Thursday, May 31, 2018

Feb Exchange from Maggie - Olympic

A fun idea for February - seems like ages ago. I am writing this post on PieDay - 3.14 - which is also a day that Maggie was enjoying (not) her third severe winter storm in about a week. It's nice and springy here in DSM and by the time I read this it will be Memorial Day and kicking off the summer. There is nothing like a blog to make the year go really fast.

The thing that popped out at me was that little swoop on the W in Wilson. I have never seen one of those before. Clever - and stealworthy.

Mid-March at Maggie's house. At least she still had her electricity.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

AprPTEX - Shrub for Jeannette

This one is *meh*
One more *meh* coming up and then the weirdest one of all and then we will be done with the series of oddities from the Chicago trip.

June is just around the corner and I have a situation to contend with. I will be back in Chicago - so I need to figure out a way to avoid another one of these situations where I churn out a bunch of weird stuff.

I hope I think of something - because I really can't face another set of these.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Feb Exchange from Kathy + Fooled Myself

The top one, from Kathy, is so cool. I'm sure the photo will not do it justice, so you'll have to take my word for it. I don't have any of those stamps, but I'm thinking it might be a stealworthy idea that could be tailored to fit with some other stamps.

The bottom envelope arrived and I thought to myself - "Well this has to be from one of my students. It looks like they have been listening to my suggestions." Then I realized that I had done it. I addressed some thank you cards - and included one for myself because I wanted to receive one of the cards. I had not seen the actual thank you card in person.

It looks so much better than it would have on a cheap envelope. It's on a nice 100% cotton envelope...which makes the colors pop. I just used Sharpies. Of course I would have loved to carefully outline all the lettering - -but time did not permit.

Monday, May 28, 2018

AprPTEX - Lillies of the Valley to Patty

Lillies of the Valley are one of my favorite flowers. I could have drawn them much better if I had had decent pens. Patty deserves better than this --- but she did get a set of my super favorite stamps which should count for something.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Vintage St. Patrick's Ephemera from Janet

These items were inside my March exchange envelope from Janet. She addressed the tiny envelope and it is so pretty in person. I don't think the photo does it justice. The other items are much cooler in person as well. There is something about the way the old printing and die-cutting was done that gives it a cooler feel. It's probably a good thing  I never allowed myself to seriously collect vintage ephemera.

I think Janet inherited a nice stash and is sending it out to people she knows will appreciate it.
 Below is the greeting inside the little shamrock card. Very interesting wording.

The little lady has a tab to fold to make her stand up. I think she is a place card. So cute.

My mother used to get so peeved that Irish people had their own holiday and the rest of us didn't have one for ourselves. I felt obligated to be indifferent to the holiday. Then my daughter fell in love with an Irishman - so now I get to celebrate. Colin has probably gathered that I was pretty excited to get some cute little half-Irish grandkids. Although, they are the most feral children I have ever met - so that's gotta be the Irish, right?

Saturday, May 26, 2018

AprPTEX - Doodle Heart to Lynne

I hope this one arrived. There was only room for her street address and zip code between those two fine lines - so I left the city and state off. The zip code designates a city-state - so why do you even need the city-state?

I would have liked the bottom of the heart to be a smidge longer and touch the bottom edge. But in general - this is one of these least problematic of the whole borrowed-Sharpies-in-Chicago series.

Friday, May 25, 2018

Feb Exchangers Veronica and Smash

Veronica -on top- send this envelope and her return address was on the back. The envelope was delivered to her house. She took it back to the PO and they re-mailed it.

The following month Maggie said she had the same problem - with an envelope being returned to her for no apparent reason. It's happened to me. I guess sometimes the scanner just reads the return address, imprints the bar code and the envelope goes on its merry way.

My solution would be to write the return address on the left or right edge of the envelope - on the back - so that it was not in the proper orientation to be picked up by the scanner. I think about doing that - but seldom actually do it.

Anyhow - these are both very pretty and were most welcome in February. Smash's is a postcard.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

AprPTEX - A Quilt for Chuck

There were a few colored Sharpies in Chicago for me to borrow. There was a really pretty watercolor design like this. I should have dug out the kids watercolors. But, I was lazy.

I liked these stamps - and would have liked it better if I had found the stamps before I wrote the name and address....a different arrangement could have been better.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Feb Exchangers Janet and Patty

Well, I am definitely mixed up on what month the previous envelope from Janet arrived because I know these were both February envelopes.

I thought the two of them might have collaborated - but I think I asked Patty and I think she said no. It's always fun to see the different ways that people are inspired by stamps.

And it is fun for me to have people who take my classes participate in the exchanges because I like to see which styles they are drawn to.

Patty added the cute card. Inserts are optional with the exchanges. About half of us send empty envelopes. Some of us just like the activity of making the envelopes - and get too side-tracked if we have to think of something to put in the envelope.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

AprPTEX - Weeds for Jessica

OK. I know I will sound like I'm nuts. But sending these stamps off into the world is like putting my kids up for adoption.

I should also add that all of these envelopes that started out as Sharpie doodles were done with a laptop sitting on the table and me surfing for ideas. When I am not at home, I have to surf to get ideas.....
not my preferred way to approach envelopes. But, I am a big fan of spending some time outside one's comfort zone.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Bonus for the Calligraphers

Todays regular post with two envelope ideas is below this one. This bonus post is for the calligraphers who read the blog.

This popped up during my Sunday morning DCAS (drink coffee and surf). The artists is from Turkey. The video is on some kind of FaceBook page - so if you are anti FB - sorry. I've never linked to FB before so I have no idea if this will work.

This is the mast head of the site where I found the video. Quite lovely. It is by Sachin Shah. There is a myth out there that calligraphy is a dying art. Not true. Not true at all.

FB is so controversial.
I can understand why.
It has super sneaky ways of getting you to click on stuff.
Jean Wilson Hippolite.

In the olden days, there was only one other Jean Wilson of note - Jean Wilson in Texas who was(is) a research doctor. He was annoyed with me because I would try to send emails to myself - but he had claimed the name JeanWilson - so he was getting emails about envelope addressing. He is now on YouTube and listed as a Giant in Medicine. If time permits, I will start a series - Giants in Envelopes.

After Pinterest got rolling, I found a lot of Ruby Jean Wilson stuff on Pinterest. She is a model in Australia. And now this - a politician in Haiti. It's really fun how wildly international the name is. To me it seems so generic and white-bread-midwestern.

I should also mention other Jean Wilsons -  the Canadian speed skater, the Welsh JW who stole money for gastric bypass surgery, and my favorite - the Jean Wilson whose life was saved by a pizza delivery person:

I fully expect someone at Taco John's to save my life. Probably a Heimlich Maneuver when I choke.

Feb Exchangers Janet & Eric

Janet's is a good example of how nice kraft paper is with both black and white. Even though it is brown and white - you can image how black would be nice, too.

Big thank you to Eric for all the original artwork. When Eric first started exchanging, all of his work was digital, which is fine with me. But then he started dabbling in other mediums. I dropped a big hint - or maybe I made an outright request - for something done by hand. Asked - and I received.
I love it.

Again, I have nothing against digital art - but I do love the work done by hand. I love the birds eyes - directed upwards. The leaves are part of the printing on a paper sack. Great stamps.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

AprPTEX - Fruit for Betty

The outlines of the fruit were done in Chicago. When I got home and tried to find good stamps - this one was really hard. I finally chose the Folk art and decided to use those colors on the fruit. I'm not crazy about the placement of the fruit. But, it serves the purpose of clearing out the hoard and that's becoming a top tier goal here at the 420.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Feb Exchangers Carroll, Lynne, and Smash

I have a feeling that the one from Smash (on the bottom) came in January - and might have been on the blog already. My stack of Jan-Feb-Mar mail all ran together. But, it is fun to see these groupings.

Lynne's, in the middle, got away with one Forever stamps. It could have been accessed a surcharge for being non-landscape.

Carroll's on top looks like white gel pen - and black ink. Red is such a nice color for envelopes because both black as well as white looks equally good on red. Colored envelopes that look good with both black and white are...what? What's the term for the mid-point between too light and too dark? Is it a measurable tone? This is way too technical. Although some of the readers are very smart and have all kinds of good answers to some of the random questions posted on the blog.

Friday, May 18, 2018

AprPTEX - Oddities to Nanski

Two days ago I warned you that there would be some oddities showing up. It doesn't get odder than this. Well - yes it does. But for me, this is about the weirdest one. I only did the black Sharpie outlines in Chicago. I brought it home, scrounged through the hoard of vintage stamps - and colored in the doodles.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Feb Exchangers CathyO and KateR

It is always fun to see how people use the stamp as inspiration. Top one from CathyO, bottom one from Kate R.

I was not a big fan of the L on the stamp - and stated in February that I would not be buying any of these stamps. Of course, now that I see how pretty these two envelopes are, I imagine I would have lots of fun imitating both of these ideas.

Hopefully, these stamps will still be available once I have used up my stash and start buying new stamps.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

AprPTEX - Bugs to Javier

In mid-April I posted a detail of this one showing how I had added some fuzzies to the lettering - inspired by the stamp on the left.

For the April exchange, I had come beautiful Strathmore envelopes - but I was stuck in Chicago with only borrowed Sharpies and cheap gel pens. I was thinking that the severe limitations would really stimulate my creativity. Sadly - they were just weird. But, I have a fondness for weird.

If nothing else, you will feel better about your own work when comparing it to some of the oddities that will be showing up over the next couple of weeks.

Here's the detail that ran earlier:

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Exchanger Susan Fitch - Snicker Bar Envelope

Susan only exchanged once and I have wondered why people only exchange once. I Googled her name and it led to an Etsy shop -where she has had 6,745 sales since 2014. So, that looks to me like someone who is illustrating for a living and probably too busy to participate in exchanges.

I loved her tiny printing and am showing a close up. I also love her little paper houses. I don't need to print off a design to make little houses - but I am adding the link because they are so cute - and maybe you need some little houses.

Little paper houses

Monday, May 14, 2018

Cleaning House

 I found these three in a folder that was labeled Not on Blog Yet. If they have not been on the blog I want to make sure they don't get left out. I know the top one is from Kate because I can read the cancellation. But, I do not remember who sent the other two. All three are very pretty.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Obama 2012 Holiday Card - by Larissa Kabel

I needed a random image to go with my thoughts on the ZIP code. No relation - just didn't feel like digging up a random envelope.

I couldn't remember what ZIP stood for, so I looked it up and discovered this:
ZIP Codes are a system of postal codes used by the United States Postal Service since 1963. The term ZIP is an acronym for Zone Improvement Plan;[1] it was chosen to suggest that the mail travels more efficiently and quickly (zipping along) when senders use the code in the postal address. The basic format consists of five digits. An extended 'ZIP+4' code was introduced in 1983 which includes the five digits of the ZIP Code, followed by a hyphen and four additional digits that determine a more specific location.
The term ZIP Code was originally registered as a servicemark by the U.S. Postal Service, but its registration has since expired.[2]

Doesn't it seem odd that the USPS let the registration expire. Does that mean I can register it?
I don't know what I would do with it - but it just seems like a fun thing to *own.*

The image of the Obama's holiday card was drawn by someone that I actually know. It looks like a photo - but is really a painting. I have seen some of her other drawings and paintings up close, in person and the word amazing is so over used - I'm trying to think of what would be more amazing than amazing.

Someone told her about the call for entries - and she submitted a drawing - and was chosen.

Here is an article about being chosen - and then if I can find it I will add the article about her trip to the White House. Sadly, she came down with a stomach bug and barely made it to the White House and back to her hotel room. There are more details in her story - but not really necessary...we all know the frustration of trying to make it through an event when you'd rather be home in bed.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Ice Cream to Phillip

This was the other orphan ice cream stamp. I did slightly better with coming up with an idea, knowing that I only had one chance. I like to keep the bottom half-inch of the envelope clear for the bar code - so I needed something going across the bottom that was white on white. Obviously - it would have been much cuter to do the zip code as the cherries - but, it was done and the stamp was on.

The tipped angle on this really bothers me.

Note added in real time:
I finally figured out how to airdrop photos from my phone to my computer  -- a feature that is right up there with sliced bread. I've mentioned this before - but for those who missed it - the bread slicing machine was invented right here in innovative Iowa. From sliced bread to the computer.

For the Iowa readers - if you scroll down through the comments on this site - there are some interesting additions to the list, -- also a few debates and the usually foolishness.

Friday, May 11, 2018

Eclipse from Miss Cathy

Another blizzard day discovery.
Really nice to think about the eclipse on a chilly day like this. And then when I read this it will be spring.

I really like this idea - plus - I'd like to know how Miss Cathy got the smooth surface of the USA. It almost looks like a block print - not wood block - but one of those block/pads that feels like rubber. I am refraining from doing a search because we all know what a slippery slope it is to go off researching something.

I like how the ZIP code didn't fit in the black strip and got to be on it's own.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Birthday Ice Cream to Jane

I had two orphan ice cream stamps. While I liked the subject matter, the way the subject matter was tilted gave me a funny feeling. I can't explain it - they just seemed to be falling or floating. Maybe someone else can explain what's going on.

The envelope was nice paper - I chose markers....not sure the details are the most inspired - as I have mentioned - when I don't have more than one stamp - I have a harder time evolving into an idea that I love.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

2000 card and envelope from Sherri

My first experience with exchanges was through CyberScribes. It was a list-serve and I met so many nice people. I remember this one arriving and I immediately emailed Sherri and asked her who she had studied with. She said she was self-taught. I was A.M.A.Z.E.D.

I need to ask her if she at least saw the work of others--- because this is not the kind of lettering that you see in the how-to-write-italics books.

Sherri has a website with tons of beautiful examples.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Hoarding and Food Sculpture - Off Topic

I do not recall what year this was. Maybe 2008 or 2009. Doesn't look like me.
Except those jowls. :-(
I started talking about hoarding a couple days ago and I had something else to say - but I had run out of images to post. So, I looked in the stash of photos and chose this one because it might be fun to show you one of the other things I have enjoy doing.

Food sculpture. Someday I will find the pictures of a city I built for a birthday party. This photo is from the event at our local art museum where I worked with a professional cake designer and we built a replica of the art center out of food and then invited people to eat it.

The original stone building, designed by Eliel Saarinen was recreated out of Rice Krispie treats. To the right, the I.M.Pei addition was a stack of brownies covered with matzoa. It is a poured concrete building with a corrugated surface that resembles matzoa. To the left is the Richard Meier wing which is covered with big panels that look like enameled metal. My replica was a box covered with Chicklets. I think the roof might have been chocolate. It was a big hit.

If you want to compare my version to the real thing, here is a link with photos of the building.

The thing about the hoarding that I wanted to add - is this. I have visited people from time to time who say, "Here is all the mail you have ever sent to me." It's really fun to see it. So, maybe some day I will go visit my mail. I'll give ample warning that I am on my way. I do have one invitation. If anyone else wants to be on the list, now would be the time to let me know.

Monday, May 7, 2018

Bonus post - John Stevens

I'm sure I have sent you to John Stevens' IG account. This just popped up and if you are drawn to contemporary versions of illumination you will enjoy seeing it in better resolution on his IG.

Today's regular post is below.

PO re-writing my address

I sent this envelope to Trish in the April Exchange. Somebody at the PO was not pleased with the way I scattered the address information all over the envelope so they rewrote it on a label. But, they didn't get it quite right.

Trish's last name starts with M and was written on the crossbar of the T in Trish. They put that name down as the city. And the A-word tucked between the r-i in Trish - is the town where Trish lives and the postal worker put that as her last name.

I have been (usually) making my address information more traditional and easy to read - but in April, I had a whole sheet of those ships to use up - and I did a bunch of envelopes with BIG first names - and then I couldn't think of any way to make them interesting. Plus the 3 ships were not fun to place. Now that they are all gone - I have just had my good idea on how I should have used them up use ---I should have done a Nina, Pinta, Santa Maria theme....two of them sailing off the left side and the third one stuck over on the right with a word bubble saying --"Hey guys....wait for me."

I am currently working on the May exchange envelopes and trying to think of things where the address has a traditional spot. Using up the stamp hoard is soooooooo hard. I think I've turned the corner from loving the stamps like my children ---to where they are now bothersome guests who have over-stayed their welcome.

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Weaver Writing - Kathy & Carroll

Here are the shimmer envelopes done with Weaver Writing.

Kathy's is a regular envelope.

Below - Molly's and Troy's were in a different photo that I already posted. There are three more on shimmer.

At the bottom -  Cathy O's is regular. Kate's is shimmer, but I used a gold Sharpie.

Why am I telling you which ones are shimmer and which are not? You have eyes. Why am I pointing out that one of them is gold? Because sometimes I have nothing to say. I guess I could mention how painful it is to part with stamps that have been in my hoard for a really long time. Yes, I do watch snippets of the TV program Hoarders - just to reassure myself that having my hoard contained in drawers is probably not that serious. Maybe that is the true purpose of the blog. If I get lonesome - I can always look back at my little friends.

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Jan Exchangers - Kraft Paper (4)

A couple days ago we saw how popular blue was in the January exchange. Kraft paper came in second with four.

On top, to the right is Janets and KathyS's below.

Below is a foxy design from Jeanette and a bold black and white design from Bug.

Friday, May 4, 2018

Weaver Writing - March Exchange

I pulled out my Weaver Writing that I learned from Gwen Weaver in 2000. I'm pretty sure I have not used it since then and I must also admit that I altered quite a few details.

If you Google Weaver Writing you will find all kinds of examples.

In using up shimmer envelopes and random vintage stamps, I had fun. I wouldn't call these my best work - but they weren't so toady that I tossed them. I'll post the shimmer envelopes on a different day.

Did any of you watch the Alan Blackman video that I posted a while back? I finally got around to watching it and was very interested to hear Alan say that he has boxes and boxes full of his envelopes that were duds. He also made several comments about things he would have done differently - as he was showing the slides of his envelopes. Alan's envelopes were instrumental in the launching of my own addiction. I really need to send him a thank you letter. If any of you know his address, please send it to me. I think someone already did - but I have no idea where I filed it....

Thursday, May 3, 2018

January Exchangers - Five Blue

A nice group of envelopes that arrived in January. It was fun to see lots of blue.

Chuck's is to the right. Below, from top to bottom are snowflakes from Nanski and Sarahi.

And a fun sledding name from KateR and a nice script with the Tiffany window stamps from Alison.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Big Hearts to Connie and Jeanette

These were very uninspired so I added some lacy borders. There was a previously written blurb to go with these but I just deleted it so that I could write a post in real time. 7pm on Tuesday May 1st.

First, I want to thank all the people who have done a perfect job of submitting their information to join the exchange. It has been so much faster to copy and paste into the list.

Second, I had a crazy lapse in reading names and sent some very confusing emails to people on a couple lists. The way emails organize themselves into threads has me completely confounded.

So if you get a confusing email from me - don't be afraid to respond, "What the heck are you talking about?" Not that I will have an answer......just keep track of what you send and what you receive...and if you are missing any envelopes, let me know.

All the mail has been lovely and the daily posts are scheduled all the way through June. Thanks to everyone.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Sign Up for May Envelope Exchange

A whimsical envelope from Nonny Mouse.

To sign up, you need to send me your current information. I need to copy and paste from a new email each month. I am unable to pick up your information from previous exchanges.

NEW PEOPLE - please follow these easy instructions:

Please send me your name, address, zip code, email -single spaced, with the line breaks you prefer. I do not need a line space between address and zip code. If you put one in, I just delete it.

June Smith
240  Main Street
Des Moines, Iowa 50312 USA

Sign up is May 1 though the 4th.
I will reply that your email has arrived, so if you do not hear from me, resend your info.
Your list will be sent to you on May 5th or 6th.
You will have a list of 6 people, including yourself.
Please send a decorated envelope -to the other 5- by May 31st.
No theme - beginners are welcome - any medium is fine - calligraphy is optional.
Digital art is fine - as is rubber stamping - and hand made envelopes.
BEGINNERS are most welcome. Everyone started out as a beginner - so don't worry about your skill level.

If you would like to be on more than one list - let me know.
If you are having a birthday in May - type (BIRTHDAY) after your name.
Birthday themed envelopes are optional.
If you like to make cards, type (CARDS) after your name. Card makers are welcome to exchange cards. Last month 10 out of 28 people were card makers.
I do not make cards and usually send an empty envelope.
About half the envelopes I receive are empty.

Beginners: you may read more about the exchange on the *rules* tab. On your phone, you need to go to View web version - to see the tabs. I think that covers everything. If you have questions - just email me.

You may get one foreign address on your list. Mail to foreign countries costs $1.15