espo mail

I received a seriously good birthday gift from my husband, a print by the very talented Stephen Powers! I have been a fan of Powers since way back in the 1990′s when he was known as the graffiti artist, Espo. In 2009 I wrote a post about his love letter to Philadelphia mural project and I recommend a great, companion movie to the murals,   A Love Letter for You, directed by my friend Joey Garfield that you can view on iTunes.

So to bring it back to snail mail, Powers made greeting cards! And they’re rad. Buy this excellent boxed set of 12 greeting cards as a holiday gift. Just make sure the recipient has someone to send the cards to- they’re all pretty flirty.

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holiday mail 2014

Even though I LOVE Christmas I try to keep holiday shopping simple. I don’t shop on Black Friday because I celebrate Buy Nothing Day. I believe there is a direct correlation between our consumer habits and Climate Change.

But.

One of my favorite holiday customs is sending and receiving cards and if I’m going to do that well, its time to start thinking/planning/shopping. Today.

Are you with me?

How great are these vintage postage stamps from Darling One’s Etsy shop? These would look amazing on your very planned ahead holiday card envelopes right?

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reply all mail

reply all mail

Last month my sister sent an email to the family with a link about terrible candies made in Boston, our hometown, including Necco wafers. We all remember walking past the Necco factory in Central Square in Cambridge and smelling delicious artificial flavors but apparently not everyone has such positive associations. Frankly, they are unpopular. My own daughter handed a just sampled mini pack to me on Halloween and said, “I don’t like these.”

I took 4 mini Necco wafer packs from a generous neighbor when we were trick or treating and mailed them to my mom and 3 sisters, along with the anecdote about my daughter’s Necco wafer rejection. Since you can’t send mini Necco wafer packs via email (yet) I opted for analog Reply All packages. All 4 were as identical as the human hand can muster. It was an email/paper mail hybrid, following up on fun, group experienced email content with a handmade, paper mail delivery system. Best of both worlds.

3rd grade mail

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Happy Halloween!

I just got back from my kids’ school where students and staff are dressed up for Halloween, I mean, Character Day. That’s what they call it and everyone is supposed to dress up as a character from a book, maybe to include children who don’t celebrate Halloween and to make it educational? Semantics. In any case, this year’s Halloween should be called National Elsa Day because she is everywhere!

Speaking of school children, my son’s friend’s 3rd grade class is trying to see how many postcards they can get from around the country and the world. If you are a VSM reader from outside of New York State, can you please send a postcard to the class with one fact about your location written on it? That would be excellent! Thank you!

Please send your postcard to:

Class 3-412, P.S. 10, 511 7th Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11215

Viva Childhood!

crossing brooklyn

commons

The Crossing Brooklyn show at the Brooklyn Museum is worth a visit. One of my favorites is Paul Ramirez JonasThe Commons. The piece conjures the kind of historic bronze statue you might see in a town square but the horse has no war hero in its saddle and the whole statue is covered in cork board. Visitors are encouraged to pin things up. Pin something up? Don’t mind if I do.

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Jonas combines two things associated with public space; static, war memorializing monuments and active, interactive community bulletin boards. His piece stirred up thoughts about the past and the future of “The Commons” and the potential of non digital social networks that exist in real, shared time and real, shared space. I loved it.

Plus while I was visiting the exhibit I saw one of my former pre-school art students on a class field trip and got to watch as he exclaimed, “My tooth fell out!” His teacher took his picture to mark the occasion of losing his first tooth. Pretty fantastic and memorable location for such a rite of passage.

inverted mail

I just received a package from my sister Hope with the Inverted Jenny stamps as postage.

Her enclosed note reads:

As soon as I saw these re-issued Inverted Jenny stamps at the post office, I knew I had to use them to send you some inverted mail. But how do you invert the mail? Answer: mail the negatives from pictures of people hanging upside down.

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I love when there is a relationship between paper mail’s postage and content. And Hope’s concept made me laugh! Inverted on many levels, she even wrote my name upside down on the package! And her card featured a reverse panda, with white rings around its eyes!

I challenge you to buy some Inverted Jenny stamps, and send some inverted mail of your own invention.

 

martin mail

This summer the kids and I went to see Shantell Martin‘s show, Are You You, at MoCADA. We sat in the gallery space looking at Martin’s black marker drawings which covered the walls, and thought up questions to ask her about her art. My plan was to have my kids who love to draw send some fan mail to a woman who loves to draw. Coincidentally she was at the museum and we got to meet her! She was lovely and she gave us stickers!

Our fan mail included a few questions and compliments from each kid and Shantell Martin inspired drawings that they did on white paper with black ink. She wrote back! And sent stickers! And pens!

youareyouNow I am an even bigger fan. Look for Shantell Martin’s work at the upcoming Brooklyn Museum exhibition, Crossing Brooklyn: Art from Bushwick, Bed-Stuy, and Beyond. It will be up from October 3, 2014 to January 4, 2015.

white house mail

These days I would not wish President Obama’s job on anyone, including President Obama. What an intense and awful summer it has been for the guy. Ukraine, Gaza, Iraq, Furguson, MO, Washington, DC. Oy vey. That’s why I found it particularly sweet when 2 participants in one of my summer Make Mail! workshops made beautiful and elaborate letter collages for the President. While we know that Obama has a committed paper correspondence practice and excellent handwriting, he did not personally write back this time. However a package from the White House with photos of the First Family was still a thrill to receive. Viva Snail Mail!

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