Mostly postal but art and other things of interest too.
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Monday, December 26, 2016

Altered Altoid Tins

Postal Themed Altered Altoid Tins
Finally!!! I have been making these tins for a while now and couldn't show them since the majority of them went for Christmas presents....
They are such fun to make and even more fun to fill up. One arty blurred shot and one sharper..

What tiny treasures can you put inside?
Mini stapler and tiny scissors, postage stamps, small rolls of washi tape, address labels, small rubber stamps, buttons for crafting, sewing kit.....
What can you think of?

All packed up and ready to go!

Of course I had to make a few for myself too...I have all kinds of things stored inside mine.

Besides the postal theme I go on a bird theme as well....

You have to decorate the bottoms of the tins surface left untouched.

Some stamp bundles packed into this one. I'd like to get this so I hope my pal Polly liked  receiving it......I mean, really? Who wouldn't love a postal themed tin with bundles of stamps inside?
All you need are empty tins, like Altoid tins, and some cool paper and washi tape and glue....I used matte gel medium.....

I'm not the first to alter Altoid tins. In fact, my pal Dori is the one who started me thinking about doing it. She has sent me several that I absolutely love. I have one that she made me filled with earrings.
I won't put a tutorial on here because tutorials are out there all over the place. Check Pinterest.
I found doing a few at a time with the same theme worked best for me. It is much slower just doing one at a time. I found old Altoid tins at ScrapSF without that embossed top that the new ones have have. And Trader Joe's mints have good tins too. If you really want a tutorial I will do it but I think you can figure it out....

So, there you go, now it's your turn.
What will you put inside?

And you are wondering who won the 2017 planner?
(drum roll, please)
Congrats to Miss Iowa. Please send me your mailing address via the Blogger Contact Form or in a comment) I won't publish it.

I may be making some more notebooks to give away so stay tuned. Thanks for all the comments and good wishes and for the suggestions on what you might like to see on the blog.I've been blogging less and posting on IG more because it seems there is more response to IG but I enjoy blogging and would like to continue if there is the interest.
Happy Holidays to all of you out there and thank you for all your lovely comments and good wishes and good mail throughout 2016.


Monday, December 19, 2016

Out with the Old!

Every year I make a little datebook/planner and a couple of years ago I started making two -- one to record dates and appointments and the other to record art projects and ideas...
My 2016 planners are about ready to get tied up in ribbon and join the previous years.

It is really helpful to keep an art notebook.....


So, I started making my 2017 planners today -- got them covered -- but I have to rubber stamps inside and add bits and pieces...

Inside the cover of the larger, art planner...

and the inside of the smaller. They match!

I like to add vintage stickers and bits of washi tape and rubber've got to keep life interesting, don't you?
They are little diaries of the year.

When the year is done, I tie them up and keep them all together in a cupboard....

Just in case Santa doesn't bring you all you want, here's a chance for a little treat for yourself!
I've made these for friends who don't use paper planners (what????) so this year I made an extra one and I am giving it away.
The only catch is -- please leave a comment on the blog -- and tell me some topics or subject matter you'd be interested in seeing on the blog in 2017.
I'd like to know what you all think would be interesting.
On the day after Christmas, I'll put all the names in a hat and pick one.
Sound good?
In the meantime, I have some more work to do on my two planners and the one I'm giving away so see you later!


Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Wrap It, Send it and Here's How....

This is how things are looking around my studio......Santa's Little Workshop. Oddly enough I don't even like Xmas. But I like my friends and I like to mail them things. I like wrapping presents and making things look pretty too.
(and, of course, I LOVE getting mail)
BTW, I recommend listening to Snow Angels by Over The Rhine while wrapping gifts. Best Xmas music ever. Let me know if you like it....
I bet you've got presents to send.....
Do you know some of the best ways to mail them? (via USPS)

I'm betting most of you already know about the USPS Flat rate Priority Mail boxes......but on the off chance you don't...they come is Small, Medium and Large and no matter what the heck you stuff inside or how heavy they are there is a flat rate -- AND -- $50.00 insurance and tracking included. And there are delivered in one to three days.
What's not to like?
Ready to fill!
But how many of you now about these babies? Flat rate padded envelopes are in Santa's workshop ready to fill.
See below at the very end of the post on bow to get them. Blogger is screwy and won't let me get that photo inserted where it should be....
Santa's Notes
I had just been thinking I need to keep track of what I send to people when I spotted this little charmer in a shop in Redlands, CA. Only $4 so how could I resist?
I send out a lot of surprises and sometimes forget what  sent to this file is just what I needed. And it's really cute.
Of course, thanks to ScrapSF (and JU) I was fully prepared with with lots of cool old  3x5 cards with tabs and index cards.
I've already typed them up for this year's Xmas if only I could remember what I gave my friends last year...
At the same shop I also found vintage tags and an unused packet of Dennison Xmas stickers for $2.50. My husband couldn't understand my excitement.... For someone who doesn't even like Xmas I was still happy -- I love vintage.
Redlands Postal Museum
My pal Monica alerted me to the Redlands Postal Museum on her blog a while back so I stopped in. It's tiny but fun to visit.
Don't you think Santa should have these USPS mail sacks to deliver presents?
I thought this was a riot!
Check out that fabulous ironwork -- do you see what it says at the bottom? So cool. I wish I'd be standing in line at that post office to mail all my Xmas boxes and envelopes.
I could gaze at that USPO for a while.
Coming home from a quick LA trip I got three days of mail on Sunday night. Yes! After a BAD mail week (three days with nothing at all) this was a happy night.

How many of you know about the wonderful Priority Mail Flat Rate Padded envelopes?
I am using LOTS of them this holiday season -- and I use them all year to mail surprises to my mail art pals. They can also be as heavy as you want and I can stuff A LOT inside.
You have to order them -- FREE -- at the USPS website right
They ship them in packs of ten -- trust me, you will use them. $6.45 to mail off with $50.00 insurance and tracking.

My secret mailing weapon.

LA was fun but  am very happy to be back in SF and settle in with my long TO DO list.
I want to get all the wrapping and mailing out of the way so I can make art and bake cookies.

Sadly, a lot of us here in the Bay Area, especially in the art community, are feeling very sad about the horrible tragedy in the artist space the Ghost Ship in Oakland.
It seems to be hanging over our whole community and there is much sadness for the lives lost and the remaining friends and families who are suffering. 
A moment of silence for all that was lost on December 2.

Take care, friends.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

You Can Do It (Almost) Anywhere

Making mail art in my studio is always fun. I have everything I need there (and more). But, sometimes it is nice to take it on the road...

Writing at the Library

I love to hang out at the library for a while when I have time. They have big, beautiful wooden tables and comfortable chairs and and wifi and you are surrounded by books.
And they often have flyers around that are good for using to write letters.....
All you really need is a pen!
Huntington Gardens, Pasadena CA
It is always fun to sit outside and write some postcards and the beautiful Huntington gardens  is one place that's fun to set up a writing station outdoors at a table.

Sitting out in the sun, watching the world go by and writing some postcards....
Anytime I go anywhere a part of the fun is packing up a mail art kits, either large or small....
I love a road trip when i can bring A LOT of stuff, including my small portable typewriter, but I am good with going small on a plane too....

Nothing better than mail art in a motel room. My favorite. I always tear up every tourist brochure/menu/map I can get my hands on and I make stuff....
What does the maid think?

Breakfast and Mail Art
Home or traveling, I like to start each day with a little art of some kind. Gets the day started off right.

What I did and what I didn't do ----
I don't really enjoy "holidays" so Thanksgiving isn't a big day around here. But I am thankful.
Thankful for my wonderful blog readers, Instagram followers, FB blog readers and real life mail art pals who are so generous with good mail.
It is a truly wonderful community we are in.
I've found my tribe!
So, thank you ALL.
I certainly didn't get involved in the so-called Black Friday marathon of excess and shopping.
Not my thing.
I am making things for friends though. I can't show you you till after Xmas but I'm taking photos for you.
I'm packing up a little travel bag for a very few days away now and you know I will be making some mail art.
And, then, back to the studio for some more art-making.

Hope you all are having a good time these days......don't let the crazy "holiday season" make you crazy. Just make things and have some fun with friends and take care of yourselves.
Have a cappuccino.....


Saturday, November 12, 2016

Art Saves Lives

Life hasn't been real good lately.
The election outcome. A lot of personal stuff. A whole lot of stress and worry.
So, here's what I do.
When the going gets tough, the tough get is said...
Sometimes I just need to get away and take a drive along the beautiful California coast.

I need to breathe.

More often, I try to cram as much ART into my life as humanly possible.
Went to to see the Frank Stella show at the de Young Museum here in San Francisco.
He has been prolific as an artist for over fifty years.
Walking through room after room of amazing art is very healing.

Danny Lyon Photography Show
Being an photographer, I love a good photo show and this one was terrific.

Besides the "straight' photos, I loved the collages Lyon made using photos and paper ephemera.
Right up my alley.

My favorite part of the show?
A giant bulletin board of mail he received -- who knew?

He had mail from all over the world.....lots of cool stamps....

I have followed his artwork for years but never saw his mail before.

Aside from seeing art, I love to surround myself with art materials....
Happily I was signed up for a fantastic workshop given by my pal,  Monica Lee, the Artful Recrafter.
How to Make a Tyvek Toolkit

Monica brought loads of mixed media art supplies to play with and we learned how to make Tyvek zippered pouches. custom sized to hold art supplies...
I never had put in a zipper in my entire life!
(Ok, my seams are crooked and I am kind of scared of Monica's sewing machine but I sure did have fun!).

Monica's samples

When I'm not out looking at the ocean or at art or in a workshop,  I might be found looking at postage stamps......a whole composition book full....

Or, maybe hanging out in the studio with these guys....

When I feel this bad, I definitely need to surround myself with as much art as I can....and as many friends as I can.....I like company when I'm miserable.
Art does saves lives.

What are you all doing to feel better these days?
I know a lot of my friends are suffering too. What works?
I am baking and making things and seeing friends and praying for things to get better.
Anyone want to come over and make things with me?
I have cookies.



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