delicious mail art

I'm SO behind, but gradually catching up.  One happy day recently I checked the mail and had a STACK of incoming mail art.  STACK!  I can't believe how uplifted and smiley I felt after looking through all that artistic goodness.  Some were from a MMSA swap, some from IUOMA, some from blogging buddies.  What a haul!  It'll take me a little time to catch up, but I will get some art out soon!

The mail art joy continued throughout the week with a birthday packet or two and more postcards. You guys are the BEST!

Here goes:
Four great 'trashpo' cards (made entirely from recycled stuff that would otherwise be in the trash) from the MMSA swap (you get one in return for each one you send).

The top one is from Sherry H. who lives in AK and her card is filled with AK info; the lower starry card  is from Nydia in CT.  She recycled a dental p/c and added stars everywhere, even on the back. 

The top card is from Connie T. in NY and is all about snack food wrappers - what an excellent idea! The bottom card is from the always creative Corrine at Dosfishes.  Where did she find that cow stamp?

Above, a beautiful piece of digital art on a card from Michelle at Brain Angles - if you haven't seen her work yet, it's worth a visit to her blog. She combines digital effects with mixed media pieces for some stunning pieces.

These two cards are of each sender's personal art on a glossy printed card!  Sherry's intricate zentangled piece has so much movement and the little bits of color really add a lot.  Lorinda's (Everyday Endeavors) postcard features a close up of one of her mixed media pieces (just look at all those layers). I love them both!  Thanks ladies.

The garden notes card is thickly covered in paint and papers making this impressionistic floral card - stunning! It's from Lee K. in Alberta Canada - her blog is Defining Me (though she's taking a break this summer).  The lower card is from Barbara D in NC and she wants to join the mail art fun - something will be going her way soon!

This dimensional postcard didn't scan well - that sunshine is actually bright yellow and made of fimo clay (?), a butterfly sticker, ribbon and layered cutouts for the design at the bottom. What a beautiful card from Debbie at Craftymoose!  The handmade envelope actually goes with Gina's card below (got 'em mixed up).

The top stunning botanical drawing is from my Aussie buddy Tracey Fletcher King - it arrived in a packed filled with lovely goodies that I just love. The bottom card is from Gina V. - check out her flickr account.  Gina has an ongoing call for mail art that you can read about here.

Karen at I am Rushmore sent me a delightful packet of goodies including this postcard and just amazing bookmark.  I am gathering an embarrassing wealth of gorgeous handmade bookmarks.  Never fear, they are used with great pleasure!

Then, I received my first ever zine!  What a welcome surprise! April at April Cole Studio draws the most amazing faces and her little 8 page zine is filled with bits of them. I'm so inspired, I want to try it too.  I'll add it to the list!  Thanks so much April - I just love it!

Last, but not least, cards received just today - from Corrine and from an IUOMA member in OR.
Top one, IUOMA, bottom one - a stylish one from Corrine.....I can always recognize her cards...doesn't she have some great washi tape?

Thanks to every one of you for making my last couple of weeks so filled with yummy art even when I haven't been able to make any myself.  You all inspire me.  Now, I'll be getting my creative hat on and making some return mail!  I tried to give links to everyone that I could....hopefully I didn't forget anyone.

Outgoing - just a small mailing for now to make sure Karen gets it in time for the swap:

it was a great party

Without really intending to, I've had a little summer break from blogging.  And, discovered that I miss it.  I miss the connection, the sharing of ideas, techniques, and art. I really miss it.  So, I'm back.....finally.

I gave myself a birthday party two weekends ago. I turn 60 this year (though not til Dec., but who wants to add another party to attend during the holidays?!).  I decided I wanted to celebrate in the summer with a BBQ so friends and family could be outside and that way I could invite more people.  I picked a date and crossed my fingers that the weather gods would cooperate.  They did.  (Coincidentally it was also our 33rd wedding anniversary though we didn't announce it, just enjoyed it as a fun bonus celebration.)

I had a perfect Seattle summer day - sunny and 75.  We played with bubbles, played badminton, croquet, and ping pong.  We ate delicious BBQ and salads.  Instead of a cake, Dan covered an apple pie with 60 candles (that's a LOT of flame!).  Even though a few friends couldn't make it, those that did really helped make it a special day.  Hooray for friends and family!

I was given a bubble wand to play with - bubbles everywhere!

Using an idea I found on Pinterest, I made this mobile of photos of me at different ages. The game was to guess my age on the back of each photo. There were 30 photos, the winner guessed 9 correctly.

We're compiling the answers to the age game (I'd made a cheat sheet for the answers!) and that's my hubby to the left and my broken jawed son on the right. He was so sweet to come!

Blowing out 60 candles is work!  No cake for me, it's apple pie.

Lots of family, friends and food. What a perfect day!

A couple of you wonderful people out there even sent me little packets for which I'm so grateful. Really! Totally a surprise and just made me and my mailbox smile!

So in December when I mention that I've gone out for my birthday dinner, don't freak out and wonder where a year went since it seems like I just had a birthday!  I'm just enjoying my 60th for as long as I can. :)



Life has kept me away from blogging the last couple weeks though I've been trying to keep up with reading and commenting on yours (but I'm not totally managing that either).  But now, my son came through his jaw surgery with flying colors and is definitely on the mend, the big 6-0 birthday party is over and my out of town guests are gone.  I have my life back! :)

I have received such supportive and encouraging comments from many of you about my son - thanks again....every one of them has warmed my heart!  I've received some outstanding mail art that I'll be sharing soon - I can't wait to get busy and make some return mail....I have some ideas I can't wait to try.

The weather has been outstanding this week.  It was sunny, warm and beautiful for my party on Saturday and has now hit sunny and 80!  Summer in Seattle!  Maybe some of my outgoing art will reflect how much I love having warm and sunny days.

So, I'll be back on track soon ---



Jenn at Just Add Water Silly is hosting the 18th weekly APR (Artists Playroom) and the theme this week is pears.  She loves pears and draws and paints them so beautifully.  Pears happens to be one of the few things I can kinda draw - I'm not going to have time to do something new this week (son's accident and doc appts are taking lots of time and I'm planning a big party this weekend - more about that later) so, here are some I did a while ago.  These are all in watercolor....

This is a digitally manipulated image (duh).

Here's the original photo.

I actually have a collection of pears in different textures etc. in my kitchen - here's just a few of them.

So, if you enjoy painting, photographing, collaging, sketching or eating pears, this is the challenge for you (though she'll take any fruit) - join in, won't you.


my poor baby

A bit of a personal note here, no art today, so feel free to skip if you want.

It's been a stomach churning, heart pounding couple of days for me.  My oldest son, A-, (30) had a bicycle accident.  He was zooming down a hill in town, hit a pothole and was ejected over the handlebars, landing on his chin.  No helmet!  (really? @#%$#W$^T(P#!&@#$(#@!!.....okay, just had to get that out!)

His injuries?  Lower jaw fractured in two places, three front teeth broken and pushed through his upper lip requiring stitches, stitches in his chin, fractured right elbow, left wrist sprain, major road rash on his chest and various other minor scrapes and cuts.  Luckily his girlfriend was riding with him though was way back up the hill, riding at a more reasonable speed.  Also luckily, a kind Good Samaritan in a van stopped, loaded up their bikes and them and drove them to home to get their car so they could go to the hospital.  It's so heartwarming to know there are still people in the world who will stop to help.

He goes in for surgery on his jaw Monday morning and the doctor expects a 3-4 week recovery period so it'll be awhile before he gets solid food.  And he loves to eat! 

I remember many times as the boys were growing up and they'd come running to me crying and bleeding from a scraped knee or a splinter or whatever.  I was the mom!  Super Mom!  I took a deep breath, calmed my churning stomach, wiped off the blood, gave a hug and kiss and sent them on their way.  The heart dropping feeling when I answer the phone and the girlfriend says, "A- has been in an accident - he's okay but we're at the hospital" is one most parents can relate to and doesn't go away just because the kids are all grown up.  And, I wasn't the one he turned to for the kiss and hug to make him feel better.  Sigh.

The best news?  He really will be okay.  As he told me today when D and I visited, mumbling through his immobile jaw, "I was so stupid....going too fast down that hill.  I should have been wearing a helmet.  I'm so lucky; it could have been so much worse.  This is all just cosmetic - I could have had brain damage or been permanently injured.  I'm so lucky."  Amen to that!  My heart has calmed, my stomach less churny.....my boy will be okay.

Thanks for reading and letting me share a more personal side of me.....this is where blogging becomes almost more of a personal journal.  As I sit here with tears in my eyes, realizing I'm sharing this with not strangers, but with people I've grown to like and look forward to hearing from (okay, and a few strangers). I am grateful for the support and empathy I know you'll share.  I see it time and time again as I read through comments as we share our artistic journeys and trials and tribulations.  But even more so when we do share a more personal issue - it's such a supportive and caring community.  I'm so pleased to be a part of it.


APR #17 recipe

Jenn at Just Add Water Silly (isn't that a great blog name?) is hosting the weekly Artists' Playroom (APR) #17 and this week's theme is "altered recipe".  I'm sure it means altered artistically, not a recipe that I changed or improved (since I'm not much of a cook).  A simple digital entry:

This is the best cornbread ever - moist and full of flavor.  Well, why not with all that butter and cheese and even corn in it?  Try it, you'll like it! :)



This was a friend's FB posting yesterday.  So true and so easy to forget, right?

odds and ends

Yesterday in my ICAD post I showed a couple I made with my newly handmade stamp.  Here's how I made the stamp:

I glued little pieces of that thin craft foam onto an empty hair spray bottle using a glue stick.  Nothing fancy and no super glues.  My little squares are imperfect as are the longer strips making the stripes.  Make sure to leave enough room to grip the "roller" at the ends without getting too painty.  You can see my practice rolls here using acrylic paint.

I'm surprised this works so well as a stamp when that craft foam is so darned thin - but it works beautifully.  Don't know how long lasting it will be yet, but by the time it falls apart, I'll be sick of the pattern and ready for something different anyway.

My friend and I hit some great yard sales this last weekend and I had a few things on my search radar.  Here's what I came home with....
I was looking for an art apron after seeing the fabulous one Corinne made for herself.  She even gave me some encouragement to make my own, but then I found this one for only $1 and I saved myself the effort.  You might also notice the painting of Seattle.  I bought it for the canvas (15 x 30" for $2.50) and will paint over it (don't tell the little girl who painted it!).  Someday someone will scrape off my painting to discover this one underneath and it will be worth thousands because it's an original "Lia".... :)

Then I found some fun jewelry pieces for $1 each that I plan on cutting apart and using as charms or on the cover of a journal/AB, or ..... who knows?  They are just cool.

And, last, but not least, the rolling pin ($1).  No, I'm not a baker.  I'm going to turn it into a larger, more efficient roller stamp!  Just waiting for the right pattern to manifest itself (and my cold to go away so I can think again!).

And, today's ICAD, in honor of being sick.  Felt the need for some bright color, finger smooshing painting and ink drips to lift my spirits.  Then back to bed! :)

Stay healthy!


icad catch up

Here are my latest ICAD creations - not a particularly inspired group I admit, but I am managing to continue making them.  See others or join in for yourself over at Daisy Yellow, hosted by Tammy.

#35, 36:

I made another stamp - I'll post the photos for that tomorrow - but tried it out on a couple of cards....it works pretty darn well.  It's a roller stamp made using craft foam and a hair spray bottle!

#37, 38:
Boring shades of blue watercolor with some random stamping and collage bits.  The second one is fairly self explanatory..... (the gray is a piece of screen door netting)

#39, 40:

Returning to one of my favorite options, use a quote, and then an homage to my garden.....the weeds at least!

I've been battling an oncoming summer cold and it seems I've lost - it's hard to feel creative or motivated to go to the art room when I can't breathe and I'm coughing, coughing.....so minimal art production the next few days I'd imagine.  I will try and stay up with my visits to everyone else though - I'll be creative vicariously......


IA: teapot

Inspiration Avenue theme:  teapot.  Well, I can't draw a teapot.  Not and have it look much like a teapot.  All symmetrial and even and dimensional.  Unlike some Aussie friends I could name (Tracey!) - this is totally in her wheelhouse.

But, I do have a beautiful teapot we bought on our trip to China.  I have a camera.  I have PS Elements.  I make art! :)

I haven't used my camera artistically in months - it might be time to pull it out and remind myself why I love it so much!


working in black and white

I'm always drawn to simple black and white collages so decided to try my hand at it and use my new black gesso again.  I love it - love the ease and completeness of coverage and it makes a great surface...maybe better than the white.

journal pages


I bit the bullet, sucked it up, pulled on my big girl pants, and signed up for 2 Jane Davies' classes at the Art and Soul retreat in Portland, OR in October.  I'm excited, a little intimidated, excited, a little anxious.....but really looking forward to learning from one of my favorite artists.  A first for me -- taking an art class where my efforts will be on display.  I can do it, right Karen? (my favorite cheerleader!)


summer mail

Most of my recent mail has a decidedly summery feeling thanks to the theme at Mail Me Some Art.  If you haven't tried this site yet, it's certainly worth a look.  Karen has organized swaps so that she does most of the work....you only have to be creative!  She is so great about encouraging everyone to participate - no matter your perceived artistic ability.

It's so easy - you send your swap creation(s) to her along with some postage and she sorts and redistributes all entries so that everyone who participates gets something in return.  How easy is that?  Check out the site, there are several swaps going on right now....

I've received:

Dori decorated both sides of her card so beautifully - doesn't it just radiate summer?

Gina covered all the summery bases (how did she know I'd just come back from camping to find this?). Her dictionary pages are about camping and summer -school, squash, stock, theater, etc.  How cool is that?!

Lisa at DandelionSeedsAndDreams sent this charming little girl dreaming of ice cream - complete with a quote on the back.

Then there's this fun one from Tim, don't know where or from what group, but the 'open here' directs my nose to one of those perfume inserts, still sealed, just for my smelling pleasure!

The bird was hand drawn and colored then glued onto the watercolor background and arrived from Margaret in IL.  These two birdie cards are for the international postcard swap hosted by Shannon at Musings on Realities.

This lovely densely painted and textured background p/c is from Julie M. at StampinMaui (from HI) and arrived in a beautiful handmade envelope painted and stamped and made into real art.  It doesn't show in the scan but the flower is a dimensional piece glued on top of that folded red ribbon.  Thanks ladies!

Thanks so much to all of you for making my mail box so happy!

I sent:

My cards to Karen for the Mail Me Some Art (MMSA) trashpo p/c swap.  Scraps, fabric, craft foam, bits from paintings....cleaned my worktable right up!

Finally playing catch up with my mail art and am sending lots out - maybe there's some art headed to your mailbox!