Artist Trading Cards, etc.

I’ve been cutting up extra freecards (of which I have quite a lot!) into the denominated size of 3.5 x 2.5 inches with my paper trimmer, and have been creating sets of backgrounds, much like I did with my mail art postcards.

I have a few that have been gessoed over, some have been pasted with used brown paper bags and book pages, and tonight, I tried to do watercolor and acrylic paint backgrounds straight on the matte side which is the side you are supposed to address and write your message on. Those pieces are currently drying. I did them in between cooking the rice, frying the petite fillet and heating the roasted potatoes on the stove. Ha! I’m just happy to have had the chance to put together a home-cooked meal for the family which even my usually picky mother-in-law liked.  It’s not that easy to serve her up savory dishes when she has her diabetes and heart condition. We try.  I’d have done more if I wasn’t feeling under the weather. I’m ready to do my first batch of Artist Trading Cards.

And I have my altered book resting on my lap right now. I just can’t stopp myself from going page to page even as I have yet to start with the dedication which I will work on tomorrow.

Except for photographing and sorting postcards in my collection, I did manage to keep away from trading or dealing with the trade like I had promised myself yesterday. I had dropped off quite a bunch of postcards at the post office Saturday with the majority of the cards heading for the Philippines.

I’ve found it very heartening that people are now into postcard trading even if it feels different because of the preference for cards being sent postmarked. Back in the day when I was actively collecting, I preferred to get my cards in an envelope.

With new online projects like Postcrossing where postcard trades are randomly assigned on a pay-it-forward basis (it is not an exchange but rather, participating means you will get a postcard from someone else you don’ t know), I see more and more people participating more for the experience of the exchange rather than seriously collecting postcards. As for me, I am happy to have received noteworthy additions to my maps, lighthouses and Philippine postcard collection. (I am still eagerly awaiting the postcards from the Philippines, which, given the literal snail’s pace that the postal office moves at, should be arriving in my mailbox any day now.)

I’m still trying to learn the basics and rudiments of ATC trading.  Unlike postcards which can be bought to add to your collection,  ATCs are traded.  Postcards are usually chosen, too, by the intended recipient and traded for something the sender prefers.  ATCs may be traded blind, meaning with no agreement as to which piece or pieces will be exchanged.  Swaps can also be of multiples and are sent to and then sent out by the swap host.

Well, I’m still a long way away from trading — give me a couple of days more.  For now, it’s cutting and creating…cutting and creating.

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

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

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 postcardmailbox@gmail.com if you’re interested to trade.  My postcard collection on Flickr can be found here.

Postcards and Mail Art: Newspaper Collage

I’m not feeling too well today.  I don’t know if it’s the heat or just my present medical condition, but I am really feeling weak.  I did manage to do errands with the boys and get home in one piece — and even pull together a decent dinner for all of us, but I’ve mostly done everything tonight while in bed.  (Like right now.)

So yes, I’ve started putting up some of my postcards in my Flickr account which you can view by going to this collection which, as of tonight, contains 5 sets: Lighthouses, Maps, Modern New York, Americana and Mail Art.   I have a subpage on Mail Art Backgrounds which I just uploaded but I am not including that in the collection for now.   I haven’t quite figured out how I will identify the postcards that I have duplicates to trade with — but that can wait for next time.  I have a long, long way to go, but at least I got it started.  (FINALLY!)

I’ve also put up a Postcard Exchange page (see link on the sections corner up on the left or on top of the page) which is still a work in progress.

Three days ago, during the course of my bloghopping, I chanced upon some art blogs which mentioned art postcard swaps which totally piqued my curiosity.  (One particular postcard swap I would’ve loved to participate in would have been Liberate Your Art 2012 from Kat Eye Studio but sign ups are already closed. )   End result was I found myself toying with the idea of creating newspaper collages on old postcards or just about any other paper I can cut into a 4.25″ x 6″ piece.

I was so inspired I created four pieces right away during my lunch hour but which I totally ruined by applying mod podge to later at night, then trying to flatten them by pressing them between the pages of a book I weighted down with something heavy.  End result was that the mod podge caused some of the “white” of the book page to adhere to the postcard, ruining it.

Newspaper Collage on Postcard gone wrong
Newspaper Collage on Postcard Gone Wrong

Well, it’s a learning experience for me.  As you can see, I’m Michael Phelps crazy (again).. just as I was 4 years ago.

As a postcard collector, I think it’s a novel idea to pull together part of the newspaper edition of the day in one postcard or several, then keeping them for posterity or to trade.  I make sure, though, to include the newspaper banner or part of it (which, in the case of my first batch, came from the August 1, 2012 edition of the Wall Street Journal.)  You will see a full “THE WALL STREET JOURNAL” and the full day and date in the piece.  These are all headlines and graphics and part caption.

My next set of collages done yesterday were more photo-centered, and this time, I made sure the photo credits were likewise included.  Or at least those that I can pull.  (I seem to have forgotten to clip the credits for the photo background but I will try to remedy that if I can still find a spare copy of this issue.  I managed to make a set of four from the August 1, 2012 edition of the New York Times this time around.)    Still Michael Phelps crazy but he’s the big news in the papers these days.

[4]  Mail Art: Newspaper Collage Postcard - NYTimes 01Aug2012 #4

Right now I’m still trying to decide if I will still try and do modpodge on this one, add other embellishments or elements to it, or maybe paint in some color?  If I do add some form of sealant or glaze on top, I will make sure to flatten it between sheets of parchment paper to avoid any part of the book page from adhering to the piece.  (Lesson learned!)

When the collages are ready, I intend to offer them for trade or just to send out to anyone interested.  Or I might just keep them and instead offer up photo print postcards instead to trade.

How-tos to follow via GothamChick.com.  I brought home three copies of Friday’s Wall Street Journal but had gotten busy with the watercolor backgrounds I did instead.  (More on that in another post.)

Art Postcards: Watercolor Backgrounds

Back to my Postcards

I have been collecting postcards for almost 20 years now, but my postcard collecting has been half-hearted the last couple of years.  I’ve mostly bought postcards from our trips, making a point of sending it back to us with inscriptions of the things we had done.  I have altogether stopped trading.

I am hoping to streamline my postcard collection to my main collecting interests which are: anything Filipino (vintage and new), anything New York (vintage and new), lighthouses, maps and now, art postcards or mail art.  I also have quite a collection of freecards or advertising cards from the Philippines, New York and other countries, but I just want to keep what I have and dispose of my duplicates or maybe make use of them as backing for altered postcards or mail art.

I have attempted to catalogue or upload my postcard collection to the web several times in the past, but finding an acceptable “format, theme or stylesheet” has been problematic so I gave up on that.  Well maybe it’s time to revisit the idea again.  I am seriously considering putting up a separate site altogether and maybe start trading again.  After all, I have a PRO Flickr account so might as well make the most of it.

One reason I had stopped actively trading was because I had fallen behind on some trades before I stopped.  I would like to make good on them but I have lost track.  Motherhood had gotten in the way, but I’ve always believed that I can always try to make up for my failure to make good on an exchange.  (Please e-mail me and let me know.)

Meanwhile, I’m so happy to have found that there are a lot of trading groups om Facebook.  Looks like the post office is getting some help with these snail mail trades.

Black and White Postcard of the Brooklyn Bridge

I have found postcard collecting very rewarding, more so when I was young and not yet able to travel.  I always said that postcards provided me a window to the world beyond the shores of the Philippines.

So I guess you can say I’m back to postcard trading, with the additional collecting interest of mail art or art postcards.

If you are interested to receive a postard from New York city, one of my art postcards (to trade for one of your own), or if you are interested to exchange postcards within my collecting interests or if you want  any of the postcards I am trying to weed out of my collection, please e-mail me with your mailing address IN THE FORMAT IT’S SUPPOSED TO BE WRITTEN ON THE POSTCARD at postcardmailbox@gmail.com.