Sunday, June 30, 2013

bonus post

[original post written last week]
darn phone photos. i can't get them to appear upright.

but this is my response to the finnbadger envelope that i posted earlier this week.
yes, i left an *n* out of finnbadger.

machines are not being friendly today
so...we will all just have to put up with this mess.

it is a good lesson in something. i don't know what. please tell me if you know.

it is saturday morning and i usually check the post that will appear the following day. i thought i would try one more time to post a corrected version of the photo and voila, it worked. so you'd think i would be happy. no. in the past week, i have tried numerous times to take a phone photo and email it. none of them will go through. so, i am at a complete loss as to what to do. the above situation might have been resolved when i rebooted the computer. maybe i need to reboot my phone. i will try that and report back.

it will be a very sad and scary day if this blog turns into a *technology-help-desk*

p.s. i really should buy a bunch of the greg peck stamps. i LOVE making envelopes with thought balloons and there will never be a better stamp depicting *thought.*

sunday guest artist

these are from another blogspot blog called polarbearstale

it says:
Sequential pair of hand-painted envelopes by Hugh Rose, with most amusing pictures of a Knight and a Damsel, sent from Perth to Mrs. King-Harman in St. Lucia, 1887-9

i love the idea of sequential envelopes. must do that someday.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

bonus post skip - tiki

i'm not sure skip is into the tiki bar drinks. he's more of an alpine guy, but, his birthday is coming up and my friend beth was doing some cool bamboo lettering, so i had to give it a try. i hope i have enough of the hawaiian shirt stamps left to mail this one.

it needs the straws and fruit or swizzle stick in the drink and the bird needs some color....

pennant hats - skip

oh, i got carried away and forgot the pennants. so i still have to go back and work on a pennant idea that i love. or i could add to this one. but his birthday is coming up, so i will probably mail this one. the address will go on the 5th hat.
he has a PO box which makes his address very easy to tuck into small places.

and i think we need dots around the fluffy stuff on the top of the hats.

here it is with dots and the address in a bad phone photo. i like the way the birds are sitting on the wire. these are G-Tecs. the curls coming out of the hats were done with a paintbrush and gouache. i can't decide which one i like. i guess they are both fine. although the top one does not exist anymore.

Friday, June 28, 2013

pennant 2

the top line of pennants was an attempt to improve on the ones yesterday which i thought were a little too wimpy. these were too bold. i tried a second string of them and rather liked the dots. then, the idea hit me that pennants look like party hats.

and what is my favorite design principle? that's right, repetition.  so i quickly drew some party people on the bottom.

tomorrow will show version 3.

new time waster - 2

here is my suggestion for adding enough postage to send this one through the mail and also keep it symmetrical.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

new time waster

oh, great. i just thought of taking my scans without stamps, opening them in paint, and adding a stamp. so, i have a new way to use up all my time. but, i will not have to buy stamps any more. in the long run, it might save time and money.

see below for today's post. this was not the stamp i had in mind, but when i saw it, i was reminded that nancy is a big fan of the cat.

first pennant envelope

this was the first try at something with little pennants. i knew the lettering would need to be large and bold. but, i see room for improvement. this is where i get into the debate with some of you...if i point out what i want to sounds like i am being critical of this one. it's fine. it just doesn't have the impact that i would like it to have.
and it would be tons cuter if the street address reflected the curve in the string of pennants.
and wisconsin should have fit exactly on the top of the zip.

the stamp would be the caulder wire horse.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

bonus post - finnbadger

finnbadger stumbled across my blog and left a couple comments. then he sent me this cooler-than-heck envelope. it is cool because it is (A)  handmade, (B) out of vintage paper and he apologized for the non-hand lettering, but i really like the (C) font and i think that good font choice and (D) tidy craftsmanship is just as praiseworthy as hand lettering.
and he gets *with honors* for (E) stamp selection and *uber-kudos* for (F) stamp placement. three people have said..."how did he get them to deliver it without stamps?" because they can't really see the stamps. they are so perfect.
this is a hall of famer envelope. i can't wait to find out if this was beginners luck or is he the new *ray johnson* of mail art. if you don't know who ray johnson the movie, How to Draw a Bunny. interesting fellow.

thanks finnbadger.

the envelope is on a black surface. i forgot to crop the photo.
i just noticed that it is addressed to 430 44th
i moved out of that studio
and my address is now 420 44th
i suppose i should go back and *fix* all the scans....

one more thing
check out the cool link that finnbadger posted in the comment section yesterday.
it is very cool

guest artist susan

i can't tell from the image if she adhered cut paper to the envelope or painted the shapes. they look more like cut paper. i'm pretty sure that 60-cent is not enough to mail a portrait orientation envelope. but, since she is making 365 envelopes to herself, maybe she is not actually sending them through the postal system.

this was one of my favorite LOVE stamps. i wish they would recycle some of their designs. the current one isn't a favorite.

that's it below. the lettering bothers me because it is a font and i think it would have been better it was hand lettered and a little looser. just my opinion....feel free to disagree.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

line flowers - elizabeth

i copied the flowers off something on pinterest. then i came up with some letters that i liked. the S needs some work. the letters are wimpy by themselves. solution to just about everything: dots. finding a good stamp might be challenging.

one of these might be nice.
the color on the apples is better.
i'm trying to like that flower stamp.
maybe i need to buy some to see what i can come up with.

Monday, June 24, 2013

this just in

wonderful article/interview about a master of lettering....Doyald Young
having a typo in his first name didn't hinder him at all.

bonus post - burger time

i did the top one and liked it so then i did the bottom
one and decided the top one was better.
i suppose i could spend more time drawing burgers.
i really like the caulder stamp.

the earlier post today did not even look like an envelope.
ann's still needs an address. it will be fine, tiny and running just above the checkerboard.

big blue S

whilst researching ideas for hillarian doo-dads, i came across this and just copied it.
it did not have an S. i think it needs some silver.
then, i have to decide whether to send it to susan, stella, mini-stella, or skip. and i am seriously thinking of running it through the postage meter because... just because.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

sunday guest artist

this is for sale at the
so it must be by edward gorey, one of my all time favorite artists. it says it is $250. sounds like a bargain to me.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

guest artist smash

bonus post today because mine is just a beginning of an idea and smash sent some fun red-white-and-blue envelopes that i should post now rather than later.
this is fun and i wonder which white she used. i just tried some copic white this week. jan brought it. jan had to use a rolling cart this week to share all her goodies. the copic white comes in a jar. i will review it when i post the actual envelope...which is to finnbadger, but i spelled his name wrong, so now i don't know whether to redo it, or leave it as is....

susan script hillish beginning

morphing script, and hillarian and showing what the hillarian stuff looks like without the color. now i want to do this with gold ink on black.
it is not full blown hillarian, just hillish. or hillesque. fauxhill.

Friday, June 21, 2013

hillarian grafitti

i saw an exemplar for grafitti letters on pinterest and thought about doing a hillarian treatment. it was fun. but it needs refining.

and i need to finish the dots around the edge. i started on the N and was trying a variation where the dots go up and down in size. i think it has possibilities...

look below for a second post telling the outcome of the concert ticket lottery envelope.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

lottery outcome

this was the envelope i posted several weeks ago. to get tickets to a Further concert in Colorado in Sept you have to mail in a request to be in a lottery. i thought the people who hand out the tickets might be persuaded to give tickets to a deadhead-dad who wants to take his son to the concert.

i am happy to report that they sent tickets
that deadhead-dad says are very good seats in the 26th row.
so....maybe someone appreciated the effort we put into the envelope

keith bday + line flowers

this one was  on the may15th blog post with an address in the sky that i did not like. nh suggested meandering the name through the stems, which i had been pondering and this is much better.

this one ended up being my favorite of the 4 i did for keith
i put them all in one envelope and actually mailed them.
i addressed the envelope to
mr. meendering, because i had spelled his name wrong on most of them.

i am still on a flower binge. there will be a series of these coming up.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

guest artist - smash floral

if i had time, i would do something along these lines. it's fun to have other ideas from other artists. i put in a type-box with a fake address. the actual address matched the name. thanks for sending this :-)
my scribble flowers are getting redundant.

keith bday - scribbly flowers

i don't have these stamps yet, so i have to pull them off mail that comes to the house. i don't destroy the art mail that people send...just regular mail.

i love pink and orange together.
i like the scribbles.
the trick to making these flowers is to rotate the envelope as you add the petals. always make the strokes in the exact same direction.
i MUST make a video that shows how i do this.

and i finally spelled his name right.
the other day i was lettering on some dishes for a photo shoot and i can't tell you how many times i put an e on potato. yes, i could tell you...but i won't.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

guest artist smash hot fuchsia pink

in my post below, written a month ago, i said that i imagined i would be getting some fun mail to add today and as predicted, there were three wonderful envelopes from smash-girl. i hope she tells us how she did this one and what is the ink or paint? it is so bright.

a wOnDeRfuL envelope from FinnBadger arrived in the mail - can't wait to scan and share it :-)

and then...a bunch more from smash-girl arrived via, i have a ton of stuff coming up....

keith bday -blocky

a while back i had a similar design on an envelope to janet. i was going to show 50 different ways to finish it. then i lost it. then i did this series of experiments on cheap envelopes. so, this isn't a very exciting envelope today. i am writing this on may 16, so i imagine i will have something more fun to add to the blog today...something that will arrive in my mailbox.

Monday, June 17, 2013

keith bday - candles

more experimenting with the BIG brush markers from jan. they blend nicely. i didn't think there was a good one to blend with the purple, so i left that one without a second color.

sometimes we feel like we have to stick with a pattern and in this case, if i would have forced the purple to have a second color, it might have bothered me that there was no good combination and i settled for something i didn't like.
so the lesson is to allow inconsistencies when you have a good reason. sometimes having s couple items that don't quite fit is more interesting then everything being very regimented.

bad stamp choice. i have a very bad attachment to my stamps. i had some better ones...but i just couldn't part with them. now i hope that keith doesn't read my blog and wonder why i won't use my really good stamps on him. on the other hand, he has known me a while, so he probably understands why i don't put the primo stamps on some of his envelopes. i think it is because these were experiment envelopes and i was not making it for him from the beginning. he just happened to be the next person on my birthday list. so...who has a birthday coming up?

plus, it was a cheap envelope. i have trouble putting good stamps on cheap envelopes.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

sunday guest artist

another one from
Jean-Michel Folon's Lettres a Giorgio, a collection of illustrated envelopes and postcards by the Belgian artist, all addressed to Giorgio Soavi in Milan, Italy, between 1967-1975.

don't ask me how this was might be watercolor. the really rich colors means he used good paint. i don't think you get something like this from that set of prang watercolors left over from your childhood.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

liz flower week

one more flower envelope. i knew e and l would make nice stems. i didn't plan or pencil, i just figured it would work out as i winged it. so, i would not say it is the best envelope in the world. i made the flowers first and then tried to connect the name. obviously, it would be easier to do the name first. but, sometimes it is fun to paint yourself into a corner and then see how you are going to get out.

Friday, June 14, 2013

keith bday blue didn't have to wait for next week. remember yesterday when i said i had a mental block on a name...i can't for the life of me remember how to spell keith. I before E except after C and K and in the word Weird.

but i like the letters
and i LOVE the stamp
and i wish they would let us add extra postage on the backs of envelopes.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

guest artist susan

it looks like she recycled some envelopes that had problems by adhering pieces to a black envelope and *stitched* all the pieces together with little black lines.
highly stealworthy idea.

i will be adding envelopes from susan into the scheduled envelopes. my whole flower series is looking more like a rut. i never tire of making flowers, but i guess i am tired of seeing them every morning on the blog.

liz flower week

most of the time i add G-Tec to markers, but i liked these just fine the way they were. of course, elizabeth might have preferred her letters in the proper order, but i was talking to jan while i made this one and jan was nice enough to give me the markers, so, i don't really think that having the letters in the same order all the time is really essential. (brace yourselves for next week...i have a complete mental block on a name that is coming up)

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

from jackie - soft pencil

there are a bunch of soft pencil envelopes from jackie. pencil is a wonderful medium. and this is layered...
give it a try.
if you don't have colored pencils, treat yourself to some. they are very beginner friendly. don't buy cheap ones. if you have cheap ones, donate them to some place that needs them. but get them out of the house.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

jans - profile w hair

i saw something i just loved with a tilted, cropped profile. the strands of hair were tightly coiled loopy strands. i'll never find it again...but, this reminds me of it.

i like it this way and i would like it with colors, too. i could do a ton of variations on this one.

the monday-tuesday flower envelopes are redundant, so i am bumping this forward for some variety.

liz flower week

these are variations on the ones i did with G-Tec letters repeated in a circle to make flowers. this envelope would be much prettier with different colors and a stamp that coordinated better, but, i like the idea. i like the idea of scribbling. if i find time, i will do a better version of this one...and start a little farther to the left so there is room for the h on the far right.

Monday, June 10, 2013

liz flower week

this week will have some more flower experiments with the faber castell BIG brush markers. these are the easiest ones. i flicked petals quickly, then went back and added a layer to make them a little more even. and then finished with the G-Tec outlines. i also added a bit of shade to the side of her name. the last name and address is just pencil. if i actually mail this...i will find a different stamp. the colors in the stamp will determine how i finish it.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

sunday guest artist

this is from Jean-Michel Folon's Lettres a Giorgio, a collection of illustrated envelopes and postcards by the Belgian artist, all addressed to Giorgio Soavi in Milan, Italy, between 1967-1975.

really spectacular watercolor people...
such a nice layout....
if you like things uncomplicated.
not everyone does.
i might have to steal that guy on the far right.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

big brush variation

this one is like the one a few days ago for carol.
i added more detail to the flowers and used my new white pen for dots. it is a Pilot CHOOSE from Jet Pens. i will let you know if John Neal starts carrying them. most white gel pens are very thick. this one is a bit finer. small enough to draw eyes on ants....can't wait to show you those.

robot butterfly

i used pencil, then a silver gel pen, then when i erased, it took all the sparkle off the gel. lesson learned. again.

if you google *robot butterfly* you will see one that looks a little bit like this. you will also see the envelope that was in the post when i was talking about robots and mentioned that i would make a robot butterfly. i guess everything that i mention is being recorded by google.

sadly, i have a new hobby:
trying to come up with things that are so obscure, they will cause my envelopes to pop up if anyone does a search.
for example....has anyone ever searched for a robot envelope?

now, google *robot envelope* and see if this one shows up.

and this one arrived a few days ago:
i love the eyeballs. we could probably start a whole blog devoted just to robots.
the peter max stamps are perfect robot attire.

Friday, June 7, 2013

birds for stella

i was jotting down ideas. the original looked nothing like this and did not have a banner. i used colored pencils to fill in the drawing which was made with a G-Tec and will fill in her last name in the box, her address on the line and zip in the boxes.

i like this naive style that is so popular right now. i wonder how long the trend will last and i really wonder what the next trend will be. 

Thursday, June 6, 2013

jackie - jan's markers

since i have written jackie's name hundreds of times, i can usually do a decent envelope without any planning or guidelines. i was not thinking of any stamps in particular. jackie frequently splurges on extra stamps just to make the envelope pretty. this one made me want to design an envelope that used all 4 of the flower stamps in a pleasing design. i hope i have 4 stamps left. i need to come up with an offer where people send me stamps in return for an envelope but i get some leftovers.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

elizabeth's directions

elizabeth kidly sent the instructions on how she made this card and envelope.

The technique used on this envelope is sponging straight Golden acrylics onto some inexpensive rice paper, which produces a lightweight envelope. I used the Golden Acrylics from the jar: Quinacridone/Nickel Azo Gold, Quinacridone Gold, and Iridescent Bright Gold (Fine) with a small piece of sponge, cut down from a large "QEP XL All Purpose Sponge" found in either the car wash, tile grout or paint section of Home Depot. They are yellow-orange in color, 2" thick and about 8" long.
It's just random dabbing, layering as you go, with a light touch, and very small amount of paint, until the paper is covered! Fun to do and nice WOW factor!

As for the chunky letters, I drew out some Neuland-esque letters, then made myself stencils, that can be used for embossing, as well as stamping into. The "positive" section that was cut out, can also be used to trace around, then cut out, which is what I did for the black letters and the decorative paper letters! I love the chunky letterforms!!

The rice paper, which is similar in weight to tissue paper, has been inspired by the collage technique developed by Eric Carle, illustrator or "The Very Hungry Caterpillar"  so go to his website: for more inspiration!!

thank you elizabeth.
and this is a second post of the day, so don't miss the one below.