Monday, November 19, 2018

Sept PTEX to Heidi - Architecture stamp

I loved the way this one turned out. The lettering is a little weak - but I liked the gray envelope and the colors. I'll need to put another stamp on it - and then I will not like it as much. At least I have a second stamp that is the same - so it will not be curse inducing like the architecture mixed with Nevelson - but it will annoy me to fill up that space. Maybe Heidi can peel it off...after it arrives.

Sunday, November 18, 2018

From Marti to Rainbow + Me to RP

Marti sent the one on the top and I was messing around with that font that appears on the bottom.

The way Marti used different colors for each letter makes me want to re-do mine and use different colors.

There is no rhyme or reason to the order of the Rainbow envelopes. They will keep popping up on Sundays and then there will be a good chunk of them in late Dec.

Sorry if I have said this too many times. I'm cautiously optimistic that come Jan 1st, things will be more orderly.

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Thank you from Rainbow and Paul

Rainbow tried to post a thank you on the blog - in the comment section - but it did not come through - and it is better to put it in a regular post - since most people (all?) do not go back to look for comments.

Here is Rainbow's message:

Hello everyone, I just wanted to extend my sincere thanks to all who contributed to my favorite birthday present! I felt like a kid again, excitedly opening all your unique and thoughtful envelopes from far and wide. 

What a wonderful surprise!


And - a couple days ago there was a nice thank you from Paul Shaw. As you may recall, on October 24th, I invited readers to send a get well envelope or greeting to Paul Shaw, a calligrapher/designer/typographer who had multiple injuries from a random attack. Here is Paul's thank you:

Dear Jean,
thanks for spreading the word about my attack.Several of you followers have sent me cards and letters. I  can't thank them directly since I am uable to wrte and I  don't know their email addresses. I asked several colleges in the calligraphy world to help me thank the first group. But I will ask you to pass along my thanks to Janet Renaud of Iowa for letter received today.
Best wishes,

p.s. I had surgery last Tuesday on my fingers and last Friday on my right eye. I have a ne lens ad can see again, though the eye is still bloodshot. The  fingers should be healed in another 3 weeks and then rehab starts.The staples are gone from my scalp and I am told [I can't see it] that the scars are healing.

p..s this calligraphy was done years ago.

Paul Shaw

Paul Shaw / Letter Design
Blue Pencil
The Definitive Dwiggins
Legacy of Letters
Graphic Design Oral History Project

if you go to his website you will see all kinds of work. I did not realize that he designed one of my all time favorite fonts.... Bermuda. It has variations where the spaces are filled in solid as well as filled in with polka dots.

I just finished all the exchange envelopes - and am half tempted to throw them all away and redo them using this font. I will resist the temptation because yesterday I finally flipped the calendar over to November and was startled to see that the month is half over and T-day is next week. Dang.

and just because I feel like I have to include an envelope every day --- here is one from Pinterest that did not allow me to follow it back to the original image - so - if someone wants to speak up and take credit for it, I'm all ears.

Friday, November 16, 2018

Sept PTEX to Janet - Trees

Two days ago, the envelope to Patty showed this style of lettering. The one to Patty was done towards the end of the series. This was the first one. While there is ample evidence of zero planning which resulted in stacking and smallerizing - wonkiness is just part of life. A minor defect.

Color matching was going to be difficult - but these three layers were fine. The D is very weak - but, when I have 28 envelopes to do - we just have to put up with some ugg-mos.

The covered up street address is red - and I was pleased with my ability to wing it on the centering.

Additional comment in real time:
I have recently returned from an exhausting 2 week trip which involved me interacting with my blood relatives. Family gatherings = exhaustion. It's not them - it's me. I enjoy individuals - groups overwhelm me.

There was a fabulous stack of mail waiting for me when I got home - at least 10 exchange envelopes from October.... and then a surprise from Rebecca which will be posted as soon as I wade through the stacks of do-this-after-the-trip. I just wanted to let Rebecca know that it arrived and the whole package is fantastic. Also, JH - I was happy to get a real letter from you and will be responding by snail mail.

AS sent a lovely birthday card to my granddaughter - she loves mail. Thanks, AS.

When the last Rainbow envelope arrived, I gave it to my son to deliver to Rainbow. Yesterday he took me to lunch and there was the envelope in the car. I asked why he had not given it to her. He said,  "Oh, it got left in the car because I took it into the airport and used it as the sign that people hold up when they are meeting someone at the airport." Rainbow had been on a trip.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Ruth's Design - Ellen's B'day

IF you read closely, you will see that the word CELEBRAT - was missing an E. This design is blatant pira-tactical piracy of Iowa City Ruth's work. (Piraticious?) She makes fabulous envelopes and I saw this idea on one she did for her daughter. I believe she gave me permission to steal it. Rip-off. That's the word I couldn't think of. Yes, steal would have worked, but I have forgotten how to conjugate steal or maybe I know the word is stolen, but it sounds funny.

Below is an earlier attempt where I messed up and did not have enough room for the e in celebrate. I figured I could make it come out right the next time I did it - and then copied it too carefully - and copied the mistake. This was 5 minutes after the curse-inducing debacle posted yesterday.

There were several ways to tuck an E in - but I thought what the hay - - - you made the mistake A.G.A.I.N. so why not feature it. After I put in the big E - I realized that it would no longer work for the intended recipient - but - as luck would have it, I know an E-person with a birthday in November. Now, the trick will be remembering where the envelope is and mailing it on the appropriate day.

Here is the sample that led me astray.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

@#$%^&* (Sept to Patty)

In the middle of doing this envelope, I Googled *symbol swearing* and found out all kinds of interesting things which I almost included in this post - but that would have made it too long. If you are interested you may do the search and learn more.

For the September exchange - I was still stuck with random leftover vintage stamps. I chose a new font - something quick and easy and was pretty thrilled with how it evolved. This was one of the later envelopes - and it was fine with two stamps. I had two of the architecture stamps - but misplaced one - so I put the Nevelson stamp on and then - BAM - the other architecture stamp came out of hiding. Honestly, I think postage stamps are actual creatures who torment me because they want to stay at my house and are scared about going out into the world. Well, there is nothing like little stamp creatures messing with me to unleash my inner boilermaker. Yes, I actually met a union boilermaker. Boilermakers are pretty salty. So a few words of my inner-boilermaker words came spewing out. Then I figured I would just add the actual symbols. I see Patty in person, so I'm pretty sure that she will not take my cursing personally.

Here is my dilemma. I'd like to add some great big chunky symbols. But, I'm afraid that will get the PO all bent out of shape. So - this is it. I suspect I will try one more - with big curse symbols. First I have to think of someone who will not be put off by curse symbols.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Sept PTEX to Smash - Airmail

Another one from the day I got out some dreamy indigo gouache and an actual nib. Not much thought went into the direction I was headed - except for the part where I had no interest in penciling lines. It's gorgeous paper - leftover from a job and I shall miss it when it's gone.

The tiny letters are done with a .25 G-Tec. The non-matching of the blues is a bit bothersome. I used gray for the address and rather like the way that turned out.

Monday, November 12, 2018

Rainbow's Card from Janet

Janet's was so thoughtful to enclose the conversation she had with her grandson about this envelope.

Transcribed, in case you read the blog on your phone:

A conversation with my artsy, 9 year old grandson who often critiques my envelope art:
Kid: Why didn't you make a rainbow if her name is Rainbow?
Me: I wanted to use the energy stamps. And I thought everyone else would make a rainbow. And I don't have any rainbow stamps.
Kid: Then why don't you give her a Rainbow Energy Card?
Me: What is and Energy Rainbow Card and where do I get one?
Kid: I have some. They are Pokemon cards.
Me: Sounds like a good idea. Can I buy one from you?
Kid: I'll sell you one for $2.
Me: Amazon says 78-cents.
Kid: OK $1.50.
Me: I'll give you $1. Final offer.

The Pinterest Game - Re-runs

blog with christy's envelope

Pinterest sometimes sends people to my blog and sometimes not. It was fun to follow this image and discover this blog. I was playing the game: Search decorated envelopes on Pinterest and see which of my blog posts pops up first. Christy won today.

I really need to find some stamps that will lend them to a spin off of this envelope.

Below is one of mine that pops up pretty frequently

Sunday, November 11, 2018

From Me to Rainbow - Class Sample

This was an experiment during a class I was teaching. Class demos usually don't work out very well. It's too hard to talk and write at the same time. But, I do like to see if I can resolve the problems. I remember saying during the class that I always feel too limited in a classroom when I do not have my entire hoard of markers available. Sure enough, when I got home, all I needed was that dark purple.

This is Sharpie on the dreaded shimmer envelopes and I might have found something that I actually like doing on those envelope. I'll need to do some more and more importantly, I'll need to find stamps that are just right.

Wow. The thought of liking those shimmer envelopes is startling. I was not expecting the whole shimmer debacle to end well.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

July - from Maggie and Smash

Maggie and Smash are both east coast people. Smash is right on the coast - and Maggie is not too far from Long Island sound.

It does not make sense that Smash's has the Return for Postage rubber stamp. It clearly has a stamp....

Friday, November 9, 2018

Watercolors from Fatima

Fatima was another new exchanger in July. We are getting more and more watercolorists.

This one reminds me of an envelope I have seen quite often on Pinterest that I just love --- hopefully I will find it and be able to link to it...

The card on the inside is lovely, too.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Frozen Treats from Patty - July

The giant sized frozen treats look great in relation to the itty-bitty ones on the stamp. Plus, it's nice how they are going different directions. Plus, running them off the edge was another good choice.

And then - not doing anything else....

thank you, PO, for proper cancel placement. In this case - anything else would have been visually disturbing.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Lauren's Mix to Rainbow

I have this weird recollection of posting this already and talking about how it was Mr. Wilson's favorite. But, I might be recalling that Lauren's Mr. Wilson birthday envelope was his favorite.

So, Mr. Wilson is now the president of the Lauren Fan Club. And we'll see what shows up in October. I'm writing this on October 14. Half way through the month and I have received only 1 exchange envelope.

As previously mentioned, October usually inspires some fabulous envelopes. I never know if it takes people longer to come up with an idea or if the ideas are so complicated that they just take longer to create the envelopes. Sadly - you have to wait until Sept of 2019 to see all of them.

Once again - I am not 100% sure that this is the card that went with the envelope. Lauren and the actual cardmaker can send me a correction. I do know that is the correct flip side for Lauren's envelope.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

CathyO's Scratchboard

I'm not sure if scratchboard is the right term for the top name. It is a card that arrived inside the envelope done by Miss Cathy. Miss Cathy called this Ronde. I call it French roundhand. Ronde might be the word *round* in French. I could Google it to find out, but I am having a bit of a lazy spell.

Side note to anyone who has a smart phone and grandkids who are fairly young but still understand the concept of different languages. If you have Siri or someone like Siri on your phone, you can ask things like, "How do you say Alexandra in Mandarin?" You will get an answer and it will give Alexandra the giggles. Then, if the kid is intrigued, they can ask to hear all kinds of other words in other languages.

Side note to side note - if you do not like Siri's voice, you can change her to an Australian male. Once in a while, the Australian male will make grown ups laugh - if they have never heard him before.

Monday, November 5, 2018

From Beth, Chuck and Jeri (July)

These three are from long time pen pals. Beth on top does not participate in the exchanges, but she does send me some nice mail from time to time. This one could easily inspire some holiday imagery.

Chuck did the blue envelope in July and then told me about a new tool he had ordered - and I am wildly excited to see the August envelope.

Jeri - I think I already posted this one, but maybe not. (The one below Chucks) The delicate pencil work is dreamy. Be sure to click on it and examine the enlarged view.

It is July 24. I have 6 days to completely fill every daily blog post from now through the end of the year. Clear off my desk. And then start with a clean slate in 2019.

It will be interesting to see if I have to amend this post when it pops up in early November. It's like I write these little notes to myself - and wonder if I will hit my goals. I do appreciate all the readers who are joining me on this quest. Or maybe I feel really sorry that I am filling your eyeballs with this trivia. At least you get fun mail art as a bonus.

Sunday, November 4, 2018

From Fatima to Rainbow

Here is one of the non-rainbow themed envelopes. The stamp offered the inspiration. Taking something from the stamp and repeating it as large as possible is a wonderful technique. I also like how she only used some of the colors off the stamp and then picked up the pink in the additional stamp. Plus, she did not do anything exactly like the stamp, just used it for the general shapes.

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Two from Sherri

The bottom one already ran - and for some reason , it ended up in the stack with the following month's envelopes. I think I had pulled them out to show to a friend who had stopped over. I believe the friend had said something about italics - liking them - and I probably said  - Here you go. These should inspire you to really work on your italics.

Plus the lines that give subtle structure to the overall design are stealworthy. Sherri's design that goes with that Celebrate stamp is -bar none- my favorite design with that stamp. I found it very difficult to work with and had given up on it ---until seeing this one. Kudos, Sherri. I should challenge Sherri to see if she can figure out something to go with the other stamps that have given me fits.

Good luck to anyone who wants to *steal* those italics. I should try - and then post my pitiful attempts to show you just how hard it is to swoonworthy italics.

Friday, November 2, 2018

June Exchangers - Dramatic Jannie and Patty

Black and bold colors seem dramatic. I wonder if you can create drama with only pastels. I'm crazy about the bioluminescent stamp on Patty's (below)

Jannie's painting is really pretty and it is taking a lot of self-control to refrain from pulling out my paints.

It is July 17th. I have the urge to fill up the rest of 2018 before August 1st.

it is now September 8 and I am juggling a few posts. I missed my Aug 1 deadline and still have 20 posts to fill in December and then I will be done for the year. I am seriously thinking of starting my holiday envelopes. That would get them done early - plus it would give you holiday themed envelopes in Dec - instead of the August envelopes that are sitting here on the desk.

Now you can just sit at your computers - wondering - which way did she go? Aug exchange envelope in Dec - or candy canes. Anyone care to guess?

Thursday, November 1, 2018

November Exchange Sign-up

This might look like a re-run from the October Exchange. It is similar. 
Today through Nov 4th is the sign up for the November 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 November, 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 Sunday, November 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.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

May PTEX from GraceE

GraceE is a professional calligrapher. I've posted her website (I think)
I should post her IG - for those of you who are IGers.

She has a mixture of envelopes and animals. If you are new to IG - beware - it can be a proverbial rabbit hole. I am resisting the temptation (for the moment).

And with that - I am headed to the yard to pull weeds. Wish me luck.

Inside her envelope was a lovely card. I had to crop the left and right margins to get the image in focus. Please imagine the nice elongated landscape proportion.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Translucent from GraceE in July

The translucent envelopes are so pretty. This one is full of fun stuff. Any season or holiday with a coordinating stamp would be a fun in a translucent envelope.

The coordinating ink colors are a big plus.

Monday, October 29, 2018

Papyrus from Kathy

Kathy was inspired by a piece of papyrus that we saw at the Newberry in June.

It was in a clear envelope. The flip side of the clear envelope is shown below. I like her hybrid style of Akim with extra intro strokes.

Sunday, October 28, 2018

From Ruth to Rainbow

Ruth was taking a watercolor class from Betty Locke

The person teaching the class was Phyllis Macaluso not Betty Locke.

I just had an email from Ruth ---

Ruth used some of her new techniques on this envelope for Rainbow's birthday. I've seen a wedge shaped tool that is sort of rubery and I am wondering if that's what Ruth used. It's so pretty - plus I can tell that she has invested in good watercolors. The better quality paints are usually much more intense. I'm pretty sure you don't get these kinds of colors out of a tin of Crayola watercolors. Ruth will let me know if I am correct on that.

Yes - Ruth was using WN and Daniel Smith watercolors.

Also - I'm 99% sure this is the card from Ruth. They are both at Rainbow's and I don't want to pester her to bring them back. There is no way that two different people would have done those exact Rs and Ps.

On Wednesday, Ruth saw my post about how I was curious to see her beautiful purple flowers done in other colors. She sent a couple images but mentioned that she had other images that she could not locate. Ruth and I are both challenged by technology. She also gave me the name of a person on IG who has those flowers in every color one can imagine. I must admit - it was overwhelming to see all of them at once. I might try my hand at them some day. I know the appeal is the mesmerizing feeling of repetitive strokes.

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Tina's 2017 October Exchange Envelope

Nice graphic, fun lettering. Super stealworthy. I should have started the October ideas sooner. It's getting down to the wire on getting your Halloween mailings out the door.

I hope I remember to go back and add the label - Halloween to all of these -

Friday, October 26, 2018

Popscicle/Frozen Treats from Miss Cathy and Carole V

Cathy used the Popsicle logo as inspiration - very clever. She said the big round Speedball nib was challenging. I have some of those. It took a lot of will power to not pull mine out.

Carole has an adorable rubber stamp that fills the envelope all the way to the edge. Then she has a very skillfully rendered sky. I do not know how she did it and I am jealous.

After all the wretched things the PO has done to some of the recent mail, I am grateful for the way they ran this one through the machine to leave all that pretty blue sky.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

From Finnbadger - October 2017 Exchange

Super cute goodie bag from Target that Finnbadger converted in to an envelope. By putting the label on in the landscape orientation - the envelope was fine with the regular postage.

The overall design is portrait -
so ---I love the cleverosity of a portrait design being delivered for landscape rate. I must steal this idea.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Flowers from Ruth

When Mr. Wilson brought this one in from the mail box he exclaimed, "OK, this is the best one ever."

There have been a couple comments from people about whether or not it is appropriate to send flowery mail to men. I don't remember if they were comments in notes to me or comments left on the blog - but I do know it has come up.
Judging from Mr. Wilson's enthusiastic response, I'd say that guys probably like flowers as much as any other design.

This spectacular envelope was done by Ruth. She took a class and I'd say she gets A+. I love the little buds on the card that was inside.

I'm also curious what these would look like done in rusts and oranges. I'm not asking Ruth to send another one. I know she knows how to send photos - so, if you get a minute to experiment with other colors it would be fun to see.

Now - we need to address the situation with Lauren. Previously, two of her envelopes rated *Best One Ever* remarks from Mr. Wilson. I'm going to split his ratings into *floral* and *non-floral.*  There is just no way that those two can complete.

The design on the inside (left) and back flap design on the right.

On a gut-wrenching note - here is a person who would probably be very happy to get some mail art - flowery or not.

Paul Shaw
785 West End Ave - #16A
New York, NY 10025

Paul Shaw is a very well know calligrapher and type designer. He is recuperating from serious injuries from a random attack on the street. Fellow calligraphers posted his address on FaceBook and suggested sending him some happy mail. 

You may see examples of his work at his website.

Update on FB:
The last I heard from Anna is that he has head lacerations, a broken eye socket and broken bones in both hands. But he is home from the hospital.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

From Smash and Chuck

The spider sticker is fuzzy. The stripes are washi tape. The lettering must have been done with a scroll tip pen. I think the Pilot Parallel pens are available in scroll tips. As previously mentioned, I do not allow myself to be tempted by more parallel pens because they would be too much of a distraction. I do have one and the ink gives me fits.

Below is Chuck's envelope. He does all his stripes with an actual pen. Sometimes they are the oldie-but-goodie mechanical pens - Rapidiograph was one of the brand names.Very mesmerizing to make lots of little lines.

Monday, October 22, 2018

Bonus Post - IG mail artist

This is so cute it rates being added this year. I'll be resisting the temptation to do a second month of Halloween envelopes.

If this style appeals to you - there are tons of examples along these lines on the IG account:

Today's regular post is right below - and does not contain any new ideas.

Exploding Head by Keith Haring - Lauren's PO Return

OK - My head is exploding because I can't find the original photo and I can't find the post I thought I wrote yesterday talking about how the PO couldn't figure out this address.

If it has already run --- then I owe all y'all another envelope.

In case I just imagined that I posted this one the first time -and once again after it was returned to me.... here it is. The street number is so big - they apparently could not see it or link it up with the street which was small but still very legible, just to the right.

Then I did find the original.
I wonder why the colors are so different.
I generally just point and shoot---

I Googled *exploding head art* and -wow- there are a lot to choose from.