Sunday, September 20, 2020

From Sam to Ellen

I'm not sure if this image is going to have decent resolution.
It was supposed to be the envelope for the August exchange sign up --
and then it disappeared. And then I found it. Blah blah blah.
This is boring chatter.

The envelope is not boring -- it's a lovely one from Sam - sent back in March when I invited people to make envelopes for my daughter's upcoming 40th birthday.
I just love it.
It is steal worthy.

The BigHelpfulBrother left a comment yesterday, politely pointing out that it was not a spider, it was an ant. He knows that I am stuck working off a small screen these days -- not a good excuse, but it's the one I am using. I do appreciate polite corrections. I changed spider to *creepy-crawly.* It's a good term to cover anything that includes bugs/insects/spiders/worms/lizards/larva -- I'm getting squeamish just making the list.

Saturday, September 19, 2020

KathyS - lightening/spider/dracula - not a spider - a creepy crawly

This is really cool - the way the spider creepy-crawly and Dracula are having a stare down. 

There is a bonus post below this post.

It's Aug 31 and I earned a little surfing time. No, I didn't. I just took some because the weirdness of everything was getting to me. And look what I found: It's an opportunity to take a vacation and study with an artist. How cool is that? Of course, I used a calligrapher to illustrate this blurb. This would have been so perfect for me to offer when I had my big studio in the duplex which was a wonderful guest house. But, I rather doubt anyone would want to come to Des Moines. 

Here is the link to the calligraphy option:

You can go to the main page and look at the whole list of artists. 90 artists in 27 different countries. I did not count how many are in the US -- not a lot. Of course, this is not an optimal travel time. But maybe s.o.m.e.d.a.y. people will travel again.

And it is not all applied art - there are some rather alternative choices. The whirling in Turkey actually appealed to me. Although, I would not be able to whirl myself - but, it would be fun to take my adventurous offspring - or maybe the grand offspring and just watch.

Bonus post - giant ball of stamps

Atlas Obscura has been mentioned several times as a source of interesting oddities. You can sign up for a weekly email from them which I enjoy. While I may not be interested in what they send, it does remind me that I can wander around and find other items. Today, I chose to start at their link to oddities in Des Moines to see if there were any that were new to me. Only one, a Bonnie and Clyde campsite only 30 minutes from my house. 

As the list of Iowa oddities dwindled, they started offering things from bordering states and Oh.My.Gosh. this giant ball of stamps (world's largest) - and the strangest part of all - nobody has added to it since 1955. They only started it in 1953. Bizarre. Why would anyone stop?  for the full story.

Unrelated tidbit: Iowa has managed to take only 4 letters and create a 3 syllable word. 

Friday, September 18, 2020

From me to A&B - Oct - USPS Stamp article link

I have a feeling this already ran - but I like it well enough to re-run it. Or maybe I should add a second one. Or did I run all my halloween envelopes in 2019?

I do know that I have too many done with the wide 1-inch Copic marker. Is there anyone other than me who uses them? It's pointless to keep giving ideas for how to use them if nobody has them.

I think Rachael told me that she did not receive this one. That means that I must have posted them last year. But how could I have done that?


I like that little cake.
I like the lettering - but I can't imagine it is inspiration for anyone.

I can't remember if I already posted this.
It's a wonderful article about the designing of USPS stamps.
Submitted by the ineffable Jackie.
(The only reason I know that word is because Jackie used it on an envelope addressed to me)

and don't miss all the links to more articles within this article

Thursday, September 17, 2020

From Leslie - bloody nice.

I'm using bloody the way the British use bloody. Or - the way I hear it in movies. I can't tell if it is actually swearing or just an expression. I avoid swearing on the blog - because it doesn't seem necessary to make my points. It seems that -currently- swearing is not as objectionable as it was 50 years ago. But, I digress.

This is a very fun mailing.
It's getting the stealworthy label.

Real time comment:
This is fun -- reading what I wrote last year and adding things I have discovered since then. 

I chose an eBook from the library: No Time to Spare by Ursula K. Le Guin. It is a book of short essays and one of them is about the dramatic increase in the use of a couple words that were formerly swear words and seldom used in everyday conversation, but are now used abundantly.
She does a perfect job of expressing my observation. When I read the writing of trained writers - it makes me wish I had time to actually take a course in writing, but as the title (No Time to Spare) confirms -- at a certain age, one has to accept that one has run out of time to do any number of things.

If you just want to pick up the book in a book store and read the one chapter - the title is:
Would You Please F***ing Stop?

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Leslie's spider web and Kelly K

Our first Halloween idea.

LOL -- this is a real time comment. Yesterday, I talked about the beginning of the halloween themed mail. Clearly, I thought this was the first one. 
Embrace the chaos.
You can say that again.
Although, it was fun to see that I *dated* the post -- so -yes- a bunch of posts that are coming up were written long before the pandemic hit.

A very clever use of the Kelly artwork. Clever way to add another faux-stamp.

Cute spider.

Interesting spider web ---
I remember last year, I sent Leslie a spider themed envelope and added a note that the spiders must have been on LSD.

Maybe I can find it and post it tomorrow.

Keep in mind, I am writing this on the Friday after 2019 Thanksgiving. 2020 is the year of *get 'er done.*

Embrace the chaos.

Bonus post - reminder - NOVA writing/alphabet 2-part program

 Remember that PBS program I mentioned a while back.

Here is more info from an email that was sent out to the New Mexico guild. I'm not sure how I got on their mailing list -- but - they have the additional information about Passport - which is good to know.

On Wednesday, September 23, PBS-NOVA will air the documentary that Brody Neuenschwander previewed for us at his lecture at the San Francisco Public Library last summer: A to Z: The First Alphabet, Discover how writing—and eventually printing—revolutionized the spread of information. The second part will follow on September 30: A to Z: How Writing Changed the World, Discover how writing—and eventually printing—revolutionized the spread of information.

See the NOVA | PBS website for information. Check your local listing for schedules.


PBS Passport is a member benefit from participating PBS stations that gives eligible donors and supporters extended access to an on-demand library of quality public television programming online. For more information about the Passport membership benefit, check out the PBS Help Site.

This was on Pinterest and I didn't figure out the original source. It looks like Edward Gorey. I love it. 

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Bonus post - Hoard reduction update

Today's scheduled post is right below.

This envelope popped up this morning (Sun, Sept 13) while I was looking on Pinterest for take-it-easy-on-the-USPS ideas. I clicked on it and was amused to see that it was for the May 2019 exchange, posted in July 2019 and my chattering was about how I thought I was getting to the end of my hoard reduction. LOL. Here it is over a year later and I still have quite a few stamps left. Although, I predict I will be done by the end of the year. And this time I think it is a realistic prediction.

And -- I wanted to insert a *YAY* - because after endless confusion on how many days were left for me to fill, I simply set a goal of filling up all the rest of the 2020 days - and I did it. In theory, I could just forget about the blog for the rest of the year. But, I'll be starting on January pretty soon.

Double *YAY* -- I have 15 halloween envelopes started. 

My inspiration to get all this work done was feeling despondent about the multitude of unfortunate situations in the news. I can't always yank myself out of doldrums with envelopes. But this time I did. Hopefully everyone is coping and out of the direct threat of something serious.

From Chuck and Jessica - Pumpkins

Chuck (above) and Jessica (below) both did pumpkins. Part of me wants to compulsively tally which halloween imagery is the most popular - and least popular. But the other part of me asks, "Is that really useful information?"


Real time comment : I scheduled all the halloween mail - a looooong time ago. Probably pre-pandemic. I wanted to run all of them before Oct 1st - in case anyone needed ideas for the exchange. Maybe it seems like I am rushing the season -- but -- we are now in a season-ambiguous-zone. Ambiguous . 

Brace yourself for skeletons, spiders, witches, cauldrons. bats, and the other 25 items that I do not recall. I saw a list of 30 halloween images and wanted to save it - but my hoard-reduction-vow wouldn't let me. I just Googled *30 halloween drawings* and there are a ton of lists -- if you need one.

Monday, September 14, 2020

Mailbox from Alyce

I'm writing this on Aug 1st - and just found this in a stack of mail that arrived in June and then it was buried until today. It arrived while the grandkids were visiting and then I took off for 2 weeks and then I started the big painting project -- and today is the first day I even opened the closet that had all the *stuff to do later.* I would not want anyone to think I did not enjoy my mail promptly.

I love the card. Alyce knew I would. I love the envelope just as much. My obsession with the post office has grown exponentially since my son started working there. It's going to be a real challenge if he doesn't end up loving the post office. I was always vigilant about supporting whatever my kids were interested in. So far -- it's going well.

Sunday, September 13, 2020

Valentine from SueM

I would not have guessed that this was from SueM.
I do not recall seeing any of her work with lots of curls - but I do love it.
Her postmark gave her away when I pulled the envelope out of the mailbox - it might have taken me a minute to figure out who it was from. The italics might have been enough for me to know.
I always play the game where I try to guess who sent the envelope before looking at the postmark or return address. 

Saturday, September 12, 2020

Collaged envelopes

Here is a link for my collage-y friends.
Margarete has a ton of stuff on her blog.
This is one page:

Here is her main page:

She likes vintage items for her collage.
Plus she has a collective and it looks like they do some exchanging.
So, if you are obsessed with collage - maybe you want to give it a try.

The envelope pictured is not my favorite thing on the site. 
But, it is fun - and it's nice to post some variety.

Obviously, it is the antithesis of what we are planning to do to give the PO a break.
But, I had this scheduled a while ago -- and I am not going to start rearranging my blog posts. Except I do, sometimes. Grrrr.

Friday, September 11, 2020

Bonus post - Roman Opalka

Today's regular post is right below. 

I'm inserting this image and link to an article because it may be of interest to people who like numbers -or- people who like tidy rows of handwriting -or- people who like obsessive ideas -or- you might think it is ridiculous. That's my favorite part about art -- it's all over the place and doesn't fit into tidy pigeonholes.

I saw one of Opalka's paintings in the late 70s and was fascinated. The image stuck in my head. One of the earliest things I remember searching for on the internet was *artist who paints consecutive numbers* and -voila- there he was. 

Roman Opalka 

Valentine from JeanR

This might be string art - or maybe not.
The card and envelope do not look like they were done together, but, I like the idea of doing the pulled string thing by putting the card and envelope face to face so you get the same image. I also like the idea of not keeping the two images together. Mix them up.

Really nice lettering, JeanR. 


It is Friday, Sept 4. 5:43 pm. If I let myself watch a movie, I will fall asleep, miss at least half the movie  and then have trouble sleeping through the night. Surfing keeps me awake and I found this. It is off topic - and this is just one of the options they have for very small group tours. This one even offers private tours. So *we* could arrange our own. Not that this will ever happen - but I do like the idea of a little trip for exchangers where we meet in person. Three days would be long enough. 
At the bottom, you may click on [All Trips]
and see all of the other options.
Not that world travel is recommended these days - but we can dream.

Did I ever post the website where you could go study privately with artists?

Thursday, September 10, 2020

Paper flowers in an envelope

I'm inserting this comment in real time.
Since most of you probably don't go back to see if anyone left any comments, here is a comment from Eliece - with another plague book to recommend.

I currently have 6 books on reserve at the library. They are ranging from 2 to 10 weeks for length of time before it is my turn. And Year of Wonders is a 10 week wait. I bet it has been getting a lot of mention in a variety of places - now that we are all jabbering online.

Thanks, Eliece. Hamnet has 21 people on the waiting list for the hard copy. I'm only third in line for the audiobook.

I, too, enjoyed "Year of Wonders" which I read in 2008. Little did I think at that time that I would ever experience a pandemic. Then last month I read another plague book. This one was "Hamnet" (not a misspelling, BTW) by Maggie O'Farrell. I highly recommend both of these.


This appeared in MyMet back in June.
I highly recommend MyMet - if you need more stuff appearing in your email box.

Here is a link to the Etsy site with this envelope.

There are all kinds of other cut paper items.
This one is $1,200.
Free postage.
All the way from Russia.

or maybe it's more fun to look at her stuff on IG

This one is getting a stealworthy label - in case I ever have time to come back and try making itty bitty paper flowers.

and here is a tip for surfing...
when you see someone like Lissova - who has really cool stuff - and then notice that she is only following a few people - check out some of the people she follows and you will find some really good ones
like this one
who has some good DIY instructions 
for easy flowers.

Well, they are not all easy - but some are.

Alice is following 500+ people - too many.
Lissova is only following 150 - so the chances of finding some really good ones is higher.

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

From Sam to someone

I still need to go through the emails from Sam and pull out things that will of interest to readers.
I have several folders of images that Sam sent to me before she died. 

As mentioned a couple weeks ago, I had about 40 posts to fill so that the whole year was scheduled and have run about a week of Chuck's followed by a week of Leslie's. They both responded to my call for more photos to share. And Leslie gets a gold star for providing some commentary about some of her envelopes.

I have to post them in groups or I will forget which ones are posted.
So, I am pulling out one from Sam - and then I will go back to the Chuck and Leslie envelopes.

Thanks again to those of you who have sent envelopes for me to post.
If you have not seen yours -- don't worry - I will get to them.
But, it will be after I get back to my computer and who knows when that will be.

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

To Leslie from a penpal

Leslie says  this is from a new IG penpal. 
I'm not sure how one establishes new penpals on IG - maybe you just leave a message or maybe there are direct messages. I've heard people talk about DMing. I have not had time to figure out social media - except for the way the blog works.

This is a lovely design - stealworthy :-)
which is the main activity on IG that keeps me from learning how it actually works.

I am adding this postcard that Leslie sent to me.
I am 99% sure that it has already been posted, but it is in this folder - 
so I will add it - just in case my memory is out to lunch.

The postcard is collaged with some fairly thick items.
They were adhered very well and it went through the PO machines just fine.

Shout out to Valerie in CA - you left a comment - that was hiding - and I just OKed it - but thought I would reprint it here - because there might be other readers who are enjoying all the Black Plague info. Plus, I love hearing from people who enjoy the blog. It keeps me going. 
I've got the book on order from the Library. Thanks for the recommendation.

Jean, thank you for inspiring me with the content you post on your blog. I love the random stuff too. If you're a reader of historical fiction, I can recommend a book I loved set in Europe during the Black Plague in 1666. That plague was a BEAST, coming and going several times. The book is called YEAR OF WONDERS by Geraldine Brooks. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
Valerie in California 

Monday, September 7, 2020

Dots from CathyO - Aug

CathyO has some fun shimmery ink that goes perfectly with the Celebrate stamp. Her address is a nice example of how we will be doing our addresses. The squares on the caps remind me of the squares on Chuck's original inspiration envelope.

CathyO learned the "Chunky Caps* from Amity Parks in a Zoom class. There are a ton of really good classes - more are popping up every day. I'm not sure where to go to find them. People who know John Neal can list their classes with him and he posts them in his newsletters. 

The idea for the card came from Brenda Walton's Instagram. CathyO kindly let us know that so we can add it to our list of places to go to find good ideas. Brenda's work is super light, whimsical, and easy to emulate. 


Sunday, September 6, 2020

From Janet to Leslie -- Leslie's blog

It was fun to read Leslie's comments with this one. It is from Janet to Leslie and Janet said she got the inspiration off the blog - from one of my envelopes. It does not strike me as a riff on any particular envelope of mine. I do so much outlining, that there are quite a few that might have been the inspiration.


Leslie started a blog just for ruling writers and folded pens.
I have a link to it. If you are viewing on a desktop screen, it should be over to the right if you scroll down. On a phone or iPad - you probably have to click on those parallel lines that are the portal to other options.
Once you get to Leslie's blog
you need to look at the different pages.
She has a ton of stuff posted - but it is not in *posts*
so you will not find it if you think you are going to just scroll down.

Headings are:
Types of pens
Getting started
Homemade pens

Leslie left this information about her new blog in a comment.
Of course, I have been forgetting to check my spam - so it was in the spam.
Luckily, we have found it.

Leslie has another blog that you can find by going to her profile
or using this link

I can't believe it has taken me this long to post links to Leslie's blogs.
Although, I can believe it, because I still have the list of things I needed to get done before my first baby arrived - and she turns 40 in November. There are a couple things on the list that I still think I might get done before I *catch the westbound.* 
How many people remember where that expression comes from?

I almost forgot
Leslie also has a Pinterest account where you can start surfing for more folded pen images

Saturday, September 5, 2020

Bonus post -- Awesome exchangers and News from Newton

This postcard arrived on Friday from a scribe friend. I''m not sure that I have done anything awesome - I guess she's thinking I'll send something fun in the mail.

Even though it is not original artwork, I thought the sentiment was perfect for all the people who signed up for the exchange--- because you ALL did a beautiful job of following the format. I am so happy. Copying and pasting was a breeze. And I will get the lists sent promptly.

Additional good news from Chuck -- he has his cable and internet back - after the derecho storm nearly a month ago. There are still piles of debris in Des Moines and I am sure there are communities that are still struggling. 

What next?

Today's regular post is right below.

From Leslie to Janet

Front, back and insert from Leslie.

Leslie says:
 I call this Altered Mondrian, as it goes with the quote on the insert
 (Alter your life by Altering your attitude.) 

Jean says:
If you are not familiar with Mondrian's work, it is very linear and exacting. I recall seeing a book about his work and it was interesting to see his early work - some trees that looked like trees - and then gradually they became more and more geometric - and eventually, his work was very abstract. Leslie's work looks like she is *walking back* through the steps he took.
Very cool.

Here is an opportunity to go down a very deep habit hole. It has nothing to do with lettering or mail but I know quite a few readers are also into sewing and/or quilting and/or other fiber arts. My own journey started when I was 8 and my mom taught me how to sew. I loved sewing and over the years graduated from cotton to wool and then one day I discovered silk. My dad had brought some home after WWII for his mom (my grandmother) and she had never used it so she gave it to me. It was dreamy and once in a while I would splurge on some silk and make something. We've all heard that silk is made by worms - but, I really never bothered to learn anything about the whole process. The link is just his most current blog post. But, if you are interested, you can wander around and learn a lot about silk. I went back and read some posts from when he first started - and they were very interesting.

He teaches - and this excerpt really caught my attention:

I’ve been living and making my living in this 650 year old mountain hamlet and 150 year old silk farming house for over 25 years now. I didn’t think much about it and basically enjoyed the time and seasons go by. 
Showing up in Japan on my 25th birthday with a backpack and a single five-word-sentence from a conversation with my bestie Ingrid Mclainewhen I told her I was going to try to set up a life in Japan. 

I also followed a link to this place and was lost for a while. It's only 10 am -- so I guess it wasn't all day.
These people choose to let the moths live. Others choose to boil the cocoons, kill the worm, and harvest the silk promptly. 

That original silk that my grandmother gave me might still in somebody's closet. I cut up the dress and made a shirt for my renaissance tribe costume. And then I gave the costume to a lady in Minnesota. Maybe she has tossed it. Or maybe she uses it... somewhere I might have a picture of me in the costume. I really liked it. But, after setting up a booth at the local renaissance faire (they invited me) I realized that I did not fit in. I'm not into cosplay. Plus, all *those people* were illiterate - so, we just weren't on the same page. 

Friday, September 4, 2020

From Leslie to Janet

Oh, wow. I just realized that Leslie added comments when she sent me photos and I can use her comments and you will not have to listen to me babble.

Leslie says:

I originally did a silver design, but didn't like it, so decided to add Janet's name in blue metallic ink. Then I kept adding more embellishments and it turned out "celestial" looking. I didn't have a good stamp to match though.  :/      7. is just the env. with an insert I did to match. Started out as a bleach experiment, then I kept adding layers. Turned it into a bookmark (or whatever she wants to use it for!)

Thursday, September 3, 2020

Aug dots from KateR

Choosing gray for the lettering was such a good idea and so far Kate is the only one who thought of it. It's a very good idea to go with this stamp. Kate was on a Neuland binge for a while. A recent blog post had her February envelope - red Neuland with white highlights. Notice how her O is not droopy. Kate and I have had some discussion about the ways to make an S in Neuland. This one starts out fine. The top curve is perfect. Then the middle part gets a little narrow. You can solve this by twisting the nib a tiny bit, to make sure the full width of the nib is sliding to the right. It goes a little further than it needs to. The lower curve does not need to extend past the top right hand corner. She ends in the right place. The S is often tricky. 

Kate gets high marks for little block printing. I do not have a single complaint on the letters. The d is stellar. If I have to find one thing - it's going to be the top stroke on the 5 that bursts out of its allotted space. And maybe that very first 4 is reaching over to tickle the 2. 

The way she did the address is fine - and works for our be kind to the post office plan.


Wednesday, September 2, 2020

From my Parisian penpal Cathy

 Huge shout out to Cathy in Paris. I know I have a previous envelope from Cathy in Paris - which is in my stack of mail that I keep thinking I will get to -- I'm pretty sure it arrived in October of 2019. And there is mail in that stack that is older than that. So -- maybe this will nudge me into having a catch up day where I make myself do all of them. It could happen. 

Cathy knew I would love all of the stamps relating to La plume. I have not gotten around to translating everything on the stamps, but I will. Unless she wants to drop me an email. I also loved her stationery inside the envelopes. I photographed the back too, so you could see the laser cutting.

The letter was on three pages - one in each envelope. The second envelope came first so I was a little confused. A couple days later the other two arrived - and then it made more sense. 

Thanks so much Cathy -- your calligraphy is lovely.

and at the bottom -- something I did in high school popped up during my Swedish death cleaning. It was my wretched attempt at calligraphy when I had no idea where to even begin. It was the cover for my high school's literary magazine. Fifty+ years ago. I think I found the original in some boxes of ephemera and tossed it. I am not going to burden my kids with stuff that has been following me around for decades.

I read an interesting book with 150 stories about one special item that a person has kept. It was a fun read. Not a book I would buy - but worth checking out from the library, if you like short blurbs. 

What We Keep

The book has helped me to toss anything that doesn't have a good story. Also, I am remembering to take pictures - in case a good story comes back to me. 

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Sept Exchange Sign-up (Kate to Lynne )

I'm sure jealous that KateR still has some of the Oscar de la Renta stamps. Kate has just started working with her folded pen and she's doing really well. Because of the pandemic, she's not able to take any classes or workshops. I pointed her to some YouTube tutorials. I think you can see how beginner friendly the folded pen is -- as long as you have had some other lettering lessons. The way first and last names touch in two places is very nice.

Sign-up for the September exchange is Sept 1 through Sept 4.
I will send lists on the 5th (or 6th)

To participate, send the following info in the exact line-for-line format.
(CARDS) means you wish to exchange handmade cards rather than an empty envelope.
(birthday) means you are celebrating your birthday in Sept -- birthday themed envelopes are optional.
(2 lists) means you are willing to be on two lists if I need to make the lists come out even.

Jane Smith (CARDS)
1234 Oak Street
Ames, Iowa 50110
(birthday) (2 lists)

The exact line for line format is very helpful because I have a terrible time transcribing information. It is a hideous affliction to be unable to read emails and compile the info into a list, but, after a few years of trying, I just need to accept my shortcomings and ask you to follow the format.

Thank you sooooooo much.
And I am happy to report that in August - I only had 3 easy edits to make - so all y'all are doing really well. THANK YOU!!

Monday, August 31, 2020

From Chuck to Shannon

This one looks really nice with all the hangy-down parts and no ascenders. 
It gives a nice overall shape to the name. 


The short blurb above was written a while back.
It takes a lot of patience to outline in a second color and keep it even.

Shout out to everyone who is stressed, weary, worried, weathering storms/sickness/etc.

I do not have any suggestions for how to cope -- I'm just shouting out.
I like that expression - shout out.
It wasn't around when I was a kid and I have no idea where it came from.

Obviously we have Google.
One moment please.
This is what I found - just the first hit -- I don't have time to do further research.

The origin is not the 1993 2Pac song. Rather the phrase was popularized after the 1991 release of the single “Born and Raised in Compton” by DJ Quik. At the end of the song, Quik says “and right about now, I'd like to send a shout out to my boy Teddy Bear . . .” and then mentions a bunch of others.

So, maybe that's the true origin.

As, I said, I do not have any suggestions for how to cope. We're not all in the exact same boat - but I think we're in the same flotilla. I always liked that word flotilla. It reminds me of flotsam.

Last update from Chuck: still no cable or internet.

Sunday, August 30, 2020

Aug exchange from RachaelT

 As you may recall, in August I tossed out the option to use the celebrate stamp because I love dots and because Chuck had thought of a very clever way to use square dots. The range of inspiration that arrived in my mailbox was the best part of the month. There are still a few left to arrive - and I refrain from having favorites. However, there are so many fun one, I am going to bump a few previously scheduled posts because it seems like we could all use some fun.

This one from RachaelT is so clever - to take the dots and use them in stylized flowers. Most of us use white envelopes - but it was nice to realize that this is a perfect stamp for almost any color. It will be so helpful on my quest to use up my orphan envelopes.

While the address is clear and easy to read -- I might not steal this idea until Jan 2021 - when things might have settled down. Maybe there is a way to dangle the flowers from the top of the envelope?

Saturday, August 29, 2020

Easy for the PO scanners

This envelope caught my eye on Instagram (for the layout, not the lettering). I took a screen shot, so you can go to the person's IG account. I didn't see much mail art - but this one works for our plan to make our exchange envelopes easy for the PO scanners to read. I hope that jorosie doesn't mind if I make some observations about her lettering. Her E has a quirk that has always perplexed me. The center cross bar on the E is shorter. Same thing on the F. Where did that come from? I used to see it all the time when I taught. I remember being 4 years old and making the crossbars on my little black board - and then doing two vertical erasures - to insure that the crossbars were equal - and then I would add the vertical stroke.

Maybe it's because there are some Es with serifs where the center crossbar needs to be shorter.

I could nitpick at some more letters - but will restrain myself because we need the update on Chuck. There was so much in the news about how bad Cedar Rapids and Marshalltown were hit by the derecho that I forgot to check in with Chuck in Newton. It's only a half hour from Des Moines. He was without power for a week - and was still waiting for internet and cable to be restored last time we emailed. And our California exchangers are suffering through fires and heatwaves again. And I'm guessing it's hot everywhere. 


Listing all the hardships isn't a very good way for us to take a moment to distract ourselves.

And my alternatives tend to be plague, ticks, and mosquitos. I'll be working on some better distractions. Maybe ranting about somebody's capital E's is a *good* distraction. If you are the person who made that envelope, I hope we have not hurt your feelings. You have provided a lovely layout idea. I don't like to critique the work of the exchangers. Although we have an issue with some lowercase r's that I am going to bring up. Brace yourselves. Do you already know who you are? 

Friday, August 28, 2020

From Chuck to Mary Alice

Today (June 20, 2020) I have about 40 days to fill and then all the posts for 2020 will be scheduled.
I have about 30 from Chuck and about that many from Leslie - so I will switch back and forth between the two of them until the year is full.

I might switch things around later.
It will depend on where I am. I've decided to spend some time in Chicago to help my daughter with her kids. So, I figured I'd just fill up the blog for the rest of the year.

I will be able to drop in and edit posts, but, I'm not sure how I would add photos of envelopes.
So, here we go.
And I'm warning you -- the words might be really lame - because I am going to do 40 in one day.
I'm already struggling with how this one is going.

I'm laughing - on Aug 18th - as I see what I wrote two months ago.
I still have 40 days to fill. Either I can't count or I became distracted right after I posted this one.

Thursday, August 27, 2020

From Inta in May

Once again, I love Inta's penmanship. I can't tell if she found the paper or created the design - either way it is lots of fun. I like the juxtaposition of the black and white envelope and then the full color card inside. The stickers are puffy and the border is washi tape. I still do not have any washi tape. It's fun stuff.
There is more of it on the envelope.

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

From Maggie to Lynne

I'm 99% sure this is from Maggie. I've been asking people to send me images of the mail they send out since I have been on hiatus from doing my own envelopes. When they arrive, I park them in downloads and forget to insert an identifying name. This is useless information.

As I write this on June 19, I ponder where I will be on Aug 26. 
Wherever I am, I will remind myself to do a search for *Maggie* and see how many envelopes pop up. Maggie was one of the first *regulars* to join the exchange as it was ramping up. There are probably a ton of envelopes - and this one made me wonder if all of her envelopes are pointed pen? No reason behind my wondering -- just curious.

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Blogger has pulled the rug out from under me

It is too complicated to explain -- and I don't know what I am going to do -- but in the meantime, I need to post something - to see if I can figure it out. Also, Blogger will not allow any kind of paragraph spacing which is weird. So -- here's my story. I ordered some Sugru - an amazing moldable putty/glue that hardens. The package did not arrive even though the tracking no. said it had been delivered. I talked to my carrier - a fairly new guy who I have been trying to befriend. He was very nice and told me yesterday that he would look for it and -voila- he found it at a house across the street -- who for some reason decided to wait a week before putting it out. Plus they know me -- so not sure why they would not have brought it over. Anyhow, my carrier wrote a nice note on the pkg. Sorry this is not an aesthetically pleasing image. Working on my technical difficulties. Today's regular post is below.

The Far Side - Blogger issues - Bonus Post

Scroll down for today's regular post. I am having trouble getting into the posts to edit them. So this is mostly a technical test - but the cartoon is timely. I want to see if this link works You will have to copy and paste - because Blogger is not letting me put in a link This is what you should see if you copy and paste: