Saturday, March 8, 2014

Mail Art, Gelliprints and Washi Tape Feathers

I am moving away from Artist Trading Cards for a while, and my current focus is on preparing for National Letter Writing Month (April) and Blogging A to Z (April).  The sign ups are already closed for NLWM, and there are 128 participants this year.  Each person is assigned a partner, and the only thing they are required to do is write their partner at least one time.  But many in the group will send to everyone, and you are asked to reply to all the letters you receive. Could be a pretty wild mail month!!

So, I decided to go big or go home with my mail, and am working to make every piece I send out something special for the recipient.  One of my pen pals sent me some feathers made of washi tape a few weeks ago, and it has been on my list of things to accomplish ever since.  I finally got around to making a few this week!

The most challenging part was getting the two pieces of tape to meet fully, as that tape is sticky and wants to cling the moment it touches anything else.  I figured out a way to make it work with some permanent Dotto adhesive on a scrap piece of paper.  I laid the tape down sticky side up onto the strip of adhesive and put the string down the middle (I used button thread), then I folded the tape over it.  Once that was done, I trimmed the feather and notched it. They are easy, but a little time consuming, so I probably won't make as many as I had originally planned.

Then, I made this little letter booklet for one of my pen pals.  I had made some envelopes from vellum Elizabeth gave me, and since it is see-through, I didn't want my handwriting to show through the envelope.  I had also cut up some scrapbook paper to fit inside the envie, and trimmed the edges with my deckle blade so they had the same amount of edge showing. Then I added washi tape to dress it all up.

Here you can see the inside, and where I added a couple of my feathers. :)

Another project I did this week was this altered file folder.  I used some of my gelli prints to decorate it up, then went through my piles of stuff to find embellishments.  Finally, I stitched it up, and mailed it naked (without an envelope).
You can see it has a variety of things on it; junk mail, punched stars, tiny puzzle pieces, some lace, twill ribbon and (of course) washi tape!

Next, I did a quick page in my art journal using some mail from Heifer, Intl., and Baker Seeds. I was happy with the page, even though it looks rather quiet for my usual style! It certainly suited my mood that day.

Yesterday I spent a few happy hours with my gelliplate and an assortment of paper products.  Here are some file folders I monoprinted directly onto.  I have already begun embellishing them, but am not in any hurry as they are not for any particular project, just to have on hand in case I decide I want to send one to someone. I cut each of the folders down, so there are two parts of two folders, and another piece that was cut off the folder above.

Then I also printed on a bunch of recycled chipboard and coverstock from some old spiral notebooks I cannibalized to use for stationary.  The only piece I threw away was the metal spiral from the notebooks!

Here the postcards (all 5"X7") are already embellished partway, using an assortment of things I have had for ages, or else they were sent to me from various people in swaps.  It felt GOOD to get rid of some of the stuff I had been hoarding! :)

And last, but certainly not least I printed onto some A2 envelopes to use for NLWM.  I was in a swap for mail art using gelliprints made with cheesecloth, so that is what made the cool designs on the top few envelopes.  I could have made a hundred of these, they were so fun!!  I think I ended up with 13 altogether.

Today is cold and rainy here, so we are doing indoor projects, but hopefully we will get to work outside tomorrow.  I am sure ready for spring to settle in here in earnest! We have a LOT of seedlings coming up in our aquaponics beds, and the peas are tall enough that we have had to raise the lights already.  The seedlings on the starter rack are also going great guns. It is so fun to watch them grow, and I love that everyone who goes into that room sings, hums, or talks to the plants.  :)  What a fun family project this is turning out to be!

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