Archive for the ‘From the Mailbox’ Category

Out of town and return

Saturday, September 27th, 2008

From the Mailbox: three mail art pieces. One very interesting post from Paint Rock River Valley Postal Authority with a puzzle: can one identify what butterfly would emerge from the caterpillar? Two postcards from Cascadia Artispost: Stormy Season (a bit of a tradition) and “Trenes y Vagones.”

Exposure Set: Dublin CornPhotography: I took a suite of photos at different exposures of the Dublin Corn in the Sam and Eulalia Frantz Park. [See this and this.] I don’t know what i think of “proper” exposures. Lately i’ve been stepping down. Christine says they look under exposed, and i get that, but i still like the image a little better. This seems to be a good indicator that it’s time to take a photography class.

I have heard of one answer to my frustration with exposures: playing with HDR. I found a list of software and tried FDRTools Basic. It does an interesting job of attempting to align the images and all of the adjustments, mappings, etc. I’ll give it a go sometime i’ve taken the bracketed images with a bit more precision. I tried to keep things aligned, but, oh my, what a little twist can do to making alignment impossible. I *could* use the rubber sheeting algorithms in a GIS package to align the exposures, but i’m not sure that’s a good use of time.

New tools: Mom gave me new crochet hooks from Twin Birch Products of Pittsboro, NC. I look forward to giving them a try. So far i’ve just worked with aluminum and steel hooks.

Beading: Just as i was leaving NC, i noticed the bead store close to my sister Laura’s place. She, i and W stopped there on the way to the airport so i could pick up some beads for Christine. I chose three focal beads of laminated leaves and two wooden beads for earrings. When i got back to town i had to run some errands in downtown Mountain View. I didn’t have any excuse to get more beads for Christine, but i had a string of sodalite chips and a cabochon that did not have any other beads to keep them company. So, i now have more beads, but i don’t quite feel up to the wire wrapping challenge. I don’t quite have a vision for the blue necklace, either.

Necklace for Christine: BeforeNecklace for ChristineCabochon accentsSodalite blue

In the oven: I left town for ten days before finishing my first batch of bread dough. I made a fine looking loaf when i returned, but it did seem to have gone off. I hope to make a second batch this weekend.

Artistamps recommendations: There was a long discussion about perforation practices. I am more tempted now to send sheets of stamps off to be perforated, but my general practice of cutting them out continues to satisfy me.

  • Pounce Wheels followed by use of an awl (without the awl, it seems the perforations would be slotted. I’ve a perforating wheel for my paper cutter that can do this.
  • The Olathe Poste offers pre-perfed gummed papers as well as custom perfing jobs. (1″ x 1.5″ – portrait or landscaped orientation) on 8.5″ x 11″ (or A4) papers in standard weights is $0.75 per sheet.)
  • There was some discussion about antique Rosback perforators. “The pins on a Rosback are about 1/16″ diameter. They are spaced about 14 or 16 to the inch.”

A general roundup on the topic is available at It does seem that a rotary punch could be developed for one sheet at a time. I’ll leave that for another life time, though.

This post is now plenty long: bread-baking, gardening, and crocheted toys to come.

Mailbox calls to this busy bee

Monday, June 30th, 2008

I’ve just recently finished a work project and need to catch up on everything, it seems. It’s hard to know where to start. I’ve received some mail art from Cascadia Artpost recently: first day postcards for the IUOMA stamp, promoting (International Union of Mail Artists and a powerful presentation album of a sheet of stamps in Jack Lattemann’s “The Sorrows of Empire” series: “Remember Fallujah 2003-2008.”

Today i received documentation from this call (And just discovered that the search is broken on this site. Curses!) It’s a very nice full color zine from Niku for participants in “The Ephemeral Mailbox Museum.” She also included a participant directory…. (I owe folks plenty of mail… sigh….)

On Saturday, i played with acrylic paint and iMovie. I love the latest iMovie! It makes pulling together a movie so straight forward!

It documents my experiment with Golden acrylics (fluids mixed with gel medium) and Speedball Block Printing Ink.

CallForWorks: Jump Photos

Wednesday, October 3rd, 2007


Originally uploaded by Elaine with Grey Cats.

A friend is asking for photos of people (or animals) jumping to celebrate her 30th birthday. See the guidelines at Deadline is 1 Dec.

Mail art from Cascadia Artpost

Sunday, September 30th, 2007

A postcard from Cascadia Artpost was included in the bundle of mail i picked up yesterday. The postcard is an image in blue golds and purples of North Dakota titled “Stormy Season” with a day of issue postmark on a beautiful storm cloud artistamp and a complementary panther USPS stamp. A quotation of Tennyson is in the clouds of another stormy landscape image on the reverse.

Thanks for the postal joy!

Artistamps Season

Saturday, June 10th, 2006

I’ve sent out two more MA2006.02.01.xx: to Deni and to the Paint Rock River Valley Postal Authority (whose artistamps i’ve received this spring).

The returns are coming in fast:

On Wednesday, i received Dr Arcane’s artistic license.

On Thursday, a mailbox full! Cascadia Artpost’s celebration of the past year’s creations, Carla Cryptic’s observation of dual anniversaries, Pine Cone Island’s collection, and Peggy’s card.

And On Friday, postcards from Inka Isles and Ballynafae!

(Reports so far that mine have been received by Isle of Rand and Arnoldia/Pondidia.)

What’s up?

Wednesday, June 7th, 2006

From the Mailbox

On Monday, I received a wonderful shipment of yarn and roving from Brown Sheep Wool Company via Eliza of Modern Gypsy. I’ll get the yarn logged in the yarn palette sooner or later: three bundles of washable wool in some natural colors that i can make critter dolls out of for drooly babies. And the incredibly soft wonderful dreamy roving (wow, i can understand the spinning addiction now) is to stuff the dolls.

Yesterday, i received a return on the collage packs: Penster made two red and black ATC in response. She mailed them in a fun decorated envelope — hmm, little grey kitties? And “Proudly Made in Canada” — and a neat ATC envelope. I’m not sure what template she used, but this one looks useful.

I bet cereal bag liners would make good material for such envelopes!


On Saturday i ended up making a candle from candle ends (which had been sitting around my desk for well over a year). I used a soda bottle as a mold, and it worked out nicely. There are the odd feet to consider , but they’re fine for my purposes. (I’ll probably keep this candle in the hearth.)

Yesterday I came home to a Levenger catalog and noted again the little 3×5 card file folders. More than a dollar each. I cut down a purple file folder to two 3×5 file folders. I have a corner rounder, but the diameter of the rounder is a little large. While i was using the cutter, i finished cutting down the 8×5 cards to more 3×5 s.

That meant i had a stack of 2×5 left over. I decided to perforate the tops of the cards with the cutter and bind them into little notebooks, using the left over file folder material as the cover.

I could swear i’d linked to a perfect binding tutorial, but i can’t find it this morning. Last night i didn’t consult the tutorial but my memory of it. I used inappropriate glue, too. I don’t think i could sell or give these away, knowing that the glue will likely not hold up under wear. It serves to keep the strips around in a convenient form. An experiment. We’ll see where it leads.

Mail Art

I did get my 7th anniversary artistamp mailing out the door on the right day, after almost forgetting. Sixteen out of the twenty MA2006.02.01.xx have been posted. I made extra to send to other mail artists or friends and faily, and i’ll continue with that. I continue to be appalled i forgot to give the stamps a denomination, and that i had such a terrible misspelling. Argh.

More Mail Art

Thursday, June 1st, 2006

[Unknown date. Posting with a date in early June 2006, but should research a little more. -- JEB 2007-01-02]

Saturday, two more envelopes arrived: V eye, eye looking out from Fern Post Office’s envelope and the celebration of the triple six date of the seventh anniversary.

Monday was remarkable: nothing in the mailbox but a magazine for Christine and a real estate broker flyer. Hrmph.

By Wednesday, we’d only received Loon Islands post, with (i must note the postal stamp) the oddly perf’ed Canadian stamp, and an interesting introduction to Winggo Nuttella III. Yet the week was so busy, i’ve forgotten when the API’s block of four arrived with the elegantly framed 7 and the dice.

Both the Thursday and Friday post were picked up on the same day: Jenny Groat’s dancing celebration, bufoman’s lovely graphic 7, and seven of vintage stamps, and Glitz Kat’s seven sets of seven.

- What a great idea the bonus ATCs are (but I don’t think I’ll tear them off)

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.

A little under the weather

Wednesday, April 19th, 2006

And still irked about photo galleries on the new server but definitely NOT up to doing anything about them. I *did* find the scarf project last weekend, but i haven’t done anything with it.

No, just a post to say i received interesting mail from Russell Manning (previously: 2004-01-27 note and gallery images). Four colorful collages along with the decorated enclosure stating that the new collage works are “vaguely based on ‘Meet Me In St. Louis’.” And will have to wait for galleries, etc…

Dry cleaning bag swatch from JanuaryWith the plastic bag crochet in mind, and two plastic wrappers for those large bundles of TP found under the bathroom sink, i started a round with lots of sc in a spiral, increasing where i felt like it. In a few more rows it should be a square. I’ll then use hdc where appropriate to make it more of a rectangle than a square. I’ve a thumb diameter hole in the bottom. For the type shopping i imagine, that should not be a problem. I think once the base is done, i’ll do hdc instead of sc so it’s a little less stiff. I’m using a H/8 5 mm hook and sliced the bags up into roughly 1/2 wide strips.

I think i’ll be attentive to what sort of plastic bag goes into what project — these were mostly clear bags with green or purple markings. This will be CR2006.06.

Now that i know the trick of chaining loops of plastic, though, i know how i’ll work with dry cleaning bags.

Over the past week….

Sunday, February 26th, 2006


In the mail on Friday (i think), an invitation to participate in the S.i.C.A.r.T. project. Earlier in the week, Wednesday, i think, i received the returns from a nervousness Tree ATC trade. I’ve also received a request for one of my GCP commemorative envelopes from a collector. She sent it to Christine’s Grey Cat Productions address — we do wonder where she initially saw it.


Ruth assured me that the twisted burp whatever would become square with proper blocking. Really, all is well with the object. Ha!

Tools & Techniques

On Saturday i bought a new, inexpensive, lightweight tripod, a rubber cup that you put on the end of chair legs, a pipe clamp, a “grab-it” clamp, bungee cords, and some wire ties. I think i have the bike mount i wanted. Haven’t given it a trial yet.

A reply to my question about sweater design books recommended All Sweaters in Every Gauge and Modular Crochet.