Fiddling Fingers: Collages Become HBM Paper
What do you do when you’re fiddling your fingers and you’ve got nothing worthwhile to do?
I used to collage, when I didn’t have a baby and had time to sit still with small scraps of paper scattered around me. Cutting up magazines, looking for brightly colored wrapping paper or box stuffing or anything that came my way gave me something to do when I had no work to be done. I can’t just sit in front of the telly doing nothing and so making collages was my pastime. I’ve started looking for those brightly colored photos and images again and I’m starting to look for time to get back into it.
At some point a friend mentioned how they’d look cool as postcards and so an idea was born. I photographed some collages and had them printed up into postcards and sent them off to some of the pals that I’d met along my travels abroad. They were an instant hit with family and friends though I have to admit I was a bit surprised at how excited people were to get them via snail mail only to have them reply via Facebook or email about how pretty they were and how they enjoyed receiving some mail in their boxes that wasn’t a bill or advertisement. Why do people do that? If you like getting mail so much, wouldn’t you assume that other people do too?
It’s sort of like thank you notes… are those out of fashion now or something? Has etiquette changed now that technology has? My mother was always big on writing thank you notes and having us do it as soon as we got home after receiving some gift. If you wait too long, you’ll forget about it or just figure that it’s too late to say anything was her thinking I imagine. While I don’t give people gifts in hopes of receiving a thank you or any sort of accolade because of the gift, I’ve noticed that I haven’t gotten one for a gift sent in awhile. I should mention that it could be a cultural difference as well. According to my husband, Koreans don’t send thank you notes. After our wedding in Korea, I started writing up all of these thank you cards and told him he needed to give me his address book or get his friends addresses and he said it wasn’t necessary. Of course, I was taken aback and didn’t know quite how we were supposed to show our gratitude if there’s no note at the very least. But really, what do parents teach their children in this day and age of email, Facebook and so on? It seems a lot of people are just photographing gifts and tagging the person online with a quick, “hey look how awesome this gift from so and so is, thanks! @ so and so”. Is that really what we’ve come to? We can’t sit down and write a note and take the time to go to the post office to send it off? I guess if our children aren’t learning cursive anymore eventually they’ll give up on writing all together and say typing everything is swell enough. Oh what a sad day that would be.
My love of snail mail prompted me to sell these postcards on Etsy and join a group called Snail Mailers of like minded people that don’t want snail mail, the good kind and not just bills and ads, to disappear. I have to admit that after the baby was born, some birthday cards and other letters that I had usually sent via snail mail just got away from me and a message via email was all I could muster, but this week I got my box of postcards down from its shelf and couldn’t help but think about who I wanted to send a note off to first. My grandmother topped the list and wouldn’t you know it, I just got a letter from her in the mail the other day. I can always count on her to send a lovely little card in the mail.