Sunday, August 31, 2014
Swapping by Mail…
I just took part in a fun prayer flag swap that began right here in Blog-land. Jan of Laughing Dog Arts commented on this blog that it seemed as if we both liked many of the same things- a variety of sewing and craft projects, bits and pieces of assorted materials, animals… just lots of things in common. She noted it might be fun to do a swap sometime. We decided to go ahead and trade a prayer flag shipped in a mail art envelope. My prayer flag for Jan started with some hand-dyed and stamped fabric given to me, to which I added lettering, paint, embroidery, vintage trims, and a rolled fabric flower. The white header and casing is a vintage dress front. So much of this flag is created from “found” items. Funny thing about prayer flags… I notice that while I’m assembling the bits and pieces for the project at hand, there are two or three small piles of other bits that just seem to go together. So the next prayer flags are inventing themselves as I work. This tells me that this is an endless project and that I’ll return to it again and again.
You can tell from her blog title that Jan is a dog lover. When I saw this appealing image of a dog in a magazine, I clipped it out and decided to alter it for her envelope with overlays of paint, painted papers, and stitching. There always seem to be some images in advertisements or brochures that need to be saved and used somehow. This was one of those.
The address side of the envelope is just some Washi tape, and recycled paper bits. I figuratively hold my breath a little when sending these, but the mail does go through! And as it turned out, Jan’s birthday was right around the time she received her prayer flag, so it was like a birthday gift. Further coincidence is that my birthday is also in August, so her flag for me was like a gift as well.
So here is the prayer flag Jan sent. We had a chuckle when we noticed that both of us topped our flags with vintage linen and lace. I love the painted and stamped piece she used as the top layer. It has lots of metallic paint lines and squiggles. The photo below is the back of the flag base with stamped images of coyotes and crows.
Jan even pinned some hand-made fabric beads on the header. So pretty!
Speaking of pretty, here’s the file folder she altered with paint, stamps, and stencils, and then stitched closed. I opened it on one side very carefully so as not to rip any of the mailer. I plan to use it, possibly for a journal cover. There’s so much to look at, and it’s so creative. I love the items Jan sent, and I think we both are very happy we decided to swap our work!