Tuesday, October 31, 2023

June (maybe?) to Patty, Jessica, and Kate

It is with great trepidation that I continue to schedule all these envelopes that I discovered. I think they were sent in June -- I can't remember if they were recorded on my master list of styles and who has received which style. So - that whole plan has been shot in the foot. Or maybe blown to smithereens is more like it.

Are we bothered? No we are not.
Does anything bother us? Probably. But we are too focused on the mission of the day.
Empty that folder.

I like this one -- it deserves to be it's own category.
Perhaps I will  do more of these -- keep in mind - Jessica has 19 letters in her name -- so the possibility of anyone else's turning out this nice is slim to none. But, that won't stop me from trying.....

Below is that Rachaelesque style that I love to do. It would have looked way better with a pastel stamp.

I loved this video - it's a lecture - probably only of interest to people who have engaged in some typeface and lettering studies. It illustrates how some very old work can still look very fresh and contemporary. The part where he was a soldier in a POW camp and convinced fellow prisoners to pull out strands of their hair so he could make a brush - and then what happened to the artwork he created is also a compelling part of the story.

Here is the blurb at the link:

This talk took place on October 12, 2023 in the Rose Auditorium at The Cooper Union in NYC as part of Type@Cooper's Herb Lubalin Lecture Series. The archival recordings of the series are made possible by the generous support of TypeCulture.

In a career that spanned 75 years, Friedrich Neugebauer (1911–2005) developed and refined a calligraphic style like no other. With roots that extended back through his own teacher, Rudolf von Larisch, to the Jugendstil and the Wiener Werkst├Ątte, Friedrich worked with a compelling palette of colors, materials, textures, and scales. He created broadsides and manuscript books, signage, sculptures, established a private press, and taught generations of students. Neugebauer’s The Mystic Art of Written Forms (translated into English by our speaker in 1980) is often cited as one of most important manuals of calligraphy ever written. He also published children’s books of the highest artistic merit, and helped to launch the careers of such illustrators as Lisbeth Zwerger.

Please join us for a visual exploration of Neugebauer’s distinctive works, and a glimpse of his life in a small village in the Salzkammergut — Austria’s “Sound of Music” country.



Monday, October 30, 2023

Ben Shahn to Susan + USPS stamp video

Once again - I've found an entire folder of images and have no idea if I've posted them. I sure can't find them - so - I'll post them now. I tried the Ben Shahn lettering - and first I tried it with markers - I'm ambivalent about this one - although I like the colors with the owls. I wish I'd had 2 more owls - that would have been so much better.

Medium ho-hum. As usual - if I spent a lot of time on Ben Shahn's style - I'd have a better chance of figuring out how it works - but, I have a feeling I'm done with it. Maybe if I try some nibs and ink.


Here's a longish video about the origin of the Love stamp. I only recommend it if you have spare time. Although it is fun to see all of them.


She has several other videos about stamps. I have not watched any of them - so you are on your own if you want to see what else she has to say about stamps. 

Sunday, October 29, 2023

To Chuck from Janet

 I'm 99% sure that I have not posted this previously - it is soooo pretty. I need to appropriate the design.
This is the first post after I stopped and had lunch and coffee. I ran into MrWilson at the table where we eat. We are hardly ever on the same schedule for meals. It always sounds awkward to say *the table where we eat.* It is not in the kitchen and it is not in the dining room. For some reason, our house was built without a dining room - and while there was room for a table in the kitchen - we added some cabinets - and deleted the option to eat in the kitchen. We eat in a room that was added on to the house and gets called the sunroom. I frequently just eat while I am cleaning up the kitchen so that the end of the meal coincides with the end of the clean up process. That's my style of multi-tasking.

The days are just flying by - and I need to get my folder of photos posted so that I can work on the versals and the Oct envelopes -- so - apologies for these oddball posts. I don't even have time to do any decent surfing to add off topic stuff.

Saturday, October 28, 2023

From Janet in Sept

That stamp is an image of a mouse brain. I'll resist the temptation to say anything about how little we actually know about how brains of any creature work. Chock full of mystery. I actually do not feel one way or the other - which is getting too deep into the topic that I just said I was going to not talk about it.

Embrace the mysteries. And there are sure a lot of them. I'm happy that we have survived October - it can be a brutal month. All the decay and death after the harvest can make me wonder why exactly do we spend so much time gardening. I was lured into it because my local offspring thinks it sounds like a good idea. I know it's good exercise for me -- so maybe I'll stick with it for a while longer.

I'm writing this towards the end of Sept - so it is presumptuous to write that we have survived October - there's no guarantee of that. OK -  I am hungry and in need of coffee - so, I'll try to nudge myself back into a perky perspective.

ANSWER to the question in the comment section: Yes IG is Instagram.
Blogger will not let me leave a comment on my own blog.
This happened previously - and I have forgotten how to navigate around to where I can leave comments - grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

Friday, October 27, 2023

From Leslie in Aug

Leslie is a master at scribbling - so pretty - and she says there is some layering covering up mistakes. I would not have guessed that.
Below is the thought that *all life is an experiment.* 
I can't argue with that -- but I think Leslie and I both hang out on that part of the bell curve that is not wedded to routines and traditions 100% of the time. 

And then below - very nice practice sheet using what I think she said was her new folded pen. There are times I keep all the envelopes right by the computer - so I can refer back to what people wrote. This is not one of those times. This is a full court press to clear out whatever is waiting in line to be posted.


Thursday, October 26, 2023

From Irene in Aug

Irene has discovered Zentangles - that's a Zentangle border on the envelope and the other one was inside. I think the Zentangle people have names for the various designs. The one that was inside the envelope reminds me of peas-in-a-pod.

I also discovered Irene's instagram - and WOW - lots of very pretty work. 

*** Remember a couple weeks ago when I was not sure if I had posted Irene's IG - this post was already scheduled....

If anyone else is on IG - let me know and I'll post a link. I have already posted several -
Chuck, Maggie, Leslie, Grace --- I'm sure I am forgetting -- so - if you want another posting about your IG page - let me know.

I never know how to find people on IG because most of the time people have a *name* that is not their actual name. I wonder if people who have young children are starting to think about names that the kids can use when they are old enough to go online. 

Wednesday, October 25, 2023

To Janet in Sept and from Rachael to Janet in Aug

Remember when I showed the inspiration envelope from Patty with the one that I did for her? Here is one where the inspiration was from Rachael and I sent it to Janet. Actually, I delivered it in person. Remember when I said that I was going to drop in on Janet? I was wondering what her studio space looked like. Unfortunately - I warned her that I was coming - so it was super tidy. 

She showed me her envelope from Rachael - it's fun to see the variation. I like that triangular bird. I might have to do some more birds.


Tuesday, October 24, 2023

From Kate in Aug - Book by the Foot

Kate pops up with some really nice vintage stamps. For this one - she had the perfect colors in ink or gouache or markers - or maybe ink pad - the design on the left looks like hand carved rubber stamp. You don't need an ink pad for rubber stamping - you can use pretty much anything - I think. That's what I love about printmaking -- it has endless options. Once you create the *plate* - you can get a ton of milage out of that one image.

This has nothing to do with lettering or mail art - but, I know there are a lot of people who like books. Maybe some of you - if you ever look at interior design content - have wondered about those bookshelves that are filled with books that are all about the way the books look - arranged by color - which any of us could do - but somehow - the collection looks a little too perfect. Well, here's one possibility of how those very cleverly curated collections of books might have happened,

Books by the Foot - the link takes you to the story about the company. At the top you can click on the tabs that show all the various types of books -- an astounding number of options. This photo is just the tip of the iceberg.


Monday, October 23, 2023

Sept flowers to Sharon - versals to A&B

In my futile quest for blue stamps that went with floral motifs - I came across this one - and I actually love the colors - even though the subject matter is in a totally different direction. This concludes the envelopes I sent in Sept. It was the last of the 10 that were inspired by Sharyn and I think I just gave up and did my own thing when I got to this one. Sharyn does contemporary versions of medieval designs - which is something that lots of us do. I will probably do some more. I definitely like the feel of French Roundhand.

Yes - there will be more medieval inspiration. A friend of mine was invited to teach one of those one-time, 2-hour classes - that a lot of calligraphy teachers think are pointless - but I actually learned to love the concept. No, you can't learn calligraphy in 2 hours - but you can learn that alphabets are ancient and there are a gazillion ways to approach lettering and calligraphy. It can whet a person's appetite. 

I've been sending weekly letters to my grandkids - just tossing off things that take very little time. I pulled out an old exemplar from my olden days - for my friend to use in his class. This is an example of how quick and easy a versal can be. I'll figure out a way to share the exemplar on the blog. It's not on a single page. It is an 11x17 document that folds into a little booklet.


Sunday, October 22, 2023

Sept flowers to Amy and Grace

Here is another one that could have used a blue stamp - but the Tomi stamp is OK. When I was filling in the names on all these borders that I did without considering stamps or anything else - I was only focusing on French Roundhand. I got close to getting out ink or gouache - but then I found some markers that  were giving pretty crisp lines. Amy's was done with a scroll tip marker. I hardly ever use those tips so a lot of them are in great shape. Note to self - think of more ways to use them.

This was an attempt to stay pretty close to the proportions of one of Sharyn's but it's way off. Too much white space. I did like the way Grace's name and address fit - but I was still pretty rusty with the French Roundhand. Maybe I should stick with that style for a few months and see if I can get it up to snuff.

I like that stamp a lot - but I over worked the floral motif.


Saturday, October 21, 2023

Sept mushrooms to INTA & flowers to Christy

I should have sent these mushrooms to Chuck - but, I had done his Sept envelope - and I needed to find something that worked for Inta. I only have the orange flower stamps and didn't want to use that one. I liked the color of the Bryce Canyon stamps. This was not a Sharyn idea - it was off a greeting card - looks a little like Rifle - but I have no idea.

Below is definitely a riff on one of Sharyn's. I like the stamp with the border - but the blue flower bothers me. A blue or purple flower stamp would have been so much better.

2017 First-Class Forever Stamp - Flowers from the Garden (coil): Blue ...This stamp would have been better --- I did a copy/paste of the image - to see how it shows up on the blog. This will be a huge time-saver if I can just copy and paste instead of download and insert.....sorry for the drivel.


Friday, October 20, 2023

Sept flowers to Maggie and Lynne

This one has a pink stamp that would have looked better on the one I did for Mia in yesterday's post - but, I didn't think that three of them (needed to get the envelope to Canada) would look right. I do like the baseline - and flower idea. It's not that close to Sharyn's - I had a hard time finding markers that were still juicy.

Below -- not a Sharyn idea - back to me just doing my flower thing and it ended up being much harder to read than the pencil guide lines were. Maybe my flower letters need to be romans. Maybe I've never done good script flowers. I love the Thinking of You stamps - although they come with a bunch of little phrases and I'm not sure how I am going to use them. They are OK colorwise - but the font is a little clunky.

Here's a link to Sharyn's Sowell's IG - if you scroll through you'll see the various inspiration pieces for  some of my Sept flowery envelopes.

Thursday, October 19, 2023

Oct 2022 - from Maggie - Sept flowers to Mia and Irene

 This seems to be the end of the images that were in my Oct 2022 folder. It's driving me crazy that I can't figure out what that stamp on the left is. Does anyone recognize it? Oh - I figured it out. It's a very bold image on the cancel over the top of a Mary Cassat stamp. The pointed pen dream catcher is lovely.

I'm going to bury a couple envelopes that I sent out for the Sept exchange - because they do not deserve their own post. I was appropriating ideas from Sharyn Sowell. I was looking at her IG before I took her Zoom class. Super steal worthy. But, I was using markers - so mine are not as pretty as her watercolors. I did 10 envelopes - with no names - and then had to figure out which names would fit best with which borders. Maybe panel is a better word - border seems to be something that goes all the way around.

I pondered using some other stamps - but just couldn't make myself fill up that white space. I think there was a really pretty pink flower a while back. After I took the photo I went back and added some orange to the strawberry and flower and it looked better

We hardly ever hear me say that there is too much white space -- but this one seems empty. It suffers from poor planning. I think it was the first one - and it wasn't based on any of Sharyn's designs -- just getting into a flower groove - because flowers are dependable. Lesson learned - even flowers can get lost in space if you don't have a good plan.

This is the stamp that should have gone on Mia's - maybe she can print this out and cover up the orange stamp. Or I could print one out and mail it to her ----

Wednesday, October 18, 2023

Oct 2022 - from Sharon, Lynne, and Smash

Lots of ravens last year. The envelope above and card below are from Sharon. 
That wonky lettering with wonky scrolls is so much fun to do. As I write this in late Sept and am still pondering what to do for my October envelopes - this style of lettering is now at the top of the list. 

Old English or blackletter is very halloweenish - but never makes my to-do list. I love doing it - but it requires patience and focus. I have the patience but not the focus. Maybe I should print some names out so that I don't have to think so hard about the subtle differences in all those *diamond* shapes. 

I actually love blackletter's simplicity - straight strokes - very few curves. Almost like Legos. 

Pumpkins from Lynne (above) and Smash (below.)


Tuesday, October 17, 2023

Oct 2022 - from Patty and Rachael

Halloweenish colors from Patty - with collage - nicely coordinated with the stamp.

And a spider from Rachael. Those were nice stamps. There does not seem to be a new one this year. It is challenging to know which stamps to buy in bulk - because we never know what's coming - and whether we'll regret running out of something.

Note to self - steal this lettering

I will not be stealing the idea for the card - even though I love it --
it looks like it would be a lot of work - and Rachael must have some way of doing the punching out of the paper with a machine. I can't imagine she did all that cutting by hand -- or maybe she did.

I should have done a video -- the skull is wound up - so that when you open the card - it spins around.
Soooo cute.


Monday, October 16, 2023

From Mary and Mia - Oct 2022

Mary wondered what kind of ink I used on the orange vellum envelopes. It is McCaffrey's. Yes - it does sit on top of the vellum - so it has a raised feel. For some reason - Blogger is not allowing me to reply to comments - grrr

Here is another fun combo of the raven stamp with a raven motif - from Mary. She included the card, below, with a cute lion. I think she does her artwork and scans it and prints it - she must have a better than average printer. Or maybe better paper. It's been so long since I had a good printer, I can't even remember what it was like. Maybe it's just as well - I can get very distracted if I have access to good printing.

The one above came inside the one below - and there must have been an explanation - and they are probably in a stack that I could find if I started looking - but, I'm focused on filling up this week of envelopes from 2023. I like those little images. It reminds me of a very detailed alphabet I did several years ago - I should figure out what year that was - and link to the series.

One of my favorite ways to embellish names -- line above - line below - color in the spaces. I guess we've talked about this style of lettering and it's often referred to as Clothesline caps....and attributed to Carol Pallesen. Try a search (for clothesline caps) on the blog if you have not seen them before. 


Sunday, October 15, 2023

Oct 2022 - from Kate, Kristine, and Leslie

Kate has the perfect rubber stamp to go with the Day of the Dead stamp. Of course, the gothic lettering is the way to go too.

Kristine's is not Halloween themed - but clotheslines are one of my favorite motifs. I'll be putting steal worthy in my blurb so that it pops up whenever I am looking for an idea to appropriate.

And here is Leslie's - to George.
Very cool image of Edgar Allen Poe - and a nice tie-in with the raven stamp.
Note the decorated versal (the G) - there will be more of them coming up.


Saturday, October 14, 2023

Oct 2022 from Chuck, Diana, and Janet

I saved all of my October 2022 envelopes to run in Oct 2023 - and kept forgetting to post them - and now I realize that nobody is going to wait until the middle of October to look for an idea for their envelopes. I have several to run - so I will run 2 or 3 every day for a week. If you see an idea that you love - you could save it somewhere - for next year. October is always a very good month for ideas. Above is Chuck's and below is Diana's - I think she only signed up once - she had a darling idea --- it was a small envelope. I like small envelopes -- even though I don't usually do a good job when I try to use them. I'm stuck in a 5x7 rut.

And here is Janet's. Very nice Halloween/harvest colors - with a stamp that I really enjoyed. So unexpected. Her shadows are worth noting. I always do mine to the bottom and the right side. Top and left is very nice, too. I need to try that someday.