Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Feb PTEX from Maggie and Lynne

This one is so pretty and delicate. I included a close up. I am adding Lynne's because I am pretty sure it already ran, but maybe not and it would be a shame to skip over it just because I am disorganized with my incoming mail.

These two make me think I could start a whole blog just for gorgeous floral designs.

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Yucky square envelopes with backgrounds and vintage postcard stamps

Here are the four shown previously with the unsuccessful backgrounds. Even as I am posting them, I realize that I am so annoyed I have not gotten over the whole episode.

Analyzing all this bad-vibe-syndrome is not going anywhere. Not that I am going to let it bother me. It might be the humidity.

All four of these people are very loyal exchangers and and they deserve better than this.

P.S. written on July 14.
Some of these people assured me that these envelopes were not that bad. I agree - they are OK. But, the idea in my head did not materialize on the paper.


Monday, July 29, 2019

Mar PTEX from Crystal

Crystal collaged all the elements onto the envelope.

After today, I think my desk is clear and I will no longer be writing this drivel about my lack of organization.

I finally read e.n.o.u.g.h. books about minimizing-swedish-death-cleaning-essentialism, etc.

I'm declaring myself done.

Now, the test will be how hard I hurt my elbow when I fall off my chair laughing on the day this post pops up.

Sunday, July 28, 2019

June PTEX to Lynne, Patty, Lauren, andLeslie

This was the second idea and I thought it was a little blah so I added some colorful background. Colored pencils are usually perfect - but this time they let me down.

I did three more like this and they all bothered me. I even had a complete lapse of common sense and fired off an email warning the four exchangers that I was not happy with the envelopes - and I had not even mailed them.

I might as well show all of them at once.

Saturday, July 27, 2019

PTEX from GraceE and Heidi

Lovely script and vintage stamps with some fun rubber stamps and glitter dots - from GraceE -- I can't tell if she used nibs and ink or a pointed brush marker.

Below, Heidi made a fun envelope out of a map. The butterfly coordinates nicely. The washi tape border makes me want washi tape.

Friday, July 26, 2019

June PTEX to Chuck

A dear friend gave me a sheet of the vintage postcard stamps. This was my first idea. I figured it was going to frustrate the postal employees because the addresser and addressee info was too similar.

Stay tuned to see what the second idea was.

This one is a little blah. I knew I should make the names pop a little more.

Thursday, July 25, 2019

PTEX Red from KateR and Anthea

Kate's Neuland should have gone with the others, but my new system is *get-em-up* -- as the mail arrives, it gets put in a stack and once a month, I have a posting party.

May 4th - done with the April Exchange - except for the late people. I doubt anyone noticed, but I stopped putting the month in the subject line. It dawned on me that which month mail arrives is not important. If it is themed - then that will speak for itself.

Nice colors on Kate's. I believe I was fulfilling my dream of being an actual drug pusher and talked her into buying a set of markers with a ton of colors. I hope she lets us know that it was a life altering move - in a good way.

Anthea's envelope is complimentary in colors. I do not dish any advice to Anthea because she has a clear point of view that includes collage and I have not done enough collage to have anything to say about it.

Yesterday I got into a pretty intense debate with three other people. Two of us were *I have never been and will never go to a Disney theme park.*  The other two proceeded to list all the things that they think we are missing by not going. I insisted that I would be happy to go if they wanted to foot the entire bill. Otherwise I would be spending my travel dollars in other ways. For example -- I would rather go to a collage workshop with the John Stevens of collage. I do not know who that person is. But it would be fun to find out.  Lucky for me, I am currently on the wagon regarding surfing. But, if any readers want to toss out a name - I'd be happy to know who the current John Stevens of collage is.

Anthea's envelope - with one of my all time favorite vintage stamps. The red lanterns. They are so pretty on the black. The little red bird in the artwork and the woodpecker are another nice combo.

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

PTEX May to Sam (Samantha)

My May envelope to Samantha (Sam). I've already posted her first two envelopes to me. One is the little blue people with the John Lennon stamp.

I've been resisting the temptation to do my own version of little blue people. It remains to be seen if I can resist indefinitely. Sam deserved something better in return - but exchangers have to put up with my wildly unpredictable quality.

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

PTEX Warm Fuzzies from CaroleV and Inta

All kinds of sweet images from these two exchangers. Carole sent two in April - as she wanted to observe my birthday. Thank you.
And if you are looking at a big screen, click it to enlarge the image and admire the tiny hand stitching on the card.

Maybe Carole will drop me an email and tell me how she gets the stitches so even. Does she have a template or what?

Shout out the BHB - she added you to the envelope. I don't think the BHB appreciates all the props he gets from exchangers. Will anyone tell me what *props* means? I know it means to acknowledge something positive -- but where does it come from? I can already hear myself saying -duh- when I find out. Plus I could just Google it - but sometimes it is more fun to ask my readers. Like the time I asked what the official name was of the 2D football shape. Finnbadger did the research and told me it is called a lens. What about the 3D football shape? Does it have a name?

Inta does lovely handmade envelopes. and the enclosed card looks like me a few decades ago. Although, I would have been writing, not reading....

Monday, July 22, 2019

May PTEX - Bridget, Jolene, Robert and Maureen

There is no rhyme or reason to the order of the envelopes. When I have more than 20 to do in a month, I sometimes peak early and the last few are dogs. That happened in May. Of course the first 3 or 4 are dogs, too.

I forgot to do a green envelope for Bridget and all the green markers were put away. I had three more and some grayish stamps. They were pinkish gray - so the cool gray markers really bug me.

I liked the border idea which was appropriated from Barbara Calzolari's IG. Her border was very precise and more delicate. It would have been easy to duplicate - but I was going for something chunkier. There is such a fine line between loose and wild.

There is a close up at the end showing how I did some additional lines with a G-Tec and that helped a bit.

I liked the idea on Maureen's - and after I took the photo, I added fine gray G-Tec. It helped - but was not WOW enough to re-photograph. If I had it to do over - I would have done her name all the way to the bottom and put the address in tiny letters flush right under the stamps.

I liked the big lettering on Robert's and Jolene's. After photographing, I added some details. There is a photo of the details below. But, they were both a little ho-hum. This was the month where I really hit a wall, creatively speaking.

As previously mentioned, I am taking a break from exchanging even though I am still running the exchanges. Hopefully, my batteries are recharging. I've thought about trying to make the envelopes ugly -- and then they'd turn out great. I think there is a style of art called Art Brut - that tried to be *ugly.*
Maybe I'll research and report back.

I love Google. One click and we can have a mini-art lesson.

Here is a link to the site where I appropriated the following words:

Art brut is a French term that translates as 'raw art', invented by the French artist Jean Dubuffet to describe art such as graffiti or naïve art which is made outside the academic tradition of fine art

Jean Dubuffet saw fine art as dominated by academic training, which he referred to as ‘art culturel’ or cultural art. For Dubuffet, art brut − which included graffiti, and the work of the insane, prisoners, children, and primitive artists was the raw expression of a vision or emotions, untramelled by convention. He attempted to incorporate these qualities into his own art, to which the term art brut is also sometimes applied.
Dubuffet made a large collection of art brut, and in 1948 founded the Compagnie de l’Art Brut to promote its study. His collection is now housed in a museum, La Collection de l’Art Brut in the Swiss city of Lausanne. Another major collection, using the term outsider art, is the Musgrave Kinley Outsider Art Collection, now on loan to the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin.

Back to me, Jean, writing.
I remember when the Des Moines Art Center bought a Dubuffet and word got out about how much they paid for it and people were outraged. I think it caused them to be very careful about ever divulging acquisition costs.

You can hear the director of the Des Moines Art Center talking about it and see it here:

Sunday, July 21, 2019

PTEX from GraceH and Jolene

Grace H has done at least one previous envelope with the month as a base design. I love these stamps - and might have to get some.

This is Jolene's first time exchanging. She contacted me when she moved back to Des Moines and we got together for coffee. She really made me wish that we still had a calligraphy group that got together --
but we both agreed that it would be up to some younger people to get one going again.

Jolene's *confetti* compliments the cherry blossoms. I am writing this on May 4th - and we are smack dab in the middle of flowering tree season. 50% pretty and 50% people with allergies and sinus infections. I just want to wail --- *whyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy* Why do plants have to attack us? I guess they have their reasons. Maybe because we chop them down and make paper? Is that it? I am not an allergy sufferer any more. But, I did have a spell that left me enormously sympathetic to those who do suffer.

P.S. added on July 14th.
Jolene inspired me to figure out an alternative to another guild. We have had two meetings and as soon as I am back in town, we will launch the new concept. If there are any readers who live in Des Moines who want more info - please drop me an email at jmwilson411-at-yahoo-dot-com

Saturday, July 20, 2019

May PTEX - 3 Green to Inta, Tina and Gloria

I bought some of the international stamps for the May exchange and then couldn't come up with anything very interesting. I think I keep doing the same thing to the people outside the US.

Inta's was my favorite. I like the leafy design over the top. I ended up trying different outlining and drop shadows and the gray seems to be the best.

Tina's is a close second. The only thing that bothers me is that I think it is too similar to previous envelopes

My least favorite is Gloria's because I don't care for the way I did her last name and the gold drop shadow is too strong.

Friday, July 19, 2019

PTEX Pointed pen from Fatima

I always want to get out my nibs and ink and do a return envelope to Fatima - because I admire lovely pointed pen work and I love doing it. I know I am super rusty. Maybe someday.

When I do find the time, I hope I remember to do the writing and then fold the envelope. That's so much better than trying to write off the edge of an actual envelope.

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Mar PTEX - Ab-Ex Stamps to Susan, Cynthia + 4 more

This post was originally scheduled to run in May - but it got bumped. By now (mid-July) my stamp purge should be just a foggy memory.

More favorite stamps and then I choked on any good ideas. I'm fine with the way the envelopes turned out. Fine.

I wish I could do a video of me saying, "It's fine," mournfully, indicating that it's not really fine.

I'm over it. The great stamp purge will be (has been) a huge load off my head.

That one with the snowbank along the bottom was because there was a blop with the brush. I liked the snowbank....

After I ran out of vintage stamps, I went with birds.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

PTEX Kraft Paper from Patty and Leslie

Both Des Moines based exchangers - these two arrived in April.

Patty used the cactus stamp - and used the spot of color as the accent on her white and black on kraft. Nice balance of colors. Fun designs. I wonder if they came out of her head or if she was looking at something.

Leslie was looking at the stamp, eh?
We love stamps that do all the design work for us. White on kraft is sooooo lovely. And those little dashes of red add sparkle.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

May PTEX to Trish and Susan

More orphans being sent off. Happily some of my markers are still juicy. I'll miss the quilts.

The markers I used on Susan's need to be tossed. I wonder if I can find a project where I can turn the testing of the markers into a fun way to crank out some cool envelopes.

Monday, July 15, 2019

PTEX Catus flowers from Lynne (and Jessica)

Lynne and Jesssica both used the cactus flower stamps. I probably won't get around to buying any of them. They are pretty - but some of the other choices are tugging harder.

Lynne did a nice watercolor that she says is a succulent, so maybe she painted it from something specific.

Jessica used colored pencils and did a little scene. I like the half-inch of land at the bottom for the barcode.

Both of these can serve as a reminder to make the addresses legible. We continue to have issues when the addresses are hard for the postal machines and people to figure out.


Somehow I have misplaced the image of Jessica's envelope. I'm leaving the comments in with the hope that i find it and add it.

**** Found it.

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Bonus Post -

Today's regular post is below and this post has nothing to do with envelopes. It is a psycho-neurotic rant about the stupid things I do when I should know better. So just skip it, unless you have nothing to do.

First - shout out and thank you to Miss Cathy for sending this wonderful peek into the future. Also, Chuck sent me the names of his favorite groups. In first place Tangerine Dream, then Faun and Eivor and Katrin Froder. First two are German and third one is From Norway. I'll have to go surfing on YouTube.

Here is the rant.

I was so happy to find Tome to fill my shoes - take over teaching. There are very few people who do commissions in Des Moines - so I can send those jobs her way, too. Of course, I offered to help her out if she ever needed anything. A week ago, she had someone call her to do a Quaker wedding certificate. She did not have time so I agreed to do it but warned the client I was leaving on July 15th, so it would have to be a rush job. No problem, they had the exact layout they wanted. It all seemed easy, until I had to actually put it all on paper.

I always do the first one with the idea that I will do a second one. It never fails, there is always some very minor issue that I can only see after the whole things is done. So, I always do a second one and the second one is always better, but I have the reassurance that if I mess up the second one, the first one will be fine. That way, I always have a spare for my portfolio. So, I did the first one and did something really stupid and thought - gee - this one is not going to be the OK back up one. So, I did the second one - thinking - this one has to be good because I really don't have a back-up.

That was the wrong way to be thinking. I should have known that would make me do something stupid and of course I did. So, then I had to do a third one.

Now, I have the whole thing done. All the writing and the decorative border and the gold banner at the top. And all I have to do is write BEFORE FAMILY & FRIENDS in the border - and I am freaking out. I guess I just have to drink my noon coffee and do it.

I'll file a report after it is done.

It's fine.
I can always find things that I would fix.
But, they wanted the kraft paper look - and I found some Strathmore that is kraftish.
It was not easy to write on. So all of the issues I have with the final are related to the paper's refusal to cooperate. I am tempted to redo the whole thing on paper that I like and show them how much better it is - but - I have other things I should be doing.

Like writing thank yous to all the nice people who thank me for running the exchange.
I did not put myself on any lists this month and I actually had FUN working on the pile of thank yous that I needed to get done. So - I'll have some happy blog posts instead of my endless whining.



P.S. to Chuck
Rainbow's mother gave this shirt to Hunter (my second generation DeadHead)
Stanley Mouse artwork - dated 1981.
The shirt is 7 years older than Hunter.

May PTEX to Patty and Anthea

Not a good stamp to go with the flower - but it was an orphan - and I think May is getting really close to the very end of the orphan-placement project.

I would have preferred to have Anthea's looser but the colors are nice. It's a juicy marker that will appear again if I find some new stamps to go with it.

Saturday, July 13, 2019

PTEX Floral Designs from RachaetT, Robert, and Kristine

These three are all nice examples of flowery designs. Rachael has a nice partial border to anchor her flowers and foliage.

Robert went with the always-works layout of something growing in the lower left. The touch of red relates nicely to the stamp.

Kristine's foliage is more abstract - which is very appropriate with the other elements on her envelope.

Way down at the bottom, I posted the note from Rachael. I usually don't post personal notes - but this one cracks me up. Perfectly worded comment on a detail that displeases the artist. I plan to steal the sentence and apply it liberally to comments on my own envelopes.