Monday, June 30, 2014

Fun face from Tony M

Tony sent this fantastic piece of mail art from France.

Sadly, the red nose didn't make it all the way here.

The stamps are the French version of US sites like zazzle where you upload your own images to make stamps (and no nasty giant barcode or company name!!). The image on the stamps is from Tony's world's largest artistamp.

You can see what the collection originally looked like before they were all sent out at this link: postenomade

Sunday, June 29, 2014

tired party dark gifts

Hester W commented on how much she likes the found poetry cards I sent out, so I sent her one.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Bonus mail from Cathy

Cathy received a card from me in an MMSA swap and sent this aethereal card.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Songbirds on red

The songbirds stamps are great for pulling colors from to match envelopes.

I like to overpay for overseas mail to get a variety of stamps for the recipient. (Don't get me wrong, I do like the global stamps, but they get a bit monotonous).

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

MMSA Inspired by... Rotko, part 2

The second two I sent in for the swap. The one in darker shades is inspired by the Rothko Chapel paintings.

Monday, June 23, 2014

MMSA Inspired by... Joan Mitchell

Linda G sent this abstract she created by finger painting on a gelli plate - impressive results.

The more I look at this one, the more interesting it looks.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

MMSA Inspired by... Julie Fei-Fan Balzer

From Peggy who was inspired by mixed-media artist Julie Fei-Fan Balzer. And the 'earth' is a digital design by Peggy's brother.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

MMSA Inspired by... Rothko

Rothko is probably my favorite artist, so when Karen announced an 'Inspired by' theme it took me about 2 seconds to pick my inspirational artist.

I still had the watercolors out, and it didn't take long to gain a whole new appreciation for Mr Rothko. Turns out it isn't that easy to paint rectangular and square shapes... and he was doing it on giant canvases.

Two of the four I sent out:

Friday, June 20, 2014

Watercolors for Karen

Karen I is the host for MMSA, and I always send her a piece of art in the challenges I enter.

I created a watercolor landscape from this video:

The result:

And a subsequent challenge was to create postcard art as a tribute to an artist who inspired us. I kept the watercolor pencils out, and found that it was not that easy to emulate Rothko.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Watercolor series - Pear

Marge C created this amazing pear art. As Jean W always says, 100% stealable idea.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Watercolor series - Daffodils + Ghost in the machine again

Video tutorial:


At first the scanner wouldn't scan this one, and came up with this. You can clearly see where I messed up the stem, although in the real version the mistake isn't so obvious.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Watercolor series - Mr Whiskers

Mr Whiskers is my nickname for this fantastic monster by Currie S. This is painted on yupo paper, with some ink and pencil in addition to the watercolor. The result has a shimmery, metallic look.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Watercolor series - All Roads Lead to Home

Jenny R created this by allowing paint to run down the card after she had painted the background.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Watercolor series - Apple

Karen at MMSA throws in the occasional technique-based challenge. When she listed watercolor, I was thinking about sitting it out, as I haven't used them since I was in high school (about 30 years ago).

I used watercolor pencils and created these with the aid of youtube videos during my lunchbreaks.

The video:

The result:


Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Jan's small envelope and ATC

Jan sent me this great small envelope (4.5x3.75 inches) made from a catalogue page.

Inside was this unexpected and beautiful ATC of a bird. Tough to make out on the scan, but the bird's eye and on three corners are tiny black beads.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Bonus mail

More bonus mail from MMSA swappers.

From Linda, who is skilled with her sewing machine:

and Nancylee, who was a big fan of her map MMSA card:

Monday, June 9, 2014

MMSA recycled part 2

I created the second two recycled cards from the side panels of a box of fruit-flavored snacks.

And received cards from Joanne and Monica.

They both added something extra to the addressed side. Monica's bonus bird almost had a severed leg, but it hung on in there.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

MMSA recycled part 1

This was a very interesting challenge - use only materials that you were going to throw out. Pen/paint were allowed, but not exactly encouraged. The results were very different - a lot of people created amazing looking cards that did not look like recycled material. Mine totally did.

The first one is a recycled application for a credit card - I added a barcode and colorcode from a foodbox, some unused scraps left over from the found poetry challenge (I was trying to get my inkblot creatures right) and some selvage, mostly from a block of global stamps. It didn't have quite the impact that I wanted, but I sent it in anyway - can't wait to hear what the recipient thought.

Card number two was cut from the side of an empty kleenex box. I cut the shape of a stylized leaf to match the design on the box. I also sent one of these to the host, Karen I.

The only downside is the extra postage required.

It is rare for the MMSA cards from the same challenge to all arrive on the same day, but these recycled ones did.

The top one is from Kaprice. It has a little plastic panda express bag on it, and a paper fortune. 

Below that is one I received from Currie. A used plastic foodbag taped into the shape of an envelope. This thing is sturdy, and entertained me the most - wonder what the mailman thought, having to deliver an empty plastic bag. Hopefully he's getting used to the mail art that comes to the house.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

7 days of Jean - 7: gold gouache

Jean sent me this great envelope with wonderful gold gouache calligraphy some time ago. This is another one where the scan doesn't do it justice - the gold is complimented perfectly by the Year of the Horse stamp.

Friday, June 6, 2014

7 days of Jean - 6: big envelope

I commissioned a card and envelope from Jean (it will be appearing later in the year) and she sent it in this envelope, which didn't quite fit on the scanner:

Thursday, June 5, 2014

7 days of Jean - 5: Philip Glass

The last envelope in the package was this great one, made form a magazine picture of Philip Glass. You can't appreciate it here, but Jean cut, folded and sealed it so neatly it is almost impossible to see the seams. Great writing on the wrinkled forehead, too!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

7 days of Jean - 3: come fly with me

There were two envelopes inside the paper bag one.

This one didn't have a stamp, I think it was inspired by the songbird stamps.

This one had an envelope inside it... which will be revealed tomorrow.

Monday, June 2, 2014

7 days of Jean - 2: Finn selvage

Jean sent this paper bag envelope where Finn was spelled out in stamp selvage. I like the way Jean put the return address inside the circle leftover from one of the global forever stamps.

Love the stamps, but sadly, even though they seem to be postmarked, they were still the victim of a cruel black marker.

The back, also held together with leftovers from a stamp booklet.

And opened up... 

Sunday, June 1, 2014

7 days of Jean - 1: FinnBird

A lot of mail from Jean recently as she's been in desk-clearing mode.

This one is really clever - Jean took the colors of the stamp and used them to write Finn in large letters, and Badger in small blossom letters. The scanner didn't do a good job of this:

And my own photo didn't do much better, but at least you can see the pale blue. This one is much better in person.