mail art swap reveal

It has been 2 weeks since I sent my mail art off to Australia, the UK and various US destinations for a mail art swap hosted by Sue Emmerson. I gave you a teaser previously . . . I think everyone has received their mail by now, so I'm going to actually reveal what I did for this fun swap!
The theme is: Where I live.
one of the envelopes and contents -click for details!
I started with a regular manila file folder, the kind found at an office supply store -- or in your file cabinet!! I got the idea to work with a folder to create a mailing envelope from Robin Marie Smith when I was researching for the Mail ART swap I hosted at the end of last year. I found a video on YouTube by Robin called Altered Mail Art that used manila folders -great idea!

I opened up the folder and painted the front and back of it with white gesso because I did not want the plain manila background showing. I think it worked out pretty well. The back of the envelope got a copy of a tourist map from nearby Anna Maria Island. I drive over one of those bridges pictured on the map to take Nia dance classes twice a week in Anna Maria. I copied the map from a tourist brochure 5x and used my xyron to adhere it to the folder.

For the front, I cut out words & images from a different brochure (I picked up 5 of them for free!!). This brochure is designed to give the reader the lo-down on the Sarasota - Bradenton area: the Left Coast of Florida! I added lots of rubber stamping from my box of beach-related stamps with StazOn permanent inks. I even gave the young woman a crown of shells.

Yes, I painted more gesso on the folders and sprinkled real Florida sand on the bottom front corner of all the envelopes! I also covered the sand with clear gel medium later when the gesso was dry to make sure it stayed put and did not cause any problems during mailing.
The back, BS=Before Stamping!
The fronts of all 5 envelopes - not sewn together on the edges yet!
The edges were sewn up on my sewing machine, but first I added parts
of a fishing net that I found last year (empty!) on the beach . . . .
I attached it with a little bit of sewing and a lot of Tacky glue!!
The envelopes drying . . . I ended up working on the floor for this project.
More stamping and netting added to the backs of the envelopes . . .
Her eyes brimmed with tears as she realized there wasn't a single piece of personal mail today!!

I added some of my favorite and very old rubber stamps:

. . . Contents Enclosed . . .
. . . Mail Art Mingles Hearts . . .
. . . See you in the Mail . . .
. . . Oh NO, she sobbed. My mailbox is *choke* empty! . . .

Hope you all enjoy!