Saturday, April 30, 2011


i wonder if kathy did this without pencil much planning went into it. i doubt i would have the patience to do looks like fun for those who love detail work and patterns...which i love...but....just trying to minimize the distractions.

Friday, April 29, 2011

need a video of this one

in addition to this being an all time favorite stamp, i like that j a lot. i need to make a video of how this one opens. that won't happen in the near future, but i will label this note-to-self so that i do get back to it.

you can see a bit of the flap, and the rug is holding it closed

Thursday, April 28, 2011

post secret

post secret is a web site where people post secrets they have never told. i was thinking that i would post about going to the p.o. today with these envelopes, and then deciding i liked them so much, i needed to bring them home and scan them. but, i figured the story isn't very interesting unless you see the envelopes. so, i'll post it here.

i used ziller ink, so they are waterproof.

last week, i knew this mailing was coming up and i asked the lady at the counter at the p.o. if it was OK to address the biz envelopes in a vertical orientation. she's usually very friendly and appreciates the arty envelopes...but she said that if they wanted to reject them, they could for not complying with the rules. i suggested that by putting on enough postage, they should be required to deliver it no matter how it was addressed. she said, no...
so, i need to investigate this further. i always thought that if you paid the extra postage for non-conforming mail, you were assured of delivery. and i suspect that every postal worker will have their own opinion about what's allowed and what's not allowed.

so here is a bonus post, because technically, the other post was not an envelope...
although nobody complained.

sandys birds

2 weeks after my birthday and still posting birthday greetings. this is a card from sandy. she's more about the cards. i forgot if the *rule* is that i must post an envelope, or it doesn't count.

there is plenty of room on this card to put an address and a stamp, so it could be an envelope. or it could be a postcard.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

kathys blossoms

this is my 2011 birthday card form kathy. it jogged my memory. i had a sheet of these stamps, so some people had magnolias on the wedding invitations, instead of the wedding cakes. the hardest part of stamp selection was deciding who received which stamp. i hope i can refrain from asking people if they liked their stamps.

and, inside the card were some stamps. kathy knows the last thing left on my bucket list is to go see the northern lights. so, she sent some of the northern light stamps. and then, chuck sent this wonderful link to some time-lapse photos of the northern lights.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

grain plains

now, if i just move to the prairie, the p.o. should be able to deliver this. just as they delivered georgia o'keefe's mail to her if people just wrote G.O. and drew a picture of a cactus. (i made that up)

Monday, April 25, 2011

chuck's border

how cool is this? it's from chuck, there are some other samples of his work on the blog. i will label this one and maybe there are others labeled, too. note to self, go back and attach better labels. he uses the old rapidograph pens. the g-tecs are almost as good, but i think there is something a tiny bit better about the rapidograph. and it might depend on the paper. thanks chuck.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

wedding invitation

i meant to post this one the day after the envelope that went to mickey mouse, requesting a greeting for the bride and groom. i guess you can request them from the white house, too, and i'm sure they have special ones for brides & grooms in illinois. as i have mentioned, i don't actually break out he real ink very often, so, by posting this a couple days after nan's, you can take the opportunity to compare her really good stuff to my middle of the road stuff. i'm not apologizing...just noting that what you do the most, is what you get good at.

back to this envelope. i ended up using the wedding cake stamp on the actual invitations. although, i think i used some other stamps, too. short term memory loss.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

new ones

i'm tossing in a few here that i did for molly. i have to cover up the addresses, and some of them are rather large, so, i'll just put another envelope over the bottom and hopefully you'll get the idea. i'm just starting to work with the new celebrate stamp, so i'm doing the obvious...spirals and rays.

ok, i just previewed what this looks like, and that pink is distracting, but no time to rescan....

Friday, April 22, 2011

from kathy

too bad you can't see this one in person. it is a piece of recycled paper. very slick, coated paper. card stock. this one could inspire an entire series using just recycled paper.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

from nan

this is from nan deluca. she is a calligrapher who lives in the village in nyc. she does beautiful work and is frequently published in the bride magazines. we met about ten years ago and i have a nice collection of her work. the idea we can all steal from nan is the birthday *card* it is the size of a business card. you don't need to fill an envelope with a traditional card. this reminds me of the old victorian calling cards. back in the day, scribes would sit and write out people's names by hand, on little cards, that were used as calling cards. today we text and tweet. maybe the scribes can start making little spencerian tweets and text messages to hand out...using the lingo of the day, like OMG or whatever those expressions are...i only know that one. i guess i know LOL and maybe FOCROF.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

from kathy

here kathy has been playing with directions again. remember, this did not go through the mail. if you want to address mail like this, go right ahead. but, you need to put an extra 20-cents on the envelope. to be safe....put more.

frequently, when people are seeing mail art for the first time, they say these exact words...will the post office let you put stamps anywhere you like?

technically, they can only request a standard format. there is no law that says they may reject mail art. for now, we are free to arrange elements creatively. some of the postal workers will make stern comments like, "next time, you should put the stamp in the upper right hand corner." i smile and say something like, "oh. ok." and then i have to turn quickly, so they do not see the wild, rebel expression on my face.

they should be grateful to the people who are still buying stamps and sending crazy letters. i really wonder if regular delivery of mail is going to last much longer. i suspect we will go back to the days of picking up our own mail at the p.o.

my son lives in a town on lake tahoe and they do not have mail delivery. if you want your mail, you have to make the trek to the po. he recently got a mail box, but i have been sending his mail "general delivery" and it's pretty easy. in some ways, i think it would be an improvement if we all had to get out of the house to collect our mail. then we could hang out at the p.o. and discuss our art with the postal workers.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

from elizabeth

this was not a birthday greeting, but it arrived last week. it looks like wrapping paper. maybe elizabeth will comment and tell us. she has a double layer of paper. i also wonder what those narrow stickers are. very fun envelope.

notice how she sealed it with magic tape. such an easy way to make an envelope if you are not in the mood to fight with a glue stick or double face tape. i will have to examine it and see how she trimmed her corners.

thanks, elizabeth for the inspiration.

Monday, April 18, 2011

from kathy

nice nickname for me. wouldn't mind if i heard it or read it more often. although, there is no scribbling on the envelope. maybe i should send kathy a color copy and have her do a scribbly version. i don't think kathy is much into scribbling...

Sunday, April 17, 2011

from kathy

i've noted previously that kathy likes to put stamps on up-side-down. not sure how the dandelion ties in . maybe when i see this one big, on the blog, i'll figure out her inspiration. love the dots..

Saturday, April 16, 2011

from kathy

this one is more like a bookmark. it is only the black part. when i scanned it, i left a chunk of white where you could put an make it look more like an envelope.

Friday, April 15, 2011

from kathy

another highly stealable idea. love the border. love the stamp. another one that i never bought.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

from kathy

the note on the back of this one says it is too fussy for a stamp. i disagree. there is probably a stamp that would look very nice...but, i can't produce it right this minute. i should start a pile of envelopes that need further all of these from kathy without the address...i'd have fun adding that part. but, they're pretty nice just the way they are...

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

from kathy

an all time favorite. i need to hang this one where i will see it and steal the idea more often.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

from kathy

on the back, there is a note calling this a zen circle. kathy has taken some classes with *kaz*
i'll try to find a link to his work. she's learned some really cool techniques to make circles. i can't tell what she used to color in the spaces. it is shiny and very cool.

Monday, April 11, 2011


happy birthday to me. this is a scan of an envelope that jackie did a few years ago. i can't remember if i have seen it in real life. it is part of the mail that jackie and i do for each other, but then we keep it. so, in honor of my birthday, i want each and every one of you to go out and buy me a present and then keep it.

i tried to crop that top image, the same way i cropped the bottom image, but i must not have hit the correct [save] button. anyhow, it's a lovely piece of art. after scribbling, she carefully cut out some of the spaces. jackie sent the scan a while back, and rather than post it that day, i thought i would post it on my birthday.

having penpals has been so much fun. i encourage you all to find penpals and exchange mail if you like to do envelopes. penals don't have to live far away. i had a penpal one time who lived only a few blocks from me and i sent a ton of mail to her just because it was fun to hear her reaction.

ok...back to work....

Sunday, April 10, 2011

from kathy

i never bought these stamps...or several of the others that kathy used on this set. this series is really beautiful and it inspired a nice painterly envelope

Saturday, April 9, 2011

from kathy

nice clean arrangement of elements. the ribbon across the stamp invites a ribbon across the envelope.

Friday, April 8, 2011

from kathy

here's the button alphabet. i might have a couple samples of it already blogged. it is such a fun style. not the easiest to read, but perfect for envelopes. great stamp...

Thursday, April 7, 2011

from kathy

i need to schedule about 30 posts, as my daughter's wedding is fast approaching. and i had those 1,000 envelopes this past week, and my birthday is coming up, and i just happened to run across the huge pile of envelopes that kathy did for me one year and it seemed like a good time to share them.

this one shows a cute cartoon that she put in the envelope...that maybe inspired the brush stoke on the envelope. a fun idea if you want to send a lot of envelopes, but don't feel like looking for cards or making them.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

from kathy

when i opened the blog this morning, there was no scan and no description, just a title that said *more black* i pulled this scan out of the list of scheduled posts. it is now a foreshadowing of things to come. it was taking so much time to scan the *mara* envelopes, that i switched to a set of envelopes from kathy to me...for a birthday a while back. i jokingly told her that she owed me a set, since i had done 60 for her 60th, and she took me seriously. but, she must have been intrigued with the challenge. maybe she will post a comment and tell us if it was a fun challenge or if it was a big chore.

i would also be interested to know if other people are sending out any mass mailings for special occasions.

on this one, she deconstructed the envelope, cut out the name, reconstructed the envelope and then put a nice piece of paste paper inside. very cool. for those of you who do not know what paste paper is, there are many ways to make it, but essentially, you take wallpaper paste, add colors and then use tools to spread it around the paper and make designs.

some people call it *adult finger-painting* because it is an advanced form of that technique. i tried it once, and for someone who likes to scribble, i would have thought i would like it, but, luckily, it is one technique that did not draw me in.

you would not want to send an envelope like this through the mail. it would tear, unless you adhered the paste paper to the envelope.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

wedding mailings

the address will be in a very fine black pen, the same style
and to the right of wilson. this is the envelope for the invitation to the brunch on the day after their wedding. for newcomers to the blog, ellen is my daughter. the wedding is in a few weeks. i figured she is too busy to read the blog, so, i am posting a few things early. if you are a friend of hers, please do not tell her that i am posting her mail on my blog. i want her to be surprised when it comes in the mail. of course, i want to put advertising for my services on all the mailings, but that would be tacky. i wonder what people will say at the reception? should i bring some pens. i always love the people who meet me and want me to write for thought they think i cheat and do everything on the computer.

Monday, April 4, 2011

mickey mouse

i've been cleaning out files and ran across this address. it was in a post about places to send wedding invitations to receive fun wedding greetings. so, i thought i would give it a try. i addressed my daughter's wedding invitations in white ink on black, no caps. but, i used the wedding cake stamp.

Sunday, April 3, 2011


such a nice stamp. i tried some kumquat lettering. the stamp is so dramatic. i've been using it a lot on black envelopes. not sure i like it on white. tomorrow there will be one on black.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

old stamps

Here is a site with links to all the stamps by year. I love taking my mail to the PO and having the PO workers marvel at the vintage stamps. Some of the stamps do not have the price on them, so they get really confused. I tell them what they are worth...but they never believe me until they look it up themselves.
I am not offended... I'm sure they have lots of people trying to scam them....

oops, i used caps
too bizzy to go back an remove them

guest post

here are two vintage envelopes. they were sent to me by a penpal/book pal. he did not include any information about the envelopes, except to say they are *old.*

then he tossed out a challenge for me to add envelopes to these that fulfill the sentiment of *something new, something borrowed, something blue* because he knows i do a lot of addressing for the brides.

i believe i have over a thousand envelopes (for brides) waiting for me at the studio, so, i can't promise i will get this challenge fulfilled today, but, i'll be thinking about it. any other blog followers who come up with solutions to eduardo's challenge are welcome to submit ideas and scans.

the idea of this blog becoming more of a showcase for many artists is a nice idea. not that i am running out of ideas, but, i do have to tend to the jobs. many years ago, one of my boys figured out that i made money on envelopes and he asked how much each envelope cost. at the time, I was only charging $1 per envelope. He was quiet for a moment and then he exclaimed, "you mean that if you did a million envelopes, you would get a million dollars." he made it sound so easy.

Friday, April 1, 2011

mara's mail

i owe you another one today because this style has been on the blog so many times...