Friday, May 31, 2013

Red postcards - part 2

 Here are some more fabulous red cards for your viewing pleasure on this fine Friday:

Three from Carroll:

Two from Ciara:

Two from Cyndi:

Two from Ellen:

Two from Joyce:

Four from Gina:

Tell us what you think of them.  Do you have a favorite?

Mailing tip

Humidity season has struck Massachusetts, and I'm noticing that cards mailed together in a single envelope are starting to stick together.  So far there have been no casualties, but there have been a few tense moments as I gingerly separate the items.

Here's a tip to protect your gorgeous work in transit:
place a small sheet of wax paper, parchment, vellum or freezer paper in between each card.

Like so:

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Meet the artist - Tameko Mays

Thank you all for your wonderful responses to my begging and pleading yesterday.  I already have four profiles ready to go, and promises from many more of you!

To make it easier for you to participate, I've added a thoroughly optional questionnaire to this page.  Feel free to use that as a guideline as you write your profile.  (or feel free to completely disregard it and write whatever you want!)

Within an hour of me posting my request, Tameko had her profile and pictures in my inbox.
So without further ado, I will allow her to introduce herself to you!

Tameko Mays
I live in Texas with my husband of 13 years, and our 2 children ages 11 and 16.
During the Day:  Office Assistant

My journey began a couple of years before my daughter was born.  A co-worker introduced me to scrapbooking, and I was hooked!  Once my daughter arrived life became even busier.  I still snapped photos of everything, but I slowly stopped scrapbooking   And I was in the mindset that I needed to do everything in chronological order, so I would forever be behind!  Needless to say I continued to collect stuff, but very few pages were actually completed.   

In 2009, I started playing around with making cards.  And I even started my blog.  This was a big deal to me because I never considered myself artistic. Card making was easier to me, because it was smaller and faster creative gratification.  I have enjoyed making cards, and entering challenges.  But my latest interest is art journaling.  To me it’s therapeutic, because I am finally just enjoying the process, and not totally focused on the end result.  I recently purchased a Gelli Arts Plate, and life is good!


My creative space is upstairs in our converted guest bedroom.  It’s still a work in progress.  But it’s my happy place!


Thanks, Tameko!  It's lovely to meet you and learn more about you.
Tune in next week for another great art story.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Wanted: Artist Profiles

Hey everybody, I need your help. I want to keep the artist profile series going so I need you to share a little bit about yourselves.  I know many of you are feeling a bit shy and have all kinds of good reasons why you don’t want to do this.

To help convince you I present:
The top ten false assumptions about this series and ridiculous excuses not to participate 
 (and the reasons I won’t take no for an answer.)

1.  I’m not an artist
Let’s not quibble over vocabulary, shall we?  In my mind, if you make a piece of art you’re an artist.  But I understand it’s a thoroughly loaded word, and one that often makes people feel pretentious if they say it about themselves.  So let’s just think of this as a “meet the swapper” series, okay?  You’ve swapped.  You’re a swapper.  We want to meet you.

2. My work isn’t as good as the other people who swap here
Oh good heavens!   
If I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard that one….
This is not a contest, or a club, or a clique.  This is a wide-open community of people who like to make stuff.  Some of us have been making stuff for decades.  Some have been making stuff for a few weeks.  It doesn’t matter.  Trust me.  Your work is good enough.  You are good enough. We want you here.

3. I don’t want to reveal my full identity
You only have to share what you’re comfortable sharing.  If you don’t want to put your last name, or age, or the name of your cat, that’s totally cool.  Even though we’d love to see what you look like, I won’t force you to put up a photo of yourself.  We’re pretty easy going about the whole thing.

4. I don’t have any art images to share
Showing examples of your work is totally optional.  It’s nice, but not a requirement.  Maybe you’d rather show us a picture of your favorite place on earth.  Or of your new shoes.  Our your cousin Martha. It’s all good.

5. I can’t participate since I don’t have a blog or any of those other on-line things people talk about
All the more reason to introduce yourself.  Some of you I’ve gotten to know quite well through your on-line presence.  Others of you are total mysteries.  Give us a glimpse!

6. No one wants to hear about my life
Wrong.  Tell me honestly – when you receive a handmade postcard, and hold it in your hand and study it, don’t you wonder about the person who made it?  I know I do.  Maybe I’m just nosy, but I want to know about each and every one of you.  What you look like, what other hobbies you have, where you grew up, what your cat looks like, what you had for breakfast.  Tell me you don’t wonder these things too.  I know you do.  I bet you’re sitting there hoping everybody but you will post their life stories so you can learn all about them without having to put yourself out there.  Guess what – the rest of us are here wondering about your life.  It’s interesting!  Tell us more!

7. I don’t know how to write a blog post
You don’t need any technical skills other than knowing how to send email.  Write whatever you want in the body of your email to me.  I will format it for the blog.  I’ll even proof read and edit it if you want!  We love to see pictures, so it’s a bonus if you know how to attach a photo to an email.  That’s it.  Very low tech.  Lots of help available.

8. I don’t have anything profound to say
Take the pressure off yourself.  This is just a friendly hello, not a college application.  After your introduction, tell us a little bit about how you got started making stuff, and why you like making stuff.  To you it may sound boring or small, or maybe you think it sounds weird and strange, but I guarantee there are readers out there who will say “YES!  Me too!”  Isn't it the best feeling in the world knowing we're not alone?

9. This series is only for people who’ve done tons of swaps
I’m the boss here, and I declare this series is for everyone!  Even if you haven’t participated in a swap yet, but have been lurking around the edges, or maybe sending a little informal mail art, we want to meet you. Friendly faces and diverse stories enrich our community.

10. I’m so inexperienced, I have nothing to offer.
Your inexperience is all the more reason to reach out and say hello.  We can never truly know the ways we impact the lives of others.  Someone will read your post and be so impressed and inspired by your act of courage and openness, that they decide to take their own small step.  Let’s say they decide to send a piece of mail art.  The person they send it to is so thrilled to get it, she sends one right back.  An artistic friendship, full of mutual support has bloomed.  One of those people realizes that art is what she’s been looking for her whole life.  She’s a much happier person and a more patient mom.  Her kids reap the benefits.  Those kids are in turn kinder to their friends, and those friends are now so well supported they have the strength to say no to peer pressure and don't end up getting drunk at the prom.  You could be changing someone’s fate just by waving hello on this little corner of the blogosphere.  Little acts can have big ripples.

You can probably see by now that I am incorrigible and will continue to lovingly pester you until you succumb.  So I thank you in advance for all the profiles and introductions that are going to start pouring into my inbox now that you’ve read this.

You guys are the best.

Eyes - part 1

Take a peek at the first "eyes" postcards.
What a wonderful variety of styles and interpretations.
I'm loving this one so far!

Cara drew these fabulously creepy creatures

Ciara is swapping here for the first time and sent this wonderful digital collage. 
(welcome Ciara!  Glad you found us!)

Colleen sends a tribute to old Hollywood with the eyes of Bette Davis and Gloria Swanson

Corrine named this one "tattered innocence"

Currie highlights the eyes on her signature giraffes. 

Jan is also swapping here for the first time and sent these gorgeous encaustic pieces.
(Welcome, Jan!)

Ria matched beautiful words with these haunting pictures:

Robin's postcards have actual googly eyes on them (and fabulous stitching!)

You've got until Monday June 3rd to send out your own.
Meanwhile, click on each artist's name to see more of her work.  Don't forget to say hello while you're there!

Mail Art Mondays

So here's what I'm thinking - I want to host a blog hop in which we share our best mail art tips with each other.
At first I thought I'd just do this as a one time thing - announce a date, put up a Mr. Linky gadget and let everyone link up blog posts, pictures, and tutorials related to making art that can be sent through the mail.
But then I thought maybe it should be a regular feature (called Mail Art Mondays) I could share a tip each week (and have guest bloggers write posts some weeks) and there would always be a Mr. Linky at the bottom)

FYI - the Mr. Linky tool is an easy way for people to paste the url to a blog post, you tube video, flickr photo, etc.  Everyone who posts a link gets added in a list, and visitors to my blog post can then click through the list of links to see what others have contributed.
So I'm looking for your thoughts.
Would you read this?
Would you link something of your own?
How should it be structured? (I doubt I could pull it off weekly, but maybe twice a month?)
Should each week have a theme - such as "best gluing tips" - or should each week be open to any kind of link?
I'm afraid I'll run out of topics if each week is a theme. 
The things you share wouldn't necessary have to be "how to" posts.  They could simply feature interesting things you've sent and received in the mail.

Can you tell I'm thinking out loud here?
Help me flesh out this idea by leaving your thoughts in the comments.
Also - does anyone want to design a "Mail Art Mondays" logo/blog button?

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Free art class

Many thanks to Joanne McCabe for sharing this hot tip:

There is a free class called "Introduction to Art: Concepts and Techniques" currently being offered through Coursera.
It's a 7 week long MOOC and is geared for those with little art experience.   (Note:  I had to go look up MOOC.  It stands for "Massive Open Online Course" and it's a college-level class that is offered free of charge on the internet. Coursera is a site that brings together MOOCs from all different universities. I had no idea this existed.  My mind was blown.  Clearly I've been living under a rock.)
 Here's the course description from the website:
"Introduction to Art: Concepts & Techniques is an art appreciation course created for individuals without any artistic background. This course introduces you to various art movements, cultural influences, artistic genres, artists, and their artwork. The main emphasis of the course is to teach you hands-on studio arts techniques as you conduct personal research and explore your own creativity. While utilizing historical and contemporary art concepts, the course guides you through different time periods. Examining and discussing artwork is a crucial part of this course, encouraging you to express your opinions about art in an intelligent and articulate manner. By the conclusion of the course, you will compile a portfolio of artworks reflective of your research, understanding, creativity, and personal growth."

You can take this as a traditional 7 week class, complete with assignments, quizzes and peer review of the art you submit and you will get a certificate of completion.  Or you can simply access the course content that interests you.  Once you've signed up you have continued and free access to all of the course materials, even after the course is over.

 Lesson 2 is called "Correspondence with memory" and the format of the assignment is mail art!  How cool is that?
Lesson 3 has an assignment that starts with a B&W photo and is turned into collage with pieces of newsprint.  Joanne thought this might be a fun idea for the "Artful words" swap.  (There are pictures in the Student Art Examples tab of the course.)

I just signed up and plan to poke around the course offerings tonight.  Not sure how I will approach it, or if it will be valuable to me, but it's free and very intriguing!

Monday, May 27, 2013

Terrie's collage sheet challenge - part 2

 More fun with the collage sheets Terrie created for us!

Two from Ellen:

and Terrie couldn't resist her own challenge and created these two: