18 August 2011

inspiration ~ {champagne grapes}

About three years ago I planted two grape vines in my backyard. Each year they've produced more grapes and this year we have the most bunches yet. They are sweet (slightly tart if you pick them early) and so delicious!

More ripening soon!

I decided to paint them to record some of my summer bounty, and that's what started it all.

Watercolor on a greeting card.

As I'd just sent off mail art packages to Toni Rica, Jeannine Saylor and Jessica Gowling, I decided to make a package for someone that was completely not expecting it ~ my sweet mother-in-law. She lives far across the ocean in Italy and I think she has been feeling a little lonely as of late. Once the card was ready, I gathered a number of other surprises to brighten her day.

I hoped to help her feel closer to us by sharing some of the things around us right now. My bunny was hopping about in the back yard, a joyful little creature, so I carved the flat end of a wine cork into a bunny shape and stamped it on a tiny card to fit inside a tiny handmade envelope along with...

... yes, that's a bit of bunny's fur. (She's shedding a lot in the summer time!) 

The back of the card says 'bunny' in Italian.

I am pretty happy with how the bunny stamp came out. You might remember my first cork stamp that I sent to Jessica Gowling long ago ~ a 'Secret Agent Man'. Jeannine Saylor has also been making sets of cork stamps. They are fun to make and fairly easy as long as you keep your fingers shy of the blade!

Anyhoo... a few more things jumped in the envelope to Italia: a literary bison (to remember our recent road trip), some colorful printed and letter pressed items, a nice long letter in the best Italian I could muster, and some photos of the fam are now on their way across the Atlantic.

Hope they make their journey intact and give her a pleasant surprise one day soon.


SaylorMade said...

That sounds lovely to be able to sit in your yard & pluck grapes off the vine. That's a very thoughtful gift for your mother in law. Suprise mail art is the best.

kimi said...

I'm really excited about the burgeoning grape crop in August. Our peaches usually ripen in September, so this makes two months of fresh fruit. I think I'll follow your wee one's example and have my kids put together the next mail art package for their Nonna. I feel bad that she's all alone over there. We need to cheer her up with good surprises.

WindFlower7 said...

ha~~ so beautiful always... is mail art same as "e-tegami" in Janan?
Thanks for inviting us to the beach ^-^;;

Dana said...

Beautiful! I'm sure Nonna will be overjoyed. What a nice surprise-- a little bit of your everyday life and creativity.

Gem said...

What a nice thing to do, and with such beautiful art !
I especially like the literary bison, with the stamps in the background. :)

kimi said...

Talked with Nonna today and found that the package arrived and brought her a lot of joy. It's one thing to talk weekly on the phone and another to have something to hold on to.

Chiori-san, thank you! Mail art is similar to e-tegami, but I like to gather a collection to send, whereas I understand e-tegami is 'picture-letter' and more often a postcard? Debbie Dosanko keeps an e-tegami blog you might like: http://etegamibydosankodebbie.blogspot.com/

Dana & Gemma, so sweet to hear from you two. I'll make a bison post soon of the *real* buffalo we saw on our road trip just for you. I think you'll like them! :)

Kye Sangha said...

There is nothing yummier than grapes off the vine! And I love your bunny stamp! I've been remiss lately in stamp carving-this is a good reminder of why it's so wonderful.