Wednesday, December 02, 2015

Books and Mail Art

Although I am still behind on everything, I have at least found a little inspiration.  About time, too. Today, I've divided my time between playing and catching up on chores, but still procrastinating on some of them.  Bank statement?  Balance?

For the last two weeks, I've been reading even more than usual  (because I was in a serious creative lull) and have a bunch of book reviews to catch up on for my reading blog.  Yep, another procrastination.  I got hooked on a medieval mystery series by Candace Robb and have read 5 books in the series so far, but have only reviewed the first two.

  I love medieval mysteries.  My degree was in English lit;  not an awful lot of demand for that, so had to go back later to get my education degree.  Then on to a Master's in English lit.  From the beginning, I loved Beowulf and Chaucer, and I love English history.  My mother's fault--she loved historical novels, and I read hers like candy.

But if I read a novel about Ann Boleyn, I also had to read nonfiction about her.  If I read one about Elizabeth I, same thing.  I can blame Mother for the love of reading, but my father was responsible for the need to verify by reading nonfiction.  

I love both the medieval and the Elizabethan periods, and I love mysteries.  With every novel, I learn something new and do a little more research--which is so quick and easy with the internet.  I'll head to the library with a list of bibliographic materials and do even more research.  Compulsive.  

But now, after that long, dry spell of no crafting, I'm suddenly having a renewed interest in mail art and have set aside my Kindle and my stack of books...

because Connie  at Constance Rose: Art & Life sent me a wonderful envelope with a letter and several goodies.  Such a delight! I was off and running with a new/old passion.  
Just look!
So much fun to get decorated envelopes, 
and don't you just love the card?
Connie does the best stamp heads!

The Zine-- with stamps featuring cats from around the world.

Can you see why I was so excited?  Finding something in the mail that is not a bill or an advertisement is a rare treat these days.  And to have it be a visual feast?  A real hand-written letter instead of an email!  

I've been unable to find the box of mail art I received years ago, or all of the "postage" stamps I made, received, or purchased-- or any of the other stuff I accumulated while doing MA.

I do have a few from some cool people that I'd framed and not relegated to the box.  The one below,  I made for myself.  

See the stamp that strange woman is holding?  A mail art friend that I corresponded with regularly and sent little gifts to her girls, made a"postage" stamp of a drawing that one of the little girls made for me.   I got the drawing and the stamp in the mail.  So...I made the card below using the stamp.  I painted the crazy lady and the table and then literally stuck the stamp on the table.  I made a copy for her and for her mother, but kept this one for myself because it was so special with the original stamp.  I'd forgotten that-- just as I sent the girls little things like fancy pencils and stickers, they sent me their art.

Note the date--2002.
That little girl is grown now!  
But I still treasure the drawing and the stamp.

I'm now hoping to get my grandkids interesting in corresponding.  Like everyone else, they love to get mail, but are not so excited about writing a letter.  Since all 3 of them seemed to enjoy their art journals, I'm hoping mail art might appeal to them.  Decorating an envelope and writing a short note might catch their interest and not be too tedious.  :)

Oh, and Naomi of Naomi Loves Snail Mail has a new post about her recently formed Snail Mail Social Club!  What fun!

OK--back upstairs to continue work on something for Connie!  


  1. Good to hear that the inspiration is back! Onward and forward!

    1. Ha! The pressure is beginning to get to me! I'm busy with displacement activities, trying to avoid feeling guilty about not wanting to see about the tree and all of those boxes of decorations.

  2. MmmmHmmm-I feel the same way about the decorations and!
    I LOVE your inspirations-and especially love your art and the bird stamp! It's just wonderful, and has inspired me too....but not to the point of getting the decorations out :) Gotta wait on that one!

    1. Connie's little package certainly inspired me, but no, still not feeling the need to get the Christmas stuff out. Just to run upstairs and see what I could find to play with! :)

  3. Okay, I have to fess up: I went to Naomi Loves and ended up there for about an hour! I meant to just read a post or two and come back to comment with something like intelligence but instead I have to admit to having been ensnared in her little web of beautiful words. I mean, really, who writes sentences in poetry: "At around 5.30 on Saturday morning the storms rolled into Melbourne and crashed and flashed and by all tokens made a bit of a fuss. An angry wind bent the new trees in our new garden this way and that and then both ways at once..." ? Yes, there is a question somewhere in there. I think it was my question. Anyhoo, I'm sorry but now that I spent so much time visiting with Naomi (and I didn't even say hello, shame on me!) I can't remember what I wanted to say to you. I'm dithering way too much for someone who has been reading poetry for the last hour. I'm just going to go away.

    1. :) Glad you enjoyed yourself, Mary!

  4. I could feel the energy from this post!! My husband and I both enjoyed the Owen Archer books -- had forgotten about them and might go back and start over (or at least see if there are recent ones which we missed.) Keep on humming girl, you're going to get it all done - you're on a roll!

    1. Oh, I'm so glad to know someone else who has enjoyed this series! I gave up and read #6 last night. I'm getting too close to the end of the series, and I don't want it to end. :( Robb does have another series, though, and I might try it when I finish with Owen Archer.

  5. Oh, wow! Did you read The Name of the Rose? Did you see the movie, with Sean Connery???
    "I love both the medieval and the Elizabethan periods . . ." I used to be crazy for such reads! I loved English Lit and read our textbooks for the love of reading. :) I read every book by Mary Stewart and similar authors that I could get my hands on. My tastes have changed dramatically. And now there's Drood. :)

    I can hardly wait to write back. I thought your envelope was purchased and then embellished! Now, after this post, I know! :)

    1. Loved The Name of the Rose, but never saw the movie! It came out too close to my reading the book, and I was afraid of the comparison. :)

  6. What a sweet drawing. Lovely post too. Oh my goodness!


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