Friday, June 25, 2010

Mail Art

I have fallen into a happy exchange.

About a month ago I stumbled upon the book Good Mail Day while perusing the book store. The second I saw it, I KNEW I had to have it.

I remember the day I saw my first piece of mail art. I was in high school & at my friend Chris’ house. It was around the time of his birthday and I remember seeing an envelope that one of his mother’s friends sent to him. It was the most colorful, glorious envelope I had ever seen in my life. It was covered in hand-drawn candles and vibrant stickers with Chris’ name & address tucked into a scroll-y little frame. It was the epitome of happiness in paper. I just turned the envelope over & over, trying to burn to memory all the little details this woman had included to make Chris’ day a little more special. I was in awe. The fact that an a-d-u-l-t spent that kind of time and effort to make a simple envelope such a treat in itself was a new thing to me. The fact that the post office let her get away with it was an even bigger surprise - how was I to know at age 15 that such fun things were allowed in such a serious world.

It was that one envelope 20 years ago that has inspired me be imaginative with my mail ever since. I have long been decorating and making envelopes from various brochure, calendar and magazine pages but never got into sharing with kindred art-mail-souls. I shared them with my friends and relatives, but not a “community” of mail-lovers.

Sooo...back to Good Mail Day. One of the authors has a fun blog on which like-minded peeps have begun sharing their addresses to be mail-art-friends. I have sent out pieces to many people on the list and have been overwhelmed by the responses I am getting. I cannot describe the excitement I experienced the day I received my first piece of mail art. I seriously had a grin on my face for at least an hour and I felt like a little kid with the greatest treasure. I got the mail as I was running out the door to run a few errands and then jump on the subway to meet a friend for lunch. I kept the little plastic envelope in my hand as I did my various errands, I would turn it over & over, looking at it as I walked from place to place...but I did not open it. I wouldn’t let myself open it until I could sit down and give it the proper attention that it deserved. So, the moment I got on the subway, there was an open seat and I just sat down and went into a little world of my own as I slowly peeled away the tape closing the envelope and excitedly read the little note from Carolee.

I have been so amazed at the letters I’ve gotten too. I hadn’t thought about sitting down & writing proper letters, but am excited to have received some fun correspondence with women who have creative spirits.

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