Saturday, February 28, 2015

cathy's hische-a-lope

cathy and i have both admired the work of jessica hische and we're glad the p.o. chose her to design this stamp. the wrought iron lettering is so perfect. i'm bummed that i don't have any pretty red envelope. i have some darker red squares...but i would need two stamps....

thank you cathy

we also wonder how much a person gets paid to design a stamp. i know i have read articles that everyone wants to be a stamp designer ... so maybe they don't have to pay much because the desire to do the work is so high.... finnbadger, any chance we can get you to research this for us? and while you're at it, how about telling us what a finnbadger is. if you google finnbadger, all you find is a ton of stuff about YOU and your mail art....did you know that???

Friday, February 27, 2015

more grateful dead envelopes

last year my husband and son wanted to get tickets to a what's-left-of-the-grateful-dead concert. they had to submit their request by mail. i guess the promoters want to make it an even playing field so there is a snail mail lottery for tickets instead of just who-is-fastest-on-the-internet. at the link below is a scan of the envelope i made for them showing a nice dad and son - hoping to get tickets. of course they were chosen to receive some of the coveted tickets. actually, they got very good seats. and they were sure it was because of my decorated envelope.

well, a couple weeks ago, there was a new concert announced and again, you had to apply for a chance to get tickets by mail. i was out of town. so my husband and son used a plain envelope. they also had to include a postal money order - so they did that at the main post office. my dear postal worker friend, Natalie, was working and she said there had been a ton of people sending in requests for grateful dead tickets that day. we're all sad that i was not here to make the envelope. i think i better make some to have on hand... and leave a blank to fill in which show and how many tickets. my husband and son were impressed that Natalie was able to whip out an envelope from me. i really must send Natalie some more mail.

then chuck sent me this link where they are posting some of the envelopes. thank you chuck.
the artist is Nathan Slim Pickens - rats, i forgot his last name - but you can find it if you go to the FB page- i am resisting the temptation to surf...

Thursday, February 26, 2015

are these repeats? 2 messy ones to jeri

 i don't see these in the archive, and i don't like them, but i put the less successful stuff out there because anyone could look at the technique and think of a way to do it that would be more pleasing.

and who knows, i might come up with a brilliant idea to add that one last layer that makes me love them.

if these are repeats, please leave a comment and i will add a bonus post today.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

snow angel from jadie

here is the envelope from my new penpal, jadie.
my name is probably done with a ruling pen. the small lettering looks like gel pen.
jadie is a master at splattering.

so pretty

thanks jadie

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

jadie - 4 love stamps

jadie is a new penpal. the envelope she sent me will pop up tomorrow. i hope that's ok. if not, jadie, send me an email and i will not post it. do you like how much (little) notice i am giving you? i might have to institute another policy. if you send mail to me, assume it will be put on the blog.

i had a bride show up with sparkle paper envelopes and hoping to find purple ink that would stick to it. no luck. she is going to get her save-the-dates addressed with a purple sharpie.

after testing about a dozen purple inks, i was starting to like the look of dissolved ink. this was a tul pen. i get them at office-max-depot. they are very nice pens. the navy, dark green and burgundy are very nice if you need to match those colors and want to use a regular pen.

the address line will be tiny between the two big lines but i will not smear it. and it will be green because all the love stamps have a touch of green.

Monday, February 23, 2015

janet's winter exchange

i think this is watercolor. nice way to pull an idea off the stamp and that little row of red glittery dots on teh top is a very pretty detail. it's going in my *swipe file*

thanks, janet

and the white *shadow* on the address was a good way to make that lettering pop out against the background. i can tell that the gray was an essential part of giving some dimension to the branches, but, then the brown lettering probably looked a little muddy over the top. very nice.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

ann-margret - multi stamp

i need to add more stamps to get to $1.15. it was fun to find the canada stamp in my stash after i started an envelope with no stamp in mind.

i am going through all my markers an pens and testing them to weed out the dry ones.

a fun holiday envelope from ann-margret will show up in a few weeks. my incoming mail got way ahead of my outgoing mail. and i am alternating daily between my envelopes and those i receive.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

karen's little houses

what fun, and so generous, to use 5 of these stamps which are one of my favorite designs....
and the way the postmark adds some snowflakes on the left is cool.

looks like cola pen writing to me
and the little fine lines tie everything together nicely.

thanks karen

Friday, February 20, 2015

evans - snow angel

in a crazed state of mind, i started stealing ideas without considering the stamps. after i found the snow angel, i wished i had made the e by looping a scarf. too late. desk cleaning frenzy continues.

address line will be a tidy block toward the right margin. at about the level of the bird's knees.

after i posted the top left image, i added the jim and caroline, but now i can't arrange this page, so i am just leaving the previous scan in.... too bad i can't find someone to compose my pages for me. i need a bride with computer skills so i can trade services. 

Thursday, February 19, 2015

from nonnie

two envelopes today. check below this one for the second one. and this one might be a repeat. it arrived in june of 2014 and i do not recall what kind of binge i was on at the time, so i do not recall if this was inspired by something or maybe it is completely original. i could easily steal those well as the general 3D effect.

either way, thank you nonnie

legend's exchange

this is from legend. i'm pretty sure i am remembering this right....he was mostly a broad edge letterer, but decided to try pointed nibs - after retiring. so, hats off to anyone who tries something new. it can be very challenging. so far, i have never had the patience to try any of the pointed pen illustrations....very nice.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

usps article

i can't believe it took me this long to run across this article.

i am thrilled to know that the USPS is appreciating mail art.

and here is a link to some more mail art
there is something interesting about that hunk of black and the white triangle.
i want to tip it to the right a little and make it into an envelope behind the lady....

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

karen's winter exchange

on dec 27, i posted one from karen to jan and karen left a comment that she gave up on broad edged names after trying two. i really think this is marvelous with a simple mono-line address. the whole design is charming. and those mailboxes on the bottom are *insane* (the way young people say that, meaning insane in a very good way)

love it

Monday, February 16, 2015

stella's drum

this stamp gave me fits. i had given up on finding something that worked with it. sadly my big copic marker is out of ink again.

but enclosed in this envelope are two three items from the stack of 67 unfinished envelopes that i vowed to finish and send by dec 31, 2014
feb 14, 2015,
new deadline - april 15, 2015

Sunday, February 15, 2015

from jill - bonus post

another spontaneous-send-an-envelope-to-jean club member. this is jill, from indiana.

i wonder if the club will ever go viral and if i will ever reach a tipping point where i am getting more mail than what i can respond to.
also, question for jill:
is there significance to the cuckoo clock?
not that i am sensitive about being cuckoo...just wondering.

thanks jill, i know there will be stealing of this idea.

winter exchange - heading into spring

good thing i wasn't planning on any form of organization this year. i just found a stack of envelopes from the exchange that i thought i had posted, but i do not see them in the archive - so here they are....
thank you elena
scribbles and dots...they look great with that stamp.
i'm trying to think of a way to morph this into another holiday....
or, if i was smart, i'd just start my holiday cards NOW.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

love it

i almost made some noise-of-delight out loud when i thought of making recipe cards to add to this one. i had already put thicker strokes on some of the letters which was absurd. it didn't ruin anything, but it is a goofy thing to do to that font. and i kept thinking....what kind of food item can i add to this? then it hit me -- recipe cards are equally absurd. i can't imagine he ever used index cards.

i will write the address, tiny on the cards and sure hope it arrives.

Friday, February 13, 2015

my dutch penpal

i bumped today's scheduled post to insert this one. it arrived from the netherlands. anna saw one of my envelopes on pinterest and decided to mail me a surprise letter. she didn't say anything about my blog, so i have to respond by snail mail and warn her that i put her envelope on the blog. i hope that's ok with her, if not, i can take it down. she must have seen one of the old envelopes from my studio days at 430. i changed it to 420. someday i need to obliterate all the 430s, but there are so many on pinterest...there will always be 430s out there.

here is the cool part. my mailman knew to give it to me. isn't that nice? feb 4th was letter carrier appreciation day. i need to send a belated thank you.

thank you anna - there are several ideas on this envelope to inspire both my readers and myself.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

letter writing robot

this is a screen shot of some actual lettering. it is from a website offering a robotic letterwriting service.

they have some styles of penmanship that you may choose. or you may send your own handwriting and they will make it into a font.

you may then type in messages to people and the robot will write your message using a real pen and they will mail the letter/note for you.

and the price is very reasonable - $2.99US.
of course, any handwriting turned into a font still lacks the variety in characters that makes real handwriting look real. it would be fun to know if they make a go of it. i'm thinking i should start a service where people call me and dictate over the phone and i do an actual letter and drop it in the mail.

it does bother me that they have this nice bit of handwriting in a very prominent place - implying that they will send a letter that looks like this. this is very pretty....but it is not done by a robot.

should i contact the company and suggest to them that they are misleading their customers?

this is what the robot writing looks like:

IMHO they need some better cursive options.

the new envelope for today is in a post below.

last 3 potters

ok, here are the last 3 potter stamps. i really fizzled out on this series. i always like a good challenge and i kept thinking i would hit my groove. but, i never did. sometimes that happens. i'm sure i could have done an entire set of wrought iron, but what's the point of that?

so...there is one more. the book of stamps came with several little red wax seal stickers. of course, i can't find them at the moment
so...some day, they will turn up and maybe i will have a brain storm that will compensate for the dullness of the potter series.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

another flo-rific envelope

jan brought her envelopes from the winter exchange over for me to see and i love this one from flo. some people do a variety of envelopes, others choose a design and do all the same. it's entirely up to you.

i am bummed that i do not have any of these stamps left. i had several envelope ideas that i really liked, but not this, i will be looking for opportunities to steal this idea and apply it to another stamp. but, i doubt i can top this.

thanks, florence
(no doubt she is named for the city of florence, one of those cities that continues to be a great source of inspiration to artists)

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

two more potters - scarf & wand

the harry potter stamps were very challenging for me. they kept getting lost in a pile of unfinished ideas.

the top one is just loose loopy silver gel pen script with the counters filled in with colored pencil.

the scarf name is just a very quick and sketchy impression of the scarf.

i wish i would have used bleach, in a spray bottle, to make speckles coming out of the wand. bleach on black paper is a very cool technique.

Monday, February 9, 2015

hey, flo

i hope florence is ok with me giving her a nickname. this is a wild and crazy envelope and i love it and i shall be stealing ideas right and left. super fun. and the p.o. added one of those uber-cancels.

the zip code was covered up with a bar code sticker which i peeled off.

in case it is not obvious, the colorful strokes on my name are collaged pieces of paper.

love the black border on the stamp.

thanks, flo

side note to finn:
what does this say?
or maybe karen needs to tell us?
this was on finn's blog

Sunday, February 8, 2015

hische - 1st and 3rd tries

this was my first try at something to go with the jessica hische stamps. i had not even purchased them yet. the images are snipped off the USPS website.

this is a perfect example of how scroll-y letters in all caps are very unpleasant. i would not even post this, but i want you to see why it is a usually a bad idea. the DONNA should have been larger. and the MICHEL should have gone down in the space between the two lines with the address. DONNA looks OK in all caps, but the MICHEL looks dreadful. it just depends on the combination of letters.

 things got better after i had the actual stamps.
this is still very rough, but i like adding some weight to some of the strokes
i put in a fake address in pencil and there is a heart instead of a 0 in the zip code, so when i do her actual address, i will find a place to make a third heart. and i don't think i need that line. three elements would have been fine on their own.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

uber popular nancy envelope

this is one of the envelopes that i see frequently on Pinterest. there is another one (from alyce) and i thought i re-ran that one, but now i can't find it. i am reposting this one, because every now and then i try to find a scan of it, and i can't. by putting it on the blog and saying - Nancy Hills - in the blog post, i will be able to find it any time i want it. i just type nancy hills into the search bubble.

i think i will do do a search for stealworthy and see how many pop up.

you can try stealing this idea....but, i'm warning will be a challenge.

from finnbadger

finn sent these in december. he didn't know that he was going to be honored for his lettering, so he did not know the pressure he is under to do more hand lettering. of course, i'm just as happy to inspire all y'all to try to be as lazy as i am. so, it's fine with me if he doesn't bother with lettering. but, i do like to encourage lettering.

part of me gets a little snarky when his envelopes are better than mine. even though as the zen master, i know that my ultimate goal is for my grasshoppers to surpass me, so i have attained that lofty goal (several times over) and i guess the air is a little thin up here, plus, nobody has really filled me in on exactly how the zen master thing works. i think i will change it to zun master. something a little different. i should be more respectful to the actual zen masters. plus, i'm a big fan of alturnutiv speling.

Friday, February 6, 2015

chefs and mentawai

i was directing someone to as a source for fun lettering and had to check the name to make sure it was dafont, singular and not plural. of course, when the site popped open, my will power popped out the window and i surfed around looking at fonts. i saw this one, which lured me in - because of this weird curly wrought iron binge i have been on.

it is called metawai and is based on some indonesian tribal tattoo style. isn't that amazing?

i was able to resist the temptation to surf around the sites offering travel accommodations on the islands. seems like it is a big site for surfing, which is right up my alley, although i suspect that it is the actual in-the-water activity and the thought of me in a swim suit is scary to say the very least. anyone who needs either kind of surfing may start here:

there is a nice blurb with details about the font.

i could not decide which chef to pair with a tattoo, so, i just used them all.
the bolder kathy has a lot of problems. the finer weight schneider is fun. i even like the variety in sizes that were necessary to fit it all on one line. no planning or penciling today. i am scheduling this on jan 1st, a holiday reserved for puttering in the studio.

the address will be in one tiny line at the bottom.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

from saba

this is saba's exchange envelope. i can't tell if she uses markers or watercolor. it's a darling sketch. great use of the international stamp. and i like the typewriter.
it makes me a little sad that i did not keep my typewriter....but, it's probably just as well that i do not have it here to tempt me away from my chores.
i like how the type is very soft.
i wonder if she just uses very old typewriter ribbon or if you can get soft gray ink in a ribbon....
maybe she will let us know in the comment section.

thanks saba

BTW - the reason her sketch is so nice - she has a very light touch, does not overwork the lines, leaves some white space for sparkle, and her coloring is outside the lines. maybe she does the color first and then goes back and does the black lines. either way, she is loose with her layering. just loose enough to make it fresh. not so loose that it is sloppy.
very nice.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

grid thing purple snowflakes

i used that grid thing to make purple dots. then i looked for a stamp. then i made a few of the dots into mittens since the only purple on the stamp was the mittens. i'm not crazy about this one, but i do think it will be fun to explore other doo-dads with that grid thing....

...purple probably isn't the best color for snowflakes. i suppose i could color over them with a gel pen. but i am not nuts. or am i?

2nd post today, below.
i think i meant to pull this one after i did more layers to the dots.

elizabeth's celtic chef - step 4

i had put this stamp on a really nice envelope. knowing that i could not remove the stamp, i was not very relaxed with the lettering. i used the dot-a-rific. this one needs something else. or maybe not. the white frosting-like designs on the pink letters is the third element. i'm sure felipe would be offended to have the lowly pastry chef ingredient(frosting) associated with his stamp. he's spanish. but i have no idea how to draw tapas.

now i have to decide if i am going to attempt to do james beard and julia child in some new variations of the celtic. or is it time to switch things up?

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

jan's and candy's - winter exchange

to the right is jan's exchange envelope. i can never figure out all her techniques. and below is candy's exchange envelope. i know it is paste paper. candy has a blog you may reach if you check the list of blogs over there on the right, scroll down.


today is the deadline for the next exchange.
scroll back to last thursday to see details.

jan will be sending out lists this week.
remember, this one is a little different.
you get 5 names, but those 5 people will get a different group of names. we will want to know how participants feel about this change - ok or not ok.
we thought it would be fun to try a slightly different approach.

thanks jan and candy

Monday, February 2, 2015

all round alphabet

i left the pencil lined circles so you could see how i had a bit of a guide line. this was just off the top of my head and i suppose i could have more fun with this, but, as you can tell from the envelope i posted two days ago, i went completely bonkers after i made the o and the zero.

so bonkers i couldn't even put the stamp on straight....that is a very telling lapse in my compulsivity.

if you missed the second post yesterday, it says that the rest of the flourish alphabet has been posted on my other blog

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Tao (I think) lesson today

Maybe you have heard this story before:

A man who lived on the northern frontier of China was skilled in interpreting events. One day, for no reason, his horse ran away to the nomads across the border. Everyone tried to console him, but his father said, "What makes you so sure this isn't a blessing?" Some months later his horse returned, bringing a splendid nomad stallion. Everyone congratulated him, but his father said, "What makes you so sure this isn't a disaster?" Their household was richer by a fine horse, which his son loved to ride. One day he fell and broke his hip. (Jean thinks that last sentence should be: One day the son fell off the horse and broke his hip) Everyone tried to console him, but his father said, "What makes you so sure this isn't a blessing?"

A year later the nomads came in force across the border, and every able-bodied man took his bow and went into battle. The Chinese frontiersmen lost nine of every ten men. Only because the son was lame did the father and son survive to take care of each other. Truly, blessing turns to disaster, and disaster to blessing: the changes have no end, nor can the mystery be fathomed.

So today, we had many inches of snow. A large maple tree in my front yard lost a big branch. Blessing for me, that tree needed trimming. Disaster for the car parked in front of my house. Blessing for me that homeowners insurance will cover it. Blessing for the blog readers - I had time to scan the rest of the flourishing alphabet and put it on the Nibs&Ink blog.

plus, i have a new obsession. sneak peek in the corner

cathy's celtic chef - step 3

i took the gel pen from step two and the nicer textured envelope from step one - and started writing the name. the grid texture is not square on the envelope, so, i just left everything going up-hill.

now i need to think of something else. it needs a street address. since there is a nice chunk of black on the stamp, the address could be chunky black. now, deciding if it should just be a graphic element or maybe some kind of illustration that ties in the chef-i-ness. i wish i had a bunch of vegetable rubber stamps. i know someone who does, but i am too lazy to drive across town.

but, i do love the idea i just had. somehow, talking to my readers helps me think of stuff. and of course, it keeps you coming back every day because it is a big ol' cliff hanger. is my idea brilliant or is it just so-so...or perhaps it is ho-hum.... stay tuned