As I work my way towards the end of my (second) mail art "career," I find myself declining invitations for mail art projects. In the past, I have entered my envelopes in various themed mail art shows, but I don't think I have ever participated in a project. However, one of my favorite mail artists, Maxima Strange, on IUOMA (The International Union of Mail Artists) is doing a project. She wants 12 mail artists (She is the 13th) to make 13 of the same image. We are to only use black and red in the color palette and the theme has to be goth/gothic-related on a space no larger than 4x6. I decided for my ONE go at a project, I'd participate in hers. This is what I came up with:
I cut out and pasted all 13 pieces, then glued them all on posterboard and cut them out. It was a lot of work.
We were to "sign" and number each one on the back. I had trouble with the first couple, but then I found a bottle cap to trace and got it done. I also added an extra tombstone.
I got all 13 wrapped up safely in bubble wrap...but what to send them in? It was just going to be a plain envelope, but that would never do. Needing to get this done quickly, I just slapped this together using gothic elements I had laying around. Because I have to get this to her ASAP, I'll have to mail it locally. (Well, from the next town up, anyway.) That means I can't go beyond the borders of the envelope like I normally would do. BUT...the envelope was so large, my background didn't fit it. I left the plain border of the background on, and you'll notice my elements go off of the background and into the plain border. The coffin actually goes onto the envelope itself. Ha! It's not
the same--but it will have to do... (D)
When I started Maxima's project and came up with the gothic design I used, it was always my plan to expand it out into an envelope/faux movie poster. This was what I came up with. Before I started the envelope, I had considered sending it to Maxima originally...but she has the 13 copies I made for her project and the (hastily assembled) large envelope to send them in. Maxima is maxed out on my mail art at the moment. Although Kindra, a former co-worker, wasn't quite next on the list (but very close to it), I thought she would appreciate it more than some bloody or morbid or creepy alternative that I might churn out when it was her turn. I had a Sharpie incident on the moon after it was ready to go. You can see the moon patch covering it on the top. Oops! (D)
This isn't great...but...well, it's a birthday card. What do you do with a birthday card? No, I am NOT going to start doing birthday cards for everyone. NO WAY! But this card is for my mail art friend Amy, who is actually coming to visit not too long after her birthday. I would be in California for two weeks in mid-August, so I needed to get this done before the trip.
The envelope is pink. I added the balloons, the cake, and the verbiage, of course. The woman with the knife turned out hideously. The woman in the photo was screaming. I cut the top of her face out and tried to put in Amy's face...to the top of her smile, so it looked like she was screaming. It didn't work out so well. Oops. (D)
Another new person from IUOMA that I've encountered (UGH!!!!) required me to send another piece of mail art. I stumbled upon the face with the space for the name/address as I was looking through already cut out pieces for ideas. The name / address space had been previously filled out, but unused as it had not worked with the envelope I was making for the person at the time. Ironically, both the original addressee and the new addressee are both in Germany. After deciding to use the face/address thing, it became the inspiration for the whole theme of the envelope. Ha! That was quite lucky. (?)
I actually made this one a while back--when I was working on my previous seance-themed projects. This one I like--and actually set aside for another former co-worker, Sandy. Like Kindra, I don't think she's a fan of the spookier stuff. This is pretty tame. Her turn for mail came up--and so off this goes. (?)
Just when I thought I was so close to being "done" (As I write this, there are only THREE NAMES LEFT of those friends who have commented positively on my silly envelope efforts and who I plan to mail something to), along comes another piece of mail art from an IUOMA mail artist named Carien van Hest in the Netherlands. While I appreciate her efforts (THANK YOU!!) and the unusual postcard is rather fun and whimsical...NO!!!! I don't want/need any more. Something else added to the list...
This mess is what I came up with in response...and it is AWFUL. I'd had the background (which is mostly covered now) of this weird cave-like thing (entrance where the UFO is) with these colored pod-like things around it. I had the giant, the alien, and the flying saucer cut out already. Okay--it became a (bad) intergalactic butt joke. And I should have had the final tag line read: "Prepare for a close encounter of the probing kind" instead of "strangest kind". You know how they always talk about alien butt probes on X-FILES or other alien abduction movies/TV shows... Fail. Sorry, Carien. (At least it is colorful...) (D)
After the disaster that was/is INSIDE URANUS, I went back to my tried-and-true spooky house template (yet again...). I really like the results of GHOST NIGHT! The groovy background really make the black & white images pop. It really does look like an ad for a low-budget, crappy 1950s horror flick. (Well, I think so anyway...) (D)
I just realized something. This envelope, the one before it, and the one after it, are all heading to author friends of mine. I had actually already sent envelopes off to two other author friends, Christa Polkinhorn and RW Clinger, a while back. But how curious that I have this accidental little "writer's block" (pun intended) here near the end. I am actually reading a book by Michael Ostrowski, recipient of GHOST NIGHT! above, at the moment. Thom Racina is the author of several thrillers, has ghost authored numerous biographies for scandalous personalities, and was the head writer for TV's GENERAL HOSPITAL (Remeber the whole Luke & Laura storyline that everyone was talking about in the 80s? That was him.) for a good while. Neither are horror guys, but they seem to enjoy what I have been posting. I hope they like these. (D)
Scott Nicholson is also an author--a horror author. I have known him since the pre-Facebook MySpace days and I actually won one of his real teeth! REALLY! Ha! Scott is actually the only friend that I made something for that I do NOT think has ever commented on my mail art--and that's fine. He probably hasn't ever bothered to take a look at them either. BUT, since he is a horror writer, I thought I'd send him one anyway. I mean, what DO you give someone who gifted you with their own tooth? Ha! I hope he digs this. (D)
This one, THE HOUSE OF BAD DREAMS, my 100th since I ventured back into mail art, is for my nephew. He and I don't know each other that well as we've lived in different states most of his life. He has commented positively on my mail art--and has been very anxious to see it--the few times he's been around it here. Not only did I want to send him a piece, but the building for the "House" of the title is an edited version of the Manresa Castle
, which is just a short ferry ride away from where I live. I don't know if he's ever seen the castle or not. I had been wanting to visit it for the longest time, but I always seemed to arrive at the wrong time (during Covid, in the morning before the restaurants were open, or when I was with friends who were not interested, etc.) Why mention it here? Because the Manresa is allegedly haunted in real life! The most (?) haunted room is Room 306, supposedly. When I finally got to visit the place last weekend, I booked Room 306 for a night in October. Whoo hoo! We will see if it lives up to its reputation...and my envelope. (D)
I have an appointment off island tomorrow--and I was rushing to get this (and the previous one) DONE beforehand so I could get them mailed. I am leaving for California the next day for two weeks. Finally, I will be able to focus on something other than mail art. (I am woefully behind on my blogs and my reading...) Does this look rushed? The girl with the candles is B-A-C-K! I had a lot left over after Maxima's project, so don't be surprised to see her pop up now and again (and again and again and again...) (D)
And this is it. With that envelope, I have at LAST gotten "caught up." I owe no mail artist any mail. The friends who have commented on my hobby have all been sent something. I am officially "Re-Retired." Does that mean I'll stop making them? No. I do want to make some for people who never received theirs and/or got crappy ones -- maybe. I will still send occasional pieces to some of the IUOMA members -- maybe. But that pressure is off and I can enjoy my trip to California.
Thanks for taking a look. I hope you liked my silly envelopes.
Revisit my Mail Art journey:
Journey to the next part here:
PAM--Bonus surpriase seeing you here, too! I'm glad you like my stuff--especially what I did for Maxima. I have been second guessing myself, wondering if it is what she wanted. Your submission is so artsy. Mine is just my ususal.
CHEERS to you BOTH!
SUE NAN: Yes,I can only imagine having to produce 20+ rubber stamps must be crazy taxing on a person. Jeepers!
I am looking forward to getting caught up on my blogging. Like I said, I have amazing tiki bar adventures and oddball roadside stops I am anxious to share. I hope you like them. Thank you for always reading my postings!!!
It is the last one---at least for a while. Is it the last one ever? That remains to be seen. However, my arms now hurt so incredibly bad all of the time. I have no idea what the cards have in store for me.
I hope you are well and THANK YOU for visiting the page.