ATCs for the January 2017 swap

Hello and happy new year! Of course, the first month of the New Year is almost over… I had hoped to make a post long before now, but my family has been getting ready to move into our new house and then I got the flu. Ugh… But in between everything, I managed to finish my Artist Trading Cards for the January 2017 swap on the Scrapbook.com forums.

"Be My Valentine"
“Be My Valentine”

There are always four themes or categories to choose from. I try to choose two or three for my contribution. The first theme was “Valentine’s Day.” I stamped the image of the Victorian lady from Deep Red Stamps onto some watercolor cardstock, then used the “smooshing” technique with Distress Inks: Spun Sugar, Worn Lipstick and Picked Raspberry. I “smooshed” the ink pad on a piece of acetate, spritzed it with water, then flipped it over and “smooshed” the acetate onto my stamped image, which leaves these lovely splatter patterns.

I then glued down some tulle, lace and Prima wire thread on the side, then added a lacy flower accent. I stuck a rose bud into the little hole of a Tim Holtz token and glued that on top of the flower. For a finishing touch, I added three sequins to each card and a “loving” phrase from the Tim Holtz Small Talk Occasions sticker pack. Though you can’t see in the photo, the card was also spritzed with a glitter spray, so it shines in the light.

Be Inspired
“Be Inspired”

The next theme I chose was “Corrugated.” I had some corrugated card stock I cut down to ATC size and painted with black gesso. I then sprayed each card with Lindy’s Starburst sprays (I don’t remember the colors… everything’s been topsy turvy getting ready for the move) in blue, pink and purple, as well as white for each card. I glued down some artist palette chipboard that I believe I got from Retro Cafe Art Gallery, painted them with black gesso and sprayed with Lindy’s sprays. The little holes in the palettes were the perfect size to drop in some gems for the colors.

The white flowers were spritzed with a glitter spray and some butterflies I had fussy cut from some paper were glued on top. Self-adhesive gems and sequins were added, as were some stickers from Tim Holtz’s Chitchat collection. I added some glitter glue to the tips of the paintbrushes and in some of the grooves of the corrugated cardstock for the final touch.

"Let It Snow"
“Let It Snow”

The final category I chose was “Winter.” Using watercolor cardstock, I inked the backgrounds with ColorBox Cat’s Eye Queue pigment inks. Though it’s hard to see in the photo, I layered a swirly stencil on top and inked through it with Versamark embossing ink. I embossed the swirls with Judikin’s iridescent embossing powder. The snowflake chippies were inked with white pigment ink, then embossed with white embossing powder from Ranger. I had some small snowflake stamps from Hero Arts with I scattered around with silver ink, also from HA. The title quotes were from Tim Holtz’s Holiday Talk collection, which I outlined with a white charcoal pencil. The edges were inked with chalk ink and some gems were added for the finishing touch.

This will probably be my last post for a little while until we get moved in and my supplies unpacked. But in our new house, I will finally have a hobby room! With space to do my little arts and craft projects, I’m hoping to be more productive and, fingers crossed, I may even be able to do a video every once in a while. I don’t know if anyone will watch, but it’ll be out there for other newbies to see how this newbie does things. ^_^

“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 haunted ATC trio

I’ve wanted to try my hand at Artist Trading Cards (ATCs) for a few months now, but I had a trip to plan and get through and the deaths of several friends to deal with (two expected, one not so much). So my art attempts were really limited to my art journal for the past couple of months. But after my trip was over (and I got over my sickness acquired while on said trip), I decided to give it a shot.

My opportunity came when the October ATC swap categories over on Scrapbook.com  were announced. There wasn’t a Halloween theme, but there was a favorite quote or saying option. I knew I had three stamps that combined two of my favorite things — Halloween and Shakespeare — and inspiration bloomed.

I started with three watercolor ATC bases, then took different shades of Distress inks in typical Halloween colors, orange, green and purple, and used a blending tool to rub the ink into the card, starting with the lightest shade of each color, making them darker toward the edges. Then I spritzed some water on top to create droplets. After the cards had dried a little, I took three different stencils and used one on each card with Black Soot Distress Ink.

The finished backgrounds....
The finished backgrounds….

The cards sat like this for a few days while I tried to figure out how to proceed. I assigned each quote to a color and decided to find an appropriate Halloween stamp to go along with each card’s theme. I had the thought to heat emboss the quote onto acetate and layering it on top of the card, so I needed some flat-ish embellishments to go between the layers.

Let me go through each one…

Shakespearean Sorcery #1
Shakespearean Sorcery #1

From Act IV of Macbeth, I wanted to do something spooky, and I had the perfect tiny graveyard stamp to use at the base of the card. I added a “31” ephemera piece from the latest set to add to the corner. Every good, creepy cemetery needs a few ghosts, so I sprinkled some Halloween sequin mix on top before layering the acetate on top, adhering it with glossy accents. When dry, I went around the edge with Orange Peel Stickles and glued on some little bones as a final touch.

Shakespearean Sorcery #2
Shakespearean Sorcery #2

Also from Act IV of Macbeth, I knew this one had to be a little witchy. I fussy cut some potion bottles and a spell book from a piece of Graphic 45 Rare Oddities paper  and glued them down. I stamped a spider dangling from a web across the top. Both this stamp and the cemetery one are from the same set, Halloween Borders from Hero Arts. I used a different Halloween sequin mix (I’m sorry, I don’t remember which one!) to sprinkle on top before adhering the acetate. I went around the outside edge with Black Diamond Stickles before finally attaching a small metal spider charm in the upper corner.

Shakespearean Sorcery #3.
Shakespearean Sorcery #3.

Not from Macbeth this time, but Act III of Hamlet. I think this one’s my favorite. Shh. Don’t tell the other two. I used a raven stamp from a Halloween set from Inkadinkadoo. I used the Faber Castell white Big Brush Marker to color in the moon very carefully. A third Halloween sequin mix — containing bats and moons! — was sprinkled on top before gluing down the acetate. I used Starry Night Stickles around the edges, then painted a chipboard bat with black gesso and glue him on top of the card.

The finished set...
The finished set…

The cards turned out better than I expected, and I almost didn’t want to give them up! But I figured I can always make them again. 🙂

Wonder what I’ll get in exchange… 😀

 

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!

Cheers!

I had uploaded a card I made for my best friend’s birthday to my gallery on Scrapbook.com, when someone asked if I had a video of how I made it. I’m not in a position to make videos at the moment (no work space… I create on my bed right now), but I’m hoping to change that in the future when we move at the beginning of next year and I’ll have my own craft/hobby room. But it was simple enough to make so I thought I’d write out how I did it…

Cheers!
Cheers!

I started with the Simon Says Stamp set “Adult Beverages.” I was taking my bestie on a cruise for her birthday, and the one thing she really wanted to do (besides swim with dolphins) was to drink something fruity with an umbrella in it. That was the inspiration behind the card.

I used my MISTI to line up the drink stamps on my card stock. Then I added the “extras” — the umbrella, straw and fruit slice, then the sentiment (which is from a coordinating stamp set).

As far as I know there’s not a die set to go with these stamps, so I got out my trusty exacto knife and carefully cut out the center of the glasses. I used a black distress marker to color the edges of the cuts, then taped down a piece of acetate on the back. I cut foam tape into thin strips and placed them all around the edges of the cut outs on the back side, on top of the acetate. I only did one layer though, and afterwards, I wish I had done two, because it didn’t leave a whole lot of room for the sequins to move.

I brushed the acetate with a powder tool to get rid of static, then filled in the wells made by the foam tape with sequins and beads. (For the martini glass, I filled with a white sequin mix, but put in one olive green sequin with a smaller red sequin glued on top for the olive.) Then I attached another piece of white cardstock to the back. After that, I just glued the shaker to a card base and glued on some sequins to the front!

I finally have a die cut machine, so I’m eager to start making more cards in the future!

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. ^_^