CappuccinoandArtJournal

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

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Giving Thanks

Sometimes I get frustrated by so few comments on my blog. But then I remember all the great things that have happened to me because of blogging.
Like this -- one of the blog readers, Indigo, emailed me and said she found a stash of old photographs in an abandoned house that was about to be demolished.
She wondered if I'd like them to use in art projects.
Well, (you guys know how I am) of course I would!

She sent me a fabulous packet of old photos and I really had fun getting right to work on them, as you can see.
I made some stamp heads and I painted over them and just generally had a great time.



I haven't worked on these yet because they are just so lovely as they are....

Indigo sent some old report cards too -- look at that lovely patina.
Jesse H.Bratley
Now here's where things get really interesting. I saw the name of Jesse H.Bratley written on the photo and I realized many of the photos were of him and his family..
It being a rather unusual name I decided to Google the name to see if I might find his family. Maybe they would want the photos?


I think Jesse is quite dapper - don't you? I mean...just look at that tie and that 'stash....

Portrait of Jesse Bratley on his 21st birthday
(written on the back of the photo)
As it turns out, Jesse H Bratley was a photographer (like me!) and his work is archived
at
The Denver Museum of Nature and Science

He photographed Native Americans.
Click the link and you'll see his work!



Jesse and his brother Will (also written on back)

Leoni, Hugh and Mary Bratley
I contacted the Museum and asked if they were interested in having these photos to add to the archive -- and they were VERY interested.
They had never seen any like these photos Indigo sent me of the Bratley family when they were younger.
So, I made a donation and added these long lost family photos to the others in the archive.

This story makes it very clear the old adage about LABEL YOUR FAMILY PHOTOS is very true. If someone (I'm betting Jesse's mother) did write the names on all those photos they would have ended up being stuck with stamps and painted along with those others.
It would have been a shame not to add them to the archive.
And the curator tells me the family will see them too.
A happy ending and thanks to Indigo and the blog too.
Another lovely blog reader - Judi -- sent me a huge, flat rate box just filled with rubber stamps.
For no reason, other than to be generous and nice. Can you believe it?


One reason I try to send out surprises in the mail is because people have been kind in sending great things to me. Pass it on.


I read on another blog that people had been laving nasty comments and saying mean things. WOW. That has certainly never happened to me (knock on wood). My readers have been supportive and encouraging and lovely. I think maybe partly because we are a small group. This isn't a blog with thousands of followers.....we all seem to share the same interests.
But it did make me realize how lucky I am to have such nice folks commenting.
So, thanks.
Library Pockets and Due Date Sleeves

Another surprise in the mail sent by Rachel. She e-mailed me that she scored a large find of these pockets and wondered if I would want some. You bet!
And I have some ideas in mind for a project with them. Thanks, Rachel.

Practice Random Acts of (Mail Art) Kindness

One of my mottos and apparently a motto of my lovely blog readers as well.
In the spirit of Thanksgiving, many thanks to each and every person who has sent me great mail art, surprises and gifts in the mail and who comments on the blog to keep me going. Sorry I can't mention all of you by name, by you know who you are and I know who you are too.
It is very much appreciated.

So, in the spirit of Thanksgiving, Thank you to all -- and here is a turkey for you -- all wrapped up and ready to mail.

Hope the American readers all have a lovely, happy Thanksgiving holiday.

I am thankful for the wonderful mail art community!

Gobble Gobble.

63 comments:

  1. How thoughtful. Love the stamp heads. I made my first one but it isn't great.

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    1. Christine -- just keep playing with them -- it took me a while to get the knack but once you do you just can't stop....

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  2. I feel you on the comments! I always feel bad because I typically don't take the time to leave a comment, even when I find things interesting, and then I want comments on MY posts. What a hypocrite I am! I think a lot of it has to do with what I'm doing at the time of reading - most of my reading is done at work and I just don't have the time to comment.

    Anyway! I am definitely going to make more of an effort to leave my feedback on posts (yours and others). I love that you were able to donate those photos to a museum! That is amazing.

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    1. TARAdactyl -- thanks so much for reading and commenting. I know what you mean, I try to make my blog rounds and I always try to leave a comment on the blogs I read -- it really doesn't take much time to do -- and I think bloggers need some encouragement!

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  3. Hi Pamela! I read and enjoy every post, but don't always comment. Don't worry, there are plenty of us appreciating every bit of your work! Happy Turkey Day! (from the land of the Pilgrims...)

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    1. Thanks, FarStarr--thanks for the encouragement--it gets lonely here in cyberspace sometimes! And Happy Turkey day to you too -- I'm having fresh carb--crazy Californian that I am.

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  4. Crazy story about those family photos. I think I comment on most of your posts. Actually I save them as unread until I have more time, so I end up commenting weeks after the post first went up. Better late than never? November is almost over. Need to get you back to Tracy before the end of the year if possible. Love all the goodies you get in the mail.

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    1. Leslie -- yes, I've got to get back thereto Tracy and have an art day. I was thinking of you last week when I had a gelli printing day.I'm happy with my prints this tim and it was fun. Better late than never is fine! I am lucky that people send me so many surprises -- including some from YOU!

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  5. Great post ( as usual)! So happy that those amazing family photos found a home! Happy Thanksgiving!

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    1. I'm happy too, Pam. it would have been a shame to use them in art (but it would have been fun!).

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  6. Hey Pamela, I too read your posts as a lurker...I don't have a blog myself though I enjoy others' . The fact that you could connect some lost and found photos with a museum that values them is totally awesome! Happy turkey! Carroll

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    1. Wells thanks, big mama bird -- I appreciate you stepping up and saying hello. It is just so wonderful to "meet" folks who read the blog. And happy turkey day right back at you!

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  7. I love your blog!!! Would love to send you mail art too!

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    1. Well, thank you Rachel. You can message me through the blogger profile if you'd like.

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  8. Love the story about Jessie Bratley and I saw some of his wonderful photos from Arizona. It must feel wonderful to be able to donate the photos you had to the museum and it will add to his life story for many people to enjoy.
    Sometimes I view your blog from my phone and it doesn't always work when I try to comment. Also I need to read the blog from my laptop because your photos are always stellar and I can enjoy them more.

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    1. chandlerguera -- wow--you saw his photos in Arizona? How cool is that? If I ever get to Denver I am going to that museum. Yes, it is hard to comment on the phone (I know, I've tried it for other blogs) but it can be done. I'm so glad you like my photos. I try hard to put a good quality blog out there...thanks for commenting.

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  9. What a great story about those photos!
    I wonder why people leave rude comments on blogs, even if you don't agree with what is on there, you can still be civil. I wish more people would comment on my blog though.

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    1. TomoyoHime -- happily I haven't had that problem with nasty comments personally but I do know some people have. I think in cyberspace people can be anonymous and say mean things that would never say in person. But my readers are terrific.

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  10. Amazing story - thanks for going the extra mile to find out who the people were - and what a great reward for all concerned.

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    1. thanks, FinnBadger -- it was a fun puzzle to solve. I just realized I should send the curator at the museum this link...

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  11. I Love that story, Pamela- amazing what can happen because of the mail. I'm Thankful for you and all of your great posts- what inspiration you have been to me and so many others.Keep up the GOOD mail.

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    1. thanks, my friend -- you inspire me too -- a mail art mama! i love that those photos found the right home and it seems like fate that Indigo sent them to me -- and amazing she went in to that abandoned house and found them in the first place.

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  12. Aloha, Pamela! Thank YOU for your wonderful blog. I love your art and I am especially fond of your stampheads. Have a joyful Thanksgiving! Oh, and that Jesse is some nice eye candy. ;)

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    1. Thanks, Tammy - and Happy Thanksgiving to you too. I love stamp heads too. I think i should make a little stamp head zine and mail it out....

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  13. That story about the photos was fab, well done you for finding a new home for them. Sorry I rarely comment, it's just lazy of me. I sometimes think it would be good if blogger just had a 'love this post' button, so that visitors could acknowledge having popped in and enjoyed a post. (or is that just more lazyness?)
    Love your blog. I'd love to take part in this mail art thing, your stuff is Soooo beautiful, but I worry that I wouldn't get round to sending enough stuff!
    I'm renting a studio for a few months from 1st Dec, perhaps than I'll get more organised and join in some mail art.

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    1. Oh yes -- Nina -- try your hand at some mail art -- it is so much fun. And you can't do anything wrong -- it's all good. Have you seen the blog Mail Me Some art? People trade things they make like stamp head or postcards or zines -- check it out. Where is your studio? I understand people read and don't comment but keeping a blog going is a lot of work and I sometimes wonder if it is worth the effort if I don't get any feedback....thanks for commenting on this post and happy holidays.

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    2. Love the idea of the Mail me some art blog, I did look at it a while ago but I don't think I was ready for it then. I'll give the next one a go. My studio is a couple of miles from where I live in rural south west England. I've just remembered this guy I met years ago at art college, thought you might like his stuff, it's got a very mail arty feel to it!
      .http://daviddellafiora.blogspot.co.uk

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  14. Hi Pamela. Just writing to say that I love your blog. I really enjoyed the story about Jesse Bratley. I am in the process of removing photos from old albums that are destroying them. (remember the kind with the sticky lines?) I am labeling all of them.
    I am wondering if you got the halloween pumpkin card? I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving. It's snowing a tiny bit in Salt Lake today. Do you know if the San Francisco center for the book is open regularly? 2 1/2 more weeks of French this semester. I love learning French. It does take a concerted effort....A bien tôt

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    1. Janet -- yes indeed I got the card and thanks so much for thinking of me.Yes, SFCB is open regularly but I don't know the hours in my head -- thy have a website you can check out. It's a terrific place. i love French but I'm hopeless at it....quel dommage...

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  15. First of all, I always read your posts, and always get excited about what you are doing. If I don't take the time to comment right then, I get sidetracked and don't get back to it. Right here above my computer desk I have a little note you wrote me on some music paper, when you sent me some "art to hide in a book". I look up there and it's a reminder to send you something, but it is long overdue. I've been inactive in the mail art community for several years, and except for a few close pals, rarely send any, and I miss it. I really must get back to it. Maybe I should do one of Karen's swaps.

    What a nice story about that handsome Jesse, so nice that you followed the trail and got them to a place where many people can enjoy them. Your postal people are so cool too.

    That brown paper wrapped turkey is hysterical. Happy Thanksgiving.

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    1. Very nice to hear from you Barbara.....at least you are sending mail to some close pals! The mail art community is really wonderful and it is such fun to find great mail in your mailbox. I am so spoiled I hope for good mail every single day. I thought that brown paper wrapped turkey was pretty funny too - thanks so much for taking time out to comment today! Happy Thanksgiving.

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  16. I've read your blog forever and comment only occasionally. Part of the reason is I usually read while at work so feel guilty taking time to comment (though not to read!); the other reason is if I don't have something specific to say, I don't take the time to leave a generic "That's pretty" comment. That doesn't mean I haven't enjoyed the post or seeing what cool ephemera you've picked up, just that I don't have anything worthwhile to add.

    When I first started my blog, I told myself it was just for me and family - I didn't care if anyone else found me or commented - I just felt like I wanted my efforts "out there". These few years later, as I've made friends in this delightful artsy community, that has changed and I do love seeing comments. I find it validates and encourages me to keep going. If comments make me feel good, it only makes sense that my comments would make others feel good. So - goal for 2015 - leave more comments.....even just little quick "I've read this" type comments. :)

    Have a fabulous holiday season!

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    1. Thank you, Terrie - I like your resolution! I really do try to leave comments too because I know how much all of us bloggers appreciate them. And I'll try harder too. I have loved meeting people through the blog -- people have looked me up here in SF and you know I met Leslie in Tracy. And someday we will have an art date too. Thanks for commenting this time!

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  17. A lot of times I do not leave comments on others' blogs anymore. In the past I have but the Blogger/Owner of the blog didn't ever respond back to my comments, but I will comment more thanks to your fantastic post! Love it!
    I too collect these photographs/sample photograph cards. If you would like to own a few please shoot me an email with your mailing address & I can pop them in the mail to ya! Or hand deliver them to you the next weekend that I come up to SF!

    LindaRichards15@gmail.com

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    1. WOW! See what I mean?? Generous -- I have found folks in the art/mail/art community to be very generous and you are proving that once again. Thank you! And I always reply to comments too. I'm so glad you enjoyed the post and thanks so much for commenting and the generous offer.

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    2. I have mailed out your goodies! Be on the look out & I hope you enjoy the photo cards!

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    3. Linda -- cards just came tonight 9at 6:15pm!) and I will have fun playing with them -- thank you so much!!!

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  18. as always, LOVE your blog posts (& your mail!!!)
    thanks so much for the creative verve and the mail JOY you share with the world.
    ~p

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    1. hey miss polly -- I know you! Thanks for being both a faithful reader and commenter -- and for all the great mail art too!

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  19. tyou for all your posts..i dont comment much but hope you know that i love reading here and soaking up the inspiration!

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    1. Thanks for checking in this time around, Jane. Much appreciated. All these lovely comments will help me keep the blog going a while longer. Happy holidays!

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  20. How great would it be
    To get a postal turkey!
    :-))

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    1. marie w -- the Japanese post office would wonder what the heck it was, don't you think?

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  21. What a wonderful gift from Indigo and so special that you gifted them forward to the Museum. And I love what you did with the other cards that you altered.

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    1. Thanks so much , Seth...I have been having fun altering and painting and playing with vintage photos lately.

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  22. I love your blog, Pamela, one of the first mail art ones I found. You inspire me all the time and I'm still hoarding the fabulous stash of Chinese papers you sent.--which reminds me--I have to get the return package to you before it bursts-I keep adding stuff as I find it.

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    1. Linda -- that is so nice! I am glad you have been enjoying the blog and oh! a package for me? How fun! Have fun creating with the Chinese papers. Happy Holidays.

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  23. Hi Pamela,
    Thanks for the turkey.
    And heaps of blessings on you for tracking down Jesse Bratley and sending those photos off to the right place.
    Christine

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    1. Thanks, Christine, and you enjoy your holiday too! But don't try to eat that turkey I sent you.

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  24. I love your story about the photos of Jesse. It makes me so happy just knowing all that happened.

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  25. How nice to have so many kind people sending you these fabulous things; you are certainly fortunate, and I'm sure that's got to be a result of your own generosity. I like what you've done with the photos so far, and love your work in general. I also love the story about photographer Jesse and his family. It's amazing what you find in these old photos, books, etc.; I have found some interesting things myself. so nice to meet you; I will be back again soon!

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    1. Hello Sharmon! Nice to "meet" you too. I love finding other blogs I enjoy and yours looks great. Thanks for visiting mine. My blog readers have been just lovely to me -- I'm lucky, I know. They send me stuff to make art -- what could be better? Happy Thanksgiving.

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  26. Getting gifts from awesome blog readers is one of the best things about blogging, and you've gotten some awesome stuff recently, and I think it's so great that you could find the photographer and donate some of that treasure!

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    1. thanks, iHanna --have a good holiday and thanks for commenting.

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  27. Great detective work. How wonderful to have rescued those long "lost" photos. It's wonderful the museum wanted them. So many people will enjoy seeing them.
    Happy Thanksgiving.

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    1. Right back at you Texas Leigh -- Happy Thanksgiving to you too! I'm very happy I could find a home for those cool old photos too. I forgot to thank "Google" too!

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  28. Wow, that story of the photographs! So glad you were able to identify them and donate them somewhere they will be appreciated (even more than your art :)

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    1. Someday I will have to go visit those photos in Denver......thanks for stopping by the blog, Cindy.

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  29. How awesome that you were able to donate to the museum! I sometimes wonder as I'm "savaging" various artifacts whether they could be put to better use as historical source material. But you're right: if they aren't labeled, there isn't much chance of finding a good home for them. I've never painted directly on my old photos, and I really like the look you've created here.

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    1. It is really fun to paint on them, Andria. It is a shame to ruin the photos if they could go to a good home but sadly most are not identified - that is what is so cool about these of the Jesse Bratley family. But on the other hand, vintage photos used in art projects have a life of their own too....

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  30. what an amazing story of the photos-one of those "meant to be" that the right person found them and the rest unfolded. We found a stash at my grandparents home few yrs ago that no one had seen before-luckily my dad and aunt knew who most were. cool old vintage photo's. love what you did~

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    1. thanks so much, donnaj -- and i am glad to hear your dad knew who the folks in the old photos were. I do love altering the ones that have no providence but it is nice to find a home for the ones that do.

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