For Your Consideration

On Wednesday, Jade the Art Therapist called for tiny art on Facebook; she would forward them to a Sydney charity, Little Packs of Love, who would included them with "toiletries and other items for the homeless, women in domestic violence shelters and long term hospital patients." Any technique or message, (or no message) were allowed, as long as each piece fit in the hand.

I thought it was a lovely idea and looked forward to uplifting pictures on her work FB page. Then this afternoon, I suddenly started making some; they're only smaller version of mental health postcards, right? A good reentry into paper play? But it turned into a uniquely difficult experience.

First, the size: I have a hard time fitting things into postcards and these were half that. Secondly, blokes need them, too, and I don't have pictures of trucks or power tools and I didn't think beer would be appropriate in case an unlucky recipient was battling addiction as well. (Stereotyping much?) This led to further questions: how do I address such a broad audience; what images are inappropriate/offensive, (luxury, alcohol or happy/romantic couples pics: bad; friends laughing together: good;) how can I disguise my middle-class-New-Age indulgence as something kinder? (I can't;) and who am I to presume I can guess the many recipients' taste? And so on and so forth. I'm usually all for political correctness, but today it had me stunned. Better take out beer-scented soap wrapper and diamond-encrusted Lalique just to be on the safe side, but goodness did they have to be so bland and humorless??

I was thinking of how much I used to enjoy making my postcards, then saw I was not making small self-contained "art" but tiny gift cards. Oooppps. And gift cards lack visual focus and some even have spaces. And these need to get to Australia by the end of the month, so must be posted early next week so no time to contemplate. And I got glue blob in the center of a picture, and rubbed it and made it all gooey and black. And when is too much too much, and should I go minimalist? Yikes.
I even had to rethink the Thank You; I meant it as a "Thank you for being you" kind of sentiment, but Ben understandably didn't get it. Too out there in this context. But it has a nice picture of an avocado on the back. Really. Note I have two bloke cards.
Beer-scented soap wrapper and diamond-encrusted Lalique: these weren't working anyway but efforts to disguise made them worse. 

I have 10 passable gift cards, (OK, a couple of good ones,) two fails, and no "small encouraging artworks" as requested. I don't know if I'll send them to Jade, restart, or burn them ceremoniously in the wood burner and curl up in bed with a book. Regardless, it was a good, reflective Saturday.

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I've been doing a heck of a lot of gardening, a lot of threading, some reading, and a wee bit of spinning, but I'll tell you about them another day.


  1. I like them! I've been thinking about you a lot recently, so glad to see your post. What's new with you? You've been quiet for a while. Glad you're getting back into paper art, if you are...I'm still waiting for my next postcard from you -- it's been nigh-on a couple years?? Hope you're well. Hugs.

    1. Likewise, Connie. I found it lovely you've returned to textiles, to embroidery, at present. You are right, it appears the last time I made postcards was in September 2014, although I worked on some oversized envelopes shortly afterwards. Around then, I'd finally found a satisfying routine where three to four sittings with each lot felt I've done as much as I'd like, somewhere between two to four weeks, regardless of whether I work on them every time or not, allowing some to look less worked. With these gift cards, first and foremost my frustration stems from understanding the brief in the first instance, and then forgetting while I worked, because I liken that process to my mom's developing inability to see facts, increasing retelling her stories instead. I fear it's already happening to me, concerning many areas of my life. But also, I've only worked on these once so of course I'm far from finished. We'll see how it goes. :-D


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