Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Mail Art Past and Present

Photo from Ruud Janssen's blog iuoma.blogspot.com/
  I started participating in mail art many years ago. Long before blogs were common place. The main way that you found other mail artists was to go on line to the one or two obscure sites that posted mail art calls, sign up for a call and participate. Once the call was over "documentation" would be sent by mail to all the participants. This documentation was a list of names and addresses of those who participated in the mail art call. This list was like gold... it was the way to build up your address book of mail artists and began to get those lovely colorful pieces of mail in the mailbox. I would pour over the list of mail art calls and find those that I felt like I could meet the requirements for, create the mail art, post it and wait with baited breath for the documentation to come... sometimes that wait would be months since the documentation followed the mail art call and there was a long suspense date. Things have really changed since those days... now all I have to do is "Google" mail art or mail art blogs and there is a long list to choose from.
   Mail art itself has many faces, some many years old and some new kids on the block. There are those "old school" mail artists who send handmade post cards to random strangers with no return address...a gift with no expectation of reciprocation, who post  mail art calls and those who answer them, then there is Fluxus and DaDa, and those like Ruud Jansen of TAM (Traveling Art Mail), and I.U.O.M.A. and Susanna Lakner of Planet Susannia, who have invested untold hours and expended huge amounts of energy to promote the idea of a global mail art community. Most of this kind of mail art was all about the art... there was usually no letter included.
  New to mail art are those who have gone a step further than penpal letter writing to send mail that includes both an artistic or decorated envelope and a letter. Many blogs have sprung up to promote the art of letter writing and to share the beautiful and fun mail they get.
  I have a foot in both worlds, old and new. I am happy for the opportunity to create mail for a call and to send mail to mail artists that I have known for many years only by their art and their mail art moniker. This mail is almost always just mail art, no letter. But I also love letter writing and making friends both here and overseas. Some of these pen friends write and create art, others just write. I am very glad to be able to participate in all things postal, artistic or just to correspond.
  For the next few posts, I am going to talk about some  "Old School" mail art people and projects and tell a little about mail art's history.  So until next time I will see you in the mail!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Incoming Mail

Well, I think I have survived the illness that kept me down for almost a month! I am now back to the business of writing letters and getting caught up on blog posts. So here are some of the things I have received and not posted.
This card with a special cancellation was sent to me by Kimi in California

Post cards and note cards from Ellie VG in the UK, Kimi in Ca., Tom in Mo., and Eunice in Wales

Limner in Texas has been very creative and generous to me with mail. She made sure there was mail in my POB waiting for me upon my return from Costa Rica. Thanks Limner!
Wanda in British Columbia sent me this letter packed with good news and stories!

Monique in Ontario sent me snowy mail to brighten my day.
Pen Thief in Ohio sent a nice, newsy letter and a splash of color.
Linda in Virginia sent me a great letter and some wonderful ephemera. I adore S&H Green Stamps!

Super Hero sent me an invitation to participate in a couple of different mail projects and a really cool post card!
While I was in Costa Rica I received mail from two new pen friends, James in the Philippines and Impeccable=M in California
Ahmet in Turkey sent me one of his lovely and unique Puzzle Letters.
Ahmet also sent me several sheets of my artistamps that he reproduced for his mail art project Puzzleposta. Thank you so much Ahmet they are awesome!! What a generous gift and such a surprise!
Then last but certainly not least, Ahmet sent me this wonderful 2012 calendar featuring one of his many beautiful puzzle letters. 

It never ceases to amaze me how blessed I am to have such generous, interesting and talented pen friends. My life is much richer for all of you! Thanks so much!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Still Sick...

Hi all! I thought there for a moment that I was getting better, but unfortunately I am down for the count again. I spent what time I was awake this week writing letters to those who's letters have been languishing in a stack next to the bed. I promise that all precautions were observed... hands washed, lemon essential oil applied, and no coughing on the paper... but I can't guarantee that you won't receive a letter full of the ramblings of a fevered mind.  If you receive a somewhat odd or uncharacteristic letter, please forgive me... it is the effort that counts... Right? :)

  I hope that this note finds you well and that you are enjoying your weekend! See you in the mail! Elle

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Please Forgive the Delay

I am so sorry that there has been no posting of letters or blog pages... I have been really sick. I am still feeling terrible, but I there might be hope in a day or two of some improvement. I keep looking at my stack of letters to be answered and feel so sad that I don't have the strength or brainpower to write... If you are expecting a letter from me, I haven't forgotten, I will hopefully start feeling like myself again soon and then it is on the top of my list to get my letters written and then to write a post for my blog. I am sending well wishes to you all and hope that this finds you healthy and enjoying good mail days! And now I'm going back to bed....