that and I don't think anyone cares who does the envelopes - they just want a new idea every day.

This is a stealworthy idea.
Rows of flowers.

The rest of the week will be envelopes that arrived in March.

Saturday, June 9, 2018

2017 Exch - Patriotic ideas from Debbie and Alison

These came last year and I scheduled them to pop up at the appropriate time.

Debbie (top) has some nice raised sparkle dots for stars. The soft shading in the background really makes the letters POP.

Alison (below) must have used her square colored pencil sticks. I can't remember what they are called. I had never heard of them - and she did an earlier envelope using them. They are not smeary at all. Very cool.

Both are very nice stealworthy ideas.

Friday, June 8, 2018

AprPTEX - set of 5

I needed to use up these stamps and thought the marker would work - figured I would layer - didn't like the color - tried gray - lapsed into temporary insanity and put the stamps on - thought maybe adding the addresses would help - chickened out on adding more layers...added an excuse on Stephanie's after I put the address in the wrong place....added a huge excuse on Janet's see below....(can't find the scan)

somehow they all seemed slightly OK as a group - but I didn't think I was going to post them on the blog....then decided they might look OK as a group...then figured out how to do the electronic scribbling.....almost blew a gasket figuring out where the file was on the computer....looked out the window to see it snowing on April only including these to illustrate that sometimes things don't work out, but I just drop them in the mail. The envelopes are super nice - so at least they feel good....

Thursday, June 7, 2018

AprPTEX - Odd Fish to KateR

The stamps are the odd part on this one. The fish are pretty generic. The bug stamp reminds me how much I love the stamps with an image on a white background where the image looks really 3D - and casts a shadow. There was a pet series like that. And some flowers.

Using up stamps....and....I'm thinking this is truly the end of the series.....of oddities.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

AprPTEX - Odd Crowd to Belinda

That crowd is super weird. This is actually one that I like. Back in the 90s I was on a binge of drawing bottles with stoppers - crowds of them. I was trying to remember how I drew them and I could not figure it out. I didn't save any of them. Sorta wish I had.....

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

AprPTEX - Odd flowers to Anthea

These flowers aren't creepy - just odd. They might have been better if I had had a better selection of colors.

I was looking at the wrong address and wrote Portland. I didn't want to start over - so just added the correct city.

Monday, June 4, 2018

AprPTEX - Creepy Flowers to Molly

Ooops - I thought I was done with the oddities that were started in Chicago - but I found 5 more. So brace yourselves. One of them is so awful I am not going to post it. This one would have been fine - until I had some psychotic lapse and did her name in all caps. Maybe it was a stroke. I don't know.

Those flowers are creepy - but at least they came off Pinterest and not out of my head.

Sunday, June 3, 2018

AprPTEX - Clipboards for Cathy

First - my turquoise pen stopped working. Then I wrote her name in upright ornamental - which looks ridiculous. I should have used the style of writing that is on the P.S.Write Soon stamp.

I wanted the zip code to go on the pen. But, I am trying to make things easier for the postal workers.

I'm not sure which envelope deserves the label *wackiest* - this one is in the running. It probably doesn't matter....we can all just breathe a sign of relief that we are through with this series and can move on.

Saturday, June 2, 2018

AprPTEX - Flowers for Bug

What happened yesterday?
The morning post was very late.
The past couple months have been chaotic. After June 15th, I am going to re-think how many things are on my proverbial plate. Don't worry - the blog is a main dish.

Hopefully people who are interested in exchanging - saw the post yesterday - and will sign-up.

Big thank you to Maggie for sending me an email - at first I told her that sign up was tomorrow - she replied that she was pretty sure that Friday was June 1st. Yikes. I am so far out of it....

This is the other *meh* one that I mentioned. I did not intend for those two lines to be in ink - I meant to use a pencil. Once they were there, I decided to just write out the description of the error.

And then when I did a wretched job of centering the city-state - I added hohoho to idaho - to center it.

I actually liked the idea of just adding a description to a problem. I just remembered that I have to backtrack and point out a wrong city that I left in.

Friday, June 1, 2018

June Exchange Sign Up

My mother's penmanship certificate from the 1930s
Sign-up for the June Envelope Exchange is June 1-4.
Lists will be sent on June 5 or 6

Please send your mailing address and email address to me at

Jane Doe (CARDS)
123 Main Street
Ames, Iowa 50010

I will respond that I have received your email.
If you do not hear from me - resend - sometimes new people end up in the spam box.

Beginners are welcome. Any medium is welcome. Since this is an envelope exchange you may send an empty, decorated envelope.
Or, you may enclose a card or note.
If you like to make cards - type CARDS after your name and the card people may exchange cards.

There have been problems with envelopes being returned to the sender. Please keep your addressing clear for the post office. Put your return address on the back and write it small and very high on the back.

It is nice to write - June PTEX and OPEN or EMPTY - to indicate whether it is empty or has an enclosure. Some people participate in more multiple exchanges.

Any questions- just email me.
You will get a list with 6 names, yours included.
Please send to the other 5 people by June 30th.
If you are going to be late - let us know.
Do not stress over the design - this is about fun, experimenting, and wabi-sabi.

Apologies for this being late - I can't read a calendar any more.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Feb Exchange from Maggie - Olympic

A fun idea for February - seems like ages ago. I am writing this post on PieDay - 3.14 - which is also a day that Maggie was enjoying (not) her third severe winter storm in about a week. It's nice and springy here in DSM and by the time I read this it will be Memorial Day and kicking off the summer. There is nothing like a blog to make the year go really fast.

The thing that popped out at me was that little swoop on the W in Wilson. I have never seen one of those before. Clever - and stealworthy.

Mid-March at Maggie's house. At least she still had her electricity.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

AprPTEX - Shrub for Jeannette

This one is *meh*
One more *meh* coming up and then the weirdest one of all and then we will be done with the series of oddities from the Chicago trip.

June is just around the corner and I have a situation to contend with. I will be back in Chicago - so I need to figure out a way to avoid another one of these situations where I churn out a bunch of weird stuff.

I hope I think of something - because I really can't face another set of these.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Feb Exchange from Kathy + Fooled Myself

The top one, from Kathy, is so cool. I'm sure the photo will not do it justice, so you'll have to take my word for it. I don't have any of those stamps, but I'm thinking it might be a stealworthy idea that could be tailored to fit with some other stamps.

The bottom envelope arrived and I thought to myself - "Well this has to be from one of my students. It looks like they have been listening to my suggestions." Then I realized that I had done it. I addressed some thank you cards - and included one for myself because I wanted to receive one of the cards. I had not seen the actual thank you card in person.

It looks so much better than it would have on a cheap envelope. It's on a nice 100% cotton envelope...which makes the colors pop. I just used Sharpies. Of course I would have loved to carefully outline all the lettering - -but time did not permit.

Monday, May 28, 2018

AprPTEX - Lillies of the Valley to Patty

Lillies of the Valley are one of my favorite flowers. I could have drawn them much better if I had had decent pens. Patty deserves better than this --- but she did get a set of my super favorite stamps which should count for something.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Vintage St. Patrick's Ephemera from Janet

These items were inside my March exchange envelope from Janet. She addressed the tiny envelope and it is so pretty in person. I don't think the photo does it justice. The other items are much cooler in person as well. There is something about the way the old printing and die-cutting was done that gives it a cooler feel. It's probably a good thing  I never allowed myself to seriously collect vintage ephemera.

I think Janet inherited a nice stash and is sending it out to people she knows will appreciate it.
 Below is the greeting inside the little shamrock card. Very interesting wording.

The little lady has a tab to fold to make her stand up. I think she is a place card. So cute.

My mother used to get so peeved that Irish people had their own holiday and the rest of us didn't have one for ourselves. I felt obligated to be indifferent to the holiday. Then my daughter fell in love with an Irishman - so now I get to celebrate. Colin has probably gathered that I was pretty excited to get some cute little half-Irish grandkids. Although, they are the most feral children I have ever met - so that's gotta be the Irish, right?

Saturday, May 26, 2018

AprPTEX - Doodle Heart to Lynne

I hope this one arrived. There was only room for her street address and zip code between those two fine lines - so I left the city and state off. The zip code designates a city-state - so why do you even need the city-state?

I would have liked the bottom of the heart to be a smidge longer and touch the bottom edge. But in general - this is one of these least problematic of the whole borrowed-Sharpies-in-Chicago series.

Friday, May 25, 2018

Feb Exchangers Veronica and Smash

Veronica -on top- send this envelope and her return address was on the back. The envelope was delivered to her house. She took it back to the PO and they re-mailed it.

The following month Maggie said she had the same problem - with an envelope being returned to her for no apparent reason. It's happened to me. I guess sometimes the scanner just reads the return address, imprints the bar code and the envelope goes on its merry way.

My solution would be to write the return address on the left or right edge of the envelope - on the back - so that it was not in the proper orientation to be picked up by the scanner. I think about doing that - but seldom actually do it.

Anyhow - these are both very pretty and were most welcome in February. Smash's is a postcard.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

AprPTEX - A Quilt for Chuck

There were a few colored Sharpies in Chicago for me to borrow. There was a really pretty watercolor design like this. I should have dug out the kids watercolors. But, I was lazy.

I liked these stamps - and would have liked it better if I had found the stamps before I wrote the name and address....a different arrangement could have been better.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Feb Exchangers Janet and Patty

Well, I am definitely mixed up on what month the previous envelope from Janet arrived because I know these were both February envelopes.

I thought the two of them might have collaborated - but I think I asked Patty and I think she said no. It's always fun to see the different ways that people are inspired by stamps.

And it is fun for me to have people who take my classes participate in the exchanges because I like to see which styles they are drawn to.

Patty added the cute card. Inserts are optional with the exchanges. About half of us send empty envelopes. Some of us just like the activity of making the envelopes - and get too side-tracked if we have to think of something to put in the envelope.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

AprPTEX - Weeds for Jessica

OK. I know I will sound like I'm nuts. But sending these stamps off into the world is like putting my kids up for adoption.

I should also add that all of these envelopes that started out as Sharpie doodles were done with a laptop sitting on the table and me surfing for ideas. When I am not at home, I have to surf to get ideas.....
not my preferred way to approach envelopes. But, I am a big fan of spending some time outside one's comfort zone.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Bonus for the Calligraphers

Todays regular post with two envelope ideas is below this one. This bonus post is for the calligraphers who read the blog.

This popped up during my Sunday morning DCAS (drink coffee and surf). The artists is from Turkey. The video is on some kind of FaceBook page - so if you are anti FB - sorry. I've never linked to FB before so I have no idea if this will work.

This is the mast head of the site where I found the video. Quite lovely. It is by Sachin Shah. There is a myth out there that calligraphy is a dying art. Not true. Not true at all.

FB is so controversial.
I can understand why.
It has super sneaky ways of getting you to click on stuff.
Jean Wilson Hippolite.

In the olden days, there was only one other Jean Wilson of note - Jean Wilson in Texas who was(is) a research doctor. He was annoyed with me because I would try to send emails to myself - but he had claimed the name JeanWilson - so he was getting emails about envelope addressing. He is now on YouTube and listed as a Giant in Medicine. If time permits, I will start a series - Giants in Envelopes.

After Pinterest got rolling, I found a lot of Ruby Jean Wilson stuff on Pinterest. She is a model in Australia. And now this - a politician in Haiti. It's really fun how wildly international the name is. To me it seems so generic and white-bread-midwestern.

I should also mention other Jean Wilsons -  the Canadian speed skater, the Welsh JW who stole money for gastric bypass surgery, and my favorite - the Jean Wilson whose life was saved by a pizza delivery person:

I fully expect someone at Taco John's to save my life. Probably a Heimlich Maneuver when I choke.

Feb Exchangers Janet & Eric

Janet's is a good example of how nice kraft paper is with both black and white. Even though it is brown and white - you can image how black would be nice, too.

Big thank you to Eric for all the original artwork. When Eric first started exchanging, all of his work was digital, which is fine with me. But then he started dabbling in other mediums. I dropped a big hint - or maybe I made an outright request - for something done by hand. Asked - and I received.
I love it.

Again, I have nothing against digital art - but I do love the work done by hand. I love the birds eyes - directed upwards. The leaves are part of the printing on a paper sack. Great stamps.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

AprPTEX - Fruit for Betty

The outlines of the fruit were done in Chicago. When I got home and tried to find good stamps - this one was really hard. I finally chose the Folk art and decided to use those colors on the fruit. I'm not crazy about the placement of the fruit. But, it serves the purpose of clearing out the hoard and that's becoming a top tier goal here at the 420.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Feb Exchangers Carroll, Lynne, and Smash

I have a feeling that the one from Smash (on the bottom) came in January - and might have been on the blog already. My stack of Jan-Feb-Mar mail all ran together. But, it is fun to see these groupings.

Lynne's, in the middle, got away with one Forever stamps. It could have been accessed a surcharge for being non-landscape.

Carroll's on top looks like white gel pen - and black ink. Red is such a nice color for envelopes because both black as well as white looks equally good on red. Colored envelopes that look good with both black and white are...what? What's the term for the mid-point between too light and too dark? Is it a measurable tone? This is way too technical. Although some of the readers are very smart and have all kinds of good answers to some of the random questions posted on the blog.

Friday, May 18, 2018

AprPTEX - Oddities to Nanski

Two days ago I warned you that there would be some oddities showing up. It doesn't get odder than this. Well - yes it does. But for me, this is about the weirdest one. I only did the black Sharpie outlines in Chicago. I brought it home, scrounged through the hoard of vintage stamps - and colored in the doodles.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Feb Exchangers CathyO and KateR

It is always fun to see how people use the stamp as inspiration. Top one from CathyO, bottom one from Kate R.

I was not a big fan of the L on the stamp - and stated in February that I would not be buying any of these stamps. Of course, now that I see how pretty these two envelopes are, I imagine I would have lots of fun imitating both of these ideas.

Hopefully, these stamps will still be available once I have used up my stash and start buying new stamps.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

AprPTEX - Bugs to Javier

In mid-April I posted a detail of this one showing how I had added some fuzzies to the lettering - inspired by the stamp on the left.

For the April exchange, I had come beautiful Strathmore envelopes - but I was stuck in Chicago with only borrowed Sharpies and cheap gel pens. I was thinking that the severe limitations would really stimulate my creativity. Sadly - they were just weird. But, I have a fondness for weird.

If nothing else, you will feel better about your own work when comparing it to some of the oddities that will be showing up over the next couple of weeks.

Here's the detail that ran earlier:

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Exchanger Susan Fitch - Snicker Bar Envelope

Susan only exchanged once and I have wondered why people only exchange once. I Googled her name and it led to an Etsy shop -where she has had 6,745 sales since 2014. So, that looks to me like someone who is illustrating for a living and probably too busy to participate in exchanges.

I loved her tiny printing and am showing a close up. I also love her little paper houses. I don't need to print off a design to make little houses - but I am adding the link because they are so cute - and maybe you need some little houses.

Little paper houses