Tuesday, June 30, 2020

From Rivkah to Ellen

First time exchanger Rivkah.
She might have exchanged twice.
I don't keep a log of exchangers - although I get curious about the numbers.
This one is intriguing and it would be fun to do some variations. 
The pattern with the little dashed lines isn't exactly footsteps in the snow.
But, the whole pathway suggestion is very nice.

Monday, June 29, 2020

KathleenH's - gold - multi-vintage stamp

KathleenH had a fun way to use up several vintage stamps. I'm glad none of the stamps got the ballpoint or Sharpie scribble. Her little notation is fun. I especially like all the little white squares. Seems like a lot of correcting. Maybe there is a story behind them.

I just noticed that they are all 5-cent stamps.
It seems to me that when mixing stamps - if you stay within one denomination, they compliment each other. If you mix wildly different denominations, it is a little trickier. Color becomes a lot more of an issue. That is probably why it always frustrated me to work with vintage stamps. 

I'm glad they are mostly all gone.
It is still April. I have still not done any envelopes in a couple months.
Maybe May.
Maybe not.

Sunday, June 28, 2020

GraceH's valentine

There are several things I love about this envelope from GraceH.
She made me love that stamp, which doesn't happen very often.
I love the *occupant*
I love the huge house number.
And I just love the overall exuberance.

I also love Grace's everyday handwriting - soooo much.
If I had time, I would practice it.
Samples of it are in my collection of *best penmanship.*
Maybe I will share it with you someday.

Saturday, June 27, 2020

Border and pink flower to Gloria

There is a thing you can write with called a fluid writer and I have had one for a really long time. I finally got it out and tried it. It is what I used to make the scrolly lines on the left. Spell check does not like the word scrolly - but is not offering any alternatives. Scroll-like? Is that better?

I put myself on the list with 3 foreign addresses for the May exchange. When I went to buy stamps, the station I was at only had the poinsettias - and with the pandemic, I did not want to do any more running around, so I took them. Then, I didn't get any envelopes done because I just couldn't wrap my head around red and green in May. Finally, I had to go to the PO to mail masks and chose a different PO and they had these. Whew.

I actually had a regular marker that matched the ink that I used in the fluid writer which was nice.

The fluid writer comes in two sizes. I have small. I wish I had large.

Here is illuminated L that went to Lauren after it arrived
Thanks for sending, Lauren.

Friday, June 26, 2020

RachaelT's valentine

There has been a catastrophe in the pre-scheduling of the blog posts. Catastrophic in the sense that there is no rhyme or reason to what you will see.
Although, there never has been - so what's the catastrophe?
I guess there isn't one.
The whole point of the blog is to jabber for a couple minutes and then send you off to do something creative unless you don't want to, in which case you may do whatever you like.

I'm reading another one of those books that explains how we have two different people in our heads and they have to work things out. It always seems like a good idea - but then they start debating something and eventually one of them yells - yin-yang. And then they just wander off.

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Pinterest flowers to Inta

Because I was so late in figuring out what to do with my international mail, I resorted to surfin on Pinterest to find some flowers. The details are colored pencil. I usually use the colorless blender, but this time I went over the pink and gray with white to blend them.
Flowers are so easy to draw. Yet, I feel guilty when I just copy them off someone else. It's probably the neverending time crunch that messes with me.

I'm loving that stamp.
I've loved all the round international stamps.
Whoever came up with that idea deserves some kind of recognition.

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Illuminated L to Lauren

This is a trip down memory lane. In the 90's I did a lot of illuminated letters. I did the whole alphabet. This was the only one I did on an envelope. It was meant for one of those people I lost touch with so it ended up in a box. The box is full of assorted *stuff* that seems too nice to toss but it is also wearing on me. So, I've been working my way through it. Some of the exchangers have received oddities in their envelopes. 

I penciled the name and address - and took the photo before I inked it.
Then I put a big sticker on the back that will be easy for the PO (or their scanner) to read.
Then I forgot to retake the photo.

Of course, I had a better idea after it was done. It needed a touch of blue somewhere else.
It would have been nice to put little blue squares between the numbers on the zip code.

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Paint by number (off topic)

We are skipping an envelope today because this makes me happy.

A friend of mine sent me an image of a paint by number project she had just finished and it was gorgeous. I always thought that paint by number could be so much better than what it usually is and -voila- somebody read my mind and improved them. It makes me happy when someone implements one of my good ideas without me even asking.

If you want to paint photorealism, you learn some basic drafting techniques - or you use photographs and methods to transfer the outline. And then you learn some color basics. And then you do a type of painting that is very similar to paint by number. So -- this is simply streamlining the process and providing better art supplies.

If you think it is not-creative to just fill in spaces -- you should know that a lot of artists who come up with wildly creative ideas end up spending a ridiculous amount of time executing the idea doing activities that are 100% mindless. So - there is no shame in just cutting out the drafting and color mixing part of the process and filling in the image.

So -- if you have a lot of time to kill, here is the website.

Oh, I should link to my blog post about Sol LeWitt. You can find it by doing a search of his name. His painting were very much *paint-by-number* as were a lot of people in the colorfield camp.
So there.

Monday, June 22, 2020

Postcard from Cindy

A reminder that you are always welcome to send postcards. This was the first time that Ciny participated and she asked if it was OK to do postcards. I said up. 
I ponder doing postcards from time to time - and then I don't do it because I do not have a big stack of appropriate paper. I'd only want to do it on really nice, heavy watercolor paper.
Although, I am tempted to use cardboard from time to time.
I wonder what would happen if I did a postcard exchange one month - instead of envelopes.

Would that freak everyone out?

I already know there are at least two people who have their envelopes all ready to go on the first of each month and just wait for the list, so they can fill in names and addresses. If I decide to do a postcard exchange, I would have to announce it two months in advance.

And then I would forget.

Sunday, June 21, 2020

Feb exchange from Chuck

Another favorite from Chuck. 
We are both very fond of arts and crafts era design.
Frank Lloyd Wright-esque.

I've done about 20 posts in a row today.
Can you tell that I get less chatty as I go along?
Unless I think of a good story.

It's mid-April as I write this.
No good stories.
Just gloom and doom and anxiety.

OK, here is a story.
I thought, maybe there are some good eyerolls on the internet.
Yes. Here is a whole page of them.
Hold your mouse over any of them to see the eyes roll.

I noticed a clip from Bad Grandpa. One of my daughter's friends from high school worked on that movie and the movie needed a scene where the bad grandpa fell into the cake at a wedding reception. My daughter's friend and his fiance agreed to participate in the filming of the scene at their own wedding. The studio paid for them to set up a reception and have the character fall into the cake - with NONE of the guests being warned that it was going to happen. After the grandpa fell into the cake, it was explained to the guests that they had just been extras in a film and they all moved to another room for the real reception. I think the couple might have warned their parents about what would be happening - which was a good idea. It would have been a nasty prank to pull on a mother of a bride.

Saturday, June 20, 2020

Dreamy pointed pen from GraceE

This has to be one of my favorites from Grace E. I'm not sure I have ever used walnut ink on a very pale pink, but I know I will be using that combo. It's gorgeous. Obviously the addition of the flowers is what contributes to the spectacularity. Or is that spectaculariousness? One of you offered to be my editor. Feel free to weigh in.

Friday, June 19, 2020

Grids and loops from Janet

A fun front and back and vintage card from Janet.
Nice contrast between the geometric and the loop-de-loos.
It was hard to photograph the card, I couldn't get it to stand up on its own.

Janet always does such nice flip sides on her envelopes.
I can't quite make out the little figure. It looks a bit like drummer boy with two drums, or a postal worker. Maybe a drumming postal worker. That would be fun - if you could hear the mailman coming.

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Feb from Gina

The next couple of weeks are going to be more hopping around and posting of things that piled up in Feb, Mar, and Apr.

Grrrr at the ballpoint scribble. The heart on a hand motif has always been one of my favorites. I doubt Gina knows that my skier-son, Skip has been itching to go ski in one of the __kstans. Maybe all of them. I cringe at some of the places he is interested in. But then I pull myself together and wish him well on his adventures.

Very pretty colors and I like the texture on the heart.

BigHelpfulBrother sent me this video.

It is the history of the font Cooper Black.
Anyone interested in fonts will enjoy it.
Thanks BHB.

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Carole's patterned chicken-themed birthday greeting

I had a heck of a time - and never did figure out if Carole did that whole pattern on the envelope by hand. THe same pattern appears on the card - but it looks different on the envelope. THe back of the envelope is patterned. It is unusual to have just the back of an envelope patterned.
Maybe Carole will see this and tell us.

Carole signs her cards on a little removable tag so that I can reuse the cards.
Very good idea.
You can see the tag - removed - off to the side.

Design tip. The 5-petal larger flowers complement the little abstract 4-petal flowers. Different scales of the same thing is pleasing to the eye.

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Birthday greetings from JeanR - Comments about comments

More pretty birthday greetings - this one from JeanR.
and then - wow -
what a beautiful azalea.
I keep forgetting to ask Jean if she is taking any classes. 
It seems like there are so many opportunities online these days. (mid-April)


Monday, June 15, 2020
Admin notes:

I forgot to check my spam and there were some comments in the spam awaiting moderation.
I will try to remember to look in the spam more often.

I hear from people that they have trouble leaving comments.
I am 99% sure that you have to have a gmail account to leave comments.
There may be another way to leave comments, but, I do not know what it is.
So -- if you would like to leave a comment, but do not want a gmail account, just send it to me and I will post it on the blog. We all love comments.

In addition to having the gmail account to leave comments, I think you might need to be on Chrome.
I am not 99% sure about that - but, I think it helps. 
There have been a few things over the past few months where being on Chrome made things work better.
So, if you are not a big fan of Google - I hear ya.
However, they are providing endless space for free - for me to keep the blog going -
so, I feel OK letting them have their way.

I will continue to delete any previously scheduled remarks (of my own) about current events.
Ignore any that may slip through.
While I am not oblivious to the importance of being an educated and responsible person, the point of the blog is to have a tiny oasis and ponder art - and maintaining that focus seems to be the right thing to do.

Monday, June 15, 2020

Chuck's flowers on kraft paper

Another pretty design from Chuck. That's one of the best stamps for kraft paper envelopes. We are not thrilled with the way the PO sent it through the machines. But, we're all struggling a little so we'll have to let it go.

I wish I had a video of my son doing a scene from life at the post office where he plays the role of himself and also the role of a lady who has been waiting for a book. He delivers in the suburbs where people either have a mailbox at the end of their driveway or cluster boxes. I think he was at a cluster box when a lady approached him, i.r.a.t.e. and ready to vent all her frustrations. He patiently listened to her and tried to respond appropriately. They actually have training where they give postal workers sentences to use. He tried one where he said something like, "I understand how you feel."


That was gasoline on the fire. Clearly a person who is out of the house, leading his normal life, does NOT understand how it feels.

He spent a good 10 minutes, maintaining composure and assured her he would look into the matter as long as she could come up with the tracking number.

By the end, she had calmed down enough to say that if she ever did get a chance to talk to someone she would recommend that he get a gold star.


This is April 15 as I write - just for my own frame of reference when this pops up.

Sunday, June 14, 2020

Sunday with John Stevens

I'm 99% sure this is something off John Stevens' IG. It would be a cool envelope if you wanted to send someone an exemplar.

He has the KL in red - to reflect that it is for a couple with those initials. I am so tempted to see if there is anyone on the exchange list who has a first and last name side-by-side in the alphabet. If anyone does, please let me know.

I can picture this on an envelope, with a stamp in the upper right corner. Where the names Kari & Leif are - either the town or state would look nice. Or a big zip code with the other info to the left and right.

Quick check -- yes, I see this image on John's IG
along with more stealworthy stuff -- not that any of us can even approach his level -- but we can have fun puttering in that direction.


Saturday, June 13, 2020

Flag+script from NancyL

White and colors on kraft paper from Nancy. Yes, the Nancy who remembered that I bad mouth flag stamps. This one doesn't bother me because the white in the stamp compliments the white lettering. It looks like colored pencil.
I always like using a variety of fonts, sizes, and variations on the address.
The information is very clear - but all that variety makes it a much more interesting design.

Friday, June 12, 2020

Vine cartouche from Maggie

Maggie included a note apologizing for filling up all the space because she knows I like white space. Actually, I like this a lot and I would have been fine if the vine work had gone all the way around the rectangle. But, it is fine just the way it is.
Nice vintage stamps.
Maggie usually has really nice details in shimmery ink and this time she has some 3D dots that look almost like puffy paints, but they are pretty small. Maybe she will tell us what she used.

Thursday, June 11, 2020

John Lennon from Janet

Ahhhh. John Lennon. So much to like about him. Actually, I found some of his music to be a little "???." I can't put into words what it was about some of his music. Maybe I liked the collaboration with Paul better than his solo stuff. Ignore anything and everything that I say about music. I am woefully ignorant about music. 

This is a nice design.
I know a bit about design.
The black line anchors the layout.
The black line would not be as successful if it was exactly in the middle.
Better to have a "horizon" a little above or below the center.
Most of the time. 
There ARE exceptions.

The centering of the colorful subject matter is nice.
It's balanced.

The echoing of the ombre is nice.
Echoing is good.

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Celebration circles from Lynne

This is a nice idea to go with the celebrate stamp. It looks like rubber stamps with gel pen details. Picking up on the round theme and nicely coordinated colors.
I wonder if Lynne did all of the them the same - or if there were variations.
I'd be itching to dig out my round rubber stamps and do something like this but I am still stuck in the world of sewing.

Also blogging.
It's Sunday, which is my traditional day to work on the blog.
Maybe after 5 weeks under house arrest, I am finding my way back to some kind of routine.

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Sad mailman from Janet

Janet knew it was my birthday in April and sent this sad little mailman. His letter says:
Another cancelled birthday party on April 11, 2020.
You can say that again. I was supposed to be in Chicago celebrating with the grandkids. They sent me a care package from Chicago. Two Lou Malnatti's pizzas and a Portillo's hot dog kit.
My guilty pleasures which are usually off limits.

The front of the envelope and the card.
That's a stealworthy idea for the card.

Words on the card:
They come on one of April's most brilliant days...
a day as sparkling as a newly washed lemon...
a day when even the shadows were a melange of blue and orange and jade like the shadows that poured from the tipsy brush of Monet.
from A Thatched Roof by Beverly Nichols

Monday, June 8, 2020

Apr Ex from Rita to Nancy (Rivkah's quilt)

Rita had fun with versals and the Year of the Rat stamp. If you have never tried versals, they are so versatile. I mention that every time I see them and then forget to actually use them myself. Why is that? 

On June 5th I remembered to check what kind of drivel I had written in the posts that were going to pop up. Oh.My.Gosh. I had to delete most of what I had written on this one.
I have 100 posts all ready to go -- and now I have to re-do all of them - because what I was talking about in April sounds ridiculous.

I'm not sure I can go back and rewrite all 100 -- so, we might just have to live with goofy posts.


Some photos I found and I can't figure out if they are already posted.

It was fun and also sad to use up my quilts.
I thought it needed something in those Os.
As I look at it now, I really wish I had added a second color.
That yellowish ochre color would have been perfect.

Sunday, June 7, 2020

Flourished dress - The Mail-themed Film

It is not surprising that this would catch the eye of a calligrapher. 
Especially one who has veered off into sewing.
Below is a link to the image on Pinterest and you can scroll down and see all kinds of other examples that are very similar. No, I will not be doing anything like this. 

I am writing on April 16th. Maybe I will add an envelope.

Now it is May 25 - and I found a reason to add an envelope.
Back in 2016, there was a call for mail to be used as props in a mail-themed film. There was also an option to donate to the project and you would get a DVD of the film. It takes forever to make films and I had given up ever getting my DVD - and then - voila - it arrived in the mail. It was pretty exciting. Although, the video I really want to watch is the video of the evening when they opened all of the mail. It is supposed to be on the website, but I can't find it. If anyone else can find it, let me know.

Here is the link to the original post:

I think I sent more than one envelope.
I also sent a postcard that was postmarked from Antarctica as the director of the film was hoping to get mail from all 7 continents.


Thanks to Clover -- who sent a link to a short video about the opening of the envelopes

Saturday, June 6, 2020

Rabbit hole / Donna's bday / other grid patterns

I do not recall if I posted this, but it's probably a good idea to repost it.


It's one of the best rabbit holes I've found in a while.
That's absurd.
I find good rabbit holes every day.

Adding some random photos in mid May
Hopelessly confused on which envelopes have been posted.

I might have to pull out that little template thingy I use to do these gridded designs.
Grids are so pleasing to my eye.

Oh dear - this is super scary -- Blogger has revamped a bunch of stuff and I can't figure out where the toggle is to make the images larger. Yikes. Keep your fingers crossed that I figure this out.

Good news. I figured it out. There were two icons and they seem to be flipped. The one that looks like a little pencil, which you would think is the one to add a caption - takes you to the re-size options. and the other ambiguous icon takes you to adding a caption. I'm not complaining. I am just noting that when things do not seem to be working, just try the opposite of what you thought you wanted. That seems radical and dangerous.
Maybe the lesson here is that we have morphed into a radical and dangerous era.
Or is is an epoch.
I don't even know what an epoch is.
The amount of stuff I have forgotten is on it's way to outweighing the things I remember.

Friday, June 5, 2020

Bonus Post - from Lauren

Lauren comes up with all kinds of good ideas in her mailings. 
I, on the other hand, have not had any good ideas in a long time.
Whenever I am short on creative juice, I switch gears to organizing.
In theory, it is a perfect balance.
Sadly, all my efforts to organize have just created more chaos.
I'm sure I have worn out the phrase *embrace the chaos*
and none of this jabbering is of any use to anyone - 
except the little break we have when we read the daily post.
I read it every morning.
And then I start my commute......
it's a lot like Lauren's -- only without the dog.

Today's daily post - right below.

A reminder from ME (no envelopes)

I follow Mary Engelbreit [ME] on Instagram. She posts frequently and does not hold back with her opinions. I feel sorry for her because her first grandchild is less than a year old.  So Mary is missing out on spending time with little Lola. Those first two years are so precious.

Mary shares a lot of work in progress and I noticed her wording on this drawing:
"...the layouts will be based on vintage book covers."

"Based on" is another way of saying -- adapting ideas from other artists. So, once again, if you are just staring into space, trying to come up with an idea. STOP IT! Go look at something. 
That is where ideas come from.

It is April 15, 2020 as I write this. It's Wednesday. I've noted some serious mental impairment in other people and also noticing it in myself. Nothing dangerous. But, yowza. 
We are not in Kansas anymore, Toto.

Here are some images I found on my desktop. They were going to inspire me to do something similar but I have completely lost interest in any kind of writing. Still hooked on sewing.

This one is from John Stevens.
Maroon has been one of my favorite word to use when I don't want to say the specific word.