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

Friday, October 24, 2014

New York, New York

New York, New York....'s a beautiful town. I have always loved NYC. OK, maybe not so much in the 80's when things were kinda nuts there -- but before that and after.
And now.
NYC here I am!
The Ink Pad? Junior's?Some plays?MOMA?
You bet!

Every time I visit I make collages and keep a little travel journal. I found this one from the last time....

....and got inspired to make a little booklet to collage in this time...

Here's the start of it -- doesn't look like too much now so I will show you when it's filled up with ephemera from The Big Apple. I prepped the pages (inspired by my pal Dori who showed me all her prepped pages for her Japan journal). Nothing too fancy -- just some watercolor washes and some rubber stamps....
Ok, so then I decided to make a separate travel notebook too -- here's the cover! I am going to cover it with some paper ephemera/map I pick up in NYC.
I always take a pencil and stick it notes so I can mark the journal with notes about what photos I want to add in later on and leave room for them....

This time I prepped the journal pages a la my mail art pal Dori Singh.....and of course I just happened to have quite a number of NYC postcards at the ready...

...another prepped page.....

When I think of NYC I think of Yellow Cabs!

Need to tuck a few things into the mail art travel kit.....colored pencils? black Micron markers?
Glue stuck?

These cool little ABC stamps (thank you, Miss Polly!) fit snugly inside an Altoids tin.

After my last NYC I made a large origami folder and tucked in ephemera that might come in handy this time, like subway maps. and take-out menus...

It's fun to make an origami folded for each trip -- maps are good for this since they are large.
I like to fill the folder with ephemera that didn't fit in my travel journal. All of this stuff is a handy reference for the next trip or for a friend who is traveling to the same spot.

All prepped and ready to go....

Only I will be home by the time this post is published and you are reading it! Maybe you'll get a postcard from me.
Next up -- I'll show you some NYC sights and scenes.

The Ink Pad? I think so.
Some deli sandwiches? You bet?
Tearing and pasting in a hotel room -- now that you know will definitely be happening.

What has everybody been doing while I've been gone?
Do tell.
Happy Mail to you all.


Friday, October 17, 2014

LA Story

Always happy to be on-the-road....even if I have driven up and down Highway 5 about three million times.
Hello LA!

The road trip might be getting a little old by now but I still love hanging out in a hotel room with my art supplies and a bunch of tourist brochures to tear up and play never gets old....

Breakfast of Champions
Hotel buffet (delivered to my room by the cool guy I travel with and happen to be married to).
I can collage and eat breakfast and drink coffee all at the same time.
I even get up early just to have time to work on mail art.
I'm dedicated.

What's Your LA Story?
I can't really tell mine here because the trip didn't go as planned but this is a mail art blog,
not my life story. 

Let's just say being in an LA ER on a Saturday night isn't for the faint of heart.

A few art supplies traveled with me -- very few -- mostly I need a glue stick.
There is a whole set of ABC rubber stamps in that Curious George Altoid tin -- pretty cool, huh?

It is nice when it's a road trip because you can bring along MORE STUFF.

No hotel stationery but there was a fun place to stick my outgoing mail art.
The desk clerk did look at me funny while I was photographing this. But, by now, I'm used to getting looked at funny.

I kinda wanted that sign....

Off to explore Olvera Street in LA. -- right across from the cool Union Station.
It is a tourist place for sure but you can really have fun there if you like mail art and postcards.
Trust me.

Postcards -- and lots of them. They have tons of them including lots of vintagey ones for 25-cents.
I get really fed up when I go to places with no postcards.

This one stall always has these cool embroidered postcards -- my favorites! And this time they gave me an idea for some mail art.......

Need a giant Mexico pencil?
Lots of the Lotteria games/cards which are always great for mail art. they even had a day of the Dead set this year (for 3x more $$) (yes, I got it)

More postcards....I am too cheap to pay $1 though...

Day of the Dead stickers?
Yes, I think they will work for Halloween mail...

Philippe's (Home of the French Dipped Sandwich)
Philippe's is right there too -- a block away from Olvera Street & Union Station.
A fun spot with sawdust on the floor.

A good place to finish up writing your postcards while waiting for food.....and I just happened to have made a Philippe's postcard to send to a pal....

There it is now -- the French Dip!

Philippe's gives you FREE postcards too. Always a plus in my book. And you can buy tee shirts and Philippe's mustard too.

Should I wear this for Halloween or Day of the Dead?
What do you think?

One last breakfast and collage-making session and I was back on that  darn Highway 5 for the drive back.
SF to LA
LA to SF

So, if you are heading to LA, I suggest a stop at Olvera Street for some fun supplies, lunch at Philippe's and check out the cool Union Station.

It's all good and once you get there, there is no more driving. We parked for $4 all day.
No driving is LA is a good thing.
And mail is a very good thing.
What are you been making and sending?
Halloween mail?
I am working on bunches of things, as always, including Thanksgiving mail-art and prepping a small travel journal...

Say hello!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Wet Paint

Recently I took a Gelli plate printing workshop with Monica Lee, who is a mail art pal of mine and a wonderful artist. She is an Arist in Residence at Ruth's Table  where the workshop was.
The workshop was really fun -- kinda like a paint party....thought you might like to take a look.

And, if you're local, keep an eye on the website for more classes/workshops at Ruth's Table.
I might see you there!

Check out Monica's web site The Artful ReCrafter by clicking her name above -- she does all kinds of great things and is a master at re-using and re-purposing.

Monica brought loads of stencils and papers and paints to the workshop and after a demo she just let us all run wild!
It was too much fun.

You guys all know what a Gelli plate is, right?

You don't need much to have a whole lot of fun and be able to crank out lots of painted paper. You just need a Gelli plate, brayer, acrylic paints and paper and you're good to go.
I'm not going to try to explain it all here because there is tons of information out there about Gelli printing -- YouTube videos, books on Amazon, blogs etc

Here are a couple of interesting links --

Gelli printing by my mail art pal Leslie --  click the link! She makes some terrific prints.
Robin Mead made some fun journals using gelli pages
Gelli Arts

Karen from MMSA does it too (I love her gelli prints!)
Linda Germain's Gelli Post

WARNING: Gelli Printing is VERY addictive and you may get hooked on it.

You can make your own plates and Karen (link above) talks about it. I am really happy with my Gelli block though....

You can print on tags, card stock, paper, deli paper, dictionary pages......anything goes....

One of the participants had a birthday the day of the workshop and Monica even brought cake. Now that's a good teacher!
Artists running wild with sugar and paint -- always a good thing!

You can use leaves for stencils and bubble-wrap and anything with texture...

Here are some of my cards and tags....I really got into using that stencil with the circles.....

I've got kind of a fall color thing going on here.....I left the workshop with a whole bunch of printed cards and tags and I can't wait to set up shop and play some more. In fact I invited myself once again to visit Leslie (link above) for a massive gelli printing session at her studio soon.

Here are a couple of books Monica had at the workshop. I don't have them but they looked good if you're looking for a how-to book. There are quite a few of them out there...

Some of my cards -- got kind of a Halloween thing going on there with the black and orange, don't you think?

More of my cards....

I swear, I am having too much fun making cards and envelopes. Addictive.

You can gelli print on book pages like this -- dictionary pages, maps, foreign language text.....

I decided to add in some gelli pages in a travel journal I am's one page...

...and here's another....

I will just collage right over this, leaving a bit of gelli peeking out.....

See what I mean?
Once you start, you just can't stop. It is perfect to do on a hot day and I am sure it will be a lot of fun to do on a cold day day. Or a rainy day.
I'm having fun.
How many of you are making gelli prints?
What are your secrets?
What do you like to print on? Any books to recommend? How do you use the papers?
I have printed on book pages, tags, card stock and deli paper......I need more ideas...

And, one last word, it really isn't as messy as some of you think it is.
The hours just speed by....very relaxing....and you end up with good stuff.
Have fun.



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