Friday, February 28, 2014

Catching up on Mail Art and more.

 I'm so happy when I make Mail Art.

I hadn't made any for a few days and I was missing it so I popped into my studio last night and set out some collages.
 Today, I glued down the collages, with some tweeking, and it just felt so good to be doing it.

Minimal Mail Art returns! yay.

I made this piece specifically for a request for a piece of Mail Art for a friend of a person in the Mail Art union. I hope it cheered him up.

This is an odd photo of my grand. That's her looking up at us from the tray. I'd received a baby head Mail Art from Stephanie (mail art friend) last year. I gave it to Z this autumn and she loved it. We made one with her face, laminated it, and gave it to her. She now carries around both of these BABEES. She loves them. I may have mentioned this before, forgive me if I'm repeating myself.

It's that time of year again, Slow Art Day 2014, which takes place on 12 April this year. I'll be hosting again at VMFA. If you're interested in attending, register HERE.
And here's a little turtle to remind you, again, more slowly, look slowly, but act quickly to register!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Mail Art time! + more

 Well, Blogger has stymied me again.
I wasn't able to figure out how to get the images in the order I wanted them, oh well.

Here's the ball of yarn that came in a hank.

I got it as my favorite yarn shop was going out of business and I was stocking up on yarn.

Here's what I'm making with it. A scarf! And I'm using a pattern that I wouldn't have tired had I not been taking a knitting class. I'm so excited that I've moved beyond mere knitting and pearling.

This is Jan, who's in my knitting class, spinning my hank into the ball for me. She's using devices called a swift and a winder. Someday I might get these. They sure speed things up.

 Oh the little drummer boy made a stop at Pulino's before it got filled up with diners. This way, he doesn't disturb anyone. (altered card using a vintage English scrap)

Here the little musician is entertaining the fish, or just finding a private spot to entertain herself.

I think Rosette has chosen a bad place to sell her flowers. Not much traffic. On the positive side, she has no competition.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Being a Maker

 I hadn't done any bag making for awhile, focusing more on Mail Art and knitting, but during the chilly be-in-the-house-all day weather, I decided to sew.

I have lots of vintage linen dish towels with the plan to make them into little bags.

Here's what the most recent ones look like.
 I have to find some BIG colorful buttons for them.

A Maker has to make, anything, something, always. I first heard the term Maker at a ceramics gallery in London in 2011. The woman explained that it's the term that is being used now for crafts people. I loved it. It's so encompassing. When I returned home, I had a new rubber stamp made - Maker in Residence USA, replacing my Artist in Residence stamp. I'm hearing this word a lot now and am happy that it's become THE word. Maybe you'll use it, if you don't already, to describe yourself.

My sister had sent me a souvenir towel from a trip she'd made to Spain many years ago. I was able to make 3 bags from the towel, one of which went to her. This one from the center area with the figures is the one I sent her.

Here are the other two bags plus a few of my purses for change made from a vintage linen napkin. I gave my Spanish teacher friend the one that "says" ESP (on the front) and AÑA (on the reverse.) This was the only way to get the design on the bag and it makes me laugh.  My friend liked it very much.

Here's Bizoo, He love sleeping on the radiator in my studio, tucking himself under the shelf. The little figure behind him is watching him!

I have to share our grand girl with you. She looks older than her 11 months, with the fluffy jacket we got for her, and which she likes a lot. She's holding her "baby head" which was a piece of Mail Art that I received from someone. It's laminated and was sent through the mail just like that - Zinn even likes the reverse with the postage stamps on it. She says Baby very clearly. Bay-bee! Okay, so we're smitten.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Hearts, Love, Mail Art, and Valentines, VA.

 These little hearts are from a stamp set that I got a long time ago and am happy that I kept. How perfect they are for the day that we're reminded about love, being loving, saying I love you. All of which, we need to be doing on a regular basis not just once a year, right?
 I received some Mail Art recently from Marseille, France - a beautiful painted mermaid. I'll post that here soon, but here's the card that I made in response. I altered a show card - one of Keith Long's wood sculptures. I make myself laugh when I do these alteration. I hope the artist in Marseille will get a smile, at least.

This is for Clyde, my letter carrier most excellent! He's leaving us after 18 years on this route, going to an easier one so he can make it 8 more years to retirement. We will soooo miss him. 
 I had this commercial postcard from the Meatball Shop and don't know why, but the pale flowers and kitty seemed appropriate for it. "You had...." fill in the blank.
photo by Bill Tiernan, Virginia-Pilot 2011

There's a little post office in Virginia, in a place called Valentines, that gets inundated with mail this time of year. The rest of the year, not so much. A few days ago, an article appeared in our newspaper telling about how it's at risk of having reduced hours and maybe even being closed. Lots of rural post offices are in the same situation.
Here's a photo of it that I found on-line. Actually, this is a little store with the post office inside it. You can read about it here.  If you feel like sending a postcard of support, you can mail it to Kathy Fajna, Postmaster, Valentines, VA 23887 - maybe an influx of mail year round will help.

And if you are really interested in Post Offices, check out THIS blog.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Mail Art and more

 Here are a series of three new pieces of Mail Art.

I took out a small drawer of scraps and looked through it for some ideas.

 I found more film negative strips that had been my friend's and a large piece of card stock with 3 numbers on it.

This is the result and I"m quite pleased with my output. It's getting me back to some fundamentals of design.

And I like that.
 This was the view, looking up, from our bedroom window. Bleak! Really bleak!. The sky was so grey and our tree is so trimmed back. It's like a cartoon tree in some desert.

I thought it might snow, but it didn't. Snow is, however, predicted for Wednesday. We shall see.

I think the gloomy exterior prompted me to work with bright yarn. I finished up a pair of mitts with these colors today. Another satisfying project completed.

Saturday, February 08, 2014

A few things about today.

 I'm getting around to catching up on mail. I have new postcard stamps - including the additional stamps to bring the "apples" up to the new price of 34¢

My new pink and red mailbox is a pequeno regalo from N. today.

A nice reminder to put things in the Mail and a tidy place for some of my new postage stamps.
 We received mail from Katerina in Greece and didn't wait for the 14th to open it. It's our first Valentine's day card.

I've got a few more cards to alter but I'm spending a bit of thinking time on what I might do for a new series.  More on that soon.

 Here's Bizoo checking out the non-activity in our back yard. It's a very wintery garden, not many plants still alive, and our beautiful tree cut back so much that it looks like it'll never bloom again. Oh dear.

Bizoo got very sleepy being the studio cat. A big yawn to show us how tired he got guarding the packing plastic.

Our grand came to visit today but we were too busy with her to grab a photo. Z was very interested in Bizoo who was hesitant but curious about her.

Since we don't have a photo of Z from today's visit, I'll show you Z at Stella's with Katrina in the kitchen. Stella's is our fave Greek restaurant.

We're hoping that she'd leave there with the recipe for galactoboureka!

I was the mentor for the month of January for the International Union of Mail Artists. This is the welcome image that I created for it, using one of my collage images. I continue to welcome people as they join. It's become a practice.

Thursday, February 06, 2014

Productivity! for UncustoMary's query.

 Mary, of Uncustomary, has once again asked us to participate in a group theme.

When I was a younger person, I used to say "Someday, I'm going to get organized." My mother would say, in effect, don't count on it. Now that strikes me as so funny but at the time all I could think about is that if I were organized I'd be so much more productive.

What the heck is productivity, anyway? What does it mean, to me, to my mother back in the day, to you?
As a person who makes something everyday, I'm being productive, I'm producing something but nowadays it can be something small - like adhering a little vintage figure to a commercial postcard to alter it.

 I find that being productive can mean being quiet and thinking about things or ideas, or not being quiet and talking about things or idea.
If one takes this motto, this specific one being the motto for The Alternative Speakers Bureau, of which I'm a part, and uses it as a mantra, then productivity is not an issue.
What keeps one from productivity to my thinking, is the belief that what one produces has to be perfect - whether an object or an event or an idea for something.
Just make something every day, a small thing, make it a practice, and over a time you'll find yourself being productive, if that's what you want.