Friday, August 30, 2013

On My Bookshelf

This week's book is a throwback to my days as a cardmaker which was where I started in the paper arts. Today's book is World of Cards by Joanna Sheen. Granted, this book is somewhat dated and hails all the way back to 2009 but it also represents the biggest problem that I have with books regarding making cards--it is almost impossible to replicate the cards unless you have the exact materials that the author is using. Instead, the author should simply provide a book of techniques with explanations of the techniques rather than step-by-step instructions on making a particular card.

For example, simply show to to do embossing rather than show the step-by-step project on how to assemble a particular card with its particular stencils, embossing tools, embossing powders, etc. What makes it especially difficult is that the author of this book is from England and uses primarily supplies found in England which are almost always unavailable here in the United States.

While the techniques are universal, there isn't much to recommend here. Many of the styles of cards here are repetitive among the several occasion specific examples she provides, e.g., Christmas, Valentines, Sympathy, etc.

Card Project--Dive Right In
(new job card)

Full Disclosure: Neither Amazon., the authors, nor artists have provided any compensation for this review. This book was purchased online without a personal perusal before purchase.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

From My Stash

Marbled Paper samples from Rhonda Miller

I am getting ready for the swing into the holidays. With our show closing this weekend, I will start having my evenings available again. One of the holiday items that continues to do well are my storage boxes. These boxes are make to hold photographs that are 4 by 6 or other smaller items. They sit easily on a desk or dresser to hold keys or coins at the end of the day and are great gifts for men or women. The boxes feature a solid color bottom and a top that is covered with handmade marbled paper. I made one for a previous Iron Craft Challenge here.

When I make these boxes, I start with my stash of paper from Rhonda Miller who I have featured here before. I usually go through my stash of paper for the box top and then find corresponding paper for the box bottom.

So today, I decided to share with you some of the papers in my stash in preparation for making boxes.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

More Envelopes--A Challenge #2

Front of Envelope #2
This is the second contribution to my Envelope Challenge. The first contribution and guidelines were discussed here. For the front of the envelope, I decided to use ultra-fine tip markers that correspond to the fine tip markers that I already had. They are the same collection but with a ultra-fine tip.

For the back of the envelope, I decided to simply use the black double tip marker. When all of the geometrics were done, I decided to use the red ultra-fine marker to decorate the background with crosshatching. I then decided to decorate the interiors of the geometrics with a swirl pattern.

Back of Envelope #2

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Iron Craft Challenge #17--More Board Shorts

For this challenge, we were asked to complete a UFO--UnFinished Object. In a previous challenge, I made three pair of board shorts. They turned out so well that I decided to make some more pairs. Each pair of shorts are made from slacks from the 50s, 60s and 70s that were going to be thrown away. They are found in many of the thrift shops that I frequent and are usually held for me by the owners. I usually get them for less than $5 a pair. Rather than throw them away or send them to the landfill, they save them for me.

To turn them into board shorts, I shorten the length and add a one inch hem. I also tailor the legs to fit the contours of my legs. Now that I have a pattern, I can turn these pants into shorts in about 30 minutes. Thanks to this challenge, I now have 7 more pair of shorts--just in time for the Summer to Fall change of weather.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Week 33

This week's card is a partner to the card represented here.  The show that I am working is closing earlier than expected on September 1, 2013. The show was supposed to last until December 29th but that didn't happen. This card will celebrate the closing of the show. It uses the same Union Jack pattern. Opening Night has been changed to the title of the show--Let It Be. The Union Jack has been shortened and the words "On Broadway" appear at the bottom of the card.

The liner contains a vellum sheet that has been printed with the Union Jack on the reverse side. When lit from behind, the colors of the flag will glow through the cut out.

All I have to do is decide which tea light to provide the recipient--a bright white or regular tea light.

Here is the card with
a bright white tea light

Here is the card with
the regular tea light

Friday, August 23, 2013

On My Bookshelf

Today's book is another in the series of books that inspire me every time that I look through it. When I am in a rut it is one of five books that will keep me coming back for artful nudges. This week's book is Art at the Speed of Live: Mixed Media Art Every Day by Pam Carriker.

The book is divided into Seven Chapters and includes artist interviews, techniques, recommendations, contemplations on life and art, artists' special projects and a Seven Day Journal Project specifically for the readers to following along the journey.

Not only is the book chock full of great information, suggests, and nudges but most of the time it is done tongue-in-cheek. The seven major chapters are: I Want to Be an Artist when I Grow Up; So Many Supplies, So Little Time; Creating Cyber-Space and Setting Limits; Art Therapy; The Working Artist; Art on the Go; and Reclaim Your Creative Time.

One of my favorite essays is Reining in the Stash.

This book is a must have for those people working in any media. There are so many suggestions and techniques that are applicable to all artistic fields. More importantly, this book is for those people who feel they are too busy or that life has gotten in the way of their artistic desires. The motivations provided in the book are equally as valuable as any of the wonderful illustrated and demonstrated techniques or projects.

I highly, highly, highly (that's 3 highlies, thank you) recommend this book. 

A Garden of Beautiful Deeds 
by Christy Hydeck (featured on p. 15)

Full Disclosure: Neither Amazon., the authors, nor artists have provided any compensation for this review. This book was purchased online without a personal perusal before purchase.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Another Business Sized Envelope Liner

This is the final episode of the business sized envelope liner. This is a fully lined envelope aka "The Lydia." The envelope is fully lined and is adhered to the top flap. Previously, I discussed the unattached liner that only covered the contents here. I then discussed the partial liner that was glued to the flap here. Today's envelope is the combination of both of these--a complete liner that covers the contents and is taped to the flap.

Measuring the liner
This is the same method as mentioned previously so I will just show you the current measurements for this liner below. The width of the liner is is 1/4 inch shorter than the width of your envelope. In my case the width of the liner is 9.25 inches.

Dimensions of the liner

Assembling the envelope and liner
As mentioned in the previous post, the liner is actually adhered to the glue strip already on the envelope with regular (non-two sided tape). This caused some confusion so I decided to illustrate the step below.

Taping the liner to the envelope
In the example above, the orange stripes are the area where I taped the liner to the glue strip. The red stripes are the glue strip (I know, I should have used more contrasting colors). The idea is that you want to hide the cellophane tape so don't extend the tape past the glue strip.

Preparing the envelope and liner for mailing
A couple of people asked me how well these envelopes travel and how do I address the envelopes without ruining the image/view. First of all, you need to use cellophane tape to close the envelope. Do not use the glue strip. I also reinforce the edges of the envelope because I put the address label on the reverse (flap side) of the envelope so that the front side is viewable without obstruction. The reason you add extra tape is because the sorting machine can tear the edges of the envelope in the processing because it is not used to sorting mail on the reverse side. Of course, you can spend a little extra money and get the envelopes hand cancelled.
Getting ready for the mail
In the above example, I used cellophane tape to seal the flap and added extra tape to the edges to keep them down. All of the extra tape is marked with black marker above.

Ready for the Post Office

I then place a label in the center of the envelope and make sure that it overlaps the flap. This adds extra strength to the flap. I then attach the stamp on the flap and make sure that it is far enough away from the edges. If I use a single stamp, I place it on the flap. Sometimes, I like to calculate postage and use multiple stamps. If I do this, I make sure that the stamps overlap the flap as well to add strength.

Unobstructed view from the front
Final answers
A couple of people asked me about the Duplex paper/card stock that I use. When I give away paper suites to people as gifts, I will usually give the 5 flats (unfolded cards cut to size) and I round the corners showing the extra effort. The flats are usually cut from Duplex card stock.
Front color
Back color

The colors are usually coordinated and contrasting. I try and match at least one side of the card to the envelope liners that I use. I also include printed blank address labels for the recipient to use. The entire suite is shown below. A gift paper suite usually includes 5 flats, 5 lined envelopes, and 7 labels. I suggest to people that they write on the label before they attach it to the envelope which is why I provide extra labels.

Full paper suite

Someone asked me about my mailing labels and why they were designed as they are. I like a simple address label and would prefer the addressed side of the envelope to be as sleek as possible. I clearly separate the return address from the mailing address because the post office on several occasions have mailed me my own envelope because they got the addresses confused. This is the main reason the labels are clearly designated "from" and "to."

Finally, you might want to know why this style is called "The Lydia." It is named after my mother. When mailing bills, she would become obsessed with people knowing that checks were included in the envelope. Even though the envelope would be addressed to a business, she insisted on wrapping her checks with whatever loose paper she could find (this was before the advent of the security business envelope). She would "wrap" her checks with pages from magazines, newspapers, etc.--any printed material she could find. In her later years, she explained to me that it wasn't so much that she worried that people knew she was including a check--it was so people wouldn't know if she was paying the full amount due or a partial amount when she was short on cash each month. So the idea of wrapping the contents of an envelope in paper was created in the back of my mind.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

More Envelopes--A Challenge

As I was going through some of my doodle books, I came across an exercise where the author challenges you not to get into a rut with your doodling--e.g., doing the same thing over and over again. What she suggests that you do is to take the same outline and see how different you can make it appear.

So, I decided to take the challenge. I printed five separate envelopes. The fronts of each have one design and the backs have a separate design. My goal is to see how different the doodles become without referring to the previously completed doodle.

Here are the basic doodles:

Front of Envelope (outline form)

Back of Envelope (outline form)
As you can see, the envelopes were printed with basic geometric figures. I used Microsoft Word and the insert shape feature. The figures were chosen randomly and were placed backwards to forwards. The whole design phase of the outlines took less than 10 total minutes (both sides included).

Here are the results of the first attempt.

Attempt #1--Completed Front
There are two rules that I am placing on myself as I "play" with these doodles. First, I will use a limited number of materials. I have separated a "Sharpie Fine Point Marker Set (24 pieces)" into five separate plastic pen cases. I have added two basic black Sharpie Twin Tip Markers to each case as well. I will only use the contents of a single case for one side of the envelope.

Attempt #1--Completed Back

The second rule that I am using is that I will wait at least one complete day between each envelope so I can try "to forget" what I did on the previous day. I will not view the previously completed envelope(s) so I can attempt to prevent repetition.

Let the experiments begin.

Full Disclosure: Neither Staples nor Sharpie provided any compensation for using or mentioning their products. Mention here is simply for illustrative purposes and does not connote a recommendation or endorsement of any product.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Vellum Envelope

Front of envelope

In a previous post, I mentioned that sometimes I like to leave part of a vellum envelope transparent so that part of the card can be viewed through the reverse of the envelope. A couple of people asked what I meant by that statement so I decided to use two previous projects to illustrate the point.

In the previous post dealing with envelope liners, I demonstrated how to cut to size a business sized envelope liner that would be adhered to the inside of the envelope (rather than the floating model mentioned here).  So, the liner is cut to size with the pattern facing towards the front of the envelope (as shown above). This means that the flap of the liner will only be showing on the reverse side of the envelope.

Therefore, the back of the envelope is available to preview the card/contents of the envelope. I decided to show how the Pride Card that I discussed here would look in this envelope.

Back of envelope with card inside
So you can see, part of the card is displayed in the clear portion of the envelope. More likely than not, I would place the address on the reverse/back side of the envelope so that the front view is unobstructed.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Week 32

Front of Card
This week, I wanted to have a little fun with my nephews. They aren't my real nephews but are the twin sons of a very dear friend. Of course, I was late with their birthday present again this year. I knew that I wanted to send them some gift cards but I was also supposed to make them some hand painted t-shirts but I didn't have enough time to get them done. Considering they celebrate their birthdays for the entire month of August, I still have some time left.

So this year, I decided to play a little joke on them. Usually, I send them their present via FedEx because I always seem to miss their actual birthday. So for this year, I sent them a box of battery operated tea lights. Of course, the tea lights will make no sense but the anticipation of opening the box should be priceless. The bewildered looks on their faces when they get the tea lights should be pretty funny.

Several days later (when I know they have received the package and they have stewed in confusion for a little bit) I will mail them this week's card. Of course, it will be sent in a vellum envelope with image #1 showing through the envelope. Yes, I know that it is upside down.
Inside of Card
Once they open they card, they will find the above. I will write something in the card before sending it off and the gift cards will be taped to the open end of the card (the liner is adhered to the card using double sided tape on the left edge only). I will then tell them to use the first birthday present (the tea lights) for it all to make sense.
Open Card with Tea Lights
The final surprise. I hope they get as much joy out of this card as I have had in making it. Happy Birthday boys and good luck in your first year in high school.

Friday, August 16, 2013

On My Bookshelf

This was the book that I wanted to review last week but the review wouldn't have made since because I hadn't discussed the previous book. This week's book is Playing with Stencils by Amy Rice. The main reason that I wanted another stencil book was because I thought that I would get usable stencils like those presented in Stencil 101. This book only provides the print out of the stencils that you have to reproduce and cut out yourself. Some of the patterns are so intricate that even I would have a hard time cutting them. For example, see below.

Sample Stencil
I mean really--would you want to cut this out? Even when enlarged? and four complete times? The book provides the reader with the obligatory section on working with/cutting out stencils. It then proceeds to the illustrations and explanations for 20 projects, including hand painting an 'upcycled' necktie. I don't know many people who would actually wear the project--maybe as abstract art. I mean--would anyone really wear this?
Project 17--Retro Upcycled Tie
There are some successful projects like the Faux Inlay chair below that seems to be reasonable. The most enjoyable part of the book (and the real reason why I purchased it) is the artists' gallery presented as the last section of the book. If the book had contained more examples like these, it would have been worth the money spent. Artists represented include some of my favorites like Broken Crow and Matt Dixon (aka M-One). This is a book only for those stencil lovers who have an extra $24.99 USD to spend or for those bloggers who need another book to review. This book would have been better purchased as a Kindle edition (but alas, it is not offered as such).

Project 14--Faux Inlay

Full Disclosure: Neither Amazon., the authors nor Kindle have provided any compensation for this review. This book was purchased online without a personal perusal before purchase.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Another, Another Envelope Idea

Front of Envelope

Today's envelope suggestion is for a birthday card that I am sending to the sons of a great friend. This is a vellum envelope that has been printed with an old Christmas card photo from their younger days. They have just turned 14 and are entering high school this fall.

I wanted to do something special for them so I decided to print this old Christmas card photo on vellum. For the envelope liner, I took the NYC map from a previous project and turned it backwards so that the graphic faces toward the rear. The purpose of this is that I wanted a solid background for the photo so liner wouldn't compete with the photo.

I mean, who wouldn't want to receive this envelope in the mail especially since it will have two gift cards tucked inside.

Reverse of Envelope

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Another Envelope Idea

Here is another envelope idea that I am playing with. This will be a printed envelope that then will be embellished with doodling. I am still perfecting the printing aspect but I think that this would be beautiful printed on a vellum envelope with a white liner hiding the contents. The graphic would then be enhanced with doodling.

Just an idea.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Iron Craft Challenge #16--Reader's Digest Christmas Tree

The assignment for Challenge #16 was vintage or retro. Unfortunately, my entry requires a little bit of explaining. When I was young, we didn't have a lot of money to celebrate the holidays. One of our favorite pastimes was looking at the catalogs (we called them "wish books"). We were told to fold down the pages of the things that we wanted Santa Claus to bring us. Since there were numerous kids, we would all fold the page in a different way.

As I got older, I would started taking magazines and folding the pages so that they made a paper Christmas tree. My favorite magazine to fold was The Reader's Digest. The pages were the right size and the paper was thick enough so that when they were folded, an entire tree would be formed.

After the tree was formed, we would leave it alone or spray paint it. If we had extra decorations hanging around, we would decorate the tree.

So this is a throwback to those days. This is the modern Reader's Digest whose pages aren't nearly as thick as the older versions. For this tree, I had to fold two entire magazines to make up one tree. Once the two halves were formed, I glue them to either side of a wooden dowel.

Rather than make paper decorations like I would do previously, I raided my stash of Christmas decorations that I use for wrapping holiday presents. There are two ball garlands (purple and silver) and a beaded gold garland. I used two miniature gold bows for the tree topper. For the ornaments, I hot glued fabric covered Christmas brads.

Close up detail

If I had more time, I would have made miniature paper ornaments and garland but I am very happy with the way that this project turned out. Christmas in August--you betcha ya.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Week 31

Postcard  Front
For this week's card, I wanted to continue with my Subway Art series. I needed a fast card this week because I was so busy with the Iron Craft Challenge for tomorrow so I decided to take my pens on a subway ride this weekend.

Usually, I just take a blank medium and start working on the subway as I ride to work. This time, I decided to outline the hearts on the front of the card and the word "love" on the back of the card. I then loaded up my pens and took them with me.

This set of markers was an artist brush set of colored markers that are almost 10 years old. I didn't know if they had any ink in them before I started (I guess I should have tested them out at home). While some of the pens were more dry than others, I realized that I could vary the ink flow by the amount of pressure that I exerted.

After doodling each heart, I decided not to leave well enough alone and then added another layer with a black fine/medium tip Sharpie.

I was about to doodle on the back side but realized that the doodles would have gotten in the way with the text of the postcard so I just left it blank.

When I returned home, I decided to add another layer of interest by using a alcohol ink overlay on both sides. For the front of the card, I used green, blue, and orange inks. On the reverse side, I used a fuchsia ink.

Overall, I am pleased with the way they turned out. Total time doodling was 8 minutes. Entire project (using a card with a pre-existing background) was 12 minutes. 

Postcard Reverse

Friday, August 9, 2013

On My Bookshelf

This week's book is another of those books that transformed they way that I create in the studio--Stencil 101 by Ed Roth.

I have always enjoyed stencils and making things with stencils but I never really understood the basics of creating stencils before reading this book. This book provided me with the basics of how to create art by using stencils. The book provides step-by-step instructions for 9 different projects. More importantly, it provides basic explanations of how to make your own stencils. The best part of the book is that there are numerous plastic cut-out stencils for you to use. The author also includes the print outs of the stencils should you need to enlarge or reduce them for your own purposes.

This is a great book for anyone that is trying to introduce stenciling into their own artwork, scrapbooks or journals. A superb addition to anyone's library.

Full Disclosure: Neither nor the authors have provided any compensation for this review. This book was purchased online without a personal perusal before purchase.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Envelope Liners Part 3

Front of Envelope
Today, we are continuing the series of envelope liners. This is another way to dress up a vellum envelope in a fun way. The same method can be used for standard business sized envelopes. Unlike yesterday, this liner will be adhered to the inside of the envelope so that it won't move. Doing this will allow the front of the envelope to show the paper, The back side of the envelope will reveal the contents of the envelope.

I use this method when I send out birthday cards so the recipient can partially see the card hiding inside the envelope.

Measuring the envelope
Step One--Measure your envelope across the crease and deduct 1/8 inch from this measurement. My measurement is 9 and 5/16" which makes my liner 9 3/16" wide.

Step Two--Measure the envelope from the glue line to the bottom of the envelope and deduct 1/8 inch from this measurement. My envelope measured 5 and 9 and 9/16' which makes my liner 5 7/16" in height.

Step Three--Measure from the top of the envelope to the crease (do not deduct from this measurement). My measurement is 1 1/2"

Step Four--Cut the liner to size.
Taking measurements
Assembling the liner

Step One--Using measurement #3, crease the paper parallel to the top margin using this measurement. For my liner, I measured 1 1/2" from the top edge and made a crease parallel to this top edge.

Step Two--Round all four corners (optional).

Step Three--Dry fit the liner into the envelope and center along the crease.

Step Four--Take a piece of cellophane tape (not double sided) and adhere the liner at the top edge using the glue strip as your anchor. Make sure that you tape the wrong side of the paper to the glue strip. You will not be using the glue strip to close your envelope.

Front of envelope opened
Step Five--When you are ready to use your envelope, use double sided tape to close the envelope flap or use cellophane tape on the outside of the flap to secure it to the envelope.

Back of closed envelope
If you are using a standard envelope (non-vellum) all you need to do is use double sided tape to glue the liner to the envelope below the glue line and then you can use the glue strip of the envelope to close it. The only reason we use the double method above is to hide the tape when using a vellum envelope.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Envelope Liners Part2

Finished Envelope and Liner
Today's envelope liner is even easier than yesterday's liner. In this liner, you simply take two measurements, cut the paper to size, fold the paper in half and and insert into your envelope.

One of the ways to dress up a vellum envelope is to place a paper liner with a fun pattern in the envelope to nestle the contents of the letter.

Measuring the Envelope
Step One--Measure the width of your envelope and deduct 1/8th inch from this measurement. For my liner, the width of the envelope is 9 3/8" which makes my paper 9 1/4" in width.

Step Two--Measure the height of your envelope, deduct 1/8th inch from this measurement and double this measurement. For my liner, the height of the envelope is 4 1/8" which makes this measurement 4" which doubles to 8" for the paper.

Assembling the Liner
Using the measurements above, cut your paper to size. Making sure the orientation is correct, fold the paper so that the top edge meets the bottom edge. Therefore making your liner 9 1/4" wide by 4" tall.

Insert your liner with the crease side down into the envelope. You do not need to glue the liner in place and you want the open end facing up so that the recipient can see the contents inside the liner. One of the reasons that you don't glue this liner is because glue/tape will show through the vellum.

This is a fun way to add interest to a vellum envelop. You can place the address on the liner so that it show through the vellum or you can write on the vellum itself. Once again, this is a great way to use up some of those odd scrapbooking papers that you don't know how to use otherwise.

A very fast and easy way to dress up an envelope.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Envelope Liners

For today's post, I wanted to illustrate something a little bit different than my regular posts. Since I have been doing so many decorated envelopes, I wanted to share with you the liners that I make for the inside of the envelope. Envelope liners are really easy to make and only require four measurements (all of which are really easy). Once you have the measurements, it is very easy to duplicate the liners for that particular style envelope.

First of all, I tend to purchase square flap envelopes rather than the regular pointed flap envelopes. It is a personal choice but square flap envelopes are so much easier to line.

Measurements 1 & 2
With the envelope open, take two measurements on the flap side of the envelope. Measurement #1 is from the glue strip to the bottom of the envelope. In my case, this measurement is 6 inches. I then subtract 1/4 inch. So the height of my liner will be 5 3/4 inches.

For the second measurement, measure from the glue strip to the crease. In my case, this measurement is 1 1/2 inches. Do not subtract from this measurement.

Taking measurements
one and two
Measurement 3
Rotate your envelope 90 degrees to your right (or left) and measure the flap at the base (the widest section). In my case, this measurement is 5 5/8 inches. Subtract 1/8 inch from this measurement. In my case, this would be 5 1/2 inches. This is the width of your liner.

Taking measurement 3
Measurement 4
Move your ruler just under the glue line and measure your flap to where it starts to narrow to the top of the flap. In my case, this is 5 3/8 inches. Do not subtract from this measurement.
Taking measurement 4
Assembling the Envelope Liner
Step 1--Cut your paper to size using measurements 1 and 3 above. In my model, I cut the paper to 5 1/2 inches wide by 5 3/4 inches tall.

Step 2--Crease the liner paper. Using measurement #2 above, crease the liner paper parallel to the top edge. Be sure that you have oriented your liner paper correctly since it will almost look as if it is a square (sometimes). In my model, I made a crease parallel to the 5 1/2 inch edge that is 1 1/2 inch from the top.

Step 3--Mark the liner paper. Calculate the difference between measurements #3 and #4. In my case, this is 1/8 inch. Divide this number by 2. In my case this is 1/16 of an inch. Mark this measurement from each end of the liner paper and make a mark on the back side/wrong side of the paper.

Step 4--Trimming the liner paper.Place a straight edge that along the right or left hand side of the paper that connects the fold to the mark you just made and cut. Do the same for the opposite side. This is a minuscule cut but it does make a difference. In my case, I have just done so many of these that I simply free cut and eyeball it. Once you cut a couple that you have measured, you get the hang of it. All that you are trying to do is mimic the narrowing of the envelope flap. It does not have to be perfect but you don't want the liner to be wider than the envelope flap. I forgot to take a picture so I diagrammed it below.

Marking the liner for cutting.
It is a much smaller cut than it looks above
Step 5--Insert the liner in the envelope and center along the crease. Dry fit it to make sure that the liner is not wider than the envelope flat on the sides.

Dry fit the liner
Step 6--Adhere the liner to the envelope FLAP only. I use double sided tape on the top edge of the liner only. I find it easier to lower the flap onto the liner paper so that the creases on the envelope and the paper fall into each other.
Finished liner

As you can see, it is a very tight fit but the liner mimics the envelope flap nicely. This is what I call a floating liner. Other people will have you glue the entire liner into the envelope which is much more difficult because of the moisture introduced to the paper. Also, depending on the thickness of the liner paper, it is very easy to get a lot of buckling when folding the flap.

I try and use paper that coordinates with the envelope or the card that is being sent. With the plethora of scrapbook papers on the market, there are so many options for liners. This is also a great way to use paper scraps. Also as a cheat, if you have shorter pieces of paper, you only need paper that is longer than the opening of the envelope (e.g., measure from the glue line past the open end of the envelope). Although, I prefer the liner to run the full length, a shorter liner can suite those scraps well.