I had a sad return home to the South Cariboo last week, when I visited my out n’ about trout only to find him badly battered... He’s definitely hurt, but somehow still swimming. I don’t know who wanted to harm my sweet, little, water-treading friend, but their malice definitely put a bit of sadness in my heart. Perhaps, one day, I will bring some media and fix him up, but for now I am mourning.So, it was a welcome treat to have two friends send me e-mails this week that had my trout’s brothers swimming far, wide and FREE. Live on with the memory of your sibling my little ones! First to cheer me up was Marcus Jackson (aka @luckyjackpress) of Yellowknife, NT who wrote a charming little note about his trout habitat site selection. ”Hi Jess! I finally put this little guy up on a bright blue post at the museum to help direct the traffic! There is a lot of vandalism in Yellowknife so I wanted to make sure he’d be someplace safe. The dumpster across the parking lot is covered with spray painted ravens so he has company but they can’t eat him!” Rad. May he swim on forever, leading people towards discovery and knowledge at the museum. The second is my robotic friend Ezerd (aka @ezerd) from New York. She found a lovely spot for her fishy friend that allows him to be quite camouflaged. Here’s what she had to say “Hey hey! I got ya trout right he-a… This is a section of uptown kingston known for its graffiti. I like how the trout is subtle. You can’t see it until you get pretty close to it. Sneaky trout. Yeah yeah. Love love.” Fabulous! If you would like to see more photos of trout, swimming in public places all around the world, please visit the original post out n’ about trout which has links to all 25 participating artists fishies (including the original, gorgeous state of my poor little trout).
Last week’s mail art activities were so busy, I have to split my post into two categories (incoming and outgoing). So, without further ado, the envelopes that my friends discovered recently: Mister Johnny Dimas (aka @federales) found an envelope adorned with a puffy axolotl which contained one of the last distributed owl zines along with fun GANGSTER stickers, a hilarious graffiti photo of a one dollar bill (who doesn’t love potty humor), sexy Norwegian ladies on a postcard and some random excuses from a discovered excuse book for kids. My first trade for Sumi Senthi (aka @sumiart) arrived: it was sent in a screenprinted envelope featuring my “true connection” piece. A tasty rhubarb pie recipe, tons of fun stickers, a true or false animal page, a notecard featuring my filigree deer and the raddest 1970′s advert for an A+ lawnmower. I’m finding it easier to create envelopes for bear fanatic Michelle Ashton (aka @zbyshka). Seems that now during my everyday life, if I see any bear items, I collect them, stash them, and later send them away to London town. 3 bear stickers (and a bonus one on the envelope), luke wallers gorgeous crowned polar bear postcard, a picturesque scene from norway (which reminds me a bit of the lake louise image I sent her last time), a panda bear illo from a 70′s mag and a few other fun things! Jessica Mack (aka @brownpaperbunny) deserved an awesome envelope from me this week after interviewing me about snail mail for creative collective! I was so flattered… she dubbed me the ‘queen of mail art’! Awesome… now if only that granted me certain perks, like free postage. Oh well, sometimes the reward is in the glory! Anyway, I sent a stamp and sticker plastered envelope her way. Inside was a little paperback book I had found at the thrift store and couldn’t resist buying for her: “The one and only bunbun” with a little girl holding a rabbit. No idea if the story is crap, but i figured the title and cover were enough to make it worth sending to OZ. Along with it was just a bunch of fun ephmera, stickers, activity sheets and a mini card. Getting another dose of 1970′s snowmobiling victory was Ezerd (aka @ezerd). Along with this absolute beauty she can add to her collection, I also sent robotic stickers, a bunch of note paper for her to use, and some Bieber stickers (awesome whether you love him or hate him). Oh, and how could i forget, the very obscure drawings I found in a second-hand book… something so random, I knew only ezerd could appreciate it as much as me. Ashley Gaia (aka @gaiaprints) finally got an envelope that I’ve been dying for her to discover in the postbox. This has to be one of the prettiest DIY envelopes I have ever made. This gorgeous feather adorned scrapbook paper was the perfect place to start for this bird-loving/bird-rescuing girl. With some nature loving stamps in the corners and sealed with my “postal stamp” washi tape and special delivery sticker, this envelope was complete. Inside I stuffed all sorts of feather themed treats. My favorite of which was a piece of paper that I embossed with a feather pattern. The envelope I sent to Michelle Lasalvia (aka @pirichi) must have been sent by owl courier. It arrived so quickly! Inside a fun little bird drawing singing “pirichi”, a magazine page that demonstrates all the proper ingredients needed for a good evening at home, two cat stickers, some funky labels, stickers of places around the world, a tattered playing card that was hidden in a thrift book I bought, 70′s add ephemera and one of my fancy new business cards. Jill Griffin (aka @jillgriffinart) found a diy made envelope filled with fun goodies! My favorite thing was a flip book that had 20 some characters in there. You chose a head, a body and feet to make your own silly character! Jill did a quick little post of her daughter enjoying it… made my heart melt! Other goodies included were postcards (one of which is by the talented Luke Waller), some 70′s music ephemera, freak out pogs, a tasty donut illustration (taken off a donut box from BJ’s Donuts, the local coffe shop) and some fun patterned stickers. Dana Davis (aka @dzynmkr) was so excited about her first mail art treats from me, and she wrote a lovely blog about it where she expressed interest in making new mail art friends, so hit her up! For her introduction to the glory of mail art, I sent a filigree deer notecard, 3 blank postcards for her to use, fun and colorful stickers, a queen of hearts card, and a 1970′s telescope add (sometimes I have to remind dana that she’s a star). They were all wrapped up in one of my hand-made DIY envelopes sealed with washi tape.After sending me an over-zealous trade, I had to keep the magic going for miss Kye Sangha (aka @kyesangha). Her package had a who? HOO! zine, stickers, a word-search, excuse sheet, a norway postcard, animals, maple leafs, temporary tattoos and ephemera all stuffed inside one of my DIY made envelopes. Marissa Falco (aka @czarcastic) finally was gifted a mail art reply: I sent her another owl adorned envelope after the first guy i sent went missing (a little blog post about the tragedy: R.I.P. the pink owl). Inside – 2 replacement zines, (marissa is a zine aficionado) a man playing a (presumably sad) tune on the fiddle about our first envelope loss, A 1970′s kitchen aid book and some other fun stickers and ephemera. And last, but of course not least, is a purple molecular bear envelope which flew to the UK for Anna Gwenllian (aka @annagwenllian) covered mostly in pretty vintage stamps. Inside, a sexy catalogue man postcard, a mini budget binder, patterned paper, an old library sign out card, stickers and maple leafs. Phewph! We made it!!! Busy postboxes my friends have… keeps me on my toes on the blogging front. Takes a while to put these posts together, but am so happy to share the snail mail love and am proud of the many interactions I have with these fine creatives.
I got mail everyday again this week!!! I am elated by all of these awesome envelopes… It all started off with a lovely decorated envelope sent from Michelle Lasalvia (aka @pirichi) of Vancouver. Inside was a detailed zine from a limited edition of 18 that features Michelle’s delicate drawings of bunch of different birdies. There was also some amazing one of a kind ink/pencil crayon creations: an original drawing of a pink balloon on a card and 9 oval stickers hand drawn just for me!Another gorgeously detailed envelope arrived from the talented Kimi Kobashi (aka @kimikobashi). She had been keeping the envelope for weeks: carrying it with her from home to work and even to bed slowly adding doodles when finding time. Inside were things that she had been tucking away for me like a handmade grass paper, ribbon tied in a gorgeous knot, oragami, earth day treats and several paper goods. Well worth the wait that Kimi keeps needlessly apologizing for! Here’s her little blog tribute to the envelope. My incredible friend Alistair Gow from Scotland (who I met during my BFA while he was in Canada on an exchange program) sent me a lovely reply package this week. We have kept in touch via the internet for a couple years, but before christmas I asked if we could start writing letters instead of e-mails, and he was totally in. This envelope featured a two page hand-written letter informing me of bunch of wonderful news, including his involvement with a non-profit printmaking organization in Glasgow… I loved reading it… felt so much more personal than a typed, intangible entity. Along with the letter was a poster from a local gallery and two of his recent etchings – one of which is a first pull proof of a piece that he’s currently working on! RAD. Kye Sangha (aka @kyesangha) is such a sweetheart. So much so that she decided to send me some of her baked goodies!!! Unfortunately, I live in such a tiny town, and with the US border to cross, and a missing number in the postal code, I’m afraid they took a bit too long to get here. One of the four bags had gone wrong, and started growing some green friends… however the other 3 treat bags look totally edible! My cousin instantly sampled a brownie and gave his nod of approval. Cookies are always good, especially when dunked in milk, and if those muffins are still soft, well you can rest assured that they will be devoured. Maybe I can lure Kye into sending another package to “test” how long a parcel would take if it had all the postal code digits? This idea is so I can further educate myself about the postal system… it has nothing to do with me wanting more tasty baked treats….Valeria Poropat (aka @valeriadraws) blew my mind with a very generous envelope containing puffy owl stickers, a Gaudi-esque bookmark from Barcelona, an incredible vintage map of Rome and a gorgeous hand made journal with an original portrait painting of a sweet kimono-garbed japanese girl. SO CUTE and SO THOUGHTFUL. I guess Valeria’s been thinking of making me a journal since I sent her this one of a kind painted journal a few months ago. The gesture and effort is much appreciated.Ezerd (aka @ezerd) sent a wee reply my way in a lemon colored envelope adorned with spider woman and elktra stamps. HOW COOL. Inside was an ezerd chicken head card, some stripe stickers and a few photocopied images with secret messages. One of which was correct “today’s gunna rock”… I had an awesome day I found that envelope because one of my favorite cousins, Jack Wershler, came to visit and stay with us!!! One of my owl zine trades also arrived yesterday from the sweet Carolyn Matthews who send a digital print of her Mom and owl chicks. Trade owls for owls – makes perfect sense to me!!! She also included a nice note and some fun things she thought I would find interesting or that I could pass along in mail art. The wonder woman ephemera is too good, and will likely find its way to my sister in Calgary who is OBSESSED with the classic tiara wearing heroine. I have been a big fan of the very talented Gabriella Barouch (aka @GabriellaBr) for quite sometime, so when she agreed to do mail art with me I was thrilled! I got even more excited when I realized that this new pen pal was from Israel! Can’t wait to see the stamps on her reply package! I started off the trading and sent her an A/P print of my elk & 6 cardinals on a book page, my owl zine, stickers, a postcard and a true or false farm animal page. I then sealed ‘em all up in one of my hand-made envelopes and adorned it with our addresses and a couple super cute puffy japanese cat stickers from Granville Island. Diane Turner (aka @Deer_oh_Dear) had sent me the most epic first package seen here, so I had to make sure her reply envelope was full of win. I started with a hand-made envelope then stamped on her address and an owl friend in red ink. I filled it right full of treats including stickers, an owl zine, a coca-cola coaster, a 1970′s winnebago add and most importantly one of my 10 layer screenprints of Queen Elizabeth. I think she’s a happy gal, she sure seemed like one when she wrote her blog post about it! Chantal Vincent (aka @Chantal_vincent) got her second dose of mail art from me, also in a hand-made envelope. A mini hand-made note-book for to do lists was accompanied by a sexy 1970′s cigarette add, a filigree deer note, stickers, a who? HOO! zine, postcards and joke pages. View her blog post about it here. Last but of course not least is the dynamic drawing duo Harriet Gray and Luke Waller, after house sitting for several weeks, came home to two envelopes from me. The handmade envelope contained a zine that I traded with Harriet, while the other was an envelope for them both… inside was an everyday art adventure that 23 other friends were sent as well. For more information on this exciting international collaborative project check out out n’ about trouts. Thanks to my pen pals for all the treats and thanks to my readers for enjoying another lengthy, yet always fun-filled mail art post from yours truly.