Are you feeling a little tired, maybe a little TAXED? LOL I hope my American friends are surviving another April 15th without too much stress. Of course I'm last minute with my own taxes, but not by my own fault. I've had our stuff to the accountant since mid-February, but every year we call the week before they're due and then they get done and then we end up in line at the post office mailing checks on the very last possible day. Guess where I'll be Monday.
Well, maybe you will have a tax refund to look forward to in the mail. If not, if you're like me, and you have to send some mula the other way, here's a fun way to guarantee some happy mail in your near future . . . April is National Card and Letter Writing Month and I'm hosting a quick little mail art challenge over at Deviant Scrap. Now, if you're suspicious like me, as much as any other holiday strategically created by card companies or the postal service, you may be wondering who came up with this one and where it started. I am too! I haven't been able to track down an official source for that information, but there are lots of blogs and some newsy articles about National Card and Letter Writing Month. It runs from April 1 - May 8th. I did read a few places that the postal service workers support card and letter writing to promote literacy and the timeless tradition of letter writing. Perhaps they have a vested interest in old fashioned correspondence? Well, I say, what the heck? Why not? Make everyone happy and jot down a quick note, slap a stamp on it, seal it with a kiss and support the mail service while giving a friend some happy mail!
You can find all the information for the swap in the forum thread HERE.
For some inspiration, I've gathered up some links for you. I love this book which includes the art of some friends like the amazing Roc Nicholas. You can order it from any number of places but you can also find it on the authors' blog HERE - be sure to scroll down to the links at the bottom of the blog. (But wait, there's a good unrelated detour to take too - visit Jennie Hinchcliff's Red Letter Day Zine too! Tons of inspiration on her blog - she's also the author of the book 1000 Artist Journal Pages)
Have time to send a little mail to someone who may really need it? You can visit SpiritJump.org to sign up to send cards of inspiration to people battling cancer.
Wanna write a top secret letter to someone? Maybe you have kids or grandkids that would like to. This page will give you some tips on how to write sneaky notes in code. That Martha Stewart knows how to do EVERYTHING.
Do you believe big things come in small packages? Or maybe you'd like to receive some snail sized snail mail? If so, this next place ought to be right up your alley. You may at least get a big smile from these small parcels. Why not visit the World's Smallest Post Service at Leafcutter Designs? If you're in the market for your own teeny tiny stationery, they have a set all ready to send you. Or you can have them shrink some correspondence down to size for you. They will send your custom message tiny sized WITH a magnifying glass to anyone you wish.
Maybe the smallest mail in the world should come from the smallest post office in the world? Unfortunately, it doesn't - that would be more fun than we could probably handle. But, if you ever find yourself in the area with some mail to send, you might like to visit the Ochopee, FL post office. Wikipedia says it is a fully functional post office, housed in a former irrigation pipe shed on a tomato farm after the previous post office burned down in 1953.
And now for that age old question . . . can you REALLY mail a coconut? Yes! And you don't even have to go to Hawaii to do it. If you don't have a coconut tree nearby, CoconutGreetings.com will send you or someone you love a coconut as long as they live in the United States. I've even heard rumors that you can write a note on a banana and mail it without special packaging. If you're willing to send me one, I'll let you know when it gets here!
I have some new kits in the shoppe. These are not my norm bright and colorful kits of late . . . they're some dinky little antique ephemera kits. In fact, I'll say it, they're a little dinky AND drab, but they are good to have in a stash. I used the Write Me kit to make the ad at the top of this blog post. Of course, the Write Me kit was inspired by the letter writing festivities! (the preview below is linked to the shoppe)
If you're looking for other mail art kits, I have these older You're Invited kits that I have used over and over in my own work. (the previews are linked to the shoppe and they are on sale to celebrate National Card and Letter Writing Month)
As the shoppe listing says for this next kit, I have often said my love for collage, even digital collage, comes from
playing with paper dolls and Colorforms as a child. I finally got my
hands on a full antique set of paper dolls and have extracted the entire
set for you. This kit includes 2 boy paper dolls and 4 girl paper
dolls and 3 outfits for each one. Also included are miscellaneous toys
and accessories. Over 100 little images straight from the real thing .
. . an old set from the early 1900's. This set was virtually untouched
and such a pleasure to scan and prepare for this kit. It's unusual to
find a complete set of dolls this old, but be warned that the printing
processes were not perfect in the time this set was produced. There is
some minor ink bleeding and off registration and a few pieces may have
to be "adjusted" to fit the dolls perfectly though I have done this for
you as best I could in most cases. I hope you enjoy using this lovely
set of dolls in your collage, mixed media, and journaling work! I plan
to mix and match with vintage photos to make some fun, funky "zetti"
style characters in my own work. (preview below is linked to the shoppe)
I will soon have some full and COLORful kits for you - just have to get a couple of projects underway this week. There's somethin' fun comin' your way at the end of the month so keep an eye on this blog!
p.s. Don't forget to peruse the Artful Gathering Retreat 2013 site. You can pay your general admission ($5) now and be all ready for early bird registration on May 1st. Classes begin in June.