Saturday, January 5, 2013


This is my pile of unanswered mail.
I sat down today to take stock of the situation and determined that I have failed to respond to 49 people.
What's with me?

Do you recognize anything you send me in that pile?
You have not been forgotten.
I'm going to write back to you today.

The thing is, before I can sit down to tackle that pile, I feel compelled to tackle this pile:

 Those two baskets are where I put all the little paper bits I collect during the week, and half-finished projects, and all the papers my lovely mail art friends send me.
As you can see, it's out of control, and I can no longer even see what's in there, let alone use it in my art. And it's so big I can hardly walk around the art table.
So before I answer my mail, I'm going to sort it into categories and file it.

So that's done, and the sun is a lot lower in the sky, but
NOW I can sit back and tackle the correspondence.
Except I notice the yellow collage postcard from Angie on the top of the pile, which reminds me I haven't completed my own yellow collage for that same swap, and it needs to be out in the mail early next week.  So instead of working on your postcard, I'm going to start scavenging for all sorts of yellow things and put them in a pile.
  See that nice amber beer in the background?  While I was scavenging, the sun went over the yardarm and I decided this cold dark night called for a glass of stout. Down to the garage beer fridge I go, but when I get there I notice the bottle of hefeweizen with the nice yellow label, and HEY, I'm working on a yellow collage, I should pour the beer in a glass and soak the bottle in the sink so I can pull off the label for my postcard.
(there goes another 20 minutes of not writing to you)

Meanwhile I'm still digging through my boxes of ephemera for yellow, and it reminds me of the "big fat ephemera swap" I signed up for.  I only have ten more days to pull that package together.  I'd better start now.
Another pile is born:
This particular ephemera hunt leads me to the basement, where I see my newly acquired sewing machine (inherited for FREE and picked up earlier today).
A glorious Singer from the 50's in excellent working order.
I should try it out.
Only I can't for the life of me figure out how to wind the bobbin, so I spend a good hour reading the manual, searching for thread, figuring out the machine, and finally testing it.

I rather like the pieces of paper I stitched together - I think I will make a collage out of them.  Right now.
On my way back up to the studio, I pass my other newly acquired free antique:
this old royal typewriter.
My mom scored it for me right before Christmas and I haven't been able to use it because the ribbon had gotten all wonky in transport.  I decide there is no time like the present, and I sit down to fix it.  Only I can't figure it out, so I'm searching you tube videos for tips on changing the ribbon in a Royal typewriter.  Another half hour slips by, but I've finally got it working.
I look back around the house at the trail of piles I've made and feel like I'm living in the book "If you give a mouse a cookie"
(which gives me an idea....)

I hammer out a few words of text on the Royal and add them to my stitched paper:
One postcard down, forty eight to go.


  1. I love it. Sounds like my day except my piles were of kid's clothes, Christmas decorations, and a crap ton of stuff that ended up here after the holidays are done. I wish it could have been more like yours at least it would've been fun.

  2. I am not quite so...overcommitted? :) But the other day I made a pile of blues and today I made a blue collage and sliced it into four pieces, ready to be turned into four blue postcards. I told you I'd join a MMSA swap *someday*!!!

  3. Oh my cracked me up! While I wasn't quite as distracted as you, I did find myself starting something new each time I went up or down stairs and not finishing anything. But, lots of good starts :) And my pile on my workdesk is blue, not yellow! My word of the year is FOCUS - I'm workin' on it! :)

  4. my gosh you have lovely piles

  5. Sounds like my kinda day - except, unlike you, I don't ever seem to have anything to show for it!

    LOVE that 'if you...' postcard.


  6. what a tangled web you weave...but I live the same way. I tell my family there is a method to my madness, all the side trips get my mind working in different directions. I like warm beer, I hope you do to since it seems like yours may have been forgoten.
    good luck with the postcards!

  7. Piles everywhere, I can so relate, but I like your circuitous routes. They often lead to the most interesting creative spurts.....Nice scores for the holidays.....xox

  8. Karen - as I was reading your post, I'm thinking "This reminds me of 'If you give a mouse a cookie...' and then you said that very thing! I used to read that book (and 'If you give a moose a muffin') to my nieces when they were little and we'd laugh and laugh!

  9. Going to your mail box must be so exciting, and your postal staff must have the best jobs in the US.
    I don't know where you get your energy from. I had to sit down for a while after reading your post!
    I love your red/purple card. That was an inspired use of that purple paper - I felt really chuffed to see it. Love Jez

    1. I'm so glad you recognized your paper! I've also been playing around with some of the pink papers lately - they are so far outside of my normal palette and I've taken up the challenge to find interesting color combinations that feel more like "me". I will share results when I get there.

  10. HaHaHa....seems I have company.......

  11. Hahahaha. I love the distraction. So good. Whatever, keep being creative. We can all wait for postcards. PROCESS! Happy new year, love.

  12. Sounds like me...I think it's adult onset attention deficient disorder...LOL

  13. You've got the best antiques and for free! Score! How could you concentrate on anything else with those in the house!

  14. Ha ha, have your work cut out for you! I love that typewriter, by the way. I can certainly see myself getting distracted by it!

    I almost never use yellow in my work, and I'm not particularly drawn to it, but I really like your "working pile" of yellow elements!

  15. I think I'm reading my life. Go for it Karen...just make it all happen.

  16. Holy Rigamaroly! YOU have your priorities IN LINE!!!

    (beer can be considered yellow)

  17. Awesomeness. Jeez, woman, you are killing me with your energy. But I think I got some back yesterday, and tried to figure out how long MY list of replies are! Thanks for all the beautiful examples and one more spur to carry on! LOVE that last stitched beauty!