Sunday, December 19, 2010

Snail mail joy

Look what was inside the enormous box of goodies sent by my delightful internet buddy, Helen Lehndorf, a talented poet, crafter, performer, Flickr photo curator, brilliant blogger on sabbatical, now the best Facebook status updater out of all 500 million users.

I knew Helen was planning to mail back to me a DVD and book I'd sent to her and I assumed it was taking so long because she is a busy mother and creative writing tutor, with craft fairs to sew for and poems to write. I had no idea she was filling an huge box with a treasure trove of delightful treats.

Here's a small selection of highlights, for example...

A couple of sweet badges which I started wearing straight away: one handmade flower and one bird print . The fish is on a Frankie poster I have hung next to my desk at work. (Another Frankie poster was given to a young workmate who needed cheering up).

From left: cubes of exotic herbal teas, Helen's collaged cards some of which have already been dispatched to lucky friends; CDs of the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain, and the Crimson Club; and the DVD I sent Helen a while back called The Winter of the Beard. If anyone else wants to borrow my copy, you are welcome even if it's not returned in such lavish fashion!

Beautiful embroidered and beaded flower appliques- I have come back from Melbourne determined to wear more flowers (à la Frida Kahlo), an idea reinforced by reading Carol Kaesuk Yoon's wonderful book about the umwelt called Naming Nature: The Clash Between Instinct and Science. (I should say that nowhere in the book does Yoon offer any fashion advice, but rather she explains why humans love (representations of) the natural world and why it is so important to our psyche).

One of Helen's handmade bunnies in a cross stitched vintage fabric, now making friends with my Peter Rabbit bedspread. A stash of mostly orange fabrics. In my life of the past few years it seems to be the colour associated with creative transformation and so I have learned to welcome its arrival. Also a swatch of embroidery flosses, which I will make good use of you can be sure. I try and do all my experimental and casual embroidery with second-hand floss, though I end up buying new for the final works, to get the colours consistent.

A couple of paperbacks I look forward to reading this summer. Plus the return of Response (with the green on white letterpress cover), the collaborative travelling journal project I launched nearly two years ago. There are a couple of blank spreads left to be filled, if you are interested let me know. It's fascinating to look at how the contributors in three countries so far have responded to the challenge of the blank page. It's a beautiful book, and I look forward to sharing it on this blog when its finished.


Ampersand Duck said...

OOh! I'm up for a journal entry. Address is here:

Fantastic parcel!

Helen Rickerby said...


Anonymous said...

I'd love to participate in your blank page project. What a lovely package.

Carol said...

Now that's a real treasure box. I know there will be great things made over summer.