playing with paper

Monday, December 26, 2011

Trees: Holiday Mailart Sent

"cheer" series of 3
altered USPS advertising postcards

"two trees" series of 4
shaped postcards with security envelope trees
"three trees" series of 8
postcards with security envelope trees

"bright and merry" series of 2
recycled tissue box postcards

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Letter to Santa

This letter wasn't sent by post, but it's a letter just the same!

View the Irish Times article here.

Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Simply Merry

Sometimes simplicity is best...
especially this time of year.

May your days be merry and bright...

And may all your Christmases be white.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Old-Fashioned Christmas Cards

A lovely vintage postcard greeting from Mary Has Sound,
"Winter in the Country" by Courier and Ives

My take on an old CPS sketch (#235), with a vintage playing card image
"The Road--Winter" by Courier and Ives


Oh, give me an old-fashioned Christmas card,
With hostlers hostling in an old inn yard,
With church bells chiming their silver notes,
And jolly red squires in their jolly red coats,
And a good fat goose by the fire that dangles,
And a few more angels and a few less angles,
Turn backward, Time, to please this bard,
And give me an old-fashioned Christmas card.

-Ogden Nash

(From Epstein, Spare That Yule Log, copyright 1933, 1961,
found in The Gift of Christmas, copyright 1965)

USPS 2002

I believe it was also Ogden Nash who said,
"Merry Christmas, nearly everyone!"

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Mojo Monday 217

Mojo Monday Sketch 217, playing with new Sizzix dies!

The swift death of letter writing

The swift death of letter writing
from Lancaster Sunday News 4 December 2011

Another Real Mail article shared with me by my parents.
My mom plans to make photo copies of the article
and mail it to everyone she knows.

Ironic for it to appear in print news and online?
Stop lamenting and start writing!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Trees Galore!

34 Trees
Die cut trees on paper
33 different security envelope patterns
and one glittered tree (lower right corner)
Donated to Lancaster Museum of Art's Trees Galore fundraiser
celebrating its 34th year (just like me)

I had the pleasure of attending the Trees Galore! opening on 3 December 2011, First Friday in Downtown Lancaster with my dad, who donated on of his photographs of a tree in winter. He snapped a photo of my piece hanging in the museum, since the photos I took at home were terribly lit. We enjoyed viewing all the other contributions, but we didn't have a chance to visit any other galleries this year like we did last year. I guess we will just have to plan another First Friday outing together! Thanks Dad!

Hooray, snail mail!

My parents saved this for me from the 24 November 2011 Lancaster PA newspaper. Shortest editorial I have ever seen and probably my favorite! (I certainly hope it was mailed to the newspaper office.) Snail mail is way cool. Let's all send some more!

CPS 246 Believe

Well, gee whiz, I missed the deadline to share this card on the Card Positioning Systems blog, but I'm going to post it anyway! This week I flipped the sketch. I was so excited to use a whole row of buttons on a card! I had seen it on some other designs, and I finally found a spot it worked for me. I do love buttons; the more, the merrier I say! The little charm is hard to read on the scanned image--it says "believe." I decided to use some of my jewelry making supplies on cards, since I have been too busy playing with paper to make bling for myself. The paper is more from the 6x6 My Mind's Eye pads, some vintage ribbons, and machine zig-zag stitching around the image, also from the paper pad.

Today I helped out with a group of 6th through 9th grade girls, my oldest daughter included, charged with making Christmas cards to include in gift bags for shut-ins. It was great fun to see what the girls designed, their different styles and tastes. I made a few cards to contribute too, and I managed to do it all without my cutting mat, metal straight edge and craft knife! Sometimes it is freeing to "rough it!"

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Card Patterns Sketch 143

I decided to play along with several card sketches this week, to get a few more Christmas cards made and have fun doing it! This one comes from the Card Patterns blog. I have some fancy, but bulky, trims that I decided would be just the ticket on some of my more formal cards.

I usually wrap the ends of ribbons and trims around to the back of the design to hide the ends, but that just wasn't going to work with these stiff, thick trims. I broke out the Fray Check and the Tacky glue and cut flush to the edges with a sharp craft knife. I'm pleased the results and glad to make use of some these lovely bits and pieces, a gift from a sweet neighbor .

The paper is My Mind's Eye, the star is die cut from glittered paper and mounted over a tulle rosette. The buttons are hand-stitched to the card, my favorite way to secure buttons. A little zig-zag machine stitching finishes the bottom edge. The angel stamp is from the same series as the previously featured reindeer, from the recent half-price stamp sale.

I decided I really liked the design, so I made a series of four similar cards from a single 12x12 sheet of Basic Grey double-sided paper, changing the color of the base cardstock or the vertical trim. I also added a strand of gold thread to the tail of the tulle rosette and tried out my gold Stickles to accent the stars and snowflakes in the angel stamp. (After trying dollar-bin glitter glue, Stickles is heavenly to work with!) Enjoy!

Handmade Postcrossing Cards

Always a joy to receive such beautiful mail!

From Sweden 20 October 2011
Kram is hug in Swedish

From Netherlands 21 October 2011

From Netherlands 14 November 2011

More November Mail Art

Fausto Mail Art Add and Pass
17 November 2011

My contribution to occupywallstreet via i'm a superhero
This is the first I've created to photocopy
and send out multiples--ten color copies sent.
17 November 2011

Sunday, November 27, 2011

November Mail Art to Superhero

Mail art to i'm a superhero, with playing card collages in pockets
Includes elements sent to me by superhero, altered and reused
13 November 2011

Mail art to i'm a superhero, reverse of playing card collages
13 November 2011

Mail art to i'm a superhero, Lost Art
My interpretation of:
"I am stone/No wings/No Site/But I can fly"
16 November 2011

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Button Snowflakes: Mojo Monday 216

Instead of joining in the mad rush of holiday shopping, I opted to stay home and craft (in between meeting the needs of children on Thanksgiving break.) I am trying to use some of the current sketches available on the many fabulous card-making blogs I read to get going on some handmade holiday cards.

This card is based on the Mojo Monday 216 sketch. When I showed my finished card to my husband, he said something to effect of, "Oh, the snowflakes have tails! They look like fast snowflakes!" Not exactly what I was going for; maybe I should rethink the ric rac.

CPS 245 Seasons Greetings

Thanksgiving dinner was delicious, but after being bombarded by advertising the remainder of the afternoon for Black Friday shopping, all I wanted to do was come home and make something! I love how these turned out, based on the CPS 245 card sketch.

The finished card is 4" x 6" and I managed to get in quite a bit of texture without too much bulk. The burgundy strip at the bottom is vintage velvet ribbon, the teal strip to the side is vintage satin ribbon, and the brown ric rac in vintage cotton from my Etsy shop. I sanded the edges of the linen texture background paper.

I picked up this fabulous reindeer stamp at the craft store for half price and the sentiments are dollar stamps. I was thrilled to discover my paper punches were a perfect match for the trail behind the reindeer, so I added a few sparkly punched snowflakes. The patterned paper is from a My Mind's Eye 6" x 6" pad, and I only needed a single sheet for the two cards. I think I will be using this design again!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Jaime B's Mail Art Project November

Five Trees #1 2011 November 8

Five Trees #2 2011 November 8

My offering for Jaime B's Mail Art Project for November sent off to Brazil.

I did a large 34 Trees 10" x 20" framed to donate to the Lancaster Museum of Art for their annual Trees Galore! silent auction fundraiser. It looked great hanging against the light blue walls of our living/dining room, so I almost didn't want to give it up. It dawned on me this year that Trees Galore and I are the same age, so I had to feature 34. More of these security envelope trees will show up in my holiday mail art this year.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

40th Anniversary

Today is my mom and dad's 40th anniversary, their ruby anniversary. We celebrated as a family with a dinner out last night. They have had their share of trials and tribulations, but their love and dedication to each other continues to help them overcome obstacles. I was so proud to help them celebrate 40 years of marriage!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Gratitude CPS 242 and more...

I managed to clean up all my Halloween craft supplies; now my desk is a mess with autumn and Thanksgiving creations, and winter holiday supplies are collecting in piles on the floor (already!)

I made this Gratitude card Tuesday night, based on the CPS card sketch #242. Finished card size is approximately 4" x 7.5." The solid paper is Ripe Avocado from Papertrey Ink, patterned paper is K&Company, the fabric label is from The Paper Wardrobe, the doily and button are thrift store finds, the tea-stained tag, satin leaf, vintage velvet ribbon, and mini clothespin are from my stash.

I have been wanting to use these cute mini clothespins for some time, but they add so much dimension I have been afraid to try. This card will be hand-delivered, so I won't have to worry about it causing trouble in the mail.

After my thrift store shopping yesterday, I had a bunch of "new" supplies to try out, so with paper scraps from the first card, I just finished another Thanksgiving card based on CPS card sketch #241.

That fancy turkey is actually a vintage paper coaster! There were several lengths of jute trim in a grab bag, along with two rolls of stiff white fabric about four inches wide (tape or webbing for upholstery perhaps?) I cut a piece to matte the patterned paper; it is the perfect width for A2 cards! The card base is Terracotta Tile from Papertrey Ink, and the Blessings stamp is from their "Out on a Limb Sentiments" set.

I had a night out all by myself last night to take my time and wander around two local craft stores and begin gathering ideas for the winter holidays. I am just about bursting! More good mail to come!

More Happy Halloween Mail!

From the fiery Kerosene

From the lovely Emma

My mailbox and I were happy yesterday! Two fabulous handmade Halloween greetings and two Postcrossing cards were delivered. Many thanks!

Today, a trip to the post office to mail an overseas package to Tangledom and a little something to Pamela for her "What's In Your Mailart Kit?" roundup, though I missed the deadline. A stop at Goodwill yielded some great office supplies, stationery, and craft odds-n-ends. I'm off to sort and create!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Trick or Treat!

No tricks here--just Real Mail treats!

If you are celebrating, have a spook-tacular time!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

A Frightfully Good Mail Day

A spooky mail art card from Angie & Snooky via IUOMA

Happy Hauntings from Luna in Japan via Postcrossing reply

Fun and fabulous mail in my box yesterday! Now I am curious about how Halloween is celebrated in Japan.

I am behind in answering letters. I am constantly being distracted these days (though sometimes I have only myself to blame.) I think I need to try a new system. I must not allow myself to open and read a received letters until I make time to sit down and respond immediately. The few times I have done this, I feel my response was more heartfelt and interesting to the recipient. Otherwise, it is all too easy to put an opened letter on my pile until I have time to reply, and then my writing feels stale when I finally write back. I think the suspense will be a great motivator!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

'Tis the Season?

I actually wrote this post over a week ago, but I have been debating whether or not to post it without further editing. I was raised with the motto, "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all." Perhaps this is why I am so quiet/shy? Anyway, I decided that this is my little space on web to share my thoughts, and I should do just that, as long as they are well-written and not posted hastily.

Yes, it's that time again, time to start worrying about who will be offended by the holiday mail you send, or don't send.
My kids' Halloween--I mean Harvest--Parade is coming up and their costumes must be related to a book to be worn on school time. Not too hard with a witch and a zombie, but that's not the point. Oh, we are so fragile these days. In our efforts to not get sued and be all-inclusive, we are afraid to expose our children and ourselves to things outside our beliefs. Wouldn't want to Learn something New, especially at school, you know. Wouldn't want to Think or Question; that only leads to confusion.

I have lived in Pennsylvania my entire life, mainly in this small city, but for a time near Philadelphia, and a few summers in the state capital. Chartered by William Penn, it seems those who yell the loudest here these days have forgotten the state was founded on religious freedom, early democracy, and fair treatment of natives and immigrants. I do not wish to impose my beliefs on anyone, nor do I wish to have others' beliefs imposed on me, but whatever happened to open and honest dialogue and education?

I would love to travel the world and learn about as many different cultures and belief systems as I can. Alas, I am a homebody, with family responsibilities. So if you wish, send me mail, mail that challenges me to think outside these four walls and this sometimes-oppresive town/state/country. Open up new worlds for me, share old and new ideas. In return, please consider any mail I send to you an expression of who I am, a sharing of my ideas and beliefs with you, no strings attached.
Thank you to superhero for reminding me that the art we chose to view is not always what we need to see to grow.

I just researched one of my all-time favorite quotes, a perfect conclusion to my editorial. “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” Attributed to Voltaire but written by Evelyn Beatrice Hall from The Friends of Voltaire, inspired by a 1770 Voltaire letter to an Abbot le Roche, in which he was reported to have said, “I detest what you write, but I would give my life to make it possible for you to continue to write.” Coming full circle, Voltaire, a prolific letter-writer, praised Pennsylvania as the only government in the world responsible to the people and respectful of minority rights.

So, without further rants from yours truly, the post office brings us four lovely new issues with which to post our winter holiday greetings.

Madonna of the Candelabra by Raphael and Holiday Baubles, released 13 October 2011

Kwanzaa and Hanukkah, released 14 October 2011
I love how the colors and designs of these three work together! I will definitely be putting one of each on some of my bulkier mail this holiday season.

Truly, the more I learn, the more I understand there is so much more for me to learn. What did you learn today? What can you teach me?

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

For Sale: Fun Mail!

I walked into my local educational supply and toy store last week, and I was greeted by this fabulous display just inside the door!

I could hardly believe my eyes, and it took all my willpower not to buy a Animail on the spot (I think they were priced at $10.) I already have plenty of cool stuff I want to send, but for anyone looking for something new and fun to mail, this is great!

Is mail art going mainstream? After seeing these Animails, "Write on, collectible mailers, making mail fun," and my recent encounter with a cut-out "Cheer" postcard on my cereal box, I am beginning to feel hopeful. Send more Real Mail!

CPS 239 Holiday Season Joy

Today I broke my own rule that I made a few years back about no Christmas music before Halloween. I figured maybe it didn't count if no one else was around to hear it!

I wanted to try this week's sketch from CPS, and I wanted to try using some of the holiday card-making goodies I collected recently. Not a rubber stamp inked for this one, but I went a little crazy with the die cuts and textures! That music paper rosette adds quite a bit of dimension; it will require a larger envelope (and extra postage) if it travels by mail.

The ribbons with the little banner-cut ends are vintage, recently cleared out of my mom's basement. The ribbon is fairly stiff, so I used one corner of my 3/4-inch-square paper punch to make those V-cuts--so quick and easy! I cut the rosette from old sheet music with a Tim Holtz Sizzix die and spritzed it with walnut stain. The glittered flourish and "Joy" are also Sizzix die cuts. The main image is a small re-purposed card front with Cuttlebug embossing folder swirl texture added and layered on a paper doily and circle of DCWV Christmas paper. The finished card is 5x7 inches, larger than my usual A2 sized cards.

No matter what you might be making or mailing today, I wish you joy!