Saturday, September 29, 2012

Internet dating

Having met my sweetie in those dark pre-internet days, I have never experienced the strange phenomenon of meeting someone in person who you've only known on-line.

Until this year.

I've made so many art and blogging friends in the last 12 months, and I have now had the joy of meeting, in person, Corrine, Amy, and, as of last weekend, Mandy.

You may have read my excitement about going to the South Shore Snail Mail Social that Mandy was hosting.  I'd had the pleasure of swapping art with Mandy for a while now, and I was excited to meet her and a group of other mail art lovers from around the state of Massachusetts.

The only problem?  I was the only one who signed up!
Not to be daunted, Mandy officially cancelled the event and invited me to her house for a blind date.

I dressed up in my best paint-encrusted jeans, bribed her affections with homemade food, and hoped for the best.

It was a HUGE success.
I was immediately comfortable and we spent 8 hours talking, laughing, making art, talking, digging through ephemera, talking, eating, talking....

Our first project was fusing plastic bags.
Mandy had saved an impressive variety of bags and we stood at a big table, cutting bags at random and laying them down willy-nilly and then ironing them.  Some fused better than others (tutorial, shmutorial - we learn on the job!), but we ended up with two awesome crazy quilts.  Here's Mandy modeling one of them:

She immediately cut them up, took them to the sewing machine, and made some really cool postcards.  Mandy sews the way I drive - pedal to the floor and without hesitation.  I wish I could sew like that.  I couldn't create on the spot, but I took home a bag full of fused pieces for further contemplation.

While she sewed, I had a blast pawing through a stack of old board games and playing cards that were stashed in her sewing room.
I have not yet mentioned Mandy's  amazing collection of antiques, artfully displayed throughout her very cool house.  Did I take any pictures of the vintage advertising signs, or staggering collection of old tins, or really cool wooden board games?  No.
I took a picture of this:
 The "Make it fun" game of library research skills.

Because if I hadn't taken a picture, you wouldn't have believed me.
I love that they put "make it fun" in quotes.  Implying that it's not really fun at all.  I'm not sure who this was marketed toward, but this former library employee and life-long library geek actually wanted to play this game.  Fortunately, Mandy let me take home a few of the cards that came with it:
(Answer:  d)
Grab the kids for a night of family fun!

Another totally fun project we did last weekend was creating this fabric:
We raided Mandy's collection of fabric, yarn and ribbon scraps, sandwiched it randomly between two pieces of this stuff called Super Solvey, stitched it all together, and then dissolved the super solvey in water.  The result is a cohesive piece of fabric made from all those tiny bits.  Mandy explains it waaaaay better in the tutorial on her blog.

We left the wet fabric to dry in the sun, and walked a few doors down the street to the oldest town-maintained cemetery in the US. I love old cemeteries.  The one in my town is pretty impressive, with graves of revolutionary war veterans, but the town of Duxbury cemetery is where pilgrims are buried.  And by pilgrims, I mean the big ones you learned about in second grade - the Mayflower pilgrims - John and Priscilla Alden, and Miles Standish among others.
But it's not really the history I geek out on, it's the tombstone carvings.  I took a million pictures of the angels and skulls on the gravestones so that I could carve some similar images as stamps

 Now, a week later, I finally sat down to play with the things I made last weekend.  
Here are a few stamps I carved:

Here is the worlds lumpiest postcard, featuring several pieces of fused plastic and a big pieces of the fabric (as well as some cool sparkly painted paper from Corrine and other scraps from my table)

It was the best first date I've ever been on.
Can't wait to play again.


  1. Now THAT was a blind date that worked out very well. What wonderful fun...and so much info...thanks.

  2. How cool that you both hit it off and had such a blast. Sounds like a great time. Great quilt and stamps!!

  3. Oh my gosh, it looks like you had a blast! Nice work on all your projects! And thanks for all the handy tips...

  4. I want to date too!!!! Can i play????? Sounds so fun...

  5. What an awesome play date! I'd looked at that when you posted the link but it was a little far for me (and our weekends this month, oy). I'm glad you two decided to go ahead with a day of art play. Fabulous!

  6. Sounds like so much fun, Karen! I met my husband online (eHarmony), so I can vouch for the success of Internet relationships! I love the first stamp you carved...awesomeness!! And the Cool Chicken game JUST about made me laugh out loud...and I'm not even a librarian! (though I've been told I look like one more than once in my life!)

  7. This makes me happy.
    Awesome stamp work, missy.

  8. This sounds such fun, wish I could have been there but I'm not sure I could have stood the pace! You did so much it sounds like a week's fun. Mandy sounds an awesome artist and person. Love the stamps. You are pretty awesome yourself.

  9. LOL internet dating, but it is really kind of like internet friending isn't it. I wish I could have gone with you, it looks like an amazing day. Great stamps, did I say that - I'll say it again, Great STAMPS! Solvy fabrics, fused plastic, gosh, what didn't you do. Let's plan a play date at the studio some day, invited Mandy and some other locals and we can just schmooze and play all day. (I can fit 6 with room to really play) Fearless sewing yeah that's me too. xox

  10. That sounds like the best Art playdate ever!!
    I'm with you on old cemetaries....I could stroll through one every day! Your stamps are awesome!

    Wish we lived closer together :(

  11. Wheeee!!!! It was sooo much fun! We definitely NEED to play again! I love the alien stamp. It came out awesome!

  12. What fun! Now I suddenly want to have an art play date! What fun things you made, and that game - you had me laughing out loud. Great job on stamp carving - one of these days I will actually try it!

  13. That sounds absolutely delightful! We should all be so lucky. I've met a couple of blogging buddies who live sort of nearby (Lorinda & Jenn) but not close enough for an all day artful binge. Need to find someone closer, yes I do! Thanks for sharing so it will encourage more of us to look for those nearby arty connections.

  14. VERY-SUPER-DUPER-COOL! I love everything! Again, I'm totally inspired by you. I NEED to carve some stamps......yes! Hugs to you Karen---------------------> Millicent