Friday, April 22, 2011

Butterflies Are FREE Mail Art PFF #41

Badly faded Butterfly - still FREE
We recently received an invitation from the Holter Museum here in Helena, Montana, to display OUR envelope art. The reason I say OUR is because I created these envelopes over forty years ago for the woman who would become my wife upon my return from Vietnam. They belong to her. This is one that didn't go to the Holter.
The last four months I was in Vietnam I was stationed at the 1st Medical Battalion field hospital north and a bit west of Danang. I chose to take what was called 'Graveyard', which was the night shift from eleven until seven. It was fairly easy duty, as the ward I was assigned was a surgical ward.  Marines who had come in after three in the afternoon for minor surgery (something requiring sutures) would have to remain overnight, as some could not be returned to their units after five PM - the gates were closed.

My wife, then my fiancé, had been sending me Flair tip pens and a Rapidiograph to feed my creative habit, and I had occasionally been drawing on the envelopes for the love letters I sent to her. As I did last year, I will occasionally post one of these envelopes. They helped me maintain some level of sanity in what was a pretty ugly environment.

Be sure to visit Beth Niquette at The Best Hearts Are Crunchy  as she hosts another Postacrd Friendly Friday.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Neon Cupcake PFF #40

A tasty celebration

For the past week, I've been alternating between doing First Day Covers, my first of the year, and a new fruit jar that I've been working on since the first of the year. I can't seem to stay away from it, although I know I need to be doing the covers just to support my old paper habit if nothing else.

I worked on a neon sign for the new Neon Celebrate Forever stamp, but to do the neon proper, it really takes a stark, very dark background to properly display it in all of its brilliance - fully lit. After four days of struggling with it, I came up with what you see. A small little celebration with neon sprinkles, which I promptly ate after I took a few photographs. Yum.

Be sure you stop by Beth Niquette at The Best Hearts Are Crunchy for more delectable delights of the Eye Candy variety. You won't be disappointed as she hosts another Postcard Friendly Friday.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Today's Your Birthday, Happy Birthday to You!

The unopened stash of Rooibos Tea
A Full Flyer

Malone, New York. April 12th, 1949. The world welcomed Penny. I don't know if she cried, and I wasn't quite old enough to understand what the fuss was all about, since exactly one year earlier, in the same hospital, I was born.

My fascination with mail art really didn't begin until sometime in 1953 when my folks took us (by then there were three of us, just like in the photograph on the envelope above) to the opening of the C.M. Russell Museum in Great Falls, Montana. We'd moved to Shelby, Montana, by that time, so I don't remember anything about New York or my first two years. I do have one brief memory of the actual move when we were forced to spend a night in Wolf Point, Montana, on account of the road being closed because of a blizzard. I do believe that the photograph itself was taken in about 1953, although neither Penny nor myself are really certain about the year.

Many years later, I was given the Nick Bantock trilogy, Griffin and Sabine, by Penny and my youngest sister Judy. Although I was doing what I considered envelope art all along (some of it I've posted here and will be labeled as mail art if you're interested), that was really a turning point in the mail art that got exchanged between Penny and myself. She's now become adept at finding the right little pieces that make mail art a very FINE art!

I can't think of a better way to get a smile out of someone, even if you can't see it when it happens, than by sending them a piece of mail art. Nothing fancy required. Some of what I do comes easy to me, especially since I've played this game for over fifty years. You would actually be surprised at how your small act of kindness never goes unrewarded, and it always starts with the satisfaction gained from brightening the day for someone.

We lit up the smiles for each other a little early this year. Matters not, we enjoy the giving just as much as the receiving. And by the way, that's our brother Dan in the middle, and me sitting on the edge of the wagon.