Thursday, June 30, 2011

kathy toscanini

this was a demo envelope in my class. i usually mess up envelopes when i am doing a demo because i can't write and talk at the same time and i need to talk in class. this one would be fun if i made the jittery spots more musical.

if anyone noticed hat the name is up-side-down...that is worth noting. at least two of you (chuck and elizabeth) have mentioned the problem of not leaving enough room for the stamp. this is the easiest solution. i much prefer the abstraction of the name when it is upside down. the address will go over to the right, flush right.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

extra post today

be sure to look below this post for the post that has a new scan.
i needed to pass this along, since it might inspire me to come up with a better mailbox at my house and/or studio.

taller stack

kathy left a comment that she liked the first idea i had for this stamp and even as i was doing the first one, i was imagining a much taller stack of items. so it was fun to do this one. i cropped off her address in the scan, it ran in the proper orientation along one edge. i'll probably get around to doing some more variations on this one.

i wanted to put one of those Booth-inspired dogs under the microwave. but i was too lazy to research and find an image. so, when i couldn't figure out the head, i just made it headless. not a very inspired stack of stuff. i need to work on this one.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

postal museum website

above is a fun website that booklore mentioned in a comment a while ago. it is a fun place to visit.

and we have an envelope to nan, the queen of copperplate... i've been trying to come up with a motif for each of the garden of love stamps. but, i have the whole color-of-the-envelope issue that makes it complicated. the little yellow flowers did not show up at all. nothing showed up. i had to keep adding white. layering is usually the solution to everything. this time...i don't think it really worked...although it is not puke-worthy.

i forgot how to delete just a i will add a correct orientation. don't forget, if you click on the actual envelope it will pop open, much larger. i've talked to quite a few people who don't know that, so now i don't know how often i should mention it.

Monday, June 27, 2011


ok...i am only on the second envelope in the series that is supposed to observe each tenth of the first year for my daughter and son-in-law's marriage and already i have messed up the whole concept.

i was going to use one each of the garden of love stamps. so when i did the second one (which i posted yesterday) i used the bird stamp. i didn't remember that i put the birds on the first one. then i found the scan of this one (the first one).

in my next life, i will be organized. i should just sit down and do all ten at once. but will they be any good? it is really hard to be creative on demand or according to a schedule. now, i don't like this one at all. so, i want the other one to be the first one, and they can skip this one. i wonder if they are compulsive about keeping the sets? maybe i should just send them practice mail and tell them to throw it out and archive the good stuff and give it to them at a later date.

Sunday, June 26, 2011


i am sending the newlyweds an envelope for each tenth of a year that they pass. can't wait a whole year to send them an anniversary card. i can't remember if i scanned the first one i sent. this is the second one.

and i think you have to hold this one in your hand to get the full effect. it doesn't look that fun on the screen, but in person, it is adorable the way the names and address fill the space. i put white colored pencil in the *counters* of the letters. i believe that is the official name of space that is enclosed by a letter of the alphabet. just dawned on me that it is the same word for two wildly different items. how could this have gone un-noticed?

if anyone wants to observe deci.birthdays, i have a calculator that divides the year into tenths.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

green - ride the bus

serious lack of planning on this one. in some ways, it doesn't exactly bother me. i do like those little people. the very fore-shortened bus made this a hard stamp to work with. i like the signs...but that is a made-up address. most addresses would not fit onto neat little signs.

Friday, June 24, 2011

green - walk the dog

not sure why they suggest walking the dog as a *choice*.... are there that many people who drive their car and let the dog walk along the side of the car? they must have run out of ideas for ways to conserve.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

green - clothesline

i've done a bunch of clothesline envelopes. i don't think i ever drew clothes before. i have no idea what i was thinking with that A. it looks like an upside down pair of pants. but, you really don't need vowels....most of the time

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

green - produce

this one could use a better arrangement of the elements. planning. i can think of at least three ideas that i like better than this one. but, are the readers getting tired of this series? feedback please?

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

green - rideshare

i did manage to pencil in a bit on this one. in general, i did not do much planning on this whole series. on this one, i liked the fine pencil line and left it. i should explore the use of pencil as part of the finished piece

if i had a small boy who had a birthday coming up, i would use this idea for the invitations to his birthday party. only, i would get stamps with airplanes on them and have the exhaust be the smoke from a skywriter airplane. that's what i would do.

and if you read yesterday's blog before 6 am, CDT, you missed the additional comments about postal rates. so, if you are a mail artist, you might want to check yesterday's post again. if you are just a lurker, *hi*...

Monday, June 20, 2011

green - lightbulb

in theory, this one would be a postcard. but, you would have to add more postage to cover the odd shape and orientation. i scanned it with a green envelope in the background so you could see the shape. i'd use two stamps. although you only need an extra 20-cents or so. i am not sure of the exact amount any more.

ok, i'm 75% sure that the cost to send a square or non-conforming envelope is 64-cents. a very nice man at the p.o. gave me that information. he also told me that the wedding cake stamp was a 61-cent stamp, and that the 2-ounce rate was now 64-cents and the ONLY 64-cent stamps were dolphins or butterflies. so, i went home and ordered the 64-cent wedding cakes online.

you can never be sure about the information you receive at a p.o. but, it makes sense that they changed the non-conforming 1-ounce rate to be the same as the 2-ounce rate. so you waste 24-cents when you use two 44 stamps. he did show me the brand new george washington stamp, that is 20-cents and designed to be the correct amount to add on for a second ounce or squareness. it will look pretty on black envelopes, or if the addressee is named george...but that's about it.

lucky me, i have a son named george, with a birthday coming up, so, i guess i can flood his mailbox with george-mail

Sunday, June 19, 2011

green - plant trees

ooops that k isn't finished. i would have liked this one better if i had left the name all white or matched the stamp's plant better. matchy-matchy is sometimes nice and other times not necessary. might find time to do this one over.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

green - turn off lights

the obvious way to add the name and address would be to write it tiny along the baseboard. i can also see writing it in a picture on the wall. any other ideas?
i'll be tempted to do variations on this one....

Friday, June 17, 2011

bonus post

the last three have been i had to try to resolve at least one of them. and i had these pale green envelopes paper-source calls them sage. they do not look sage to me. also, beth's husband works for the water dept, so, she needs one of these. this one is better...still not perfect. and the bike one is OK. have to redo the thermostat. her address will go on the wavy pencil lines. i am tempted to just put her ZIP on and see if her postal workers care enough to just take it to her without the street address....

green - conserve water

i wrote the name and address in pale blue marker which does not show up. then outlined with a fine g-tec. i think it has potential, but in it's current form, it is not something i would recommend. i should explore using just the name in water and the address in regular little printing. the name might be more fun if it was larrger and flow-ier.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

green - compost

again, not a favorite. it is too obvious. it is on the list to be re-designed. i'd like to have a complete set of ideas for these stamps. the little line drawings are certainly up my alley.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

green - thermostat

this is not a favorite either. i will try to think of something better. since the address is not in straight horizontal lines, it would need extra postage. but, i trust nobody is going to use this idea, since it is uninspired.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

green - bike

i have all twenty *green* stamps applied to mail, and scanned and set up to run for the next two weeks. that might get a little boring. so, i'll see how it goes. if i don't like the looks of it, i'll insert some alternatives. this was one of the last ones i did and i thought it was rather uninspired. when i sat down to do all of them at once, i figured i would have the typical experience of starting slow, getting more creative and then winding down. and that is exactly what happened. there are several that i would like to do over. some i like a lot and would like to do some variations. most of all, i hope some of you will send in your ideas. if you have a scanner, you can send them to me and i will post them.

Monday, June 13, 2011

kim and troy

i look forward to kim and troy's annual holiday letter. then, when i am tidying up in the spring, i send them an envelope requesting to be kept on their holiday card list. this year i mentioned that i have a blog. i wonder if they will see this envelope?

again, i was using up one lonely leftover envelope and i am still not crazy about these stamps on green. must get some more gravel envelopes.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

green - insulate windows

i'll have to re-do this one , too. it would have been so much better if the name was upside down. it's fun to have things in unexpected directions. i used a yellow highlighter for the caulk and then did the outline with the .25 g-tec. her name is lorelie (i think that's how you spell it) anyhow, the Ls look goofy with the short letters up at the top.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

green - tire pressure

so, the p.o. sells stamps and when they send them to you, they com in a tyvek envelope. inside the tyvek envelope is a cellophane envelope with the stamps and a sheet of chip board so that they do not get bent. no wonder the p.o. is going broke. and since they are all about green, i will be sure to recycle all their packing materials. first, i cut the chip board in half and made two post cards. i made them because i needed inserts for those two black and white envelopes that were part of an exchange. i did not use the real addresses of the exchange participants.
and i photocopied the stamps, so that i did not waste postage. this might be my new thing...just making entirely fake mail with photocopied images of the stamps. i can down load the images off the usps website.

not a successful transition from V to i...but, i am going to post it anyway. maybe if i post really shabby lettering, it will inspire the blog-readers to submit their improved versions??? or, it will inspire me to spend more time re-making fake mail. i know few of you are going to respond to my calls to participate...but, the least you can do is tell me how you are sending more mail to other people and how much happy feedback you are getting.

Friday, June 10, 2011

black & white exchange

i like the border yesterday better than the band today. but i like the dots on this one that look like his tie and the stripes that look like his pin-stripe suit. i need to spend more time working out these two ideas. do i have the time? not really. decisions to spend my time...

Thursday, June 9, 2011

black & white exchange

this is one of two i did for the exchange mentioned previously. i liked the names and tried a border on one and a band on the other. i'm starting to write like gahan wilson. no relation to me. i am not a blood-wilson, just a married-to-a-wilson. you can really see it in the return address. although, i should research gahan's writing to see if it really is that close. or maybe i want to make it closer??? if i had remembered gahan's name, during baby naming time, i think i would have submitted it for the third kid's name. although i like the name hunter a lot, too.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

go with the flow

i like this version better than the other two. because the waves on the stamp are slanted down, i think it looks better to mimic that slant with the lettering. some might disagree... but, to me, this one is more pleasing.

quick design lesson. look at the shapes in the stamp. the waves also look like her eyebrows and lips. the shape is repeated in her hair and the leaves. the horizon slopes down. her eyes are on the horizon line, sloping down. it is a very pretty picture. the tree trunk is roughly on the same slant as her nose. i don't think any of this is by accident.

and those three tiny trees on the very far right of the horizon are such a nice detail. three links in the chain of her necklace.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

green stamps - recycle

i'll do one design for each of the *green* stamps. i had one more green shimmer envelope. this is ziller ink and i colored in the little bottles and cans with colored pencil. it's gong to be hard to do any more of these that i like better than this one.

Monday, June 6, 2011

another try with the julia stamp

there is something wrong with this envelope. there was something wrong with the one yesterday. what's wrong? is it the same thing? is anyone other than katy/kathy or jackie going to even guess? k and j are winning all the prizes. maybe the rest of you need to know what the prizes are in order to be inspired to submit answers to the questions.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

using up envelopes

i had two green envelopes left, so i used this one up checking on how this stamp looks on green. not that i have any of these stamps...but, it is a minor color in the stamps. and this is a reminder to get some of that ziller acrylic ink if you like nibs. it is really dreamy on this shimmer paper (which i do not like)

Saturday, June 4, 2011

mrs powers

i don't think mrs powers reads my blog. i found this envelope that was addressed to her a while ago. i thought i would add her married name and send it along. thought i would see how the garden of love stamps look on black. i still like the gravel so much...

the post at 1 am is just a story. i try to keep the blog strictly about envelopes, but, when i read an article about another jean wilson who has the same type of devotion to something (pizza/envelopes) i feel like it is worth including in the blog.

so, if you don't want to waste time on a story, just skip the earlier june 4th post below. if you were up at 1 am, waiting for the daily post, tell me about it. i know some of you check the blog each morning, but am not aware of anyone who gets up at 1 am. although, with the world being round and having all times of day at the same time, maybe i have people in europe who check the blog right about the time the new posts pop up?

pizza story

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - A pizza delivery driver was called a hero Monday after she likely saved an elderly woman's life.

Before Monday's incident, most neighbors knew little about Memphis resident Jean Wilson, except that she's eaten pizza daily for the past three years.

"We make her pizza every day before she even calls, because we know she's going to call," delivery driver Susan Guy said.

Guy often delivers Wilson's regular order, one large pepperoni pizza, but recently workers at her restaurant noticed an unusual break in the pattern.

"She hadn't called in three days," Guy said. "My boss told me about it today."

Guy insisted to her boss that she be allowed to check on Wilson.

"He was like, 'Naw, you don't have to do that,' and I said, 'Yeah I do. Clock me out if that's what you gotta do,'" Guy said.

Guy drove to Wilson's house and knocked on her door, but no one answered. Then, she banged on Wilson's windows, but there was still no response. Running out of options, Wilson ran to neighbor Larry Comeaux's house for help.

"The pizza lady came over and knocked on the door wanting to know if I'd seen the lady across the street," Comeaux said.

"And he said, 'No, maybe she's not home,'" Guy said. "And I said, 'Well, not home?' I said, 'How many times have you see her leave?' And he goes, 'Never.'"

Guy quickly called 911. When police arrived, they broke down the door to Wilson's home, and found her lying on a floor inside.

They soon learned that Wilson had fallen on Saturday, and couldn't get over to a telephone to call for help. Investigators said it's possible that her pizza-only diet may have saved her life.

"She treats us really well," Guy said. "She appreciates us, and that's something we don't get in customers a lot."

Late Monday evening, Wilson was in non-critical condition at St. Francis Hospital.

Tuesday, Wilson was offered help in the form of an alert system by a local company.

Friday, June 3, 2011

cutest things ever

she makes sculptures out of the letters from signs.....
i wish i could spend the day cutting out letters from ads and making something similar on envelopes. maybe someone else has a free day and they want to give it a try.

come back to this when you have time

ballpoint ribbon writing

this is my thank you to elizabeth for the versal exemplar. now that i am through with the wedding, i will be writing my thank yous. i have quite a stack, please be patient. i should go back and do the oldest first, but....that would take time to dig, and i'm just going to start at the top of the pile and work backwards. this is my ribbon writing in ballpoint. i love pilot ball point pens. they are my tool of choice. i wish i could find a bride who wanted to use blue ballpoint pen as her *color*

my doodling while i am on the phone is always better than my actual work. why is that? because i am just having fun. there is pressure to make it exactly the way i want on the envelope and that makes it a little stiff. not that all the doodling is wonderful. doing a lot of envelopes is also a good way to make them loose and flow-y. fluid, i guess is the word i am looking for. anyone else have good words to describe that kind of lettering that flows nicely.

and you can see how the second E is way better than the first E.
tomorrow i will show you a couple more Cs

Thursday, June 2, 2011

improved - vine, garden of love

i thought i needed to add some of the dark tone of the background of the stamps. and dots. i solve everything with dots. i liked it when i mailed it. it will be interesting to see how it looks on the screen. sometimes the ones that look fine in person, look crumby on the screen and vice-versa. i don't know why that is.

i am thinking of starting a new blog called pushing penmanship. i have a new penmanship class starting in a couple weeks and it seems like it might be good to focus on lettering for a while. decisions...decisions...

plus, i have my flip-cam. i need to do some test shots and see if i can upload them to the blog.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

my mail

elizabeth sent me several exemplars of lombardic versals. a while back i had some samples with versals and mentioned that i didn't really know much about them. so, if i have time, i will study up on versals and post some more ideas. in the mean time, you can all drool over elizabeth's envelope to me. i love the lettering. it takes a lot of time and focus to letter as beautifully as she does...but it takes no time at all to not plan ahead and have to be creative when the name is too long for the envelope. i hope all the beginners see this and enjoy that someone who is very skilled faces the fit-problem from time to time..

she could have just left the n in the o and not captioned the event, but she chose to add a few words to reinforce the lesson. very clever...and useful. or when she lettered the s and saw that there was not enough room for the o and the n, she could have skipped o and put in n and then found a fun way to put the o in, but i think the o is a prettier shape at the end.