Friday, December 11, 2015

Rigid is rigid

I want to begin by saying how thoughtful the comments were on my post yesterday.  I used to have beautiful handwriting.  In fact, many of my friends would ask me to address their envelopes.  I'll have to dig out some of my old handwriting.   However, since my arthritis has flared so much (a condition I was born with, I might add), I can barely grip a pen. Add to that the hand I hurt is my writing hand, so the words that come out of my pen are shaky and ugly.  Trust me, because I remember how friends and coworkers used to think I had great penmanship.

Let's not dwell on that, though, and get right to the art I have for today.

I started this book cover using recycled book cover art back on November 19, although it looks nothing like the piece I created during 30 paintings in 30 days.  I had been gifted this translucent paper and was pleased when the background showed through.

This is what it looked like before I cut it into a smaller size and backed it with a page from a telephone book I painted using an acrylic craft paint called Lemondrop.

This is what it looks like today.

I cut the white background from a template my friend Kathy gave me from her die cutting machine.  Then I spritzed the paper with my shimmering mists and covered up any mistakes I made from the cutting by using black ink around the edges.

I included a strip of the cut translucent background paper minus the phone book, and sewed it to the dyed lace.  Then I added scrim on top of the paper and lace.

I chose a few buttons I had that sort of matched the background.  I got a bit carried away and once again photographed the piece before the glue I used on the buttons had completely dried.

I combined three colors of Staz-on reinkers with 91% alcohol in an attempt to match the background colors as well as the color of the little girl.

You can see the phone book background in this view.  I spent a lot of time trying to blend the dyed lace and scrim to the background.

When I first auditioned the button colors, I did so using my full spectrum OTT light.  I was shocked when I saw the photos that made the smaller button look very orange in the photo.

This is the back and I swear it looks dirty on the right side, but it really isn't.  I even checked it twice before I mailed it.

So why did I name this post "Rigid is rigid?"  This is a cautionary tale for those of you living in the United States who might be thinking of mailing a RIGID package through the USPS.  Somehow I thought that all I had to add was an extra $0.22 (USD) to have the post office hand stamp the envelope.  Instead, they told me there was a HUGE surcharge for RIGID things that could not bend at all, like license plates and my book covers.  The post offices rules are quite rigid, and I was shocked at how much extra I would have to pay.  If only I had turned this into a quiltlet, it would NOT have cost the extra surcharge.  This was a huge lesson learned as I sent two of these book covers through the mail on Tuesday.  As an aside, I learned the USPS no longer offers Happy Birthday stamps, something I fear they are misjudging how many of them they would sell.

By the time I got back to the car where my friend Sally was waiting, I was laughing, and joking about the rigidity of the post office, but at the time, it was a bit of a shock to learn how much I owed to send two book covers through the mail.  I'll show the other one next week, because the friend I mailed this one to doesn't read my blog, but the other one does.

Thanks for looking and thanks for your unconditional and continued support of my art.

14 thoughtful remarks:

Valerie-Jael said...

Your page is absolutely beautiful, love all the layers, and textures, and the rich, saturated hues - fan*tas*tic!! Had to laugh at the post office story, they seem to be the same all over the world, and are good at inventing regulations which they can cash in on! Have a lovely day, hugs, Valerie

froebelsternchen Susi said...

A wonderful piece Elizabeth! Simply gorgeous!
Yes the post office rules are stupid -- will say - MORE than stupig - I guess all over the world ---
I don't send much to friends - because it is extremly expensive for me. Here are so many rules and all made to get more money from us! bääääh!
Happy Friday my friend with the beautiful handwriting - I always like your handwriting!


Nan G said...

Oh E, this is gorgeous!! Your friend is sooo lucky to be receiving this! Love the colors you've achieved and that yummy texture. I on the other hand hope to have a post up soon once I get my Christmas cards in the mail. Hugs to all from me and the Girls

Nancy said...

Beautiful color and texture!!

Pamela Gerard said...

The clerk at my PO tells me the reason for that extra postage for rigid mail is that it will not go through the postal machines. The machines are very expensive and if they get jammed up, it is bad. But you now there are FLAT RATE PADDED ENVELOPES -- you can put ANYTHING inside and they are about $6.00 flat rate -- i use them all the time -- but the catch is most post offices don't keep them in stock like they do the flat rate boxes. You have to go to and order them online but they are totally FREE and really great to use. i order 25 or so at a time andI try to plan my mailings to fit inside. I've saved a lot of $$$ that way. The flat rate padded envelopes also include tracking and $50 insurance -- a great deal.

Pamela Gerard said...

PS -- forgot to say how excited I'd be to get a book cover like that in the mail!

Craftymoose Crafts said...

This is really, really stunning! I spent so much time devouring every photo with all their details and textures--really great piece.

Good to know about "rigid" mail! Most of my items go in boxes and the buyer pays--but I still think the costs are getting crazy and out of hand.

Meggymay said...

Your book cover is stunning, love the colours and textures, so pleased you added the photos to see the details.
Postage in the UK isn't cheap either, but as yet I don't think we have a surcharge for rigid packages, time will tell.
Yvonne xx

Dianne said...

love this book cover!! of course you know my delight in warm colors...anyway, rigid is an issue I guess if it won't go through their machines which bend the envelope around corners! but I don't think I've paid any big surcharges...maybe it depends on who's enforcing the rules too! It really is beautiful...the recipient is a lucky friend! ♥ btw I sent you an email...

TwinkleToes2day said...

Wow Elizabeth, this is simply stunning!! A really beautiful piece; I would love to be a fly on the wall when your friend opens the package, to see the joy on their face :D
As I was looking through the fabulous photos I began to wonder who the little girl had been so many years ago. It is one of a few widely used images that I've seen here and there and I often 'wonder' about the people.
Wishing you a lovely weekend ahead :D

pearshapedcrafting said...

Wow! and Wow! again! This really is fabulous - I don't know how I missed it yesterday! The colours and texture and the little 'angel' are the most wonderful combination! Chrisx

Carol said...

This is really nice Elizabeth! It's always a hassle to figure what would be the best and least expensive way to send something in the mail any more. :( My hands don't do a lot of things as well as they used too . The price we pay for living a longer life.

Corrine at said...

Well I am sure this friend will love the piece. I always take for granted that the PO will cost more than I think, so I scale back no on size. Too bad, but UPS and FEDEX are even more expensive, so it all costs more. xox

johanna said...

first: love your pink Background here so much, you should conserve the scan "as is" to make digital art or print it, it is gorgeous!
and cheesecloth always adds so beautiful texture, here no exception...

your post made me think of times (early 2000s) when i swapped much art with americans - mostly altered books, but also atcs and the Little "deco" books. it was quite costly then, but nowadays it is simply unaffordable and i totally quit.