Friday, September 21, 2018

Purple and Gold to Fatima - on Crumpled Paper

The envelope is printed with the crumpled paper image. This envelope has been in my stash for over 20 years. I know that because I remember buying it when my daughter was in high school.

I did not part with the piece of paper that goes with it because I usually send empty envelopes in the exchange. So, now I can make that piece of paper into one more very special envelope.

The lettering is fine - not uber-cool. But I like the bleedy quality and the contrast of the gold and purple. I have no idea what the *perfect* lettering for crumpled paper would be....


Potholder addendum. It's been crazy hot - and I parked in the sun - which resulted in the steering wheel of the car being too hot to touch when it was time to head home. I was thinking that I should keep some potholders in the car. Maybe oven mitts. They would pair nicely with my favorite ice scraper alternative - a pancake flipper. Not metal - the plastic kind for no stick pans. The ergonomics of the handle is actually much better than your standard ice scraper.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Bonus Post - Throwback Thursday - 73,000 yr throwback

Regular post is right below.

I'm not sure how long NPR keeps their articles up - so I will repost the copy and one photo and then my own personal rant afterwards.

I love to show students a timeline that illustrates two points in time. The point at which we started with actual writing and written records compared to the oldest known *making-of-marks* which were not alphabets and words. The point on the timeline for oldest known making of marks has been going back, further and further, as discoveries have been made and a few years ago it was exciting when it inched back to 40,000 years. Compare that to the oldest known writing system - clay tablets - 3500 B.C. - or 5,500 years ago. That would put the timeline at 42 inches long and known writing would be the last 5 1/2 inches.

With this latest discovery, we can extend the timeline to 73-inches. Wow. nearly twice as long. And it gets better. I lost the link, but there was an article including a video about some odd stones, carved into shapes that were long and slender. They've been found all over the world and nobody could figure out what they were until someone noticed that they made a tone if they were struck with something. So, they are like caveman xylophones. Am I the last person to hear about this? Maybe an alert reader will leave a comment on what they are called.

Previously, I would talk about how the *doodling* gets a lot of attention because it was the only thing that lasted - but there must have been singing and dancing and music and theater and sports. Now I know that at least the musicians left some traces.

So here is the NPR story:

Scientists working in South Africa say they've found the earliest known drawing. It was dug up in a cave where early humans apparently lived for thousands of years and left behind numerous artifacts.
The drawing isn't what you'd call elaborate; it's a row of crosshatched lines along the smooth face of a rock that may have been a tool for making ocher. In fact, the red lines were made with red ocher. The pattern (with a little imagination) resembles a hashtag. What's remarkable is that it was apparently made about 73,000 years ago. That's tens of thousands of years older than similar drawings made in European caves.
The researchers, led by Christopher Henshilwood of the University of Bergen in Norway, have previously found a sort of toolkit for making ocher at the site, known as Blombos Cave, that dates back 100,000 years. That evidence shows that early Homo sapiens were clearly making ocher a long time ago, though for what purpose is unclear. And they've found a piece of ocher from about 70,000 years ago with engraved crosshatching on it.

It now seems that they weren't just scratching marks onto things, but also drawing on stone with ocher. "Our microscopic and chemical analyses of the pattern confirm that red ochre pigment was intentionally applied to the flake with an ochre crayon," Henshilwood and his team explain in the journal Nature.
To test their idea, the researchers made up a batch of ocher and used a wooden stick to paint it onto a similar shard of rock. They also made an ocher "crayon" and used that as well. The drawn lines matched the crayon application most closely. The researchers say that's an interesting distinction, suggesting that a crayon might have lasted longer, while ocher "paint" would have been prone to drying up quickly.
Research team member Karen van Niekerk, also from the University of Bergen, says these lines appear to be more than just random doodling. "The archaeological layer in which [the drawing] was found has yielded other indicators of symbolic thinking, such as shell beads covered with ochre and, more importantly, pieces of ochres engraved with abstract patterns," she writes in the journal Ecology & Evolution.
These people used different techniques and media, she says, supporting the hypothesis "that these signs were symbolic in nature and represented an inherent aspect of the spiritual world of these African Homo sapiens," says van Niekerk.

End of article - and here is my rant.
It annoys me when every discovery includes theories about symbolism and meaning. Maybe some of it was just mindless doodling. I hang with a enough people who agree that sometimes the activity is the whole ball of wax. It doesn't mean anything. It's possible to make marks that have no content. I'd go further and say that the content-less work is just as significant as the content laden, but that's probably too far out there for a lotta people, so, I'll just keep that to myself. Except I didn't, did I.

Two Paintings on Teal to Jackie

A recent envelope from Jackie was done in the dreamy-est white lettering on kraft paper. It was way better than this - but any time I see white ink, I am inspired to pull out my white ink - or in this case white PITT markers.

This lettering is fairly ho-hum. But, I was happy that I found duplicates for about 10 of these stamps. Being able to use these in pairs is really helpful as I was not having much luck pairing them with other stamps.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Ruth's Birthday Idea for Skip and Peter

Ruth came up with this idea and I just love it. I've done it four times and I have not gotten the spacing correct on any of them. You'd think I would get out a pencil.

I'm thinking I need to do one really good version and then make a rubber stamp.

Here is another one. I thought it was super boring - all in blue. But I like monochromatic.

Maybe I need to try it where I do not care about the lines being justified. I like the words so much. I think Ruth might have had one more line that said:

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Iowa and Plant Guy to Anthea

While this one is not inspired, I do like the colors and arrangement.

There were a couple mistakes to disguise. I had an E in HASLER - HESLER. And the zip should have been 53562.

I'm fine with fixing things. Sometimes the need to fix something is better than just wanting to add something, but having the options be completely wide open.

Below is how it looked with some black. After I mailed it and opened this photo - I realized that I would have liked it better if all the black drop shadows had been done with the heavier marker.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Letters Mingle to Carole

The stamps were not affixed when I took the photo and I had a different stamp in mind for the 5th stamp - since this was the end of the Letter Mingle Souls stamps.

I took a picture of what I intended to do. But the overlap really bugged me, so I used one of my itty-bitty stamps. I use them only for emergencies because I suspect I will never find another sheet of them.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Off Topic Sunday - Have Potholders, Will Travel

Warning: silly fashion chatter. Skip this and scroll down for today's envelope.

A couple of you have been following my Swedish Death Cleaning adventure. I was able to discard an unfinished sweater that I had been working on for 15-20 years. It was an attempt to replace a favorite sweater. But when I sewed the pieces together - it just wasn't right so I boldly threw it in the garbage. It's the most egregious waste of a worthwhile raw material. But, it happened on a day where I simply had to start making some progress. I still have the favorite sweater and will just wear it in all its shabby glory.

I have another unfinished sweater that I started to make for my boyfriend who turned into my husband. So, it was started in 1977 or 1978. For the math phobic, that is 40 years. I have the 4 pieces finished, front, back, 2 sleeves. But the raglan shoulder seams do not line up correctly. I refuse to tear apart the sleeves and start over because they are solid cables on size 5.

At one time, I had a needlepoint project that I started when I was 8 years old. I was planning on keeping it and incorporating it into my end of life experience. But, it was so dang ugly. I'm thinking my end-of-life project will be a stack of mail. Addressed envelopes - and someone else will have to write the note that goes inside.

Back to the sweater. I went on Pinterest to get ideas for an alternative to use the pieces for something that would fit me. Oh.My.Gosh. The *alternative* sweaters are out of this world in both a good way and a bad way. Warning: if you are mesmerized by quirky knitting - you could waste a lot of time on Pinterest.

This model caught my eye. While I have not been able to find her name, she is featured in the Daniela Gregis runway shows, and you can see lots more of her by Googling that designer. In close ups, she reminds me a lot of myself. Scraggly pulled back gray hair. Wrinkles. I have never been into the rumpled, baggy, artist clothes. But this one - with the potholder necklace is very tempting.

Those of you who know me are saying, "Wait a minute. Jean, you are always rumpled and baggy." I know. But those are regular clothes - and not the ones that are supposed to be that way. Plus, I am now wearing a lot of hand-me-ups from my daughter. And I am only half as baggy as I used to be.

You can get a close up look at the model here. Also - note that in a couple shots, the models are wearing one red shoe and one blue shoe. Another tempting look to go with my potholder necklace.

Quilts to Lynne - Peggy's Quilt Blog

Pretty stamps - and I suppose I should have checked to see if Lynne has any interest in quilts. I do know several quilters who would have loved these stamps.

The colored pencil blending might not be my best blending...but I can't complain about the white space.

If you like quilts - below is a link to my friend Peggy's blog. I first met Peggy in college (1969-1972) and then she was the person who registered kids for art classes when I was forcing each of my kids to take an art class. None of them took more than one. They had other interests. But, my contact in the 90s with Peggy planted the seed for her to call me one day when she needed a substitute teacher in a kids class. She knew I lived one block from the art museum. So, I really owe everything to Peggy. My sanity. My warm and fuzzy relationships with actual people and pen pals. Had I not gotten into teaching I'm pretty sure I would have ended up at a funny farm. Full time mothering without art-ing was not a good fit for me.

Had I not started teaching kids, I would not have moved on to adults and I would have never started this blog. The original thought for the blog was a way to stay in touch with students. The steady stream of thank yous that I get from readers and exchangers is beyond gratifying and uplifting. *Note-to-self: write a proper thank you to the readers.

Peggy retired a few years ago and decided to start making things out of her gi-normous stash of textiles. I suggested that she not allow herself to buy any new fabrics - that she force herself to only work with what is on hand. Once in a while she will buy something and I get a call where I sound like her AA sponsor and she sounds like an addict who has fallen off the wagon. She also consults with me on decisions relating to the overall design.

Her quilts only follow the *rules* of traditional quilting very loosely. She's had two exhibits and both times, the quilts were very well received.

Of course, I'm the one who nudged her into putting them all on a blog. She resisted, at first, but I think she is pleased that she has them all photographed and can share the images with people who are not living in Des Moines.

So - if you are into quilts or art - you might enjoy this surf through a dozen quilts.

Peggy's Quilts

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Letters Mingle Stamps to Janet

It was very difficult to stop at this point with the lettering. I kept wanting to add something - but in the end, I let it go this way. Those colors are so odd - but I rather liked the whole effect and I was making real progress at getting rid of vintage stamps.

That white space in the corner might bother me. Luckily, I checked the list and discovered it was her birthday - so I can add a birthday greeting.

I like the way the two Es and the 3 are the only letters in the weird yellow-green-gold color. It was an impulse decision that worked out.

Friday, September 14, 2018

Fancy Blue Initial to Smash - Security Envelope to Carroll

The envelope to Susan might have been on the blog a while back because it spent a long time in a stack of half finished envelopes. I could never find a stamp that looked nice with it. This intaglio is probably the best we can hope for. It would have been lovely if it had been square.

I'll add one more envelope today in case this is a repeat. Carroll's is on a security envelope that I turned inside out. It looked better in person. These two were done in July when I tried to get all the exchange envelopes done on the same day that the people signed up so I was working fast and furiously.  Sometimes fast and furious results in fun stuff. Other times not so much. But - by the same token - working slow and steady is still only a 50-50 shot at doing something wonderful. So - it's best to not fret over how much time you have. Too little time, just crank 'em out. Lots of spare time - take it easy.

Keep in mind - I am only dishing this advice with respect to making envelopes or art. If you are a brain surgeon or an Uber driver or even the person cooking my dinner at my favorite restaurant...if you are on the job, you should avoid the extremes of rushed and lackadaisical.

Wow - I don't think I've ever seen that word in print. I did not know it had a k. I had to let the computer fix it for me. Maybe the computer is messing with me.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Bonus Post - Rainbow call for entries

This is just a rough draft.
The final will be posted once it is completed.
I'm really tempted to actually mail something like this to her at her address.
Today's regular post is right below this post.

This rough draft is for, Rainbow Penley, my son's girlfriend. Her birthday is Sept 26th. I put her name on the exchange this month (at my address) so that I could surprise her with a stack of fun mail.

So far I have three very fun envelopes from exchangers. Then it occured to me that there might be people who are not exchanging in September, but who would enjoy sending a Rainbow themed envelope. I guess it would not have to be Rainbow themed. She's the daughter of hippies (obviously), has a great sense of humor, and performs in public. She sings and plays the guitar. If I had a Janis Joplin stamp left, I would definitely use it.

There will be a drawing for a door prize from all the people who send Rainbow envelopes. I do not know what the door prize is - yet. I might post a list of options. I have quite an array of random interesting items. Or should we let Rainbow choose her favorite? Let me know which way to go with the door prize.

Your envelope must arrive by Sept 26th to be eligible for the door prize.
Late envelopes will receive a warm welcome - but no prize.
Here is the address if you decide to participate:

Rainbow Penley
420  44th Street
Des Moines, Iowa 50312

OK. Back to your regular post.

May PTEX from Maggie and Patty - Flowers and a Taco

Not a perfect pairing. Two nice stealworthy ideas. The floral border on Maggie's (top) and the border around the stamp on Patty's.

Happy white space.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

May PTEX from Suzanne and Jessica - Stacked Animals

These two from Suzanne on top and JessicaS on the bottom are so cute together because the proportions are perfect for stacking.

So cute. My least favorite sculpture at the art museum a block from my house is a stack of animals. I dislike it so much I won't even provide a link to it. I have trained my eyes to not even glance in the direction as I drive by - it is an out of doors sculpture. If I had unlimited resources, I would figure out how to replace it with this stack of animals.

If I had unlimited time, I would just make my own mini-sculpture of these 4 animals. Or maybe a very nice hat for Smash-girl. We had a series of bird-on-head envelopes. Finn might have been in on it too.

too many ideas, too little time.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

May PTEX from Sherri

Sherri's italica are superb. If you do italics - please note how her caps are pretty much the same height as the lower case. Often times, people make the caps too tall.

Another feature worth noting is the repetition of the squares. Several different sizes. Also - they are used in three different ways.

There is a strong rectangle component on the stamp - which is not exactly a square - but they are cousins - so the square details tie in with the stamp.

Monday, September 10, 2018

May PTEX from Lauren - Rope/Yarn Lettering

Lauren's lettering on my name looks handwritten, but the address looks like a font. I know it is not too hard to run envelopes through a printer.
But, I am not sure how she would have tilted the name. Although - there are those WordArt features - so maybe that was it. The tiny little drawing of the rope would have taken forever...wait a sec....that's not rope, it's yarn. See the sheep?

Lauren created a fun found poem inside a card. The poem was landscape, like the card, but I cropped it.

Sunday, September 9, 2018

May PTEX from Alison - Butterflies [Blogger/Comment situation]

These colors are so pretty. The white on the pink envelope is so opaque that I'm thinking it might be that correction tape. I have never owned my own but have seen it at my daughter's house. It looks really cool and if I allowed myself to bring new things into the house, I would get some - but alas - there are complicated rules about acquisitions. The rules about deaccessioning have become more and more relaxed.

***This is a comment in real time****

Something strange happened with Blogger, the host of this blogging service. In the past, if someone left a comment, I would get an email where I could OK it. For a while, I have noticed that nobody was commenting. What happened was that there were lots of comments - but Blogger did not send me the emails. I just happened to delve into the inner sanctum and found all kinds of comments.

I'm sad that I did not see them when they came in - and now it will be too complicated to go back and respond to everyone.

But, I have reinstated the *receive notification* option and it seems to be working. My apologies to all the people who commented - and then were ignored. I really enjoy comments. So keep them coming.

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Sept PTEX to CathyO

My September exchange envelopes are ready to mail.

On several, I wrote *empty* and then crossed it out and added an enclosure. I have a huge stack of items that were printed by a friend who has at least a dozen letterpress printing presses. Those are the old fashioned presses that use metal type. His hoard of presses and type is ten times or maybe even a thousand times greater than my hoard of nibs and art supplies. It's hard to edit out my collection of artwork produced by friends - but none of it will mean anything to my kids. So - I am sending it out in exchanges.

Feel free to toss it. I hope all the exchangers read the blog daily so they know what the insert is. I did not take time to write out or type and print and stuff this explanation because I am definitely beyond the tipping point of the hoard reduction project and am rolling downhill at an alarming rate.

Well, that might be an overstatement....

Sorry to spoil your surprise of what your envelope looks like, Cathy. But this one did not please me - so you have a bonus one inside that will be a surprise. Not that it is spectacular - but I'm not sure any of the Sept envelopes were spectacular.

Friday, September 7, 2018

May PTEX from Miss Cathy - Peace Rose Stamp

Miss Cathy is retired and has time to do beautiful cards and envelopes. Technically I am retired - but I don't seem to find time to pull out the nibs and ink or gouache.

I think there is rubber stamping on the envelope too. The Peace Rose stamp is nothing special design wise - but the color is so pretty. I guess from a design standpoint I should not say that it is nothing special - what it is is minimalist - which is one of my favorite principles of design.

Less is more.

Thursday, September 6, 2018

May PTEX from Thomas (string art?)

This one received a *WOW* from my husband who doesn't usually have much to say about the mail.

That swoop through the middle looks like the technique where you dip a string into ink or paint, place it on the paper, put something on top and then pull the string. Maybe Thomas will let us know if that's how he did it. If so - I am going to remember to try it with my grandkids next time I see them. I had completely forgotten about the technique.

I am also intrigued with the style of lettering - it is a cool hybrid of Spencerian and copperplate....

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

May PTEX from Kathy and Anthea (watercolors)

Watercolors from Kathy and Anthea.

Snarl-face at the PO worker who made the ugly black mark on Kathy's. There is no cancel on Anthea's.

Kathy noted on the back that she was not happy with her Neuland lettering on my name. It looks like she was doing the entire thing with an outline - and I gotta say - trying to draw the outline of a letter without writing anything first is really hard. Really.

Anthea's envelope is collaged - nice grouping of stamps. Somehow, I am never really happy with my stamp groupings - and always impressed when I see a nice grouping. I think mine don't work out because I hesitate to put way too much postage on the envelope. I keep looking at the pennies piling up. She put 79-cents on this one -  She only needed the kiwi -or- the butterfly - but she used both - which is much prettier.

Jeri is the queen of finding the exact amount of postage - and having it be a gorgeous color combination as well. I'm thinking she might put her stamps together - and then comes up with the colors for paper and ink....I need to interrogate her.

If you do a search for -Jeri- in the search feature - you will see all of the mail that has gone back and forth between us and you will see several very pretty combinations of stamps. I guess you can search any name - and see my exchange by name..... 

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

May PTEX from Trish and KateR - STEM Stamps

These two exchangers used the STEM stamps. Engineering and Technology. I did not buy these stamps - but they are perfect examples of how to spin very fun ideas off the stamps.

That vertical cancel on Kate's is so much fun.

Envelope exchangers have the option to exchange cards as well as envelope.
Trish sent the card pictured below.

Monday, September 3, 2018

May PTEX from Janet

Janet had the Cinco de Mayo stamps - I remember how much I loved them when they came out. If I had time I could dig back and find some early examples on the blog. I do regret that I did not do a tag on every post with the name of the stamp so that I could pull up sets of envelopes based on the stamp. Dang - that would have been so cool. But - there are over 3500 envelopes - and if I went back and labeled 10 a day it would take me almost a year to complete that task. That sounds very doable. The part that is not-doable is the part where I remember each day to go back and re-label 10 posts....

Big chunky lettering with outlines.....and tight spacing...with white space.
A tried and true recipe.
Stamp placement is also way better than putting them in the corner and keeping them square with the edges.

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Trip Report - off topic

Off topic - regular post below.

Yesterday there was a photo of my pen pal Marji in front of a NYC P.O.

The August exchange sign-up post mentioned that I was heading out of town for a couple weeks to my homeland. The only P.O. I photographed was the one in Winifred Montana. It is a town of 500-600 people about 3 hours north of Billings. A native son of Winifred did very well (after he moved to Oklahoma) and has been donating some lovely buildings to Winifred.

The post office is multi-use. The line of lettering under the *Winifred Community Center* says:
Museum Library Fire Hall City Hall Ambulence
The museum has the world's largest collection of Tonka toys. They are only missing one. And I have forgotten which one. Dang. I should have written it down.

The rest of the town is pictured below. It's really remote. North of this town is gravel road for 25 miles - then the Missouri River - then more gravel - Indian reservations - Canada.

One of my travel companions noted: As you drive through rural Montana, there is evidence of people and work being done (recently harvested wheat fields and bales of hay for livestock) but you never see any people and only one or two other vehicles per half hour. If anyone is looking for *the end of the road* - this is it. No need to go to Alaska.

May PTEX from Chuck and Lynne

These two look pretty together. Chuck always has his borders ready to go and then fills in the names as soon as he gets the list which means his envelope is frequently the first to arrive each month.

I often ponder the possibility of getting all of mine done as the names arrive - and then mailing them on the day the lists go out. I am writing this on July 4th - and I think I have all but 2 done for this month. Maybe this is the month I actually mail mine on the day the lists go out. We'll see.

Lynne looks like she might have a set of those markers that have a little nozzle on them that you blow through to get an air brush effect. Or she might be really good with the technique where you splatter by pulling your thumb across a toothbrush. This one makes me long for time to putter with the art supplies.....

Saturday, September 1, 2018

September Exchange Sign-up (Watermelon to Jessica)

One of my pen pals posted this on FaceBook. I'm surprised I don't take more pictures of myself at post offices.

Today through Sept 4th is the sign up for the September exchange.
Please send your info to jmwilson411 -at- yahoo-dot-com.
Please put info in a stack of name/address/email with no extra line spaces.

Jane Doe (CARDS)
123 Main Street
Ames, Iowa 50312 USA

Feel free to add the word (CARDS) after your name if you like to exchange cards as well. It is entirely optional. At least half the participants just exchange empty envelopes.

If you have a birthday in September, let me know and I will note that on the list. Observing birthdays is optional.

Beginners are welcome. While there are quite a few calligraphers, you are welcome to participate if you are a rubber stamper, digital artist, collage-artist, or simply make your own envelopes.

You get a list with 5 people to send to - and you will receive 5 envelopes. All we ask is to mail them by the end of the month. If you are open to being on two lists, let me know - that gives me some extra names so that all the lists come out even.

Any questions - just email me.

Last day to sign up is Tuesday, September 4th. I will send out lists on the 5th or 6th.

I will reply to your email that I have received your sign-up. If you do not get a confirmation from me, resend your email - I try to keep an eye on my spam box. Sometimes first timers' emails end up there.

This might be a re-run. I can't figure out if it is already scheduled to appear. I know I added watermelon seeds before I mailed it - and obviously - I added the street and house number.

Friday, August 31, 2018

Skiers for Chuck

The top one will be sent. The address will be in red and blue above the zip code.

The marker is drying up and it worked fine on the first attempt pictured below. Sadly I messed up the last name lettering. When I redid the first name, I had to go over it a few times.

Now that I look at it the botched one is a little hard to read.

There is another blog post about how hard it is to do outlined lettering. It might have already run or it might be coming up. Whichever way it is - I need to try more outline lettering and see if I can figure out why it is so hard and (possibly) how to make it *easier* or more successful.

I'm not afraid of doing things the hard way if I know that way will be successful.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Monsters for Jonno and Jesse

I need to find another 18 cents for these envelopes. Then I need to post another photo.
My new system of scheduling blog posts is starting to look like a to-do list.

No design tips.
I guess the tip is to use the lettering on the stamp as inspiration. An elderly tip - but still worth remembering.

Below is what they looked like when I added enough postage to get to 50-cents. George Washington was a good buddy to pair with the monsters. It seems mean to call them monsters. They are just dramatic characters created by someone else to entertain people. The real question is: Why are people entertained by frightening characters? Why aren't people entertained by the addressing of envelopes? Why doesn't anyone ever find my blog and ask me to star in a reality series?

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Frozen Treat Stamps to Grace and Heidi

There were some cute loopty-loo details on the Frozen Treat stamps. I'm not sure how many I used up trying to figure out which was the best style and pen or marker to use. But, before I had figured out what worked, I had used all of them.

Pulling out a stack of teal envelopes is always a treat for me.

I have realized that when the name of each person is in either the subject or body copy of the blog post, then I can put that person's name into the search function and see all the envelopes we have exchanged. I feel like I have already mentioned this - but maybe not. I need to start a file of all the helpful hints that I need to remember. But where would I put it?

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Mixed Colors and Fonts to Lynne (Alex's E)

There are several like this that will be popping up or have already popped up. Most of them have multiple stamps. Because I was tired of sifting through the random leftover stamps I decided to use a new stamp. I like the way it goes with the pretty blue Es. Plus it is an intaglio stamp which I love, love, love. Intaglio is the printing process that is like etching where the ink is slightly raised.

Plus - it gives me an opportunity to show my granddaughter's E. I recall making lots of Es like that when I was a pre-schooler. It warms my heart to see any kid who is inspired to make multiple cross-bars on an E. I have been tempted to show her how to do Es like that - but I refrained and am happy to see her doing it all on her own.

She has learned the lower case e - in pre-school. But does her brother Ben's name in all caps. For the longest time she wrote her name AXLE - now she does the Al - but ends with xe.

Add caption

Monday, August 27, 2018

April Exchange from Thomas

Thomas enclosed details about how he did this one. Crane's Lettra envelope - always a good starting point - ink wash - rubber stamps and hand carved letters.
Nice stamp - coordinates well with the envelope. I like the bits of white paper peeking in around the edge.

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Copernicus to Sara

The foreign destination stamp will be added. It will be the gold moon on the navy background. I'm tempted to add something to this one - but also concerned about messing it up. 

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Vintage Cartoons to Maggie

I think the style of lettering on the Maggie was supposed to go with the Dick Tracy stamp. Then I botched her last name so had to put the Annie stamp over the error. Then I did a pitiful job of replicating the word bubble. The only nice thing about this envelope is the white space.

Friday, August 24, 2018

Bonus Post - Air Drop *Tutorial*

The labyrinth I walked in Lewistown, Montana on my recent trip.
Today's regular post is below. This bonus post is a response to a reader who asked for tips on how to AirDrop photos from the iPhone to the Mac.

I put *tutorial* in *asterisks* because I just guess - and suspect that there are 100s of things that my phone and computer can do that I have not yet discovered.

Baseline information that applies to everything:
Your phone and computer need to be roughly the same age. If one is quite a bit older, it is doubtful that the newer one will want to communicate. While some people are highly annoyed at how quickly our phones and computers become obsolete, I think we need to be grateful for all the innovation and just accept that the changes are mostly improvements and we are not living in the olden days. The fabulocity of what we can do with our devices is remarkable.

When I turn on my iPhone and my Mac - they seem to recognize that they are siblings each one shows up on the other one. They seem to want to talk to each other.
So - if your phone and computer are new enough that they are happy to talk to each other - these are the steps that work for me - and they might work for you.

Maybe I should mention which phone I have and which operating system is on the computer.
The phone is the oldest version that they are still selling -an SE- it is 2.5"x5" I thought it had a number like 5 or 6 - but I can't find it. It is not one of the bigger newer ones. The Mac is High Sierra - thanks to the BHBrother who knows how to update a computer that is 3 or 4 years old - and getting to be an antique. Note to self - try to coordinate the next phone and computer upgrade to happen at the same time.

OK - try this

On the phone, go to Photos and click on All Photos which makes all the photos pop up. In the upper right hand corner, find the word Select and click on it.
Tap each photo you want to AirDrop and that makes a little blue check mark in the lower right corner of each photo. (Experiment with just 2 photos at first)
In the lower left corner, there is an icon with a rectangle and an arrow pointing north. That is the upload icon. Tap it. You should see the options for AirDrop and under that options for Texting, Emailing, etc

KEEP IN MIND - I think you need to be sitting in front of your computer and have it turned on and be holding your phone for any of this to work.

On the phone, you should see: Tape to share with AirDrop -
for me -- it is right next to an icon that has my Apple ID for the computer - the photo of me and my name under it -
When I tap it and it says in a blinking manner.....Waiting...Waiting...Sending....
and then switches to Sent - after it is done.

Here is where it gets tricky.
You have to be watching the upper right corner of the computer screen rather than staring at your phone.
A rectangle will pop up that tells you the photos have arrived.
You have to click on it right away - because it disappears after a few seconds.
When you click on it the photos will be in Preview.
You have to click on File and then Move to   - to put them somewhere where you will know where they are.
I often put mine on my Desktop - and then move them into folders.

If you do not see the box in the upper right hand corner - you will probably find the photos in the Download file

If you do not know about your Download file - you are in for a big surprise. It's a holding tank that fills up with all kinds of things - and if you don't keep it cleared out, it is both a blessing as well as a curse. You can find all kinds of things you thought you lost (blessing) - but the hours it takes to clear it out can be challenging (curse).

So, there you have it - a complete amateur, granny method for AirDropping.

If these directions do not work - here are some other ways to get help.
You may want to try them first.

Find a teenager or college student.
Call Apple tech support - they are amazing and very patient
Google: How do I AirDrop from my iPhone to my Mac
The number of things I have solved by just asking is staggering

Ghost Writing to Finn, Faye and Chuck

I did ghost writing for someone in June. I needed one more name to make the exchange lists come out even so I put someone on the list who is not an envelope exchanger. Then I did these - with her name as the sender. I put my address on it. So, I assume these three knew they were from me. I'm thinking they might have known they were from me because I do a fair number of these mixed styles.

There is some variation in how much extra doodle I add. I can't make up my mind which way I prefer. Either way - they seem fine.

I'd be curious to hear from anyone who thinks that one or the other is better.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Pueblo Pot to Maggie

I needed to send two envelopes to Maggie so seized the opportunity to send one inside the other - which meant I did not have to come up with the full 50-cents.

It was more fun to do an envelope with just one pot. It might not be very pretty on the screen. It's a William Arthur envelope - so the way the ink sits on it is quite nice.
Nice paper makes even marker ink look lovely.