my REAL wall gets snowy in the Peak District

Me and Elena decided to drive up to the Peak District this weekend. Perhaps this wasn't the most wise idea, me suffering from a terrible cold and all, but I spluttered my way through and we were rewarded with the beautiful snowswept scenery you see before you.

Thanks to all of you who sent mail, which came with us. It was so cold on Friday night and not once did I consider using any of your mailart as firewood. Oh no not me.


my REAL wall in Oxford

my REAL wall in Oxford, originally uploaded by andytgeezer.

This weekend me and Elena hired a car and drove north. Stopping off in Oxford to see my brother, we decided it only humane to take your postcards out to see the sights.

Camel, Louise Dodo and Ammy, your cards are in front of the Radcliffe Camera, which was the idea of John Radcliffe, a great Oxford physician (the hospital in Oxford is called the John Radcliffe). He wanted to build a library and today the Rad Cam, as it's locally known, houses the Radcliffe Science Library


my REAL wall counts down to Mailart 365

Last week I had an idea - I would make mailart every day for a year. Simple idea really, and a 365 that I thought I could stick to, with a little help from my friends as I have very poor willpower myself.

So I merrily toddled off and bought, and invited some people along for the ride.

Most of the mailartists who have signed up to join me in this marathon endeavour are people who are long time fans of my REAL wall, and there are one or two surprises thrown in too.

Today's REAL wall is a homage to the people who are coming along for the ride and contains post from as many of them as I have post from.

The participants list so far can be seen on the site at, and includes Postmuse, Mim4art, Katerina Nikoltsou, L-Plate Big Cheese, Rejin Leys and Elena

Up in the middle of the central column is Elenas latest piece, a quilled skull. This skull was made for Mim4art's son Noah Scalin, who runs Skull-a-day and this is Elenas contribution - you saw it here first!

The large black piece is extremely fragile and rarely sees the light of day. This was found by L-plate on holiday in Portugal. Apparently it was given to her as a sickbag on a ferry, and strangely, each one had been intricately decorated by someone with Tippex/whiteout! One of my lesser known collections is a collection of sickbags, and so people I know tend to bring me sickbags (unused) from their holidays, and this is a true gem. In case you're thinking of sending me one, please make sure it's not soiled or blank, as it's jsut depressing when it looks like a sanitary bag.

A cheeky one to include on this wall is a mailartist called Valentine Mark Herman, a French mailartist. It's still not clear whether Valentine will be submitting for mailart 365, but he is currently doing a 365 of sorts where he sends envelopes that he sends to himself, one a day for a year. It's art. It goes in the mail. It lasts a year. So who knows maybe he'll come around to the idea...


my REAL wall - 21st November 2010

Not much post in this week, and I have been really busy organising my newest mailart project, Mailart 365 at the moment.

Among the posts this week comes one from Camel-o-rama, a Seattle-based tattoo artist and postcrosser. This awesome piece is a design for someones tattoo, and has got Elena badgering me to have a tattoo again. Who knows you may see a Camel-o-rama special on my REAL skin one day.

The Homer Simpson post comes from Lorraine Kwan. Lorraine's last post was a pimped photo that she sent from Vancouver a few months back and this time she's pimped up Homer, oggling some Dim Sum buns.

The Okadascat piece next to that is a favourite of mine and Elena's, so much so that it is used as a bookmark most the time and travels around with us daily.

The Sweet Raisin post comes from one of my oldest REAL friends. Not old as in OLD (I have to clear that up before Louise beats me) but old as in, I've known her since I was about 5 years old, and we're still friends. Imagine that!

Of the remaining items, there is a letter from British Gas, apologising for the terrible customer service they put me and Elena through over the last few months. Having cut us off for a mistake that was none of our fault, they took 2 months to replace our gas supply, and finally they have held their hands up and admitted that they could have done better. The letter is a long overdue apology, in which they refunded us some of the money that we spent, and they also bought us a pair of tickets to see the Lion King in the West End. They also bought Elena a large bouquet of flowers 2 weeks ago, so I think we can consider that issue closed now.

Look closely and you'll see a little bride, so you know what I've been thinking about for the last week. The date has now been set for our wedding - 19th March! Yay!


Mim4Art your REAL wall November 2010

Mim has been a long time contributor to my REAL wall and is a co-conspirator when it comes to mailart talks. It was partly because of her that I started giving lectures in mailart, so I thought it was only right to send a postcard to her designed by my students from my mailart lecture.

The big green Male art card in the centre was drawn by one of my students in a recent lecture. She had assuemd that my talk was going to be on MALE art as opposed to female art (or mailart) and hence the pic.

Nice to see it made it up on to Mims REAL wall all the way over there in Richmond, VA.

Here's what Mim has to say about the whole thing:

My REAL wall is a jumble. I hesitate to remove anything because it's like a house of cards with one thing propped on another's pushpin or sharing pins. Plus, I like looking at things for a long time, remembering who sent them to me, like the little Dutch shoes, or keep things at hand like my MimPost stamps or the collage going into an exhibit.

One day, I'll take it all down and start fresh, or not.


The post room

The post room, originally uploaded by andytgeezer.

We're rapidly running out of walls to put postcards on....


Elenas new favourites

Elenas new favourites, originally uploaded by andytgeezer.

Our favourites wall has stayed pretty static for a while, and Elena decided to change things around a bit. The thing about this wall is that we need sticky velcro to stick things on, so it's a bit of a pain to change, but Elena has changed a little since the last time. Have you made it on?


Keeping it REAL

Keeping it REAL, originally uploaded by andytgeezer.

Elena put this up above the bed on Friday. It's awesome and contains works old and new!


my REAL wall - 13 November 2010

Always a pleasure to come home and find that Elena has put up a REAL wall in the house.

On Friday, I got home and Elena had tidied the place up. She gets Friday off, so she decided to tidy up the piles of post that were lying around waiting to be posted up.

There were some real gems among the piles of post. Benjamin Shaw from Australia has sent one of his self-designed envelopes to the wall with a card. You can find more of his designs on his site, which is on something called "facebook" whatever that is.

Mim Scalin and me have been chatting a lot lately. I didn't make the connection, but she is related to Noah Scalin, the one behind Skull-a-day, one of my favourite craft blogs. At the moment, both me and Elena are hatching our skullduggery for him, so watch that site for our stuff, and pretty soon you'll be seeing another new project by me inspired by Noah launching.

In the top right corner is a letter addressed to "Employees of my REAL wall" - it seems that a local gym has got hold of the address of my REAL wall and has offered any employees of mine a discount. Which is rather nice of them.

Ammys REAL wall is below a pic by Rebecca, who is one of Elena's favourite regulars. Even since she wraped up her sky project, we've still kept in touch, which is a great thing.


A postcard dinner

A postcard dinner, originally uploaded by andytgeezer.

Early this week me and Elena were invited by L-plate Big Chese for a postcard dinner.

Yesterday, we went over to her house, via the Garden Museum, which is just around the corner from her place.

Still wondering what the heck a postcard dinner was, we sat down in the Russian kitchen at about 2.

After making sure that we were properly settled in with smoked Sprats and a fresh loaf of bread, L-plate explained the concept.

"Today's meal is made from postcards I found in my Russian grannies attic" she started, "she kept a load of postcard of recipes in Russian and when I saw them I just knew I had to invite you over for dinner!"

An excellent idea, and so great to know that postcards can inspire dinner invites and bring people together. In case you're wondering, we had Котлеты "Украина" с соус-винегрет и Троядна украинсрая, and if you want the recipe, then I'm sure that L-plate would be happy to oblige!


Quitting Quilting Quilling

my REAL wall has always been about connecting to people and since it began I've loved not just seeing what comes through the postbox but also what people bring me. It's been great seeing how creative my friends are, and this one made me laugh.

Me and Elena were out with L-plate Big Cheese, who put together the phenomenally successful "Tetris Tetris Everywhere" gallery on flickr. I've known L-plate since we met in Romania in 2004 and she's a huge fan of my REAL wall. Having read that Elena was learning quiLLing on my twitter feed, she decided to make Elena a little present, adapted from a quit smoking campaign mug.

However, as quiLLing is not a particularly well-known art, L-plate had assumed that Elena was into quiLTing and put one of her custom L-plates on the mug, so that it now reads "Serious about quiLTing?". D'oh. Quitting. Quilting. Quilling. Chuh!

Keep your eyes on your postboxes for some of Elena's quilling, as she is on a roll at the moment. And not a quilt or a cigarette in sight.

Also on the table today are a postcrossing from the US and a letter of thanks from Katie R, who has started to get her pupils into mailart at school.

In the background is a cheque from British Gas, which nearly ends the British Gas Saga. After more than 2 months they finally put back our gas meter and sent us a bouquet of flowers and possibly a pair of tickets to a west end show by means of apology, as well as this cheque, which compensates some of the costs that we had to waste. I'll keep the grumbles aside though, as we now have gas and some compensation, so we can say that this saga is closed at last.


my REAL wall - Supporting School Mailart Projects

As a former teacher, I love to see students getting involved in mailart, and lately I've been lucky enough to be on the receiving end of some of the mailart produced.

Todays posts on the REAL wall come totally from schools, one in the UK and one in Indiana in the US.

The one from Indiana is in the centre, a mailart call called "Where do you belong?" To contribute to this, write to

Photography III
c/o Mandy Jared
Zionsville High School
1000 Mulberry Street
IN 46077

All of the pieces on the outside are the fruits of my mailart lecture a while back. One of the student art teachers who attended is now working at a school called Glenthorne, and has taken up mailart as a way to get the students into art.

I have a confession to make about Glenthorne. I was very surprised to find a bunch of post from Glenthorne in my postbox, as I myself taught in that school 6 years ago in exactly the same circumstances! When I was training to be a physics teacher, Glenthorne was the first school I was sent to and I have a lot of love for the place, so thanks to all of the students there who sentn mailart my way - I think it's great!


Schools into mailart part 1 - Where do you belong?

A while ago, someone called Ann contacted me about putting up her mailart call on my REAL wall and I agreed to do so as it sounded intriguing.

Ann is part of a photography class is Zionsville, Indiana in the USA and as part of their course they have decided to make and send out their own postcards and they asked me to post their poster for their mailart call on my REAL wall, which I will do.

The mailart call theme is "Where do you belong?" (in society, the world, your role, where you would like to live).

To contribute, send your interpretation to

Photography III
c/o Mandy Jared
Zionsville High School
1000 Mulberry Street
IN 46077

Good luck with that and I'll be sending something your way soon!


7 November 2010

All the cards on todays wall are from REAL wall regulars, 3 of whom have only caught my attention in the last 3 or 4 months.

Mim, whose card on the right hand side, is a mailart and post fanatic from Richmond, who gave me some great ideas when I was putting my mailart lectures together. She's been lecturing on the subject of mailart for a while and is someone really good to know if you are thinking of talking about mailart.

The remaining mailartists, Dewi and B on the left hand side and Valentine Mark Herman in the middle, came to my attention in the last few months.

Dewi was highly praised in the first mailart lecture by the students who were very impressed by his consistent and subtle artwork, which I admit passed me by the first time. On having this artwork pointed out to me, I took a closer look and realised it was actually damn good. Too subtle for me the first time!

B writes words, so I usually bring her stuff with me on the bus to work. This time the front of the postcard is a collage of veterinary stickers that were destined for the dumpster. I personally rather liked the effect, although B thought it could have been better. Enclosed in the envelope were also a bunch of photos, that I will be sending off to people for pimping soon and will put them up when they come back. If you want them send me an email or comment and I'll send them to you for pimping!

Valentine Mark Hermann is one of the most active mailartists on the scene at the moment and always makes me laugh. This time his work shows a scary tyrannosaurus who has an even scarier big brother. Yikes!


A postcard Odyssey

A postcard Odyssey, originally uploaded by andytgeezer.

On our trip to Dublin it rained every single day, so opportunities to stick your cards on walls were scarce.

It just so happened that on the day we walked past James Joyce's house on the way to the Lansdowne stadium, the rain stopped for a moment and I decided that this was a sign.

Whipping out your postcards and some blu-tac, me and Elena rushed in to post your cards hastily on James Joyces front door.

This was the first time we saw James Joyces house, as after this we kept noticing plaques around the city saying "James Joyce lived here from xxxx to xxxx"

With all that moving around, it's little wonder that he ended up writing a homage to the Odyssey


my REAL wall in Dublins National Gallery

It's been a while since the last time that your postcards got me in trouble, but this one got me a telling off from a security guard.

Me and Elena have just spent the week in Dublin, Southern Irelands capital, where we've just been recharging our batteries and taking your postcards for a walk.

In the corridor of the gallery, they had set up a few tables and chairs with crayons and A4 paper. Being on an artistic bender at the moment, I decided I had to draw, and knocked out that pic on the left.

Deciding to leave it there, I pinned it to the display and thought it would look a whole lot better with a load of your postcards, but couldn't bring myself to remove all the great stuff by the kids, hence why your postcards are barely visible!

Anyway, the telling off came when I got my camera out to photograph the scene. Just as I took the shot, a security guard came over and said, "No photography allowed in the building" and looked at me sternly.

Anyone would think I was trying to take a picture of the Caravaggio that they have on display and not crayon drawings by under-10s!

Anyway, I left feeling very pleased with myself after having created this piece, until Elena said "Maybe you should have signed that 'By Andy, aged 30' to give it a little perspective against the other pieces there"

She knows how to put me in my place!


The postcards of Jackass Lane

At the moment, Elena and I are going on a lot of walks through the autumnal countryside of southern Britain in our weekends.

Most of the time we leave the house, we take a bunch of postcards with us too, so that they can share the view. After all, England has some of the most wonderful countryside.

Today we walked from Woldingham to Oxted in Surrey, on one of the most beautiful routes we've ever walked. The autumn leaves blazed deep red lining the wood fllor and this route was puncuated at intervals with tranquil and beautiful ponds which took our breath away.

Unfortunately for you, I forgot to pack my trusty blu-tac, which would have allowed me to stick your postcards on trees and that sort of thing, so you'll have to miss all these sights and content yourself with a humorous roadsign that we saw instead, which was about the only place I could safely park your postcards.

Sorry about that folks!