Saturday, August 13, 2011

Letters from 1876 and a Mail Art Call

  Over the summer I have been busy with many garden and household projects, but I have also been busy with some fun and interesting mail art projects. One of them is a "Ghost Correspondence" project that my friend Country Dirt proposed on his blog The Ghost Correspondence has nothing to do with the paranormal, it is about being the voice for real or fictitional people from a day long past, through writing letters.
  Troy and I are writing letters assuming the role of brother and sister in 1876. The brother is in Colorado, pulling freight from the Arkansas River up to Denver. The Colorado Territory had just been granted statehood and the railway was branching off of the transcontinental railway to make new inroads to fledgling settlements throughout the west.
  The sister lives in post-Civil War North Carolina. The "reconstruction" is continuing, and southerners are adjusting to the changes. The United States was celebrating it's first centennial in 1876. As the country recovered from the ravages of war both economically and physically, many new social issues were surfacing. Minority people groups, like the Native Americans, African Americans and women were struggling to have their plights understood and to gain recognition as citizens with the same rights and priviledges as the the white man. On a larger scale the year ushered in many new life changing inventions and innovations. The world at large was becoming a smaller place due to major advances in travel and communication.
  Within the 1876 historical framework, Troy and I will write letters in the style and vernacular of the day. We will share perspectives and do research to give the letters authenticity. I have just completed my response to his first letter and really enjoyed doing the research and composing the letter. Since he hasn't received it yet, I will not give the details, but once I know he has received it, I will post my letter to this blog.
  This project can be done in many variations, the sky is the limit on story lines and many characters can participate. I think once the garden demands slow down and I am caught up on my correspondence backlog I will put begin a larger project (theme yet to be determined...) and invite you all to play! For now, I will wish you all a good mail day and look forward to seeing you in the mail... circa 2011!

  Oh... I almost forgot! The Mail Art call...
  Since The end of summer is in sight and back to school is at hand, I thought it would be fun to have a mail art call. So here we go:
Mail Art Call
 "What I did this Summer".
Any size post card or envie
Deadline: September 5, 2011 
Design a piece (or pieces) of mail art illustrating your summer fun and send it to me at: 
Elle Mental
POB 535
       Waxhaw, N.C.
  All mail art for this call should be marked with  "Summer Fun" somewhere on the piece so I will know it is for the mail art call. All contributions will be scanned and posted to the blog with credit to the mail artist and then archived on a static page collection on the sidebar. I will send a summer fun mail art piece of my making to each contributor. There will also be documentation sent to all contributors at the end of the call so please, put your mailing address on the mail art piece so I can put it in the documentation.
All rights remain with the artist, but submitting something titled "Summer Fun", will automatically permit me to post images of your artwork to my blog and any other promotions I may do for the mail art call . Each piece will be credited to the artist who sent it so make sure your put your name or moniker on your contribution.
   I am looking forward to seeing your contributions and sharing in your summer fun! 
Please feel free to post this mail art call in its entirety to your blog or mention it on your blog linking to
See you in the mail!




  1. I found this a wonderful and creative idea!

  2. Sent mine off to you this am and also found your blog through the limner . Good to find you .

  3. I am looking forward to seeing all your contributions! Also, welcome phonelady! I am glad you came to visit!

  4. Good evening elle. Your "brother" received a letter today!

  5. Yay! Looks like the Pony Express is working at peak efficiency!