First I want to let all my faithful friends know that you can now SUBSCRIBE to my blog.  Just follow the directions after you put your e mail into the upper right hand corner box and click subscribe.  You won’t get junk mail but you will receive a notice that there is a new post on my blog when it happens. I have to Thank my friend Cathy Shivoitz for suggesting that I do this.

I want to share with all of you THE GRACEFUL ENVELOPE CONTEST (click here to see previous years winners, and also to get rules for entering the contest).  It was started by the National Postal Museum at the Smithsonian in 1995 and in the year 2001 they passed it off to the Washington Calligraphers Guild to manage.  In 1999 my envelope was a winner and I have been told that it is in a notebook with other winners housed in the National Postal Museum in the Smithsonian.  This was my winning envelope and the idea of giving the birds legs came from my good friend Nichol Rauch. I have had two other envelopes which received Honorable Mentions. The first one is from 2005 and the theme that year was A MAILABLE FEAST… I immediately thought of Hemingway and his Moveable Feast.I had previously carved a rubber stamp of Heminway so thought that would work on the envelope and the postage stamps of fruit, veggies and chocolate made me think of having the ants carrying the stamps of food from their nest. As you can see I am not good at drawing so my ant nest is nothing to get excited over and the ants were commercial rubber stamps as was the image of the Eiffel Tower which I used up near the actual postage. The lettering Script was Bone, of my favorites.  Then this past year, 2011, I again received an Honorable Mention. The theme last year was Time and again I was inspired by the 10 cent Time postage stamps.  I used a new size envelope which was 6×9 so I had to have a lot of stamps on it and I took it to my local (Ft. Myers) post office and got one of my postal employee’s to help me with telling exactly how much postage to put on it.  It is currently on display in the National Association of Letter Carriers headquarters building, National Association of Letter Carriers headquarters building, in Washington DC.  A couple of my friends here if Florida decided we should go to see it so we are currently planning a trip to DC. (pictures later) I again used Bone for title and a pointed pen variation for the address. I drew the clocks on and also the hands and numbers.

Ok by now you are going ‘wow’ she is really into this and you are correct.  I really enjoy trying to come up with ideas for the theme and also trying to incorporate postage stamps that go with the theme.  Last year I had more than one idea as I have had in the past and the rules are you can only send one envelope so sometimes I have several ideas going at the same time and then have to decide which one I will send.  This was my other idea for last year and I covered the envelope with words, quotes and songs that use the word time.  I couldn’t decide which to send so I show them to a few calligraphy friends and asked which one they liked best.  They were torn also but finally I decided on the Bone/Pointed pen version.  Apparently it was a good choice.

The others here are ones that I sent over the past few years that didn’t win or receive Honorable Mention but that’s ok because I really like doing this and love the challenge that it gives me to put on my thinking cap and play with my letters.

This one was for the theme Nature and I don’t remember which year.  The funky lettering style was again one shared to me by Nichol Rauch..and I loved it.  I drew the state of Florida and used tropical postage.  I liked it but there were others that were better so not a winner.

Then I did did the lighthouse one and again I tried something really different I used chalk pencils for the lettering on dark envelope. I also embossed the lines for writing.  I loved having the the light shine from lighthouse but it was also not a winner.  Still I was pleased with the effect. So the bottom line is you may not always win but its always fun to participate. If you go back to the beginning of the blog you can click on Graceful Envelope Contest and see past winners as well as find the rules and guidelines for this year. I would like to encourage you to give this a try.  Just to give yourself a challenge and to play with all those pens, papers and inks we all have. I am sure some of you are wondering ‘what do you win?’.  Well, you will receive a lovely letter with an image of your envelope on it that lists you either as a winner or an Honorable Mention.

I am not going into all the rules as they are on the Web Site.  I would suggest that you always make a copy for yourself of your envelope and if you put the year and the theme on it you will be able to go back and share it better.  The winners and Honorable Mentions are posted on a the web site so think of it as your 15 minutes of fame.

Even if you don’t decide to participate you should go to check out the website and see all the lovely winners. ( I think if get an Honorable Mention that’s like Runner Up and makes you a winner too.)

Don’t forget you can now subscribe  to my blog thanks to my friend Cathy Shiovitz who suggested this. It’s up in the upper right hand corner and then every time I have a new post you will get an e mail so that you don’t have to check every day.  Thanks Cathy what a great idea.

As always thanks for stopping by.



  1. Hi Kath,
    I am so proud of you and your computer skills!!!!!!!!! and your calligraphy and crafts as well. It is great to see your blog.
    I have been working on taxes. Ugh! Would much rather be lettering!
    Take care, Jo Uhlman

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