Friday, January 31, 2014

First Year of the Horse & First Jubilee script

It is the first day of the Lunar Year of the Horse!

Cathy O sent me a wonderful envelope combining the colors of the Lunar New Year of the Horse stamp and the Jubilee script. The gold lines and dots are great.

Sadly it arrived in the middle of a big snowstorm, so got a little wet in parts. AND it was the victim of a cruel pen at the PO. For 2014 I'm going to try and 'cover up' these offenses to give envelopes their original look.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Year of the Horse Preview

Today is the final day of the Year of the Snake. For the past 6 years the USPS has issued really nice cards to go with the stamps, particularly for the Year of the Ox, but for some reason (financial?) they did not so for the Year of the Horse.

I had been playing around with a circular design for the Lunar Year animals, so decided to color them taking cues from the Lunar New Year of the Horse stamp, which I think is very attractive. I printed them out in 12 different designs as postcards and sent them to everyone from Jean W's envelope exchange plus a few friends and family members. 

I stumbled upon Karen's postcard swap blog in time to send a duplicate set off to her for distribution. The way Karen I and her super-organized swap works, I should receive 11 postcards in return (I sent one to Karen to thank her for organizing the swap).

Good fortune to all this year!

Monday, January 27, 2014

Betty brightens my day

Betty R sent me this lovely card thanking me for the envelopes I sent her in the exchange. Turns out she is a huge fan of Man Ray. The card is Betty's own art. Great to receive in this cold freezing arctic, snowy weather when it feels like the White Witch will reign forever.

The envelope has fun tape on it - a nice detail is the cut-out for the 'To:" flag.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Finnbadger 8 - vintage Smash

A first from Smash - an envelope addressed to Finnbadger.

As always, I'm a big fan of the style of Smash's 'g'. I'm also a big fan of the vintage stamps, they looks fantastic on this midnight-purple envelope. I had no idea what the 'B' stood for on the non-denominated stamp, which sent me to the internet to discover its value is 18c. 

This is an interesting envelope in that it looks different in daylight (now) compared to the relatively low light in my living room after dark (when I arrived home to find it waiting for me). Thanks, Smash.

This one did gain an attempted IMB - the lines weren't there, just the white strip, and the great thing is that it was easy to peel off without marring the envelope.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Exchange 15 - Candy heart

I received this from Candy W in the envelope exchange.

I really like the flourishes on the ascenders that loop down below the letters. Thanks, Candy!

I have always admired calligraphy, and had a lot of respect for calligraphers. I would love to be able to create these amazing letters, but don't have the time to invest in learning. So it has been great to see so many different styles of writing on the envelopes.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Envelope 88 : Exchange 14

This should be the last of the envelopes I sent.

The front:

Stamped: I popped the international stamp where three countries' borders come together.

Addressed: I chose an area for the address that wouldn't cover the neat city-markers, and emulated the font of the country names (see the back view below or the front view above). Maybe I should have tried to cover the '?' a bit better? 

The back:

Monday, January 20, 2014

Envelopes 79 & 93 : Exchange 13

I still have a couple of envelope exchange entries to go.

My first response to Betty R was envelope 79. The front: the lady at the very top of the flap is my favorite.

Stamped: I like the contrast of the sharp-eyed poet with the deckchair sleepers.


And the back:

When I was finished, I wasn't 100% happy with it, so I sent a second envelope. I'm not quite sure what I didn't like so much, maybe the address should have been horizontal. I like it better on the blog, I think - maybe I was just being nitpick.

This envelope also had a woman's face on the 'liner', and in this case I have no idea who she is, an actress most likely.

The front of number 93: this is one of the glossy magazine envelopes. 

Stamped: there really was no other choice here.

Addressed: I emulated the stamp lettering. Perhaps this could have worked better if it was lower down, but I liked the overall effect.

And the back.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Exchange 12 - olives

I bought a card from my local card & wine store, and the card came in this bag - the red is very similar to the outer petals on the red/green kaleidoscope stamp...

...which I sent to Jean as an envelope thank you for organizing the envelope exchange - her address has a lot of Os and zeroes so I retrofitted them to the circles on the bag...

...unfortunately I used the incorrect address, but the PO came through and delivered it correctly!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Not one of the envelopes... The Italian Penguin

This envelope was an unexpected one... I do like the large black letters that Jean W uses, they are stylish and fun at the same time.

The stamps on this one are great - particularly the Italian one (which the PO decided should also be cancelled), and I really like the little penguin sticker. Having lived through the 'polar vortex' I have a new respect for the creatures.

And Jean's note refers to this being a replacement envelope for the one she originally intended to send... maybe it was one of the Jubilee ones? I am sure the mystery will be solved in time.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Exchange 11 - Mr Charles, resplendent in orange

Cathy O sent this as part of the envelope exchange.

I think the Ray Charles stamp would brighten anyone's day - and he really looks good on this orange (hand made) envelope with the fun white dots. I also like Cathy's penmanship on my name - I have been trying to create a neat 'PL' logo, and I may have to steal the P and L from here and see what i can come up with. 

Just like the envelope I sent to Cathy, hers also made it through the system unscathed.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Not one of the envelopes... butterflies

I don't think the weather's any better today, and spring seems far away right now. I bought a card that came with this fun envelope - I'm not much for flowery, but, as Jean W always says, this one is full of stealable ideas. And this is my first use of the 66c butterfly stamp (the card that went in the envelope was heavily decorated). I didn't even see the design on the envelope until after I opened the packaging it came in, as it was obscured by the card.

And the back is really fun with the single ladybird. 

Monday, January 6, 2014

Not one of the envelopes.... gingerbread house stamps.

This is a bit of an aside for my blog, but I saw these cards on sale in Target and sure enough, the envelopes go really well with the gingerbread house stamps. The red cards have Thank you written on them, the blue cards have nothing. I liked this design a lot, so snapped them up.

The envelopes also work well with the 2012 Santa Claus + reindeer stamps (it's after Christmas, so I used the one stamp that doesn't have any of the above on it - just a nice snowy village).

Stay warm if you're experiencing the winter storm!

Friday, January 3, 2014

3D address 3 - Smash

Smash gave me permission to post this - I had run out of the blue/red kaleidoscope stamps, so tried a different color combination for her envelope. I think the colors matched a bit better in reality than they do on this scan - Smash may have to confirm or refute.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Jean's Gingerbread Letters / Exchange 10

Jean W has had many creative ideas for using the Gingerbread Houses stamps.

I like her Gingerbread House 'font' very creative!

This one contained a thank you from Jean for my taking part in the envelope exchange.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Envelope 136 / Exchange 9 / Happy New Year!

I think out of all the envelopes I sent in the exchange this one that I sent to Smash was my favorite. I think it was also the only one of the new batch.

Envelope 136

Stamped: this one was such a colorful envelope that I struggled a lot with what stamp to choose. In the end I felt that the vibrant colors and energy of the Celia Cruz stamp worked really well. (This is one of the stamps that never thought I'd have an envelope for).

I copied the style of the pink-on-turquoise text for the address - I had some concerns about legibility, however I went with it - I like sending things out into the mailverse and seeing what happens.

And finally, the back.

Thanks for stopping by the blog, have a great 2014, hopefully with some creative mail ideas.