Friday, April 30, 2010

friday bonus

i managed to get the jobs done today and still have energy to scan. these two go together and are examples of what to do if you are not a lettering artist. these are just geometric shapes. pencil the letters in first. if you have a little protractor you can use it as a template. then go over the pencil lines with shapes. and lines and zig zags or whatever. i see i missed a spot on the e in the zigzag spotted one.

jackie 28 candy hearts scribble

super scribble friday. as soon as i get my jobs done, i'm going to dig into the stacks and find some samples that are not scribbles and not neuland. for the non-scribe-viewers, neuland is a style of lettering that is bold and chunky, so it's a good *font* for envelopes. i should have been labeling all these posts with the style used. label by stamp, by name, by font, by design principle...i'm fishing for someone with organizational skills to tell me how this can be done. you know who you are.....

Thursday, April 29, 2010

jackie 23 xmas +card

this set of 4 holiday stamps was an all time favorite. so many little details on the stamps. the non-traditional colors are fun. the scan includes the holiday card that went with the envelope. if you are into making cards, you can design the card around the stamp.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

another film strip

this was the first one i did for this stamp. carol called me wondering if i had any good ideas to go with this stamp. she remembers that it was ten years ago :-)i remember using a really large marker that was very smelly, like a sharpie, only not a sharpie. the white is white gel pen.

milking the cows

now that three people have asked me why i am up at 1 am posting to my blog, i will explain that when you post to a blog, you can put whatever time you want on the post and click [post] and whatever time you plugged in will appear. so it is usually 5 or 6 a.m. when i post, but i just set it at 1 a.m. there was a time when i had the [scheduling] feature figured out and i could schedule postings that would post themselves at 1 a.m. but the last time i tried that, the post popped up on line, instead of waiting in the queue. i've had people notice that i am up and emailing at 5 am and wondered if i was up milking cows at that hour. no, i do not have cows.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

jackie 24 film strip

a good way to arrange the first name and last name is to count how many letters are in each name and see how they relate. d-a-v-i-s fits in the spaces between j-a-c-k-i-e. the letter *i* can be a problem when working out the design. this one is not an exact grid. the idea of film strip letters is not carried out literally.

jackie 21 candy heart

this one is one of a series. this stamp inspired scribbling and there are several others that are less scribbly. i used to buy boxes of 100 A2 envelopes from the office supply stores. these creamy colored ones were very pretty with some of the stamps.

Monday, April 26, 2010

jackie 20 af academy

greatings to all my followers who are graduates of the academy. if possible, maybe i can find a sample of the type of mail i sent to the usafa in the middle of the last century

Sunday, April 25, 2010

escort cards

this blog is about envelopes and this morning i was writing out a set of escort cards (the kind that go in little envelopes) and i spotted a very fun name on the john hancock. i did an envelope using the same style of writing as all the others, but then i made this one, in case the bride wants to surprise mr. hancock. or maybe mr hancock always gets a special escort card. i wonder if he is a relative of john hancock?

mixed up

this one did not scan very well. and it's mixed up in the numbering system. i do know i used a dried up copic marker for the broad strokes and purple details. if i allowed myself to have a complete set of the broad copic markers, i'd have serious trouble leaving my studio.

graceful contest - last reminder for this year

this is a practice page from jackie placed on a black sheet of paper. she did find some really good nesting material and put it behind the cut out section. somewhere i have a photocopy of her winning entry which i will find and post. it was really beautiful. the deadline to enter this year is april 30. google graceful envelope for details and to see lots of past winners.

my mailbox (from jackie)

this just in from jackie :-)two down, 8 to go.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

outlines and inlines

there are lots of outlining examples on the blog. this one has inlines, too. this one is a little too scribbly, but the layout is fun.

Friday, April 23, 2010

jackie 20.1

it is always hard to remember how much i was planning and how much just happened. there are several places where these letters connect that make all the pieces work together. mostly, it illustrates that letting things touch creates interesting shapes and spaces. too often, people leave a lot of space between elements and then things just float. leaving space can be beautiful, but, it is trickier than just packing it all in like sardines.

it was hard to post that poinsettia below because it is so rough. this is a better example of taking enough time to do it right. i squared off all the edges of the black which would have taken some time. but i do see one spot i missed.

sandy 15

i like the idea of this. the lettering imitates the style of lettering on the stamp. and the flower is a little bit like the one on the stamp. i really do enjoy drawing flowers, so it is too bad that i do not have time to do a nice version of this one, but it should serve as an inspiration for all the other flower stamps. it's nice to just repeat the image, LARGE and keep the address small. if you do not know how to draw, you can enlarge the image on a scanner or photocopier and trace it. if it is a current stamp, you can take an image off the USPS website, paste it into a word doc and enlarge it.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

sandy 19

this one was lost in the list of very old posts, as a draft. just need to get it posted so that my elaborate filing system stays in order. ok, all the people who actually know me can stop rolling around on the floor laughing.

my mailbox

this one arrived yesterday. it is a thank you from jeri hobart. she was last years winner in the graceful envelopes contest. if jeri would like to send me scans of any of her other envelopes, i would be happy to post them. and she has a website. if she wants more visitors to her website, she is welcome to leave the address in the comment section. her pointed pen work is fantastic. the envelope is addressed to jean & wilma because my mom, wilma, helped host a bunch of scribes who were in town for a workshop. thanks jeri. maybe i should start a contest to see who can have the highest number of labels. so far jackie is in first place, but the followers of this blog would probably love to see more jeri envelopes :-)

sandy 20

the horizon on any stamp is a useful design element. extending the line divides up the white space. not sure why i wrote the name where i did. the address chunks aren't working very well. but, i've seen worse

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

abstract stamps

probably a little too much curve on the line. just filling in three of the spaces is enough. if you had time, filling in all of them would be fun. it is done with black marker, and colored pencil, which is then blended with the colorless blender. the light pencil lines will be the address. the line above the names will be the last name.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

my mailbox

another letter from a friend who knows how to play around with stamps and letters. i like how the stamp on the left is lined up with the horizon on the right stamp. and the floral letters are lovely. yesterday i spent some time with a local penpal on envelopes and flowers. i should have pulled this one out. hope it inspires her.

jackie - cary grant

while looking for something else, i found cary grant. the blog is looking pale, with all those wedding samples. and cary looks nice next to grace. this is gold gel pen on black linen paper. minimal amount of planning on the spacing.

sandy 18

hmmmm....i can't see this one clearly enough to determine if i used ink or a marker. i will have to post this and then make a comment. either way, it is beautiful stamp. wouldn't it be fun if i could have my own faux postage stamp of myself done in an engraving like this? i suppose it could be done. there are still people creating this kind of line art. would somebody please research this for me?

Monday, April 19, 2010

wedding envelopes

this is a sample that shows the *problem* with people who want to update the mr and mrs format. they think that mr and mrs john smith does not give equal attention to the wife. but, they still want the formality of mr and mrs. rumor has it that it was martha stewart who first suggested this format. it worked out fine on this envelope because it is very wide. some calligraphers really object to trying to fit so many names on one line. i do not care for the format, but, i'll do it without complaining. the only thing i refuse to do is mr and mrs john and mary smith. that has *and* twice. if they want mr and mrs as well as both first names, i insist they convert it to mr john and mrs mary smith and i reserve the right to use & whenever necessary.

wedding envelopes

most wedding invitations are pretty traditional. it's always fun to address the more contemporary styles. i like the use of all lower case, too.

sandy 17

quick interpretation of the font on the stamp.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

wedding envelopes

it has been pointed out that i do not have any samples of wedding envelopes. here is a sample with Bickham Swash. it is one of my favorites to write. i do not use dip pens and ink very often. i prefer to make it look like someone just addressed it using their regular penmanship. i suppose it looks like better than average penmanship, but it does not look like someone who can do a perfect copy of a font.

my mailbox

this one arrived a couple days ago from a well known mail artist who shall remain nameless unless she decides to make a comment;-)

i like how she, too, comes up with interesting arrangements of the elements.

sandy 16

this one is only good for people with really short addresses. although there are ways to insert longer addresses. use finer tip pens. i like the stamp in the wrong corner. yes, it is perfectly ok to put the stamp in the wrong corner. even though some postal workers will point out that they prefer the upper right corner, they still have to accept the letter if it has a stamp.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

sandy 13

quick and sloppy. what can i say? even though the stamp has no horizon line, there is that chunky line of type at the bottom. it seems to help to give the big name something to *sit on*

Friday, April 16, 2010

sandy 11

sandy does have a good name for decorated envelopes. this is just done with markers. the stamp is one of the cool engraved stamps. it would have been fun to do this one in ink with a real nib.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

sandy 12

i'd love to get my hands on a lot more of these stamps. just did the houses very quickly with the zigs. doesn't really matter how rough they are. little square houses with triangle roofs are always happy. channel your inner kidlet when trying to draw elements that are on the stamp. as picasso said, "every child is an artist. the problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up." and... "it took me four years to paint like raphael, but a lifetime to paint like a child.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


in my spare time, i am becoming a portrait artist. stick figures are really hot right now. this is the rough draft of a piece that is soon to be printed...wait until you see the finished art...


there should be one more tulip if i keep digging. this one is just a little rectangle and then i give the zig zag top to the flower when i outline it. the overall shape of some tulips is rather boxy. so, they do look a bit like tulips. nobody would mistake them for daisies.

all three of these are done with markers. do the marker first, then outline. they look better with the little gaps and white spaces, imho.


this envelope arrived in the mail from one of my followers. there is an invitation on the reverse side of the envelope to "add what you want." the po did not cancel this stamp, so, i am tempted to remail it. my conscience would demand that i add another stamp.
decisions decisions. do i keep this in my collection, do i add to it, do i add and return.


this was a leaf that fell off a plant. i have a roll of sticky film, like contact paper, only i think it is a different brand. it seems thinner and shinier. i sandwiched the address in with the leaf. i have not seen this idea done for the graceful envelope, so anyone with time to enter (by april 30th) is welcome to use this idea. it will take very little skill to make something more beautiful than this. i suspect it was a little prettier when the leaf was *new.* however, those nasty italics were never *pretty*

sandy 10

cute cute cute. any surprise that i love stamps with envelopes on them???? has anyone started a blog to make fun of people with mail obsessions?

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

sandy 9

i mostly love all the love stamps. they should re-issue a page of 20 different ones from the past.
that technique of putting a dot or design in between each letter is one to remember. i've gotten a lot of mileage out of it.

Monday, April 12, 2010


my scribbling friend jackie is in town and brought a few old envelopes. this one was to her daughter. there are lots with this stamp.

sandy 8

i don't know what i was thinking about when i spaced those three lines of the address. they bug me now. i guess i was lining the center line up with the middle LOVE. it should have lined up with the bottom of the n.

all of the sandy series were done really fast. i even have a group of them that are designated *extra sloppy* because i was losing momentum, but wanted to get them done. they are all bound into a little book.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

sandy 7

i often times stack four letter names in a robert indiana style. it's fun to try it with 5 and 6 letter names. making the break between syllables helps with the legibility. the SA could have been a lot wider because it's easy to make a wide S. and D-N-Y are all letters that are easy to make narrow, but, i don't think i would have liked it. the lettering came first and then the outline. but with the lavender box, the line came first and then the color was filled in. i like to leave little bits of white showing. clearly, i am not compulsive.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

sandy 4, 5, 6

this is the end of the pink rose series. i only did 6 before i decided to move on to other stamps. as much as i like to doodle flowers, these were not holding my interest.

after i run through 10 sandy envelopes, i'll run through a set i just found that i had completely forgotten about. more of the love stamp that is not the robert indiana stamp, but it has a colorful geometric LO stacked on top of VE. i suspect that i have more envelopes designed around that stamp than any other.

Friday, April 9, 2010

sandy 2 and 3

look at yesterday's caption for explanation of these two. i didn't save enough of these stamps, so the rest of these will not have the pink flowery stamp.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

sandy 1

this is the beginning of 50 envelopes that i did for sandy for her 50th birthday. then i put them all in a book. then i showed it to her, but i asked her if i could keep it for a while because i wanted to scan the envelopes. i think that was 5 years ago.

this was the first envelope i did and i was going to do all 50 envelopes using the same stamp because i thought that was a good challenge, to see if i could come up with 50 ideas for one stamp.

how many do you think i ended up doing with this stamp?

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

jackie 18

ooooh. another favorite. i used a paper punch to make the j. just scribbled the rest of the name. should have slowed down on the last name. notice the perfs on the extra panels of the stamps. i wonder if they even make perfed stamps any more.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

jackie 17

i'm not a big fan of the patriotic stamps, but i do like the way this one turned out. like the hodgepodge of stamps. also like the way the name turned out. for the lettering people who follow this blog, i really think that writing one name over and over is a good way to stretch your creativity. jackie and i have reflected on how our obsession with mail really stretched our skills. there was something about sending the artwork to someone else that made it somewhat more important than just practice, while at the same time, i wasn't concerned that this needed to be a serious piece suitable for framing.

Monday, April 5, 2010

my mailbox

this came last week and it has taken me a long time to figure out how to flip the scan 45-degrees. this is a example of jackie's beautiful italics that inspire me to not even try italics anymore. so happy to be receiving an abstract expressionist stamp. i wonder if i will get the whole series?

mail art show

this was one i sent to an ice shanty that was on a big lake up by the twin cities. they have all kinds of artists and activities who put up shanties on a big frozen lake. they have a mail art exhibit. anyone interested in mail art should google *mail art* and there will be lots of links to interesting mail. this idea could be adapted if you wanted to send a fun envelope to someone and had something more to say about them than just their to the cute red haired girl who is having a birthday this week at 123 main street, anywhere, 50505