Friday, January 23, 2015

Postal Art by Shiela

My friend, Shiela (yes, that's how her mom spelled it), is my inspiration.   She's been making beautiful art for a long time and encouraged me to give it a try.   She can do it all - paint, draw and make perfectly executed cards and scrapbook layouts.

Here we are a few years ago after a seriously messy art project on her lawn. Miraculously, I didn't get any paint on that white shirt!

She is also the queen of mail art, so it's always a treat to get packages from her,   This is her signature postage method:

She has a notebook full of stamps of all denominations and a postal scale so she can calculate the amount due. (She doesn't always use a flat rate box!).    Once she knows how much the package will cost to mail, she starts selecting and pasting on stamps.  She calculates  so accurately that her post office staff hardly ever checks her math .   Because she has a small fortune invested in postage stamps, she rarely uses the same stamp more than once on a package.  

I love the mix of stamps - the artsy ones  next to Calvin and Hobbes, the  Hawaiian  shirt next to the fancy wedding cake.   And instead of competing, all those bright colors somehow work.   I think the only part that Shiela plans is that she always makes an L -shaped layout, because that allows room for all the stamps and still enough for the address.

I think it's a hoot that the Post Office has to put the bar code sticker on, even though there is no postage due - notice the price on the bar-code: $0.00.  I also love that my post office staff is very careful not to cover up any of my mail art with that silly sticker - like the one above put carefully over to the left and not covering the stamps.

Like any art supply hoarder, I think all this postal goodness is too good to throw away!   I've been  carefully cutting out the  lay-outs in one piece to use in my projects, like in this this DIY  travel mug that  I got it in the sale bin at Starbucks.

I glued on the stamp assemblage to some background paper and  added a few stamped images to make this happy mug.  Word of advice about these mugs - pretty sure the seal isn't waterproof, so I brushed some rubber cement on the inside where the pieces screw together, top and bottom, before screwing it on to make a better seal.  Just to be on the safe side, I don't let the cup soak in any water - just a quick swish to clean it and done.

I used the stamp arrangement above in this calendar page as an homage to Shiela's talent.  She is way more adventurous with color than I am, and this page celebrates not only her prowess at calculating postage, but her love of color and pattern.

I wanted the stamps to be center stage here, so I kept it simple.  I used an order form from an old fiber arts catalog I snagged at an estate sale as a background to keep the mail theme going and then added some mailing directions  stamps.  (If I use these on actual packages, I always add "please" so the postal workers don't think I'm being too darn bossy).    I glued a piece of under paper - scrap paper with leftover brayer paint  -  to a chipboard butterfly.   There is a butterfly postage stamp to the right' otherwise no real connection to postage, but I love the colors and the blank space needed something.  I needed one more stamp to fill out the top right, so added one from an old envelope.   Plus I love the circle stamp and cancellation marks.

Love, love all these postage stamps.  Next time I go to DC, I am spending more time at the Postal Museum - pretty sure I'll have to go there alone.  DC son and The Captain were not all that enthusiastic when I dragged them in - go figure!


  1. Lovely photos and post. Thank you so much for sharing.

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Linda.


Normal Title Italic

Follow Me on Pinterest


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...