Saturday, May 28, 2011

The Mail

Checking our mailbox in America has become a singularly boring and depressing experience. Letters and cards from loved ones have turned into emails and facebook posts, packages have become our own internet purchases and there are virtually no surprises in store. Most of what shows up in my mailbox are bills, junkmail and letters from the school. The United States Post Office is floundering in the wake of electronic communication and online billpay.
There is, however, an answer. Mail art! There is nothing I love more than the expectation of art coming in the mail. Many artists and groups online participate in mail art swaps. Not only do you get a little piece of someone else's art, get to interact with people all over the world, but you can once again look forward to your mail! If you have not joined a swap group online I highly recommend it. It helps me to focus by giving me a specific assignment and goal, keeps me on task through mail deadlines, enables me to try new techniques and projects and gives me a look at others people's creative ideas. It reminds me a lot of  being  back in the classroom without all the stress of grades, criticism, and failures.
You can find many online art groups through Yahoo. There are also online websites dedicated to mail art. Two of my favorites are Red Lead Swap Sisters on Yahoo and The swaps are varied in project and media. I have swapped everything from dottee dolls to artist trading cards (the most popular art swap). People swap craft supplies, cards, paper dolls, art dolls, chuncky pages, inches, twinchies, mini albums, mini zines, altered books, tag art, envies and ATC's. If any of these terms are Greek to you then jump into the wonderful workl of mail ar. So be creative, support your local post office and for goodness sake begin to look forward to your mail again

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Zentangle Challenge - String Theory

It has been dreary and rainy in Minnesota for what seems like "foreeever!" now. Well, if we can't get out we can at least tangle. This week's Diva challenge was for all of us to use the same string for our tangle. I am really looking forward to seeing the results. There have been challenges where we all used the same patterns before but this will ensure we are all coming from the same starting place. Where we go and how we get there after that will be exciting to see!
Even if we all used the same string and patterns in the same places on the tile I'm still willing to bet they would all be unique and different. Each person's individual style would come through I'm sure. Even using the same elements I believe everyone would put there own spin on it. As I am sure we shall see in next week's slideshow. Thanks for a great challenge Laura!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Zentangle Royal Challenge

It has been a few weeks since I have had time to tangle for the Diva's challenge. Along with the royal wedding in Britain it has been prom week in Benson. My son is a junior this year and the job of the junior parents is to plan and put on an Afterbash for the junior and senior class and their dates. It has become quite a production. The Afterbash takes place in the city armory which is a dauting space to decorate, to say the least. Huge, bare and with very high ceilings it is decked out according to theme (Las Vegas this year) in order to house, for one night, 200 plus teens and their parents.
Then there is the matter of feeding and entertaining the prom goers until 4 in the morning. To this end other dedicated committee members come up with lavish food and drink menus as well as a myriad of games to play. Of course ,where there are games, there must be prizes ,and that committee spends an enormous amount of the money raised by the parents to supply some fabulous gifts and prizes for the teens. Everything from lap tops to cash is up for grabs. All in all, it is quite a group effort on the part of the parents who plan, create, decorate, cook, and work all night long to ensure their children are safe and have fun on prom night. And lets not forget that after a long night, these selfless people are back again for cleanup while their offspring sleep! Ah, the things we do for love.
Lisa Burns has provided a wonderful slideshow of the Afterbash at The login is bensonprom11 and the password is vegas2011. You can upload your own Afterbash shots or have pictures printed of you and your friends. Enjoy - and thanks, Lisa!
So after our own big event in Benson was behind me, I turned to the Diva on Monday to catch up on the slide shows of recent challenges and to see what the new challenge was all about. Laura provided a slideshow of royal inspiration for tangle patterns. Isn't Westminster Abbey awesome! Wow, talk about pomp and circumstance. There are arches, and chair backs, and braiding, and badges. Columns, and cornices, organs and sashes. Lace sleeves and fascinators, eye candy galore. A person just couldn't wish for much more. So I lay on the sofa, kicked back and relaxed, and tangled my way to Great Britain and back!