Friday, May 27, 2016

Writing Letters...Here and There


I love the idea of the pubs that host letter writing nights.  Beer and letters.  Not sure how that would work for me, but an interesting concept.  :)  They even provide the stamps!

On the other end of the spectrum--

Workshops for children to make mail on Viva Snail Mail!


A great way to start a generation of letter writers.


Melissa's post about a young man who started Love for the Elderly (an anonymous letter writing  project to send mail to senior citizens) is a favorite.   More about Jacob here and a FB page for the project here.


************
Who can kids write?
Grandparents, cousins, friends, teachers, authors...


and even better, writes some personal letters back.


I've continued experimenting with tea bags.  I used some of my photographs (altered) on some, drawn on some, stamped on some, and sewn on some.  

Free motion machine drawing experiment.
Uh, will need more practice;
haven't done any free motion stitching in a while.

Altered my hibiscus photos,
then printed on tea bag.
Adhered to a water colored teabag.
(lines are because printer is almost out of ink)

This one has already been pasted on an envelope.

And this tea bag adhered to a postcard.
 detail



On a visit to Marna Lunt's blog, I found a statement about embroidery being a treatment for shell shocked soldiers during WWI.  After a little research, I found this article in Craftism.    

I'd never heard of Louise Pesel before, but I'm full of admiration for her work.  Many of us find embroidery meditative, and I love seeing how it benefits others.


and


 Embroidery and quilting have been used as therapy in prisons, too.  

Have a great weekend!


Tuesday, May 24, 2016

UFOs and Other Minor Tragedies

I found myself without a book I wanted to read.  Plenty of books, but none were appealing to me.  In extreme cases, lack of interesting reading material results in...a cleaner house. Many drawers and cabinets downstairs have been subjected to extreme purging.

However, work in cleaning out upstairs in the studio is much slower.  I keep uncovering items that have no clear category and finding forgotten supplies and UFOs.


Heads with no bodies.
Some of these have been around for a long time.

 Bodies with no heads.

 Embroideries in progress.
This piece was what I started to keep myself busy when
Amelia was in conferences during our trip
to New Orleans--
LAST AUGUST!
It had no purpose,
other than keeping my hands busy,
but I may add it as another pocket to my studio shirt.

Scrap play--
some might make fabric postcards.
If I ever get around to it...





In the end, what good does it do to clean up the studio?
  :) It just gives me new (and old) projects for creating new messes, 
but at least it gives me a blank(er) slate to work in.  

Do you chew gum?  Did you know it increases blood flow to the brain?  

Chomping away boosts thinking and alertness 
and the study reveals reaction times among chewers 
are up to 10 per cent faster.

Good to know.  :)
 

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Mice and Tea Bags and Mail Art

I've made a few mice in my time, but I'm always fascinated with how wonderfully a "mouse" theme can be carried out.  Odile has taken this to a most detailed, whimsical, and delightful extreme.  



I have so many unfinished projects, tucked here and there.  I don't seem to have any "stick-to-it-ive-ness" and flit from one thing to another.

Like tea bags.  I've been looking again at the work several artists (real ones like Lynn Perella and Ruby Silvious) have done with tea bags.  After looking at some of Ruby Silvious' work, decided to give it another try.  

After a couple of cups of coffee in the morning, I switch to decaf tea, so a plentitude of tea bags doesn't take long to accumulate.  Since my drawing skills are so poor, a search through some stamps seemed like a possibility.  After stamping a few images on the used tea bags, I adhered them to postcards that were already monoprinted using a gelli plate.  :) Playing with this technique can be fun.


I've done 4-5 of these so far,
but this one will go out tomorrow
to Bryce Eleanor
Along with the following two.
No tea bags, but gelli printing and doodling.
to Mila
to Max

And some letters that went out this past week.





Hibiscus
in the garden




Wednesday, May 18, 2016

This and That

Cloudy with a hint of rain
The daylilies are almost ready!
The tiny tomatoes are growing,
the Henry Duelberg salvia is taking over areas of the garden,
the tiny Tickseed Sunflowers brighten things up.

Dianthus and begonias add pink touches here and there.

Indian Hawthornes throughout the area are now suffering from entomosporium leaf spot.  Ugh.  I wondered what was going on with the shrubs.

Have you heard about the 100 Day Project?  I've seen this on a couple of blogs and love seeing the topics different people have chosen. The project ended April 30.

The goal was to work on the whatever project each person chose everyday, not complete it.  

Kim Smith made handmade, quirky, and delightful dolls
100 days of Peppah  :) photos of her dog, but in imaginary situations
tales of cloth  Carol, this one's for you--hexies!
not the blank page  collage
100 days of patterns





Sunday, May 15, 2016

Procrastinating, Reading, and Mail Art

After 5 or 6 weeks of lack of interest in much of anything, I'm finally feeling energetic and involved again.  This has been a longer run of dullness than usual, and I never know just what causes these episodes.  My brain goes from enthusiastic, brimming with things I want to do -- to lazy and impassive and procrastinating -- then back again.  It isn't the same as with those fallow periods of creative ideas when I put my energy elsewhere, more like blah to everything.  

When that happens, I read.  A lot.  Sometimes a book a day or more.  And goodness, I'll never manage to catch up with all my reviews on my book blog.  Some books were excellent, most were OK, and some were just pretty bad.   My husband calls it an addiction.  It is, but one that I usually manage better!  :)

Because Carl's Once Upon a Time challenge has been in progress, 
I've read a lot of fantasy.
One right after another.  
And plenty of mystery and even some nonfiction.   

 The Golden Age of Murder is a nonfiction book about the age of detective fiction between the two world wars.  The three most well known writers from this period are Agatha Christie, Margery Allingham, and Dorothy L. Sayers, but there were dozens of others.  They formed The Detection Club and had a great deal of fun with annual dinners and more frequent casual meetings.  The book focuses mainly on the above three dames and their work, but the information about the individual members and the time period is simply fascinating!  


The Wicked Boy is a detailed account of a murder committed by a thirteen-year-old boy in 1895.  It covers the murder and the aftermath, but what is most interesting is the engrossing account of the justice system, the press, the school system, and the mental health system of the times.  I'm about 2/3 into it now.  At first, I wasn't sure what I thought--but the information about how the legal system and school system worked really engaged me.  I've just finished the portion about asylums.  Much of the information is surprising.  What the Victorians did poorly and unfairly and the efforts to improve by a few individuals (especially in the Broadmoor Asylum).  I will review the two together on my book blog when I finish The Wicked Boy.  

I have been keeping up with my correspondence, though.  Writing letters, sending postcards.  Here are some more examples of incoming and outgoing correspondence.
Incoming:

from Melody (bookish friend)--
we've been exchanging information about our
very different parts of the world  :)

from Mrs. Duffy,
of the lovely handwriting.

 from Connie an envelope that just
made the mailbox glow!

 from Wendy (another bookish friend) a wonderful bookmark.
AND her daughter Mouse made me a bookmark,
and I've shown both back and front
because
I LOVE it so much.

wonderful postcard from Suzie and Jazz Fest

Letter from Melody.
Because mail to and from Singapore takes so long,
we've been sending postcards in between.

New mail art pal, Emilie!

From Penne M.,
my friend for more years than I care to admit.
Love that birdie!

Outgoing:

To the talented Mrs. Duffy,
whose handwriting I envy.
But--
When I put this one in the mail, I failed to remove the washi tape
covering her address--and it came right back to me.
It is once again in the mail.

To Wendy 

To Melody

Hope everyone has had a good weekend!



Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Back Again

Well, I haven't been too sprightly about posting lately.  Not much going on here creatively, but we did get a new roof (along with almost every house in our neighborhood) after the hail storm.  Then the air conditioning went out in the attic room that functions as my studio.  The thermostat read 96 before going to "HI."  I wasn't sure if it was just greeting me for coming up to check on the heat level or if it didn't feel like adding another degree or two.  I love my attic room, but it must have air conditioning!

Fee was out of town for a week, and Edgrr decided to go walk-about.  He slips out the door, even when I'm watching, when I get the paper or the mail.  Since he always returns, I wasn't worried at first.  I was sure happy to see him when he finally returned.

The weather can't decide whether to be pleasant or threatening.  We've had so much rain this year!   We can only hope that some of it is distributed across the summer months.

The Baton Rouge contingent came up for Mother's Day weekend.  Now that Erin has a fenced in backyard, they decided to get another dog. They chose a rescue dog that was being fostered in Shreveport, so they were able to combine purposes--new dog, family visit, Mother's Day.  

We had a nice brunch on Sunday before they headed back.

Mila is growing up so fast.
 Max, Bryce Eleanor, and Mila
 Brandon, Erin, Fee, Amelia, Chris

On the Month of Letters challenge I did not make the 30 letters in 30 days, but I did get 24 letters or postcards mailed out, and I'm satisfied with that.  

Incoming:
 with two cool ATCs!
Thanks, Connie!


Outgoing:
 Above to Melody,
Below to Anna

 Postcards to each of the grands - the weekly/almost weekly thing.




Since it has been so long since I've posted,
I have more pics to upload.
Maybe tomorrow.



Friday, April 22, 2016

Snail Mail

 Outgoing:

postcards to Mila, Max, and Bryce Eleanor
 (I made several copies of the
 steampunk mailman
and this one went to Max)

below--lines from poems sent to them.
Bryce Eleanor and Max got lines from Jack Prelusky
and Mila got a poem by Li Bai.


Incoming

From Annie
Love the TAX on the front
(the "i" is folded to the back) Perfect for April!
Clever girl, that Annie!

From Mrs. Duffy at Letter Matters.
Her blog has so much to offer about correspondence;
especially interesting is a post about letter locking.

 This was one of those lovely, unexpected surprises!

 And she sent me a lovely, lovely poem by Pablo Neruda!
Wonderful!
But here is the problem:  no return address.
I've written a return letter, but can't find an address.
Not on the envelope.  Not on the blog.
Anna, please send me your address!

And from Penne M.
April showers bring rainbows!
And don't we all love the flower stamps?
They are my favorites so far this year.
Thank you all for making my mailbox a happy place!

More Outgoing:


And to Penne M.

Another one went out to Mrs. Duffy, 
but I failed to take a picture!

It has been a good week for mail!