Mail Art Happiness

My mailbox has been very happy lately! Here are a few of the wonders sent by pen pals and Postcrossing friends. First, a marvelous creation by mail artist Sally Wassink. On the outside: “Burn on completion” and “2016” stamped in red, and Sally’s “Wurlitzerworld January 1, 2016” postmark.Sally Wassink

Inside: a handy pocket calendar for 2016 and matches to burn it at year’s end (I won’t!)

Sally Wassink

With the bottom stapled, it folds and tucks just like a matchbook. Ingenious!

Sally Wassink

Judy Staroscik, a mail art pen pal I met through IOUMA (the International Union for Mail-Artists), sends me intricate handmade artist trading cards and other gems. Judy’s latest, a small card and ATC that she made on an art tour to England last year:Judy Staroscik

Carrie, a Postcrosser from Minnesota,made me a gorgeous stamp-art postcard with an inspiring message for the new year. The stalk / flowers on the right are embossed with gold ink.

Postcard

LadyOla, a Postcrosser from Belarus, was sweet to note from my profile that I adore triangle stamps! She used this one on my postcard — it looks like a fragment of a tapestry, doesn’t it?

Triangle stamp from Belarus

Ceejay, another treasured pen pal I met through Postcrossing, sends me her own beautiful photo cards with wonderful gifts tucked inside, often precious triangle stamps she finds for me!

Triangle stamps

And last but not least – a Postcrosser from the Netherlands made me this extra-special card with sequins, real lace, and a pop-up cuppa tea and flowers!

Handmade card

Curious about Postcrossing? Click this link. And this is my Postcrossing profile

Have you sent or received any mail art lately? I hope your mailbox has many happy days in 2016, both outgoing and incoming!

Advertisements

Happy New Year from Father Time

To welcome 2016, a New Year’s vintage embossed postcard with a weighty message:

New Year vintage postcard

“May Time, who sheds his blight o’er all / And daily dooms some joy to death / O’er thee let years so lightly fall / They shall not crush one flower beneath.”

The excerpt from a poem entitled ‘Peace Be Around Thee’ by Irish poet Thomas Moore, 1779-1852, is perfectly captured by the illustration — bearded, sandal-wearing and scythe-bearing Father Time scatters years sketched as golden-tinted balls. There’s no writing or postmark on the back, but another copy of the card online has a 1908 postmark.

My past posts about vintage New Year postcards:

New Year’s Day 2015.

December 1012 post.

A matched pair of Christmas and New Year postcards.

Happy New Year! May you send and receive many postcards this year.

Thanksgiving Good Cheer

Herewith some 1910s Thanksgiving wishes! Most of my vintage T’giving postcards have turkeys on them, so this one is unusual.

Thanksgiving good cheer vintage postcard

I thought our fair lass was preparing a vegetarian dinner, but closer inspection shows that her cornucopia and basket overflow only with grapes. Perhaps she was tasked with providing the wine; hence the message on the front: “Thanksgiving Day Good Cheer.”

The message on the back: “Grandpa & Grandma.” Postmarked 1915, it’s addressed to Master Wilbur W. Daily, #28 S. 8th St., City.

Next, alas, more doomed turkeys. On this heavily embossed card Tom Turkey displays his fancy tail feathers for his lady. The borders around “Thanksgiving Greetings” and the picture are painted with metallic silver and have an art nouveau feel.Thanksgiving greetings

Minnie sent this card, addressed to Mrs. J. Vanderplou, in 1910. The message: “Dear Aunt Annie, I got the paints and they are nice ones. When I got them I was so glad. I painted with them already. Mamma said ‘that she would like to go to grandma’s house for Thanksgiving. Mamma is going to write soon.’ That piece of goods that you sent is very pretty. xxxxxx.” A model Thank You note indeed!

To all of my friends who celebrate, with or with out turkeys (not in our house anymore), have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Pop Goes the Mailbox!

Yesterday: happiest mailbox day ever! Sometimes when I’m owed a lot of Postcrossing postcards they seem to arrive in clusters. Makes me wonder whether some mail art lover along the route is delaying a few of them to admire as a collection? For whatever reason, yesterday I had incoming mail aplenty: three postcards from Postcrossers ’round the world, and from faithful mail art pen pals came a selfmade photo-card and a vintage ephemera collage card.

Postcards

What in the world is that in the middle, you may be wondering. I’m so glad you asked – that is an amazing handmade 3D postcard!

Popsicle postcard by RoselynRoselyn, a Postcrosser in Florida who was randomly given my name to send a card to, made this wonderfully fun, unique popsicle postcard. She told me she had been thinking about 3D mail art since she saw some on Pinterest,  and that after reading my profile she decided to give it a try! Following this post by Sandra Denneler on SheKnows, Roselyn sculpted blue styrofoam into a popsicle shape, added 2 wooden craft sticks, and attached cardstock to the back.  

Popsicle postcardIt only took two first-class postage stamps, and I bet a bunch of USPS people along its trip from Florida to California were grinning as much as I did when I saw it.

A Postcrosser in Germany sent me this very special wooden postcard – there’s a small sketched owl at the top left, and a punched-out owl figure.

Wooden postcard

Such a fantastic idea! I’ve made postcards by printing on wood veneer, but the delicate wood-cut designs used to create these cards are just exquisite. Click here to see the artist’s website, and here for his Etsy store.

Finally, this gorgeous handmade postcard from a pen pal I met through the San Francisco Correspondence Co-op. If the link doesn’t open for you and you’re interested in joining, let me know and I’ll send you information.

Mail art

I love the combination of ephemera she chose: old trading stamps and a lire note, with some music and asian type thrown in.

I’m constantly awed and inspired by the creativity of my mail art friends, and it’s as much fun to make my own creations to send to them as it is to open my mailbox and find a treasure! Hope you have a Happy Mail Day!

A Vintage New Year

To start off 2015 right, I bring you a gorgeous Happy New Year postcard.

Happy New Year vintage postcard

Three brilliantly-colored birds perch on a snow-sprinkled branch. All of the details: the birds and their meticulously drawn feathers, the gold banner, the festive holly branch with red berries, and the lettering: “A Happy New Year” are embossed. There’s no message or postmark on the back. A copyright on the front has a date of 1911.

Want to see more? I showed you two other wonderful vintage New Year’s postcards in this blog post. And in this post I showed you a matched pair of Christmas and New Year cards.

Happy New Year! May you send and receive many postcards this year.

In My Out Mailbox

Which do you find more rewarding, sending or receiving mail? The days that my mailbox is full of cards from Postcrossing and other mail art friends are fantastic, but it’s also a big thrill to make or select pre-made cards to send out into the world. Last week I jammed our mailbox with cards and flipped up the flag.

Postcards

This one went to a Postrossing friend in Singapore, who said that he liked photography and that self-made cards were just fine with him. It’s a photo of the sunset over San Francisco Bay that I took from our deck. I added the “El Cerrito” because there are no commercially-made postcards for my little town – so of course I had to make some!

El Cerrito sunset postcard

When Postrcrossers specifically say they don’t want self-made cards I search through my large collection to find the perfect pre-made card. A person who likes castles is getting the vintage card you can see in the bottom right corner of the photo at the top of this post.

I sent my photo-card of a hummingbird at a fuchsia flower to a young girl in Taiwan who has a really upbeat profile. She said she’d like to see something beautiful or an interesting thing that happened in my life. A visit from a hummingbird to our garden is always so special to me, so it fit the bill.

Hummingbird at flower postcard

This photo-painting I made of an Epipactis orchid grown by George went out to a pen pal who likes flowers. When I make postcards from my photos I print on extra-thick cardstock or Epson velvet-fine art paper, which has a wonderful textured surface and is thicker than normal photo paper.

Epipactis orchid

Finally, I made this postcard from discarded books and ephemera. It’s going to a pen pal I met through the San Francisco Correspondence Co-op.

Upcycled postcard

Anything fun going out your mailbox these days?

Vintage Easter Greetings

It’s Easter postcard time again! The Easter bunny (looking more like a dignified Sir Rabbit), and emerging yellow chick wish you “A Happy Easter.” The message on the back, written in pencil in 1912, has faded badly, but the parts I can still read are somber compared to the prettily flowered front. It starts out: “Well Ann, how do you do. We are having a hard time.” The only other part I can read says: “Phil is working himself to death. Your friend, E.”  Yikes!

Vintage Easter postcard

The next card doesn’t have the bright colors of many vintage postcards; its strength is a wonderful heavily embossed design of a chick with a posy of spring flowers. There’s no message on the back other than the sender’s initials, and the date isn’t legible on the postmark. It has a one-cent Benjamin Franklin stamp, which doesn’t help much with dating because that was the price to mail a postcard for very many years.

Vintage Easter postcard

The last one, mailed in 1924, has an overtly religious message: “And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre – ‘He is not here but is risen.'” Tiny print under the image at right says “The Women at the Tomb.” On the back is only written “Best Easter wishes from Aunt Sarah.”

Vintage Easter postcard

Want to see more vintage Easter postcards? Here’s my post “Mad Hens” from 2012. And this is “Happy Peeps-Day” from 2013.

Have a wonderful Easter!