Tuesday, February 21, 2012

An ATC, with Easter in mind

Another ATC that I did last night.  I was thinking about Easter when I was working on it.  :)  These are so fun to work on!  They can be limiting because they're so small, but they're also sort of freeing, because you don't have such a big area to cover.

All for now,

     ~  Teri

Monday, February 20, 2012

A Valentine and an ATC

Valentine for my #1 Valentine!  (My kids are my Valentines, too!)
So, here are a couple of the things that I've done recently.  The Valentine was done, mostly, with alcohol inks.  They are SO cool to work with!!  This was a glossy sheet of paper.  I cut the heart out and started playing with the alcohol inks (from Ranger/Tim Holtz).  I used the Blending Solution and the Copper Mixative, too.  Those are fun, fun!!  The thing with alcohol inks is that they are very wet.  I tried some on an ATC (artist trading card) that was made for acrylics and it just soaked through.  Now that I've left it to dry, overnight, it has dried, but the coloring soaked through to the back of the card.  So, they're for using on non-porous surfaces - glossy cardstock, glass, acrylic pendants, etc.....   Here is a great video, with Jennifer McGuire, that shows how you can use the alcohol inks, along with glossy cardstock and the pendants!
Spring ATC, 2012
This next little piece is an ATC - Artist Trading Card.  Remember, they are 2.5 x 3.5 and they are meant to be traded, never sold!

I made this last night, for someone who does LTC - Letterboxing/er? Trading Cards.  I'd never heard of them!  Do you know about Letterboxing?  It's fun!  Please read all the way to them bottom and I'll tell you about it at the end of this.  :)

But, first, this ATC.  It's an "acrylic" ATC, which means that the paper will stand up to acrylic paint.  It has texture to it, which you can see....little tiny squarish-looking things in the background.  I put a thin layer of Gesso (pronounce "jesso") over the whole thing.  Then, with my finger, I rubbed on some acrylic paint.  Some just cheap acrylic paint that you get from a craft/sewing store and some was from Claudine Hellmuth.  I let that dry... since I rubbed it on, it was pretty thin....so, it dried quickly.  Then, I took a piece of this new Washi tape (that I just bought at Collage, in Portland, this weekend!) and put it down, vertically, on the left side.  You can find lots of it here.  Tim Holtz has it on his site, of course, but since I bought this one unwrapped, as an individual roll, I'm not sure who the manufacturer is.  It doesn't appear to be his, now that I'm looking.  Well, I'm stumped... I have no idea who's tape that is!!  If you know, please leave a comment and let me know!  It is all black and white and is a floral design... just a bunch of flowers.

Then, I printed out some spring designs on my printer (just an Epson, inkjet printer, nothing fancy) and and that's where the girl with the lamb and the butterfly wings came from.  But, there's an image under them, at the bottom, that you can't see very well.  I should've let it dry, overnight, before finishing it.  It's an Image Transfer.... so easy to do!  They just give your art more dimension....in mixed-media collage, you want lots of layers!  So, anyway, it's a little bird's nest... the one that's in this collection, below.  This was a freebie, so you can use it as a freebie, too!!  Please, just use it in your own work, though, not to make money off of it, unless you contact Tim Holtz and ask for permission.  :)

So, I used that nest, in the middle, and put it at the bottom, as an image transfer.  Image transfers look more vintagey and funky.... if you want a perfect rendition of the image, then just use some Mod-Podge and glue it right to the page, face up.  But, it you want it to be one of those layers, that you don't really see clearly...kind of hidden in there...then, image transfers are a great way to do that.  OK.. image transfer has been added.....then, I took a piece of "punchinella", (what is left over after sequins are made!) and a "Warm Red" Colorbox Fluid Chalk and laid the punchinella down and just randomly patted it with the fluid chalk.  ("Fluid chalk" is a bit of a misnomer.  It's not fluid.  It's a spongy pad in a cat's eye shape.  It's not even "fluid" enough to heat emboss!  It's dries quickly, which is great for some applications, like this one.)  Those are the little red dots that you see.  Then, I sprayed some Tattered Angels Glimmer Mist in Pearl color over the whole thing.  It just gives it a shimmer.  Then, I tried adding some Radiant Rain Shimmering Mist, in Ginger Peach color, but the sprayer wasn't working!  So, I was trying to get it to work and accidentally flung some color on the ATC!  That's the gingery-peach color that you see on that Washi tape!  I dabbed it with a paper-towel and carried on.  It worked out okay.  :)

I cut the butterfly wings apart, so I could lay them how I wanted them.  I used Mod-Podge to glue them down and then placed the girl with the lamb over them.  Then, I thought of what I might want this ATC to say.  I printed up a bunch of things like, "Happy Spring", "Happy Easter", "Enjoy the Beauty of Spring" and the one that I ended up using.  I print them out on cardstock and I usually print each line out in different colors, not knowing exactly how it'll look against the piece.  I space out the letters so that there is enough room when I cut them out so that they aren't right up against the edge of the paper.  I print them and cut them with my Fiskar's paper-cutter.  Then, I use Tim Holtz' Distress Inks -I've mentioned them here before because I love, love, love them!!  I just dab the applicator around until they're lightly covered.  I used the Tea Dye one, which I use a lot.  Then, I took the Fluid Chalk cat's eye, in Warm Red, again, and just dabbed it along each edge of each of the paper words.  Once I figured out how I wanted them to be placed, I used Mod-Podge (yes, most collage artists can't live without Mod-Podge!) to glue them down.  I added a little shimmer to the butterfly wings with Ranger's Stickles, in Crystal color, and voila!!  Done!

In order to print out this little freebie, click on the image.  Once it opens, right-click and it'll give you the option to "save as"....choose that.  You decide where you get to save it on your computer, so save it in a folder where it'll be obvious where it is!!  I have a folder for "altered arts".... I put these kinds of things in there.  Otherwise, you may never find it again!!!  :(

OK... about Letterboxing......you can learn about it either here or here.  Basically, though, you're given clues so that you can find the Letterbox...they are out in parks, hidden in books at your local library, in the piano bench at a coffee shop, out in the woods, etc.... So, you get the clues from these two websites (and probably others as well) and you go hunting for the boxes.  But, wait!  You're going to need a log- book, your own rubber stamp, a pen and a stamp-pad and sometimes a compass.  First, when you find the letterbox, you want to be quiet about it.  If you have a bunch of kids, please don't let them scream, "We found it!"  For two reasons; there are those in the park who don't know about Letterboxing and would get more of a thrill out of ruining it than they would the actual activity.  :(  Also, there are others who might be into Letterboxing and you don't want to ruin it for them...don't give it away!  :)

OK... so, you've found the Letterbox.  You stealthily take it out of its hiding place and open it up.  Take out the items, which are usually in plastic bags, if they're out in the elements.   There should be a log-book, a rubber stamp and a stamp-pad.  You take out their log-book and stamp your rubber stamp into it, then you can put your "trail name" in there, along with the date, and sometimes people write where they're from or a little note to the Letterboxer who put it there.  Then, in your log-book, you stamp their rubber-stamp; you add where you were and put the date.  It's a fun activity and a great way to see the great outdoors that are around you!  These are everywhere!!!  We've carved our own stamps before, but you don't have to.

The family that we're going to visit today... the mom of this family is an avid Letterboxer.... she carves her own stamps.  So, the LATC's are Artist Trading Cards, but with a letterboxing stamp on it.  I'm excited to see that!  She'd asked me to bring some of my ATC's, sort of a show-and-tell, but I've given all of mine away, either as gifts, in a swap or in a contest!  I made one for her, so she can see what it is I do.  I hope she likes it!

Have a creative day!

     ~ Teri

Sunday, February 19, 2012

A different quilt pattern

Just in case you're thinking that I can only do one quilt pattern....   :)  I started doing that Bricks 'n Blocks one because I just loved how it looked and it was so easy to put together!  Usually, when I'm making a baby quilt, I'm giving it as a gift and I've waited until the 24th hour to start it!  
So, anyway, I kind of fell into that one quilt pattern...also, because I knew it so well. I don't have to think much about the sizes of anything. You just add more rectangles/squares if you want it to be wider and/or longer.  (I've never made a quilt for any of my own kids.....isn't that awful?!)  Someone at my local quilt shop, where I have shopped for 30 years, once said to me, "Oh, you must work better under pressure", because I was in there picking out fabric about two days before I needed to have a Thanksgiving dress made for my daughter!  Really... do you think that's it??  That I work better under pressure?  Is that the case with all procrastinators??  Hmmm.......OK, let's go with that!

So, anyway, this was a "rocket" quilt.  I love the bright colors and the "space/rocket" motif. 

I just made an ATC this evening.  I'm going to someone's house tomorrow and she asked me to bring some of my ATC's.  Man...I've put all my ATC's into a swap or a contest.  I don't think I have any of my own, anymore!  So, I decided to make a couple, to take over to show her.  I'll post them here, later.... one has some glittery stuff on it that's still drying.  I don't want it to stick to the scanning bed.  :)

I need to get some reading in before I go to sleep.  I'm on the sixth book of the Outlander series, by Diana Gabaldon.  There's one more book after this one.  Oh, my gosh... I don't know what I'm going to read once I'm done with this series!  What could possibly be as good???  I welcome suggestions, especially if you've read the series!  :)


          ~ Teri 

Thursday, February 2, 2012

A hand-written letter challenge.... will you join me?

I saw this on the Crane Stationery Co. Facebook page and I'm going to try it.

I used to write lots of letters.  I've always written letters.  I loved to write so much when I was in my youth, in fact, that I've written letters to friends who lived just a mile away from me!  When I was 14, my mom worked for the Post Office.  A co-worker, who she was friends with, was sorting mail one day, when she saw a letter that was addressed to: 
                                A girl, 12 years old
                              Santa Cruz, California

This woman knew that I loved to write, so she grabbed it up and gave it to my mom, to pass on to me.  How cool was that??  (I wonder if you could still do that.... if it would make it through the Postal Service??)  I was actually 14 at the time, but I wrote back and told her that.  She was fine with that and we are still friends all these years later!  Let's see... you don't know how old I am, so you don't know how many years ago that was!  35 years ago!!  And, this pen-pal-wanna-be lived in Sweden!  So, that was even *more* cool!  I've had the good fortune to actually meet her, face-to-face; but it was when my twins were about a year old and my oldest was 3.5 years.  We did make it over to the beach and to a holiday festival up in Portland, but I felt badly that we couldn't show her more of this beautiful state!  We were actually also just recovering from a serious flu, which her boyfriend ended up getting.  :(  So sorry, Magnus!!
But, I digress.  Back to letter-writing.  I fear that it's becoming a lost art.  It's such a treasure to find old letters, read them and be taken back to a different time.  To be reminded of days gone by.  Not to mention to have that "documentation", for lack of a better word, of those friendships and connections.  Of your history.... what were your interests in those days?  What did you daily life consist of?  We get more of that in real, handwritten letters.  It doesn't happen so much with emails and online forums.  As the instigator of this challenge, Mary Robinette Kowal writes:

"When I write back, I find that I slow down and write differently than I do with an email. Email is all about the now. Letters are different, because whatever I write needs to be something that will be relevant a week later to the person to whom I am writing. In some ways it forces me to think about time more because postal mail is slower. 'By the time you get this…' It is relaxing. It is intimate. It is both lasting and ephemeral."

That is so true.  I hope you'll join me in this effort.  Think of how fun it is to get mail, too!  There's so much non-personal mail these days... magazines, catalogs, junk-mail, bills.... how many personal letters do you get?  Wouldn't you love to put a smile on someone's face by sending them a hand-written letter?  It could even just be a postcard, from your town, to say hello. 

If you collect stamps, then there's an added bonus!  When you receive a letter, you also receive a postage stamp!  More ephemera....something else to give you a glimpse into the past.  (The one thing I don't like about the US "Forever" stamps...they don't tell you the price!)

OK... yes, I could go on and on about the benefits of letter-writing, but I really should get off of here and, well, go write a letter!

Happy Writing!!

      ~  Teri