Thursday, May 31, 2012

ccc - marcy

at first this was such a scribbled mess, i was going to toss it. then i added a bit. then, as i was finishing up all the ccc envelopes, i pulled some stamps and thought this one was an OK combo. if i knew that marcy had a big slobbering dog, i would have drawn little slobber drips flying off the letters just like the ones that are on the stamp. or maybe ears...

 garfield's eyes would have been fine, tucked in to the letters.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

swedish envelope

it's wednesday, so we are looking at something i found on a blog. it is from sweden. there must be a story behind it. i probably do not have any of my own envelopes that feature a drawing or illustration. i do know how to draw, so maybe i will think of something to draw. the neutral colors are nice.

this is the link to the blog of a south african mail artist where you can see more envelopes.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

red -square

this looks strange. it should be square... i wonder why it is distorted.
we are close to the end of the plain red envelopes. i think i need to add something more interesting to this posting. tomorrow is international day. but, this one is so cute and it has red. it looks like they collaged a photo copy of the stamp (enlarged) very cute idea.

Monday, May 28, 2012

ccc - carol

this looks like something from the 70s. the o-l is starting to look like a d. it's pretty sketchy because it is just a layout. i do not advise stacking letters. although there was one name that looked nice stacked (mimi oxman on may 18th). i guess i should do more stacking. maybe i am missing some good combinations. is it better to stick with what you know will probably work or try things that you think won't work, just to see if you surprise yourself? i guess that would be called, taking a risk. is it a good idea to take a risk? is playing it safe bad?maybe try a little of both.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

ccc - marcia

i have been writing like this a lot. i don't know where it comes from. i like fitting things together and filling up the space. i usually prefer white space. i guess the jobs i have for brides who want the space filled is making me more interested in space-filling.

no, the p.o. does not want you to put the stamp on the bottom right corner. but, if you do, i think they still have to deliver the letter.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

ccc - anne

there are 3 or 4 (in the huge pile of pink & green envelopes) that have the dry marker and glaze pen dots. this is my favorite of the group. the shapes in the lettering do not go with the stamp very well. and i would have liked to put a bit of green in the lettering. but, i am in the middle of wedding season, so it is a miracle that i am still getting a new post every day.

don't forget to look for spaces that are created that give you a convenient place to park that last name. it would have been fine to hang an additional letter at the front end or back end or both.

answer to yesterday's question:
if i were stranded on a desert island, i would have to pick paper, because you can do so much with paper. if you only had pens, markers, pencils, etc, and nothing to write on, it would be frustrating. of course there would be self tattoo...and if you had sharpies, you could decorate that lonely palm tree. and, i wish sharpie would pay me for the idea of doing an ad of someone who was stranded with only a could be a really fun series....but,  that will never happen. the sharpie website/blog has quite a few good ideas for writing on everything...and you do not have to be stranded, you can just start at home.  google sharpie, and go look. are you more tempted if i put the link into my blog? see, i am trying to help you NOT waste time surfing.

Friday, May 25, 2012

ccc - jan

i could have fun with this style of lettering. it would be fun to teach this without giving students the whole exemplar and have them try to figure out the letters on their own. Starting with graph paper would be a good idea. while this is not pink and green, it is still in the hurry up and finish the ccc project that i started in jan or feb. the first layering of writing was actually done on the very first day i started. then, this one was in the pile of not-sure-this-can-be-fixed. then, at the end, when i just had to be done with all of them, i used my two go-to solutions for everything. outlining and happy faces. i believe there is a metaphor for my entire life in the previous sentence (or previous phrase - as my grammatically correct readers would point out)  :-) ----

so yesterday, i was creating a really beautiful sculpture out of the paper items on my plastic tray at my fine dining establishment. (fine dining is when they give you the paper place mat on your plastic tray so you have something to do after you inhale your lunch.)
my co-luncher asked me:
*which is your favorite, paper or pens?*
*that is like asking me which of my children I like best.*
that was the first response. but, on reflection, there is actually an answer. i will be interested in your guesses. either put them in the comment section or email them to me at
jmwilson411 (at)
i will post the answer tomorrow.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

ccc - andrea

roses clash with bonsai. this gets a F.

the idea to use very thin lines to build the shapes that make the letters that spell the name is a worthwhile idea. the way the bowl on the d leaves an appendage on each end of the stem is a good idea. i still get an F on the envelope because i should have left those appendages on the Rs as well. and the Es.

this pink-green-done-too-fast series will probably be fun for me to watch over the days. i don't always get my good ideas when i need them. they come to me later.

and if i was not so lazy, i would have found a better stamp. i went to google and searched, love stamp pink rose, because i remembered this one. the very first hit was the PINTEREST pin board for the Smithsonian Postal Museum. well, this is pretty exciting. first, if you do not know pinterest, it is a new way to store and catalog all of the pictures and ideas you find on the internet. you *pin* the image on a board and then, if you ever want to go back, you can easily find the website and images. you create any category that you like. here is the pin board with all the love stamps (maybe not all)

click on the big red PINTEREST at the top of the page and it will take you to the main page. if you want to participate, it is free, but you do have to give them your email address. if you click on the postal museum, i am guessing there are many other categories. yup, they have 14 different boards, so far.

so, the above envelope would have received a C if it had that stamp.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

british envelope

wednesdays are international mail art day. this is from a very well know mail artist. she has a book. i used to own the book, but must have given it away. it is a charming book and her envelopes are fabulous.

her name is harriett russell. the book is *envelopes: a puzzling journey through the royal mail.* it really is worth looking for the book and checking out her very clever envelopes...which have puzzles included in the address.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012


second to the last wedding sample and then we will be done with these....

Monday, May 21, 2012

ccc - mary ann

this style of writing is akim. it is fun to do. as i warned you a couple days ago...coming up...are a bunch of poor excuse postings. in the beginning of may, i  scheduled the rest of the ccc names to pop up every 3 or 4 days. first i put up the scans, they ran into june or july.  then i started writing the blurbs and went from july backwards. so there is no continuity. but, if you want continuity, go buy a book. the way blogs work, if you come across a new one, you tend to read them backwards anyways...
so, this one is a little ho-hum. because it is hard to read, i popped the info that the p.o. needs into a brighter color. that slights the, i wouldn't recommend this idea...but i highly recommend akim. it is hard to find a good exemplar by the man who invented it. i wish there was some resource for accessing styles of writing and the original exemplars as they were done by the people who either invented them....or are master penman.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

ccc - dorothy and beverly

these need help. i like those colors. i love the stamps. maybe i have run out of good ideas to go with these stamps. but, they have to fill some slots on the blog. i have a bunch of wedding jobs and the deadlines are tight, so blogging is a *squeeze-in* activity for the next few weeks (or months) if there are a lot of fall weddings. but, usually, if i am busy in the spring, the fall is slow. so...we'll see...

Saturday, May 19, 2012

ccc - mimi

i hardly ever stack letters vertically. mimi has such a great name. i could spend hours thinking up ways to arrange the letters. the N is the only one that is not symmetrical on a left-right axis.

when i saw that i had 20+ ccc names to do, i sat down and did them all at once and i only had pink and green on my desk, so, brace yourselves for a flood of pink and green. i have them scheduled to pop up every 2 or 3 days. also, i did not spend much time on them. they are sketchy, at best. i'll be noting what i think are the strong points or ideas that could be used on future envelopes.

Friday, May 18, 2012

ccc - beth

i found a whole stack of ccc envelopes that i did not finish before i left for the workshop. so i finished them and they will pop up every couple of days. this is a cute stamp. i shared this font with the ccc group and suggested that you could use any shape, not just a star, to layer with your letters to make a fun initial. i used colored pencil to shade the background. this was not very good paper. as always, if you have nice paper, your colors will look better. and the good old scanner was being tippy...but, i do not have time to rescan...please just tilt your head to the right, or i suppose to the left if you are in the southern hemisphere.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

jeri and the mailing of children

i wanted to share the photo below and don't have a good envelope that coordinates with mailing children. jeri has a great sense of humor, so she probably won't mind being lumped in with the silly photo. there will be some other ideas to go with the heart health stamp. the lesson on this one, is this. if you are using an element from the stamp to form letters, such as the leaf. when you get to a letter that is too complicated to follow the design, just do something different. in this case, i took the vein from the leaf and used it to make the R.  now, i want to use all the different elements on each letter. need more time for all these ideas....5 elements on that stamp...many possibilities....

the smithsonian has many photos posted on flicker. this one is adorable. the caption says:
This city letter carrier posed for a humorous photograph with a young boy in his mailbag. After parcel post service was introduced in 1913, at least two children were sent by the service. With stamps attached to their clothing, the children rode with railway and city carriers to their destination. The Postmaster General quickly issued a regulation forbidding the sending of children in the mail after hearing of those examples.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

belgium - mail art

 i added the top one because the bottom envelope was such a low-res image, that you could hardly see it. the blue and green stamps are faux-postage....which is a popular activity for some in the mail-art world....making your own stamps. this is a nice arrangements  below is the original post for today.

i really like the idea on the lower one even though it is so hard to see. even blurry ideas are very useful.,m8,default,1&m8albumid=11&m8returnid=54&page=54

last wednesday i posted an envelope from france. then i went looking for good mail art from other countries. i found this one from belgium. then i thought i would have every wednesday be international mail art day. i have several lined up.

this is all pixilated...but i love the idea, so i am going to go ahead an leave it. hopefully i will have time to do my own version.

also, in the right column of this blog, if you scroll down, there are other interesting blogs. i just added one that chuck found. it is in french and looks like it has some good stuff.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

red _______

has anyone figured out that all of these *traditional* samples are on a page called wedding envelopes. you can see them by clicking on the tab just above the blog post, to the right of the word [HOME] above this blog title.

i compiled a page of wedding ideas so that it was easier to send prospective clients to a page with samples. i do not have time to work on a website. i am finished with the red ink job, so, i should replace some of the red ink samples. i have brown coming up and then teal....

Monday, May 14, 2012


i do not recall why i had white gouache and a paintbrush and a brown envelope....but, this is what happened. i have not done any writing with a pointed brush in a long time... this could be fun to do with maybe a blue ribbon on an ivory envelope.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

suess photocopy

speaking of hoarding, as i did yesterday, i also hoard scraps of paper that have images on them. this one was inviting me to get rid of the rest of the suess stamps so that they would not be calling to me to spend too much time coming up with more suessy ideas.  and then, i figured out that a different blob of red would look better than repeatgin the suess image. now i have to do more suess envelopes.

the top scan is the back of the envelope.
although it is not an envelope. i just folded the paper and glued it all shut and added sticker-edges off the sheet of stamps.

the bottom scan shows my new method for smudging addresses. not a good method

and *aaarrggghh* to blogger for not allowing me to arrange the elements on the page.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

graceful envelope

i have not entered the graceful envelope contest in years. the theme this year was *the letter D.* i thought of making the word graceful out of the letter D. this is not a very inspired idea. i imagine many others will do the same ...and do it better. i had a good run with that contest and could always tell when i had an irresistible envelope. this one is resistible. but, i thought i would post it. the f was too hunched over, so i layered the extra lines and then i added red. then i had spent as much time as i could allow, so i found stamps and sent it on its way. two days later i NEEDED those stamps to send a thank you to an architect who worked with i.m. pei on the pyramid in front of the Louvre. sadly... i had to use something less interesting...the agony of being a stamp hoarder.

you can click on the label *graceful envelope* and see the other entries in that category.

Friday, May 11, 2012

my mail - speed boat wake do you work? if i try to put things in a particular order, they always come out the opposite.
before my birthday, i received an email from a friend who told me she was working on an envelope. i was so excited because this was going to be the first time she sent me mail art. when it arrived... i was really happy to see that it was in pencil and that she included her preliminary sketches. then, she even said that she was going to continue working on her *wake-font.* i think it is perfect, just the way it is. and don't you love the way the pencils on the card relate to the penciled art?

i love love love the white space.
the inside of the card was very tight to the edge, adding to the overall package.

kudos. i hope you are encouraged to make more mail art.

and thank you. :-)

Thursday, May 10, 2012

red fletcher & josephine

another wavy one below. it is from the stack of samples for the red-ink bride.
again...i will try to add a second envelope to this blog entry, as all these red samples are a bit boring.

ok, i added a second one, but it popped in on top. it is a variation on my flowery writing. it had a real address, which i have blurred.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

french envelope

for years, i have admired french mail art. it's really very nice. here is a good example. i need to buckle down and spend more time on my envelopes. i have always loved the whatchamacallit spiral. i can't think of the name. it is based on the Fibonacci numbers.

here is the blog where i found this image

Tuesday, May 8, 2012


i was trying to do one of these ribbon names, slowly and carefully. when it got to this point, i started liking the white spaces and now i don't want to fill it up. does it look unfinished? i sort of like it this way. i am trying to get off my ribbon binge. but maybe i  should keep working on variations.... decisions, decisions....

Monday, May 7, 2012

a first

finally...someone stumbled across the blog and sent me a piece of snail mail. i have had several people email me, and i do appreciate receiving the emails. but i always wondered if anyone would ever be inspired to drop something in the mail...without emailing first. it is a very fun image. :-)
thank you.
i will not be posting my return mail...because i forgot to scan it before i sent it. but, it looks a lot like all my other envelopes.

Sunday, May 6, 2012


there was an earlier version of this done in red and blue. this is done with the galaxy marker which is a gel marker, so the ink is pretty dense. there is a little give to the nib, so it can be a little thicker or thinner depending on pressure. i wrote the name once.

then, on *donna* i have gone back with a G-Tec and outlined the whole thing. it takes a lot of time to outline. i also added details. but, i think it is obvious that it is much crisper with all the outlining. i suppose it would be ok without. but, once you see the difference, it is hard to say that the plain writing is fine. it might be fine in a color with less contrast. i hope i remember to try a different color.

the address will go in one line under the name.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

josephine red ribbon

i have been on a ribbon binge lately. partly because people like them and keep asking how to do them and i keep trying different methods for making them....and partly because of the ribbon that is on the heart-health stamp.

on this one, i tried a red ribbon with a black outline. i took time and was very careful. other ribbons are very quick and sketchy. i can't say that i prefer one over the other. i can say that the name josephine is almost as good as elizabeth. i especially like the number of times that the ribbon starts and stops.

Friday, May 4, 2012

my mail

and even more mail. three days in a row. i guess this one hints around at me having a day. it was about 3 weeks ago. thanks to everyone who sent mail. this is from tom. i have a nice collection of mail from tom. he is very talented with the pointed pen.
he and i are both going to be at IAMPETH this year. it is a convention for penmanship people. maybe tom and i can figure out some kind of throw down using pens and ink. i wonder if tom ever checks the blog and will see this....if he challenges me to do a pretty C, i will have to concede. and the D in Des is better than any of my Ds. geesh, throw down is a bad idea. i'm sure the only thing i could ever beat him at is a who-can-address-faster contest. competitive penmanship...bad idea.

IAMPETH, if you have not heard of it is an organization for penmanship people.  to learn more.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

my mail

thank you alyce. i love getting mail. this might be my favorite way to decorate an envelope using that stamp. i know i have struggled with it. but this is perfect. and it is a very versatile idea. completely swipe-worthy. as in, i will be swiping it :-)

i like the way she swooped the d in des moines, under the js in jean to repeat that shape. and then swooped the s in wilson, and 3 more s's in the address. i suppose the proper word for s's is esses. but maybe not. i just know there is a website that laments the excessive use of apostrophes.

ok, i promise i will not let this blog veer into the world of anything other than envelopes...but, just this once, i am going to link to something silly.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

allison & jim

i don't have a name for this style. i am sure it is a font that i saw somewhere. but, i can't find it now. it's a lot of fun to do. i can see doing it in metallic. that would go nicely with these industrial stamps.

the address will go in one line between those two blue lines. it might pop out of the lines, too. it would have been better to do this in red and black. i did it without a stamp in mind. i like the shapes in this stamp with the lettering.