Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Alice and Sara

This turned into a knock-it-out-this-afternoon project for two reasons: One, I was waiting to find out if I am required to show up for jury duty tomorrow (and possibly longer) so I wasn't sure I'd have any spare time later in the week to work it - and 2 - it started storming pretty bad which meant shutting down and unplugging all the electronics (including computer and TV) so I figured I may as well sit down and do this! even though I kinda wasn't in the mood ...

Another mailart project for Nervousness: a pair of ATC pocket decos that are traveling together, you make an ATC and slip it in the pocket, in the end the recip's would get back an adorable booklet with 4 ATC's inside. Mine was the last spot, so these will be heading home when I'm done, and I didn't want to keep them any longer than I really had to.

First off, the decos themselves were so neat! Really delicious pale colored & patterned cardstock that was sewn into a little 4 pocket booklet that tied shut with thin ribbon. The ATC blanks were already included (matched the deco paper!) and while I originally planned to do something completely different, once I saw the blank and the previous artists' cards (that were all very pretty and vintage-y and matched the colors of the deco) I knew I was gonna go ahead and keep to the same theme so it had a nice cohesive look.

I started off by stamping a decorative design onto the front of my blanks (I chose to use the harlequin printed side) with a foam stamp and sand colored ink. Then I added texture by lightly spattering with two colors (antique white and victorian green) of acrylic paint. I chose two ladies from a page of printed vintage images in my stash and tore a random page out of an old paperback for some text. Turned out it had two different girls' names -score!- so I tore off thin strips and painted over all the text but the names, then arranged them onto the cardback and glued them down. Looking at them afterward I feel I should have anchored the girls' images somehow, but ... didn't! and can't now. Added a row of paint dots down the side and edged the cards with the sand ink - signed the backs (which were striped and perfect as text lines) and they are enveloped and addressed and as soon as I stamp them they'll be set to head out in tomorrow's mail ... which is a good thing ...

'cause I DID end up pulling jury duty. GRR.

Judicially yours,
~ gem ~

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Altered Art Folder

This is a Very Long Overdue PIF gift for a gal at Nervousness. She graciously sent me nice batch of clear wax crayons at Easter-time (I use them as resists, mostly in background-making) and I promised I'd make something for her in return. And here it is kneedeep in summer and I've only just gotten myself together and finished this up.

I got the idea from a how-to posting at Lisa Vollrath's site Go Make Something (you will need to register to view most of the stuff there, but it is free and SO worth it) I have a box FULL of old AOL CDs - ones in folders, tins, etc - so I had no problem getting my supplies together: AOL folder (I tossed the disc, as I wasn't going to alter it as part of my project), cardstock - I used a plain beigey brown, inks including Ranger's Distress Ink in Walnut Stain, and a handful of my favorite rubberstamps.

First I seperated apart the AOL folder and traced onto my cardstock as shown on Lisa's site, and cut out the pieces, gluing the two sides together (but leaving the flap part open for now) Then I applied a light colored (sand) ink pad directly to the cardstock to swipe some color lightly all over, on both sides. Then I used the same color to rubberstamp my images in a random, collage-y fashion, until all areas were covered. I used the darker distress ink to stamp some accents inside the section where the pocket would be, along the back edge, and I stamped a frame type image and some text onto a scrap of the cardstock to make a title embellishment, which I glued on to the front cover. At this point I used the darker brown and distress inks to ink all the edges of the folder (make sure you fold it up and check all the sides!) Then I glued the inside flap over to create the pocket, and after it was dry I stuffed it with some handmade ATC envelopes and a couple other goodies - all soon to be on their way to beehive in New York.

It was a fun way to both try a new technique and fulfill an ART-trade obligation!

Now go sign up to that site and, as Lisa says: Go Make Something ...
I'm getting ready to Go Out to Dinner, myself - so see ya later!

~ gem ~

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Pink & Brown Deco, Redux

This poor, poor little deco. So here's the 3rd remake of this themed deco that's currently going around Nervousness and is TRYing to get home to her owner! - The original was accidentally ruined (involved a toddler and a shower - never a good combo, yeah?) so that artist replaced it with a realllly nicely done design and was the one I worked my "Garden Party" page in. I then mailed it off to next player 'round the end of May and it still has not arrived. (Florida to Pennsylvania. Not exactly a haul.) Since it was lost on my watch I offered to make a NEW replacement, and this is what I came up with:

I'm not super thrilled with my deco-making of late, which is why I am on a self-imposed break from making & decorating - other than the ones I already have lined up. This one however was an emergency makeup deco, so therefore doesn't count. :D It's made with scrapbooking paper covers, 2 shades of pink cardstock for interior pages, sorta "postbound" style with brads, and a rubberstamped image on the front (which, is upside down.) for the title text which is P & B in letter stickers.

~ gem ~

Sunday, July 8, 2007


:::idiosyncratic ATC unison:::

Okay, this was a semi-fun, mostly difficult ATC project put on by blueness over at Nervousess.org ... I've never done one of these "supply packet" projects before and I felt like a challenge (plus they had one last spot open, PLUS the hostess and I share the same birthday, weeee!) So yeah, let's do it!

Here's the basics: Hostess sends an envelope full of arty scrappy supplies (roughly the same pieces to each player) including the back/blank - which you then use to create an ATC. The rules are - you MUST somehow incorporate a part of each different item supplied. And ONLY those items. No outside papers, paints, accents, pens - NOTHING. Only tools may be used such as glue, scissors, paintbrush and so on. Sounds fun and easy right? HAH! until you see the amount of stuff stuffed into that envelope and realize you now have to design and assemble an actual piece of art using ALL these things, none of which were of your choosing. Teabag? Match? Excuse me?

:::the supplies:::

1 random dictionary page (I got bf - Biedermeier)
2 page from vintage stamp collectors price guide
3 half sheet of printed vintage images
4 various tissue, mulberry, paper scraps - 5 pcs
5 Queen of Spades playing card
6 rectangle of cardstock w/pinked edges
7 used (public transport?) access swipecard
8 teabag, match, scrap of foil-tape, film negative
9 scrap of mylar type paper (silver on one side, black on the other)
10 postage stamp, piece of flower stem?, 2 bits of novelty yarn
11 baggies of: embossing powder (pink) and acrlyic paints - the silver was fine, the gold was dried
~ plus there was the project note and the card image to be used as ATC backing

And here's what I did with all that:

First I distressed the original card image with a sanding block - I really wanted to keep as much of the original image as possible, just toned down - then used the teabag to teastain all the papers except the cardback, playing card, swipecard and mylar paper. I painted the edges of the postage stamp with the silver paint and adhered the embossing powder to it (now, I don't emboss so I tried using an iron to "melt" it - it didn't look any different than if I'd glued it, so ... hope it holds!) I cut stars and a half circle out of the foiltape and dried gold paint with a paperpunch, and attached these to the filmstrip piece. I tore and layered some tissue & mulberry paper onto a pocket I'd cut from half the teabag, and added a band of the mylar paper to the top, then glued that whole piece to the bottom of the ATC ... I added the postage stamp, the flower stem, a hand cut from the playing card and a couple more star cutouts to the card, as well as bits of text from the dictionary page and one of the vintage image pages. For the record: I'm kinda ticked about the direction HRH's head is facing and I LOATHE the embossing powder but -eh-- whatever. Front of card is finished.

For the second part of my pocket ATC, I took the already teastained bit of plain paper and tore the ends to fit, then layered the other bit of mulberry paper, a small scrap of cardstock (which was left intact & completely as-sent other than I teastained it) plus an image from the stamp guide page - added the filmstrip section to the top and tied the two yarn bits through the holes on that. Flipped it over and added the pinked cardstock (again - altered only with teastaining) to which I glued a fun bit of instruction cut from the swipecard, which reads: "Conditions of Use - Insert this direction. Please keep dry/do not fold." Then I added another section from the playing card to the back of the ATC as well as my FAVORITE text section (the one I knew I'd use right from the start) a bit from the swipecard that read "Not For Resale/Non Transferrable/Void If Altered" and signed & dated it ~ gem 07-07-07 ~ VOI and LA! we are finished! Hooray!

ohhhhhh yeahhhhh ... what ABOUT that MATCH?
Well my original plan was to complete the card then strike the match and sorta burn the edges to give it a real old "I've survived some shit" feel ... but the match burned SO FAST and the card just wouldn't take (you can so barely see any singeing right at the edge on the back where it reads "Not" ) that I ended up just using the burnt matchhead like charcoal, and edged parts of the pocket tag. I smudged it in though, so it's pretty much only visible in person, sorry!

Only things I used other than what was supplied: PPA glue, gluestick, shaped paperpunch, scissors, sanding block. *And a lighter to light the match - that might be cheating, I dunno - but I don't have matchbooks here and tried to strike it on a bunch of other surfaces first, none of which worked, so I hadda improvise.

Anyway I'm not thrilled with this one as a whole, though I do like some of the parts - mostly the tag and the back of the ATC, but I did REALLY enjoy the process and the creative stretch I got -- and am totally looking forward to seeing the other submissions!

~ gem ~