I was enjoying my retirement from mail art. I truly was. Sure, I planned to send things to friends/family that never received the mail I'd sent them--and also considered some mail art projects. The day after I mailed off my last batch o' envelopes, I flew to California for a couple of relaxing mail art-free weeks. I did hear from one of my former co-workers, Kindra, that she had received her envelope. She had thoughtfully included a photo of herself with it.
But then, when my trip was over and I came home, in my pile o' mail I found...MORE mail art! ARGH! It was bad enough that I'd had ANOTHER friend request on IUOMA (Despite my address area on my profile saying I was retired and my mail box was closed.
IUOMA member lamented that he wishes we could have exchanged mail. And even another former co-worker complimented me on my mail art. I am growing weaker by the day. My arms hurt all of the time now (even when I sleep). But there grows
my list again. Dang it all!
But of the mail art I had received in the mail, one piece was from Ficus Strangulensis, one of my faves on IUOMA. I had sent Ficus one of my lame homemade postcards (just an old movie ad printed out and glued on cardstock--no artistic ability needed) just to say hello. I emphasized that it was NOT mail art. But he decided that, regardless of what I said, it was mail art and he was replying in turn. GROAN!
Then I heard from Ken Miller, someone who had visited my blog posts, left comments, and I then sent something to. How very kind of him to share his work with me, but... UGH!
I had also sent my nephew a piece of mail art that had apparently gone missing. He lives on another street in a completely different house than me, although he still lives in my town. When I came back and got my held mail, the mystery of his missing mail art was solved. The post office held it for me--despite my nephew's name/address being clearly labeled on the envelope (and my return address being nowhere to be found on it). I think the post office just saw the envelope, assumed it was either for me or that I had sent it, and threw it in the box with my other mail. RUDE!
Two days after I got back, my mail artisit friend Amy and her boyfriend Chris came to visit for the weekend. I think/hope they had a great time. I was so very tired after they left. (As I write this, I am still not quite recovered. Really. This disease o' mine just keeps getting worse and worse. I am utterly exhausted.) But I am super glad they came and I had a swell time.
But all too soon, it was b-a-c-k to the mail art chores. Blah! This first one is nothing special, and, in all honesty, kind of rushed. It's for my new IUOMA friend-requested friend, Mirina. It's derivitive of the other haunted house envelopes I've been doing lately, but it's still kind of fun. I hope she likes it. (D)
Luis Filipe Gomes is an IUOMA member--but I've had minimal interaction with him. Some of the folks on IUOMA have raved about him, saying I should exchange mail art with him. Well, ya know... I am RETIRED from it--or trying to be. He is involved in the mail art project Maxima Strange is doing and he is the one who expressed "I'm sorry we didn't exchange mail art." So... I'm sending him a little something; one and done. This one I kinda like a lot. It's a throw back to old (and very pedestrian compared to today's films) low-budget horror flicks from the '40s and '50s. At the time I thought this up, I also thought up the sequel/follow-up envelope (which is the next one below). Of the two, I like this one better. (But those pesky stamps... UGH!) (D)
What can follow TERROR IN THE ATTIC? Why, HORROR IN THE BASEMENT, naturally. With an almost identical layout and similar verbiage--just different photos, it was easy to make this "sequel" quickly. The funny thing is, neither Luis nor Ficus will realize there was a "sequel" to their envelopes--unless they happen to see my blog post. In both of them, though...you have no idea what the TERROR or HORROR can be. Is it ghosts? Serial killers? Raw sewage from a broken pipe? Maybe someone found Grandma who went missing twenty years back? In this one, though, if you look at the bottom of the stairs at the foot of the basement, there is something that looks like it could be a part of a body. EEEK! (?)
The day I finished the TERROR/HORROR combo, I had messages from two people I'd sent things to. Although I was not wild with how SLUMBER PARTY EXORCISM came out (I'd forgotten to put a background on it), Carlos was ecstatic about it. He sent a picture of it in a frame, saying he still needed to center it and add a backing, but he was on it. That someone could be so excited about one of my silly envelopes is so nice. Thank you, Carlos.
Like Kindra did when she received her envelope, Felicia sent me a photo when she (FINALLY!) received hers WEEKS (a month?) after it was sent. She said she also plans to frame hers. Mind boggling. Ha!
I have no dealings with Jan Hodgman before. But someone posted about receiving mail from "Jan in Anacortes" on IUOMA and I was like, what? Anacortes is on the next island (Fidalgo) up from me, the only way to drive off of my island. (There is a bridge between our islands, Deception Pass, and another off of Fidalgo to the mainland.) I mail a lot of stuff from Anacortes. I had planned to send her something after I got caught up again, but something has come up (maybe) that I might need her assistance with, if she is amenable and able to do so. I have sent a letter to the local library (which is just a few doors away from me) to see if they would be interested in hosting a mail art show. I said I would do workshops beforehand as mail art is something anyone can participate in, from 2 to 102! There really are no limits--except for the imagination and postal regulations (and you know how I feel about those...). Because of my disease continually making me weaker, I pitched the show for Halloween -- the sooner, the better. I do mostly spooky stuff, so that would make it fun for me. Amy (my mail artist friend in Seattle) has agreed to help. But with Jan so close, even though I do not know her, I thought I'd approach her about it. Whether or not she does assist us in this (which may be a "go" based on what a man told me yesterday at the library), I do hope she likes the envelope. (D)
FRIGHT FARM...yes, this had a good idea but came out kinda lame. I was out of color ink, so...it's full blown, old school black & white, baby. (The one previously was, too...except, I'd had those blue-ish ghosts on hand already.) Of course, it is totally riffing off of the one above...and all of the other haunted house envelopes I've been doing lately. Whatever. I sure do appreciate all of the vintage scared people I came across. They are golden and totally make the envelopes campy fun.(?)
There are several more previously sent pieces o' mail art that I have no idea if they were received or not. So, more "postcards" were prepared to send to the people I sent the original envelopes to.
I was rather annoyed when I received another "friend request" on IUOMA--especially when my profile clearly says I'm RETIRED. But... it was from someone calling themself the Museum of Mail Art in the Ukraine (Ukraine? Really? REALLY!) and I chalked up their faux pas of a friend request to a possible language barrier. This one is a return to color--but color printed at the library. UGH! I will NEVER buy a product from HP again. Hewlitt Packard had held my then-new printer hostage a while back. It wanted me to subscribe to an ink service they had...that was way too expensive and annoying. I got rid of it, but then it said I was still using their cartridges. I wasn't. Then I bought all new ones. They were knock-offs for a lesser price. of course, HP will not let me use my printer with those. I have been fightingmy damned printer for days. SCREW HP. I found out the library offers $7 of free printing a week. It's 10 cents for black & white or 50 cents for color. The printer at the library presents a bunch of other new challenges--and the paper/ink are different than I am used to. But it's got me going again.(D)
I am late in sending this. (I got busy with all of the other mail I "owed.") Late or not, I wanted to send something to Amy (and Chris) to thank them for coming to the island and making it a wonderful weekend for all of us. Erich, who is visiting again, and I have been invited to Amy's place in early October to go to an event at this cool-sounding club she lives near. And she's not too far from my new favorite tiki bar, INSIDE PASSAGE as well. I realize my spook house envelopes are getting a little tired, but I hope she likes this one okay (if it arrives). I also hope it turns out that we can go-go in October. Cheers, Amy & Chris! (D)
A few weeks back, I participated in a project started by Maxima Strange. That project called for 13 artists to make 13 of the same (or very similar) cards with a goth/gothic theme and submit them. My submission for that looked very much like Kindra's envelope at the top of the page. For Maxima's next project, she is asking for 31 artists to make 31 of the same (or very similar) cards with the theme of Samhain. Samhain (pronounced "saw"-"win" actually) is a Celtic festival and is basically where the origins of Halloween came from. Celts held celebrations to mark the end of harvest and the beginning of winter...and dealt with God's and the spirits of the dead. While I'm not as well versed on it as I could be, there may have been animal sacrifices--I'm not entirely sure. People being sacrificed (with a Stonehenge-y background) is more of a Hollywood construct. The Druids who built Stonehenge had their own weird rituals, but not necessarily for Samhain.
This card (which looks very washed out here) and the 30 others to go with it was a royal pain to make. I printed the backgrounds and the figures. The backgrounds I painstakingly measured and cut to size by hand...and then cut down again for the black border. The figures I also printed and cut out (that was awful). Somehow I got figures that were way too small. Most of the others were too big and had to be cut down a bit to fit on the card. This card shows one of the very few "just right"-sized cards. It wasn't working for me, so I added the "Happy Samhain" and the silly verbiage at the bottom. I still don't like it and, if I can get my printer issues resolved, I intend to do a second set of cards for her project, but one that is more "my style". (?)
To send them to Maxima, I needed an envelope. I just wanted to be done, so I slapped on a background I'd printed a long while back and never used. Then I had a couple of large scans from some previous envelopes I had made. They were trash to me, but I did cut some previously used figures out to slap on the envelope to make it somewhat interesting. It's no winner. It's just a container to send the cards. Nothing more. Nothing is sticking off (I can't do that. I'm mailing it locally!), but the bottom figure is in the margine--off of the background. That works.(?)
One of my former bosses had complimented me on my envelopes, so her turn to get one came up. Nothing new here...just the same, old spooky house formula. (D)
Dave Neabore is a musician. I first encountered him on Instagram. I had no idea who he was, but he made some nice comments on my movie poster collection and followed me. I followed him back, thinking he was a fellow horror movie fan. He has some cool stuff in his massive collection as well. It turns out that he is the lead singer of a punk rock band that has been going strong for decades and is huge in Europe called Dog Eat Dog. I had never heard of them and, truth be told, they are not to my taste now that I've had a chance to give them a sampling. But Dave still knocks me out musically. I am so proud of him (and I don't really know him). On the side, he is composing music for horror movies. It started off with him doing background music for a line of horror comic books. Brilliant. Then he composed a CD full of different musical tracks to different faux '80s horror movies (with clear inspirations of other horror genre composers evident throughout) as if they were real films. That album was called RETRO INFERNO. I was so excited for this accomplishment for him, that Dave was kind enough to send me an autographed copy of the CD. What a great guy. And now he is composing for films for real. Bravo, Dave! It had been months since he sent me the CD. I am sure I sent him a thank you card (or maybe it was a Christmas card?) and then promptly lost his address. (Typical action on my part. UGH!) When I came across his address again, I decided he needed an envelope. Instead of the old school haunted house ones (which, actually I should have done), I decided to go with something more hardcore horror and grisly...CANNIBAL COUNTY USA. Yea...it wasn't that successful. Oh well. There isn't even anything coming off of the envelope in this one. Gasp! That's a shocker. However, despite the lack any pop-offs, this envelope is the very first to feature something...there is a picture of the recipient in the lower center part of the envelope right next to where the address is, where it says "Starring Dave Neabore". Will he live or will he be eaten...or will he be that rare "final boy" who survives the film? Whatever, I just hope he likes the envelope...especially since I am disappointed with it. Oh well... (D)
After the completion of Dave's envelope, I was at a standstill. What do I do next? Should I start mail art for those who never received the pieces I mailed them? Or maybe make some for the people who got lame pieces? There's also a whole faction of people who never said a peep about them but I think would like one. Or those friends who have already gotten some mail art from me, but I just think would enjoy receiving more.
But the answer came in the mail earlier today. Among the bills and advertising flyers, I spied this Dia de los Muertos stamp sticking out from the pile. I knew instantly what it was. It was the completed first project of the amazing Maxima Strange's Goth Emporium, the first project I ever participated in. Zowie!
Inside was an oversized art card by Luis Fiulipe Gomes from Portugal, and a small packet containing 4x6 cards.
Wow---what a fun assemblage of varying talent.
And, for better or worse, there was my addition to the project mixed in with everyone else's . I was even inexplicably credited as an "artist". How fun.
Even though I have already made out and sent my 31 cards for Maxima's Samhain-themed project, seeing this first Goth set of 13 refocused my intention to do a second, "more my speed" contribution to the Samhain project. And I need to get hopping. Deadlines are set up for a reason. I gotta get on it. Let's see what I come up with...
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I like the duct taping the mailbox idea...but, I fear any bills on the porch would just blown off...and then I'd be in real trouble. But, instead, I am trying to take it slower. (TRYING.)
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