Look what I found between a cabinet and the wall in my living room! (Cleaning house does have some rewards!) I made this collage some years ago. If you think it looks familiar, you probably saw something very similar in "Somerset Studios."
At that time, I stuck pretty close to duplicating the examples in the magazines. I know people pooh-pooh that today, but I was a beginner then. I went so far as to order the exact stamps used in the original. I found my "Instant Ancestor" at a flea market. That's an actual sealing wax seal in the lower right hand corner, and I burned the edges of the papers. I did add my own background stamp and embellishments.
I had no qualms about putting this on the scanner today, as the banner rolls have been flattened for quite some time. I'm amazed at how much the brown ink has faded in places. I actually convinced the owner of a local stamp shop to order the required stamps and display my collage in the store for a time.
Today, I would not copy a magazine sample so closely, but I had huge fun making the collage and telling people that my work was on display in a store.
I am also passionate about the art of letter writing. Two of my favorite books are exchanges of letters between two people: "Stillmeadow and Sugarbridge" by Gladys Taber and Barbara Webster and "84 Charing Cross Road" by Helene Hanff.
For a while, my niece Lisa and I were really good about sending each other long, handwritten letters. In order to write even better missives, I bought "The Pleasures of Staying in Touch: Writing Memorable Letters" by Victoria magazine. Each of us bought a bunch of seals and sticks of colored sealing wax. When Lisa tried wax chips, I did too. We tried special inks and pens. We added little ribbons under our seals. I also once sent Lisa a very swanky writing set with inks and nibs.
There is just something about opening a letter with swirly writing on the front and a seal on the back. For one thing, it tells you the writer really took the care and time to compose your letter.
Lisa and I really have fallen out of the letter-writing practice in recent years, especially since it is so quick and easy to email each other. I actually don't mind corresponding via computer, but it is still fun to get a letter in the mail. And besides, you can't attach stickers and seals to an email, or tuck little surprises inside it.