Tuesday, July 31, 2012

italy - mail art


both sides of a lid from a paint can. i have mailed plastic lids. they have been the leftover lids from the shorter-than tupperware-lifespan containers like *glad* containers. because they are transparent, i put a sticker on, and write something clever like, *don't flip your lid.* and then put a mailing label on the other side and take it to the p.o. and get a meter strip. i have also mailed paper plates with the message written on one side and the address on the other.  mail does not have to be rectangular or square, it may be an odd shape, or even an odd item. the most unusual piece of mail i ever received was a 3-ft inflated toy crayon. the address was written in sharpie and the mailman looked mighty funny carrying it down the street. i saw an article that some ladies were making a fortune mailing invitations that were written on inflated beach balls. so i googled mailing a beach ball and found this one. it is a do it your selfer.


Monday, July 30, 2012

m m m

i think it would be adorable to do something like this on an envelope. turn your practice into a charming design.

the practicing of one style of M but a different style M is used on the name makes me wonder if maybe someone was trying to address it and someone else took it away and did the address. i can imagine a *scene* where there is a debate and some grabbing and then maybe some tears. my mother recalls that i would cry over how hard the J was. so, i can relate to tears and penmanship. i should write a book *penmanship without tears*  - i remember having the book *knitting without tears* quite some time ago.

Sunday, July 29, 2012


i send thank you cards for a friend who is in a nursing home and has trouble writing. when i did that top card, i did not realize that there was writing on the back of the card, so i couldn't use it. so, i made up a fake envelope to go with it. i would have used red, but the red marker is drying up. i might have to end the blog when all my markers dry up. that will not be in the near future, but i do not plan on buying any new sets of markers. it will be a real challenge to not have all the colors available. losing red first will be pretty difficult.

Saturday, July 28, 2012


stacey likes silly little stick figure drawings. this one would probably be cute if there was only one kind of stamp.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

brazil - envelope

it is international day. this is from Brazil. i like the whimsy. looks like it was done by someone who hasn't had any formal training...which,in this case, is a good thing. i ramble on in my classes about choosing where to place the elements in your composition. i repeat this question several times... you wouldn't line up all your furniture around the perimeter of your room, would you? in this case, the person lined things up around the perimeter and it is a rather fun arrangement.

Monday, July 23, 2012


more people. i did not have a stamp in mind. so it was fun to find a stamp that had those three colors. the people yesterday had a lot of detail. i like these just as well.

Sunday, July 22, 2012


our lettering group worked on alphabet people at our july gathering. there were some very fun ideas. i liked making the people tall and i do not feel the need to attach the heads. i like space.

i need to do a sample for you that was a very steal worthy idea from one of the other jeans. we are a three-jean group. everyone in the group has good ideas. there is something very nice about spending a couple of hours with a couple ideas and watching to see what kinds of variations people will come up with.

Saturday, July 21, 2012


i wondered if i could write a name with the pen going only in the clockwise direction. this is what happened. i do not think it will generate a whole series. but it was a fun exercise. maybe it is a variation on ribbon writing...thread writing. it looks like a thread.

Friday, July 20, 2012


once a month there is a casual gathering of people who like lettering. at the end of each gathering, we ask people what they want to work on the following month. jane wanted to work on something she remembered where you color in the counters. this was all i could think of and it is not what she remembered. so if anyone can think of what she might have seen, please let us know.

Thursday, July 19, 2012


this might be my favorite of the galaxy-gel series. i was happy to find something that went with these ugly stamps. i really don't like them and have tried so many different things to make them likeable. i still don't like them, but, i think this style is about as good as i can do at something that goes with the stamp without really using anything from the stamp. the only thing that makes them *go together* is that the name looks a bit like the texture on the edge of the stamp. previously, i was using the colors...and that just drew attention to the stamp. it ended up being better to just pull out the black, which is the only thing i like about the stamp.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Jean-O-Matic 3000

This is a file folder with part of one side cut off.
It is a handy way to keep your lines straight on an envelope. As you can see, the name Joseph has a J and a p that will be added after the line is finished. You add descenders after you write the line.

You might also see little marks near the bottom edge of the envelope, just peeking out. You can put marks to make sure your lines are evenly spaced. I usually just pull the envelope up and eyeball the line spacing. But, sometimes, I use the tiny space markers. If there are a lot of lines on the envelope, then it is a good way to make sure the lines are evenly spaced and do not run too close to the bottom edge of the envelope.

This is so much easier than a light table. Very portable. And it is essential for those envelopes where you can't use a light table. I can't imagine how or why anyone would rule lines on envelopes and  then erase them.

canada - mail art

i just wrote the blurb with the italian mail art that will appear in two weeks and i mentioned mailing beach balls. i am too lazy to go back and rewrite that blog post, so, you may just enjoy the happy face today and in two weeks, you'll hear what i have to say about mailing items other than envelopes.

Monday, July 16, 2012


sorry jeri, i messed up on the h, i tried to fix it and it just got worse. it's bad enough that i put in a fake address and i think i might throw it away. i am getting a lot better at tossing things in the recycle bin these days.

Saturday, July 14, 2012


yup, we cranked out quite a few of the galaxy letters overlaid with white gel pen. we could have done 20 or 30. someone in my last workshop asked why i kept referring to myself as *we.* it sort of freaked us out to be questioned. i have too many things to store in one head, so i had to create someone else to remember things for me. also, i have to put someone else in charge at workshops. i would not want to be responsible for leading a whole group of people in any direction.

Friday, July 13, 2012


same technique as yesterday.
the shade of green that galaxy used is a very unusual green. i am going with this stamp because they actually live in australia, and it is $1.05 to send an envelope to Oz. although, it may be more because it is square. i think i will put their street and city in brown, and put it between some parallel lines that look like a plowed field.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


the top item is a mini-envelope that is a sample of a name tag that the washington guild used for an event.  i did not attend, but, elizabeth sent me a sample because she knew i would appreciate seeing one. adorable.

below is an envelope that i don't think i have posted yet. it was done by jerry naylor back in the day when my mom was the treasurer for our guild. the guild has morphed into a club, so we do not collect dues any more. jerry also filled out his check in beautiful writing.

my favorite part of the envelope is the small writing on the address. beautiful sweeping strokes on the Rs.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

canada - envelope


isn't this adorable and it is wooden, too. i like the lettering and the border and the vines.  i like the colors. however, when you look at all the different elements and how they are arranged, it is a bit like Topsey....it just grew. it would have been a real challenge to include all of the elements in a cozy arrangement. so, it's fine to just let it be what it is.

oops...it is tuesday. i was supposed to move this post. tomorrow will be another international post. sorry for the confusion. does anyone even mind whether i show my envelopes or envelopes by others? 

Monday, July 9, 2012

phildelphia guild

there is no name on the return address. i might be able to find out who did this one.

i like the way there is no space between jean and wilson. i like the colors, i like the flourishing and the tiny red squares.

the shading on the name is very nice, too. remember...to ditch caps any time you feel like it. they really should be optional.

Sunday, July 8, 2012


skip's birthday is in a couple days. and that is a real address....in case anyone wants to surprise him with a birthday greeting. i love the weather vane stamps. you have to order them online, unless you need to buy a roll of 10,000. that is not a typo. yes, they sell rolls of 10,000 stamps. i think they fit into a machine that applies the stamps to bulk mailings.

i have not asked for them at the p.o. because it was easy to order them online at www.usps.com

i used McCaffrey's ink. i love his ink. john neal sells it. this color is indigo. my idea was to make the caps as large as possible. they need to be even larger.

Saturday, July 7, 2012


i was thinking the dragons would look nice on a blue envelope. then i spelled collene's name wrong, so i put in a fake address. i almost threw this away. then i remembered that you can fix almost anything with black and white. i would not call this fixed, but it was fun.

Friday, July 6, 2012

right brain / left brain - purple heart

ok idea, but that slanty side looks bad next to the square side. it did not bother me when i did it, but it sure does now. then, i couldn't find any stamps with teal in them.

this is a second post, because the one below doesn't show any ideas.


i goofed up the blue envelope so i tried a red envelope. i think if i look back at old posts, i will find i have had a long running problem finding a combination that i like with the dragon stamp. i think i only have a couple left. i was excited to use up three of them sending an envelope to collene in australia. i used gold gouache. it looks fine in person, a little blah on the screen. i did have a couple envelopes in the peachy-orange color and that has been my favorite so far with the dragon stamp.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

right brain / left brain - quilt

ok, fourth try and i like this one. i even like that the stamp is a quilt because i think quilts are a good example of a right brain activity for left brain people. i could not discipline myself to sew a quilt and make all the intersections exact. well, maybe i could if someone was going to pay me a million dollars or something. but, it is not something i care to do.

i frequently have students who want to learn calligraphy and it takes a certain amount of discipline. when they discover that it is not a pure right brain activity ,they are so disappointed. i wonder if there are any activities that are purely right brain.

anyhow, this envelope is a bit of a mess, but, i'm ok with it. it would take a lot of time to produce a really spectacular right brain left brain envelope. there will not be time until the wedding season is over. but maybe someone who reads the blog will take the idea and run with it.

i put the tulips on before i even looked for a stamp. they need to be removed.

a fun site:

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

grateful dead

this is from the grateful dead envelope archive. they have a lot of envelopes and. many of them feature the kind of decorations we did on our notebooks in high school. they are fun - more like doodles than actual *artwork*. i thought this one was interesting, although it does not have any of the usual dead-head motifs. the one below has a skeleton and roses, two of the most popular dead-head motifs.
if you want to look at all of them, here is a link to their site, thanks to my friend chuck, who finds all kinds of *grate* stuff on the web :-)  the envelopes are from the olden days when tickets were only available through the mail and there was a lottery to get them. i would create beautiful envelopes for my dead-head husband, hoping that the prettier envelopes would be selected. a while back, we were contacted by someone who was publishing a book of dead-head ticket request envelopes and they wanted to include one of mine. i can't find mine in this archive. i believe it is somewhere in my blog archive....but, i don't like it enough to look for it.


would someone please tell me why grateful is spelled grate instead of great? why would you be full of grate? unless you worked in a kitchen, grating cheese.


Tuesday, July 3, 2012

hungary - envelope

oops, international day is on tuesday, instead of wednesday, this week only.


i found this on the mailmania blog. it is from someone in hungary. i love this idea. there was a sheet of stamps featuring the work of charles and ray eames. one of the stamps looked exactly like this. maybe someday i will find an image of that stamp and add it to this post. love-love-love this one.

a link to the blog of the person who made this envelope. he does a lot more than envelopes.


Monday, July 2, 2012

right brain / left brain - elvis

this is the second one in the series. i said the other one was the first, but, i think i did this one first. i like the idea of this one better but that big E on Eliza is cluncky. i might have to delete this one from the blog. again, it needs more layering. this is just a rough idea.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

ccc nancy

i like taking rectangles and adding details to make them into letters. there are probably other examples on the blog. the blog is now way too big to find anything. i need to seriously rethink all the posts and maybe come up with a different way to present all these ideas....