Wednesday, September 29, 2010

bonus for today

a couple extras today because the postings have been a little drab

christy 31 and 32

the top one has some little blueberries and the bottom one is bore-ing. i need to go find some better ones. i would not even be posting these, but, i want to have them all on the blog, because then they all go directly into one file on picasa...and that is my only chance of ever getting all the scans organized.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

keith 23/50

there were some beads posted a week ago or so. these are deluxe beads. they have a shadow and a highlight. i did them with dotta-rific markers. i only had three colors. they have a sponge tip, so you can make really big dots. lots of fun.

Monday, September 27, 2010

christy 29/60 and 30/60

these two are not spectacular. however, they illustrate a good point. if you learn the basic shapes of a style like uncial, you can have fun trying those shapes with a variety of tools. the top one is pointed brush marker and the bottom one is a broad edge marker. uncial is also a good beginner style because you only have to learn one letter, no caps way back then. have we talked about who invented caps? anybody out there who does not know and wants to know? there will be a prize for the person who posts the answer first after someone asks for more info. clearly, i am fishing for comments. :-)

and yes, i know, the r in the top one is not an uncial r. you really can make up your own styles if you want to.

Sunday, September 26, 2010


here is the whole alphabet. thanks chuck, now i can avoid getting anything else done today since this is such a fun style i really need to stop and do some envelopes.

christy 28/60

this is a particular font with a name that i do not recall. maybe chuck will post a comment and tell us. when you write it, you do the exact opposite of regular thick and thin, make all the horizontals as fat as possible and the verticals thin. lots of fun. also, take time to square off the ends with a fine pen.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

big fat neuland

does anyone know who this exemplar came from? i really should not post things that i just find in my files, especially when i have no idea where they came from. but, this is spectacular neuland. i can't resist sharing it. if i can find out whose it is, i will ask for permission to leave it on the blog. otherwise, i'll take it off. it isn't an envelope, but can't you see an address written in tiny letters in the two horizontal lines of white space?

also, end the top line sooner and leave a space for the stamp and that would make the bottom two lines extend from edge to edge. or peeve the p.o. and put the stamp at the bottom. i never talk like this...but how about "p.o. the p.o." for our envelopes that do not conform to their standards.

there was a bonus envelope yesterday, so, that one counts as the saturday envelope if you think this one does not count.

Friday, September 24, 2010

christy 31/60

i really flubbed the h on christy.
but, i see from the postmark that it was 9 years ago when i did the envelope. that was pretty early in my *career.* the c is bad too. i did enjoy finding the detail in the stamp to use to decorate the envelope.

the usps has a list of the new stamps coming out in 2011. there will be a set of 20 flowers. really looking forward to those. also a set of 20 designers. that sounds interesting. in the mean time, waiting for the new forever stamps to come out. there are 4 different evergreen branches. three with pinecones and one with berries. you can see them at and if you did not know, you can order stamps online. i think they charge a dollar to deliver them.

really neutral

i just noticed that it is a sea of neutral.
i will look for some blasts of color.

seasonal ideas

i hope i find the other halloween envelopes soon. they have some pumpkins, too. but here is a quick spider web idea. i need to dig for some black stamps. or put this in a larger envelope. i never have anything to put in envelopes, so might as well just send an envelope in each envelope.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

christy 26/60

what do you think? too much of a good thing? you all know how much i love the scribbling and layering. in some ways this one is too much. but, in other ways, it is not enough. i think it would have been better if the scribbling went all over the whole envelope and bled off the edges. it's weak because the overall shape of the blob is an uninteresting shape. and that *fleming* is yucky. mostly the F is ugly. a good example of why caps should be done beautifully and if you are in a hurry, don't use them.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

christy 27/60

christy's mom filled in the address. i like to use the left over portions of the self adhesive stamps.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

christy 24/60

there is one in the ellen series just like this. again, i do not recall where i first saw this style. it might be something from lynn slevinsky. if anyone knows...please post a comment. i just love it. but, i will say it is not one to do when you are in a hurry. it is not difficult, but you need to pay attention to the geometry and keep it all very controlled, yet whimsical and bouncy.

Monday, September 20, 2010

monday bonus

here is an extra envelope. the lettering is fast and sloppy. but i like the rubber stamped TO. i used the end of a magic rub eraser. you can make a whole alphabet with a magic rub eraser. really wish i had more time to scan. the blog needs some variety.

i tried to make the lines fit into a block by changing the weight of the letters. once again, penciling it would have been such a good idea.

i spent 7 hours yesterday lettering at an event. it was for kids and it was amazing to see how even the youngest kids were drawn to decorating the alphabet. i used a basic block lettered alphabet with a double stroke, so they had some place to fill in. even kids who had not learned the alphabet could fill in designs. it was a nice fine motor skill exercise.

christy 23/60

another one that could have benefited from some guide lines or preliminary sketching. the idea is just fine. it's rushed. hopefully, i have time to come back and post a bonus envelope today to make up for this one.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

christy 25/60

soldiers and pearls. i imagine i did not have a good stamp to go with pearls, but the colors are fine, so, there they are. i could draw those string of pearl letters all day. i also did some that were little tubes on string that i found mesmerizing. it was fun to do them freehand and not draw a pencil line. it took discipline to make them come out right. on an envelope, i would pencil the line to make sure it fit. i'll try to dig out a sample of the one without the pencil line so you can see how much prettier it is. not that this one is ugly, but it could be better.

the one below is new, too. i added this one, because i am tempted to remove the other one. but, there may be value in looking at bad stuff, so you know what to avoid.

christy 22/60

oh dear. so many things wrong with this one, i don't know where to start. i think i'll just ignore it.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

christy 20 & 21/60

let's compare these two. i enjoy fitting letters into geometric shapes. i think the top one is much better than the bottom one. graph paper is useful if you want to play around with geometric lettering. and if there is one line of copy that does not fit into the mold, let it hang out. the bottom one is just forced and awkward.
and it was better to make all the letters slanty (top one).

Friday, September 17, 2010

Hundreds of envelopes to look at

Lejla left us a comment a couple days ago and I just spotted it. There are at least 300 envelopes.
Thanks so much for sharing.

If you have not been to Flickr before, click on the icon for slide show, to the left, above the thumbnails. Then you can set it to flip each one after 3 sec or 2 sec or 1 sec.

Thanks Lejla!

keith 22/50

when in doubt, scribble. yes, i like to build up names. when you write one name 50 times, eventually you need to do a few like these.

i just figured out how to post every single scan on the blog to picasa, so now i can set it on slide-show and watch them flip by, one per second. even though i have seen all of these envelopes a gazillion times, and even though i think it is usually magnifying flaws to enlarge envelopes, there is something very cool about flipping through all of them on the screen.

i can't decide how to organize them. i have no idea if picasa is like flickr where anyone can enter the site and view the photos. if it is, you are all welcome to browse. i am inspired to scan some more. i have a few hundred, still in boxes. and probably a hundred scanned and waiting to be posted.

or, i could do all those things that NEED to be done.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

A note from Sept 8th penpal

I received a nice email from my new penpal who sent the fun mail a couple weeks ago. She was kind enough to tell us how she lettered the card and envelope that I posted on Sept 8th...and reposted here.

Here are her comments:
In reply to the "how did she do that?" remarks: "Love your blog" is done with a #6 parallel pen filled with walnut ink. The pen-manipulated script is "Bone" and you will find an exemplar in Jacqueline Svaren's "Written Letters" book. Parallel pens are the wonderful tool available from Paper & Ink Arts, as well as John Neal! Your name was written with a parallel pen onto the white #10 envelope first, then it was covered with a yellow glaze: Golden Acrylic Satin Glazing Liquid, mixed with a yellow Golden Acrylic, applied with a cosmetic sponge. Next I used the "positives" from Neuland stencils that I've made from old file folders, and stamped around the letters with another layer of glaze (blue), then I think I added another glaze layer, then with a monoline Pigma black pen, outlined the large letters and wrote your address! I love creating layers and layers of colors using the glazing liquids, and together with my two favorite scripts: Neuland and "Bone" resulted in your envelope!

She added in a second email:

Oh, and as an extra thought to my "how-to", I may have used one of my large "Automatic" pens with the walnut ink for the "Love your blog"......after all the mailings I do, sometimes it's hard to keep track.

Then she added this in a second email:
more blog readers need to send REAL MAIL.

Yes, it would be great fun to share more mail from others. I know some of you are thinking that you will never send me a piece of mail because you would not want it posted on a blog. I understand... so, just promise me that if you are too shy to send me an envelope, just be sure to send someone an envelope. It is so much fun to get mail. And, if you do send something to me, I will never put your name on the blog.

Thanks again to my penpal who shared her technique with us. I also appreciate how much time you spent on it.

keith 21/50

one of my favorite ways to play with fonts on the computer is to make words using many different fonts. there are people who mix up styles of lettering in hand lettering. this is just tossed off quickly. it takes a lot of trial and error to find good combinations. looks like i had a crisp new marker.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

keith 20/50

i believe i had a new zig gold marker when i did this one. the fine flourishing would be a gel pen. would have been prettier with a white envelope because of the white background of the stamp.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

keith 19/50

i like this one a lot. i like the way the information is not in the standard order.
i always like to see the zip at the very bottom. i call this kind of lettering *two-wrongs-do-make-a-right* i am sure it makes some traditionalist cringe. but, it's fun and it goes nicely with some of the stamps. maybe it is ok to bust out of the rules and regulations once in a while.

Monday, September 13, 2010

keith 18/50

there is some akim happening and some loose and loopy script. not really any particular style. inspired by flower petals.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

keith 16/50

not the best lettering. i was thinking of what we learned in first grade, if we were in school in the 50s or 60s. would have been better with some penciling to get it all fit before i went to ink. but, if you don't have time, it is a style that is ok if it looks childlike. i covered up the address. it is under some post-it tape.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

keith 15/50

i covered up some of the address...but you get the idea. we are back to the keith series which did not actually go through the mail.
this idea would work, if you generally had the info close enough for the p.o. to read

Friday, September 10, 2010

my mailbox

and my third fun envelope form last week is spencerian. isn't this beautiful? again, this is from someone i have never met, but he feels people should write more letters, so, we just write from time to time. i like the juxtaposition of 19th century penmanship and that patterned square thingamajig that must be something that scans.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

my mailbox

this envelope also arrived last week. it is from my local penpal who has three kids under 5 and still manages to write one snail mail letter every day. she appreciates how much fun it is to get mail and is helping to keep the activity alive. i am so tempted to share the antics of her 3 kids, but will refrain. i believe the technique on this envelope is to have some children, grow them for a while and then give them markers and have them scribble a base design. then outline it and write over the top. she mentioned in the letter that she was not all that thrilled with the address portion. it is just fine, but i can make one observation that might be helpful. the address is mostly flush left, except that JEAN and the zip code are indented. I suspect that after she wrote jean, she worried that wilson might be too long for her space. it would have been fine. imho, keeping flush left exactly flush always looks good. thanks penpal...

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

my mailbox

hmmmm...i don't know how to change the sizes of images. the top image is a detail of the card that came in the envelope below. i love that lettering!!! clearly, one of my new penpals has been working hard with real ink and a nib or maybe a parallel pen. they are cool pens available from john neal...and i've tried one. i would love to have one, but, if i did, i would never get anything else done.

the envelope looks like some kind of resist for the big JEAN. really great envelope. online thanks....until i send a proper thank you in the mail.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

christy 18/60

i'm going to stop tagging these neuland. this is skinny and you can think of some of the neuland shapes and proportions. it is looking a little bit like some of the arts and crafts fonts. so, we will have 42 more envelopes for christy that are something other than neuland. i'll be posting some of the fun envelopes that arrived in my mailbox for the next three days.

Monday, September 6, 2010

christy 17/60

i do not remember putting my own editorial comments on the front. i often put them on the back. i do like the variation on the shading. just a few dots or dashes can add some playfulness. i probably use them to camouflage little defects and then add a few more so it all looks very intentional.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Saturday, September 4, 2010

christy 15/60

nothing neuland about this except the c. the rest is a little bit like pointed brush. obviously it is marker. i can't really see the detail well enough to know what it is. guess it is just a little lesson in using the colors off the envelope.

Friday, September 3, 2010

christy 14/60

oh my, such a beautiful stamp. not pure neuland, but, some block printing that is an extension of what you think about when you are doing neuland.

that S breaks the rule with the skinny midsection, but by linking it to the T, it makes what the type-designers call a ligature...two letters that work together. so, this is a wacky combo, but, you are allowed to do things like that after you learn what it is called and look at enough of them to know when they are useful.

and i must have been giving christy's mom the envelopes with no address, because that is her penmanship on the address.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

christy 13/60

ok....good idea...also concrete evidence that a simple pencil line or two is essential. this would have been just lovely if i had put it in a nice, fairly geometric rectangle.

i suppose i should scan a few of my cards from my childhood. i do have some and they are better than this. but, hopefully, these dogs will be encouraging to those of you who are working on your neulands

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

christy 12/60

eeeeek. i broke all the rules i have about neuland. but this was maybe 8 years ago...when i was still being very experimental with neuland and as i keep saying, i did not know these would end up on a blog. so this is a great example for why i admonish you to keep those strokes nice and fat.

and if you compare the way this f-l-e-m-i-n-g looks compared to the others, you will see why this one is not a good one.