Thursday, August 22, 2019

Bonus Post - Current situation

Today's regular post is right below.

Happy mail.
Leslie sent me this happy mail even though I was not on her list. She enclosed a nice note. I have a whole stack of happy mail that I need to reply to - but - I have been inundated with all kinds of things - at all points on the spectrum - and the list of stuff I need to do before I head off on my next 2 week mission is (what's that song?)

180 double envelopes - gold ink - ran late
50 picnic envelopes - emergency
50 party envelopes - planned way ahead but they forgot I told them I would be out of town - now I have to take them with me
custom invitations for the picnic
inscribe in bibles for xmas gifts - this client will probably handle a delay
dig out the two toys I promised Ben I would bring - involves climbing on ladder
write out better instructions for the care of houseplants while I am gone
visit with friend who had a fabulous wedding in July that I want to hear about and will only be in town this weekend
visit another friend whose very important grandson will be in town for weekend
find the list with all the things I can't remember off the top of my head

so, if I am so busy, why am I writing a blog post?
to tell all the people I owe mail or email to why you will not be hearing from me.

wish me luck.
also -- I probably won't have time to check the blog posts so everything that pops up from now until June 8 might be loony.

**** Thursday AM - I just read the post and see that I wrote June instead of Sept - yesterday. That is what I mean by loony. I usually read the posts a day or two before they pop up and find all kinds of things that need to be changed - but for the next 17 days - what I wrote a couple months ago is what we are going to see.

PO Display - Melissa / Cartoon stamps

Melissa's is the only one with vintage stamps. I could have used this as an opportunity to use up a bunch of vintage stamps, but I did not want to create a situation where the customers were asking for all the stamps that they saw in the display - but which were no longer available.

Part of me wants to go down to the PO and ask if they are getting any comments from the customers. Part of me does not want to ask - in case the answer is, "Nope, not a single one."


My short term memory is sketchy at best. Apparently, I decide to use none of the vintage stamps and I used a bunch of smaller denomination stamps. As I recall, it was very challenging to figure out how many to use. Addition is another skill that has become very sketchy.

I discovered this when I posted the picture of the whole display, which will show up in a few days, after I get to the end of the first PO display.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Two PTEX from J. Gurantz

J has exchanged twice. I'm not sure how they both ended up in the same stack. I tend to do this by month. Some envelopes arrive late.

I ponder changing the deadline to earlier in the month - but there are some regulars who are always sending at the very last minute. And some of those late ones are spectacular. All y'all know that this is a *no stress* exchange - so I'll leave the deadline as is -- and I am 100% sure that nobody cares about any of this.

So why did I waste my time talking about it.

I'll tell you why.

Mr. Wilson said we were going to The Foundry at 3 pm.
It is 4 pm.
I am hungry.
He know what happens when I get hungry.
Does he even remember we were going to The Foundry?
Should I just go eat something else.

Here is the other envelope from J

She had the sweetest little sticker on the back.
Mr. Wilson never tells me that I rock.
Do you think I will be laughing about the whole Foundry incident when I read this in August?
It is June 8.

Oh wait, there's more.
This was the artwork inside the first envelope.
I did not need to fill up all this space with my whining.
I'm too hungry to bother deleting.

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

PO Display - Sharon / WPA

The display needed some variety in envelope color and the WPA stamp looks great on kraft paper.

The black name was with a Faber Castell PITT brush marker. The white lines are Sakura Decorese gel pen.

Monday, August 19, 2019

May PTEX from Maureen and Lynne

Maureen did a pretty liner for the envelope, a coordinating card (with a note on the back) and the lettering is monochromatic - which I always love.

I paired hers with Lynne's because they are both calligraphers and their envelopes show how lovely an envelope is when you have really pretty penmanship. And a few dots - if you are in the mood.

Note to self- do a search for *dots* and see how many times you have mentioned dots in the past 9 years.

Double note to self: your blog's 10 year anniversary is coming up in Feb of 2020. Will there be a celebration?

6:30 am, today -- I just counted - 134 posts mention dots.

Sunday, August 18, 2019

PO Display - Lovie / Love stamp

Obviously, I had to use a Love stamp on Lovie's. The address on this one is wrong. The main PO is 1165 2nd Avenue. I don't think anyone noticed.

Again - it is not an overly inspired design, but, it's fun.

I sorta miss having last names to go on the envelopes - but didn't want to put fake ones in. I pondered writing Lastname. But decided that was goofy.

Saturday, August 17, 2019

May PTEX from Fatima and CathyO

Fatima has done some folded envelopes previously, but I am pretty sure this is the first one where she made a large drawing/painting.

It would have been so much fun to file my envelopes by sender - but too late to establish that system.

I think CathyO's is a rubber stamp. That Peace rose stamp is so versatile. It didn't grab me when it first came out - but it's really grown on me.

Friday, August 16, 2019

PO display - Porsha/Kelly

We pretended that it was Porsha's birthday. My display envelopes are not overly alternative. I figured the PO did not want me to be putting wild ideas out there. I also kept the lettering pretty simple so that hopefully people would say, "Gee, I could do that."

I wish I would have added some pink and black confetti.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

May PTEX from CaroleV, Heidi and CarolynC

May was a bumper crop of flowery envelopes. I love how they color coordinated, too.

Carole's is probably a rubber stamp  but I am not sure how she got all the different colors. It is a mistake to load posts and then come back later to write the blurbs - when the envelopes are no longer on my desk.

Plus -- I have lost a whole bunch of images of my own envelopes. Being organized is 100% off my radar with respect to the blog. Organizational skills will be limited to things that actually have consequences. Banks, drivers license, etc.

By the way - there seems to be some kind of star that we need to get on our driver's licenses to go through TSA at the airport. I do not want to post inaccurate information, so if you need to know what's what - do a search.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

PO display - Lena/Kelly

The main PO invited me to put up a display of decorated envelopes. I addressed them to the people who work there, which included Lena. I have to type the name so that it will pop up when I do searches.

I did these in June which is when the Ellsworth Kelly stamps came out. I could probably do about 20 different designs based on a grid - or 50 -

As you may recall, Natalie is my contact person at the PO. I have been doing business with her for 20 years. If you do a search you can see other envelopes that people sent to her when I invited them to do so.

She was not a big fan of the Ellsworth stamps -- until I put up the display.

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

May PTEX from Maureen, Lisa, and TrishM

My granddaughter was visiting when Scooby Doo arrived. She loved it. She loved all the flowery ones, too.

Scooby Doo is by Maureen.

Lisa did the adorable hedge hog.

The castle is by Trish.

I can't think of hedgehogs without remembering the time my daughter was trying to set up a meeting with someone who said in reference to a specific time, "I can't come then because I have to take my hedgehog to the vet." My daughter asked her if that was an actual reason or just something she said when she needed an excuse. I keep thinking I will remember the line when I need an excuse that is better than *I don't feel like it.*

Monday, August 12, 2019

June PTEX - Last one - to Heidi

In June, I had 33 people sign up to exchange. In the past, I lost my edge when I tried to do more than 30 envelopes. So, I made up two lists without me on the list. That left me with 20 - which I thought would be fine. I still burned out. And then at the very end, I was checking the list to make sure I had them all and somehow I had forgotten to do Heidi's. Curiously, I ended up liking hers a lot.

I saw that I still had the Washington stamp - so figured I would use that one and find one to go with it. I grabbed a red Copic and it was so nice and juicy- I liked the lettering better than all the others.

On the screen - it looks blah. I can't figure out why that happens. I was afraid to do the little leaves in dark green - and now I'm thinking maybe they needed to have a little more oomph.

Just glad to have June out of the way. I am thinking of doing ZERO envelopes in July. Or - only put myself on the lists that need one more person to make the numbers come out even. By the time this pops up, we will know what I did.

Sunday, August 11, 2019

May PTEX from the Paper Ladies

Three people used paper to make their own envelopes.

Top, GraceE used a Paper Source bag and a fun assortment of vintage stamps. Then she collaged the address on the bottom.
Fun and whimsical.

Inta, from the Netherlands sent the B-C-D envelope that looks like it is from a catalogue. The bird stamp is so cute.

Faye lucked out with her handmade envelope. Previous ones were chewed up by the postal machinery. This one came through OK. But, I still recommend a sturdier piece of paper inside if you have very light weight paper. Really nice match on the colors.

Saturday, August 10, 2019

June PTEX - Marker flowers

Hmmmmm. I do not recall how this happened. Someone brought me some darling little envelopes with notepaper - from Venice. The paper was nice to write on. But, somehow I ended up without names on two of them. Strange.

I do remember doing all of the flowers first and then filling in names. I have my favorite and my least favorite. But, I'll keep that to myself. I don't want to play favorites.

Friday, August 9, 2019

May PTEX from Janet and Chuck

Top envelope from Janet. She noticed the nice placement of the dots and turned them into flowers that are inspired by the eclipse. Very clever. There is some nice sparkle on the centers of the flowers.

I ganged hers with Chucks because the colors look nice. Black and white on gray is always lovely.

That extra cancel on Janet's looks just fine. Sometimes those postal glitches work out OK.

I like the name and city state all joined. Did anyone even notice. Probably not. Breaks between words and punctuation are rules that we can bend. Sure, you lose some legibility when you connect everything - but in this case - the words are so BIG that there is no way you can misread them.

Thursday, August 8, 2019

June PTEX to Maureen

This was the last one I did with the vintage postcard stamps. I still have about half the page left. It will be interesting to see if I can come up with an idea that I love.

This idea is fine - but it takes f.o.r.e.v.e.r.
I don't mind spending a lot of time - but, I like it to be when I am actually doing something. The time is in picking up and putting down.

A little planning would have been nice.

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

PTEX to Viola from Marie and Trish

These might be the last two to Viola - the series of Happy 99th Birthday mail that exchangers sent.

Marie's dangling hearts are adorable. Nice detail to put a couple hearts in the address, too.

Also, Trish did a very fun heart design that drew oohs and ahhs from guests at the birthday party.

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

June PTEX to Maggie

The M and E remind me of Gwen Weaver's romans. I need to dig that exemplar out and do some good ones.

Originally, I was not going to have those little hearts - but the spacing was off  - so that's what happened.

Monday, August 5, 2019

Feb PTEX from Pam and KathyS

A couple days ago, I mentioned a blog just for the floral designs. This one from Pam is another good example of how pretty flowers are.

I'm pairing it with one from KathyS that is sans flowers to show why I would never favor flowers over other designs. I'm just as crazy about abstract as I am about flowers.

These two also show the range from organic to man-made. There is no way I could love one more than the other.

Sunday, August 4, 2019

June PTEX to RachaelT, Kristine and KateR

At the last minute, I added details to these and then did a quick re-shoot. I wish I had individual shots of

Rachel's was a little blah and I even enclosed a note to that effect. After I added the pink, I liked it a whole lot better.

I thought the birthday girls needed something extra and the little square balloons were last minute additions.
I'm not sure they look like balloons.

A nice crisp broad edge marker is always lovely. I think I photographed Kate's envelope earlier. I saved those stamps for the longest time for Carroll who lives in Vermont. But, she did not sign up this month -- so I sent them on their way.

Saturday, August 3, 2019

Valentines in August from Leslie

We've all heard of Christmas in July, so how about Valentines in August. Leslie did a fun take on the J Giles band song. I do not usually post the notes I find inside envelopes but Leslie brings up the possibility of the blog fading away when I fade away. So - anyone who wants to apply to be my successor, drop me a line. It's easy. And fun. I can give you the password and you can start posting.

I was reading about the Hobo Festival in Britt, Iowa. It is a big yearly event. The article told about the changes to the hobo life that have occured over the years. As everyone knows, hobos have their own set of symbols and lingo. One expression that might become my preferred euphemism for death is the one hobo's use:
Took the westbound.

I love it -
reminds me of:

riding off into the sunset
going to that great scriptorium in the sky
take a dirt nap
fall off my perch

What are your favorites?

Friday, August 2, 2019

June PTEX to KathieMcC and Janet

This one is a little better than the four square ones. And Janet's is OK. The palm tree trunk seemed a little heavy - and I thought it needed another tree or maybe some cactus - but I was concerned that I was going to mess it up so, I just left them in pencil.

Follow up on my entry into the contest to win a dream trip where I wander the USofA and visit all my penpals. A while back I think I posted that I had entered the contest. They posted the first winner and I have to say she deserves to win ten times more than I do. You can read all about it here:

Trip Winner

Here is the blog post where I mentioned the contest:

Thursday, August 1, 2019

Bonus Post - from Smash

There is no envelope on the exchange sign-up - which is right below. I left myself off the exchange list in July so I could play Nanna in Chicago for a couple weeks plus I knew I had a couple jobs waiting when I got home. Taking a break has been a good idea. I might take off August, too.

Several people sent me gorgeous envelopes even though I was not on their . They are really beautiful and are a generous contribution to the blog. I will be able to continue with posting half and half - your mail and my mail.

This is a translucent envelope with layers of white. Probably a marker of some sort and a gel pen. I like how the ziggy-zaggy pattern echos the ziggy-zaggy edge of the stamp.

August Exchange - Sign-up

Jean R says she can just write in a circle without any guideline. I believe her. Although I am tempted to ask her to do it while I shoot a video.

It is time to sign up for the August Exchange.
Beginners are welcome.
No theme, any medium is welcome.
No stress - just decorate the envelope.
Experiment creatively.

Sign up is Aug 1 through Sunday August 4th. I will make up the lists on the 5th and email them out on the 5th or 6th.
We have options for: birthdays, exchanging handmade cards, and being on two lists.

In addition to your name, there will be 5 other names on your list. You send to them by the end of the month. If you are going to be delayed, please let the others know.

I need the following information typed each time you sign up and it is helpful if you follow the format:

John Doe (CARDS) (Birthday) (2 Lists)
123 Oak Street
Ames, Iowa 50010 USA

Send to:

jmwilson411 -at- yahoo -dot- com

Any questions, just email me.

Should I eat these raspberries?
I see them every morning when I walk through the park behind my house.
They are nestled in with a alarming amount of poison ivy.

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Feb PTEX from Maggie and Lynne

This one is so pretty and delicate. I included a close up. I am adding Lynne's because I am pretty sure it already ran, but maybe not and it would be a shame to skip over it just because I am disorganized with my incoming mail.

These two make me think I could start a whole blog just for gorgeous floral designs.