Tired of boring, ho-hum mail, I signed up for two online mail art classes. One is called “Create It- Mail It- Alter It” and is offered by the artitists who created The Documented Life Project. So I created it and mailed it. The stitched envelope above is covered with vintage papers, paints, doodles, any old thing that came into my head, with the guidance of the instructors. Who wouldn’t love to open their mailbox and find something like this instead of circulars, bills, and catalogs? This one went to a quilting friend in Pennsylvania, and it made it successfully all the way there from Florida. I took it to the Post Office to make sure it had the right amount of postage, plus I wanted to select colorful stamps in the right monetary combo that “enhanced” the piece. Now that’s going the extra mile, right? Anyway, this initial mail art piece was very enjoyable to make, and it won’t be the last one I'm sure.
This is the face of the envelope and has more of the same paints and papers, plus a scallop border. In the class, each of the instructors offers videos showing their style and project ideas for making mail art pieces. Roben-Marie Smith was the designer of this style. I admire her work, and she offers her own classes in addition to working with the Art to the 5th consortium. So I also signed up for her class “You’ve Got Mail.. Art”. Never much of an art student, I must say I’m liking the spontaneous freedom of these mixed media classes.
Of course it means all sorts of new supplies and gadgets. I’m a gadget person, so I don’t mind at all. Here are a few things I learned. The first two sheets are the left are pages from old National Geographic magazines altered by spraying with Citra-Solv. The inks on the pages dissolve and move around in interesting patterns and can then be used as art papers once they are dry. The next paper is “under paper” which catches drips, blots, and leftovers made when painting other pages. It winds up unexpectedly pretty. The next 6 papers are painted deli papers (the waxy stuff used to wrap deli sandwiches). They are translucent when applied on top of other surfaces. The last paper on the right is another piece of underpaper.
And the big “X” in the middle of the photo is just about the most fun gadget of all (at least until the next fun gadget comes along). It’s called a Xyron, and with it you can turn just about anything into an adhesive-backed sticker. On the far right are two strips of paper I ran through the Xyron. You can just peel and place them. Mine takes paper pieces up to 1 1/2” wide, but there are larger sizes available, too. I haven’t tried this yet, but it’s possible to run lace and rick-rack through it. I’m so impressed with the Xyron and mail art! Fun, fun, fun.