Today, by post…”hello” – original art by post from AZ, USA to Tsuchida Cottage from a frequent correspondent with a special folio to sort-ganize mostly Richard Brautigan inspired creations.
Two exceptionally adorable postcards into the post today (i love dropping into the postbox and the little stroll involved but since I’m desperately ill, the wife managed the important task)
The combination of the exceptional art and the tactile paper which takes the ink so elegantly, the details on reverse, choosing the stamps just right… All of it sparked my heart.
And I hope the recipients feel the goodness intended in each of my semi-legible scribbles.
13 more postcards out into the world (14 if you count the one with Juicebox UPC codes taped to it to enter an Anpanman contest promotion) // really doing my best to keep from spiraling down while really struggling with this stupid illness.
Dispatch (again choosing from my special stash of ones that sometimes I can hardly let go of but that’s the whole point) includes: vintage train, Grand Canyon crossings, Japanese fireworks, Yumeji Taisho-era ladies, cats, kimonos and one guitar…
Each card, carefully selected from a red velvet box with some connection to recipient whether it be a vague inside joke, a half degrees step from their own artwork, a story we shared or an experience maybe they remember.
I’m particularly excited when the cards not only have a wonderful design but also elegant paper stock which gives good purchase on the pen making a pleasure to write as it holds the ink and has the tactility i so savour. Plus, white space and ink stamps already included in the design so I can remix with my own stamps. Some of the above were additionally decorated before finally dropping into the postbox. Diligently assisted by Ichiro Stanley who loves the process with me.
Hope the cards bring joy to recipients, I sure do like crafting each one, choosing the card, the stamps, the message and then adding some more fun inkstamps to make truly unique.
Digression: While most of this batch are not my original creations, yet for a special significance of a friend heading on an adventure for a milestone birthday, I dug out a couple of snapshots of crossing the Grand Canyon in 1988, and noting that while many technical advancements have happened in the intervening years (for example: Internet, pocket robots, medical imaging blah blah blah) in this case, “technical outdoor adventure clothing” is the most relevant as here I am wearing two different cotton tie-dyed T-shirts in blistering heat, in fact everything was soaked soggy cotton except maybe for a bit of nylon (likely teal) on the boots (could be leather, I can’t see in the photo in which I am yes, peeing into the Grand Canyon out of anger at walking up the north rim being run down by tourists riding mules who would vacate their bowels in majestic piles around the switch backs – no this is not recommended are acceptable behavior) Because this was the late 80s. Gore-Tex, fleece, polypropylene and whatnot we’re only for the bourgeois skiers at the time. Funny what becomes a time capsule. & Yes, bandannas were appropriate for head covering and dog collars. No gang significance implied despite the era.
Adding to my collection of precious items from Nick Bantock, writer of epistolary literature (noted for Griffin and Sabine series), fine artist of the finest – and exceptionally versatile –type, stamp maker (both inky and postal), and a font of wisdom and kindness.
As magnificent as this wrapping is, the contents were even more remarkable, to be shared under separate cover at some point.
Three items arrived by post:
a card and dossier of treats from a rambler in Salish Sea (w/ lovely inky pen writing; Richard Brautigan collage poem from a mysterious source as a tribute for the poets birthday; &, Jack Kerouac 100th birthday tribute double CD from Bear Family Records in Germany.
While finishing up postcards series of paintings of international postboxes from Nepal, Greece, Oman and the Vatican, Dave gleefully riffs about the “finishing touches” including paper choices, inky stamps, Sri Lankan elephant dung paper, scribbly calligraphy letter, an extra card, something about art dossiers and even remembers to tell you he’s having fun and offers a couple of web addresses to get in the time travel.
+ Postbox Haiku Exhibit at the Goat Farm: In which I combine love of poetry, painting and postal mail and recaps an exhibit at buddy Mac’s goat farm.
Gist: Produced by dDesign to promote Okayama design, tourist and culture, the campaign included a painting in Shibuya as well as paintings of post boxes and office in: The Vatican; Kathmandu, Nepal; Olympia, Greece; and, Muscat, Oman as well as a new haiku on a postbox about “nonconfidential postcards” along with a book of paintings, a book of postboxes, and postcards of well… postboxes with poetry – both painted and functional.
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.
Note: Persimmon not included
Get in on the fun by mailing to:
937-1 Tsuchida, Naka-ku
Fondly from Tsuchida Cottage
Aug. 21: Doing a batch of custom “Ichiro cards“, obsessively handmade of course, to send to folks who sent such lovely gifts from around the world.
Just trying to make a little something extra special special for everyone to brighten up their day in evidently strange times.
Note: Packages are arriving from Canada… Just takes rather long due to limited flights coming across the Pacific these days – Further annotations & postal tips.
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:
937-1 Tsuchida, Naka-ku