Thursday, July 30, 2009

Making Pictures

“You don't take a photograph, you make it.
A great photograph is a full expression of what one feels about what is being photographed in the deepest sense, and is, thereby, a true expression of what one feels about life.” Ansel Adams

Click to enlarge a lovely winter day in the tropics.

Always enjoyed the photographs of Ansel Adams and his study of nature, was nice to find some of his quotes to share this week with Sky Watch Friday along with a photo of a local beach.

Guess where my contribution to the altered postcard swap is off to...........

Don’t you love receiving happy mail. Mail boxes with nothing but those window faced envelopes are just too sad.

Olivia of JoJo Caramel sent us a lovely collection of postcards from France, complete with chocolate scented stamps.
Thank you Olivia they brightened up my day and now have a hundred ideas on new craft projects to for them.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Seasonal Beauty

“Nature gives to every time and season some beauties of its own; and from morning to night, it is but a succession of changes so gentle and easy that we can scarcely mark their progress.” Charles Dickens
Officially it is winter in the tropics, the time of year when whales migrate right past the beach front to their winter vacation spots. Me and the little point&shoot could barely pick them out but local rangers pointed out that some of the salt spray was actually whales breaching. Click to enlarge

Migaloo the white humpback whale has been past already and always attacks a lot of attention. Try this link for a peek into how close the whales have been hanging around this season.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Festival of Postcards

Altered Art – Mail or Postal Art

Have you ever added a doodle or a kiss to the back of a letter or postcard? Well congratulations you are already a mail art artist.

Using art as a form of communication comes as second nature to an artist and not surprising to see examples of mail art in the works of Vincent van Gogh and other well know artists. Over time different groups and artists have taken on mail art as a way of getting art into mainstream communities as a small piece that we all can hold, brighten our day along the way or participate in.

Mail art can be decorated envelopes, letters and postcards. The Festival of Postcards celebrates the best of all the different styles of postcards, vintage or vacation, and a perfect place to share some of the creative things people can do with a post card.

You probably have your own resources to confirm the replacement value of postcards or their historical, religious or cultural significance. As lovers of postcards of course that would be your first consideration at all times, preserving what is best about postcards.

For those other postcards that have seen better days, what could be more fun than giving them a new way to shine with a few creative altering techniques those little cards can become unique pieces of art.

Main Street was a fun theme to work with but the closest thing I could find in my collection was this postcard from Hong Kong. Kind of average looking late 60s, nothing special according to my girl friend from Hong Kong who gave me permission to play.

Click photos to enlarge

Using my collection of Hong Kong postage stamps and Asian themed ephemera we were able to recreate the card with simple cutting and pasting.

The background of the harbor was faded and damaged so I cut along the horizon line of the city and mounted the remainder of the card on to text from a newspaper and some pretty printed paper.

The decorations included, starting on the left there is flowers cut from a greeting card including the artist’s signature block, fabric dragonfly, a coin, and on the right, two Hong Kong postage stamps.

This is another example of working with an old postcard that was nice but – with the addition of a cute little fairy, flowers cut from a paper napkin and postage stamp to match the theme, just a little more whimsical.

Current Restrictions or Reality Check
Sadly we now live in a less innocent time and much of what mail art is about is on the list of things to be suspicious of. Check with your local post office to see what regulations apply to what can be sent in the mail. The sample post cards I have shown here could not travel in the modern sorting machines and would need to be posted in padded packaging.

There are many good books that provide more how to information on the subject of mail art.

Creative Correspondence by Michael & Judy Jacobs has some fun variations of postal art with very detailed instructions.

Nick Bantock’s books are some of my favorites for creative inspiration. The Griffin and Sabine series is one of the more famous publications showing examples of Mail Art.

Love Letters by Michelle Lovric is simply beautiful

Mail Me Art is a web site and published book by Darren Di Lieto who challenged illustrators and designers to create works of art on packages, envelopes, and postcards and to send them through the mail.

As we said in the beginning, all due respect should be given to preserve quality or rare postcards and postage stamps. There are images and subjects that should be maintained for historical and cultural reasons.

But then as postcards are commercially produced for the enjoyment of many, why not celebrate ! Be creative and give old postcards new opportunities to shine in a whole new light. I hope this gives you some more ideas on how to celebrate your postcards in new and different ways.

Evelyn in Montreal is hosting the Festival of Postcards with the theme of ‘signs’.She and her blogging buddies who collect vintage and interesting postcards are allowing us a peek at their treasured finds. Altered Artists, Mixed Media and Mail Art devotes are welcome to participate in our own altered style.

Creative Swap News

Chenon of the Meandering Pearl is hosting a creative postcard swap with a close date of 16 August. Her blogging friends are scattered around the globe so you are sure to meet lots of new friends via the swap. Altered revamped or creative postcards are all welcome.

Another place to check for inspiration is Mixed Media Monday.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Celebrating Ordinary Moments

“Find your joy in the ordinary moments and experience how beautifully rich and rewarding life can be” Ralph Marston
“The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate” Oprah Winfrey

In the middle of what has been a crazy couple of weeks, I had to pull off the highway and enjoy this moment. The fence line is pushed over from the recent flooding in our area, still drying out but everything is lush and green.

Thank you to our hosts of Sky Watch Friday and all the bloggers who participate for the reminder to take a moment to enjoy the free show that nature puts on for everyone across the sky.

One of my favorite altered book projects with a nature theme.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Views from Friday

"To sit in the shade on a fine day and look upon verdure is the most perfect refreshment." Jane Austen

Encarta Dictionary shows Verdure as the green colour associated with lush vegetation. I couldn't stop myself from sneaking a little peek of the beach in there too.

Sky Watch Friday is the prefect way to end a week with hundreds of bloggers sharing their view of the horizon.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Peaceful Weekend

“Nobody can bring you peace, but yourself.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

Though this late evening view of the bay on a cool winter’s evening with a fisherman trying for one last catch and the ferry making the last trip before nightfall was pretty close to finding peace and quiet.

We have been having some particularly pretty coloured skies full of pastel pinks and blues resulting from dust storms blowing in from the bush.

Sky Watch Friday has hundreds of bloggers from all over sharing their view of the sky in all kinds of different moods.

Anne who has beautiful photo and other crafts blogs has gifted me the Lemonade Stand award for blogs with Great Attitude and Gratitude in celebrating all that is good in life and I do like that old saying about turning life’s lemons in to lemonade. This week gallons of lemonade could be possible with the lemons we had to choose from but hoping that more sunshine is on the way soon.

One of the things that helps me keep balanced are like minded blogging friends who focus on the possibilities and these are a few I am grateful for finding.
  • Jill with the Bittersweet Speciality Soaps and Calico Petals darling designs and crafts.
  • Louise celebrating unique handicrafts from the beaches of Cape Cod
  • Linda a creative altered artist
  • Noell who’s Paperclipping blog provides easy to understand explanations to all kinds of design concepts that take creativity that one step further
  • Sarah with Beach Cottage shabby chic beach d├ęcor on a thrift store budget
  • Kimberlee another office worker shuffling through the grey suit world to find the most delightful little rays of sunshine with her Brown Button blog