Tuesday, October 21, 2008


i like things fitting into sets. as i've had this little bit of time to catch up on my work, i've also been catching up on my documentation and archiving. the image above is from my flickr account. i made a set for all the neck warmers i had crocheted and saw this whole grid of the 42 finished pieces today as i was busily sorting. last year, i hoped to make 100 but had to stop when i realized i was spending all my time crocheting and not getting other things done. it's hard to get out of the habit when one picks up the hook.

i also spent some time today trying to document the security envelopes buttons i have become so enthralled in making. after my big score of envelopes in st. louis, i have really had to rein in my desire to make more and more of these buttons. every once in a while, i allow myself to make 100 and just stare at them for a moment...or ten moments.

after some serious field studying last night, i am pretty confident in the identification of at least eighty different designs in a host of harmonizing colourways (do they plan this? or are the colours of security just inherently harmonious?)

i have been toying with notions of translating this unstoppable obsession from crafty goodness into larger more art-world installations. i get scared of 'big art' (well, making it, not viewing it) but think that i finally found a project that excites me and makes sense to my art-brain. to this end (ramping up and feeding my obsession to artistic ends), i am now willing to offer you some free gifts in exchange for used security envelopes. that's right, i will send you a set of security envelopes buttons in exchange for a contribution of old security envelopes from you. if anyone from overseas reads this, i am particularly interested in what wild foreign envelopes might be out there and especially implore you to send me some.

if this strikes your fancy, just email me for shipping info and we can get rolling!

it's a pretty good deal, eh? you send me garbage and i send you other non-garbage stuff.

some rules (for what is life without them?):
1. only used or otherwise unusable (ie. pre-addressed) envelopes. this is a project of reuse.
2. no logos or words. i have found some companies put their logo inside their envelopes. i have deemed these unacceptable for this project.

[edit: december 6, 2008: i have reached my 100 respondent limit and suspended this call for submissions. there is a collecting phase two coming, though. read more here.]


Ghostface Knittah said...

Hey there! Ever read "Collections of Nothing" by William Davies King? You should check out the cover of his book at least:
Security envelopes are awesome.

sweetie pie press said...


so nice to hear from you. what a tantalizing cover (this is how i always judge books). there were a bunch there that i haven't seen before, too.

i will have to add it to my 'i should read this' stack when i get home.

Church of Craft Athens said...


read for the rules.

I love your neck warmers! Mine was handy in Seattle cos it was soooo cold.

shannongerard said...

I love this project! Your security buttons are one of my favourite things!

And crocheting is NOT an addiction okay-- Shut UP. I do not have a problem.

sweetie pie press said...

oh, shannon. i thought of you when i wrote that.

shannongerard said...

SHUT UP! you think i have a problem johnson? say that to my FACE-- once I, um, look up from the crochet I'm doing.

sweetie pie press said...

i think we both have a problem and are able to look at the other and convince ourselves that her behavior makes ours okay. there's grammar wrong here. lots.

karyn said...

miss becky - i have been lazily collecting security envelopes for an unknown reason, now i know why! thank you for giving me a purpose in yet ANOTHER collection.

sweetie pie press said...


that is great news. this gives me an excuse to loiter around the workroom and stare at things.

we are mutually enabling in all the right ways.

steven mcvay said...

hello from london...count me in..ill start collecting straight away and will be happy in the knowledge im helping you create something wonderfull so far away..

vantiani said...


I'm from Jakarta, Indonesia. I would love to join this but I need to reconfirm what do you mean security envelope exactly? I mean, I have been collecting envelopes for their inside paper motifs that I found so kitchy and cool. But I'm not sure we are talking about the same envelope here.

I hope I make myself clear and I love your ideas on this envelope paper motifs. They're just gorgeous!

My email is

Thank you,


vicki said...

Have you seen Mark Pawson's work - i think you should check him out.

Christina Lowry said...

Hi! I will try to find any security envelopes we get at work and at home and save them for you. I will make a post on my blog too, so maybe more Aussies will get on board!


Anonymous said...

I'm from FRance and i have 2 security enveloppes that i could send you (one in relation with my diving licence and one for credit card). if you are interested contact me ;o)

Unknown said...

I just discovered your blog, and as someone who also has obsessive tendencies (love the label), seeing your collections and sets of things has both positive and negative feelings for me. Positive because I like stuff grouped together that shares a trait, but negative because I have to keep myself from saving stuff, and now you've opened my eyes to the cool patterns on security envelopes. Who knew? I'm going to try very hard to live vicariously through you!

sweetie pie press said...


i couldn't possibly understand you more clearly. i actually grew up under the care of a compulsive hoarder so i have to make some rules to keep my own collecting under control.

1. something in means something out.

2. a place for everything and everything in its place. placeless items can't stay.

i don't always succeed with these rules, especially with craft fairs and art projects constantly taking over my living space. but i try.

oh, here's a new one, too:

3. don't be redundant. find ways to contribute to the pre-existing projects of others (don't worry, i contribute to the projects of others more than i ask for contributions myself).

in the end, i have found these contributions to create the same feelings as my own projects. currently, my clean used socks are going to operation sock monkey here in toronto. stupid creatures also takes used sock donations. there's always someone.

Glass*Plant said...

I love this! I have been collecting envelopes for ever. I even have it as my background on my blog! I am going to feature your buttons on my site next week.