Mail Art Dabbling

September 4, 2016 § 10 Comments

There are some truly spectacular mail artists in the world.  Me? I’m more of a creative dabbler.

Recently, I’ve tried my hand at a couple projects inspired by tutorials generously shared by Lindsay at The Postman’s Knock.  Lindsay’s examples are gorgeous and precise.  My creations are rather more wobbly, but it’s such fun to play!

If you look at Lindsay’s How to Draw Lace tutorial, you can see that she has worked with great care and achieved a very balanced design.  In contrast, if you suspect that I did not follow the direction about using a ruler to measure the spacing of the ovals (or anything else), you would be correct.

TPK1

My Hand Drawn Frame attempt turned out more true to the original.  I used the ruler this time!  I wasn’t sure how the envelope at hand would take watercolors, so I jumped right into bold color at the start.

TPK2Regardless of whether my attempts look like the original example, when I make mail art, my goal is to create something that didn’t exist before and enjoy the process.  Achievement unlocked!

What about you? Have you dabbled creatively recently?

Banana Love Notes

August 28, 2016 § 6 Comments

Over the past few months, I’ve received a series of love notes written on bananas. They cannot be tucked away and saved, so I have photographed them for continued enjoyment. For you inspiration, here is a small sampling.

I’m all in favor of creative celebrations of love. Have you ever received a love note in a form that delighted you as much as the message? Do you consider good nutrition an act of love? Will you now be writing someone a banana note?

Champion of Postal Cheer, Acts 2, 3 & 4

December 3, 2013 § 10 Comments

I have a collection of things that are waiting to be glued.  Not broken items waiting to be fixed, but bits and pieces waiting to be cobbled into something new.  More accurately, I have several collections of such things: canceled stamps, old photos, quotations cut from magazines, pages from books that have fallen apart, scraps of colorful paper, fabric remnants, buttons.

Sometime in October, I covered the floor with several of these collections (there is, again, a sewing machine on my desk) and plunked myself down in the middle of all the possibilities with glue stick in hand.  Over the course of several days, I made about two dozen cards.  I used a couple to write to friends, but most I bundled into sets to be given as gifts.

cards2

cards1

cards3

cards4

This weekend I put the sewing machine to good use and made a scarf.

scarf

Between the cards and the scarf, I’ve checked off nearly everyone on my Champion of Postal Cheer project list — hooray!  What’s my next project?  I’m not certain.  Janice MacLeod, the artist behind Paris Letters, recently wrote about her November Nurture project and it sparked a couple possibilities that I’m considering.  What creative projects–letter-writing or otherwise–are you enjoying these days?

Champion of Postal Cheer, Act 1

March 20, 2013 § 6 Comments

In the first few days of January, several of my friends posted similar status updates on Facebook.  They ran something like this:

The first 5 people to comment on this status will, sometime in this calendar year, receive a handmade/homemade gift from me. I will send it out when the mood strikes me and, with luck, it will reach you at the perfect time.

The catch is, you have to make the same offer to all your friends.

The first time I saw it, I thought, Interesting, but I’m not a fan of chain-letter-esque stuff. 

The second time I saw it, I thought, I really like the idea of making and sending out-of-the-blue gifts.

The third time I saw it, I thought, Wait a minute, there’s no reason I can’t make this offer to send gifts without a you-must-do-this-too stipulation.

So, I rewrote it a bit–changing the stipulation to an invitation–and posted it.

HomemadeGift copy

The response was enthusiastic and I quickly found myself committed to make and send things to a variety of people.

Last week I finished my first gift.

TeaWalletBalance

Then I filled it up with small goodies.

TeaWalletGoodies

And I packaged it in an envelope made from a poster I’d plucked out of the recycling bin at work.  (The back of the envelope shows Frankenstein reading Gone with the Wind.)

TeaWalletEnvelopeFront

I was rather gleeful when I posted it off.  Sending mail is as much fun as receiving it, don’t you think?  If you’ve been looking for the perfect way to be a Champion of Postal Cheer, I highly recommend committing to send random gifts to random friends throughout the year.

Scribbling Glue’s Guide to USPS Postal Rates

January 26, 2013 § 14 Comments

One of the fun little takeaways that I made for December’s Letter Writing Social was a postal rate sheet.  I figured that people who aren’t currently avid letter writers might like a handy reference to help sort out the mysteries of proper postage.  Since we were making envelopes that weren’t standard sizes, it was especially helpful to have a quick guide to double-check how much postage a particular mailpiece was going to need.

To my delight, the Letter Writers Alliance later featured a photo of my rate sheet as one of their Letter Writing Days of December posts.  I got some lovely feedback, which encouraged me to follow through and create a revised version to reflect the 2013 rate changes.

And now–ta-da!–just in time for the changes that go into effect tomorrow, here it is!

SGRates2013edited

I enjoy writing things out by hand and I do a fair amount of computer-based design layout for posters and brochures at work, but the combination of creating by hand and designing a layout placed me outside of the realm where things come easily.  I’m so accustomed to (and spoiled by) being able to tweak, align, re-size, and move elements on a whim.  This project required making rough drafts and marshaling my spacial reasoning skills.  In short, it was an excellent challenge for my brain.  I am pleased with the end result since this is only the second time that I’ve attempted designing something along these lines, but my eraser definitely got a good workout along the way!

If you are so inclined–and I do hope you are–you are welcome to download a copy.

Success: A Type-In & Letter Writing Social Retrospective

December 9, 2012 § 5 Comments

It finally happened.  The day arrived.  We set up the typewriters and the stationery and supplies for cutting and gluing, then we watched it all unfold.

underwood

It is nothing but the truth to say that the Type-In & Letter Writing Social organized and hosted by Thread Lock Press and Scribbling Glue was a huge success.   The typewriters were in constant use and the mailart table was always full.  Over the course of 3 hours, there were 70+ people who stopped by and walked away with typewritten and handmade creations!

If you couldn’t make it (or you did make it and want to relive the great vibe of the evening), here’s a brief photo overview.

readytoletterwrite

Checking out the mailart supplies.

The first wave of typists.

The first wave of typists.

ribbon

A Royal gets a fresh red ribbon.

Cutting, gluing, writing, and creating.

Cutting, gluing, writing, and creating.

A new set of typists.

A new round of typists.

2mailartists

Best friends creating together.

youngtypist

First time with a typewriter.

Another question for Lindsay!

Quick! Where’s the typewriter expert?

 

Every time a typewriter was free, a new typist sat right down.

Every time a typist finished, a new one slid into the seat.

And, yes, the evening even included a visit from Santa.

And, yes, the evening even included a visit from Santa.

There were, I think, eight or nine typewriters that made an appearance during the evening.  They were nostalgic for some, novelty for others, and enjoyed by all.

What I enjoyed most was the scope of the event.  The youngest participant was 2 (and the youngest in attendance, who has not quite developed the fine motor skills to write or type, was 4 months old), the oldest were in their 70s and 80s.  Some people came on purpose, others just happened to wander into Evergrain Bread Company as part of their 1st Friday circuit and stayed to make something.  Out of town friends and family of mine made the trip to Chestertown just so they could be a part of the fun–I’m so very fortunate to have such fantastic people in my life!  People showed up as individuals and couples and families.  A man typed a birthday letter to his mother who was turning 94 the next day.  A girl wrote to a friend from school.  A woman typed letters to two of her oldest friends–the three used to work together as typists.  A little boy created a tremendously be-stamped and colorful card when left to his own devices with a glue stick (I missed a photo op with that one!).  I love thinking about all the letters and cards and poems and thoughts that were created and are now going to be sent and shared; the event is over, but its impact is going to continue as colorful envelopes make their way through the mail and are opened on the other end.  This was definitely a happening that lived up to Scribbling Glue’s mission to celebrate how “handwritten letters, jotted notes, and scrawled miscellany add to the forces of good at work in the world.”

I have an inkling that this was not a one-time event.

Oh! And I also have an inkling from the Letter Writers Alliance:

File under: things that made my day

File under: this made my day 

Hooray for being a part of the creative and fun-loving community of letter writers!

Donovan and Kathy of LWA, thank you for introducing me to the idea of letter writing socials!

Huge thanks are also due to Doug and Kelly at Evergrain who gave an enthusiastic go-ahead when asked about holding this event at the bakery.

And, hey, Lindsay, creative collaboration rocks!  I’m so glad we made this happen.

In which there is an unexpected overnight guest and the creative process refuses to be rushed

November 18, 2012 § 2 Comments

We had an unexpected overnight guest this weekend.

Hildegard, Patron Saint of Writers and Unexpected Overnight Guest

We had known Hildegard and Lindsay were coming over to make things, but Lindsay and I underestimated the amount of time that would be needed to complete our project.  After six hours of typing, cutting, gluing, and creating, Lindsay headed home around midnight promising to return the next day.  Not wanting Hildegard to feel lonely, I introduced her to a new friend.

Despite the generation gap, they had no trouble finding common interests to discuss.

After a while, they were joined by a couple more friends.

Everyone enjoyed the bedtime stories.

Then it was time to get comfy…

The youngest member of the group was already in sleep mode.

…and tucked in for the night.

Ahhh…a well earned rest after a full evening of making stuff.

And what, you ask, were we doing that exhausted Hildegard and required ten hours of diligent work over the course of two days?

Well, at various times, it looked like this:

And this:

Eventually, it resulted in this:

Tomorrow some lucky letter carrier will start these on their way to spread the word about the fast-approaching letter-writing social and type-in:

Won’t you join us, too?  If you do, you’ll have the fun of putting together your own super-special, totally unique, custom created typed-and-handwritten masterpiece.  (Added bonus: experiencing Evergrain Bakery will make your taste buds happy.)

Where Am I?

You are currently browsing entries tagged with handmade at Scribbling Glue.