Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Art Mail: Spring Edition

Okay, I'd better post this before I can no longer argue that spring hasn't turned into summer yet. 

There are still three mails I'm still working on, but once those are done (hopefully next week) I'm totally taking a break from this for a while. 

First, from way back in February, check out this great package Hannes' friends sent us from Hamburg! He got a Resolutions shirt and high-quality beard oil, while I got an assortment of little thises-and-thats, including a van Gogh paper craft I have yet to put together. 




And look! Takako was in Kyoto visiting family and sent me a valentine while she was here!

My mom went a little overboard sending us some of the things we left in the States and some munchables, using Valentine's Day as an excuse, and ended up including this giant Rice Krispies sheet, complete with frosting (vegan, weirdly enough, while Rice Krispies Treats are not of course) and red crystal sprinkles for decorating. 

We made ourselves sick because we never eat things this artificial, but we had an awful lot of fun with it and it lasted quite a while. It was a really cute idea!



Huge glasses for scale


Om nom


Aw yiss, mothafuckin' black beans, spices, salsa verde, green chiles and more!
It's always way too much. My mom moms way harder than your mom.

Couldn't decide between these when I visited Vanilla Gallery with Rejon to see the international Beautiful Bizarre exhibition, so I ended up getting them all, 
telling myself I'd send two or three and frame two or three more. Starting a 
postcard collection is seriously a lot like deciding to have a meth addiction.

And here is a super creative art mail reply Zac sent! 
It's photos he took of the public art installations along the Phoenix light rail made into a puzzle. You might also remember him as the engineer behind the Golduck pearler bead medallions he sent a while back before leaving Kochi.

Intricate! I enjoyed putting it together when I was still getting over being ridiculously sick.


My only criticism was the fact that he sent a frame with glass in it, which was basically just a booby trap by the time it got here lol. That's okay, though. I mixed some sky blue paint, splattered it onto the frame, and have it sitting on our end table just like this.

Hannes spent a week in Berlin on business in March, and when he came back, he was loaded down with goodies, and his parents also sent us an Easter box. It had all kinds of delicious things in it, from this skull bag - not technically delicious - to vegan chocolates and gummies, rice bread and pastas, and instant quinoa mixes for me, to Kinder bunnies and interesting mints for him.

Okay, maybe your mom moms almost as hard as my mom if your mom is Hannes' mom.



Those black rice noodles in the purple package are weirdly delicious if you have a chance to try them. I don't know what could possibly set them apart, but their texture is also perfect.


What an assortment!

And wouldn't you know it, my mom also sent an Easter box that was huge even though I attempted to insist that she keep it to a minimum, if anything. 
Her duct-taping and sticker-sticking game is pretty strong, though.



Some of these "Feed" goods are pretty cool, and meals are donated to 
poor children when you buy their products.


That colourful gift on the left there was actually soft, 
lovely scarves for Hannes' mom's birthday.

And this right here, this was too heavy to send but totally delicious.
She also included an absurdly large and glorious container of more salsa verde 
that we're still using.

I'd known for a while exactly what I wanted to draw or paint on Jesse's next packet: 
the same design he has on a shirt, that says "samgyeopsal for life" as fist tattoos.


Hannes wondered what those weird blobs were, having no inkling of what I was going for.


Haha! Pork. Of course.


And lettuce, and cloves of garlic.




And of course, a collage of cool punk show flyers on the other side.

I'd been looking for some other interesting little thing to include aside from the Star Wars Curry Balls and his belated New Years' card, and then I was finally like, okay, never seen those Maple French Toast cubes before, off you go!

Not art mail, I know, but check out these Easter Krispy Kremes I brought Hannes.


And check out the lovely flowers he brought me!


And the lovely Pikachu from Nico and his parents!
(-centerpiece intensifies-)

Okay, this next one I very slowly worked on for a good three months, and I know we were both glad when I sent it off at long last, because it definitely overstayed its welcome on our table. 
Both of my American first cousins got married within about a month of each other, one of them shortly before his girlfriend had their first child, a baby girl. An opportunity to make a ridiculously loud and cute pink gift box with all the little bits and pieces I have laying around, you say?! But of course! 

First you get yourself a pink and white shoebox you'd put aside to use for sending stuff like this after you and your boyfriend have an argument about your stash of wrapping and shipping supplies taking up space, and then you get yourself a barely-there between-contracts schedule riddled with free time.


Oh, and a gluestick.


This box spans several holidays, including ひな祭り, the doll (or girls') festival.


I made a serious effort to put a dent in my cute paper and clipping supply with this one, because we also argued about all of that crap taking up space (it doesn't really :P).




Aaaaand BOOM! -seizure-


The lighter pink parts are painted on. After this I glued in the same black and white patterned fabric ("napkins" from Flying Tiger) that I used in my mom's Christmas box.


Look at this ridiculously cute tiny Hello Kitty pink bundle of joy charm I got at the Hello Kitty Japan shop in DiverCity that I had been looking for an excuse to finally check out and the ridiculously cute 100 yen shop candy gift box I put it in! @o@


This was supposed to have been an Easter box, but I didn't send it until after, as I was having a hard time replacing the rice and bean cakes in the doll festival boxes in the foreground, and..

.. because I had wanted to include this hilarious hat for my cousin, but they didn't have it anymore when I went back.

There were a number of similarly hilarious choices, but I ended up going with "Rumble Young Man Rumble" here.


.. aaand also because I wanted to include handmade wooden baby toys, which I finally got from a traditional craft shop called Bingoya! The whole thing was a big hit.

This Pokemon and train-themed packet was my reply to Zac! 
For a quick simple one, it took me a while to send out because I am the best 
procrastinator ever.


This flyer is an ad that plays on the name of the main JR line in Tokyo, but shows that you can use it to see the countryside. I just thought it was really cute.


I had kind of wanted to see this JR Pokemon With You train - just like I kind of want to see the Seibu Kyary Pamyu Pamyu train now - but never did, hence the doge meme note in place of a detailed review and additional photos (Zac is way into trains).

Also, train-themed hard candies, more Curry Balls, some train stickers I had, and a vintage ticket pamphlet and stamp from Sugamo I found at my much-loved local vintage book shop.

Told you I'd send these! Instead of just writing it on the back, 
I also painted my message on the front.



And finally, at long last, the box I also spent quite a lot of time putting together for Mother's Day, using yet more cute papers and scraps to make a large two-sided collage in place of a card:





Not much, but then, there's not much my mom really wants except for me to be thoughtful, and I also sent her a vintage boxed book set and a ring she'd told me she liked from the Sundance Catalog. That thing on the left there is a scarf hanger (she has millions) from Ikea that I decided I didn't actually want to use a while back.


The stationery and scarf organiser I wrapped with Japanese newspaper.


Except for the top right bit of the sky I couldn't match, I like how this simple collage turned out. The trees and flowers are unused photos from Korea.


And on this side I wrote a sort of short letter, using the text on the different papers that was already there.

Phew, three months' worth right there, including a couple of big boxes! I don't really get replies, cards, etc. from anyone (Jesse tried to send us a box that included beef jerky, but it was swiftly intercepted by inspectors, and I had to return a document to them so they'd send it back instead of incinerating it) but they are totally welcome! Just let me know if you need my address, one of the approximately six people reading this who already have it :D

Just kidding, actually, Hannes' friend and coworker sent us this one from North Korea!
Don't worry, he was just visiting.