Some more ATCs, made with Distress Stains.
Some more ATCs, made with Distress Stains.
Here are the three ATCs I created over the weekend.
I wanted to do a Zentangle card during the challenge. The card base is pre-cut Bienfang illustration paper — it’s pretty thin, really just paper, you’ll want to back it with something. I liked the way my Zentangle snaked up the middle of the card, so I decided to just shade in the edges. I used my CG1 Copic for that and it worked well. This paper is meant to take markers anyway.
The Zentangles I used were, from the top, Tripoli, Lichen, Moonwalk, Printemps, and Hollibaugh. Plus some random doodling. I’m not great at Zentangling, but I hope to get better.
For this challenge, I wanted to use some of my ATC blanks in unusual materials. This next card is made of wood, Birch wood veneer. They’re from Creative Imaginations, who make, or made, a lot of ATC stuff at one time. The cards have an adhesive back, so you can mount them on greeting cards or scrapbook pages, or whatever you want.
The daisies stamp is from Stampendous, and I stamped it in Versamark and heat-embossed it with Zing! Opaque White powder. It’s a little blurry — you’d probably want to use fine detail powder if you have it.
I then colored it in with Copics — R81, RV13, G02, YG06, Y35, YR12, YR68. (See, I remembered this time.)
It’s good, but I can’t decide if it needs something more, or not. Some bling — but that might just overcomplicate it. I’m letting it be for now.
The next card is made from sheet metal!
The card blanks are thin, silver metal — aluminum, maybe? — from Imagine Crafts. I saw them featured in a video from the CHA show 2014, and finally tracked some down. This is the first time I have used them (NBUS).
Here, I colored the card with alcohol inks, ran it through an embossing folder, and then sanded it to remove some of the color and highlight the design. The alcohol ink colors I used (from Ranger) were Citrus, Juniper, Stream, and Sail Boat Blue. The embossing folder is from Provo Craft, from an Asian set I have.
Again, I think it needs more, but I don’t want to clutter it up. Any suggestions?
So far I have made 28 cards in 30 days. I’m two cards behind. If I keep it simple, I should be able to finish two more cards tomorrow and complete the challenge!
I saw a video of a crafter called Justine Hovey mass-producing some ATCs with Distress Ink backgrounds, here. I quite liked them, so I thought I would do that as well for my next batch of cards, as well. I haven’t played around with my Distress Inks in a while, so I thought that would be fun.
It was pretty fun. Some of them turned out really well, and some, not so well, but none of them are terrible, so far.
Here they are:
I did ten, like Justine, a nice round number. The card bases on these are a mix of Bienfang and Strathmore Bristol paper, and Ranger Specialty Stamping Paper. None were great — the Bristol paper didn’t blend so well, but the Specialty Stamping Paper, which is a matte clay-coated paper, really resisted the inks and stayed wet and smudgy for quite some time. I ended up with a lot of dirty thumbprints and off-color smudges, which I worked hard to blend out. I don’t think they’re all that visible, but I know they’re there! That kind of sloppiness really aggravates me. But the Distress ink just stayed so wet on the paper, it was hard to work with. I stamped the focal images with VersaFine Onyx Black, and that stayed wet for a long time too. In fact I had to lay them out to dry overnight and shut my office door to keep the cats from jumping up and smudging them. (My cat Isis likes to lay on my crafting desk, even though she knows full well she’s not supposed to.)
The little word stickers are from the Tim Holtz “Chit Chat” and “Small Talk” sets that I have been using lately. Chit Chat is individual words, Small Talk is brief sayings.
And since it’s me, I had to bling most of them up a bit. I can hardly let a card rest without some rhinestones, enamel dots or glitter glue.
Let me break it down for you, what is what, starting from the top left:
So, obviously, some of these are more successful than others. But that is part of the point of ATCs — to experiment and try new techniques, materials, without fear of commitment to a major project. And also, I filled one-third of my quota for this project in one go. Not bad!
My favorites are 1, 2, 7, 8 and 10. Which is yours?
I had an idea for a card, and I ended up making three iterations of it, to see which was the most freaky and surreal:
This weird little eye stamp is from an NBUS Inkadinkado Stamping Gear set called “Doodle Fun.” I had the idea to stamp it several times, and just color one in. I got this technique from one of the Online Card Classes. You can see the first card I made with this technique here (my old blog).
I started with the card on the top left: I was going to color the whole thing in, but I started with the iris, and thought just having that colored, looked striking. You can’t really tell in the picture, but I also covered it with Glossy Accents to give it shine.
I then tried coloring in the whole eye, the card on the top right. Then, coloring in all of the irises, and leaving the rest uncolored. I wasn’t sure which would be best. I don’t have much formal art training — one class in high school — so I don’t know much about composition, color theory, or any of that. I work intuitively, I just go with what feels right. I move elements around on a page, change colors, until I get that feeling of balance and completion. I don’t always get it right. But often I do, I think.
In the end, I think I like the first one best — that that one pop of color, a sliver of a higher reality, peeking through into our drab and monochromatic plane.
But I will keep them all. I will catalog them as a series, and call it “Eye-llumination.” I know it’s stupid, but I do have a fondness for lame puns as titles.
Which one do you like best?
Well these cards are not great, but they are done.
The stamps are from an Inkadinkado set called Fancy That, which I got on clearance at Marshall’s, or I would not have bought it. I was rummaging through my unused stamps, and these images looked about the right size for an ATC. I colored them with Staedtler Triplus Fineliner pens. Which I would not recommend! The Fineliners are not made for coloring — they have super-fine tips, and the ink doesn’t move much, so you have to scribble around and around, and the image comes out scratchy. If you get what I’m saying. They are really more writing pens, good for journaling and Zentangling.
Anyway, I did the top one first. I wanted it to have a fun rainbow vibe, but it just looks disorganized. I restricted the color palette on the second one to blues and greens, and I think that works better.
They really needed something besides the doodle starkly colored on the white Bristol paper, so I sponged them both around the edges with Distress Ink: Spun Sugar for the top, and Tumbled Glass for the bottom. It did help to ground them.
Both the stamp set and the pens are NBUS. I’m really making a dent in my uncrashed stash with this ATC project!
Haven’t decided what to call them yet. I may go back and try to pretty them up a little bit; I may not. Any suggestions?
Here is the other card I made last night:
The background was done with color sprays, and the much beloved Water Droplets stamp by Designs by Ryn. The sentiment is from Impression Obsession, and I have had it for a while. I put it in my Use-It Box for this project. So, yay! Using the Use-It box.
I highlighted some of the water droplets with Glossy Accents, just for fun.
Both stamps are NBUS. Now I can retire them from my “to-be-used” bag and into my stamp storage.
Bristol Board pre-cut ATC blank — My Art-C
Distress Cracked Pistachio
Dylusions Calypso Teal
Tattered Angels Verdigris Glimmer Mist
Water Droplets — Designs by Ryn
After Enlightenment — Impression Obsession
Here is the ATC I made today. My husband gave me that “cat reading a book” stamp and I’ve been wanting to use it for a while.
I stamped it on the same patterned ATC blank I used for the “Owl Always Love You” card. Then it cut it out and mounted it on the same black corrugated cardstock as I used yesterday.
The alphabet stickers are from Sticko. They are quite old. Probably discontinued.
This card is kind of a personal joke. It’s based on the celebrity “READ” posters that are printed by the American Library Association, and are everywhere in public libraries. I’m a librarian by trade; that’s my day job.
I think this card is quite cute and funny, and it might be my favorite so far.
The stamp and the stickers are NBUS.
I made another card tonight, too, but it is still drying. I’ll post it tomorrow.
Impression Obsession stamp – Cattus Biblius
Creative Imagination black corrugated ATC blank
Patterned cardstock ATC blank – unknown
VersaFine Onyx Black Ink
Sticko gilt alphabet stickers
Here are the two ATCs I made this weekend:
They are similar, but why not? I am trying to keep this project relatively simple, doable.
I did the one on the left first, then the one on the right. You can’t tell so much in the pic, but the black is corrugated cardstock. I wanted to contrast the liner corrugations with the fluffy flowers. In hindsight, it might have been nice to spray the cardstock with some Perfect Pearls mist or such, but at the time I liked its blackness and wanted to use it to background the bright flowers.
The second one is a burlap ATC blank that I picked up at one of the big-box craft stores. I sprayed it with Heidi Swapp Color Sprays in teal and gold. The charm, and all the paper flowers, are from Recollections.
I brushed some Mod Podge around the edges of the burlap ATC to keep it from completely unraveling, which it would have over time.
The sentiments are stickers from two sets by Tim Holtz, “Chit Chat”(single words) and “Small Talk” (phrases.) I quite like using them. They are versatile. “Embrace imperfection” is a message to myself — I want my projects to be perfect, and can get very upset if they’re not. Which of course they never are — nothing is. I need to learn to let go somewhat.
The charm, the ATC blanks, and the Color Sprays are all never-before-used stuff. (NBUS) So happy when I can accomplish that in a project.
So it is May 9, and I have made five cards. I’m pretty far behind, but I am off work tomorrow and Wednesday and i plan to catch up. I was thinking maybe I would do a triptych, three cards making one scene. We’ll see.
That’s all for today. Thanks for reading.
Here is my second Artist Trading Card for May:
I had this idea a while back, and it was easy to put together, which is good since I got a late start. The card is from a stack of pre-printed ATC blanks I bought a while back. Can’t remember the vendor; it was a while ago and I discarded the original packaging. The owl charm is from a pack of freebies I got with QUICK CARDS or one of the other British papercrafting magazines. Those magazines are expensive at Barnes & Noble, but they always come with fun swag in them.
I embossed the sentiment to give it some staying power. It’s from Stampendous.
Once it was assembled, I thought it needed something, so I sponged the edges with Wild Honey Distress Ink. I should have used Peeled Paint, it would have picked up on the color of the brad, but I didn’t think of that until too late.
So, that’s the card for today. Two days, two cards. I call this one “Owl Love.”
As is obvious if you follow my blog, I haven’t hardly made a card since my mom died in October. I made a couple for immediate family members for Christmas, and a couple during The Daily Marker‘s 30 Day of Coloring Challenge in February. But that’s all. My sadness over my mom shut down my creativity. I have been trying to get it back — journaling every day, watching videos, reading magazines. Cleaning out and inventorying my office/craft room. But I think I need something more, something to push me.
So I’ve set a challenge for myself — 30 cards in 31 days, the month of May. (I can give myself one off day, ha ha.) Not greeting cards — I have enough inventory of those right now. And I need something simpler, to produce consistently every day, to not make it too hard on myself. So, Artist Trading Cards. I will make 30 Artist Trading Cards in 31 days.
If you didn’t know, Artist Trading Cards are miniature works of art, the same size as any regulation trading card like a baseball card or a Pokemon card — 2.5 by 3.5 inches. They are a form of free artistic expression — anyone can make them, not just “artists,” and all media are allowed. I’ve seen trading cards made of cloth, with needlecraft, and trading cards made out of slabs of lucite. The idea is for the cards to be a venue for unfettered artistic expression, and the cards are always to be traded or given away, never sold. (Some people do sell them, on Ebay and Etsy — these kind of cards are known as Art Card Editions or Originals, ACEOs. But this is frowned on by others.)
ATCs as they’re known are good venues to try out new techniques or materials before using them in a larger piece. They can also be incorporated into larger pieces, like a focal piece on a greeting card.
So anyway, ATCs are smaller, not so much work to create in an evening, and I won’t need to worry about folding card bases or lining every layer up so perfectly, or stamping sentiments straight. ATCs are kind of expected to be looser in form, experimental.
I always intended this to be one of my “Crash my Stash” projects, and I have plenty of blank ATCs in many materials — various sorts of paper, cloth, wood veneer, even metal. (No lucite, I haven’t been able to find those, although I would like to.) So I’m looking forward to doing this.
Today is May 1, so here is my first card:
The base card is Strathmore Bristol board — I thought it needed something thicker than just paper to hold up the rhinestones. I colored it, first with Distress Stain in Tumbled Glass, than with Dylusions paint in Vibrant Turquoise. I let the paint dry a bit, then wiped some of it off wit a baby wipe to reveal the Distress Stain, and just give the card some texture and depth. I then added the rhinestone heart decal, which is from Recollections. Love it! I am going to have to go back and buy all of those rhinestone decal packs — I love rhinestones and I love rainbows!
I then added the sentiment with some black sparkle Sticko alphabet stickers. Next to the machine perfection of the rhinestone decal, I didn’t mind if the sentiment looked a little uneven and hand-mounted.
I call this card “Rainbow Love.” I know, original, right?
This was an easy card to make, but it looks good, and I didn’t want to kick off the project with something too ambitious. Plus it was pretty late at night when I got started. I like that Dylusions paint, it’s so vibrant and opaque. And of course I love the rainbow rhinestones, they make me happy.
The paint, the alphabet stickers, and the rhinestones are all NBUS.
I’m pleased. I think it’s a good first attempt.