Outgoing (Whale-)Mail

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I haven’t posted an outgoing mail report in a while–mostly because my pen pal activities slowed down while I didn’t have access to my mailbox! That doesn’t mean that I cut myself off from letter-crafting completely while I was in Hawai’i, though. In fact, the beautiful landscapes of the Big Island (as well as access to my mother’s A+ rubber stamp collection) inspired me to create some mail art that will be traveling around the world in the near future.

I may be bitter about the fact that I’ve returned to a world where it’s currently 4°F and there’s not a speck of green to be seen, but I am happy to get back to writing letters again. It’s one of my favorite hobbies, and a perfect pastime for the proverbial cold winter’s night!

IMG_0445IMG_0450I discovered this fun, floral washi tape in my stocking on Christmas morning, and I was so excited to put it to use! It’s cheerful, bright, magenta-tinged beyond belief, and the perfect antidote to winter.

Conveniently, the washi tape also matched excellently with one of the ink-pads in my mom’s stamping stash, so I decided to pair the tape with some designs related to Hawaiian history and marine life. That floral design has some groovy, 1960s Aloha-print vibes to it, right?

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Though I love these ocean-themed stamps, my favorites were the stamps styled after Hawaiian petroglyphs, those stunning pictograms carved into the lava in various places throughout the islands. Here, I’ve used two beautiful, widespread symbols: a paddler (see, he’s holding the paddle over his head!) and the green sea turtle, or honu.

Since I’m an art historian and educator, of course, I don’t employ the images of these (in some cases) ancient icons lightly–be sure that my pen pals are going to hear all about the cultural context of petroglyphs, as well as all the Hawaiian history I can cram into a little letter! (Sorry, folks…)

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Finally, here’s a sneak preview of more outgoing mail with an oceanic theme: a collage including an image of a dolphin and the logo from Hawai’i Pacific Parks. I’ll never claim to be on the level of Fluxus mail artists, but one of my goals for 2016 is to play around more with collage and mixed-media mailings. It’s fun and relaxing (if occasionally annoying to the postal service, I’m sure–I appreciate my mail carriers very much!) and a wonderful way to stay creative while “unplugged.” Let’s make 2016 a year of even more snail mail, my friends!

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