Tuesday, January 16, 2018

"YELLOW" Artists' Trading Cards Swap - Postmark by March 5th

It seems that we haven't had an ATC group swap since last June.  By definition, Artists' Trading Cards are 3+1/2" x 2+1/4."  They may be oriented either horizontally or vertically.

Those living where winter is cold, dark and cloudy may be longing for warmer, sunny days.  Yellow can be such a cheery color.

For this Artists' Trading Cards swap, let's use mostly YELLOW as a background color and  in our design elements.  It's okay to add some touches of other colors as accents or contrast.  Texture can add a nice touch, too.  Any techniques or media combinations are allowed.  

THEME: YELLOW
MEDIA:  Any
TECHNIQUE:  Any
SIZE PARAMETERS:  3+1/2" x 2+1/2"
CHECKLIST:
  • MAKE UP 1 - 4 ARTISTS' TRADING CARDS TO SWAP
  • 1 SELF-ADDRESSED ENVELOPE FOR YOUR RETURN ATC(S)
  • 1 NONMACHINABLE STAMP OR TWO FOREVER 1ST CLASS STAMPS
  • WAXED PAPER, PARCHMENT OR CELLOPHANE BETWEEN EACH PIECE
  • YOUR NAME AND CONTACT INFO ON EACH PIECE YOU SEND IN
OOPS- this was an Index  Card A Day.
Wrong shape, wrong size.  But it WAS yellow!
Put your ATC(s) in an envelope and 
get it into the mail no later than March 5th.

SEND TO:
H. Chassin
Post Office Box 142
Freedom, New York State  14065  USA

QUESTIONS?  s.h.greenstamps@juno.com


ATC SWAP DETAILS:
  • You may send in as many as four ATCs for this swap.  (You will get back the same number you send, each from a different artist)
  • Your ATC's, along with a return envelope, should be mailed to your host.  Your host will mail your ATC's to your swap partners.  
  • Include an SASE (envelope) long/large enough to send your new ATC(s) to you.
  • Please insert waxed paper, parchment or cellophane between the cards so they don't get stuck together in the envelope, especially if you use glue, paint or sealant.
  • Write “MMSA - YELLOW" on the back of each card along with your name and contact info.  An email address legibly written makes it easier for your recipient to acknowledge receiving it and to thank you.
  • ATCs made from thick, stiff cardboard or with thick embellishments may require more postage to send through the mail.
Postage
  • INTERNATIONAL SWAPPERS - contact the swap host regarding using PayPal to cover return mailing postage, or make other arrangements.
You can find all the postal specifications (and a handy postage calculator) here:  http://postcalc.usps.gov

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

A New MMSA Volunteer

Joining a new online group can be a daunting endeavor for the hesitant and shy.  (Many of us are introverts, I am guessing.)  One never knows if one will be accepted or not.  Several people have mentioned how much it meant to them when they received mail art at the beginning of their MMSA experience.  I remember being so excited about the possibilities when I first discovered Karen's MMSA blogsite in 2012.

I am happy to announce that Lynn Mc. has offered to contact those who enter their information on the 2018 Informal Exchange Sign-up list.  She will also check the Wanna Trade? page on occasion, and we will do our best to take note of new participants in the group swaps.  

Lynn now has the designation of "Official Welcoming Committee" and will include the MMSA blogsite address in her contact emails or postcards.  It is very generous of her to volunteer her time and efforts in this regard, with hopes of making MMSA even more attractive to those who find us.  

My thanks to Lynn, and also to others who reach out to include those who are either just getting started with mail art or who have wandered in from other sites, looking for a new art experience.  Your efforts to greet or contact new participants are greatly appreciated.  Honi

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Twelve-Steps Art Challenge - Post Card Swap - Postmark by February 12th

Most of our group swap themes are open to interpretation.  This time, I thought I'd put on my teacher hat and dictate what you must do, in a particular order.  There won't be a grade, no pressure here, and I don't have a ruler in my hand :)  This idea came to me last year as I was trying to fall asleep, so you know it must be good!  (???)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I'm asking you to trust me and to
commit to this without reading through the specific 
numbered DIRECTIONS (below) ahead of time.
Take it ONE STEP AT A TIME as I walk you through it.   
I dare you not to look ahead at the 12 specific directions!  
Honor system. 

Gather these materials before you start:  
  • 1 - 4 CARDSTOCK POST CARD BLANKS
  • WHITE PAPER AND BITS OF TEXT, MISC. PAPER OR EXTRA CARDSTOCK
  • SCISSORS (PAPER CUTTER OPTIONAL)
  • WHITE/CRAFT GLUE
  • PAINT AND/OR INK (several colors if desired)
  • INK PEN OR FINE-POINT MARKER
  • A PENCIL WITH A NEW (FLAT) RUBBER ERASER, or, a Q-tip swab sticks (pinkie finger will do in a pinch)
  • OPTIONAL RUBBER STAMP(S) & INK PAD(s)
  • SMALL JAR LID, ROUND OBJECT or STENCIL WITH CIRCLE SHAPES - 1+1/2" - 2+1/2" across (diameter)

If you lack any particular medium/material called for, improvise.  
And- have fun!

THEME:  Twelve-Steps Art
MEDIA:  Mixed
TECHNIQUE:  Paint, ink, rubber stamping, collage
SIZE PARAMETERS:  6" x 4+1/4"

Make 1 - 4 cards (most fun if made simultaneously).  PLEASE follow these instructions as closely as you possibly can.  Read and do Step #1, then move on to Step #2, etc.

OKAY.  

READ STEP #1 BELOW 
then
STOP READING
and 
BEGIN WORKING ON YOUR POSTCARD(S).

HONOR SYSTEM!  
NO PEEKING AHEAD!  
HERE GOES!


DIRECTIONS:

1.)  Apply one color (ink or paint) by brush, sponge, hand, Gelli plate, etc. to cover 1/3 of a white post card blank.  Allow to dry.


2.)  Cover the remaining 2/3 of your card with a different color (see step #1).  Now, you have two colors on your card.  Let it dry.


3.)  Cut THREE LONG, THIN STRIPS of white paper or card stock.  They can be of equal or different widths.  (Make them long enough to cover your card in case you might eventually arrange them PARALLEL to each other, PERPENDICULAR to each other,  OR AT AN ANGLE.)


4.)  Decorate your three strips with paint, ink, marker, or rubber stamps.  They can appear to be THE SAME OR DIFFERENT.


5.)  Arrange these three strips in any way and glue them down over your two-paint background.  Trim off any extra hanging over the edges of your post card.


6.)  Find a pencil with a smooth eraser at the end.  Press the eraser into some  paint smeared on a waterproof surface (like freezer paper or a plastic lid), OR, press eraser into ink or an ink pad.  Make FIVE paint or ink CIRCLES next to two of the three thin paper strips.  Allow to dry.  (This is where Q-tip swabs or pinkie fingers may be substituted.)


(NOTE:  If you have "goofed" in any way so far, be brave and press onward...)


7.)  Trace around a jar lid, round object or stencil ONTO A PIECE OF ANY TYPE OF PAPER (news print, book print, magazine page, cardstock, etc.) to MAKE ONE CIRCLE BETWEEN 1+1/2" AND 2+1/2" ACROSS.  CUT IT OUT.   


8.)  DECORATE this circle AS YOU WISH (paint, ink, stamping, etc.).


9.)  Take your circle and CUT IT IN HALF, then CUT THE HALVES IN HALF.  You should end up with 4 pieces that look like quarter-pizza slices :)


10.)  Arrange these four quarter-circle pieces as you wish on your post card and glue them down.


11.)  Now find a pen or fine-point marker and add some ASCEMIC WRITING to at least one area of your card.   (Ascemic writing is nonsensical scribbling.) 


12.)  Complete your design with optional rubber stamped image(s), then scuff around the edges of each card with an ink pad to give it a finished look.  (Okay to use a sealing medium if desired.)  Let it dry, write on the back, package it up, send it in.

SPECIAL REQUEST:  IF YOU DECIDE TO MAKE MORE THAN JUST ONE CARD, PLEASE MARK YOUR FIRST CARD #1.  I AM CURIOUS TO SEE THE RESULTS OF THE PROCESS WHEN YOU DIDN'T KNOW WHAT WAS COMING NEXT.

Well, what do you think?  Was it fun?

CHECKLIST:
  • ADDRESS LABELS FOR EACH PIECE YOU SEND IN 
  • SUFFICIENT POSTAGE FOR EACH PIECE YOU SEND IN
  • WAXED PAPER, PARCHMENT OR CELLOPHANE BETWEEN EACH PIECE
  • YOUR RETURN ADDRESS ON EACH PIECE YOU SEND IN
*****ANYTHING LARGER THAN POST CARD SIZE LIMITS WILL SOON REQUIRE AT LEAST 50-CENTS LETTER RATE POSTAGE.*****

*****ANYTHING THICKER THAN SEVERAL LAYERS OF INDEX CARD, ANYTHING TOO STIFF TO BEND EASILY, DESIGNS WITH ART EXTENDING OVER THE EDGES, POST CARDS ENCASED IN CELLOPHANE SLEEVES, WILL SOON REQUIRE 71-cents  "NONMACHINABLE" POSTAGE***** 

Put your card(s) in an envelope and get into the mail 
by February 12th

SEND TO:
H. Chassin
Post Office Box 142
Freedom, New York State  14065
U.S.A.

QUESTIONS:  s.h.greenstamps@juno.com

SWAP DETAILS:
  • You may send in as many as four cards.  (You will get back the same number you send, each from a different artist)
  • Your cards will be mailed to your host in an envelope, and your host will mail them "naked" to other swappers.  International swappers may request to have them all mailed together in one envelope.
  • If you're sending more than one, please make sure you insert waxed paper, parchment or cellophane between the cards so they don't get stuck together in the envelope, especially if you use glue, paint or sealant
  • Write “MMSA - 12-Steps" on the back of each card and attach your return address in the UPPER LEFT HAND CORNER in case of postal delivery problems.  An email address legibly written would make it easier for your recipient to thank you.
  • LEAVE THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE POSTCARD BLANK (THE PART WHERE THE ADDRESS "TO" GOES)
  • Include a mailing label with your name and address for each card you create
    (Your host will attach them to the cards she mails back to you)

  •  Please include the proper postage in the envelope or adhere stamps to your postcards (see below for postal guidelines)
  • Postcards made from thicker cardboard (therefore stiff/not easily bendable)  will need non-machinable postage.  Thank you.
Postage and Card Size
  • In order to use the new postcard rate ($.35) your card cannot be bigger than 6"
     x  4+1/4", and it must be thin and flexible.  A card that is larger, thick, lumpy or doesn't bend, will require more postage. 
  • If your card is an unusual shape (square, round) or is flexible but has some lumpy embellishments it will probably cost you the new "nonmachinable" rate of $.71
  • If your card doesn't bend at all, the post office may consider it a package and you should go get it weighed and measured to figure out the proper postage.
INTERNATIONAL SWAPPERS - contact the swap host regarding using PayPal to cover return mailing postage, or make other arrangements.

You can find all the postal specifications (and a handy postage calculator) here:  http://postcalc.usps.gov





Friday, January 5, 2018

Postal Rate Increase - January 21, 2018

Hello Mail Art Swappers, 

  • US postage rates are scheduled to increase as of January 21st of this new year.  
  • Forever First Class stamps you already have will be valued at the new rate, so no extra postage will be needed.
  • Your Forever nonmachinable/Two Ounce stamps or Forever Post Card stamps will still be usable.
  • Stamps purchased on/after January 21st will reflect the increase in price of one penny per stamp.
  • If you plan to use stamps with numerical values printed on them, you will need the equivalent of 50-cents for 1-ounce letters, 35-cents for post cards.  It's still 21-cents more for the extra ounce and/or nonmachinable mailings.
  • Some of us heavy users may consider stocking up on Forever stamps (and Christmas Stamps?) before January 21 when the rate changes go into effect.  They may be purchased online at the USPS site  or over the counter at your favorite Post Office.
Honi