Saturday, December 31, 2016

If you missed the January Exchange Sign-up

The exchange sign ups are usually at the first of the month. Since I am out of town, I had the sign up last week. If you missed it, I am sorry. February will be here shortly. If you want to exchange with me, just send me an envelope.

I watch the stats on how many hits there are on my blog. For a long time, it hovered around 10,000 to almost 15,000 hits per month, but never over 15,000. Then, on Dec 23rd (which is the day I am actually writing this) I checked the stats and saw that the blog views had hit 30,000 for the month. That's very exciting. Or maybe it is a mistake.

Re-run Saturday - John Neal's Ornament

Such a trip down memory lane. It seems crazy that I first had these markers in 2011. John stocked them for a while and I loved them. But they were not reliable so he no longer stocks them. I still have some that are working. Sometimes I think about choosing a brand in my collection and just using all of them until they are used up. Then I change my mind.

The style of writing is very beginner friendly. It is a bit like ribbon writing - but has elements of a style I call Two-Wrongs-Do-Make-A-Right. Both lines are a little off, but when stacked, they seem fine.
I guess you need to also leave a bit of space between each letter.

So - this is it. The official end of 2016. As I write this on Sept 9th, it is like leaving a time capsule for me to open. I'll remember this day when I read this post. It was the day I tried to get Kristin's wedding program launched. And the day I booked a marathon babysitting trip. Have I recovered?

Friday, December 30, 2016

Disorganized as ever

Yesterday I thought I had the last two. Then I noticed these two. Maybe I will be uber organized in 2017.

The top envelope is from Lucy. The bottom envelope to Wilma really confused her. It is from me, I was sending her something and I put the same address on the return flap. She only lived three blocks away from me. It was pretty funny when she described the envelope appearing - and looking at the front and back and told me that she was very confused.

I just noticed that on the top one, there are only two loops at the end of bustell - doesn't matter...just interesting to note how long it takes to spot some of the details.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Last two combo

I guess these two do not have much in common, but I needed to finish up the 2015 holiday mail - so there you have it. 2015 is a wrap and we stagger forward or maybe some of us stride. Sure hope nobody is crawling or slithering.

2016 is a wrap, too. Now I have to decide whether to post the 2016 holiday mail in April or hold it until later in the year.

Carol on the top and Julia below.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

From Lilli

Lilli had a lot of patience with this one. Her little dots are just perfect. Love the way she designed the stamp in the middle

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

From Kate (Last chance to sign up for exchange)

Another one from Kate who often times includes a zentangle design. Nice layout - I intend to find a different stamp and different texture to do a variation on this theme.

I'm guessing it is more effective with names that have only 4 or 5 letters - eh, Rehj?

But you could always stack a longer name:




There are 3 spots left in the January exchange - if anyone wants to sign up today.
I will send out the list tomorrow.

Monday, December 26, 2016

From Lucy

Another exuberant envelope that I intend to copy in a general way. I would not have thought of layering the address. Love it.
Thanks, Lucy from Canada.

Don't miss the rubber stamp from the PO that says:

The other day I ran across the website where US postal workers can order their uniforms and rubber stamps. Fun site - but you'll have to Google it if you are interested in seeing more.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Bonus post - Cinnamon rolls

inside caption: I want buns of cinnamon.
I did a search for cinnamon roll envelope and did not find any envelopes, but thought this was a fun image. It's a card for sale on Zazzle. They have many very cute cinnamon roll images. I needed a visual to go with my cinnamon roll story that I have been composing while the rolls rise and then take to the oven.

The first annual Christmas story.

OK, Alyse says she enjoyed my circa 1996 Christmas eve story. Here’s how things are going two decades later. The younger of the two hockey players is going to be 29 in February. He has a degree in communications, not broadcasting/journalism, but actual clarity in communication between people. He agrees to show up and help me with the Christmas eve meal. When he was little, the Christmas eve gathering was at the paternal grandparents so all we had to do was get dressed and get out the door. Between 10 and 15 years ago, the grandparents had aged to the point that our family started hosting the Christmas eve dinner. 

I am a benevolent dictator in the kitchen. All my kids knew how to either follow directions to the letter or hide in their rooms. I don’t care if you want to help, but if you are in the kitchen, don’t even think about free lancing. Guess who - after 37 years hasn’t wrapped his head around THE ONE RULE of the kitchen? You got it, the guy who wins the Big Brain Award every year because he is truly smart and does a lot to keep all 5 wheels going on the Wilson Family Vehicle. The dad, the husband, the grandpa.

Keep in mind, 10 years ago, there were usually 11 people for dinner. This year we are down to four people: Jean, the husband, the 28-year old male offspring, and the 90-year old mom of the husband. Grandma will be able to join the crowd for Christmas brunch, but going out on Christmas eve would have been too much. So we pack up a nice surf and turf dinner and take it to her. We get home and the three of us are standing in the kitchen discussing the schedule for the morning. Jean needs to bake cinnamon rolls for 17 people to take to the family brunch at her sister-in-law’s house. Everyone knows to stay out of Jean’s way at the cinnamon roll portion of the holiday as dough is very time sensitive. And the year that she forgot to sprinkle the cinnamon on the dough before rolling, because nobody can ever locate a belt and think they can just waltz into the kitchen and ask me if I know where their belt is. Yes I know where it is. It is plain sight in your room and even though I warn them that if I leave my post and walk into their room and if the belt is in plain sight they will not want to be in the same room with me and of course we walk into the room and of course it is plain sight and of course Jean points to it and  Jean’s dagger-eyes flash a warning at the kid but she has to get back to the cinnamon rolls so they know they are getting off easy -a-g-a-i-n- but then when she gets back to the kitchen she forgets to sprinkle the cinnamon on the rolls and OK a decade has passed and Jean never holds grudges and she was pretty sure she could let this one go but every dang year when she gets to rolling of the rolls she has PTSD about the year that she forgot the cinnamon and I swear if one of you ever sends me a winning lottery ticket because you feel so sorry for me I will get some professional help….but I digress.

Back to Christmas eve 2016:
Jean is inserting the detergent tab in a loaded dishwasher to run it in the evening so it is empty in the morning. Mr. Wilson, who has just consumed a kick-butt surf and turf dinner that took all day to prepare and took exactly 22 minutes to consume - that Mr. Wilson - forgetting THE ONE RULE, starts rearranging the dishes in the dishwasher. 
Jean asks, “What are you doing?” 
Mr. Wilson: “Making room for more dishes.” 
There are no more dishes. They are all in the dishwasher. and Jean is clearly inserting the detergent tab which means she is ready to turn it on.
Jean states clearly, “ I have to run it now because I need it empty in the morning.” 
Well, I there must have been a tinge of something uppity in my voice, because Mr. Wilson decided to make some kind of obviously-attempting-humor remark - and included the label passive-aggressive. 
Hunter, the communications expert, sees the blood boiling behind Jean’s eyeballs and quickly defuses the whole situation with this remark, “Dad, I don’t think that was passive, I think that was just pure aggression.”

And a good laugh was had by all. 

So, the cinnamon rolls are in the oven. I don’t know how much iPhones cost, but they are worth every penny. All you have to do is ask the phone -by speaking- to alert you in 5 minutes or 10 minutes or whenever you want your next alert. Sadly, my memory is full or I would take a picture of the cinnamon rolls. 

Mr. Wilson has scurried through the kitchen a couple times. Clearly, he just needs a little refresher course every now and again. But it is only 10 am, so we aren’t going to hold our breath.

May everyone be enjoying this day as much as they enjoy every other day. Feel free to vent or share in the comment section. I know we all have warm and fuzzy memories as well as blazing inferno memories. Hopefully they all end up being funny s-o-m-e-d-a-y.

Today's regular post is right below.

Guest *Artist* - Edward Johnston - Sunday off-topic

I do not recall if I have ever posted this place as a resource for endless ideas.

Here it is Sept 9 - 8:30 in the morning and I have filled up every single Sunday for the year. I think I have all the Saturdays filled, too. All I have left are 6 weeks of Monday through Friday (30 days) and I'm done for the year.

Yippee. Speed-blogging. So tell me, does the quality suffer when I speed blog?

This book happens to be Writing & Illumination & Lettering, by Edward Johnston. One of the uber-basic books for scribes - unless you have something against Ed. I don't get into the history or politics of lettering. No time. Just thought it would be fun to have Ed as a guest artist. I doubt any of the purist or traditionalist calligraphers ever see my blog. All y'all are welcome to follow me like the pack of wild wolves we all long to be. Oh, you don't? OK, go swim with the fishes or soar with the chipmunks. Excuse my wackiness. I'm celebrating the filling of the slots.
When you get to this random page - flip through the book for endless ideas. I'm pretty sure it is all public domain material.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

A Favorite Xmas Eve Story - Sat/Sun off-topic

This is a bonus post. Regular post is right below.

Many years ago, my boys were hockey players and the fund raising opportunity for the team was a gift wrapping booth at the nicest mall in town. I happily signed up to work some shifts and I thought to myself, I bet the customers at that last shift on the 24th are a hoot, so I signed up for that shift. I had an ulterior motive for being away from my house on Dec 24th which I will explain at the end.

Sure enough, the people who arrived at the gift wrapping booth on the 24th were frantic, frazzled, and fun. Fun, in a *thank-heaven-that's-not-me* way. The most fun was watching them sigh with relief as you assured them you could get the wrapping done very quickly. Around 1 pm a man brought a large number of gifts and was eager to drop them off and pick them up later. I mentioned that unless all the gifts were going to one person he should probably fill out gift tags for us to put on the gifts, as once they were wrapped, he might have trouble remembering what was in them. He appreciated the tip and quickly made out tags and scurried off. I said to a co-worker, "He's headed to a bar to drink and he will forget to come back before we close up shop."

I could write another post about the number of times my intuition is spot on. Sure enough, we were 15 minutes from closing and his huge stack was the last order waiting to be picked up. We couldn't remember if we had even mentioned the closing time and were pondering what to do with the stack of gifts. Maybe there would be a helpful security person at the mall after closing. Fortunately, at the very last minute, he came racing in, not inebriated, but certainly very cheerful and *spirited.* Whew - and we all headed home to proceed with our own Xmas eve plans.

Why did I want to be gone on the afternoon of Dec 24th? Because it was always my job to shuttle the 4 other family members through the one shower and coax the boys into torturous *dress-up clothes* which pretty much deleted any enjoyment there might be to the holidays. Dress up clothes for boys did not mean suits and ties. It meant shirts with collars, like polo shirts, instead of t-shirts. Approaching the boys with polo shirts was like coming at them with medieval shackles or a noose. And I don't even want to discuss pants and shoes. So, I wanted my husband to experience the task. In previous years, he had chosen to shower last which meant he was avoiding the battle royale that went on after the other two were through the shower. I do not recall what I found when I got home. There is no family story about the time we had to go to the emergency room for stitches before we went to Grandma's for Xmas Eve, so they must have been ready to go.

Now that my kids are adults, I should ask them if they recall the ordeal of getting dressed on Xmas eve. Hopefully all y'all are having things just the way you like them during the entire holiday season. I am writing this on Nov 13th, so a lot can change in 6 weeks. I don't always get around to editing and updating posts before they pop up.

The image is the first thing that popped up when I did a search for gift wrap on Pinterest.

I would love to have my own booth at the mall - and offer just black or white wrapping paper. Of course the hand lettered gift tags would be the stars of the show.

Happy Holiday - 2010 Candy Cane Neuland - Saturday re-run

If you check this post from December of 2010, you will see I was just as rushed and disorganized as I am this year. My plan is to forget about trying to reform and just meander through the chaos with whatever art materials are at hand and focus on sending out some actual snail mail as well as ideas for anyone who feels like making some mail. Happy Holidays.

If you have never seen Neuland, there is a ton of it in the November and December posts of 2010. It is one of my favorite styles.

Rehj: Neuland is a really good style to use with your chisel markers.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Sign up for January Exchange

Found on Pinterest. Was for sale from Papyrus but appears to be out of stock.
Today's regular post is below this one.

It's time to sign up for the January Exchange. Send me your info by Monday the 26th. I will send lists by Thursday the 29th. Get your envelopes done and mailed by Jan 31st.

Beginners are welcome. Any medium. Digital is welcome. Read more details by clicking the tab at the top, marked *rules.*

Lists will be 5, 6, or 7 names. You might get one name that goes out of the USA requiring a $1.15 in postage.

Send me this info - and please type it in these 5 lines (or add a line where appropriate if you have extra info):
Your email

Send to me at
jmwilson411 -at- yahoo -dot- com
I will respond that your email has arrived.
If you do not hear from me within 24 hours, resend your info.

Any questions - just ask.

Yet another hot mess for Miss Cathy

I have some kind of mental block with Cathy's envelopes. I keep making hot messes and then I owe her a make-up and then I make another hot mess. I wonder if there are any therapists who could analyze and get to the bottom of this. It's stressing me.

The only think I like about this is where I put her last name.

Above written many weeks ago.
Below written yesterday.

Rehj left this comment back on the Dec 19th post. We have a conversation going in the comment section - but I am going to bump it to the daily post because it might help others.

Rehj says: Thank you for the suggestions! My first two letters or so turn out great, then things go downhill from there - I think it is lack of planning on my part or something. I'm so used to slapping it on the computer screen then rearranging and fitting it just right - till it all seems so backwards to me to have to pre-plan! LOL

My suggestion was to turn the paper in different directions which is helpful. I didn't say anything about planning, and I'm glad Rehj already knew that was part of the problem. One of the most frequent questions asked of calligraphers is how we can write out whole pages of text or a poem or just a few lines and not make mistakes. The answer is very easy. Pencil. All you have to do is pencil in the words and then rewrite what is already written. Or, even easier is working on a light table and tracing over a perfectly proofed version of the artwork.

So, yes, Rehj, find yourself a pencil and do a rough sketch of the basic skeleton of what you want to write. Somewhere in the 3,000 posts I think I have a demo on how to fit long names on envelopes. I'll either find it or do it again. But I assure you that when I want something to turn out, I pencil it first. Some names that I have written numerous times are easy and I can just wing it. I often think I can do Phillip or Finnbadger - without penciling. Nope. Those are two names that I always need to pencil.
I guess if it is a very flush left based design and I don't care how much space is on the right, I would not pencil. But to get names of that length balanced on the envelope - it takes some planning.

If you look at the hot-mess-Cathy, I think you can see that the T is too wide on the right and the Y is too narrow. The lack of planning has contributed to the hotness of the mess. And the gold gel pen was acting up, so I had to add dots and for some reason they bother me.

If you have a name with 5 letters, it is fun to write the middle one in the middle and then add the other 2 on each end. I - M and W require some adjusting in spacing. The rest of the letters can be fairly equal in size - if you are doing fun, fast lettering.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Susan K's Trees

Susan does really beautiful holiday cards every year. They usually involve lettering and cutting and the envelopes are nicely lettered, too.

I like the multi colored ornaments on the trees. They came in a business sized envelope. Very pretty proportions.

Dec 22 additional comments:
So yesterday, I found a stack of envelopes that looked rather holiday. One was addressed to Susan - so I figured these would have been the envelopes I intended to mail at the very first of Dec, and then couldn't remember if I sent, so I must not have sent any early cards.

Then, yesterday afternoon, the 2016 card and envelope arrived from Susan - and she included a note - referencing the mail I had sent her this year. SO, I must have sent some early mail. But, I have no idea what it looked like - or who all was in that stack.

I'm not going to let it bother me. If I slowly lose my marbles and the result is that people get extra mail from me - that's probably not a bad way to go. My very first job, after babysitting, was working for a fashion illustrator who taught me how to fill in the plaids and patterns on clothing for newspaper ads. She had an elderly aunt who would call from time to time and talk non-stop. Sometimes, the lady I was working for had to leave the room to tend to other things and she would hand me the phone. I would rest it on my shoulder and continue working while saying, "Um-hum," as the elderly lady jabbered on. I do not recall anything she talked about and she never noticed any differences in the *um-hums*. My employer would come back, retrieve the phone, and continue to listen as long as necessary. I'm guessing random mail would be preferable to listening to me when I get on one of my rants, eh?

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Exchangers Nancy and Carol - ice cream cones

From the August exchange. Remember summer?

Two excellent ideas to go with the stamps. I wonder if they are still available.... I have mentioned before, I watch which of my own work pops up on Pinterest and check the number of times it has been pinned. This one is at 7.5 (which I think is 7.5 thousand) so it might be the current leader. I did it very quickly last year when someone on Flourish Forum posted something similar, but wondered if his design could be improved. I could see a couple ways to tweak it, so did a quick pencil sketch and posted it. I know there are other similar designs out there. I'm just posting this so I can find in case I ever see one of my pieces that tops 7.5 on Pinterest.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Des Moines' Holiday Mailbox (2nd bonus post)

There has been conversation on the post about me dressing up like Mrs Santa - just below. I mentioned the cute little mail box that they put out at our main post office. I have not been down there this year. I need to see if it is there - and if it is, take a better photo so we can see what the sign says.

It would be fun to sit there and write letters with kids, although there probably aren't that many kids at the main post office. I probably need to do it at a mall. And probably right outside the Hallmark store. And I would have to get permission. Luckily it is too late to do anything this year.

Maybe a Mrs. Cupid outfit for valentine's day. I always love to be at a grocery store during lunch time on Valentine's day. There are always tons of guys standing there picking out the obligatory card. I've often thought I should do some fancy names on their envelopes because ladies love to see their names written fancy.

I just Googled *Mrs Cupid* and was worried that they would be too cheesecake for me. A LOT of the Mrs. Claus outfits are very cheesecake. Surprisingly - this was the first one that popped up and they were mostly very tame.

Image result for Mrs CupidI can't wear heels. I don't think anyone would even know what I was. I'd probably get arrested for having a weapon.

Bonus post

Be sure to scroll down to the regular post today.

My husband plays santa once a year for a private party. I always enjoy dressing him up in the borrowed santa suit and keep thinking I should get him his own suit. Then I remembered that one of my readers said she had a Mrs. Santa outfit and I thought - gee, I'd be a great Mrs. Santa with my whitish hair. So I did a search for Mrs Santas. A lot of them were not anything I would want to look like, but I thought this one was fun. I do not know who those people are, but my hair is whiter and could be styled that way.

Now I just have to figure out a way to tie it into the whole envelope thing. I wonder if kids would even understand the concept of sending an actual letter to Santa. I wonder how many little kids have never received a piece of mail.

Yesterday was a great mail day here. I am so tempted to post everything right now, but will proceed with the method that works best for me - scheduling posts that will appear in 2017.

Hey, Limner:
As I dropped an envelope in the mail yesterday, I noticed that I had not erased the pencil guide lines. Maybe you can erase them for me. My outgoing mail had been on my desk for about 4 days and I just couldn't let myself bring it home. Of course, now I realize that I forgot to record that envelope to you.

Limner and Smash-girl filling space

Limner (top) and Smash-girl (bottom) are both talented artists. While Limner was not in the exchange, the envelope ended up in the stack of exchange envelopes and I like to pair incoming mail - so these two seemed to go together. Both are good examples of filling up the space.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Rehj and Sara Rodgers

I grouped these two for color. The top one is from exchanger Rehj, who busted out of her digital world into hand lettering. I hope she had fun. Looks like lots of fun to me.

The bottom one is from my pen pal Sara Rodgers - who is a pre-adult....the envelope arrived inside one with a stamp and I think she meant to put one of the ice cream or soda fountain stamps on it. So cute.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Mid-afternoon rant

This is a mixed rant. I actually feel like I am at a tipping point with some of this organizational stuff. The tips and moral support some of you left on my last rant have been really helpful.

I just downloaded or uploaded (aaarrrgghhh - which is which) the photos and videos from my last trip. But now I can't figure out where they are. They sure aren't in the download file. And there is no upload file. End of rant.

Whilst searching for the up-down-load of stuff, I ran across this - and -dang- I can't see the artist's name to give proper credit. But it reminds me of how I approach my holiday mailings.....

An alert reader who knows I am always recommending *stealing* ideas - the same way Austin Kleon recommends stealing like an artist - noticed that there is an artist's manifesto on Brain Pickings today that states very clearly that one should never steal. The alert reader asked me to clarify.

I agree with everybody and nobody. You should do the same. If you get three artists together, you will have 5 or 6 opinions. Most of them can see things both ways. Don't blindly follow me. My opinions are simply things that work for me. Except when they don't. Of course I have a couple groupies who claim they followed my suggestions and are currently experiencing all kinds of good things. But, it would be silly to think that it was my suggestion that made a difference. It could have been a coincidence.

The artist who wrote the manifesto had a rough (to put it very mildly) upbringing. Art saved her. But, she's understandably a little edgier than some of the rest of us. Her perspective works for her - and if her perspective resonates with you - by all means, embrace it.

OK, back to my tilting with the computers.

Guest Artist - Celia Lister

Celia has been featured on the blog previously, but she deserves to be on multiple times. Very inspirational ways of using the basic shapes of letters to break up the page and then add some details. This looks very envelopish to me.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Saturday Re-Run - Christy's House - Adoption Stamp

This was an all-time favorite stamp. Great colors and wonderful details to pull out. I should look at the current crop of stamps, find the one with the most details and colors and see if I can re-use this idea.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Mid-morning Rant

These stamps are gloomy. Luckily I did not buy any. They seemed OK when I first saw the image online, but they are dull and lifeless on the envelopes I have been receiving.
This isn't the rant. I just wanted to have an image on the post - and this is the second post of the day. Scroll down to see the calm post.

I need to rant at myself because I think I sent some holiday cards before I left town on Dec 6th. But, now I can't remember if I actually did, or was just thinking about it. Has anyone received a holiday mailing from me? If you are in the exchange and received an envelope - that is not a holiday mailing.

If anyone can think of a system for me to remember what I have mailed, I am open for suggestions. In general, I have made huge progress in getting 37 years of chaos organized. I suppose I should just start over with the holiday mailings. I can't imagine anyone will think, "Oh, dang. Another piece of hand addressed mail. Why don't I get more junk mail?" It would also make up for 2015. I don't think I sent much last year.

Thank you for letting me rant. Feel free to add your own personal rant in the comment section.

Mississippi pen pals

Cindy (top) and Cathy (bottom) sent these for the August exchange. I don't know if they are coordinating their themes and decided to go with a dog-days-for-August theme.

It's fun to make these envelope pairings with my stacks of mail from exchanges.

And speaking of exchanges, the sign up for January will be Dec 24-Dec 28. I need to send the lists on Dec 29th. Reminders will be posted as we get closer to the 24th.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Exchangers Chuck and Jannie

From the August exchange - grouped because they both have fun flower designs. Chuck's is a little more botanical while Jannie's is a little more stylized. Jannie included the card with the floweresque design. On the envelope, it looks like she transferred the face image with either rubber stamping or running it through her printer and then all the petals are added by hand. I hope I have time to experiment with putting some images on easily and then adding the hand work.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Practice Productive Procrastination

From Elizabeth Walsh - a long time pen pal. I think that style of lettering on the bottom is called bones. Every time I see it I make a note to try it...and then never get around to it....
Elizabeth knows I am a big fan of Austin Kleon. I have no trouble investing in large amounts of productive procrastination.

This post is the one I am writing that fills all the slots up to December 31st. I hopped around a bit. But, it is September 17 as I write this. I might make a big splashy post on Sept 18th to celebrate that I schedule more than 3 months of posts - which will free up a ton of time to see if I can get organized in 2017.

Although, my first question is - why exactly do I want to be organized? Part of me sees the advantage. The other part of me feels like I just got tricked into putting on a straight-jacket.

Onward through the fog.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

One of my grasshoppers

This particular grasshopper has a good idea that you should keep in your stash of ideas. Quick and easy. I'm not sure she has invested in any fancy markers yet. I feel like she said she is still using Crayola - which is just fine.

Monday, December 12, 2016

3D Pop-up Snowflakes

A fun card that ties in with the stamp and design on the envelope. Super nice. Thank you Miss Cathy.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Guest Artist - Catherine Langsdorf

Catherine is another very talented scribe who has been in the Graceful Envelope exhibits many times.

If I remember, I will come back and put a link to her website. Right now, It is Sept and I am racing like mad to get all the posts for the rest of 2016 scheduled to pop up. Imagine what I can accomplish if I have three solid months to just plan and organize the 2017 blog.

Highly steal worthy layout on this envelope, eh? I think the theme was the letter S. But there are all kinds of way to base an envelope on one letter.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Saturday Re-Run - Kate's Double Cross T

This one gets a re-run because it is one of my favorites where the unconventional doulbe cross on the T is such an improvement. I like the way the angles fit with the angles in the K-A and E.
Back in 2010, my ZIG markers were pretty fresh and juicy. They are mostly used up and this might be the year that I actually throw them away. It will be like putting a pet to sleep.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Smash Girl

An exuberant envelope from Smash Girl. SHe has the same zip code problem that was on another envelope - so I am wondering if I had my zip code wrong on the list. Sorry....

Thursday, December 8, 2016

My Digital Buddy

These are both from Eric in France.

Eric has a ton of mail on his blog and I love the way he put the name of each sender in a label so you can pull up all the mail from each individual. If I had time, I would go back and do that on my blog. Sadly, that's on the PWGD list. Probably won't get done.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016


I hope Ruth doesn't mind that I included a photo of her with her husband at the American Gothic house in Eldon Iowa. I was there many years ago and would love to go again now that they have a visitor center where you can borrow the clothes for your photo. It just thrills me to no end that the house has been saved. It is so cool that one of the top two most recognized painting came from Iowa. If you are ever in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, be sure to visit the apartment over a garage where Grant Wood lived which is now a museum. One day after doing some plastering or painting, he hung his bib overalls over the top of a small door on a cabinet or closet. They dried and he ended up leaving them there and making a kind of bas-relief sculpture feature. Hard to explain. I'll see if I can find a photo of it.

The bottom envelope is from Kate.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

White Space

These two are grouped for the white space as well as the colors.

Thanks Jan above and Lilli below.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Brown Kraft Paper

All y'all know how much I love the kraft paper. Both of these are from Phillip.


I have been getting spam in the comment section so I switched the settings to *moderated* which means that I have to see the comment and OK it before it is published on the blog. So, if you leave a comment it will not pop up right away on the blog. I generally check my email a few times every day, so there shouldn't be much delay on the comments. Thank you for your patience.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Guest Artist - Mgness

In my mind, this is what my house feels like. The photo is from Flickr. This will link you to the exact photo and you may surf along to see some other fantastic images. Flickr is a fabulous place to surf.

here is his website

Bonus Post - Mini Xmas Book

The concept of Christmas is fine with me. The reality of all the cheezy merchandizing and over-the-top everything wears me out. To maintain my wee bit of balance, I focus on the mail and anything relating to paper. A favorite holiday story is the year I chose to work the very last shift on Dec 24th in a gift wrapping booth at a mall. I will post this story on Dec 24th.

Anyhow, this little book caught my eye on my most beloved Pinterest. All I can say is WOW. I could easily make my own version of it and hope to do so s-o-m-e-d-a-y.

Check it out at the link. There are more photos as well as the price tag.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Saturday Re-Run - Name + Exemplar

This one gets into the re-run group because I like the idea of putting a whole exemplar on an envelope.

The numbers were to see how many of the 26 letters in the alphabet were in the name. If I had it to do over again, I would number 1-26.

Friday, December 2, 2016


I thought these two went together because they are both rather whimsical. I liked the way the Mary Englebreit card inspired the sledding image.

Thanks Carol and Jill.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Full Alphabet from the Nov 29, 2011 post

Someone left a comment on my Nov 29, 2011 post asking if I had the full alphabet to the one used on the envelope on that post.

The envelope is from Chuck and is very similar to this alphabet. He gave the S a bigger swoop on the bottom and he added a curl to the first stroke on the W. He used a much smaller O.

The fun of this style is that you can mix it up and make your own variations. I should make a lower case to go with it.

Someone brought me some lettering that had just the words -whimsical christmas- and asked me if I could figure out the rest of the letters. The sample I had was not very clear. What is at the top of this page is not what they gave me. It is my own writing based on the sample. It was really fun to come up with all the rest of the letters.

I can see so many more places to make variations. Thanks to *anonymous* for asking if there was a full alphabet. It was fun to dig into my big box of alphabets. I can hardly lift it. I need to get them all scanned before I get to old and weak to lift the box.

Here is a link to the image that caught someone's eye on Pinterest.

Pink for the Holidays

Florence above, Janet below, both used pink for the holidays. The pinkish snowflake stamp invited pink. That set of ornament stamps is a favorite of mine because it offers just about every color for the holidays.