Archive for May, 2006

Letter on the occasion of AML’s Seventh Anniversary

Monday, May 29th, 2006

Included in MA2006.02.01

Dear Mailart Friends,
This Grey Cat has been [making] artistamps for not quite a year now. Last summer I surprised myself with the joy of creating, and I haven’t stopped since. I find I am often a lurker in online venues, and I do tend to spread myself a little thin. I am unlikely to make a name for myself in any “circle” because I often wander off and try something new. At the turn of the year, i became delighted with crochet, and now I’m about to venture into the digital mapping world to learn GIS and how to use a GPS. And, oh, yes, I became a streamkeeper in October!
This coming Artistamp year brings a great deal of uncertainty: the company I work for is merging with a much larger one and I will be out, sometime. It’s likely I’ll be there through the end of 2006, but what will I be doing for AML anniversary number eight?

MA2006.02.01 twenty trifolds and an artistamp

Monday, May 29th, 2006

I’d signed up for the seventh anniversary mailing of the Artistamp Mailing List at Yahoo some time back. The design for the stamp and the mailing have been brewing in the back of my mind over the past couple months — but the mailing date fast approaches. So yesterday afternoon, once i was finished with obsessing over GIS data and software and GPS, i created the stamp design. I printed out twenty on cotton rag paper and on to our regular printer paper, before i realized that i had forgotten to put a denomination on the stamp.

The trifolds have a hand doodled and scanned design, augmented with images of GreyBeard and Mr M that have been used on artistamps. I’ve made a set of cork leaf stamps to add color to a doodled tree, and i made a cancel stamp from a champaign cork, a circled 7. I’ll print out an additional set of meyer lemon stamps for the “bonus” ATC, and i wrote a brief letter.

I suppose I’ll be addressing them over the week — and I made a few additional to send out to a few mail artists to whom i “owe” mail.

From the Mailbox

Friday, May 26th, 2006

A notice about the exhibition mailparavion/avionparmail, with note of the online catalog. I’m tickled to see that my name listed; colorflymail went out late.

Of course, the image links [of mine, for this blog] are still broken. Must fix the image server [that is, my image server, which is, as of 2006-06-14 still broken]. *sigh*

I also received my first return on the collage packs i sent out, a lovely blue butterfly chunky book page (and postage) from emelengy. I hope the supplies fuel more winged flights of her imagination.

Quick Check In For the Weekend

Sunday, May 21st, 2006

I made yarn from plastic bags and old clothes. It was rather time consuming — especially the cutting up the jersey and then rolling the strips up into balls — but i think i feel good about it.

I also made collage packs so i could close my collage box (but i forgot the silk scraps – sigh).

Finally, i started a LMAO.

So all of that felt creative — finding cool way to package the collage packs in some cases, matching colors, etc — but none of it really made me feel accomplished.

I’ve started another crochet project with the recycled jersey yarn (CR2006.08): a rag rug for the bathroom using Sylvian Circles from Kooler’s Encyclopedia of Crochet. I couldn’t get the eightfold symmetry to fit, but instead have a sixfold symmetric pattern.

So it goes.

(One of the folks taking a collage pack has an interesting project at : I’ll have to check in next week….

MA2006.04: Américas Altered Datebook

Saturday, May 20th, 2006

Updated: 2006-08-04

This is a deco or a traveling journal form of Land Mail Art Object (LMAO), also announced at Nervousness. You don’t have to participate at nervousness to take a turn on this altered object, but Nervousness is always encouraged!

I have a datebook from the Organization of American States, published on glossy/coated, magazine-weight paper and wire bound. I have reinforced the covers with thin clear plastic and added an oversized cardboard insert to protect the edges.

I would like to pass it around to people who live in the Américas to collage over the calendar pages with images (created by the artist or from travel information, maps, and other ephemera) about where they live, to complement the photos already present.

The final object I will pass to a elementary school teacher to share with students. I’m not sure at the moment what the documentation of the object would be beyond scans and posts, but i’ll be thinking about it.

I’d like to not repeat states/provinces within different countries on the two continents. Once i get an initial group of five, I’ll send it off.


1. Genevieve: Québec, Canada [sent to, 2006-05-30; arrived at, 2006-06-09; sent on, 2006-06-30]
2. Etayne: Tennessee, USA [arrived: 2006-07-60]
3. thirty: West Virginia, USA
4. rubberbum: Oregon
5. Judielaine: California, USA

6. seashell: North Carolina
7. thursday: Arizona
8. sibyl: Montana

Technical Notes & Instructions

Please choose a calendar page close to the month and day in which you alter the book. If you live in the USA, please only choose one week. Elsewhere, feel welcome to choose a two week spread.

Pages are 9 inches by 6.5 inches with 3/8ths of an inch for binding.

Single week pages: 19
Spreads (two weeks): 17

If you would like to add an insert, you may, by using the hole punch template and then cutting a slit from the edge to the hole. This can then be carefully slipped over the wire bindings. Do keep in mind that other artists will be adding materials!

Feel free to use images that are clipped from chamber of commerce or travel information or maps, but use of your own images is preferred! Feel free to use the calendar slots and simply journal about your area. You’re welcome to write in whatever language is comfortable for you.

If you need postage help to send this to the next person in the list, please let me know, and i’ll help.

Planned inclusions

I’ll be printing maps of North, South, and Central America to include with the map section.

I’ll also include a table of contents in the front, listing artists and locations.

Search terms: Americas Altered Datebook, Americas Altered Agenda
LMAO,nervousness,altered book,call for contributions

Fun Ideas for Photography Site

Friday, May 19th, 2006

I like the ideas of using CD cases as photo frames — and what seems like it might be a cool idea is using CD cases to make a mural.

That site links to two which offer the service of turning a photo into a sketch:

Oddly, there’s also a link to this tutorial which shows “pop art” portraits in a style that is also offered by the My da Vinci bunch.

My Rollercoaster Ride

Sunday, May 14th, 2006

On 3 May, i got some distracting news at work. it’s really where my mind is. Meanwhile, Grey-Cat.Net crashed. It’s where i host my images, and the image data is OK — i just need to rebuild some things from backup.

I sprained my wrist on Thursday doing a stretch with my cat, not at all inspired by purr-fect yoga. I’m assuming it’s mild and that my crocheting off and on this weekend isn’t too stupid.

I’ve a good deal of photos from last Saturday’s visit to Yosemite to process. Christine has her seven minute video of the visit to Mariposa Grove pretty cleaned up, already.

The last weekend in April i experimented with painting on the inside of a cereal liner with acrylics. The paint, unmixed with water, adhered fairly well to the plastic. I wanted to see if i could paint, fold the plastic in half and have the paint laminate the two sides together (with the colors of the paint visible through the plastic). The laminating process did not work because there was no way for the paint to dry. This may indicate an interesting use for palette protection. The HDPE does seem to provide an interesting surface for applying the acrylic. After a reasonable drying time, the acrylic seemed well adhered to HDPE. I’m not sure what to do with it. If the lamination had worked, i’d find the ability to sandwich the painting within the plastic compelling. I suppose i am still curious how the plastic sews up.

I did a little crocheting at Meeting for Business today on the blanket. (I also worked on the blanket just downstream of Yosemite Falls, thinking of weaving in experiences as i crochet….) On Saturday, i experimented with cutting up knit jersey material and crocheting that. I made a ball for a friend’s dog. It does seem one can cut the fabric into a narrow strip in a spiraling manner (with corners) and have it be “interesting” and not too raggy looking. The 90° and 180° turns left “tags” of fabric that would occasionally stick out. It does seem that for toys the strips will have to be pretty narrow. For a rag rug (or a dog ball), inch wide strips are OK.


Wednesday, May 3rd, 2006

I received a mailing from the University of Iowa libraries in the past week or so, documenting their show of altered cards. It’s a reminder that provokes a little embarrassment and regret on my part. I asked for a bunch of cards to share with my colleagues to alter as we used to produce catalog cards and are engaged with the process of cataloging bibliographic data. But between art supplies that were taken within an hour of me putting them out (and not returned), several colleagues’ departures, and my inability to encourage a risk-free creative zone — perhaps even my difficulty in communicating the idea — well, turn out was minimal. I still have the few (beautiful) cards on hand (somewhere!) and will send them off very belatedly.