30 September 2007

Art Journal Scans

These are the first two pages in my art journal. I won't be sharing all my spreads, because this is my journal, after all. This art is intensely personal, in a way no other art I create is. But I wanted to share the beginnings, in hopes that Suzi Blu will see these spreads, since she's the one who inspired me to do this. I think that raw art journaling will be good for my soul. I can't thank her enough for inspiring me to finally do this.

The first spread is self explanatory. I've decided to keep an art journal for myself. The exercise that Suzi gives in her video suggests that you get a picture of yourself when you were five years old, and that you dedicate your art journal to that five year old. Great idea, except that I'm 1300 miles away from my childhood photographs, and didn't want to wait for my mother to maybe dig one up for me to use. So, I improvised. My journal is not just for myself, it's also for my husband. Not that I expect his approval of every spread. Rather, I think it will bring us closer. As I get to know myself better through art journaling, it can't help but impact our relationship, and I'm betting for the better. Anything that frees me up, personally, will free me up in our relationship, too. So, I journal for him.

The second spread describes how I was feeling over the course of a couple of days. I think I was supposed to take all week, but I just couldn't wait to get my hands dirty with paint and pastels. Two days is all I could last! And two days provided a unifying theme. I felt blue, sad, depressed ... and I felt lost. Both pictures represent the feelings I was having. I didn't need pages of words to convey the emotions. I'm a paper journaler from way back; what took me two pages, and two words in this spread could have taken four or five pages and hundreds of words in a verbal journal.

I didn't feel the need to create another spread today, because I'm still feeling blue and lost. I don't need to recreate that picture.

Be Careful At 3:18 AM!!!

In the wee hours of this morning, I decided to play a bit with Blogger. I changed the template that we are using for our blog. In the process, I lost all of our blog links and our sitemeter. I can't remember the login or password to sitemeter and our email addresses have changed since we got that account, so they couldn't email me the password. We had to start all over. No real big deal, but I had to go through several steps that I wouldn't have had to go through if I'd been paying attention.

I also lost all of our the blog links along the right hand side. I actually use the list, so it shouldn't be too hard to recreate, huh? Well, it was time to drop a couple, as I find myself not reading them, and one I couldn't find an address for. So, I added a couple of new ones and called it done.

Before I started playing with Blogger, I was going through my issue of Artful Blogging. There were a few blogs that I really liked:
Really, they were the only blogs that featured the kind of art that I enjoy so much. The rest of it was a lot of photography -- some of which was really great! I liked the blogs that showed what someone called "hands on" art. I struggle with that, because I think that photography is art; it's a talent that I certainly don't have. But just as I distinguish fine art from altered art, I distinguish photography from both of those. I enjoy some of it -- just like I enjoy some fine art -- but none of those blogs really spoke to me the way these did.

Go check them out and see what you think!

Keep On Blogging ...

I mentioned to a new friend that I was having a rough time. She's read a few recent entries so I think she already knew that. During the course of our conversation, she said, "Keep on blogging." I took that to mean, among other things, keep doing what I do, and the rough time will work itself out. I'll make it through, as I always seem to do. And, keep sharing where I'm at, artistically and personally, because others have been there, or are there, too.

So, it's 1:58 AM; John is in bed and the cats have quieted down for the night. Sleep is no where in sight. I've answered every email in my boxes that needed answering. I've done some art. I've caught up on my Yahoo groups. I've blog-hopped. And what am I doing now? I'm sitting here with you. Doing what it is that I do, hoping that the time passes quickly until this period is over. Hoping that someone else, who is feeling the way I feel, will find this and identify with what I'm writing.

Thanks so much those of you who commented on my last entry. I really appreciated hearing what you had to say. I took comfort in knowing that others understood -- maybe even have felt a bit that way themselves. Knowing that I'm not alone really does help take away the pain.

When I say I've been doing art, I've been working in a brand new art journal! I have two spreads done, and I'm waiting for them to dry sufficiently to put down on a scanner. Don't want to muck up the glass, now do I? They aren't pretty. In fact, both have elements that I have to fight myself to keep from doing over. But the point was to express myself, not make perfect, pretty art. That, I definitely didn't do!

I thoroughly enjoyed working with the paints and the oil pastels (not Portfolio brand. Gotta get me some of those. I have them on my Amazon Wish List but suspect I'll be buying them for myself before the next gift giving occasion comes up!), smooshing them around on the page. I'm not a painter, and I'm certainly not a sketcher, but I drew little arrows on one of the spreads. Sounds like a little thing, I know, but to me, it was a MAJOR deal, almost doodling like that! I want to be painting now, but know that the book will never get dry enough to scan if I don't let it sit, undisturbed, for a few hours!

Thanks again to those of you who read and comment. Hell, thanks to those of you who read and don't comment! Thanks for letting me share a little piece of myself with you.

Now, I'm off to blog-hop some more! If I can't be smooshing paint around on a page, I can at least be looking at others' efforts!

27 September 2007

Afraid of Art

Rather than start from scratch, I'll just post part of an email I just sent to a friend:

I'm not sure what is going on with me. This unsettled feeling started yesterday when I was at Barnes & Noble. John was looking at gaming books, and so I went to the craft section. I found a book on Art Journaling, a topic I've long been interested in, but have never pursued. I started reading through it while John was doing his thing and I started crying. Just a few tears, but crying nonetheless. I'm glad I wasn't sobbing (although I was on the inside; it was a very emotional moment for me.). I chalked it up to being emotionally exhausted and having had therapy a little before. Why else would a book on art make me cry?

In the middle of the night, when I was NOT SLEEPING, I was blog hoping, and I found a post about a video on YouTube about art journaling. I clicked over to it, and started crying again. What the ... ? So, there's a second video, with a challenge that starts "Get a photo of yourself when you were five years old..." More tears, as I doubt there are any photos of me at five years old still around. There are probably slides, and there are definitely home movies, but my mom and dad had three kids before me. Snapshots of the baby wasn't a novelty anymore. Somewhere around my house is my second grade school picture, but I have no idea where it is. My rigid perfectionism told me that without the appropriate photo, I couldn't play along. Maybe I'm just still in the very tearful mood that yesterday's email found me in.

I think it's pretty obvious that I ought to be art journaling, huh? Something about the concept has really touched me today. So, I journaled about it, the old-fashioned way, and came up with some startling insights. Well, startling to me, but probably either obvious or boring to you. I'm emotionally exhausted because I tend to keep my emotions in tidy little boxes. I need to have, and have joked about this in the past, a breakdown where everything just comes tumbling out, tidy little boxes be damned! I tend to look at these boxes and I've labeled them appropriately, but I don't ever really muck around in the boxes. I spend more time feeling *about* my emotions than I do feeling the emotions themselves. Even with the emotional pain and discomfort I've felt lately -- over the past couple of years, even -- I've not really FELT what was going on with me. Thus, the exhaustion. I'm tired of holding it in. I'm tired of restraining myself.

So, what does all of this have to do with art journaling? Art journaling is MESSY. It's RAW. It's FREE. Definitely unrestrained! It's some of the "ugliest" art that a person can make. But it's expressive and emotional. It's journaling with art techniques, so it's all about getting it out there, putting yourself out there. To me, it's the real art, because it is about expression. What I do may be pretty enough (and lots of days I feel like even that is debatable), but it doesn't express anything about what I'm feeling or what I'm going through at the time. It's just the accepted use of line and color, arranged in a pleasing fashion. I think I need to be expressing myself visually instead of ... what's the word for "through words"? See, there's no such thing as parallel construction in a visual journal! There are no damn grammar rules! In fact, there aren't really any rules at all! I need to be doing this, and yet, I'm intensely frightened by the idea. Yep, scared of art. I'm frightened of what may happened, both emotionally and artistically, if I were to start purposefully poking holes in the damn I've built. That may sound a bit melodramatic, but that's what I'm feeling right now. Fear. Intense fear.

I'd love to hear from you. What do you think of what I just said? Is there any form of expression that you're scared of? Am I just being neurotic?

Art Journaling

Thanks to Tyn at pookieville, I found a video on YouTube about keeping an art journal. Just half a day after a book on art journeling at Barnes & Noble made me cry. In fact, this video made me cry, too. Think I need to be doing some art journaling maybe?

26 September 2007

Halloween ATCs

I'm finally posting pictures of the much talked about Halloween ATCs. Just a reminder, these are for the Halloween Challenge in the TheLatestTrendsinMixedMediaArts
Yahoo group. The Challenge was that we were all supposed to use the same image, provided by Twisted Papers. Here is my offering:

These are the cards that I used the roof flashing, alcohol inks and transparencies for. They were so fun to make that I think I'm going to make another set or two for the swap at Stamp Your Heart Out. If I make eight of these, and use my two gargoyle ATCs, that will give me my ten minimum to play with. I'm just not into Halloween. I may make some regular cards, too, in case there are others not into it either. I've mentioned in a previous post that I'm just not really into the whole holiday season. I mean, I enjoy getting together with friends and family, and to an extent the decorations. But, to be honest, I get tired of the commercial aspect of the holidays. It's only September and I'm already seeing Christmas decorations in the stores. Not a lot, but there are some there. I really respect that Christmas is a meaningful religious holiday to some people, and I do appreciate the idea behind Thanksgiving. But since I've become an adult, these holidays just don't have the fascination for me that they once did. Not just because I don't get presents or get days off school, either!

I tried explaining this to someone this morning and I don't think I did a much better job than I'm doing right now. I'm not just ambivalent about the holiday season, I'm actually indifferent. The only redeeming aspect of the holiday season is the personal holidays (hubby's birthday, in-laws anniversary, Ward's birthday, our wedding anniversary, my birthday) that take place during the official holiday season. In fact, John's birthday and Ward and Margaret's wedding anniversary every year mark the beginning of the holiday season for our family.

25 September 2007

Lost -- In Progress

She isn't finished, but this is how I spent my afternoon.

Actually, it started last night, when I wasn't sleeping. I mentioned in a previous post that I had been painting on an old canvas. I turned out a beautiful pastel background with a piece of pattern tissue paper across it, and thought that I wanted to transfer the focal image onto it, instead of collaging it. I sought help from trusted art types and jumped right in. I decided to do an inkjet transfer, for the first time, onto this lovely background. After finding instructions on the Inkjet Transfers Yahoo group, I proceeded not to follow them very well, and did my first inkjet transfer! It was much easier than I expected, so I'll be trying it again, but my results were horrible ... Not just because I didn't follow directions, either! I didn't have the brand of transparencies recommended. That may not be a totally big deal, but the directions specifically say not to use QUICK DRYING transparencies; I suspect that mine were quick drying but didn't advertise themselves as such. Another problem I had was finding something to support my canvas as I burnished the transparency. I was working on an 8x8 canvas that is gallery wrapped, so the opening in the back is about 4x4 -- not even big enough to fill up with CD cases! I ended up folding paper lunch sacks and stuffing them in the back. They didn't really offer the kind of support that I suspect one needs.

So, what did I do with my horrible mess? I gesso'd over it and started over! I used the same colors (I'm pretty sure the pink is the same; I know the other two are) and the same techniques, and it came out different! Perhaps, in my impatience, I didn't let things dry well enough before moving on to the next layer. I decided to collage an image instead of trying to transfer again. I just didn't have the patience to try to overcome the support problem. I could have tried a caulk transfer, as someone suggested, but by now I was just ready to move on. A caulk transfer takes about 24 hours! I ended up changing focal images, too. The original image was much too square to collage onto the background. I'm much happier with this image, even though I like the original (lost) background better.

She's in progress -- so how am I going to finish her? I think I'm going to print "Lost" on a transparency, cut it out and sew it onto the upper left hand corner. I thought about transferring it, but I'm too far into the piece for experimentation of that sort! I'll also look for a ribbon or piece of lace to put along the bottom, so that she doesn't look as though she's floating in air.

I have two more canvases to play with, and I'm eager to get to them!

Happy Again!

I am creatively happy again.

I've been in a slump for a few days. I got my ATCs done for the TheLatestTrendsinMixedMediaArts Halloween Swap, and I even did a quick 4x4 for the Halloween Lottery over at Altered_stArt. I was reasonably happy with both of them (pics to follow, probably this afternoon), but then the joy just went out of creating. Probably partly because my sleep schedule is mixed up, days for nights, and I'm feeling a bit out of sorts in general because of that. Maybe because I've got Halloween ATCs looming over my head for the next swap at Stamp Your Heart Out and I'm not particularly fond of Halloween. Okay, I'm not particularly fond of any of the major holidays these days, but that's another post. And here we have a slew of them coming up, all calling for creations of their own. I just know that all the mingles, swaps, and lotteries coming up will focus on the holidays, and that leaves me feeling blah, just as I've started to getting involved in things like that. Added to all of that is the general discomfort that I'm still feeling from my recent oral surgery.

So, that's probably why I'm in a creative rut. Not to be helped by the fact that I started a piece with someone specific in mind, and more than half-way through it, I realized it wasn't working. I was working on a CD, something I've never done before. I had colored it with alcohol inks and the background was somewhat dark for stamping, which I wanted to do. So, I added some silver mixative to the background, thinking that would lighten it up. It did, but it still isn't light enough for stamping, even with my black Staz-On. I know, because I tried. So, I could go buy some of the Opaque Cotton White Staz-On that I've been wanting and start over, but that thought bores me. And I would have to start over, because I'm no good at stamping over something I've already stamped. Besides, the silver mixative makes the background too light for the white Staz-On ink.

So, why am I happy again? In order to find something to do this evening while I'm not sleeping, I pulled out an old 8 inch square canvas that I have and started painting. Not really painting, as in painting a picture -- I don't do that. Couldn't if my life (or worse yet, my husband's!) depended on it. I started glazing and wiping. I've got four different colors of paint on it right now; three different layers. It's drying while I type, and while I try to decide what to do next. Probably more paint, then some collage. But just messing and playing in the paint has made me creatively happy again.

John asked me at Denny's this evening if I'd ever go back to large surfaces, since I've had so much fun with ATCs. I'm really enjoying this smaller size. The larger sizes intimidate me. I think I've written about this before. Maybe I just don't have the right imagery and ephemera to fill a larger canvas. For whatever reason, I'm happier for the time being working on this smaller scale. I didn't even enjoy the 4x4 as much as the ATCs that were so similar to it.

All of that having been said, I have a 50x58 canvas (or some such size) awaiting me, and I do have some ideas for it. I bought it from the Beryl Larkin Collection at the Redlands Art Association. Seeing the larger works that Beryl did gave me some inspiration. I may have to work out those ideas on some smaller canvases, first. I'm thinking mostly texture and color, no collage work. I would have liked to have studied with her, so I'm going to use this canvas as a kind of study in Beryl Larkin. She did some remarkable work.

22 September 2007

Transparency Play

My transparency play is going well. I bought some roof flashing this afternoon at the local Home Depot. 25 yards for $10.75. I could have gotten less for less money, but I liked the width of this. In addition to making ATCs out of it, I'm going to make a few 4x4s out of it, too, so I went with the slightly wider version. I've cut out four ATCs and one 3.5 x 3.5, and still have tons left, of course. B'Orange thought it was great fun. He loves scissors and sharp things and anything dangerous to him. You'd think after the sewing machine incident he'd learn, but not so much.

I "painted" all my cut outs with alcohol inks -- Meadow, Eggplant and Butterscotch and the Gold mixative. I wish I'd had Pearl instead of Gold, but I've spent enough money on this project! I'm not buying more alcohol inks, too! The backgrounds turned out really nice. The first time I've ever been happy with alcohol inks. I think that before I was trying to do too large a surface at a time. I think they really work best on small surfaces, so you can cover the surface before the applicator dries out. I wish I had a scanner, so I could show you the backgrounds (I use my father-in-law's scanner to post scans); they really did turn out well for a freshman effort.

Then I cut out the details from my homemade transparencies (I'm still getting a kick out of that!) and Xyron'd the small ones to the ATC and to the 3.5 x 3.5. I don't know how I'm going to get the larger image on the ATC as it won't fit in my Xyron. I have the Xyron 150 and have been thinking about buying the Xyron 500. In fact, I'm thinking about putting my clothes on and going to Wal-Mart and getting it! The only problem is that I've taken out my plate and my partial, and I don't really want to go out with them, so I'll probably wait until tomorrow night. I also need to go to Collective Journey and buy a piece of cream colored card stock to print my words on. I just bought a piece and can't imagine what I've used it for, so there should be a piece around here somewhere, but I can't find it.

I'm eager to get my cards done, as this is for the Halloween Swap on the TheLatestTrendsinMixedMediaArts Yahoo Group. The catch was that everyone had to use the same image in some way. I decided that this would be a good excuse to use some new techniques. Everything I'm doing is totally new to me -- working on metal, working with alcohol inks, working with transparencies. I'm pretty satisfied with the results so far.

The 3.5 x 3.5 will be bordered by a piece of black cardstock and turned into a 4x4. I'll add fibers to it and enter it into the lottery at the Altered_stArt Yahoo Group. I'm just now starting to participate in swaps, lotteries, and mingles. It's interesting, rising creatively to the occasion. I don't always have it in me to create "on demand", but I'm trying to grow as an artist, and that's one of the things I need to work on.

20 September 2007

New ATCs

Before I go back to bed, I thought I'd post scans of my newest ATCs. I made these all before the dental surgery; I'm just now getting around to posting them.

When I ordered from Collage Stuff a couple of weeks ago, Lisa included a little bag of goodies. In that bag, there were two images of gargoyles. Normally, I don't just love gargoyles, but I knew right away I had to do something with these. Using a technique described in Let's Trade Artist Trading Cards, I made a really cool background that reminds me of stained glass.

Secrets uses the same background technique. This is my first effort at being creative on demand. One of the Yahoo! Groups I belong to, Altered_stArt, has a mingle with a theme. I've never participated, partly out of shyness, but mostly because I just couldn't be creative on demand, come up with something that spoke to me about the theme, whatever it is. But the current theme is "Secrets" and that really hit me.

The card didn't turn out quite the way I envisioned it; I think the alphabet stamps that spell out "Secrets" are too whimsical, but that's what I had. I was determined not to buy anything new for this card, since I'm spending a ton on the card I'm creating for TheLatestTrendsinMixedMediaArts. Well, maybe not a ton, but I've bought transparencies and I'm buying roof flashing. But I think it will turn out really nice, so it will be worth it. Plus, I'm working with all new techniques, so I'll be learning a lot.

Now, I'm off to bed!

ATCs Traded For

I woke up with a sore mouth, so I just had a bowl of ice cream. Yum. I thought, before I went to bed that I'd post scans of some of the ATCs that I traded for over the week-end. This is just a few of them, the ones that the artists listed contact information for. I've asked everyone if I could post a scan of their card, although I wonder if that was absolutely necessary, since technically the card is mine now. I haven't heard back from everyone yet; if I get any "nay" responses, of course, I'll remove their cards at once.

Brown Bagging It by Joan

Don't Be Afraid -- Play by Diedre LaGuardia

Hello by Colleen Kwan

Memories of You by Micki Antinone

Proboscis by Erika Fabian

School Again by Mary Sweet

Soliel by Michele Daly

Untitled by Megan Peacock

19 September 2007

I Survived!

Just a quick note to report that I survived my dental surgery yesterday. As it turns out, I didn't go completely under. They used some kind of IV sedation that numbed only my mouth. It was very effective. I did come home and sleep for most of the afternoon and evening. I just had one moment of concern. I was eating a yogurt and got very light-headed. I managed to finished eating and threw away my container, then was working my way back to bed. My legs just gave out from under me and I crumbled to the floor. That was kind of scary, but other than that, I did fine. My mouth is still very sore today, as you might imagine.

I went back to the dentist today for an adjustment. The lower partial fits much better now; it's much more comfortable. I sound funny when I talk -- lots of lisping. How did I talk when I had a mouth full of natural teeth? Hopefully, that will get better as I get used to having all these teeth in my mouth again. I haven't had a full mouth of teeth in years.

Thanks to everyone for their concern and especially to my in-laws for their wonderful care during my recuperation.

18 September 2007

Late Night Find

I just got home from Wal-Mart (it's 2:45 AM), where I found a package PrintWorks Transparencies, 10 for $7.84. Someone in the TheLatestTrendsinMixedMediaArts Yahoo! Group told me I might find some affordable ones there. There were also suggestions that I check at the printing centers of the big office supply stores; sometimes they sell them individually, but I figure I'll go through 10 pretty easily. I'm not going to do transfers, at least not yet. I'm going to make ATCs out of roof flashing, color them with alcohol inks, and adhere the transfers to them. I hope they turn out okay. I don't work much with my alcohol inks, so I'm not very confident with them. This will be a project just full of new techniques for me!

But don't get excited! It will be a few days before I get around to this. First of all, I'm having MAJOR dental surgery later today, and expect to be laid up for a day or two. I'm having 16 teeth extracted, and getting an upper plate and a lower partial. I'm both excited -- no more toothaches for me! -- and a bit apprehensive. I'm being put completely under for the process. That's the only way I could stand it, as Novocaine doesn't work on me. So, I expect to sleep all afternoon today, and into the evening. I'll probably still be a little groggy tomorrow, and maybe a bit sore for a day or two longer. So, no art for me this week, probably.

Secondly, it will take me a few days to gather my supplies. I bought my transparencies just now, but have yet to buy my roof flashing. Then, I guess I need to order a sealant for my transparencies so the ink won't run or smear when I apply adhesive. Then, I need to get the image ready to print out. I've got the image on my hard drive, but I don't have it sized right, nor have I made a document with several of the image for maximizing the space on the transparency. But, I'm excited to try this, so it won't be too long.

Wish me luck!

16 September 2007

ATC Swap Report

I told you I was going to go to an ATC swap at Stamp Your Heart Out yesterday and I did. First there was a demonstration of the QuicKutz Die-cutting System aimed at ATC makers, showing us how to make ATCs using the QuicKutz systems. It was interesting and, of course, now I want one! There are things I want more, first, so it will be a long time coming to this household, unless I just find an incredible deal. I'd like to have Photoshop Elements and a scanner, first, although I may be content to use my father-in-law's scanner for a while longer. That QuicKutz was mighty tempting! But then you have to buy all the dies to go with it ... I dunno.

Anyway, about the ATC swap. That's what you're really interested in, I know. At first, it was kind of slow. I swapped with one woman, Deidre, that I'd met last week in the store, but after that I didn't know what to do. I mean it doesn't sound like rocket science, but I can be a bit shy in unusual social situations, and this was completely foreign to me. I had no idea what to do. Plus, everyone had their cards in binders, and I had mine in a cigar box, so I felt different right away. But when Teri, the woman in charge said, "You can start trading now" everyone just turned to the person next to them and asked if they wanted to trade. It seemed like lots of people had made editions or series, but most of my cards were originals. I got lots of positive feedback, and everyone loved my cigar box! I eventually saw someone else there with a box, but hers was pretty and decorated. Everyone was very nice and the store handed out goody bags and had great refreshments.

If you've never had the experience of trading face-to-face, I'd suggest that you try it. It was great fun. I had a BLAST!

14 September 2007

ATC Swap!

I'm sooo excited! Tomorrow, I'll be driving to Claremont for an in person ATC swap at Stamp Your Heart Out. I've done the background swap with the arttechniquestatcs Yahoo! Group, but I've never done a face-to-face swap before. The store does this on the third Saturday of every month. I've visited it twice now, and found it much to my liking, even though it is a little out of the way for me. They have a few ATC supplies, some great papers, and marvelous rubber stamps. They are not a scrapbook store, so they don't carry too many papers, but the ones they carry are great for card making, ATCs, or altered art. I still love Collective Journey, but it's nice to have options, and a place that's into ATCs.

10 September 2007

ATCs Posted

I mentioned earlier that I had been working on ATCs over the past several days, and I posted the one that I added elements to from way back, finally calling it finished. I tried to post the rest in my yahoo group, but I had trouble. Yahoo said something was corrupted. I could have kept messing with it, but I decided it was easier to post the ATCs to my blog and refer people here. This will be a long post, as there are several ATCs and a few comments.

The man on this card and the one that follows, Man About Town, was my grandmother's husband, Paul Simmons.

This is a Tim Holtz style card. In fact, I copied it from a book on artist trading cards, just for the experience of working in his style. The book gave permission for copying -- it even gave directions on making the individual cards!

This is the first of a larger group of cards I made out of the same background papers. This set, not really a series, is worth mentioning because the individual cards are based on the lay-out lessons at Lisa Vollrath's Go Make Something. The lessons teach the kind of things I thought we'd learn in Basic Design class, but sadly, we did not. I'd provide a link, but you must be a registered user to see the articles. Registration is free and easy and there is lots of interesting information, tutorials, and videos.

This is my first series, Circle Takes The Square. Again, based on one of Lisa's lay-out designs and lessons. I couldn't decide which paper to use, so I made one out of each paper! I enjoyed finding the coordinating ribbon and circle elements, so there may be more cards in this series, simple as it is.

This series is made from fabric, following the instructions in Lisa Vollrath's booklet on Artist Trading Cards. I tinted the lace with Walnut Stain, although you probably can't really see that in this picture.
Another Tim Holtz style card. These were fun to make, although a tad bit more cluttered than I really like. Maybe it's a matter of confidence.

More Art

I've been busy doing art lately. I've been working on Artist Trading Cards (ATCs), small little works of art the size of baseball trading cards. I love the art form as it's so freeing. Absolutely anything goes as long as the size is right (they MUST be 2.5" x 3.5") and will fit inside a plastic protector sleeve. So, I can collage (my personal favorite), paint, draw, rubber stamp, or photograph to my heart's content. Embellishments are welcome, as long as the finished card fits inside the protective sleeve. Some people have a challenge working so small, but I truly enjoy the scale. The last large piece I worked on (20x26, I think)was just overwhelming to me. I even painted the canvas first, so I wouldn't be faced with a blank, white canvas. Even so, the canvas was just too big, and I had trouble coming up with enough elements -- and large enough elements -- to fill the canvas. I'll probably never finish it, as I never got impassioned by it. Other people liked how it was starting -- and I did, too -- but I never could get into the size; it just seemed too large from the beginning. So, I've abandoned that canvas and gone back to the smaller size of ATCs.

The first thing I did was add some cancellation rubber stamps to an ATC that I worked on a few months ago. It just didn't seem complete to me, but I couldn't decide what it needed. The image in the middle is cut from a postage stamp scrapbook paper, so the cancellation stamps seemed like a good element to tie it all together. Shame I didn't cut the "stamp" out with postage stamp scissors, but I didn't have any at the time; I only bought a pair this last week. See the original here.