Category Archives: Not a card

30 Cards in 31 Days

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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:

ATC Rainbow Love

 

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.

 

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New Stash-Crashing Technique: The Use-It Box

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I got this idea from a YouTube channel called Mouse Potato Designs, whose creator, Felicia, an art journaler, has also been on a crusade to winnow out and use up her stash.  She calls hers a “Use It Up Box.”  I would not be so grandiose as to suggest I would actually “use up” a whole anything at once, so I’ll just call mine a Use-It Box.

Basically, it’s just a clear plastic supply box that you keep on your desk or work surface, in which you put things from your stash you would like to actually use over the course of a month or so.  The idea being, if it’s on your desk and you see it, you’re more inclined to use it.  And when it’s time to start a new project, you go to the box and start with those materials.

I really like this idea, so I have inaugurated my first Use-It Box.

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Inside I have:

Sticko Epoxy Leaf Stickers

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These are shiny/glittery and puffy stickers.  I have a sheet of green ones and a sheet of orange, so since fall is coming around, it seems like a good time to use those.

K & Co. Layered Leaf Stickers

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Also in fall colors, so let’s use those too.

Liquid Pearls

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I pulled out an array of neutral/metallic colored Liquid Pearls for the autumn palette: Bisque, Gold, Avocado, Copper, and Silver.  I went a little crazy a while back and bought the *entire* range of Liquid Pearl colors, and I never use them.  I have an idea for a masculine card with these.

American Crafts Self-Adhesive Ribbons

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I don’t sew or do needlecrafts, so I don’t have many “notions” in my stash, but I do have and like these ribbons, because they are self-adhesive — they have a runner of tape on the back.  I chose orange and green for fall, and the blue as a contrasting color.

Awesome Blossoms Coloring Pack

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This an adult coloring book from Paper Wishes, printed on card stock, and sized to go on the front of an A2 card.  “Coloring for Adults” is quite the fad right now, and I have a couple coloring books, but I like that these ones are heavy enough paper to use on cards.

So that, I think, is a good starter group for my first Use-It Box.  I don’t want to get too ambitious, and fill it with so much stuff that I’d never use it all.  This seems like a manageable amount of stuff, but of different, fun types. I’m looking forward to see how this will work out.

Do you have a Use-It Box or anything similar?  How does it work for you?

Tile Necklace 2

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Here is another attempt at a tile necklace from that kit I bought:

 

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I wish the picture would do it justice, but it’s hard to photograph something so small.  Here’s another shot with more detail, but the color is a little off.  It’s actually a bright green that doesn’t quite come across.

 

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To make this, I heat embossed several layers of Ranger Antiquities “Verdigris” embossing powder over the tile, which gives the speckled green effect.  I then stamped the tile in Staz-On with a stamp from the Peaceful Medallions set by Chaitali Narla from Verve Stamps.  I added a layer of Glossy Accents for shine and protection, and a green rhinestone.  The bail and the cord come from the kit.

This is my second attempt. I botched the first one by adding too many layers of embossing powder and overheating it until it was a lumpy mess.  Bah.  So I eased up on this one.

I still have several of these tiles to play with, and I might try Copic coloring next. Thanks for reading!

 

 

Patterned Paper: Far East Stack 2

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Here is my second project from the Far East Stack 2:

 

Far East earrings

 

These are earrings I made using an Epiphany Crafts hexagon Shape Studio punch.  It simultaneously punches paper, and covers it with a shaped epoxy cap.  They have buttons, banners, butterflies, all kinds of shapes.  I like hexagons.

The background is tone-on-tone paper with Chinese writing from the stack.  I stamped it with another Chinese ideograph, then punched it, and mounted the paper-backed epoxy in a bezel.   Epiphany sells bezels for their various punch shapes.  The bezels are NBUS, although I’ve used the epoxy caps before.

I went through a jewelry-making phase a few years ago.  I’m better at papercrafting, but I still have all the tools and findings.  With these punches and such, I can do both.

Obviously, there’s a ton more paper in the stack to work with, but I said I’d do two projects.  So, on to the next stack!  I wonder which it will be?

UPDATE: The Clear It Out Challenge has a theme of “Anything Goes” this week, so I added these earrings.  Why not?

Something Different

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Christmas cards aside, I’ve been feeling kind of … bored with cards lately.  My card box is overflowing, I need to send out many of the ones I have before making any more.

I’ve been wanting to try something different.

So I did.  Here is a little pendant.

 

 

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It is a tile pendant from a kid’s kit I bought:  Tile Art Necklaces by Creativity for Kids. (NBUS)

I don’t have any kids of my own, but I like to buy kid’s art kits: they don’t cost very much, they include everything you need to try a new project or technique, and since, you know, they’re for kids, you’re relieved of any pressure to make it great.  It’s just a child’s toy.  The quality of materials isn’t great — but if you find a technique or project that you like, you can invest in better tools and materials if you make more of them.

So this starts with a glazed ceramic tile, 1 in ch square.  I stamped and trimmed a piece of neutral decorated paper, stamping with the Chinese ideograms.  I affixed the paper to the tile surface with several layers of Mod Podge.  After a few layers I realized with annoyance that the Mod Podge I have is Matte and not Gloss — and it dries very matte indeed.  So I topped it off with a layer of Glossy Accents.  I added a small sprinkle of gold glitter on top of the Mod Podge before applying the Glossy Accents, and embedded a black gem in the Glossy Accents.

The kit comes with self-adhesive ribbon to finish the edges of the tiles. Glue a finding on the back and it is done.

I like it OK.  I’ve been wanting to combine papercrafting and jewelry making for a while, so I think I will make more of these.

Thanks for looking.  Leave a comment if you like seeing me branch out.

 

 

Update

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Hello, all. I’m sorry I haven’t posted in such a while.  I have been feeling at a low ebb creatively for about a month.  It happens.  I haven’t posted because I haven’t made much. I made a birthday card for a family member, but i couldn’t post that, because she reads my blog.  That would be no fun, to spoil the surprise. But, I have done one thing that’s good — I cleaned my office!  Check it out!

 

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Last weekend I just really got to it, and went around the room clockwise, putting away everything that needed to be put away, deciding whether to keep or pitch things, and dusting and vacuuming.  This is a big deal for me. I am a slob. I hate housecleaning.

 

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I even cleaned my desk — took every single thing off of it, and decided what I actually needed on my desk to work, and put away or got rid of everything else.  I don’t think my desk had been really cleaned in a year. Huge move!

I suppose I might have to consider if I might be a little depressed, that a task as simple as cleaning a room seemed so insurmountable to me.  Or else I am just super-duper lazy.  But either way I got off my ass finally and did it.

It feels good to have a clean space in which to work.

And then of course the very next day the cat threw up on the sofa.  Goddamn cats!

The reason I wanted to do this was because I do creative writing, as well as papercrafting, and I wanted to start revising a novel I wrote.  I really need a clean, ordered desk and space in which to try to a task that major.  So I have been doing that, and it doesn’t leave much energy for papercrafting. There is only so much creativity to go around. Especially if you work full time as well.

Well, I am starting the new Online Card Class next week, Stretch Your Stamps 2, and I’m hoping that will rekindle my interest.  But if not, that’s OK too. Things move in cycles.  Creators need down time to recharge too.

But I’ll try and post more often, either way.

What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday 260

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WOYWW259

 

What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday #260 .

Just stuff, the cards from the last post I made, stamps for the watercolor stamping series, my water brushes, some craft foil. I haven’t been doing much.  The last Online Card Class finished last week, and keeping up with those while working full time can be a strain sometimes.  Sometimes I need a break.

There is an ATC swap to celebrate the five-year anniversary of WOYWW. Looking forward to seeing how that goes.

And that’s all.

 

WOYWW 255

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What’s on your Workdesk Wednesday.  Gosh, I hadn’t realized it’s been last Wednesday since I posted.  A week goes by so fast these days! I think most of what’s on my desk is what was there last week.

Long weekend or no, I haven’t made much progress in cleaning my office.  I bought a new bookshelf and put it together, put some things on it, but that’s about all.  I’m still settling into my new job, and I’m just so wrecked when I come home in the evenings!  The weekend was mostly about recuperating.  And, we went out of town to see family on Easter Sunday, and the hubster and I both found the drive home unusually taxing this time, so we didn’t get much done after that.  Went to bed way early, for us.

Excuses, excuses.  I guess i can shuffle a few things around tonight before i g to bed.  If I do a little every night, eventually it’ll get done.

What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday

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What’s on my workdesk.  This is a card I made because I wanted — needed — to make a card.  It’s what I do to relax, and this has been a long damn week and it’s only Wednesday.  Washi tape and gems on kraft cardstock.  I like the combination of bright colors and kraft.

You can’t see it, but I really need to clean my office.  I mean, it’s getting hard to move around in here with all the boxes and the piles of crap teetering everywhere.  My ATC binder is on the floor, I see.  How did that get there?  Damn cats.  I can’t work in this environment.  Well, this weekend is a long weekend, hopefully I can take a crack at it.

What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday

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I thought this would be fun — post and join the linky on “What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday” over at the blog Stamping Ground.  Voila!

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I didn’t try to edit this or pretty it up in any way; it’s late, and I ain’t tryin’ to win any challenges!  I just took this picture with my phone, which is why it’s annoyingly small.  (My phone does not take great pix; I’m disappointed with it.)  Anyway, this is what I’m working on.  Some more cards and things with Dazzles stickers, with different techniques.

I don’t usually leave my desk this messy; I usually work on a project until I’m finished with it, and then put all my tools away.  This is not the case in the rest of my house, which is a disaster, nor at work, where my desk is ghastly.  I am a slob really I’m afraid.  (Whether someone is neat or sloppy seems to be an ineluctable part of their character to me, you can’t really change it. Don’t judge me!)  But my creative space needs to be clean or I can’t, well, create.  This is far,far worse that it usually looks.

But I am in the middle of a major project at work which is kicking my ass, and so while I need some crafting time once home to relax, I’m tired and don’t have the stamina to finish things timely.  I’ll get done in the next few days.

So that’s what’s “on my workdesk,” for Wednesday, March 5, 2014.  What’s on yours?