Still life with postcards, inky stamps, cup of tea, bowl of nuts￼ / was making up for some poor decisions at the time￼ by (trying to) spread love out into the world. Hope it worked.￼ Did you receive one of these treats?
Continuing on with Ichiro Cards (see vol. 1 of the meta proces documentation if inclined) obsessively custom, handmade of course, to send to folks who sent such lovely gifts from around the world.
The batches change due to supplies (esp paper stock and printer ink) as well as as we fresh-up ideas… In general include special snaps cut with dear Mom’s (heavy metal) pinking shears, attached to custom stamped (inky & franked postal) postcards then enveloped with family photo / am I ruining the surprise?
As such, some started simple…
and got more “maximalist” as we went along:
Some get a few photos to connect other stories (with annotations on reverse), e.g.:
Or catch up with life and things folks might like:
with “bonus snaps/items” which simply amuse metaphorical reasons or have some backstory:
sometimes the assortment doens’t make sense until you receive somehow corresponding items crossing in the mail. In this case, Richard Brautigan is the connective magic.
Sometimes we receive a snap of the delivered mail. In this case, the elegantly placed postal cancellation stamp from the folks at Higashi Okayama post office:
And while i sorta try to take snaps of most of the finished pieces, i invariably forgot most, but here’s a snap of a note which made the journey to California. Thanks JJ:
In general, we are trying to make a little something extra special special for everyone to brighten up their day in evidently strange times. First was to the dear folks who have mailed remarkable gift packages, care boxes and cards from around the world in commemoration of the birth of this dude.
Here’s another on display on a fridge in Vegas, to which we replied:
“… fantastic to see! You know we absolutely love making these and seeing them complete their journey, hopefully bringing a smile to the recipient, especially in times of tumult. We truly appreciated your thoughtful gift.” (thanks C &T!)
Update Sept 26:
Each envelope receives an extra kiss before we send out upon a wormhole journey to points on earth Each one unique (of course) and crafted with affection for recipients… Get so excited thinking of the splendid cards arriving to post boxes elsewhere.
The stamps are chosen with care at the post office. Oddly, the standard international Air Mail rate of ¥110 is challenging to match up so we often over pay in order to get colourful designs rather than boring meters.
Update, Oct. 6:
Another 18 dossiers dropped at post office today (on a stroller walk with lil Ichi-Stan who is neighbourhood famous).
Each dispatch is hand-crafted / unique + that’s “batch 4” for Ichiro-cards, batch 5 already underway (about 23 envelopes) / noting each batch varies by materials available & inspiration sparks (do you want to see them all?)
Note: likely puts over 500 analog mail-outs for the year (including New Year’s cards) > this hobby does get a bit expensive (ink! stamps!) but joy to send a piece of “us” (with Ryoko Olson) is worth every yen. #kokoro
Let’s enjoy international correspondence from global correspondents!
Update, Oct. 13:
Another 18 going out into the world, or was it 23? Either way, another variation on the same idea… inky stamps, franked postage stamps collected around the world, special snaps of Ichi and other treats… scissors, glue, labels, love.
Batch 5, (or is it 6?) of Ichiro cards going out into the world… / hopefully finding hearts which are as grateful as we are. Each made with affection and truly unique. And yes, each is “important“ because the stamp says so.
Memo: It’s worth noting that with the baby, various big changes in life, postal disruptions etc., I’m a little bit behind in my usual copious correspondence. Please know that every one of your letters is savoured, displayed, properly archived and what not. I will do my best to answer everything eventually. Your anticipated patience is much appreciated.
Update, Sept 3 / Batch one, away!
Various countries (also Ichi’s Canada Citizenship packet – truly unimpressed with service from Canadian Embassy/ Consular section in Tokyo – ugh rudeness and hassles for a birthright and taxpayer… #stopcomplaining)
Update / Sept 7: Another chance for a session (this sort of project is hard to do in short bursts, doing what we can…)
Best thanks for all your wonderful notes and thoughts (can’t quite stay up with everything these days).
Note: So glad we are documenting his/this journey. Noting all parents have different feelings about how much to share/ what to share/ permission/ privacy etc. This is all thought through.
Update / Sept 11
Batch 2 into the wormhole! Stamps carefully chosen naturally (even though the desired designs resulted in overpaying for postage… you are worth it :)).
Annotation: Pictured (below x2) is the “work stuff” / so many wonderful supplies to play with. Kinda hard to explain but as a project goes on, of course the form evolves and sometimes i worry that the first round isn’t as good as later rounds or maybe the opposite as i am definitely a “maximalist” and don’t do that “design is 99% invisible” flow.
Use all the goodness all the time! My point? I just hope they are enjoyed and care is noticed (so i don’t feel like the family who handmade caramel apples for Halloween just to have them all tossed out when kids return home from trick or treat). Am i making sense? Didn’t think so. #tinybitobsessive
Even… sometimes include “bonus snaps/items” which simply amuse me for metaphorical reasons and i think recipients will dig – especially “remixd” #meta photos of some kind or another or ones which are the answer to a question never asked (like the significance of a bridge).
Update / Sept 19:
So many treasures arriving for #IchiroOlson / each of course sparks a splendid handcrafted, unique postal treasure in reply. So very grateful.
As such, round 3 of “Ichiro Thank you for gift cards” underway. Changing styles to fit the supplies on hand and a few stationery items recently arrived. Each batch unique, each card… we’ll keep making until whenever.
Note: the only existing complete analog series of the 43 (so far) Ichiro “#io” cards, cut with dear Mom’s (heavy metal) pinking shears, attached to custom stamped (inky & franked postal) postcards then enveloped with family photo / am I ruining the surprise?
(Redundant note) these are going to the dear folks who have mailed remarkable gift packages, care boxes and cards from around the world in commemoration of the birth of this dude.
Get in on the fun by mailing to:
Ichiro Olson 937-1 Tsuchida, Naka-ku Okayama-shi, Okayama-ken 703-8217 Japan
I stayed in Sri Lanka (near Galle) for a while doing some Ayurvedic treatments, drinking tea and wondering wtf i was doing etc. As such, i made an address stamp for ease in my copious correspondence, usually performed at a tea shack down the road.
Most go as gifts to travelers and adventurers to fill up with ephemera and musing but this one stayed with me.
Feature a cover made from vintage aerogramme, lettraset (rub-on left over 1970s) monogramming, a wax seal, cancelled postage stamps, inky stamps, printed Lomo sardine can camera 35 mm snaps and various printed oddities – in this case, a bi-plane of significance which slips my mind.
Made with vaguely-Japanese-style-craft-binding, sewn with hearty thread via 3 holes drilled through a mighty block of various paper stock acquired at random intervals around Bali.
Well, the days between Christmas and New Year’s aren’t really a thing per se in Japan as Christmas is just a reason for decor and music (as it should be at most) and all the build up is for New Year’s – this being my first “real” New Year’s in Japan, i just sorta held on for the ride…
Anyhow, regardless, during this time, Ryoko and I were out and about for various events, errands, chores, adventures and whatnot – much of which is documented elsewhere in this archive and here are the pleasant mundane-ities which didn’t fit anywhere else – with minor annotations perhaps of “Japan Life”.
Let’s begin with a few lunches and beverages – after a shop at a hardware store, we slipped into a little Yoshoku restaurant – sorta Japan remix of western dishes – this one sorta French but ya know, not really (and that’s not the point). Anyhow… had a sort of cutlet above and a pot of tea to follow.
Another lunchtime, our relationship with pizza toast continued at home.
Postcards and scrapbooks, scrapjournals and greeting cards… i dig these papery things. However, sometimes received postcards end up in a shoebox which seems sorta sad. So, Ryoko and i built a scrapbook to hold postcards and cards.
The scrapbook is my usual style – side bound Japanese binding, sewn up with sturdy twine through 3 holes. The covers and binding are Sri Lankan paper made from elephant dung (yup!).
Inside the pages are a bit of variety but all feature some sorta envelope comfortably hold the postcard or greeting card – meta in a way. Then decorated with a variety of postal stamps, inky stamps, luggage tags, stickers, oddities, ephemera, bits of paper (mostly admittedly from the “b-pile” and other oddities from the scrapbook bin.
There are a still a few empty pages / slots to fill with postal dispatches to come in the future.
This features treats from Bermuda, Seattle, Vancouver, France, and many other places… Thanks to all who send the treats. Want to mail me items? Get the coordinates.
Oh this album was built on Nusa Ceningan, Indonesia where it lives in a teak cabinet.