Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Mail Art - Oh Happy Days

Are you having fun today?  Are you sending out some mail?  Getting some fun mail in return?  I've been a busy girl for the last 2 months, decorating piles of envelopes in all shapes and sizes so that when I'm ready to send something out the door, I'm prepared.  And the kids at the post office are so pleased with me!  All those stamps I'm buying...all these pretty envelopes heading out into the world...and every single day my mailbox is full of great mail art in return.

If you know me, you know I'm wild about art journals and make them in all shapes and sizes.  My stamp club has participated in embellishing a couple of composition book journals, decorating the covers and then swapping them among ourselves.  The one pictured above is one I purchased at Peak Fest, an arts & crafts festival held in Apex (the Peak of Good Living) on the first Saturday of May.  It's a fabric covered composition book made by "Piecefully Home".  You'll find her on etsy by the way if you feel you can't live another day without one of these too.

This is now my mail art journal, filled with all sorts of goodness like postcards and notecards and washi tape and stickers and used postage stamps.  It's getting really fat courtesy of a couple of websites I discovered recently.

First let's talk about sendsomething.net, where you click on "random search" and see different people with snippets about themselves on their profile.  I've found a handful of people who love rubber stamps, or mail art, or some of my other interests, so I send them a letter or a postcard.  Someone sees my profile and does the same. 

Another is postcrossing.com.  With this one, a name & address is assigned to you and you drop a postcard in the mail.  Once it's been received, your name is given to someone else.  I mailed cards to Korea, The Netherlands, China, Russia & Germany.  The card on the right above came to me from Mexico.  How cool is that?  Assuming you don't think it's dreadful that it took 6 weeks for your card to Korea to actually arrive, and you don't mind that very long wait for yours to cross the oceans blue, you'll like it.

My favorite site however is swap-bot.com and this is the one keeping me busy and my mailbox overflowing on a daily basis.  You have the option of joining groups (Amazing Mail Art, Creative Mail Swapping, One Stamp Swaps, The Swapping Artist, What's In Your Mailbox, etc.) or just browsing all the swaps that are open to everyone.

The pages of my journal are filled with a lot of my mail, but certainly not all of it.  I've received handmade envelopes, made of calendars, popcorn bags, and drawings.  My postcards are store bought but also handmade and my favorites are made from recycled cardboard like cereal boxes and packaging.  I've sent out some pretty clever ones myself but silly me, I didn't think to snap any photos before I sent them on their way.

In the above photo we have a collection of goodness that arrived yesterday.  Top left is actually a canvas that I'll be dropping off on Friday in downtown Apex for some lucky person to find.  Interested in learning more about Free Art Friday?  There are websites and blogs; go look for them.

I made a small piece of my art, added a tag: I'm Free Take Me Home!, but again, failed to take a photo.  The postcard on the top right is a chunk of cardboard with a book page and washi tape added.  The bottom left is a fabulous dyed 6x9 envelope from TX and the houses were drawn in marker on notebook paper before being cut out and adhered!  Inside were lots of surprises like notecards, postcards, Halloween stickers...such a treat! 

And that postcard in the bottom right was one of 75 that came yesterday from etsy artist Brian Moss (bRiANmoSsARt.com) in VA. 

I've been sending out postcards I bought in Savannah and WV and VA and other places from my recent road trips, but I was ready for something new.

Aren't these incredible?  16 went out in today's mail to Maine, North Dakota, Washington and points in between.

Please pardon duplicates.  I pulled some off the pages and moved them around to hide my journaling and notes.

Want to play?  Send me something and I'll send something back.  Come on!  Let's put a party in your mailbox!