in the mail: mushrooms, bumble bees, catalogue men and more

4 Jul

After last week’s mail art hiatus & lock out, I am back for a one more post. I say this because although Canada Post has finally begun mail service again, Wednesday morning, I leave for my solo show, workshops & art tour (a 5 1/2 week jaunt). Therefore, I will sadly be away from my postbox and thus forced to put my mail art making/blogging on the back burner. However, if envelopes I have sent show up, I will blog about them. But unfortunately there will be no incoming mail documentation. Don’t worry though, someone is lovingly collecting my post for me while I’m away so PLEASE DO CONTINUE TO SEND! That way come early August, when I return home, I will discover a pile of treats to open and post about then will be creating snail mail treats more than ever! But for now, without further ado, some amazing envelopes & parcels from the past 2 weeks: I’ll start with me, because I’ve only gotten 2 mail art packages in the past 2 weeks. First a much anticipated envelope from the amazing Jillian Hermansen (aka @jillianailsa) came to me, filled naturally with wondrous goods. Cheeky altered book pages & magazine clippings, zac effron temp tattoo, cat butt stickers, an awesome kitty/cupcake illustration that inspired a new pattern she just designed, an Alf trading card, neon stickers, and my favorite: a fortune telling fish. It curled all the way, which means I am PASSIONATE. Wow, spot on fishy!  Jeannine Saylor (aka @saylor_made) sent me a fantastic package (that I bullied her into sending ASAP because Jessica Mack’s Traveling Journal was going to her next, and I wanted to just add it into a mail art package that I had long been collecting items for). She obliged my requests and the package for me arrived just in time, 2 days before the postal lock out, filled with a generous pile of hand carved wine cork stamps, vintage animal images, a lovely letter, nautical & bear drawings and some fun found ephemera including a bubbly mother monster photo and mini rice paper sheets for origami stars. My reply to Jeannine, may not qualify as “MAIL ART” because the postal service was shut down, so I was forced to send it via courier. Glad to hear the extra bit of ca$h I spent on the parcel’s travels was well worth it, because two days later a puralator man (with full tattooed arm sleeves, YES!) knocked on her door and handed it over. Inside of course was the travelling journal, but also the most epic mail art package I have ever sent to her. It started innocently enough with nautical & royal ephemera, but then the main focus moved to her favorite insect: BEES! A tube of Burts Bee’s Wax lip balm, some bee and honey stickers, an AUTOGRAPHED copy of (Canadian Icon) David Suzuki’s ‘Looking at Insects’ paperback book and a roadside discovery from a bike ride of mine: A REAL GENUINE FUZZY HONEY BEE (who had to be saved from an army of ants who were after his sugar coated legs). The Suzuki book explains how to properly mount insects, so I believe Jeannine will be giving this gorgeous little guy the resting place he deserves. The talented Sarah Hutchinson Burke, (aka @theSecondMagpie) finally got an envelope from me a week or so ago, and she was well deserving of it, after having informed me of Hyperallergic’s Mail Art Exhibition. Plus she’s from Ireland, so I can’t wait to see some of her country’s stamps. I decorated her envelope with stickers and vintage stamps. She was gifted an A/P of my elk & 6 cardinals, a note with an original drawing, funny named paint sample, a mini book for her ‘fleeting thoughts’, ideas and to do lists and some lovely stickers and found ephemera. I replied promptly to the fantastic miss Kimi Kobashi (aka @kimikobashi) after she sent me a gorgeously hand decorated envelope. I created one of my ‘infamous’ Royalty speech bubble envelopes for her: the sergent puts Prince Charles in his place after butting in like a smart ass, haha. Inside was a stack of animal print origami sheets for her amazing paper crane project for Japan relief. A mini note book for 8 to do lists, one of the 3 bird bookmarks Ashley Gaia gifted me, a note and some fun stickers and found ephemera. After much anticipation, Anika Starmer (aka @aisforanika) received the fat envelope that housed a collaborative project that I created for just the two of us, called Patterns & Paws – please visit the link to see what was inside the envelope shown below and to find out what our awesome snail mail collaboration entails.Kathy Dahl is the mother of one of my greatest pals ever, and often professes her jealousy when a fabulously fun envelope arrives for her daughter. She loves mail art from me so much, that once she tried to drive to her daughters work to drop off a newly arrived envelope. I figured, hey, anyone that excited about snail mail, deserves to get some. So I decorated up one of my fabulous 1970’s Catalogue Men postcards and sent it off her way. (I was informed by a little bird that it made her VERY happy)!  Cheetarah (aka @missthundercat) tweeted me about her interest in mail art, and I said “I’m interested in having a pen pal from the Netherlands!” I put together a fun introductory package and decorated it with stickers and labels. Alas, I forgot to take a picture of the envelope, but I at least documented the contents: A hokusai print from an old calendar, an original snowflake watercolor texture painting, a kitschy 100 mile house postcard (we have the world’s largest x-country skis!), stickers and found ephemera including a ‘thundercat’…. well more like a lightning struck cat, but close enough…. Jamie Madallena (aka @sendmoremail) is a vintage stamp fanatic and actually got me hooked on to adding some old stamp beauties to a lot of mail art packages I send. So when I put together her most recent letter, I took the time to make every detail count. Mushroom themed, I started with an adorable Sukie envelope and adorned with with a newly issue mushroom stamp for the international year of the forest. On the back I had a couple other toadstool stickers, one for next to my address, and another with a strange antlered creature, sitting on a toadstool while spinning a yoyo off the edge. Inside a wee letter, a mushroom cut out and an epic mini watercolor drawing of a vintage set of Canadian Mushroom postage stamps (shown in the photo below).  Amanda White (aka @amanda_ink) sent me a very unique mail art package, filled to the brim with goodies. For the first time ever in my mail art adventures, a pen pal has sent an envelope that was THEMED! Amanda sent package “A” adorned it with an apple and filled it with fabulous “A” items, with promises of 25 more envelopes to come. Sticking to the trend, but while still remaining somewhat original, I decided if she had the ABC’s I’d take the 123’s. So package 1 featured: a 3 page letter (all numbered page 1), two altered book pages starting with theme or idea of ONE (1 Moose, and a found poem “the artist began at one, one, one”), a Mini kitty envelope with the first kitty sticker of her soon to be collection of 26, one super rad sticker of a bearded typewriter dude, and a few other ‘one’ themed goodies. Ruth King, a darling friend of mine in Invermere, got a short letter, written on Rhya’s awesome kitty stationery and a pile of stickers for her adorable little daughter Emmy, all wrapped up in a Sukie cloud envelope.  Caren Gibb, an old studio mate and good friend found a sultry envelope in her post box. I recycled a bad romance novel’s dust jacket and turned it into the envelope that housed some fun goodies for her, including a bike notecard from Chantal Vincent, one of the bird bookmarks gifted to me from Ashley Gaia and a wrapped A/P print of a filigree deer from the animal pattern moleskines. And last but not least, a small treat for my girlfriend Dayna Campbell who is working up in Fort McMurry, AB (poor soul) for a very well paying job. As a joke I sent her this old advert I found in a 1970’s magazine that says you can make tons of money learning how to use heavy equipment. I figured she’d get a chuckle, since that’s what she’s doing. I hope all of my penpals loved their goodies… There are a few more that are still waiting to arrive in post boxes, which I hope are just taking some extra time due to the mail strike / lock out. I will miss sending mail art for a month, but I’m in my favorite mountain town INVERMERE, and busy with so many other art adventures, I will hopefully be happily distracted until I come home in August to some letters.

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3 Responses to “in the mail: mushrooms, bumble bees, catalogue men and more”

  1. Kye Sangha 04/07/2011 at 11:22 #

    Oh all the goodies! The cat butts crack me up-& those fortune fish are great! You never know when one of those will be useful!

  2. Jeannine | SaylorMade 04/07/2011 at 21:19 #

    I’m so happy you liked my package to you. I hope you can use the stamps in mail art or to add texture somewhere. I chose shapes that I thought could be applied as feathers or fur.

    Your package to me was truly, truly wonderful. It made me a bit emotional actually. I grew up watching Nature of Things EVERY Wednesday evening. Every time I slather on another layer of chap stick, I think of you. ;-)

    I love the ‘one’ response to the alphabet theme & I’m excited to see all the exchanges between the two of you.

  3. kimi 07/07/2011 at 08:06 #

    Wow, Jess, your mailbox is super busy! I wanted to say again how much I loved your package to me!! Great to see what everyone else is making and creating, sending and shipping. xoxo

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