Thursday, August 25, 2016

Ode to your favorite color - Mail by November 14th

Here's a wonderfully open-ended postcard swap from Beau.
Create postcards devoted to your favorite color.  You can create in any style, using any supplies and any technique.
Keep the card mostly mono-chromatic in chosen hue.
You can have some black or white, or a splash of accent color, but your work should be dominantly shades of a single color.

Office Supply Art - mail by November 7th

Flex your creative muscles in a swap that’s more about process, then product. Rustle up some ordinary office supplies, and see how zanily you can use them in mail art.

For example, this starts with an index card, then uses various pens and markers, an empty Scotch tape roll and stamp pad, and a paper punch. Plus, an envelope (face), a UPC code from a wrapper on a ream of printer paper (mustache), shreds from a paper shredder (glued down with a glue stick to make the fringey, 3-d hair), and the end piece of cash register tape roll (for the hairband).

The theme is open, as are the exact supplies. If someone might use them in generic, office-type work, then they are fair game. Wander through an office supply aisle in a nearby store (you’ll get lots of ideas), but avoid items that are more craft- or school-related. 

International postage

Hi everyone!
The hosts and I get occasional emails from artists outside of the US who would like to participate in the swaps.  When I was doing all the hosting, I asked international swappers to send me postage money (in US dollars) via paypal, but now that we're guest hosting we don't have any standard protocol.  I've been leaving it up to the hosts on how they want to handle it.  Some hosts don't have paypal, and most international swappers don't have US stamps or dollars on hand to stick in the mail to the host.  I know a few generous hosts have just absorbed the cost of international postage on occasion, but at over $1 per postcard, that could add up fast.

So here are a few thoughts:
  • If you live outside of the US, contact your host directly to see if they are willing to coordinate an international swap.  Each swap description includes the host's email address
  • If you are a host and have questions about how paypal works, feel free to email me.
  • If an artist sends 4 postcards from outside of the US, the host may have to send the 4 new postcards back to you in an envelope, which would only need one global stamp, rather than sending each card individually with its own stamp.
  • If you live in the US and are feeling generous, you could toss an extra stamp in your envelope as a thank you gift to your host every once in a while and your host could use that to cover not only international postage, but the occasional postage error made by another swapper.
Finally, Joanne has asked me to update her swap descriptions, asking artists to include loose stamps in the envelope rather than attaching stamps to the postcards as we usually request.  This will give her more flexibility with using the postage. I added a paragraph to each of her swaps noting this.

If any other hosts want me to add info about their personal international swapping preferences, just send me an email and I can edit your swap description.

It's fun to send and receive mail from all over the world.
If any of you readers have any great suggestions for how our hosts can do this,  leave a comment!

Distressed Art Post Cards - mail by October 17th

Have you ever gotten to a point with a piece of art where you know it needs more, but you're afraid of ruining it?  Here's a swap theme from Joanne that helps us tackle that fear!   You're going to start making a post card, then take away or cover up part of it (no matter how much you like it!), then continue working on it to make it a more interesting piece.  Joanne describes the concept as two steps forward, one step back.  

For example:
  •  someone could start with asemic writing, cover part of that up with White Out, then continue with more writing, and perhaps some collage items.
  • A person doing collage could use sandpaper on a dried layer to scuff back part of the papers, then add some other items on top.
  • Someone doing watercolor could use a craft knife to scrape back or score, to reveal the white paper.
  • An acrylic painter could paint a design, wipe part of it off with a rag, and then develop the design further, perhaps by adding some gesso to further obscure the design.
  • Or, the most basic: create a pencil design, then use an eraser like a drawing tool to make stripes or other designs.
In this case, saying distressed doesn't mean your piece has to look messy, or worn, or grungy.  The idea is to create something, then use careful "un-creating" to leave a hint of the original, but the entire thing distressed somehow, to make a more interesting piece.  The idea is to overcome your fear of undoing something out of fear of ruining your piece. The erasers, rag, craft knives, sandpaper, gesso, White-Out are the point of the swap.

 Please write a message on the back of your card describing your "distressing" process since it may not be obvious when you're done.  Plus it's always fun to learn about new techniques!

Maps and Geography Swap - Due September 19th

Attention map collectors!  For this postcard swap, use a map as the base image, or fragments as an element in the collage.  Use any other materials, but no digital collages.
Maximum 4 postcards please.   

"Tea time" postcards - mail by September 26th

It's Tea Time, everyone!  Gather your teacups and teapot, some cookies, scones, or other goodies, and design a fantasy tea party with some of your friends - human, animal (stuffed or real) - and add whatever other ingredients you can imagine.  This swap will be postcards only, using any medium you like best - rubber stamps, collage, stickers, photographs, paints, inks, crayons, colored pencils or anything else that you enjoy working with.  Let your imaginations run wild with this one!  Sip Formosa Oolong with an orangutan? English Breakfast Tea with your favorite dolly?  Green Tea with the Queen?  The sky's the limit!

Halloween postcards - mail by October 3rd

Though it's hard for me to believe, Halloween is not far off!  Phillip has volunteered to host a postcard swap with a Halloween theme.  Any style, technique or medium is acceptable.  

If you get them in the mail by October 3rd, Phillip will have them back to you by October 31st.


"What's Bugging You" ATC swap - due September 12


Use any medium or technique to create 2.5" x 3.5"
Artists' Trading Cards with an "Insect" theme.  However, let's NOT include butterflies this time, and please leave arachnids out of this.  Legs of eight will have to wait.

Separate glued or painted pieces with waxed paper.  Use an envelope that will hold up to being mailed back with your return pieces, OR enclose a fresh envelope already addressed to yourself.

"If I could go anywhere" post card swap - mail by October 24th

Use any medium or technique to create post cards representing a dream vacation, a retirement wish, a special place in your imagination, or a memory from childhood.  If possible, please write a short message on your card(s) about what it means to you.

Rolodex Art Cards - mail by October 10th

Christie is hosting a Rolodex art card swap.  Here's her description:
Although making Rolodex art cards has been around a long time I had forgotten about them until Pamela Gerard’s recent post on her blog Cappuccino and Art Journal brought them back to my attention. 

Creating a Rolodex art card is like making an elongated ATC. You can find blank Rolodex cards (and  holders) at most thrift shops or on eBay. But you don’t have to - let me know and I will send you some blank Rolodex cards.  Search for Rolodex art images on the Internet or Pinterest and you will see a huge variety of styles to inspire you. I’ve seen some with collage, painting, stamps, stitching, and small envelopes. Stitch two cards together and you have a fun pocket card. The only limit is your imagination. 

Wondering what to do with them once we have swapped if you don’t have a Rolodex file? Some ideas include: placing them on journal pages, making them into flag books, and using as bookmarks or as collage fodder.

Swap details

*Alter a 2 ¼ x 4 inch Rolodex card any way you wish. All styles and media are welcome. You can do either horizontal or vertical orientation. You can cover just one side or both. But, be sure to leave space to include your name and contact information on the back of your artwork (address and/or email and/or blog) so that your partner can thank you or find out more about you.
*If you need blank Rolodex cards, let me know. I will send some out to you right away.
*Make up to 4 cards. You’ll get back the same number you send, plus a bonus card from me.
*Place something in between your cards like parchment or wax paper so they don't stick together in the envelope.
*Please include an email address for me on a sticky note (if you don’t write it on your cards) so that I can let you know your cards arrived or if I have a question about your cards
*Place cards in an envelope with:
 -a mailing label with your name and address on it (I will stick it on the envelope I mail back to you.  In fact I will try to reuse your original envelope in the interest of conservation and recycling!)
-Postage:  send stamps equal to the amount it cost you to mail your envelope to me.
-OR include a self-addressed, stamped envelope



Abstract Plus One - mail by October 31st

Using any medium or technique, create postcards with an abstract background, but you must include one (and only one) image that is realistic on each card.  The image could be collaged, sketched, painted, etc.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Flamingos on Parade

One from Bee:

Three from Christie:

Four from Honi: 


One from Laurie:

Three from Marsha:

Three from Mary:


Four from Rose:

Four from Sarah:

Three like this from Susan:

Three from Wanda:

Saturday, August 13, 2016

constellations - part 1

Four from An:

One from Gail:

Two from Megan:

Two like this from Christie:

Fruit stickers - part 3

One from Arlyn:

One from Colleen:

Four from Ellen:

Three from Gail:

Two from Joyce:

One from Michelle:

Four from Nancy:

Three from Sarah: