Sunday, March 30, 2014

Weekend catch up: awards and art

It's a very rainy weekend, so I've been making lists, crossing things off said list, and playing a bit in the "studio." (Sounds fancier than it is.) I'm just a week back from another holiday in the US, but this time I took my husband. We toodled down the Washington and Oregon coasts as far as Tillamook and then headed inland to Troutdale (had a surreal evening - St. Patrick's Day as it turns out - at Edgefield) and then Portland. The way home was via the Columbia Gorge and wine country. It was a wonderful, relaxing week, full of poking around and great discoveries. The only stressful point was nearing the craziness of Seattle rush hour on a Friday afternoon at the start of spring break. That's when our plan to just explore with no plans hit a snag. But, all in all, it was a success. I had a few collage/mail art scores and even had time to finally learn about "gelli printing" (printing on a gelatin plate) during a course at collage in Portland. I resisted the urge to run out and get all of the supplies as I am wont to do. I have more than enough art supplies to deal with at the moment, but it's definitely something I'll explore more later.

I've been scanning away, trying to capture some of the goodness arriving in my mail box. First though, I did get a nice piece of electronic mail a few weeks ago when I learned from my publisher at Kids Can Press, that Planet Ark has been short-listed for a "Green Book Award" from The Nature Generation.

Envelope made of a page from a typewriter manual, washi tape, slide holders with vintage typography. 
I'm very curious to see how this one makes it through the mail. I've been wanting to play around with the plastic "sleeves" for slides and after finding a box of them, I took it as a sign. Here's the reverse of that envelope.

I thought this envelope was the perfect one to hold a strip of stamps Canadian authors that I've been holding on to for a long time. 

Here is some other mail art that I made while on our trip. It was a bit random, using bits and pieces I found along the way. And I made pretty good use of the pharmacy label dispenser I scored on the first day of the holiday at an antique mall in Port Angeles. Be prepared for lots of "May Cause Drowsiness" stickers.

My beloved chimeras yet again. 

And I've received some nice pieces lately as well.

A wonderful chicken-themed envelope from Pamela (she of the Cappuccino and Art Journal, which you really should follow.)
It also included a lovely, newsy type-written note from Pamela, so that was a real treat. 
These are the two stamp head ATCs I received from the swap Karen organized over at Mail Me Some Art
(Update: I realize I neglected to identify the artists. Bad form. The ATC on the left comes from Jo Murray in Australia, who I seem to be connecting with on all sorts of fronts. And the card on the right comes from Michele in Alexandrai, Virginia. Thanks you two!)

And more birds from Jennifer via a mail art swap on Swap Bot. This was a very cheerful surprise to receive. 
The reverse. 

From Petropetal in South Africa. 
Finally, here are two outgoing collages.
Out to Beth. Book cover (Call of the Wild), paper bag (the red dots), graph paper, vintage map,
vintage image of a mosquito larvae, printed on tissue paper. 

Outgoing to Australia for a collage swap I'm part of. Not sure about this one. I like the vintage wallpaper (the stripes) and the map and
partial raincoat-clad child, but I'm not over the moon with all the pink. Trying to use up some of the many things I've been receiving through ephemera swaps. Pink it not usually my go-to colour, so this took me outside my usual palette. 

Enough for today. It's looking like more rain, so we'll see what I get up to with my scissors and glue stick today.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Bird on a B (plus bananas and art)

Yes, I put a bird on it. But this bird is on a nice red B and it's winging its way to the next person in the collage swap I'm part of.  I have to say that there is something about a bird on a collage. I'm not quite sure what it is - the shape, the colours, or the fact that they naturally perch on things? Not sure, but, for now, I'm going with it.

I recently picked up Nick Bantock's The Trickster's Hat, which is full of great activities that help ones get over themselves and their fear of putting something on the page. (At least I hope so; it's been good so far! The subtitle is hopeful: A Mischievous Apprenticeship in Creativity.) One of the exercises had you playing around with letters, which is when I realized the beauty of cutting letters in half. Be prepared for more of that.

Recently, I also did a few more grid collages for Karen over at Mail Me Some Art. I wasn't super happy with the way a couple of the ones I made turned out (I called them the Washi Wall of Shame #1 and #2, but I worried that the washi tape on a naked postcard wouldn't withstand the postal system) so I replaced them with these, which used up some of the gazillion stamps I have of Queen Liz:

I also received some nice mail art over the past few weeks. Here are a few pieces:

Thanks, Stacy. I don't get called adorable too often! 
A stunner from Richard Baudet of Marseilles.The envelope is made of wallpaper. 
And I keep meaning to do a post on Ex Postal Facto, but realize I didn't really capture it very well in pictures. I'll post a few things from time to time, but here is the custom cancellation from the event. (When in doubt, mail things to yourself.)

Finally, one of the things that mail artists get up to is to have slightly random (or not) calls for mail art around a particular theme. One that came up on the International Union of Mail Artists was a call for banana-themed mail art in time for International Banana Day (who knew?). So, I played along. So far, one of my envelopes has arrived at its destination. You can see if here on Rebecca Guyver's great blog, The Postal Ledger. Mine is the second image down on this post.

There's lots more to write about, including a few scores I found yesterday when, on a whim, I went to a postal stamp exhibit and show, but I'll spare you - oh, anonymous readers - for now.