Here are some of my offerings for the Sidewalk Poetry event at I Know You Like a Book from 6-7pm tonight in Peoria Heights. The flip side of the palm card is information about PeoWrimos, my writers’ group! Come read your poetry, or enjoy the words of others.
I’m an avid letter writer. I “adopted” a senior in Florida whom I adore. I have pen pals. I write to friends who’ve moved away. I send cards.
I love mail! I’ve gotten to the point where I almost feel like sending a letter in a plain white envelope is sending my child off to school naked!
Maybe that’s a slight exaggeration.
I’m not an artist, but I love and appreciate little details. Here are three examples of very easy (and inexpensive) ideas you can use today to send your correspondence slightly less naked!
1. Colored chalks. You can even use sidewalk chalks, but be aware that the cheaper chalks will rub off more easily when going through the postal machines. I take a cotton ball and using the lighter color first (in this example, yellow) I dab patches of color all over the front and back of the envelope. Then I dab the second color in the spaces in between. I shake off the excess chalk and carefully blend, so the colors form a soft bond, and it almost gives it a tie-dyed effect.
2. Purchased envelopes from dollar stores. I found these cute envelopes in a package of twelve for just $1US. If you hunt around in nearby bins, sometimes you might find matching stationery, as well.
3. Sharpie squiggle art! Who doesn’t love sharpie art, and it makes a bold impression. I obviously had to use an address label, but this envelope was so much fun to make, I will be making more!
If you’re in a hurry, even just adding a cute sticker, a doodle or a funny quote can add charm to your correspondence.
I’ve gotten away from writing letters as I’ve been dealing with illness. I’ve missed it. I know when we move (especially if we move to another country) this will become an integral part of my life. I’m on a mission to make it more routine again. To pick up from where I left off on the 100 Haikus Project.
To send bad art with reckless abandon, but heartfelt intentions!
Great points, all of them. I’ll be creating an art journal to give to my senior as a Christmas gift…I’m a little bit nervous because I want to put a lot of thought into it, yet I want it to look effortless and spontaneous. But…this is the first “shared” visual journal I’ll be creating, and I want it to be very special.
Originally posted on QuinnCreative:
She handed me her journal–pages splashed with color, thick with found items and inserts. “What do you think?” she asked eagerly. Tough question to answer. It doesn’t matter what I think if she is satisfied. If she likes her work, if she found meaning in the activity or the result, then my opinion has no importance.
In another way, I’d like to know why she’s asking the question. Is this the art journal equivalent of “Do these pants make my tuchus look fat?” Is she asking for praise in a hidden way? Is she looking for suggestions? Approval?
I turned the pages of the journal. I’d heard of the technique–do anything. Some pages were sewn chaotically, combining junk mail and lace, tulle and magazine pages. The bobbin thread had become confused with the different…
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It was a great day – and a great event! For anyone who says Peoria doesn’t have anything to offer to the arts community, I call foul. They just aren’t looking in the right place. Peoria is rich in culture, arts and entertainment, if you know where to look.
Originally posted on PeoWriMos -- Peoria Writers' Group:
Ignite Peoria was so much fun!
We hosted two informal workshops for kids this afternoon. We came armed with handouts and workbooks, and had a great time talking about some story basics!
Turns out, most of our audience was already well-versed in fiction mechanics. We spent our time talking about their experiences writing and how to trouble-shoot when they run into problems, deal with writer’s block, don’t know what to write next, or even how to deal with the dreaded inner editor!
I loved meeting each and every one of our young writers. To them, and to you, I wish you,
If you’ve ever received a very colorful, hand-embellished envelope from me, know that I am trying my hand at mail art. Mail art has been around since the advent of the postal service but it was made popular in the 1950s (known art exchanges have been documented with Exquisite Corpse, earlier in the century as well). It is making a revival, especially given the popularity of email, the decline of the economy which is affecting the postal service in every community world-wide and the love of nostalgia.
I’m a huge fan of mail art! Not only decorating envelopes, but participating in exchanges that are devoted to sending handmade goodies via snailmail.
I recently became involved in a mail art swap, and I had the best time! I lurked in the group for several months before I finally signed up for one of their every-other-month swaps (I don’t have permission to advertise the group, but if you search on mail art in Facebook, you will be able to find it & request membership of the closed group!) in June and mailed my creations out this month.
Mind you, I am not an artist. I can doodle and make some crafty things without feeling horribly embarrassed, but the reason I waited so long to join an exchange was because nearly everyone there is a true artist! The reason I joined a swap recently was because the theme was “Dinosaurs, Unicorns & Octopi” and I wanted to make an octopus. Like this:
It was purely nostalgia & selfishness that drove me. I didn’t have any other plan than a dorky yarn octopus-one like the pink one that sat on the pink bedspread of “my” room at my grandparents’ house when I was growing up. There was one guy in the exchange…I waited with baited breath, just hoping I wouldn’t end up with the guy as my partner because I didn’t think he’d appreciate a cutesy yarn doll. Finally, I got a girl!! Alas, a non-frilly goth girl. Thus, the crazy, red button eyes and charcoal gray color of my doll! haha
This also afforded me the opportunity to start something I’ve been wanting to do for a few months now. I was the recipient of a 100 Post Card project last year, was honored to be involved & thought it would be really cool to pay it forward with 100 Haikus. That project has since evolved, and now I am planning to send 100 Poetry Broadsides (handmade) instead with my original poetry. Here is the broadside I sent for the exchange:
I drug my feet on this, actually. I had to freehand the mermaid tail and it terrified me! The deadline was looming though, and I just had to do it. I don’t think it turned out nearly as bad as I was thinking it could!
Finally, feeling a bit sub-par with my art skills (or lack thereof), I decided to make a mixed tape for my exchange buddy. I stalked her tumblr account to see what sort of music she liked & got a CD made with all sorts of dino-uni-octi-themed music & a handmade CD insert. You get to enjoy a song off of the CD too! I figure, she will at least enjoy the music even if she thinks the octopus is stupid & the artwork and/or poetry is lame.
I am pretty fearless with my attempts at art. Maybe because I know I’m not an artist (technically writing is an art, but the art that I have any talent in only involves WORDS!), so you might think I’m just a glutton for punishment, but…
I signed up for the next exchange too, which is an Alphabet exchange (think Dr. Seuss’s Alphabet Book). Plus, I invited my daughter, who truly is an artist to join the exchange too, because she LOVES typography. It was her favorite class in her college art studies. She is going to make me look really silly, but I am super proud of her, and I have writerly ideas in mind too. I can’t wait to find out which letter I will be responsible for (we will be assigned our letter in early August). I can’t wait to start on the newest chapter of my artsy endeavors! Carpe diem!
As it turns out, committing to posting a blog entry every day wasn’t such a good thing for shingles. Then again, I don’t think anything has been. I have now had shingles for over 4 months and it’s getting old. But, I am no worse than I was, and I think I’m ready to post blog entries on occasion again.
Here are my new and exciting adventures since April:
- Summer! We have been camping a few times with our puppy boys. They LOVEloveLOVE it there! Just not the inevitable bath time when we get back home.
- Training for a 5k race that will take place on September 7th. It’ll be the first race that I’ve run in since 2009!
- On new medication for Sjogren’s. Not sure what to make of it so far…it isn’t supposed to make me feel better for a few months & right now it just makes me feel high & nauseous.
- Camp NaNoWriMo: I am attempting to outline my November novel in July. Crazysauce…I am a pantser! However, I’m teaching an outlining class in October to prep for NaNoWriMo. Therefore, I should probably actually attempt an outline of my own.
- Mail Art exchange with the theme of “Dinosaurs, Unicorns & Octopi.” Here is what I’ve come up with so far (and a goth yarn octopus):
This is really just a continuation of Japanese poetry forms, but this is one I’d never heard of before & is an exciting new discovery!
Renga is another form of collaborative poetry – and puts me in mind of Exquisite Corpse, only not as drunken and more nature-based! And, just gets those wheels a-spinnin’ in my head. There are new poetry open mics sprouting all over town. I’m in a poetry frame of mind and I have poet friends…they might be game for such a collaborative effort!
Traditionally, a kasen renga refers to flowers twice and the moon once in a set of 36 stanzas. Can you do it? I will try, too.