Mostly postal but art and other things of interest too.
Come and visit.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Well, that was sure fun.....LWA Social in the Secret Alley

I saw THIS on The Letter Writers Alliance blog and of course I had to go....
(I am sure you all know about the LWA but on the remote chance you don't be sure to click the link and check it out).

We met unmarked door....and up the stairs and through this door.... The Secret Alley.....

This must be the place!!!!

Oh yes -- I spy Donovan up in a tree house -- so, I know I'm in the right place.
She's writing a letter, of course....

There were typewriters....

...and, invisible ink.....

......and LWA stationery and postcards....

And, there was lots of letter writing  and mail art lovers....

There was me.....
(thanks @DovBee for the Instagram photo)

Lots of friendly people, some from the SF Correspondence Co-op mail art group and others new people for me to meet...
(Hello @librarymail)

I'm quite sure a good time was had by all. Thank you, Donovan (@DovBee) and Carolee for such an entertaining afternoon.
What a fabulous place The Secret Alley is to make mail.
Yes, I know, we are so lucky to have such amazing mail art events here in SF. And thanks to Donovan and the Letter Writers Alliance for making this happen.
Some day I hope to make it to one of the LWA socials in Chicago.

And, no.....I didn't get too much letter writing done because...well...I had to meet people and take pictures and wander around and look at everything..but I did start a bunch of postcards and I promise to finish writing them tonight.

(and have fun doing it)

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Start Your Day With Art

Good Morning!
I try to start out every day with an hour of art (no matter how early I have to get up). Some folks like to work at night....way into the wee hours....but I always feel like I have to start my day with art if at all possible.

First off, a mug of very strong, black, hot coffee and a book or magazine about art or art techniques.
(This book has been around a while and is called The Pressed Plant - it is very nice).
I like to browse UpperCase and Somerset Studio magazines.

But, Sundays are for the SF Chronicle and the New York Times.....

Oh! And happy T day to Elizabeth and the T gang. I am invited to join in this week and I hope you enjoy the beverage of choice here -- cappuccino.
Thank you
Elizabeth - Altered Book Lover

Looking at some cyanotypes...and getting ready to g to the studio and make things.....and there are so many things I want to make....
For example, I've been into bird envelopes these days....and bird rolodex cards.....
.......yes, and even more bird envelopes.....
Which, in turn, lead me to making altered book pages with birds and a teacher's notes from a bird class....
Sometimes I just make collage cards from things sitting around on my studio this...
Considering I just went to the fabulous Vintage Paper last weekend and came home with lots of vintage paper there is always something sitting around I can use to make some something....25-cent snapshots...
I was very happy to find a Swedish passport for $2 (thanks to Annie) and I changed the passport photo from an old lady to this perky miss. (sorry, I couldn't help myself). I did just notice the passport says she had dark brown hair.I thought Swedes were blond. Oh well. This is added to my altered passport product....
WARNING: The next two photos might make you a little crazy!
I got a bunch of twenty cent postcards just for the fabulous stamps/post marks/cursive writing. Aren't they wonderful? I am kicking myself for not getting more. In my defense, I WAS running out of money....(This photo has gotten the second most "likes" on Instagram that I've ever had)
I just had to show you all this beauty. Some of you have seen it already on the blog's FB page or on IG I know but it is so wonderful I have to share on the blog....A lovely woman (pmarti5) on IG made me this for no reason other than to be wildly nice and generous. It is a cloth journal cover for a Moleskine journal in postal fabric. I am going to treasure this beauty.

So, there you have it -- coffee and reading, making things and surprises in the mail, wonderful old postcards. It's all good. When is your favorite time to make things?
Morning? Night? And, what is everybody out there working on? What do you like to read -- am I missing any good books or magazines? Do tell.
And have a good day you all!


Sunday, July 31, 2016

And then the sun came out

The sun came out in SF and guess what happened?
Sun prints!
Some people call them sun prints but they are really called cyanotypes. You need sun and that isn't always easy to come by in San Francisco in the summer.  I know, the tourists don't believe that either and thats why they all have to buy sweatshirts that say they love San Francisco -- because they are freezing. But I digress....

You can make cyanotypes with all sorts of things, flowers and leaves have been popular for  many, many years -- google Anna Atkins if you don't believe me.
But a lot of artists, like Linda Clark Johnson are trying out new ideas and making the old process new. Check out Linda's work on her web site and FB page and Instagram and you'll see what I mean.
Linda came down from Sacramento to give us -- Monica, Leslie, Dorothy & me -- a workshop.
When you get a group of artists together, you get art.
If you live near Sacramento, you can take a class from Linda -- highly recommended.

See that fern?

Here it is on a piece of cyanotype paper with the sun doing it's thing.
The process is a pretty simple one, coat watercolor paper with cyanotype chemicals and press between two pieces of glass or plexi, expose 10-15-20 minutes till the paper turns kinda brown, wash in water and dip in a peroxide bath and hang to dry......
That's the simple version. You can look it up if you're interested in learning more.

This is how the paper looks after exposure to the sun.

And this is how it looks after the wash.

We all tried different ideas out to get an idea of what worked and what didn't...

There was a lunch break (of course!)

A bit of hanging out in my studio and then back to work/play......

We look like we were having fun, don't we?

The next day, we trooped over to Leslie's studio and we tried out toning the cyanotypes.

We cut our least favorite prints into ATC size and we tried out a variety of different toners.

Green tea, black tea, red wine, onion skin, beets and Borax.

Look at some of the results! Pretty interesting...
So, here I am, back in the studio with my prints. What should I do with them?

I cut this print up into Rolodex cards for my Rolodex art project. Kind of nice. You can cut the prints up for ATC's or rolodex cards or collage or if you really like one, you can frame it.
I'm thinking of some pages for my altered book.
So, there you have it. Two days of cyanotypes and yesterday was the Vintage Paper Fair.
Life is good.


Monday, July 25, 2016

Art in the Afternoon

Yesterday was a meeting of my wonderful mail art group, The SF Correspondence Co-Op.
I packed up the Rolodex Art project and took it on the road.....or should I say to the library where we had our meeting?
I put out a bunch of paper ephemera on the tables and everyone brought a glue stick and I asked my mail artist pals to make me some cards for the Rolodex Project.

They sure did! Everyone jumped and and torn and cut and pasted and made  some wonderful art cards. I love how every single card is different and has the stamp of it's maker. What a creative bunch of people.

See what I mean? They are all so different and all so great.
Thanks to all of you who made me cards -- much appreciated. 

But, you can't have all work and no play. (OK, making those cards is pretty playful but you know what I mean). We had a giant SWAP table. Since I have cleaned out my studio I had a whole lot of stuff to share...and others brought things as well... one left empty-handed....

This was my haul. Ok, I know...I am not supposed to be bringing stuff  back to my studio.....but who could possibly resist old stamps in yellowed glassine envelopes? Dennison seals? Old postcards?
Well...I couldn't...

Some co-op members brought interesting things to play with, like the giant numbering stamp James brought....He brought a Ray Johnson Bunny rubber stamp too. I stamped my passport and a bunch of postcards with it...

Gregg brought the Bad Rooster, who is sitting at his table filled with tiny airmail envelopes.

And Barb made this -- it is a doll without a head...ok, she left the head at home...but I think the coolest part are all those folded security envelopes. I love the way that looks and I'd like to have a stack of them just folded and tied with string sitting on a shelf...

JU brought this -- it is a case intended for jewelry -- but....

.....she filled it with art supplies. Pretty fun.

Stamps, cookies, friends, glue sticks, Rolodex cards, swap table, artistamps....
really, what better way to spend an afternoon?
I can't think of one.
And, we get to do it all over again next month.



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