Monday, January 30, 2012

Mail Art: Seeds for my Grandmother

I took on a bit of an endeavor this weekend.  On Saturday I stopped into this great little feed and seed in Kirkwood, Missouri named OK Hatchery.  WOW!  This place was amazing and I wish I had taken some photos.  I might have to drop in this coming weekend to do just that.

When I walked in I was transported back to Ellabell, Georgia, my hometown.  When I was young, my Grandfather, who passed in 1997, would take me to our small feed and seed/hardware store in town.  OK Hatchery reminded me so much of those trips with my Grandfather.  The smell, the lighting, the dirt all over the floors, but still somehow clean...weird I know.  There were large tin cans full of feed for chickens and other animals.  Gardening tools hung on the walls and there were new and used gardening gloves in large barrels.  I loved this place.  They even had right at the front door a small piece of paper advertising 12 issues of Playboy from 1964!  This place was genuine!

I drive by this place every Saturday morning and was always wondering what was inside.  I wasn't sure it it was touristy or just what it implied.  I was pleasantly surprised.  So, going in I thought I may discover some postcards...something like that, but instead I found seeds.  Seeds galore!  Seeds for flowers, vegetables, herbs, bushes.  It was beautiful and I immediately thought of my Grandmother. 

Grandmother is getting up there and she doesn't do a lot of gardening anymore, although we used to have a large garden complete with potatoes, cucumbers, tomatoes and pretty much anything else you could grow.  She had an amazing green thumb.

I found seeds that she could plant in hanging planters so that she could put them on the porch, and more importantly, tend to them while sitting down on the porch and out of the sun.

All of the flowers are vining or hanging flowers so they are perfect for the hanging pots.  I also bought some sage and rosemary to plant as well.

This hatchery also had, to my surprise, a beautiful collection of cards.  I bought a couple and one is going to my dear Grandmother with some loving words written inside.

That card is just so pretty.  I love it!

Of course doing this inspired me to make some really pretty artwork on the envelope.  It took me two days to complete and I think it turned out pretty well.

The bottom three flowers were inspired from two of the seed packages and the top...well, they are kind of like Daisy's.  It's not perfect.  I had lots of hiccups with the paper and the lines underneath.  However, I am in love with the way that it turned out.

For the address label, I simply took some brown construction paper, cut waves on the edges and then burned them.  I cut the waves first because it helps to construct a shape to the paper.  If you don't, the paper  just doesn't turn out well.  It kind of burns in a straight line.

So that was my little love package for my Grandmother.  I hope she likes it!!

I also sent out a letter to Tasha in Oklahoma.  This is a new correspondence and I'm very excited to be exchanging letters with her.

I've been toying with the idea of creating some stationary so I thought I would give it a go with her letter.  So here are my "real" attempts at making some pretty imagery on paper.

 This was actually made from a stamp that my daughter has.  I concentrated it in the corner and faded it outward.  Then I took fine pen and made "sketchy" outlines on the flowers and the centers.

 For this one, I drew a trio of daisies in a field of grass.  Very simple but cute.

I really like this one.  Two trees, two hills, one boy and one kite.  I think it's pretty.

I really like this one too.  Modern, has a stamped effect going on.  I'm a sucker for typography.

Another flower.  I think I have a thing with flowers.

I really enjoyed drawing these.  Let me know what you think.  I've been wanting to open an Etsy store for my bows, maybe I could add some stationary in there too....

Until next time...

Friday, January 27, 2012

A 2-year-old's first mail art!!!

My daughter Grace loves to color, play with stickers and pretty much do anything her mommy loves to do...what two year old doesn't, right?  Well, Grace drew a picture for her Memere (her Grandmother) and said, in such a cute and matter of fact way, "now it needs a stamp!"

I started laughing and figured there was no reason she couldn't decorate her own envelope for her Memere.  I also realized that she's really been watching this whole envelope making business.

So below is Grace's first attempt at mail art.  And I, as her mother, think it is absolutely perfect!



This is such a great way to accomplish a few things with your kiddos:

-  It gets them thinking of Grandma, Grandpa or anyone who needs a special surprise from the little ones.
-  They are doing a really fun art activity - maybe giving you a few minutes of uninterrupted cleaning, laundry...or just a minute to sit!
-  If you are working with stickers, this builds dexterity in those little hands.
-  Gives you a chance to talk about mail and, on the most basic of terms, what it means to send someone you love a letter or picture.

I'm writing this as Grace naps so I plan on taking her to the mail box with me so she can put it in for herself.  I know she will get a kick out of that.  I have a feeling this is really going to be the start of something for my little peanut and I.

I also happened to make one of my own over the past three days for a woman in Spain.  Hope she likes it.  The front is adorned with some cute stickers and the back...well...I had a great idea, I just didn't know it was going to take me close to thirty minutes to do it.  It probably could have taken less time, but I'm a perfectionist.  But first, the front...

So for the back I cut out this little image of a little girl dressed as a fairy princess with an exacto knife...I guess that's what she is.  But it was cute and it was kind of going with my whole bubble gum and pink thing.

The image is from an old card.  I save every card that has been given to me.  They are great ways to get really cute images...for free.  There are of course many cards that I would never, ever touch with anything sharp or sticky and those stay in a safe place.  But I love taking the images and putting them on my own cards or scrapbooks.

Another really great idea, especially if you scrapbook, is to cut the card in half (you can also frame them...I've got one card that I plan on doing this too with a shadow box).  This way you can showcase not only the beautiful front, but also the loving message inside, especially if it is hand written.  Also, even if you use the card for it's graphics, you can always keep the message.  Just cut them out nice and neat and keep them in a box.  It's nice to go back and read them and think about loved ones.

Until next time...


Thursday, January 26, 2012

Shanna...with a "h"

Hello!  I wanted to share a new envelope that I made for a young lady down in Louisiana.  And guess what, her name is Shanna too....just with an h on the end.

She has a cute blog dedicated to her love of letters and all things papery called "Write Before Your Eyes."  I just love the name of her blog and she has recently found a few great bargains on's quite the loot.

For this card I simply made the envelope and took some scraps of other cardstock to add interest.  I used modge podge to glue the pieces down.  It dries clear and it is completely stable so I don't have to worry about it falling apart on its way to Louisiana.

Shannah is also sponsoring a giveaway featuring her very own artwork on a set of note cards.  I love anything handmade so I'm definitely entering.

Until next time....


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

mAiL aRt

HELLO!!!!  I haven't posted in a while and I have a few excuses as to why...

1.  I got a brand new camera, which got fried!  I plugged in the USB cord into the computer, as usual, but nothing was happening...and I was smelling smoke!  I pulled out the end attached to the camera and the cord's end was bright red!  I don't know if I ruined the port because we ordered another cord and even though the description said it would didn't.  Well, procrastination has just taken charge of this situation and I continue to take photographs...but don't have a way to download them.  Silly right?

2.  I have a 5 MONTH OLD!!!  And she doesn't sleep!  I thought I was the luckiest woman in the world when Claire was sleeping 9-10 hours every night at 6 weeks.  Well, now she just wakes up every hour and I'm exhausted.

3.  Because of the aforementioned excuses, I just haven't wanted to really make anything.

However, I guess my creative juices are still flowing because I started writing my niece and nephew letters and in doing that I started drawing, coloring, etc.

So, in my limited spare time, I started writing letters to others, made my own envelopes and decorated them.  There are a ton of blogs dedicated to this.  A couple of my favorites are Papered Thoughts, Penpal of the Week and Missive Maven.  

Here are a few of my attempts at Mail Art...oh and all of these envelopes were hand made.

I hand stitched the envelope and even though it is white on the outside,
when you open the envelope it is filled with color!

I used a charcoal pencil and shadowed all the creases.
I think it makes for an interesting look.

These are made from basic paper but it is so easy to color
with colored pencils.  I like to draw the address frames.

I'm in love with this envelope.  The print on the inside is
 a beautiful brown and cream  pattern.  I cut out a
butterfly from the scrap paper and glued it to the top of the
address label made from another piece of scrap paper.

I also got to send out my friend, Jennifer's, baby blanket and burp cloth set I made for her newest little addition, Ben.  He's a cutie pie and I'll have the "making of" photos as soon as I can get them off of my camera!

By the way, I hand embroidered that square.  So proud of myself!!!!

My niece, Jazzlynn, responded to one of my letters a week ago and she was using some of my mother's stationary, so I thought I would whip up some stationary for her featuring some inked drawings by me.

This is so much fun.  It has given me a creative outlet without having to drag out SO MUCH STUFF!  I love to sew and I can't wait to have my very own sewing/crafting/drawing/art studio where I can keep the machine and whatever current project I am working on out in the open...with a door....that I can close....and no little fingers can get them!

I'm going to try to post more...and as soon as I can get the pictures off the camera, there will be quite a few posts to make.

Until then....

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