Monday, December 29, 2014

Be Still - Artist Trading Cards

I'm in a purple phase apparently.  Any time I make something for fun and not a swap it comes out purple.  When I'm a famous artist one day maybe they will call this my "purple period".  Anyway, these cards were just for fun and to have on hand for personal trades.  Don't ask me why I made so many, I just did!

The backgrounds started out with Distress Ink in Seedless Preserve, Dusty Concord, Salty Ocean, and Tumbled Glass on vintage Dictionary pages.  I then layered some chevron patterned Washi Tape, a dot stamp from Tim Holtz's Mixed Media set in Dusty Concord, an Arrow Stamp in Purple Dye Ink (Stampabilities) from the October 2014 SMAK kit (Unity Stamp Co), paint lid circles in light purple acrylic, and squares of Molding Paste through Dina Wakley's Plastic Canvas Stencil.

You'd think that would be enough wouldn't you!

Almost enough stuff on there!  I originally wanted to use Dina Wakley's Scribble Birds but I didn't really like how they turned out - too much purple.  Is that even possible?  Yeah, sometimes there can be too much purple.  But since I made one as a test, I kept it.

So what was I going to use instead?  Aha!  I used the Layers of Life kit "Love Never Leaves" (Oct. 2014) from Unity Stamp Co. and stamped a pretty little leaf in purple on dictionary pages.  There we go.  I was happy with the contrast.

Yes I did cut all of those blasted little leaves out!  It wasn't too bad.  I stamped my sentiment onto aged book paper - I did nothing but ink the sides with my purple ink pad - the pages were already that aged from another Unity Stamp Co. stamp and added a few doodles with my purple souffle pen.

Very purple.  But I like 'em!

Until next time,

Friday, December 26, 2014

Art - Artist Trading Cards

I want to share with y'all some ATCs I made just because - no swap, no trade, just simply because I was inspired.

I started out making only four ATCs (3 above & the last).  Three to trade and one to keep.  I went wild, had fun, and really enjoyed just playing.

I used Faber-Castell Gelatos on the background, then added sprays and drips of Dylusions Ink spray.  Collaged some Distressed vintage book pages, added some bubble wrap stamped Distress Paint.  Collaged another vintage book page heart, colored and outlined with gelatos, added a stamped word and finished with some art-themed stickers.  To date, these are probably my favorite ATCs ever.

I put them up on Instagram to trade and everyone just loved them.  So much so that I made several more the next day.

I used the same materials and techniques as I used in the above ATCs except that I added little strips of washi tape, used an old gift card to draw lines of gesso, used a chicken wire stamp in distress ink over the backgrounds, splattered white paint on the hearts, and added highlights to the word "Art" with a white gel pen.  And of course, I varied the colors.

Those twelve cards were claimed almost quicker than the first set.  Three sweet friends found themselves too late to claim one, so I agreed to make three more cards.  This last time I didn't use washi, gesso, or splatter the hearts.  Still similar, but different.

And the last ATC, the one I kept?  I loved the sentiment too much to let it go.  When I create, I end up with paint all over me, my clothes (I don't wear an apron, probably should, but I do wear an old button up shirt.  It is totally covered), sometimes even the walls and floor.  There are times when I look around and question just how a paint splatter ended up there!  But in all of that mess, I try to make something beautiful.  I try to make something that I enjoy, that makes me happy, and will bring a smile to my face.  I hope that it will do the same for others.  This little sentiment is something of a mantra for me.  I should always make a beautiful mess.  And I'll worry about clean up later!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Happy Owl-idays!

'Tis the Season, y'all!  

Today I've got a set of Christmas ATCs to share with you.  And I was good about taking process pics!

I started planning this series with an adorable stamp set, "Happy Owlidays" from Darcie's Heart and Home.  Y'all know how much I love owls.  I fiddled around a bit and actually stamped one of the owls on plain cardstock, colored, and cut him out.  It was the most fiddly thing I have ever cut out in my life!  I knew I couldn't possibly stand to cut 24 owls out no matter how cute they were.  So what's a girl to do?

Sometimes even I have a stroke of brilliance.  I just knew these little owls would be super cute on circles - easy for my Cricut to cut and I wouldn't have to fool with it!  (How's that for being lazy?)

So I pulled some vintage dictionary paper and set to work making little owl ornaments!

I covered each page (I think it took 3 pages in all) with a layer of gesso.  I did not thin the gesso at all because while I wanted to text to peek through, I only wanted it to peek, not take over.
While my gesso'd pages were drying, I prepared the backgrounds of my ATCs.  I used Dylusions Ink Sprays in Cherry Pie and Fresh Cut Grass.  Then I sprayed Tattered Angels Chalkboard Glimmer Mist in Ferrari Red and Mantis through Heidi Swapp's Circle Lattice Stencil.

I made 3 sets of 9 - so 27 ATCs in total.  I sprayed 2 sets with the Mantis Glimmer Mist and 1 set with Ferrari Red. 
 I heat set all the backgrounds and added candy cane striped washi tape to the corners.  I then stamped Red and Lime Green Stampabilities Pigment Ink using the dots from Tim Holtz's Mixed Media stamp set.  I heat set the ink.  Pigment Ink takes ages to dry and even longer on semi-slick washi tape.  Honestly, I'm still not sure if some of those dots are dry!  
 I set all my backgrounds aside and picked up my now dry gesso'd pages.  Loaded them on my cutting mat and let my Cricut do all the hard work!  These were 2" circles.  I did make sure to line each row of circles with the column of text.  Then came the fun part!  Stamping all of my little owls!

See, now that was so much easier than having to cut around all those little fiddly bits! 

So the only true tedious part of these little owls was coloring them all in.  
I wanted to make the ornaments shimmer but didn't want to use Glossy Accents over each and every one of them (that would have taken forever!  Not to mention, I'd hate to know how many bottles of that stuff I'd have gone through.), so I went digging through my supplies!  Ah ha!  Perfect Pearls Glimmer Mist - in Perfect Pearls.  Perfect!

Another spray and heat set later... and they were almost perfect.  I remembered I had some Tim Holtz Frosted Film.  I loaded it into my Cricut and cut out 2" circles again.

 Glimmer Mist on the left and Frosted Film on the Right

Now they were perfect!
I took twine and tied little bits into bows.  Punched holes in the tops of each ornament and added ornament hooks.
I told you I was good about taking process pictures.  Well, I was, but I forgot one little step!
I took a light green cardstock and stamped my sentiment with Colorbox Pigment Ink in Frost White.  Cut those out and glued them to each ATCs.
Then I glued each ornament and each bow with a little bit of Glossy Accents. Once dry, I was finished!

Supply List:

  • Dylusions Ink Spray - Fresh Cut Grass, Cherry Pie
  • Tattered Angels Chalkboard Glimmer Mist - Ferrari Red, Mantis
  • Perfect Pearls Glimmer Mist - Perfect Pearls
  • Ranger Archival Ink - Jet Black
  • Colorbox Pigment Archival Ink - Frost White
  • Stampabilities Pigment Ink - Red, Lime Green
  • Vintage Dictionary Pages
  • Gesso
  • Cricut Expression Machine, Plantin Schoolbook Cartridge
  • Markers - Crayola, American Crafts Stamp Marker
  • Stencil - Heidi Swapp "Circle Lattice"
  • Stamp - Tim Holtz "Mixed Media", Darcie's Heart & Home "Happy Owlidays", Momenta (Sentiment)
  • Tim Holtz Frosted Film
  • Red and White striped Twine
  • Glossy Accents
  • Ornament Hooks
  • Cardstock

I hope y'all have enjoyed this little tutorial as much as I enjoyed making these ATCs.

Today is Christmas Eve and I hope y'all all have a wonderful and joyous Christmas with your families.  

Merry Christmas and happy crafting!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Winter Wonderland Swap - Artist Trading Cards

Hey y'all!  As Christmas carols croon on about Winter Wonderlands and White Christmases, I was very inspired to create this whimsical little ATC (for a Winter Wonderland Swap of course).  Down here in Mississippi we might get a couple of snow days in February.  It's far too warm in December - we're talking 75 degrees on Christmas morning isn't rare.  But we very very rarely get enough snow to even make a single snowball.

The stamp is "Stay Cozy" by Tracey Malnofski for Unity Stamp Co.  It was a stamp of the week and isn't it just the cutest!?!  I stamped it onto mixed media paper and colored it using my Koi Watercolor Set.  I used Distress Stain in Chipped Sapphire and Distress Ink in Saty Ocean to color my ATC base.  I then used a snowflake stamp by Recollections and Color Box Pigment Ink in Frost White to create an a little snow in the background.

I glued my snow balls down and used Golden Fiber Paste with a palette knife to give them some snow to sit on.  Once my "snow" was dry, I used a shimmery blue (don't remember which one) Twinkling H2O to tint the shadows. 

I stamped "Snow Day" in Azure StazOn and onto paper colored with the same blue as the snow.  I used a white gel pen to highlight the letters, snowflakes, stripes, and dots on my snow peeps.  A dab of Midnight Blue and another snowflake in the corner finished it off.  As an added bonus I used some blue glitter glue to highlight that circle.

Hope y'all have a wonderful Christmas!  Stay warm and cozy!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Vive Le Paris! - Artist Trading Cards

"Ah, Paris.  Such beauty.  Such life.  Such love." said in my worst "bad French" accent!  I'm a francophile at heart.

A dear friend of mine generously sent me a set of Fiskars "Paris" stamps which I knew would be perfect for this swap.  I also went to Michael's and scored some really pretty scrapbook paper and some pale pink glitter glue.

I started out using Distress Inks (my go to for backgrounds) in Tea Dye and Victorian Velvet.  I really should have used Old Paper instead of Tea Dye, but I didn't realize it until I was halfway through the cards.  I was going for a "soft powder room" type of romantic Paris.  Oh well.  I stamped the Graphic 45 "Harlequin Background" stamp in Rusty Hinge and heat set everything.  Using Rusty hinge looked great over the Tea Dye, but was way darker than I wanted for my cards.  But I kept going to see what would happen.  I stamped the Carte Postal stamp in Worn Lipstick and a Fleur de Lis in Walnut Stain. 

I used my Cricut Expression to cut circles and scallops from my pretty scrapbook paper and adhered that to my cards.  I really didn't think my Eiffel Tower would stand out well, so I had a rare stroke of genius.  I used my finger and carefully smeared some Spun Sugar Distress Paint where I wanted my Tower to be.  Voila!  It toned down the card and I was back to that "misty soft" look I wanted.  Not to mention, it helped give me the pink I'd lost.

I stamped the word "Paris" along the right edge in a metallic Studio G ink which got fairly lost in the Spun Sugar.  but I like how it stood out on the scallops and faded away so I kept it.  After stamping my Post Mark and Address, I added tiny brads in each corner (not sure why.  I could have left them out, but I did one for a test, and it just went from there.) and placed little dots of the pale pink glitter glue.

Once the glitter glue dried, I added little strokes with a silver gel pen - they're either stars or fireworks depending on your own interpretation.  I noticed that when dry, the glitter looks like it has some gold in it - I think that's the glitter glue itself rather than it picking up distress ink, but I'm not sure.  As it is, it "works" because it ties the background color in with the top layer.

Little Paris Postcards.  

Materials Used:

Distress Ink - Worn Lipstick, Victorian Velvet, Tea Dye, Rusty Hinge, Walnut Stain
Distress Paint - Spun Sugar
Stamps - Fiskars Simple Stick Stamps - Teresa Collins - Paris
Recollections Scrapbook Paper
Ranger Archival Ink - Jet Black
Studio G Ink - Metallic Pink
Studio G Glitter Glue - Pale Pink
Spare-Parts Brads - various colors
Fiskars Silver Gel Pen

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