Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Aug Exchange - Troy's Sports Stamps

This one would have been cuter if I had used the golfer with the round golf ball stamp - but - I don't like to use up random stamps for no reason. After it was done - I realized that I could have used a square envelope and then the forever + 32-cents would have been correct for the square.


Too late now. But maybe I'll find some other stamps that pair well with the spherical stamps - and would look nice on a square envelope.....

My exchange envelopes will go in the mail today. This is pretty late for me. I had so many good ideas for Halloween and then ended up doing something entirely indigo with hodgepodge stamps. They will be blogged in late Dec. The good news is my 2017 blog posts are complete and I can start on 2018. The bad news is that we might not get pretty leaves this year. It's been cloudy. Leaves need sunshine to turn colors. Guess we just need to embrace drab. That will be a challenge......

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

BHB's Best Find Ever - Bonus Post

Today's regular post is right below.
This envelope is a rerun from the uber-talented Carol DuBosch.

My BHB (BigHelpfulBrother) sent a link to a video that explains how the cost of mailing items between countries is calculated and how the money is transferred. While it might be a tiny bit nerdy of interest to only a few mail-enthusiasts, I think I have more than a couple fellow mail-nerds mail-aficionados who read the blog and will be giddy at learning about this part of the mail system. It soothes my frazzled being to know that there are a few orderly and high functioning entities left in the world.

P.S. Apologies if the word nerd is now on the list of words that have become offensive. I guess I could go back and insert aficionado. I guess I did. Typing and using the cross-out function is like virtually writing on paper. It seems more personal.

Big thank you to the BHB. I see a lemon meringue pie in your future - and yes it will be the Goldberg Variation recipe.

Pickle Pie for Alex + Maggie2Natalie

I need to figure out if I already posted this one....

and below is another one that I have no idea if I already posted.

Maggie kindly sent a beautiful envelope to Natalie.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Aug Exch - Jean's Re-run +

I think I ran this top one earlier - but it would not have had stamps. I know these stamps came out of my box of favorites. I thought it was fun how the film stamp shows the GWTW script....

Below is one that is unfinished. It needs black. I might not have time to rerun it after I figure out what to do with it....

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Aug Exchange - Two More Mathy Addresses

Or should I call them Algebraic?

I don't think I talked about how these came about. For years I have provided very fancy place cards for a client who does some seriously detailed entertaining. Mostly family and social - but once a year they have a dinner for the top level scientists who work in the family business.

I believe the scientists come from Asia and South America as well as the US for dinner in Des Moines. This year, they asked me if I had any ideas for place cards that would look *scientific.* This was what I came up with. None of those names are the scientists. The client liked the style so much, they had me do more place cards for upcoming family dinners.

Photo of the place cards is below. I also have a PDF of the menu. I need to figure out how to post it. Guess I have to print it out and scan it. Or save it as something else. I need techno help.
I made a copy and saved it as a JPEG and it seems to have worked although the resolution doesn't look very good.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Aug Exch - Chuck's Carousel Horses

Again, I found this one with the name penciled in. Chuck frequently does borders on his envelopes which made me think of sending a border to him. I used gold gel pen.

The border might look better with some color, but the stamps are stuck on, so I hesitate to start adding things that I might regret....

....and the lettering is a little wimpy. I might go over it...wish me luck...

Friday, October 13, 2017

Aug Exch - Maggie's Portrait Succulent

This was in the stack of penciled ideas. Since it needed more than a 1-oz amount of postage, I thought the succulent stamp would be nice.

It would be nicer if this was all done in gouache rather than marker - but it's happy - and I had fun.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Aug Exch to Faye - mini people

This is another image off the internet. I have been enjoying the series. One new photo every day showing itty-bitty people in interesting scenes. I added it to my blog roll.

Somewhere in my stash of stuff I have some little people. Next time I see them, I hope to try my own little scene.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Aug Exch - Eric's Frog Envelope

I believe Eric collects frog art. This is an idea I used a while back when I took a screen shot of purple hats. On this one I left the top panel open and used a stamp from my stack of Italian stamps.

I like the variety of images where some are isolated on a white background and others are in a rectangle.

I ponder the idea of doing all of the exchange envelopes using this idea for each of the participants. When they signed up, they would need to give me a list of things that they would like to see on their envelope. If I made 20-25 envelopes like this, I suspect I would come up with some really fun ideas.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Aug Exch - Eric's Wendy's Bag

Yup - Jean's still driving through fast food places once in a while.

Does everyone know that they put a secret *MOM* on her collar? Not sure why.

I put my hair in pigtails the other day. Super creepy.

This is for Eric's paper-bag-envelope collection.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Aug Exch - Susan and Debbie

The carousel horses were in the purge pile. I knew they would be lots of fun to work with. So many options when you have strong black and details on a stamp.

I was very happy with how Susan's turned out.

I left Debbie's a bit unfinished to show how blah they are before the details are added.

Note to self - white details are really fun because you can overshoot the edges and it does not show on white paper.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Aug Exch - Lynne's Loopy + Colored Pencils

I love the colors on this one. It's nothing special design-wise or lettering-wise.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Silly Saturday

I might make a post of all the silly photos that I run across during my sift and purge project. Not only am I sifting and purging the items in my house, I am sifting and purging the items on the computers....

Friday, October 6, 2017

Aug Exchange - Equation Lettering to Finn + KathyS

Finnbadger is one of the people whose address I post, as he has his own blog and his address is all over the internet.

Kathy's below will have her street address filled in and have the same stamps.

It's fun to look at the different symbols. After I did several of these, I realized that I never used the minus sign. Hardly ever used the minus sign. There is one on Bug's envelope
two days ago.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Christy Robb - Best in Show

I remember seeing that Christy's envelope was Best in Show in the Graceful Envelope contest this year. I mentioned it in a blog and had a link to the envelope.

Christy's 2017 Graceful Best in Show

The image that the contest organizers posted which had the envelope on a white background so you couldn't see the shape of the arch pushing off the edge. The theme was *pushing the envelope* so Christy wanted to literally push the arch off the edge of the envelope.

Congratulations Christy. Thanks for sending a better photo of the envelope

Christy also tells me that the contest may be losing their sponsorship. I guess I can volunteer to run the contest.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

New Bottle of McCaffrey Ink - Bug's border

Back in August, I found out that Neil McCaffrey had found a little shop here in Des Moines that was interested in carrying his ink. I usually order his ink from John Neal - but needed a bottle of navy right away. This was just some random swirly-doodle to warm up. Unfortunately the envelope was not the best quality paper. But, it was fun - which is pretty much all I care about.

August was the first time exchanging for Bug and I had done a few envelopes in a goofy science/math/formula style. Bug's envelope was looking a little odd - so I thought I should stick a bonus envelope inside Bug's first envelope from me.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Ben Day Dots for Alex

A rough idea . The name is weak and the Ben Day dots should be more precise. I have a template for the dots. I know I was inspired by something on Pinterest for the overall idea, but did not keep track of it - so not sure if the inspiration piece will be added.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Halloween to Jeri

This envelope might have been posted without any stamps - a while back. During the sift-purge I found these stamps to be perfect. It's hard to part with my last 5 monster stamps, but I know they are going to a good home.

There is some white colored pencil that needs to be covered up with the street address.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

October Exchange - Sign Up

This is a recycled envelope. The bold black lines are covering an address with an error. Under the gray box is her actual address.

The PicklePie font that Elizabeth sent a while back popped into my head although this is not exactly like her PicklePie. If you go to the search box - and type in pickle - all the other pickle-pie-inspired envelopes will pop up.

It is time to sign up for the October Exchange. Beginners are welcome. You will get a list of 4-5-or-6 people to send envelopes to. One of them may be out of the US and international mail requires $1.15 postage.

No theme, any medium, digital is welcome. Enclosures are optional. This is an envelope exchange.
Please put your return address on the back and write OPEN if there is an enclosure or EMPTY if there is none. It is also nice to write OCT.2017.PTEX on the back of the envelope for those who may participate in more than one exchange. PTEX stands for Pushing the Envelopes Exchange.

To sign up -even if you have signed up many times- I need the following information typed, in upper and lower case. Please do not forget to type your email address, too. Last month more than one person just sent me an email that said *Sign me up.* Please type out the information as it takes too long for me to open old files and find the info. I need:

Your email

Non-US exchangers - please follow the format that your postal system prefers.

Email the above information to me at;
jmwilson411 (at) yahoo (dot) com

If you are having a birthday in October, let me know. Exchangers have the option to send a birthday themed envelope.
If you are agreeable to be on two lists, let me know. It is nice to have a few people willing to do ten envelopes in order to make all the lists come out even.

Deadline to sign up is October 4. Lists will be sent on Oct 5th or 6th. Please get your envelopes in the mail by October 31st. If you are going to be late, please email the people on your list so that we know your envelope will be late.

Any questions - email me.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Bonus Post - Finn's Portillo Envelope

Last Saturday I posted a burger envelope that was addressed to Finnbadger, but the PO returned it to me. This was the second attempt to get the September exchange envelope sent to Finnbadger. The burger envelope is enclosed in the hot dog bag/envelope.

That red *finn* is covering up a black *finn* that was sloppy. After I added the red finn, I really wanted to change 3rd and Ohio to red - but did not have time.

I'm not the worst junk food junkie. I only allow myself a minimum number of trips to junk food places. I should probably balance the junk food postings with some of my healthier food options.

A previously scheduled off-topic post is below this one.

Off-topic - Witch Windows

Vermont is on my short list of places I would live if I had to move. On the day I was filling up the rest of the year and decided to go off-topic every Saturday, I ran across this photo. I clicked on the article and thought it was interesting.

witch windows

I happened across this photo when I was surfing through the Mother Nature Network.
Tons and tons of articles and videos.
I found it to be such a black hole of temptation that I am not going to provide a link. If you are a interested, you can just Google it and you'll find it.

It's July 23 on the day I am writing this. I feel a binge coming on. I saved all my Dec 2016 mail to post in Nov or Dec or 2017. I think I saved the October 2016 mail to post in September. It's crazy how fast the year goes.... I already filled up the first half of September...

Maybe I just need to work 11 months ahead. That way all my posts would be seasonally appropriate. Decisions decisions.

Friday, September 29, 2017

June Exchange from Amy(CA) and Grace

These two are a very happy pair - using the eclipse stamp.

Amy(CA) did a good job of wrapping the name around the sphere to make it look 3D.

Grace did a good job of choosing a second stamp to cover the charge for a square envelope. Her rounded lettering is nice complement to the stamp.

i like the two different ways of depicting space...dots -or- concentric circles.

Below is a close up where I put my thumb on the left stamp to make the moon show up. So cool.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

June Exchange form Finn and Amy

Two very nice designs from Finnbadger and Amy. They do not have a lot in common other than the restrained palette...but they look nice together.

Finn's on top is a page from an article about someone who does a new chalkboard drawing every day....that would be fun....

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Susan Branch - somewhat off topic

Back in July, I saw this blog post by Susan Branch. I have always admired her style. The link has a really long post about Beatrix Potter - full of links to learn more about Beatrix.

Susan has announced a gathering -in England- in May, 2018 - to visit Beatrix Potter's home. Hopefully one of my readers will go on the trip and send me a postcard.

I need to make a map inspired by this....maybe I can think of a place to have a picnic...and invite all y'all.
How about the Holiday Inn at O'Hare. Pretty much every place on earth can get a direct flight to O'Hare.

Below is a tidbit from the blog post. Please note that she assumes that only her *girlfriends* will show up. I'm going to go buy a lottery ticket and if I win, I am going to book the trip for Finnbadger and Eric. I really want them crash the party. I know they will behave. Heck --- if I win the lottery, I might even attend. Finn and Eric, please pencil in the cases I do win the lottery.

We’re having our BYO Picnic Basket Party right here, next May 11, at Castle Cottage, where Beatrix Potter (Mrs. Heelis) and her husband William lived for 30 years! Just in front of the house, across Post Office Meadow (which will be filled with frolicking lambikins in May), is the gate to Hill Top in Near Sawrey, heavenly Lake District, beloved home of Beatrix Potter!!! That’s where we’re going, Girlfriends!

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

June Exchange from Troy and Maggie

Troy (top) and Maggie (below).
Similar colors.
Different styles.
Troy's is big, bold and fills up the space...
Maggie's is more delicate and leaves some white space.

I also like how the PO chose a big bold cancel on Troy's and a much more complementary circle on Maggie's that echoes her lace doilies.

Can't you just picture the postal workers pondering which cancel they use to complement the design? It is always lots of fun when you go to the counter for a hand cancel and the clerk really cares about where they are going to place the cancel.

Monday, September 25, 2017

June Exchange from Eric and Pam

These two were very summery - back in June. Eric's is digital and Pam's looks like a rubber stamp that is nicely colored in.

For those of you who need design lessons. Squint at Pam's and imagine it without the strip of dark tape at the bottom. It would be nice - but that strip of dark adds so much to the overall design of the envelope.

And here is the kicker....notice how there are three things lined up to the right and white space on the left. It is IMHO so much nicer than if strip of tape had been in the left corner and there was a strong diagonal from corner to corner. There are no hard and fast rules - but I have a very strong preference for things that do not lead your eyes into opposite corners.

The kids facing east also contributes to the harmony and balance of the right justified layout. The cancel adds to the design. I find that I am frequently pondering how an envelope will look after it is canceled. Not that I can control it - but it's fun to see cancels that work well with the other elements.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

June Exchange from Florence

Florence has done some other big loopy envelopes. Her return address is in the upper left corner - although I covered it up. Her note inside was about a postal worker giving her a *talking to* about putting the return address on the back. I know others have heard that from postal workers...but...I am going to continue to request return addresses on the back because I do not want to deal with covering up return addresses on ALL the exchange envelopes. A few - are OK...but if I have to do it on all of them...I'll whine.

I love this layout....
and the extra addresses tucked into the loops. I guess I am lucky to have two dots in my name. Now I am curious to know who on the exchange list has the most dots....

looks like Phillip, jannie, and Nanski Drewski are the others with two dots. And I suspect Nanski Drewski only came up with a pen-name because her legal name has no dots at all.
Nobody has three dots....
MissMississippi has a bunch - but, again, that's not exactly CathyO's legal name.

I am pretty sure I already posted this one - but will post it again - just in case my memory is foggy.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Bonus Post - Pushing Too Far (Burger)

 On Thursday, I finally got my exchange envelopes in the mail. On Friday this one came back. You can see how I wrote my return address on the back (below) and it indicates that the PO will pick up on traditional lettering before it stops to check the creative lettering. I am now concerned that maybe this style is not good for mail art. Very bad news if a bunch of them come back as I used this style on about 20 envelopes.

I chose this style because after nearly 4 years of sabbatical, I am teaching again and I wanted to introduce it to my new class. This blog originated in 2010 because I wanted a way to stay in touch with people who took classes.

So, lesson learned about pushing the envelope styles of lettering. Don't push this far and for sure, do not make your return address big and bold and legible if the outgoing address is a bit challenging.

The envelope is made out of a place mat from a Steak 'n' Shake - a burger place that is older than McDonalds (1939 vs 1940/1955) I stop there when driving between Des Moines and Chicago because it is one of the better options on Interstate 80. In-N-Out is still my favorite fast burger.

Today's regular post is below - and it is an off topic post.

Off Topic - Bullseye Dessert (Zebra Cake)

We hardly ever talk about food on the blog, but this dessert caught my eye. You can click on the link and see how it is made - which is pretty much how you would guess, you just keep pouring - alternating batters - in the middle of the previous pour.

Bulls-Eye Dessert

I guess I like how it represents the rings of a tree. You could make a cake with the number of years of the birthday.

After I typed Bulls-eye cake, I clicked Google translate and see that they call it zebra cake. I'm amazed that this craze has not swept our nation...yet. Sadly, the black is licorice - I was hoping it was chocolate.

To tie this to the blog - I will admire the quirky lettering. You do not need an exemplar. You just write tall and skinny and put extra space between the letters....

Friday, September 22, 2017

Bonus Post - Handwriting Police T-Shirt

Here is my t-shirt from the first convention that I attended in 2001. I will be attending the 2018 IAMPETH convention in Milwaukee.

Maybe they will reissue the design. I bet it would be popular.

Today's regular post is below.

June Exchange from JeanR

There wasn't another exchange envelope to pair with this one - and I think JeanR's idea deserves to go solo.

It's a nice monochromatic envelope and the idea of adhering quotes is really nice...
the layering is also nice.

The style of writing is called foundational. It is not a popular style and not many people seek it out as one they want to learn, but it is one of the very best to work on if you want to hone your skills with a broad edge pen.

To exchangers.
My envelopes have gone out.
They are very late.
But I am in good company.
Early-bird -or- last-minute-er.
Whatever works.

Note to self: send an email to the procrastinator conference and ask if there are any studies on how some people get more creative at the last minute.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

June Exchange from Tina

Not a ransom note - says Tina. Love it.
Also, I appreciate the time it must have taken to do this one. I also like the way the stamps compliment the letters. Or maybe it is the other way around - she chose letters to complement the stamps.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

June Exchange from Smash, KathyS, Debbie and Nanski

The top two, Smash (top) and KathyS (below) are zen-like in their layouts.
the other two are from Debbie (top) and Nanski (below). Notice how Debbie signed her artwork.
Nice idea for anyone who likes to sign their art....
I tend to forget...

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

June Exchangers - Kate and CathyO

There was a new Kate in the June exchange. Her envelope is the one on top. Very fun outlining and fruit and border - stealworthy.

Below is CathyO's pointed pen with metallic ink. Good luck stealing that idea---unless you're really good with pointed nibs and ink.

Now - Cathy did give complete credit to someone on IG who posted a guitar. Phyllis (sorry Cathy, I can't make out what her last name is) Her IG name is Fpmmac. I do not know if IG is case sensitive.

I also do not know the etiquette of being inspired and then posting....since none of this is for sale, I'm assuming it is just fine. If it isn't, Cathy and I will be happy to go to prison as long as we get to be cellmates. That's a joke.

Monday, September 18, 2017

June Exchangers - Kate and Lynne

Kate (top) and Lynne (below) both chose the green Oscar de la Renta stamp. Kate's design is a leafy collage. It reminds me of Eric Carle's hungry caterpillar. Back in my teaching-little-kids years we had a huge stash of paper that was painted in the Eric Carle style. It inspired some very nice artwork and I was always wishing I had time to do my, maybe I should make my own stash of Eric Carle paper...will label this to return to it...

Yesterday's post was the June exchange envelope featuring an envelope made out of a calendar page. Here is Phillip's blog post that shows all of the envelopes:

WPA poster stamps on handmade envelopes

Sunday, September 17, 2017

June Exchange from Finnbadger

Finnbadger made an envelope out of a calendar. On his blog, I believe he posted others from the same calendar. The WPA posters were perfect. Sadly, I did not even get any of the WPA stamps - and they are so perfect for mail art. Although, I have yet to find a stamp that isn't.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Inspiration and procrastination conference

This reminds me of several previously posted envelopes with dots and borders. I found it here

On a very hot day in late July, too hot to go outside, a perfect day to get a lot done, a perfect day to surf, I stumbled across the 10th annual Procrastination Research Conference. Wow. It was in Chicago. I could have gone. The program lists all the presentations. Most of them would have been over my head. But, it would have been fun to see the *posters.* Apparently they have presentations as well as *posters.* I'm very curious about what or why they have posters....maybe someone knows about such things.

For anyone who needs to procrastinate - here is the link:

This post will be labeled stealworthy - and hopefully I remember to come back and do my own variation of this one.

It was also interesting to note that this envelope led me to this one:
at this blog - which seems to have ended in 2016:

That envelope was the inspiration for the one below: