Newspaper Postcard Collage: Almost caught up

Between the Altered Book and my postcards, I am slowly catching up with the backlog.  I’m actually missing only one date now in August, and by the weekend, I would’ve completed my first month of Newspaper Postcard Collages.  Wow.

I actually like going through them when I can, and I’m trying to “seal” them with mod podge to protect them from getting damaged.  I like that these projects that keep me on my toes are actually not that time sensitive, to the point that I get stressed out about it.  A day at a time, I tell myself.

Below is an exception to my headlines which is actually a collecting category of and by itself: Recipes.  I don’t collect them and only do them on the postcards thinking that there might be someone who might become interested some day to get one of mine.  Hmmmm…  For now, I’m enjoying “chronicling” the headlines from day to day between THE NEW YORK TIMES and THE WALL STREET JOURNAL.

[57] Mail Art: Newspaper Collage Postcard - The New York Times, 29Aug2012 #2

Click HERE to view the Album on FLICKR

Desiderata in my Art Journal

I knew I had written about this poem before and you can click here for the original post written in 2006 where the full text of the poem appears.

Sometimes, one of the problems that stump art journalers (is there even such a word?) is what to write on something you had drawn or done.  I’ve been into trees lately (again, thanks to the folks at IUOMA) and although I’ve only done two postcards so far (and not feeling confident enough to trade away as it is), I decided I’d do a tree on one of my existing watercolor backgrounds.  But what to write?

I don’t know why after days and days of trying to decide on an apt quote to use, I finally decided I would do Desiderata on the piece.  I’ll write about that separately when it’s all done, but I rendered the poem in plain block print with certain phrases/sentences in bolder, bigger letters.  I feel like I did accomplish something in finally getting that done.  Now I’m trying to decide if I will do the journaling on the side or within the leaves of the tree.  (Decisions, decisions.)  So it isn’t quite done just yet.

ALTERED BOOK MULTI PAGE Meanwhile, I did something different with my altered book which was an idea that came to me after I painted another tw0-page layout.  I executed it last night and can’t wait to do what I intend to do with the cut up pages, but I’ve decided to lay the groundwork for the backgrounds first and then work on individual entries and prompts from there.  I wanted to create a multi-page layout which ends up with four sections on the right side of the page.  It would contain a four-section or four-letter word which would be spelled out on each “quarter” of the right side.  (I’ve started a new page on MY ALTERED BOOK where I will talk more about what I’ve been doing with the book in detail.) I’m quite happy with how things turned out and have moved on to my next experiment which is painting watercolor on book paper.    It just feels like I’m making strides..  You would have thought I was some crazy woman caressing the acrylic painted leaves of the altered book this morning on the bus.  The pages that have been painted or coated with acrylic paint on both sides have an almost fabric/thin tarp feel.  I almost don’t want to write on it for fear of ruining it! HA!

Scribblings and Cling stampWell, almost.  I did start on the page behind the cover and started to just scribble things after using a cling stamp.  No pressure in filling the blank squares up.  I’m just writing this way and that, scribbling the first thing that comes to mind about this altered book.

The day started rather gloomily with rain, but it did a complete turnaround by noon.  It became scorching hot outside so I opted to stay indoors.  I did come wearing my rain boots this morning and I’m thinking I’m better off going home with regular shoes.  (I hope I am not speaking too soon!)  It looks like the skies have cleared.

Can you believe August officially ends by Friday?  Where did the year go?  Before you know it, autumn will be here.  That didn’t quite hit me until I visited one of the blogs I bumped into because of Art Journal Every Day links on Julie Fei-Fan Balzer’s page.  Go visit gingerblue and get to know the art of Chel.  I don’t usually blog hop these days, and when I do, I have a set of younger bloggers I go and visit, but I am continually awed by the talent that oozes from the inspiring art journal entries that submit links to Julie’s page.  So once in a while I’ll leave a comment, and sometimes I get a note back.  (I totally don’t mind if I don’t.  I know how busy life gets.)  So Chel wrote back and I wrote another comment.  (This is going to be an ongoing thing, I am sure.)  But it is always good to acknowledge inspiration from those who give it to you.

I won’t be able to do it today but she’s definitely landing in my BLOG TRAILS.

My Altered Book

My Altered BookSo I picked a regular hard bound book — taped it up, and have started painting backgrounds. I’m on my 5th layout, I believe, and I’m hoping to do 3-4 more all throughout the day instead of waiting for the evening to do one or two. (Have to let the previous one dry before beginning the next.) I want to do collage but don’t know how much of that I can put in considering this is already bound. I don’t want to commit the same mistake I did with my art journal which is now bursting from end to end and I’m not even halfway through the composition notebook. (If I do stick with that book, it’ll mean a 3-4 inch compilation later.) But I like the learning I’ve been doing along the way. So now I know what paint to use and how rendering the layout outside the book and then pasting it in actually makes it easier for me for that project.

Good news is, I did bring the layout I was hoping to work with and another I wanted to finish. I want to work on that this lunch time. I was actually hoping I can make it out to the public area in the building across from where I work, sit, just pass the time, like so many people do, but it’s raining cats and dogs outside. My neighbor up on the executive floor is chiding me for never leaving my desk. (And yes, I hardly do.) I really should do that more often. It can be quite a good way to recharge.

And the weekend version of the Wall Street Journal is in — plus today’s papers! I’m almost all caught up with the newspaper collage postcards, provided I don’t fall back any further. I just need to make up one or two days from last week (have to check), and I’m all current again. A cursory skimming of the papers has me all excited because I see a ton of “clippable” and “collage-able” pieces from page to page. (“It is Art Journal Day today, D!” — have to remind myself or else I won’t get anywhere. LOL)

So I’m not touching the postcards today except to do my daily collage, and I’ve already addressed the three cards going out today. I had found this gorgeous pink flamingo postcards (or were they cranes?) which I offered up to the Philippine Postcrossing group and it was taken by one of my new postcard trading friends, Katherine. I like offering the special cards to the kababayans back home first because it makes the postage more worthwhile.

An altered pageWhat’s with the altered book anyway? It’s any book (a ledger, an old school book, notebook, diary, or other printed material) that is used in a way different from the original purpose it was meant to be. Others create paper sculptures out of a book, and others would use the book for a journal by painting over or writing over the original format. I choose to do art over it — or pretend art.. HA! =) I’m getting there, little by little. Today I started with the cover page which I had meant to be my dedication page. I’m still working on it. As I said, getting there.

Postcard Weekend

I had hoped to get some art journaling done, but the whole weekend has been POSTCARDS, POSTCARDS and more POSTCARDS.  I’m not complaining.  The return to collecting has been rejuvenating, and while I have received postcards, I’ve started getting rid of some of the mint postcards I have which are not within my collecting interests.  More importantly, I’ve started sorting out my collection and putting them together in a more organized fashion.  I’m still missing some important portions of my collection which must be in an unmarked box in the attic.

Postcards from Philippines, The: Map 1I spent late Saturday afternoon sweating it out up there and went down with what I know is my “secondary” map collection.  I have quite a task ahead photographing them for the my Flickr set on Map Postcards.  I also found my more recent Philippine postcards.  (I have around 50 postcards to upload so as of tonight, I only have one Philippine map there.)

The weekend was quiet but productive.  I didn’t go to Michael’s Friday but managed to go Saturday.  I didn’t grab much — just more acrylic paint dabbers which I hope will get me going on the art journaling.  I’ve also started an altered book.  Figured I have so many “junk” books — books that I grabbed from clean ups in the office which were brand new but which are of no interest to me.  So today, I started painting the pages with backgrounds, experimenting with watercolor, gesso and acrylic paint.  I’m learning.

Lessons learned:

– Watercolor seeps through the page which made it necessary for me to gesso the next page.

– Gesso does stick — although just a little.

– Acrylic paint on a blank ungessoed page will cover the text

– I have to learn to work with a protective backing between pages as I paint (and so I cut a plastic folder in two, putting one sheet under the current sheet I’m working on).

I took off the dust jacket and covered the hard cover with masking tape.  I haven’t quite decided what I will do with that for the cover, but I do know that I had to protect it from the paint.

In sorting through my materials, too, I found some old printouts of pictures taken during one of my trips to Paris.  I had printed out some pictures with a lot of motion in them as there was a time I was fascinated by the images you caught when the images were blurred, or when the lights formed lines in the picture as the lens attempted to capture as much light as it could.  I have cut them up and will try to incorporate them in some mail art.  The pressure is on as some colleagues from IUOMA are going to start sending mail art, so I have to start producing.

I didn’t get the tools out but I did start sorting my findings again.  (Getting there.)  I have emptied two containers to make room for more to store away.  I have put the polymer clay in a box.  The best thing is, I relisted at least 5 items in my Gotham Chick shop on Etsy.  Hooray for that!  I want the store to be fully stocked in time for the holidays…

It’s another Sunday making me wish there was another day to the weekend, or that tomorrow wasn’t Monday yet.  But it is.  Work awaits.  I’m hoping I wake up early enough and that I don’t have to be stressed out about making it to my 8:30am start.  Monday’s here again.  I’d like to think of the start of the week with positive vibes — no matter how I really feel about it all.  One thing I’ve learned is that my outlook on things can change the way things look or feel — and that’s what keeps me going.

I can let a joke slide and tell myself that though that hurts, I cannot say anything.  I shouldn’t say anything.  Mistakes I have made have put me in that position, so as they say, I have to just suck it up.  In one ear, out the other.  It’s something I owe that I will never get to pay back — even through my lifetime.  So I don’t say anything.  I take a deep breath, and I go on.

My latest Newspaper Collage Postcard

Weekend to weekend

Handmade Card: Hand-drawn tree on laser printed background
Hand-drawn on a reproduction of a watercolor background I had originally done for an Art Journal Every Day entry

So I have been remiss, I know.  I’ve been busy and blogging takes a tad bit more effort when I have to skirt around security issues at work which, alas, were “lifted” magically.  I’m not going to ask, I’m not going to complain.  I’m just going to blog.

This card here is going to get on its way to a friend soon.  Bringing well wishes, prayers and a warm hug to boot.  I wish I could deliver it personally, but sometimes you need to keep away and just let the card do the talking.  My friendship with this lady has been mostly on paper literally the last couple of years.  We have kept the postal service on its toes, although I had given them a break the past few months.  She is also one of a handful of people I make sure I see whenever I land in Manila.

Well, I am back.  I’m glad it’s Friday again.  I’m going to try and catch up with the Newspaper Collage Postcards which I haven’t done for most of the week.  I also uploaded a tutorial or how-to on my postcards in GothamChick if any one is interested.

A sad thing just happened a few blocks away from where I work.  And to think I had just passed that very same area around 40 minutes before this shooting around the Empire State Building took place.  I have nothing more to say about it at this point except a silent prayer for all.  Thank you, though, to those who messaged me on Facebook, via text and e-mail.

I’m thinking if I get to get out of the office early enough, I’ll make a stop at the Columbus Circle branch of Michael’s.  That would make two boys happy since it means I won’t have to make the stop during our errand run this weekend.  I am always grateful that they indulge me even if sometimes the lines get really long and it takes me forever and a day to get whatever it is I’m getting 40% off or what not.

It’s really quite a ways away from me, but a detour worth making given that polymer clay is currently at 4 for $5 again.  I try to stock up on polymer clay when that happens because I want to get it at its cheapest.  (The economics of maintaining a hobby.)  But again, it depends on what time I can make it out of here in Midtown where I am.

I’m also thinking I’ll just head straight home.  I have a burger dinner date with the son — home-made angus beef burgers from Pat LaFrieda of FreshDirect.  Yum!  Time for me to go.. my weekend just started.

Weekend at Great Wolf Lodge

We spent the weekend at Great Wolf Lodge Poconos and we’re heading back to New York this evening. The boy had a lot of fun which is the whole point of the trip, and while we wish we could’ve stayed an extra day, work awaits. We are planning to take a day or two off again (like Tuesday) and maybe catch The Bourne Legacy..
At Great Wolf Lodge Poconos, 19Aug2012
With summer almost over, we’re tryring to enjoy the warm weather. School begins first week of September and after that, we would have to rely on school breaks for any long vacations. This one proved to be quite an enjoyable one, with us finally getting to a Great Wolf Lodge resort between planning on their Poconos and Virginia locations. The food was great — fantastic seafood buffet — and their burger passed the “Angelo test”. The boy is getting to be the burger connoiseur between the burgers of Bobby Flay, The Counter and Pat LaFrieda’s gourmet burgers on Fresh Direct. And this one actually has a real Starbucks store in contrast with the regular hotel cafes which just “brew” Starbucks coffee.

While I have not completed any newspaper collage postcards, I haven’t forgotten them. I will catch up this coming week with Friday’s postcards and the weekend edition of The Wall Sreet Journal
which I’ll be getting tomorrow at work.

I am continuing to catalogue my postcard collection on Flickr, but the progress is slow. That is going to be one long-term project but I am in no rush. The good thing is that it’s helping me to put my postcards in order and get rid of the ones that aren’t really part of the collection.

And still on the postcards — like our previous trips, I’m sending home postcards for our travel diary, and I even got Angelo to write the dedication on one of them. Great Wolf Lodge Poconos had four postcards available but no local postcards, though. At least I’m sending out something which Angelo can look forward to receiving in the coming days.

I decided to sit out the swimming today and I’ve been relaxing on one of the pool deck chairs, standing guard. Did one “FACES” piece for my IUOMA group, and I learned that signpen ink doesn’t dry quickly when used on Gesso. So it got kind of messy, but I’m happy with the way it turned out all in all. (Chalking that up as one of those “I learn something new everyday” bits.)

I had worked over a color photocopy of a favorite face and had painted gesso on the background. This gives me another bright idea for using my own photographs for mail art and my Art Journal.

The water looks very inviting but I am staying put here and just enjoying the rest of the afternoon.

A newspaper collage postcard a day…among other things

Each day that I’ve been scouring the newspapers the last two weeks and more so the past few days that Manila has been under water, I’ve been searching for reporting/coverage of the storm. It seems like there’s just too much happening all over the world for us to land the front page, but we did get this picture in one of the inside pages of The New York Times on August 10, 2012.  (You can view my Flickr album of Newspaper Collage Postcards here.)

A former boss even e-mailed me, concerned about the family back home.  I appreciate gestures like that that show me I am more than just another minion (or ex-minion) to her.  Fortunately, the family in San Juan were spared.

The rains (although greatly reduced from what I imagine poured back home in Manila) have arrived in New York.  My rain boots have been put to good use — and I’m going to take out my light coat soon.

I was going to take tomorrow as a personal day but the past few days have been particularly busy with the visiting top banana I’ve been helping out, and my actual top banana is back even if only remotely — I haven’t cleared as much off of my to-do list as I had hoped to.  I wanted to do tomorrow as a “take care of ME” day, but I guess I can make it a “take care of ME” afternoon instead.

Tonight proved to be challenging and aggravating, but I’d rather leave it at that.  Even thinking of writing about it weighs heavily on me, but hey, it’s part and parcel of life here as I keep reminding myself.  It eventually got resolved, but the worries persist.  What’s important is that there’s peace where it matters — the boy is fine and happy and excited about the weekend, and I’m finally here sitting with enough time to attempt a coherent blog post.

[33] Mail Art: Newspaper Collage Postcard - The Wall Street Journal,15Aug2012 #1
How lucky can I get? An article on Lighthouses in New York and a Lighthouse museum in the works as featured by the Wall Street Journal last August 15, 2012

I am making a trip to the post office tomorrow to mail out my postcards — a half dozen or so going to addresses in the Philippines thanks to a FACEBOOK group on Postcrossing called Postcrossing Philippines, Postcrossing itself and some postcard exchange groups.  (Postales/Postcards/CartolinePostcard Exchange, and Postcard Exchange) Of course the kababayans get a special treat.  I am trying to ship a special postcard postmarked, but I’m afraid that if I send the postcard as is, it will be filched in the mail.  So I’m going to try and be creative, taping something in front of it.  The front of the postcard is good to tape something via masking tape onto, so I think I can pull it off.  (Keeping my fingers crossed.)

It’s finally Friday again tomorrow.. =)  And then it’ll be Saturday and we’re going on a weekend trip.  Nothing far, but quite a treat.  No one can be more excited than the boy.

Email me at if you’re interested to trade.  My postcard collection on Flickr can be found here.

Postcard talk

My heart has been heavy these days.  I received news about someone dear being terribly, terribly sick.  I’m not supposed to know, and the news almost made me cry when I read the e-mail.  The only thing that stopped the tears was the fact that I was in a very public place. I took a deep breath and said a quick prayer, acknowledged the message, but from there, my mind froze.

I feel so deeply saddened that while I was planning to write my friend, I have yet to pick up paper and pen since Sunday.  This even as I have immersed myself in postcard exchanges.

When I walk alone, or as I do my regular chores, the sadness envelopes my heart.  I think about how fragile life is and how we all live on borrowed time.  I think about the pain and anger I sometimes find myself immersed in.  I float in and out convincing myself everything is alright.  I wish..

We take so many things forgranted.  This morning as I walked out of the house, I caught sight of the muted sun, more like the moon, as the dark clouds started to cover it.  I started to reach for my camera but the clouds were much too fast.  I missed out on it.  It would’ve made for a good graphic for today’s post.

I haven’t been here in a while.  I’ve been busy.  I can only blog late at night or early in the morning, and it’s difficult when I have to make a deliberate effort to do it.  Tonight, I’m working off of a blogpost I started drafting yesterday in the bus, and I’m continuing writing it — while on the bus.  I can just vegetate and try to catch some shut-eye, but I feel bad that I haven’t written.

Postcards are being sent out.  I’m lucky there’s a post office a block away from where I work, and a nice walk from where I live.  I’m trying to manage my trading, and I’m getting into the swing of things again.  Not where the mail art is concerned, though.  I’m still a little shy about sharing my work but I’m trying to build a network over at IUOMA.

I’m continuing with the newspaper collage although I’m missing a few.  (They weren’t with the postcards in the office so I guess they’re back home.). One thing I like is that headlines here in the US tend to be distinct from newspaper to newspaper, unlike back in Manila where one headline is paraphrased in the next newspaper’s front page.  It seems like everyone’s buzzing about Ryan but in whispers.

(Almost 2 hrs on the road with traffic crawling through the rain.  Sigh.  This is one of those nights I wish I had full time househelp to take care of Angelo.  Not in America, though.)

Back to the postcards… I am trying Postcrossing out and have had 2 postcards reach their intended destination but I have yet to receive one.  I noticed there are a lot of Filipinos on the site and some have chalked up quite a record sending out postcards.  I am amazed and then I suddenly remember my boxes of postcards.  Guilty.  I really have to start listing those postcards which need to find a new home.

For one, I have around a dozen Star Trek postcards — to keep or not to keep?  I have more than a hundred Canadiana I need to “release”.  Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against Canada but if they’re not maps and not lighthouses, they’re sitting untouched and unadmired in the darkness of a storage box.  And what about duplicate maps and lighthouses, most of which I picked up as spares to trade?

The stadiums are slowly going… (Can’t wait until they are all on their merry way.)  I am starting to sort out the unsorted postcards and will hopefully combine them with those sorted in boxes already.  A little at a time..

Midnight.  Time for bed.. and it’s another day.  Have to get that letter on its way to my friend.