With Ichiro strapped on whilst outdoors, Dave and some dodgy camera work walk around the yard and gardens of our home in Okayama, Japan. Stops include: picnic area(s), Ryoko’s tool shed, location of upcoming house addition, various wood piles, bamboo grove, Mother’s vegetable garden, the kura grain barn turned art studio and (of course) a persimmon tree.
Appearances by father Takeshi, Ryoko of course, and the neighbour lady stops by to see the cutest baby.
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.
Today-ish (amongst laundry, salads, coffees, bath and vacuuming…)
* Setting up stereo (need sturdy table) * Making pickles (trying with kojo) * Investigating pre-school (not pictured)
Note: from this photo, rather hard to gauge the *massive* size/heft of this turntable and amp. Next step is reconnect speakers with lower gauge wires trim for appropriate placement tbd / Really need a hi-fi master/buddy to help proper set-up
Note: got behind on the pickle assembly line but in the meantime, got a few more jars into the flow by consuming the exceptionally perfect peanut butter (formerly) contained within
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
Various artifacts in situ, as seen in “Kura Grain Barn Art Studio / Music Lounge” (which needs a proper name).
Note: Inside the kura grainbarn studio/music lounge. It’s a magnificent 150+-year-old wooden structure but dang, gets hot and humid in the Japan summer and with so many books, records, papers, artifacts, etc, im working to keep the temperature and humidity under control. ~ Under 70% humidity now which is a big step as a few days ago it was over 80%! Still too high to be comfortable and ideal for sure. Have two fans and a dehumidifier going on timers, a whole bunch of those little packets of salty kind of stuff, and some other “boxes“ of dehumidifying agents. ~ Most of these items were stored in climate control storage for years so want to keep them in good condition and avoid any kind of unnecessary deterioration. Not a professional archivist but I’m doing what I can.
Here’s another in which I offer a variety of snapshots captured for no particular reason of records listened to from the variety grab bag. There are hundreds of records, this is not comprehensive representation, though it is representation that this experiences existed in some space and time. This is all, just evidence of lounging time w/ Strummer, Bragg, Bowie, Keithley and Assoc, Cobain and cohorts, Lightfoot, Fitzgerald, Mangan, Janovitz and Co, and many others. Pull em out, rack em up, repeat. So many, just a few here.
As an aside, before lil incredible Ichiro arrived, I was spending several-hours-long sessions in here getting projects captured and queued up for #daveo50 but now, the time is delightfully scant so it’s usually just focussed on sitting, enjoying a beverage and listening to a record or two.
Ichiro: card #33 “jazz lounging” (with drums) / 8.15
#IchiroOlson / card no. 33 of series #io
Note: (sometimes) I think we pretty much had a kid just so he would have to start a band, whether he wants to or not. I’ll be the old rock ‘n’ roll dad making flyers and standing at the back with earplugs (who am I kidding? I’ll be up in the riding the rail at 70 years old ha ha)
Project: Upon turning 50 years old on August 16, 2020, Dave Olson (me, hello) is posting a photo (or maybe photos) a day / per year – starting with 1970 with intent of chronicling existence through various primary evidence sourced from studio portraits, class photos, ID / passport photos, or occasionally other “casual/group/random” shots when the above don’t exist in my archive (note: not “artificial intelligence,” really me, pulled from shoeboxes, journals, wallets and whatnot – diligently scanned and dated via glasses and haircuts, lightly annotated).
Postal mail is now making the journey across oceans successfully. As such, you are invited to send letters, cards, dossiers and packaged goodness to your forthcoming lil pal Ichiro Stanley Thorvald Olson.
+ Service +
Use your national postal service (assuming they are operational) and/or DHL (better for Japan then FedEx or UPS) or if available in your area, the fantastic “Yamato / Black Cat” courier service.