Thursday, March 1, 2012


I've completed the postcards for the postcard swap! So before I show them, I'll tell you that I always have a nagging feeling that whatever I make won't be good enough or up to the standards and that's a main thing that has been holding me back on this sort of thing. I signed up anyway. (I'm trying to be more open, remember?!) There are lots of small things that I wish were a bit better with these postcards, the biggest being that I tried three different types of glue/paste, the final one being the rice paste I use for bookbinding, and set them to dry under or in a big huge book (my art history book, which is great for this sort of thing), and some of them still have a curling problem. I hope it doesn't cause an issue in the mail sorting machines, and I wish I knew what to do about it.

So anyway, these are my finished postcards, in sets, and here are the papers I began with for the collages, if you want to look back. Some of them look very different once cut up!

These are more or less random collages in that I had no plan when I began and simply wanted to play with the papers and see where it led me. I think the two on the right, and the one on the bottom, are the most successful. The bottom one was created by cutting the striped paper into one-inch strips and then piecing them together, almost log-cabin style but not quite. I find the stripes much more interesting this way. Each bit becomes its own little composition. I really enjoy slicing painted papers into smaller pieces for just that reason.

I've been thinking of this next set as the "seashore set."

After these collages were dry, I stamped them, using blockprinting ink. You can see where it took me a couple of tries to realize that where the paper joins, I needed to apply a bit more pressure. I'm actually okay with this skip where it occurred though. It's proof an actual person made these, yes?

If you count, you'll see that's just nine. Going against my own wise instinct, I tried to paste too-big a piece of vellum onto one of the postcard blanks, and it curled horribly. Since I needed to make more, I decided to make extras. These four were watercolored, then block printed.

Totally abstract, and I like them quite a bit. I cut the watercolor paper to size, then used rice paste to glue the watercolor paper to the postcard blank (I'd printed these out on cardstock, so I could personalize them with the swap date, my state, and my name and blog address). Most of them didn't curl too badly. I accidentally smudged some ink on the bottom right one though, so I don't think I'll mail that one out for the swap. The stamp, by the way, was carved at a parent/child program, with a textile design as the inspiration.

So those are my postcards. I hope they hold up through the mail. I hope the recipient enjoys them. Despite my huge insecurities with this sort of thing, I went ahead and signed up for the Art House Co-op's 4x6 exchange today, so I'll be thinking on what to do for that next.

Shared with our creative spaces...such an inspiring community of bloggers!

Some other fun things around the web lately:

* I have a post on Kidoinfo on the wonders of freezer paper for the uninitiated.

* After a couple months of waiting, I received my Whimseybox invitation this month and signed up. I just think it sounds like a cool challenge and a way to explore different materials. I was pretty excited to see the invite in my inbox, and the first one should arrive, I think, while my husband is away, so perfect timing there! Fun things in the mail are always nice when I'm holding down the fort alone.

* You've probably heard about Taproot by now. I was really excited to get an email telling me that I would be receiving a free trial issue because I'm a Nova Naturals customer. I don't remember how or when I first came to Nova Naturals, but I know I only had two kids at the time. When I first saw the announcement about Taproot, the fact that Nova Naturals was involved made me more interested. I have always admired not only their products, but their philosophies and customer service (plus they're located in the only state without a coastline I'd ever want to live in, Vermont). Their catalog is so beautiful that when my daughter was a toddler, she would carry it with her everywhere. I love the toys we've purchased from them; they have a soul. Even after reading of their involvement, I was completely surprised that they'd send a trial issue. Really, these small considerations make me so happy! And I'm eagerly awaiting to see the magazine in person. (Yes, I subscribed, too..they had me at "valued customer!")

I hope your days have contained some sweet surprises as well!


Jen said...

The post cards are beautiful! And your post is filled with so many wonderful links! I'm off to click through them now!

Anonymous said...

I love the post cards--the block printing is wonderful.

Michelle said...

They're gorgeous!!! You really do amaze me.

I hadn't heard of whimsy box . . . what a fantastic idea!!! Perfect timing too, right?

Let me know how you like taproot. I'm pretty sure I didn't order enough to be considered a valued customer last year. :) But oh, those girls love their dolls so much.

Sally said...

Those seashore ones are my favourite!

Our inner voices can be our own worst enemies sometimes. I've just participated in a fabric scrap swap and delayed posting my scraps to the last moment because I was anxious that my scraps weren't good enough. I know it is ridiculous (intellectually) and yet I feel worried about it nonetheless.

I think the fact that you are worrying about the postal sorting machines really shows what a thoughtful and considerate person you are. I really like you.

Did you know that my father's nick name for me when I was a child was Salamander? He still calls me that for time to time. Just thought I'd let you know.

iHanna said...

I'm so glad you didn't listen to your inner critic and went ahead and signed up anyway. Your cards are awesome and I bet they will be much appreciated when you send them out!


Bells said...

well done on the cards. I agree - showing they're made by a real person is important!

The whimsey box - oh what a lovely idea.

And I'm glad you wrote a freezer paper tutorial. I'm keen to try. I just don't know if freezer paper is the same as our baking paper. I don't know that we have freezer paper per se but it looks the same.

Madde said...

Great! Love the block printing.

Anonymous said...


Sarah said...

It always seems to be the people who make the best stuff, that are worried about it not being good enough, these cards are fabulous! I'm so glad you decided to join in :)

Genki said...

I think many of us have these same feelings - I always feel like my craft/art isn't good enough to give or send to other people. But I took part in this swap last year, and loved every single one of my handmade cards. Yours all look fantastic, I'm sure people will be so happy to receive them.

Genki said...

I think many of us have these same feelings - I always feel like my craft/art isn't good enough to give or send to other people. But I took part in this swap last year, and loved every single one of my handmade cards. Yours all look fantastic, I'm sure people will be so happy to receive them.

iamrushmore said...

Hi Amy - I got your postcard today and I love it! Hopped over here to see your blog and now I'm going to follow you. Nice to meet a local artist! -Karen Isaacson.

Melanie said...

Cute! Love the different colors in your cards!

Dosfishes at Sparkle Days Studios said...

Great variety here, the paste effect, collage and the sea creatures just stole my heart. xox Corrine

Joyfulploys said...

Hi Amy...You got your cards made early....I love the abstract designs on yours! I got mine addressed today and hope to get them mailed out tomorrow. My cards were curling up and I glued another layer on the back and now they are laying more

Carlene Taylor Simmons said...

Hi Amy, I received "circles" today in the mail safe and sound. I love it and finding your blog. I will be checking out your links and more of your stuff. So glad you were in the swap and we got to meet. See you in the mail.

EWian said...

So fun to see your cards, thank you for sharing.