Sunday, July 31, 2011

2 tami envelopes

both of these are my lettering. very old. i'm not sure i can leave them up. especially that top one. very bad. but, it's happy, so, i'll leave it for a while. the bottom one has early vine work. it's not too bad. but, compared to what i would do today, the holly looks like...stars or something....i'll try to post some good holly, as i know many of you are getting to work on your holiday mailings.

if anyone noticed that this post was late today, it is because after 30 days of setting up july posts and knowing that july is *7*, i scheduled this one for 8/31/11

Saturday, July 30, 2011

3 tami envelopes

these are very old and not my best work. it's good to save your old work. it makes you feel much better about your current work. and these are out of order, so you will just have to wait and read the other tami-postings when they show up.

Friday, July 29, 2011


i already posted the evergreen envelope from chuck. so, here is the one i have been working on to send to chuck. i see him once a month at the *letterhead* gathering in wes des moines. you are all welcome to join us. email me for directions. anyhow, every month, i see his new work and think...gee, i should do something like that. so, i had a great opportunity to sit and draw lines, waiting in a clinic waiting room. unfortunately, the vibes in clinics are not artsy. so, the first thing i did was not stay on the lines and had that droopy part of the C. but did i stop and get a new sheet of paper? no i didn't. i went right ahead and wasted two hours on something with a booboo. and then a couple days later, i went back and made another booboo, when i wrote his last name. so i added the stick figure. i will probably just put one stamp on the envelope and hand it to him.

you need to click on the image to see the details. and...i used an .o1 rapidograph.

i just clicked on the image...and the pencil drawing of a man holding up the droopy line does not show up at all. so i will have to ink it in and rescan it.

evergreen stamps

i don't think this one has been posted before. i found it as i was going through the 900 emails that have piled up. i was thinking if i filed 100 emails a days, i could have it cleared out in 9 days. and there will probably be some more envelopes.

this was an exchange where everyone used the evergreen stamps. chuck does beautiful work with lots and lots of fine lines. he uses them in both the illustrations as well as the lettering.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

gel markers - r.i.p.

my gel markers are mostly dried up. i won't let myself replace them until i have all my other chores done. so it might be *never* before i get them. but, if you are a marker junkie, you should get gel markers. they are so cool. i'm happy with how this one turned out. i'm surprised that i have had more than one idea i like with the celebrate stamps. the next decision will be if i allow myself to buy another sheet of them.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

yippee...the contest winners are posted

this is one of the kid's entries. the washington calligraphers guild has a yearly contest called the graceful envelope.
my penpal, nan, is a honorable mention. jeri, who has envelopes posted on this blog is a winner. if you go to the website, you can look at lots of fun envelopes.

i have not entered in a while. but, i love seeing the entries every year and am always happy to see my penpals' work. i wish i knew how old this artist is. his name is Bucky Kaiser. maybe i can find him on facebook.


yes, we need to celebrate that i finally found an envelope idea (that i like) to go with this stamp. tomorrow there will be one that is OK..the one that led to this one. and there are issues with this one. the first issue was the N, the bottom point was too curved. i fattened up the line. then fattened up some other lines, but not enough to make it look right, i'm going to let it go because it is for a birthday and it needs to get in the mail. but, i do need to do a tutorial on how to do these letters.

i took the smallest detail from the stamp and featured it. that's probably why i am liking this one better than some of the others. i took the little rays shooting out of the tiny Os and used them. i also used pastel colors rather than bright colors, which is counter-intuitive. but, i like it better than bright colors.

i need to dig out the gel markers and some black paper.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

2012 stamps

in the middle are 9 blue buttons
number two has the first 7 new stamp designs for 2012

i can blur

i feel like a rocket scientist. i learned how to blur. chuck helped me find a free program. and he also told me how to save files. next week he is going to tell me how to cure cancer and fly to the moon.

Monday, July 25, 2011

suitable for framing

the whole envelope is not suitable for framing, but some stamps are. stacey likes moose art and antler art. so, i thought she would like these stamps. and i included directions for her. if i had more time, this would have been much cuter. the moose would have had thought bubbles. stacey likes thought bubbles too. back in the archives, there are some envelopes to stacey with thought bubbles.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

my mail

this came a long time ago. it is getting pretty brittle and probably won't last much, time to scan it and maybe send it out side with the other leaves. and yes, it really did arrive in the mail. it was hanging on the wall and some client told me that it was illegal to take those leaves. from florida? that seems far fetched. maybe someone out there will tell us...

and her return address says, " the beach - florida " don't forget, you need to click on the images to see the details in any given scan.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

my penpals

i enjoy scribbley letters. not sure they go with those pots. i like the contrast of big stamps on a tiny envelope. breaking a long name is a good solution to fitting it in where space is an issue. but, you probably can't (shouldn't) do this on formal envelopes.

Friday, July 22, 2011

my penpals (2 nancy g)

nancy sent me some fun vintage stamps. the envelope ended up in a stack of stuff...and i just recently found it again, so thought i would send some thank you mail.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

my first signature

yup. the very first time i ever wrote my name. and my mom saved the piece of paper. i don't think i have posted this before. if i have, i will put up another envelope later today, when i see this. (i am actually writing this on 7-7)

the JEAN at the top is my mom's writing. then i have my problems getting the J to go the right direction. at the end, i give myself a happy face. mom gets a big happy face for saving this piece of paper and dating it so that when people long have you been doing calligraphy, i can say...i started on jan 19, 1955

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

my mail

kathy sent this a while back. i've always liked blue. these stamps are soooo pretty. she has a note on the back about angles not pleasing her. the angles don't bother me. what i always do, is line up lines. so i would have lined up the black line under my name with the black line on the stamp. then, i think the angles wouldn't bother you. anyone else have thoughts?

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

better industrial design

i wish i had a program like InDesign so I could actually make forms. this would be so cool to set up something where i could print off a bunch of envelopes. but, it's fun to have it hand-drawn.

and here it is after i filled it in. remember, it is never to late to send him a card. and if you are in the neighborhood, stop in and say hi. he did get to go skiing on the 4th of july. he said it was slushy, but you could wear shorts and no jacket.

Monday, July 18, 2011

this just in

here is a guy who will take your email and write it out by hand and then mail it to the person. i know a lot of you do not have time to write to me, so here's a way to get it done, easily. plus...he will wonder...who the heck is jean wilson and why are so many people sending mail to her.

and i will give a prize to the person whose message makes me laugh the most.

Here's my address

Jean Wilson
430 44th Street
Des Moines, Iowa 50312

and here is the site where you type out the message that will be handwritten and mailed to me.

industrial design stamps

i'm pretty excited about the new stamps honoring industrial design. you can order them from they will charge $1 to deliver them right to your house. but you also get all that handy reusable packing material.

this was the first idea off the top of my head. it's about as exciting and innovative as a brick. but....tomorrow we will have a look at the next stage and i'm rather pleased with it. see you tomorrow.

no, i did not mean to draw that line crooked so that the stamp did not fit in the square. and that background blue sky and wheat field is just a piece of paper i put behind the envelope to scan it. thought it needed some color.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

skip, you've got mail

this was another birthday card to skip. i was playing around with computer letters and ways to stretch and condense them in WordArt. should have used a different font. could have more fun with this idea...if only....there were more days with more hours.

this is the second post today. scroll down tot he earlier one. i had to do a second one because the first one is not an envelope.

first letter

ok, technically not an envelope. it was the letter in friday' envelope. i wonder if i wanted a stuffed animal...but said *soft toy* because i did not know how to spell stuffed and animal. i still reword my writing to avoid words i can't spell. unless i am on a computer with spellcheck.

my favorite part of the letter is how i was already into flourishing. that tail on the n in my name clearly wants to be a flourish. yes, i insisted on learning cursive as soon as i could. i also love the way f is squished down, t drops down, k is confused, and a has a tail. if i was 4, it really isn't that good. i would have expected to be much better by then. but, i think i was more interested in writing cursive.

i'll try to post a bonus post today that has an envelope.

Saturday, July 16, 2011


this one makes the unusualities category, too, because it is unusual to put this much time into (onto) that kind of envelope. are they called manilla? have not heard that word in a long time. i'll research and get back to you. she used white colored pencil around the lettering to offset the color of the envelope. that is a great idea to keep in mind if you find that the lettering is not working very well with the color of the paper.

this is what wiki says about manila or manilla:The manila component of the name comes from manila hemp or abacá, from which manila folders were originally made. "Manila" refers to the capital of the Philippines, one of the main producers of abacá, which is itself named after the Indigo Tree (Scyphiphora hydrophyllacea) a shrub called "nilad" in Tagalog as the name means "there is nilad".

they also call this type of envelope beige. that is not beige. i don't know what color to call it. but it is not beige.

Friday, July 15, 2011

2012 stamp designs

this just popped into my email box....
i'm glad they know that there are a lot of us on the edges of our seats
waiting to know what the 2012 stamps will be

I’m pleased to announce that on Monday, July 18, we will begin a special preview of the 2012 stamp program. Every weekday at 12:00 p.m. EDT, we will reveal one new stamp from the upcoming program on our stamp preview page.

We strive to reflect the best of our American heritage, arts, and culture through the stamp program, and we are excited to share what’s coming in 2012 with you, our valued community.

Don’t miss the first stamp to be revealed this Monday. Visit for continuing updates. You can also connect with us on Facebook ( ), or follow us on Twitter (@USPSStamps) for the latest in stamp news.

Here’s to 2012! We hope you are looking forward to it as much as we are.

Stephen M. Kearney

Executive Director,
Stamp Services

earliest known envelope

yup. this is from 1956. and i wrote it. my mom did not save everything, but she did save this. it must be one of the first envelopes i ever addressed. the letter that was inside will pop up one of these days. even at 4 years old, i knew to address adults as mr. or mrs.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

happy new year in july

this is from the same person whose envelope i posted yesterday. i included her note because it confirms what i have said before, spending time on a fun envelope is a nice break from chores. of course, i take that to a ridiculous extreme, but, that's me. i'm sure the rest of you are very good about just doing one or two envelopes at a time. and then you get right back to work.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


i did this one while i was waiting for a client to arrive. i just redrew the general shapes on the garden of love stamps and colored in with pale colored pencils. not sure where i will put the address. i just stuck that one on to see how a block of white would look. i am using this to mail a different piece of mail that is a little too non-conforming to go through the mail. and i still don't have a design that i like with the leaf stamp. but, i am having fun trying out different ideas

mess in progress

i had a few minutes to try to organize piles of mail and found letters from penpals nancy g and carol db...and tried to write thank yous. some days, i just make a mess. so, i scribbled and made it worse. then i put stamp edges over the top. not sure where it will go from here. just want you all to know that not everything i do turns out beautifully. and not everything i do is salvageable. if i figure out a fix for this, i'll post it.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


this is going into my album called unusualities. (i would have called it oddities, but that sounds too critical) it just seems rather unusual that someone who would spend this much time on an envelope would then go to the post office and have them put a meter strip on it. i met this penpal at one of the IAMPETH conventions. IAMPETH is the International Association of Master Penman, Engrossers, and Teachers of Handwriting. they have a website and an extensive list of lessons for free. it is one of the best resources on the internet. they focus a little more on the pointed pen styles.

Monday, July 11, 2011


this one is from a penpal who must know how to scan on the computer and then run envelopes through the printer or maybe she bought hungry caterpillar envelopes pre-printed. i like the idea of scanning a stamp and enlarging it and printing it on an envelope. now, if i could just figure out how to run envelopes through the printer. or maybe i shouldn't, as then i would have one more activity distracting me from the things that need to be done.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

christmas in july

it is never to early to start working on the ideas for the cards that will never get sent in december. this is from dear friend tom, who has a lot of patience and does beautiful brush lettering. love the little brown bag. it is the size of a business card.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

and then i remembered...

i remembered that i had seen a font that looked like blocks and voila, here it is. i was printing it out on the computer with the really old version of Word, so i do not have good color options. that pink has to go, but, we still have to find a good stamp. i went looking for a stamp that used just one of the colors and bingo. not only is the blue a good choice, but, it is square. that is a double bonus. it repeats the shape of the blocks. so, i also tried to fit the fake address into a square. that might not be a good idea. this concept has a long way to go.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Jun 1, 2011

i am trying to see if i can post from a different computer

another block option

this time, i did not use colors, and then looked for a stamp that would work. by *work* i mean from a design standpoint. obviously it is not enough postage. but, this would maybe be ok. i still don't think that they look enough like blocks.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

james' mom wants blocks

james' mom thought that blocks would be fun and she sent me a photo of some blocks to run the idea past me. she does not want it to take too much time. so, here are really fast blocks. i'm not crazy about them, they could be boxes. and it is a huge problem to find a stamp that goes with a theme. if you can't find the theme, you have to find really good colors. i went for colors here and subject matter that would appeal to james, but, i really do not like the mix of blocks and back to the drawing board.

i really do prefer to start with a stamp....

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

another birthday

i've shown envelopes with this LOVE stamp and my version of the lettering before. this version is a little looser. the card has some really nice stealable flowers and leaves. it is not against the law to copy if you just do it for your own enjoyment. so, copy away. i don't know if it is against the law for me to post things on my blog. maybe i'll get in big trouble. maybe i'll get some good publicity. being notorious might increase the value of the envelopes i have already sent.

seriously, if you like to make decorated envelopes, go ahead and buy cards that have designs that you like and use the designs on the card to inspire your envelopes.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

skip's birthday

nothing special about the lettering or layout on the envelope. i chose the stamps because he says there is going to be enough snow left in tahoe to ski on the 4th of july. i did not block out his address because his birthday is the 10th of july and i figured some of you might want to drop a card in the mail. if you do...then you can send me an email and i will tell you what it says on the inside of the greeting card. clearly...there is somebody who works for hallmark who has an offspring who lives the ski-life. it's a classic. or you can just go to the hallmark store and look for the card. i should change the illustration of the guy and have him holding skis. correction...i will change the illustration. best way to do that is cut out what you need from a strip of Post-It tape. if you did not know, you need to know...they sell Post-It tape that is white and about an inch wide. it is really handy for all kinds of things...especially tailoring greeting cards. i'll try to remember to scan the doctored version.

Monday, July 4, 2011


here is another possibility for a baby shower envelope. NOT. ok...i did say i would have another idea in a couple days. these stamps might work for a baby shower. but not the lettering. it takes too much time. i just did this one because kennedy's mom posted on facebook that she was wishing she would get some mail from ellen's mom. so, i made this for her daughter. it is also a sample of a way to letter that is too hard to explain in one post. but, my current students will appreciate having a sample. basically, you draw rectangles and then you put in the least amount of information to turn the rectangle into a letter. it's pretty simple to do...but easier if you have an example.

the decorations on the D and the Y are too similar. i picked up designs from the detail on the stamp. i was being too literal with them and not getting anywhere. i had to just choose colors and the idea of concentric circles and wavy lines.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

jan porto

another shade of green to try with the garden of love stamps. the point of this one is to clump the copy all together. don't worry about where you break the lines.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

mary helen

another sample for my class. the new students who have just learned about decorated envelopes were quick to wonder about the new garden of love stamps. i assured them that i had already done several envelopes using them (100 to be exact) but, i have been trying other colors. here is a plain white envelope and i like this one. i especially like those tiny little red hearts. often times, the tiny easy doo-dads are the best.

Friday, July 1, 2011


james's mother requested baby shower ideas. i do not have any baby ideas per se. the p.o. does not do many baby related stamps. they do have a madonna and child every december, but, they tend to be old master reproductions. so, a style like this would work for a baby shower if there was any kind of stamp that related to the is a stretch. (these creatures swimming around reminded me of unborn i said, it's a stretch.) i suppose the best thing is to buy the custom stamps and pay twice the price.

check back in a couple days, there will be another idea.