Friday, August 31, 2018

Skiers for Chuck

The top one will be sent. The address will be in red and blue above the zip code.

The marker is drying up and it worked fine on the first attempt pictured below. Sadly I messed up the last name lettering. When I redid the first name, I had to go over it a few times.

Now that I look at it the botched one is a little hard to read.

There is another blog post about how hard it is to do outlined lettering. It might have already run or it might be coming up. Whichever way it is - I need to try more outline lettering and see if I can figure out why it is so hard and (possibly) how to make it *easier* or more successful.

I'm not afraid of doing things the hard way if I know that way will be successful.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Monsters for Jonno and Jesse

I need to find another 18 cents for these envelopes. Then I need to post another photo.
My new system of scheduling blog posts is starting to look like a to-do list.

No design tips.
I guess the tip is to use the lettering on the stamp as inspiration. An elderly tip - but still worth remembering.

Below is what they looked like when I added enough postage to get to 50-cents. George Washington was a good buddy to pair with the monsters. It seems mean to call them monsters. They are just dramatic characters created by someone else to entertain people. The real question is: Why are people entertained by frightening characters? Why aren't people entertained by the addressing of envelopes? Why doesn't anyone ever find my blog and ask me to star in a reality series?

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Frozen Treat Stamps to Grace and Heidi

There were some cute loopty-loo details on the Frozen Treat stamps. I'm not sure how many I used up trying to figure out which was the best style and pen or marker to use. But, before I had figured out what worked, I had used all of them.

Pulling out a stack of teal envelopes is always a treat for me.

I have realized that when the name of each person is in either the subject or body copy of the blog post, then I can put that person's name into the search function and see all the envelopes we have exchanged. I feel like I have already mentioned this - but maybe not. I need to start a file of all the helpful hints that I need to remember. But where would I put it?

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Mixed Colors and Fonts to Lynne (Alex's E)

There are several like this that will be popping up or have already popped up. Most of them have multiple stamps. Because I was tired of sifting through the random leftover stamps I decided to use a new stamp. I like the way it goes with the pretty blue Es. Plus it is an intaglio stamp which I love, love, love. Intaglio is the printing process that is like etching where the ink is slightly raised.

Plus - it gives me an opportunity to show my granddaughter's E. I recall making lots of Es like that when I was a pre-schooler. It warms my heart to see any kid who is inspired to make multiple cross-bars on an E. I have been tempted to show her how to do Es like that - but I refrained and am happy to see her doing it all on her own.

She has learned the lower case e - in pre-school. But does her brother Ben's name in all caps. For the longest time she wrote her name AXLE - now she does the Al - but ends with xe.

Add caption

Monday, August 27, 2018

April Exchange from Thomas

Thomas enclosed details about how he did this one. Crane's Lettra envelope - always a good starting point - ink wash - rubber stamps and hand carved letters.
Nice stamp - coordinates well with the envelope. I like the bits of white paper peeking in around the edge.

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Copernicus to Sara

The foreign destination stamp will be added. It will be the gold moon on the navy background. I'm tempted to add something to this one - but also concerned about messing it up. 

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Vintage Cartoons to Maggie

I think the style of lettering on the Maggie was supposed to go with the Dick Tracy stamp. Then I botched her last name so had to put the Annie stamp over the error. Then I did a pitiful job of replicating the word bubble. The only nice thing about this envelope is the white space.

Friday, August 24, 2018

Bonus Post - Air Drop *Tutorial*

The labyrinth I walked in Lewistown, Montana on my recent trip.
Today's regular post is below. This bonus post is a response to a reader who asked for tips on how to AirDrop photos from the iPhone to the Mac.

I put *tutorial* in *asterisks* because I just guess - and suspect that there are 100s of things that my phone and computer can do that I have not yet discovered.

Baseline information that applies to everything:
Your phone and computer need to be roughly the same age. If one is quite a bit older, it is doubtful that the newer one will want to communicate. While some people are highly annoyed at how quickly our phones and computers become obsolete, I think we need to be grateful for all the innovation and just accept that the changes are mostly improvements and we are not living in the olden days. The fabulocity of what we can do with our devices is remarkable.

When I turn on my iPhone and my Mac - they seem to recognize that they are siblings each one shows up on the other one. They seem to want to talk to each other.
So - if your phone and computer are new enough that they are happy to talk to each other - these are the steps that work for me - and they might work for you.

Maybe I should mention which phone I have and which operating system is on the computer.
The phone is the oldest version that they are still selling -an SE- it is 2.5"x5" I thought it had a number like 5 or 6 - but I can't find it. It is not one of the bigger newer ones. The Mac is High Sierra - thanks to the BHBrother who knows how to update a computer that is 3 or 4 years old - and getting to be an antique. Note to self - try to coordinate the next phone and computer upgrade to happen at the same time.

OK - try this

On the phone, go to Photos and click on All Photos which makes all the photos pop up. In the upper right hand corner, find the word Select and click on it.
Tap each photo you want to AirDrop and that makes a little blue check mark in the lower right corner of each photo. (Experiment with just 2 photos at first)
In the lower left corner, there is an icon with a rectangle and an arrow pointing north. That is the upload icon. Tap it. You should see the options for AirDrop and under that options for Texting, Emailing, etc

KEEP IN MIND - I think you need to be sitting in front of your computer and have it turned on and be holding your phone for any of this to work.

On the phone, you should see: Tape to share with AirDrop -
for me -- it is right next to an icon that has my Apple ID for the computer - the photo of me and my name under it -
When I tap it and it says in a blinking manner.....Waiting...Waiting...Sending....
and then switches to Sent - after it is done.

Here is where it gets tricky.
You have to be watching the upper right corner of the computer screen rather than staring at your phone.
A rectangle will pop up that tells you the photos have arrived.
You have to click on it right away - because it disappears after a few seconds.
When you click on it the photos will be in Preview.
You have to click on File and then Move to   - to put them somewhere where you will know where they are.
I often put mine on my Desktop - and then move them into folders.

If you do not see the box in the upper right hand corner - you will probably find the photos in the Download file

If you do not know about your Download file - you are in for a big surprise. It's a holding tank that fills up with all kinds of things - and if you don't keep it cleared out, it is both a blessing as well as a curse. You can find all kinds of things you thought you lost (blessing) - but the hours it takes to clear it out can be challenging (curse).

So, there you have it - a complete amateur, granny method for AirDropping.

If these directions do not work - here are some other ways to get help.
You may want to try them first.

Find a teenager or college student.
Call Apple tech support - they are amazing and very patient
Google: How do I AirDrop from my iPhone to my Mac
The number of things I have solved by just asking is staggering

Ghost Writing to Finn, Faye and Chuck

I did ghost writing for someone in June. I needed one more name to make the exchange lists come out even so I put someone on the list who is not an envelope exchanger. Then I did these - with her name as the sender. I put my address on it. So, I assume these three knew they were from me. I'm thinking they might have known they were from me because I do a fair number of these mixed styles.

There is some variation in how much extra doodle I add. I can't make up my mind which way I prefer. Either way - they seem fine.

I'd be curious to hear from anyone who thinks that one or the other is better.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Pueblo Pot to Maggie

I needed to send two envelopes to Maggie so seized the opportunity to send one inside the other - which meant I did not have to come up with the full 50-cents.

It was more fun to do an envelope with just one pot. It might not be very pretty on the screen. It's a William Arthur envelope - so the way the ink sits on it is quite nice.
Nice paper makes even marker ink look lovely.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Portrait Orientation Dancers

First I messed up the spacing on the lines. It was 50% resolved by adding Mr. Schneider to the envelope. Then, I had a lapse when I adhered the stamps. I knew they needed to go on their tippie-toes but was not paying attention and put them on the wrong direction. I actually like this orientation better.

I was tempted to write about all my issues with the process as that has been a useful way to deal with problems. But my love of white space won the argument in my head.

Below is how it looks in PO orientation. After two years, I finally figured out how to take photos and airdrop them to the computer. It's a little like just discovering that I have a section in my refrigerator that will freeze ice into little cubes.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Paused, Recycled to Lynne and Janna

This one has been set on the back burner and might fall into the recycle bin. After I started doing bold red lettering with black outlines, I pulled the cartoon stamps and will be doing cartoon lettering to go with the stamps. It's the most obvious thing to do. Sometimes, it's better to just go with obvious.

This one is both ups-side-down as well as discarded. I kept adding layers and it kept getting worse and worse. I completely choked when I actually adhered those stamps on an envelope to Kathy which became their final resting place. Aarrgghh. It is now lost on my desk. Although I am expecting to find it shortly.

Monday, August 20, 2018

Scattered flowers to Belinda

I had doubts that I could add the right stamps and whatever else was needed to get this one to a point where I liked it.

Then I found the most perfect add on stamps. The added flowers are not quite right and I can't say what it is about them that is bothering me. They probably need to overlap or underlap the lettering - but with markers - the ink is not opaque, so it would have been a big problem. Maybe it just needs more flowers.

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Off Topic - Newberry Library - Donald Jackson

As I was browsing online trying to find what to look at at the Newberry, it dawned on me to search Donald Jackson and *bingo.* There were some of the regular published books that he has authored and then there was this one. Oh.My.Gosh. It was the highlight of the whole visit. 

Photos are OK, but you really need to see the actual pages to appreciate the work. It was a gift from Sarah to Alistair McAlpine - their initials are in raised gilding on parchment. The pages are paper - translated Persian poetry. You can read all about Alistair on Wikipedia. He was a colorful figure. He and Sarah divorced. Wikipedia says: In the mid 1980s, for reasons of safety and tax, McAlpine decided to move to Monaco and Venice. Before his departure he had sold many of his possessions at Sotheby's.[3]
Maybe that's when the Newberry bought the book. Of course, it would be fun to know how much a book like this cost originally and then how much the Newberry paid for it. It's leather bound by Fred Wood. I tried to link to the page with info at the Newberry, but you have to sign on and create an account to surf through their info.

I like the way all the pages have the same margin on the bottom, and different amounts of white space on top. Such a simple idea. It's a good example of a design idea that you could tuck in your file of ideas and pull out as needed. 

Hopefully this will inspire people to check out the Newberry if they are ever in the neighborhood.

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Imitation of Marti's Penmanship

Marti has really interesting penmanship. In June, I thought it would be fun to take each May exchange envelope from an exchanger and let it inspire my June envelope back to them.

I thought it would be a fun series. But after I did this one, I moved on to other things. It is an idea that I would like to pursue at some point.

Feel free to use the idea - whatever I send to you, do your version and send it back.

Janet gets an A-plus in using the font I sent to her. Hopefully, I will find the example and post it with the outgoing one.

Friday, August 17, 2018

Pueblo Art to Anthea

This one was going get pitched - even though it is on a really nice envelope which means it was really upsetting to my eyes. I doubted I could save it with doodles - but I ended up liking it enough to save it from the recycle bin.

After I added doodles. I just noticed that the color of the lettering is way off from the pots. I should have used some colored pencil.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Adequate in Spite of Poor Planning - Whimsical Flowers to KateR and Joy

I saw those daisies on Pinterest and couldn't resist doing them - once again, I did not have stamps in mind. Then I noticed that it was Kate's birthday month, so I was happy to find those two stamps. And I am happy with the layout. I added her address in a single line that starts under the Aging Together stamp and runs in a single line - tiny block printing like the name.

I saw some more flowers and did my version and was pretty happy with the stamps. The layout isn't the best due to no planning.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Bad Sign Cartoon - Bonus Post

While clearing out the drafts folder on the blog I came across this. It was dated 2015 and there was a blurb asking whether or not I should allow myself to post cartoons or should I be vigilant about posting only envelopes. As I get older and wiser, I am less inclined to overthink and just fill up the slots.

I can add an envelope at a later date and that way I have covered two bases and avoided making a decision. Decision avoidance does not come naturally to me, but it might be something to cultivate.

Today's envelopes are right below. They're not that good - but not bad enough for me to write *BAD* on them. I should start giving myself grades on my envelopes.

Several Flush Left Fine Line Script - Exchange

There were nearly 30 envelopes for me to do in the June exchange and I thought if I did a bunch of flush left script, it would be easy to fill up the white space with the vintage stamps that have been causing me so many problems.

I was wrong.

So, here are the rest of them. Some of them ended up with different stamps. I'm not sure if I will repost them. I did return to the Beaverdale P.O. where my new friend was very happy to do cancelling. His big red circles were nice additions. I just hope that the envelopes do not get machine cancels on top of the pretty red circles. Maybe some of the exchangers will let me know. I should have taken a picture at the PO after he added the red circles.

On this one, I know I moved the stamps closer to that *h* by the tip of the pencil. And my clonker friend added some nice cancels. Some people call the hand cancelling device a clonker. 

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Flush Left to Jannie - and then it disappeared

How is it possible to lose so many things that are stacked on my desk?

Well, I just checked my note to self and apparently I mailed it.

New note to self:
Mail all the exchange envelopes on the same day.

I hope that the only reason you people read my blog is to feel better about your own organizational skills. I sincerely hope that not a single one of you is worse than I am.

Monday, August 13, 2018

Before & After - Cartoon & Border to CathyO

This was the starting point. I would have been fine with doing the address in a bold black to the south and east of the R in O'Rear - but somehow I wandered off into the world of talking about my process.

So... I thought that border might be interesting. I was wrong. So, I wrote a sentence along the border expressing my regret. Im fine with putting the punching stamp with the flinging object stamp.  I have a bunch of really depressing stamps to use up. It is hard to decide who would be OK with depressing stamps. I'm guessing Miss Cathy is my go-to person for the task of enduring depressing stamps. Although, I guess I can post add a question to a blog post that is going to pop up right away and see if anyone wants it.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Off-Topic Newberry Library Books - Book of Hours

In June, I took time off from my grandkids to visit the Newberry Library. It is in Chicago and is one of very few (maybe 3?) libraries in the country that is private and welcomes anyone who has an interest in their collection to show up, jump through a couple very easy hoops - and then look at some really amazing books, papers, documents, and artwork.

You can go to their website and browse around to see what kinds of things they own. There are two reading rooms. One is for the general collection. The other is the special collection which means someone has to go into the vault and bring the item. I could bore you to tears with details about the vault.

I wanted to look at some manuscript books. The old books, written by hand by scribes. It was hard to figure out which ones to request. I just chose two random books that were in my search for: Book of Hours. I need to do more research about which ones to request. But the two I saw were lovely. This one happened to be in the process of being conserved - but they still brought it out. It was in a plexiglas holder (with the green padding) so that it could only be opened very slightly. The other one opened wider.

More photos below. I highly recommend the Newberry - if you are going to be in Chicago and have a couple hours. Contact me directly if you want to know more about how to plan a trip.

The two books I looked at were a
prayer book of Margaret of Croy (1430-1450) from Flanders
and another book of hours that was from 1400-1450 - French - of undetermined use.
Both were labeled *Catholic Church* under author.

I just love the really fine doodle type designs. They seem so contemporary. I'd really like to know why they are so free form and random. 
Of course I am drawn to the random doodles on the borders. And the gilding is so bright and shiny. Looks brand new.
Note written on the back inside cover. It would be fun to know what's written.
Kathy Schneider was with me and she told me why there is a serpent dinosaur at the top - but I have forgotten. I'm sorry Kathy...Teflon-Colander Syndrome. The pages had been trimmed which is too bad.