Eyes

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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:

 

ATC Eyes

 

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?

 

 

 

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Today’s ATCs

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Well these cards are not great, but they are done.

ATC Fancy

 

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?

 

 

 

Zen ATC

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Here is the other card I made last night:

 

ATC Zen

 

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.

Supplies:

Bristol Board pre-cut ATC blank — My Art-C

Color Sprays:

Distress Cracked Pistachio

Dylusions Calypso Teal

Tattered Angels Verdigris Glimmer Mist

Stamps:

Water Droplets — Designs by Ryn

After Enlightenment — Impression Obsession

 

 

ATC, May 10

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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.

SUPPLIES

Impression Obsession stamp – Cattus Biblius
Creative Imagination black corrugated ATC blank
Patterned cardstock ATC blank – unknown
VersaFine Onyx Black Ink
Sticko gilt alphabet stickers

Flower ATCs

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Here are the two ATCs I made this weekend:

 

ATC Flowers

 

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.

 

 

Third ATC

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ATC Peacock Flourish

 

Here is the ATC I made on Tuesday.  Wednesday and Thursday were busts, as discussed.  It’s strange, sometimes a project comes together like magic, other times they fight you every step of the way.  This week it’s the latter.

Anyway, this was made with the Gina K Flourish stamp from the new Stamp of Approval box.  It’e embossed resist with Distress inks.  After I inked and colored it, it seemed to need something, so — bling.  Of course.  The inks are Peacock Feathers, Peeled Paint, and Wild Honey — one of my favorite Distress combinations.

I call it Peacock Flourish, because of the ink. Peacock Feathers is my favorite Distress color.

Holdup

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The ATC project isn’t going so well.  I’ve had several setbacks — every color spray you select for a project being jammed, for example, like that.  What should be simple projects become complicated and time-consuming.  It’s been discouraging.  One of those times when reality falls completely flat of your artistic vision.  Didn’t finish a card yesterday, may not tonight.  Maybe try again with a clear head tomorrow night.  It’s Friday after all.   I’ll have to bone up during the weekend, try and catch up.  I’ll keep you posted.

30 ATCS, Day 2

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Here is my second Artist Trading Card for May:

 

ATC Owl

 

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.”

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.

 

30 Day Color Challenge Update

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Here are a couple projects I have been working on for the 30 Day Color Challenge. My hope for this project was to use a variety of my different coloring media, so that’s what I’ve been trying to do.

This first card uses the well-loved Altenew stamp set Henna Elements:

 

30daycolor3

 

If you follow my work at all, you know I love bright colors paired with kraft cardstock. That is what I as going for here. I stamped the images and heat-embossed them. Then I was going to color them with these Neon colored pencils I picked up at Barnes & Noble:

 

30daycolor5

 

But when I went to color, it turned out these pencils are terrible. Just garbage. Cheap, waxy, poor color laydown, not vibrant. They don’t even provide good color or coverage on stark white paper. I think I am going to just throw them out. I wouldn’t even donate them to a preschool — they would just frustrate the kids and make them hate art, and we don’t want that. Luckily they only cost about 8 bucks. I went at them with my Dove Blender Pen, and that did not smooth them out or brighten them in the least. No good.

In the end I colored the images with my Prismacolors, which are fine, and bright enough, although not quite neon. (What can I say, I came up in the Eighties, I love neon.) So it didn’t quite turn out as I hoped, but it’s a pretty enough card I think. I do love Henna Elements, such a versatile stamp set. The sentiment is from Verve Stamps.

This next card was just some simple coloring with my Copics:

 

30daycolor4

 

This stamp set is called Happy Place, from Verve Stamps. I stamped them with Momento Tuxedo Black Ink, and kept the color scheme on each medallion (flower, whatever) monochromatic. And also cool colors. Personally, I much prefer cool colors, blues and greens, to warm ones.

When it was colored, I felt it needed something. You can’t really see it so well in the picture, but I colored some of the inner petals with my Sakura Stardust pen. After the picture was taken, i went back and added a rhinestone to the center of each medallion.

Once I finished coloring it in, I realized the medallions aren’t quite 100 percent even on the card — I left a little too much space on the top as opposed to the bottom. It looks a little unbalanced. I could try and balance that out, put a border on the top or a length of glitter ribbon. Or if I really get anal about it, I could cut the front panel off, trim it, and mount it on a new, properly centered card base. But no, I am just going to leave it. I’ve found over the years that trying to fix such minor mistakes usually just ends up making things worse. Most people aren’t going to notice such a small discrepancy anyway.

Both of the Verve stamp sets here are Never Before Used (NBUS).  So that always makes me feel good, to use something NBUS, which was the point of this whole blog after all. That was another objective I hoped to meet by following the 30 Day Color Challenge.

If you’d like to follow along the 30 Day Color Challenge, you can do so at Kathy Racoosin’s blog, The Daily Marker.  She has been posting a lot of giveaways throughout the challenge and some of them are still open, so hop on by.