Thursday, December 29, 2011

Cards All Around

My Christmas cardholder is filled with cards. I made this holder from Internet instructions several years ago. It involves yarn wound round and round a cardboard whiskey box.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Ain't Over Yet

The Year of the Rabbit isn't quite over yet. We've got a week to go and I found this card just in time. I got it in Mexico 2 years ago when I was there for the UN conference. It's based on a Pre-Columbian design and it's called "La Luna."

Peaceful Place

Beautiful card of the Buitnitski Memorial Complex from a postcrosser in Belarus.


Found on street: dance club postcard. I liked the green-in-the-gills dude. One Yelp review of Black Door: Meh. Apparently the club's sound was "terri-bad."

Finding Dragons

My husband has been looking for dragon postcards to send out as nengajo. Surprisingly, none of the Japanese stores stock New Year's cards, even though they offer so much in the way of New Year food. Since I wasn't planning a trip to Japan in the next few days, I decided to make 24 cards for him as a Christmas gift.

Guts and Ruts

My arts group will be playing games at our year-end party this coming week. Each of us will select an image and put it into an envelope. Then people get to pick an envelope at random. The image they open will be a prediction for 2012. I had so much fun creating "images" that I made several in my studio last week. This won't be the one I bring to the party but I had fun making the collage. The fortune on the side says, "It takes guts to get out of the ruts."

Abstract Poland

This postcrosser from Poland has never altered a card before. I thought she did a terrific job, incorporating news stories, glitter and bits of everyday life in Poland. Thanks so much!

Oh Nuts

A Dutch postcrosser living in Canada sent this fat-cheeked squirrel card. She saw her first snow recently and enjoys the cold.

The Courier's Tragedy

I went to a mail art open house at the SF Center for Books last weekend and picked up this oversized postcard designed by Maureen Forys. There were lots of mail art fans there and piles of ephemera to make one's own.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Sketch Club

An invite to the MFA Open Studios from alma mater, Mills College. Here's a classroom full of women and the only man is the teacher. Interestingly the list of artists in the back of the card is about 30% men. Mills is still a women's undergraduate school, but their graduate program has always been co-ed.

Wintry Rembrandt

A friend sent this self-portrait of the grand master. No longer youthful, and his dark eyes reveal absolutely nothing.

Nifty Stamps

Left: Stylized kanji for Dragon, the 2012 zodiac beast. Top right: three Christmas stamps from the Netherlands. Bottom right: A Finnish stamp with children and huge fish.

BOOM! cheer up

A Chinese postcrosser sent this Arthur Rackham card with stamps on the front of the card. This was common in the Victorian Days, and I'm wondering if this postcrosser was trying to mimic mail from that era. On the other hand, the back of the card is all about contemporary minimalism. The postcrosser wrote in big letters BOOM!! And two words of encouragement: "cheer up."


Friend Judy sent this card, which summarizes the year for us all.


Friends Sandy and Jude sent the Creatrix, painted by Mark Ryden. Sandy is an amazing surrealist painter. I love the surreal anthropomorphic creatures she puts up on Facebook.

Polish Papercut

An old friend sent me this bright cheery card. She vacationed in Turkey this summer and loved it. Turkey is one of my favorite destinations. There is so much history there, so much excellent cuisines, friendly people and the Grand Bazaar is adult Disneyland!!

Happy Happy

A nice mix of summer and Holiday on this card from a Finnish postcrosser. She notes that Finland had a lot of snow but it is now melting. She loves Christmas because of the food and long vacation. I can use a long vacation at this juncture!

A Glittery Forest

The glitter balls add a wonderful icy ambience to this wintry card from friends Karen and Scott. I've had a great time collaborating on Man as Object: Reversing the Gaze with Karen this year. Looking forward to more on that subject in 2012!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Crystal Sheer

Old-fashioned Valentines

Ribbons the color of Christmas candy

box of Eaton's Crystal Clear

An afternoon walk in Chinatown brought me to a shop with piles of old stationery for sale. The young shopkeeper explained that she had found them in the basement. I was looking for ang bow envelopes but ended up selecting ribbons, Valentines and two boxes of Eaton's. Crystal Sheer was my stationery of choice when I was in college. It was quintessentially feminine, with its sheer, crinkly surface, and the drag of my left hand made inky smear marks all over the paper. It was perfect for love letters, which I folded into matching envelopes and sealed with wax.
The shopkeeper asked me if I spoke Mandarin. No, but I helped her decipher a letter written in English from a woman who had come to the shop a week earlier and purchased 21 cards and 21 pink envelopes. The letter explained that the envelopes were sealed and useless. I helped the shopkeeper craft a note of apology and verified the return address. The shopkeeper's effusive thanks made me smile. I was even happier when I went into teuscher and bought the last box of marron glace. Candied chestnuts are my singular indulgence at this time of year. It was only when I got on BART that I realized I should have asked for those 21 sealed envelopes.


Tanya and I have been in the habit of exchanging over-sized cards that we make up in our studios. This fabuloso card has two bee-paper medallions and a happy girl dancing in her pink winter clothes. Tanya knows I am partial to the color pink.


This postcrosser from Singapore was taken by the Wordsworth poem that was quoted in film,"The Namesake." Long before that movie was made we had to memorize that poem in school. I could not imagine that many daffodils blooming in Japan - we had perhaps a dozen blooming in our garden in the spring. Many years later, I saw a field of daffs just outside of NYC and then walked among them in Daffodil Hill up at Gold Country. Even more than the yellow nodding heads, I delighted in their sweet perfume.

Puffy and Hopeful

A lovely understated card from Marilyn. She was there for me when out of fatigue and utter frustration I quit the WCA board. Since then, I have reconsidered.

Mrs Grinch

We received this bright & cheery card from the Fujita family. Yo-san is our favorite sushi-maker. We've followed his travels from one sushi restaurant to another all over the city. He's still following his dream of opening his very own restaurant some day. May his Christmas wish come true!

Cut & Pieced

A hefty and delightful card from a Dutch postcrosser. She tore apart and pieced back to together two different cards for the front. She tied a rope on the back and added some wonderful stamps in the back. Turns out she is on the postcrossing forum on mail art, something I would love to join if I had the time. She started making an envelope for the forum and messed up. She almost threw it out when it occurred to her that she could create a repurposed postcard for me. YES!!! Thanks so much Sophie for this lovely, tactile card.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Three Little Sparrows

Such cheerful Santa birds on a Christmas tree! I love this imaginative card from a German postcrosser.


Hoi There! This cute winky postcard was sent by Hannie, a postcrosser from the Netherlands. She visited California last year and enjoyed her time there.

Animal Tree

Debbie and Jed always send cute cards and this is no exception. An animal tree card is as close as we may get to a Christmas tree this year. Sabrina's even represented near the top of the tree!


A South African postcrosser sent this amazing altered card!!! Hand-stitched, collaged, with newspaper and torn paper. What a wonderful surprise during the Holiday Season!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

An Elegant San Francisco Chirstmas

An urban Christmas card designed by my studio & gallery partner, Stephen. He just got back from vacation abroad and has a busy schedule exhibiting and selling at various art fairs. I love his San Francisco-themed works, which can be seen here:

Holiday Cheer

A felt & recycled jewelry Christmas bell card created by my friend Susan. It's fabulously glittery and old-fashioned. I asked her to make me a Christmas stocking with lots of Christmas-themed felt appliques on it. That is my wishful thinking....

A gorgeous collage card in an unusual shape by my friend Irma. With the recent wind storms blowing leaves about, this card was a perfect reflection of California winter.

Frannie, Irma, Susan and I have been getting together the first Friday of every December for decades. Last Friday, we met at the Sheraton Palace for high tea under an amazing Christmas tree. In the past, we combined a sumptuous lunch, a walk around Union Square to take in the "signs of Christmas" in the shop windows, shop for ornaments, and review our New Year's resolutions. To me, this one day which we set aside for ourselves is a wonderful manifestation of the Holiday Season.