welcomed home by a pile of letters

12 Apr

I came back from my Mexican vacation to find a stack of letters that my neighbour had collected for me – such a nice homecoming! A few other beauties trickled in this past week since being back, and there are three that I received the day before my departure.

Barbara Wanhill (@2catsandapencil) generously treated me again with a set of stamps for my postal adventures! There was also fantastic alphabet ephemera, vintage antelope tea card, handwritten letter and more, wrapped in an acrylic painted & thread sead envelope. As always, Jenny Cutnam wrote me a lovely letter on cute animal stationery and gifted me sweet postcards and these hilarious note papers. Charlotte Vallance (@charlsvallance) drew her exhibition for me and described the blue iced cupcakes that she served – Yummy. The queen postcard she included was also delectable, and the cute little labels will be perfect for future postal parcels.Emily Orpin (@ejorpin) from South Korea sent a parcel filled with sunshine! Inside the large rectangle, there were plenty of papers and mini envelopes to discover and enjoy. Other friends who were feeling the sunshine are pals Olivia Delorme (@o_delorme) & Nick Oostyen who have been sending me color themed parcels. This week: YELLOW! Marissa Falco (@czarcastic) is a genius, and if you appreciate zines you need to find her and prepare to be amazed. I was honoured when she recently gifted me her issue #5 entitled ‘my sketchbook.’ It literally blew my mind. GET ONE NOW RIGHT HERE… you’re pretty much robbing her, it’s only 4 bucks. Kathy Dahl is the mother of one of my infamous mail art friends, who I guess was unimpressed with what her mom had been sending me recently. She ordered Kathy to create a drawing and informed her of my love of animals and nature. Kathy ordered me in her letter to “rip it up after I laughed” but I love it too much. My jaw dropped when I saw how creative Hettie Van Riesen’s first mail art reply was! She sewed a custom fabric envelope and even recycled my address from my first envelope to her, by stitching it onto the front of hers. The contents continued to flow with her creative genius as I discovered poems written on birch wood, drawings of flowers & deer and much more. Anika Starmer (@aisforanika) sent a package that contained some awesome progress in our collaborative project, which you can read more about here, as well as a gorgeous woodblock print she made years ago and came across in a studio clean up. I love it. An envelope addressed to’ jazzy jess g yo’ and sent from ‘veg-e-table fantathy’ could be from none other than my talented pal Helen Young! Inside were gems such as watercolor splotch drawings, gnarly skulls, sweet stickers and prints. Jaime Maddellena (@sendmoremail) sent me a little Easter cheer with a painted egg adorned envelope and and adorable little letter in her small print on tiny little print out stationery. Sweet holiday treat. Nicole Palmer wrote another long, heartfelt letter and included a few wedding inspiration pages and some beautiful home-made stickers. Jeannine Saylor (@saylor_made) started a new initiative for our mail art, which is ironic considering we just hit our “mail art anniversary”: we send each other postcard sized cards along with random materials. the recipient is to create a mixed media piece and is allowed to add up to 3 materials of their choice, and glue is a freebie. I’ll be sharing the results of my first creation as soon as Jeannine gets my return envelope. Tomorrow’s post will chronicle all of the beautiful little envelopes (stuffed with ephemera) that I sent around the globe and have been discovered by the addressees.

8 Responses to “welcomed home by a pile of letters”

  1. mandala56 12/04/2012 at 12:18 #

    You get the coolest stuff, and I imagine are quite an inspiration for everyone who is writing to you. So… how do you find the people who are actually putting this kind of effort into their mailings? I’m having trouble finding a combination of pen pal and mail artist, or collaborative partner… maybe I’m looking in the wrong places… are you using IUOMA? Because I haven’t plumbed the depths over there yet.

    • naturesmyfriend 12/04/2012 at 12:50 #

      Thank you friend. I do feel honoured that I finally have a postbox that is full of at least one letter a day. My pen pals spoil me.

      All of the people I exchange with I know either from my personal life, art school days, or are folks I have met on the internet through twitter or blogs!

      I am not an IUOMA member, although I have heard people enjoy it. I prefer swapbot and have used that in the past. Getting involved in mail art exchanges, or postcard exchanges run by galleries is also a great way to get some fantastic CREATIVE post from all over the globe.

      In previous posts, I always encourage people to also just ASK those who they would like to trade with. Search out mail art blogs, mail art enthusiasts, etc and see if they want another address on their list. I also link contact info to all of my pen pals who have a web presence, so that if you’re interested in their work you can find them, and possibly exchange with them too! Your simple question of “would you like to trade mail?” can turn into a beautiful pen pal friendship. If they don’t, who cares, there are other people out there who will be excited and curious when you express interest. Just ask someone new!

      You might also enjoy this interview I did for Jessica Mack of Creative Collective about snail mail. http://creativecollectiveblog.com/blog/2011/06/07/queen-of-mail-art/

    • mandala56 12/04/2012 at 13:04 #

      Thanks for the information and the encouragement!

    • naturesmyfriend 13/04/2012 at 10:03 #

      I forgot to mention this resource for you as well: http://www.postcrossing.com/

  2. Jeannine | SaylorMade 13/04/2012 at 10:46 #

    Wow, Hettie Van Riesen’s package and envelope are so cool! What a fantastic pile to find on your return home.

  3. Nicole Palmer 13/04/2012 at 21:31 #

    Hey ! Just got your letter today ! I notice in the right hand corner of the envelope I sent there is somethig missing it must of go ripped off on its travels ! It was a yellow paper that said delightful in blue writing . Loving all this glorious mail !!

  4. ejorpin 14/04/2012 at 18:31 #

    What a lovely pile of mail to return home to! I agree with Jeannine – Hettie’s package is so great, especially love the deer. Charlotte’s package is pretty ace too! Looking forward to seeing what you do with all those wonderful papery bits from Saylor Made…

    Oh, and thanks for the link to Marissa’s zines – I’m on a bit of a zine frenzy at the moment, and these look amazing!


  1. a pile of sent replies | - 13/04/2012

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