CappuccinoandArtJournal

Mostly postal but art and other things of interest too.
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Saturday, March 7, 2015

A Dirty Job but Someone Has Got to Do It!

Mail, mail and more and more mail....
Can there ever be too much good mail?

Sorry to have to admit it, but yes....there can be too much mail, especially when you've been at it for as long as I have....
I have boxes and boxes and boxes of it plus shelves and cupboards filled with it and some mail hung on rings...

I have officially run out of storage room. So, what do I do?
Well, recycle and re-purpose it, of course.
I have been sorting through endless boxes of mail and sorting things into piles...
Some of it I am just admiring....looks how pretty these piles are....Before I put the mail into boxes I sorted it by who it as from and wrapped ribbons around it...


And -- NO -- of course I didn't put it all in the recycling bin. I saved A LOT (hence how this whole problem started in the first place....). I saved the most amazing mail art, my favorite pieces and collections of letters from folks who are my dear friends...I tossed old mail from people who only wrote a few times and stopped....

I have two envelopes stuffed with postage stamps I tore off the envelopes......
And I found some terrific stamps to use for making "Stamp Heads"....(I wish I had more of these, aren't they perfect?)

And I started a "collage papers" pile and started layering the papers into the sketchbook I am filling with collages...
Here is a "start"....

and another......pasting down the first layer and covered with a little gesso to mellow it out, leaving the images still showing through...
All of this is from one dear friend....

Lots of stuff still in the art cupboard!
The things in here are my most favorites -- but I think I need to sort  it and maybe wrap up the mail by  artist. 
I always think a stack of mail with a ribbon around it looks like a present.
And then I can grab a  bunch at a time and browse through it....

So???? What are you doing with your good mail? Do you keep everything? How do you store it?
All ideas and suggestions welcome.
I am still organizing.
I think I still have a lot of sorting and repurposing to do.....
I should invite some of my more organized friends (you know who you are) to come over and help me. I'd give you treats.
Any volunteers? 


Send Good Mail -- Get Good mail

28 comments:

  1. Wow! That IS a lot of mail! I wouldn't even know where to begin...

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    1. I know that feeling.....I am still sorting...

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  2. I wish I could come to help you, just so I could look at all the beauty (because our living room still looks like my stationery exploded there). Most of my pen-friends aren't into mail art, so I just toss the plain envelopes, minus the stamps. I turn most received Christmas cards into mail art for the next year. I wish I could keep them all, but that's impossible.

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    1. Turning the cards into mail art is a good idea, TomoyoHime.....I wish I could keep everything too but it is impossible. But I still have kept a whole lot.

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  3. I had these storage problems aswell, but not that elaborate as yours though. I decided to only keep the letters, save the postagestamps and repurpose the papergoods or of its really pretty, hoard them :-) Some really special mail I keep. For now all the letters fit into a box, and the "specials" are in my cabinet to admire.

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    1. I see you understand, Mme nosenose.....the problem is I have LOTS of really special mail to hoard....but I am trying to organize it all...thanks for commenting.

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  4. The ribbon wrapped bundles well look much more decorative than the random piles. Must be fun going through it all.

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    1. I agree, FinnBadger.....I love those ribbon wrapped bundles the best too. I guess I better get out the ribbon box and start bundling....

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  5. How fun ...but I am sure it is overwhelming. Do you have an ETSY shop? I would create small bundles and sell on ETSY...... BTW I would buy one of those bundles too!

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    1. Kimkariene -- I keep talking/thinking about an Etsy shop but haven't made the time commitment. I have studio sales here in SF. I actually thought of bundling and selling but I couldn't sell personal letters to me. My correspondents might not appreciate that. But maybe sell off bundles of envelopes to be re-used in mail art....thanks for the idea and the comment.

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  6. Well, because my space is so small and I can only allot a bit of that to received mail art, I go through what I have often, and I keep paring down. I keep the best of the best, by sender, but I usually pull out everything that I can that might be reused or sent on to another mail art pal. I keep all the zines and small booklets together in one place, like a tiny library. Not having a lot of space is a blessing!

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    1. Connie--I save all the zines I get too. They are in a spot in my glass-doored bookcase. I love the way you put it -- a tiny library! yes!!

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  7. Oh dear oh dear! I wouldn't even know where to start! I think you need a second house for all your mail art. But good job you! I know it's not an easy task.
    Here I have very, very little space (tiny Japanese apartment). Very often I would like to display the mail I get but there is just no way. I store it in boxes after a while. One day I will have to tackle the boxes too...

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    1. Marie W -- it is somewhat daunting. I al lucky to have some ceiling high glass door cabinets that I can display my favorites in. It just seems sad to to have this wonderful art out where i -- and visitors to my studio -- can see it. But it is gaining on me.....

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  8. Your ribbon wrapped mail is like a personal history for each person. What a marvelous "book of mail" each of those packets would be. xox

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    1. Corrine -- I am pretty partial to that ribbon wrapped mail too. The bundles are like gifts to sit down with and look at and enjoy......

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  9. You're an archivist! I cannot bear to touch my boxes of stored/archived mail except to move it around when I try to regroup and make room for more.

    Mine is mostly letters though, and that's a good thing! There are tens of letters from several pen friends that I cherish. I've gotten to know a small core of people who mean a lot to me; I try to protect their letters.

    The boxes on top of shelves and bookcases almost touch the ceiling, so I'm branching out to space beneath my drawing table, my big L-shaped desk, and the long folding table. Oh! And the closet that holds boxes of watercolor paper, art supplies, secrets and other trappings. I'll group the postcards, mail art, and letters some day; maybe before I'm 90. It becomes a part of hoarding history after that.

    Good luck. May you be swamped with volunteers.

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    1. Limner -- Yes, I do try archive my mail art collection. So far no volunteers have stepped up! You'd think they would with the treats I can offer up. So, I am still sorting and bundling on my own....wanna come over? Too bad Texas is so far away...

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  10. The Cascadia Artpost archives from 2004 to the present have resided in a series of Rubbermaid tubs with lids in the basement. One of my 2015 resolutions is to extract all the beautiful artistamp sheets and organize them in a set of albums so that other eyes can view them. Some of the correspondence has been repurposed into collages applied to a series of handmade boxes put into circulation so that others can derive renewed enjoyment from this mail art.

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    1. Hi Jack! Oh yes-- you should take out all those beautiful artistamps you must have and put them in an album for viewing. They should be seen and enjoyed. I got inspired by Sally W and put all my artistamps sheets (your included) in a binder with clear pages. Oh -- and you re-purposed some into a series of handmade boxes? How cool is that?

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  11. Look at all that fabulous gorgeous mail art!

    (I would gladly work for treats, but my organizational skills are, sadly, not up to this task!)

    :)

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    1. Well, thank you, trisha too -- it is the thought that counts!

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  12. oh my yes, feeling a bit overwhelmed now... but in a good way..

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    1. I understand, Caterina....I kind of feel like I am just moving papers around at this point....pretty papers....but still....

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  13. Ah, what a glorious "problem" to have! I've hung some of mine on rings, like you, and put some on the back of my studio door as a kind of inspiration gallery. And then I have some in boxes. But I don't have nearly as much as you do to figure out! If the size is right, you could organize piles into those photo boxes they sell in craft stores, and then label them by sender, or "zines", or whatever other categories would make sense, and then stack them up in your art cupboard for pretty display and easy access.

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    1. Andria -- yes, agreed! It is a good problem. I have some absolutely mail art and I love to look at it and share it when people come over to visit my studio. I need the studio to be a little museum -- but you can TOUCH! I do have all my zines together in one place and as Connie Rose mentioned -- it is a little zine library!

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  14. Holy crapiola - that IS a lot of mail. Postcards on a ring looks familiar...

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    1. Some of it just had to get the heave-ho, Leslie -- but I also saved A LOT! And I did credit you for the postcards-ob-a-ring idea on my post after we got together to print....at least I am pretty sure I did....

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