An amazing amount of my good pals are artists or creatives and so the beauty of these friendships is that business can often be mixed with pleasure. You’ve seen me talk about studio days at Blackstar on several occasions, here and here. But it’s been over a year since I’ve gotten together for an ART NIGHT with my amazing glass blowing pal Leah Duperreault of Glass Duck. We indulged in pizza for dinner, and spent the evening at Bavin’s Glassworks where Leah’s torch, glass and studio are set up. I was just working on some small crafty things, like my button earrings, while Leah was busy stringing together some finished glass jewelry that was getting shipped off to an exhibition. It was a lovely and productive evening.
I’ve been away from my home for almost three weeks, and although I’ve been doing a lot of work, exhibitions & teaching, I still am trying to squeeze in a bit fun so it feels like somewhat of a vacation. There has been more rain than I would like, but when the sunny days do come along, I relish in them. Last week it finally felt like summer to me, and so I wanted to keep the good vibes going: I decided to do a collaborative post about the ‘perfect summer day’ and asked creatives to submit images that represented this notion. The first three images are my contributions to this post, the rest are as listed. I hope this entire collection brings some sunshine into your day. Enjoy your summer… Lake Windermere, BC has been a summer destination of mine for over 15 years. Sitting lakeside still gives me a tingly feeling in my heart. It’s definitely summer when my toes are sinking into rocky sand, lake waves are rippling over my feet and my ankles are littered with mosquito bites. And finally, cold beer next to a gorgeous garden is what a perfect summer day is all about.“The photo I’ve chosen is off San Francisco from Dolores Park. San Francisco is one of my favourite places and the photo is to represent that. But also it reminds me of all the good times, the friends, the new friends I made, the amazing times had, the care free living of that year and all of the memories I have with it.” Charlotte Vallance “Though they have been all too rare here in Ireland, I have spent some beautiful days gathering flowers for pressing. Attached is a sort of montage of summer flowers which I put in my latest blog” Sarah Hutchinson Burke (@thesecondmagpie) “Many festivals are held in summer. Chochin (japanese paper lantern) is one of the decorations for festivals, especially in summer. Many food shops are set outside and people eat food and drink beer!” Juriko Kosaka (@juriko) “It took about 20 tries to get this shot, laying in a dry ditch, having my step son jump over me. Trying to focus and get the shot without using any fancy aspects of the camera (like 6 shots in a row) just finger timing. well anyway this is my 14 year old step son. he is a nice kid, who writes music on his guitar.” Russelle Adams (@heedlessceramic) “It feels like summer to me anytime the sun is shining brightly and there are fluffy white clouds in the bright blue sky.” Jeannine Saylor (@saylor_made) Lisa G Bauer Leland Struebig “Here with my idea of a perfect summer day..I made this photo in early june…and it was as wonderful as it looks…but the water was a bit chilly!” Jill Griffin “A perfect summer day is spinning on the lawns of an old Nashville mansion” Jessica Mack
Although the car I drove out here was stuffed to the max, I somehow forgot to pack my pop-up canopy for farmers markets and for the Tour of the Arts next weekend. I felt like such an idiot, but luckily Johnny got home on the 16th, so he was able to ship it to me. The only TRUE bonus that came out of this situation was the fact that he was able to add 2 weeks worth of mail art in along with it. What a spoiling, let me tell you!!! It started off with three awesome postcards from Kathy Dahl, Marcus Jackson (@luckyjackpress) & Carol Whitley (@imsilverfeather). Adorable wildlife, maps and plenty of cute stickers… honestly, what’s not to love? The backs are all inscribed with thoughtful messages from these three wonderful friends; the perfect appetizer for the mail feast that was to come. The first envelope I dove into was from Jessica Mack (@brownpaperbunny) which seemed to have no bottom. The treats just kept coming and coming. Some of the gems amidst it all: teddy bear patch, original drawing she made for her blog about getting mail art from me, money to do lists, a glow-in-the-dark casette drawing, temporary tattoos, “jess” / initial themed treats, a photo of her mother amongst the books of her second-hand store, silly stationery and more. However one of my favorite pieces was definitely a secret message written on paper that disolved in water! Emily May Hopgood (@EmilyMayHopgood) sent a magnificent font adroned cardboard cover, thanking me for the owl zine (informing me that it was BANGIN’)! The text-laden cardboard housed two epic illustrated cards – one of which features a tourist couple that are just too good to be true while the other was adorned with two texture-laden kitties. The lovely Katie Whittington (@aspetalsfall) finally found time for a reply! She decorated an envelope with maps as mountains and filled it up with tea, moths, a letter, found/collected ephemera, a paper prayer flags, a fabric key, a beetle drawing and the item that stole my heart: a little clipping that reads “I am kind of a big deal on my blog.” Jaime Madallena (@sendmoremail) loved the wee drawing of mushrooms stamps I did for her (she even featured it on her lovely snail mail blog!) In return she sent me one of her sweet typewritten letters on some fantastic air mail stationery, and as always lovingly arranged beauty vintage stamps on the envelope. My favorite: a moose looking upstream. Sumi Senthi (@sumiart) sent me quite the epic first time package stuffed full of fun goodies. I can tell she reads my tweets and my mail art posts – she included a lot of treats that are right up my alley. First a personal hand written letter on a lovely sheer paper. Two postcards, one of which is hers (the rabbit), magazine clipping of knit taxidermy, stamps inside the cutest wee envelope, a pocket mirror (and case) with a birdy on the back plus home-made stickers made with old sheet music and a sticker machine. what? did I hear Sumi say STICKER MACHINE? gotta get me one of those! I sent a replacement envelope for the pink owl that lost its way, and I am happy to report that it made it, because I recently got a reply envelope from Miss Marissa Falco (@czarcastic). She gifted me yet another of her incredible zines ‘Miss Sequential #4″, this edition all about her mail adventures! She has such a great way with stories, and her matching illustrations make the zine truly the best! Along with it, a set of adorable owl stickers, a lovely note and found ephemera. Michelle Ashton (@zbyshka) is always thanking me for sending her plenty of bear items, but I could honestly do the same thing to her. In this shipment: beach bear stickers, paddington bear pins, moon bear rescue sticker and a mini 3-D shirt-wearing bear “hoping for a better life in Canada” says Michelle. Non-bear items included a mini tourist guide to oslo and a postcard about a book called ‘better handwriting’. Mariana Lobao (@minawolf) made me wait months for a reply but it was worth the wait: she blew my mind completely!!! The painted deer envelope was enough to make start creating a fantastic reply, let alone the many things she generously gifted me: several original drawings/mixed media works, the most amazing zine “Sleeping Beasts,” epic 3-D Bear stickers, DIY or DIE zine, an altered photocopied owl page, a hand bound sketchbook and tons of collected ephemera. SUCH A WIN! A sweet reply came from Crystal Plett (@thehouseofheart) with a nice, long and personal letter, a holga photo print, found ephemera and a collection of lovely deer postcards. They were all wrapped up in a handmade envelope from a vintage map – however it was ripped on a few sides and in a safety postal bag, so I am hoping everything that was packaged arrived safely as intended. I recently sent Crystal a cheer me up postcard because she was a little distraught prior to the mail strike, as her mailbox hadn’t been getting much action. So I fixed up a sexy little catalogue man postcard to perk her up. I heard it was happily received. The other lucky gal was Anna Jane Searle (@annajanesearle) who had sent me the most elaborate artwork in the mail: a hand drawn bear diorama assembled in a box covered in vintage maps. I knew I had to try extra hard to impress her, and judging by her blog post, I can tell she’s one happy camper. Packaged in an incredibly adorable envelope covered in animals was a glorious pile of treats! Phewph. We made it! What a victory!!! After a month of snail mail fails with the postal strike and a couple slow weeks at my pox box, it was nice to experience a mail monsoon.