Mostly postal but art and other things of interest too.
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Sunday, July 31, 2016

And then the sun came out

The sun came out in SF and guess what happened?
Sun prints!
Some people call them sun prints but they are really called cyanotypes. You need sun and that isn't always easy to come by in San Francisco in the summer.  I know, the tourists don't believe that either and thats why they all have to buy sweatshirts that say they love San Francisco -- because they are freezing. But I digress....

You can make cyanotypes with all sorts of things, flowers and leaves have been popular for  many, many years -- google Anna Atkins if you don't believe me.
But a lot of artists, like Linda Clark Johnson are trying out new ideas and making the old process new. Check out Linda's work on her web site and FB page and Instagram and you'll see what I mean.
Linda came down from Sacramento to give us -- Monica, Leslie, Dorothy & me -- a workshop.
When you get a group of artists together, you get art.
If you live near Sacramento, you can take a class from Linda -- highly recommended.

See that fern?

Here it is on a piece of cyanotype paper with the sun doing it's thing.
The process is a pretty simple one, coat watercolor paper with cyanotype chemicals and press between two pieces of glass or plexi, expose 10-15-20 minutes till the paper turns kinda brown, wash in water and dip in a peroxide bath and hang to dry......
That's the simple version. You can look it up if you're interested in learning more.

This is how the paper looks after exposure to the sun.

And this is how it looks after the wash.

We all tried different ideas out to get an idea of what worked and what didn't...

There was a lunch break (of course!)

A bit of hanging out in my studio and then back to work/play......

We look like we were having fun, don't we?

The next day, we trooped over to Leslie's studio and we tried out toning the cyanotypes.

We cut our least favorite prints into ATC size and we tried out a variety of different toners.

Green tea, black tea, red wine, onion skin, beets and Borax.

Look at some of the results! Pretty interesting...
So, here I am, back in the studio with my prints. What should I do with them?

I cut this print up into Rolodex cards for my Rolodex art project. Kind of nice. You can cut the prints up for ATC's or rolodex cards or collage or if you really like one, you can frame it.
I'm thinking of some pages for my altered book.
So, there you have it. Two days of cyanotypes and yesterday was the Vintage Paper Fair.
Life is good.


Monday, July 25, 2016

Art in the Afternoon

Yesterday was a meeting of my wonderful mail art group, The SF Correspondence Co-Op.
I packed up the Rolodex Art project and took it on the road.....or should I say to the library where we had our meeting?
I put out a bunch of paper ephemera on the tables and everyone brought a glue stick and I asked my mail artist pals to make me some cards for the Rolodex Project.

They sure did! Everyone jumped and and torn and cut and pasted and made  some wonderful art cards. I love how every single card is different and has the stamp of it's maker. What a creative bunch of people.

See what I mean? They are all so different and all so great.
Thanks to all of you who made me cards -- much appreciated. 

But, you can't have all work and no play. (OK, making those cards is pretty playful but you know what I mean). We had a giant SWAP table. Since I have cleaned out my studio I had a whole lot of stuff to share...and others brought things as well... one left empty-handed....

This was my haul. Ok, I know...I am not supposed to be bringing stuff  back to my studio.....but who could possibly resist old stamps in yellowed glassine envelopes? Dennison seals? Old postcards?
Well...I couldn't...

Some co-op members brought interesting things to play with, like the giant numbering stamp James brought....He brought a Ray Johnson Bunny rubber stamp too. I stamped my passport and a bunch of postcards with it...

Gregg brought the Bad Rooster, who is sitting at his table filled with tiny airmail envelopes.

And Barb made this -- it is a doll without a head...ok, she left the head at home...but I think the coolest part are all those folded security envelopes. I love the way that looks and I'd like to have a stack of them just folded and tied with string sitting on a shelf...

JU brought this -- it is a case intended for jewelry -- but....

.....she filled it with art supplies. Pretty fun.

Stamps, cookies, friends, glue sticks, Rolodex cards, swap table, artistamps....
really, what better way to spend an afternoon?
I can't think of one.
And, we get to do it all over again next month.


Tuesday, July 19, 2016

And They Said It Couldn't Be Done.....

I wondered if I'd ever see the top of my work table again......

Things have been pretty messy here in my studio. Trips to the $1 library book sales and to Scrap have left me with stacks of books piled up on the floor and boxes of rubber stamps...
but really, enough was enough...
This is where the books were stacked up on the floor...

And look at them now! I sorted and tossed,  put boxes of books out front on the sidewalk where they were scooped by by passers-by. And I still have all these beauties -- loads of French dictionaries, lots of Atlases, typing manuals, Chinese and Japanese dictionaries and books, medical books, books in Russian and all kinds of other languages....
I think I still have plenty to play with -- and now they are all lovely and organized.

Finally got a nice spot to put my beautiful Japanese boxes. They are filled with paper treasures.

Vintage Japanese calligraphy

I am really enjoying being in my studio more now that I've picked it up and organized things.
And, my friends can come over now too.

You know who you are.
You're all invited to come and play. Type on the typewriters, stamp with rubber stamps....
I love company.

I even found things I forgot I had - like this old, blue metal box - perfect for my collection of vintage daters and some paints.

I still have some stacks of things...
The Rolodex Files

Two of the (Five) Typewriters

I even tackled the big closet! It is looking pretty good, don't you think?
I have been thinking of opening my own Esty shop but I see a lot of folks sell directly on Instagram and I am thinking that might be a lot easier..

My foreign language flasg card collection from all those library book sales...

Come on over and I'll make you a cappuccino and you can read....

The other studio is big! This is the room in the back and I cleaned that one up too.
How good am I?

Cappuccino Break
I think I deserved a cappuccino break after all that cleaning. I'm not even finished but I have the worst of it over with. Unfortunately I did fill up a cardboard box with STUFF I didn't know what to do with and now I have to figure that out. And I have two giant shopping bags filled up with free stuff for the SF Correspondence Co-Op swap table this coming Sunday.

Now I can get back to the art business -- I have so many projects going on -- altered books, travel journal prep, altered passports...on and on....and mail art....
is it any wonder things can get messy?

The Vintage Paper Fair is coming right up. Need I say more? You KNOW there will be vintage paper showing up here in the studio.....the only question is how much?

So, I'm back to work and I'd love to hear from all of you out there. Hope you enjoyed the cyber-visit and I also hope some of you will come over for a real visit soon.
We can make things and have show-and-tell and drink cappuccino. It's only 61' in SF and if you want to cool off, come over!



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