Friday, May 24, 2019

March PTEX - Quilts to Tina and Lynne

There are still a few quilts left. These ideas were not the most spectacular - it was getting late in the month and I just had to buckle down and get them out the door.

Lynne's quilts are on a shimmer envelope.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Feb PTEX from Cynthia - mailbox

First time exchanger, Cynthia went all out on the option to send a birthday greeting to Viola for her 99th birthday. She enclosed it in a standard envelope. The blue mailbox is an illustration on a 5x7-in envelope. There is a tiny slit with two pieces of mail peeking out.

Next photo - you can see the tiny mail removed from the mailbox as well as the 2x3-inch kraft envelope that was inside the 5x7-in envelope

Close up of the kraft envelope with a tiny seal

Tiny card inside the kraft envelope.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

March PTEX - Blue Lace to Lauren, Janet, and Pam

The last of the lace stamps went out the door. They've been lots of fun.

Lauren and Janet's are done on Crane's envelopes. The heavy lines are Sharpie and the fine lines are G-Tec.

Pam's is done on a shimmer envelope with Sharpies. I have three sizes of blue pens/markers. Probably more if I dug through everything.

Oh.My.Gosh. If I reorganized all the pens by color -- that would be insanely wonderful.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Feb from RachelD and Faye to Viola

Hearts are fun in February - but they are just as welcome for birthdays or any time of year.

These are from Rachel D on top and Faye below.

I've shown Rachel's card - both sides.

I'm pretty sure there was a card inside Faye's with glitter and I meant to photograph it somewhere other than my desk - and forgot. And now it is gone.

Monday, May 20, 2019

Apr PTEX to Lynne - crazy quilt jubilee & Memory Lane with Maggie

This is a sneak peek at my April exchange envelopes. In March, I bought a set of 12 brush tip markers at Target. It was an impulse - because I was going to be in Chicago March 31 through April 19th and I thought if I had a fun new set of markers, I would be able to do my exchange envelopes while my grandkids were in school.

Nothing went as planned and I had to crank out 27 envelopes when I got home. I was not happy with a single idea - and none of the stamp choices looked right - but - I took my own advice and just dropped them in the mail. Maybe I'll get my act together in May.....

P.S.  It is May 15. I mailed the last of the PTEX envelopes yesterday and they were a hot mess. So, don't hold your breath, but, I think by June will be the month where all the vintage and orphans are gone -- and we will see if it creates a better environment.

After I posted the cool bicycle envelope from Leslie, Maggie sent me the image of her very first envelope. I found it in the archive. She used two stamps to make sure the PO was OK with taking extra time to figure out the destination.

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Feb PTEX from JeanR, Janet, and Smash

Jean did a pretty collaged card and tucked it inside an envelope that features Viola's name.

Janet's official exchange envelope has already been posted - she did an extra envelope for Viola. It's a nice stealworthy idea if you have a fun scrolly penmanship style.

From Janet - another fun design using her limited number of art supplies while she escapes the polar vortex.
From Smash - it looks like a deconstructed tea bag.adhered to the envelope.

Saturday, May 18, 2019

March PTEX to Gloria, Maureen, SuzanneB, GraceE, and INTA

Almost all of the abstract expressionist stamps are gone. There were 35 people signed up for the March exchange and when I got down to the last 5 - I pulled out ink and nibs and nice envelopes.

I did not pencil any guidelines, I just wrote - and enjoyed the feeling of nibs and ink on gorgeous paper.

They are posted together because they are so similar. I hope Gloria, Maureen, SuzanneB, GraceE and INTA are OK with mixed fonts. I guess some are more mixed than others. The point of the exchange is to have fun - and I always have fun when I get out the nibs and ink.

Friday, May 17, 2019

Feb PTEX from SuzanneE and Trish

There is one similar to this one, with my name, form Suzanne. It is a wonderful font to repeat - for Viola.

Since I need to gang envelopes to fit them all into one month,  the magical hot air balloons from Trish seem like a fun partner. The word that comes to mind for both of these is exuberance.

The flourishing that's coming out of the top hat on the card is similar to the flourishing on Suzanne's envelope.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Mar PTEX - Iowa to Phillip - May PTEX preview

One more in this series that was hiding.

Alison is an on-again-off-again exchanger. Sometimes, I get mixed up and make more than one envelope to people on the list. So this extra one for Alison has been in the stack. I was so happy when she signed up again. And, I enclosed a note telling her that I had one more - so I hoped she signed up in June, too.

Originally, I was going to put one of the LOVE stamps that had the stack of rainbow hearts on this one - but I used them up - so she gets the current LOVE stamp - it's not as good with the design - but it's OK.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Feb PTEX from Chuck, Troy, and Annastasia - kraft paper

Three people sent kraft paper envelopes in Feb.

The design principles to note are:
Chuck - played up the AV - and left some white space

Troy - let the name be a strong focal point and generally filled up the space.

Annastasia - wow people with some uber tiny hand drawn details. And then color them in (with watercolor). And then add gold. You probably have to see the hand drawn illustration to appreciate how fine it is. Maybe the close up shot shows...

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Good morning, Leslie

This envelope arrived yesterday and there was a note inside asking for a photo of it. Leslie wanted to see what it looked like after it was cancelled.

I am showing the back as well, because there is a faint orange barcode printed on the back.

Also, there is a clever little bicycle design on a card that Leslie included.

My husband brought in the mail and said, "If I get a vote, I vote this one the winner." He did not stick around long enough for me to respond. I suspect he knows that I am not running a contest.

Leslie's note added that her husband thought that the PO would not be too happy with this one. Technically, I think they do have a *requirement* that the address needs to be in a landscape orientation. If not, you need to add the surcharge for non-standard - like square. I think it is 27-cents. So, they probably could have done something - but, I suspect a lot of postal workers are not interested in nit-picking over details. I suspect when they see something random and also clever as all get-out -- they just send it along.

If someone want to do the research and send me the *requirements* for first class mail, I will be happy to post it. Or maybe send the link to wherever they post the fine print on what we are *spose* to do. I always get a kick out of how kids say - spose to - instead of supposed to.

Monday, May 13, 2019

PTEX to Viola - from Irene and Maggie

Viola is my my BigHelpfulBrother's mother-in-law. Or my sister-in-law's mother. She had her 99th birthday on Feb 22nd. I put her name on the lists for the envelope exchange and was very pleased with the results.

To the right is from new exchanger, Irene. Below is from Maggie.

Two nice examples of how to scatter a design element.

The teddy bear was tucked in Irene's envelope.

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Mar PTEX - Ab-Ex Stamps to RachaelT, Heidi, and Carroll

My favorite stamps of the Abstract Expressionist series.

I was not originally going to do a drip design - but - as luck would have it, a big blob of ink dropped in a pleasing place - so I added some more. I do not even recall which one was the original one.

Here are the rest.
Copperplate is the worst possible choice to use with these stamps.
What was I thinking?
Clearly, I was in a pseudo-psychotic state as I was saying my goodbyes to my favorite stamps. My emotional connection with them had a lot to do with the fact that they were the stamps I used on the save the dates for my daughter's wedding....that was huge.
The amount of mail that sent out to her guests was one of the best parts of the whole wedding. As I always remind people -- the bride and groom do not really need 100% of the attention. Focusing a bit on your guests is appropriate. So many guests sought me out at the wedding and gushed over the mail they had been receiving. We did one extra mailing - the week before the wedding that simply said:
See U soon. I really do need to get all the mailings posted somewhere....

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Feb PTEX - from Janet

The P.O. could not have been more agreeable in their choice to send this through, up-side-down and to refrain from making ugly x-marks over the stamps.

Once again - borders on the stamps. Why don't I remember to use that design element.

Inside this envelope was a front panel off another envelope that Janet started. She discovered that there was something on the back so she sliced off the front and sent it - because obviously she had spent a ton of time on it.

I'm not sure why she didn't just glue it to the front of a new envelope. It would have been darling with a border to mask the fact that the panel was adhered to a new envelope. Maybe she was going to do that -- and then the -ooops- down there by the 5 happened.

I appreciate the extra time she do a second envelope.
This style is lovely -- and I can see me wanting to give it a spin.

If you read the blog early - you might have missed the bonus post yesterday - so scroll down. I did not plan on doing a bonus - it popped up on it's own and I didn't want to bother taking it down and moving it. Too much information. Unless you want to commiserate about technical stuff.

Friday, May 10, 2019

May PTEX to Lisa and Holly - Flowers

Before the sign-up, I doodled some designs. It was on a day when I needed to soothe my brain. I do not recall what had gotten it riled up. Luckily markers and envelopes are the antidote to my unease with whatever is going on.

Clearly, my troubles are not that troublesome. One of the nice things about getting older is that I no longer have the energy to get truly riled up. Maybe it was a mistake to write that. Now, I have to brace myself for something to put me in my place. Seriously, there seem to be little people in my head talking to me. Well, know - not seriously. I think the conversation is with all y'all.

Lisa's shows my usual style of outlining everything after it is drawn.
Holly's shows that with the right stamp it looks better to leave off the outlining.

MarPTEX - to CathyO, Chuck,

That is not my best C. InstaGram was full of fat script with shadows and highlights - so I tried some.

I had finished up the Iowa stamps and then drifted off into lettering styles. Luckily, I smacked myself with a ruler and pulled out the next batch of stamps to use up.

The Abstract-Expressionist stamps. I'm still in shock that I was able to put them on envelopes and send them away. It was gut wrenching. I knew that it would be impossible to create envelopes that I liked - so I didn't even try. I just threw names on envelopes - and out the door.

I did not mail that one to Kate. I just took a picture and it will probably end up as an insert in a future mailing.

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Kate's NEULAND (3)

 Kate launched her Neuland-phase in January. I'm keeping this blog post open - in case I get more from Kate.

It will probably show a progression.