We {heart} Mail Art

We {heart} Mail Art

We {heart} Mail Art is the name we have given to our very small group of Mail Art/mixed media enthusiasts: myself, Julie Welsh and Jo Urbani. As far as I can tell from searching my old blog we started this group exactly 2 years ago with a mail art swap theme of The Language of Flowers. Every month or two, we decide on a theme and look forward to exchanging mail art and a mixed media card with each other . . . 

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Six-word story mail art!


For the past few months I have been doing a little bit of mail art with of couple of good online art buddies, Jewels Welsh and Jo Urbani. It has been great for me! Doing these exchanges really helped me to dive back into an art form I love. Plus it has been wonderful to have created our own tiny, closed facebook group for discussion which also meant more time to chat with each other. For our last exchange Jewels came up with a six-word story idea. The postcard we make was to be based on a six-word story we created. It was kind of hard for me to come up with an idea at first. In the end I just let myself be inspired by what was going on in my world . . . .

"Swallowtail Caterpillars are on my Parsely" was my six word story . . . and they were not just ON my parsley, they were really EATING my parsley!! I had never seen such unusually striped caterpillars.





I used photographs I had taken of these most unusual caterpillars, which I discovered through Google were Black Swallowtail Caterpillars. I later had the joy of seeing these caterpillars return to my parsley as butterflies! See how much of it they ate??


Anyway . . . enough about my entry - let me share Jewels and Jo's  . . . 

Jewel's six word story was
She thought it would be different 
Jewels cleverly did hers on the back of a vintage recycled Happy Anniversary card!
Jo and I both celebrated anniversaries when we received so it was very appropriate!


And Jo's six word story was
He began to feel rather odd
I love this and the fact that our stories were similar but different . . . just like in real life!
I am so glad to have had the opportunity to share mail art and life with Jo & Jewels. 
Coming up, Jo is taking a break - but Jewels and I will work on a summer theme that we should wrap up and share with you in a couple weeks! Until then, don't forget to have a little fun.
Add some ART to your Mail! 




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wonderful swap returns . . . .

I thought I would share the really wonderful swap returns I recently received, for your enjoyment! I'm doing a mail art swap on a monthly basis with Jo Urbani and Jewels Welsh, plus I signed up for the ARTchix Studio Blue ATC swap. That was so fun to do - see my ATCs here. Yesterday I received an Awesome BLUE package from Nikki Smith, the swap hostess. Inside were really some first rate ATCs plus extra goodies from Helga, the owner of ARTchix Studio and Nikki -wow!



A huge thanks to the creators of the ATCs I received, such beautiful art. I can't wait to decorate my studio! I was so super psyched to receive one of Helga's ATCs and one of Nikki's too -wow! 

THANK YOU!

For the mail art, our theme last month was The Language of Flowers. I love how this phrase sounds and in fact have now ordered a book on the subject via a recommendation from my friend Frieda Oxenham. I shared my own mail art here earlier based on the theme the language of the orange blossom, find it here if you missed it. I used photos of my very first Orange Tree that is growing in our yard . . . which now has lots of little green Hamlin oranges growing on it and more blossoms are forming at the same time! But even more fun I think than creating my own mail art was receiving mail art from Joanna & Jewels. 


Jo created the sweetest postcard and envelope using Daisies





Jewels picked the French Willow and a corresponding quote that I really like . . .


You can read more about the techniques she used to create her postcard HErE. Below I did a collage in Photoshop to show you the back of her envelope with the front below on the left and the postcard and the back of it on the right . . .



I hope you enjoy! I also received an incredible package from my dear friend and talented artist, Sharon Borsavage the other day. It included a gorgeous necklace I ordered but also my book from our altered book exchange that we alternated working in... it is really something! I want to add a wee bit more to the book as there are a few blank pages left and then I will share it with you. Thanks for your patience as I wind my way back into my art life. xo lenna


Who so loves believes the impossible.
  ~ Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Language of Flowers Mail Art & where I've been!


Here's the story of my long absence! Even though the blog has been quiet for 3 months, I've actually still been here. If you kept this space bookmarked and are reading this post, I'm both amazed and grateful. Truth be told, the work of moving to a new home in November coupled with a health issue kept me away from my blog. The move left my art supplies boxed up for months. The rest of the house got unpacked but the studio space required so many decisions. I was just not up to making them. And since my creative art making process is what I really enjoy sharing here, I found I was not blogging either.

Fortunately, the health issue has been sorted and . . .  the studio is almost all unpacked! I have a new Doctor, one that listens, who recently told me he was not worried about me, but would continue testing my liver every six months. I have a chronic liver disease called nonalcoholic steatohepatitis or NASH, which is a common and often “silent” liver disease. There are no specific treatments yet, but losing weight has been found to be helpful to shrink the fat cells that aggravate the liver. I'm happy to say I'm down 15 lbs since September and my cholesterol is down too. I had to give away a huge bag of clothes (too baggy) and I'm now fitting easily into clothes that used to be too tight! I have another 15 pounds to shed but I'm not worried about it. Removing wine or any alcohol from my diet has been a huge help in losing weight - plus that is best for my liver. When I have bloodwork and another ultrasound in June, I'm anticipating an improvement in the health of my liver.

Now, in regards to the Mail Art, which is what I really want to talk about most here . . . this is what happened. Knowing how I work, I thought a deadline would be most helpful to get me to started creating again. I've continued being creative through photography during my absence (see my photo journal at blipfoto) but I instinctively knew that to get myself doing collage or mail art I would need a deadline. This is where two of my art buddies, Joanna Urbani and Jewels Welch stepped in to help me (follow those links to see their mail art). They have been exchanging mail art with a theme every month. I have been enjoying their creations! So I slyly asked them if I could join in their exchange . . . . well, they both enthusiastically wrote back that they'd be more than happy (VERY happy!!) for me to join in with their Mail Art/postcard fun. Whoo hoo -in like Flynn!

Queen Victoria in her wedding dress -note the headpiece

Jewels gave us the theme of the Language of Flowers. Choose a flower, look up the meaning, decorate a postcard and an envelope to share the meaning of the flower without using the name. Then the mail art recipients could have fun guessing the flower. My friend Cheryl who lives near me in Sarasota gave me the idea for my flower. I told her what I was doing and she reminisced about planning her parents wedding anniversary. Cheryl had looked up the meanings of the flowers that were in her mom's original bouquet, as she was reproducing it for the occasion. One flower in particular she told me about, I already had growing in my yard!


I created the collage sheet above from photos I had taken, to use on the card and envelope.

my card above

attached to the back of the card

 I researched on the internet (fun!) and created an information sheet about the history of the orange blossom, then enclosed it inside a small envelope attached to my card.

one of the envelopes 

back of the envelope

  I sent three mail art envelopes  one to Joanna, one to Jewels and an extra one to Cheryl for her friendship and inspiration! My Flower is the Orange Blossom. It has the most heady and wonderful sweet smell. We planted a Hamlin Orange tree here at our new home in January and so enjoyed smelling those flowers as we walked by! Now there are little green oranges that we are hoping will continue to grow and grow . . . check out Jewel's blog post and Jo's blog (post to come) for their Mail Art on the language of Flowers : ) A huge thanks so much to both of them!  xo lenna


Love is the flower you've got to let grow.
  ~ John Lennon

wonderful card and mail art envelope!

My friend Joanna who lives in the UK, sent a wonderful card and mail art envelope to us celebrating our recent move to a new home on the river. Her card and envelope are just so lovely, I wanted to share them with you. My own art stuff is still in boxes . . . so I thought you would enjoy this gift we received from Jo. : )

Below, a photo of Joanna taken for an Art House Co-op project we were both in together called, The Meal. I love this photo of her and Rosie Mae! It helps me to imagine her "across the pond".


This was so beautiful to find in my mailbox . . . I was grinning!


I just love this envelope and the card!  xoxo


Wow. Then look at the back of the envelope, bellow! 
Joanna knows I love quotes and this one is just perfect for Steven 
and all the canoeing he is doing these days. ; ^ )


Thank you Joanna! Please go say hi to her on her blog, Fiddlesnips.


"Live with intention.  Walk to the edge.  Listen hard.  Practice wellness.  Play with abandon.  Laugh.  Choose with no regret.  Continue to learn.  Appreciate your friends.  Do what you love.  Live as if this is all there is."  -Mary Anne Hershey

mail art, postcards & friends

I think originally it was because I told my friend Joanna Urbani in the UK that I would LOVE to receive more mail art from her, that we did a personal exchange. Whoo hoo! We schemed on what to do and then decided to make a postcard for each other and a mail art envelope too! I love Joanna's style and how she approaches her art so I could not be happier to have done this exchange with her. I giggle now to think that we set a size (4x6) and then later I asked Joanna if I could make something larger -5x7. Phew, she said it was okay! Joanna suggested a theme of "friends" for us to work on. This sounded great to me except, duh! I forgot this theme when I went to create my card for her. None the less, everything was done in the spirit of friendship and ended up just fine. We both loved doing this exchange! Here's what I made Joanna, followed by a step by step of my process.
The photographs of the peacock are some I took myself here on Longboat Key, Florida.


My postcard for Joanna started as a challenge piece that I worked on for the Second Floor Challenge. If you would like to read about it from the very beginning, go to this post. The postcard was 1/4 of the whole piece I did for that challenge. The base was watercolor paper and it included water soluble briques and crayons, soft pastels, acrylic paints and embossed rubber stamping. 

 I used a paper napkin image of a peacock to go with my photographs . . .
 and applied it to the postcard withe matte medium
Individual alphabets were used to stamp my message with white ink -
I know Joanna likes this look!

Joanna and I had talked about this saying, it's a song actually -listen here

Then I created an envelope from a large piece of scrapbook paper.
I have a template from Green Sneakers that I've used for years . . .


To decorate it, I used pattern tissue, the photographs I took printed out, and rubber stamps to make it special. I also tried to use interesting US postage stamps. For Joanna's address, I took a piece of the pattern tissue paper, attached it with masking tape to a piece of card stock and sent it through my printer to receive the address I had typed in a document with a decorative font!
 On the back are some of my old LennaLines quote stamps. Even though I do not produce these rubber stamps anymore I still find them so appropriate sometimes.
 Off the card went in the mail, across the pond to the garden of Eden. 
Then, I received Joanna's card and mail art  -  wow!! 
I love how she placed the postage stamp so it looks like the woman 
is gazing at the queen. The striped washi tape from Gauche Alchemy is divine!


* Love-LOVe-lOvE-LovE THIS!!!! ; ^  ) 


* To read more about Joanna's art for this exchange

Thank you so much, Joanna! I hope we do this again!! xoxox lenna

The only gift is a portion of thyself.
  ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

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