Thursday, July 30, 2009

Postoid ATC Swap

My camera situation hasn't improved, (btw, Anna, there is no tulip icon, portrait is the "smallest" image setting on my camera), but I remembered, hey, I have a scanner! So here is some art in focus. A postoid ATC created for an Art 42 swap, hosted by Lisa Vollrath. An easy 3 for 3 swap. How low stress is that? I made 4, so I had one to keep. I happened to have 4 copies of this picture of some of my "junk". Never throw anything out. Someday it will be useful. Like for an ATC swap. Believe me, I live what I preach. Much to my husband's dismay. :)

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

A Blur of Activity

My regular, low res, great for web shots, digital camera is on the fritz so I am using my high res, can't take close up pictures worth a darn, alternate. Please do not adjust your screen or your eyes. You will have to use your imagination. I'm sure Margaret will post beautiful photos when she gets her pages back. These are for her. Her theme is "winged things". It's just the latest of our QB5 swaps-- this one is a loose book RR (unbound pages). I had too much fun and could have gone on for more than two pages.

Margaret's favorite color is blue and as luck would have it, I found the perfect chair in a Google search. I couldn't resist doing a "wing back".

The little dare devil on his tricycle goes "vrrrroooom, vrrrooommmmmm". He's ALL boy!

Margaret's pages were made up of folded vintage German lexicon pages. Natural pockets were formed so I took advantage of one with a tag. I added a magazine photo to a Polska butterfly postage stamp and voila! A postoid tag. The tag already had "lad" and "kid" printed on it so was perfect for a pocket on the reverse side of the little dare devil trike rider.
Next pages coming up... Marie Antoinette for Patty.

Friday, July 24, 2009

The Unaltered Post Office- A Zine

This zine came about on the fateful day when the post mistress saw a mouse in the back room of our little post office.
Being squeamish, she gratefully took my offer to do some cleaning, purging old files and moving the bins of new files into the file cabinets where they belonged. And hopefully displacing a mouse or two in the process. You can imagine my excitement at having the opportunity to excavate old papers and such!

This zine is 99% printed on discarded postal forms (almost everything is done on-line now).

I started a page with a "stamp collection" of vintage and current postal impressions, to encourage the recipients to continue the collection in other post offices. I plan to take my personal copy around to the local post offices here and get their cancelations. Kind of like a passport.

And, of course, there is a goody envelope, containing some of my vast collection of vintage postage and some placards that I pull daily from the mail bags and bins as I sort mail.

I made rubbings of the brass signs that used to mark mail slots in the post office. Now we have "up to date" plastic ones (ick!) and the lovely brass plates are entombed in a file cabinet in the back room. I think I'm the only one who knows they exist. Well, now you know too.
There are still balls of twine stored in a cabinet, back when string was used for securing parcels. I enclosed a sample.

On the last page I made a pocket from a blurb I copied and altered from an in-house publication about the history of the postal service. Seems post masters were once the pillars of their community...
The pocket contains a vintage postcard, suitable for altering, and a couple pieces of yellowed ephemera, from the back room of course. No, they aren't yellowed from mouse urine.
I draw the line there!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Speaking of Margaret

This story starts "Once upon a time..." because it's been over a month since Margaret sent me her relatives and all of their baggage. We swapped art that long ago and now I am making amends for not posting properly about it sooner. Don't you love her daring swatch of blue on an otherwise monochrome piece? I couldn't carry it off with such confidence! Old lace, shell buttons, and a silk ribbon hanger all speak of Margaret's incredible attention to details.
(I swiped her blog photo since the light is better in Switzerland
and Margaret is a wonderful photographer!)
Her relatives look quite at home now hanging on the wall of my studio.
They appreciate the old things I have on display and are comforted
by all of the clutter. They traveled in cramped quarters on the trip here, so
need that "cozy" feeling.
An amazing amount of goodies came in the padded envelope!
Manuscript tissue, vintage (?) wallpaper and small playing cards
were just the tip of the iceberg.
The matchbox is for scale, but it looks like
a huge matchbox next to normal sized cards! ha ha!

The first wax catchers arrived then. Their chocolate brown color looks so Victorian! And Margaret knows I like brown!
There were two bundles of lace and the paper bag in the background is
one of two illustrated ones from candy stores.
The Swiss love their packaging and so do I!

Tickets, "bits 'n' bobs", Heidi, a felt heart, a candy tin of tiny plastic sparrow eggs, a fish shaped bead, ribbon roses and misc. A Swiss junk drawer spilled into an envelope just for me!
A "blur" of inspiring objects.
The matchbox art opened to reveal a "rusted" butterfly.

The gears are turning in my head. What shall I make?
So many wonderful little items to create with!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Mail From a Swiss Miss

An envelope arrived yesterday with a Swiss return address, but an American metered mail sticker. Margaret, it seems, has a personal courier service. A friend coming to the States was willing to take up precious luggage room carrying parcels to mail here. That's friendship!

First a fabulous (absolutely!) German "Just Stamps" magazine. Good thing art needs no translation! Wonderful ideas. I just can't read the instructions. Hee hee. I think I could figure out a few though! Lots of great ideas for photo slide frames (of which I have 3 boxes). I will definitely show you what I come up with.
Then these lovely wax catchers (for drippy candles). I could certainly use some for my candles, but I would prefer to use these gorgeous doilies for halos, collars or skirts for some collaged divas. We have nothing like these beauties in the States (unless I just shop in the wrong places!)
We call these coasters, across the pond they're beer mats. Either way, I hate to collage over them! Makes me think of my one visit to the Hoffbrau Haus (sorry for the butchered spelling) and my first taste of beer as a teen. I have a greater appreciation for it now. ;)

Thank you Margaret for making my day!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

State Fair Bound!

I am SO proud of our daughter Victoria (aged 12)! Yesterday she was despondent because she only won one blue ribbon out of 3 photographs she submitted to our local 4H fair. Last year's judge was very lenient and handed out blue ribbons to most everyone. This year's judges were very critical (in the most positive way) and handed out more red ribbons than blue. So the victory was so much sweeter when we learned today that her day lily photo (blue ribbon) also won a purple rosette and will be going to the Missouri State Fair! So if you happen to be in Sedalia, MO the third (fourth?) week of August, stop by the Fair!
Click on the photo for a super detailed look of the flower.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Asian Bird For Linda

Linda's is the first set of pages I am getting in our QB5 Round Robin. Her theme is "Birds at Home and Work". I chose to do an Asian theme for my first page and was determined to use a large puzzle piece ("Chinese puzzle", get it?) Don't know where I go the "Cricket Whisperer" idea. Maybe because there are movies and TV shows made about those who claim to whisper to ghosts, dogs, horses, etc. Ha ha! Really it's an epidemic of mystic proportions.
Chang Lin Hu (my fictional bird) is, of course, a vegetarian.
The faux wax seal in the bottom right corner is made from a glob of low temp hot glue pressed in with a rubber stamp dipped in ice water. A little gold Rub 'n' Buff to highlight the details and voila! I used Diamond Glaze to glue it to my art.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

A Few More Divas

At first I couldn't get going on this theme. Now I can't stop! I love my pattern girls, so had to do a page on them. I saw "Pattern Pixies" on someone's blog once a long time ago (couldn't find it now if my life depended on it), so I will not take credit for their concept. But I will take credit for the witty saying. This Diva skinny book is very tongue in cheek so far.

The back cover is simple. When you have wonderful old, yellowed and worn pattern envelopes, there is no need for further embellishing. At least I don't think so.
These girls will be winging their way to New Zealand tomorrow, as fast as the 4th of July holiday will allow them. I'll be closing our little post office tomorrow at noon.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Diva Nation

Another QB5 swap about to mail. I am bringing back St. Hoardica as my Cover Girl. One of these days I will do a whole chunky book or some project exclusively about her. She is my alter ego after all!

Shabby Chic diva. I know at least one of them personally!
My pages are off to New Zealand soon, to Carole. I wonder how she will interpret my theme in fabric and thread?