Wednesday, June 30, 2010

alternative envelopes

this is an envelope that came from the art supply store. tomorrow i will post the flip side.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

my mailbox

this one is from my newest penpal. not only did she find me on the internet, she came all the way to iowa, from new jersey to see me. i guess there was also a family reunion in some small iowa town. it was fun to meet carrie and find out that she is a closet artist. as soon as i finish the 500 envelopes that i need to address, stamp, stuff and mail, i will start on my blog tutorials for carrie. she has been painting these labyrinths for a while in gouache, so she's already familiar with one of our favorite mediums.

Monday, June 28, 2010

postal oops

yup. this one was returned to me with the rubber stamp message *return for postage* my postman, dave, did not return it to me. he crossed out the message and put in the words and arrows and sent it back. it arrived at jackie's and then one day, jackie returned a whole pile of mail to me. someday i will return the returned mail.

Sunday, June 27, 2010


in a perfect world, i would have time (take time) to do graceful elegant envelopes to go with graceful elegant stamps. these two stamps are very nice and deserved better envelopes. i'm not apologizing for scribbling, just saying the stamps would have been better with more formal traditional lettering. if you compare the lettering on these to the playfulness of the snowman stamp below, you will see that they are in the playful category. we must use the stamps we have on hand and if we only have a minute or two, it's better to scribble up a fun envelope and send it on it's way. i like the design element of the heavy black bars added to my faux-neuland. the detail on the blue lettering was done with gel pen.

Saturday, June 26, 2010


if you write the name and then discover it is upsidedown on the envelope, just flip it over. it makes for an interesting design.

Friday, June 25, 2010

whose lettering is this?

does anyone know whose lettering this is? i found the page with all the caps in a stack of stuff that cheryl adams was discarding. it looks like the headings for a membership booklet from a guild.

May 16, 2019
I think I have tracked it down - and I believe it is by Sharon Zeugin. I will confirm when I find out.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

clothesline series

i have done quite a few envelopes with quilts and rugs hanging on a clothesline. they will pop up as i find them. this one does not have the clothesline...but it still gets to be in the category.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


cute, but full of questions. why are the colors the way they are? why are there 5 gifts? why are i and e together? many of my envelopes exhibit poor planning. this would be one. i like the ______davis______, but not sure the spacing is right. this would be an example of a layout i like enough to do again, but i might have to do quite a few to settle in on the most pleasing layout.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

needs some punch

the verse envelopes are not that visually interesting so i thought i would post something wild and colorful. i think this one needed some drop shadow. but i am not going to mess with it now. it was done very quickly, using all the colors. quick and happy...would not have made it on it's own as a design lesson. i anthropomorphize my envelopes. it's like they have feelings and i don't want to tell the ugly ones that they are ugly.


another example of verse-addressing. would anyone care to comment on which looks best, the actual address words in black and the other words in a color or the other way around as posted yesterday.

Monday, June 21, 2010


as if i needed another distraction...Ashleigh Brilliant was in des moines a couple weeks ago and we talked about a variety of things. he mentioned that years ago he had the idea of addressing a letter in verse. well, this was an idea that needed exploration. i dashed off a quick verse to jackie and also one to kathy. they both reported that the envelopes arrived. so we know that the postal workers may not enjoy the verse, but they will deliver them. i am going to discuss this with Ashleigh Brilliant and see how best to offer this concept to the whole wide world, although, i think we should limit it to the 50 states for now. pictured is a sample, not an actual person and address.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

my mailbox

here is a dreamy envelope from nan. she does a lot of envelopes. maybe she will comment here. i keep forgetting to ask her if she keeps track of how many envelopes she does each year. i keep thinking i will do that some year...but, i always forget. the quantity is listed on each on my invoices, so, in theory, i could tally that number. does anyone who follows this blog keep track of how many envelopes they do each year?

Saturday, June 19, 2010

my mailbox

tom is a really good scribe. as i dig through the stacks of mail, there will be more from him. i hope he sees this and tells us what he used to write the big name. super crisp lines and the little corners are genius. note-to-self: rip off tom's ideas. and because tom has such a great sense of humor...tom, do you want to tell us why you put the two extra lines on the cap in iowa? do you always do that?

Friday, June 18, 2010

my mailbox

thanks jeri. i should scan the fun photo you sent of me with my birthday cake. another perk to being a scribe, all your friends shower you with kindness on your birthday. kindness and really good cake. and they also have a wild story to go with the cake. note to self: start a blog for the stories that go with the envelopes.

Thursday, June 17, 2010


this is an example showing how something as minor as a crooked last line will send an envelope to the *sample* pile. i never got around to redoing this, but, it might go in my big book of ideas. as i get everything scanned and a few labels, it seems like an opportunity to get every dang envelope logged into a master list.

i am inspired to do so by the famous Ashleigh Brilliant. he's so famous i busted out the capital letters. ashleigh was in des moines recently. he has 10,000 epigrams that he has written and he had the foresight to number them. it's too late for me to do a chronological numbering system, but, i am going to get the envelopes organized. read more about ashleigh at his website and then stay tuned for a Brilliant idea that he shared with me regarding envelopes. it is Brilliant with a capital B and it has me very distracted. as if i needed more distractions. that inch of water in the basement should be getting more attention...but, no, here i am taking a break and blogging.

you may start on his home page and surf
i recommend this page

please note, scribes, his words are all protected by copyright and if you think the words would be fun to write in your own style, you must ask for permission.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

nancy series

i've probably already mentioned how much i loved the colors on these stamps. the red dots on the nancy are way off. they are in a pyramid. yuck. but i like the mixed styles.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

a whole new category

we have the mail that we mailed
the mail that we mailed and then got back
the mail that we never mailed
and here is a new category
the mail that has a note on the back that says there is a note inside that may not be worth the trouble of opening

and then...i did not go to the trouble of opening it....i was surprised to see that i left it unopened. i always thought it was very far fetched that tom hanks did not open that one fedex box when he was stranded on the island. i was sure that nobody would do that. and now, i see that i have done it. although i did not really think about doing it. or did i? i don't recall.

but, now that it is unopened and the postmark seems to be 2002, i can see how easy it is to not open it. i have to make two sub categories under the mail that was never sent. no three.

unsent mail - unfinished
unsent mail - unopened
unsent mail - finished, sealed and later opened
sent mail
sent mail - retrieved
sent mail - retrieved and resent
that is six categories
seven - blog mail - mail (with fake addresses) that is never going anywhere except up on the blog (or to people who are getting a whole shower of envelopes, but i do not feel like writing out a long address so all of those people live at 420 east ohio, ames, iowa, 50010 or 50014

eight - sent mail - marked open, but unopened.
nine - sent mail, opened, altered, resent

Monday, June 14, 2010

a favorite - unsent

here it is, the most *favorite* envelope that i never sent. i opened it and dated the opening in october of 06. inside the envelope is a cute card and on the back of the card it says "now that i know my envelopes will be stored in one place, i can part with my most favorite stamps." dated, 7 feb 05. clearly, i was thinking about letting things go, not being attached, but, have not been able to follow through. sadly, i am getting more attached to the envelopes.

as far as determining why i am so attached to this particular one, it's gotta be the colors. zig came out with a set of markers that had no names on the markers. they were custom colors and so pretty. love dots. could sit and dot-dot-dot all day.

subject matter is a favorite, too. love trees. love sky. one would think that i could leave enough space for s-c-h-n-e-i-d-e-r, but, i did not and then filled in a little growing thing before the k to make a nice landscape. i can tell that i made the line nice and tidy by putting a strip of Post-It tape across the envelope. Post-It makes rolls of tape, an inch wide and it is a must-have art supply. if the Post-It people would pay me, I could do a whole book on Post-It enhanced artwork.

my mailbox

a very soft image, but so nice with the tiffany stamp. maybe i can find some that i did with that stamp. it was just lovely.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

my mailbox

while you are giving away all your trade secrets...what kind of pen did you use for the black? i'll be curious to see what she says. people often ask me how i did something and i never have any idea. i have heard of people who keep track of the materials and tools they use. that would be a really good idea. but if you are not that kind of person, relax and don't let it bother you. entropy. it's a law. look it up. i didn't invent it.

speaking of laws, i have my own law. it's called the law of jean or jean's law. i did not write it, i came across it and it's cooler than heck. although, who says heck is cool? but i digress even from the digression into laws. so here it is, if you need to know about jean's law.

and entropy
Entropy is a measure of how disorganized a system is and is an important part of the second law of thermodynamics.

how can an artist not love entropy?

Saturday, June 12, 2010

my mailbox

scibbling AND cutting. jackpot. and a fuzzy animal. double jackpot. let's see if we can weasel some trade secrets out of jackie. hey jackie, what colors did you use to make that really nice shade of whatever color that is?

Friday, June 11, 2010

my mailbox

primo scribbling. jackie, i think people will not be interested in my envelopes any more. and imagine if they saw them in real life...

Thursday, June 10, 2010

jackie 27 baseball

lost in the shuffle...ho hum to me, but jackie must have liked it for some reason if she brought it in the stack we scanned. or maybe she just grabbed a bunch at random

my mailbox

this is a store bought envelope that came with a greeting card. the card reads "yoga kills, yoga kills, yoga kills" repeated down the front of the card. clearly scribes get their fill of zen with their zen-like concentration on their penmanship. if you click on stick figures, i think it will take you to my stick figure of myself and my perspective on zen-like concentration.

my studio is two doors from my house, so i walk back and forth several times a day. if i did not get that much exercise, i shudder to think what kind of shape i would be in.

this is jackie's version of double/triple stroking letters. jackie, did you do that before we started trading scribbles? or did it come with our correspondence?

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

nancy series

another sample scanned, but lost in the stack...will just stick it in here.

my mailbox

well, jackie, my mom just walked in and looked at the stack of envelopes i have scanned and said in a very matter of fact tone, "she scribbles," as though nobody had noticed that before. this is a landscape scribble, hardly just scribbling.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

my mailbox

jackie, would you care to discuss how you decided where to place the elements on this one?

Monday, June 7, 2010

for lazy days

if you are lazy, but you like the idea of rope lettering, you have my permission to use a font. i set mine so that it printed in 50% gray instead of black and then outlined it in orange g-tec and colored it in with yellow colored pencil.

jackie 19 copic

i just found 4 envelopes scanned a long time ago and lost in the stack of posts. so, i'll run them in with the ones from jackie. i suspect they are from the ones she brought in april that i scanned and she took home with her. jackie...we need a filing system. (hope you did not hurt yourself when you fell off your chair laughing)

Sunday, June 6, 2010

kathy 30

lots of fun to draw pine needles. started with the base lettering using a dry or light marker.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

kathy 28 & 29

the pink envelope just ruins the whole thing for me. would love to redo this on a white envelope. lots of repeat on the lower one. i'm setting up several posts to appear over the next week. and i need to go through the list of envelopes in order or i will have no idea which ones are posted and which ones aren't. might be time to mix it up and put in some variety.

Friday, June 4, 2010

kathy 27

hmmmmm...i don't remember if i have mentioned in-lining, the opposite of outlining. after years of out lining, it occurred to me to draw lines through the middle of letters. in fonts, that is called an *in-line* so, i tried it and was hooked. very easy way to add some visual interest...which is a polite word for scribbling. and confetti. who doesn't like confetti. not sure the placement of this confetti is right. looks too symmetrical.

Thursday, June 3, 2010


simple, yet, i like enough that i will make a note to use this layout more often

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


sorry kathy, now i owe you two. except this is only redundant in the context of the blog. do i still owe you a new one?

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

keeping the p.o. in business

i hope the p.o appreciates jackie and jean. we are now buying stamps, creating envelopes, posting them to the blog, but never actually mailing them. jackie accepted my challenge to include cowboys, pansies, and an abstract expressionist on one envelope. it looks like a successful envelope to me. i'm sure she will not part with it.

when in doubt scribble

or, when you haven't really worked very hard on learning a particular style, scribble. somehow the juxtaposition of scribbling and blackletter amuses me. And to add to the joke, the stamp is about education.

if i could time travel, i would be tempted to go to a monastery or convent and hang with some scribes and see if i could get them to scribble. imagine a time before scratch pads...when paper or parchment was so precious the thought of doodling did not exist. and yet...maybe they did. historical rumor: i have heard that while we only think of rooms full of scribes being men, there were also convents full of scribes and there were women who were admitted to the guilds of scribes. maybe someone will research this for me and put some comments into the comment section.