Monday, December 31, 2018

Happy New Year Rainbow - Christine's foil stamping

This arrived in September for Rainbow's birthday from Christine. It was her first exchange - and if I had time, I would figure out a way to post a video because the entire thing is foil stamped. She must have a machine where she can insert her own art and convert it to the foil stamping. So cool. I got the light right so that the address is clear. I'm wondering how the postal scanners responded to it.

Today seemed like a good day for something super it will be an evening of sparkles and celebrating for some - and snoozing for others, eh?

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Sept PTEX to Grace (Birthday)

There was an original idea. There were pencil lines. There was delay during which I forgot what the original plan was.

It would have been nice to use some of that dark red - but I didn't have anything the right weight.

This completed the purge of the stack of *guys.* Lots of vintage stamps feature guys.

One of the best parts of being done with all the vintage stamps is that I will not ever have to line them up carefully. There must be some trick - but so far, I have not figured it out and have no further interest. While I miss the lick-and-stick stamps - I'm fine with self adhesive.

Saturday, December 29, 2018

JeriW to Rainbow

I've exchanged with three Jeri's. This is Jeri W from Texas. I do not recall who alerted the Texas guild to the exchange but we've had some superb lettering show up in the exchanges. I'm guessing these flowers were made with the rubbery-wedge tool that probably has an official name.

Below is the flip side of the envelope as well as the card. So pretty. It was fun to see a few envelopes that did not go with the rainbow theme - just for variety. But, if there had been 100% rainbows - they would have been just as welcome.

Friday, December 28, 2018

Sept PTEX to Anthea - Vet Memorial Wall

Another set of stamps - finally all done with them. I'll miss them. Any sets of stamps that go over the square surcharge are fun to use - but I am less inspired on square envelopes. That's because I don't do them very often.

I'm tempted to go in and do some little details in white - but concerned that I will mess it up.

Decisions decisions.


I'm adding this on the day after my official retirement from teaching which was October 16th of this year. I've been thinking about retiring and realized that a huge impediment to my hoard reduction is that a ton of my stuff is *might need for class* stuff. So, if I stopped teaching, I could dump it. I think this is going to work. I'm already thinking about the November exchange and did a Google search for Thanksgiving mail art. The third item in the list was from this blog. I clicked on it and went to the blog post. It was funny/not funny that in 2013, three years into the blog and 5 years ago - I had this crazy dream that I would get organized. In a weird way, I do think I am getting closer. But 5 years from now, I might be posting a link to this post - and laughing at myself.

Here is a link to the post --- none of my artwork - but I still like the images.

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Out of the Blue from JeriH

JeriH was doing some sifting of her own and ran across this one and dropped it in the mail. She thinks it was done a couple years ago when she had an exhibit and did a few extras that ended up in a stack.

It's a style that has oodles of possibilities - hence the stealworthy label.

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Oct PTEX toRachaelT

Rachael's Oct 2017 envelope was the one that inspired 15 of my October exchange envelopes and I was hoping to do something spectacular to Rachael as a thank you. Then, as you may recall there were a series of issues with sticky ink and so on and so forth. Her name ended up as the last one to be done for the month and sometimes I peak at the end. Other times I peak earlier. And then I suppose some months are just a flat line.

While this is not a 100% dud. - it's more like 50-50.

Note-to-self....50-50 might be a realistic goal.

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

JP Panter

This is an image of Instagram. I think the artist's last name is Panter. I will do some digging and hopefully at some point come up with a link.

I'm posting it because I can't figure out what the image is. Can anyone of you figure it out?

I think the artist is a woman and I have seen a number of similar envelope that have fish on them.

I guess I could write to that person and ask them to fill in all the blanks....that would be interesting....

Literally - 2 minutes later.
I just Googled Panter calligraphy
and -duh-
that is her website

it does have the j in front of the panter

so you can go look at all kinds of very impressive work.

Monday, December 24, 2018

Gifts - all year long + CaroleV's Nov Envelope

Some of us prefer to spread gifts over the entire year and are not keen on the piles of gifts at this time of year. On the other hand, I respect those who go crazy because that's what they prefer. It's a rainbow-lesson to accept that we can't all like things the same way.

This envelope is from the Rainbow series and I thought of a good gift story for today - the eve of the giftiest day of the year.

During the Swedish Death Cleaning (Sept 2018 era), I amassed an extraordinary pile of extra pens. They filled a large zip-lock bag and I wish I had taken a picture of it. I also wish I had a video of me dropping it off at the Des Moines homeless shelter. I figured the people who work in the office could probably use extra pens. I walked in with my bag and a couple pair of winter boots. A nice man from behind the desk came around to greet me. I handed him the bag of pens and said, "Could you use these?" His eyes lit up and he exclaimed. "Oh, my goodness, YES! Thank you soooo much." I smiled, turned to leave and I could hear him with the delight of a 6 year old who still believes in Santa exclaiming to the woman who was working behind the desk, "Look what WE GOT!" His level of happiness warmed my heart. And then it got better.

I wish I had written down what the woman said. It was so perfect, but, I have forgotten exactly what she said. Even if I had the exact words here - it was the tone of voice that left more of an impression. It always feels good to find a gift that someone really wants or needs. Part of me can't wait to take more pens to the shelter. And I need to leave a note in my file labeled *Final Instructions* to take all the pens to the shelter when I expire. It's not easy for me to part with pens - but knowing they went to people who really needed them has made it a bit easier.

Oops, I just realized that I already posted this envelope - so here is a new one from the November exchange. We can be thankful all year, right?

From Carole V

The back of Carole's envelope

Sunday, December 23, 2018

CathyO to Rainbow

"Nothing says Happy Holidays like rainbows and Janis Joplin," said Jean on October 14.

Remember how my goal was to figure out a system to know what's going on with the blog and be able to find stuff. I'm about 50-50 which may sound like I have not done very well. But, the new me figured out that 50-50 is as good as it gets.

The best part was that I filled the year by the middle of October and have made a good dent into 2019.

The worst part is that I have a mental block on labeling the posts. I'm not going to let that bother me. A ton of searches do just fine by searching a particular word.

And as far as I know, nobody really searches for anything. As long as I write the word *Rainbow* in this post - it will pop up if anyone wants to see all the Rainbow envelopes.

Now, here's the kicker. I have no idea if this is a repeat. If it is...then I owe you something new.
It's not like any of you have been complaining about the chaos. Secretly, I think you just read these posts to feel better about yourselves and how organized you are. Right?

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Black outline - P.S. to the post right below

Curiosity caught me because there was a random envelope on the desk and it was easier to just write on it rather than put it away. So, I tried the black outline and I actually like it. The black stars happened because there was a stray green smudge that needed to be disguised. They bother me - but I might revisit the three color names with black out lines. Notice - there is nothing special about the lettering. You do not have to study calligraphy to write like that.

Shout out to Finnbadger - he did some very nice lettering on his Dec exchange envelope. And as I recall - he did not arrive at the blog and exchanges through a long path of artistic pursuits.

The next post was today's regular post. I just didn't feel like adding to that post.

2018 - to RachaelT

There were some red-white-&-blue envelopes with stars scheduled for today. They have been bumped ahead so I can gush about how wonderful the 2018 incoming envelopes have been. Half of them have arrived. I'll post them next year. I'm tempted to keep the most stealworthy ideas to myself, but I won't.

I had a goofy mix-up on the exchange and needed to send one more to Rachael. I was happy to have another envelope to do because after I was done with my exchange envelopes, I discovered several of these 25-cent stamps which were going to be perfect for this year's Dec exchange. But, they were at the very bottom of the stash.

I thought the PITT Big Brush markers would be fun and did a test run on notebook paper.  As usual, I left out a letter, the H, and squeezed it in. Then I thought it might be too regimented and decided to do a looser version on the envelope. I think I like the test name better. It might have been better to do some drop shadow or outlining - but there was no black on the stamp - so I left it just red and green.

Friday, December 21, 2018

Lauren's Bubbles - Jeri, Anthea, Jessica

Real time add on:
BigHelpfulBrother just sent me this very col video about some books that belonged to Sir Isaac Newton. They include some of his tiny penmanship.

I've lost track of whether or not this envelope has already run - so I will add some Nov 2018 envelopes that I know are new. THis will reduce the number of ideas that will pop up in Oct of 2019, but anyone looking for Thanksgiving ideas - should just do a search for Thanksgiving and this will pop up along with many others.

I remember thinking that Lauren drew the bubbles - until I saw more of them on the card and figured out that they are a rubber stamp. She knows how to use color and highlight to enhance the 3D effect.

Card and flap from Lauren
From Jeri, probably a re-run, but nice enough to look at a second time.
Nov 2018 from Anthea
Nov 2018 from Jessica

Thursday, December 20, 2018

GraceH's September Exchange - Blue VIntage Stamps

The 3D effect on this is so cool. It's from GraceH in CA - and she has a nice collection of blue stamps.

I like the hand cancels and it doesn't bother me that it still went through the machine.

I think there are more Rainbow envelopes coming up. If you sent one and have not seen it yet - keep watching.

There was a bonus post right ahead of this one - so scroll down if you have time to read about making design choices.

Comparison of Grace's and Kathy Barker's

Remember this envelope that I posted on Dec 12? GraceH took time to let me know that her envelope was inspired by an envelope on the Graceful Envelope website, done by Kathy Barker. Grace thought that Kathy's was *better.* I disagree.

While Kathy has some nice pointed pen lettering I prefer the two styles of lettering on Grace's. They are both playful. I think it is hard to mix copperplate with chunky styles.

Kathy's weather stamps are lovely - but I think the way Grace arranged her stamps is equally lovely.

I prefer the gold dots to the snowflakes and cloud because of the number of things going on. Of course, design is subjective. I always say that it is more difficult to fill up all the space successfully - and less is more. So - if I were trying to mix 7 stamps, three snowflakes, two font styles and a cloud - I would have a heck of a time. Kathy did a nice job - but, in terms of filling the space - I prefer Grace's.

I hope Kathy isn't a reader - and also annoyed with me for critiquing her envelope. I always hesitate to make any kind of comment that is less than complementary.  Kathy's envelope is lovely - and her snowflakes are stellar. I wanted to point out to Grace that she had made a lot of good decisions during her process.

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

From Trish and Jean to Rainbow

Trish was one of the few people who did not use a Rainbow theme. It's a lovely fall theme - and I recall Rainbow's comment on this one was that she like the quote - and the idea of putting a quote on the envelope.

While Rainbow had seen a few examples of mail art, I don't think she really had any idea how many different ways there are to spiff up an envelope.

Below Trish's card is another quick one that I tossed off.

Add caption

This was the birthday cake my daughter found for my granddaughter for her 5th birthday. We usually make birthday cakes. This year she decided to streamline the event and just buy a cake. Part of me would like to surprise Rainbow with a cake like this - next year.

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Like the idea, not the design - Skip's skiing stamps (Bonus Post)

Today's regular post is right below
I had no intention of putting this one on the blog. But when I got to the mailbox, I realized that I liked the TO-DO list on the envelope and snapped a picture.

The hoard of stamps is really dwindling. The last stack where I have quite a few is the Abstract Impressionist stamps. It will be loads of fun to use them because I have enough to use doubles. EdelweissPost (on Etsy) is selling the Jackson Pollack stamps - which were originally 44-cents - for $15 for 5 of them. I might be tempted to sell them on Etsy if I knew they'd be selling like hotcakes. But, by the time I emailed and packed and shipped - I don't think it would be all that lucrative.

From Jessica and Jean to Rainbow

Jessica used a dragon stamp for Rainbow and I used a stamp that has been in my hoard for a very long time. I love the stamp, but it is missing a corner and I hesitated to use it in case the PO has some rule about slightly damaged stamps being insufficient.

I keep thinking I'll get around to doing more of that style....

Monday, December 17, 2018

From Patty to Rainbow

Before we talk about today's post, I have a question for Finnbadger. You started your blog in 2013 - have you ever checked the feature on Blogger that tells you how many pageviews you have? Just curious. You have a lot more links than I do on your blog roll - so you might be way past 1-million. Just curious. Heads up to anyone looking for additional mail art links, you can find them on Finn's blog.

Patty had a Janis Joplin stamp and did a lovely job with her balloon lettering - very retro.

Below - front and back of the card enclosed. Patty had some nice rainbow themed cardstock on hand. Very nicely coordinated.

Another surfing option, Go to Google images or Pinterest and do a search for rainbow christmas trees.

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Bonus Post - Chuck's 2018 Christmas Art

Today's regular post is below.

To the right is the card that was in Chuck's December exchange envelope. I will save all the Dec envelopes and post them in Nov of 2019. A couple days ago Chuck sent me a scan of a second version of this art that is so pretty, I thought I would share both while we are in the middle of all the Rainbow mail.

They are both lovely. Chuck posts a new drawing every day on his IG account. I wonder if Chuck keeps track of how many hours a day he draws. If he does, I wonder if he will share that info with us. Just curious.

I had a conversation with the BigHelpfulBrother about a piece of art where he wondered if the artist had chosen to use something already printed - and collaged it onto his work rather than going through all the time it would have taken to draw an intricate pattern of branches and leaves. To him - it seemed tedious to have to draw a gazillion leaves. To me, it looked like a treat to get to draw a gazillion leaves. I guess we all find those things that we love doing obsessively.

From Chuck to Rainbow - two envelopes and one card

Chuck did two envelopes. He gets his borders done before the sign up and as soon as he gets his list, he fills in names. So Chuck is frequently the first one done with his envelopes. He added a birthday cake to the flip side of his exchange envelope. Sadly, the PO ran it through their destructo-machine.

Happily, Chuck had time to do a spectacular Stanley Mouse inspired envelope for Rainbow. She really appreciated it and it reminded her very much of the artwork that her hippie-parents had in the house where she grew up.

This is the card that came in the Stanley Mouse style envelope:

Saturday, December 15, 2018

From Carroll to Rainbow (fox card correct?)

Carroll sent this one which reminded everyone of tye-dye. It must be ink. Or maybe there is something else that is new and vibrant. It seems like *they* keep coming up with new stuff.

I am going to run a card with this envelope. If it is not the card that went with this envelope I hope Carroll will alert me and also the person who sent the card can alert me and I will give it proper credit.

Obviously, I let Rainbow take her cards and I thought I would remember which ones went together. Clearly, I am living in lalaland with respect to my faulty/failing memory.

Friday, December 14, 2018

From Maggie to Rainbow

The September exchangers did a lovely job of creating coordinated cards and envelopes. This is another beautiful example - and it is from Maggie.

I think she has a set of markers. I highly recommend sets of markers. Mine are pretty dried up - and I am dangling a new set as an incentive to get my hoard-reduction project complete. And how's it going, Jean? Don't ask.

I think a stack of macaroons should be added to the incentives. I have not had one since I spent that half-a-year in Toronto in 2015. I don't even want to try one in DSM. DSM pastries are dismal compared to the real thing. The only pastry that DSM can make is a donut. I only allow myself one treat per month. We do have a world class Dutch chocolate shop - run by a third or fourth generation chocolatier from Amsterdam.  He's added gelato. I have to rotate between a donut, gelato, and one of my own desserts. While I think Maggie's whole package is *sweet* - it has clearly sent me into a  suger-addiction-coping-tailspin. Sorry for the off-topic whining.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Memory Lane and a Shirt


I'm adding this at the beginning because surfing through 204 books that the Guggenheim has put online is probably a better use of your time.


Once again - all the comments readers had been leaving were in my Spam file. My apologies for not adding them to the posts promptly. Thank you to the people who congratulated me on the 1-millionth post.

I am reprinting Finnbadger's comment because it's so funny:

I'm enjoying the word 'Hollerdaze'. And by 'enjoying' I mean quietly rocking in a corner with the blinds closed until Dec 26th...

Yup - there are a bunch of us in that particular boat.

The original post had this re-run envelope. It no longer interests me. So, I might replace it.
I am deleting my original comments as they were more drivelesque that usual. Except for this line written after I had been digging back on the blog to find something:

I was surprised to see that as far back as 2015 I was obsessing about my Swedish Death Cleaning - even though I had not yet read about SDC. My blog is like a diary.

And then this line explains why I was re-running this envelope. Yup, I have some last minute mail to tend to. Not sure I am going to go with this idea.

This is being re-run because I think it could be a fun holiday themed style. It reminds me of ornaments. Quick and easy for those of you who leave things to the last minute....

A quick P.S. tucked in because my off-topic items do not deserve their own posts. Although, part of me would like to pull up anything I've posted that has envelope related clothing and things made out of fabric.

Something caused me to surf through the spring 2018 Burberry collection. This is lovely. I'm trying to picture what kind of man would actually buy this shirt. If someone buys a winning lottery ticket and sends it to me - I'll be buying one for Alan Blackman.


5 minutes later.
Holy cow - I just did a search for *quilt* on the blog and found 22 posts with references to quilts. Some are just stamps - but there are some fun quilts.

Anyone looking for more surfing ....

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

July Exchange from GraceH

This was actually a Christmas in July envelope. I am writing this post on September 7th.

It's very clever to add used stamps as collage items along with the official stamps. I wonder if it annoys the PO workers to have to scrutinize the stamps. That black Sharpie mark looks pretty aggressive/ornery.

I'm tagging this one stealworthy and hope I have time to come back and steal the design as well as the different techniques.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Shimmer Debacle - Bonus Post

Today's regular post is below.

I'm not sure what I did to enrage the envelope sprites [they work for the envelope gods] - but apparently they are so mad at me they have hidden the last two boxes of shimmer envelopes. I finally found some designs that I really liked - and now I can't find the envelopes.

I did a search for *shimmer* just to see exactly how many posts I have posted - whining about the shimmer envelopes. I'm ready to give it a rest. Although, I have 95 posts already scheduled so it is entirely possible that you will read more whining.

My Dec exchange envelopes will probably be mailed on Monday the 10th. Reminder - please snap photos of your outgoing mail - in case it disappears. RachelD checked with her PO about why her mail was taking so long to reach people and was told that the local mail was re-routed due to a mercury spill. Whaaa?????? This news arrived the day after my own mail was covered with a weird black flakey substance. It did not bother Mr. Wilson. But it bothered me.  It was very difficult to clean up and it was all over each piece of mail. Very strange.

Those snowflakes were something I did a year ago in one of my classes. I love the idea and would have done some better snowflakes - if I had remembered it. Maybe next year. Except - I'll need more of those stamps. Wonder if there will be any left next year.

Have I already posted the new stamp designs for 2019?
Here they are:

Three Mysteries - no longer

OK. This concludes the images I found in June. I hope I find the actual stack of mail so I can fill in all the names.

Otherwise I will have to think of a dozen different ways to apologize.

Jeanette, Bug, and Inta - from top to bottom. Three more exchangers who have disappeared.

Where have they gone? A couple dropouts resurfaced in 2018. Maybe we'll hear from more in 2019. Either way - I hope all is well.

News flash:

If you have been super annoyed with how long it has taken to get the Rainbow envelopes posted - they start up on Friday and run for several days.