Friday, January 31, 2020

Happy New Year from CaroleV (Woodstock to Sam & CathyO)

All the mail to Hunter, my little postman, will appear in November when I post ideas for the holidays. I'm putting this one in now - because I had a mix-up and had to re-fill today. The card is super sparkly. The berry stamp is fun with the fireworks.

Here is another one that might be a repeat. I was soooo unhappy with the way the green looked on Sam's. I fur shur will not be adding any green to Cathy's. It pains me to show stuff that I don't like - but, maybe it will help readers avoid some of the things I try that fail. Can we learn from mistakes made by other people? Yes, we can. Obviously, we have to have a few learning experiences first hand. Hopefully, I will think of something wonderful on CathyO's.

Thursday, January 30, 2020

Mystery Scribe No. 1 (Yukimi Annand)

Sadly, I did not change the name on this image when I snagged it off who-knows-where. I tend to get more off Instagram these days.

While these are place cards, they could just as easily be envelopes.

I will label this stealworthy and hope to return to it at some point and do something along these lines.

Soooo pretty.


I found the artist.
Yukimi Annand

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

From Sam -- 4 owl stamps

Another gargantuan thank you to Sam for sharing her work so that I could bump another holiday post from Jan to November. These stamps are featured on other envelopes - way back when. If I had been smart, I would have been sure to write -owl stamp- or mention every single stamp in every single post - and then we could do a search and see all the various envelopes by stamp. I try to not have regrets - but the opportunity to build in a searchable feature is a missed opportunity of the highest order.

So, I just did a search and there are 9 posts that mention owls, and at least one that shows an envelope that I sent with these stamps. Very pretty stamps.

Killing Time Option.
I'm only allowing the killing of time when it relates to envelopes.
It is within driving distance - and I could stop there on the way to that quilt museum in Lincoln that is on my *maybe* list. Not that I am a quilter - but I do enjoy seeing them in real life.

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

To Sam - Colored Pencil

This one is not spectacular but the process was very therapeutic. During the chaotic part of Dec when I needed to crank things out quickly, many orphan, vintage stamps were hustled out the door. At the end of the exchange list, I had to dip into current Forevers.

The state fair stamps are so pretty, but they really need to go on colored envelopes. Sam prefers a minimum of empty space so I started with a big name in the lightest tint of marker. Then I outlined and drop shadowed.

Colored pencils are always a lot of fun and I pulled general shapes and colors off the stamp. It's fairly abstract. The placement of the denim pants is not the best - but at least it arrived on time. I did have to send some *sorry-yours-will-be-late* emails to some of the exchangers.


Jan 23 -- and I still have two to go

Postal news. December might be the worst month, but January is a very close second. Bad weather caused them to stop early last Friday and take undelivered mail back to the station. Then, any Monday holiday (MLK Day) causes additional pile up. So the combination has turned into a crazy backlog. We did not get mail on the Tues or Wed after MLK Day - and it has not come today (Thur) -- so, I'm thinking I might go over to the station and see what's going on. My little postman says he can't see any way to catch up as there is a new pile of mail and parcels that arrives every day. They *mandate* people to come in on their day off - but some of those people just ignore the mandate. I think they must be people who have been there a long time and figure that there is no way they will get fired because why would you fire someone who actually has experience. I'm starting to feel really guilty about this whole *mail-for-fun* thing. That's pretty alarming, isn't it. I trust all y'all will talk some sense into me.

Monday, January 27, 2020

Snowflakes and frogs and flourishing

This was the inspiration for one that ran a couple weeks ago. I did a couple more - to Maggie and Patty - but I still like Alison's best.

And one more to Alyce -- odd combo of snowflakes and frogs.

Valentine ideas?
Put hearts in place of dots on the flourishing or inplace of the snowflakes.

Sunday, January 26, 2020

Viola is turning 100 (Bonus Post)

From Maureen

You may recall that last February, my sister-in-law's mother turned 99 and I invited the envelope exchangers to send a pretty envelope to Viola. Her birthday is coming up and she will be 100 years old. If anyone wants to send a pretty envelope to Viola - please send it to me (address below) - and I will post all of them on the blog in March or April.

Here is the post from last year that describes how much she enjoyed her mail.

Today is 4 weeks from her birthday - so if you would like to send an envelope, please get it in the mail by Feb15th.

Viola Anderson
420 44th Street
Des Moines, Iowa 50312

Regular daily post is below.

From Sam - Time Flies

Ginormous thank you to Sam who sent me a couple images. I had posted my own Dec exchange envelopes in January because I thought they were lame and then had second thoughts. So on Dec 12th, you can decide how lame the first ones were.

Those Louise Nevelson stamps are wonderful. I used them on the save the dates for my daughter's wedding. S.o.m.e.d.a.y. I need to post all those mailings. They are on disc that is s.o.m.e.w.h.e.r.e.

I think this is the first time Sam has tried that font. I know there are some people who object -strenuously - to using the term -fonts- for lettering styles. I put it in the category of - OK, fine. You use the words you like and I'll use the words I like -- and let's just not get ourselves into a dither. OK?

The more important point is that Sam is willing to share her work. It does not get better than that.

Saturday, January 25, 2020

Sam's December exchange envelope - snowflakes

I love this one -- and I loved it even more after I read how she did the snowflakes. Each one is a fingerprint. Isn't that cool? Fingerprints and snowflakes are both noted for being unique.

I love those stamps and remember them fondly.

The wreath on the postmark is nicely placed.


I bet *we* could figure out a way to do valentine fingerprints.


OK, this really is the last Time Killer Link.
I just saw that Jean Paul Gaultier had his final runway show. He is not retiring, just not doing any more big runway shows.
Jean Paul and I have so much in common.
Born within 13 days of each other
Named Jean
Practically fraternal twins, eh?
Gray hair

So --- you might not want to slog through all 174 images. Most of them are goofy. But, there are details that tickle my funny bone. The very first dress is a baby doll dress made out of baby dresses. And so on and so forth.

Again -- skip it if you think avant garde fashion is a ridiculous waste of time.

The other Jean

Friday, January 24, 2020

Lauren's Birthday -- Go wild!!

This envelope was left over from a birthday mailing for a 2 year old who had a wild animal themed party. The envelopes coordinated with an invitation that had a leopard print design.

Lauren deserves something wildly better than this -- but, she had the misfortune of having a birthday in December - the overloaded month.

Note to self, do a better job of keeping a birthday calendar of the exchangers so that you can be prepared.

Even though it's not spectacular -- I do like any kind of envelope that has comments scattered about. I do not know if Lauren likes wine. The supply of orphan stamps is dwindling. (clapping hands emoji)

Our final Time Killer Link -- it's been fun, but it is time to get serious about some of my hoard reduction. Not only is this an inspirational space -- the links at the bottom look mah-ve-las.

Narrowest House

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Leslie's Happy Splats

My favorite part of this one is the juxtaposition of the precise grid with the happy splats.

More pink and green. I'm thinking that she might have gotten out some pink and green and then found as many ways to use it as possible. It's not that much fun to get a lot of different colors out. You need a different brush to mix each one and then you know you'll have a lot of brushes to clean. Cleaning up is not  that much fun. I totally get it why artists had assistants. Or apprentices.
One of those things I'll never get to experience. Although - it's hard having people work for you. I had *underlings* a couple times and I did not enjoy the part where I had to correct something. It was painful finding a way to point out a mistake gently. Clearly I was not successful, as we all know my nickname is Mean Jean. But that was probably more from the parented people.

The flip side:

Killing Time on Thursday:

This is so amazingly wonderful. It is taking a lot of self control to not look at all of them right this minute.

365 day challenge

Thanks to the BigHelpfulBrother for sending this to me.

Going to his IG account is an easier way to see all of them.

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Sam's BigCopic

It might have been better with just the black and no outline. The first outline looked lonely, so I did a second outline and it did not help, so I colored purple over the inner line to look like the lettering on the stamp. Not resolved - but mailed.

At least I had the perfect color envelope for those stamps.

Wednesday's Time Killer:

My 25% Finnish DNA is wildly crazy about this restaurant.

Tiny Restaurant

Years ago, there was a restaurant in Chicago called, Minnie's - and everything was miniature. Tiny sandwiches, etc on small plates. Tiny beverages. A happy memory - glad I got to visit that one time.

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Leslie - pink & green & versals

Very clever - hellO - using the stamp as the O.

The name and address are covered up. I'm guessing the name is Liz - although when I first read it - it looked like Lil.

Pink and green and versals - it would be hard to mess up that combination.


Tuesday Time Killing Option.
A delightful house in Sweden.
More than just a house. Studio space, guest house, workshop.

Swedish house, etc

Monday, January 20, 2020

Bonus Post - Monday morning time killing opportunity

Today's regular post is right below.

I found a website where you can create faux-logos. They only have a few - but it was fun to plug in a few names. Above is the Converse logo. If you don't want to get going with your Monday chores, you might want to surf through the site. They would be fun to use on envelopes if you are a digital artist.






More Horses - green ink

Lynne, Kate and Jessica received Dec envelopes that are similar to the other horse-stamped envelopes - using green ink, which I think I might like better. Although, black might have been a better choice.

They are a little ho-hum. It's a shame that I did not have a better idea. Maybe I lose my inspiration when I know there is no chance of getting any more of the particular stamp.

I will add the letter that went with Ruth's envelope that I forgot to put on her post. It's a fun style of writing using a big fat brush marker and adding shade on the right and highlights on the left. Then outlining the whole thing and then gray shadow. Takes a bit of time. I tried it on lined paper just for practice, but then never did any more of it on a finished envelope.

The U is too wide.

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Leslie - Lucy and the Football

Ahhhh, Lucy. That ornery little voice in our head that has a filter, most of the time. I imagine there are books with educated analysis of what's going on with her. No time to research.

Since Leslie's photo of this one is before it went through the postal system, we don't know what it looked like on the other end.

What we do know - Leslie did a fabulous job with the Have a Ball stamps.

Thanks again, Leslie, for sharing these with us. As I write this, it is the day after Thanksgiving, 2019 -- and I have to gear up with blog posts.

Friendly reminder -- any time you want to send me images of your mail - going to other people - I will be happy to have it on file and use it to fill the blog. Your participation has been wonderful for me and I have had numerous personal emails and notes from people who let me know how much they enjoy our little 3 minutes of escape each day.

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Carousel Horses to Jeri, et al

I was beyond flattered when Jeri told me she thought this envelope
was done by Cheryl Jacobson.
I have nothing to say about these. Just using up the stamps. My apologies to Susan, Grace, Jeri, Janet.

Time to share another tidbit that I have learned about the Post Office. Their system has evolved and a lot of it makes sense. As customers, we think it should be simple, look at the address and then deliver it.

Technically, that is simple. It would work if we could get rid of Christmas. They can't hire temps for one month because it takes too long to learn the system. Plus, the people who know the system are faced with a tsunami of mail every single day in Dec.  They do not have a clue as to exactly how big each tsunami is, they have to just wait and see - and deal with it daily. On Sundays, they just deliver packages. But that makes every Monday even worse. And double worse, if you deliver to businesses that are closed on Saturday.

I am writing this on Dec 19th. My son has been working 80 hours per week since Thanksgiving. He starts at 5 am. He has been getting one day off per week - so 80 hours divided by 6 days is 13.3 hours per day. Some days he works until 8 or 9 pm. Yesterday, the amount of mail was just slightly less - and at 12 hours, everyone was standing around at the station - amazed that they were done for the day. Then they got all giddy-- to be getting off at 5 pm. Can you imagine being all giddy-happy that you only had to work 12 hours.

So, come December, if you run into a postal worker who is less than cheerful, don't take it personally. They are just tired.

Jan 14
If you live in a climate with snow and ice, don't expect your mailman to be cheerful, yet. December was fairly mild - but the next 8 weeks will dish some real winter weather. My little postman has not bounced back completely.

I tried some gold gel pen designs from the horse.

I tried red and green designs from the horse.

I tried random black stuff. I like the last name.

Friday, January 17, 2020

Leslie's String Art

This is done by dipping string in paint or ink, placing the string on an envelope, placing another envelope face down over the first envelope, figuring out a way to apply the right amount of pressure to the stack to allow the string to be pulled out, leaving a pretty design.

If you want to Google and see more examples, be sure to put the word *pull* in the search. String art is something else. Pulled string art is this.

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Dec Cartouche to Ruth

I was stealing ideas. This one was not going well at all. I hesitate to even post what it looked like when I started with the fine tip markers. But, if you do not see it, you will not believe me. I thought I was going to have to throw it out. So, I tried a really fat tip - to see what would happen and I actually liked it. It does need some white gel pen highlight.

I'm posting all my Dec envelopes in Jan. I think any of them could be done in red - for valentine's day -- and I will not have time to do any valentine ideas.

The other problem - in addition to the lines being too wimpy is that the shade of green was/is super icky.
I'm not happy with the extra dots around the box around the G - but had to let it go. I would have liked it better if the W in Wernli was larger. I love the R. I do not recall which stamp I used. I hope I had one of the red and green wreaths. Or I suppose a Santa would have looked nice.

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Leslie - License Plates

This idea is pretty genius.

Use license plates. I wonder which stamps she chose. There are quite a few car themed stamps. Or anything with colors that compliment. The light blue Love stamp that looks like skywriting would have been perfect.

Here is another one. I do not recall seeing any actual license plates that look like this. In 2019, the DOT started offering an option that looked like this only it is a black plate with white lettering. They have been wildly popular. I've never understood vanity plates. But then, I am sure there are millions of people who would never in a million years understand mail art or even nicely addressed envelopes. The number of people who tell me that pretty wedding envelopes are a complete waste because they ALL end up in the trash is UH-MAZE-ING. Seriously - people say that to me. It's fine. I get it. I too have my days when I feel a little guilty that I have not chosen a more responsible use of my free time.

Link to the new 2020 stamp designs in case you missed the bonus post yesterday.

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Bonus Post - 2020 stamps

Jean is celebrating, fur sure. The old black, neon celebrate stamp was one of my all-time least favorites. All y'all know how addicted I am to dots.

You may see the rest of the new stamps here:

The new wedding invitation 1 oz and 2 oz stamps are not going to please a lot of brides.

Ship+ Copic to Mireille, Kathleen, Marie

Phillip's was posted last week before I mailed them,  These should have arrived by now. They were from the group where I was using the BigCopic at Sam's request.

They are really different from the super chunky style that Sam likes.
I'm not sure they have anything special going on. The stamps are the best part of the envelope. So pretty.

The black and white needed to be integrated. Drop shadows seemed too obvious.

I like the texture on Kathleen's. I liked the Y that I came up with on the rough draft for Marie - and then the marker did not cooperate when I did the envelope. It annoys me when people blame the tool. The Y inspired the M - which I rather like. As usual, if I spent a few weeks just exploring this style, I would probably find all kinds of fun things that I really liked.


Two days later. I ended up adding some white to these the next day. Then, on the following day, I did some more envelopes that ended up being my favorites. I'll post everything in March. I was tempted to bump the posts that I have lined up, but the disciplinarian that lives in my head won't let me. I'm reading a book about how we do not have one voice in our head, we have several. It's like the way we keep learning that the previously recommended foods are bad for us and the *bad* foods are now good for us. Multiple personalities used to be mental illness and now it's the norm. Whew. Good to know. Reminder: do not take any information from this blog and assume that it is accurate. Unless you want it to be.

Monday, January 13, 2020

Leslie's Ruling Writer to Holly

Leslie is a big fan of the ruling writer. It's that fun tool in the picture that is not the paint brush. There are several different kinds and there is a bit of a learning curve on how to use them - but once you figure it out, they are loads of fun.

I can tell that this is from an exchange. We don't know what stamp Leslie used - but it was probably fun finding one. Or perhaps she made her color choices from the stamp she knew she would be using.

Sunday, January 12, 2020

Trees to Fatima - Dec exchange

I am not SHOUTING. I just want to CATCH your EYES. If you did not get an envelope from me in December, please let me know and I will send one promptly. (Except for you Gloria - I already warned you that yours was going to be late.) My fool proof system for keeping track of what I have mailed did not work.

Normally, I would post this in November. But, I do not think it is an idea that is worth stealing. It seemed like it had possibilities, but I was cranking out the Dec envelopes while working on all those surprise rush jobs and had to let this one go as is. I'm pretty sure if I devoted a month to tree-writing - I could come up with something that I really liked.

Once again, my favorite part -- dry marker. I used to have some markers that were more like paint pens which would have been better on the dots. The red would have been nicer if it was more opaque.


A bonus post popped up yesterday. Scroll down if you have any interest in a Peter Thornton exemplar that he meant for people to share.

Saturday, January 11, 2020

Bonus Post - Peter Thornton's Italics

Bonus post - regular post is right below.

As I continue the endless job of organizing and sifting through all my exemplars, I am going to scan and post the ones that are copyright-free.

I met Peter Thornton more than 20 years ago and some of his exemplars have a little Y in a circle. It is like the c in the circle, except Y means "Yes, it is OK to copy this and pass it on." Peter recognized the need to circulate some italics with finesse because there are so many clunky italic exemplars out there. This is a copy of a copy. Someday I will run across the original and rescan and repost.

In the meantime, if you are working on your italics - this exemplar shows how beautifully versatile italics are.

Leslie's Button Alphabet / Soccer Ball Stamp

This is a wonderful design. The button alphabet is perfect with the soccer ball.

It looks like - Dana - but I can't figure out the a-b-c before it.
Maybe it is just a decorative element. Maybe Dana needed a button alphabet exemplar and Leslie mailed one to Dana.

If anyone needs a button alphabet exemplar - here is the first one I found when I did a search on Pinterest. There is a better one if you do the search on Google, but, I couldn't snag an image that had decent resolution. You have to search * button alphabet peter thornton * - or you get literal buttons that we have on our clothing.