Friday, November 26, 2010

My Newest Artistamp

Well, I am happy to say that I am finally finished with my newest First Day of Issue! They are addressed, stamped and in the mail! If you are on my mailart mailing list you should be getting it in the mail in a couple of days. If you would like me to mail you a First Day of Issue cover of my newest artistamp, please leave a comment or e-mail me at

Monday, November 15, 2010

A Day Out For My Birthday

  My birthday is in early November. Since my husband is very busy with election business this time of year, my birthday celebration is usually postponed until after "canvas", (when the results are officially reported to the State Board of Election). But this year he made a special effort to block out my official birthday and spend the day with me! That was a wonderful gift all by itself, but he had also made plans to take me out for a day of wandering around small towns with my camera, taking photographs.
  I love small towns. I am drawn to things that show the signs of age, not run down and shabby, but just greying around the edges (kind of like me...).   Coca Cola advertisements painted on the sides brick buildings, the paint peeling and faded from age and elements, intricate terra cotta mouldings from days gone by, narrow little alleys with a wrought iron gates at either end, are like candy to my minds eye. Over the years I have gathered up the essence of many a small town main street and kept them safe from further deterioration, photographically that is... I have a collection of Coca Cola wall paintings, (as well as other wall painted advetisements), from wherever we have traveled, all over the world, as well as from many places in the USA.
  On this particular foray we went to Belmont N.C., a lovely little town that gets it's claim to fame from Belmont Abbey, a private college with a campus that is renouned for its beautiful architecture.
On this trip I decided not to go to the campus, but to the mainstreet area of the old downtown. It was a beautiful day, sunny and warm, with just a bit if nip in the occasional breeze, the skies vivid blue with not a cloud to be seen. This sky would prove to be a perfect backdrop for some of my photographic finds. Since November shadows stretch out long and heavy fairly early in the afternoon, I was worried that I would have difficulty with deep shadows and too much contrast, but as it turned out we were there at the perfect time. Instead of struggling with deep shadows, I had the pleasure of playing with richly saturated color and chiseled edges. What fun! 

  Once home, I had to leave my photos in the camera, waiting until I had a some time to download and file them. Since the guys left yesterday afternoon for a few days of hunting, I was left to myself last night. So, I got the photos downloaded into my computer, filed and I even worked up a couple of post cards to send to family and one for my snail mail friends.

My favorite photo subjects
I know what he's thinking...
I just gotta have one of these...


Just for fun... I would love to add to my collection of photos of soda advertisements painted on building etc, if you have one in your local area, why don't you take a photo of it and send it to me, labeled with your name and the date of the photograph. In return, I will send you one from my collection and post the photos I receive to this blog with a credit. My Snail Mail addy is:
                                                                        Elle Mental
                                                                         POB 535
                                                                       Waxhaw, NC

Until next time I hope to see you in the mail!

A Busy Little Homestead

  The days are shorter, the fall leaf turn in progress and the nip in the air reminds me that I am no longer on my beloved mountain in Costa Rica. Mid October through early November are chaotic at our house. My husband works in the election industry as a consultant (non-political) and we cease seeing him around the house about mid October. His job demands leave little time for him to play his role at home so my son and I take up the slack.

  On our little homestead fall is a busy time, harvesting the last of the garden's produce, preparing the beds for fall planting, smoking peppers and cheese, dehydrating and canning, the kitchen is busy and soon the larders will be full to the brim with goodies to eat all winter. Unfortunately, between my husband being MIA for weeks and the garden/kitchen chores, I have not had time for my personal pursuits. I have a stack of letters waiting to be responded to and an artistamp First Day of Issue to finish, they call to me...
  The guys are out hunting this week so I am here to hold down the fort alone. The garden is mostly planted, the kitchen chores are still in que, but I am at a point where I can take a day or so and turn my attention to "my stuff". Hopefully, I will be mailing out some delinquent letters and finishing up my artistamp project today and tomorrow. One point of work stoppage still seems to be that I can't find a card stock that I like for my FDOI mail out. I guess if I am ever going to get it out I am just going to have to settle on what I can find locally and then work on a better paper source for the future. I am very excited about my little artistamp, I can't wait to see it in final form, stuck to it's First Day of Issue cards and in the mail box to all my snail mail friends. So hopefully very soon, I will see you in the mail!