Tuesday, May 26, 2015

2015 iHanna International Postcard Swap

I mentioned in an earlier post that I am participating in iHanna's international postcard swap again this spring, and wanted to share with you the cards I will be sending out into the world this time around.
My set of ten cards has a definite theme this year, which I will explain shortly.  But to begin the process, I cut smooth, white Bristol paper into ten pieces, each 4 inches by 6 inches.  I put a light wash of watercolor on them, and then applied distress ink through a couple favorite stencils using wedge makeup sponges:
For my next step, I glued down some of the old cancelled checks I purchased from the Allentown Paper Show, followed by a selection of Depression-era photos from a book I found at a local thrift shop called Nana's Attic.
Each card got a turn under my sewing machine needle, where I used one of three different colors and a couple of different stitches to outline the pictures or make a band across the postcard.
Finally, I used my "new" old typewriter to type the sentence, "We had everything but money," once for each card.  This sentence is the title of the book I used as the source of my pictures.  I know that some people insist that they only cut up books for their art that are so old and falling apart that they had no other life left in them.  I am here to confess that this book was in perfectly fantastic shape, and I purchased it for the express purpose of cutting out and using its photos.  But as I went through it, I read every single word.  What an amazing book!  It gave me such tremendous insight into the lives of people during the Depression and Dust Bowl eras, and such tremendous respect for the people who made it through with such positive attitudes and memories.
After affixing some postage stamps--some from this very era--my postcards for the swap were complete.

My cards, then, are an attempt to show some of snapshots of life from the 1930s:  how resilient people clothed themselves, fed themselves, dressed themselves, educated themselves, fell in love, worked and played and traveled and LIVED in the face of the incredibly challenging circumstances of that particular decade of United States history. 
Here are my postcards, awaiting the final touches to the messages on the back, about to be sent out into the wider world of mail art lovers!
Many thanks to iHanna for her tireless inspiration!


Carin Winkelman said...

These are very beautiful. I love stitched paper! Whoever gets these will be over the moon with them, I'm sure. ;-)

aimee said...

Hi Andria and thanks for showing your art postcards off! They're wonderful!I own that "We Had Everything But Money" book and learned so much about the Depression from it - there's nothing like first-person accounts to learn about how things really were.

Anyway, that book became the basis of some great postcards - loved the creative process you described and the cool use of stitching too - and the typed phrase was a nice addition!

Checked out the link to your purchases at the Allentown Paper Show - my kind of event! And I used to live not too far from Nana's Attic myself. Too bad it wasn't around then! I've gotten great stuff at thrift stores, and I like that my purchases support good causes too.

laurie said...

Andria, I love these cards and the places they take us to - such a tribute to those who chose to make the best of the harsh economic times in that era. I am also in the postcard swap and hope to take some photos of the cards I made by the end of the week. :-)

juicy*s said...

These are so creative and thoughtfully made. Rich with meaning and artful layers. Bravo!

Ami said...

Such a great concept! I hope I get one, so I can share with my 90-year-old grandma, who raised me on Depression stories.

Anne said...

They are all so meaningful...whoever receives them will have a bit of American history during some very hard times. I liked the continuity of same-era stamps, the dust bowl coloration of backgrounds. And yet they weren't sad or depressing, showing how real people kept on keeping on.

Anonymous said...

I love these! What a great theme and message. I love the typewriter idea, I may have to go out and get myself one!

iHanna said...

Love that your postcards are not only beautiful but a lesson in history, a time traveling document, and full of meaning. Thanks for joining the swap once again Andria, I love seeing your contribution to it!

Joyfulploys said...

Andria...love these cards! A wonderful tribute to a difficult time in our country's history.

Rachel Mims said...


LOVE your cards!! What a great way to combine all of those elements! And I think its perfectly fine to cut up a book if you are going to make it into art!