Thursday, February 28, 2013

An Asemic Poem from Marie

Now this is haptic, haptic grafitti, torn to reveal the green detail of a map, on a book that's like a building that tells a story that touches me, makes me want to go there to watch.  But there might be something voyeuristic and that makes me cautious, so I'll stand in the shadow and wait to see what happens.  
Sapois, the first word that I see.  It feels like Italian, but of course it's French.  Sapois, un petit village français, situé dans le département des Vosges et la région de Lorraine. Ses habitants sont appelés les Sapoisiens et les Sapoisiennes. But I think 'sapere,' to know, be aware of, to learn, hear. I can almost hear the sounds on the street where this book lives.  Stunning!

A set of Battisford Brushes for you

For the month of February I have been taking photos of each letter of the alphabet from the natural world and the built environment and making mailart with them.  Yesterday I turned these letters into brushes which I have placed in a google document as a set. You should be able to download and use them.  The above is what they look like at about 150 px in an array of colours.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Practice temporary tatoos

At first I had to check my better-than-usual filing system to find out if I missed Stephanie out of the banana list.  Such a banana envelope, but I don't think I did and apart from the colour there isn't a hint of banana elsewhere. 
Instead Stephanie has sent me MORE BADGES.  And these are even more remarkable! Both are mounted on cards.  One is a teeny tiny vispo collage.  I am proud to say that I can just about read the writing with my bare eyes.  'Practice temporary tattoos,' it exclaims. The other card is more of a statement, ' i wish I could do one thing well,' and across the brave little boy's chest are the words 'strong'. This one is equally beautiful. 
I love stephanie's style, no wonder she has a trash pulitzer! Can't wait to pin them on me, although like everyting Stephanie sends, these are so perfect as they are... that you hate to unpin, unwrap or change their context. My mass mailing hasn't been unwrapped yet.  We'll see.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Grigori needs a wind that isn't cold

Grigori tells me he is going to California and from this photo I get the sense that he is something of a sun worshiper. Oh spring,  oh daffodils!   I wonder where he is going, he might know some of my friends and could say hi for me. He says he needs to feel the sun on his face.  We haven't had much sun here either and it sounds as if the weather in Minneapolis hasn't been any better than the weather in Ringshall. Windy and cold here too.
Grigori seems to think I have heard some lies about him.  The thing is I am way outside the loop and can't always follow the intricacies of complex mail art intrigue, so Grigori has nothing to worry about, I know nothing. I've asked Marie but she's hopping elsewhere.

Mail art from Malaysia

I received this delicate watercolour from Sarah who lives in KL in Malaysia.  I don't think I can find Sarah on IUOMA.  If you know Sarah, please thank her for me. I took the night train to KL when we lived in Singapore and the flower motif is one I recognise from the Far East. Lovely. I will be writing back to her soon.

Sarah challenges herself with scraps from the scrapheap

This is one of what Sarah calls her 'scrapheap challenges'. 
I've just looked and Sarah's last posting at Mailart 365 was 299! She is in the home stretch.
 Gorgeous patterns and a colour study that may make it into one of my paintings.   Thank you Sarah!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Vizma's been fluffing

 Love the gold envelope and all those Australian words.  As far as I can tell, mail art wouldn't be Vizma post without all those signature bits of pink too.  Perhaps the stamp is a hint as to what's inside...
I still don't really know what I'm unwrapping .  I see a belly button, the inside of a tumble dryer but what is inside is nothing like that.

Instead this fluff has legs.  It stands up and can be read. It has a hint of a talisman - perhaps it is to the lost sock god? 'Aust-tra-liam mad just for you. All just fluff. All fluffed up.' Or fluxed up? Whatever, I like it!
Thank you Vizma.  I'm installing it in the laundry area, just in case!

Pirate mailart from Niklas Heed

A spendid envelope arrived from Niklas in Sweden.  His use of collage and pen and ink are enchanting. FRENCH! I see an E stamp... (have you sent him your picture yet?  I need to do that) and the biker stamp.  All just perfect. The postage stamps with their authorative stance, just GREAT. On the back the final piece of Heed humour, ' No content - I drank it all up!' - Thank you, har har.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

I wouldn't be sure... from Cathérine Petré

So much expression in this mailing from Cathérine Petré.  Not only has she created a 'Beckman-esque' character, look at the stamps!  Great to begin a mail art correspondence!

J Block Vispo postcard

Love this great little vispo collage from J. The colour speaks to me and the waves, tentacles, hair fit exquisitely.  The stamps are perfect too.  thank you J. Block.

Moan mermaid mail art call

Do you think Moan really wants pandas?  If you want to send him something send it to:
1234 Sandusky Dr, Iowa City, 52240, USA

Vittore Baroni Via Cesare Viareggio poesia Visiva!

Lots to look at and think about in this first mail art (surprise) from Vittore Baroni!  I sent something, hoping to get a reply, and am delighted that I did.   If you haven't read the chapter in Cheryl Penn's Mail Art Makes the World a Town catalogue you should.  I loved it. and that's what led me to Vittore in the first place.

365 friends

The other day someone asked me why I like to run.  I said I feel like what I think a colt feels like when I am gamboling around the fields... but not every day, somedays I don't want to run and going out and not knowing why you're doing it and not liking the process is bewildering. My dog loves to run with me, so we do it together.

Mailart 365 was comparable to a year long marathon.  I made mailart every day because I said I was going to.  Somedays I loved the have to do it feel, but sometimes I had no ideas and no one I wanted to communicate with.  Luckily I was doing it with a group of other people, that helped it make more sense.  This week I got some very welcome post from old 365ers.
 JJalltheway and I swapped a bunch of postcards.  She began early, if not at the beginning of the 365 group. I began in September 2011.  JJ and I discovered that we had teenagers of a similar age, so when she writes in this postcard of being 'wrapped up in sending my baby to college,' and not sending much mailart, I can relate!  JJ's exciting news, and exciting imagery is thanks to a letterpress.  I am touched that JJ sent me this card - her first project made with it!
Spopod and I discovered in our mutual tea imagery that we both love tea. We also exchanged quite a few postcards over the 365 period,  so am very pleased to have this tribute to tea as a reminder of Spopod and to commemorate our love of leaves.  It makes me thirsty, so I'm off to brew up a pot with earl grey from our suppliers Norwich! Laura thinks we have better tea here on this side of the pond. She's probably right!

Great to hear from you both and thank you!

The sound of a thumbed book (and more)

Patrick has a coat and in the pockets are things from many years of our shared lives, objects with memories and meaning that another might not grasp.  The Lim and Its, Again is like this. 
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The sound of the words 'The Lim and Its, again,' is familiar; and as I jangle them in my mouth I think, this thumbed book must be a classic that we've forgotten.

Marie has translated the words so that there is an echo.  I read things twice and hear a refrain.

The story begins in the middle and is full of action:  'an enormous yawn', 'a flashed smile'.  Peter had 'the answer' and there are 'socks at', and a favourite word,  'soortathing'. And then perhaps it doesn't matter what happens.  It's THE SOUND and the words on the page and the sense that I've been here before and remember faintly from another time.

Marie closes the book with the 'Epigue', of course, circling back to remind me that it is,'a lesson in phy,' 'phy' which inevitably makes me feel inadequate, having responded initially to the sound, the feel and the story, forgetting the science. 
And if that weren't enough, and it really was enough and more, Marie has enclosed other things I've loved from the MinXus Lynxus blog:  I am absolutely delighted to have these treasures in my collection!

And finally the packaging, the envelope, from a distant place Marie's writing and the unfamiliar, yet familiar japanese address and the brush strokes, asemic heaven.

I encourage you all to visit Marie's blog at:

Monday, February 11, 2013

Sobrantes 2012 from Rosa Gravino

Definately Gotij great, beautiful inspiring mailart from Rosa Gravino! A relic of stunning asemic visual poetry. I'm never sure if you open or don't open but I had to see it all, hold it out of the cellophane and I have slipped it back inside again. It is gorgeous and if only I didn't have to spend the next two days with classes of enthusiastic (wonderful) children... if only I could follow up with some experiments that this piece has suggested! THANK YOU! 
PS: Sobrantes means leftovers, I think.

Shocking insights from Vizma

A startling revelation from the woman who wrestles snakes...
Surely NOT, Vizma. 'ALL GIRLS  LOVE PRETTY PINK THINGS.  It's a fact.' ? 

I'll have to ask my mother, but if memory serves me correctly my favourite article of clothing when I was the age where PINK was the be-all-and-end-all was a pair of pull on trousers of an oriental rug persuasion.  They may have been intended for upholstery but my mum (who can transform everything on her sewing machine) made me these hippy flairs that I wore to death.  They weren't pink, rather red and gold, blue and green.  No one had them and I LOVED that.

Figgy, on the other hand, wore a tutu and princess jasmine costumes to Macys and Takashimaya, even on the Singapore MRT.  She loved pink, so this is very familiar.  When I buy paint to take into schools I've learned that pink and glitter get snapped up and depleted by girls (and some boys) almost as fast as they syphon it out of the bottle.  So I understand, even if I can't find any of the pastel pink in my wardrobe and avoid the forever friends aisle at all cost.

But then again I DID have a bubblegum pink bedroom once and the most exquisite BRIGHT pink wool floor length coat that I bought at one of those vintage shops on W4th St in the late 70s. I couldn't get enough of that coat.

This made me laugh and work very hard to defy catagorisation and then give in and finally agree with Vizma!  Great fun. Thank you!