Sunday, September 11, 2011

Mail Art Monday: Ships, Maps and Stars

This week I learned of my first possible lost package. I've had a few bounce back due to being undeliverable or lacking a touch of postage, but this is my first lost one. The optimist in me is hoping that writing about it will bring it out of its hiding place while the pessimist in me thinks it's been tossed in a bin along the way. Let's not focus on the negative and get straight to the goodies.


Jessica Gowling may have the fastest turnaround time ever. Her secret, according to her most recent mail art post, is that she looks for and collects things she knows I'll like. She spoiled me rotten yet again by sending me the perfect ships and bees package.

Her shipping envelope had a tall ship on the cover and when I opened it the first item I spotted was the vintage ships book. What a treat! I'll absolutely be using this as a reference for future nautical themed art. There was a print of an altered book page with a ship, a ship sticker and a harbour picture. The nature and bee themed items included a cartoon bee flashcard, a small frog on rice paper and pages from a book with technical illustrations of bees and wasps.


Anna Jane Searle received a variety of pretty and sparkling things stuffed inside a map envelope. Space and dog stickers, a feather drawing, an 'Anna' name tag, a clipping frame around a small ink doodle, an 'oooo snip' tag, a sheet of beautiful hellebore specimens and a small star envelope filled with stamps, photo corners and sequins. Anna was kind enough to write a really sweet blog post with wonderful photos.

I've been filling people's envelopes with quick sketches on note paper. The sketches are images from old sketchbooks and the paper was from an inexpensive pad I picked up with the hope of doodling and stuffing into my daughter's lunch bag before school. I use a black pen and colour with some bright gel pens.

My second exchange with Kimi Kobashi included a turtle envelope, a mixed media drawing, an 'away we go' passport clipping tag, a star frame clipping, a paintbrush drawing, a personalized 'kimi' name tag, a feather silhouette print and a constellations mini envelope packed with vintage stamps.

I bought a stack of astronomy magazines at the library and have been using the beautiful imagery to make mini envelopes and framed clippings. The tags are another way for me to use random clippings in a purposeful manner. I found a stash of tags in my collection and glued down the clipping with an interesting phrase that came to mind.

Kimi has just started a new collaborative project in which I will be participating. Her Portrait:Landscape travelling journal is just in the initial stages, but I'm excited to see the work, feel the pages and contribute my own art.

In the back of my head I thought I had only recently mailed Michelle Ashton's package but she reminded me that it was actually at the beginning of August. A full month in transit is really unusual and it's quite likely that it's MIA. Perhaps writing about it will bring it out and into her mailbox... here's hoping.

Inside the handmade sea otter envelope was a Vermeer postcard, a coneflower silhouette print, three drawings including mushrooms, a nest and bamboo, two wildlife stamps, two framed clippings, one in a silver frame and one in an old slide, a small packet was stuffed with a maple seed, sequins, stamps and stickers.

I have one more week of attempting to accomplish a number of overdue items on my to-do list including handmade (late) birthday cards and a few watercolour paintings. I plan on getting back to my mail art replies next week.

... J


  1. ooohh brownie points for turn-around time? win!!! my other trick: I've been at the mail art game a while, and have a bony pile of fun ephmera, stickers, papers, etc. Pair that with a few extra special found/sought out items and I've got myself a good reply. So thrilled to hear the book made you happy! for only a dollar at a thrift shop and the great condition it was in, i figured it was a steal <3

  2. I had no idea you are into bee's! I love them too, with all my heart, actually, & usually plan my gardens around herbs/bees/birds :) Your packets out are so lovely, & filled with love-It's great to read your blog & ~feel~ the love!

  3. I was saying to Jessica how amazing that package was she sent you, I am a massive fan of ships, especially clipper ships. I want that book so bad...gimme gimme, lol. I just loved my goodies, especially the cute little envelope and trinkets inside. I hope that package turns up, such wonderful things, especially the drawings.

  4. Thanks, Anna. I think the thing I love most about mail art is getting to know an individual better in a visual sense. I can see the paper they've chosen and I can recognize a similar humour or style. I hope it turns up as well. Kind of sad when one goes missing. At least it is my only one so far.

  5. The big fat bumble bees make me want to give them a big hug while the busy honey bees are so focused and important. Lovely all around. There are a few bee farms here and it seems that many people love and respect them. Good stuff! If the tree we moved comes back next year I should have an abundance of the little fellows again.


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