Monday, April 30, 2012

elizabeth stars and stripes

this was an experiment to see what it would look like to have the ribbon twisted and be one color on one side and a different color on the other side. i might rethink the way i decide which side is which. i did an exact alternation on this one, but, i think it might have been better to look at some different options. i tried one where i alternated the letters, one red letter, then a blue letter. but, i think i gave that sample away.

today or tomorrow is post number 1,000
in case anyone is counting. no, i think it is up to 1,036. so, a month ago, i should have celebrated 1,000 posts.
i think i need to ignore the whole topic. google keeps track of all this stuff and it really doesn't matter. what matters is that people get some ideas and send some mail. or maybe it matters that you join me in pointless surfing. yes. that's what we are doing. surfing. i guess we could be doing worse things.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

elizabeth - tree

i was experimenting with brush markers on the day i was doing a bunch of neuland for elizabeth. this one is not spectacular, but, it's not completely awful. just a little blobby. but that tree is a little blobby. it might be saved when i write in the address. but, i am going to actually mail this one, so i do not want to write a fake address. you will just have to imagine it. as far as a lift-worthy idea...i do like the fine line script filling in the spaces. and i think one more layer of something might fix it. maybe gold. if i try that and love it, i will rescan.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

elizabeth - green

another one from the upper left corner binge. i think someone showed me a sample of something that looked a bit like this is inspired by something. sorry i can't locate the source right this moment. if i find it, i will post it. as always, the name elizabeth is a f-a-b-u-l-o-u-s combination of letters.

Friday, April 27, 2012


one day i was on a binge of big names and squeezing them to the top. i will add the address and squeeze it tight. i did not leave enough space for the stamp. i might wrap it around the edge and see if the p.o. objects.
or i might look for a different stamp.
or, i could overlap the writing.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

suzy - presents

there has already been one where i could not spell suzy's last name. i was so annoyed when i kept making mistakes that this one was tossed in the waste basket. then i pulled it out and used it to test markers to try to find ones that had any juice left. then, i started liking the random rectangles...and eventually, i thought....oh, i can fix that one. it's not so bad.

this whole thought process came shortly after one of my classes. i teach a class called art for the intimidated. it is 7 weeks of trying all kinds of different mediums and techniques to figure out what kind of class you really want to take. on painting day, we start with watercolor and i give everyone a smaller sheet of paper and teach them to do a couple practice dabs on the paper to see what color is actually loaded in the brush. as they are nearing the end of the project, i point out to them that some of the test sheets are actually better than the paintings they are working on. so, that becomes a lesson under-thinking vs. over-thinking when it comes to making marks.

so, the colors on this envelope are not pleasing, and, i will probably go back and add a couple more presents. and tweek the colors by adding colored pencil....and who knows what... but, it was fun to salvage something that was in the waste basket. it would have been PERFECT...if she had a PO box....and i could have worked that into the design.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

skip - navy

end of the snow season in tahoe. these might be the last flakes of the season. i tried some new ink. it is beyond disappointing. from now on i am going to stick with Ziller ink from John Neal. it is a waste of time and money to try new inks. i encourage anyone who wants to write with white ink to just order it from john. don't bother with any of the inferior products they sell in local stores. this is the bad ink...but, i am still going to send it.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

rose ann

another one from the ribbon binge. on this one, i did a double line on the outside and then it looked more like grosgrain ribbon. i have put quite a few of the ribbon love stamps with the ribbon writing, but, i think it goes nicely with several of the other stamps that are available now.

Monday, April 23, 2012

another request

i had a request to do the slanted, quirky style and also do some of the lines in block printing. i would not say this is a favorite of mine, but, if she likes it, i think i can make it work.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

red / black

this was in case the bride who had an invitation printed in red wanted the envelopes done in black. this is pretty tame but, a few people are interested in plain writing. this is not any one style. it is a blend of all my favorite caps. i guess it is the one i call *Jeanerian*

Saturday, April 21, 2012

alyce - happy dots

happy dots. it is pretty hard to mess up a design that has rainbow colors. i had done the lettering with the two shades of purple, then went looking for a stamp. the colors would have been muddy if i added them over the top of the purple lettering, so i just put it along side. i don't know if it looks like an after thought. and i don't really care. this is not a logo for a company that she is going to have to live with and see in all kinds of applications. it's an envelope. so, when you are doing envelopes, don't be afraid to just blop along and add things that are maybe not exactly where you would have wanted them. sometimes it is more interesting to have things a little *off*

Friday, April 20, 2012


i don't know why the scanner cut off the edge.
i should rescan this... it is another one from chuck. thank you :-)

quirky red

another quirky sample that did not get picked. i wonder if someone would use it for a party rather than a wedding?

Thursday, April 19, 2012


this one will be sent and the real address will probably go in a box in the same position. this one might need a little more work. i was working on several at one time and i frequently do not see what needs to be done until i see the envelope on blog. that seems odd that i can't see what i want to do until after it is published, but, that keeps happening. but, i am not going to start rescanning after i finalize things. that would be more chaos than even i can handle....because i would end up with multiple scans and no way of organizing them.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

red slanted

more from the series of red samples. this is fun to do and i see this style on the wedding blogs. but so far, nobody in iowa wants to use it. maybe it is a trend that is never going to make it to the midwest.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012


i had a heck of a time with suzy's last name. a t had to be turned into a k, hence the branches and berries. then, i was not able to find a really perfect stamp. this one is ok because it repeats the dots on the clock. i had to go over purple dots with red to tie it in with the stamp  and that makes the berries a little muddy. the address is fake, if i actually send this one, i will put the address in one line, under the name. although, that space under the z needs something....or maybe it doesn't....decisions decisions

Monday, April 16, 2012

red ink and a dip pen

this is a quick sample using red ink done for a bride who was considering red ink. i have a bunch of samples lined up for the blog because i had run out of new stuff. if i catch up, i will put in some better examples.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

ccc karen

i was dropping a few thank yous in the mail and the first layer was wisteria. i was so not-pleased with the assortment of letters and tilting, that i actually tossed in the waste basket. later, i pulled it out and added some really dark colors and now the original shapes do not bother me at all.

the address is just a temporary tag. i will just write the address without the box in the same general area.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

nancy - seuss

nancy mailed me a dr. seuss stamp to see what i would do with it. i know i handed her one or two in person. and i can't remember if they have been on the blog. i am not a huge dr. seuss fan, so i was not prepared to enjoy this challenge, but, i think there are so many details in the stamp that it has been a no-brainer. my favorite part on this one is the last name coming out of the volcano. and i like amelia erhardt added into the mix. she's a pretty suess-y character. and that little creature with the wings. i am having a heck of a time not drawing an entire alphabet with just that character.....maybe i will if nancy ever hits one of those big-0 birthdays.

the actual address will be in series of landscape lines across the bottom

i bumped this one to the head of the line because the one below was just soooooo boring when i saw it this morning.

caps -



someone needed to see some samples.

i'll try to add in something more interesting.

Friday, April 13, 2012

ccc - chris

this is the final ccc envelope. if i missed anyone, just drop me an email and i will do whichever ones i missed. i guess i owe some people some re-do-s
because of the spelling errors. but, that will require me doing some research and that will require time...and that is not going to happen in the near future as i am over booked.
but, as i said, if you contact me...i will be prompt with corrections and any that i have missed.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

ccc- janice

this is more of a layout than a finished envelope. i did a quick sketch of the versals and then filled them in with the *line of infinite beauty.* that is a line that is like an infinity symbol, but it keeps going back and forth and layers into a pattern. i hope i remember to show more examples of it. and i am missing a line on the I. sorry...
oh...i like that stamp....especially with the colors i found. i wish that stamp was available for regular mail.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


only one of my ccc pals has an envelope written with a ruling writer and walnut ink. i have no idea why i did this one. i like to write this way, but, it is messy and uses up a lot of ink. i have not done much ruling writer writing in a long i am way out of practice. but, i love this stamp with the walnut ink.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


this was a reject for a few reasons. the k in kai is way off.

i used ziller ink so it is water proof. the envelope is from paper source. very nice to write on. i would love to have lots more jobs like this one. i especially like that the bride wanted the lines to be wavy, so i could just bounce them up and down. sooooo much fun. she did not use the dragon stamp. but, i really like it on this color.

Monday, April 9, 2012

elizabeth 5

i am cringing at the sloppy start on the double ruled line. i was too lazy to use a ruler because if you run markers along the edge of a ruler you have to do some serious cleaning to get all the marker off the ruler. so, i was just using a piece of paper that i had pulled from the waste basket and folded it a couple times to make a straight edge. honestly....i do not think i could get any lazier. but, i do like the idea of these stamps as finials. i would have preferred to use a green pen for the street/city/state. but, i do not have a fine pen in that exact shade of green and i probably put color matching/harmony pretty high on my list of rules worth following.

this may not look like neuland. but, i assure you, the placement of each stroke is based on a lot of what you see in neuland. maybe i need to invent my own style to go along with Jeanerian (my version of Spencerian) called Jeuland. But considering many people pronounce Neu as New, I would probably go with Joyland, which is good name and reflects the joyful, playful fun that i have with neuland.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

elizabeth 4

by the time i was doing this one, i was liking the crossbars in the name and drew the crossbar first. then started in on the letters. i thought the B needed to be quite different. and that made me remember that i had been thinking about using these stamps upside down.

i really want to make them into the onion domes on that building in russia. but, i don't have time. maybe someone else will try that and send it in.

i see that i did not put in elizabeth's last name. and i am not seeing a place that looks like a good space for it. suggestions?

Saturday, April 7, 2012

elizabeth 3

i frequently use the name elizabeth to show that you can stack letters in a long name to make it fit. i usually stack the ET at the end and mention that you need to stack something before you get to the last letter, or it looks like an error. and you should not stack the letter *I*.

in this case, i started stacking close to the beginning. when i overlapped the LI, i knew i was in trouble and had to start making a bigger mess to take the eye away from the LI. it looks like EUZABETH.

then, you can see the outlining on the ELIZA
i left the BETH not-outlined to show the difference. it just helps so much to square off the ends.

this should have been the first example, as it is the one with the least amount of details and additions. 

Friday, April 6, 2012

elizabeth 2

i sometimes like to make parallel lines without a ruler to block in the space for the name. 90% of the time, i discard the envelope because it is a bad idea. but this time, i was OK with it. it would have been better if i had used a ruler. i liked the red crossbars and did not have this stamp in mind. after i did the lettering and saw the stamp, i thought, *oh, perfect* and i was even happier to notice, for the first time, that the lettering on the stamp seems to be a silver ink.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

elizabeth 1

elizabeth mentioned that she is very fond of neuland so i thought i would do a bunch for her. she is currently working on a HUGE project for the lettering community and deserves some perks for her devotion to the community.

so, i pulled out a purple crayola marker and wrote her name four times, then switched to green. this was not the first one. but after i wrote, i  went back and did varying amounts of outlining and touch up. this one has the least amount of additions, so i am showing it first. you will just have to trust me that that small amount of outlining really improves the overall look. remember this is a crayola marker. it is not a neat, square-tipped, calligraphy marker, or a speedball.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

alyce's homework

alyse was the only one who did the homework i assigned before i arrived at the workshop. so, she gets an A+ and graduates with honors. love this idea. i will be stealing it many times over.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

ccc - marji

one more int he series of three thank you envelopes i made on the day i had my gouache out. this is a third way to arrange the address info. i liked the two clumps of info. but, it needed a third clump. so, i added the words *please deliver to:* marji is good friends with most of the postal workers in her area. she has some great stories. i might have to follow her around with a video camera some day and record the stories. my favorite one is the one about somebody shooting her chicken. it sounds worse than it is. turns out, the chicken was already cooked and the bullet hole had been made by a rotisserie. although, there was speculation that someone shoots the chicken in order to establish a convenient hole for the rotisserie.

Monday, April 2, 2012

ccc - tricia

another person who deserves a real piece of mail, thanking her for all the work she did to make the workshop fun for everyone. the address is in pencil. and i need to find a place for her last name. since the *bearden* is running up the side, i think i will do that.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

stacey - april fool

was it foolish to get up at 5 am and start drinking coffee and try to make a pretty pointed pen border? was it foolish to stay up the previous night writing names on grains of rice?

stacey sent me a whole sheet of stamps, and i was thinking i would do a fun envelope using each stamp. then, i wanted to use this on the april fool blog posting, so i did not put her real address on it. i guess i will have to insert it in a different envelope.

i do not think i would actually send an envelope with this amount of non-conformity. or is that non-conformation?

had to add this....
chuck sent it
and it's perfect for april fool's day