In The Mail: Lots of Goodies

It’s been quite a while since I’ve shared any of the mail art I’ve received. I won’t go back and try to catch up, that would only serve to frustrate us both. Instead, I will share some of the most recent gems.

The Cracker Jack Kid, aka Chuck Welch, sent a piece he’d posted on Facebook, that I had expressed interest in receiving. It arrived damaged and I was unable to thoroughly read his message. Such is the organic nature of the beast that is mail art.

Jude Weirmeir who is responsible for Subscription Opus sent along a fun piece, but unfortunately it lost something in transit as well. The front seems to be missing its center “wheel.”

From the Stafford Studio in New Mexico came this anonymous gem, but the style is unmistakable. The inside of the envie reads, “RAW NAKED WISDOM DIRECT FROM THE SOURCE.”

Anna Banana Sent her most recent issue of the Banana Rag my way. Always a fascinating read!

Banana Rag

A couple of Valentines made an appearance, despite the fact that I did not send any out this year. They warmed the cockles of my cold, cold heart. (Brrrr….)

From Lucky Pierre in Charleston, South Carolina:

Lucky Pierre Valentine

From Jill Eudaly of You-R-Here:

You-R-Here Valentine Jill Eudaly

Thanks to everyone for brightening my mailbox! And warming my heart! 🙂

Happy Trash to you, until we meet again!

 

A Piece of the Puzzle

In an attempt to find my way back, I’d begun the month of January cleaning, sorting and organizing my studio. I didn’t get very far.

One item kept tripping me up — literally. It was a large puzzle whose artwork was created by Christina Riese Lassen of Maui, Hawaii c2004. My daughter’s friend built it, sealed it and presented it to her when she was still in high school. She left it behind when she moved out. It was missing a few pieces in the lower right-hand corner, but I couldn’t part with it. Something about it really spoke to me. And so, it floated around the floor, sometimes being used as a backdrop for photos, but mostly, it was in the way.

The other day, I accidentally loosed a four inch section when I tripped over it. Voila! The idea was born to break it into mail-able pieces I would re-seal them on both sides to make them sturdy enough to survive the postal journey on which they were about to embark.

DSC_0381

But… how to make them my own? I didn’t want to destroy the artist’s work. That was what I loved and why it stayed so long on the studio floor.

While sorting and organizing the magazines I use for collage, words and phrases kept jumping out at me. I decided to take the time to clip some and found that the choices I made had me thinking about the puzzle. In an effort to move past it, I began matching the clippings to the sections I’d broken up, thinking that I simply needed to acknowledge my mind’s connection so that I could move on.

Instead of the release I sought, I found deeper meaning in the bits. I jotted down each word snippet on scratch paper and wrote the first two or three things that came to mind for each one.

When I finished, I had an outline of sorts. Reading over it, I found it was a lesson in self. It reminded me of some things I’d forgotten, showed me where I’d been meaning to go and delivered the promise for which I’d been looking.

Here are the twenty one pieces before mailing:

PuzzleAllTogetherNow PuzzleBalanceBlues PuzzleBeautyElectric PuzzleBloom PuzzleCarvingAnUnusualPath PuzzleCreativeControl PuzzleEnergy PuzzleFuturePerfect PuzzleHeadingIntoTheFuture PuzzleHiddenBeauty PuzzleInspiration PuzzleJewelBox PuzzleRareBirds PuzzleSeaShades PuzzleStrangerInParadise PuzzleSundance PuzzleTheGrassIsAlwaysGreener PuzzleTranquility PuzzleTrueColors PuzzleWhatLiesBeneath

PuzzleMystery

And this is what they inspired:

PieceofthePuzzleJournalArt

They were mailed domestically. Look for them to land soon, in a mailbox near you!

Happy Trash to you, until we meet again!

P.S. I have recently contributed a piece to the blog You-R-Here. I would really like all my readers to see it because I mention each and every one of you. Please take the time to check it out: http://you-r-here.net/2016/02/01/goodwill-lynn-radford/

 

Is The Road To Hell Really Paved With Good Intentions?

The past six months have been more difficult for me than I ever could have realized. It all began with the loss of my mother last July and the grief spiraled out of control. Every attempt at trying to resume my regular routine was met with anguish and resistance. It was futile to keep trying, or so I thought.

Creating in any form became impossible. I couldn’t find within the peace I needed to settle down with my supplies, or even a pen and paper. October saw my lame attempt fall flat in my fulfillment of a commitment for the Retro Café Art Gallery 2015 Tombstone Swap. My heart just wasn’t in it. If you haven’t already seen it, you can read that last blog post here: https://trashbubblesandlifeslittlebits.wordpress.com/2015/10/06/spooky-happenings-at-the-studio/

My friend, Jill, began a new blog in November. She hosts you-r-here.net  and invites fellow creatives to guest blog weekly. Her idea is this, “You-R-Here… So, interact with your environment and the people surrounding you.” I was excited when she asked me to participate. At the same time, I was scared to death. What could I have to offer in my state of grief and confusion? I forced myself to contribute in order to try to get myself out of… well, out of myself, I guess. It seemed I was only able to work up a short piece every two weeks, but that was more than I was able to produce otherwise.

My light, my joy, during these dark days was my grandson, Noah. His smile, his happy chatter, his child-like wonder pulled me from within and let me be light and free when we were together. Thankfully, I can count on a dose of Noah at least twice weekly.

A conversation with a Dear Aunt helped to release me from a great deal of the negativity I’d been harboring since my mother’s passing. My Aunt helped me to put it all into perspective, to show me the light at the end of the tunnel that my blinders had hidden from my view. For that, I am more grateful than you could ever imagine.

And so… I managed not only to “get through” the holidays, but to find some level of comfort and enjoyment in them. I looked forward to the New Year, as many of us do, as a fresh start. I vowed to get back into the studio (which had become the place to toss junk and store miscellaneous stuff out of sight these last few months) to sort, organize and just spend time there. My hope was that in so doing, I would eventually be inspired to begin creating once again.

Today is the 19th of January. I have made some progress in the sorting and organizing department. The biggest change I made was to hang the twinkle lights I’d been meaning to hang for two years! They are finally off the floor and out of my way, providing ambiance the way I’d intended.

Houston, we have twinkle lights!

Most importantly, I AM inspired. I have begun creating in small ways. Yesterday, I launched a new mail art project that is helping to get another large thing off my floor and out the door, whilst allowing me to be creative and introspective all at once. Look for more on that later this week because I finally feel that I can return to my twice weekly blogging schedule.

In addition, I am writing again, creatively. I was so happy about this development that I committed to the 10th Annual Short Story Challenge. It promises to be an exhilarating creative boost. The first leg of the challenge begins at midnight on January 22nd. Registration is open though the 21st in case you think you might be interested in participating.

If you’ve ever experienced a creative block of any kind, you know how monumental this all is. So, to answer the question I posed as this post’s title… NO! The road to Hell is not paved with good intentions. The road back to self, however, is. I’d intended to make more progress by this time, but I am happy with the fact that I am moving forward, I am embracing the life I am meant to live despite my heartache and the healing is happening.

Thank you, all of you! On the rare day that I even looked at my blog, I was encouraged to see that you had kept checking in despite my absence. Your faith in me, when I’d so little in myself, gave me hope. For that, I am immensely grateful. There would be no blog without you folks who care to catch a glimpse inside my crazy world!

Happy Trash to you, until we meet again!