Monday, July 31, 2017

From Rachael - June Exchange

Rachael takes some time on her envelopes, using nibs and ink - and it looks like colored pencils. The gold is raised which you probably can't see in the photo. And in case you are wondering why some of the June exchange envelopes are not paired, it is because I had scheduled all of the birthday mail to my BigHelpfulBrother to run a second time. So, I had to back track and fill some slots with new envelopes. Sign up for August exchange starts tomorrow :-)

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Off-Topic Eclipse - Bonus post

Today's regular post is right below. Yesterday I tried to schedule an eclipse related post *below* and messed up and put it before. So if you missed both posts yesterday - you can backtrack.

I will try to stop with my eclipse chatter - but will send you a link that illustrates that I am not alone in my enthusiasm for the eclipse. I found a site where people leave their own stories about experiencing an eclipse. I wasn't going to read all of them, but curiosity (as well as the need to drink coffee) led me to read all 19 and I was so glad I did. This is one that I thought was pretty charming.

Bill Kramer's story:
My first total solar eclipse was in 1972. I was lucky enough to be on board the TSS Olympia for the inaugural "Voyage To Darkness". Like many I had brought a lot of gear and had selected a perfect location to view early in the morning. Layers of other eclipse observers settled in behind us. One of which was a planetarium director with his wife and young daughter. He had seen the 1970 total solar eclipse and was quite entertaining in his description of what to expect and what was going on during totality. With his daughter perched on his lap he pointed out various details. She gasped as the diamond ring appeared and then said in a loud voice "Wow! Do that again Daddy!" Several of us turned our attention to him and exclaimed, ""Yes, do that again".

To read the other 18 stories:

A re-run. Reminds me of planets/stars/moons. 

May Pairing of Cuteness

The cuteness of sweet ladies wearing hats and whimsical lettering.

So pretty.

Tina above.

KateR below.

I (heart) cute.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

May Pairings - de la Renta

CathyO on top and Florence on the bottom were the two people who sent May exchange envelopes with Oscar stamps. I love those stamps. Resisting urge to buy more.

Great use of the big sticker that came with the stamps, Florence.

And Cathy included the flyer that came with the rubber stamp that she used for the yellow design. The lure of rubber stamping is strong - but my resolve to finish my sifting and purging is stronger.

Eric's Blog - My Mail Art World

This is a bonus post. Todays' regular post is right below. Oops. Above. I check my own blog every day, then I click on the top one in my list of blogs I look at, which is Finnbadger's. From there, I click on Eric's - and...I thought I had put Eric's on My Blog List a while back, but just noticed that it is not there. So, I corrected that promptly and recommend y'all check it daily. To view My Blog List, you need to be in *View Web Version* on your phone (I think). It is easy to find if you are on a regular computer rather than a phone.

Last year, as you may recall, Eric celebrated his 50th trip around the sun. This year he is celebrating envelopes made out of paper bags. It has been fun watching how cohesive his blog is by having a yearly theme.

Anyhow....speaking of trips around the sun is launching a whine about the fact that I do not know what I did with my eclipse stamps. I traveled to the path of totality in 1979 and consider it a highlight of my life. I will be out of town, to the north, during the 2017 eclipse, but I have been encouraging everyone I know in Des Moines to make the day trip down to Missouri to see it. I have also been checking towns that are within the path of totality and there are endless opportunities to surf and learn trivial this one:

Chillicothe, Mo is the home of sliced bread.
They are very proud of the fact. You can read more here:

Someone needs to put a lock on my computer so that I stop surfing and get my chores done.

There is a future post that talks about an actual conference for procrastination study that I discovered....yup. I could not make this stuff up.

Friday, July 28, 2017

May Exchangers Lynne and AmyG

These two paired because they have sparkle painted backgrounds. You two are brave to go for writing on top of sparkle stuff. Often times it is slippery and repels the ink or marker. Do not get me started on sparkle paper....

ok....I'm starting....

I had a ton of leftover sparkle envelopes from a job that was one of my all time worst horror-story jobs which I should tell some day....

but here was my first layer for the June exchange:

Dreadful... but you know me, I like to launch a good disaster to see if I can resolve it. Or in this case 6 disasters.

Stay tuned. I think I have resolved 4 or 5 of them.
Can anyone guess which one started as my least favorite? Or which one do you think will be the hardest one to resolve?

Thursday, July 27, 2017

May Exchange Pairing - Kathy and JeanR

From a design point of view, these two don't have a lot in common, but they go nicely because they are from two personal friends. While the two of them do not have a lot in common - if I were to re-configure myself, I think I would make myself into a combination of the two of them. They are both so modest, I won't make this a long post. Just mentioning their modesty as something I would adopt - as I am clearly a little too full of myself. But, it's not my fault. It's your fault. So many readers send me such nice emails and personal notes about how much they enjoy the blog. It goes to my head. I'm babbling. I'll stop.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Add and Pass from Grace

Grace took one of the envelopes that I sent in an exchange and did some skillful cutting, reused portions, creating this very fun piece of mail.

Love it. Love it. Love it.

And the back is just as much fun.
She charted the map from her house to mine and then put a stamp from each state that one would travel through to get to my house. Very very cool.

Here is the envelope she used:
Fraktur Birds

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Primo Grasshopper Alexis

This is from one of my very best grasshoppers, Alexis. I posted her fabulous wedding invitation. She sent this along with a very nice note telling me how she did it and also mentioned how much work it took. Yup. But it is so worth it.

Alexis posted it on IG and I was tempted to leave a comment, but couldn't come up with the right words. I still can't. It just makes me so happy when people are inspired to make such pretty mail - inspired by conversations.

I think she did the lettering with a G-Tec and carefully drew in all the thicks. It's a little different look from using nibs and ink - but very cool in its own right.

Alexis loves blue and white - as do I. Dreamy.

Monday, July 24, 2017

More Birthday Mail from Jeri + JeanR + KateR

AArrgghhh. No matter what I do, there are always envelopes that hide. Luckily, they reappear.

These went with the birthday series..

Top one from Jeri.
I like the way she jammed the letters together. Gonna steal that one of these days.

The other two are from JeanR and KateR.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

May Exchange Pairing - Eric and Tina

I put these two font based designs together. Eric, on top, commented that interweaving type is harder than it looks. You can say that again. Whether you do it digitally or by hand - it can be very tricky.

Tina, below, must have one of those die cut machines as all of the black letters are cut out spaces with black paper behind. The air mail border is a favorite mail art motif of mine that I always forget to use - so - I will tag this stealworthy.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Wrapping Up the Week of Pink and Sparkles

Alex exclaimed, "I LIKE owls!" when she opened this one. It's oozing with cuteness. From Alyce.

And below we have... the rest of the stack - hopefully the cards are with the right envelopes. If I've mixed any of them up - lemmekno.

BIG THANKS to everyone who sent mail. The best part was my husband and my daughter being so impressed that complete strangers would take time to send mail to Alex. They were really touched. So, if anyone needs mail, lemmekno....I can't promise - but - I usually do manage to send things to people who need some mail or need something sent to a deserving person. Once in a while things get lost in the stacks....

A dancer from Terry
KateR, Alison, Carroll sent these.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Pretty in Pink

These are both great ideas. JeanR's, on top is paste paper on the envelope and stealworthy idea on the inside. I have not tried to figure out if the letters spell something specific....but I love the effect.

Below, we have a stealworthy idea - and kudos to the post office for getting it to 420-44th. When it arrived the was completely buried under the confetti and streamers. And no bar code. I have no idea how it managed to go through.

It's from Smash-girl.  :-)

Thursday, July 20, 2017

The Rest of the Poppy Mail

The one on the right is from Maggie. I love the delicate little flowers on the Alexandra card. I think they are made with brush markers. Nice new ones that make very crisp petals.

This is from Rachael. Nice borders and flourishing.

Top one from Nancy D and bottom one from Kathie McC.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

From AmyB - prior to mailing

Amy sent me this photo of her envelope before it went in the mail.

To see it when it arrived:
Amy's envelope

Jean's Favorite of the Poppy Mail

I loved this one because the card was made by another 3 year old.

I am not sure I have the card with the right envelope. Alex is not as compulsive as I am with keeping cards and envelopes together. Plus, the flap of the envelope is lost.

Also, the postmark doesn't match up with who I think sent the card - so this is a bit of a mystery. If the person (or the two people) who sent these want(s) to clear things up - please leave comments or email me.

The butterfly stamps are so pretty....

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Hot Pink Sparkles + Poppy

In addition to hot pink and hot pink sparkles, Alex loves the character Poppy from the movie, Trolls, which was her first movie seen at a theater. I mentioned Poppy when I invited exchangers to send mail to Alex and several people included Poppy. This particular card and envelope was her absolute favorite. Alex hugged the card. She also asked if Poppy could come with us when we went in the car. She even asked if it was going to rain because she did not want Poppy to get wet. A simple answer was not enough. When I told her it was not going to rain, she said, "Do you PROMISE?"

I don't think Alex appreciated how pretty the stamp is. This is from Shandra and it was her very first time participating in the exchange. Way to go, Shandra.

I mailed my July exchange envelopes last week. If you are in the US and have not received an envelope from me, please let me know. I left the entire bag of envelopes for my carrier to pick up and that always makes me a little nervous.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Hot Pink with Hot Pink Sparkles

 As the regular readers may recall, in April, my granddaughter was coming to visit, so I put her name on the exchange list and invited people to send something to Alex - mentioning that she was very fond of hot pink and hot pink sparkles. This week will be chock full of wonderful mail that delighted the 3 year old as well as the grown ups who watched her open her mail.

Top one by Ruth and bottom one by Chuck.

Ski report....Squaw Valley will be open Saturdays until further notice - and I am writing this on July 16th of 2017. They still have plenty of snow on the upper runs. Poor little Alex cannot fathom why her Nanna does not even own a swim suit.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Glittery Pink for Alex

For the April exchange, I had people send mail to my granddaughter and requested hot pink and hot pink sparkles...
Lynne's flowers and lettering are done with sparkle ink or paint - although that might not show up in the photo. Cathy's envelope is made out of sparkle paper - again - the photo probably will not do it justice.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Finn's Fish + Troy + Carolyn

This one is huge. It is an entire page of adult coloring and I was pretty impressed that Finnbadger parted with it. It must have taken a lot of time. Maybe he colors while something else is going on so that it is not a full time use of time.

It was sent during the month that I added my granddaughter as an optional recipient. But, I'm saving it.... she would not appreciate it at this time.

And I am pairing it with these two because the colors go nicely.
Bold use of block lettering by Troy and Carolyn.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Pairing of Airy Envelopes

The top envelope is from Maggie and the bottom one is from Terry. Both are examples of leaving some white space. Maggie's is making me hungry for cupcakes, donuts, and ice cream. Three items that are not in my house. Luckily it is hotter than heck outside. Too hot to get in a car so I will have to find a substitute in my house. KIND bars are my new treat.  I just saw a *recipe* that had s'mores made with donuts instead of graham crackers. It reminded me of the Luther Burger. A burger using two donuts in place of the standard hamburger bun.

My younger son uses two grilled cheese sandwiches - in place of the standard burger bun - to make the ultimate burger. I can't remember what he calls it....I guess I will call it a Hunter Burger. OK, enough food talk. Back to envelopes.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Pairing a Pair

The top two are a pair of kraft envelopes that came from non-exchangers - paired with a brand new exchanger.

Welcome to the party.

The middle one, from Limner came in the envelope pictured yesterday, with the spoon. I am guessing that while it looked like something that could have been mailed, she didn't think the attached items would stay attached. It was chock full of works, pictures, stamps, stickers, etc. That Limner can fill the space like a pro.

The brand new exchanger is Shandra (bottom). She sent two envelopes - and I know you'll enjoy seeing the other one which will pop up before the end of July when we get to the ones that were sent to my granddaughter.

The top one had a nice note on the back including a quote from Sister Corita - Don't try to create and analyze at the same time. Good advice. To just dive in with wild abandon is not always the most comfortable thing. I guess I am prone to doing it because I keep telling myself that my sanity hinges on letting myself do more art and be less preoccupied with the chores and obligations. So while my brain is telling me to just be a rebel and don't do what I should be doing --- my gut is telling me to take a lot of risks on top of being rebellious.

I write these posts 2 to 3 months in advance. Then I re-read them a week before they pop up. I usually agree with myself.

P.S. (written on July 11)
Fantastic advice - if I do say so myself. If the only place you can be wild and crazy is with markers and paper - you should be super happy that you have that outlet. I just returned from a 2 week trip and had a huge stack of exchange envelopes waiting for me. Of course - it was a wonderful way to return to the routine world and as always, the range of ideas and creativity knocked my socks off. I am glad that we have found each other and have this very easy outlet for creative expression.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Pairing the Chef and the Spoon

Limner is not an exchanger and I did not have any envelopes that were going to pair with Smash's chef - but it dawned on me that mail is mail - it doesn't have to be an exchange envelope to qualify for a pairing and these two are perfect together considering both color and subject matter.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Collaborating Without Knowing

Top two from Eric, digital. Bottom card and envelope from Nancy. She made a watercolor - title is Small World. The envelope is made out of a page from a magazine.

In addition to the colors from Eric and Nancy going together - I liked the name Small World - and the heart shape looked a bit planetary as well as complimenting the shape on Nancy's card.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Birthday Greetings from Alyce

 OK, Alyce almost got in trouble for making a big mess when I opened the envelope.
I was tempted to count the candles and nibs.... luckily, they were pretty easy to pick up and did not go on the floor or in my lap. All landed on the desk...

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Finnbadger (top) - Chuck (bottom)

These two surprised me when they went together. Mostly it was the color. But I see other parallels or compliments.

The lists for the envelope Exchange have gone out. If you did not receive yours please let me know. Thanks.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Off Topic - but fabulous

OK, this is the most fantastic thing I have found in a while. To the right, you see a scribble that I made on the computer screen with the mouse.

And below are just a few of the items that the website AutoDraw offers. You can click on any image and it will appear in place of your scribble. You can change the color and fill in the spaces with colors. Add type. Do all kinds of things.

I could spend an insane amount of time at this site. Maybe none of you share my wild enthusiasm for such things.....
if you wanna give it a whirl....there is a link to the sire. They also ask people to suggest additional items to offer. The first time I went, I was needing an image of a dinosaur and nothing was popping up. So, I suggested they get some dinosaurs and the next time I visited - voila- they had dinosaurs.

Below the link is a screen shot of all the images they offered that were guesses at what my scribble might be. I'm not sure how they will look when this pops up for my readers. I suspect on phones it will be too small, so you might have to go to the site to see what it is. But, I do not know if you can draw pictures on a phone. You might need a mouse.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Two from KathyS

There was a really funny comment inside the top one:

Nothing says happy birthday like the equivalent of a black arm band.

Love those two stacks of shapes on the lower one.
Looks like colored pencil.

Love the layout on the top one.
Bold and black says *birthday* to me....

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Cathy O (top) - Elizabeth G (bottom)

I've mentioned numerous times how I enjoy pairing off the incoming mail. These two are very small envelopes. I love tiny envelopes. I also love the colors on both of them and how they relate to the stamps.

Sooooo pretty.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

JeanR to JeanW

From the other Jean, who signs her card  *the other jean*  :-)

Jean does some serious study of calligraphy - gets out real nibs and ink -

Very nice.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Jean's Birthday - UberCute

 These arrived in April when I put Alex, my granddaughter, down as an option to send an envelope in the exchange. Several people, including Carol C, sent to both Alex and me. In a perfect world I would send personal thank yous to the people who sent two envelopes - and also the people who put in such nice enclosures. I love these little watercolors.

But, the world is not perfect - so all y'all get a big collective thank you.  And my undying devotion to a daily babble. 

Carol bought a book for 10-cents and used the pages to make the envelopes.
Good idea, eh? The stamps are perfect.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Feb Exchangers Heather and Thomas

I'm pretty sure the top one if from Heather. There was no return address and the postmark did not match anyone on the list by city. North Carolina suggests Heather.

Thomas sent the bottom one. Nice bold contemporary versals and the color looks like watercolor pencil.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Purple Hat Story for Limner

also this

The top link is to a darling story about FedEx delivering a purple hat. And the second link goes to a bizarre set of envelopes. One of them is pictured here. You need to scroll down quite a ways to get to the envelopes. I spent very little time at the website. It might be too strange. I'm having an odd day. It is actually Feb 14 and the furnace is broken, so I am sitting in a room with a space heater waiting to find out if I get to wait 3 or 4 more days for the new furnace. Good time to add posts - but they might be strange.

I had Googled *purple hat* and was overwhelmed with images. I finally just took a screen shot and printed it out and made it into an envelope (below). To do this right, I would need a graphics program and do a better job of editing and arranging. So, I like the idea - but it's more complicated than what I can handle. I would have put a Dorothy Height stamp in the upper right corner - but there was not enough room. I can't remember if I even mailed this one....but, I do like the idea of searching a topic and then printing out a screen shot and turning it into an envelope.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

July Envelope Exchange - Sign-up by July 4

I do not recall if I ever posted this. I am tempted to make shaped mail for the June exchange.

To sign up for the July exchange.
I need the following information:

your email

Send it to

jmwilson411 [at] yahoo [dot] com

If you are having a birthday in July, you may add that info to your email and participants have the option of sending a birthday themed envelope.
You will get a list of 4, 5, or 6 people to send to.
You might get one international address requiring $1.15 postage.
You will need to get decorated envelopes in the mail by July 31st.
That's it.
There are additional details at the top of the blog under a tab marked [exchange *RULES*]

Deadline to sign up is July 4. Lists will be sent on July 5th or 6th.
Let me know if you want to be on more than one list.
Sometimes I do not get an even number of participants, so it is nice to have some volunteers to be on two lists.

Any questions - email me.