Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Around The Outside

We love to watch Chef John's recipes on YouTube. Not so much for his food, which can be a little bizarre, but because he's hilarious. He deliberately mispronounces things - I think it's deliberate - like "salsa". He pronounces it "salza". He pronounces "syrup" "sirrrp". He pronounces "skewers" "skirrs". He also has a funny little singsong way of talking that's completely different from the way he speaks normally. It's just quirky and fun. Throughout his recipes, he slips in little jokes and funny references, like his constant reference to Eminem whenever he's arranging something around the outside of a plate, with "round the outside, round the outside." Gotta love a chef who knows his Eminem.

Anyway, last night when we were watching his show I was thinking I don't pay enough attention to the things round the outside of my cards - my envelopes.

Yes, I buy beautifully colored self sealing envelopes like the Key Lime ones I'm using today.

But in the 80's, when I was mailing a LOT of letters and postcards, envelope art was a given. I'd never have dreamed of sending a letter in a plain - even colored, but plain - envelope. Somewhere along the way as I started spending more time on my cards, I started spending less time on my envelopes.

So I thought today we could meet in the middle - with pretty, stamped envelopes and some quick cards.

This stunning wildflower border set was my inspiration for this project. It has everything I look for in a floral, which is this - I need my floral sets to look good in both black and white and colored/painted. That means they have to have a good amount of detail, but not so much shading or detail that they only look good in black and white. I can always add detail to a more open set that is good for both! See my stamp etching tutorial to see what I mean.

This set is perfect for both - plenty of room to color in numerous hues, but crispy and perfect in just black, which is how I'm using it today.

The set has a nice straight line, which you'll see below, but I used the two border images in the set slightly off the edge of my green envelope in Black Amalgam Ink, and then colored the images with my white gel pen. I moved the stamp in so as not to interfere with the design.
It's just as eyecatching uncolored on the left edge with that nice straight line.

Next, I flipped the envelope into the portrait orientation so that I could use both the images in the set together to form an address block. The Post Office doesn't care if your envelopes are addressed in landscape or portrait format, so mix it up! :)
To balance the amount of time spent on the outside with time spent on the card, I created two of these quick and clean cards with the wildflower set and these beautiful dies.

I left the stamps in my MISTI, and stamped a second card, this time using the friend die from the same set.
Aren't those fun and eye catching? I just love knowing I've made a piece of mail as pretty as I can. 

Well, minus my handwriting that is - a calligrapher I am not!

Do you like envelope art? Tell me what you like to do in the comments! 

All supplies are listed below. I'll be back Friday with some thoughts on CrimeCon! Below the supplies, you'll find a recipe I love and a cookbook I love :).

Clear Stamps- Whimsical Wildflower...
[ GNK ]
Clear Stamps- Stitched Leaves - Gina...
[ GNK ]
Stitched Leaves Die Set - Gina K Designs
[ GNK ]
Envelopes 10 pack- Key Lime - Gina K...
[ GNK ]
Sakura CLASSIC WHITE Fine Line 05...
[ SSS ]
Art Anthology BIG CRAFT MAT 24x36 311473
[ SSS ]
GKD Amalgam Ink Pad- Jet Black
[ GNK ]
Heavy Base Weight Card Stock- White
[ GNK ]
MISTI Stamping Tool
[ MSP | HA | SSS | ELH | MFT | UNT ]
Rotatrim Professional Series Cutter -...
[ BLIC ]
LightView 2in1 LED Magnifier for...
[ BRG ]
Mudder 10 Pack White Buffer Sanding...
Teflon Bone Folder - Ellen Hutson LLC
[ ELH | SSS ]
Crafter's Companion GEMINI...
[ SSS ]
Cut Align
[ MSP ]
Essentials by Ellen Storage...
[ ELH ]
Die Storage - Clear Storage Pockets...
[ CHC ]
XL Stamp Storage Pockets
[ ELH ]
Lawn Fawn STAMP SHAMMY Cleaner LF1045
[ SSS | CST ]
Airtable: Organize your stamps & dies
[ ART ]

I made this recipe recently and loved it - you should try it! And yes, Katherine, I'm looking at you. 

And my friend Lori recently told me to buy this cookbook, and I always buy everything she tells me to buy. It's set up to have you meal prep each week, focusing on three simple ingredients that make very different dishes for the week with no food waste. I've tried two of the recipes from week one and LOVED them, and Lori said everything she's made out of it has been a huge hit for her family.

When your life goes to hell in a handbasket, little things like having a neat house and doing meal prep help you survive unexpected terrors. It's really super important. I had started doing meal prep in a less efficient format a few years ago and I can't tell you how much I appreciate my past self when I reach into the freezer for a healthy, home-cooked meal. Same with a drastic reduction in "stuff" over the last few years - it's so nice to have a minimalist environment that isn't always nagging me with something to organize or put away. I've always been a minimalist, but Marie Kondo really fired me up when her book came out.

The thing about zero waste meal plans is very different from meal prep. I hate throwing away vegetables and things like cooked rice. The way this meal plan cookbook works - if you purchase a head of cauliflower, 100% of it will be used in that week's recipes. That is very valuable to me. The link to the recipe above is also a meal plan service I belong to for plant-based eating, and is also zero waste. It's magical. Try it.



  1. What a great reminder to dress your envelopes! Great set

  2. Anxiously awaiting my shipping notice from GKD, it has this set in there. So pretty!!

  3. Love it, what a great set! Your lime green envelopes are so snazzy! Mail art is so much fun, even if it makes it more likely to "go missing." Do you have the Stamping Village set? It's been my favorite so far!

  4. I own some beautiful stamp sets created specifically for envelope art...but I am always either in a hurry to get a card in the mail, or too lazy. I need to solve this problem!

  5. Stunning envies and cards. I never thought of changing the orientation of the envelope, how cool. I have my cookbook now I just need to go shopping!

  6. How beautiful these are. I've just recently started lining my envues and it's such fun to use up my piles of DP

  7. Beautiful cards!! I love that Key Lime color. I really like this stamp set. I have every color of GK envelopes, they are great quality and affordable. Just remember, if you address your envelopes in Portrait format, if it's taller than a dollar bill, it requires extra postage because it's now "non-machinable".


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