Mail Art Feed

Currently...

listening to Seth over at Notes from the Voodoo Cafe

eating chips with cream cheese

drinking a diet gingerale (yeah, I know, doesn't make much sense, does it?)

wearing a long fuzzy pale blue robe, which I bought because my mother always made me wear pink while my sister got to wear blue and I always always wanted that blue

feeling tired...it's been a really long week

weather: anticipating at least a little bit of snow

wanting to go to Chincoteague

needing some steamed clams

thinking that I need to ask more for what I need because being enough does not mean I need to do it all

enjoying the thoughts of a long weekend with journal time and camera time, and a bit of photoshop as well

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and sharing one last postcard....background taken at a winery overlooking Lake Erie, collaged with a bit of this and that


In the Mail


So, the postcards have been sent, and maybe, by now, a few have arrived. I really really enjoyed making them, and so, I think, I might just have to join this, especially if I can get this layers thing figured out. After doing more research and finding this, I realized just how poor a job I did, and I'm aiming for better. So much so, that I treated myself to a bundle of textures in Kim Klassen's shop, and I can't wait to get some serious play time this weekend!

In the meantime, here are a few more cards wandering through the U.S. mail system:

Passtionate woman postcard
I grabbed one of my photos for use as a background here. I'd been working on a color series about a year ago and some extras have been floating around the art space ever since. I knew they had to be good for something, and ta-da, it worked! I glued on a few images and words and it all seems to have come together. It also gave me the chance to use up some more "stuff." Oh, I've really got lots of "stuff!"

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A photo background again, provided by a close up of part of a journal page. I scavenged the lady from yet another post card, made many years ago, cut her out, and glued her on. The blue fish was a "trial" print made with a Fred Mullet stamps on scrap paper, and I found the the star fish lurking in ....yup, you guessed it...my stuff!

Sea journal postcard2

And, just a bit of a variation on the theme, with more bits and pieces of "stuff." Who knew photos taken for blog entries could be leveraged this way?

Just a few more to share, but then again, I'll be making more...and using some layered and textured goodies! Oh, the possibilities!


A Ta-Da Moment!

First of all, a bit more post card play...

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I photographed this fine fellow in a tiny little town in Maryland, during one of those "let's go exploring" weekends.

 

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A bit of ink, some collged words, and off he went into the US Postal system earlier today! What a dapper dude!

Now, neither one of these was the ta-da moment. That moment came with a great deal of muttering under my breath, crossing of eyes, reading and re-reading the directions. You need to know that tech is not my forte, but I am ever so slowly...really slowly...making peace with it. Maybe not peace, more like an uneasy alliance of sorts.

I'm realizing rather quickly that almost no one posts a "straight out of the camera" picture anymore. Texturing seems to be the name of the game.

So, I googled. I watched you-tube videos. The help section of photoshop and I became friends. A few hours later I produced something acceptable. Not great, but acceptable. And, I can live with acceptable, at least for the moment.

Remember yesterday's bottles? Here they are in yet one more incarnation...

 

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Ta-Da!!!!

 


Postcard Play

I love getting mail, especially "arty" mail, and the postman may keep the other stuff. As the saying goes, "The best way to get some mail is to send some," so when the opportunity occurs, I grab it.

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One art goal this year is to use my own images, particularly the photos I shoot. They end up in journals, on journal covers, as greeting cards, and in this case, postcards. Aren't these gorgeous? I shot this photo after a trip to the farmers' market last August.

Flower vase postcard
I printed it on some matte photo paper and then added some colored pencil here and there. Using a sharpie, I outlined various edges to make them "pop," and then added some embossed stamping. The embossing got a bit messier than I liked...the ink pad was so juicy, it ended up dripping a bit off the stamp and then catching embossing poweder that I wished it hadn't. I'll be working on perfecting that!

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Tiny glass bottles always grab my attention, and one or more usually find their way home with me. I took this on VA's Eastern Shore in a favorite antique store.

Bottles postcard
I altered this photo as described above, and I reall like the looks of both of them. They'll be heading out in the mail tomorrow, along with some others I'll share in the next few days.

I enjoyed the process as much as the end product. I enjoyed pushing them to see what would happen, and I only ended up "ruining" one.

Happy Sunday!


Singing in Seussville

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Our journey into dementia and the health care system continues; it's a journey full of loops, twists, and turns. If we think we've got it figured out, we're quickly disabused of that notion!

Dad fell out of his hospital bed and broke his hip this past week. We're not quite sure how that happened as he'd been on restraints since in his world, he needed to get to work. Feeling a sense of urgency to arrive on time, he'd pull out his catheter, iv drips, and so on. He'd been wearing a mitt to prevent this, a restraint to hold him more or less in place, and the bedrails had been up. Obviously, something didn't get put into place at some point. The nurse found dad on the floor beside his bed with a broken femur.

And, so last Thursday found us in yet another building on another floor in another waiting area. Dad came through it all okay, and after a bit more than 24 hours in recovery, his nurse found him cheerfully singing. Dad agreed to eat breakfast with the nurse's help, and then promptly asked to be left alone so that he could continue his singing.

You need to know that I have never heard this man sing. Dance..oh, yes, dad loved to dance. But sing? Nope. So, in whatever world dad happened to be, and as confused as he was, he chose to sing. Somewhere in his heart, there's hope and there's joy. He chose to sing.

I've been reading Still Alice, the story of a woman diagnosed with early Alzheimers and dementia. Alice is a professor at Harvard, who teaches about cognitive functioning. She likens dementia to Seussville...she's neither here nor there. She explains that she can not even choose the days she'll remember. It's a beautfully written book, one that everyone should read, whether they live in the land of dementia or not. It puts a face on the disease; it's helping me to remember that in his heart, this man is "still Ed."

As we jouneyed to and from the hospital, I also amused myself with this book. In one of the lab assignments, Carla has us drawing Seuss like buildings. And, so a journal page was born. Dr. Seuss, meet my dad, and welcome to the world of dementia.

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This card came together right after I finished the page. I had been playing with watercolors, decided to tear one piece up into strips, and glue it onto the postcard background. There it sat, probably for a month or so, since I had no idea where it was headed.

I found the woman in my pile of cut out images, doodled on her, added the bird, and doodled some more. It's my reminder to sing, no matter where I find myself, no matter what is going on. I need to choose to sing.


Dangerous Postcards ...

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Gorgeous, isn't it? This little beauty appeared in my mailbox this past Saturday, the first to arrive from Hanna's postcard swap.  Tari Goerlitz, over at Tales From the Studio Mailbox created it, and oh, do I love it! I've always loved red, and that stitching around the edges creates somewonderful texture. Thanks, Tari!

Now, as to those dangerous postcards. Since, I used some vintage text as the background on mine, I felt a bit apprehensive about popping them into the mail system as postcards. So, I packaged them into envelopes, and my husband, God bless him, agreed to mail them. To be very honest, this involved sighing and eye rolling, but mail them he did during his lunch hour.

A coworker tagged along as he also had some items to mail. The coworker finished much more quickly since his mail did not involve custom forms. He told Phil that he'd wait outside and enjoy the gorgous weather.

Before I proceed any further, let me just add this occurs on a U.S. air force base.

Phil eventually wandered back outside, and in the blink of an eye, found himself and his friend surrounded by military police, complete with guns. It seems as if someone had notified the police that a suspicious character was hanging about the post office. When Phil exited and joined this suspicous character, I gather he became a part of what ever possible terrorist activity was brewing!

After producing his receipt and explaining about the customs forms, the military police "cleared" Phil. His friend had to undergo a bit more scrutiny, but finally they both were allowed to go back to work.

So, if you get a postcard from me, it comes with a bit of history!

My husband says that I "owe him."

I have to say that I giggled and chuckled when he emailed me the story. But then again, I was not the one surrounded by the cops!


Hey, Mr. Mailman!

Hey, Mr. Mailman, bring me some mail! And, please, not the bills you're so fond of stuffing into my mailbox. Nope. I want the real stuff, thank you very much. But...to get some "real" mail, I need to send some. So, I joined up for Hanna's postcard swap!

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I collect postcards that are ready to be trashed - the ones advertising different events. I often find piles of them in various places long after the even they're advertising has taken place. I also keep a stash of cardboard from cereal boxes and the like, ready to be cut up and arted up.

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Old text intrigues me, and I love the idea of giving it new life. Do I need to tell you that I have a stash of it as well? I didn't think so!

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I grabbed some stamps, mostly flowers, because I really need some spring and bright colors in my life about now. And, I am determined to use up some of my "stuff."

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I began coloring with some twinkling H2Os but they frustrated me no end, so I switched over to water soluble colored pencils. I spent a good deal of my travel time to and from Pennsylvania this weekend, outlining them with a sharpie to make them "pop" a bit. I used stamp pads along the edges and then lettered them with a marker. They make me smile!


Can You Guess...

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...what these folks have in common? Well, except for the scribble girl that is?


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Look at that grandma - she's so formal, so serious. And that baby...


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Check out the cats' eye glasses. I had a pair once, third grade I think. I thought myself quite the thing, the cat's meow, you know. Pun intended. Have you stopped groaning yet?


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Several generations of a family, but I have no clue as to whom they are.


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Isn't she a little beauty?  I found her, the photos above, and so many more - including a wedding photo - in an old black album in an "antique" shop a year or so ago. All these photos, so meticulously preserved. But not one of them...not one...had any sort of writing or identification on it. And, I wonder what happened that no one wanted to the album. So, of course, I bought it! I have my eyes on the album itself, reconstructing it to be a personal journal. And, I'll breathe new life into this family with my art.


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Mail art! Some wonderful postcards and letters greeted me last week, so of course, I need to return the favor. I did these on cardboard from Alpabet cereal boxes. They've been sanded, gessoed, painted, and had various bits and bobs glued onto them. They'll be on their way tomorrow, and I have plans for making more.

My muse seems to be slowing waking up...about time, the lazy thing.  


Mail Art = One Happy Camper!

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Look what arrived at my house the other day! Doesn't it just make you smile? It certainly has that effect on me.

This gorgeous little piece of art was created by none other than the awesome and talented Kim, Queen of Arts.

I've never met Kim in "real life," but, boy, I sure do wish I could! I just know that Kim and I'd have the best time together. David and Phil could go take themselves somewhere to talk and chat...and Kim and I? We'd make art and just have a blast!

Thanks, Kim!