Thursday, April 30, 2020

Leapin' Lizards from Lauren

OK. It's a frog. But, I like the leapin' lizards expression. Leapin' people on the stamps.

The card is so cute  and the frog actually leaps - see the video at the end.

Lauren regularly knocks our socks off with her clever ideas.

She included important leap year information on the inside of the frog and also acknowledged that it might be over my head. Yes, it is. But the BHB will probably enjoy reading it. Not that he doesn't already know all of it -- but he likes to read the fine print.

Yes -- he reads all that info that comes with prescriptions that is 2 pt type. If he flew, he would have been that person who saw the line of copy that said you would win a prize if you read the fine print and responded.

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Bonus Post - Thank you, Mailman

This is a nice tie-in with Sam's envelope that is in the daily post, right below.
Sam and I both like all things postal and we both like kid-art. So, this is double fun. My son, the postman received it on his route a few days ago. 

I'm very curious to know why the top line is in u&lc and the bottom line is caps.

Stealworthy from Sam

Yup. I'm totally doing this.

There are two ideas - both involve collage. I might do something different because I'm not drawn to collage.

On the top one, I like how she knows which route the address is on. I might need to ask my little postman how a person could find out their route number. Or maybe Sam can tell us.

The second one - with the note about using up the vintage stamps would be perfect for me as I near the end of my stack.

Once again - big thank you to Sam for sharing her non-PTE mail art.

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

HB to Curious George from CaroleV

Remember the fun pop up card video I posted on Feb 6? This is what it looked like folded up with a belly band. I love Curious George decorating his cake. It is exactly what it would look like if Mr W tried to ice a cake. I am so tempted to have him give it a try and record his attempt. Hunter, our son, was telling me about how there are *gamers* who charge $5 per month to people who want to watch them play video games. Hunter was thinking we needed to come up with something along those lines as there is one guy who has 35,000 subscribers. That's $175,000 per month. Surely watching me coach Mr Wilson as he attempts to make stuff would be as entertaining as some guy playing a video game.

Sadly, I suspect there are thousands, if not millions of people who are already trying to get attention on the internet. I wisely told Hunter that we are not that kind of people. We will stick with our own level of media attention seeking: spend 3 minutes reading the blog and then go make stuff on your own.

Here's the envelope. Thanks CaroleV -- Curious George is a perfect theme for Mr Wilson - he is curious in both the verby way as well as the adjectival way, if you get my drift.

Monday, April 27, 2020

HB to Mr W from Leslie

This second one came from Leslie. She must have decided to do a second one since she wasn't that thrilled with the first one. This is very pretty, too. Ruling writers are so much fun and I think it's hard to mess up - once you are proficient. Her small writing is very nice. I'm a huge fan of upright italics.


Real time P.S.
All of these Mr. Wilson posts were written before the pandemic. It's been a few days since I inserted anything current. I am somewhat overwhelmed by everything that is on the internet. There is the news. Then there are the creative things that people are doing. Serious stuff, silly stuff, deeply depressing stuff. There is nothing profound to add.

A possible bright spot - that I might be able to complete--- 
I finally thought of a famous painting that I can recreate.
I have all my props figured out and just need to find the energy to set it up and shoot it.
By announcing it here - I am thinking that will nudge me into actually doing it.
I tried doing a few envelopes and they were pukeworthy.
New word for the blog.

I've always loved dots -- and now they just look like viruses - so I'm really stumped.

Sunday, April 26, 2020

HB to Mr W from CathyO and Alex

George commented that he liked this lettering. I really like how Cathy found the perfect shade of pinkish-orangish-peachish to go with the stamp. I had forgotten that Geo was a rat guy. Or maybe he isn't. No, he is a rabbit. I am a dragon. Doesn't sound like a very good combo. I shall refrain from further research. Nearly 41 years into it is probably not the time to start pondering whether or not it was a good idea.

And here is the pretty card from Cathy, followed by adorable writing by the granddaughter, Alex. The second panel must have been to the two of us. I think it says:

you to r the best - meaning - you two are the best.

I grouped these two because the colors look nice together.

Saturday, April 25, 2020

HB to Mr W from Gina

This is from Gina. I first heard from Gina back during the total eclipse era. And she finally decided it was time to give the exchange a try. I'm so glad she did. She even signed up for a second month.

Fond memories of those triangle stamps from a while ago. This was a really nice way to arrange them and she did a good job of combining geometric with organic. I don't think I would have thought of this.

The PO did a good job on the cancel - and on not adding any more. Thank you PO.

Friday, April 24, 2020

HB to Mr W from Leslie

Leslie included a note that this one had not turned out as she had hoped. George and I thought it was lovely. But, we don't know what she had in mind. I have really enjoyed all the different ideas Leslie has had with the Have a Ball stamps. They're fun - and might be available through the mail.

Thursday, April 23, 2020

HB to Mr W from JeanR

I love JeanR's tall skinny lettering. It is on my list of ideas to steal. The wavy lined postmark looks nice. There is a bar code under the card. In this case it did not add to the design.

Design lesson: It is nice to pick up shapes and repeat them. Repeating the portrait rectangle of the stamp for the address is an excellent idea. And just because you have a multitude of bright colors on the stamp, do not feel obligated to use them on the address. I doubt I have done any all black addressed with this stamp, but I will do so in the future. Another stealworthy idea.

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

HB MrW from Lauren

As you may recall, Lauren sent the beloved Cheerio card as well as the blueberry card. And there is at least one other Mr Wilson card and envelope. I should go back and tag them so they may be viewed as a series.

The funny story that goes with this one is that when Mr Wilson pulled the card out of the envelope, he was looking at the back. He was admiring it and commenting on how cool it was, when I said, "That's the back." There was probably a tinge of *you moron* in my tone of voice. He replied, "But, it is cool." Obviously, when he turned it over and saw the front, he was wowed.

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Versal and little house to Nicole

Debacle might be the right word to describe this one. I wanted to do a letter in a style similar to Benoit Furet. I featured him a few weeks ago. I though the placement of the N was nice. I spent a ridiculous amount of time on the letter. Then I turned the envelope over and saw that it was upside down. That shouldn't matter - but that irrational side of me got all irrational and put the envelope in a stack.

It should have gone out in January - and I did not get it mailed until Feb 4. And Nicole was a new exchanger. Plum pitiful of me to be so slow in sending mail to a new person. It finally dawned on me that there was no way I was going to come up with a solution - so I should just do an outer envelope and use this as the insert.

Note to self: if you decide to do any more of these versals - figure out a stamp and layout first.

Then, I had the issue of that last lonely wreath stamp. I did not want to use it. But, it was the only international stamp left and it was going to annoy me if it hung around until next year - so I found a cute idea on Pinterest. The house had a little row of hearts coming out of the chimney. I left those off. It's OK - but I would only give my version a C+.

Does anyone want to discuss the use of the word plum in - plum pitiful? I found very little when I went looking to see whether it was plum or plumb. Neither of them seemed more likely than the other. Bonus points if you can recall which TV sit-com character used to say, "Pitiful. Plum pitiful."

Or was it, "Pitiful. Plumb pitiful."

Monday, April 20, 2020

Chuck's candles

I have a candle rubber stamp and thought it would be fun to make letters. C and M did not work out very well. I'll post steps one and two below. Step three is OK. But, I put a non-USPS stamp on it so that it would become the insert in something better. Step one shows how bad I was at the rubber stamping. I used a bunch of white-out (Dr Martin's Bleedproof White) to cover them up.

I couldn't decide where to put the address line. It might have looked better above the CM -- but, it could have been a disaster up there.

Sunday, April 19, 2020

CathyO bumps a John Stevens post

There was a John Steven's off-topic post scheduled for today and I bumped it to June when this envelope arrived. CathyO took an online class with Tamer Ghoneim.
The class was called Circles on Steroids.
You can say that again.

Go read all the things he does on the [About] tab.
Wunderkind is an understatement.
Thank you to Cathy for alerting me to his work.

Here is the card on the inside. It says:

Way to go Cathy. There aren't many people who would inspire me to bump a John Steven's post.

My daughter sent this to me.
My granddaughter wrote it to her brother Ben.
When the lockdown started in Chicago - in mid March, I told my daughter that 6 yrs and 4 yrs would be fairly easy ages to manage. She looked at me like I was nuts.
At that age - they are 50/50 fun and awful - on any given day. And the lockdown would not change the proportion. A month into it - she's agreed with me that they are not really phased by any of the changes. They are pretty happy to hang with mom and dad all day every day.
They are not blissfully ignorant, but willing to be troopers.

In case it's hard to read - here is what it says:

I love you Ben so much. From Alex. I hope you are OK. Hi. I know this is hard for you but I know we can have fun and I'm OK too. Love Alex


Can anyone tell me what this says?
I can't figure it out.
Maybe it is just random letters.

Thanks, Sam. She left a comment - neighbourly - 

Saturday, April 18, 2020

Big blue flower to Gloria

The big blue flower was something I saw on Pinterest that looked like loads of fun to copy and it was. It was done on a sheet of paper so that I could fold it wherever I wanted to fold it and make an envelope. But, I couldn't find a stamp that worked, so I used it as a *bonus* inside an envelope that seemed lame on a couple levels. The lame envelope, pictured below was lame because it was February by the time I got around to doing it. The whole red/green thing was not inspiring me.

Note to self. Blah, blah, blah.
Self: Do you even read the notes?
Self: Well, yes, I do.
Self: This is boring. Send them to that blog of the woman who is sooooo funny.
Self: But, she doesn't mention envelopes or stamps.
Self: Yeah, but you two have many similar traits.

Here is a woman who is off her rocker in a way that makes my issues look insignificant.
You really have to dig to find all the stories --- but some of them are hysterical. The one where she asks her husband to cut strips of red fabric is really good because her husband is usually very exacting at projects.

And half the blog posts are about cats and kittens - so if you are a dog person - or a non-animal person - you have been warned. I'm not the only one who gets a kick out of her writing. She has 14.5k followers on IG.

Here is the link where you can decide if you want to kill time.
Below is the link to the page with holiday posts - scroll down to the one titled:
When you assume your husband can help you sew DIY Christmas bows.

So boring, I was tempted to not even post it.

Friday, April 17, 2020

Patty's Anne Elser

Patty took a workshop with Anne Elser. Most workshop instructors have each name of the participants done when the people arrive. This was the size of a place card but it would work beautifully as an envelope. There is a nice spot for the stamp and if there was a little more space at the bottom, the address, all in one line would look great.

Real time P.S.

Maybe all y'all have seen this:

If just half the adults in the US bought a sheet of stamps, around $11, it would raise about $1.5 Billion for our postal service. #SAVETHEUSPS #BUYSOMESTAMPS

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Off Topic Bonus Post

This is off topic - today's regular post is below this one.

Instagram is a fun place to find lettering and envelopes as well as other pretty pictures. I ran across Cheese by Numbers - which I love. They show beautifully composed cheese trays and then when you click on the dots at the bottom, you can scroll through the steps they took to arrange all the items. It's very similar to a design lesson. I chose this for a visual. The actual point of the post is a video link below. The BigHelpfulBrother sent it to me a week ago. I have shared it with several people who really like it and thought I would toss it out here. If you disagree with the point they are making, that's fine. I'm not trying to start a debate.

This is an example of what you see first. Notice the dots right under the photo.

This is the second dot, the first step to arranging the items.
Oh, I guess there are also arrows that you can click on.
And you can probably click on the little directional keys if you know how to use those.

Here is the video. You have to click on CC to get the subtitles, unless you are fluent in Italian.

To GraceE - BigBlackCopic

Underneath the envelope is my practice page - which turned out better than the envelope. I was happy with the g and then forgot the r - and did the a and had to squeeze the r in. I am OK with how the Edmands turned out - but just OK. I am 99% sure that was my last back celebrate stamp. I thought the spiral fireworks might look nice on the black, so I tried them with the white gel pen. I took a picture (see below) but didn't like them, so I covered them up with black. After the envelope had been mailed, I remembered that I have a whole set of neon gel pens. RATS! They would have been perfect. Double rats.

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

tiny envelope from FF guy

I hope I find the name of the person who sent this to me. Plus I owe him an envelope. I feel like this already ran... if this pops up without me fixing it... sorry.... it means that real life got out of hand. My daughter does taxes and I agreed to spend some time in Chicago at the end of tax season and I return to DSM on Apr 17.

April 1, 2020
The first part of this post was obviously written before the pandemic. And we will be reading the P.S. two weeks after this P.S. is written. The big warning of the day -yesterday- was that the next two weeks would be rough.

Ya think?

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Second Daily Post - Masks

I have spent a ridiculous amount of time figuring out masks that are fun to sew and also fit well.
These are streetwear - not the kind medical workers need.
This origami mask is my current favorite and I thought it was worthwhile to post instructions. I started a new blog and will update it as time permits. There are so many options for nose wires as well as ear loops. I'm stuck with ponytail holders until I get some regular elastic.

Here is the link to my mask blog.


While I do not jabber much about penmanship -- I do care about it -- a lot.
And while penmanship is not the point of this punishment, it has always been one of my favorite punishments and it is one that worked very well on my own offspring, when they were younger.

Scroll down to the regular daily post.

From Jean R - recycle booklet and envelope

JeanR does some nice recycled designs and this one had a fun little booklet inside. The way the stamp is an extension of the photo is so cool.

Black and white with a spot of red -- a classic combination. If you have never done a 3-hole pamphlet stitch, there are a ton of tutorials on YouTube. I just grabbed the first one and have no idea if it is any good or not. You could search for others if you like.

3-hole pamphlet tutorial

Monday, April 13, 2020

From Lauren - Elvis

Add caption
Lauren must have some fans at the PO who are taking great care to do only the very best options in cancels. She took it in for a hand cancel - but they loved it so they sent it through another machine - twice. Lovely.

Sunday, April 12, 2020

From Cathy O - celebrate stamp

This might be the first Celebrate the Dots stamp that I have posted. It is on a shimmer envelope which ties in nicely with the metallic component on the stamps. I will not identify the exchanger who sent me an email expressing disappointment that there was metallic on the stamps. He or she was not expecting any metallic. I don't actually feel one way or the other about the metallic. However, I appreciate the attention to detail.

CathyO included a lovely card, observing the leap year. It has some nice sparkle details that probably don't show up in the photo

Sunday Rabbit Hole - Denise Lach

“I left the paths of neat and clearly legible calligraphy. But I remain dependent on his discipline and his thoroughness. The opportunity for exchange places, and the emulation in an artistic training environment greatly stimulated my curiosity. The weaving of words and the textures that emanate fascinate me. This inexhaustible game of writing on the most varied supports makes it possible to widen the graphic vocabulary and to enrich the personal expression. "...

It is still Jan 15th and I am on my 3rd hour of surfing. Pinterest is so dangerous. They can analyze what I like and then find other stuff to toss at me that they think I might like. And I do. This is from Denise Lach. 

It says The Hanging Gesture - in the title line. I'm not sure if this her blog or a website with several artists. I will resist the temptation to keep surfing and when this comes up - I might go down the rabbit hole. 

The image is one of nine -- and it would be hard to pick a favorite. 

Denise Lach

The blurb at the top is her artist's statement. I've never been able to come up with an artist's statement.
Shall I try?

I like paper, writing, stamps and envelopes - so leave me alone.

April 8 - adding a comment.
Asking people to leave me alone seems like an unusual request - currently.
For those of you who have watched Tim Gunn on Project Runway and are now watching him on Make the Cut -- he was being interviewed on one of the NPR programs and indicated that he was appreciating all the time alone. He actually seemed giddy about it. I wonder how many people are in that boat - people who had very busy lives, but were overloaded and now they have time to recharge their batteries. Clearly, this is not much of an adjustment for me. Y'all know that I spend way too much time surfing. I found a video that is labeled [mature] because of the liberal use of the f-word. I sent it to a couple people who thought it was really funny. I'll link to it here - but don't get mad at me about the language - you HAVE BEEN warned. Vimeo is a fun place to surf - mixed bag - but I often find interesting things.

Saturday, April 11, 2020

Kraft paper -- From Janet

Dreamy, dreamy, dreamy from Janet. This particular kraft paper is on the darker end so that white really pops. The markers are also nice and strong. I wonder what kind of markers they are. I have not had time to test different markers on kraft papers. Some of them can be a bit wimpy. Or maybe these were wimpy and then she added all those black outlines. Now that I look at it -- I think that black is essential. I hope I remember this next time I attempt markers on kraft paper.