Learning Is To Be Continued: Mixed Media Mail Art


My youngest son has been after me for a year or so to learn to sew. This summer, I finally took the time to get my first sewing machine serviced and ready for use. It was the first time it had been serviced since I was gifted the machine 20 years ago. In fact, I learned to sew on this machine. So, it makes me happy to see my son enjoying it. We sat down this morning for 2 hours and he learned how to use the machine, how to thread it and how to sew a straight and zig zag stitch. He had so much fun that he has been begging to sew more. If he likes this part he is going to go crazy picking out patterns and fabric. Haha. A man after my own heart!

He loves wearing ties to church so I am thinking of letting him try out his straight stitch and some new Star Wars fabric on a neck tie.

Although sewing lessons were not “on the menu” when the day began, I am thankful that I got to spend some time with my little man. Summer is almost over and the learning should continue. I love how quickly they soak up information at this age and I want to fill his head with good and useful knowledge. Skills that he can take into adult hood, that may even influence his career choice. Even if he doesn’t become a fashion designer, at least he will know how to sew a button on his shirt. I bet most college students nowadays, regardless of sex, don’t know how to mend hems or sew on a button. At least my boy will have one up on them. 😉

I will let you know how the neck tie turns out. Or whatever he decides to make for his first project.

Creating the Mail Art

I am on a mail art kick as you can see. It is a fun and fairly quick piece of art. I started with a post card base and layered some paper on top with a wash of gesso. I stenciled using the Collage Textures and Patterns and Circles. I used some chipboard, linen scraps, and stamps (PaperArtsy) in the background. And since it is tea day, the quote has been stamped on a tea bag.

I also used some thread and recycled packaging in the background. I think my favorite part about mixed media is the combination of textiles. I love how fabric and threads look next to the paper and paint.

Tea Day

To all you joining in on Tea Day over at Elizabeth’s, I am sharing my Aftaba set and my new Indian Painting that I picked up for a steal at Goodwill. I have a small collection of these unique pots that you can see HERE. I am very interested in learning some of these beautiful Indian folk painting techniques. I recently found this blog with some great tutorials and history behind the techniques. I am drawn to folk art because it tells a story. I would love to tell my own stories, using these techniques, to display on my wall . And I just happen to have a thing for India.

Join Me for The Layered Art Journal

Also, if you happen to live in central Pennsylvania, I am teaching a class this month and would love to have you join me. We are going to work on building and layering backgrounds. My favorite! No art experience is required.  Email me to register or with questions at katesscrapyard@gmail.com

Happy Tea Day,



Challenges Entered:

Simon Says: Make Your Own Background

Craft Stamper: August Anything Goes

Paru’s Card Making Challenge: Family (Son)

The Artistic Stamper: August Anything Goes


22 thoughts on “Learning Is To Be Continued: Mixed Media Mail Art”

  • That’s a great idea to be sewing with your son! When I was teaching needlework at school the boys were often my best students. Your postcard is wonderful. Happy T Day, hugs, Valerie

  • Your mail art piece is so utterly beautiful – wonderful styled always . so unique and artful! And I loved to read that you teach sewing with the machine to your son! Wonderful! Looking forward to his neck tie!
    A fantastic Aftaba set Kate! Wishing you much fun with teaching, I would for sure join you if I were in your area!
    Big hugs, Susi

  • like you i really enjoy the combination of paper and fabric – you did such a good job on this piece!
    and i would have loved my boys being interested in sewing as much as your´s does! so cool!! he will be proud of the result and you will be, too:))
    happy t-day!

  • Hi Kate! I’m so excited I can leave a comment this morning. I wanted to leave one on an older post last evening, and I couldn’t. This is another wonderful textural piece of mail art! I just want to hold it and tip it this way and that to see all the details and layers. Loved reading about your son’s experience with the sewing machine–what a great Mom you are to take time to teach him this life skill. And how wonderful he is an eager student. For some reason, I didn’t put together that you lived in Pa. Probably learned it at one time, but have forgotten. Wished I lived there, so I could come take your class. We may be going to the Poconos next June for my nephew’s wedding, and am trying to plan other things to do and see in the area, since it is such a long trip from NC coast. I have a friend who lives in Hollidaysburg, but I think that is quite a distance from the Poconos. For now, I am off to find that post I wanted to comment on. Hugs!

  • so exciting your son wishes to learn how to sew-how fun for the both of you
    I always admire your layered art-awesome you are able to teach and share your knowledge.
    I don’t know much about India fold art-sounds interesting.
    Happy T Day wishes Kathy

  • Your layered art is stunning. I so love your style. I wish I lived near you and could do the workshop.
    Your Indian picture is beautiful. What a bargain. And the tea set is perfect for the T Party.
    It is amazing that your son is so interested in sewing. Teach him as much as you can. It will give you precious quality time with him and as you rightly say, he will learn a skill that not many people have nowadays. My dad always taught us to use equipment that we had in the house. We had a (reel to reel) tape recorder and dad taught my sister and I how to use it so we wouldn’t brake anything if we did touch it. Same with the sewing machine and my dad’s dark room photographic equipment.
    Happy T Day,

  • YAH! I can finally leave comments again. THANK you for that. Here’s what I wrote in my message to Kate last night.

    can’t leave you a comment because your blog is telling me I must be logged in to comment. Please be aware, I have read your post, LOVE that your son sews straighter than I ever will, and am so impressed with him. I quit wearing clothes that required sewing on buttons, because I have no pinch grip and can’t hold the needle between my fingers. So of course, your son is even better at THAT than I am.

    I am SO impressed with that amazing mail art. I love the layers, the fabric, the thread, and the stamp. And of course, the addition of the quote on the tea bag is pure genius. I love it. This is an awesome beauty anyone would be proud to receive.

    I am so in awe of your Indian pots and cups. The back story is fabulous and you are so lucky to own these beauties. Thank you for sharing them, along with your son’s sewing, and your mail art with is for T this week. Now of only I could figure out a way to leave a comment on your blog! SO GLAD that last line has been corrected! Again, thanks for changing the settings back. Looks like I wasn’t the only person who had that problem.

  • How wonderful that you are teaching your son to sew! It bought back such wonderful memories as my dad taught me to sew – he was a tailor in his younger years and I remember making the most amazing crushed strawberry corduroy skirt and waistcoat with him such I wore all the time …lol 😉 !. I’m so looking forward to seeing that Star Wars fabric and maybe a tie too 😁. Your postcard mail is beautiful! Thanks for the happy memories and wishing you a Happy T Day! J 😊 x

  • It is great to see your son sewing. I think more boys should and how cool that he was interested. And nice art-you have been busy. Your new Indian painting and the tea set look great together. They make a nice decoration for sure. Have fun teaching your class. And very happy T day to you. Hope you are staying cool. Hugs-Erika

  • It must be lovely for you to spend quality time with your son, not many small boys would want to go anywhere near a sewing machine to learn how to sew. i hope he gets his tie made and you show it to us.
    I loved your mails art, awesome layers of images.
    The Indian picture looks fantastic.
    Happy T day wishes.
    Yvonne xx

  • How wonderful that your son is taking an interest in sewing. I can’t really sew by machine. They tried to teach me, but I was hopeless and didn’t enjoy it. I can sew on a button. Tried to show my girlies how to do buttons, but no interest. Your son might be able to make a little extra money in college by mending and sewing because I’m sure very few of his peers will know how to do those skills. Do schools teach Home Ec anymore?

    Very cool mixed media postcard. Too bad, I’m too far away for a day trip. Your class sounds like it would be lots of fun. Happy T Day

  • Kate i can’t help but wonder how that beautiful piece will go thru the mail…?? I would guess you can’t just send it on its own but will have to package it??
    Anyway its just gorgeous!! How wonderful your ‘little man’ is interested in sewing.. I think thats great! I’d love to see his tie or whatever he makes.. Happy T day! Hugs! deb

  • Truly stunning mail art piece…I do love your textured layers! So awesome that your son is interested in sewing…he might like to sew some type of tote bag too…an easy square shape. The necktie sounds like fun, especially star wars! I have made a couple of ties, but struggled a bit because I chose fabric that was too heavy. You have to turn that lined, on-the-bias piece of fabric, and denim-weight fabric was definitely not a great choice! lol have fun sewing together, the time goes by so quickly! happy T day! oh, and congrats on the class!

  • I love that you are teaching your son to sew. I learned at school since my mom hated sewing. She was more than happy to pass the torch…more like smoldering match…to me. My dad even bought me a brand new sewing machine when I was in 8th grade.
    I love your mixed media piece. We are of similar ilk I believe, The combination of texture in mixed media really speaks to me.
    Happy T day!

  • I love these cross-generational activities where we are able to pass things down.

    Whenever I’ve tried building up/arranging that kind of texture it ends up a right mess. Yours is art. Gorgeous! I’d attend your class, but I’m in West Tennessee 😉

    I look at the art whenever I’m in a Goodwill store or antique mall but never find anything I want in my home. I’ll keep looking and maybe find a find like yours. Your pots are interesting. The shape is different from anything I see. Happy T Tuesday

  • That’s quite a young man you’re raising. How cool that he asked to learn something useful like sewing and that you could take some quality time with him.

    I’ve always admired your layering in mixed media. That’s another wonderful tag. I wish I lived close enough to sign up for your class. It sounds like a fun afternoon.

  • Your son does look comfortable sewing! My three boys could all do simple mending, iron and cook (in fact they all still make and decorate birthday cakes) They all took their turn at cleaning too! When I was teaching some of my keenest sewers were boys! I do so love your layered art Kate! Wishing I lived in Pennsylvania!!! Happy T Day! Chrisx

  • What an awesome Art Journal ! I love how you are creating with your son. Treasure these moments. Thank you so much for joining us at Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge — Good Luck!

    ♥ Mindy

  • Yay for your son wanting to learn to sew!!! When I was a teacher, the school I taught in taught handwork (as we call it), knitting, sewing, weaving, embroidery etc etc to all students, both boys and girls and for so many it was their favourite lesson! Loving your mail art, so textural! Another great post!

  • WOW What a great post!
    That is awesome about your little man and can’t wait to see what he creates! I taught my sons to sew as well!

    Loving on your mail art Kate- that is soooo cool!
    And WOW! Congrats for you teaching a class! I am so excited for you!
    Happy weekend!
    Jackie xo

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