Thursday, April 27, 2017

White Shapes

Here are the latest in my white shape mail art series.

XVI to Eric




XVII to Azzaro




The series came about as a way to recycle extra card stock that arrived when buying stamps online from the USPS store, and a set of white pens that I find horrible to use for writing.

What do you see when you look at the shapes?

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Vodka to Ti Ar Raden

The third one of these I've sent out. (Previous ones here and here if you're interested).




It went in this envelope.



Do you like to create collages? Are yours more minimal, or maximal? Funny or artistic? Political or playful?

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Unexpected

One of the things I love about the people who send me mail art is that they often do something really unexpected with a piece of mail art.

In this case, Heleen sent me a few postcards of birds that I like. She included an extra bird that I like very much, and wasn't expecting, a common or Eurasian Kingfisher (Alcedo atthis).

And she sent it in an envelope that used stamps from 2009 that I think are amazing (Heleen - I get the feeling that you have quite a stash of stamps!). The translation of 'Laat kinder leren' is 'Let children learn'.

I love how Heleen turned some of the letters of my address into the little creatures from the stamps.




And even better, it includes my favorite of the bunch - the first one, which is 'Trying is always good'.

Here is a bit more information about these cool stamps. Thanks to Violet for the information.


There's also a great animated video about this set.



Do you have a favorite bird?


Monday, April 24, 2017

Teeth

Christophe has a project titled MailArTeeth. You can see all his tooth-related mail art here.

He sent me this nice envelope and card to wish me happy 2017.







I've been contributing every now and again for a while now. Here's my latest contribution - I hope it made it, as it was 12 x 12 inches!

(And a confession - I mailed it in a mailing box and it sort of got stuck a little bit, fairly far inside - I couldn't get it to fall all the way into the box, so hopefully that didn't annoy a postal worker).

Update - it arrived in France, slightly bent, and not even postmarked!

Here it is before it's travels.



What do you think about teeth as a mail art topic?

Would you be grossed out or entertained by receiving something like this through the mail?


Sunday, April 23, 2017

S is also for Series

This is the second S post after yesterday's Solar System

As promised, here is the follow up from letter N for naked mail art. Most of my mail art goes inside one of my homemade envelopes. And usually they are individual pieces. 

Although I rarely collage, I recently sent out a series of 6 collaged postcards with a vehicular theme.

To Adrienne, Thomas and William



To C. Mehrl Bennett, Keith and J.A.D. Media




Do you like to create collages? Would you make one from random stuff you find in your car/your purse/that messy drawer at home full of 'important' junk?

For bonus points, can you identify where all the pieces come from?

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Solar system (II)

S is also for stamps. Not every mail artist cares about the postage stamps - for many they just serve the purpose of getting the art from A to B through the postal system. 

Since I got back into mail art I do try and think of creative ways to use postage stamps to enhance the mail art by theme, color, and sometimes even number.

The planets of your solar system set issued by the post office last year are very nicely done, and have afforded me the opportunity to make some fun envelopes.

Using old wall calendar pages to make the envelopes, here are the exchange envelopes I sent out for April.







Do you have a favorite stamp?

And if you're wondering why this post is titled Solar System (II), you can see my first Solar System blog post here.

I used all of the planets stamps on another piece of mail art here.

(PS: I have a bonus letter S that will show up on the blog tomorrow if you feel like checking back in.)


Friday, April 21, 2017

Reconnecting via repetition & variation

Remember under M is for MMSA? Here is the missing repetition & variation swap postcard.



Turns out it was a) delivered to the sender, and b) the sender was Jan H, who I used to exchange mail art with, but haven't since 2014. So it arrived quite a bit later than the other three cards.

Jan sent the returned card to me in this awesome painted envelope.




And she included this intriguing piece titled Blur.



Great to 'see you in my mailbox' Jan, even if it was through a postal misadventure.

When was the last time you reconnected with someone through the mail? Did you initiate it, or did they?

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Quidditch to Eva

Ah, Q, one of the more difficult letters for A to Z.

Eva had lamented the lack of a Q on her postcards, so I decided to send her one in the mail inside this envelope. She tried to convince me to take part in the A to Z challenge, and at first I declined. Now we're at letter Q - you can see what an influence she is on me - and I'm using the card I sent to her for myself!




Have you received anything in the mail that would work for the letter Q?

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Paper bags

Every now and again I turn a paper bag into an envelope.

This year Eric has a mail art call to recycle paper bags into mail art.

You can see the ones he has sent and received on his blog.

Here are two more that I sent him recently.





And here are two very nice ones from him in return for ones I have previously sent. The one from the Body Shop has a wonderful stamp on it, and the one with the space-themed washi tape has a great personalized stamp Eric designed.








What's the strangest thing you've turned into an envelope?

Do you have paper bags that you think would make good envelopes?

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

An octopus named Hank

Technically Hank (from the film Finding Dory) is a septopus, not an octopus, because he only has seven tentacles. And as it turns out, he's orange.

I sent him to Eva and Heleen, using the new postcard stamps.







What animal would you like to receive on a piece of mail art?


Monday, April 17, 2017

Naked mail art

When it comes to mail art, naked usually means that the item in question is sent without a cover or envelope. This means that the piece travels through the mail stream with no protection, so it is always possible that something is added (usually postmarks, but sometimes other markings, dings etc) or even subtracted (bits going missing).

Dean, aka The Artist in Seine, always sends his work naked. And he is very creative about it, too. He also always makes sure the back and front are equally interesting (something I'm pretty bad at).

Here's some banana mail from him




And another piece (with a tiny banana) that has a piece of a computer attached to it!





And yet another one from Mr In Seine himself, featuring geocaching!





Although most of my mail art is sent in a handmade envelope, I sometimes send naked mail. More about that later in the alphabet. 
Have you ever sent or received an unusual item in the mail that wasn't packaged up? Did it make you or the recipient smile?

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Sunday Stamps - favorites

Today's theme for Sunday Stamps is Easter or a favorite. I don't have anything Easter, so I chose favorite.

Eric sent me one of his envelopes that celebrate classic film. 



The stamps he used are gorgeous - they are printed using the intaglio technique, so have some raised lines, giving them a great tactile element that you can't appreciate in the scan.




The two stamps are from a set of 6 issued in 2014 celebrating photographic cameras





Here's a link to a series of design photos showcasing the stamps at Behance.

For links to more favorite stamps, and maybe some for Easter, head over to Sunday Stamps.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Mail Me Some Art

Mail Me Some Art (MMSA) is a group that swaps (mostly) postcard art. All submissions are sent to a central host along with postage and address labels, and she (or he) then swaps the cards and sends them out. This resolves the issues that sometimes occur in direct swaps when somebody doesn't hold up their end of the bargain for whatever reason.

The other great part about MMSA, is that all levels and kinds of art are welcomed and appreciated.

Each challenge set has a theme. Here are two I participated in recently. I send in 4 cards for the swap, and as a thank you to the host, a 5th bonus one for them.

1. Repetition and variation

Here are the cards I sent out - I was inspired by Naomi's triangles (which I learned about from Eva). I painted them using inktense pencils, I think hers turned out better than mine, although they did look a lot brighter in person compared to the scans.





And here are the ones I received from Esther, Lois & Iryna.




2. Paper strips

This is one of my favorite challenges to date. The top 4 (Face Off I-IV) went into the exchange, the 5th one (The Twins) was for the host, Honi.










And here are the interesting cards that arrived in my mailbox from Barb, Cheryl, Penny & Wanda.




If you've been paying attention to how MMSA works, you'll have noticed that I only received 3 back for the repetition & variation challenge. The fourth one had a misadventure, and will be featured under another letter of the alphabet.

Have you ever participated in a swap of any kind? How did it work out? Did you have fun?

Friday, April 14, 2017

Letters

While I love receiving mail art in all its forms, thanks to Eva and Eric I have been re-introduced to the enjoyment of old-fashioned letter writing.

One from Eva, where she used a green pen to match her great envelope for spring. If you'd like to read the story behind the chickens in the outstanding stained glass window stamp, head here.




And one from Eric, where he used writing paper that matches this envelope made from a paper bag. I also enjoyed the not quite correct English on this bag from a Korean restaurant.



When was the last time you received a personal letter?

When was the last time you sent one?
__________________

Update: if you're looking for pen pals, the Letter Writers Alliance might be a good place to start.