Archive for August, 2010

Among the techniques that I have been learning this summer is how to do a gel medium transfer. Basically you spread gel medium or modpodge over your image of choice. Many layers of it. Then when all of these layers are dry, wet the paper and rub as much of the paper as you can off. This may take quite a few tries and many soaks. As of yet, I have not managed to successfully accomplish this technique with glossy paper materials such as magazines. I have only been successful when I use black and white printed items or anything printed on my printer. Still so much to learn…

This one to Lisa L. is one of my first. The skyscraper and colonial buildings are from a gel medium transfer.

I love this photo taken in Colfax, WA. Adding the American Funds numbers just makes me laugh.

Here’s another version of the same photograph plus a photo of the front door of the bar in Palouse, WA. The rubble comes all the way from Beirut, Lebanon. Truly.

The background is from my friend Dawn’s outdoor chair with a gel medium transfer of an image I took at Coeur d’Alene Lake and a church in Beirut on top of it all :)

This is my Holy Sleeping Bag. I made a whole series using a Campmor sleeping bag catalogue and have just started more. I love the podishness of the sleeping bags. I am sending this one to Amy Dietz but am still unsure about the rest. Any suggestions?


mad madge

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Hello. This week was my first week in my new role as graduate Ph. D. student and graduate assistant. Classes do not start until next week but my assistantship started this week and students are also streaming in. My assistantship involves working at our school’s LGBTQA center. The above madmadge postcard is placed next to my bio in the office. I love the fact that my mail art is celebrated in my current work environment and that my supervisor shares my love for the arts.

A dream: That the campus where the photo in this postcard was taken will one day have a LGTBQA center too.

The week has gone well. I went to a potluck for various students in my area of study and was happy to see so many older and international students.

Next week, classes begin.

My head will start bursting something like the image in the mail art I received a few weeks back from Julian Grant.

I received this piece from Karen Champlin a few weeks ago. I love her work and the fact that it makes it through the mail without an envelope.

It was slightly disappointing not to have any mail art in my box after a week away. I’ll get over it. I know that something amazing will come when I least expect it.


mad madge

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I have a week before I start my grad assistantship. Two weeks before I start school. Could it be a longer wait? Probably not.

I don’t know whether or not I have expressed my nervousness, but I it is ever present. I am in my early 40’s. I won’t finish this next chapter of my life until I am well through them. Many friends/schoolmates/colleagues of mine are already tenured. What the hell am I doing?

In the mean time, I wanted to share my first mini-zine that I made for a swap-bot swap, “A Collage of ‘Fortunes’ ” based on fortune cookie “fortunes.”

I made six copies of this zine, all of which had ties made from blue thread that I bought when I was in Guatemala ten years ago. I had meant to crochet with it. The way that I made the covers and the ties is based on a book that I created at a workshop that my friend Monica Camero of San Antonio, Texas offered over ten years ago. The zines open up into accordion books.

The first page:

I did just what this next fortune suggests the following day!

Each zine was mailed in an envelope that I created out of stapled bubble wrap. Thanks to Charlie at the 99205 Spokane post office for helping me determine the postage and hand stamping them so that they would arrive intact!

I loved making this zine and can see myself making many more. Perhaps based on my school readings. Foucault for instance. Would Foucault’s writing make any more sense if interpreted through collages? I think so. His writing is very visual to me, but that is another topic.

Goodbye for now. The next post will probably be about all of the new mail I have received if not my altered photo experiments.

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It’s August and as I wrote in my last post, I am shifting gears. I still have a week and a half to adapt to work and school once again but after this wonderful month of visual creativity and sharing with strangers through the mail, I need two weeks to refocus. I will still make postcards for people who send me mail. If I have learned anything these past few months, it is that if I plan to actually get my Ph.D. this time, I need to give myself space to be visual.

In the mean time, I have much more to share before the switch to a verbal thinker is complete. For one, I need to share the mail that has been arriving in my little mailbox in Spokane, WA.

Why don’t we start wiith Annie Yu? I’ve been following her blog curbside treasure for months now. I love the controlled supposed haphazardness of her work and am very happy to have a creation of hers.

It is interesting to me how value seeps into my appreciation of  the mail art that I receive. Many of the art that I have been receiving is from artists with skill. I treat it differently. I want to send them more than one of my mediocre creations back in order to show my respect and appreciation. Perhaps that is the primary reason that I love mail art. As a social worker and soon to be Ph.D. student, I can’t afford to buy alot of art. But, I need to have it around me if I am to appreciate life to its fullest.

I don’t feel that my work is worth trading. But, I am letting go of negative voices and putting it out there. This is what I am working on and creating. And, people are sending me ART in return.

Hence this beautiful art from Carrol Woods aka dumpsterdivers’ anonymous made from what looks like stock market numbers and napkins:

The Crafty Hag of Dread Lippencott’s Menagerie sent me this. I like how free her collages are. Not to mention that red is my most favorite color.


Karen Champlin is on art making fire. Plus she also uses red.


I love Helen Aymes’ collage. Funny, but guess what? It is also red. This was not prompted. I assure you :)


Dilar’s blog Daily Collage Project is nearly a daily click for me and yet I wasn’t expecting anything from her.


I love how comfortable Seren is with paint. I’m not.


Stephanie R. sent me this map:


And another from Mim Golub Scalin. I also dig the “licensed mail artist” stamp.



And yet another map turned into envelope with a note inside from Annette.


Maps, red and controlled haphazardness.

Thank you.

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