Mostly postal but art and other things of interest too.
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Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Wrap It, Send it and Here's How....

This is how things are looking around my studio......Santa's Little Workshop. Oddly enough I don't even like Xmas. But I like my friends and I like to mail them things. I like wrapping presents and making things look pretty too.
(and, of course, I LOVE getting mail)
BTW, I recommend listening to Snow Angels by Over The Rhine while wrapping gifts. Best Xmas music ever. Let me know if you like it....
I bet you've got presents to send.....
Do you know some of the best ways to mail them? (via USPS)

I'm betting most of you already know about the USPS Flat rate Priority Mail boxes......but on the off chance you don't...they come is Small, Medium and Large and no matter what the heck you stuff inside or how heavy they are there is a flat rate -- AND -- $50.00 insurance and tracking included. And there are delivered in one to three days.
What's not to like?
Ready to fill!
But how many of you now about these babies? Flat rate padded envelopes are in Santa's workshop ready to fill.
See below at the very end of the post on bow to get them. Blogger is screwy and won't let me get that photo inserted where it should be....
Santa's Notes
I had just been thinking I need to keep track of what I send to people when I spotted this little charmer in a shop in Redlands, CA. Only $4 so how could I resist?
I send out a lot of surprises and sometimes forget what  sent to this file is just what I needed. And it's really cute.
Of course, thanks to ScrapSF (and JU) I was fully prepared with with lots of cool old  3x5 cards with tabs and index cards.
I've already typed them up for this year's Xmas if only I could remember what I gave my friends last year...
At the same shop I also found vintage tags and an unused packet of Dennison Xmas stickers for $2.50. My husband couldn't understand my excitement.... For someone who doesn't even like Xmas I was still happy -- I love vintage.
Redlands Postal Museum
My pal Monica alerted me to the Redlands Postal Museum on her blog a while back so I stopped in. It's tiny but fun to visit.
Don't you think Santa should have these USPS mail sacks to deliver presents?
I thought this was a riot!
Check out that fabulous ironwork -- do you see what it says at the bottom? So cool. I wish I'd be standing in line at that post office to mail all my Xmas boxes and envelopes.
I could gaze at that USPO for a while.
Coming home from a quick LA trip I got three days of mail on Sunday night. Yes! After a BAD mail week (three days with nothing at all) this was a happy night.

How many of you know about the wonderful Priority Mail Flat Rate Padded envelopes?
I am using LOTS of them this holiday season -- and I use them all year to mail surprises to my mail art pals. They can also be as heavy as you want and I can stuff A LOT inside.
You have to order them -- FREE -- at the USPS website right
They ship them in packs of ten -- trust me, you will use them. $6.45 to mail off with $50.00 insurance and tracking.

My secret mailing weapon.

LA was fun but  am very happy to be back in SF and settle in with my long TO DO list.
I want to get all the wrapping and mailing out of the way so I can make art and bake cookies.

Sadly, a lot of us here in the Bay Area, especially in the art community, are feeling very sad about the horrible tragedy in the artist space the Ghost Ship in Oakland.
It seems to be hanging over our whole community and there is much sadness for the lives lost and the remaining friends and families who are suffering. 
A moment of silence for all that was lost on December 2.

Take care, friends.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

You Can Do It (Almost) Anywhere

Making mail art in my studio is always fun. I have everything I need there (and more). But, sometimes it is nice to take it on the road...

Writing at the Library

I love to hang out at the library for a while when I have time. They have big, beautiful wooden tables and comfortable chairs and and wifi and you are surrounded by books.
And they often have flyers around that are good for using to write letters.....
All you really need is a pen!
Huntington Gardens, Pasadena CA
It is always fun to sit outside and write some postcards and the beautiful Huntington gardens  is one place that's fun to set up a writing station outdoors at a table.

Sitting out in the sun, watching the world go by and writing some postcards....
Anytime I go anywhere a part of the fun is packing up a mail art kits, either large or small....
I love a road trip when i can bring A LOT of stuff, including my small portable typewriter, but I am good with going small on a plane too....

Nothing better than mail art in a motel room. My favorite. I always tear up every tourist brochure/menu/map I can get my hands on and I make stuff....
What does the maid think?

Breakfast and Mail Art
Home or traveling, I like to start each day with a little art of some kind. Gets the day started off right.

What I did and what I didn't do ----
I don't really enjoy "holidays" so Thanksgiving isn't a big day around here. But I am thankful.
Thankful for my wonderful blog readers, Instagram followers, FB blog readers and real life mail art pals who are so generous with good mail.
It is a truly wonderful community we are in.
I've found my tribe!
So, thank you ALL.
I certainly didn't get involved in the so-called Black Friday marathon of excess and shopping.
Not my thing.
I am making things for friends though. I can't show you you till after Xmas but I'm taking photos for you.
I'm packing up a little travel bag for a very few days away now and you know I will be making some mail art.
And, then, back to the studio for some more art-making.

Hope you all are having a good time these days......don't let the crazy "holiday season" make you crazy. Just make things and have some fun with friends and take care of yourselves.
Have a cappuccino.....


Saturday, November 12, 2016

Art Saves Lives

Life hasn't been real good lately.
The election outcome. A lot of personal stuff. A whole lot of stress and worry.
So, here's what I do.
When the going gets tough, the tough get is said...
Sometimes I just need to get away and take a drive along the beautiful California coast.

I need to breathe.

More often, I try to cram as much ART into my life as humanly possible.
Went to to see the Frank Stella show at the de Young Museum here in San Francisco.
He has been prolific as an artist for over fifty years.
Walking through room after room of amazing art is very healing.

Danny Lyon Photography Show
Being an photographer, I love a good photo show and this one was terrific.

Besides the "straight' photos, I loved the collages Lyon made using photos and paper ephemera.
Right up my alley.

My favorite part of the show?
A giant bulletin board of mail he received -- who knew?

He had mail from all over the world.....lots of cool stamps....

I have followed his artwork for years but never saw his mail before.

Aside from seeing art, I love to surround myself with art materials....
Happily I was signed up for a fantastic workshop given by my pal,  Monica Lee, the Artful Recrafter.
How to Make a Tyvek Toolkit

Monica brought loads of mixed media art supplies to play with and we learned how to make Tyvek zippered pouches. custom sized to hold art supplies...
I never had put in a zipper in my entire life!
(Ok, my seams are crooked and I am kind of scared of Monica's sewing machine but I sure did have fun!).

Monica's samples

When I'm not out looking at the ocean or at art or in a workshop,  I might be found looking at postage stamps......a whole composition book full....

Or, maybe hanging out in the studio with these guys....

When I feel this bad, I definitely need to surround myself with as much art as I can....and as many friends as I can.....I like company when I'm miserable.
Art does saves lives.

What are you all doing to feel better these days?
I know a lot of my friends are suffering too. What works?
I am baking and making things and seeing friends and praying for things to get better.
Anyone want to come over and make things with me?
I have cookies.


Thursday, October 27, 2016

This Time It's Japan

Hanging out in the studio on a rainy afternoon......who should I send on a trip this time?

I love passports -- have I already said that? Well, it's very true. I love the covers and I love the stamped pages even more. It's a sad passport with no stamps in it. (But no worries, I can add my own stamps to cheer things up)
This one has seen some travel.

I'm finding, with making my altered passports, a lot of the stuff I've collected over the years is coming together.
So great to find the perfect use for this old Japanese paper...

First off, I always change the passport photo to one I like better...I added in the black & white photo.

I bought an old family photo album from Japan at the Pasadena Flea Market years ago and found the perfect use for some of the photos....they pop out very easily and are moving in to their new home...

See what I mean?

I might add in some Japanese language flash cards never know...

My faux passport stamps are getting a good workout  this afternoon....

I always leave the real ones alone.

Here's an almost finished page - turned out quite nicely I think.

All this Japan travel (in my mind) make me really need some ramen so I had to go off to Japan Town and get a bowl.
I wonder where I will go when I work on the Russian passport?
We do have Russian markets in SF and I bet we have a Russian restaurant too.
But first I need to finish up with Japan....

A big thank you and shout out to DD, JU and GM for giving me some passports to work on. You guys are just so great. 
I don't feel happy unless I have some passports sitting around waiting to be altered.
I am seriously looking for a French passport. I'm just putting it out there.

So, I've been busy altered passports, going to co-op meetings, making mail art, visiting Scrap hitting the Hero Arts Flash sale....

& You????
What are you all up to these days?
Do tell.


Thursday, October 13, 2016

Just in Case!

I really enjoy gift giving. I like birthdays and surprising my friends for no reason.
I'm not a fan of Christmas these days. It starts too early and I think it is too commercial.
I usually get in the holiday spirit a week before December 25th and by then it is too late to make things for my friends.
If you like to make things and get started early -- here are a few ideas for you.

Mail Art Address Book
My pal Miss Polly recently had a birthday and I figured she likes paper about as much as  I do.
I mean, we COULD have all our addresses on our iPhones but really, what fun is that?
My address book has everyone I have ever traded with ..... some folks there was only one trade and others have gone on for years. It is a nice record to have. I put little notes by each name like the date I started mailing to them, their birthday, things they collect...

Just buy an address book -- at a Dollar Store or a place like Scrap or anywhere you can find one -- and cover it with cool paper. You can add some washi tape....

....and rubber stamps on some of the pages....

I punched a hole in the back cover and added that pretty ribbon to tie a bow around the address book...

And, I added a library pocket to keep some postage stamps in. If you can't find an address book, you could make one from a plain notebook by adding tabs and rubber stamping the ABC's on them...

Another nice little gift is a six pocket origami folder. They are easy to whip up but you need a BIG piece of paper to make a nice size one. I use those Cavallini posters to make mine. Or use a nice big map.

After you fold it up (in about five minutes) the fun part is filling all the pockets with little paper treasures..
You can see how to make the origami pocket

Little booklets are fun to make and fun to give...
I love to re-cover everything -- these are some of my datebooks from the dollar store. I cover one every year with pretty papers and save them since they are like little diaries. I buy plain notebooks and cover them with maps to places I'm traveling too....I always have a notebook in my bag.
I bet your friends would like things like this too.
Remember my coin booklet tutorial?
I love making them. This little series is a holiday one and the the little pockets are filled with vintage Christmas seals. Who wouldn't like that? You could put vintage postage inside too.
Or, make a little booklet for a friend with some small $5 gift cards in the sleeves for coffee at different coffee shops....
See? Vintage seals in tiny glassine envelopes.....
After making the booklets the fun part is filling them up..
Coin Booklet tutorial is
Well, look at the post -- you will have to click the link within the post to find the tutorial -- but you can do it.

So, don't say I didn't give you a head's up -- if you're into the whole holiday thing you better get busy. But the nice thing is, if you aren't, these little ideas can work for birthdays or random acts of mail art kindness.
I did make one other cool thing but shhhhhhhh I can't show you till AFTER December 25.
That project will be for the new year.
Celebrating the new year is always fun too.

So, what do you think? Are you going to make things?



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