Tuesday, July 26, 2016

re-run - thornton idea

hmmmm. this looks like something i would have written and i know peter has some nice pieces that look like this. he teaches how to create texture with overlapping lettering. this caught my eye whilst searching for things to re-run. it would be fun to find the original post and see what i said about it. really strange to come across items that are completely gone from my memory.

Monday, July 25, 2016

re-running smash's circle

so pretty. i am really enjoying this trip down memory lane. i can hop around with suggestions about really easy stuff to try and then show things that require some serious experience. like this one. note that all the more challenging designs will probably not be anything that i've done.

thank you again to all my pen pals, especially smash girl, who has been very generous with her time and talents.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

off topic - tango mango

tango mango has more recipes than lettering on her blog, but the lettering is worth looking at. i couldn't find her name, just a bio that she has been a lettering artist in portland and now does food blogging.


if you click the label [calligraphy] under this image, you can see about 4 pages of her calligraphy and she mentions that she does do envelopes.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

re-running dots

 i should mention dots at least once a month since they are .... i don't even know what to call them. they seem like the most basic item.
[see ...  i even use them to indicate where i am thinking, but not coming up with words]

dots seem almost insignificant. and yet - they are magnificent. it's like there is some really deep meaning or philosophy here. [dot] [dot] [dot] too deep for me.

you'll just have to trust me - if you are having a creative block. try some dots. or if you have a big old mess to fix - try dots.

Friday, July 22, 2016

a pinterest fave

i see this one frequently on pinterest and i agree - it deserves to be pinned. i do not recall if there was some other image that inspired it. it doesn't look like me. but, we'll never know. once in a while i actually come up with a good idea. i rather doubt this was completely original. the eyes and teeth are so simple, but i just don't think i would have come up with them on my own.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

re-run - picnic

it's picnic season here in the US. that ketchup bottle T makes me want to do an entire ketchup name. or ketchup and mustard. i wonder if there is a hamburger or hotdog stamp. i know there was a foreign hot dog stamp that i posted a while back.

if i had time, i would go back and label all the envelopes that refer to food. i think i want to open a restaurant that turns the eating into an artistic experience. i wonder if that has ever been done.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

re-run - uber favorite

i had so much fun doing these. not sure how many i did. not sure if this kind of stuff inspires other to try it. i suspect it looks complicated, but it is not.

note to self - do a tutorial on how to fill in spaces with curli-cues.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

re-run - parabolas

 i think i called this style parabola or something like that. it was one of my favorites and as i recall, i actually came up with it on my own. i do not recall being inspired by anything specific - except possibly nature.

i see that i have a label that already exists called -parabole-
so maybe there are more to see at that label. i probably do not have time to check it and come back to edit this post.

Monday, July 18, 2016

re-run - from ??

 the middle one was the inspiration. i apologize for not being able to tell you who sent it. maybe the sender will leave a comment. this is definitely a style that i would re-visit.

there was an email from someone in the spam of my non-yahoo email - referring to the time of day that my posts pop up...i couldn't see the entire message - and then it disappeared. so, i am not ignoring you - maybe resend to the yahoo account  jmwilson411 [at] yahoo [dot] com

Sunday, July 17, 2016

ice cream envelope

kate left a comment back on the pie post - wondering if there was ice cream on the peach pie. the mention of ice cream on pies turns into a big heated debate here on 44th street. some people will get in the car and drive to get ice cream when there is a pie in the house and glare at me.

the pie in the photo is a Cream-Kist Peach Pie. you pour a half a cup of cream into the peaches-sugar-flour mixture. there are sliced almonds on top. IMHO, that is enough cream. however, the brother took his home and i hear there was ice cream on top.

i think i have posted this website - but, it was fun to do a search for ice cream envelope and see what would pop up.


this pie envelope was on pinterest - the link to stevie hopwood at the elevated envelope did not link. i don't have time to go surfing. i have all these dang peaches to bake into something. aaarrgghhh. who is going to eat all this stuff.....aaaarrrggghhhh

Saturday, July 16, 2016

re-run peacocks

ahhhh - the peacock series. that was a fun one. i think i did a decent job of labeling them so they would all come up at once. i won't label this one so that if someone uses the label function, they won't get a duplicate. such a pretty stamp. i wonder if there are other stamps that will generate the fun and comments that we had with this one.

for anyone who is new to the blog and missed this series - you click on the [peacock] label and 15 posts will come up. here is a link to the first one....
the comment section cracked me up. my readers are hysterical. i need to find time to go back and review all the comments and post them in a [highlighting my readers section]


Friday, July 15, 2016


this was my version of the one i posted yesterday. i LOVED doing this style. can't wait to get back to it.

as i recall, finnbadger tried it....did anyone else?

Thursday, July 14, 2016

pie payment

my husband ordered a box of peaches from georgia.
they arrived.
first pie is out of the oven.
brother has been notified.

i still want to make the lemon meringue.

re-run - note to self

i know i found the address for the guy who designed this alphabet and have every intention of writing to him to see how he feels about people being inspired to do their own versions....

note to self:
find the address - and write to him, eh?

and if you have not seen it, check the bonus post below. finnbadger made the wordle site work and sent me a very pretty wordle. it will be interesting to see if he makes more wordles - and then makes envelopes out of them.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

bonus post from finnbadger

yay, finnbadger.
he made a wordle design using the words in the first post today. he said it was a pretty picky website - so thank you for your persistence.

it is a pretty cool design. the size of the word corresponds to the number of times the word is used

maybe i say maybe too much
maybe not
i'm happy to see that the readers are prominent
since it's all about the readers for me.

where y'all from?

when i announced my break and then managed to post every day and return from the break i spent some time looking at the stats on the blog. that section tells me how many visits i am getting per day and i can also check a multitude of other stats telling me things like where people live, what kind of computer or phone they are using, etc. [one person reads me on an Xbox] i usually have between 300 and 400 visits per day. and i wanted to see if that number dropped off after i said i was going to take a break. happily, it did not. so, i don't think i lost any readers. the thing that amazed me was when i get up at 5 am, there will be 130 people who have already checked the blog. so, i wondered - where do my readers live? since the posts are set to appear at 1 am, maybe all my US readers are night owls. anyhow, for the curious, here are the stats on where my readers live. and if i am on someones blog role, maybe that gets counted as a view, when my blog pops up on the other sites.

United States

United Kingdom

 this was made with Wordle. it used to be one of my favorite sites, but i can't get it to work any more. maybe someday. or maybe never. i literally have a file called *maybe never* which is full of ideas or projects that interest me, but i doubt i'll get around to them. i guess i could call them *the back burner*  - no envelope today - but for those of you who enjoy surfing, maybe you can make wordle work and report back to us.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

first new scan - from miss cathy

miss cathy and i are probably close in age so we probably have fond memories of penmanship classes. i was fond of the concept and i admired grown ups who had penmanship that matched the samples - but dang---- it frustrated me to no end that i could not replicate the exemplars. in college i spent hours working on my penmanship. not palmer method. i copied the penmanship of a classmate who had very tidy penmanship.

this is so pretty. thank you miss cathy. and i like the stamp choice.

the order of my new batch of scans will be very random. i know i owe thank you envelopes to the people who sent mail in june - when i had the open call to send something. if you are annoyed that you have not received your thank you - send me an email and i will be sure to respond promptly.

Monday, July 11, 2016

re-runs - picnic season

i'm not a big fan of picnics. too many bugs and too much work to pack up everything and take it somewhere. but, during my trip down memory lane these all caught my eye.

i still love the burgers. jeri's could have been better and that shish kabob is pitiful. but i like the idea.

while we are nit-picking - they all needed some better pencil guide lines.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

happy birthday skip

this went to my son one year. it's his birthday today - but he is in australia, so, i did not get around to sending him a card. i guess i could email him a link to this page.

seems like everyone observes their birthday on facebook these days.

i know this is an idea i saw on line.

i wonder if the tahoe PO misses his mail. i should send them a thank you for all the years they put his mail in the right PO box. tahoe is one of those areas that does not have house to house to delivery. you have to go to the PO to get your mail. so that saying ...neither snow or rain or whatever will stop us...should say something about...except for the locations where we don't even try, we leave it up to you to slog through the weather to get your mail.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

re-run - red-white-black

yup - still a fan of red-white-black.

still a fan of pointed nib doodling over the top of black. the black is usually a waterproof marker of some kind.

tall lanky letters - love them
these are a bit like neuland. once again, if you have never done any neuland, i highly recommend them.

doing all these re-runs gives me an opportunity to do better labeling.

Friday, July 8, 2016

thank you ---the break is over

thanks to everyone who had suggestions or encouragement to keep the blog going. i have a bunch of posts scheduled and the exchanges will start up in august (i think sign up is on aug 3rd)

there will still be re-runs as needed. i have more excavating to do, but am happy to report that i can see the floor in a few areas plus i have unearthed some fun stuff to share.

i was happy to hear from a long time reader, bonnie. she used email since she was unable to leave a comment on the blog. as far as i can tell, google requires a gmail account in order to leave a comment. if anyone knows of another way, please let me know. because the blog is free, i am OK with having a gmail account - but i know some people prefer to stay clear of google. you are always welcome to contact me through email or snail mail.

the image is computer lettering from this site:
i just snagged the first thank you image that popped up - and did not look at anything else on their site.

again, thanks for all the help and support.

shout out to the brother - thank you for getting the scanner up and running.
i see a pie in your future. maybe saturday?

Thursday, July 7, 2016

penpals - chuck

chuck was one of the first people i met way-back-when i got into calligraphy. more than 20 years ago. and this is an envelope i have seen pinned numerous times on pinterest. it always makes me happy to see it.

i tossed it off in just a couple minutes and i am rerunning it to show that plain block letters can be fun and stylish. the secret is to put the widest part of the curves at the center or higher. look at the P-R-D bowls they are almost triangular. and the widest part of the C is in the middle. when you let the widest part fall on the lower half of the letter, they look sad and droopy.

this envelope also shows that you can condense and expand basic block letters as necessary. i've wanted more of these stamps, but have learned that they are highly sought after by stamp lovers which means you can buy them - but they are too spendy for me. i wish the too-big-to-be-aware-of-the-real-world PO would wake up and reissue the stamps everyone wants. they could even charge us more (not double - just a little more) and we would buy them. maybe we should write them actual letters with our good ideas. don't hurt yourselves when you fall off your chairs laughing.

cliffhanger continues...will the brother have mercy on me?  
sounds like he'll be arriving today.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

progress or no progress?

no progress on the scanner. found this yummy envelope on pinterest. linked to a blog http://alittleloveliness.blogspot.com/search/label/Recipes
i did not surf through the blog - it didn't look like it would have many envelopes.
does the brother want his pie delivered in a pastry envelope?
i think i want to make an entire meal that is enveloped food.

anyone care to brainstorm with me?

wontons and ravioli seem like logical candidates to be envelopes. also those fish dishes that are prepared in parchment paper envelopes. any kind of flour tortilla could be folded into an envelope with filling. i love this idea. for dessert, this pastry would work - but fondant is very foldable.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

uber ominous event

in theory, that might be true. someone asked me to letter those words for a retirement gift. sounds like some boss was retiring and that person had used that phrase a lot. i found the image in my picasa albums.  picasa has been discontinued, but is the only place i can get images any more.
big computer problem.

anyhow...we need to find out if it is possible for my brother who is officially retired from helping people with their computers will have mercy on me and come over and figure out why:
all the scans are gone from the old computer
there must have been a program that opened when i wanted to scan - on the old computer- and now it is gone
i can't get the scanner to talk to the new computer (or the old computer) - if i could, i could probably start scanning again
if you don't help me - this will be the end of the blog
i could post your address on my blog and you would be getting some mail, but i don't think it would be very friendly
in addition to the lemon meringue pie i owe you, i could probably find some rhubarb - and the good peaches will be in season soon

maybe the blogging-gods want me stop
or maybe they are creating a daily challenge to test me and keep all y'all hanging on a tiny little cliff every day

Monday, July 4, 2016

rerun + update

who knows, i might post every day even though i am taking a break. i just spoke to the third person who said she did not contact me when she saw that i was taking a break because she thought i might be overwhelmed and in a difficult situation. she also suggested that i blog something to reflect that this break is a good break resulting from good things and not a big dose of too-much-to-handle.

seriously the tipping point came when i had not realized that i had gotten to the end of my pre-scheduled posts. and i was not sure how to even find my stacks of stuff.

in the four days since i decided to take the break, i have found all kinds of good stuff to post. but, i am making myself wait until i get some tidying up done before i get back to new material on the blog. in the mean time i might let myself blog every time i have my noon coffee and insert an old envelope that makes me happy.

this previously posted envelope was done by sonjia, one of my best penpals. sadly, she died very unexpectedly and i was one of the people who helped find new homes for her art supplies and really fabulous books. i have helped families several times with the dispersal of art supplies and books. so, i vowed to tidy up my own space so that my family will not have to deal with my stuff if i die suddenly. tidying up is a really good thing (for me).

Sunday, July 3, 2016

staying ahead of the curve

here's a good idea for halloween.


i do not recommend surfing anywhere beyond this one tutorial. the website is a mishmash.

something else to note....that zip code  - 12345 -
i happen to recall that GE owns that zip code


all you will learn at that link is this:

The ZIP code 12345 belongs to the world headquarters of General Electric in Schenectady, New York.
Every year, GE gets thousands of mails from children who believed that it's only logical that Santa Claus has the ZIP code 12345.

i just wanted you to know that i don't make this stuff up. someone else might be making it up, i just pass it along.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

saturday post

thank you to everyone who left comments on thursday and friday. i, too, would check the blog every morning during my coffee time. and i always enjoyed comments. i appreciate hearing from you.

i am relieved to hear that the reason smash girl had disappeared (from exchanges) was that she was moving. welcome back. smash girl was the person who saved the blog from complete extinction in 2013

these two posts describes the other time that i thought i needed either a break or an end



shortly after the mail from smash - i heard from finnbadger. the two of them really kept my batteries charged - for 3 more years. and it's not that i'm worn out, it's that i put too many other things on the back burner and now i have some chaos that needs to be addressed.

the artwork today is by Peter Thornton. he was the first rockstar-scribe who arrived to teach a workshop. i later drove into chicago to take another workshop and also hosted him for another local workshop. his work is all over the internet and he is still teaching. you can even take classes from him at his studio - although i don't know how you find out about them. maybe miss cathy will tell us. i think she took a workshop with him recently.

Friday, July 1, 2016

sunday posts and progress reports

 yesterday i stopped off to see my brother. he checks my blog and saw that i was taking a break and  had a good suggestion. rather than leave the future vague, set up a new schedule of posts so that my readers aren't annoyed by checking back and finding nothing.

so, i will schedule posts to appear on sundays and i will include progress reports. hopefully there will be no re-gress reports. i'm sure i can think of something to say - once a week. at the very least, i can post my favorite images from the past. or new things i find during my morning surf.

this was another post that was scheduled for a sunday. jeri hobart does some writing like this. i wish i had made better labels so i could add a link to her work. this artist's name is nadya mamonova.


Thursday, June 30, 2016

taking a break / took a break

below is the post i posted on june 30th. i kept posting and responding to readers and figured out that i could run some re-runs of old envelopes rather than taking a break. so there will be something to see every day - probably. after i hit a half million hits i would like to get to a million before i actually retire. so we'll see how it goes. it took 6 years+ to get to a half million. i think i can keep up for another 6 years - and hopefully, i will have some new content pretty soon.

thanks to my readers who commented and helped me figure out a way to keep going daily.

below is the original post...

i'm taking a break from the blog because i have run out of time to scan envelopes. i'm sad to stop because i know there are several people who start their day with a cup of coffee and an envelope. my stack of cards and letters from fans is one of my favorite stacks....but the other stacks are out of control and it is time to do something about them. who knows, i might do some impulse blogging....or maybe post something once a month...just to let you know if i am making any progress towards getting back to the blog.

i know there were people looking forward to the next exchange. i'm sorry that the exchanges are also on hold...but i imagine i will get back to them eventually. i certainly have a lot of stamps left to use up.

the image today is from this blog.
it was going to be another sunday post. i had a couple of them scheduled - which is why there was a sunday post yesterday.


you have to scroll down to see this image. so far, i have not found any actual envelopes on the blog, but this would be a fine envelope with a stamp and an address tucked in some where.

uber surf worthy link

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

sunday?? guest artist

my head almost exploded in a good way when i saw this.

i guess it is by pablo dugaz.
it appears to be one of several pieces of mail sent to cecile pierre.

you may click along and see more nice work at the link


tomorrow i will explain why we are having sunday again.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

beyond the crunch - stamp map

so...the piles have officially taken over. there has been a delay in me finding the stacks of new mail, so you are going to have to put up with the items i see whilst i surf. a map made of envelopes and stamps.


viva has some fun stuff on her blog.

she teaches mail art classes for kids.
i should probably network with her....

Monday, June 27, 2016

graceful envelope - elizabeth walsh

elizabeth shared this with me. it is her entry into this years graceful envelope contest. you may view the winners here.

christy robb made the cut this year as well as several of her students. you can spot them by the Morning Sun, Iowa tag after their names.

i'm pretty sure i already posted christy's envelope. i try to live with *no regrets* but i gotta say - i regret that i did not do a better job of labeling my thousands of posted envelopes.


Sunday, June 26, 2016

sunday guest artist - NAOMI

this isn't even my favorite envelope off this blog. i missed off-topic (or guest artist) sunday last week, so wanted to get back to it and went surfing.

trust me, you will find a ton of ideas here


her name is naomi. i have not had time to find out more about her. maybe someone will surf around and let us know if there is more we need to know.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

rush job - kate amy amy phil

this shows the progression of the idea to make letters out of that serpentine stroke that is so fun to do. kate's was done impulsively. then the amy underneath was done a little more carefully, and the upper right amy was done with some guide dots that are visible since i did not think to bring a pencil to the waiting room. phillip's was tossed in as it was redundant (for the blog) i don't think anyone wants to see ribbon writing day-after-day. but it was a good one for lap writing.

given time and a desk, i think the serpentine lettering could go somewhere.

Friday, June 24, 2016

largest PO box in the world

my son was skiing in svalbard and alerted me to this giant post box. you can see it up close at this link.


svalbard is an unincorporated island half way between norway and the north pole.

a search of svalbard on flickr will send you to some lovely photos. there have been a few people killed by polar bears on the island, so the ski guides carry loaded rifles. my son said they did not see any bears. he also said that more people are killed by avalanches than by polar bears - but the bears get all the press. no - my son did not send a postcard - but he did send one from antarctica last year. i forgot to ask him if anyone handles mail on the island...since it is unincorporated.

bonus post today - since that photo in the other post is so pitiful.

rush job - florence rachael chuck

some ribbon writing and swirly-doodle-versals -

if i have time, i will come back and add something with some variety to this post.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

rush job - lynne

this is the beginning of a new series called *rush job*

they are the envelopes i sent for the may exchange and i had to rush through them. i actually had plenty of time sitting in waiting rooms, so, i spent a decent amount of time on them, but, the rush part came when i had to shoot phone photos of them before i dropped them in the mail.

and they were done on my lap. no desks in waiting rooms. i wish i had come up with some new styles just for waiting-room-lap-writing.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

crunch time ?

i got home on june 15th - and will be starting to schedule new posts. this envelope is still in a stack - but, i do not recall who it is from. if i find it before the 22nd, i will edit this post. it is a very stealworthy way to arrange the elements on an envelope. by now you should know that dots have super powers when it comes to pulling an idea together.

to everyone who sent mail while i was out of town. i will respond - when the dust settles.

this isn't exactly my house, but it is how i feel.

 source of photo

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

eric's 50th

this was the outer envelope for the last 9.

but - i did get 50 envelopes done for eric -
and it was a nice way to take a break from the seasonal chaos.

i suppose i should do a video showing how to make letters with the giant copic. you can also make these with an eraser and a stamp pad.

Monday, June 20, 2016

eric's 49th

it was fun to find eric's name hidden inside the word -america-

there would have been a better way to arrange this - but, the clock was ticking and i was very close to turning into a pumpkin....so, this will have to do.