Tuesday, June 30, 2015

h.b. karen - white water lily + origami envelope

stealing from myself. not a new idea, maybe i owe an extra envelope today.

or, here is a link to a site with a ton of ideas, not envelope addressing, but the origami envelopes are adorable.


Monday, June 29, 2015

from rehj

these two arrived together. the top one if from the may exchange. the bottom one is an example of an envelope that Rehj sent for an event.

these are done on a computer and i suspect Rehj is a graphic designer. or maybe someone who just loves to play with fonts. there are times when i wish i had spent more time learning how to do things like this on the computer...but, it didn't happen. i blame it on the offspring. all that time driving to pick up fast food really cut into my creative time. and what happens to kids who are raised on fast food and kraft mac? all three turned into foodies. always rejecting the ways of the parent. and none of them read this blog, so they will not be availing themselves of all my valuable parenting tips.

but, i digress....thank you, Rehj, for participating in the exchange and sending the bonus.

p.s. i did make really good homemade marinara sauce - so they did have some exposure to decent food.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Saturday, June 27, 2015

miss munster's stella

sometimes when you ask for a hand cancel, the envelope will go into the pile of mail that goes to the machines and get another cancel. in this case, it is a rather interesting addition. but, it might have been better without. i really like this idea where only the essential information is right-reading and the non-essential information is used as the design elements. this idea has all kinds of possibilities.

thanks, miss munster.

also, miss munster asked if i might be joining the chicago guild at any of their workshops. sadly, i have had to put workshops, conferences and conventions on the list of things that i no longer do. i miss seeing all my penpals, i really do....but, after years of neglecting my family, they finally figured out something that would lure me into the fold. grand-offspring. i was not expecting to enjoy messy crabby small people again. but, some kind of weird subliminal wiring seems to be connected.

Friday, June 26, 2015

h.b. karen - purple water lily

i think i saw an A like that somewhere. this might need something else. i just like playing with the giant copic marker.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

finn's butterfly & janet's lettering

these two stamps are perfect with the paper. very strange how the cancel is just a city, state, date, up-side-down.

i'll never understand the p.o. but i do appreciate anytime they forgo the nasty sharpie marks

thanks finn

 also, thanks to janet, who sent me a card. i don't remember what i named this style. it was one that was a request from someone who had only a couple words and wanted a full alphabet. that's one of my favorite activities. making up the rest of an alphabet when i only have a few of the letters. not sure why everyone does not enjoy it as much as i do.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

h.b. karen - pink water lily

only the second one in my series and it isn't exactly a steal from anywhere. although, it might be. i don't remember.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

from miss munster

an interesting composition. the cancellations are important. she must be thinking about them ahead of time. or maybe she has set up a work station at her post office. that's what i have always wanted to do.

thank you, miss munster

Monday, June 22, 2015

h.b. karen - linum

i think karen's birthday is today. back in march she dropped a pretty funny invitation for me to send her a ridiculous number of envelopes for her birthday. so, i did a bunch. this was inspired by the fun flowers that nonnie sent back in april. they look like dancers - which would be another idea to explore.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

smash - double bird on head

smash says she had a crow on the head that was so dreadful she had to put a woodpecker on top of the crow. the adhesive did not want to stick to the crow, so the stamp fell off....but only after the scan. i will keep the non-pleasing-to-smash bird in my top secret file. i always like horizons.

thanks, smash

Saturday, June 20, 2015

nancy's peacocks

another early one i forgot to post. i like the idea, but they just look so scraggly. once again, it is not wednesday. note to self: don't even try to be orderly.

these were g-tecs with a bit of water added.

Friday, June 19, 2015

MOMA exhibit

how could i have missed this?
MOMA had an exhibit of mail art in 2014.


i have always wanted the des moines art center to have an exhibit of mail art.....but figured they would consider mail art too amateurish...but if MOMA has done it, that should be enough validation...

and a personal note to all the people i owe personal notes to...it may be a while. i thought i was caught up - but  there was a tsunami of events that have pulled the rug out from under me and...

(i desperately want to add a third metaphor, but am running late - so maybe Jack will think of a zany ending to the sentence)

today's regular post is below

kay's ramirez flower

this is a really nice idea inspired by the ramirez stamp. it's from a new penpal. the original envelope is a no.10. i cropped off the left margin so that the lettering would be a little larger. i hope that's ok with kay. i think the design works well with lots of white space as well as a little less.

thanks for joining the exchange, kay.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

carol & kate exchange

top one from carol and bottom one from kate, both for the may exchange. the skaters are perfect on the snowy slope and kate did a wonderful job of pulling ideas off the stamp. she used the most logical bits and i'm sitting here scratching my head and wondering why i had such a terrible time coming up with ideas for these stamps. i'm pretty sure it is because i'm not a big fan of rulers and ink. the rulers get inky and then i have to clean them and i'm lazy. but, in this case, i think it was definietly the way to go.

thank you carol and thank you kate.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

repeat? cathy's parabolic olympic

sometimes i wake up and find an envelope in the scanner and i have no idea if i blogged it. if this is a repeat, i'll delete it. otherwise, it's a warning. don't try to do a mosaic pattern unless you have infinite patience. or are actually working in mosaic.

hester and rehj - broad edge designs

 another envelope pairing. i like how they were both broad edge designs. and the colors go nicely. the top one is from hester. her stylized flower is a nice blending of the themes of the two stamps. and the lower envelope is from rehj.

i can tell that the address is a font, but i can't tell if the ribbon writing is a font. it doesn't matter. i like fonts as much as i like hand lettering. i like how rehj fit everything together.

thanks to both of you for participating in the exchanges.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

jan's convertible

jan used to drive a red convertible. i had to add the other car because i messed up her address. this style of lettering is lifted from somewhere. i used a bullet point ZIG Writer and then I outlined it. not sure where i will put the street and zip. after messing up once, i have SAA
Second Attempt Anxiety. the third attempt is always the charm. i dread going through the process of doing the second bad idea.

Monday, June 15, 2015

carol's peacock

we are having peacock wednesday a couple days early because we are too lazy to move things around. as i mentioned, this is my favorite of the whole series.

h.b. to me - from tom and chuck

birthday greetings that arrived from two of my penpals. they both go back to the very beginning of my calligraphy and lettering days when i joined the local guild. in fact they were founding members. sadly the guild is no longer active...but i am happy that we stay in touch. (although i never remember their birthdays....i'm surprised they still remember mine.)

thanks, tom
thanks, chuck

Sunday, June 14, 2015

bonus post - mailman's rock sculpture

a postman built this over 33 years from pebbles he picked up as he delivered the mail.

very nice story, including photo of the tomb he built for himself and also detail photos.

this link is fine for an overview


this is the official site, with more photos and more information for those interested in lengthier chore-avoidance.


today's regularly scheduled post is below.

2 experiments for smash

in using up all the leftovers, i tried some green on these envelopes. not a good choice. then i discovered that the hudson river stamps looked good on this color envelope. they are from paper source and called curry. i wish i had done something else. now, i am out of the curry envelopes but i have more hudson river stamps. i'm sure i have missed smash-girl's b-day. but we should all be happy that my desk and stacks are approximating the level of tidiness that i desire.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

h.b. to me - from jeri

the card is on top.
love it
must try it

love the envelope
love the dot on the i
love the S
love that the O is white

below is a photo of jeri with 100 envelopes that she had in an exhibit last year

thanks, jeri

Friday, June 12, 2015

off topic

if i found one of these chairs (to the right), i would do this, but i don't think it needs the hat.

and if i found one of these (below), i would fill it with mail

record breaking number of envelopes to address this weekend - so i will be taking breaks and adding bonus posts to the regularly scheduled posts

today is the last day to sign up for the next exchange


elizabeth's ribbon

karen was interested in seeing more ribbon writing. i did a pencil line, scanned it and it appears below. then i did a back and forth thing over the pencil line. i don't think this is enough to show how to do ribbon writing. i need to get my cinematographer, jan, over here to shoot some video.

see bonus post below this one

Thursday, June 11, 2015

desk cleaning - tim gunn, clotheslines, two red scrolls, finn's train

 i do not recall if i already posted these envelopes. the top one is from finnbadger. he and i are huge tim gunn fans. i saved the postcard from when tim was in town. i blogged about going to the talk. then i wanted to make it into something fabulous for finn. but in my quest for a clean desk, just mailed it to him without doing anything. so, of course, he mails it back. he's been such a polite little grasshopper. now, it seems like he is messing with me. i have added to it and mailed it back.

this was a second attempt.
not any better than the first.
i might even start removing all these ramirez envelopes that are not blogworthy.

bonus post - weaving and quilts

a friend sent me this page out of Traditional Home magazine about a weaver who reproduced a piece of mail she had received. it was double fun to see that the address is in ridgefield, CT, home of our dear friend, Smash-girl. i wonder if Arlena and Sue are neighbors.


some of her other work is mind boggling. photo realism in tapestry. who knew.

i have some other mail inspired quilt and fabric-y images. here are a couple. still looking for some others.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

peacocks playing poker

200 followers and 400,000 views.
thank you readers :-)

today's regular post is below this one

i google a ton of obscure stuff and i can never stump google. i have never had an original idea. until this one. there was not a single picture of peacocks playing poker. i was stunned. also happy that i finally had an original idea. but i am equally depressed that this is it.

then, to make matters worse, i folded the paper too close to the lamp, so now it is a reject. and i hesitate to invest more time along these lines. even though it is tempting to google every single creature to see if anyone has done them playing poker.

serious time wasting information follows:

tree wreck

i woke up the next day and completely forgot i was going to put money on the tree and put these stupid leaves. i don't hate it, but it's a little ho-hum.

i like that stamp with the lettering.
wish i would have put it down, right above 3rd street.

then i thought the leaves might look better outlined because everything on the stamp is outlined and i think this is an improvement  -

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

belated birthday greetings to john

i think john still checks my blog daily. i saw birthday greetings to him on facebook on saturday, june 6, so i quickly made this envelope. he lives about 3 blocks from me and i don't have his exact address, so, this will just be waiting at my house for me to figure out his address...which will be hung off that third clothesline.

or he could hike over, knock on the door, and say, "give me my damn envelope." call first, john, and i'll make a video. don't come later than 7 pm as i will be asleep.

this idea should catch the eye(s) of those people who intend to learn how to do enough lettering to make fun envelopes (without going to any work to learn anything). this is the worst possible lettering. the only thing that makes it fun is the color, the variety, and the outlining. and all you need are cheap kids markers or sharpies.
for outlining, i do have all the G-Tec colors that they make, which will set yo back a few dollars. but you could just get a really sharp pencil and outline with pencil and it would be pretty. or colored pencils, if you have them.

my birthday - finn & sonjia

the top one arrived from finn, i love crumpled paper and also like that stamp a lot. i paired it with the one below from a friend of mine who lives in story city. i need to research how that town got its name. i love the way she sends vintage photos in her mailings....so cute.

thanks, finnbadger and sonjia.

update  to this post which was written several weeks ago

sadly, sonjia passed away suddenly on may 26. everyone who knew her was shocked and saddened.


i met sonjia when a friend of hers brought her to a calligraphy guild meeting. she had no previous experience at any art or craft but she took to lettering like a duck takes to water. at our first meeting, she was looking through my notebooks and saw some of my winning entries in the Graceful Envelope contest. she quietly made a note, researched the contest, entered and that year we were both winners. the link above shows a second winning envelope by sonjia. i was so proud of her to just dive into lettering and not be timid. sonjia is also the person who told me about someone who always signed off their letters, Onward through the fog. i loved that sentiment and have adopted it as my own.

sometimes i just say -onward-


Monday, June 8, 2015

spencerian peacock video

if you need a *peacock fix* today, here is a peacock and all kinds of other interesting spencerian artwork combined with music in a video. i can't make out what the words are. something mushy, no doubt. my apologies if it is offensive. i just look at the pictures.


it was made to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin's inks (popular with scribes)

and then alert reader, jackie, sent this superb link to the peacock room - one of those stories about artists that just makes you smile and be proud to be an artist. so validating. thank you jackie.



today's regular post is below- and below that is another one.
peacock madness has me up to 3 posts a day - but i promise, from now on, we will only have peacock wednesdays. i hope i haven't scared anyone off.

i had to give up on peacock wednesdays, too much work to find a calendar. but, i think i only have one peacock per week from now on. elizabeth sent me a font that took me into new territory.

stamp strips for janet

jan and i run a free lance ER. yes, an emergency room for bridal disasters. some poor bride becomes a victim of an unscrupulous printer, who will be named....Crane's....and then we bail them (the bride) out. we do the entire mailing and get it in the mail using top secret methods. we are also left with stacks and stacks of edges off the sheets of stamps. i can't fathom why jan doesn't want them. so, i get to use them. the results are never my favorites, but, i like doing something different. maybe someday i will discover something wonderful. i seldom give up on a medium.

i can't figure out why Crane's is taking such pleasure in running customers around the block. there must be some kind of conspiracy. my screenwriter genes are awakening.

peacocks - for finn and jack

i doubt anyone would find the lerche in this one.
or notice that the top-knot feathers on the head spell out phillip. but it is slightly better than the pamela

and then i had this idea for jack which is a more polite than the first one - even though he says he liked the first one. this one might look better with the eye on the left end curved up and the other end curved down.

Sunday, June 7, 2015


todays post is below this one
so be sure to scroll down.

Since the exchanges are so popular, Jan has offered to run the next one.

Beginners are most welcome.
Calligraphy is fine but not mandatory.
Digital designs are fine.
Any medium is fine.
There is no theme.
You do not have to put anything inside the envelope - just decorate it.

Sign up for 5 envelopes by Friday, June 12th. Lists will be emailed to you
on Saturday, June 13th.
Please get your envelopes in the mail by June 30th.

If you want to do 10 envelopes, include that in the email to Jan and if there are enough people who sign up, you will get 10 names. Who you send to and who you receive from may not be the same people.

your name,
complete address
and email

If anyone is missing envelopes from the previous exchange, please let Jan know.

remember to scroll down to the post for today, below this one.

jack's peacock

sorta leaves ya speechless, eh, jack?

i left out carol's. hers will come up in a few days. it is actually my favorite of the whole series.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

bonus post - finn's peacock

i'll be working on a better version of making the tail into the name. i really need to set up a live feed channel so i can just post the progress of the various ideas.