playing with paper

Sunday, February 26, 2012

My Favorite Birthday Card

"We didn't come here to fit in.
We came here to be who we are.
We didn't come here to work.
We came here to live our dreams.
We didn't come here for the stuff.
We came here to love each other.
We didn't come here by accident.
We each came here with a purpose
that is uniquely our own.



I received many beautiful birthday cards this year, but this is my favorite.
It almost made me cry. Thank you, Karen.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Arte Correo

Textured collage and envelope from Cernjul Viviana
Traveled from Argentina 12 Jan 2012 to USA 13 Feb 2012

Fluxus collage and envelope from Cernjul Viviana
Traveled from Argentina 11 Feb 2012 to USA 22 Feb 2012

Muchas gracias, mi amiga de correo.
Espero que reciba pronto mi primera respuesta.

I am, as always, late in posting most of the wonderful mail I receive. I replied to the first collage on February 18, and then another beautiful work arrived in my mailbox today. The travel time of mail fascinates me. I suppose its variability is part of the mystery and allure of corresponding by post, particularly overseas. (Unfortunately, this phenomena does not excuse the irregularity of my blog posts!)

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Blue ATC Buddy Jam

C.Z., a new mail art friend, introduced me to ATC Buddy Jams, where two artists collaborate to create two identical artist trading cards and each keeps one finished card. I wanted to try my hand at ATCs for some time, but this was the nudge I needed to get started. (Sometimes getting started is the hardest part!)

C.Z. sent the above cards with the mason jar stamped in blue, and I filled them with blue bits from my overflowing workspace. I like that they are mirror images. I returned the card shown on the left to C.Z. and kept the one on the right (I had to fudge the plastic tag; I colored a white one with a blue Sharpie.) I was pleased with the results and so was C.Z. We're working on another set.

Many thanks to new friends for new ideas and inspiration!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Mail From the Heart

My love notes are all buttoned up,

hand-stitched with love,

and they make my heart sing.

Happy Valentine's Day!
May it be filled with sweet mail and semi-sweet chocolate!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Found & Shared: Vintage Valentine

I couldn't resist this lovely vintage Valentine, slightly used, from Creative Reuse. I sent it down under to someone special who posted about her vintage Valentine project the very day I found this card. I think the girl on the card bears a resemblance to that sweet someone!

(Looking at the card again got me thinking: I don't think I have ever dropped anything heart-shaped directly in the mail! I should give it a try!)

Big Postal Love

Six--yes, six--beautiful pieces of personal and artistic mail in my postbox today, from as near as my home state of PA and as far as Argentina. Thank you, my friends, for your postal love! All is quiet here now, so I will carefully open them and savor each Real Mail moment! Truly, the mailbox is the museum. Thank you for sending the world to my door.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

A Happy Little Card

I managed to start this post months ago but never published it.
Not exactly a valentine, but here's a little bit of cheer on a blustery evening.

Created especially for Emma

I still have a few more purchased valentines I hope to send. I can't decide if I will write them tonight or just curl up with one of the books from my ever-growing pile.

I just received two unexpected gifts of books by post, and I really want to read at least bits of them before I respond to the generous senders. These books are the sort to be savored...PJs, a warm blanket, a cup of tea; this sounds like the way to go. It's a good night to be cozy!

Friday, February 10, 2012

My Lumpy Valentines

Ah, my lumpy Valentines. Look at those huge buttons and wooden hearts. I have to add some of my vintage 20-cent Love stamps to the new ones to cover the extra weight and bulk. I was thrilled to see the new Love stamps featured on one of my favorite design blogs, Felt & Wire.

These were the first few cards I made this year. They will finally go into the mail tomorrow, carrying my love and warm wishes through the post to family and friends, far and near.

I ended up making 22 designed Valentine cards, usually in a series of four (some lumpier than these!) as well as 18 packets of papery goodness to share. Many will travel to family and friends who don't often write back. I'm hoping the packets will encourage some of them to share the mail love, not necessarily with me, but with anyone they know who might benefit from a little something special in their mailbox.

My papery packets included a puzzle purse I learned to fold at while I was visiting with them and their patrons on First Friday to promote the Lancaster County stamp. You can view their Love Letters exhibit online. The puzzle purse was also mentioned over on Red Letter Day. Be warned, once you start folding, you may not be able to stop!

While you are preparing your love letters for the mail, you could give a listen to this lovely interview with the talented Donovan Beeson of Letter Writers Alliance and the INtangible blog fame. Enjoy!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Recycled Cross Stitch Card

We visited Lancaster Creative Reuse on First Friday and again yesterday to close out the Mail Art celebration in honor of the Lancaster County postage stamp. It was such a pleasure to work with them; I certainly hope to do it again in the future. Tina and Vanessa were the lucky winners of Deluxe Travel Mail Art Kits. While we were there yesterday, the girls all worked on projects, my hubby was kind enough to corral the little one, and I did a little more shopping (it's addictive since the selection is constantly changing.)

One of my finds was a stained cross stitch piece made up of four smaller designs for a mere 30 cents. I brought it home and washed it, then tea stained it to even out the coloring. I separated the four smaller elements to use as focal points on cards. (I wish I had scanned it before I cut it!) I chose Card Patterns Sketch 150 and spent some time flipping through my stash of K&Company patterned papers to match colors and styles.

I originally had a light neutral solid paper at the top, but it needed a little something more. I dug out some of the 1840s bank ledger paper, and I liked the look of it. I may try one with an old dictionary page in place of the ledger paper. Papertrey Ink's Ocean Tides was a perfect match to the darker green stitching.

I realized I left a few of my mail art samples behind at Creative Reuse. Oh well, I guess I'll just have to go back to collect them!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Incoming Dragons!

Not one, but two fascinating dragon postcards from thesnailmailer in reply to my Year of the Dragon packet. These cards were created by the Foreign Languages Press Beijing China but mailed in the US with the beautiful Lunar New Year stamps. Many thanks!