Category Archives: mail art

Mixed Media Motivational Cards

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Back before my oldest started college I created a set of cards with motivational messages with the intention to send her at least one a month while she was away. At the time I had planned on blogging about them… but that was over four years ago and I can’t find the original pictures now. What I do have are some pictures of the completed/sent motivational cards and a brief how-to:

motivational cards by tamdoll - It always seems impossible until it's done. - Nelson Mandela motivational cards by tamdoll - Why fit in when you were born to stand out? Dr. Seuss motivational cards by tamdoll - Don't be afraid to fail. Be afraid not to try. motivational cards by tamdoll - Train your mind to see the good in Everything motivational cards by tamdoll back view of scrapbook papers

How-to:

  1. I started by gluing scrapbook papers to the backs of discarded playing cards. I just spread glue all over large 12 x 12 pages and adhered the cards to them side-by-side. When the glue dried, I cut out each individual card.
  2. Next, I painted, collaged and stenciled each one. In hindsight, I could have done this before cutting them all out.
  3. I knew I wanted to them to hang on a key ring, so I punched holes in the corner of each with my spring-loaded hole punch. It wasn’t easy punching through all the layers of paper, paint and glue – I even tried using a drill on a few of them.
  4. Lastly, I gathered quotes and phrases to print and glue on, or write out. Embellishing with rub-ons and markers and gel pens was the final step. The first package was sent with a colorful binder ring (those things are great to store rubber bands, hair elastics, etc..).

I didn’t end up sending them as often as planned, but did include a best friend, and then my youngest when she started college. When I’d visit I’d see them posted on bulletin boards, or clipped at their bedside, so I know they were appreciated!

From creating, to shipping each envelope, this was a fun project I would definitely do again.

Curious about the hearts in the photos? – Those were made back in 2011, and I have a brief how-to at tamdoll.blogspot.com.

Motivational cards? Postal mail art? What will you create to send to someone special?

Postcard Swap

Who doesn’t love a colorful snail mail postcard?

Tamdoll's 10 Postcards for iHanna Postcard Swap Spring 2016

For the longest time I’ve followed iHanna’s Blog & always wanted to participate in one of her postcard swaps… so finally, this past month, I signed up at the last-minute, made 10 cards, and sent them out into the world.

Creating a Postcard

I started out by finger painting on top of a set of postcard-sized bike tour maps. I got mine at a yard sale, but you can find them on amazon.com*, too. A base like this creates an instant layer of depth when the lines of the trails and geography can show through layers of paint. I built up the background by adding translucent paint washes, collaged bits of poetry from an old book, and spray stenciling with one of my favorite Finnabair Stencils – Dots and Stripes*.

Next, wanting a focal image, I drew and then painted on my birds. They were definitely inspired by Tamara Laporte’s Quirky Birds – particularly the outline and “scrubbing” style of paint that she teaches, along with the small format of the project. This style of birds are something that I’ve been drawing for a while (and I actually have a small collection of decorative birds that look similar).

Some of the finger painting and paint wash techniques were things I learned from my recent art classes at ArtFest Rising. While I was making these I definitely met my goal of having fun while not being too serious. The good thing about waiting until the last-minute with these was that I couldn’t obsess over them for too long, or worry about making them all perfect.

postage stamp for postcards usps 2016Sending the Postcards Into the World

I thought it was serendipitous when I got to the post office to mail them & found the postage stamps for domestic mail were bird images.

Where Are They Now?

I hope everyone who receives one of my postcards enjoys them – I had fun, and am adding “make more bird pictures” to my to-do list.

I scanned them all in (or so I thought), to have a memory of these… but it turns out that I only scanned 7 out of the 10, and I didn’t realize until they’d already been sent on their way. I decided to make them available at Society6, where anyone can order these images as prints, cards, or iPhone cases.

Have you ever done a mail art swap? If so, what did you think of the experience?

 

 

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