There was the coolest surprise waiting for me when I got home last night, sitting on my art desk where my wonderful partner puts the, “This is mail art and you’re gonna love it so I’m setting it here for you.” pile when he gets the mail before I do. There sat an old, mysterious, treasurely hinged top tin.  It was golden with black writing, it had a little bit of authentic rust.  It was an awesome ANTIQUE and it was tied like people used to tie packages which traveled through the mail, this with black waxed twine. 


“This came in the mail?! It’s for ME!?”, I wondered aloud. My wonderful partner confirmed that it had, and indeed there were three round global forever stamps on it, and our address, to confirm the truth of the matter. 


I looked it over for quite a long time, holding back my desire to see inside with my desire to really take in it’s wonderful tactile and visual appeal as it presented itself. There was no return address – Mysterious! The stamps had not been cancelled inside the bottom lip of the tin. I thought about it’s journey, the hands it passed through which must have wondered at this treasurely item as I wondered at it in my hands now. I imagine they were jealous and wished that they got to open it, to have it and hold it. And yes, I am here officially coining that term, “treasurely”. I have decided that it’s the most appropriate word to use when describing this wonderful gift. As I held it I learned that, with enough postage applied, some kind of special magic and security taken into consideration, one can apparently send the most amazing mail ever. This item had truly shaken loose and fallen out of the lines in a book which I would ravenously devour as easily today as 33 years ago. 


Then I charged my cell phone, because I knew this wonder must be thoroughly photographed before being opened, so as to be able to fully share the entire experience with the rest of the mail art world. Something of this amount of value needed to be approached like archeology, the process must be careful and the joy and knowledge needs to be shown to more than just me – because this is simply too good to be experienced by only myself. 


Once my lamp was set up and my phone charged, I took the above photos for you all in order to share my wonderment and experience with me. This is EXACTLY as it arrived, safely tucked into the mail hole in the wall of my little home’s front porch. I didn’t want to disturb it to the point of untying the knot, so I carefully pushed and moved the black waxed twine to one corner to open it, and here is what greeted me:

My socks were not simply “knocked off”, they unknit themselves. I found myself standing on small piles of very thin yarn which fell about my toes and ankles, totally relaxed in the knowledge that they had seen the glory and no longer needed to serve as socks.  [Alright, I’m engaging in animorphism here, the vast majority portion of my socks are not alive and they didn’t unknit themselves, but the rest of this is TRUE!]

The pieces which make up the whole are glued in place, so when you open the tin they are perfectly positioned to admire every time and are protected against damage that might occur by being moved around.  

I instantly knew where this had come from, no return address or note required, and by George it was magnificent, ancient, old, antique, woodsy, natural and TREASURELY.  I will privately tell more about my feelings about this art to the artist, and it will be sent through the postal mail in my best handwriting, using my most favorite fountain pen in my most favorite ink. Suffice it to say here that this art feels perfect and wonderful to me, it’s treasurely (if you use it enough it becomes a ‘real world’) and I treasure it highly. I’m so grateful for it, and don’t honestly feel worthy of it at all, so my reply mail will take a while, as I want it to be something wonderful with which to express my gratitude and hopefully make the artist feel fantastic as well. 


The artist, by the way and in case you haven’t guessed it yet, is April Rocco. I base this firm assertion both on the use of the same green and white polka dotted washi tape as in the first work of hers, which I received on February 16 of this year and also, most importantly, based on my recognition of her style. I have, you see, spent a lot of time enjoying that Hubba Bubba bubble gum blowing Gnome she sent to me, seeing him on my wall every day and am very familiar with him now. I would recognize his brother anywhere! 


Thank you, April Rocco – I feel just…amazed, happy and grateful.


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Comment by Debra Mulnick on April 11, 2016 at 5:31am

April is AMAZING!!!!  Thanks Minneapolis Gnome, for doing such a heartfelt rendering of your experience for the rest of us to enjoy.  WOW.  I really appreciate both of you.  Hey, Minneapolis Gnome, will you be my friend?  Debra

Comment by April Jean Rocco on March 10, 2016 at 7:52pm
That was one mail art piece I had a hard time parting with,



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