Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Paper Sandwiches

The past couple days, I've been sifting through my paper treasures.
And making bundles.
There's always more paper than I can ever use.

It's all yellowed so needs little distressing.
Hymnal page, antique mathematics text book pages, writing primer,
many foreign dictionary pages (French and German mostly)...

...First day issue postage postcards, Victorian trade cards (originals, not copies!), vintage air mail envelopes,...
all now sandwiched together between two antique book covers
and offered to you, tied up with string, in my etsy shop.
I'll have a few of these "paper sandwiches", but only one, possibly two of these letter bundles, since I am running out of good letters.
I hate to sell you inferior goods.

This particular letter bundle has a hand written letter from Idaho
containing two photos.
I didn't separate the pieces so the next owner can have the excitement of finding them,
in their original envelope.

I dug through my paper and picked out the good stuff for you.
Next I'm thinking of filling some cigar boxes with treasure since Hoardica just visited Cuba.
Not only does Darcy's Postcard Challenge prompt me to make art each week,
I also get inspired to sort my trash, er stash in a thematic way!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Ink Penmanship

In fifth grade I had very nice penmanship and for about 5 months was the sole member of the Handwriting Club in Mrs. Katz's class.
My best friend, Andrea, was the next to pass muster and enjoy the benefits of membership.
We had the privelage of writing our assignments (excluding math) in PEN.
Everyone else had to use pencil.
But Andrea and I did not use ball point pens.
No, this was a special club.
We wrote with a cartridge pen.
The pen was $2- $3 and then the refill ink cartridges cost about a dollar for a package of 6.
It was 1973-74 when I was in 5th grade.
The pens and refills were no longer available about 5 years later.
But I kept my pen for sentimental reasons.
And occasionally would find the ink cartridges at a garage sale.
I also had a pen with interchangeable nibs so I could write in a thick/ thin calligraphy style.
(I haven't looked for those nibs recently- I might still have them somewhere!)

In any event, I rediscovered some of the cartridges in my stash this morning and decided that althought the ink was mostly dry (seams liquid can evaporate even in a sealed plastic tube!),
I would give it a go.
When you drop the cartridge into the body of the pen and screw the nib back on, a peg in the bottom of the nib pops a hole in the cartridge.
I did this first.
Then I removed the cartridge and added tap water (probably should have used distilled, but I was eager to see if my experiment would work and we don't have distilled water laying about the house!) to the cartridge by squeezing it with my fingers and then releasing it in a bowl of water until it drew in some water. I did this several times until the cartidge was just above 3/4 full.
I dropped the cartridge back into the pen, replaced the nib, shook the pen to mix the water and ink and voila!
It was ALIVE!
I practiced some scribbles on a scrap piece of paper and felt like I was a kid again with special privelages!
Giddiness at its best!

And that's how it came to be that Hoardica wrote from Cuba with what looks like a fountain pen.
Go see!
This week her postcard is made from cigar box graghics-
authentic scraps I did not have the heart to throw out
and now finally they have a use.
Pack rats unite!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Gettin' Some Religion

Do you have lots of fabulous, but blank, journals in piles of good intentions?
Well, I do.
I admire the journaling of others, make attempts myself, but quit before I get very far.
I blame it on being distracted too easily.
Well, I think I've finally found the perfect combination for success.
First I watched this free lettering tutorial by Teesha Moore
(Linda is always sending me these great links!)
then today I joined a weekly scripture challenge on Christian Paper Artists
 that coincides with Lent.
I figure if I can keep up the weekly journaling for 7 weeks,
it might become a habit I will continue beyond Easter.
So now you know what I'm doing for Lent!
Today's artwork was done with cheap, sparkly, gel pens from Wal-mart,
as opposed to expensive copic markers from Hobby Lobby.
Just sayin' that you don't need expensive tools and materials to make art!
I would have filmed my own tutorial, but I can't bring a camera to work.
I did this page during some slow time at the post office.
Now go make something!

Friday, February 17, 2012

How to Make a Better Mouse Trapper

I wanted to show a step by step of how I painted
the postcard for the latest installment of Hoardica's travels.

I traced a photo (because I do not have the luxury of time)
and transfered the drawing onto a vintage newspaper want ad I glued down on cardboard with Mod Podge.  I blocked in the large white areas with gesso.

Then manic inspiration possessed me
and I had completed the painting with black guache
(refined version of poster paint),
more gesso and a little graphite pencil for details;
forgetting to stop and photograph my progress.
(It felt good to know that I could still paint,
since I don't use those skills much.)
Still, you can see that I painted right on top of newsprint,
allowing some of it to show through for the color of the collar
and the dog's "eyebrows".

Now go visit Hoardica to see what this little guy has to do with mice and Wales.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day!

This morning I am off to my friend Liz's (who doesn't blog)
to show off the beautiful Valentine greetings I got
in the mail and to give her my own hand made offering.
The above Valentine came in the mail from Linda.
I love the bleached crepe paper ruffle!

This craft paper puffy heart also came from Linda.
I love its simplicity and its natural colors (no red!)
Thank you, Linda for your mailed affection!

The Chinese fan  greeting is not Valentine-y at all, 
but I love it just the same because I adore Asian ephemera.
Patty sent it to me.
Thank you, Patty!
I also had the include the Chinese New Year stamp from her envelope 
as well as the slip of paper that explained the fan card.

I stole Linda's ruffled crepe paper idea and made this Valentine for Liz.
The puppies image is from a deck of playing cards I quickly sold out of in my etsy shop.
Although what I have left is only 100dpi (low resolution),
it still prints up okay.
Good enough for a greeting card.
You can get the image from here.
Just scroll down in the post.
I hope you get some cards in the mail,
some flowers from your honey,
or a surprise from a secret friend.
Happy Valentine's Day!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Hoardica Does Belgium

Keeping up with Hoardica is not easy,
because she writes from somewhere different every week.
I promise to have a badge for her soon.
In the mean time, find her HERE.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

A Beautiful TEAm

Serendipity never ceases to amaze me.
At first glance, you would think this cup and saucer went together.
They both have robin's egg blue coloring;
they both have filigree gold designing and gold rims.
But the cup is ceramic and the saucer is china.
The cup is one of three I bought at the thrift store two years ago.
The saucer was a thrift store find I gleefulyy pounced on last week.
A match meant to be.
And my new favorite pair to drink tea from!
For more Tea Tuesday posts, visit Kimmie's blog.

Also, you might enjoy my sister blog, Girl Collects World,
for the adventures of Hoardica Proffit, documented in weekly postcards.