Friday, June 30, 2023

To Grace - Year of the bunny stamp

 This one is the third and last attempt to spin an idea off of Rachael - and I ditched the railroad station stamps and went with the year of the bunny. It has great colors and a gazillion little details. I'm happy with the concept of this one - and might try it again. It seems like a pale pink name would be a better starting point - or maybe pale gray.

Thursday, June 29, 2023

News flash - 2nd post today

 Scroll down for today's regular post --- 

The U.S. Postal Service will hike the price of first-class mail "Forever" stamps to 66 cents from 63 cents.

According to a release from the postal service, the stamp price jumps July 9.

In an April news release, USPS cited rising operating costs "fueled by inflation" for the increase in stamp prices.

In addition, the cost to send a domestic postcard will increase to 51 cents and a 1-ounce letter mailed to another country will jump to $1.50.

The price for a single-piece letter and flat additional-ounce price remains at 24 cents.

To Troy - RR station stamp

This second version of the series that started yesterday started with a very pale yellow lettering. Yesterday, there was a wide band of color above and below the name which this one does not have. There is a narrow band. The name needed a lot more dark to go with the stamp and I need a lot more options in green markers The simple solution would have been to use my colored pencils to nudge the colors on the name into colors that look better with the stamps. Yellow was a terrible choice for the name. a very pale gray would have been better. Maybe. It would certainly be worth a try. I need to get all my markers out and try this style again. As luck would have it -- we are very close to July - and another exchange.


Wednesday, June 28, 2023

To Lynne - outlined with RR stations stamp

 This was not a first attempt. It is one of a series and they will appear in a random order because following my thought process is impossible. I was inspired by one of Rachael's envelopes and I hope to find the inspiration envelope - but we can critique this one without seeing the inspiration piece.

The railroad station envelopes have some beautiful colors and I enjoyed working with them. However, I was not wowed by any of the results - until I stopped coloring them in. Maybe I can create a cliffhanger situation. Can you imagine what this one would look like without any color? 

Maybe we should discuss the difference between writing the letters and outlining - or just drawing an outline based on the general knowledge of what letters look like. If you have not tried outlining letters without writing them first - you probably should. Balloon lettering is an outlined style. It's usually not very stylish. Just make a note that if you ever drew balloon letters - you have done the easies basic style of outlined lettering. Step 2 is to square them off.

Tuesday, June 27, 2023

To John, Rich and Scott at the USPS

The one to John is my favorite of these three. I like the opaque markers and keep thinking about getting some more. But they need to be a reward for getting further along with some of the items on the to-do list. I took a break from my own house and did some things at my son's house. He was invited to go on a fishing trip and I took care of his cat. There is something about being alone in his house that makes me attack things that just aren't right. This time it was the herbs and spices. He takes his culinary skills so seriously - but he ended up with MrWilson's gene that does not understand keeping categories of things together.

But, I digress. I needed to digress because I have nothing to say about the other two. This is why I hesitated to even post them. They are OK - and going to people who have probably never received a decorated envelope - ever. Can you imagine? 


Monday, June 26, 2023

To Rodney at the USPS

 I actually like this one a lot - I would not do this on an envelope that was going through the mail - but these were just handed out. It's too bad I never got any of those stamps because I could have a lot of fun with the concept of stacking the letters in a name. I suppose I could use that idea with any stamp - but would it make sense? I should have used some purple colored pencils and done some filling in on this one. 

Since the July exchange is coming up - and I just did the stacking thing on the cartoon stamps - I'm guessing there will be some more stacking.....

Sunday, June 25, 2023

Maybe Nanski? - Raub Druckerin

The postmark is June of 2021 - and Boston - so this might be from -- Nanski? I found these photos in a folder with a whole batch of envelopes that I made for some postal workers - clearly my drag and drop skills were not working very well. These irises are so pretty. Blue and white with a touch of green is such a refreshing palette. 

A few weeks ago I had a post referring to a palette as a pallet - and a pallet is one of those wooden platforms used for shipping stuff. I corrected it around 6 am - so if you are an early reader - you might have noted the mistake. 

I do not recall if I ever linked to these people. They are in Denmark and they make prints off interesting man-hole-covers and other similar objects.

I love the story of how they got started and I also love the prints they make. - if you are only going to click on one of the links - the one below is more interesting. This one just has t-shirts and tote bags. Or if you are a surfer, you might want to click on all the tabs - and read the story of how they got started.

I would not spend $54 on a t-shirt - or $108 on two so that I got free shipping. But, I think they are pretty.

I plugged the name Raub Druckerin into Google translate and it said: Rob Printer. I think it lost something in the translation. Maybe it means something like Stolen Prints.

There are a several really fun ideas at this linked page that show other items and places where they have made prints off of things found whilst out and about.

Saturday, June 24, 2023

To USPS Don and Jon

Quick thank you to my new pen pal from Texas - for the recent snail mail -- both your penmanship and your block printing is lovely.
It was post marked June 2 -- so it took quite some time to reach Iowa. A proper thank you will be forthcoming. 

Here are two that went to some postal workers. I did them when my son did a transfer to a different shift and position and wanted to thank the people he worked with. I am 99% sure that I did not post these - but if I did - alert me - and I will make some substitutions. Maybe.

This is being prewritten in late May when the weather has turned hot and I am struggling to adapt. I'll put two envelopes per post and maybe space them out. 

Don's is OK. Any time I can write in white on a darker color - I feel like it will achieve a level of OK.

I used silver Sharpie on Jon's and outlined it with a silver gel pen. It's a nice address to write and I like to fill up space - but some of the letters are a bit wonky. Most of the envelopes are to guys - so I figure they don't want flowery stuff - this one would have looked better with some rivets or nuts and bolts.


Friday, June 23, 2023

Monster to AmyF + flourish to JeanR

I was so careful to do a decent replica of the heading on the sheet of monster stamps and then forgot to put it on the back of the envelope so that AmyF could see the inspiration font. I deeply regret putting that hat sticker on the little monster.

Below - we've seen a bunch of envelopes that are similar to this. I ended up with two envelopes to Jean last month - so this one was ready to go in June.

In yesterday's post I made a comparison between dried up markers and my own aging. It reminded me of a  wrinkled face that I remembered seeing in an article about someone who sought out people at the turn of the millennium who had been born at the tail end of the 1800s - so they had been alive in three centuries. There was one photo that I really liked and found the photographers website.

You can read all about the project and look at the other photos -  he was specifically interested in people who had *weathered* some significant experiences.

101 year-old 
Mongolian woman 
who had lived through 
nineteen life-killing droughts 
and forty-seven years 
of brutal Communist repression.

the Communists did not like 
the independent spirit 
of the Mongolian people.

She was four feet tall,
seventy pounds,
and in perfect health.


Thursday, June 22, 2023

Cartoons to Mary + CathyO

(Whew - this post had been filled.)

 These two are fun together. I like the stamp placement on Mary's. And I like the mail flying all over the place on Cathy's. In the past, I had more focus to do fun little drawings. Somehow - I'm veering off in a different direction. Making a game out of using up all the envelopes and stamps seems to be working. It's not really a game - but I don't know what to call it. I guess it is a system where I let things come together in a way that is random and that I just have to accept. This stops me from spending too much time on pondering. It's like being handed an assignment and being told - make it work.

The white Pitt marker is drying up - so I went over parts of the letters two or three times. Layering dry markers is one of my oldest *things* that I enjoy doing to get some texture going. I'm guessing a search for *dry marker* would bring up a ton of posts from the past. (pause) I just checked - roughly 23 posts. It's always a trip down memory lane to do some of these searches. I get a little bummed at how faded my skills are becoming - or maybe I should be enjoying the fading - which is a lot like *drying up.*

Wednesday, June 21, 2023

Flower grid to Mia

 Oh my gosh -- this one is empty, too. How many posts did I fill with envelopes - and then forgot to go back and  write words. 


This is going to be a real-time essay on how I deal with real time. 

Maybe some day I will find my inspiration for this envelope. It was so much better than what I did because it filled up the space a little more. I'm not happy with how I wrote Mia's name - but I am liking the bunny stamps. I'm thinking I'll revisit this idea.

How many empty posts will there be?

Tuesday, June 20, 2023

Rube Goldberg to Leslie

 In a perfect world, I would have had all the letters drawn in and around a Rube Goldberg machine. 

In a perfect world, I would have checked (sooner) to see if all the posts for this week were adequately written.

I recently watched a little video where a creative person was explaining her theory about why the seeking of perfection is a roadblock to creativity. While that is true for her and for me - I acknowledge and respect that we live on a bell curves or both sides of the coin or whichever way you would like to look at it.

It was a surprise, yesterday - when I thought I better check the week's posts to make sure they were not ridiculous -- and this one was empty. So here I am filling it in after only three sips of coffee. Since I need to be fully caffeinated to make sense, I think I better check on the Wednesday post and see if there are any words.

Monday, June 19, 2023

A random vintage font

 This is not an envelope - but it could be. I love the idea of having the figure present a stamp to the baby in the cradle. I do not remember where I found this image. The font caught my eye and it would be lovely if I actually got around to trying it. There are not many capitals - but it would be fun to try to create some. 

The valid reason(s) I have for inserting a non-envelope is that I was going back and forth on whether or not to post a particular envelope. I need to discuss it with the person who received it to see if the thinks I should post it. Also, as I write this, I am in Chicago enjoying perfect summer weather. It's important that I jabber about nice weather and good things instead of just the chaos or disasters. I suspect my life is evenly balanced.

By the end of this week, I will have completed the *week at Nanna's house* and then I will look at the calendar and realize that I need to be coming up with some spectacular ideas for the July exchange. Hopefully I'll remember to come back and try this one.

Sunday, June 18, 2023

The Money Karl Story

Money Karl is a retired person who had a career doing something that involved the money end of the company and was nicknamed Money Karl because there was another person at the company named Karl and he had a different nickname. I met Karl through the Flourish Forum where he posted some questions about Spencerian. I sent him an actual letter written to me a long time ago by someone whose Spencerian is very good because I think people who want to write in Spencerian need to see actual samples and not just reproductions or images on screens. I think Karl agreed with me after he received the example.

Karl's Spencerian is lookin' good. Real good. Better than mine ever was. He has progressed much further than I dreamed was possible considering how many decades of muscle memory he was trying to retrain. He still nitpicks at his skill level - but, IMHO - the only thing he could do to further his skill level is drop all his other activities which include -- well, let's just say he does a ton of stuff. Musical stuff, athletic stuff, brain stuff, unicycle stuff. If he wants to submit a list of all the things he does- he may do so. I keep thinking it would be fun to talk more about some of the readers. 

This is important: all those different skills at things other than penmanship were all things that contributed to his ability to pick up Spencerian at an amazing rate. So - he should probably not drop all the other activities just to improve his penmanship. What he should do - is stop nitpicking - but that seems to be hard wired - so we'll stop harping on that. Harping seems to be one of my hard wired quirks.

I fussed around trying to make an arrangement of stamps that I liked - and then I realized that there was enough to use a square envelope - but they fit better on this one - so I wasted the extra cents. I thought a money guy would like to have the stamps arranged in a logical order. Maybe the post office will like it, too.


Money Karl let me know that I did not add up the stamps correctly. There was not enough for a square envelope. My arithmetic skills are glitchy.


Saturday, June 17, 2023

Cartoons to Grace + Lynne

 I should have combined this with Troy's - I can change the date - and have both of these on the same day and insert something else. Scroll down to the other one that is posted today.

And here is another one that is very similar. The dinosaur provided some nice details to add to the letters.

Cartoons to Troy

 OK - we are back to the cartoon stamps. I think this was the first one where I decided to stack the names. Since I'm fading away from actual calligraphy - it seems like a good alternative - to use the basic shapes of letters and make something else. Colored pencils saved the day. I finally pulled out that set of 150 pencils that I bought for my daughter when she was in middle school and I still had a feeling that she might develop an interest in art. She really wanted the set  -- and then never used them Not even once. I think the set was about $75 when I bought it - which was a lot for me to pay for something a kid wanted - although, I knew that if she didn't use them - I would. So why has it taken me 30 years to use them? The same set today is $125.

Maybe it is because I still have most of my original set. It's complicated to combine sets - I have one flat box of just the really short ones - because they get lost if you put them with others in the mugs. I always kept my pencils in mugs - and now I'd rather have them in flat boxes. I don't like rummaging through mugs. Just jabbering.

Friday, June 16, 2023

Lichtenstein to Alison

 I was dreading this stamp. It was going to be hard to do much without using a ruler - but I was too lazy to go get my circle templates - and then I hodge-podged it - doing hand drawing and going over it with a ruler -- I guess I'm really 50-50 on how this one turned out. I see potential - and parts of it are nice. I think it wants to be a stacked pile of all the letters that fills up the left third of the envelope. 

The art museum here in Des Moines has one of Lichtenstein's pyramid paintings. I would have loved to have seen Roy's pyramids on a stamp. Grrrr at the person who made such strange choices. I know that's just my opinion - it's entirely possible that I don't know enough about Roy's work to know which ones are the best examples of his work.

Thursday, June 15, 2023

Lichtenstein to Susan

This is my least favorite stamp of the series - but I think it ended up being my favorite envelope. When I had the idea to write the name between two lines and then just pull details off the stamp - I was thinking it was going to go well. I even took a picture of it before it was finished. 

As I filled the spaces - I was grrrrring at myself because I did such a bad job on the fine parallel lines. I can draw parallel lines. There was no reason for them to be so sloppy. I'm still grrrrrring at myself. But, I was OK with how it turned out - especially considering it was the very first idea with this stamp.

I'm expecting some more good ones - and will choose people who have the right number of letters in their names. I like that purple on the right. It does give a decent amount of flexibility on fitting the letters in. Note to self - have a chunk of solid navy blue on the left.

***5:15 am today - I see that left the H out of Mashman. Grrrr

This is the type of portrait I would have preferred - to me it's what we think of when we think of Roy's portraits. Plus - SMASH would have looked really nice in a wild swirl of blonde hair.


Wednesday, June 14, 2023

Lichtenstein to AmyG

 I liked the idea of this - but it was really hard. I should've put in the lemons. I like that there is a good chunk of green to work with. Ideas inspired by this stamp might do better if I refrain from being so literal. Or - maybe stay literal and put in all the elements but make them larger ----

Oh, dear -- I wrote that first part a while ago - and then came back to write a little more - and I was aghast at what I drew. It's dreadful. I want to delete the image. I am stunned that I even posted it. The only reason I am leaving it up is because it was so startling to see it - and I dislike it so much. I'm writing this on the 7th - so we'll see what my reaction is when I see it again - in a week. 

It's still dreadful. Here is something to delight our eyes - from the fabulous Louis Lemoine. He's been mentioned previously as a designer for Disney, now retired. I hosted him when he was in DSM teaching and also met up at one of the conferences. A delightful person. I am in awe of his *everyday* penmanship. He can make ballpoint pens dance.

Tuesday, June 13, 2023

Lichtenstein to Irene

 Since the fruit stamp was the only one I even liked - I thought I'd write a name with fruit. I had already done about 10 on the June list - and some of the names that would have been better in fruit were done - so next month - I will use the other fruit stamps on names that lend themselves to fruit.

I can see extending that dark background and making a table scape ---- lots of ways to go with this stamp.
I deeply regret the way I wrote the address. No excuse -- just wasn't paying attention. It should have been more like the name on the stamp which is a lot more prominent than the usual artist name.

Monday, June 12, 2023

Lichtenstein to Sharon

 Monday through Friday of this week will be the five Roy Lichtenstein stamps. So far - they are turning out to be a bit challenging. I like the fruit - but I think this one is a terrible image of an explosion. I guess it is OK. But - to be just OK when you have been chosen to be on a stamp is disappointing. Or maybe a better way to say that - the designer made unfortunate (or odd) choices when they chose which pieces of Roy's art to put on stamps.

This is a good Lichtenstein explosion. And I even think that mine is better than the one on the stamp. I was pleased with how this one came out. I was thinking the O should explode - but it didn't look right in the pencil version. So I moved it over to the A - and voila - it's perfect. It's been a long time since I did something that I like. I'd figure out something better for the H, R, and N. The points need to be sharper. And the S is not smooth. But for the first one out of the gate - I was encouraged.

Sunday, June 11, 2023

Cartoon to Janet - Zoom idea

Once again - Janet got one that did not please me at all - and I kept thinking I could add something to save it - but there's always the risk of ruining it - and once the stamps are on - it's gotta go. The colors should have worked - and those little heart/spade/diamond/clubs should have been cute - but everything is just a little off. There were lots more details on the stamp - but I couldn't figure out where to add them. It was an early one - and it sat on the desk as I did all the others - just begging to be fixed -- but it was not to be.

Sorry Janet -- I do have a good Lichtenstein idea - so - you might get a second envelope this month ---

During a conversation about meeting up with one of my pen pals -- it dawned on me that we could have a Zoom meeting for fun. I think you can have a gathering for a half hour for free. I'm intrigued with the idea - but, I'm a little skeptical about being the one to organize it. If anyone has experience setting up a Zoom meeting, please email me -- and if anyone is interesting in joining us for a half hour, email me. If anyone has any ideas about how to run the meeting - or what we would talk about - please share that with me, too. It seems like a fun idea - but as with any kind of *first time* experience, I like to do my homework - and have a plan or outline in mind - so that we have some structure. If you've been part of any annoying Zoom experiences - let me know about things to avoid.

If you have any interest or suggestions - please shoot me an email at:
PTEnvelopes(at)AOL(dot)com -- and please put ZOOM in the subject line.

Saturday, June 10, 2023

Orphan Annie to Valerie in May


Speaking of stealing - I stole this from Rachael. I think I steal more from Rachael than anyone else. There is some stealing coming up in the June envelopes. It was not successful.

This one looks a little weird in the photo - I think I liked it better in real life. That orange is almost neon - and neon colors photograph a little weird. The colored pencil helps. 

I've forgotten if I have already posted any May envelopes with cartoon stamps. There are a bunch coming up. I love the stamps - and deeply regret that I did not use them during a time when I had nothing but spare time and no complications hanging over my head - but - that time seems to not exist - so we're just firing off a bunch of stuff - and hoping for a couple good ones.

Friday, June 9, 2023

From Maggie to Tracy - Angela, MT

So pretty - but what's going on with that zip code?

This was not a happy outcome for the envelope - but it was a wildly exciting trip down memory lane for Jean. Somebody in Angela, Montana made darn sure that this envelope got to its destination - and documented where it had been. 

The scanning machine must have read it as 59312 - instead of 50312. I'm not sure what the issue was with the 5. Maybe the postal worker tried to make it more *five-ish* -- and messed it up. The issue with the 0 looking like a 9 seems like a stretch. But, if you look at the 0 in 420 - the scanner machines are probably not seeing many zeros that look like that.

This just reminds me to make my addresses clear - and machine readable. I'm not saying the rest of you need to do that - but - you take a chance when you do anything other than block printing.

Here is the fun part (for me): since I was born in Montana - I had to check the map and figure out where Angela is. Oh, my gosh. It's 25 miles from Miles City and I lived in Miles City when I was a toddler/pre-schooler -and- I have very strong memories (as an older kid) of riding along highway 59 from Miles City, heading northwest to Jordan - on summer trips to visit my grandparents. From Jordan to Miles City is 80 miles of peace and quiet. It was almost eerie how little traffic there was. Of course, I had to check Zillow to see the houses in Angela.

There is a lovely property - price reduced to $2.6 million - 1,245 acres and a modular home. Seems pricey for a modular home -- until you read on - and see that you get "roughly 800 head of sheep." If you have time to kill - there are 50 photos of the ranch - and you will be enchanted by the field of sunflowers and then probably stunned when you see the one lonely tree. Yup -- one lonely tree - on 1,245 acres. It's a true minimalist hunk of earth. 

Yes, I see that it is outside the 59312 zip code - but it was the only listing to pop up anywhere near Angela.

Oh my gosh - I just went to Google street view. I hope this link works. If not - just Google Angela, MT on Google maps. It's a spectacular view of what must be one of the loneliest post offices in the US. But they do have a tree. One tree.

I started wondering what the postal worker thought of Maggie's beautiful envelope. It might fun to send some random mail to *Angela* at the Angela post office.....

Thursday, June 8, 2023

From Janet to both Amy and Tracy

Amy is a newer exchanger and she read my suggestion to send me images of envelopes that are really pretty. It was fun to see the two variations of flowers that Janet sent. Sorry to keep repeating this - but you really can't go wrong with flowers.

Technically - I did *go wrong* with flowers on something that is coming up. They aren't barf-worthy. But they didn't turn out quite as nicely as they should have. I'll explain when we get to it.

I always feel a little guilty stealing directly from people I know - but, I don't know why. I'm all about stealing. People should be flattered when I steal their stuff - right?

We are getting close to the end of the set of Tracy envelopes. Family O' Foxes left a comment at the beginning of the series hoping I would tell how I presented the envelopes. 

As I mentioned a few days ago - I ended up wrapping all of the cards in one package with a card and envelope from me on top - and forgot to take a photo. Grrrr. Tracy sent the nicest email with the word *Speechless* in the subject line - although, I knew she'd have some fun things to say.
Here are excerpts from her email:

truly overwhelmed
studying each envelope
plethora of design masterpieces
gesture of supreme beauty

I knew Tracy would love the envelopes - thank you to everyone. I am going to put her mom, Caroline Levine, on the list for August because her birthday is in September. Caroline loves all things blue and white - her accent color is yellow. So that should be a fun color palette - if anyone wants to start pondering ideas. 

Wednesday, June 7, 2023

From CathyO to Tracy - non-machineable mail

 I warned everyone - that writing blurbs with variety about the envelopes for Tracy would be hard - because they were all so pretty. This one is sooooo pretty - and her name fits the layout beautifully. Name length can be so challenging.

By the way - I did get an answer to why that envelope had NON-MACHINEABLE MAIL rubber stamped on it. I described it to a different clerk and her guess was that because I asked for the envelope to be hand cancelled, the clerk wanted to make sure that it did not go through the machines that would give it a machine cancel. That makes sense. I was at the main post office - so I should have asked if there is a way to hand cancel them and then put them in the non-machined *place* where they get sent on their way.

I have a feeling that there is - because I think many years ago when I had a very serious comrade/cohort at the post office - he told me that he took my mail *downstairs* and put it someplace where it would not get another cancel. He retired quite a while ago. I wonder if I should look into getting another comrade/cohort/collaborator. One would think I could get my son to help out -- but he has moved to a different building - so that is not an option - unless I can figure out a way to get him to go back to the main plant on his own time -- and that does not sound like anything I could get him to do. Or maybe I could.

Tuesday, June 6, 2023

Real time from Valerie

I hardly ever write a post that is going to appear the next day - but somehow I woke up (on the 5th) to a missing daily post - and nabbed the one for the 6th - so here it is, 6pm and I am creating a new post for the 6th. It appears to be summer - and I am not a summer person -- plus I only have a couple days to get my exchange envelopes in the mail - and then prepare to encounter my grandkids on their turf (a trip). There were plans - but - now things have changed. I feel like they just plot and plan to lure me into the chaos that is life with kids. Maybe the change of scenery will be good for me.

It is impossible to write posts at 6pm - so far - this is just drivel - why don't I mention the envelope. It was the most recent one to arrive. Easiest one to find to photograph. I like this idea and I did a few rough drafts for my June exchange envelopes - but have not decided if they are going to work. I only have 8 left to do - I'm not nearly as good as Chuck - at working ahead - he's working on July already and I saw his layout for November -- This idea from Valerie is steal worthy for July.


Monday, June 5, 2023

From Grace to Tracy

Sorry if you were confused earlier when there was no new post - I have no idea what happened.

Tracy's name is perfect for stacking. I just realized that I did not make an envelope or card for her. Now that I see the ideal number of letters in her name - I'll see if I can remember to do one more for her.

Here is an strange bit of jabbering. 
Do not read any further if you have things that need to be done -
or if you might need to groom some facial hair around your chin.

There was an email to my PTEnvelopes(at)aol(dot)com account. 

Hi there,

My name is Laura, I am the main editor at Balding and *insert the word for facial hair around the chin* (Jean removed the link)

While browsing your site, I noticed you have an amazing article from this page:

My team actually just published a comprehensive article on "How to Trim and Shape the Perfect (insert the word for facial hair around the chin) Neckline in 11 Simple Steps" which I think your visitors would truly appreciate and add value to your awesome article.

You can check it out here: (Jean removed the link)

If you were willing to add our link to that page, my team would be more than happy to share it to more than a thousand of our social followers  to help you gain some visibility in exchange.

Let me know what you think and thank you for your consideration!


Laura Minor

OK - this is ridiculous. I had to click on the link - because I could not recall any mention of facial hair on the blog. The post was about a person whose last name is the same as *facial hair around the chin* and he has a bunch of really good videos on YouTube about artists. I'm guessing this email is from a computer that is programed to collect any mention of the word normally used for *facial hair around the chin* - and is trying to get me to promote them. I have gone in and changed the info so that the links don't work. Then I realized that I had to take out the word that caused the computer to find me and pester me - so I deleted the word for *facial hair around the chin* If you have a facial hair around your chin and you want to learn 11 steps for trimming it -- Google the highlighted words (and use the word that I have not used) and it should pop up.

Apologies for this weird (and worthless) post. Hopefully I will come up with some better stuff.

Sunday, June 4, 2023

From Kate to Tracy

When I collect these sets of envelopes for people who are not expecting them, I am always impressed with the variety. This one stands out because it was the only black one - and it is understated - which is always a welcome variation. That's the gift of designing around flowers. One is enough. Three is lovely. A whole bunch of one is obviously fun. A wild conglomeration of many kinds is exuberant. It's pretty hard to go wrong with flowers. After all these years - one would think I could just do a steady stream of flowers....

I just came from a walk with Tracy and gave her the pack of envelopes. I wrapped them in a paper that I really didn't care for - but it was handy. I have a hard time parting with pretty paper - so I figured I'd use something not worthy of being saved - in case she has the same temptation to collect used wrapping paper. 

I have 20 posts with envelopes ready to go - as soon as I fill in the jabbering. I know I will be hearing from Tracy - so at some point you'll hear her response to her mail. The weather was bad so we had to drive to a mall for our walk. There was a huge temporary garden shop set up in the parking lot. She had mentioned that there is one particular shade of terra cotta impatiens that she likes and it's hard to find. We did not find it. This is her artistic side - she's on a quest for a particular shade of flower -- and there will be no substitutes. My kind of person.


I should have taken a lot more photos of Tracy's garden. It is gorgeous. I love her chair made out of giant stones. That's a big bag of cotton burr compost off to the side. I tricked my son into coming with me to unload some bags for Tracy and put them around her garden since neither Tracy or I could lift them.

Saturday, June 3, 2023

To Kate in May (11)


Here is a quick peek at something I sent in May. We still have a couple for Tracy to look at before I get into the hodge hodge of my May envelopes. Don't get your hopes up - because you just went through 10 days of reading what a difficult week I was having and I didn't say anything about that being the same week where I needed to get my May envelopes in the mail. 

The envelope above is the one I sent. It is vellum and the name is cut paper. I cut up the envelope below because after I looked at the wimpy black outline on the one below, I thought maybe a bold outline would help but it just made it worse. 

Even though I have no idea who Krazy Kat was - I thought it would be fun to write Kate in the same style as the Kat - but red marker would turn to muddy purple on the blue paper.


Closing statement from the 10 part story of the certificate.
Thank you for letting me jabber. It was a silly story - with way too much information - and as I mentioned at the beginning, I know there are some old school graphic designer types who read the blog - and I figured they could relate to some of the stuff that happened. 

The moral of the story - if your last job before your retirement is official turns into a hot mess - that's OK. It doesn't mean you are an idiot who never learned how to execute your assignments. It means something else. I'll let you know what that is when I figure it out.

Friday, June 2, 2023

From JeanR to Tracy (10)


The Certificate Story - Chapter 10

So, against my better judgement, I trusted that Familiar Face and I had fixed everything -- and that the file would be printed exactly as we left it - without me seeing a proof. We even talked about being extra careful to save the FINAL-final file. 

It was no surprise to me that the last 4 changes we made had disappeared. Familiar Face was incredulous. He did not utter any expletives - but, I think we were both thinking them. I was totally expecting something to be wrong -- so I was prepared to just give up and let it be whatever it was. 

Nobody was going to notice the minor issues with size and spacing - the artwork part looked really nice.  It looked like monks had been working on it for a few days. FamilarFace was adamant that he could redo the changes and get a corrected version printed. I convinced him that it was just fine. And it was/is.

CrustySeaCaptainJean knew that there was only one more opportunity for a disaster - and that had to do with the framing.

We ended up with a certificate that was about an inch wider and and an inch taller than the previous one - so I had to make sure the framer did not order the stock for the frame before he had the new certificate. It was even nice to talk to him and reflect on how many years we had been doing the job. We figured out that we had started in 1997 - so that's 26 years.

I still think it is a ridiculous hunk of paper in a very expensive frame -- and wish there was some way to get the association to figure out a better thank you for their outgoing president. 

Was there some wisdom to be gained by having my last official job be such a ridiculous ordeal? Maybe. If it would have been all kinds of fun - maybe I would have been sad that I will never do it again. I'm definitely left with a good riddance aura. And not just a little glow - a bright light that's as big as the universe - that is grateful for my happy little career. I am beyond peaceful with the ending of that phase of my life.

There will be a closing statement tomorrow.

Thursday, June 1, 2023

From Irene to Tracy - JUNE exchange sign-up

Scroll down to the next post for the 9th chapter of The Certificate Story.
Also - shout out to Karl - we first emailed one year ago - and the progress he's made with his Spencerian would knock your socks off. Full story coming later.

 More pretty flowers for Tracy --- from Irene. I have a real hankering to try to duplicate these flowers.

Sign up for the June exchange is today though June 4 and lists will be sent on the 5th.

Please send the following information to me - in this format:

Your Name
123 Your Address
City, State, Zip

My email is:  PTEnvelopes-at-aol-dot-com

There are details at this link - if you have never signed up before.

From Janet to Tracy (9)

This is in my steal worthy file. Thank you, Janet


The Certificate Story - Chapter (9)

I was assured that the certificate would be printed by Thursday at the latest. I had never gotten to see my paper proof. I gave up on that. While they never acted like I was becoming annoying - I just felt like it was time to back off - and have some faith.  But that paranoid Jean from yesterday - her intuition just kept pestering. She had to come up with a secret method to pester the digital people without them knowing that she was pestering.

I left them alone on Tuesday - but on Wednesday afternoon, I realized that I had taken my old school metal ruler (18-in) on the second trip on Monday so I could measure the paper proof - that I thought I would see - and because I had learned on the first trip on Monday that they did not have any rulers handy - they only had a tape measure. Then I had left my ruler there on Monday - so I figured that was a good excuse - to drop in late on Wednesday to retrieve my ancient relic of a ruler and ask - "By the way -- are we going to have that final printed certificate done by noon tomorrow?"

I retrieved my ruler - which had one of my return address stickers on it - from my years of teaching and labeling e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g. so they had kindly left it at the front counter. FamiliarFace assured me that the certificate would be printed by noon on Thursday, I headed out to the parking lot. 

Whoa - what's this -- here comes Familiar Face -- guess what -- it's already printed. Thank heavens he went to look at the pick-up desk - and there it was. I went inside to look at it -- and who appeared -- Person A - remember him? He took the original order before I left for Chicago - and I have not seen him since then. He's holding the file with my layout and the original art. He has missed out on everything we've been through. The file is clearly marked: Connie Wilson - as is the finished certificate. So that explained why nobody could find anything. I should have asked him if he thought I was Connie.

So the three of us open the package to view the certificate.

Care to take a guess as to what we found?