Category Archives: Mail Art

Studio Snapshot – Lettering Envelopes For My Holiday Cards

With my Christmas Santa cards done (see DIY Torn Paper Santa Holiday Cards), I’ve switched my focus to lettering the envelopes in which to send them.

I decided on shades of red for the calligraphy on the envelopes for my Santa cards.

I decided on shades of red for the calligraphy on the envelopes for my Santa cards.

Looking at my Santa cards, I decided I needed to letter my envelopes in reds. I started with a light red and went back in with a darker red. Then I outlined the letters and embellished them a bit. And I added hearts, just because I thought they added just the right amount of additional red that was needed.

Envelopes for my Holiday Cards.

Envelopes for my Holiday Cards.

I think they look great. Now to finish addressing them and get them in the mail. A number of them are going overseas, so I hope they arrive in time.

Enjoy, Candy

DIY Halloween Envelopes

With Halloween just around the corner, I decided I wanted to make and send Halloween envelopes to some young friends. Again, this year, I took my ideas from Ed Emberley’s Halloween Drawing Book. You can check out a review I did of his book: Ed Emberley’s Halloween Drawing Book.

I love these dancing skeletons.

I love these dancing skeletons. They go well with the pumpkin postage stamp.

I have been traveling to Junction City, Eugene, and Portland, Oregon for the past few days, and this project has been easy to do while on the road. I brought along some envelopes, black pens and my address book. I purchased the Halloween postage stamps in Eugene.

This is a great Haunted House! The name and address go on the right.

This is a great Haunted House! The name and address go on the right.

I took three of the photos as my friend, Sharon’s house in Portland, Oregon. I usually photograph on a white background, but Sharon has this absolutely wonderful fall tablecloth which I couldn’t help but use for my background. I love how things seem to work out serendipitously.

This was my first attempt at skeletons. Although accidental, I like the way they grow taller as they go across the envelope.

This was my first attempt at skeletons. Although accidental, I like the way they grow taller as they go across the envelope.

I love making Haunted Houses, but I must admit that they take an awful long time to complete. The skeletons took much less time, and I think they look great! I think I’ll be making a bunch more of the skeleton envelopes this year.

This envelope was made using the instructions in Ed Emberley's Halloween Drawing Book.

This envelope was made using the instructions in Ed Emberley’s Halloween Drawing Book.

There are so many ideas for making all sorts of Halloween drawings in Ed Emberley’s book. I think it’s perfect adults as well as children. I know that my adult friends have loved receiving these envelopes in the past.

This is a #10 business envelope with the address written with a white gel pen.

This is a #10 business envelope with the address written with a white gel pen.

I should have started making these envelopes a month ago so I could send them to all my mail art and other friends. Maybe next year. So much art to do and still only 24 hours in a day.

Enjoy, Candy

Studio Snapshot – Birds From Blobs On Envelopes

With the Open Studio Tour behind me, I figured it was time to catch up on some overdue correspondence. So, this past week I played with making blobs into birds, ending up with some colorful, happy envelopes. If you missed the instructions for making birds from blobs, check out my blog post: DIY – From Blobs to Birds.

The birds on these envelopes started out as little watercolor blobs. I love how festive they look!

The birds on these envelopes started out as little watercolor blobs. I love how festive they look!

After making the envelopes, I went to my local Post Office and got their last birds stamps. I hope they get more because I plan on making more of these envelopes.

Close up of one of the envelopes. Each cof these birds started out as a blob of color on the envelope.

Close up of one of the envelopes. Each of these birds started out as a blob of color on the envelope.

I love how colorful these envelopes are. I demonstrated how to make these little birds during the Open Studio Tour, and they were instant hits.

Close up of one of the envelopes. Each of these birds started out as a blob of color on the envelope.

Close up of one of the envelopes. Each of these birds started out as a blob of color on the envelope.

I played around with different watercolors, and they all worked fine, even the inexpensive ones. All you need are some watercolor paints and a black marker.

Although you can't see it well in the photo, these birds were mad from metallic painted blobs. They really sparkle in person.

Although you can’t see it well in the photo, these birds were mad from metallic painted blobs. They really sparkle.

These envelopes are sure to brighten someone’s day. Why not try making some of your own?

NOTE: 
For those of you who have signed up to receive my blog posts by email, please know that there was some sort of program glitch this past month and many of the blog posts did not get sent. So, you may want to check my blog itself to see what you missed.

www.mypaperarts.com

Enjoy, Candy

Wonderful Envelopes Sent To John Neal Bookseller

This week I’m attending my annual summer Calligraphy and Art Retreat near Portland, Oregon. This week is also the annual convention for IAMPETH (short for The International Association of Master Penmen, Engrossers, and Teachers of Handwriting), which is in Portland. So, a few of us went to visit for a few hours.

Envelopes sent to John Neal Bookseller.

Envelopes sent to John Neal Bookseller.

John Neal Bookseller was there to sell supplies to all the attendees and others, like us, who visited. John Neal Bookseller had on display a large quantity of envelopes they have received over the years. My photos aren’t the greatest, but I thought they might provide inspiration. They sure have inspired me.

Envelopes sent to John Neal Bookseller.

Envelopes sent to John Neal Bookseller.

Envelopes sent to John Neal Bookseller.

Envelopes sent to John Neal Bookseller.

Envelopes sent to John Neal Bookseller.

Envelopes sent to John Neal Bookseller.

Envelopes sent to John Neal Bookseller.

Envelopes sent to John Neal Bookseller.

Envelopes sent to John Neal Bookseller.

Envelopes sent to John Neal Bookseller.

One of my favorite envelopes on display.

One of my favorite envelopes on display.

Another close up of one of my favorite envelopes.

Another close up of one of my favorite envelopes.

Another close up of one of my favorite envelopes.

Another close up of one of my favorite envelopes.

Enjoy, Candy

Studio Snapshot – National Letter Writing Month (week 4)

I’ve been having a fun time designing matching envelopes and stationery this month. I’ve been sending out at least one letter a day in a hand decorated envelope in honor of April being National Letter Writing Month. These are the envelopes I sent out last week.

I sent Lilli this envelope and stationery for day 19 of National Letter Writing Month.

This letter and envelope went to Lilli for day 19 of National Letter Writing Month.

I sent Lilli a paste paper envelope last year, so I wanted to send her a different type of envelope this year.

This letter and envelope went to Shelly for day 20 of National Letter Writing Month.

This letter and envelope went to Shelly for day 20 of National Letter Writing Month.

Shelly (above) and Leanne (below) are participants in the Letters of Joy Envelope Exchange. I like the way both of these envelopes and matching stationery came out.

This letter and envelope went to Leanne for day 21 of National Letter Writing Month.

This letter and envelope went to Leanne for day 21 of National Letter Writing Month.

It’s been fun to exchange envelopes with others around the country and sometimes around the world. I’ve been in numerous envelope exchanges and they really are lots of fun. I’ve made a number of new pen pals and friends.

This letter and two envelopes went to Diane for day 22 of National Letter Writing Month.

This letter and two envelopes went to Diane for day 22 of National Letter Writing Month.

Diane does the most wonderful iris folding using both oriental papers and old kimono fabric. I wanted to send her an envelope that had a Japanese feel to it. So I put her letter into an origami envelope and put the envelope into a translucent envelope so you could see the detail of the paste paper and the folded origami envelope inside. I used colors to go with the wonderful cherry blossoms on the stamp. I really like the way it came together. Sometimes my ideas work the first time around.

This letter and envelope went to Eric, in France, for day 23 of National Letter Writing Month.

This letter and envelope went to Eric, in France, for day 23 of National Letter Writing Month.

I have exchanged a number of pieces of mail art with Eric over the years. He lives in France and has pen pals all over the world. He has a blog: My Mail Art World. Check it out to see lots of creative envelopes and art.

This letter and envelope went to Sharon for day 24 of National Letter Writing Month.

This letter and envelope went to Sharon for day 24 of National Letter Writing Month.

My dear friend, Sharon, used to live just down the street from me. We would get together at least once a week. She moved to Portland nearly 4 years ago and I miss her dearly. We stay in touch via phone and snail mail, and an occasional visit. I sent her letter in this envelope made from one of my paste papers.

This letter and envelope went to Susan for day 25 of National Letter Writing Month.

This letter and envelope went to Susan for day 25 of National Letter Writing Month.

I have not yet met Susan, even though we’ve been exchanging decorated envelopes and calligraphy for some time. She’s on the East Coast and I’m on the West Coast. Maybe some day we’ll manage to meet in person. Meanwhile, our mail goes back and forth across the country.

To see the envelopes I sent out in other weeks see:
National Letter Writing Month – Week 1
National Letter  Writing Month – Week 2
National Letter Writing Month – Week 3

Happy letter writing, Candy

Studio Snapshot – National Letter Writing Month (week 3)

As those of you who have been following my blog know, I’ve been sending a letter in a hand decorated envelope every day this month in a challenge to myself because April is National Card & Letter Writing Month. These are the envelopes and matching stationery I sent out this past week.

This paste paper envelope and matching stationery went to Phawnda.

This paste paper envelope and matching stationery went to Phawnda for day 13 of National Letter Writing Month.

Phawnda is a fellow calligrapher who does some amazing calligraphy. You can see some of her work on Phawnda’s Facebook page: https: www.facebook.com/calligraphyanddesignbyphawnda

This is the card and envelope I sent my long time friend, Marge.

This is the card and envelope I sent my long time friend, Marge, for day 12 of National Letter Writing Month.

Marge is an artist friend of mine. I decided to send her one of my oops! envelopes. I spilled two drops of ink on the envelope. I wanted Marge to remember that I’m not perfect! This is one of the reasons I love making and sending hand decorated envelopes, they don’t need to be perfect because they’re “just” envelopes. I tend to be a perfectionist, but I don’t worry about that when I make envelopes because they’re going to get mashed by the postal service anyway.

This card and envelope went to Alyce, one of my blog subscribers.

This card and envelope went to Alyce, one of my blog subscribers, for day 14 of National Letter Writing Month.

This card and envelope went to Alyce. I love how the Copic markers blend together on this flower envelope. I’ve been asked where the address goes. Well, it just wraps around the petal of the flower that has Alyce’s name.

This letter and envelope went to Karen.

This letter and envelope went to Karen for day 15 of National Letter Writing Month.

Karen is one of my envelope exchange buddies. Above is the card and envelope I sent her. I love how the center of the flower almost glows.

This card and envelope went to Marilynne.

This card and envelope went to Marilynne for day 16 of National Letter Writing Month.

Marilyn was in a car accident. She’s finally home after a stay in the hospital followed by rehabilitation. I wanted to send her something fancy. My copperplate needs more practice, but I thought she’d appreciate my attempt.

This card and envelope went to Finnbadger (aka Phillip) for day 17 of National Letter Writing Month.

This card and envelope went to Finnbadger (aka Phillip) for day 17 of National Letter Writing Month.

I’ve been in a number of envelope exchanges with Phillip, aka Finnbadger. He has a blog where you can see some of his envelopes: www.envelope100.blogspot.com

This card and envelope went to Abbey for day 18 of National Letter Writing Month.

This card and envelope went to Abbey for day 18 of National Letter Writing Month.

I should have used my Slide Writer Laser Liner for Abbey’s name on the stationery. I must remember – this is just a letter and I don’t need it to be perfect.

To see the envelopes I sent out in other weeks see:
National Letter Writing Month – Week 1
National Letter  Writing Month – Week 2

Happy letter writing, Candy

 

DIY Flower Envelopes – The Process

I’ve been sharing photos of the envelopes and matching stationery I’ve been making during this April’s National Letter Writing Month. Like last year, I’m writing at least one letter a day for the entire month of April. Many of my envelopes are my flower envelopes and I’ve received numerous requests to share how I make them.

One of several flower envelopes that will be sent out in the mail tomorrow.

This flower envelope will be sent out in the mail tomorrow.

While I showed the process last year when I started making these flower envelopes, I decided to share the information again. Below is the actual progress of one of my envelopes.

These 15 photos show the evolution of a single flower envelope. For this envelope I decided to see what I could do with I had a black background. I like the result.

These 15 photos show the evolution of a single flower envelope. For this envelope I decided to see what I could do with I had a black background. I like the result.

I try and vary something with each envelope I make. For the above envelope, I wanted to see how a flower would look with a black background.

I love how this flower envelope seems to glow.

I love how this flower envelope seems to glow.

Each time I get a new Copic marker, I try it out to see how it will look as a background for one of my flower envelopes.

I spilled gold acrylic ink on this envelope after I had colored the background, but not the flower. I wiped the gold paint evenly over the entire envelope and it developed a wonderful patina. It even showed through after I painted the flower petals. Happy accident!

I spilled gold acrylic ink on this envelope after I had colored the background, but not the flower. I wiped the gold paint evenly over the entire envelope and it developed a wonderful patina. Happy Accident!

The gold sparkle on the above “Happy Accident” flower envelope doesn’t show on the photo above, but it looks marvelous. I hate to part with this one. I am going to create a similar one before I put this in the mail.

I love experimenting with colors I would not normally use together as in this flower envelope.

I love experimenting with colors I would not normally use together as in this flower envelope.

One of the great things about playing with these envelopes is that I can experiment with unusual (for me) color combinations. The above envelope has a violet that looks a bit gray. I would never put that color with a peachy color, but somehow it works. I never would have known without experimenting.

Another flower envelope that will go in the mail tomorrow.

Another flower envelope that will go in the mail tomorrow.

Believe it or not, the two flower envelopes above have same background. It’s amazing how colors look different depending on the colors around them.

Purple, orange, pink and blue? I just had to try this unusual combination and I like it for this flower envelope.

Purple, orange, pink and blue? I just had to try this unusual combination and I like it for this flower envelope.

Because envelopes aren’t works of art that I put a frame on, I feel the freedom to experiment and play more than when I am trying to make a finished piece of art.

Here I tried having the background petals darker and the foreground petals lighter. I did the opposite on Kate's and Karen's flower envelopes.

Here I tried having the background petals darker and the foreground petals lighter. I did the opposite on Kate’s and Karen’s flower envelopes.

I have eleven envelopes going out by this weekend as part of an envelope exchange. It’s been fun to play with so many different ideas.

This flower envelope will need more stamps as it is going to France.

This flower envelope will need more stamps as it is going to France.

I still have a log list of people I want to write to, so I am sure I will be making more flower envelopes for quite a while. It’s so much fun (even though they usually take 2 to 3 hours each to make).

This is my demonstration envelope ready to go out in the mail. The address will be written in white.

This is my demonstration envelope ready to go out in the mail. The address will be written in white.

To see more of my envelopes, check out these blog posts:
Studio Snapshot – Flower Envelope Series
Studio Snapshot – National Letter Writing Month (week 1)
Studio Snapshot – National Letter Writing Month (week 2)

Enjoy, Candy

Studio Snapshot – National Letter Writing Month (week 2)

If you have been following my blog, you know that April is National Card and Letter Writing Month. I have challenged myself to send at least one letter a day, in an envelope I have decorated, for the entire month. Here is what I sent out this past week.

This letter and envelope went to Martha for day 5 of National Letter Writing Month.

This letter and envelope went to Martha for day 5 of National Letter Writing Month.

Martha is one of the people in an envelope exchange I am participating in. I need to send my exchange envelopes out by the end of the month. My challenge to send a letter and envelope a day is a perfect reminder to get these envelopes in the mail.

This letter and envelope went to Sallie for day 6 of National Letter Writing Month.

This letter and envelope went to Sallie for day 6 of National Letter Writing Month.

Sallie is a friend I met through my blog. Last year she even made me a wonderful breakfast before I went to a Calligrapher’s Conference that was in the town she lives in.

My envelope and letter for day 7 of National Letter Writing Month went to another Sally, also in Washington.

My envelope and letter for day 7 of National Letter Writing Month went to another Sally, also in Washington.

Sally is a friend I met at a calligraphy conference many years ago. We still keep in touch.

This envelope and note (along with the banana bread) went to Gayle for day 8 of National Letter Writing Month.

This envelope and note (along with the banana bread) went to Gayle for day 8 of National Letter Writing Month.

My friend, Gayle, just had surgery. I hand delivered her get well soon letter as well as the banana bread.

My letter and envelope for day 9 of National Letter Writing Month goes to Jean, not Joan as I misspelled her name on the envelope.

My letter and envelope for day 9 of National Letter Writing Month goes to Jean, not Joan as I misspelled her name on the envelope.

If you’re a calligrapher, you’ll understand. We calligraphers concentrate on getting our letters “just so.” So much so that we tend to not think about the spelling. That’s exactly what happened here. This letter and envelope went to Jean, not Joan, Wilson. Since Jean is a calligrapher, I’m sure she’ll understand, so I sent it the way I addressed it.

My letter and envelope for day 10 of National Letter Writing Month went to Sophia.

My letter and envelope for day 10 of National Letter Writing Month went to Sophia.

Sophia is a friend who loves purple. So, I just had to send her an envelope with her name in purple.

My letter and envelope for day 11 of National Letter Writing Month went to Hans.

My letter and envelope for day 11 of National Letter Writing Month went to Hans.

Hans, like Martha, is one of the participants in my envelope exchange.

To see the envelopes I sent out in week one and later see:
National Letter Writing Month – Week 1
National Letter Writing Month – Week 3

Happy Letter Writing, Candy

Studio Snapshot – National Letter Writing Month (week 1)

April is National Card and Letter Writing Month. I am challenging myself to send at least one letter a day, in an envelope I have decorated, for the month of April. Here is what I have sent out so far this month.

This envelope and letter went out to Betsy on April 1.

This envelope and letter went out to Betsy on April 1.

Betsy moved into her new digs on April 1st. I hope my letter is the first one she receives at her new address. Moving is very stressful, so hopefully this will life her spirits while she is unpacking.

My letter and envelope for day 2 of National Letter Writing Month goes to Miles.

My letter and envelope for day 2 of National Letter Writing Month goes to Miles.

I’ve owed my mail art and pen pal, Miles, a letter an envelope for a few months now. Hopefully I can use this month to get caught up on mail art to many of my friends as well as some to new ones as well.

This is what I send to Natalie for day 3 of National Card and Letter Writing Month.

This is what I send to Natalie for day 3 of National Card and Letter Writing Month.

Natalie, like me, makes paste papers. She requested I send her something made from paste paper. The design on the paste paper I used for the envelope is decorated with a stamp (in this case a.k.a. a toilet paper roll center). I then pasted 1″ squares of paste papers to the side of my letter.

Today's letter and envelope goes to Angel, who is one of the people in my envelope exchange from Letters of Joy.

Today’s letter and envelope goes to Angel, who is one of the people in my envelope exchange from Letters of Joy.

I am happily playing catch up with my envelope exchange from Letters of Joy. I still have a couple of weeks before I would be labeled “late”, so the challenge to myself for sending a letter and envelope a day this month is helping keep me on track.

This is what I have sent out in later weeks:
National Letter Writing Month – Week 2
National Letter Writing Month – Week 3

Happy letter writing, Candy

April Is National Card and Letter Writing Month

Last year I discovered that April is National Card and Letter Writing Month. I hadn’t realized there was such a thing. When I found out about it, I issued myself a challenge to make and send an envelope (with letter inside) every day for the month of April. Both the recipients and I had a great time. Most everyone I sent an envelope and letter to, sent one back to me. It was great fun!

I bought this Sharpie water based marker and found it wrote wonderfully even over the silver on my paste papers.

One of my favorite envelopes from last year. I used this Sharpie water based marker to write over one of my silver and blue paste papers which I made into an envelope. Simple and elegant.

I enjoyed it so much that I have decided to do it again this year. You are welcome to leave a comment below if you are interested in receiving an envelope and letter. I’ll then send you an email and you can send me your address. And maybe you’ll return the favor and send me a decorated envelope and letter in return.

I am starting my envelopes for National Card and Letter Writing Month which starts next week.

I am starting my envelopes for National Card and Letter Writing Month which starts next week.

On my Facebook page for My Paper Arts, I will be sharing a photo each day of the envelope I send out. I’ll also show some of the envelopes on my weekly Studio Snapshot here on this blog.

It’s going to be a fun month and I’d love to have you play along with me.

Happy Letter Writing, Candy

DIY Halloween Pumpkin Face Envelopes

These Halloween Pumpkin Face Envelopes were quite popular when I shared the instructions on how to make them last year, so I thought I’d share them again. They are so fun to make.

These Halloween Pumpkin envelopes are fun to make. I made them for children during the First Friday Art Walk and they loved them!

These Halloween Pumpkin envelopes are fun to make. I made them for children during the First Friday Art Walk and they loved them!

I love the change of seasons from summer to autumn. Even though the days can still be warm, the evenings are wonderfully cool. The mornings feel crisp and there’s a tang in the air, the trees are starting to change the colors of their leaves. At this time of year, I can’t help but think about the upcoming holiday of Halloween, and of course, pumpkins.

After printing the envelope template on computer paper, trace the design onto black paper by using colored transfer paper (similar to carbon paper, but not as messy).

After printing the envelope template on computer paper, trace the design onto black paper by using colored transfer paper (similar to carbon paper, but not as messy).

I got the idea of making a fun Halloween envelope from some black wrapping paper I found at Paper Source and some orange paper I had here in my studio. I made a small catalog envelope template (there’s a template for you at the bottom of the blog post) and drew a simple pumpkin face to fit on the front.

Here is what it looks like after tracing the template onto black paper.

Here is what it looks like after tracing the template onto black paper.

Make a pumpkin face design of your choice and trace it on the inside of the open envelope.

Make a pumpkin face design of your choice and trace it on the inside of the open envelope.

Cut the envelope out with a craft knife (or scissors) and fold the envelope (but don't glue or tape the envelope yet).

Cut the envelope out with a craft knife (or scissors) and fold the envelope (but don’t glue or tape the envelope yet).

After printing the template on white copy paper, I traced the template (both the cut and fold lines) onto the back of the black paper using blue transfer paper, because I knew that regular transfer or carbon paper wouldn’t show up well on black paper. And printing on black paper was out of the question. My colored transfer paper was purchased at my local art supply store. If you don’t have or can’t get colored transfer paper, see the other options below.

Cut out the pumpkin face with a craft knife. Here I've cut out the eyes and put a piece of orange paper behind one of the eyes.

Cut out the pumpkin face with a craft knife. Here I’ve cut out the eyes and put a piece of orange paper behind one of the eyes.

Once I cut out my envelope, I centered the pumpkin face on the back of my envelope and traced the pattern, again using my colored transfer paper. Then, I cut out the face from the back of the envelope. The orange paper was glued to the back of the envelope with glue stick, then the envelope was folded, and double sided tape was used to glue it together.

Here I've pasted a piece of orange paper behind the face. Now you can paste or use double sided tape to close the envelope.

Here I’ve pasted a piece of orange paper behind the face. Now you can paste or use double sided tape to close the envelope.

I made my pumpkin mouth large enough to write a name or name and address in. Unfortunately, although this is a mailable envelope size, the cut out face makes it impossible for it to go through the postal machines. If you want to mail this envelope, you can’t cut out your pumpkin face, but you could draw the face on your envelope.

Options If You Don’t Have Colored Transfer Paper

1. You can use bar soap to cover the back of the your envelope template before tracing your envelope on black paper. You will need to reapply the soap each time before you trace.

2. You can print the envelope template on orange paper and place a piece of black paper behind the cut out face.

This envelope doesn't have any cut outs. I used the small catalog template and printed it on orange paper. Then I drew the pumpkin face on the envelope with a black marker. I will be writing the address either under the eyes in a black pen or in the mouth with a white gel pen.

This envelope doesn’t have any cut outs. I used the small catalog envelope template and printed it on orange paper. Then I drew the pumpkin face on the envelope with a black marker. I will be writing the address either under the eyes in a black pen or in the mouth with a white gel pen.

Click here to download the Small Catalog Envelope template.

Happy creating, Candy

DIY – Coordinating Stationery

I’ve been sending out letters and notes in my flower envelopes (see Flower Envelopes – The Process for how I make them). However, with all the effort I’ve gone through to make the envelopes, it seemed a shame that I didn’t have coordinating stationery to go with the envelopes. So, I decided to rectify that situation.

I used the same colors on the stripe on note paper that I used to paint the envelope and now it's coordinating stationery and not just a pretty envelope.

I used the same colors on the stripe of the note paper that I used to paint the envelope. I now have coordinating stationery, not just a pretty envelope.

I wanted something simple, yet have it match the colors and style of the envelope. I used a number of papers, both watercolor and light cover papers, papers from my stash. If I were to buy a paper, I think I’d try a quality medium weight bristol paper.

The first thing I did was to tape off the area on the paper that I wanted to paint. You can see I used blue painters tape.

The first thing I did was to tape off the area on the paper that I wanted to paint. You can see I used blue painters tape.

The envelopes I’ve been painting are A-7 envelopes and are designed to fit a card (or piece of paper) that is 5″ by 7″. So that’s the size I cut my papers. Then I used either blue painters tape (like in the photo) or transparent removable tape (not shown). I think artists tape would work better, but I don’t have any in my studio right now. I tend to work with what’s available at the moment I get my inspiration.

I painted gold over the orange, just as I did when I made my envelope.

I painted gold liquid acrylic over the orange of the Copic marker, just as I did when I made my envelope.

I taped off section of the paper a little over 1/2″ wide. Then I painted colors and or patterns that I used when making the envelope.

And while the gold paint was still wet I added the hot pink paint in some areas.

And while the gold paint was still wet I added the hot pink paint in some areas.

There was a deckle edge on some of the watercolor papers, so I taped off just the edge and painted it a coordinating color.

I painted the deckle edge on this watercolor paper the same color as the background on the envelope. I also painted a decoration that reminded me of the flower petals on the envelope.

I painted the deckle edge on this watercolor paper the same color as the background on the envelope. I also painted a decoration that reminded me of the flower petals on the envelope.

Just painting a deckle edge a coordinating color of an envelope could be just enough to make beautiful coordinating stationery. That would be simple and elegant (and a lot less work).

For the coordinating stationery here, I painted the background color of the envelope to the left of the patterned stipe. There are lots of options.

For the coordinating stationery here, I painted the background color of the envelope to the left of the patterned stipe. There are lots of options.

I didn’t match the envelope exactly. I just tried do something that had a similar feel and color so it felt like the stationery and envelope went together.

Here is another envelope where I colored the strip to the left of the patterned stripe on the coordinating notepaper.

Here is another envelope where I colored the strip to the left of the patterned stripe on the coordinating notepaper.

While I could have made a traditional notecard that’s blank inside, I decided to have just a single piece of paper. I can write my notes on one or both sides of the paper. I used a somewhat heavy paper, so the writing won’t show through the other side of the paper.

This should be titled "Pretty in Pink"

This should be titled “Pretty in Pink”

Since this flower with the black background was so dramatic, I had to come up with a design that looked dramatic too. I ended up putting a black stripe on each side of the pattern, along with gold dots that I also used on the envelope.

Since this envelope with the black background is so dramatic, I had to come up with a design that looked dramatic too. I ended up putting a black stripe on each side of the pattern, along with gold dots that I also used on the envelope.

This notecard shows how I plan on writing to my friends by writing their name in a coordinating color.

This notecard shows how I plan on writing to my friends by writing their name in a coordinating color.

This notecard has a painted deckle edge the same color as the background on the envelope.

Another example of a notecard with a painted deckle edge the same color as the background on the envelope.

Play and enjoy!

Here’s to happy letter writing, Candy

 

Flower Envelopes – The Process

In April, which was National Letter Writing Month, I wrote a letter a day and sent it in an envelope that I either made or decorated. About halfway through the month I made an envelope with a flower on the front which ended up being the first of a series of flower envelopes. I’m still making them, trying something a little different with each one.

One of several flower envelopes that will be sent out in the mail tomorrow.

This flower envelope will be sent out in the mail tomorrow.

These envelopes have gotten rave reviews from my friends and fans. So, I decided to share the process I go through.

These 15 photos show the evolution of a single flower envelope. For this envelope I decided to see what I could do with I had a black background. I like the result.

These 15 photos show the evolution of a single flower envelope. For this envelope I decided to see what I could do with I had a black background. I like the result.

I try and vary something with each envelope I make. For the above envelope, I wanted to see how a flower would look with a black background.

I love how this flower envelope seems to glow.

I love how this flower envelope seems to glow.

Each time I get a new Copic marker, I try it out to see how it will look as a background for one of my flower envelopes.

I spilled gold acrylic ink on this envelope after I had colored the background, but not the flower. I wiped the gold paint evenly over the entire envelope and it developed a wonderful patina. It even showed through after I painted the flower petals. Happy accident!

I spilled gold acrylic ink on this envelope after I had colored the background, but not the flower. I wiped the gold paint evenly over the entire envelope and it developed a wonderful patina. Happy Accident!

The gold sparkle on the above “Happy Accident” flower envelope doesn’t show on the photo above, but it looks marvelous. I hate to part with this one. I am going to create a similar one before I put this in the mail.

I love experimenting with colors I would not normally use together as in this flower envelope.

I love experimenting with colors I would not normally use together as in this flower envelope.

One of the great things about playing with these envelopes is that I can experiment with unusual (for me) color combinations. The above envelope has a violet that looks a bit gray. I would never put that color with a peachy color, but somehow it works. I never would have known without experimenting.

Another flower envelope that will go in the mail tomorrow.

Another flower envelope that will go in the mail tomorrow.

Believe it or not, the two flower envelopes above have same background. It’s amazing how colors look different depending on the colors around them.

Purple, orange, pink and blue? I just had to try this unusual combination and I like it for this flower envelope.

Purple, orange, pink and blue? I just had to try this unusual combination and I like it for this flower envelope.

Because envelopes aren’t works of art that I put a frame on, I feel the freedom to experiment and play more than when I am trying to make a finished piece of art.

Here I tried having the background petals darker and the foreground petals lighter. I did the opposite on Kate's and Karen's flower envelopes.

Here I tried having the background petals darker and the foreground petals lighter. I did the opposite on Kate’s and Karen’s flower envelopes.

I have eleven envelopes going out by this weekend as part of an envelope exchange. It’s been fun to play with so many different ideas.

This flower envelope will need more stamps as it is going to France.

This flower envelope will need more stamps as it is going to France.

I still have a log list of people I want to write to, so I am sure I will be making more flower envelopes for quite a while. It’s so much fun (even though they usually take 2 to 3 hours each to make).

This is my demonstration envelope ready to go out in the mail. The address will be written in white.

This is my demonstration envelope ready to go out in the mail. The address will be written in white.

To see more of my envelopes, check out these blog post:
Studio Snapshot – Flower Envelope Series

Enjoy, Candy

DIY – How To Make A Plastic Bottle Into An Envelope

A big thank you to Jack who wrote in my comments about sending some folded boxes in a bottle to his daughter and family for Easter. It was such a great idea, I knew I had to try it for myself.

This plastic bottle is the envelope. Proper postage has been applied.

This plastic bottle is the envelope. Proper postage has been applied.

And what a perfect “envelope” to send for the last day of National Letter Writing Month. This went to Jean Wilson of the blog, Pushing The Envelopes. Check out her blog to see lots of wonderful mail art.

Folded boxes as seen from the back of the bottle that is also an envelope. Address label is on the other side of the envelope.

Folded boxes as seen from the back of the bottle that is also an envelope. Address label is on the other side of the envelope.

The black line on the bottle shows where I slit the bottle with a knife.

The black line on the bottle shows where I slit the bottle with a knife.

Instructions:
1. Remove the label from your plastic bottle.

2. Cut a slit in the bottle, just big enough to push through whatever you want to put into the bottle.

3. Carefully push folded boxes or whatever you have chosen into the bottle. Make a mailing label just large enough to cover the slit.

4. Glue the bottle cap on the bottle.

5. Take bottle to the Post Office for postage and mail. It cost me $2.32 to mail my “envelope.”

In this photo you can see the address label and the boxes in the bottle. This photo was taken just before I took the bottle to the Post Office and got the postage put on it.

In this photo you can see the address label and the boxes in the bottle. This photo was taken just before I took the bottle to the Post Office and got the postage put on it.

Happy mail art, Candy

Studio Snapshot – Flower Envelope Series

I’ve been sending out a letter-a-day for the month of April in honor of it being National Letter Writing Month. My letters have all gone out in a handmade or hand decorated envelope. Somewhere during the month I made an envelope with a flower on it. I liked it and made another and another and another. And lo and behold, I realized I created a series.

One of the envelopes in my flower series. In this one the flower petals are watercolors and the background of the envelope was made with a Copic marker.

From my Flower Envelope Series. Made with watercolors (petals) and Copic markers.

I kept changing something with each new envelope. I tried new colors or centers of the flowers or number of flower petals or the kind of markers or watercolors I used. I experimented with lots of different ideas, but kept close to the same flower design for all the envelopes.

One of the envelopes in my Flower Envelope Series. This was made with Copic markers for both the flower and the background. The name was written with a white Sharpie marker.

From my Flower Envelope Series. Flower petals and background made with Copic markers. Name written with a white Sharpie marker.

It’s been interesting to try to combine colors that I would not usually use together. Sometimes the combination works, sometimes not so well.

From my Flower Envelope Series. Made with watercolors and Copic marker.

From my Flower Envelope Series. Made with watercolors (petals) and Copic markers.

I don’t think I am through making flower envelopes. I still have some ideas I want to play around with.

From my Flower Envelope Series. Made with Copic markers.

From my Flower Envelope Series. Made with Copic markers.

I won’t be making as many flower envelopes as I have been lately because many of them take hours to make and I have other things I want to make too. Still, you’re likely to see some more of them sometime in the future.

One of my Flower Envelope Series. Made with Copic markers and white Sharpie.

One of my Flower Envelope Series. Made with Copic markers and white Sharpie.

One of my Flower Envelope Series. Made with Copic marker, watercolors and white Sharpie.

One of my Flower Envelope Series. Made with Copic marker, watercolors, gold pen, and white Sharpie.

From my Flower Envelope Series made with Copic markers and white Sharpie marker.

One of my Flower Envelope Series. Made with Copic markers and white Sharpie.

One of my Flower Envelope Series. Made with Copic markers and white Sharpie.

One of my Flower Envelope Series. Made with Copic markers and white Sharpie.

One of my Flower Envelope Series. Lisa wanted me to make her an envelope with lots of yellow. I think this qualifies.

One of my Flower Envelope Series. Lisa wanted me to make her an envelope with lots of yellow. I think this qualifies.

One of my Flower Envelope Series. Made with Copic markers and white Sharpie.

One of my Flower Envelope Series. Made with Copic markers and Sharpie markers. Note how the Sharpie background shows the marker strokes more than the Copic markers.

One of my Flower Envelope Series. I'm not ready to let go of this one yet.

One of my Flower Envelope Series. I’m not ready to let go of this one yet.

One of my Flower Envelope Series. I'm not ready to let go of this one yet.

One of my Flower Envelope Series. I’m not ready to let go of this one yet.

One of my Flower Envelope Series. I'm not ready to let go of this one yet.

One of my Flower Envelope Series. I’m not ready to let go of this one yet.

One of my Flower Envelope Series. I'm not ready to let go of this one yet.

One of my Flower Envelope Series. I’m not ready to let go of this one yet.

I just finished the above envelope. It’s been a really fun month, making envelopes and writing letters for National Letter Writing Month.

Happy Letter Writing, Candy