If you've been reading my blog consistently you know that I owe a debt of artistic gratitude to Jessica Gowling for reintroducing me to mail art and having it become a semi-regular project. Via Jessica I met Michelle Ashton from London. She wanted to exchange and I was excited to take her up on the offer.
I spent some time reading through her blog and discovered that she has a real passion for bears. She adores them in art form, photography and in the wild. One of her hobbies is photography and she has some really lovely shots on her blog. Take a little time to browse!
I like to create a package that has a bit of my likes and is customized to the recipient. I created two cut outs, one of a bear and one of a camera silhouette. The image in the bear silhouette is a picture of my grandmother's antique globe (one of my beloved possessions). Michelle loves to travel and so I thought she'd enjoy a bit of an antique map. The camera is my old manual camera I dug out of a moving box and I used the imagery from one of my watercolour washes. It fits in well with this series I've been working on.
I created these cut outs with a little tech magic and a little hands on work. I took a picture of my camera, the watercolour wash and the globe. I used Photoshop and Illustrator to print out my reversed image onto transfer paper. I used a technique from the Print Workshop book to create the soft, worn look. I sprayed the transfer paper with rubbing alcohol and quickly placed it onto my heavy watercolour paper. I burnished it with a bone folder and my nails and peeled it back. Then I used my X-acto knife to trim along the image and leave a bit of a border.
Michelle had mentioned that she really liked the row of Dutch houses I had made for Jessica so I made her a set of NYC inspired houses. In the note I wrote her I explained that a trip I took to NYC turned out to be one of my favourite trips ever with lovely memories and felt as though I was passing my good memories onto her.
I wrapped all the items up in some really shiny origami paper and decorated the envelope with a combination of stamps, ink and houndstooth pattern duct tape.
I forgot to take a picture of it, but I placed some bug stickers on the origami paper since the colours matched almost perfectly. Michelle was kind enough to write a post about my package to her and included a picture of the stickers.
I have two separate mail art packages to put together on my to-do list and a post to write about the most adorable bee-zine that just arrived. It's a very rewarding cycle that I hope to keep up for quite some time.