Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Primo Grasshopper Alexis

This is from one of my very best grasshoppers, Alexis. I posted her fabulous wedding invitation. She sent this along with a very nice note telling me how she did it and also mentioned how much work it took. Yup. But it is so worth it.

Alexis posted it on IG and I was tempted to leave a comment, but couldn't come up with the right words. I still can't. It just makes me so happy when people are inspired to make such pretty mail - inspired by conversations.

I think she did the lettering with a G-Tec and carefully drew in all the thicks. It's a little different look from using nibs and ink - but very cool in its own right.

Alexis loves blue and white - as do I. Dreamy.

Monday, July 24, 2017

More Birthday Mail from Jeri + JeanR + KateR

AArrgghhh. No matter what I do, there are always envelopes that hide. Luckily, they reappear.

These went with the birthday series..

Top one from Jeri.
I like the way she jammed the letters together. Gonna steal that one of these days.

The other two are from JeanR and KateR.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

May Exchange Pairing - Eric and Tina

I put these two font based designs together. Eric, on top, commented that interweaving type is harder than it looks. You can say that again. Whether you do it digitally or by hand - it can be very tricky.

Tina, below, must have one of those die cut machines as all of the black letters are cut out spaces with black paper behind. The air mail border is a favorite mail art motif of mine that I always forget to use - so - I will tag this stealworthy.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Wrapping Up the Week of Pink and Sparkles

Alex exclaimed, "I LIKE owls!" when she opened this one. It's oozing with cuteness. From Alyce.

And below we have... the rest of the stack - hopefully the cards are with the right envelopes. If I've mixed any of them up - lemmekno.

BIG THANKS to everyone who sent mail. The best part was my husband and my daughter being so impressed that complete strangers would take time to send mail to Alex. They were really touched. So, if anyone needs mail, lemmekno....I can't promise - but - I usually do manage to send things to people who need some mail or need something sent to a deserving person. Once in a while things get lost in the stacks....

A dancer from Terry
KateR, Alison, Carroll sent these.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Pretty in Pink

These are both great ideas. JeanR's, on top is paste paper on the envelope and stealworthy idea on the inside. I have not tried to figure out if the letters spell something specific....but I love the effect.

Below, we have a stealworthy idea - and kudos to the post office for getting it to 420-44th. When it arrived the was completely buried under the confetti and streamers. And no bar code. I have no idea how it managed to go through.

It's from Smash-girl.  :-)

Thursday, July 20, 2017

The Rest of the Poppy Mail

The one on the right is from Maggie. I love the delicate little flowers on the Alexandra card. I think they are made with brush markers. Nice new ones that make very crisp petals.

This is from Rachael. Nice borders and flourishing.

Top one from Nancy D and bottom one from Kathie McC.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

From AmyB - prior to mailing

Amy sent me this photo of her envelope before it went in the mail.

To see it when it arrived:
Amy's envelope

Jean's Favorite of the Poppy Mail

I loved this one because the card was made by another 3 year old.

I am not sure I have the card with the right envelope. Alex is not as compulsive as I am with keeping cards and envelopes together. Plus, the flap of the envelope is lost.

Also, the postmark doesn't match up with who I think sent the card - so this is a bit of a mystery. If the person (or the two people) who sent these want(s) to clear things up - please leave comments or email me.

The butterfly stamps are so pretty....

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Hot Pink Sparkles + Poppy

In addition to hot pink and hot pink sparkles, Alex loves the character Poppy from the movie, Trolls, which was her first movie seen at a theater. I mentioned Poppy when I invited exchangers to send mail to Alex and several people included Poppy. This particular card and envelope was her absolute favorite. Alex hugged the card. She also asked if Poppy could come with us when we went in the car. She even asked if it was going to rain because she did not want Poppy to get wet. A simple answer was not enough. When I told her it was not going to rain, she said, "Do you PROMISE?"

I don't think Alex appreciated how pretty the stamp is. This is from Shandra and it was her very first time participating in the exchange. Way to go, Shandra.

I mailed my July exchange envelopes last week. If you are in the US and have not received an envelope from me, please let me know. I left the entire bag of envelopes for my carrier to pick up and that always makes me a little nervous.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Hot Pink with Hot Pink Sparkles

 As the regular readers may recall, in April, my granddaughter was coming to visit, so I put her name on the exchange list and invited people to send something to Alex - mentioning that she was very fond of hot pink and hot pink sparkles. This week will be chock full of wonderful mail that delighted the 3 year old as well as the grown ups who watched her open her mail.

Top one by Ruth and bottom one by Chuck.

Ski report....Squaw Valley will be open Saturdays until further notice - and I am writing this on July 16th of 2017. They still have plenty of snow on the upper runs. Poor little Alex cannot fathom why her Nanna does not even own a swim suit.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Glittery Pink for Alex

For the April exchange, I had people send mail to my granddaughter and requested hot pink and hot pink sparkles...
Lynne's flowers and lettering are done with sparkle ink or paint - although that might not show up in the photo. Cathy's envelope is made out of sparkle paper - again - the photo probably will not do it justice.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Finn's Fish + Troy + Carolyn

This one is huge. It is an entire page of adult coloring and I was pretty impressed that Finnbadger parted with it. It must have taken a lot of time. Maybe he colors while something else is going on so that it is not a full time use of time.

It was sent during the month that I added my granddaughter as an optional recipient. But, I'm saving it.... she would not appreciate it at this time.

And I am pairing it with these two because the colors go nicely.
Bold use of block lettering by Troy and Carolyn.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Pairing of Airy Envelopes

The top envelope is from Maggie and the bottom one is from Terry. Both are examples of leaving some white space. Maggie's is making me hungry for cupcakes, donuts, and ice cream. Three items that are not in my house. Luckily it is hotter than heck outside. Too hot to get in a car so I will have to find a substitute in my house. KIND bars are my new treat.  I just saw a *recipe* that had s'mores made with donuts instead of graham crackers. It reminded me of the Luther Burger. A burger using two donuts in place of the standard hamburger bun.


My younger son uses two grilled cheese sandwiches - in place of the standard burger bun - to make the ultimate burger. I can't remember what he calls it....I guess I will call it a Hunter Burger. OK, enough food talk. Back to envelopes.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Pairing a Pair

The top two are a pair of kraft envelopes that came from non-exchangers - paired with a brand new exchanger.

Welcome to the party.

The middle one, from Limner came in the envelope pictured yesterday, with the spoon. I am guessing that while it looked like something that could have been mailed, she didn't think the attached items would stay attached. It was chock full of works, pictures, stamps, stickers, etc. That Limner can fill the space like a pro.

The brand new exchanger is Shandra (bottom). She sent two envelopes - and I know you'll enjoy seeing the other one which will pop up before the end of July when we get to the ones that were sent to my granddaughter.

The top one had a nice note on the back including a quote from Sister Corita - Don't try to create and analyze at the same time. Good advice. To just dive in with wild abandon is not always the most comfortable thing. I guess I am prone to doing it because I keep telling myself that my sanity hinges on letting myself do more art and be less preoccupied with the chores and obligations. So while my brain is telling me to just be a rebel and don't do what I should be doing --- my gut is telling me to take a lot of risks on top of being rebellious.

I write these posts 2 to 3 months in advance. Then I re-read them a week before they pop up. I usually agree with myself.

P.S. (written on July 11)
Fantastic advice - if I do say so myself. If the only place you can be wild and crazy is with markers and paper - you should be super happy that you have that outlet. I just returned from a 2 week trip and had a huge stack of exchange envelopes waiting for me. Of course - it was a wonderful way to return to the routine world and as always, the range of ideas and creativity knocked my socks off. I am glad that we have found each other and have this very easy outlet for creative expression.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Pairing the Chef and the Spoon

Limner is not an exchanger and I did not have any envelopes that were going to pair with Smash's chef - but it dawned on me that mail is mail - it doesn't have to be an exchange envelope to qualify for a pairing and these two are perfect together considering both color and subject matter.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Collaborating Without Knowing

Top two from Eric, digital. Bottom card and envelope from Nancy. She made a watercolor - title is Small World. The envelope is made out of a page from a magazine.

In addition to the colors from Eric and Nancy going together - I liked the name Small World - and the heart shape looked a bit planetary as well as complimenting the shape on Nancy's card.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Birthday Greetings from Alyce

 OK, Alyce almost got in trouble for making a big mess when I opened the envelope.
I was tempted to count the candles and nibs.... luckily, they were pretty easy to pick up and did not go on the floor or in my lap. All landed on the desk...

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Finnbadger (top) - Chuck (bottom)

These two surprised me when they went together. Mostly it was the color. But I see other parallels or compliments.

The lists for the envelope Exchange have gone out. If you did not receive yours please let me know. Thanks.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Off Topic - but fabulous

OK, this is the most fantastic thing I have found in a while. To the right, you see a scribble that I made on the computer screen with the mouse.

And below are just a few of the items that the website AutoDraw offers. You can click on any image and it will appear in place of your scribble. You can change the color and fill in the spaces with colors. Add type. Do all kinds of things.

I could spend an insane amount of time at this site. Maybe none of you share my wild enthusiasm for such things.....
if you wanna give it a whirl....there is a link to the sire. They also ask people to suggest additional items to offer. The first time I went, I was needing an image of a dinosaur and nothing was popping up. So, I suggested they get some dinosaurs and the next time I visited - voila- they had dinosaurs.

Below the link is a screen shot of all the images they offered that were guesses at what my scribble might be. I'm not sure how they will look when this pops up for my readers. I suspect on phones it will be too small, so you might have to go to the site to see what it is. But, I do not know if you can draw pictures on a phone. You might need a mouse.


Friday, July 7, 2017

Two from KathyS

There was a really funny comment inside the top one:

Nothing says happy birthday like the equivalent of a black arm band.

Love those two stacks of shapes on the lower one.
Looks like colored pencil.

Love the layout on the top one.
Bold and black says *birthday* to me....

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Cathy O (top) - Elizabeth G (bottom)

I've mentioned numerous times how I enjoy pairing off the incoming mail. These two are very small envelopes. I love tiny envelopes. I also love the colors on both of them and how they relate to the stamps.

Sooooo pretty.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

JeanR to JeanW

From the other Jean, who signs her card  *the other jean*  :-)

Jean does some serious study of calligraphy - gets out real nibs and ink -

Very nice.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Jean's Birthday - UberCute

 These arrived in April when I put Alex, my granddaughter, down as an option to send an envelope in the exchange. Several people, including Carol C, sent to both Alex and me. In a perfect world I would send personal thank yous to the people who sent two envelopes - and also the people who put in such nice enclosures. I love these little watercolors.

But, the world is not perfect - so all y'all get a big collective thank you.  And my undying devotion to a daily babble. 

Carol bought a book for 10-cents and used the pages to make the envelopes.
Good idea, eh? The stamps are perfect.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Feb Exchangers Heather and Thomas

I'm pretty sure the top one if from Heather. There was no return address and the postmark did not match anyone on the list by city. North Carolina suggests Heather.

Thomas sent the bottom one. Nice bold contemporary versals and the color looks like watercolor pencil.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Purple Hat Story for Limner


also this


The top link is to a darling story about FedEx delivering a purple hat. And the second link goes to a bizarre set of envelopes. One of them is pictured here. You need to scroll down quite a ways to get to the envelopes. I spent very little time at the website. It might be too strange. I'm having an odd day. It is actually Feb 14 and the furnace is broken, so I am sitting in a room with a space heater waiting to find out if I get to wait 3 or 4 more days for the new furnace. Good time to add posts - but they might be strange.

I had Googled *purple hat* and was overwhelmed with images. I finally just took a screen shot and printed it out and made it into an envelope (below). To do this right, I would need a graphics program and do a better job of editing and arranging. So, I like the idea - but it's more complicated than what I can handle. I would have put a Dorothy Height stamp in the upper right corner - but there was not enough room. I can't remember if I even mailed this one....but, I do like the idea of searching a topic and then printing out a screen shot and turning it into an envelope.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

July Envelope Exchange - Sign-up by July 4

I do not recall if I ever posted this. I am tempted to make shaped mail for the June exchange.

To sign up for the July exchange.
I need the following information:

your email

Send it to

jmwilson411 [at] yahoo [dot] com

If you are having a birthday in July, you may add that info to your email and participants have the option of sending a birthday themed envelope.
You will get a list of 4, 5, or 6 people to send to.
You might get one international address requiring $1.15 postage.
You will need to get decorated envelopes in the mail by July 31st.
That's it.
There are additional details at the top of the blog under a tab marked [exchange *RULES*]

Deadline to sign up is July 4. Lists will be sent on July 5th or 6th.
Let me know if you want to be on more than one list.
Sometimes I do not get an even number of participants, so it is nice to have some volunteers to be on two lists.

Any questions - email me.

Friday, June 30, 2017

Off Topic - Slightly - Hiromi Tango

For my surfer pals: Here is one example of the work done by Hiromi Tango. I spent too much time looking and reading. Her perspective is similar to mine.

Hiromi Tango

You can also go to an image on Pinterest and scroll down to find all kinds of people who share similar feelings about stuff. Using up stuff. Feeling a benefit from engaging in art or craft-like activities.

Hiromi Tango - Pinterest

As I can see the light at the end of the tunnel of hoard-reduction, I ponder some envelopes filled with a bunch of the excess stuff - and then the big Completion Party.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

FPMB 8 and 9 - to Grace and Chuck

I thought I was done with that sheet of stamps, but I forgot that the portrait of Oscar was its own stamp. As luck would have it, I had just discovered how much I liked the gray marker.

So - these two are favorites from the whole series.

Chuck's envelope was the last one to do for the exchange, so I had to dig into the stash and find something that looked good with gray.


As you may recall, there was one more after this one. I posted it the day that I did these as a bonus post because I was so excited by this series and couldn't wait to share it. Now, I have to wait and see if anyone else likes the idea. I love it and have so many more variations I would like to try.

Mostly, I wonder how much it annoys the postal workers. I'm truly sorry for adding to your stress. Especially after seeing what happens sometimes.

My last trip to the PO was terrifying. A man was having a problem getting his mail and he launched into a tirade that I'd have to say was the most intense public tirade I have seen since the episode at the Toronto airport customs - and none of that was in English, so it is hard to compare. Sadly, it actually flashed through my head- at the DSM post office...what if he has a gun. I pretended to be needing some priority boxes over in the corner until he decided to leave. How ironic would it be for me to be gunned down at a PO? I bet it would make all my envelopes a lot more valuable. See - there's an upside to everything, eh?

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

FPMB 7 - to Jannie

I saved this stamp for the end as I thought it would be a lot of fun to use a bunch of colors. And yes, it was. Although, I started loving the gray....

That Jannie is odd. I intended to connect the strokes - but the more I looked at it , the more I thought it was interesting in a more disjointed fashion.

Once again, it would be way more fun to have a bunch of those stamps and do a whole series to figure out what works best.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

FPMB 6 - to AmyB

There were 3 stamps left in the Oscar series where I could use pink and gray. After I made such a mess of the first two (posted a couple days ago) I reined myself in and did this one. There's a lot I like about it, but to be honest, it's a little boring. Sometimes reckless is better.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Stealworthy - My Version of Wavy Lines

We are taking a one day break from the FPMB envelopes.

Previously, there was a post of an envelope that was similar to this. I recall that it was green and had birthday greetings to the BHB. I did not go back and look at it before I did this one, so I will be interested to see how close (or far) I am from the one that I labeled *stealworthy.*

It was lots of fun, done under a time crunch with other should-be-doing projects nagging at me. Sometimes it is easier to face the dreaded chores when you give yourself 5 minutes of playtime. I will reward myself with the next batch of exchange envelopes -outgoing- after I get the chores done.

Is it just me, or do I sound like I am making pitiful excuses to my HA (Hoarders Anonymous) sponsor?

Sunday, June 25, 2017

FPMB 4 and 5 - to CathyO & Carol

I really goofed up her name and am not happy with the attempts to save it. More time and better details might have helped, but the wretched script isn't fixable. My problem was not testing the marker before it hit the paper.

The Carol below was an even worse disaster. Why didn't I toss these and start over? Because it's better for y'all to see that it's OK to mail your hot messes.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

FPMB 3 - to AmyS

The option to use many green markers and pens made this one fun to do. It's frustrating to only have one stamp of each design. I should have done some planning on her name. First name is too wide - so I had to squish the last name.

Friday, June 23, 2017

FPMB 2 - to JeanR

On the first one, I was not sure if it would be better to use a ruler or to freehand all the borders. I was too rushed to do pencil lines and erase.

I loved the boldness of her name and I liked the FROM - but the rest of the lettering was a little ho-hum.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

FPMB 1 - to Carroll

So...this is the first of a long series. It happened after I had a very poor start to the April Exchange envelopes. Three complete duds, followed by 12 ho-hum Akim envelopes and then I took a break and surfed. I saw a bunch of borders and somehow this idea popped into my head. Normally, I do not fill up space.

And I can't remember what made me think of using the Oscar de la Renta stamps...but I loved this one. I decided to just use up the entire page of Oscar stamps...and they will appear in order...over the next few days.

FPMB= Full Page Multiple Borders...just a way for me to group my scans....

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Undecided to Troy - Apr Exchange

This was one of the first three I did for the April Exchange and I thought it might be unsalvageable. I don't love it - but in person, there was something about it that appealed to me. Maybe it needed more layers. I dunno.

I have some very interesting conversations with penpals about how to work through things that are headed towards hot-mess. But, I don't know how to transcribe the conversation to the blog.

The stamps are not a good match with the colors....
but sometimes close is good enough.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

DuBoschish - to Eric - Apr Exch

This is inspired by Carol DuBosche's Jubilee style of lettering. She uses a broad edge pen. I used a ZIG Writer which has a big fat bullet point and a fine tip.
In a perfect world, someone would hire me to address a lot of envelopes in this style.

I might have to do an entire set of exchange envelope like this....

Monday, June 19, 2017

Green Akim - Apr Exchange

 Back in early April, I posted an apology to the people who were to receive these envelopes. I was under a time crunch and none of my ideas were working out. I love Akim and hope to post a tutorial some day. If you Google it or search Pinterest you can find quite a few examples.

Phillip has his address posted on his own blog, so I assume it is OK to post this. The others have the addresses somewhat blotted out.
Hopefully you can see the fun and variety that is available with this style.

I wonder if the PO was annoyed by theses?