Most Determined Deco, Ever.

Most Determined Deco, Ever.

Originally uploaded by

gemgirlart

So, once upon a time I played with a fun group af mailartists over at a site called Nervousness.org {heart} ~ I haven't been there in a really really long time, and as far as I know it's not nearly as active as it used to be, blahblahblah, etc and so on.

Anyway here's the story: A pink & brown themed deco was travelling around Nervousness to be filled with art and then sent back to it's owner

(who was a friend of an Nness friend on another mailart site, or something)

- the gal before me on the list had an accident with it - whereby her toddler daughter snatched it off the desk and brought it to her in the shower = utter ruination! SO. She makes an entirely NEW pink and brown deco to make amends, does up her page inside and sends if off to me. I make my page:

And mail it on

May 29, 2007

from a postoffice here in Florida to my galpal Pequad in Pennsylvania. Pequad was so named for her love of Kewpie dolls, and I had added a supercute Pequad Fairy to the back of the envelope, and I was SO excited waiting for her to see it! Only ... she never saw it, cause a few weeks or so go by and we all start wondering:

"Hey, where's the deco?" "Hmmm I dunno, I mailed it on x-date, it should be there by now!" "I haven't got it yet." "Oh, craps - guess it's lost."

So now

I

sit down to make yet a THIRD deco for this poor poor chica who probably is thinking my Lord what was my friend thinking sending my deco off to these nitwits?" and I'm all boohoo 'cause Pequd's never gonna get to admire my lil tribute to her, and I'm just sure there's an evil mailman holed up somewhere with stacks and stacks of our long-lost artwork surrounding him in his bunker of madness, plotting his revenge on mailartists worldwide.

New deco is made, sent yet again to Pequad (though I don't think I bothered with the envelope trappings this go-round) and it was rec'd just fine and last I heard/kept up with the updates on the

original post

it was in Australia. So I don't know if that one ever even made it to dear Denise, the intended recipient.

Cut to, today

April 6, 2010

~ I see the mail on the counter & there's a yellow bubble mailer, I'm not expecting anything (hmmm?!) so I check it out and first thing I see is a big Return to Sender sticker, marked

"not deliverable as addressed - unable to forward"

- flip it over and PEQUAD FAIRY! hellloooo! I definitely remembered the envelope, if not what was inside it. I was WAY surprised when I read the original postmark date:

and doubly surprised when I see the recent post office cancellation stamp of March 23, 2010 - from HONOLULU, HAWAII! How d'ya get off track from Florida to Pennsylvania by way of Hawaii!? And why does it take 3 years!? It's a bit wrinkly and some of the Sharpie writing on the front has bled, though the address is still perfectly readable (and as far as I know - valid - it's where I sent my makeup version) so I really have no idea why it was marked undeliverable - but everything was intact! It's a mailroom miricle!

So, now I'm thinking I'm just gonna send it on to Denise myself, and let her decide it's fate at this point, yeah?

x0x, gem

Paper Alpha Project

Finally! A new post, and a "new" project :)

Follow along if ya wanna make something similar

(not that ya couldn't figure this out on yer own, I mean really. How easy could a project BE?)

Paper Covered Wooden Alpha Wallhanging

STEP 1

Choose your letters and papers. I'd wanted the word

CREATE

to hang above my artspace, and my kids got me the letters for like my birthday or Mother's Day

(LAST year.)

and so I already had them here. Mine are white-painted wood and about 7" tall. If you've been to the craft shop or discount store you KNOW they have a dozen styles to choose from, so just get whatever size or type you like! Then I collected up some semi-complimentary scrapbookpapers, but you could use bits from your scrapbox, vintage book pages, wrapping paper - whatever!

STEP 2

Apply adhesive to the FRONT of your letters. I used gel medium, but you could use whatever type of glue ya want - even a gluestick. Yep. Gluestick.

STEP 3

Lay your letter facedown on the paper - I'd precut mine to about the size of the letters, and lined up at least one edge, just to make the cutting easier and to not waste too much of the paper. You can also hold it up to the light and see if you like the "arrangement" of pattern on the letter and if not scoot it around - if ya use repositionable glue - that, or figure your approximate placement before applying glue. I didn't care so I just went with the "however it lies" approach :D

STEP 4

Press down real good! You want your paper to be really well adhered to the letter, so make sure you press out any bubbles & wrinkles, and really get the edges good too.

STEP 5

I had a sort of assembly line process, so once I did the previous steps for each letter, I stacked'em up to let them dry. I actually let them dry/cure overnight, but not for any benefit - I just ran outta time to work on them any further the 1st day :D But yeah, they should be completely set & dry before ya cut.

STEP 6

Cut away the excess paper. Now, the way you do this is kinda up to you & however you find it to be easier. I used a craft-knife and laid the letter flat & facedown on a cutting mat, and trimmed around the edges. I found it to be a little hinky 'cause the wood was pretty soft and my blade kept digging into it. So on some I tried using scissors on the edges, and the blade to cut out the middles

(like on the A and R)

- I say it's your choice because no matter how you trim the paper away, you are still going to have to do the next step:

STEP 7

(for which there is no picture cause I was so busy and focused on it I forgot to take one.)

But you need to sand all the edges now - both to remove any leftover hangy-bits of paper, and to sorta age the edges a bit

(if that's a look you wanna go for

). I used a foam sanding block - I think it was actually a nail file thing for fake nails, but it works great cause it's flexible and can mold to the shape of the letters plus it's got a few different "grits" of sanding material. So anyway I just used that to rasp off whatever paper was uneven or leftover along all the edges of the letters. I also took this time to reglue any loose paper along the corners and edges. There weren't many 'casue I'm a pretty good gluer :-p

STEP 8

Now you can skip this step if you want, like if you used really pretty coated or fancy papers or something - but I went ahead and sealed mine with some acrylic sealer - I used matte finish here but you could go gloss or spray it with glitter or whatever the heck!

VOILA and FINI!

You are now ready to hang your fab new motivational phrase

(or kids name or house numbers or whatever you made!)

on your wall - go for the funky haphazard "drive a nail and hang the letter" approach or do the anal retentive thing and use a laser level and snap a chalkline

(hello! - waves to all you Type A's out there - hehe)

All I really ask it that you #1) don't wait a year to complete this super simple project like I did, and B) ENJOY IT!

*plus I dig that if you mess up or just wanna do a different look later- you can just yank'em down and recover with something else! Like you don't have about 169 pounds of random scrapbook or saved papers lying around to pull from. You know you doooo. And they're just sitting there. Mocking you.

SO MAKE THIS CRAFT. TODAY.

or at least this weekend ;-)

xox, gem

*** UPDATED APRIL 2014 ***

Just to show you - I've since re-papered those letters (a couple years ago actually) and moved them into a different spot:

Plan to do a studio room tour in the near future! so you can see this whole space :)

Alice and Sara

This turned into a knock-it-out-this-afternoon project for two reasons: One, I was waiting to find out if I am required to show up for jury duty tomorrow (

and possibly longer

) so I wasn't sure I'd have any spare time later in the week to work it - and 2 - it started storming pretty bad which meant shutting down and unplugging all the electronics (

including computer and TV

) so I figured I may as well sit down and do this! even though I kinda wasn't in the mood ...

Another mailart project for Nervousness: a pair of ATC pocket decos that are traveling together, you make an ATC and slip it in the pocket, in the end the recip's would get back an adorable booklet with 4 ATC's inside. Mine was the last spot, so these will be heading home when I'm done, and I didn't want to keep them any longer than I really had to.

First off, the decos themselves were so neat! Really delicious pale colored & patterned cardstock that was sewn into a little 4 pocket booklet that tied shut with thin ribbon. The ATC blanks were already included (

matched the deco paper!

) and while I originally planned to do something completely different, once I saw the blank and the previous artists' cards (

that were all very pretty and vintage-y and matched the colors of the deco

) I knew I was gonna go ahead and keep to the same theme so it had a nice cohesive look.

I started off by stamping a decorative design onto the front of my blanks (

I chose to use the harlequin printed side

) with a foam stamp and sand colored ink. Then I added texture by lightly spattering with two colors (

antique white and victorian green

) of acrylic paint. I chose two ladies from a page of printed vintage images in my stash and tore a random page out of an old paperback for some text. Turned out it had two different girls' names -score!- so I tore off thin strips and painted over all the text but the names, then arranged them onto the cardback and glued them down.

Looking at them afterward I feel I should have anchored the girls' images somehow, but ... didn't! and can't now.

Added a row of paint dots down the side and edged the cards with the sand ink - signed the backs (which were striped and perfect as text lines) and they are enveloped and addressed and as soon as I stamp them they'll be set to head out in tomorrow's mail ... which is a good thing ...

'cause I DID end up pulling jury duty. GRR.

Judicially yours

,

~ gem ~