Thursday, January 31, 2013

guest artist jeri - sickle cell

very pretty work by jeri. i'm guessing this is gouache. i wonder about that blob at the top. was it intentional or an accident and then she figured that it tied in with the stamp, in that sickle cell anemia is a blood dis-order? i'm trying to decide what style this is. it has some italic to it and also a little uncial. i enjoy cross-breeding styles. and once again, jeri is good at centering. or maybe she wrote it once on something else, to see how long it would be.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

foreign guest artist - tony ross

tony ross

another in the series of putting the name inside a mouth.
i want to do an entire alphabet book with 26 items inside the mouths of 26 creatures...

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

memory lane

here is another re-run. this one is super-easy. you do not need to know anything about lettering or caligraphy to write like this. you just need a lot of markers. and a fun colorful stamps. there is a new kaleidoscope stamp coming out in 2013 that will be perfect for this kind of writing.

[time passes - jean continues to review posts she wrote in december and scheduled to appear daily thru the month of jan and half of feb]

Monday, January 28, 2013

ellen - apt building

i did this one very quickly...wanted to show *from my house to yours* she lives in an apartment building in sydney, so i put her on the balcony. would have loved to have had time to do cuter stick figures...note to self, google *stick figures* - i bet there are a ton of good ideas.

[time passes - jean reviews her prewritten posts - she has time to google *stick figures* and is pleased to announce that yes, indeed, there are a multitude of swipe-worthy stick figures.]

Sunday, January 27, 2013

memory lane

this is the very first envelope i posted on the blog. i was thinking of going back and editing the blog and reconfiguring it so that it is easier to search for specific examples.

i think i have to label this one, not-easy. i have a lot of styles that i love that are very easy. this one, i have no idea how i would teach someone to write this way. it is my best example of what you can do if you write one name 50 or 60 times.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

guest artist - carol dubosch

carol and i are kindred spirits when it comes to using up paper. this is the third envelope from her that embraces recycling. i love brown paper bags and cardboard. i even like the small bags that are used when you buy greeting cards. yes, i still buy some of my greeting cards....and i like those little bags. they make nice envelopes. some day i will post a tutorial on making them in to envelopes....

carol said:
1999 Graceful Envelope - the theme was "The Beauty in Nature." I chose to approach the theme from a conservation point of view, and used a paper bag for the envelope. I simply cut open a regular envelope and use it as my pattern to cut out the paper bag.

Friday, January 25, 2013

ellen - really quick

nothing exciting about this one.
sometimes you just need to write a cute curly name and add a heart and mail it.
of course, the cutest stamp ever is nice touch.

this was a gel marker. they are always fun.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

guest artist jeri -

very pretty. i should have posted this in december, but it can be a valentine inspiration. nice bouncing of the letters. a rule of thumb in bouncing is:
make the first and last letters on the same level

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

foreign guest artist - tony ross

tony ross

this would have been a fun holiday envelope. nd it would have looked nice with the black and white miles davis and edith piaf stamps. or, i can picture the black and white drawing on gray of something less dramatic.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

ellen - dottarific

i love the dottariffic markers. i only have three of them and they were samples from back in the day when i did designs for a magazine and was given new products to try out. if i let myself have more, i would be distracted all day. they have a big round hemispherical foamy tip and you get larger dots by pressing harder. way cool. way fun.

Monday, January 21, 2013

ellen - year of the ram again

here is that stamp again with some confetti that looks a little more like flower petals, but not actually flowers, just a variation on confetti. the whole thing is probably done with brush markers. the green one was a little dry. but, i think it looks nice to layer some darker strokes over the top and add the dot-dot-dot.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

guest artist - kathy saunders

this is from a rochester, new york event planner website. it is the work of kathy saunders. i have met kathy at penmanship conventions. someday, i would like to see an entire set of envelopes that she does in this style to compare all the different lengths of names and addresses and see how she makes them all come out as beautifully as this one....
like....what does she do with
South Weymouth, Massachusetts?
etiquette requires that the states be spelled out....

Saturday, January 19, 2013

guest artist - carol dubosch

in 2009, the graceful envelope theme was *addressing the environment* so carol stitched together several old envelopes and added the address and those wonderful Gee's Bend quilt stamps. very clever.

i like the idea of the small words ahead of the main word and then small words again...
and the first large initial cap sticking out a little to the left.
there is a nice arrangement to the words that should be noted for future reference.

Friday, January 18, 2013

ellen - uncle sam

hmmmm...not much to say about this one. just hang in there...some better stuff is on the way.

i guess i could mention the S in wilson. i see a lot of bad S shapes. sometimes it works to just let it hang down below the line. trying to keep it all tucked in can make it too scrunched. the S is frequently an odd-ball letter. most letters are squarish (HTEFL) or they have some angles (MWNVXY) or they are roundish (OGQCD) but S has a whole back and forth thing going on and if the top and bottom have hooks or if the overall shape doesn't relate to any of the other letters, it can be unsightly. it is counter-intuitive to make it drop down like that, but i rather like it and i see it done by people who are ten-times better at lettering than i am. so there.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

ellen - banner

this stamp is from the same series as the last one with a flag stamp and the decoration on the envelope is really fast ans scribbly. it's fine with me to just do a quick impression of the stamp. it would be gorgeous to do a very detailed rendering of the banner and put the name in carefully....but, if i don't have time to do that, i'm just fine with a scribble. i like that border across the top, too.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

guest artist - carol dubosch

the 2008 theme for the graceful envelope was either *the letter C* or *color.* the two rainbow stamps fit together beautifully and it is genius how she chose to position them at just a slight angle and with the seam running north-south. soooooo pretty. it would not have looked right for the stamps to be parallel with the l. and it would not have looked right for them to be square with the baseline of the word.

i know carol wants to inspire people to enter the contest, but with examples like this....we might be making it look like it is a contest for only the very best calligraphers. while masterful calligraphy will catch the judges attention, they do choose envelopes done by beginners who have a very good idea.

check out the past winners and you will see what i mean.... on the label *graceful envelope* and you will see several of my entries that were accepted and the lettering is nowhere near the skill level of carol's.

Monday, January 14, 2013

ellen - candy hearts

those candy hearts again. this time on the funny colored envelopes. i don't remember what they called this color. i bought a box of 100 of them at office max. they were fun to have as an alternative.

those fun hearts again...quick and easy.
i like the way the Ls line up
and the way the two names fit together.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

ellen - mickey mouse

it doesn't seem like mickey would look ok done in black, but, i knew i couldn't color it in in black without it getting all muddy. so, i was surprised that this looked OK in gray....i'm also surprised disney agreed to let the p.o. put mickey on a stamp.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

ellen - lions

quick uncials, quick outlines, quick whiskers, quick hearts. i love making those little hearts with the tips of the brush markers.

Friday, January 11, 2013

guest artist linda - pencils

these pencils were cut out of a magazine or catalog and adhered to the envelope. the colors are great. no comment on the flag stamp. i can't even imagine why she had one in the was one of those envelopes that comes in junk mail, where they include an envelope with an actual stamp and they think people will say, oh, i must not waste that stamp, i better send them a check. but, clever people glue something over the address and use the envelope for actual mail. except this is a red envelope, so it would not have come in junk mail. i spend too much time pondering stories behind other people's mail. but this is not wasted time. i have to drink coffee, so i am putting my coffee drinking time to good use.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

ellen - glaze pens

i loved those glaze pens. they still sell them. and they look really cool on chrome-coat paper...which is the super shiny stuff. i'm not going to say anything about the lettering. this is just filler while i get some good stuff piled up and scanned. i'm actually writing this on 12-12-12...and trying to get the blog lined up so i can focus on something you will like better than this envelope.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

guest artist - carol dubosch

carol's 2004 graceful envelope. i think the theme was weather? she wrote rain several times, in ink and then washed it off. and added some sunny orange stamps and lettering.

her website mentions that she has been promoting calligraphy for 55 years. so, there is a lot of experience behind this particular envelope. in some ways, it is very simple and straight forward. we could spend a lot of time looking at how the elements fit together.

i always like tight-fitting elements and overlapping and this carol's writing overlaps the stamp, which looks great. however, i will mention that i have had postal workers tell me that they will not accept stamps with writing on them. this one went through fine and there might be postal workers who would not object, but, be prepared if you decide to overlap the stamp with writing.

again... every postal worker will have a different opinion on what you can do and can't do. please do not quote me or consider me an authority on postal regulations.... i just pass along things that have been said to me directly. if i don't like what i hear, i just go to a different post office. with regard to putting the stamp anywhere other than the upper right corner, i have had very polite postal workers warn me that i am not in compliance with their *rules.* i put on my wide-eyed *who knew?* expression and nod my head that i understand the i walk away...the little devil that resides on my non-jiminy cricket shoulder says: they need your business more than they need the stamp in the upper right corner.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

ellen - heart candy

such a cute stamp. love the combination of colors. i was lucky to have the right color markers. i don't think i could do much with this stamp without those two colors. i like the way the lettering is small and rounded, like the candy.

Monday, January 7, 2013

guest artist linda - pear

this one is nice because of the simplicity. i like letters that touch. it is hard to convince beginners to make their letters touching. but, once they get the hang of it, i think they can see how it makes the name into a nice shape. and sometimes, that is all you need for a successful envelope. of course, the bright colors also play a major role.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

ellen - flag

this is an example of something done very fast and scribble-y. sometimes people slave over their envelopes and they don't think they should just scribble the idea really fast. i would not enter this in the graceful envelope contest, but, if i just wanted to send something fun, it's good enough.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

ellen - jiminy cricket

another example of taking one little detail off the stamp and putting it somewhere on the envelope. very quick....

Friday, January 4, 2013

guest artist - carol dubosch

this envelope was Best of Show in the 2002 graceful envelope contest.

read all about the contest at the link above.  the theme for 2013 is *A World of Change*

the theme in 2002 was *The Written Word* - so carol wrote the word *words* a gazillion times. you could adopt this idea for an envelope by writing the person's name over and over and then applying stamps and a mailing label.

carol said:
When you write the word "words" over and over without spacing it begins to read "word sword word sword" which is a fun play on the quote: The pen is mightier than the sword. I don't know if anyone catches that trick…but it was fun for me to employ it on this entry.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

ellen - colored pencil

the flowers do not go with that stamp. but, i will include this one in case anyone likes to doodle with colored pencils. i like to make scribbly little flowers and vines.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

foreign guest artist - sitoshi kitamure

sitoshi kitamura

super stealworthy
but, you are going to need to know how to draw a little bit.
you could take a photograph and trace over it.
you can also take photos and plug them into the newest version of Word.
it has a feature where you can convert a photo to a line sketch
then you could print it out and color it in.
first you have to move into a brownstone.
no you don't
this would look just fine with any kind of house

actually, this is two envelopes
which is a second stealworthy idea.
make a set of envelopes that -when combined-
create a much larger picture

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

ellen - wyoming

this series of stamps that looked like picture postcards - one from each state was so much fun. just use the color of the lettering and pickup one other color for accent. and the lettering could be anything. this whole set of 20 envelopes to ellen, that are pretty old show that i was rather stuck on this stick-figure variation of neuland. it was quick and easy.