new stationery in the shop

Mail, Mail Art

Dactyl Borealis Stationery Set

Blue-White-Red-Stationery-S

Autumn News Stationery Set

Valley-of-Scallops-Statione

Pink-PDX-Stationery-Set

I’ve been a busy bee adding some new stationery sets to the shop! These sets were all made from some mixed media pieces I did. This is probably one of my favorite ways to make new stationery sets! I’ve been having a hard time collaging since getting more into paints and stuff. With these pieces, I do a little something-something on a 4×6 blank cardstock. I actually buy those blank watercolor postcard packs and they work so well. From there, I use paints, stencils, alcohol inks, stamps, and basically anything I can find. Sometimes I add scraps of paper but most of the time I don’t. After I finish with the postcard, I scan them into my computer and manipulate them in Photoshop to fit my stationery templates.

Another thing I have been doing with mail art pieces is the same process but using that as more of a background for a collage. I finish the mixed media pieces in record time. Collage seems to take me 30 minutes to an hour, depending on inspiration and motivation. I love just throwing paints everywhere and not really caring how it turns out. Sometimes it’s terrible but most of the time it’s pretty cool!

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what i’m working on

Mail, Mail Art

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What am I working on? Stationery, of course! I’ve been straying a bit away from digital collage these days in favor of physical mixed media pieces. I’ve been buying little blank packs of postcards to make my creations. After I finish the piece, I scan it in and turn it into envelopes and stationery. As much as I love the convenience of digital collage, there is nothing quite like getting your hands dirty!

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One thing I’m super into lately is patterns. I dunno what it is but I can’t stop stamping patterns on everything. I think it might be because of the ink pads I recently purchased through Stampin’ Up. Thank goodness for birthday money! I can’t get over the quality of those ink pads though. They are amazing.

I am, however, having trouble coming up with names for these designs! I’m calling the donut pattern “donut you love writing” but that is about as creative as I get with titles. Anywhoo, these guys will be in my shop soon! You know, once I get off my bum and take photos…

mail art diaries: how i make digital collages

Mail Art Diaries, Personal

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I started making digital collages when I started designing stationery. Although I have been making “real” collages for over 10 years now, I have only been doing things digitally for over a year. I always wanted to sell my mail art but it would be so time consuming to create each unique piece by hand; I wouldn’t have time to actually write letters! To make things easier on myself, I scanned in my collection of images, ephemera and whatever paper bits I had, and started creating collages through Photoshop. Well, Photoshop Elements, because I’m cheap.

Watching people create things is seriously one of my favorite things to do. I think that is probably my favorite thing about the internet. I love watching people do things I can’t (or am too lazy to learn). I love watching people paint, draw, write calligraphy, you name it. I even like watching people do things I can do (like mail art!). I think I’ve watched almost every YouTube video there is of people making mail art. I finally found a free program to capture my computer screen by video so now I get to contribute to the world of creative process videos. Check it out below!

To celebrate my first computer-screen video, I am sharing the file for the envelope I created in the video. Check it out! It is a PDF file, you can print it on a regular 8.5×11 piece of paper. You will have to cut it out and fold it!

Writing With A Quill Pen

Personal

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A really long time ago I bought this stationery set. I was really intrigued by it when I bought it, and thought I would use it right away. When I brought it home, I had no desire to use it. Probably because it wasn’t 100% ready out of the box; it required some “work” by mixing the ink. I was also intimidated by the quill pen. I have never, and haven’t since, used a quill pen. Fountain pens? Sure! Quill pens are on a whole different level.

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Finally I decided to throw caution to the wind and mixed that ink with some water. Which happened to be my favorite part of this experience. I loved watching the ink! I feel like I used entirely way too much water but, from what I recall, the package called for way too little water. I don’t know anything about mixing ink.

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The quill pen itself was a chore to use and the paper was awful to write on. I felt like I had to get more ink after every letter I wrote. When I got too much ink, it would just pile out in a puddle where I was writing. That’s annoying. The only thing I enjoyed about the pen was the broad tip. It made my handwriting look fabulous. I love thick, bold letters.

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Eventually I got bored and just doodled all over the place. I tried using this blue fountain pen ink I had to see if I could get a better feel for writing with the quill pen but I don’t think it worked. It looked pretty though! I especially love the way the fountain pen ink seeped into the paper.

I thought I would use the remaining paper for writing letters but it was truly the worst paper I have ever used. I tried to write one letter with it and wanted to throw it out the window. Regular pens just did not work on it! It was super scratchy and also had a waxy texture to it.

Painting Stationery

Mail

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Remember my SCRAP Haul post from the other day? This is what I have been creating with some of the paints I purchased!

I’ve been obsessed with using paints as a background and just adding on top of it. This stationery started out as pages from a vintage encyclopedia I have. I used a makeup applicator sponge to apply different paint colors, as well as some alcohol inks. I realized I’m not too fond of alcohol inks so I’m trying to use up what I purchased years ago.

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For the set above, I used my little diamond rubber stamp and a square stencil to add the shapes. To draw attention to some of the shapes, I outlined them with my white Gelly Roll pen and my black Uni-ball Vision pen. I really love that technique! Since I’m a big fan of collage, I also punched out some circles of an old map I had to add to the page. I really love the look of the brown paint I picked up; in the light, it has a bit of a metallic shine to it.

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Of course I picked up some purple paint! Unfortunately a lot of the other colors I bought don’t go that well with it but I’m also a bit picky about what I color I pair with purple (I don’t know why!). I used basically the same elements for this set; paint, some rubber, stamps, alcohol inks, and outlining with pens! It’s a pretty solid way of doing things, if I say so myself. I’m really happy how these turned out and I’m excited to start writing letters on them!

One thing I really love about this technique is that it makes such a great background for everything! I did the same process for an envelope and then collaged on top of it. Most of it ended up being covered but the parts that were visible went so well with the collage! I think I will be stuck on this look for quite some time. It’s super quick and a lot of fun! I can’t wait to pick up some more paints to use. I really want some neon colors because I’ve been diggin really bright things lately.

Let’s Talk About Stationery: Linen

Advice, Let's Talk About Stationery

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Let’s talk about stationery! I’ve been on the hunt for the best paper for the stationery I sell. I recently ordered some paper samples from a company called Neenah Paper. I’ve been trying to find paper samples for ages and somehow came across their website. I saw that you could order samples of the paper they carry, and went a bit overboard. The catalog itself is completely free, you just have to pay for shipping.

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I was so anxious to receive the package full of samples. I love stationery; love it. I love finding the perfect paper to write on even more. I felt like it took forever for the samples to arrive but it really only took a few days. It was totally worth the wait though, the sample catalogs are gorgeous. They have a selection of every color that is offered for the specific paper type, the different weights they come in, and they just look awesome.

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Choosing the weight of paper is so important! I decided to write on the weight I thought would be best, with four different pens: Pentax EnerGel, Pilot Precise V7 Sharpie, and a fountain pen. I wanted to see how each pen felt writing on the paper, how much bleed there would be, and smudge-factor.

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I really enjoyed the linen paper. It has a texture similar to the laid paper but it is a subtle texture and it is way smoother to write on. The laid paper is a bit smeary to the touch but I think the quality of it makes up for that. This paper seems to be a bit more thin feeling than others. I typically prefer a 120 gsm paper but, with the linen, I chose 148 gsm sample to write on. All the other weights were very see-through. All in all, this is really lovely stationery!


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Pens used: Pentax EnerGel, Pilot Precise V7, Sharpie, and fountain pen.
Bleed-through: Heavy.
Smudge-factor: Moderate. Not a great paper to use if you are in a rush!
Writability: Excellent. Linen has a really lovely, subtle texture.

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Let’s Talk About Stationery: Laid

Advice, Let's Talk About Stationery

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Let’s talk about stationery! I’ve been on the hunt for the best paper to print my stationery on. I recently ordered some paper samples from a company called Neenah Paper. I’ve been trying to find paper samples for ages and somehow came across their website. I saw that you could order samples of the paper they carry, and went a bit overboard. The catalog itself is completely free, you just have to pay for shipping.

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I was so anxious to receive the package full of samples. I love stationery; love it. I love finding the perfect paper to write on even more. I felt like it took forever for the samples to arrive but it really only took a few days. It was totally worth the wait though, the sample catalogs are gorgeous. They have a selection of every color that is offered for the specific paper type, the different weights they come in, and they just look awesome.

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Choosing the weight of paper is so important! I decided to write on the weight I thought would be best, with four different pens: Pentax EnerGel, Pilot Precise V7, Sharpie, and a fountain pen. I wanted to see how each pen felt writing on the paper, how much bleed there would be, and smudge-factor.

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I’ve read a few positive things on different blogs about laid paper but it turned out to be really disappointing! I was expecting to really like this paper, especially for fountain pens.  The smudge-factor was pretty high for all of the pens, and the texture of the paper makes it difficult and uncomfortable to write on. The paper has very small lines that run horizontally. I love the feel of it but the pens don’t! The bleed-through is pretty low, which is probably the only redeeming factor of this paper!


Laid

Pens used: Pentax EnerGel, Pilot Precise V7, Sharpie, and fountain pen.
Bleed-through: Low.
Smudge-factor: High.
Writability: Poor. Too much texture!

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Let’s Talk About Stationery: Columns

Advice, Let's Talk About Stationery

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Let’s talk about stationery! I’ve been on the hunt for the best paper to print my stationery on. I recently ordered some paper samples from a company called Neenah Paper. I’ve been trying to find paper samples for ages and somehow came across their website. I saw that you could order samples of the paper they carry, and went a bit overboard. The catalog itself is completely free, you just have to pay for shipping.

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I was so anxious to receive the package full of samples. I love stationery; love it. I love finding the perfect paper to write on even more. I felt like it took forever for the samples to arrive but it really only took a few days. It was totally worth the wait though, the sample catalogs are gorgeous. They have a selection of every color that is offered for the specific paper type, the different weights they come in, and they just look awesome.

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Choosing the weight of paper is so important! I decided to write on the weight I thought would be best, with four different pens: Pentax EnerGel, Pilot Precise V7, Sharpie, and a fountain pen. I wanted to see how each pen felt writing on the paper, how much bleed there would be, and smudge-factor.

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Columns is such a lovely paper. It might be my favorite but it’s so hard to choose. There are, quite literally, little columns that run vertically on the paper. It adds such a beautiful texture to it. I was concerned that it would feel weird to write on, especially with a fountain pen. I was wrong! It was wonderful to write on with all the pens. The smudge-factor was low, the only pen that smudged was the fountain pen. I take that with a grain of salt, since I intentionally swiped my finger on the ink immediately after I wrote it. There is no smudging if you wait a few seconds before touching the ink! There is, however, a bit of bleed-through. You can’t win them all!


Columns

Pens used: Pentax EnerGel, Pilot Precise V7, Sharpie, and fountain pen.
Bleed-through: Moderate, with Sharpie being the worst offender.
Smudge-factor: Low.
Writability: Excellent, smooth with the right amount of texture.

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