Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Helen’s Postcards

A new book of vintage postcards 

If you know my work, you know I love old postcards.  Well, I have some that I can never cut up for art projects because they are family heirlooms.  It’s unusual to have an intact scrapbook filled with nearly 400 postcards sent to one person a century ago.  That scrapbook belonged to my great grandmother.

In 1907 she was 13, the oldest of ten children, and had to leave school to help support her large family. As a young woman, she held a number of different jobs and her circle of friends grew.  She kept in touch with friends and family through postcards.  One hundred years ago, one of the fastest and cheapest ways to communicate was to send a postcard.  You could send quick messages, a happy birthday, corny jokes, make plans and even flirt.  At the time, young people were using postcards very much like email and texting is used today.

Now I am turning that scrapbook into a book called Helen’s Postcards.  Anyone who enjoys old postcards will obviously appreciate the book.  The book will also be a document of the lives of young, working class women in the 1910’s.  It will offer a glimpse into the world of Polish and German immigrants in Buffalo, New York.  It has the stories of young men going off to war, some matchmaking and even a hint of romance.  And some of the postcards are just plain funny.

The finished book will be full color, soft cover and about 65-70 pages.  The book will contain images of many of the best postcards.  The messages written on the backs of some of the postcards will be transcribed and annotated with stories and background about my grandmother and her friends and family

The only way to make the book affordable and accessible is to print many copies at once.  I have started a Kickstarter campaign with that will guarantee every supporter gets a copy Helen’s PostcardsWhen you support the campaign and pre-order the book, you will be helping to finance the entire project and will allow for an even larger printing.  Your generosity can help make Helen’s Postcards happen.

You can learn a little more about the project at
Here is the link for the Kickstarter campaign:

Thursday, January 15, 2015


Years ago I used to save calendars with the idea you could re-use them in seven years or whenever the dates and days of the week lined up again in the future.  The old calendars got stacked up and never were actually reused – eventually they found their way to the recycling blue bin when I was purging junk.  Now it’s like a new years day ritual when the previous year’s calendar comes off the kitchen wall and goes into the recycling. 

This year I took a different approach with those 12 Mark Rothko images I enjoyed during 2014.  Why recycle when you can repurpose?  Cut, cut, glue, glue and you have a little series of 15 handmade Rothko collage postcards to send out in today’s mail or, as I prefer to call them, Rothkollages. 

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

The first mail art is in for 2015

Mail art has been arriving and starting off 2015.  A few last minute holiday cards (I enjoy them just as much, even when they arrive in January), some recycling and a few materials I may repurpose myself.  Some of the highlights include:
  1. Robin Sparrow’s 3D Christmas card from New Zealand.
  2. R.F. Côté repurposed my own Christmas card into a postcard that made be laugh out loud when I pulled it from the Post Office box.
  3. The photo doesn’t do Torma Cauli’s piece justice.  It’s like a piece of handmade paper that is still “raw” with the old bits of newspaper it was made from.  It’s more like handmade paper meets collage.
  4. Skooter Fein sent a print postcard with a handwritten message on the back: “Words powerful when spoken and also do not forget the wisdom of silence.”
  5. E. Coles sent me a ticket to repurpose and “Pent Up” a small, handmade book with a poetic tale collaged with phrases of found text.
  6. And Lybomyr Tymkiv sends a printed postcard of one his paintings and some ephemera that I know I will find a purpose for.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Sunrise for 2015

New Year’s Sunrise, mixed media, collagescape on board, 8”x10”

Commissioned image for a private client.