NPCW Postcards Received

My mailbox enjoyed National Postcard Week.  Here are the cards I received from my swap partners:

Designed by Kris B. of New York.

Designed by Kris B. of New York

I like this USPS-themed card!  Kris shares John McHugh’s assertion that “Americans have an expectation that the Postal Service will abide by its well-known, although unofficial, motto–a commitment to deliver.”

"Song of the Vowels," Cornell University, Designed by Darzy of New York

“Song of the Vowels,” Cornell University, Designed by Darzy30 of New York

I received many postcards from Darzy30 over my 3 years with swap-bot.  She always sends interesting designs and perspectives.  I love the sculpture–especially its title.

Our gracious swap host, Demaris, sent an envelope filled with NPCW cards she designed.

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If haven’t seen them (and if you’re interested), you can check out the cards I sent.   I’m definitely preparing for the larger (100+ postcards) swap next year!

Liberate Your Art 2013

It’s that time again!  The highly anticipated “Liberate Your Art” (LYA) blog hop!!!  Kat Sloma, again, organized her Liberate Your Art postcard swap, and again, I participated!  This is the third year Kat has hosted the swap.  She uses LYA to encourage artists of all media to share their work.  It’s a great opportunity for artists, particularly amateurs like me,  to step out of their comfort zone and share their work.

Each participant creates five postcards (same or different) and sends them to Kat with postage and address labels.  Kat organizes the postcards and sends them out into the world–two per week for three weeks.  The sixth fantastic postcard is always one of her own–her way of saying “Thanks for participating.”  Sharing one’s own work is just part of the fun.  The real fun comes when postcards start appearing in the mailbox from the other participants.  There is a great big international mailbox party going on for three weeks. Here’s what I found in my mailbox:

"Columns," 2011, mixed media on paper

“Columns,” by Eric Adama, 2011, mixed media on paper

Eric is a mixed media artist from the Netherlands.  You can find more of Eric’s mixed media art on his blog, CERULEAN.  He shares a Matsuo Basho quote on the back of his postcard: “Every day is a journey, and the journey itself is home.”

"Santos Cage Doll, Protector of the Birds," hand-sculpted over paper mache base, 9-10 inches

“Santos Cage Doll, Protector of the Birds,” by Kitty Mitchell, hand-sculpted over paper mache base, 9-10 inches

The sculpture is interesting and I’d love to see more of Kitty’s work.  Alas, there’s no website listed.

"Paper Cranes"

“Paper Cranes,” by A. Whitehurst

Amy took this photo at her favorite place, the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden in Richmond, Virginia. Amy’s cheerful postcard also includes a quote:  “Change your thoughts and you change the world,” Norman Vincent Peale. See more of Amy’s work here.

"Go confidently in the direction of your dreams," Henry David Thoreau

By Elissa, “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams,” Henry David Thoreau

Here’s another beautiful mixed media piece.  I love the cheerful colors of this one too!  Elissa, a mixed media artist and photographer, hails from Chiltern Hills in the southeast of the United Kingdom. Check her out right here on WordPress:  Gallery Dee.

"Memories #1"

“Memories #1” by Roxi Hardegree

Roxie sends her elegant photo with blessings to a “fellow creative soul.”  See her work at Creating Beyond the Layers.

"Adorned and Alone," 2013

“Adorned and Alone,” Kat Sloma, 2013

Last, but certainly not least, Kat sends her piece.  The perfect piece to round out my LYA 2013 collection.  It’s simple, yet complex, a little fun; the tone is bluesy and jazzy at the same time.

Kudos to Kat for organizing this swap!  216 artists from 11 countries participated this year.  They shared 1290 pieces of art.  Kat’s purpose for organizing the swap is to get artists to share their work and connect with other artists.  She talks about it on her blog: Kat Eye View of the World.  Thanks for another awesome LYA swap, Kat!

I can’t remember whether I sent 3 or 4 photos into the world.  I was a bit “out of it” and had to rely on my photog friend, Cakers, to choose photos for me.  I recall being home alone, sitting in my home office staring at photo after photo after photo.  I was still seriously reeling from my sister’s passing and nothing made sense to me.  I selected an album, loaded it to Flickr, sent the link to Cakers and asked her to choose and rank the top 5 or 6.  I went with 3 or 4 of her choices (Thanks, Cakers!).  Don’t forget to click an image to view larger.

I simply love capturing images that inspire, intrigue, amuse and feed my spirit.  For me, there is so much joy in holding my camera and freezing a moment or scene.  I enjoy sharing my photos as postcards, greeting cards, note cards, bookmarks and even calendars and digital scrapbooks.  I’m not trying to make a living through photography, but I do work toward improving my technique and presentation.

I also thoroughly enjoy–and might be addicted to–the photographic creations of others.  I am inspired by them, not just to pick up my camera, but to create something beautiful in this life.

Similarly, I am inspired by every piece of art I’ve received through the LYA swap.  The photographers, in particular, push me to step up “my game” and take the time to play more with my photos.  I really need to put my Adobe software to more (and better) use.  Well, that’s my goal for Liberate Your Art 2014–kick it up a notch! If only I had time to take one of Kat’s tempting courses!

What about you?  Is there an artist in you that needs to be released?

One more thing: Please check out the blogs of the other participants by clicking below.  Enjoy!


National Postcard Week!

Did you know that May 5-11, 2013  is National Postcard Week (NPCW)? I just learned about NPCW last year, but so far, I haven’t been able to participate fully.  It comes at such a “bad” time for college profs.  We’re typically in the throes of finals and grading, so anything extra–no matter how much pleasure it brings–just adds to the stress.  If you want to find out more about NPCW, check out Demaris Swint’s “History.”  Demaris organized a swap on swap-bot and I joined because I “heart” postcards and I figured I can handle two partners.  I’m going to get started early next year.  It would be great to send and receive 100 postcards. Here are the two postcards I designed.

Horseshoe & Nails, Ferguson, North Carolina, 2012

Horseshoe & Nails, Ferguson, North Carolina, 2012

There's a black and white version of these flowers in the previous post.

There’s a black and white version of these flowers in the previous post

Send a postcard this week!

There’s Something About B&W…

I received a beautiful package a couple of days ago that brought a genuine smile to my face even before I opened it.  Doesn’t this hand-decorated envelope make you smile?

Dee enclosed gorgeous handmade black and white photo notecards and a lovely letter that I will cherish.  She empathizes with the loss of a sister, as she lost her own beloved sister many years ago. Her letter was wrapped in hugs and hearts.  Here are the photos.  I’ve received photos from Dee before.  Whenever I discover she’s my partner in a swap, I delightfully–and a little impatiently–anticipate what I know will be a lovely package.  She never disappoints!

Wilting Tulips by Dee Stead

“Wilting Tulips” by Dee Stead

Dee added a little color to “Home by the Bay” below.  She also sent the color version of this photo.  The home has character and history.  I can just imagine the stories!

"Home by the Bay" by Dee Stead

“Home by the Bay” by Dee Stead

My partner will receive three photo notecards as well.  If you’ve been following my blog, you should recognize “Sweet Beloved” from the previous post.  I had little intention of sending it, but it really tugged at my heart.

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I had a little fun deciding which ones to send.  I solicited opinions from my hubby and son.  My hubby is partial to black and white photos, so he loves them.  My son, I learned, prefers color.  He doesn’t like any of these!  Oh well! I can’t please everyone.  Hopefully, my partner will enjoy them!

I can’t say I prefer one or the other, but there’s something about black and white photos that I really like.  They’re classic, appealing–stunning really.