Mostly postal but art and other things of interest too.
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Thursday, September 27, 2012

My Day with Dave and Other Postal Stories.....US Post

A Random US Post Office...
I picked up this snapshot at a thrift shop yesterday and it got me wondering...
Who took this photo? Why?
In my experience, only mail artists run around taking photos of post offices and
mail boxes.
I am curious about the story behind this shot but I guess I'll never know.
I can make something up!

Hand Canceling With Dave

One of my happiest postal memories is an afternoon I spent at the Valley Ford, CA
Post Office with
Postmaster Dave Bordessa.
He let me cancel all my own letters and a few others too...
I was in heaven.

Canceling in Action
Dave is keeping a strict eye on me as you can see.

This was in the 80's and you will have to excuse the bad perm..

Dave's daughter EB

One of my best pals was -- and is -- Dave's daughter Elvera.
Here she gets to cancel a few stamps too but you can just tell she wasn't as
over-excited as I was.
She has put up with a lot from me over the years...

(Happy Birthday today EB!) you think Dave is counting his stamps and making sure I didn't sneak off with any?

Dave was a lovely man and well liked by everyone in the small town of Valley Ford. His wife Edith was a fabulous cook who would make great Italian feasts and host wonderful dinners, including a number for the artist CHRISTO and his wife while they were in the area working on the Running Fence. I was invited to some of the feasts too.
Sadly the tiny Valley Ford Post office is just exactly the type of the USPS is trying to close today.
A wonderful part of US history that is changing and in my opinion, not for the better.

and Valley Ford just won't be the same.
Dave and Edith are gone now but I know their memories live on  in many people who knew them
and enjoyed their warmth and hospitality.

Irish-American Pen Pals Meet

Oh yes...something else from my postal past....I have had many pen pals over the years
and this one, Louise Maxwell came over from Ireland to spend a summer with me and my family.
We had a blast. I visited her years later in Ireland too.
Another pen pal I had (who knew Louise) was Sue Brent. She casually wrote "My father George Brent is an actor"
and I was not in the least impressed...if she knew the Rolling Stones yes...
I mentioned this to my mom who who was VERY impressed. I guess George Brent was well known to her generation.

And yes, my hair was blond back in the day. The perm...the blond...The less said the better.

I have always -- always -- loved mail. I don't really know why but my mom also loved to write and receive letters so maybe it runs in the family?

And my there is another postal story waiting to be told...

What are your stories?

Send Good Mail -- Get Good Mail

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Books, Stacks, Tearing and Pasting

Studio Time

I've been slightly AOL in posting because I find it hard to get out of my studio to do other things.
I am on a collage binge (among other things).
I have always loved this painting of San Francisco's hills and cable car.

STACK of Books from the SF Library Book Sale

I did leave yesterday to head on over to the Big Book Sale.
Oh yes. I scored a bunch of great stuff to tear up and collage with. IF I can
bring myself to tear the books.
First I have to examine them carefully...(and why yes, that is all washi tape in those drawers in the background..)

French-Spanish Vintage dictionary from France....OohLaLa
The fact that my French is horrible and I can't speak Spanish doesn't stop me at all..
Look at this page -- examples of cursive writing. 

Handy Atlas
Love that red cover and the maps inside are a perfect size for postcard collages.

Turkey....yes, I will be needing to use this one very soon....

I found a few handwritten notebooks by school kids -- two were in Russian (why didn't I buy those Russian flash cards?) and one in English.
They were working these kids...
This one made his very own set of tabs -- clever!

...and he wrote in lovely cursive writing....did you know they aren't even teaching kids cursive in US schools anymore...that is just sad.
And on the back cover the kid handmade this cool chart of various time zones.
La Lettre

Oui, J'ai mis la lettre a la post.

A reproduction of a very old Sears catalog - printing in 1969 so it is kind of old
itself...and there is page after page of wonderful drawings..

TIME is running out...
I can't even fit all the photos on the post so I will post some over on the
Cappuccino and Art
Facebook page if you are interested.

Chinatown Score
Vintage booklets printed in Hong Kong for school kids --
ALL about writing letters and the post office.
So cool. A friend read it to me and it explains about the various ways you can send mail,
Can you see the postman on the cover?

Collaged Postcard Series
I tore those babies up and have been collaging ever since...


I have been collaging for years but recently heard about this book
The Collage Workshop
by Randel Plowman who blogs at
A Collage A Day

I am really enjoying the book. I like his style of collage and he has lots of interesting tips and ideas.

That about wraps it up from here, folks. Gotta get back to tearing paper and glueing...
What are you all up to these days?


Thursday, September 6, 2012

Random (and hopefully) Interesting Things


How can it already be September? Time is flying by. So many art projects
and (it seems) so little time.
The annual SF Zine Fest was this last weekend here in San Francisco and
it was a whole lot of fun.

Jennie Hinchcliff setting up our SF Correspondence Co-Op table at the
zine fest. We had artistamps and zines and lots of people looking (and buying) and
lots of fun.


Look at all that postally related and mail art stuff! We took turns at the table and at the
giant collage station....


Maybe not mail art but I couldn't resist taking a shot of this chicken purse.
How fun is that?

Zine Workshop

Before the zine fest, Jennie hosted a workshop on making several different kinds
of zines/origami booklets/sewn books....

Lots of inspiration -- and I definitely got inspired!

Folding books, accordion books, sewn books....

Loved these book presses in teal and red at the
SF Center for Book

SF Center for the Book

.......and then there is the book tape....rolls and rolls of it...

Correspondence Co-Op Meeting

Our last Co-Op meeting was really fun too. Alyson Kuhn of
Felt & Wire
was there and she wrote about our wonderful mail art group. And, I took some of the
photos so check out the link.
I think you'll like it.

Co-Op Meeting

Another meeting - back in our old space. These mail art meetings are so much
fun. Hope this encourages others to start up a group.
We share techniques, make zines and artistamps, have a swap table, do show and tell...
Rumor has it our next meeting we will have a stamp carving tutorial...
and of course there is food.....
I have been busy...handmade "Underwear Envelope" went out this afternoon...


.....and all these collaged postcards.....


And some lucky person is going to get this very large origami booklet filled
with things I picked up at the zine fest....

Yesterday I did not get any mail at all. Now how wrong is that?
I am still waiting to see what happens today.

I'm working on making a giant NYC origami booklet with lots of pages made
from menus and maps...
and making a couple of travel albums to take on my upcoming trip..

Now, what are all of you working on?



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