The Conclusion of MEP #4

Mystery Envelope Project #4 is officially over! Here is the spread I did in my altered book using the old workbasket magazine for images.

A Mom is Love

I was especially pleased to use the "A Mom is Love" button. My 17yo gave that to me when he was about 10 and I've been waiting for the right moment to use it in my art.

All things must end and now is the time for the end of this project. What I have left: A sheet of gold paper (saving), the remains of the workbasket magazine (filing away with the images I save as future collage fodder for the altered book), the envelope itself (will take off stamps and postmarks and put in with my collage supplies)

Final recap of MEP #4:

1 handpainted art journal
1 handpainted accordian fold book
1 altered calendar
15 one inch collage squares
1 art doll
1 8.5 x 11 collage
1 handbound mini book (3.5" x 3)
2 altered book spreads

Wow, that's more than I thought now that I've totted it up. To see the whole project at once click here.

Some thoughts on this process:

I love doing these projects, I am in my element when I have a limited amount of supplies at hand. I get an art "high" when working through one of these projects and I always feel amazed by the creativity that spills out of me. I find that I do things that I may not have otherwise ever tried. I don't think I would have ever done an altered calendar without the push from this envelope (for example). I'll take a break now to keep it fresh for the next time. But a next time there certainly will be!

Now that I've done four of these I also have decided that I will continue to do the others with the same rules I used for this one. Each time I've had slight variations in the rules with varying results.

First time, I used only what was in the envelope and added my own bases (for atcs, 4x6s) and writing utensils (pens, crayons, etc.), I had a lot of fun with that one.

#2 - I was very strict and did not allow myself to add any items (except bases) and it was too much, my creativity was stifled somewhat and I wasn't as pleased with the final results. I definately learned from the experience thought.

#3 - I went to the other extreme and allowed myself to add whatever I wanted from my own stock, I just had to use something from the envelope in everything I made. This was way too much freedom and while I had a ton of fun with the envelope contents I didn't feel the same creativity "high".

#4 - I used only the envelope contents but allowed myself to add anything that was needed to complete a piece. The envelope was my main focus but outside elements, whatever they be (paints, pens, embellishments, etc) were used to enhance the contents and bring a piece to fruition. This will continue to be the way the future mystery envelope projects are set up. It gives me a tight boundary to work within but allows me use the tools needed to bring an idea to its full potential.


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