Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Artsy Correspondence - Origami Envelopes.

Write a letter, then fold it here and there to envelop itself... a 2-in-1 deal - like shampoo with conditioner or rain jackets that fold into their own hood. I love practical things of this sort. Generally, in snail-mailing - I decorate mainly the envelope. Sometimes I stitch it, sometimes I collage it, sometimes I paint it... but this is the first time I've tried something like this. 

Recently, before leaving for a trip with my husband, I mailed a bundle of 3 letters to my friend E - and I decorated them as mentioned above - you can see them:
Mail Art - Toile La La... correspondence to E.

During our trip, we stopped by two other friends' house - and serendipitously... while the men discussed track and field events, my friend J (who is a school teacher) decided to teach me some envelope techniques - to my delight!  Having taught school for so many years - and having that special talent it takes to spot what brings out the best in a student, J must have seen something shining from within me which announced, "I love art and I love mail and love combining the two!" I have never discussed mail with J. How did she know... . For me, this was extremely fun. J taught me 2 envelope techniques and also a box-folding technique. I photographed the steps for the envelopes, but my mental circuitry began to overload during box-folding - and even though I completed a wee box, it was too much to fold and photograph simultaneously - so I just photographed J's box. It's made from paper she recycled from a newsletter or something. She had pack-ratted some wonderful paper and had a big roll of paper which was metallic on one side and tan on the reverse.  And she gave me some recycled piece of blue paper with a maze, which I turned into an envelope for her, stitching my way through the maze.  

Upon returning from the trip, I was in mail-lover's heaven!  Waiting for me were 3 letters from friend E, and also a collage kit package I ordered from Kathleen Sawyer's the back of the boat shop at Etsy.  Kathleen tucked several vintage postcards into the collage kit.  I used one from Musee du Luxembourg to create a collage for E.  But, below you will see just a tiny snippet from another vintage postcard - which I pasted into a collage for friend J to use as a bookmark.  You'll notice 3 little people, who until last night, were stuck in time - in a world of faded paper printed in sepia tone - viewing the facade of the Chateau de Versailles.  I transported them to a lush green landscape and a blue sky with fresh air.  You can see the other collage postcard - for E - here at Art Fashion Creation, and there's a link to Sawyer's the back of the boat there too.

Here, we just took plain 8.5x11 sheets of paper and folded them - without measuring.  You'll see in the third and fourth photos our envelopes side by side and they aren't exactly alike.  You just eyeball the folding.  The most important thing is that the little point be left to tuck over, which secures the envelope, and to which you stick the stamp.  If you decide to try this, remember you can write your letter on the same piece of paper! Also, it's a bit of a puzzle - and exercise - for your brain to follow these photos... keep in mind there is some flipping and rotating of the paper that I did not photograph.

Then, J showed me this nice, lightweight box she made from recycled paper - and it's a football crowd scene... something I would never ever (really, ever!) imagine to be a thing of beauty, but this box is truly pretty: )
J's box with a crowd scene that looks like pointillisme.

Here are J's hands showing me how to magically produce a square envelope using 4 circles:

I am going to recycle a cereal box or something and create a template for this envelope.
The tan paper above has a silver metallic flip side. Using the metallic envelope I made with J, I lined another envelope.  However, this is the type of envelope also - which offers a surface for writing AND can also envelop itself.  Following, you'll see that I stitched the a blue envelope to the metallic one.  The outer edges of the circles fold inward to form flaps, which are then sealed with a bit of tape or sticker or address label.  You'll also see the collage bookmark I made for J - using snippets culled from various magazines and brochures, and the people transported from the postcard I purchased at Kathleen Sawyer's the back of the boat Etsy shop. 
Photo and stitched envelope, Toile La La.

Toile La La collage bookmark for J.

Zoom - in, Toile La La collage bookmark.