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

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Let's Go to Japantown

Back--to--school shopping in Japantown. OK, I'm not going back to school but I still like the supplies.
I snapped a few photos to show you.
People often ask me what to see and where to go in San Francisco if you are artistically inclined...
I highly suggest a visit to Japantown.

Washi tape
There are two -- yes, two, "Japanese Dollar Shops" in J-town.
This one is Ichiban Kan and they have some pretty fun washi tape and stationery
among many other things.

Yes, the washi tape is only $1.50. Not the most wonderful designs but for $1.50 I can work with it....

Pencil cases
The other shop is Diaso. Much bigger. No washi tape there (that I've ever found) but they have just about everything else.
Loads of pencil cases......

.....and stuff to put inside these nice cutting tools. These are great for travel. I always have a stash to tuck into my mail art travel kit. And I like the colors too.

There are always lots of nice plastic cases to organize your stuff.....

Cool little mini index cards with graph design on both sides.....useful, no?

Origami paper in loads of colors and patterns...and it's not just for making origami, is it?

Notebooks come in all sizes...

Put Double-stick tape from Diaso on your shopping list. This is the best tape around. I use it all the time. Super-sticky, big roll -- handy for all kinds of things. ($1.50)
Dots and labels..
Did I mention almost every single thing at both Ichiban kan and Diaso are only
Yes, that's right...

Kinokuniya Bookstore
Don't miss Kinokuniya. You may not be able to read the books that are in Japanese but you will marvel at the number of magazines they have. And there are books in English too.
A great place to browse.

Mai Do
Definitely go to Mai Do for the best washi tape selection. Great stationery shop. Beautiful sheets of Japanese paper for bookbinding. A must-see shop.
Another nice thing about Japantown is there is all sorts of free and interesting paper ephemera to pick up. I use it to write letters on (the blank sides) and cut up for collage. The Japanese supermarket had stacks of terrific free magazines with Japanese recipes and food photos that are great.

Lunch is a must -- but you may not want this one since it's plastic. But there are loads of great spots to eat. Hand-made udon and ramen noodles, sushi.....

Or just pick up a box of fresh sushi at the supermarket and eat on a bench.....

Hope you enjoyed the little visit to J-town with me. Start packing your bags and making your shopping list. And go in the morning when the parking meters are
25-cents and hours before noon. An unheard of bargain here in SF. The going rate is about $3 or $4 an hour at a meter.

I can put up some SF travel posts every once in a while if you are interested so let me know what you think?
Shall we stick to mail art or do you want some travel tips too?

Now back to working on cleaning my studio and making mail art.
(I've been posting lots of photos on the Facebook page)

Send Good Mail -- Get Good Mail

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Tossing, Sorting and Opening Good Mail

Well, as you can see,  I still have a ways to go in cleaning up my studio....
I'm in it for the long haul.
Amazing how you can just put stuff out on the sidewalk in front of your house
and as if by magic
it just disappears.
Everyone likes something for free. (Especially me which is exactly why I have too much stuff)

I am getting to the really hard part first it was easy to just toss out the junky stuff that even I agree could go....
but my Chinese tins? Nooooooo -- they are staying...

The painting stays....and the old, dried lei from a long ago trip to Hawaii....that stays too...

And -- mais oui -- the French stamps stay....

Hummmm.....but what about this? I went through a serious phrase of collecting all kinds of religious  items a while back.....should Our Lady of Guadalupe stick around?

And what about this? The 3D inside the body book? I had it in the toss box.....

....but then I took it out....what do you think? Should I keep it? It is pretty cool...It is getting really hard for me to decide about some of these things..I'm in the throwing out mode but i don't want to regret anything later on...

The one consolation to all this cleaning is the fabulous incoming mail I have been receiving...
The very generous Mike Dickau sent me a(nother) sheet of his fabulous Snail Mail artistamps.
Don't you just love them?

And today -- all the way from Budapest -- a fantastic envelope with a great collage inside.
I think the Levi's collage was inspired by me living here in San Francisco.
From Torma Cauli (check out the cool mail art blog). And since I am going to visit Budapest this fall maybe we can meet up? Now that would be really fun......

Another amazing book made by Planet Susannia -- one of my most favorite mail artists to exchange with.

Another page in her handmade, collaged book.......swoon.....

And from  the wonderful and generous JU (right here in San Francisco). Check out the great envelopes she makes....a pleasure to receive every time....and...

...they are always filled with such lovely things. She made me a set of  envelopes from old National Geographic magazines...aren't these great???? I don't think I can bear to mail them off. I just might have to keep them for myself... 

And Dori Mail! Another favorite...she sends the most interesting and creative mail.
Lucky me!

Today I also got a bunch of shelf-lining paper from Sarah -- with vintage French postcards all over it. Sarah thought I might like to make envelopes out of it...oh yes, I certainly would like to.

WHEW....I think I was entitled to a day off, don't you? of my most favorite summer treats. Rare here in SF because summer here is chilly and windy but I took the ferry over to Marin county to meet a mail-art pal and we had a wonderful time.
Brought some show-and-tell (zines, a book I made and ATC's) and lunch outside.

I have been posting my OUTGOING mail on the Cappuccino And Art Facebook page so I won't post any here this time. I'm running out of room. And I got more great mail that also wouldn't fit here that I'll post on the blog's FB page.

Saturday is our July SF Correspondence Co-Op meeting and I have three bags of stuff to put out on the swap table!
What should I keep? What should I toss?
And who wants to come over and help me organize?

(I have six huge boxes of mail art I am trying to figure out what to do with too)

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

A Little of This & A Lot of That

I am tired.
I have been spending lots of time in my studio but most of it has been cleaning, sorting, organizing and throwing stuff away
rather than making art.
Someone better remind me to STOP bringing stuff home because there is just no more room.
The mail art filled shopping cart has left the building.

I did squeeze in a little time to work on various projects though.....

July is National Zine Month. You did know that, right? So I made a little one page wonder....

Sharing a little postal love.....

Postal themed ATC's going out......







Why yes, I am having fun playing with the apps on my phone....thank you for asking.

And then there was lunch.....

Mexican food is the go-to cheap lunch here in SF...and so good...I need my energy back if I'm going to keep cleaning my studio....

Vintage Paper Fair is coming up in August, SF Correspondence Co-Op meeting soon in July and I'm making more booklets....

What are you all working on?
And what should I do with all my mail-art????

Send Good Mail -- Get Good Mail

Monday, July 8, 2013

Making More Mail Art Envelopes

You could say I like to make my own envelopes.....
With all the paper ephemera I pick up I have to do something with it.
Karen Isaacson asked me to do a guest post on making envelopes for

Mail Art Mondays
Check it out if you're interested in making some envelopes. And she is hosting an envelope swap too.
I thought I'd go ahead and post a few more of my handmade envelopes here.

I pick up very cheap or free books whenever I get the chance. Great for making envelopes.
This has a bunch of kids stories like Little Bo Peep and Hansel and Gretel that just called out for me to fold them into envelopes.

A bike envelope for a biking friend.

More from another kid's book....that raccoon (or whatever it is) is a little scary.

Comic books make fun envelopes....

The bird lovers get bird envelopes and a certain chicken lover I know got that chicken envelope.
You know who you are.

Old Atlas books are really great for envelope making. Love the greens and blues.

Mona Lisa likes mail. Just sayin'....

Outgoing in French

I love to use menus too...

OK, this isn't a handmade envelope but I like to mail off all kinds of things. This is a nice case that is the perfect size for storing sheets of stamps or typing paper mailed off to a pal.

Another not-an-envelope -- a mail art pencil case mailed off to the Netherlands.
Yes, it arrived.
The postal clerk loved it.

Vintage magazines are great for envelopes. Just make sure the paper folds ok and isn't so brittle it cracks. National Geo's and Life magazine are both usually filled with great images to work with.

I picked up a bunch of (free) Chock Full of Nuts coffee bags when in NYC.
With a big of cutting off the tops and tape to close them up and a mailing label they made really fun envelopes to mail out...

Washi tape is always fun to add some interest.
Washi tape is not a permanent tape so I always use some invisible tape to hold down the seam or ends of it.
I usually make up bunches of envelopes at at time so I always have a stockpile ready. If there is a special one I want to send to someone I just label it with a sticky note.
The decorating goes on after the envelope is filled -- that's the fun part.

Personally I am partial to the typewriter envelopes. Probably because I am partial to typewriters as you all know.

Hope you enjoyed the envelope tutorial on Mail Art Monday and it inspires you to get busy and fold.

What are some of your envelope making tips? Or questions?
Love hearing from you.



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