Sunday, February 24, 2013

Graceful Envelope from Start to Finish - Part 1

A lot of thought and planning is the first step to any creative venture. With The Graceful Envelope Contest, the first step is to thoroughly read the rules. You can spend time designing a gorgeous entry, but will instantly be disqualified if your envelope is too big, too small, or doesn't fit the theme.
Judging is based on the interpretation of the theme including the stamp(s) used.

The theme for 2013 is Change. Since the stamp will be an important design element, the next stop is You can browse all the stamps, but pay attention to the issue date. Not all stamps will be available for use. It also helps to make friends with the counter clerks at your local post office. The clerks can tell you when new stamps will be coming in. Be kind and schedule your visit when your post office isn't busy.

I decided to use the Rosa Parks stamp. In 1955, Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on the bus to a white man. She disobeyed the separatist law at the time and was arrested. Her arrest sparked a boycott of the bus system. A year later,  the U.S. Supreme court agreed that segregating buses was unconstitutional. Her quiet act of defiance changed history.

I like to use the largest size envelope allowed for my canvas which is a booklet envelope measuring 6" x 9". Postage is determined by size and weight. If the envelope is large, an odd size (square), or too thick to fit through a postal slot, it will require extra postage. It used to be something like 11 cents more, but with the latest postal increase, I'm sure the extra postage amount has gone up, too. Your friendly, counter clerk will be able to tell you the exact amount. I don't worry about the nickels and dimes and just plan on using a second first class stamp on my envelope. The new freedom, liberty, equality flag stamp would be the perfect complement to the Rosa Parks stamp.

With the stamps picked out, a stream of consciousness approached helped me to visualize the envelope design. Besides Miss Rosa, bus was first image I thought of. Then school bus. Then kids on the bus singing The Wheels on the Bus Go Round and Round with a made up verse: The people on the bus can sit where they want, thanks to Rosa Parks.


  1. Can’t wait to see your entry! Good luck!

  2. What a great theme! Looking forward to seeing the finished product.