ATCs for June 2017

I participate in a monthly ATC swap hosted on the forums of Scrapbook.com. Each month, I will be showcasing the cards I have made for the swap, describing products and techniques used to make them.

The four themes for June were Day of the Dead, Medicine, Outdoors/Camping and Nautical. I ended up doing the all the categories, including a second set for the Nautical category.

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The Great Outdoors

I didn’t have any camping-themed supplies, but I did have some great wildlife dies by Memory Box/Poppystamps. I used the same techniques I did with my Mother’s Day fairy card, only with the two smallest forest dies instead of using all four. I inked up two panels with Cracked Pistachio and Peeled Paint Distress Oxide inks, flicked some water on them, then die cut the Wildwood and Thicket collage dies from Memory Box. For the back panel, I used Broken China and Fossilized Amber Distress Oxides to give a sunrise feeling to the ATCs.

I die cut some Memory Box/Poppystamps animals and plants out of plain white cardstock. Foam tape was used to give the layers some dimension and the animals were glued onto the different panels. To give the cards a finishing touch, I inked the edges with Vintage Photo Distress Ink.

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Let’s Sail Away

For my first set of nauticals, I cut my ATC bases from a piece of paper from Prima’s St. Tropez collection. I distressed the edges with a Tim Holtz distressing tool. I die cut the lighthouse, trees, birds and wave from dies by Memory Box/Poppystamps. The hill is from the Memory Box Country Hills Oval Frame, and just cut the frame off. They were colored with Bundled Sage and Frayed Burlap distress inks.

For the lighthouse, I inked up a text stamp with some grey ink and tilted it diagonally. I shaded one side with Pumice Stone Distress Ink. The wave die comes in two parts. I used Salty Ocean on the base, then spritzed it with a silver shimmer spray. I left the overlay white and just glued it on top. The sentiments were from the same Prima St. Tropez paper collection. I added just a bit of graphite pencil around the sentiments and inside the lighthouse windows. The edges of the cards were inked with Tumbled Glass Distress Ink.

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Explore.

For my second set of nauticals, I inked the ATC base with Tea Dye Distress Ink. I then taped it into a Tim Holtz woodgrain embossing folder and inked one side with brown Archival Ink. That gets ink down in the impressions but not on the rest of the paper.

I die cut the porthole using a die by Cottage Cutz. To give the shaker dimension, I then cut the porthole into craft foam three times per window and glued the layers together. The top paper layer I painted with bronze Distress Paint. The inner part of the window was inked with Antique Linen Distress Ink. I added a piece of acetate between the paper and foam layers for the window.

For the background of the window, I die cut some waves using a Simon Says Stamp wave die and inked it with Salty Ocean and drew waves on with a white gel pen.  I also spritzed it with a clear shimmer spray. The sky was done in Tumbled Glass. I glued a little wooden ship onto the ocean and added some seed beads before attaching the background to the layered porthole.

When I went to attach the porthole to the textured card base, I decided it was getting lost against the background, so I dry brushed a thin layer of white gesso onto the textured background to mute the color a little. I glued on the porthole shaker, a wooden sentiment I’d painted blue and some blue and green flowers to finish.

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A Spoonful of Sugar…

For the medicine-themed card, honestly, all I could think of was that song from Mary Poppins. I had these gorgeous little copper spoons I wanted to use. I squeezed some Sprinkled Sugar Stickles into the spoon and added some clear glass beads. And that was as far as I got for about a week. My first background was… a mess. Oh, they had potential for a different project, but not for this one. I finally ended up stamping a medicine bottle stamp from Lawn Fawn in Fired Brick Distress Ink over a background of Antique Linen. I glued on some Prima flowers and die cut the little label. Because the label was so small, I had my mother write the sentiment. She has such tiny handwriting! I added a piece of sheer ribbon and my problem cards were done.

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R.I.P.

I swear, I didn’t plan to do the Day of the Dead theme. I don’t know much about the holiday, except people call it “Mexican Halloween.” And I know that’s not really what it is. I wish I’d had time to really read up on Day of the Dead traditions.

What happened was… I sat down at my craft desk to tidy up from my weekend crafting. I was putting my Poppystamps tag dies back in their folder when I realized that one of the smaller ones was ATC sized… and kind of looked like a tombstone. So I cut a couple out to play with. I inked the card with Pumice Stone Distress Ink, then taped it into my Tim Holtz stonework embossing folder, inked with Hickory Smoke ink.

I then die cut some grass using a Lawn Fawn die, the R.I.P. letters from an Elizabeth Craft Designs alphabet die into pink glitter paper and some candles using a Cheery Lynn Halloween die set. I had a sheet of sugar skull stickers, so they became the focal point of my tombstones.

After adding the grass and candles, I still felt the cards needed a little something so I dug out some critter dies from Memory Box/Poppystamps. They turned out cuter than I was expecting.

And I never did tidy up my craft desk…

Can’t wait to see what next month’s themes are!

 


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Vintage Tag Swap

On the forum where I trade ATCs, a vintage tag swap was being organized. I had never made a tag before, and wasn’t going to join, but as I was reading the thread, I started to think, “Well, maybe….” And tossed my hat into the ring.

 
I was totally nervous about joining. I had never made a tag before, my style isn’t really “vintage” and I still feel like an untalented newbie when it comes to mixed media. But I’m glad I tried! Tag-making is lots of fun!

I started with a chipboard tag base I bought at Michael’s. Using matte medium, I glued down a piece of paper from Prima’s Rose Quartz collection, then added a piece of lace wide enough to cover the whole tag on top at that, also with matte medium. After letting it dry, I spritzed the lace with just a bit of Cotton Candy Pink starburst spry from Lindy’s. 

After gluing down two more strips of floral lace, I cut some strips of paper from Prima’s Wild & Free collection. I distressed the edges and layered them in the center (though this got mostly covered up). I sprayed a chipboard floral frame from Scrapiniec with a silver glitter spray to make it sparkle. It was then I decided the paper layers I had glued down were too dark, so I put another piece of lace in top. I glued the frame on top, then went to town with some moss and Prima flowers on the other side. 

The bottom of the tag still needed a little something so I fussy cut some feathers from the Prima paper, used a pen to give them a slight curve, and glued them underneath the flowers. I added the big butterfly with hot glue, and a quote sticker from one of the Tim Holtz collections. I still thought it needed a little something, so I die cute some tiny, tiny butterflies using a Memory Box die and added them as well. Added some ribbon at the top and my tag was done!


I really loved it in the end. I didn’t think I would when I first started, but it worked! I really hope my partner liked it as much as I liked the one she made for me! 🙂

Mother’s Day 2017

I thought, since Mother’s Day has just past, I’d share a couple of cards I made for my own mom.

The first was done for her 70th birthday, back in December. There is a tutorial out there I used to make this card, but since I made it months ago… *sigh* I can’t remember where I saw it. If I ever find it again, I will link it here. But I will do my best to describe how I made it…

It’s a standard 4 1/4 by 5 1/2 card base made from heavy white cardstock. I used a number stamps set from Simon Says Stamp to stamp the 70 on the front with VersaMark ink before adding white embossing powder on top. After heat setting, the powder, I took a piece of acetate and “smooshed” various shades of blue and green distress ink onto it, one color at a time. I sprayed the ink with a little water, then used the acetate to spread the ink onto the card in splotches.

I cut the tag out of the same cardstock and heat  embossed the “Happy” and “th” in white. I then inked it up using the same colors I’d used on the card base and brushed over it with my clear Wink of Stella brush pen. The 70 at the bottom was made using the same technique then cut out and adhered with some foam tape. A few gems and a bow made out of some twine completed the card.

For my Mother’s Day card, since my mom loves fairies, I wanted to make her a fairy-themed card, and found an amazing tutorial using Memory Box and Poppy Stamps dies. Unfortunately, my Poppy Stamps fairy dies were delayed in shipping, so I had to improvise with a different fairy die, but I think it turned out OK in the end.

The dies used in making this card included:

  • Memory Box Wildwood Collage
  • Memory Box Thicket Collage
  • Memory Box Grove Collage
  • Memory Box Timberland Collage
  • Poppy Stamps Mushrooms
  • Memory Box Playful Squirrels
  • Poppy Stamps Tiny Frogs
  • Memory Box Lucky Charms
  • Dovecraft Fairy

The four collage dies are different sizes were made to create this tunnel effect. I inked them using various distress inks, getting a little darker the further into the “tunnel” I went. The background was inked to mimic a sunrise. The other elements were inked with distress inks as well and some white dots were added to the mushrooms with a gel pen. The fairy I left white, but spritzed with with a silvery shimmer spray. The layers were put together using foam tape and the detail elements were glued on.

I can’t wait to try this card again with the Poppy Stamps fairies!

Mom loved her cards, especially the fairy. She’s trying to figure out how to frame it. XD

Happy Mother’s Day, everyone!

“Beach Break”

I made this canvas piece at the end of October, but I never got around to doing a blog post about it for several reasons. Halloween. The November 30 Day Coloring Challenge. Getting ready for Thanksgiving. Ending up in the emergency room…

More on that last bit in a bit, as this canvas was the cause. >_<

The inspiration for this piece started with some tissue paper I found in my stash…

Pretty, thin tissue paper!
Pretty, thin tissue paper!

I knew I wanted to use this as a background, so I tore a piece off and glued it down to an 8×10 inch canvas panel using Mod Podge, then painted a thin coat of gesso on top.

Urm... please excuse the shadows. I was having technical issues. XD
Urm… please excuse the shadows. I was having technical issues. XD

And… there it sat because I couldn’t really think of where to go from there. Finally, one weekend, I pulled out some of my favorite sprays — Lindy’s, Shimmerz and Prima Color Bloom — and created a beachy background. I dabbed some texture paste in places to make foamy waves as well.

I cannot even begin to express how much I love these colors together.
I cannot even begin to express how much I love these colors together.

I honestly almost left the panel as-is, because I loved how it came out so much. But it did have an unfinished feel to it, so I decided to use the background to make a little scene. I added chipboard, netting and seashells…

...and this is how it turned out.
…and this is how it turned out.
Green microbeads created the texture on the mermaid's tail.
Green microbeads created the texture on the mermaid’s tail.
Also added some real seashells and starfish.
Also added some real seashells and starfish.
Some fisherman's netting was the perfect touch...
Some fisherman’s netting was the perfect touch…

However, a word of caution about the netting. As I was cutting it up, tiny pieces of the fiber started floating around. I have asthma, and I must have inhaled some of the fibers. That evening, I was having trouble breathing and my medication wasn’t strong enough to pull me out of it. I started turning blue from lack of oxygen and had to be rushed to the emergency room in an ambulance. Was only there for a couple of hours, thank goodness, and they got my breathing under control quickly. So lesson learned. Wear a mask when working with this netting or anything similar, especially if you have compromised lungs like I do.

December is going to be a busy month, making several gifts for both Christmas and birthdays, so just in case this is my last post of the year, happy holidays and all the best for the new year!

More Artist Trading Cards…

I haven’t been feeling too creative lately. Probably just too busy with work and life stuff, as well as working on my Round Robin art journals and taking part in The Daily Marker 30-Day Challenge for November. There just hasn’t been a lot of time to just… play.

I have, however, managed to make several sets of ATCs for various swaps and two sets just for me. Thought I’d do a quick share…

Splatter Trees
Splatter Trees

These are just simple little cards that were stamped with an image of a bare tree, then masked and splattered with different colors of Distress Inks. I also made an autumn-colored tree, but my mother stole it, heh.

Beauty in the Rain
Beauty in the Rain

These were totally inspired by a YouTube tutorial. First I took a watercolor ATC and added Shimmerz sprays to the background. Then I took another ATC and glued on some pages from a Japanese-English dictionary, then added watercolor paints on top. I then cut out raindrop shapes before gluing the two ATCs together. Bead gel was applied to give it a shiny texture and painted chipboard clouds were added. Sequins were the final touch.

Silver Shine
Silver Shine

These were made for the “metallic” category for the November 2016 ATC swap on the Scrapbook.com forums. They were created mostly by layering coordinating Prima papers and stamped with silver ink. Silvery embellishments and flowers were also added. I think they turned out rather well.

A Little Inspiration
A Little Inspiration

These were an experiment. I stamped and heat embossed three watercolor ATCs with white embossing powder. I then added Lindy’s Stamp Gang sprays and magicals. The embossed images resisted the color and the effect was so cool. I planned to keep these for myself, but the daughter of a friend liked the pink one so much, I sent it to her. ^_^

Birthday Bling
Birthday Bling

I liked the effect of the previous ATCs so much, I decided to do the same for some birthday-themed ATCs made to be sent with my swap cards for folks in the swap having birthdays this month. The purple one is my favorite.

Christmas Mini Shakers
Christmas Mini Shakers

And finally, my contribution to the Christmas-themed ATCs for the SB.com forum swap. I made mini-shakers! I used a variety of stamps, sequins and bling to create these. I’m pleased with how they turned out.

That’s all for now! Close-ups of all individual cards can be found in my SB.com gallery. My next post will probably be about my latest canvas I made which inadvertently sent me to the emergency room. XD

Happy Thanksgiving!

 

A few art journal pages…

I warned you I’d be playing catch-up! Thought I’d share just a few pages I’d done in my art journal so far…

"Imagine"
“Imagine”

I saw a tutorial on YouTube on how to paint a galaxy using watercolors. (Just search for watercolor galaxy… lots of examples!) I thought it might be something I could do, even though I’d never painted before, so I got a cheap set of watercolor paints from Amazon and this was my first attempt at painting… and I LOVE IT. I don’t know that I could ever do it again, but I’m just amazed I could do something like this to begin with!

"Tomorrow is another day..."
“Tomorrow is another day…”

Next, I thought I’d try a sunset. While it didn’t turn out as well as my galaxy I thought, it’s not to bad. I don’t hate it at any rate. ^_^

For my third page, I wanted to play with some mermaid stamps from The Greeting Farm. My inspiration was a silly television commercial… I don’t even know what product it’s selling, but it’s got a ceramic mermaid talking on her “shellphone.” It makes me chuckle every time I see it, so I thought I’d do a page inspired by it.

"Shellphone"
“Shellphone”

The background is watercolors, then I heat embossed a wave stamp over the top. I didn’t have a die cut machine at this time, so I cut everything out by hand after I colored it in with pencils. The narwhal stamp is from the Lawn Fawn Mermaid For You set.

For my next page, I thought I’d try my hand at collage, using a Tim Holtz ephemera pack I’d picked up along the way. Girls are often not encouraged enough to go into the STEM fields, but every girl has an opportunity to be a Mighty Girl. My nod to Marie Curie.

"Be Mighty."
“Be Mighty.”

My next page was inspired by Marta of Maremi Small Art. I’d watched her “How to Break a Blank Page” tutorial on YouTube which helped me start this one off. I glued down some torn pages from a foreign language dictionary, before covering them with watercolors. I fussy cut some hearts out of scrapbook paper and colored them with gelatos, then put some white distress paint through a stencil. I drew the stitching and patches on the hearts by hand. The finished page turned out better than I’d expected.

"Forever in My Heart"
“Forever in My Heart”

Finally I decided to try my hand at watercolors again. I found another tutorial on YouTube on how to paint a simple cherry blossom scene. While my mountain didn’t turn out very well, I still like the overall result. And I can only get better with practice!

"Travel"
“Travel”

I’ll upload some more pages soon!

Art Journal — “Create”

As you can probably tell, I’m not very good at keeping a blog. When I finish a project, I do almost immediately share it to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, but I have trouble finding time to write about the project here. So I will probably post many “catch up” entries in the future. You have been warned! 😉

I recently started my own art journal. My very first. I began it to try out various techniques I’d seen in YouTube tutorials, but then the first few pages turned out so well, at least for me, I decided to turn it from being just  a plain ol’ practice journal into my first art journal. I have several pages done, but I thought I’d start with the cover, since I seem to have gotten the most comments about it on social media.

The journal I chose was a Strathmore Visual Journal Watercolor 5.5″X8″ journal purchased from Amazon. I wanted this one because it was small and was made of watercolor paper. Don’t be fooled by the “cover” in the photo. That cover is actually a thin piece of paper that comes off easily. The actual cover is a really thick, sturdy piece of cardboard? chipboard? Not sure really, but it holds up well!

A "before" shot of the cover.
A “before” shot of the cover.

The photo above is actually the back cover, as I forgot to photo the front before I altered it. But both covers are the same… smooth and easy to work on. I did remove the cover to alter it. Took a little bit of effort to get it off, but it can be done!

So here’s what I turned it into…

"Create."
“Create.”

I honestly had no idea in mind when I started it. I just picked things I liked and hoped it would work.

First I took the TCW “Organic Matter” 6×6″ stencil to spread texture paste on my cover. After letting it set, I painted the whole thing with black gesso. While that was drying, I took some chipboard circles I had received in a “scrap pack” from the Retro Cafe Art Gallery shop and wrapped each one with some embroidery thread from my stash. I glued them onto the cover using gel medium and painted them with black gesso as well. Then I painted the whole thing with clear crackle paint. I let all that dry overnight, mostly because I was tired and wanted to go to bed! XD

My next step was to paint the circles. I used the small stash of Shimmerz paints I had… Jilted Jade, Orchid-stra, Golden Wheat and a pinkish one whose name escapes me at the moment. I didn’t contain myself to the circles. I painted a little bit of the area around the circles as well.

After letting the paint dry, I rubbed some PearlEx Aztec Gold powder here and there to give it a shine. Rubbed just a little on the circles as well. Love that stuff! I then splattered some droplets of white acrylic paint onto the whole thing before applying Prima’s Pixie Dust fixative to keep the powder from rubbing off.

All that was left to do after was to bling it up! I painted a chipboard sentiment with silver paint to give title to my first journal… “Create.” I glued on some random gems  and pearls from my stash and added a pretty little flower from Michael’s in the corner. The final touch was a beautiful dragonfly from Little Scrap Shop on Etsy.

I had a lot of fun creating the cover, though I think in the future, if I do more journals, I shall save the cover for last. It is a bit bulky to work with. I suppose I could always take it back off, but I like just looking at the cover to remind me I was able to make something pretty. ^_^