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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Nature- In My Own Yard

Sometimes I need to slow down, open my eyes and pay attention to the little details around me. These pictures were a "stop and smell the roses" moment.  I had seen a moth like this earlier, but didn't have a camera handy.  Here was my second and third chance.

striking brown and white moth
one on the deck

and one in the yard

double orange day lily
and oriental pink lily

Monday, July 27, 2015

Flip-Flopping Through Summer

Since the first guest-hosting experience went well, I volunteered for another one.  I don't know why I chose FLIP FLOPS for a theme, as my experiences with them have been less than positive.  When we were children we wore flip flops to the beach or by the pool.  I remember the toe strap cutting into my flesh and causing blisters.  Several times a flip flop pulled apart, leaving me to walk bare foot on hot pavement or sand.  However, since this rubber footwear is a symbol of summer living, it was an obvious choice for a seasonal swap.   Here are some flipflop-themed post cards I made:

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Silver Muse Swap Completed

WOW, what a delight, a rush of "Eye Candy" to receive, handle, log-in, shuffle and redistribute all of those wonderful SILVER MUSE post cards.  Forty people participated in the swap which included one hundred and thirty-three cards.  What a fitting tribute to a gifted and special woman who shared so much art from her heart with so many of us. I was honored to guest-host this swap.  Thank you all, especially our MMSA blog host.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Guest Hosting A Swap - My Perspective

Several people have asked me if it was "hard" to guest host a swap.  So here's my perspective on it.

First of all, I was very glad to volunteer, as I was eager to see Mail Me Some Art stay as active as possible through the summer months.

Next, I knew that I would have to stay super organized to do a good job of it.  As I was not adept at using Excel spread sheets on my computer, I opted to make my own paper grid charts with columns for DATE RECEIVED, RECEIVED FROM, WHAT WAS RECEIVED,  SENT TO WHOM, WHAT SENT TO THIS ONE, and DATE SENT OUT.  This was just my approach or strategy for logging mail art in and out.

When MMSA swap art arrived, I immediately dated the envelope.  Then I entered the 1 - 4 post cards with a brief description on my chart.  Next I took pictures of each piece, uploading them into my computer to an MMSA swap file I set up.  I renamed each post card including the person's first name and initial, a brief descriptive word or words, and the swap name, then saved it to the MMSA swap file.

for example, Susie D posies SILVER MUSE

I sent separate emails to the MMSA blogsite host for each person's art, attaching the pictures of the 1 - 4 post cards with each email.

The final step was to make paper strips for each person, with their name and the number of pieces they had sent (i.e. 4) so that I knew how many shuffled pieces to send them back.

I gave them 2-3 weeks after the mail-in date (swap close) to take into account the 4th of July weekend and the slower mail delivery, before I shuffled, redistributed and mailed out the mail art pieces.  Handling all that wonderful mail was really fun.

I hope this has been helpful.  Maybe more people will gather courage and jump in to guest swap a themed exchange on MMSA.

Monday, July 6, 2015

HOUSE - Beautiful!

There are so many ideas swirling around in my head, many of which came from viewing YouTube tutorials.  One was to construct houses out of pieces of text which can be painted, colored, etc.  But then I got side-tracked by an Internet search of Colorful Houses.  I was especially delighted with pictures of houses in Greece, Turkey, and a few in the U.S.A.

Here are some post cards I put together this Fourth of July weekend.  Four of these simple collage cards (on scrap book paper enhanced with Washi tape, captions, neon colored pencils, and colored ink designs) might end up in the current"Houses" MMSA group swap:

Collage Play Through The Holiday

I sometimes work in "stages," pulling bits and pieces, magazine clippings, backgrounds from my stash and arranging, then rearranging them on the work table.  They might sit there for a few days. Each time I look at the lay-outs, I might change them or add something else.  These were some post cards that took a while to "hatch."  The Fourth of July weekend was quite productive.

Lunar Real Estate
I'm not sure if this last one will be for an informal swap, or part of the upcoming "Houses" group swap.

Dragonfly Dip-Pen Design

An MMSA pen pal and I challenged each other to a dip-pen (nib) ink design swap.  I procrastinated because I had "organized" some of my art supplies and couldn't for the life of me find my small collection of nibs and fountain pens.  After some extensive searches, I finally found them where I least expected to- right where I had put them, I guess?  Why is it, that one finds the missing object in the last place one looks?

Anyway, I am new to using nibs. My paper was common white card stock.  While experimenting, I found that when I write in one direction (away from me) the resulting line is smooth, but when I draw the pen toward me, it scratches and skips and stutters.  One new thing learned!

First I drew my design, a dragonfly, with a pencil.  Then I went over the outline with the dip-pen. Writing a script message (no calligrapher here), I then used rubber stamp ink to fill in the dragonfly wings. Colors too bright!  I scuffed chalk ink pads on top of the intense colors to tone them down.  I like the way the cross-hatch lines show through the color, almost alluding to transparency.

Adding specks of rubber stamp ink came next, but I really, I mean REALLY over did it.  Oops.  No going back.  (Upon receiving the post card, my pen pal graciously compared ink spatters to ice cream sprinkles, never too many. She's so sweet!)   Then I inked the edges.

Supplies Used