It’s been hoppin’ around the P.O. box, what with Chinese new year (let’s hear it for Year of the Rabbit!), Valentine’s Day (oh yeah – February 14th was a month or so ago…) and did you know? March is National Craft Month! Perfect for introducing family and friends to mail art, creative re-use, and writing letters — just like the National Postal Museum did, with last weekend’s “Mail Art Workshop“!
So here are a couple of items that have come to my mailbox lately; each item is such a spectacular example of what I consider “extreme mail art” (see the IUOMA group over here) that I just had to share with you, dear postal colleagues! Again and again, I get asked “Can you really send THAT through the mail?!” These items prove that, yes indeed, you absolutely CAN.
Miss Marguerite K. sends the best mail, truly. Each dispatch from her mailbox is like a little slice of everything I love, put together into an envelope and rubber stamped to pure perfection. This goodie came in a bright yellow canister, covered with (printed) bumblebees. Inside, there was a list-like letter (upper right) and a handful of postal-themed card-lets. Miss M. mentioned that she created an edition of 10 of these mail art pieces; I was lucky to be the recipient of #2.
Miss Alice S. is also a “Sender of Fabulous Mail”: one of these days, I’m going to make a commemorative plaque or badge that bestows this honor upon her. For Valentine’s Day this year, a little raft of “boxes a la Alice” arrived at my P.O. box, all pink and red with the tiniest hint of glitter. Upon closer inspection, each box top opened, revealing a note or sticker set inside. Magnificent!
Some of you are aware of my penchant for plaid – it’s something I have a hard time keeping secret, since my closet seems to consist of a large quantity of pleated tartan skirts. Now that I’ve admitted that to the RLD readership, this most recent arrival will make a bit more sense.
Just like Paddington Bear, there was a note attached to Monsieur Bear’s (heed the bowtie!) mailing label. My correspondent Mr. James writes: “This poor guy was on a cart outside of East Bay Depot for Creative Reuse, and since he is sporting this nice plaid outfit and you are a known Plaidista, I thought it only fitting that he should come to live with you.”
I christen you, Monsieur Bear, “Plaid-ington Bear”!
Here’s a close up of the mailing label; Mr. James affixed the postage and (I would later find out) handed Plaid-ington Bear directly to the postal carrier. She took him with nary a raised eyebrow; however, when I picked up Plaid-ington at my PO, the counter folk looked relived that I had come to take over custodianship of their festively attired backroom burden. (they are unbelievably patient and also deserve some sort of badge or plaque. On that particular day, in addition to Plaid-ington, they were holding a plate with the Pope’s head graffittied on it and a vintage 1920’s chocolate box carefully sealed and covered in postage…) After collecting my treasures, I proceeded to walk home from Haight Street; I’m pretty sure there was a trail of disbelieving looks left in my wake.
So tell me your stories of mail art strange-ness! Have you ever been on the receiving end of wild-n-wooly mail art? Or perhaps you’re a sender of quirky mail? We’re waiting to hear all about it…
Viva le Post!