Monday, January 6, 2014

Random Acts of Mail Art Kindness - part 1

Random Act of Mail Art Kindness Month is off to a great start!  Four of you have wasted no time creating and mailing your art.  Thanks for getting your stories to me so quickly!

Amy sent this beautiful postcard to her favorite library:

"I sent this to the local library we use most, although all the librarians in town seem to know us. ;) This is the one that I always put as our pick-up spot for inter-library loans, and we request LOADS of books between me and the kids. So, happy thank-you mail art is heading their way!"


Next is a gorgeous painted envelope from Laurie:

"It will be a bookmark for a friend. Why an envelope? So it can hold a one dollar bill. Why a one dollar bill? We are in a book discussion group, and each time we contribute one dollar towards supplies. This way she can put the dollar into the envelope and have it ready. Sometimes it's easy to forget the dollar, and if we arrive with a $20 bill or a $10 bill it could be difficult to make change.
I will finish the front with the person's name"
Ellen has sent out two postcards:
" I sent as a thank you note to my husband's mother for her Christmas gift
to us.  I usually write letters, but thought maybe a card would brighten her
day. She has had a lot of snow and cold temperatures lately and the
glitter accents might bring some sparkle to her day."

"The second postcard will be left for our
favorite waitress at our favorite restaurant. She is always very nice to
us and makes us feel very special every time we go. Waitressing is hard
work, but she always has a smile and goes out of her way to see that we
are happy. This will be a thank you card."
Here are three that Joanne sent (fronts and backs of each followed by their story):
This first one was sent to her Grandson:
"The leashed “smake” (imaginary animal) and his owner each started from an index card of random squiggles. I collaged these to a watercolor base, with ephemera, and wrote the story on the back, which is loosely based on a real-life happening with my six-year- old grandson" 

"I have a good friend who is a former elementary school teacher, but currently is a parent-volunteer at her childrenʼs school. As such, she helps facilitate art enrichment once a week, which rotates through various art movements each year. Last year was modern art, which she perpetually found “interesting” . . . in an abstract, head- scratching, “Huh?” way.
To have some fun with this, I made this modern mail art piece, which essentially is a clear, zippered bag full of confetti (office cast-offs from our binding machine), along with a large, stiff, neon-layered floating piece that says, simply, “Read me.” However, there is really nothing to read in this, at least in the conventional sense -- besides the “Do NOT open” threat that seals up the zippered side, the address info, and a short blurb on the back describing what mail art is and giving a link to the MMSA site. So, no folded letter that she can extract, unfold, and enjoy. Not even a telegraphic “having a great time, wish you were here” note postcarded on the outside. Nothing much to read except the maddening directive: “Read what?”.
My guess is that sheʼll find it enigmatic, in a “I donʼt get this” way, which, I guess, is what modern art does: disorients us a bit" 


This one was sent to a woman in her church who recently moved to her community.
"Some creative writers write very short, compressed pieces, often called flash fiction, postcard stories, or prose poems. I wrote a nature story of about 250 words, folded it in half, and (using adhesive paper) “wrapped” it around a base of clear laminate cast-off from our office. I drew the tree limb with ink and, for extra stability, added the stylized trunk/leaves to the side. [The blue sheet is to show the transparency effect. I love depth, layers and “peek-a-boo” transparency in mail art.]"


Aren't these wonderful?
I love this project.
Let's keep it going!
Send me a picture of what you sent and a story of why you sent it and I'll keep posting.


  1. Oh, these are fabulous! Amy's, Laurie's, and Ellen's creations are sure to brighten the recipients' day. Even seeing them added warmth to my frosty New England evening. (It's 9 degrees!) I always like to read Joanne's writing, and her mailart is so much fun. I wish I could read the smape story. Happy New Year!

    1. I'd be happy to send it to you either by email or snail mail. I'd just need your contact info.

  2. These are all very imaginative and creative, and the recipients will love them, I have no doubt. In fact, the one to the library has inspired me to send a thank you card to my own library, because of all the reasons listed by Amy, and so, thank YOU, Amy for the little nudge I needed.

    As a basically lifetime, career-waitress, I was especially moved by Ellen's contribution, and I know that that special waitress will be, also. If she smiles when she sees you, Ellen, that means that you are good customers, and most likely you're also good regular tippers. I still have to ask, tho: Did y'all give her an extra Christmas gift tip? Over the month around Christmas, my customers thanked me for my service over the past year with a total of $295 dollars. I was thrilled, believe me!!!


  3. and all. xox

  4. These are all fantastic and so thoughtful.